“Wickedness is no more a man’s fault than bodily disease.” Those are the words of Charles Darwin. Darwin also said, “At some future period … the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races.” Why would Darwin say things that sound so immoral and racist? Because he believed people are merely the result of evolution through random variation and natural selection, so they can’t really be responsible for their behavior. He figured that if survival of the fittest is the supreme reality, then superior racial groups would eventually wipe out those he considered inferior.
A politician who based public policy on evolution said, “We must understand and cooperate with science.” “A higher race subjects to itself a lower race …a right which we see in nature and which can be regarded as the sole conceivable right.” The politician’s name? Adolph Hitler. Hitler’s henchman Rudolf Hess declared, “Nazism is applied biology.”
Hitler tried to build a superior race by eliminating inferior races, and by sterilizing or killing people with disabilities. This was grounded in eugenics, the supposedly scientific effort to propagate the best genes and eliminate the worst. Who coined the word eugenics and made the idea popular? Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton.
Most people today rightly think Hitler was horrible. But Hitler wasn’t the only evolutionist who believed in eugenics. So did United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who left a long-term imprint on the court. So did Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. She zealously supported eugenics. She complained that giving food and medicine to needy people merely created “a deadweight of human waste.” A better approach, said Sanger, would be “decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world.” People with bad genes should be given their choice: “segregation or sterilization.” In 1933, Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Review featured an article entitled “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need.” The author? Ernst Rudin, Hitler’s Director of Genetic Sterilization.
In fairness to Darwin, we shouldn’t think that Darwin himself wanted to do the terrible things that some Darwinists would later do. Darwin personally disliked cruelty toward people of other ethnic groups, and many evolutionists today, to their credit, oppose racism. But whatever the personal feelings of Darwin or his followers, Darwin’s theory of evolution provided a basis for eugenics and meant that subjection or destruction of other races is natural and to be expected. This is evident in the title of Darwin’s landmark book. The full title is Origin of the Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of the Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. If the favored races are preserved, what about less favored races? Darwin declared, “The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races.” By Dr. David Feddes