September 2, 2010 | David F. Coppedge

Malthusian Maniac Killed Before Killing Hostages

James J. Lee took hostages today at the Discovery Channel headquarters in Maryland, but was killed by police before he harmed anyone (see New York Times).  Lee, who authored a website called, left a manifesto with a list of demands, calling humans “filth” and demanding the Discovery Channel inform viewers that humans were ruining the planet.  His rants included demands to saturate the public mind with indoctrination into Darwinian ideas: “Talk about Evolution.  Talk about Malthus and Darwin until it sinks into the stupid people’ brains until they get it!!”
    The Discovery Institute (no connection to the Discovery Channel) used this incident to highlight the deleterious effects of Darwinian thinking.  David Klinghoffer on Evolution News and Views listed other killers who used Darwinian ideas for their rampages, and Robert Crowther on Evolution News and Views followed up with a quote from Bruce Chapman, Discovery Institute Director, on the disparity in news coverage between religious madmen and this Darwinist one: “Oddly missing from initial news accounts was any mention of Darwin,” he said; but James J. Lee made it clear that Malthus and Darwin were prime motivators of his mental anguish, as was Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth.  John West in Evolution News and Views compared the silence of major newspaper coverage about the Darwin connection to what would happen if an anti-abortion vigilante took hostages at an abortion clinic: “you can be sure the newsmedia would tenaciously track down and publicize every anti-abortion association and comment of the criminal in question,” he remarked.
Update 09/03/2010: David Klinghoffer dug deeper into the case and found a stronger connection of Lee’s thinking to Darwin than with Al Gore, where the news media was focusing.  See Evolution News and Views.  For an example of whitewashing the story, PhysOrg tried to make the case that eco-terrorism is rare and usually not deadly.

Every movement has nutcases.  Lee was no spokesman for Darwin any more than Charlemagne for Jesus Christ as the emperor killed pagans who refused to convert.  But consider that the misanthropic ideas of James J. Lee were not that different from university professors who have taught that human beings are a plague on the planet, and that mass death of humans would not be such a bad thing (e.g., Eric Pianka, 04/02/2006, who told the Texas Academy of Sciences that humans were no better than bacteria and got a standing ovation for saying it would be a good thing if airborne ebola wiped out 90% of humanity).
    No Christian theologian familiar with Christ’s and Paul’s teachings about loving one’s neighbor and loving our enemies would ever condone genocide in the name of Christ, and certainly Darwin and Malthus would have been appalled at the actions of today’s hostage-taker.  Still, Klinghoffer’s list of recent madman who felt they were fulfilling Darwin’s laws of nature is noteworthy and disturbing.
    One of Lee’s statements demanded saving the lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, ants, beetles and other animals, but then he said, “The humans?  The planet does not need humans.”  This shows he was a nutcase, because he could not think logically about evolution.  If humans arose by a Darwinian process, then they are just as much a part of nature as beetles, and whatever they do is just as amoral, meaningless and purposeless as any other part.  If humans wipe out all other life, so what?  Why would Lee care?  His anguish is a desperate cry from his soul.  Despite his love for Darwin, he could not extricate himself from the image of God imprinted in his being.
    The late Greg Bahnsen used to complain about the inconsistency of the media.  He said he wouldn’t mind reporters drawing attention to the religious beliefs of Christians who go berserk as long as they were consistent.  When a Darwinist goes nuts, why is there no connection made to his motivations?  If reporters were truly objective, they would highlight the beliefs of Darwinist madmen as quickly as they point out the religious beliefs of those who commit crimes in the name of Christ.  “This incident goes to show the danger of Darwinist ideas to promote hate and intolerance in young men,” would be a fair assessment.  “When young men’s minds are filled with ideas of survival of the fittest and view humans as responsible for wrecking the environment, it’s little wonder that they sometimes go off the deep end and take actions into their own hands.  Too bad no one shared with him the love of Christ.”  The heat death of the universe will likely occur before you ever hear that in the mainstream media.

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