We are 100% user-supported!
Without you, there is no RationalWiki!
|Goal: $5000||Donations so far: $4910|
Help and donate today!
Talk:Hitler and evolution
It's taken me the entire evening, but I rewrote the whole thing & it's now completely different from the SkepticWiki version we started with (it's there as an external link). In researching it, I found there is enough to show that actually Hitler did believe in some form of evolution, & probably human evolution, but seems to have had a faulty understanding of it, mixed in with intelligent design ideas, racialism, etc. I took out the quotes about Hitler's views on school prayer, etc. because they're off topic & just seemed to be in there as a smear against YEC conservatives. We don't need to resort to that. weaseLOId~ 21:31, 30 October 2008 (EDT)
- Nice job, Weaseloid. Radioactive Misanthrope 23:55, 30 October 2008 (EDT)
- Hm. I didn't know the article was taken from SkepticWiki. Radioactive Misanthrope 23:55, 30 October 2008 (EDT)
I went to this article meaning only to fix some of the spelling errors, but I ended up doing a bunch of stylistic edits "for clarity", which for some reason seems to have become an obsession of mine. I have no idea whether that sort of editing is frowned on over here or not, so if anybody wants to undo the stylistic edits I made, I so totally do not mind. (It is a bit easier to read...I just don't want to end up drastically altering and/or hijacking a page behind the smokescreen of "editing for clarity/style". No--when I do finally hijack a page I plan to be totally candid about it. A Writer of Vaudevilles 06:25, 2 November 2008 (EST)
 Hitler's table talk
Hitler's table talk is quite often seen as an unreliable source, as it is a second hand work, and it makes one wonder why, if Hitler had such different statements in his official works, he would make comments like those featured in that book, knowing that it would all be written down and published. While we need not censor the book's quotes, we should make clear note that the book is a disputed source. InaVegt 06:44, 2 November 2008 (EST)
- I suspected that might be the case based on what it is, but Wikipedia's stub about the table Talk doesn't mention whether or not it's reliable, so I didn't mention it either. Feel free to add that in. I freely admit this isn't any area of expertiese for me; just something I regrettable committed myself to rewriting because of problems with the first version of the article. Now I've finished rewriting it, I'm hoping that people who know more than I about this will carry on improving it. weaseLOId~ 14:40, 2 November 2008 (EST)
 Cut from article
The section On Christianity Started with the statement: This does not represent the author’s view or RationalWiki’s views.
I have cut it here becasue it seems a bit strange. Which author? Are we all going to put our personal caveats in articles? And if it doesn't represent RationalWiki's views why is it in the article? If there is a problem then bring it here.--Bobbing up 07:03, 23 November 2008 (EST)
- Actually now I look at this again why do we even have "On Christianity" in this article? It's about Hitler and Evolution. If we have "On Christianity" why not also "On Jews", "On Muslims", "On Homosexuality" or "On vegetarianism". I don't doubt that Hitler's views on the subject are of interest to some but I don't think this is the place for them.--Bobbing up 07:08, 23 November 2008 (EST)
- I don't think we need that section in this article. It's off-topic. Arguably it could be moved to the Hitler article, although it shouuld probably be abridged a bit. weaseLOId~ 07:40, 23 November 2008 (EST)
I have to point out that Hitler being a Vegetarian is highly disbuted, I think somebody(Not me, I don't want to get blame for messing up an article) should remove it, before we turn into a rational, yet still unreliable Conservapedia of our own. — Unsigned, by: 184.108.40.206 / talk / contribs 20:55, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
 Thoughts on the current version
Hi All, in my opinion this article totally underplays the differences between Darwinian evolution and Hitler's ideology. The editor below says: "I found there is enough to show that actually Hitler did believe in some form of evolution, & probably human evolution". I don't think that this is correct. Hitler seems to me to have been a creationist who believed in the fixity of species. In short:
Hitler believed that the human races were separate creations. The Aryan race was the "master" race, the one created "in God's image". The other races (Jewish, Black, Slav etc) were separate creations and literally "sub human".
