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New book of interest to the ID community: Hitler’s Ethic

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Richard Weikart, history professor at the University of California Stanislaus, has just published Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress (Palgrave Macmillan April 2011)

In this book, Weikart helps unlock the mystery of Hitler’s evil by vividly demonstrating the surprising conclusion that Hitler’s immorality flowed from a coherent ethic. Hitler was inspired by evolutionary ethics to pursue the utopian project of biologically improving the human race. This ethic underlay or influenced almost every major feature of Nazi policy: eugenics (i.e., measures to improve human heredity, including compulsory sterilization), euthanasia, racism, population expansion, offensive warfare, and racial extermination.

For your enjoyment:

You can look inside Hitler’s Ethic.

Podcast with Weikart on this book here.

Here’s Larry Arnhart’s review and here’s Weikart’s response.

Some Weikart essays

Progress through Racial Extermination: Social Darwinism, Eugenics, and Pacifism in Germany, 1860-1918,” German Studies Review 26 (2003): 273-94.

Darwinism and Death: Devaluing Human Life in Germany, 1860-1920,” Journal of the History of Ideas 63 (2002): 323-344.

Laissez-Faire Social Darwinism and Individualist Competition in Darwin and Huxley,” The European Legacy 3 (1998): 17-30.

Notwithstanding these details. They were after the fact of far bigger agendas. tHe dealing with identities relative to the society. Yes a attempt was made to make the race stronger but its unrelated to traditional identity exaltation and nationalism. its a minor by product. nOt the origin for the great acts. Hitler and company were simply reacting to thos loss of prestige and place in their world by ethnic groups or other nations. They simply reacted by exalting themselves including trying to have a cleaner race to this end. Hitler was not about racial purity but about putting germans on top of the heap. Robert Byers
Robert Byers,
Nazism was just traditional exaltation of identity or nationalism. Little to do with evolution or race purity stuff.
That's why the Nazi's performed forced sterilizations and murder of the unfit, sure thing. Clive Hayden
Krondan Fine. I agree that lots of early evolutionists were into Eugenics and race conclusions and those who were were into race ideas etc were using evolution sincerely as a foundation. Yet I would insist evolution had nothing to do with the nazi's except as a excuse to justify old fashioned envy and murder. Evolution was not the origin of decisions. Just a useful add on to present to the public. Yes they could even sincerely believe in making a better German race by eliminating the weak elements. Yet this was a minor afterthought. Nazism was just traditional exaltation of identity or nationalism. Little to do with evolution or race purity stuff. Robert Byers
"Nothing to do with evolution or racial purity" Well, Alfred Ploetz was a vice-president of the British Eugenics Society during the time when Leonard Darwin was president. Leonard Darwin was the first president of the International Federation of Eugenics Societies, which spread eugenics throughout the world, and was later succeeded by Ernst Rudin. The presidency was offered to Eugen Fischer, but he declined because he had other duties, he said. Many of the most famous evolutionists of the olden days were members of the Eugenics Society or affiliated with the IFEO. Is this all a coincidence? Vladimir Krondan
One dumb prejudice can beat another. This creationist has no interest in connecting the dots between Darwin and hitler yet i always find it is very powerful in undercutting evolutionism. just a hint of connection discredits evolutionism in its early characters and much of its foundational ideas on mankind starting with we are just better looking apes. In fact i don't see evolution had any big deal on Hitler except a basic idea of making a people or race better by purity. Hitler didn't kill people for purity of race but because of hatred based on envy of the higher status and position of the Jewish race in Germany and Europe. Then simply added other peoples to be rid of them. Nothing to do with evolution or racial purity. Just common identity hostility that was within boundaries including outside them. Robert Byers
Well, most of the great evolutionary scientists of the past were eugenists kooks or screwballs or dangerous sociopaths of one form or another. So it's hardly irrelevent to point out that much of evolutionary biology was invented by lunatics. Vladimir Krondan
When I want to know about the best arguments for/against the claim that random mutation and natural selection caused the transformation of bacteria into T-Rex, I often turn to Hitler. Very illuminating, he. OK, sarcasm's over. But seriously, sometimes I wonder: Might I be the only reader of this website who thinks that maybe, just maybe, Nazi genocide is irrelevant to the science of biological origins? DarelRex

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