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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Monday, May 05, 2008

Evolution, Expelled, Christianity, and Hitler

Over at Pharyngula, PZ posted this:

Now here's the thing, the world is a complicated place, it always has been. Then Ben Stein comes along and claims in his mock-u-mentary that "Darwinism" led to Hitler and Nazism. But something kept digging at my brain about this statement.

I finally came to realize just what it is. The same is true for Christianity as well, but not in the murder millions sense. Ben Stein claims that the concept of Darwinism (i.e. natural selection) gives rise to the social intent (purpose) of selecting races/groups/slivers of humanity as being superior and thus all others in need of extermination. But this is a social construct, and is utilized in many ways (again I will stress without the brutal murder and war). Christianity claims exactly the same thing as is applied to Hitler and Nazism as we see so clearly in Expelled.

What I mean is this: Look at Christianity as a religion and as a social movement. Christianity proclaims that it is an outgrowth and progression of the ancient Hebrew religion and is superior to all other religions. Christians actively spread out via missionaries to spread the good news of Jesus and convert all non-Christians to Christianity. That is exactly the same argument used against Hitler, and by extension evolution. In the case of Hitler, this Darwinistic natural selection is evil and proves why evolution is bad, but in the case of Christianity, this very same Darwinistic natural selection is good.

I can only conclude that science and Darwin had it just right all along. "Darwinism" spreads good and evil without conscience. If I were coming from the perspective of a Christian, that is. In which case I would have to thank Darwin and his natural selection for giving Christianity the exact tool to spread Christianity. For without natural selection, then it would be impossible for Christians to figure out a way to propagate their message.

This at least makes as much sense as Ben Stein does.

The reality is, "Darwinism" has nothing more to do with the spread of Christianity than it does Nazism and the holocaust. For to condemn "Darwinism" for Hitler's actions is the same as to blame the spread of Christianity on "Darwinism".

I have finally figured out that the spread of Christianity is exactly like, and completely analogous to the horror of Hitler and his extermination of Jews -- If "Darwinism" is used as the tool. In one case you have a superior race exterminating its inferior enemies, and in the other you have a superior religion extermininating its inferior religions. This is Ben Stein's folly: The holocaust is just as reliant upon "Darwinism" as is Christianity. And from the standpoint of Christians, this therefore cannot be all bad....

..or maybe, just maybe, reality and the actual theory of evolution has absolutely nothing to do with either, and this whole argument found in Expelled is total smoke and mirrors.

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