Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Darwin's deadly legacy

60 minutes, 2006
Rating: 7 out of 10

Darwinism is the idea that conflict and death improve a species via natural selection – via survival of the fittest. Darwinism spawned Social Darwinism, the idea that we can advance the human species by using evolutionary principles. For example, instead of caring for the poor, sick, weak and disabled, Social Darwinists argued that we should let them fend for themselves so that only the strong – the “fittest” – survive.

In this excellent and engaging documentary the late Dr. James Kennedy explores Social Darwinism, and how Darwin’s theory laid the foundation for horrors such as Hitler’s Holocaust and the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.

Hitler, Kennedy notes, explained his genocidal aims in evolutionary terms: he thought the Aryan Germans were superior – were the fittest – so they should triumph over the inferior Jews. The Columbine killers also respected Darwin’s theory. One praised natural selection on his website for “getting rid of all the stupid and weak organisms.” The same boy chose to wear a “natural selection” t-shirt on the day of their shooting rampage. This is the moral legacy of evolutionary theory. If we are not made in the image of God, but are instead made in the image of animals, we shouldn’t be surprised when students of this theory treat people like animals.

One caution: there are few seconds of Holocaust footage, so viewer discretion is advised. It might also be worth noting that while James Kennedy believed in a literal six-day creation, the majority of those interviewed are actually Intelligent Design proponents. However, that has only a minimal impact on this presentation, as this is more about dismantling evolution - something both groups are highly critical of - than about the Christian understanding of our origins.