It is with profound distaste that we post this, but it’s necessary. The claim that there’s a causal link between Darwin’s theory of evolution and the insane deeds of Adolf Hitler is one of the foundational teachings of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
We’ve dealt with this monstrous legend several times before — first in Hitler and Darwin, and then Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler. That was about something by Richard Weikart, about whom we said:
He’s not only a Discoveroid “fellow” (i.e., full-blown creationist), he’s also the author of a book titled From Darwin to Hitler, which influenced James Kennedy, the now-deceased televangelist who made the influential “documentary” Darwin’s Deadly Legacy. We might consider Weikart to be the intellectual godfather of the Discoveroids’ frequently-repeated malicious mantra: “No Darwin, no Hitler.” If he’s not the originator of that foul dogma, he’s certainly one of its principal pillars.
After that we posted a few more times about the Discoveroids’ obsession with Hitler, most recently: The Shroud of Seattle (Weikart again).
Well, they’re back at it — and why not? The Discoveroids have no scientific accomplishments to talk about, so they may as well engage in raw propaganda. Their latest is Richard Weikart on Darwinism and Hitlerism. Yes, it’s about yet another scholarly work by Weikart. We won’t excerpt very much, because it’s the usual rot you’ve seen before, but one or two things should be mentioned. The Discoveroids say, with bold font added by us and their links omitted:
… Discovery Institute fellow Richard Weikart lays out a historian’s case for the proposition that Adolf Hitler’s murderous policies arose from a scientific racism inspired by Charles Darwin’s most famous ideas.
What kind of “historian’s case” is that? Here you go:
… Weikart does the painstaking work of any careful historian, drawing narrowly phrased points from well over one hundred bibliographical sources — archival, primary and secondary. Weikart’s 203-page exposition of Hitler’s mind is supported by 681 endnotes apportioned across nine major chapters arranged more in conceptual than chronological order, though Weikart provides a timeline at the start of the book for context.
That sounds just dandy. However, it’s important to note what isn’t said, and we know this because if it were otherwise the Discoveroids certainly would have told us about it. There is no mention of Darwin in anything written or said by Hitler himself. That’s surprising, considering the amount of material that Hitler left behind. Yet (after what we assume was an exhaustive search of primary sources) it appears that all Weikart has to offer is what other people had to say about their guesses as to what motivated Hitler. So even with all its footnotes, this would seem to be a book about second-hand mind reading.
In fact, the Discoveroid article actually acknowledges that Hitler had no familiarity with Darwin’s work. They say:
It doesn’t matter much that Hitler became a scientific racist via Darwinism rather than by direct contact with Charles Darwin’s texts.
It’s a lucky thing for the world that Hitler didn’t actually read Darwin. Who knows what horror might have resulted — oh, wait. There actually was a World War II leader who had that mind-searing experience. We’ve previously posted that Winston Churchill read Darwin, and we quoted Churchill’s own written words to that effect. We haven’t read Weikart’s works, but we feel safe in guessing that he never mentioned that little datum.
We also wrote Hey, Klinghoffer: How About Hitler & Gobineau?, about Arthur de Gobineau, a pre-Darwin French racist whose ideas were adopted by the Nazis, but whose pro-Jewish sentiments were edited out of their versions of his writings. The Discoveroids never mention him. Nor do they mention another Nazi authority: On the Jews and Their Lies, by Martin Luther.
In the world of the Discoveroids, the only influence on Hitler was Charles Darwin — a name that was somehow never mentioned by Hitler. But that just proves the conspiracy, right? Weikart has it all figured out.
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