Re: Washington Post Magazine article on ID

From: <>
Date: Thu Feb 23 2006 - 00:06:21 EST

Ted Davis wrote:
The fact that creationists today blame evolution for everything evil and
rotten has more to do with their definition of evolution as sin itself
(Morris believes that evolution was the lie delivered by Satan to Nimrod at
the tower of Babel, for example), than with historical reality.
Nevertheless, there is historical reality to their claim that belief in
evolution promoted racism and Nazism.
Would that last sentence be better stated as "belief in evolution was used
to promote racism and Nazism."?
Was it really cause-and-effect as Ted's wording would suggest?
Or was it more a case of people with already racist tendencies grabbing onto
whatever science was around in order to arrive at the conclusions they were
Or perhaps it was some of both.
This distinction seems important to me. To choose a somewhat parallel
example, there is a significant difference between saying "belief in Christianity
promoted the Crusades" and "belief in Christianity was used to promote the

Had Paley been the prevailing scientific paradigm at the time, would we have
seen similar movements with different justification, perhaps arguing that
certain races were clearly "designed" to rule over others? Certainly some who
rejected Darwin promoted forms of racism supposedly supported by science -- I
am thinking particularly of Agassiz.

Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado |
"Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cat"
Received on Thu Feb 23 00:07:14 2006

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Feb 23 2006 - 00:07:15 EST