Natural Selection: The Ideology of Conflict
A survivor of a communist country describes the ideology of conflict he witnessed and the strife it created. But have Darwinians learned their lesson?
A few months ago, Matt Chait gave his cast’s final performance of his play Disinherit the Wind. The play tells the story of a renowned neurobiologist who sues his university for the right to challenge neo-Darwinian evolution. The audience in the small Hollywood theater thoroughly enjoyed watching this role reversal of the original Inherit the Wind play and movie, which had cast Darwin skeptics in a bad light. This time, the shoe was on the other foot. Chait, who played the main character, heavily emphasized the astonishing complexity of a cell. Later, explaining the reason for his quest to be re-instated at the university, he found himself in a face-to-face confrontation with a Richard Dawkins lookalike, who had been called in by the defense to testify about the scientific case for Darwinism and to explain why criticisms of Darwinism should be forbidden in science classes. The scene is another role reversal of the famous Bryan/Darrow contest in the Scopes Trial. The entire play can be watched on Vimeo.
[Darwinian natural selection] creates a philosophical justification for all the conflicts that we have. —anonymous biology professor
The Discovery Institute has been posting a series of podcasts of the recorded Q&A session after the play. In the most recent episode on ID the Future, posted yesterday, an unnamed biology professor in the audience spoke up, telling about his experience growing up under communism. His remarks were without question the most interesting of the evening.
I was born in what used to be a communist country. And you may not be aware but communism was literally welded to Darwinism. You cannot be a communist and actually believe in God or anything like that—that was an impossibility. So, for me personally, the question of random chance was never that much of an issue, mostly because it was not that much of a starter to begin with. But for me, the biggest issue was the natural selection problem. Because that essentially sets up in social circles a whole mechanism where there is nothing but continuous contention and struggle. It essentially legitimizes conflict instead of participation and cooperation.
Anybody who is so naïve as to wish to cooperate or engender in some sense a participatory atmosphere – that’s naïve. You have to fight your way to get to the top of whatever it is. And then when you’re at the top you have to keep fighting in order to stay there, because everybody else wants to fight you for it. You know, so this kind of thing essentially creates a philosophical justification for all the conflicts that we have.
Was the professor being too harsh? Take a look at a new paper in PNAS that continues the justification for competition and conflict even today. Five evolutionists from the University of Copenhagen write, “Antagonism correlates with metabolic similarity in diverse bacteria.” They continue to look to Charles Darwin for inspiration:
Diverse species from all over the bacterial tree of life produce antibiotics to limit the growth of competitors and thereby enhance their resource availability. Here we examined the pairwise inhibition between bacterial species from natural settings. We find that bacteria mainly inhibit the growth of metabolically similar and evolutionary related species, in line with Darwin’s age old competition-relatedness hypothesis.…
In the Origin of Species, Charles R. Darwin [Darwin C (1859) On the Origin of Species] proposed that the struggle for existence must be most intense among closely related species by means of their functional similarity. It has been hypothesized that this similarity, which results in resource competition, is the driver of the evolution of antagonism among bacteria.
Notice their admiration for the old 1859 book by Darwin. The same antagonism, by extension of Darwin’s “law” of natural selection, “drives the evolution of antagonism” in humans, too, because humans evolve by the same unguided law of natural selection. To a Darwinian, what else is there? If evolutionary related species of bacteria are antagonistic, then humans (the same species) should be similarly antagonistic. It’s their nature, according to Darwin. You have to fight to get to the top, stomping on others—whatever it takes.
the struggle for existence must be most intense among closely related species by means of their functional similarity. It has been hypothesized that this similarity, which results in resource competition, is the driver of the evolution of antagonism… —PNAS
The only reason the “struggle for existence” law of natural selection does not rule in free countries like America is because their leaders hold to a Constitution and Declaration of Independence that affirm rights given by a Creator. Yet in academia, there are still philosophical materialists, Darwinists and communists who would reinstate the kind of regime this professor was glad to escape from.
Responding to the anonymous professor’s articulate and passionate statement after Disinherit the Wind, Discovery Institute Director John West commented,
On your perceptive point about the struggle and the social applications of Darwinism, that’s also really a poignant and important point. And I think Darwin, in the Origin, had this passage that, in retrospect, is really kind of chilling, where he talks about that it’s from basically disease, starvation, death, famine that you get the production of the higher animals. So the creator becomes not some sort of cosmic mind or personal intelligence, it becomes famine, death, disease, and (he was getting this from Thomas Malthus and others); and if you think about what that does to your worldview, where the best things we can conceive of, whether it be Michelangelo, or Isaac Newton, or Einstein, are the products of not some sort of intentionality or mind, but instead, famine/disease/death. That does have implications for how we treat each other. And it’s not extraneous to Darwin’s theory.
West is author of Darwin Day in America, a well-documented book on the negative effects of Darwinian ideology in all aspects of culture.
Nothing like an eyewitness to set the record straight. Some Darwinians try to separate Darwin from Marx, emphasizing particular differences in their views. But it’s hard to separate one ideology that is “welded” to the other, that makes it “an impossibility” to accept one without the other. This professor rightly dismissed random chance as “never much of an issue”, being equivalent to the unscientific explanation, “stuff happens”. But what about natural selection? Is it merely a harmless, amoral, scientific appeal to natural law? No. As we have testified repeatedly, it says “stuff happens” too (because there is no direction or goal to natural selection).
Creationists who insist that natural selection is real should consider what this professor said. “It essentially legitimizes conflict instead of participation and cooperation,” he said from experience, and “creates a philosophical justification for all the conflicts that we have”. Does that sound like an innocent view deserving acceptance in even microevolutionary cases? The whole concept of natural selection is rotten. Read our op-ed, “Time to Ditch Natural Selection?” for a dozen reasons to expunge this hollow and dangerous pseudo-scientific concept from intellectual thought.
How opposite is this ideology of strife from Christianity! Jesus said that if His kingdom were of this world, his servants would be fighting… “But my kingdom is not from the world” (John 18:36). James explained, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?” (James 4:1). King Charlie is king of this world. That’s why they fight to get to the top of academia and keep anyone else from displacing them. Darwinism rationalizes passion as a good thing. It is the devil’s masterpiece. In its wake is antagonism, the struggle for power, enslavement, and death.
Assignment: Analyze the dependence of today’s communist countries on Darwinism: Cuba, North Korea, China, Vietnam, or any others. Do they teach Darwinism exclusively in their schools? Do they use natural selection as the justification for their regimes? Are they riddled with competition and conflict as a result? To what degree are the violent protestors we see in America, like “Antifa” groups, who set fires, throw rocks at police and riot to shut down conservative speakers, acting consciously or subconsciously from a foundation of Darwinian ideology?