Most people think the theory of evolution was first proposed by Charles Darwin, and rests on scientific evidence, observations and experiments. However, in the same way that Darwin was not its originator neither does the theory rest on scientific proof. The theory consists of an adaptation to nature of an ancient dogma called materialist philosophy. Although it is backed up by no scientific evidence, the theory is blindly supported in the name of materialist philosophy.
This fanaticism has resulted in many of disasters. That is because together with the spread of Darwinism and the materialist philosophy it supports, the answer to the question ‘What is a human being?’ has changed. People who used to answer: ‘Human beings were created by God and have to live according to the morality He teaches’ have now begun to think that ‘Man came into being by chance, and is an animal who developed with the fight for survival.’ There is a heavy price to pay for this great deception. Violent ideologies such as racism, fascism and communism, and many other cruel world views based on conflict have all drawn strength from this deception.
This article will examine this disaster Darwinism has brought to the world and reveal its connection with terrorism, one of the most important global problems of our time.
The Darwinist Misconception: ‘Life is conflict’
Darwin set out with one basic premise when developing his theory: ‘The development of living things depends on the fight for survival. The strong win the struggle. The weak are condemned to defeat and oblivion.’
According to Darwin, there was a ruthless struggle for survival and eternal conflict in nature. The strong always overcome the weak, and this enables development to take place. The subtitle he gave to his book The Origin of Species, “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life”, encapsulates that view.
Furthermore, Darwin proposed that the ‘fight for survival’ also applied between human races. According to that claim, ‘favored races’ were victorious in the struggle. Favored races, in Darwin’s view, were white Europeans. African or Asian races had lagged behind in the struggle for survival. Darwin went further, and suggested that these races would soon lose the ‘struggle for survival’ entirely, and thus disappear:
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes … will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.
The Indian anthropologist Lalita Vidyarthi explains how Darwin’s theory of evolution imposed racism on the social sciences:
His (Darwin’s) theory of the survival of the fittest was warmly welcomed by the social scientists of the day, and they believed mankind had achieved various levels of evolution culminating in the white man’s civilization. By the second half of the nineteenth century racism was accepted as fact by the vast majority of Western scientists.
Darwin’s Source of Inspiration: Malthus’s Theory of Ruthlessness
Darwin’s source of inspiration on this subject was the British economist Thomas Malthus’s book An Essay on the Principle of Population. Left to their own devices, Malthus calculated that the human population increased rapidly. In his view, the main influences that kept populations under control were disasters such as war, famine and disease. In short, according to this brutal claim, some people had to die for others to live. Existence came to mean ‘permanent war.’
In the 19th century, Malthus’s ideas were widely accepted. European upper class intellectuals in particular supported his cruel ideas. In an article titled ‘The Nazis’ Secret Scientific Agenda’, the importance 19th century attached Europe attached to Malthus’s views on population is described in this way:
In the opening half of the nineteenth century, throughout Europe, members of the ruling classes gathered to discuss the newly discovered “Population problem” and to devise ways of implementing the Malthusian mandate, to increase the mortality rate of the poor: “Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague. In the country we should build our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlements in all marshy and unwholesome situations,” and so forth and so on.
As a result of this cruel policy, the weak, and those who lost the struggle for survival would be eliminated, and as a result the rapid rise in population would be balanced out. This so-called ‘oppression of the poor’ policy was actually carried out in 19th century Britain. An industrial order was set up in which children of eight and nine were made to work sixteen hours a day in the coal mines and thousands died from the terrible conditions. The ‘struggle for survival’ demanded by Malthus’s theory led to millions of Britons leading lives full of suffering.
Influenced by these ideas, Darwin applied this concept of conflict to all of nature, and proposed that the strong and the fittest emerged victorious from this war of existence. Moreover, he claimed that the so-called struggle for survival was a justified an unchangeable law of nature. On the other hand, he invited people to abandon their religious beliefs by denying creation, and thus aimed at all ethical values that could prove an obstacle to the ruthlessness of the ‘struggle for survival.’
The dissemination of these untrue ideas that led individuals to ruthlessness and cruelty, cost humanity a heavy price in the 20thcentury.
