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Historian: Evolution means that human equality is a myth

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Now that issues around status in society are increasingly contentious, it’s interesting that the “evolutionary” view is flatly against equality, according to historian Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. A friend writes to say, “one helpful thing about Sapiens is that Harari is honest about the implications of a Darwinian viewpoint—he admits that it removes an objective basis for human equality, human value, and human rights (pp. 109-110)”:


Yet the idea that all humans are equal is also a myth. In what sense do all humans equal one another? Is there any objective reality, outside the human imagination, in which we are truly equal? Are all humans equal to one another biologically? Let us try to translate the most famous line of the American Declaration oflndependence into biological terms:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

According to the science of biology, people were not ‘created’. They have evolved. And they certainly did not evolve to be ‘equal’. The idea of equality is inextricably intertwined with the idea of creation. The Americans got the idea of equality from Christianity, which argues that every person has a divinely created soul, and that all souls are equal before God. However, if we do not believe in the Christian myths about God, creation and souls, what does it mean that all people are ‘equal’? Evolution is based on difference, not on equality. Every person carries a somewhat different genetic code, and is exposed from birth to different environmental influences. This leads to the development of different qualities that carry with them different chances of survival. ‘Created equal’ should therefore be translated into ‘evolved differently’.

So here is that line from the American Declaration of Independence translated into biological terms:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men evolved differently, that they are born with certain mutable characteristics, and that among these are life and the pursuit of pleasure.

Advocates of equality and human rights may be outraged by this line of reasoning. Their response is likely to be, ‘We know that people are not equal biologically! But if we believe that we are all equal in essence, it will enable us to create a stable and prosperous society.’ I have no argument with that. This is exactly what I mean by ‘imagined order’. We believe in a particular order not because it is objectively true, but because believing in it enables us to cooperate effectively and forge a better society. Imagined orders are not evil conspiracies or useless mirages. Rather, they are the only way large numbers of humans can cooperate effectively. Bear in mind, though, that Hammurabi might have defended his principle of hierarchy using the same logic: ‘I know that superiors, commoners and slaves are not inherently different kinds of people. But if we believe that they are, it will enable us to create a stable and prosperous society.’


It seems our friend wrote to Evolution News and Science Today as well.

As Nancy Pearcey asks in her book Love Thy Body, “As the implications of evolutionary materialism filter down through the public mind, the rights enjoyed in free societies will be demoted to the status of “myth.” And then who will defend those rights?”

The “evolutionary” view (Darwinism, in fact) is often portrayed as a sort of liberation but people may be rather surprised to discover exactly what that liberation is.

Note: Michael Egnor has addressed some of Harare’s assertions in Is Free Will a Dangerous Myth and AI IsIndeed a Threat to Democracy (But not in quite the way historian Yuval Noah Harari thinks)

See also: Ernst Haeckel studied sponges to demonstrate “a universe devoid of supernatural beings or purpose” Just to set the record straight, embryologist Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919) had, according to learned expert, a “philosophy of sponges.” And the title above captures part of it.

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10 Replies to “Historian: Evolution means that human equality is a myth

  1. 1
    Bob O'H says:

    (1) Individuals donm’t evolve – populations do (unless you’re using a wider meaning of evolve, where here it would be a synonym for develop).
    (2) If you’re saying that people are different, then this is an observation that precedes Darwin by a long time, and I think even the most ardent creationist wouldn’t want to argue against that. But that’s not a moral statement, so although one can’t use that to say everyone should be treated equally, it also doesn’t rule out that possibility.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Darwinian definition of equality:

    “Survival of the fittest” i.e. Some people are more equal than others.

  3. 3
    asauber says:

    “(1) Individuals donm’t evolve – populations do”

    Bob O’H,

    So if I see a Galapagos Finch while I’m out bird watching, and his beak is different from all the other Galapagos Finches I’ve seen that day, I can proclaim he couldn’t be evolving?

    Andrew

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    News,

    I observe:

    the idea that all humans are equal is also a myth. In what sense do all humans equal one another? Is there any objective reality, outside the human imagination, in which we are truly equal? Are all humans equal to one another biologically?

