Joined: Nov. 2005
|Posted on Feb 14, 2008 | by Katherine Kipp|
WASHINGTON (BP)--In recent years, Feb. 12 has been celebrated not just for Abraham Lincoln's birthday but for Charles Darwin's as well.
Darwin Day, promoted by the Institute for Humanist Studies, is intended to advance celebrations of the evolutionary pioneer and of science in general. Some non-believers in the theory of evolution, however, describe the occasion as an effort to advance biological arguments against God's existence while providing an inside look into Darwinian fundamentalism.
John West, author of "Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science," lectured on his book and the idea of Darwin Day at the Family Research Council Feb. 12.
"Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas and false ideas have terrible consequences," said West, vice president for public policy and legal affairs at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. "If I had to summarize my book in one sentence, that would be it."
To fully understand Darwin and his ideas, reading Darwin's book, "The Descent of Man," is a must, West said. In it, Darwin lays out the implications of his theories.
The denial of human dignity and uniqueness is one of Darwin's theories, in which he "makes the point there is really no difference in man and the higher mammal and their mental faculties," West said, "while, at the same time, there is a significant difference in men of distinct races."
Darwin's implications in this theory have been used to justify racism. For example, Nazi Germany implemented his views in their hatred against the Jews, West said.
Darwin's beliefs in natural selection -— man is where he is because he struggled to get there and society pays the cost for allowing the "feebleminded" or "subnormal" to live -- also fueled Nazi films in the 1930s that said the "feebleminded" were ruining the human race, West said.
"You will also find a type of moral relativism in Darwin's view," West said.
Darwin's moral relativism says actions that leave the human race with more healthy offspring are the "moral rules," West said.
Read it here.