Review: The Darwin Myth

The Darwin Myth: The Life and Lies of Charles Darwin
Benjamin Wiker

This book is targeted at the mythical reputation Charles Darwin has in the popular imagination, particularly in the minds of those who believe in Darwinian evolution. The basic thesis of the book is that Darwinism is not evolution; rather than attacking evolution in general, the author attacks godless evolution. The author doesn’t fully explain his belief system on this score, simply stating that he believes evolution is compatible with Christianity. The question the author leaves open the question of what sort of evolution he believes in—micro evolution, or God directed macro evolution. I will begin this by saying that I don’t agree with God directed macro evolution; I believe macro evolution is incompatible with Christian thought. Throughout this review, I will refer to Darwinian macro evolution as simply evolution.

Towards the end of bringing the reader to an understanding of evolution, Dr Wiker starts with a long, and well thought out, biography of Darwin. If you’ve never understood the origins of Darwinian thought, the cultural surroundings, and the true story of Darwin’s “conversion” from Christianity to atheism, this is a useful section. To start, the author shows that Darwin wasn’t ever really a Christian; rather, this is a part of the myth of Darwin used to convince people of how powerful evolution is.

In this short biography, Dr. Wiker does an excellent job of tying Darwinian evolution to racism, using direct quotes from Darwin’s own works and letters. For instance:

As he would later come to view it, people like the Fuegians or ‘the negore or Australian’ were something like intermediate types, less evolved from the apes, and hence more likely to lose in the relentless struggle of the fit against the unfit.

Next, he ties Darwinian thought to the racial theories of National Socialist (NAZI) Germany. This part might make a lot of people uncomfortable, but the tie is direct and certain, as the author clearly documents. Dr Wiker then shows how the theories of Darwin were moved into popular culture and thought through the “X Club,” using methods modern readers will clearly recognize as precursors of Saul Alinsky’s methods. The promotion of Darwinism was closely tied with forces trying to bring down the rule of Victorian morals in the British government, making it as much a political affair as a scientific one. Darwinism is also tightly tied to the eugenics movement.

…Darwin’s daughter Henrietta was married to Robert Litchfield. The couple had no children, but threw themselves into advancing eugenics, which would prove to become a family cause, replacing their earlier abolitionist passion. Leonard Darwin was named president of the First International Congress of Eugenics, which had been organized by Francis Galton’s Eugenics Education Society.

While Charles was alive, his son George was already showing himself to be a good eugenicist, championing easy divorce and contraception to cut down on undesirable traits being passed on.

The eugenics movement is, of course, the genesis of Margaret Sanger’s organization, today called Planned Parenthood. in the last section of the biography, the author states:

It means the theory came before the facts. It was a philosophical and cultural inheritance before Charles Darwin himself went in search of evidence to support it.

The author finishes with a long section detailing one specific argument against evolution; that evolution could not have produced Darwin, who postulated the theory itself. This is because evolution cannot produce a society that believes in right or wrong, because with no God, there is no right or wrong.

Recommended.

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