    Obviously, humans come in two distinct sexes, so that the two together form a natural reproducing unit (BTW, foundational to soundly understanding marriage). Humans are not biologically equal, or physically equal or intellectually equal, or equal in age, hair colour, eye colour, and much more.

    So, is it a mere myth to say we are equal?

    No, for the equality is right there, staring us in the face: we are equally HUMAN, i.e. there are core characteristics shared by all members of our common race. That is, we share a common nature or essence, as we read in your quote. That is A is A i/l/o core characteristics and two instances h1 and h2 are of the same kind precisely as they have the common human archetype of characteristics A. Where — predictably — it is no surprise that recognising the reality of such abstracta is precisely one of the great errors of our day.

    Worldview errors come in clusters forming a destructive, tangled, thorny problematique that requires a systemic, from the roots answer. If we only hack away at branches, the fast-growing branches will spring right back. In short it is reformation from the roots or ruin at this stage for our civilisation.

    Of course, this is being cast as a myth, probably tied to rejection of the concept that we are a creation. Where, such myths are dismissed by the oh so sophisticated, even as they enable the guilty secret of our civilisation.

    This is therefore key:

    As Nancy Pearcey asks in her book Love Thy Body, “As the implications of evolutionary materialism filter down through the public mind, the rights enjoyed in free societies will be demoted to the status of “myth.” And then who will defend those rights?”

    The “evolutionary” view (Darwinism, in fact) is often portrayed as a sort of liberation but people may be rather surprised to discover exactly what that liberation is.

    Liberation from the first principles of justice, right reason, prudence and truth, for a morally governed creature, is akin to liberating a fish from water. And in the end, it is just as fatal.

    Indeed, manifestly, and under false colour of rights, the right is being undermined, pushed to the fringes, dismissed. Law is now about state power to impose whatever rules they see fit regardless of justice. So, lawfare is precisely that, war of conquest using what formerly were state organs of justice repurposed to serve anti-civilisation agendas.

    We need to wake up real quick, we are at the brink of an abyss.

    With nukes and other oh so lovely toys in play.

    Have we gone collectively stark, staring bonkers?

    KF

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77 @ 2

    Darwinian definition of equality:

    “Survival of the fittest” i.e. Some people are more equal than others.

    Natural selection more or less depends on inequality in terms survival fitness and I think Darwin understood that. I also think he understood the is/ought problem, ie, just because certain behavior happens in Nature does not mean that human beings can justify doing the same thing on that basis alone.

  6. 6
    Mimus says:

    The un-ironic reference to the US Declaration of lndependence sums about how much practical difference this makes. A country that held it obvious that all men where at essence created equal was founded on teh genocide of one pople, the enslavement of the other and took until the 20th century to ensure women could vote. Racism and intolerance are much older than Darwinism, and “essence” thinking can be just as esaily warped to support racist views as (poorly understood) evolutionary thinking can be used by the Alt Right today.

  7. 7
    Bob O'H says:

    Asauber – indeed. Unless the beak is still developing. The population of finches, of course, may well be evolving.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, you claim that “just because certain behavior happens in Nature does not mean that human beings can justify doing the same thing on that basis alone.”

    Atheists certainly can and have justified doing not only the same thing but much worse ‘on that basis alone.’

    A Dehumanizing Ideology Unsurprisingly Catalyzes Violence – Michael Egnor – August 7, 2016
    Excerpt: And it is precisely the metaphysical commitments Coyne has championed that have catalyzed atheist violence — the denial of an objective moral law, the denial of eternal accountability for transgressions, the reduction of human beings to animals or even to meat robots, deprived of free will or of any claim to human exceptionalism. These are all tenets of atheist belief, and Coyne himself is one of the loudest salesman for the dehumanizing ideology inherent to atheism.
    Just how violent and repressive can atheism be?,,,
    In the past century, a number of nations have been governed by explicitly atheist governments. Atheist governments murdered more than 100 million people during the 20th century.,,,
    Looking at modern history, we see: Christian culture creates reasonable and tolerant democracies. Islamic regimes create repressive theocracies. Atheist regimes create totalitarian hellholes.
    The denial of free will and the other anti-human inferences inherent to atheism are not merely theoretical affronts to humanity.
    The fact is that atheism is the most violent ideology in the 20th century, and given its short run and unprecedented rate of state-sanctioned murder, it is also the most violent and repressive ideology in human history.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....03055.html

