Darwinism Is in Tension with Human Rights
Human rights and Darwinism are contradictions in terms, but academics find ways to pretend both are simpatico.
“Can illness make you less human?” That is the question explored by a professor of English language literature at the University of Oslo, Michael Lundblad. The opening sentence of an article about his work in Medical Xpress points the finger at Darwin for the suggestion that the weak and sick have less value:
“Darwin propagated the idea that humans are like other animals fighting for survival, but distinguished supposedly by our intellect. This logic makes it possible for some human lives to be seen as more valuable than others,” says Professor of literature Michael Lundblad.
Lundblad started thinking about this when the COVID-19 pandemic created a competition for resources.
“Who should get a ventilator first? Almost everyone will say that they should be given to younger and healthier patients,” says Michael Lundblad, professor of English language literature at the University of Oslo.
That reaction may come from over a century of Darwinian thinking. Lundblad seems troubled by it.
“But why should the lives of the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions be seen as less worthy and therefore lower on the priority list? The coronavirus helps to reveal these hierarchies of value,” he says.
If human beings are “just animals” like others competing in the jungle for survival, and if humans are distinguishable by intellect, then they can be ranked on a scale of value. In social groups of animals, Darwinism should favor the protection of those who have the most to offer, such as strength and ability to hunt – the “younger and healthier” whose loss would be harmful to the group.
Professor Lundblad realizes that “this logic” led to the “hierarchy of value” that favored the fittest. Darwin had reduced mankind to “animality” – mere animals, just like all the others. He also recognizes that it supplanted the prior Christian view that humans, though endowed with animal-like bodies, have souls that make them exceptional above the animals. Having been created in the image of God, humans have value regardless of their state of health, age, or mental acuity.
Lundblad reveals how thoughts about animality in humans are deeply embedded in our culture.
“From Charles Darwin at the end of the 19th century, we get the idea that humans are just another animal species. From Sigmund Freud at the turn of the century, we get the idea that humans have animal instincts embedded in our psyches.”
Lundblad points out that this way of describing humanity superseded the dominant Christian view that humans were not like other species but had instead a special relationship with God.
“With the concept of survival of the fittest, we started thinking that humans are hard-wired for competition, like all other animals, trying to propagate the world with our own offspring.”
Darwinism also should favor those who evolve higher intellect, because they become the fittest in the struggle for existence, compared to less-evolved or “primitive” species. The outcome of such thinking is apparent in yesterday’s post, where Dr Jerry Bergman showed eight examples from his large collection of over 100 illustrations of overt “scientific racism” found in evolutionary literature. Racist groups relied on the word of “evolutionary science” for their propaganda. These illustrations began shortly after Darwin’s writings and continued into recent decades, until it became politically incorrect in the era of “civil rights” to rank people on evolutionary scales.
Rescuing Darwin from Darwinism
Lundblad appears conflicted by what he knows about Darwin’s impact on culture. “Jungle discourse” exploded in the early 1900s, the article says. But he also knows from his literary background that philosophers from Aristotle to Descartes distinguished human beings by their capacity to reason. Even Darwin and Freud recognized that trait, he indicates. Even so, the capacity for rational thought would not by itself prevent human animals from ranking their fellow species-mates into a hierarchy of values in the way the Christian doctrine of Imago dei can. It certainly would not ascribe intrinsic value to those who—through age or disability—have lost the ability to reason. This conflict is of great interest to Lundblad:
Lundblad has pioneered what he calls animality studies, within the larger field of literary and cultural studies. He explores notions of animality in different historical and cultural contexts, particularly when the way we think about animals impacts the way we think about what it means to be human.
What can Lundblad do? He appears eager to restore notions of value to the aged and infirm, but he cannot disavow Darwinism. He is probably keenly aware that becoming a Darwin skeptic could cost him his job, even if he were so inclined. His solution: Darwinize Darwinism! It evolves! The hierarchy of values in the 1900s may have emphasized survival of the fittest, but cultural values have moved on since then.
“While researchers in the early 20th century often explained animal behaviour in relation to ‘survival of the fittest’, subsequent research has shown, among other things, that wild animals work together to achieve goals, that they take care of their elderly, that they also have homosexual relationships, and that their languages are much more complicated than we might have thought. Understandings of animality can change, along with how we therefore think about humanity.”
Smug with his solution that “notions of animality” evolve, Lundblad can continue to enjoy the academic cocktail lounges, safe that his explanation for the PC version of Darwinian values won’t ruffle the LGBTQ crowd or the Paleoanthropology profs. He can even join the Trump haters in the lounge with this tidbit of Darwinian values:
When President Trump declares it to be a national priority for Americans to be able to get meat, to keep the meat industry open, the lives of immigrant workers and the working poor are sacrificed, along with the animals themselves.