Hitler also believed that interbreeding between the separately created races was in danger of destroying the Aryan race, which was against God's will, and thus Hitler felt that the highest imperative demanded that this interbreeding be stopped. E.g. from Mein Kampf: "For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties. Whoever destroys His work [by accepting interbreeding] wages war against God’s Creation and God’s Will.” In Mein Kampf he suggested that the Jews should be celibate to prevent this interbreeding; later he decided on a more "final solution" to this "problem". This was the rationale for the holocaust, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with Darwinism or evolution, it is pure creationism
On the same theme Hitler said in a speech (June 27, 1937): "... God did not create the peoples so that they might deliver themselves up to foolishness and be pulped soft and ruined by it, but that they might preserve themselves as He created them! Because we support their preservation in their original, God-given form, we believe our actions correspond to the will of the Almighty.”
Copious evidence for the above is in an article I wrote a couple of years back, http://coelsblog.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/nazi-racial-ideology-was-religious-creationist-and-opposed-to-darwinism/ (which is linked to in the current version of the page).
Having said that, Hitler did indeed believe in the operation of natural selection in nature, but only to *preserve* the health of a species, with the struggle weeding out the weak. It's a perspective similar to that of a farmer who sees that selecting the strong to breed preserves the health of his flock over a few generations, but isn't aware of the much longer timescale changes this selection produces. But, to Hitler, these are only within-species affects, He regards species as fixed, and "the fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose". That within-species selection is the only similarity with Darwinism. This would have been the justification for his actions in sending disabled people to death camps, which is a separate rationale to that of the holocaust. This "micro-evolution" is fully compatible with Hitler's creationism, since of course most creationists accept "micro-evolution". Indeed, many Biblical-literalist Christians have readily accepted thus sort of micro-evolution eugenics, which was popular in the US before Hitler came along.
A couple more points: Hitler talks a lot about *cultural* evolution in Mein Kampf. It is important to distinguish this from biological evolution. Also, the Table Talk book is dubious, because it was never edited or OKayed by Hitler, but was edited by others, and because the translation is dubious (See http://ffrf.org/legacy/fttoday/2002/nov02/carrier.php ). Since Mein Kampf was written by 1924 and since the Table Talk coversations are from the 1940s it is possible that Hitler's views changed over time, but I'd personally take MK as the more definitive account of his views (especially since this was the book that actually influenced the Nazis, Table Talk was only published post-War).
Having said all that, turning to bits of the article that I think are misleading:
"In fact Hitler's views on nature seem to be a weird mixture of the two ideas [evolution and creation]"
It seems to me that they are a fairly straightforward combination of creationism (separate creation of species and races; species fixed within "kinds") plus natural-selection/"struggle"/"microevolution" operating *within* a species mainly to maintain the health of that species.
"His [Hitler's] statement that "[t]he fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose" seems to be at odds with his other statements in support of evolution of species."
Which other statements show support for evolution of species? (As oppose to operation of natural selection to maintain the health of the species).
One Table Talk quote given is "there have been human beings, in the baboon category, for at least three hundred thousand years". But the following line is: "There is less distance between the man-ape and the ordinary modern man than there is between the ordinary modern man and a man like Schopenhauer". Thus it seems he is not talking about other species, but is using "baboon" and "man-ape" to refer to something like stone-age man, biologically similar but cuturally different.
He also says in Table Talk: "A skull is dug up by chance, and everybody exclaims : "That's what our ancestors were like." Who knows if the so-called Neanderthal man wasn't really an ape? What I can say, in any case, is that it wasn't our ancestors who lived there in pre-historic times."
Again, this seems to me to regard human ancestors as distinct from other species, so again humans were culturally less developed but biologically still human.
"This demonstrates another major fallacy in Hitler's understanding of evolution."
This wording imples that Hitler was trying to understand evolution but doing so badly. It seems to me that rather Hitler was a creationist, and that the quotes given are referring only to within-species selection to preserve of the health of the species. E.g.: "iron law of Nature–which compels the various species to keep within the definite limits of their own life-forms ..."
"Based on comments like this, Hitler seems to have believed that humanity, and especially the Aryan race, had evolved to become the likeness of God (rather than being created initially in God's image), ..."
Really? Well in MK he explicitly says that humans were *created* in God's image. E.g.: “Over against all this, the VOLKISCH concept of the world recognises that the **primordial** racial elements are of the greatest significance for mankind.” (Added emphasis.) And: "it is their bounden duty to give to the Almighty Creator beings such as He himself made to His own image.” Also the above quote: "Because we support their [Aryan's] preservation in their original, God-given form, we believe our actions correspond to the will of the Almighty.”
"His comments citing apes or monkeys as the ancestors of humans ..."
