Book Review: How Darwinism Corrodes Morality
An important book by Dr Jerry Bergman documents the most important example ever of the dictum, “Ideas have consequences.”
Jerry Bergman, How Darwinism Corrodes Morality: Darwinism, Immorality, Abortion and the Sexual Revolution. Joshua Press (2017).
Three of the best books I have ever read about the cultural fallout of Darwinism have been: (1) The Long War Against God, by Henry Morris, Jr., (2) Darwin Day in America, by John West, and (3) How Darwinism Corrodes Morality, by Dr. Jerry Bergman. Of the three, the latter—new this year by Dr. Jerry Bergman, a contributing writer for Creation-Evolution Headlines—may be the most accessible and motivating of all. Its 294 pages leave you breathless with a withering display of well-documented accounts of people who took Darwin’s “dangerous idea” and ran with it. It leaves you with an overwhelming sense that this evil ideology must be stopped.
I want to open the curtain with one of his concluding quotations about the Japanese soldiers in World War II, who justified these atrocities after learning how Darwinian evolution supported their notion of the Japanese as a superior race. [Warning: graphic information. You may want to shield your eyes from the next 3 paragraphs.]
[Japanese] brought atrocity and death on a scale that staggers the imagination. In the midst of it were the prisoners of war. Japan held some 132,000 POWs from America, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Holland, and Australia. Of those, nearly 36,000 died, more than one in every four. Americans fared particularly badly; of the 34,648 Americans held by Japan, 12,935—more than 37 percent—died. By comparison, only 1 percent of Americans held by the Nazis and Italians died. Japan murdered thousands of POWs on death marches and worked thousads of others to death… including some 16,000 POWs who died alongside as many as 100,000 Asian laborers forced to build the Burma-Siam Railway.
[In addition,] thousands of other POWs were beaten, burned, stabbed, or clubbed to death, shot, beheaded, killed during medical experiments, or eaten alive in ritual acts of cannibalism… [T]housands more died of starvation and easily preventable diseases. Of the 2,500 POWs at Borneo’s Sandakan camp, only 6… made it to September 1945 alive.
Dr Bergman had previously described the infamous Rape of Nanking in 1937, called the one event that can be “held up as an example of the unmitigated evil lying just below the surface of unbridled military adventurism”. In an unprecedented “orgy of cruelty seldom if ever matched in world history,” some 20,000 to 80,000 women were raped and between 260,000 and 350,000 Chinese (considered ‘racially inferior’ to the Japanese) were murdered within a span of a few weeks. It’s not just the numbers, but the “diabological tortures” they were subjected to that makes this event unbelievable: hanging some by their tongues on iron hooks, burying some up to their waists and laughing at them as German shepherds tore them apart, roasting people alive. In one incident, two Japanese officers forced their men to round up hundreds of Chinese civilians just to see who could decapitate the most in a set period of time.
Now that I have your attention, let’s see what was behind this. I can hear some evolutionists calling foul already; ‘These war atrocities can’t be blamed on Darwin,’ they will protest. ‘War is hell, and this is par for the course in any war; the Allies did some pretty mean things, too.’ (Let’s quickly remember the comfy quarters at Guantanamo to see American values about treatment of prisoners, and the screams that ensue any time the ‘torture’ of waterboarding—that causes zero lasting harm—is brought up.) Evolutionists will protest loud and long, that even if some of the Japanese intellectuals had embraced Darwinism, one cannot blame Darwin for what some people did with his ideas, which they must have misunderstood.
Bergman’s book shows otherwise. He had just established how the Japanese elite, including Emperor Hirohito, had welcomed Darwinism as the new “rationalist” view to bring their country into the modern world. In the decades preceding the war, as in Germany, the intellectuals and political leaders of Japan embraced Darwinism as the explanation for their superiority. Lots of countries throughout history (Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans) had thought themselves superior, but this was different. The Nazis, fascists, communists and imperialists now had a “scientific” rationale for unmitigated evil against anyone who stood in their way. Darwin, along with Spencer and Malthus, had produced a world of struggle that was all about power. It was about crushing one’s opponents; why? –because the losers prove themselves as less evolved. The world thrived on competition and progressed by a “struggle for existence” thanks to Darwin’s “law” of natural selection. This was new in world ideology. Science rewards the brutal victor. In this view, war is necessary and good. What is ‘evil’ is mercy and caring for the ‘unfit.’
The horrors of the Japanese holocaust form just the final episode in Bergman’s case that Darwinism corrodes morality. Before the reader even gets to chapter 16, he or she will have seen witness after witness point to Darwin as the father of the ideas that justified other moral atrocities: abortion, sexual adventurism, eugenics, racism, and even mass murder. He’s not just talking old history. In chapter 8, he describes the murderous escapade of Anders Breivik, who in 2011 killed 77 young people in Norway on a rampage motivated by his Darwinian beliefs, documenting the link with quotes from Breivik’s own manifesto. In this case, as in the others, Bergman doesn’t need to make the argument himself. In his matter-of-fact style, he lets the perpetrators indict themselves out of their own writings, and when those are not available, he cites leading historians who have written academic accounts of the events.
