Posted April 23, 2006
A common charge made by creationists is that evolutionary theory is "evil" and is the source of racism in general, and of dictatorial killers in particular. The most often-heard assertion is that Hitler and his racist genocide were the product of "evolutionary philosophy". Henry Morris, for instance, flatly declares, "However one may react morally against Hitler, he was certainly a consistent evolutionst." (Morris, "Evolution and Modern racism", ICR Impact, October 1973) Morris adds: "The philosophies of Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche -- the forerunners of Stalin and Hitler -- have been particularly baleful in their effect: both were dedicated evolutionists." (Morris, Troubled Waters of Evolution, 1974 p. 33)
How accurate is this creationist finger-pointing? Not very. The creationists are apparently unaware of the fact that Stalinist Russia rejected Darwinian evolution as "bourgeois" and instead embraced the non-Darwinian "proletarian biology" of Lysenko and Michurin (a disaster from which Russian genetics and biological sciences has still not completely recovered). As for Hitler, even a cursory reading of his book Mein Kampf reveals that the true source of Hitler's inspiration and exhortations came from a source that creationists, understandably, would rather not talk about.
Hitler's goal was the "purification" of the "Aryan race" through the elimination of "subhumans", which included Jews, gypsies, Asians, black Africans, and everyone else who was not a white Aryan. Despite the creationists claims that this was based on Darwinain evolutionary theory, Hitler's own writings give quite a different story. The ICR claims that "Hitler used the German word for evolution (Entwicklung) over and over again in his book." (ICR Impact, "The Ascent of Racism", Paul Humber Feb 1987) Like so many of ICR's claims, this one is simply not true -- a quick scan of several online English translations of Mein Kampf shows only ONE use of the word "evolution", in a context which does not refer at all to biological evolution, but instead to the development of political ideas in Germany: "This evolution has not yet taken the shape of a conscious intention and movement to restore the political power and independence of our nation."
Had ICR made even a cursory reading of Mein Kampf, they would have seen a quite different source for Hitler's racist inspiration than the one they would have us believe. White Aryans, Hitler writes, are the special creations of God, the "highest image of the Lord", put here specifically to rule over the "subhuman" races: "Human culture and civilization on this continent are inseparably bound up with the presence of the Aryan. If he dies out or declines, the dark veils of an age without culture will again descend on this globe. The undermining of the existence of human culture by the destruction of its bearer seems in the eyes of a folkish philosophy the most execrable crime. Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent Creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise." (all quotes from Hitler, Mein Kampf, online version) Actions which aid the "subhumans" at the expense of the Aryan master race, Hitler declared, were an offense against God: " It is a sin against the will of the Eternal Creator if His most gifted beings by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands are allowed to degenerate in the present proletarian morass, while Hottentots and Zulu Kaffirs are trained for intellectual professions."
Rather than basing his racism on any evolutionary theory, Hitler based it squarely on his view of white Aryans as the favored people of God. In fact, Hitler solemnly declares that his program of removing Jews and other "subhumans" from the earth is a divine task forced upon him by the Lord Almighty: "What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproductionof our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purityof our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the Creator of the universe."
Hitler concludes: "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord," adding "Compared to the absurd catchword about safeguarding law and order, thus laying a peaceable groundwork for mutual swindles, the task of preserving and advancing the highest humanity, given to this earth by the benevolence of the Almighty, seems a truly high mission." For Hitler, removing the subhumans from earth was not a matter of biology or evolution -- it was a divine mandate from God Himself, the "work of the Lord", a "truly high mission".
Even in discussing racial purity and "race-mixing", Hitler chooses not the words of evolutionary biology or eugenics, but points instead to his divinely holy mission: "Historical experience offers countless proofs of this. It shows with terrifying clarity that in every mingling of Aryan blood with that of lower peoples the result was the end of the cultured people. North America, whose population consists in by far the largest part of Germanic elements who mixed but little with the lower colored peoples, shows a different humanity and culture from Central and South America, where the predominantly Latin immigrants often mixed with the aborigines on a large scale. By this one example, we can clearly and distinctly recognize the effect of racial mixture. The Germanic inhabitant of the American continent, who has remained racially pure and unmixed, rose to be master of the continent; he will remain the master as long as he does not fall a victim to defilement of the blood. The result of all racial crossing is therefore in brief always the following: To bring about such a development is, then, nothing else but to sin against the will of the Eternal Creator."
The goal of the "folkish government", then, Hitler declares is to "finally to put an end to the constant and continuous original sin of racial poisoning, and to give the Almighty Creator beings such as He Himself created."
"The folkish-minded man, in particular," Hitler concludes, "has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will."
In Mein Kampf, Hitler makes an emotional appeal to God to aid him and his Nazis in their divine task: "Then, from the child's story-book to the last newspaper in the country, and every theatre and cinema, every pillar where placards are posted and every free space on the hoardings should be utilized in the service of this one great mission, until the faint-hearted cry, "Lord, deliver us," which our patriotic associations send up to Heaven to-day would be transformed into an ardent prayer: 'Almighty God, bless our arms when the hour comes. ' " Later, when Nazi troops swarmed over Europe, each of them wore an army-issue belt buckle inscribed with the words "God is With Us".
The invocation of God and the Bible in support of racism continues with modern hate groups in the US. Aryan Nations, which also calls itself the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, begins its web site by proclaiming "Praise Yahweh" and its intention to "serve the Lord of Glory and His Holy Race". The American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan note that only those of "Christian faith" can be members, and asks every new recruit "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?" The White Camelia Knights of the Ku Klux Klan declare that "at some point God's people must take action in the defense of our Christian, racial and political beliefs". The Camelia KKK website also explicitly states "We base our beliefs on our Biblical interpretations, not ignorance, superstition or blind hatred." How does the Camelia KKK justify its opposition to "race-mixing"? "White Christian Israelites are under God's law and covenant. The other peoples of the earth are under nature's law, which God also created. . . Nature's law, which is a creation of YAHWEH, dictates that kind reproduce after kind. The different people of the world were never supposed to mix." The Imperial Klans of America declares, "We are a gathering of White Christian men and women." The National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan website declares that they "reverently acknowledge the majesty and supremacy of Almighty God and recognize his goodness and providence through his Son Jesus Christ. We avow the distinction between the races of mankind as decreed by the Lord our God, and we shall ever be true to the maintenance of His Supremacy."
None of these racist websites mentions "Darwin" or "evolution" as a justification for any of their beliefs. All of them talk about "God" and "The Creator" instead.
Lenny Flank is the author of Creation "Science" Debunked and Lenny Flank's Herp Page.