Culture Darwinism

Trying to rescue social Darwinism from Darwin’s sinking ship?

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From David Sloan Wilson at Evolution Institute:

Toward A New Social Darwinism

We should be suspicious of all narratives that attempt to incorporate Darwin’s theory for one purpose or another, past and present. Nevertheless, this does not mean that we are permanently trapped in a hall of mirrors. The articles by Paul Crook and Adriana Novoa show that it is possible to understand how a scientific theory is refracted through the lens of a particular person or culture. Admittedly, this is easier to do for the past than for the present. In any case, avoiding cultural bias is a problem for all theories, not just evolutionary theory.

What does that mean? Either Darwinian theory is any use in science or it isn’t. To judge from the upcoming rethinking evolution meet, Darwinism probably isn’t useful to science. But it is a pretty solid iron rice bowl for some.

Now get this:

Nothing about policy makes sense except in the light of evolution. A public policy can be regarded as a form of managed cultural evolution; a recommended social practice that is intended to benefit the common good. Few readers of these words will contest the claim that wise policy must be based on the best scientific knowledge. Yet, from there it is only a small step to conclude that scientific knowledge for every important policy topic must minimally be compatible with evolutionary theory and often will be informed by an explicit analysis from a modern evolutionary perspective. How can it be otherwise, when every important policy topic involves human beings interacting in societies that are products of cultural evolution, within an environment inhabited by thousands of other products of evolution, with genetic and cultural evolution an ongoing process? More.

Well, if we want fascism, we can always vote for it.

In real life, it would be easy to have sound public policy in a society where no one ever thought about evolution or took it seriously.

See also: “The evolutionary psychologist knows why you vote — and shop, and tip at restaurants”

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One Reply to “Trying to rescue social Darwinism from Darwin’s sinking ship?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    To the extent that the unfalsifiable pseudo-science of Darwinian evolution, which is an inherently amoral worldview, has informed the overall morality of a particular society, it has been a complete disaster for that particular human society. For instance, Stalin, who while studying to become a priest lost his faith after reading Darwin,,,

    Stalin’s Brutal Faith
    Excerpt: At a very early age, while still a pupil in the ecclesiastical school, Comrade Stalin developed a critical mind and revolutionary sentiments. He began to read Darwin and became an atheist.
    G. Glurdjidze, a boyhood friend of Stalin’s, relates:
    “I began to speak of God, Joseph heard me out, and after a moment’s silence, said:
    “‘You know, they are fooling us, there is no God. . . .’
    “I was astonished at these words, I had never heard anything like it before.
    “‘How can you say such things, Soso?’ I exclaimed.
    “‘I’ll lend you a book to read; it will show you that the world and all living things are quite different from what you imagine, and all this talk about God is sheer nonsense,’ Joseph said.
    “‘What book is that?’ I enquired.
    “‘Darwin. You must read it,’ Joseph impressed on me” 1
    1 E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing house, 1940), pp. 8-12. ,,,
    http://www.icr.org/article/stalins-brutal-faith/

    ,,, Stalin, who while studying to become a priest lost his faith after reading Darwin, is estimated to have killed as many, or more, of his OWN PEOPLE than he, i.e. Russia, lost in all of World War II !

    How Many People Did Joseph Stalin Kill? By Palash Ghosh – March 05 2013
    Excerpt: “a research paper by Georgian historian Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev published in the weekly tabloid Argumenti i Fakti estimated that the death toll directly attributable to Stalin’s rule amounted to some 20 million lives (on top of the estimated 20 million Soviet troops and civilians who perished in the Second World War), for a total tally of 40 million.,,,
    Medvedev’s 20 million non-combatant deaths estimate is likely a conservative guess.”
    http://www.ibtimes.com/how-man.....ll-1111789
    61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

    Darwinian ideology also drove other communist dictators, as well being the overarching ideology that drove the Nazis:

    Historian Paul Johnson is Darwin’s Latest Biographer — and a Pretty Devastating One – David Klinghoffer – October 14, 2012
    Excerpt: “Both Himmler, head of the SS and Goebbels, the propaganda chief,” were students of Darwin, ,,,
    Hitler apparently carried the theory of natural selection “to its logical conclusion.” “Leading Communists,” moreover, “from Lenin to Trotsky to Stalin and Mao Tse-tung” considered evolution “essential to the self-respect of Communists. … Darwin provided stiffening to the scaffold of laws and dialectic they erected around their seizure of power.”
    Even Stalin,, “had Darwin’s ‘struggle’ and ‘survival of the fittest’ in mind” when murdering entire ethnic groups, as did Pol Pot,,,
    ,,the “emotional stew” Darwin built up in Origin played a major part in the development of the 20th century’s genocides.,,,
    No one who is remotely thoughtful blames Charles Darwin “for millions of deaths.” But to say, as Johnson does, that Darwin’s theory contributed to the growth of a view of the world that in turn had horrendously tragic consequences — well, that’s obviously true, it did. We have documented this extensively here at ENV, as have historians including our contributor Richard Weikart (Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, Socialist Darwinism: Evolution in German Socialist Thought from Marx to Bernstein).
    There is, or should be, nothing controversial about this (fact of history).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65281.html

    From Darwin To Hitler – Richard Weikart – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5EwYpLD6A

    Recalling the Wannsee Conference – Michael Egnor – January 24, 2015
    Excerpt: Despite the evidence that Darwinism profoundly contributed to informing Nazism, Darwinists persist in denying the documented links between the Darwinian understanding of nature and man and the Nazi policies to take control of natural selection and breed a master race along explicitly Darwinian lines.
    SS General Heydrich was a key figure in the planning of the Holocaust, and was the leading voice at the Wannsee Conference. The argument that Darwinists have is not with modern critics of Darwinian anthropology, but with the Nazis themselves, who were clear about the Darwinian motivations for their policies.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92991.html

    Darwinism has even had a tremendous negative impact on American culture:

    How Darwin’s Theory Changed the World
    Rejection of Judeo-Christian values
    Excerpt: Weikart explains how accepting Darwinist dogma shifted society’s thinking on human life: “Before Darwinism burst onto the scene in the mid-nineteenth century, the idea of the sanctity of human life was dominant in European thought and law (though, as with all ethical principles, not always followed in practice). Judeo-Christian ethics proscribed the killing of innocent human life, and the Christian churches explicitly forbade murder, infanticide, abortion, and even suicide.
    “The sanctity of human life became enshrined in classical liberal human rights ideology as ‘the right to life,’ which according to John Locke and the United States Declaration of Independence, was one of the supreme rights of every individual” (p. 75).
    Only in the late nineteenth and especially the early twentieth century did significant debate erupt over issues relating to the sanctity of human life, especially infanticide, euthanasia, abortion, and suicide. It was no mere coincidence that these contentious issues emerged at the same time that Darwinism was gaining in influence. Darwinism played an important role in this debate, for it altered many people’s conceptions of the importance and value of human life, as well as the significance of death” (ibid.).
    http://www.gnmagazine.org/issu.....-world.htm

    At 1,200,000, Abortion is the leading cause of deaths each year in the USA – graph
    http://skepchick.org/wp-conten.....704889.jpg

    The Cultural Impact of Darwinian Evolution – John West, PhD – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFh4whzh_NU

    Quote of note:

    If we present man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present him as an automation of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instincts, heredity, and environment, we feed the despair to which man is, in any case, already prone.
    I became acquainted with the last stages of corruption in my second concentration camp in Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment—or, as the Nazis liked to say, of ‘Blood and Soil.’ I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.
    —Viktor E. Frankl, Holocaust survivor and Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Vienna Medical School; from his book, The Doctor and the Soul: Introduction to Logotherapy, 1982, p. xxi).

    Bottom line. naturalism is inherently amoral and for supposedly smart academics to pretend that an overarching morality for guiding society can be developed from an inherently amoral philosophy is patently delusional in its hoped for goal.

    Verse:

    Romans 7:23-25
    But I see another law at work in my body, warring against the law of my mind and holding me captive to the law of sin that dwells within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I serve the law of God, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

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