    Hitler stated:

    “Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents . . . Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life . . . The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development of organic living beings would be unthinkable.”
    – Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf

    “The law of selection exists in the world, and the stronger and healthier has received from nature the right to live. Woe to anyone who is weak, who does not stand his ground! He may not expect help from anyone.”
    – Adolf Hitler

    So much for equality

    Darwinism also directly undermined Stalin and Mao’s innate sense of objective morality,

    The Darwinian Foundation of Communism by Dr. Jerry Bergman
    Summary
    In the minds of Hitler, Stalin and Mao, treating people as animals was not wrong because they believed that Darwin had ‘proved’ humans were not God’s creation, but instead descended from some simple, one-cell organism. All three men believed it was morally proper to eliminate the less fit or ‘herd them like cattle into boxcars bound for concentration camps and gulags’ if it achieved the goal of their Darwinist philosophy.
    https://answersingenesis.org/charles-darwin/racism/the-darwinian-foundation-of-communism/

    Karl Marx was deeply influenced by Darwin:

    Darwin on Marx – by Richard William Nelson | Apr 18, 2010
    Excerpt: Marx and Engels immediately recognized the significance of Darwin’s theory. Within weeks of the publication of The Origin of Species in November 1859, Engels wrote to Marx –
    “Darwin, by the way, whom I’m reading just now, is absolutely splendid. There was one aspect of teleology that had yet to be demolished, and that has now been done…. One does, of course, have to put up with the crude English method.”
    Marx wrote back to Engels on December 19, 1860 –
    “This is the book which contains the basis in natural history for our view.”
    The Origin of Species became the natural cause basis for Marx’s emerging class struggle movement. In a letter to comrade Ferdinand Lassalle, on January 16, 1861, Marx wrote –
    “Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history.”
    Marx inscribed “sincere admirer” in Darwin’s copy of Marx’s first volume of Das Kapital in 1867. The importance of the theory of evolution for Communism was critical. In Das Kapital, Marx wrote –
    “Darwin has interested us in the history of Nature’s Technology, i.e., in the formation of the organs of plants and animals, which organs serve as instruments of production for sustaining life. Does not the history of the productive organs of man, of organs that are the material basis of all social organisation, deserve equal attention?”
    To acknowledge Darwin’s influence, Marx asked to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin.
    https://www.darwinthenandnow.com/2010/04/darwin-on-marx/

    In fact, Lenin even kept a little statue of an ape staring at a human skull on his desk. The ape was sitting on a pile of books which included Darwin’s book, “Origin”.

    “V.I. Lenin, creator of the Soviet totalitarian state, kept a little statue on his desk—an ape sitting on a pile of books including mine [The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle of Life], gazing at a human skull. And Mao Zedong, butcher of the tens of millions of his own countrymen, who regarded the German ‘Darwinismus’ writings as the foundation of Chinese ‘scientific socialism.’ This disciple mandated my works as reading material for the indoctrination phase of his lethal Great Leap Forward.” Nickell John Romjue, I, Charles Darwin, p. 45
    https://thunderontheright.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/hitler-lenin-stalin-mao-and-darwin/

    Here is a picture of what the little statue on Lenin’s desk looked like:

    Hugo Rheinhold’s Monkey
    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Y8HpKyHOL._SL1009_.jpg

    Stalin likewise, while at a seminary of all places, was also heavily influenced by Darwinism,

    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/

    Even Chairman Mao was deeply influenced by Darwinian ‘morality’:

    Darwin’s impact—the bloodstained legacy of evolution
    Excerpt: Chairman Mao is known to have regarded Darwin and his disciple Huxley as his two favourite authors.
    https://creation.com/deconstructing-darwin-darwins-impact

    Darwin and Mao: The Influence of Evolutionary Thought on Modern China – 2/13/2013
    https://nonnobis.weebly.com/blog/darwin-and-mao-the-influence-of-evolutionary-thought-on-modern-china

    Whereas inequality is ‘baked into’ Darwinism, on the other hand, equality is ‘baked into’ Christian

    “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
    – Jesus Christ –

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77 @ 8

    Atheists certainly can and have justified doing not only the same thing but much worse ‘on that basis alone.