As far as I know, there are no such comments that are securely Hitler's own words.
"... imply that he believed some creatures had stopped evolving while others evolved on from them."
I don't see any quote of Hitler's that supports that interpretation.
"Hitler saw only progress towards a “higher stage of being”, and elsewhere mentioned “the higher evolution of living organisms”"
If you read these quotes in context it is clear that he is talking about *cultural* evolution, not biological evolution.
- IMHO, what Hitler believed in cannot stand in depth analysis. There is no reason to trust what he said, and no reason to think that his thoughts were coherent at any time, nor consistent over time. Moreover, there is no reason to trust what was reported in the "Table Talk" is an accurate record of what he said. TomS TDotO (talk) 13:02, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
 On Marxism and Darwinism
So, I think it would be rather fascinating and of grave importance to discuss this entry in further detail. Obviously the author (me) inserted some, I must confess, emotional and bias opinions alongside of the facts, BUT, I don't think that nullifies the veracity of the argument itself. If someone could please challenge me on the below previous entry of mine and let me know if the conclusion of mine that Hitler indeed did burn a book that recanted Evolution and Marxism, and no the other way around. I've provided relavant links below, some are in German, which translating can be a hassle so I suggest downloading the following add-in to your broswer which makes on-the-fly translation seamless and fluid. http://add0n.com/google-translator.html
Thank you in advance for the time and consideration in this important matter of history. Also, if you would like a downloaded/readable version of Pannekoek's writing I'd be happy to supply anyone with an online version of it.
Best regards, Ben
P.S. - I'm a little new here so I'm not 100% sure I'm meeting protocol, so if not, please correct me.
previous entry below-----------------------------------
- "However, it seems that there is strong evidence to illustrate Hitler's attempt to mask the truth of the falsehood of Darwinism and Marxism, where on April 8, 1933, the Main Office for Press and Propaganda of the German Student Union proclaimed a nationwide "Action against the Un-German Spirit", which was the climax in a literary purge or "cleansing" ("Säuberung") of literature by fire. In this attempt to cleanse German society from Un-German writing, one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devoted followers, Joseph Goebbels, ordered the burning of a list of books (see: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_verbrannten_B%C3%BCcher_1933).
- Within this list of books, was the, according to Hitler & Goebbels, the heterodoxy writings of Anton Pannekoek (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonie_Pannekoek). Specifically, the writing found in a pamphlet, called Marxism & Darwinism (https://www.marxists.org/archive/pannekoe/1912/marxism-darwinism.htm) that strongly attacked and rebutted the arguments of social Darwinists such as Herbert Spencer, whom Pannekoek dubbed "Bourgeois Darwinists".
- On the basis of Darwin's own writings—in particular on The Descent of Man (1871)—Pannekoek stated:
- [The Bourgeois Darwinists] claimed that only the extermination of all the weak is in accordance with nature and that it is necessary to prevent the deterioration of the race, while protection of the weak is unnatural and leads to degeneration. But what do we see? In nature itself, in the animal world, we find that the weak are protected, that they don't need to persist by their individual strength, and that they are not exterminated due to their individual weakness. And this arrangement does not weaken a group in which it is the rule, but strengthens it. The animal groups in which mutual aid is best developed maintain themselves best in the struggle for existence.
- —Anton Pannekoek, Darwinisme en Marxisme (in Dutch), 1909
- In these writings, Pannekoek wonderfully and brilliantly, defined and argued against the lunacy of the theory of evolution and the Marxist thinking of the coming society, both of which he believed would negatively impact the future world more than anyone could imagine."
- RTFA - in particular
“”An imagined connection between evolutionary theory and the Holocaust relies on the fact that Hitler's conception of national struggle and supremacy was rooted in a type of social Darwinism, an obsolete political theory that holds that the concept of "survival of the fittest" applies to nations, races, or ethnicities. Social Darwinism was derived from a misapplication of scientific thinking, has no real basis in the biological theory of evolution, and was not an idea advanced by Charles Darwin, whom Hitler never mentioned in any of his surviving speeches or writings.
I believe one of the main arguments used to counter this argument is that "Hitler ordered the burning of books, one of which was about Darwinism, so that means he didn't believe in it" - this not only is a silly argument, it is indeed the opposite of the truth.
