Darwin’s Deadly Legacy

Posted: August 28, 2006 in Atheism, Religion, Reviews, Television

darwin.gifDarwin, as most of you would be aware, was one of the pioneers of the Theory of Evolution. You know, the theory that states that life adapted to environmental conditions in such a way that the survival of their species was made easier. Yeah, that nice theory which is accepted by the truly overwhelming majority of the scientific community and sane people everywhere. It would seem, however, that this theory was the target of a show called Darwin’s Deadly Legacy which aimed to misrepresent all that the Theory of Evolution stands for…

One of the claims the show makes is that without Darwin, bearded scientist from the turn of the century, there would have been no Adolf Hitler. The show also goes on to claim that the theory of evolution was also the basis for Communism and also, oddly enough, the Columbine Highschool shooting incident. I will grant you some time to clean up the milk/coffee/whatever off your monitor since you have undoubtedly just spat it everywhere.

The show also brings forth the ol’ chestnuts that creationists love to bring up time and again even though their arguments have been proven wrong just as many times. The first one, of course, is that Evolution is just a theory and isn’t proven fact and therefore shouldn’t be taught in schools. It should be obvious at this point that the makers of the show have no understanding of just what constitutes a scientific theory … which should also make any viewers realise that the show is made by people that don’t really have the slightest clue and thus should be ignored.

The program also states that Intelligent Design is just as valid as a scientific theory and should also, therefore, be taught in the classroom. Again, this is a gross misrepresentation of what a scientific theory is – scientific theories are formed by objectively looking at observable facts/results and forming a hypothesis upon those facts. If the results of that hypothesis are able to be repeated under controlled circumstances and then stand up to review by learned peers … only then do you have a scientific theory. ID fails at the very first stage in that it’s proponents formed a conclusion first and then looked for evidence to support it – directly opposite the scientific model. Logically, it also makes no sense but this isn’t the time for that detailed argument.

Now for the odd argument from before … without Darwin, there would have been no Hitler. In a way, albeit a sad twisted way, they’re sort of right. You see, Darwin’s original theory was taken onboard by a bunch of rather nutty folks called eugenicists who liked this odd idea called social darwinism – which has nothing to do with either the scientist of the same name or his theory of evolution. Indeed, if you want to use the sort of logic witnessed in Darwin’s Deadly Legacy then you have to blame Christianity as a whole for the Klu Klux Klan.

Social Darwinism didn’t even have that much to do with the scientist of the same name. Credit for the concept better lies with a man called Thomas Malthus, who really did have a pessimestic view in regards to population growth. Word is, but keep it under your hat, that Malthus was a Christian Minister …. sssshh, wouldn’t want the facts getting in the way now, would we?
doom-bio.jpg Now, what was another daft item the show brought up? Oh yes, Darwin was responsible for Communism. Marx published his lil’ read called The Communist Manifesto in 1847, while Darwin’s The Origin of the Species was brought out in 1858. Therefore, unless Marx is secretly Doctor Doom and had a time machine stashed in his Castle of Evil … Communism had absolutely nothing to do with evolutionary theory.

Of course the show seems to want to attack Darwin’s original theory which has, as you might expect, been changed a hell of a lot since it was first introduced for review. The modern Theory of Evolution actually has considerable differences to the original – which is what science is all about, using observations and facts to refinine conclusions on a continuous basis. So was Darwin wrong? About quite a few things, yes. Which is something that the scientific community figured out decades ago and thus changed aspects of the theory.
In short, Darwin’s Deadly Legacy is a show filled with misrepresentations, mistakes and what could only be labelled as (intentional or not) falsehoods. It is a show that only those blinded to reality might fall for which, sadly, is too many people out there.

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Comments
  1. inaeth says:

    Hmmm… A rational post, that quickly and concisely encapsulates the issues and fallacies involved, with a Marvel reference as well! Great Post!

    Nick from http://tcra.wordpress.com is currently working on an article regarding the Christian position to evolution in response to one of my comments on my blog. Hopefully, he won’t fall into the same fallacious traps that Creationists have been floundering in for decades now.

    (BTW, X-Men are much better than the Fantastic Four. 🙂 )

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    I think Herbert Spencer had a lot more to do with “social Darwinism” than Malthus — check the dates and their publications.

    It’s almost humorous: One guy, Darwin, responsible for both the Nazis in Germany, and their fight-to-the-death polar opposites and bitter enemies, the Soviet communists. I think some people actually believe that. I’ve worked on the fallacies of the claim of a connection between Darwin and Stalin, here:
    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/31/vox-day-trapped-in-a-quote-mine-cave-in/

  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Talk about influence! The blog inaeth cites above is now gone.

  4. […] Darwin’s Deadly Legacy […]

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