History is, in fact, an important by-product of reading this book. Bergman has a knack for uncovering little-known facts about historical figures, including famous ones like Nietzche, Freud and Hitler, and for bringing to light lesser-known but influential persons like Havelock Ellis, Chet Raymo and Karl Pearson. Along the way, the reader will catch rarely-seen angles on Margaret Sanger, Alfred Kinsey, Charles Manson and others, showing their deep roots into Darwinism, and will learn about important historical trends in academia and education that resulted from Darwin’s conquest of the world’s elite and popular culture, such as social Darwinism, sex education and eugenics. Like Morris and West showed in their books, one cannot understand the 20th (and 21st) centuries without grasping the pervasive and pernicious influence of Darwinian thinking on every aspect of society.
In the final two-page chapter, “Some Conclusions,” Bergman answers an important objection that might be raised to his thesis that Darwinism corrodes morality. If Darwinism is true, he admits, then “Obviously, no matter how much harm it has caused, this does not affect the truth of Darwinism.” But “Conversely, if evolution, given the standard definition of evolution of progression from simple molecules by random combinations of molecules to the first cell, and then eventually to humans by mutations and natural selection, is false, the harm caused by this erroneous idea is enormous.” For decades, Dr Gerald Bergman has been a leading scientist proving that Darwinian evolution is indeed false (see Fossil Forensics, his latest book, and his numerous scientific papers analyzing alleged proofs of evolution), and in this concluding chapter, he briefly offers scientific reasons for judging Darwinism to be wrong. Given that, the enormity of the harm brought by Darwin’s dangerous idea grows exponentially, because one can find his disciples today routinely extending Darwinism to the evolution of stars, galaxies, and even habitable universes in a multiverse. How Darwinism Corrodes Morality exposes, in gory detail, the evil fruit that sprang from a wicked tree planted by Charles Darwin. For that, this may be the most important book Bergman has yet written.
Lest any critics try to counter with examples of Christianity corroding morality, let’s think about that a moment. There are clear-cut, undisputable accounts of ‘Christians’ doing awful things: burnings at the stake, inquisitions, religious wars, and the like. Up to the present day, examples continue that are grievous and inexcusable: pastors caught in adultery, sexual abuse by priests, and occasional attacks by Christian ‘extremists’ (although the Christians are most often the passive recipients of terror rather than the perpetrators; consider what has been happening in Syria, Iraq, and Egypt). The difference is in the foundation. You can’t find any justification for these things in the Bible. You cannot derive them from the teachings of Jesus or the disciples. When bad people do bad things in the name of Jesus, they are misusing His holy name, working in direct opposition to Christ’s command to love our enemies and do good to those who hate you. Darwinism’s disciples, by contrast, draw their ideas directly out of the old Bearded Buddha’s own words. Darwin may not have been a terrorist himself (by all accounts, he was a Victorian gentleman), but he predicted race wars and struggle for existence in his own writings. Darwin was not, by the way, a gifted scientist as is often portrayed, but was more of a selfish, conniving, cruel, God-hating schemer, as Jerry Bergman documents in another book worth reading, The Dark Side of Darwin. You cannot think of persons more opposite in their ideas, manners, and influences than Jesus Christ and Charles Darwin.
I’ve read many books by Jerry Bergman. For me, this may be his best—for an odd reason. It made me angry. I got angry watching in page after page how a false doctrine based on a silly idea (natural selection, the Stuff Happens Law) brought so much suffering and bloodshed to the world. When you already know how silly natural selection is (see my essay), and then you see how it captivated the imaginations of so many influential people, it just makes you sick. I sometimes try to get people to laugh at Darwinian just-so stories (recent example), but we need to get beyond humor to anger. Like I often say, don’t think for a minute that the evil fruit of Darwin’s evil tree was exhausted in the 20th century. Darwinian sap still permeates the branches of universities and institutions today. It is still the state religion in America, the official curriculum in many schools, the evolving law of a progressive elite. A “new eugenics” is gaining traction in labs that want to breed a super-race, producing a society of haves and have-nots, the latter needing to be weeded out as unfit for modernity.
More Darwinian evil is coming. Don’t just get angry. Fight it. Fight the silliness of just-so stories and the ugliness of ‘struggle for existence’ by supporting ministries like Creation-Evolution Headlines that daily shine light on the truth. And if you are an evolutionist reading this, fear not that radical creationists are going to round you up, bury you up to your waist and turn German shepherds loose on you. Fear not that we will see how many of you we can decapitate in an hour. Fear not that we will censor you, hate you, and ostracize you. No; that is our opponents’ way. If you run into a true Christian, he or she will gently look you in the eye, and with firm compassion, say, “Repent, and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15).