    The atrocities committed by the various communist or socialist autocracies in the twentieth-century were justified by their perpetrators largely on the basis of their ideological commitments. They were animated much more by some perverted nationalism or racism then they were by atheism. Regardless, the whole claim about atheism is a good example of the fallacy of argumentum ad consequentiam

    In the past century, a number of nations have been governed by explicitly atheist governments. Atheist governments murdered more than 100 million people during the 20th century.,,,

    From the Old Testament:

    GE 6:11-17, 7:11-24 God is unhappy with the wickedness of man and decides to do something about it. He kills every living thing on the face of the earth other than Noah’s family and thereby makes himself the greatest mass murderer in history.

    EX 9:22-25 A plague of hail from the Lord strikes down everything in the fields of Egypt both man and beast except in Goshen where the Israelites reside.

    EX 12:29 The Lord kills all the first-born in the land of Egypt.

    EX 17:13 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua mows down Amalek and his people.

    EX 32:27 “Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

    NU 16:35 A fire from the Lord consumes 250 men.

    NU 16:49 A plague from the Lord kills 14,700 people.

    NU 21:3 The Israelites utterly destroy the Canaanites.

    NU 21:35 With the Lord’s approval, the Israelites slay Og “… and his sons and all his people, until there was not one survivor left ….”

    NU 25:4 (KJV) “And the Lord said unto Moses, take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun ….”

    NU 31:9 The Israelites capture Midianite women and children.

    NU 31:17-18 Moses, following the Lord’s command, orders the Israelites to kill all the Midianite male children and “… every woman who has known man ….”

    NU 31:31-40 32,000 virgins are taken by the Israelites as booty. Thirty-two are set aside as a tribute for the Lord.

    DT 2:33-34 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Sihon.

    DT 3:6 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Og.

    DT 7:2 The Lord commands the Israelites to “utterly destroy” and show “no mercy” to those whom he gives them for defeat.

    DT 20:13-14 “When the Lord delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the males …. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves.”

    DT 20:16 “In the cities of the nations the Lord is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.”

    DT 21:10-13 With the Lord’s approval, the Israelites are allowed to take “beautiful women” from the enemy camp to be their captive wives. If, after sexual relations, the husband has “no delight” in his wife, he can simply let her go.

    DT 28:53 “You will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you.”

    JS 6:21-27 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua destroys the city of Jericho–men, women, and children–with the edge of the sword.

    JS 7:19-26 Achan, his children and his cattle are stoned to death because Achan had taken a taboo thing.

    JS 8:22-25 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly smites the people of Ai, killing 12,000 men and women, so that there were none who escaped.

    JS 10:10-27 With the help of the Lord, Joshua utterly destroys the Gibeonites.

    JS 10:28 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the people of Makkedah.

    JS 10:30 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Libnahites.

    JS 10:32-33 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the people of Lachish.

    JS 10:34-35 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Eglonites.

    JS 10:36-37 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Hebronites.

    JS 10:38-39 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Debirites.

    JS 10:40 (A summary statement.) “So Joshua defeated the whole land …; he left none remaining, but destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded.”

    JS 11:21-23 Joshua utterly destroys the Anakim.

    JG 1:4 With the Lord’s support, Judah defeats 10,000 Canaanites at Bezek.

    JG 1:17 With the Lord’s approval, Judah and Simeon utterly destroy the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath.

    JG 3:29 The Israelites kill about 10,000 Moabites.

    JG 3:31 Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with an oxgoad.

    JG 7:19-25 The Gideons defeat the Midianites, slay their princes, cut off their heads, and bring the heads back to Gideon.

    JG 8:15-21 The Gideons slaughter the men of Penuel.

