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How the Nazis mandated and used evolution and Darwin in the textbooks

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Further to “The unauthorized history of Hitler as a Darwinist,”*, British physicist David Tyler has kindly provided a number of short excerpts from Richard Weikart’s Hitler’s Ethic, here. For example:

The Nazi regime sought to influence young people via educational programmes and youth movements. The curriculum made connections between what was taught and its social and political implications. Darwinism was explicit, and the textbooks followed suit.

In 1938 the Ministry of Education published an official curriculum handbook for the schools. This handbook mandated teaching evolution, including the evolution of human races, which evolved through “selection and elimination.” It stipulated, “The student must accept as something self-evident this most essential and most important natural law of elimination [of unfit] together with evolution and reproduction.” In the fifth class, teachers were instructed to teach about the “emergence of the primitive human races (in connection with the evolution of animals).” In the eighth class, students were to be taught evolution even more extensively, including lessons on “Lamarckism and Darwinism and their worldview and political implications,” as well as the “origin and evolution of humanity and its races,” which included segments on “prehistoric humanity and its races” and “contemporary human races in view of evolutionary history. (p.542)

Weikart continues by looking at the Nazi leaders in academia and in political life, and in the racial propaganda literature they produced. One of the training pamphlets he quotes gives a clear overview of the message people were expected to absorb and which was reinforced by all the leading German scientists of the day.

The opening pages explained that the central concepts underlying racial ideology are hard heredity and racial inequality. Then it claimed that racial inequality has come about because evolution proceeds by struggle. Different races simply do not evolve at the same pace, so they are at different levels. The authors then asserted that the three main human races – European, Mongolian, and Negro – were subspecies that branched off from a common ancestor about 100,000 years ago. They argued that races evolved through selection and elimination, and the Nordic race became superior because it had to struggle in especially harsh conditions. Throughout this pamphlet the terms “higher evolution,” “struggle for existence,” and selection are core concepts that occur repeatedly.” (p.550)

*It wouldn’t matter so much if so many people were not dedicated to denying the obvious. – O’Leary for News

26 Replies to “How the Nazis mandated and used evolution and Darwin in the textbooks

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    I am always amazed at the lengths that atheists will go to try to deny the obvious Darwinian connection to the whole ‘master race’ ideology of the NAZI’s. For instance, I’ve seen atheists try to say that Hitler was a Christian. I guess the concentration camps were just Hitler’s way of trying house the homeless? Moreover, recently I’ve seen an atheists claim that the New Testament promotes antisemitism. Which I found to be a very peculiar claim since I happen to be a Anglo Saxon who happens to worship the very Jewish, and very risen, Jesus of the bible. These arguments strike me as desperate attempts to deny the obvious connection that Darwinism played in Nazi Ideology. Of course there were other influences, but to deny Darwinism any role in the holocaust and try to lay it at the foot of Christianity is a sure clue that we are not dealing with rational ‘scientific’ people with Darwinists but with people who are instead defending their religion:

    The 1831 eerily precise ‘prophecy’ of Heinrich Heine concerning Germany:

    “Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. …
    The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals. …
    … Do not smile at my advice — the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder … comes rolling somewhat slowly, but … its crash … will be unlike anything before in the history of the world. …
    At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead, and lions in farthest Africa will draw in their tails and slink away. … A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll.” –
    Heinrich Heine – Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1831

    Of somewhat related note, here is a recent video by Peter Williams, in which he, from a rather unique angle, does an excellent job defending the integrity of the Bible:

    Bible: Fact or Fiction? Peter Williams at UNC – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTtdBpMMAFM

    Accuracy Of The Bible – Feeding 5000 – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6745194

  2. 2
    5for says:

    You guys are obsessed by Hitler!

    What do any of the Hitler threads have to do with intelligent design?

  3. 3
    bevets says:

    These lower races (such as the Veddahs or Austrailan negroes) are psychologically nearer to the mammals (apes or dogs) than to civilised Europeans; we must, therefore, assign a totally different value to their lives. ~ Ernst Haeckel

    The German Fuhrer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution. ~ Arthur Keith

    National Socialism is nothing but applied biology. ~ Rudolph Hess

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    You guys are obsessed by Hitler!