“Hierarchies are clearly revealed in these prioritizations, not only between humans and animals, but also among humans, when some lives are seen as less human than others.”
All his buddies at the U of Oslo faculty lounge probably loved this clever anecdote. They don’t even have to think about the potential millions of lives that were saved by Trump’s quick actions to halt immigration, his rushing of ventilators and PPEs to the sick and elderly, and his daily updates from leading epidemiologists for weeks at the height of the epidemic. They don’t need facts that 48 died of COVID-19 in food processing plants as of May 8 (Business Insider), but millions more might have died without food. Facts don’t matter in Darwinism, do they? This anecdote allows the evolutionists in Oslo to hate Trump, and treat his life as less human than theirs. After all, they follow the guiding principle of the world: Stuff Happens.
Human Rights at the AAAS: Ignore the Conflict with Darwinism
The proverbial definition of a Senator is someone who looks at which way the crowd is going, then runs ahead of them and calls himself their leader. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has been watching the crowds like a Senator, and noticing the rise in popularity of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, whose leaders are avowed Marxists. Hoping to profit from its popularity, AAAS leaders have organized a 2020 conference on “Science, Technology and Human Rights.” It sounds wonderful, until one realizes that (1) the AAAS leaders are all avowed anti-creationists and doctrinaire Darwinists, and (2) one of the sponsors is HRE USA (Human Rights Educators), an organization that supports Black Lives Matter, trains children in “anti-racism” and promotes “action against police violence in the United States” (code for “Defund the Police”). These groups are behind the violence in Democrat-run cities. How will their conference go when Antifa rioters come to the conference with firebombs?
The approach of the AAAS appears to be twofold: (a) ignore Darwin completely, including the AAAS’s own complicity with scientific racism in the past; (b) plagiarize the Declaration of Independence but strike out all references to a Creator. Notice their wording in their document, “A Basic Overview of Human Rights” that borrows a UN Commissioner’s definition of Human Rights:
- Universal, the birthright of every human being;
- Inalienable,* they cannot be waived or taken away;
- Interdependent and interrelated, every human right is closely related to and often dependent upon the realization of other human rights;
- Entitlements of individuals and groups;
- The responsibility of governments to protect; and
- Internationally guaranteed and legally protected.
*Purists might note this variation from “unalienable” used in Jefferson’s wording. If rights are “unalienable” they cannot be taken away in principle. If rights are “inalienable” they could be alienated from the individual by governmental decree. Notice that the other principles in the list rely on government or international agreement for protection.
With these tactics, the AAAS leaders show themselves to be clever pragmatic Darwinists. Whatever works to maintain fitness is fair in evolutionary theory. Their strategy can ensure (for the time being) that Darwinians remain in the “fittest” slot, and it will keep Darwin skeptics out of the castle. Until the next revision of Darwin’s hierarchy of values, stuff will happen.
Lundblad’s compromise is no solution at all. He thinks he can maintain Darwinism and still care for the elderly and sick, but only by saying that “notions of animality” have evolved since the early days of “survival of the fittest” and social Darwinism. Today, he says, we have a kinder, gentler Darwinism where human animals cooperate and share, and take care of their aged. But that’s only in today’s culture. It can only be claimed in v.2020 Darwinism. What about v.2100 or v.20,000,000? Lundblad has no rock on which to place his anchor, no pole star to guide on, no unchanging eternal standard of “values” that can justify his current set of values. In fact, it is patently illogical to suppose that homosexuality and care for the sick have anything to do with Darwin’s principles of survival of the fittest and progress based on natural selection. Darwinists have had to undergo logical contortions to come up with excuses for these very un-Darwinian behaviors. Darwin reasoned,
Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.
But of course that quote itself is highly un-Darwinian. Any appeal to reason, rationality, logic or ethics has no place in Darwinian theory. If behavior emerged that produces neural vibes labeled “rational” it is only by chance as the selfish genes seek to propagate themselves; truth has nothing to do with it. Darwin’s quote reduces to the screeches of an evolved monkey. It is not logical!
This is why we must constantly be on guard against Darwinians. They are plagiarists. They steal notions of reason and value that don’t belong to them, snitching them off the Christian smorgasbord without paying the price. We must realize that their only value is “stuff happens” and whatever makes them the fittest in the culture (e.g., having the most influence on other humans) is valuable in their view. Even lying and propaganda are fair game. They cannot be trusted. They must be robbed of their power, shamed, and trained in the true source of rationality and value: the character of the Creator who made us all.