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Materialism and the Concept of the Primacy of DNA

“The spread of [Darwinian)]evolution was truly world-wide. The Origin of Species was translated into the language of the ‘newly awakened’ Japan and that of hardly emancipated Hindustan. The scientists won on vaccination and vivisection, Bible teaching and table rapping. By won, I mean that opposition to their views on all these things put one in a minority even in the opinion of the ignorant. Materialism, conscious or implicit, superseded all other beliefs.” –Jacques Barzun

©1995 T.D. Hall, Ph.D.

“Materialism,” in our present context, may be defined as a theory that the primary cause or causes of life are material. Materialism would thus be the opposite of “super-materialism,” or supernaturalism, or “idealism.” Idealism is the theory that the first cause is “idea,” or thought.

After Einstein and his E = mc2 formula (matter and energy are equivalencies), neither materialism nor idealism can be considered a valid basis for biology. Physics is the science that establishes the basis for the life sciences, and what the New Physics tells us is that the material and non-material realms are interdependent. Physicists (after David Bohm) now speak of the non-material realm as “the implicate order” and the material realm as “the explicate order.” Today, only a holistic, integrative philosophy can serve as a sound basic framework for biology and derivative sciences.

Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism as Expressions of Materialism

Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism are expressions of materialism. After 1915 or thereabouts, they are thus–from a methodological point of view–obsolete. That Darwinism exists today as our orthodox evolutionary theory has little to do with its scientific validity, and much to do with other factors. Especially important is the fact that Darwinism, having replaced the Biblical view of existence, now stands in the Bible’s place, as The Authority on the subject of existence.

Underlying every civilization, as we have discussed, is a picture of life, a generally agreed upon vision of “what life is all about”; and this vision is called the civilization’s basal paradigm. The triumph of Darwinism in the last century is that it effectively replaced the Bible at the level of basal paradigm, and this is the principal reason why (in this century) Darwinism has been so unassailable. Indeed, in 1976, more than fifty years after the dawn of the New Physics, Ernst Mayr could claim that Darwinism had triumphed absolutely. “Among specialists,” Mayr writes, “almost complete agreement has been reached in recent decades. Whether they are botanists or geologists, paleontologists or geneticists, all…. interpret the results of the evolutionary process in the same [Darwinian] manner….” This is the equivalent of the Pope claiming, some fifty years after the establishment of Newtonian physics, that the Roman Church had become the universally recognized authority on the subject of physical existence.

Today, nearly eighty years after the dawn of New Physics, our biology and derived sciences (orthodox medicine, for instance) are still materialistic. For this reason, it is necessary that we reconstruct, to some extent, the history of modern materialism. We need to understand better its origins and its unfoldment in the history of modern science and civilization.

Theological Tyranny

There was a time when the Roman Catholic Church was a great tyrant. The founders of the Church sifted through the records of early Christians and from these records compiled what they regarded as the one and only true account of existence, of the origin and history of life on Earth, of God’s plan for humankind. This compilation was called the “Holy Bible.”

A principal way by which the Church “proved” that its doctrines (beliefs that are regarded as laws) represented “the one and only true account of existence” was by subverting and destroying oppositional points of view. The first targets of this policy were the Gnostic Christians, followers of Christ who claimed to be able to “know” God and God’s plan directly, without the intercession of a church hierarchy.

The claim that one could know God directly was labeled, by the orthodox, as a big “heresy” (a great crime). This condemnation of direct knowing is still influential today. In a small group of friends, say something like “I can channel God,” and see what response you get. Say “I am God,” and certain of your friends may recommend that you see a psychiatrist.

Modern Western civilization begins with the establishment of Roman Catholicism as the official religion of the Roman Empire. The doctrines of the Church were as important to its authority as the legions of the Emperor were important to secular rule. These doctrines comprised a basal paradigm, a widely promulgated and accepted view of existence.

Let us consider existence to be a “system.” Any system has four major components–an input, a process, an output, and memory. In the Biblical basal paradigm, the input is God the Source, the output is personal salvation and the salvation of humankind; the process by which salvation is accomplished is “faith” in the Word of God as expressed in the doctrines of the Church. The memory of the system (the knowledge of the entire system) is encoded in the Bible.

The leaders of the Catholic Church regarded themselves as the keepers of the sacred basal paradigm; their mission, they believed, was to “entrain” the entire world to their point of view. All those who had “other points of view,” other understandings of existence, were current or potential enemies of the paradigm, which is to say, enemies of God. For early Church leaders, to slay the enemies of God was no crime; it was simply “purification” of the world, the work of building God’s temple.

In the contemporary period, the Catholic Church has been, in many ways, a progressive, enlightening influence. Prior to the contemporary period, however, the Church was a tyrant. It regarded itself as the possessor of the truth of existence, and it was adamant in its insistence that all the world believe the truth of the Catholics. The infamous Inquisition, a tribunal for the discovery and punishment of heresy, lasted six hundred years.

Among those who were “corrected” by the Inquisition was Galileo. The eminent Galileo was brought before the Inquisition and forced to recant his view that the Earth revolves around the sun. In the Catholic view, it was the sun that revolves around the Earth. The inflexibility of the Church in the case of Galileo did much to destroy its authority among thinking Westerners.

In response to Church tyranny, Martin Luther and others precipitated the Protestant Reformation, which dates officially from 1529. By that time, the Roman Church had been at war against anti-Church dissidents in Europe for over a hundred years. What the Protestants protested was the claim of the Roman Church that it was the one and only legitimate representative of God. The revolt did not challenge the basal paradigm. Catholics and Protestants worshipped the same God. For both factions, God the Source was not only the creator of the physical universe, He was the day-to-day regulator of the universe. “His eye is upon the sparrow.” Both factions accepted the Bible as the definitive Word of God.

The Challenge of Science and the Plunge into Materialism

The Biblical paradigm itself did not face serious challenge until modern science was invented in the middle of the seventeenth century. On a pleasant spring day in 1633 (give or take a few years), the French philosopher Rene Descartes was taking a stroll in the marvelous royal gardens at Versailles when he had a bright idea. The royal gardens were the Disneyland of the Middle Ages, famous for their ingenious machines. One might step on a certain stone, for instance, and mechanical nymphs would begin to play in a nearby fountain–and a giant Neptune, complete with trident, might advance menacingly. What was Descartes’ bright idea? It occurred to Descartes that the universe is an immense organic machine, a machine that may not require the constant governance of the Almighty.

This intuition was quite a radical one. If the universe was, as Descartes believed, an immense self-regulating machine, then it was conceivable that the creator of the machine might perhaps have lost interest in His creation and gone off on some other business. Equally radical was an idea that sprang from the concept of universe-as-machine: The best way to find out all about the laws of existence is to study the machine.

The universe is a machine; machines operate on mechanical principles; define those principles and you have true, scientific insight into the workings of life. The doctrines of the Church faced a serious challenge: The laws of nature.

Modern “materialism” originates with the Cartesian view of the world as machine. “Mechanicalism” is a somewhat awkward term for the Cartesian view. Materialism came to be the preferred label.