    JG 9:5 Abimalech murders his brothers.

    JG 9:45 Abimalech and his men kill all the people in the city.

    JG 18:27 The Danites slay the quiet and unsuspecting people of Laish.

    JG 19:22-29 A group of sexual depraved men beat on the door of an old man’s house demanding that he turn over to them a male house guest. Instead, the old man offers his virgin daughter and his guest’s concubine (or wife): “Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine; let me bring them out now. Ravish them and do with them what seems good to you; but against this man do not do so vile a thing.” The man’s concubine is ravished and dies. The man then cuts her body into twelve pieces and sends one piece to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

    JG 20:43-48 The Israelites smite 25,000+ “men of valor” from amongst the Benjamites, “men and beasts and all that they found,” and set their towns on fire.

    JG 21:10-12 “… Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword and; also the women and little ones…. every male and every woman that has lain with a male you shall utterly destroy.” They do so and find four hundred young virgins whom they bring back for their own use.

    1SA 11:11 With the Lord’s blessing, Saul and his men cut down the Ammonites.

    1SA 14:31 Jonathan and his men strike down the Philistines.

    1SA 14:48 Saul smites the Amalekites.

    1SA 15:3, 7-8 “This is what the Lord says: Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass ….’ And Saul … utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.”

    1SA 30:17 David smites the Amalekites.

    2SA 8:5 David slew 22,000 Syrians.

    2SA 8:13 David slew 18,000 Edomites in the valley of salt and made the rest slaves.

    2SA 10:18 David slew 47,000+ Syrians.

    2KI 2:23-24 Forty-two children are mauled and killed, presumably according to the will of God, for having jeered at a man of God.

    I could go on but I think you get the idea.

    The only reason the casualty figures in the twentieth-century were so high is that there were more people around to kill and much more efficient means of doing the killing than in previous centuries.

    Hitler stated:

    “Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents . . . Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life . . . The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development of organic living beings would be unthinkable.”
    – Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf

    “The law of selection exists in the world, and the stronger and healthier has received from nature the right to live. Woe to anyone who is weak, who does not stand his ground! He may not expect help from anyone.”
    – Adolf Hitler

    He also said in 1937, as Chancellor of Germany

    “In this hour I would ask of the Lord God only this: that He would give His blessing to our work, and that He may ever give us the courage to do the right. I am convinced that men who are created by God should live in accordance with the will of the Almighty. No man can fashion world history unless upon his purpose and his powers there rests the blessings of this Providence.”

    Does that make Christianity responsible for the Holocaust, bearing in mind that Christian anti-Semitism had been endemic in Europe for centuries before that?

    Darwinism also directly undermined Stalin and Mao’s innate sense of objective morality,

    The theory of evolution has nothing to say about the existence or otherwise of objective morality and whatever perverted use Mao or Stalin or Lenin or Hitler may have made of it is still a fallacious argument from consequences.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Geeze Seversky, when you sit in judgment of God like you are doing, you are very much acting like there is some objective moral law or something.

    The Moral Argument – Dr. Craig video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxiAikEk2vU

    And you do realize that God gives life and takes it away as he deems fit?,,,

    “My last resistance to the idea of God’s wrath was a casualty of the war in the former Yugoslavia, the region from which I come. According to some estimates, 200,000 people were killed and 3,000,000 displaced. My villages and cities were destroyed, my people shelled day in and day out, some of them brutalized beyond imagination, and I could not imagine God not being angry.
    Though I used to complain about the indecency of God’s wrath, I came to think that I would have to rebel against a God who wasn’t wrathful at the sight of the world’s evil. God isn’t wrathful in spite of being love. God is wrathful because God is love.”
    – Miroslav Volf – Croatian theologian
    https://books.google.com/books?id=BkwnAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA59

    ,,, Or has that little detail slipped your notice? Perhaps you should rightly fear God instead of trying to sit in judgment of Him? (especially since you, as an atheist, have no objective basis for judging anyone much less judging God. i.e. The God who created your soul and Who holds its eternal fate in his hands?

    Luke 12:4-5
    I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after you have been killed, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!

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