    Not So! We are obsessed with Darwin.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    5for,

    You guys are obsessed by Hitler!

    What could possibly make you say that? And while we are at it, what do you personally think motivated the Nazi’s to ruthlessly exterminate anyone they deemed inferior to themselves? By the way did you see this?,,,

    Hitler finds out… Krauss used a buzzer – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kzfp-KMk41w

    🙂
    Verse and Music:

    John 4:9
    The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

    Does Anybody Hear Her – Casting Crowns
    http://myktis.com/songs/does-anybody-hear-her/

  6. 6
    Barb says:

    Evolutionists might claim that Hitler was wrong in appropriating a scientific theory for political means, but nevertheless he did, and with disastrous consequences for all of humanity.

  7. 7
    Graham2 says:

    Supposing we grant that Hitler was driven by Evolution, does it mean Evolution is incorrect ?

  8. 8
    julianbre says:

    OT: Sort of…
    Jaw-dropping’ breakthrough hailed as landmark in fight against hereditary diseases as Crispr technique heralds genetic revolution.
    So they have finally perfected Eugenics. What could go wrong?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....25295.html

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Graham2 asks:

    Supposing we grant that Hitler was driven by Evolution, does it mean Evolution is incorrect ?

    Surprisingly, the answer is yes!

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt:,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

  10. 10
    Graham2 says:

    Thats gibberish. What does ‘live consistently’ mean ? Almost nothing in that screed makes sense.

    And what on earth does the habbits of Atheists have with the correctness of a proposition ?

    I rarely read beyond the 1st 2 lines of your stuff. Probably just as well.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Graham2 you ask:

    What does ‘live consistently’ mean ?

    Well, for instance, even though atheists profess that there is no ultimate meaning in the universe, they will still live out their lives as if their lives have meaning. They might object and say that we can construct our own meaning in life. However, when everything is ultimately meaningless, any assigned subjective meaning would also be meaningless. To say that there can be individual meaning when there is no ultimate meaning is nothing more than an exercise in delusion.

    Moreover for an atheist to object to this point only proves the point being made that they do not really believe that there is no ultimate meaning to life, for obviously, when they object, it ‘means’ something very important for them to deny that our lives have any meaning. Where if they were to live consistently within their worldview they would not care one way or the other. i.e. It is a self defeating argument for atheists to try to defend! i.e. Atheism is a delusion!

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, the psychopathic characteristic inherent to the atheistic philosophy is born out empirically, in that people who do not believe in a soul tend to be more psychopathic than the majority of normal people in America who do believe in a soul. You can pick that psychopathic study of atheists around the 14:30 minute mark of this following video:

    Anthony Jack, Why Don’t Psychopaths Believe in Dualism? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?l.....zOk#t=862s

    Moreover, Metaphysical Naturalism is reducto ad absurdum on (at least) these eight following points:

    1.) Argument from intentionality
    1. If naturalism is true, I cannot think about anything.
    2. I am thinking about naturalism.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    2.) The argument from meaning
    1. If naturalism is true, no sentence has any meaning.
    2. Premise (1) has meaning.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    3.) The argument from truth
    1. If naturalism is true, there are no true sentences.
    2. Premise (1) is true.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    4.) The argument from moral blame and praise
    1. If naturalism is true, I am not morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for any of my actions.
    2. I am morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for some of my actions.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    5.) Argument from freedom
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not do anything freely.
    2. I am free to agree or disagree with premise (1).
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    6.) The argument from purpose
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not plan to do anything.
    2. I (Dr. Craig) planned to come to tonight’s debate.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    7.) The argument from enduring
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not endure for two moments of time.
    2. I have been sitting here for more than a minute.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    8.) The argument from personal existence
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not exist.
    2. I do exist!
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    I strongly suggest watching Dr. Craig’s presentation, that I have linked, to get a full feel for just how insane the metaphysical naturalist’s position actually is.

    Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

    I dare anyone to try to live consistently within that worldview.

  13. 13
    Graham2 says:

    In that case, we all live consistently and inconsistently at the same time. Generally, we observe basic rules of reality so as to avoid accidents etc, but at the same time engage in all sorts of random/risky behaviour that defy common sense.