Descartes discovered that the world is a machine; the great Isaac Newton (1642-1727) discovered the laws (some of the laws) by which the machine works. Sir Isaac established the science of mechanisms, appropriately called “Mechanics.” Mechanics was the foundation of “Natural Philosophy.” Natural Philosophy, in time, was sub-divided into three sciences–mechanics (later known as physics), chemistry, and biology. Physics is the master science, as it provides an understanding of the basic laws of the universe.

For a long time Newtonian physics (or “classical physics”) was our only physics. The laws of Newtonian physics apply to physical phenomena; they do not concern the realm of energy or the relationship between energy and matter. Newton, by the way, hated the Catholic Church. What he detested most was its arrogant insistence that it had a monopoly on truth. And what was the basis of this “Truth”?–nothing but baseless conjectures, hypotheses without proof.

In contradistinction, Newton declared “Hypotheses non fingo”–“I do not make hypotheses.” Understood in context, this statement is primarily a criticism of theology and other metaphysical disciplines. In the history of scientific philosophy, it acquired great importance as foundational principle of valid scientific inquiry. Objective evidence is the basis of scientific truth, and not hypothesis.

We may be tempted to alter Newton’s dictum into a statement more in accord with our common understanding of scientific investigation as always involving a degree of hypothesis; but such alteration may conceal the important fact that Newton’s scientific method is entirely in accord with his physics. Neither the physics nor the methodology permits metaphysical considerations. Both physics and methodology are severely materialistic.

As experience indicates, physicality and mentality, hypotheses and the physical facts, cannot be separated without violation of the whole truth. The idea they can be separated is itself simply conjectural. Newton’s phrasing of his famous dictum (“Hypotheses non fingo“) conceals the fact that the dictum is itself hypothesis. It maintains, as a matter of fact, that scientific investigation can be conducted without recourse to hypothesis. The declaration is a hypothesis, one with which any seasoned professional would not agree.

Whatever its merit as philosophy, the Newtonian dictum had a very great political value, as it drew the line clearly between the realms of religion and science. It was, in effect, a division of the world of thought. Religion would rule absolute in the sphere of metaphysics; and science would have dominion in the field of matter.

Newtonian physics and scientific methodology established themselves quickly as the foundation of modern science. Given the severely materialistic nature of the foundation, it is not surprising that the biology which proved most convincing, most acceptable to nineteenth century scientists, was Darwinian materialism. Species come from other species by mechanical means. Darwin himself nodded occasionally to the Creator, as the original source, but his followers did not follow him in this deference. Darwinism acquired the reputation of being a refutation of the God concept.

The “Neo” Component of Neo-Darwinism

Having convinced itself of the “primacy of material causation” (let us call it), late nineteenth century biology felt obligated to come up with some sort of proof. What was the final scientific answer to the Genesis myth?–and the other primacy of God folklore? What physical items could science offer as the real “genesis factors” underlying the creation?

The answer to this question is, in two words, “the genes.” In the early and mid-nineteenth century, scientists had no inkling of the existence of genes. The discovery of the specific physical mechanism of reproduction had to wait upon the refinement of the microscope. The first description of the chromosomal details of mitosis (the cellular formation of new nuclei) dates from 1876. The first laws of heredity, including Mendel’s Laws, were set forth in 1900. In 1911, T.H. Morgan was able to postulate that the heredity factors, which he named “genes,” were located in the chromosomes in linear order–“like beads on a string.” “Genes” means, literally, “genesis factors.”

The “Neo-” component of Neo-Darwinism is a doctrine called “the Primacy of the DNA.” In a few words, this doctrine maintains that the DNA in the genetic structure (genome) is the primary factor underlying all biological expression. The DNA is Darwinism’s final answer to the God hypothesis. The God explanation is nothing but anthropomorphic mythology, according to the Darwinists. “There is a simple, material explanation for life on Earth…. DNA.”

After the breaking of the genetic code in the 1950s, the DNA became more and more an “explain-all.” Among the orthodox the consensus arose that the nucleus and its genetic materials are the “brain” of the cell. On the basis of this (incorrect) hypothesis, the orthodoxy concluded that organismal behavior of all kinds is an expression of the genetics, encoded in the genes. This conclusion came to include “consciousness.” Is there a possibility that environmental signaling of some kind might be influential in causation of behavior? “Absolutely not,” the orthodox responded. “A direct influence of the environment on the genetic material is impossible,” writes Professor Ernst Mayr. “The way from the DNA (via the RNA) to the proteins is a one-way street.”

In fact, the role of the genes is not to originate behavior, but to provide molecular “blueprints” for items that are “requested” by the environment via the cellular membrane. Speaking metaphorically, the nucleus represents a jukebox, with the genes being the records–the musical selections. The records do not create their own play list, do not spontaneously play themselves. What pushes the buttons? what creates the play list? The environment.

Today, the genetics and genetic engineering industries are based upon the orthodox “Primacy of the DNA.” The major project now underway is the so-called “mapping of the genome.” The presumption is that this mapping will be of enormous value in the near future, in ridding the world of defective behavior through the correction or elimination of defective genes.

The future world envisioned by the orthodox is one that is scientifically designed, through genetic engineering. The behaviorist B.F. Skinner was one of the major prophets of this world. Today we face “terrifying problems,” he writes in Beyond Freedom & Dignity, but fortunately, “our culture has produced the science and technology it needs to save itself.” That science is genetics. “The geneticist who changes the characteristics of a species by selective breeding or by changing genes may seem to be meddling in biological evolution, but he does so because his species has evolved to the point at which it has been able to develop a science of genetics and a culture which induces its members to take the future of the species into account.”

When our scientific orthodoxy insists, in the face of much evidence to the contrary, that the third factor (the genes) in the chain of causation underlying biological expression is the first factor, the primary factor, then the future of our species is indeed very much in question.

The “Species” Problem

“If we join Darwin in assuming that macro changes must have accomplished in small steps, so that the gaps were at one time filled, then what has happened to all the intermediate forms? This question occurred to Darwin, and he furnished the answers that are still in use today–the extreme imperfection of the geological record and the poorness of our paleontological collections….” –Norman Macbeth

Taxonomy as a Major Focus in Biology

After the discovery of the Fossil Record, it was necessary to arrange, to represent the fossil data in a significant way. “Taxonomy” is a sub-field of biology, one concerned with the systematic representation of the said data.

“Taxonomists,” writes Norman Macbeth, “perform the valuable and necessary task of classifying plants and animals into a hierarchical system of groups. Species that are more like each other than like other species are grouped together into families; families into orders; orders into classes; and classes into phyla.” What is a species? “A species is a small unit such as the marigold or the camel, whereas a phylum is a vast group such as the vertebrates.”

Taxonomy originated with Carolus Linnaeus of Sweden (1707-1778). Using the species-phylum hierarchy, he and his followers worked out exhaustive classifications of plants and animals long before Darwin was born. The discovery of the Fossil Record provided taxonomists with a new, major opportunity–to reconstruct the biological histories of various members of the plant and animal realms.

Taxonomy thus became, in the last century, the major focus in biology, at least until Darwinian biology entered the scene. Naturally, the tree-charts of the taxonomists showed major gaps here and there, there and here. How did the mouse become winged?–how did it become a bat? A big change, such as a mouse developing wings, is called a “macro” change. No one has ever seen a macro change. Here we see a mouse, there we see a bat. We assume that the bat evolved from the wingless mouse. We don’t know how.

