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Hidden in plain sight: Darwin Jesus and Hitler

 
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:18 pm    Post subject: Hidden in plain sight: Darwin Jesus and Hitler Reply with quote

Since I've been doing some research into evolution, I've had some reasons to try to determine the status of the doctrine of Social Darwinism, which seems to have rapidly disappeared soon after WWII, for obvious reasons.

People want to blame poor old Darwin for Hitler, quite unfairly for a
myriad of reasons. But now, I come across something unexpected...

It seems there were Christians who had found some passages from scripture
to support Eugenics, and preached it. There had to be something quite
appealing in those lines of thought, in those congregations. Those other
people shouldn't have so many babies.

It seems that mainstream Christianity flirted with Eugenics. Since
Hitler, though, they blame Darwin.

There's a book. Anyone could have found it out. Hidden in plain sight.
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some other ideas about why this line of thought is fallacious, but this argument you make is at least pretty good.

The fact that even those opposed to plain Darwinism found something to like in the "social" (misattributed) version of his ideas means that even the association with Hitler may not be enough to keep them (the ideas) from regaining popularity, or at least some kind of underground credence. I suspect a lot of people still have these ideas rattling around in their heads. Combine out-group hostility with a feeling of superiority (a hidden feeling of inferiority) and voila -- it's "scientific".

Eugenics may be something like a vampire. It's good to keep a stock of garlic and crosses on hand.
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still don't think you get what I am talking about.

Natural selection doesn't offer guarantees, so someone trying to misapply it to Social Darwinism wouldn't have reasons to expect guarantees either. Natural selection favors that faster Zebra, and it's relatives. Over long spans of time, a small advantage can have a big effect. The fact that it might not, because of some stray asteroid does not invalidate natural selection.

Likewise, having bigger antlers so as to intimidate rivals and hold a mating ground might work well, until the disadvantages become too great. Again, not a disproof of natural selection.

Natural selection *does* have the notion of superiority, when considered within a particular environment. If I were to do some speculating, I'd say that nature doesn't worry too much about making creatures that are "the best" so much as making ones that are "better than average", or maybe "good enough", but in any case, Social Darwinism need not do more than plain Darwinism in order to have persuasive power.

Meanwhile, the "germs" of Social Darwinism remain in the social atmosphere to this day. Wherever you have racism, it will be nearby. Wherever some guy talks about how he wouldn't want his sister to marry one of "them", it is right there. Survivalists inherently invoke it. Devo laughs about it. Calvinists still believe that signs of success are signs of god's favor.

You seem eager to apply these notions to corporations, whereas I'm not in so much of a hurry. Once I figure out how to think about these ideas in the context of people, maybe it'll be clearer how to think about these larger entities.

So far, if I were relying on you for the arguments against Social Darwinism, I'd be getting pretty worried.
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