    But this is all irrelevant. The way I live my life has absolutely no effect on the correctness (or otherwise) of any proposition. Does some idea suddenly become correct (or incorrect) because I have modified my behaviour?

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Why are you trying to use reasoning to justify your atheistic worldview to me? You are not living consistently within your worldview when you do so!

    The Argument from Reason – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKX-QtEo2fI

    “If you do not assume the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not assume the principles of sound reason, you have nothing to argue with. If you do not assume libertarian free will, you have no one to argue against. If you do not assume morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place.”
    – William J Murray

    The Argument From Reason – resource page
    http://www.reasonsforgod.org/t.....om-reason/

    Isaiah 1:18
    “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”,,,

  15. 15

    Does some idea suddenly become correct (or incorrect) because I have modified my behaviour?

    No, it just means you’re a hypocrite, espousing views you cannot and do not live by, and dismissing as untrue those beliefs you actually live in accordance with.

  16. 16
    Graham2 says:

    The Bible quote did it for me. I will leave you with it.

  17. 17
    Querius says:

    Graham2,

    Supposing we grant that Hitler was driven by Evolution, does it mean Evolution is incorrect?

    No, it doesn’t. This is guilt by association. Hitler was also a vegetarian and a teatotaler.

    However, in contrast to the impact of Hitler’s practice of ingesting only unfermented plant products, which resulted in incontinent flatulence, Hitler’s political extrapolation of Darwinism to a German racial manifest destiny was horrifically disastrous to humanity. The other stuff just produced a bad smell.

    But the practical application of Darwinism wasn’t Hitler’s invention. Before Hitler, many people believed Africans were less evolved, inferior, had few or no rights, etc. with other consequences. Some people still do.

    Darwinism, as usually presented in education institutions, almost always includes a payload of implied moral conclusions and resultant consequences such as

    – Humans are simply primates, and the only thing that matters is who reproduces. So if it feels good, do it.

    – There’s nothing special about humans—if there is a God, she wouldn’t care.

    – Morality and ethics are evolving social constructs for the uneducated masses. The ultimate morality is what’s good for humanity as a whole; the individual is inconsequential.

    And so on. These modern conclusions also don’t necessarily follow, although espousing these values will tend to give students better grades in the humanities at the least.

    My rejection of Darwinism is not based on social consequences, but simply that it’s lousy, 19th century science.

  18. 18
    Robert Byers says:

    I insist hitler, especially, was not motivated by evolutionary racial concepts save as a afterthought.
    He simply was for himself and any identity a part of himself.
    The whole attempt of Naziism was to exalt the German or at least the Aryan bigger group to top billing in human superiority. So evolution was acceptable as a tool. Yet not the origin of Hitlers agenda. It was mostly him and others just jumped on board.
    Evolution is not the origin of the holocaust etc.
    Evolutionism is blameworthy only for leading the educated classes to believe in race as also a product of evolution and so conclusions about winners.
    Hitler was hateful of the Jews because of their dominace in Germany and elsewhere as a reflection on intelligence etc.
    In fact Hitler might of believed jews were genetically superior to Arayans and so a furious hatred came about.
    However my readings always teach me he was interpreting Jewish dominace/relative to numbers as a sign of superiority beyond the free will.
    Evolution possibly confirmed to Hitler Germans were inferior. He then tried to make Aryans superior but he didn’t really believe it.

    Einstein suggested as a possibility Jews were intellectually superior and so did Disraeli and modern folks bring it up. like that big haired guy(forget his name) who pops up in evolution stuff.
    Maybe Hitler read Einsteins comments on jews!!