The taxonomical trees of the last century made it painfully obvious that there were more than a few “missing links” in the histories of various plant and animal groups. The commonly used phrase “missing link” utterly minimizes the question of the gaps, the whatever-it-was-that-occurred that resulted in the macro changes.

Understandably, many Darwinists argued that the taxonomical trees ought to be cut down, as they cluttered and confused the truth, the truth being the Darwinian doctrine that the biological realms evolved very gradually over the eons, little step by little step. The main objection of the Darwinists to the taxonomical enterprise is summarized by John Maynard Smith -1958- in this way: “The theory of evolution holds that existing plants and animals have originated by descent with modification from one or a few simple ancestral forms…. Now there is no reason to suppose that either the processes of division of a single species into two, have always, or even usually, occurred in a series of sharp, discontinuous steps. Therefore, any attempt to group all living things, past and present, into sharply defined groups, between which no intermediates exist, is foredoomed to failure.”

Behind all the words is the simple fact that the tree charts suggest contradiction of the Darwinian doctrine that evolution is a very slow and continuous process. The doctrine is true, the Darwinists presume, and consequently, the charts must be false. Indeed, any attempt to fabricate such charts is “foredoomed to failure.” The poor taxonomists weren’t supposing anything other than what Darwin himself supposed, that species come from parental species and that at the beginning there are primordial ancestors. As Darwinism became more and more established as the orthodoxy, the charts of the taxonomists fell by the way.

Despite their difficulties with the question of macro changes, which taxonomy continually put in their faces, the Darwinists shared with the taxonomists the same “symbolic premise,” which is that evolution is best described as a kind of tree. The evolutionary tree. The Darwinists didn’t care for the trees of the taxonomists; they had their own tree.

The Darwinian tree of life is most akin to the tree of the impressionistic painter. It doesn’t exist in chart form; rather, it exists as a kind of mental construct–an ideational model. One might imagine its trunk, branches, twigs and leaves as composed of multitudes of points, each point representative of a slight (genetic) mutation.

In The Blind Watchmaker, a contemporary exposition and defense of Darwinian gradualism, Richard Dawkins writes: “We have seen that living things are too improbably and too beautifully ‘designed’ to have come into existence by chance. How, then, did they come into existence? The answer, Darwin’s answer, is by gradual, step-by-step transformations from simple beginnings, from primordial entities sufficiently simple to have come into existence by chance….”

In fact, it was not Darwin’s position that there were primordial entities that came into existence by chance. Darwin acknowledged the “Creator” as responsible for the primordials. The idea that Darwin personally repudiated the Creator concept is Neo-Darwinian revisionism. Dawkins is a Neo-Darwinist, and the view he attributes to Darwin is in fact his own. It is Dawkins who presumes that the primordial organisms came into existence by chance. This presumption of chance origin is sheer conjecture. It has no basis in fact whatsoever. Further, as indicated previously, even the very earliest organisms to emerge on Earth–the prokaryotes–are far from “simple.”

On the basis of his invalid premise, Dawkins goes on to postulate a long chain of chance organismal alterations following upon the first chance event: “Each successive change in the gradual evolutionary process was simple enough, relative to its predecessor, to have arisen by chance.” Again, the postulate is invalid. It is an example of “begging the question.” It assumes that which is to be proved.

“But the whole sequence of cumulative steps,” Dawkins continues, “constitutes anything but a chance process, when you consider the complexity of the final end-product relative to the original starting point.” This is an abstract re-presentation of the old idea that if given enough time, a basement full of monkey pecking away randomly at typewriters could come up with the Origin of Species…. or was it “Romeo and Juliet”?

There is a principle of order, after all, Professor Dawkins concludes–“nonrandom survival.” “Nonrandom survival” is merely a Neo-Darwinist variant of Natural Selection. The orthodox view, even today, is that all order in the natural world is the product of Natural Selection.

Nothing can be more apparent than the fact that the Neo-Darwinist position, as represented by Dawkins, is a fabrication of fallacies. How is it possible, we may wonder, that this sort of pseudo-science continues, year after year, as our orthodoxy. The watchdogs are asleep. Our philosophers have become a bunch of archivists.

At the time of this writing, the most reasoned challenge to the Darwinian doctrine that biological evolution is a gradual, long-term, uninterrupted process comes from the paleontological wing of Neo-Darwinism. Niles Eldredge, in Reinventing Darwin, charges “ultra-Darwinists,” such as Richard Dawkins, with maintaining a “thoroughgoing reductionist stance.” It boils down to this, Eldredge writes: “ultra-Darwinians emphasize [evolutionary] continuity through natural selection and the primacy of active competition for reproductive success as the prime mover underlying absolutely all evolutionary phenomena. Naturalists, in contrast, see the complex biotic world as composed of discrete entities. Discontinuity is as important as continuity in depicting the real, natural world.”

The standard orthodox position (Dawkins et al) is that evolution may be described as a very long gradually ascending inclined plane. Eldredge is too much of a scientist to go along. While assuring us frequently that he has his Neo-Darwinian credentials in order (“No naturalist evolutionary biologist seated at the High Table entertains the slightest doubt that natural selection is the deterministic process underlying adaptive evolutionary change….”), Eldredge challenges the orthodoxy by making a case for the proposition that evolution proceeds not by little, little steps (gradualism) but by “punctuated equilibria,” which he defines as “an attempt to address patterns of discontinuity in evolution. Darwinists maintain that evolution is continuous – uninterrupted.

The simple fact of the matter is that macro changes (“giant steps”) have occurred in evolution. How does the orthodoxy explain them? It doesn’t. It simply ignores them. The most obvious example of a macro change is the development of the first multi-cellular organism. How did it happen? All that we hear from Dawkins and the rest of the Darwinian Dunciad (with the exception of Eldredge and a few others) is “little, little changes, occurring over a long, long period of time.”

After his hypothesis of “punctuated equilibria” began to appear in religious tracts as evidence that some scientists doubt evolution, Eldredge writes, he was quick to join ranks with other evolutionists at the High Table (i.e., the “theologians” and priests of Scientism). “Closing ranks to face a common enemy is a natural reaction. In a way creationism was good for evolutionary biology. And it reminded us that we have, after all is said and done, more in common as evolutionists that we have issues that drive us apart….” 95

Eldredge’ Reinventing Darwin represents the best available exposition of the current state of affairs in the Darwinist priesthood. “The grand mistake,” he writes, “the cardinal sin that carries automatic suspension of seating privileges at the High Table, is to suggest a theoretical proposition that assumes that the Neo-Darwinian paradigm is somehow erroneous …” 96 The Neo-Darwinian establishment is not only unscientific, it is anti-scientific.


