Elie Wiesel Gathers Nobel Laureates to Urge Kansas to Nix ID
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has gathered 38 Nobel prize winners to join him in urging the Kansas school board to reject their new science standards that question evolution (see 08/11/2005). According to MSNBC News, their document calls evolution an “indispensable” foundation of biology. The story was reprinted by LiveScience.com.
Odd. Biology got along just fine without this indispensable foundation for a long time. In fact, it could be argued that evolution is only a naturalistic facade on a creationist superstructure. John Ray, Carl Linnaeus, Leeuwenhoek, Pasteur and many others did just fine biologizing without evolution. Their Christian faith was their motivation to do excellent scientific work. Had the Nobel prize existed in their day, they certainly would have been among the most distinguished and honored recipients. Any such lists of authorities are therefore contrived political statements.
What Elie Wiesel endured under the Nazis is horrendous, but it did not have to make him lose his faith and go haywire over evolution. The faith of Corrie ten Boom and other Holocaust survivors was their beacon of hope despite experiencing the darkness of human evil, and gave direction and purpose to their lives. Wiesel has dedicated his life to helping people never forget what happened there. Why then, instead, does he not point to the roots of that evil – the evolutionary ethics rooted in Darwinism that Haeckel took to Germany and spread like a dark evangelist? How ironic that he would exalt the very foundation of two political ideologies – Nazism and communism – that have caused more inhumane treatment and death than the world has even seen. Over 100 million deaths in less than a century can be traced to the actions of evolution-inspired dictators, and that doesn’t begin to describe the suffering of many millions more who survived their lies, tortures, brutalities, deprivations, midnight arrests, hard labor camps, gulags, and associated nightmares.
We agree with Wiesel that mankind should never forget, but for even stronger reasons. Our reasons give moral impetus to the debate over evolution today. One should not presume that Nazism and communism have exhausted the potential evils inherent in Darwinian thinking. One only has to think of today’s ethical tensions over stem cells, clones, chimeras, abortion, genetically-engineered humans and other controversies to envision horrors that would make Stalin look like a playground bully (see Apologetics Press for a recent example). Learning from history is an important start. That’s why we strongly urge readers to learn twentieth century history, and read accounts of those who survived the brutality of Nazi Germany and endured the unspeakable horrors behind the Iron Curtain. That such atrocities continue to exist in North Korea, Cuba, China and other communist countries is a stern reminder that there is still much to do to combat this evil at its root. For a scholarly treatment of the Darwin-based teaching on evolutionary ethics between 1859 and 1932 that fed Hitler’s views on racial policy, read From Darwin to Hitler by historian Richard Weikart. And since many historians omit the Darwinian assumptions and motivations behind Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, it’s vital to review Jerry Bergman’s paper on “The Darwinian foundation of communism” and first-person works like Solzhenitzen’s The Gulag Archipelago and Wurmbrand’s Tortured for Christ. A tree is known by its fruit and is fed by its root.
The Kansas school board member rightly said, “I don’t think anything should be taught as dogma.” The debates over evolution and intelligent design cannot be won by appeals to authority. Nobel laureates are smart people in their specialties, but that does not make them experts on politics, ethics, education and philosophy. Look at the dumb things two of them said a couple of years ago (see 08/24/2003); some of their remarks demonstrate that they don’t even know that much about biology, let alone history or logic. Maybe most of us can’t split an atom or learn how reverse transcription works, but anyone can learn common sense. How ironic that scientists, supposedly committed to observation and verification by experiment, want us to accept their word on evolution as dogma.