Reality, has proven that he ordered the burning of a book that opposed Darwinism [and Marxism], and from my analysis it appears he did this because it did not follow the "Spirit of Germany". The burning of such literature appears proof that he attempted to mask/hide literature that could potentially open the consciousness of the country to the counterarguments of Evolution and in this case Social Darwinism. In addition, I've erased the Arizona.edu source provided in the quick summary portion of this article as it is not representative of the academia in the school, but rather a student appears and there are no other online sources that support the Arizona.edu allegations. All other online sources that I have found and provided describe the opposite - that Hitler indeed ordered the burning of a book that denounced Darwinism.
bdpatton2 (talk) 9:32, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
- You can believe what you want. The reality is that you have a conclusion and are just making up weird connections to justify it. This just reads like another odd conspiracy theory. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 13:49, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
- The biggest problem here is our friends complete inability to distinguish social dawinism from the theory of evolution. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 13:52, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
- (EC) A book which criticised Social Darwinism was suppressed by a Social Darwinist regime? Shock! Still, nothing to do with evolution either way. "potentially open the consciousness of the country to the counterarguments of Evolution" is a non-sequitur, as evolution and Social Darwinism are separate concepts. In fact, evolution explicitly disproves some of the pillars underlying Social Darwinism, which would seem to be what Pannekoek was getting at. To extend that statement (alone) to a criticism of evolution in general requires either colossal stupidity or horrific dishonesty. Of course, I don't know what the rest of the book says, but somehow I doubt that it says what you want it to say. Particularly as you seem to be trying very hard to equivocate Nazism and evolution, the very error that this article debunks! Queexchthonic murmurings 13:53, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
- I'm really not sure of the point being made. As the conclusion of the article states, Hitler seems to have been pretty confused about his concepts. His "philosophy", such as it was, seems to have been a mixture of various partly-digested ideas which he felt could be made to fit into his previously-held convictions.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 14:34, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
First off, you two are awesome - I love the banter. Secondly, it doesn't take a second grade education to understand that Social Darwinism consequently follows the implications of evolution. We, in modern society, denounce it for fear of scientific retribution and moral reason, both of which are understandable. However, the fact remains, a book was written that opposed the Social Darwinism, it didn't support it which is what the previous paragraph from Arizona.edu had alleged. After doing a single days worth of work on this single topic I am thoroughly convinced that Hitler made clear intentions to burn Pannekoek's book. This needs for the sake of truth, to be made explicit on what I hope was a rational and unbiased website. Lastly, your claims of conspiratorial motivations doesn't hinder the truth of the claims, only illustrates your inability to realize people DO indeed conspire for many, many reasons. I suggest you spend just a few minutes reading up on MK Ultra, Builderburg Group's early history, X Club (an early Victorian era society), etc. I could go on, the fact is, calling someone conspiracy theorist does very little in your apparent effort of dismissing the claim and rebutting it thoroughly. Also, we all know that this argument (Hitler burned books on Darwinism) is a far-fetched attempt to try and dismiss the allegations against him and after you read the Pannekoek's writings you'll see he didn't burn a book on Darwinism he burned a book that opposed Darwinism. Two vastly different things. Please for the sake of honesty, truth and goodness reconsider at least portion of my previous writings.
- Yes, because after a single days worth of research on this topic you are smarter than all the people who spent years, and some their entire lives, on World War 2 history over the last 70 years. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:46, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
- But even if true - so what? If Hitler had burnt a book on cookery would that tell us anything about cookery? No, it would tell us something about Hitler. But we already know that Hitler has a strange mix of ideas including Christianity, socialism evolution and whatever. So - well, so what?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 14:50, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Bob for getting back to me. Can we at least agree to leave off the Arizona.edu link and its corresponding paragraph since it is a single link that does not have any complementary links online to back the allegations made by it and therefore, in my opinion and according to your logic above, shouldn't be included as a defense of Hitler's intent or lack thereof.
Bdpatton2 7/22/15 11:11am
 Banned book
The article says:
However, it seems that there is at least some evidence to suggest that, far from embracing Darwin's work and social Darwinism, the Nazis tried to ban them. The 1935 edition of the official Nazi journal for lending libraries, Die Bücherei, contains a list of banned books. One of the entries in this edition of Die Bücherei is "Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel)".
Based on the title on the banned book "[...]false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism [...] it seems it attacks Darwinism. It would be like saying this article endorses Nazism.— Unsigned, by: 220.127.116.11 / talk / contribs