“[August] Weismann [German biologist, 1834-1914] was not a botanist. Like [T.H.] Huxley, his status is that of a believer; for when we ask him whether the small random variations in nature are important enough to decide between the life and death of the creature, he replies with great candor: ‘Even one who, like myself, has been for many years a convinced adherent of the theory of selection, can only reply: We assume so, but cannot prove it in any case. It is not upon demonstrative evidence that we champion the doctrine of selection as scientific truth; we base our arguments on quite other grounds.'” –Jacques Barzun

In our century, Darwinism has triumphed as an orthodoxy, as a “rallying point of innumerable scientific, philosophical, and social movements.” Mr. Darwin became the oracle, as Barzun suggests, and the Origin of Species the “fixed point with which Evolution moved the world.”

As the quotation which heads this chapter suggests, the central doctrine in Darwinism–Natural Selection–was understood, even by adherents, to be lacking in scientific merit. “No one,” said William Bateson, “can survey the work of recent years without perceiving that evolutionary orthodoxy developed too fast and that a great deal has got to come down.”

Why did Weismann and other scientists become to-the-death defenders of a theory that they should have attacked?–as unscientific. Ignorance is ruled out. By his own confession, Weismann was fully aware of the inadequacy of Natural Selection as a scientific doctrine. The famous Bateson and many others hurled a few epithets at Darwinism, but they did not succeed in generating a “reformation” in evolutionary theory, even though a reformation was clearly needed.

Substituting “Natural Selection” for “Providence”

Barzun addressed this question over fifty years ago and came up with the following possible explanation: “By substituting Natural Selection for Providence, the new science could solve a host of riddles arising in practical life, though by the same exchange the new science had to become a religion.” In contemporary language, what occurred in the last century was a major “paradigm shift.” The Biblical paradigm was no longer fully convincing. Ever since the Enlightenment took hold in the mind of Western humanity, the power of the Church had waned steadily. Religion in the nineteenth century was not the authority (and tyrant) it had been. It had entered into a pacific old age. Western civilization was ready for a basal paradigm shift, and the apparent best candidate around for new paradigm was Darwinism. In actuality, the best candidate for a new paradigm was Transformism, but this theory was in effect destroyed by the ridicule of Cuvier and cohorts.

Darwinism wasn’t, as Barzun suggests, the great liberator or anything like that. The liberation of the Western mind from the dogma of the Church had already been accomplished. What the West was looking for was a new, trustworthy vision of existence.

In other words, it was simply time for a new “Truth.” “We do less than justice to the men of the nineteenth century who first did battle for evolution,” Barzun writes, “if we think that it was altogether for secret or unconscious economic motives that they clung to Darwinism. A man like Huxley may have been tempted by his pugnacity and evangelical passion to over-state his conclusions, but he was neither stupid nor dishonest. He had the highest kind of courage, and Calvinistic desire to be chosen for the right reason, which for him was the possession of truth. ‘Science and her methods,’ he declared, ‘gave me a resting place independent of authority and tradition’. Darwinism, for better or worse, happened to have become the chief representative of the scientific alternative to religious dogma.

The Weismann Compromise: Betrayal of the Integrity of Science

We can understand and appreciate the psychological and practical necessities motivating Huxley and peers, but at the same time, we cannot condone the “Weismann compromise”–the promulgation of a theory as scientific which, in fact, is unsupported by evidence. Weismann not only promulgated a doctrine (Natural Selection) he knew to be unsupported, he attacked the Transformism of Lamarck by spurious means.

Weismann’s “final refutation” of Lamarck amounted to nothing more than this: He cut off the tails of several generations of mice, and then concluded that if Lamarck had been correct, the progeny would be without tails. This ridiculous experiment was based upon the presumption that Weismann was a fully qualified representative of the environment. Lamarckism holds that evolution is a product of interactivity between organism and environment. Darwinism, as developed by Weismann and other “Neo-Darwinists,” came to the conclusion that the source of evolutionary change is within the organism (random genetic mutation), not in the environment.

More needs to be said about the Weismann compromise. As an event, it represents not simply a case of over-zealousness, but the continuation of a fateful betrayal of the integrity of science that began with the Cuvier attack on Lamarck. Giraffes and (other) red herrings aside, the theory of Lamarck is basically correct. Evolution is a matter of interactivity between organism and environment. The membrane of the biological cell, as we know, contains numerous IMPs (integral membrane proteins), each of which operates as a frequency receiver/transducer. The receptor component of the IMP detects and “captures” a particular frequency item, and the effector component accomplishes, in one way or another, the transduction of the item across the membrane barrier. The cell membrane, therefore, may be likened unto a radio receiver. It is designed to “pick up” frequencies from the environment. The equivalent of the “broadcast station” is not within the cell, it is (as we say) in the environment.

Neo-Darwinism in the Realm of DNA

The Neo-Darwinian view that the DNA is origin of all biological expression simply ignores that possibility that the cellular membrane has something to do with biological expression. ” Direct influence of the environment on the genetic materials is impossible,” Mayr writes. In the past few years, a number of research projects have demonstrated specific mechanisms by which environmental signaling affects the genetic structure directly. As it becomes increasingly obvious that primacy is in the environment and that physiological primacy is in the cellular membrane and not the DNA, the orthodoxy is casting about for new ways of defending the DNA primacy doctrine. One of the more inventive members of the orthodoxy (Francis Crick) is promoting the hypothesis that the DNA came from outer space.

If the nucleus and its genetic materials was in fact the origin of all biological expression, then we would expect that the removal of the same would cause the death of the cell. When cells are enucleated (have their nuclei removed), however, they continue to live and operate–until they simply cannot get along without new parts. The genes contain blueprints for all new parts.

In contrast, if the IMPs (frequency receivers) in the cellular membrane are cut, then the cell goes comatose. If the receptors are not replaced by visceral processes, the cell dies.

There are a dozen other proofs of the physiological primacy of the cellular membrane. Why is it that the Neo-Darwininsts have so stubbornly insisted on the primacy of the genes? Why is it that they still insist on the primary of DNA doctrine?–despite mounting evidence that the doctrine is incorrect.

The answer to this question lies not in the arena of science per se, but in the political “environment” of modern biology and evolutionary theory.

Pardon our repetition in the following paragraphs. The issues discussed are so critical, we must re-view the underlying paradigmatic politics from time to time, in the light of our developing thesis. So, again … the traditional form of government in the West is theocratic monarchy. Western monarchy is an expression of the Biblical monotheistic paradigm. One God above, one monarch below. The monarch rules by “divine right.” Who administers the doctrine of divine right? The Church.

Challenge to the Old Order

Any threat to the authority of Bible and Church was a threat to the traditional order–the monarchical system. The hated Inquisition and other institutions of religious suppression operated in Europe for hundred of years. They could not have done so without the sanction of the kings and queens and without the blessings of the clergy and nobility.

In modern times, two great challenges to the authority of the traditional rulers and their guidebook, the Bible, arose. One was science, which is based on the idea that truth is be found through direct observation and verified through objective experimentation. Who do you prefer to trust where the question of (say) the center of the solar system is concerned? Do you trust the clergy and their Bible?–or do you trust Galileo and his telescope?

Cartesianism,” the philosophy of Rene Descarte, held that the world was a gigantic machine. It was not just a stage on which moral dramas were played out, but a fabulous mechanism, a super-version of the royal gardens at Versailles. The eyes of Western Humanity began to turn away from the Bible and the pulpit and the stained-glass cross … and toward nature.