    Creationism is right to say evolutionism made a intellectual climate for racial concepts on brains amongst the educated classes. But regular folks never agreed to such stuff even if they heard about it.
    Darwin opposed racial differences. However a lot of the other blockheads in evolution research did support racial conclusions.
    We should nail them only on what evolutionism really did influence.
    Its serious subjects and lets be reflective and thoughtful as we are in debunking old man evolution.
    We must be a cut above establishments.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Tyler on why this matters to us today:

    This is not an issue without relevance for societies today. Germany in the 1930s was no cultural backwater. They were confident they were building a worldview on rigorous science, affirmed by scholars across the world as well as in their own country. However, this worldview shaped the values held by the people: on ethics, on the worth of human life, and on their aspirations. There are people today who are seeking to build a worldview on evolutionary concepts. They are seeking to influence the educational processes in their own countries, and are creating a culture where dissent is treated as a betrayal of science. Their counsel is wide open to disasters similar to those faced by the Third Reich. We all need to review our personal worldview and to have answers for questions like: What is truth? What is ethical? Who is my brother? What is the worth of human life? What is worth struggling for?

    This strongly echoes Plato’s warning given 2350 years ago in The Laws Bk X.

    And, it puts front and centre the issue that worldviews desperately need a foundational IS that can bear the weight of OUGHT. Absent which, we are back at Plato’s stricture against evolutionary materialism, that it characteristically ends up at the view: “the highest right is might.”

    KF

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Querius in response to,

    Supposing we grant that Hitler was driven by Evolution, does it mean Evolution is incorrect?

    You state:

    No, it doesn’t. This is guilt by association.

    I disagree, for although Hitler was unable to live out neo-Darwinian evolution completely consistently within his own life and although he was unable to apply Darwinian thinking completely consistently to German society as a whole(for it would be impossible to do so), it, none-the-less, had disastrous consequences for German society as a whole and for his own psychopathic life in particular. And although you may disagree that this is not a true ‘scientific’ test that Darwinian evolution is false, I would disagree and say that the test was run in Germany (as well as in China and Russia) society as a whole and the results are conclusive. Its failure to provide a stable foundation for those societies strongly indicates that atheistic neo-Darwinian evolution is in fact, at its base, a delusion and can’t possibly be a true description of reality. And although some may object and say ‘well Theistic evolution could still be true’, I would only point out that this is not how Darwin, nor his followers, intend evolution to be interpreted.

    Nagel put it like this:

    Mind and Cosmos – Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False – Thomas Nagel
    Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history.
    http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/pro.....9919758.do

    “I have argued patiently against the prevailing form of naturalism, a reductive materialism that purports to capture life and mind through its neo-Darwinian extension.” “…, I find this view antecedently unbelievable—a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense”.
    Thomas Nagel – “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False” – pg.128

    Verse and Music:

    The Wise and Foolish Builders

    Matthew 7:24-27
    “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

    Solid Rock – the 5th service band Featuring TRU-SERVA – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4jD70Y-mQ0

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    What is the Argument from Reason? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B8n__9CEj4

    Victor Reppert, Jay Richards, and Angus Menuge explain the specifics of C.S. Lewis’s Argument from Reason.

  22. 22

    kf:

    . . . worldviews desperately need a foundational IS that can bear the weight of OUGHT.

    Beautiful turn of phrase.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    EA, appreciated. KF

  24. 24
    Querius says:

    bornagain77,

    In my opinion, what you’re arguing against is the extrapolation called “social” Darwinism,” a version of which was indeed falsified by it’s social results in Europe, World War II.

    I suppose one could contend that the conflagration of World War II was indeed an intensified environment for the survival of the fittest—the majority of casualties were due to disease, exposure, and starvation—but I’m not sure how this could be validated

    However, combat casualties are a different story. Since 95% of combat casualties were caused by artillery (4% by machine gun fire, and less than 1% by small arms fire), I think it’s fair to label this experience as the survival of the luckiest.

    – Q

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot ‘social’ Darwinism, must not sully the good name of Darwinism with people who actually took Darwinism seriously and tried to apply it. Silly people! 🙂

  26. 26

    Querius @24:

    However, combat casualties are a different story. Since 95% of combat casualties were caused by artillery (4% by machine gun fire, and less than 1% by small arms fire), I think it’s fair to label this experience as the survival of the luckiest.

    Good point.

    Of course, under Darwinism it is all one and the same. There is no objective definition of “fit,” so all “fit” means is that whichever organisms happened to survive — whether as a result of luck, the vagaries of the environment or otherwise — are deemed “fit.”

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