The Hidden Dark Side of Darwinism

The Christian worldview is of utmost importance, especially when relating to our neighbor.  You see, no matter how far from the Christian faith our neighbor may be, we can never forget that our neighbor is an image-bearer of God.  Indeed, every human being around us is unique in this world and has intrinsic value because they were made in the image and after the likeness of God.

But doesn't the Bible teach that there are two classifications of humanity?  Yes, it is true that there are sinners who refuse to acknowledge their sins unto their own peril and there are sinners who confess their sins unto Christ's forgiveness and life; however, this distinction does not negate the fact that all human beings are creatures of God.  Every life is a life that Jesus loved and died for, even if some individuals reject the Lord unto their own demise and damnation.    

What has been described above is the Christian worldview regarding the value, worth, and uniqueness of every human being.  The Christian worldview places worth on every individual person, due to each person being created in the image of God.  That means that a person's worth is not dependent upon their physical strength, physical handicaps, sex, race, intellect, mental handicaps, or vocations in life.  "All" of humanity matters, for all humanity, has a common Creator.  

This is not the case for other worldviews, though.  Take, for example, Darwinism.  Darwinism is not only a theory of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin in the 1800s, but for all intents and purposes, it functions like a worldview.  Darwin did not just promote a scientific theory, but his scientific theory also had 'drastic' and 'extensive' moral and ethical consequences.  That is to say, Darwin's worldview was not restricted to the 1800s, but the implications of this worldview are far-reaching, even to our present day and age. 

Glenn S. Sunshine captures the consequences of the Darwinian worldview in his book, Why You Think the Way You Do.  He states,    
Very early on, Darwin's ideas contributed to a movement now called Social Darwinism that argued that survival of the fittest should not simply be used to explain the origin of species; the concept also applied to competition, success, and survival among individuals, groups, races, and nations. In other words, human societies evolve in the same way that species do, namely, by competition. 
Although some of this thinking preceded The Origin of Species, Darwin himself suggested something along these lines in chapter 6 of Descent of Man, when he commented, "At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world." Although Darwin himself rejected racism on the grounds that we all come from common ancestry, he still saw a difference between races and predicted that competition among them would result in some races destroying others. In fact, the subtitle of The Origin of Species is The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.
This kind of thinking contributed directly to rising racism and neocolonialism in the Western world. The basic idea was that the white race was superior because it had evolved in a harsher climate that killed off the mentally and physically inferior. Whites were thus more fit to survive, as evidenced by their aggressive interest in expansion into the outside world, as well as by their achievements in science, technology, and industrialization. They thus had a right and a responsibility to dominate the nonwhite races, either to give them the benefits of Western civilization or to exploit them for profit. Whites also had the right to compete with each other for colonies, which in turn led to a sharp rise in militarism and an alliance system that would be a major factor in the outbreak of the First World War.
. . . 
Both the triumphalism of the colonialists and the paranoia of those who feared being overwhelmed demographically hinged on a concept of race that was given a quasi-scientific foundation by Darwinism. . . .
The most extreme version can be seen in Nazism, which was based on the premise that Aryans were the most highly evolved race and therefore the only ones who were truly and fully human. Other 'races' were inferior and for all practical purposes sub-human. Whatever they had that Aryans needed could legitimately be taken; they could be enslaved to work for the master race with no more moral qualms than those raised by hitching a horse to a plow and making it work. And if a race posed a threat to the Aryans in any way, the Aryans had the right and responsibility to exterminate it.  Darwin's thinking contributed directly to this and other forms of racist oppression, since the theory focused so much on competition and 'fitness' for survival. If this is true of individuals, why wouldn't it be true of races?
Another idea that fit closely with Darwin's theories was eugenics, that is, actively encouraging the 'more fit' members of society to have children while discouraging the 'less fit' to do so to keep society from being overrun with 'inferiors.' Francis Galton (Darwin's cousin) was an early advocate of eugenics. Darwin himself was interested in the subject and discussed Galton's ideas in his book Descent of Man. Eugenics would later inspire Margaret Sanger in her founding of Planned Parenthood and lead to laws to sterilize forcibly the mentally or physically handicapped, Native Americans, African-American women, and criminals.[1]
What does all of this mean, though?  It means that our Western Civilization is at a crossroads.  Tragically, we can continue with a Darwinian worldview and frankly expect more of the same barbaric treatment of our fellow man.  Or, by God's grace, we can be returned to a Biblical and Christian worldview which believes that all of humanity is made in the image of God and that all lives matter because all life has dignity and worth and importance due to being created in God's image. 

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on all of us.

[1] Glenn S. Sunshine, Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 169-171.

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