Along with modern science “natural theology” arose–the second great challenge to the traditional order. “Deism” and other forms of natural theology are based on the idea that the Word of God is to be found in nature rather than in that compilation of ancient testimonies we call the Holy Bible.

With the American Revolution, Deism became a very active threat to the “Western way of life.” When Jefferson argued that the Colonies must seek independence, he justified his position by appealing to “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” “Nature’s God” is not the Biblical God.

The Americans succeeded, and following their revolution, they outlawed the institution of “aristocracy.” When the French attempted a revolution of the same sort, however, they were defeated by coalitions of monarchists and by self-sabotage–by handing over sovereignty to Napoleon.

If the old order had had a battle cry, it would have been “Deism must be destroyed!” Under the Biblical paradigm, the flow of power (sovereignty) is from God the Source (the ultimate sovereign) to the king (the temporal sovereign), to the nobility, who are appointed by the king. Overseer of this “transfer-of-power” system is the Church. The Deistic vision of existence cuts out completely royalty, aristocracy and clergy from the power flow. In the Deistic vision, the flow of power is from God to Nature, the “Living Scriptures.” Who is next in line? Those who are closest to Nature–common people.

Elitist Reaction to the Egalitarian Revolution

Science and Deism came together in the work of Jean Baptiste Lamarck. The evolutionary theory of Lamarck supports the Deistic vision of existence as an egalitarian affair, rather than the Biblical vision of life as hierarchical order. The first “new world order” is egalitarian rather than elitist.

Are we beginning to get the picture? Science (as represented by Lamarck and those of his ilk) and Deism were simply not acceptable to those who ruled Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It was not possible for the elites of Europe to defeat the new “visions of existence” that were emerging so powerfully in the West. The only practical recourse these rulers had was to “own,” to control, the new forces as much as possible.

The Transformism of Lamarck was not just the first theory of evolution, it was the first scientific basis for a new holistic basal paradigm. Another such basis would not emerge until the “New Physics” was born in the first decades of the twentieth century. Transformism was genuinely revolutionary. Had the French Revolution succeeded, Transformism would be heralded today as the first of the New Sciences. Instead, Transformism fell (like the revolutionaries in France) before the onslaught of the reactionaries–the forces of the old paradigm.

What the reactionaries of Europe in the early nineteenth century needed was a “science” that saw nature not as “the living word of God,” but as a dark and frightful thing–a menacing reality that would cause the common people to cry out for protection. As we all know, political elites happen to be in the protection business.

Classical Darwinism was the means by which the old paradigm elitists of the middle nineteenth century “took over” science. Darwinism was, and is, a reactionary pseudo-science. Its most basic premise is that there is no moral guidance force called “God,” there is nothing in fact to warrant the idea that life has any kind of purpose–divine or otherwise–whatsoever. Life is a dark and brutal struggle, and when we seek scientifically the truth as to the “meaning” of life, we find no evidence at all of “meaning.” Life is without meaning. Life forms emerge out of haphazard processes, and whether they live or die is determined by haphazard Natural Selection. For well over a hundred years, this view of existence has been recognized as the “official, scientific truth.” It is incorrect.

The Concept of “Scientific Selection”

At the beginning of our century, classical Darwinism had lost its luster in scientific circles. Where was the evidence for Natural Selection? There was none. Weismann knew. Others knew. Natural Selection was an assumption, nothing more than an hypothesis. “We are reasoning in a circle,” Weismann writes, “not giving proofs, and no one who does not wish to believe in the selection value of the initial stages can be forced to do so.”

At the same time, a challenge to classical Darwinism arose among the pioneers in genetics. De Vries, a Dutch biologist, asserted in 1901 that there were two kinds of variation–“the random variations previously observed by Darwin, and what he himself called ‘mutations,’ or sizable divergence’s from the parent form….” The work of Bateson (from 1894 and on) suggested that small random changes (viewed by Darwinists as the primary means of evolution) “did not accumulate through long ages and were in fact irrelevant to evolution.”

In addition to these challenges to the orthodoxy came publication of the work of Gregor Mendel, a Moravian abbot who had completed in the mid-nineteenth century “some beautifully simple and clear experiments on the proportions in which the characters of the common or garden pea are inherited upon crossing.” The new biology was ceasing to be interested in unprovable hypotheses and turning its attention to the microscopic world, where “invisible determinants did the work of evolution prenatally.”

For the most part, the pioneers of genetics did not view themselves as elaborating upon Darwinism in any sense. If anything, they tended to see themselves as establishing a basis for a more scientific theory of evolution.

The doctrines of Darwinism seemed to crumble, almost visibly. The idea that evolution is a very slow, minute step by step process, for instance. “Do the new lights on heredity and variation,” asked Bateson, “make the process of Evolution easier to understand? On the whole they do,…. An Evolution by definite steps is more, rather than less easy to imagine that one proceeding by the accumulation of indefinite and insensible steps.” Early critics of Darwin, especially Samuel Butler, received apologies, Barzun indicates, and “biographies of Lamarck took on a eulogistic tone.” Once again, as in the previous century, the forces of reaction moved into action…. with the result that classical Darwinism and the new genetics were combined into a new theory of evolution, one titled “Neo-Darwinism.” The father of Neo-Darwinism is August Weismann.

Underlying Neo-Darwinism is the ingenious thesis of August Weismann that there is a proof of Darwinism, but the proof is not to be found in the visible world…. it’s to be found in the microscopic world.

The classical Darwinian idea that variation is the result of “the struggle of existence” is replaced by the idea that variation comes from a kind of microscopic struggle. In 1976, this idea was taken into the land of total absurdity by Richard Dawkins, in The Selfish Gene. According to Dawkins, writes Niles Eldredge , “there are in life but two kinds of entitities: replicators and vehicles …. Genes are replicators, but they can’t exist and operate on their own. Genes need a vehicle–an organism–to house and nourish them and to facilitate their replicative functions. It isn’t organisms (the mere vehicles) that are competing for reproductive success, but the genes themselves. Organisms as vehicles are simply the unwitting dupes of their genic components.”

What happens to “Natural Selection?” It is reaffirmed by the new orthodoxy, but reaffirmed as a means of evolution that no longer operates “in the clear.” Religions and various other misguided institutions have interfered with the natural course of evolution, and thus it is necessary for responsible parties to take up the burden of ensuring the continuance of evolutionary progress–through genetic engineering. Under the new orthodoxy, Natural Selection is regarded simply as a long-ago reality, and “scientific selection” is viewed as humankind’s best hope for the future.

The Rise of Materialistic Scientism in the United States

American Civil War, or War of Secession, or War Between the States -1861-1865-: At the heart of this unfortunate struggle, which practically extinguished the “light unto the world” of egalitarian republicanism, was the issue of national sovereignty. The North maintained that the Union was indissoluble, even though President Lincoln acknowledged the right of revolution: “This country, with it’s institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it and overthrow it.” The South maintained, on the basis of the doctrine of “States Rights,” that the Union was very dissoluble, being no more than a combination of independent commonwealths.

