Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A popular creationist links Darwin to racism

Transcript of today's show:

Ken Ham, evangelical creationist and founder of the very popular Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, has just come out with a new book entitled Darwin’s Plantation: Evolution’s Racist Roots. Ken Ham and co-author Dr. Charles Ware reveal a compelling history of the effect of an evolution-based belief system on the history of the United States, touching on abortion, slavery, and the civil rights movement.

[source: Answers in Genesis]

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from The Associated Press:
In the new book, Ham says that Darwin's theory - that natural selection caused gradual biological changes over time - puts some races ''higher on the evolutionary scale'' and others ''closer to the apes.''

''Although racism did not begin with Darwinism, Darwin did more than any person to popularize it,'' Ham writes. He further contends that the theory fanned the flames of ''ethnic superiority.''

''Stalin, Hitler and Mao were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions - and it can be shown they did this because of the influence of Darwinian naturalism,'' Ham writes.

Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, a California group that defends teaching evolution in public schools, said Hitler rarely mentioned evolution.

''Darwinian evolution is based on natural selection, which means that any population can adapt to its environment,'' Scott said. ''The ironic thing for the creationists is that Hitler grounded Aryan superiority as a God-given quality.'' [read full story]

from the blog The Darwin Report:
Historically speaking, Charles Darwin came from a family of abolitionists. His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, strongly disapproved of slavery. And Charles Darwin wrote negatively about the slavery he witnessed on his travels in his book, The Voyage Of The Beagle. Darwin’s The Descent Of Man is also an argument against racism, since one of the points in it is the common ancestry of all the humans races. And simply using the word “savage”, as Darwin did, in its 19th century context doesn’t make a man a racist. Political correctness and cultural sensitivity were more than a century away. [read full blog post]

from a report by WDC Media, a Christian Media relations firm:

Ham and Ware show that although racism certainly did not begin with Darwin, his beliefs did more to fuel racism than the ideas of any other single individual. "Racism is a consequence of sin in a fallen world infused with evolutionary thinking," Ham writes.

The subtitle of Darwin's "Origin of Species" is "The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life." Darwin himself writes in "The Descent of Man" that he would rather be descended from a monkey than a "savage."

"As soon as one believes that human beings have evolved from creatures of lesser intelligence, it is an easy corollary to assume that some people groups are more evolved than others," the book says. [read complete article]

from PZ Myers' blog Pharyngula:

Just when you think these guys can't get any more dishonest, here comes Darwin's Plantation: Evolution's Racist Roots. The tag line on the book is a quote from Ham: "Although racism did not begin with Darwinism, Darwin did more than any person to popularize it."

Wow. More than Martin Luther, who helped make anti-semitism a favorite German pastime? More than Nathan Bedford Forrest, who helped the Ku Klux Klan grow to half a million members? More than Hitler? More than our Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision? More than Richard Butler, founder of the Aryan Nations? More than Lester Maddox and Strom Thurmond? More than King Leopold II of Belgium? [read full blog post]