It just shows you the sheer social power of Darwinism—entirely unmoored from evidence—that we are even asking whether Darwinism gave birth to social Darwinism.
Anyway, Richard Weikart, who spent his life studying this stuff, responds to a recent book claiming otherwise, responds here—not for Darwin’s believers, but for anyone who wants to evaluate the facts:
To give just one more example showing the problem with Bowler’s claim about the death of natural selection around 1900, let’s look at the eugenics movement. Bowler argues that the eugenics movement was non-Darwinian. His evidence? “Yet the majority of the early geneticists were not Darwinians.” (269) The founder of eugenics, Francis Galton, was, according to Bowler, not a Darwinian (though he admits that the leading eugenicist Karl Pearson was). Bowler simply ignores the vast amount of evidence I put forward in From Darwin to Hitler demonstrating that most of the leading figures of the German eugenics movement — Alfred Ploetz, Wilhelm Schallmayer, Fritz Lenz, Eugen Fischer, etc. — were committed Darwinists who not only believed in Darwinian natural selection, but claimed explicitly that it was a foundational idea for their own worldview and specifically for their eugenics.
I could produce many, many further examples to expose the fallacy of Bowler’s claim that Darwinian natural selection was moribund around 1900, but fortunately, I’ve already done this in From Darwin to Hitler, so I refer interested readers there for a wealth of details that undermines Bowler’s arguments. …
Hey, Bowler is just doing what he knows pays: Reassuring Darwin’s faithful lumps of meat that meat-lumpiness pays.
A million more challenges make no difference as long as the funding keeps comin’ in. And some of the money can be set aside to buy legal protection in the form of court judgments too.
Hat tip: Philip Cunningham