The disagreement between North and South was complicated greated by the issue of slavery, a ghastly influence from the British Empire. From the point of view of “founding philosophy” (Deism, etc.), the North had the progressive position, but at the same time, the position of the South had validity. The existence of slavery was a prima facie violation of egalitarian republicanism, as it was a basis of a class system in a country that had outlawed classes. To avoid confronting the issue, the South defined the blacks as “property,” rather than as human beings. Nevertheless, the political position of the South had merit, as the republic was in fact shifting from its original egalitarian basis to an oligarchical (elitist) basis. The South was on the way to becoming the economic slave of the North. All questions of “karmic justice” aside, the South was correct in its insistence that an agreement of political union is conditional upon the continuing agreement of the parties involved. Agreements made by one generation are not written in stone for all subsequent generations to follow.

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine, in The Rights of Man, had been most convincing on the issue. In this connection, the example of Jefferson is most interesting. Jefferson always down-played the importance of the federal government; in summarizing his life, for instance, he indicated that his most important contribution to humankind was his founding of the University of Virginia. In any event, the chief result of the Civil War was that the United States shifted from its egalitarian basis, and fell more into the hands of the oligarchs. The current self-image of the United States as “Great World Power” would be regarded by the Founders as an aping of the old British Empire. The egalitarian spirit is very favorable to the growth of true science [many of the Founders were inventors as well as law makers]. We will never know how many brilliant young scientists were killed at Shiloh, Vicksburg and Gettysburg. Perhaps one who could have offered a successful rebuttal of Darwinism. For a long time after the War, the voice of science in America was silent. The old enemy, elitist Britain, was to become the “role model” for the rest of the nations.

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson -1856-1924-: President of Princeton University, governor of New Jersey, and 28th president of the United States, Thomas Woodrow Wilson was a man of enormous ability. He was a scholar as well as an adminstrator, and among the books he wrote is one called Constitutional Government in the United States. For all his erudition, Wilson failed to grasp the essential feature of the American Systen–that sovereignty is vested in the people. An elitist by nature and background, Wilson believed that sovereignty belongs “in the hands of the experts,” and he was of course encouraged in this belief by Colonel House (who is also discussed in this narrative), who became, curiously, a kind of father figure to Wilson. Wilson’s paternalism (elitism) was a weakness, the Achilles’ heel that gave House and others an opportunity to manipulate him. In Europe, Wilson is remembered as founder of the League of Nations. The United States Senate, objecting to participation in the League of Nations on the grounds that it involved a surrender of national sovereignty, refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, which established the League as part of the overall peace plan–a plan which also levied penalties against Germany many felt were unwarranted. A separate peace was made with Germany in 1921. In an effort to build popular support for the League of Nations, Wilson undertook a strenuous national speaking tour. He collapsed midway in the tour, and never recovered. From the time of Wilson’s collapse -1919- to the end of the administration -1921-, the country was in the capable hands of Edith Wilson, the president’s wife.

Global Socialism

The War of the Nations (World War I): In terms of the prevailing social theory (Social Darwinism), the First World War was a grand test of fitness and an important regulator of populations (Malthus). Even the least involved of the nations, the United States, had 25% of its male population between 18 and 31 in uniform by the time of the armistice. From the point of view of Colonel House and associates (global socialists), the war was “proof unto the world” that nations, like individuals, are unprincipled, dark and dangerous, and that a mechanism of “international governance” is “required” in order to “maintain world peace.” Of course, wars and conflicts are contrived in order to provide “proof “ of this definition of society to society. The global socialists achieved what they set out to achieve–the League of Nations, a mechanism “international governance,” which was the precursor to the “United Nations.” It must be remembered always that the character of an institution is a reflection of the paradigm(s) on which it is based. A “United Nations” based on materialistic scientism is one thing (a world police organization); a “United Nations” based on the emerging paradigm (scientific holism) would be a very different organization, something more on the order of a grand cultural and technological exchange forum, and a mechanism for rebuilding beautiful cultures (such as the Cambodian or Tibetan culture) that were largely destroyed in our era.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression -1929-1941-: The Great Depression was economic war. The aggressors were the global socialists, who controlled key economic institutions (such as the Federal Reserve), and the targets were any and all powerful people and enterprises that stood in opposition (or potential opposition) to the program of global socialism. This depression was the chief mechanism by which the United States was transformed from its original character (individualistic, egalitarian republicanism) into the current Welfare State.

Second World War

The Second World War: The program of global socialism requires not only the “levelling” of traditionally powerful forms of government, such as monarchy and egalitarian republicanism (the United States), it also requires the destruction of lesser (intermediate) forms of socialism. The main achievement of the Second World War was (from the point of view of the globalists) the discrediting and destruction of national socialism. Nazi Germany was financially supported by elements in the United States, as history records, in order to create an extreme form of national socialism, which would “demonstrate” to all the world that “a national socialistic elite” cannot be trusted. National Socialism is a monster. (Similarly, the “Cold War” concluded with the appearance of the “breaking apart” of an extreme of international socialism in the guise of the Sovet Union. All that is left is global socialism).

The Synthesis in 1947

“The Synthesis” (1947): At a conference held at the school where Woodrow Wilson was once president, Princeton University, biologists from various nations arrived at a consensus that the official evolutionary theory of the West would be the synthesis of classical Darwinism and modern genetics–”Neo-Darwinism.” In the words of Niles Eldredge: “ The Society for the Study of Evolution was founded in 1946. A milestone conference was held at Princeton in 1947, during which geneticists, paleontologists, systematists, and other biologists got together and agreed, in effect, that the Neo-Darwinian paradigm was both necessary and, in the main, sufficient to explain evolution…” [Reinventing Darwin, p.28] It was not a “milestone” conference, but a “millstone” conference; the millstone of Neo-Darwinism was hung around the neck of all those who had survived the “drowning in blood” that followed the triumph of classical Darwinism. The smoke of battle had hardly cleared, the upper air currents were still laden with the radioactive dust composed of the remains of the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki … and the “elite of biology” confirmed as both necessary and correct the great principles that had put the world to war, the doctines of Hobbes, Malthus and Darwin.

The National Security Act of 1947

The National Security Act of 1947: Established an advisory council to the President which is, potentially, far more powerful than the presidency itself. The Act also fulfilled the dream of Colonel House, for the creation of an intelligence establishment comparable to, and allied with, the British intelligence system. Former intelligence and scientific personnel from Nazi Germany were incorporated into the American intelligence system immediately after the war, and this inclusion was one of the major motives behind the National Security Act, which created the CIA as an agency of the Executive Branch. For the second time in contemporary American history, a powerful collective “Agency” was created by government which is not responsible, in any meaningful sense, to that government. The first such “Agency” was the Federal Reserve.

The Eastern Trinity

The Eastern Trinity: Opinion leader institutions. Traditionally in the United States, the most prestigious “opinion leader” institutions are Harvard, Yale and Princeton. These are the institutions that establish “orthodoxies” in the sciences and “leadership” fields, i.e. law, business, etc. The acceptance of Darwinism, Social Darwinism and eugenics in the United States had to be preceded by acceptance of these principles by the “Eastern Trinity,” leading academic institutions which inevitably become forums for the discussion and dissemination of Darwinism. It goes without saying that they can be as influential in the dismantling of Darwinism as they were in its establishment.

