Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler and Hitler’s Ethic. has a new book out, The Death of Humanity.
Here’s some info from Evolution News & Views:
Although Weikart points out the many sources at work in diminishing the centrality humanity in our social and moral relations, one that recurs is Darwinism. This is for good reason. Darwin himself expressed the two foundational sources of the attack on anthropocentrism, an assault that unfortunately “is becoming mainstream in our ‘culture of death'” (4). First is the notion that regard for our special mental attributes is little more than self-centered arrogance. The second, related to the first, is that human beings are really not unique and are, in fact, just another kind of animal.
As to the first proposition, it was years before the Origin of Species, as early as spring 1838, that Darwin wrote privately “Why is thought being a secretion of the brain, more wonderful than gravity a property of matter? It is our arrogance, it is our admiration of ourselves” (Darwin’s Notebooks, 291). Weikart gives another from the Notebooks, quoting Darwin, “thought, however unintelligible it may be, seems as much function of organ, as bile of liver” (55). Darwin expressed the second proposition more publicly when he suggested that the difference between man and animal was one of degree, not kind (Descent of Man ). Darwin’s materialistic view of the mind, the denial of the soul, and the conflation of human and animal attributes are covered in Chapter 2, “Created from Animals.” The absurdity of these ideas is captured in PETA spokesperson Ida Newkirk’s statement, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They are all mammals” (50). More.
Note: With his first book, Weikart had the same type of experience as Michael Denton. Denton had wanted to call his book “Darwinism: A Theory in Crisis,” but the publisher insisted on calling it Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Similarly, Weikart had intended to call his first book “From Haeckel to Hitler,” but the original publisher insisted on the title above, which once again, pretty much emptied the cave…
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