The Role of Darwinism in Preparing the Ground for World War I
As Darwinism dominated European culture, the effects of the ‘struggle for survival’ began to emerge. Colonialist European nations in particular began to portray the nations they colonized as ‘evolutionary backward nations’ and looked to Darwinism for justification.
The bloodiest political effect of Darwinism was the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
In his book Europe Since 1870, the well-known British professor of history James Joll explains that one of the factors that prepared the ground for World War I was the belief in Darwinism of European rulers at the time. For instance, the Austro-Hungarian chief of staff, Franz Baron Conrad von Hoetzendorff, wrote in his post-war memoirs:
Philanthropic religions, moral teachings and philosophical doctrines may certainly sometimes serve to weaken mankind’s struggle for existence in its crudest form, but they will never succeed in removing it as a driving motive of the world… It is in accordance with this great principle that the catastrophe of the world war came about as the result of the motive forces in the lives of states and peoples, like a thunderstorm which must by its nature discharge itself
The leaders of Europe on the eve of World War I were mislead by the Social Darwinist dogma. They thought that war was a biological necessity.
It is not hard to understand why Conrad, with that ideological foundation, should have encouraged the Austro-Hungarian Empire to declare war. Such ideas at the time were not limited to the military. Kurt Riezler, the personal assistant and confidant of the German chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, wrote in 1914: ‘Eternal and absolute enmity is fundamentally inherent in relations between peoples; and the hostility which we observe everywhere… is not the result of a perversion of human nature but is the essence of the world and the source of life itself.
Friedrich von Bernardi, a World War I general, made a similar connection between war and the laws of war in nature. “War” declared Bernhardi “is a biological necessity”; it “is as necessary as the struggle of the elements of nature”; it “gives a biologically just decision, since its decisions rest on the very nature of things.
As we have seen, World War I broke out because of European thinkers, generals and administrators who saw warfare, bloodshed and suffering as a kind of ‘development’, and thought they were an unchanging ‘law of nature’, The ideological root that dragged all of that generation to destruction was nothing else than Darwin’s concepts of the ‘struggle for survival’ and ‘favored races’.
World War I left behind it 8 million dead, hundreds of ruined cities, and millions of wounded, crippled, homeless and unemployed.
The basic cause of World War II, which broke out 21 years later and left 55 million dead behind it, was also based on Darwinism.
The Fruit of ‘The Law of the Jungle’: Fascism
As Darwinism fed racism in the 19th century, it formed the basis of an ideology that would develop and drown the world in blood in the 20thcentury: Nazism.
A strong Darwinist influence can be seen in Nazi ideologues. When one examines this theory, which was given shape by Adolf Hitler and Alfred Rosenberg, one comes across such concepts as ‘natural selection’, ‘selected mating’, and ‘the struggle for survival between the races’, which are repeated dozens of time in The Origin of Species. When calling his book Mein Kampf (My Struggle), Hitler was inspired by the Darwinist struggle for survival and the principle that victory went to the fittest. He particularly talks about the struggle between the races:
‘History would culminate in a new millennial empire of unparalleled splendor, based on a new racial hierarchy ordained by nature herself.
In the 1933 Nuremberg party rally, Hitler proclaimed that “a higher race subjects to itself a lower race… a right which we see in nature and which can be regarded as the sole conceivable right.”
That the Nazis were influenced by Darwinism is a fact that many historians accept. The historian Hickman describes Darwinism’s influence on Hitler as follows:
(Hitler) was a firm believer and preacher of evolution. Whatever the deeper, profound, complexities of his psychosis, it is certain that [the concept of struggle was important because] … his book, Mein Kampf, clearly set forth a number of evolutionary ideas, particularly those emphasizing struggle, survival of the fittest and the extermination of the weak to produce a better society.
Hitler, who emerged with these views, dragged the world to violence that had never before been seen. Many ethnic and political groups, and especially the Jews, were exposed to terrible cruelty and slaughter in the Nazi concentration camps. World War II, which began with the Nazi invasion, cost 55 million lives. What lay behind the greatest tragedy in world history was Darwinism’s concept of the ‘struggle for survival’.
The Bloody Alliance: Darwinism and Communism
While fascists are found on the right wing of Social Darwinism, the left wing is occupied by communists. Communists have always been among the fiercest defenders of Darwin’s theory.