Asa Gray

Asa Gray (1810-1880): The foremost American botanist of the late 19th century, Gray became Darwin’s leading disciple in the United States. In 1842, he accepted a life appointment at Harvard, and from that post preached “Darwinia” to the world. For many years, Gray’s botany textbooks were not only the standard books in American high schools, they were the only botany texts used at that pre-college level. Gray, a close friend of Darwin’s, was implicated (unwittingly) in the alleged Darwin-Lyell-Hooker conspiracy.

Ernst Mayr

Ernst Mayr (b.1904): A German-born American biologist steeped in the traditions of continental biology, Mayr held the Louis Agassiz chair at Harvard for a very long time. He continued the tradition of Asa Gray, becoming America’s “dean of Neo-Darwinism.” He has been retired for some years, but is still active as a writer, promoting the “gospel” of “natural selection.” Mayr is best known for his work in the fields of classification, population genetics (consequences of heredity on a population), and evolution. His major works include Evolution and the Diversity of Life (1976), Populations, Species and Evolution (1970), and Toward a New Philosophy of Biology (1988).

B.F. Skinner

B. F. skinner (1904-1990). Behaviorism is the philosophy of ‘behavior analysis,’ the science of behavior. Skinner’s pioneering laboratory work established the research paradigm and the branch of behavioral science that is called the ‘experimental analysis of behavior.’ The basic idea is that behavior, including human behavior, can be the subject of natural science. Hence, the principal goal of behavior analysis is the prediction and control of behavior. Skinner received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1931. By 1938, he was among the leading researchers on animal behavior. Later, Skinner and a great number of behavior analysts around the world have conducted experiments on increasingly complex behavior-environment interactions in animals and humans. Basic behavior-analytic principles have been extended to applied work and to the interpretation of complex performances, such as language. ‘Radical behaviorism’ – Skinner’s refined version of earlier behaviorist philosophy – is the philosophy of a science of behavior treated as a subject matter in its own right apart from internal explanations, mental or physiological. Skinner has been called the Darwin of psychology – because of the parallels between operant reinforcement and natural selection: The principle of selection by consequences. Skinner felt a deep concern for how behavioral science could be utilized to the best for the people. He said: “I think that a science of behavior is just as dangerous as the atom bomb. It has the potential of being horribly misused.” Skinner suggested that the misuse of science can best be prevented by educating people in behavior analysis, and by applying behavioral science even to a governmental design which will have some control over all destructive instruments.

William Graham Sumner

William Graham Sumner (1840-1910): Sumner advocated the concept of “survival of the fittest” in society. Hofstader summarizes Sumner in these terms: “ The most vigorous and influential social Darwinist in America … Sumner not only made a striking adaptation of evolution to conservative thought, but also effectively propogated his philosophy through widely read books and articles, and converted his strategic teaching post in New Haven (Yale University) into a kind of social Darwinian pulpit. He provided his age with a synthesis which, though not quite as grand as Spencer’s, was bolder in its stark and candid pessimism. Sumner’s synthesis brought together three “great” traditions of Western capitalist culture: the Protestant ethic, the doctrines of classical economics, and Darwinian “natural selection.” Correspondingly, in the development of American thought, Sumner played three roles: he was a great Puritan teacher, an exponent of the classical pessimism of Ricardo and Malthus, and an assimilator and popularizer of evolution…” [Social Darwinism and American Thought, p.51] During the Civil War, wealthy friends (William and Henry Whitney) secured a substitute to fill in Sumner’s place in the Union Army, and provided Sumner with the funds to study theology in Geneva, Gottingen and Oxford. In 1872, Sumner was elevated to the post of Professor of Political and Social Science at Yale College, where he developed a wider following than any other teacher in the history of Yale [p.53]. Sumner derived the major premises of his social philosophy from Herbert Spencer. Like Darwin, he went to Malthus for the first principles of his system. In all, Sumner [and later Yale Univerisity] played a key role in the synthesis of traditional religion and Scientism. Currently, Yale in an important center for genetics and genetic engineering.

Council on Foreign Relations

The Council on Foreign Relations: Established on July 29, 1921 in New York City, the CFR was founded by a group feeling the need for a “world government” (global socialism). The founders included Colonel Edward House, Walter Lippmann, John Foster Dulles, and Allen Dulles (who would later become director of the CIA). Money for the founding of the CFR originated from the houses of Morgan and Rockefeller, Bernard Baruch, Paul Warburg, Otto Kahn, Jacob Schiff and others. The Council on Foreign Relations is essentially a “Scientism Club” for the assimilation of the “best and brightest” from American academe into International Corporate Capitalism elite. The CFR plays a role in America not unlike that played by the Royal Society in England. It is a club for opinion leaders. Though it has no official connection to the federal government, most key leaders in the government are members of the CFR.

Edward Mandell “Colonel” House

Edward Mandell “Colonel” House (1858-1938): Colonel House was a Texas plutocrat who blueprinted the conversion of the American System to state socialism. He was the “kingmaker” behind Woodrow Wilson, and for many years Wilson’s chief advisor. House was one of the most influential men in 20th century American history, and one of the most shadowy. At the prompting of House, a direct line was established between the White House (and the Colonel House) and British Intelligence, in the person of Sir William Wiseman (1885-1962), and this connection became the precursor of the OSS and the CIA. Via this line, the British worked successfully to influence the United States to enter the First World War. A group of “experts” put together by House and called “The Inquiry,” a precursor of the Council on Foreign Relations, accompanied Wilson to the peace conference at Versailles. Colonel House also played a key role in the development and passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which resulted in the transfer of control of the money system (a public resource under the Constitution) to private banks. Supposedly, the Federal Reserve System was established “to stabilize the economy”–an economy that in fact had been deliberately de-stabilized by those wishing to institute the Federal Reserve System. [Editor: Fifteen years after it was established, those in control deliberately precipitated the collapse of the American economy in order to present an “I told you so” picture to the American public.] This triggered a worldwide economic depression. Currently, the people of the United States owe the consortium over $4 trillion. When the Federal Reserve System was established, the United States had no debt. Lack of understanding of these basic principles is how the American people can be drawn into discussions about “balancing the budget”, when it fact all it would take to totally eliminate the national debt to the Federal Reserve would be to renationalize the Federal Reserve System under United States control. In his final years, Wilson repudiated House and regretted the passage of the Federal Reserve Act. Wilson had killed that which he loved the most, the American Republic, and that knowledge no doubt added to the great emotional agony President Wilson endured in his last years.

Development of Darwinian Thought in the West

“I wrote a short article contending that classical Darwinism was dead. This was almost entirely based on the verbatim statements of eminent biologists, my part being to select and arrange…. My thesis was simply that the professionals had moved away from classical Darwinism, but that no one had informed the public of what had happened. This, I believed, was important news for the American public.”–Norman Macbeth

The Doctrine of “Natural Selection”

For the early Darwinists, the great appeal of the Natural Selection doctrine lay in its replacement of the Divine Hand hypothesis. “Newton banished God from nature,” writes Gerald Heard, “Darwin banished him from life.” Darwin discovered, so the legend goes, the true, “natural” explanation for life on Earth. In reality, one anthropomorphic theory was replaced by another, the Divine Hand by the hand of nature.

