February 06, 2008

Quote of the Day: Michael Ruse on the Darwin/Hitler Canard

...whatever the initial approval, the Nazi ideologists quickly realized how completely antithetical the whole evolution idea was to their own ideology. Not only are we first cousins to the monkeys but, even worse, the Aryans are brothers and sisters with the Jews, the Slavs, the gypsies, and the rest of the world's riffraff and degenerates.

— Michael Ruse, "Darwin and Hitler: a not-very-intelligent link"
Feb. 6, 2008

Ruse's column appears in today's Tallahassee Democrat. It's brief but well thought-through and makes a rather devastating case against the ludicrous assertion put forth by some very sloppy thinkers that, as Ruse puts it, "...there is a virtual straight line from Charles Darwin, author of "The Origin of Species" (1859), to Adolf Hitler, author of "Mein Kampf" (1925)."

I chose the quote highlighted above because it sums up one of the reasons that a real understanding of evolution is incompatible with bigotry. Another, of course, is that evolutionary biology cum population biology also demonstrates that the species most likely to survive and adapt over time is the one that maintains relatively high levels of diversity. That notion is the very antithesis of any ideology that encompasses delusions about the desirability of "racial purity."

There was another quote from Ruse's piece that, if not quote-of-the-day worthy, is a very good piece of advice.
So, as always, be careful not to be seduced by the ideas and claims of the anti-evolutionists. They are not scientists and, to be perfectly honest, they are not very good historians either.

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