This relationship between Darwinism and communism goes right back to the founders of both these ‘isms.’ Marx and Engels, the founders of communism, read Darwin’s The Origin of Species as soon as it came out, and were amazed at is ‘dialectical materialist’ attitude. The correspondence between Marx and Engels showed that they saw Darwin’s theory as ‘containing the basis in natural history for communism’. In his book The Dialectics of Nature, which he wrote under the influence of Darwin, Engels was full of praise for Darwin, and tried to make his own contribution to the theory in the chapter ‘The Part Played by Labor in the Transition from Ape to Man.’
Russian communists who followed in the footsteps of Marx and Engels, such as Plekhanov, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, all agreed with Darwin’s theory of evolution. Plekhanov, who is considered as the founder of Russian communism, regarded marxism as ‘Darwinism in its application to social science’.
Trotsky said, ‘Darwin’s discovery is the highest triumph of the dialectic in the whole field of organic matter.
‘Darwinist education’ had a major role in the formation of communist cadres. For instance, historians note the fact that Stalin was religious in his youth, but became an atheist because of Darwin’s books.
Mao, who established communist rule in China and killed millions of people, openly stated that ‘Chinese socialism is founded upon Darwin and the theory of evolution.’
The Harvard University historian James Reeve Pusey goes into great detail regarding Darwinism’s effect on Mao and Chinese communism in his research book China and Charles Darwin.
In short, there is an unbreakable link between the theory of evolution and communism. The theory claims that living things are the product of blind chance, and provides a so-called scientific support for atheism. Communism, an atheist ideology, is for that reason firmly tied to Darwinism. Moreover, the theory of evolution proposes that development in nature is possible thanks to conflict (in other words ‘the struggle for survival’) and supports the concept of ‘dialectics’ which is fundamental to communism.
If we think of the communist concept of ‘dialectical conflict’, which killed some 120 million people throughout the 20th century, as a ‘killing machine’ then we can better understand the dimension of the disaster that Darwinism visited on our planet.
Darwinism and Terrorism
As we have so far seen, Darwinism is at the root of various ideologies of violence that spelled disaster to mankind in the 20thcentury. However, as well as these ideologies, Darwinism also defines an ‘ethical understanding’ and ‘method’ that could influence various world views. The fundamental concept behind this understanding and method is ‘fighting those who are not one of us’.
We can explain this in the following way: There are different beliefs, worldviews and philosophies in the world. These can look at each other in one of two ways:
1) They can respect the existence of those who are not one of them and try to establish dialogue with them, employing a humane method.
2) They can choose to fight others, and to try to secure an advantage by damaging them, in other words, behave like a wild animal.
The horror we call terrorism is nothing other than a statement of the second view.
When we consider the difference between these two approaches, we can see that the idea of “man as a fighting animal” which Darwinism has subconsciously imposed on people is particularly influential. Individuals and groups who choose the way of conflict may never have heard of Darwinism and the principles of that ideology. But in the final analysis, they agree with a view whose philosophical basis rests on Darwinism. What leads them to believe in the rightness of violence is such Darwinism-based slogans as;
‘In this world, only the strong survive’,
‘Big fish swallow the little ones’,
‘War is a virtue’,
and ‘Man advances by waging war’.
Take Darwinism away, and these are nothing but empty slogans.
Actually, when Darwinism is taken away, no philosophy of ‘conflict’ remains. The three monotheistic religions that most people in the world believe in, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, all oppose violence. All three religions wish to bring peace and harmony to the world, and oppose innocent people being killed and suffering cruelty and torture. Conflict and violence violate the morality that God has set out for man, and are abnormal and undesired concepts. However, Darwinism sees and portrays conflict and violence as natural, justified and correct concepts that have to exist.
For this reason, if some people commit terrorism using the concepts and symbols of Islam, Christianity and Judaism in the name of those religions, you can be sure that those people are not Muslims, Christians or Jews. They are in fact Social Darwinists. They hide under a cloak of religion, but they are not genuine believers. Even if they claim to be serving religion, they are actually enemies of religion and believers. That is because they are ruthlessly committing a crime that religion forbids, and in such a way as to blacken religion in peoples’ eyes.
For this reason, the root of the terrorism that plagues our world is not in any of the monotheistic religions, but is in atheism, and the expression of atheism in our times: ‘Darwinism’ and ‘materialism’.