At the turn of the century, Natural Selection was no longer regarded as a valid concept in (cognoscente) scientific circles. “Forty years ago,” writes Henry Adams in 1903, “our friends always explained things and had the cosmos down to a point, teste [by witness of] Darwin and Charles Lyell. Now they say they don’t believe there is an explanation [for existence], or that you can choose between half a dozen, all correct. The Germans are all balled up. Every generalization that we settled forty years ago is abandoned. The one most completely thrown over is our gentle Darwin’s Survival [survival of the fittest], which no longer has a leg to stand on.”

One of the first critics of the Natural Selection theory was Darwin himself. “I suppose natural selection was a bad term,” he wrote, “but to change it now, I think, would make confusion worse confounded, nor can I think of a better. ‘Natural preservation’ would not imply a preservation of particular varieties and would seem a truism, and would not bring man and nature’s selection under one point of view.”

“Natural preservation” would have been simply a label for something that anyone can see. (It “would seem a truism.”) “Natural Selection” implies an agency underlying the fact of natural preservation. Thus it can be said to bring “man and nature’s selection under one point of view.” All implied parallels aside, “Natural Selection” is, as indicated previously, nothing but an empty generalization. It amounts to little more than the proposition that since some organisms survive and others don’t, there must be a process of selection going on.

Not long after the publication of the Origin, Darwin indicated that he preferred the term “survival of the fittest” to Natural Selection. Survival of the fittest at least suggests a principle of evolution: The greater the degree of versatility in adapting to the environment (i.e. “fitness”), the greater the likelihood of survival.

Darwinism as a Component of “Science as a Religion”

To answer the question of whether classical Darwinism is dead or alive: Classical Darwinism was never “alive” in the sense of being a living, working, demonstrable theory. However, it was (and is) very much alive at the level of the basal paradigm. It became a chief component of what we call Scientismscience-as-religion. The hypothesis of Natural Selection filled the God spot, so to speak, in the basal paradigm. What is the source of order in the world? “Natural Selection.” What about God? “‘God’ is an anthropomorphic fiction.” How do we find out the truth of existence?–the real low-down on life? “Close your Bible, open your Darwin.”

Contemporary Western civilization may be said to begin in 1859 with the publication of the Origin. This book and its sequel, The Descent of Man became the Gospel of Science–science’s equivalent of the New Testament. Darwinism became, in other words, encoded in the new, emerging basal paradigm. Darwinism is lacking in scientific merit, as we know. Thus the Darwinization of the paradigm resulted inevitably in a splitting of the realm of science. Scientists who honored the tradition of “hypotheses non fingo” (no hypotheses without proof) continued the useful work of “pure science.” Scientists willing to put their hearts, minds and mouths in the service of unprovable doctrines formed the priesthood of the new religion of science … Scientism.

Scientism is today the West’s current dominant religion. At the heart of it is a number of doctrines (the equivalents of church canons) stemming from the original Darwinism, from Social Darwinism (the evangelical application of Darwinism to social theory), and from our current orthodoxy, “Neo-Darwinism.”

Geneticists as “The New Priesthood”

With the full emergence of the new paradigm, Materialistic Scientism, the honor once accorded to the priests was transferred to the scientists. Most celebrated among the scientists today are the geneticists. The “genetic engineers” are the priests, the exorcists, of our time. Today, virtually all “dysfunctional behavior” and all disease is viewed as having a genetic origin. How do we fix behavioral disorders? How do we fix diseases? We summon the genetic engineers. We find and correct the genetic defects that are the source of the problem.

The victory of Darwinism is far from complete, of course. In ways great and small, we still see a kind of “battle of the paradigms” being waged in these latter days. On the back windows or bumpers of autos owned by old paradigmers, we see the logo of Christianity, a fish containing the name “Jesus.” On the vehicles of new paradigmers, we a see a fish with little legs. The name inside the fish is “Darwin.”

Polarzation of Society by Scientism

On a far more serious level, certain of the agendas and objectives of Scientism have polarized our society, to the point where groups of citizens are forming self-defense organizations, i.e., “militias.” Built upon the highly questionable Darwinian premise that life is a fearsome dog-eat-dog struggle, Scientism holds that the only hope for peace is in turning the planet into a kind of super-kennel. Once humankind has been properly kenneled, then perhaps the work of genetically engineering the perfect world and perfect people can begin in earnest.

Darwinism now exists at the level of “most basic assumptions about the nature of existence.” It is paradigmatic, and for this reason, it has resisted refutation time and again. Most would-be topplers of Darwinism are pretty naive. They have no idea that “scientifically valid refutation” is not sufficient. What is required to kill Darwinism is something like a silver stake, a large hammer, and the right opportunity.

Two Nineteenth Century Critics of Darwinism

In this century and the last, more than a few good critiques of Darwinism, or key components of Darwinism, have been offered to the public, and none of these had much impact.

In late nineteenth century England, there was one voice of real genius raised against Darwinism, that of Samuel Butler, who is remembered now (when remembered at all) as the author of a utopian fiction called Erewhon. Butler’s principal objection to Darwinism was that the hypothesis of Natural Selection cannot possibly be an adequate explanation of evolution. Natural Selection might tell us a little something about the process of speciation, the process of species A becoming species B and species C, but it cannot explain the existence of A, B or C.

In examining Darwin’s text, Barzun writes, “Butler found that small random variations were taken for granted or occasionally ascribed to a metaphysical agent called Variation, so as to provide Natural Selection with something to work on….” “To me,” Butler wrote, “it seems that the ‘Origin of Variations,’ whatever it is, is the only true Origin of Species.” In other words, Butler saw that there was a Something, not defined by Darwin, that was generating the organismal variations that Natural Selection then operated upon. Natural Selection had to be part of much larger process. It was not, in itself, a sufficient explanation of the origin of anything.

What puzzled Butler’s contemporaries, Barzun writes, is that he [Butler] “seemed to be striking out on a new line [of speculation] instead of choosing, like everybody else, between theology and materialistic science….” The line of thought of Mr. Butler was not new. It was Lamarckian.

A biological organism, Butler believed, is not simply a machine built and operated by Natural Selection. It has an “interest” in evolutionary process. “It wants to do certain things and not to do others. In other words, the physical action of living beings is the expression of a mental action,” mental referring here to “consciousness, however limited.” However superior to Darwinism, Butler-style Lamarckism didn’t stand the chance of a snowball in Hades in an historical period describable as “The Triumph of Materialism.”

Sociability as a Key to Evolutionary Process

Petr Kropotkin has been cited earlier as an important early critic of the Darwinian hypothesis that evolution is a product of bitter struggle of each against all. Kropotkin correctly places Darwin in the tradition of the eighteenth century pessimist Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes took the position, Kropotkin writes, that the state of nature is “nothing but a permanent fight between individuals, accidentally huddled together by the mere caprice of their bestial existence….” The Hobbesian philosophy, Kropotkin continues, has plenty of admirers still; and we have had of late quite a school of writers who, taking possession of Darwin’s terminology rather than of his leading ideas, made of it an argument in favor of Hobbes’ views upon primitive man, and even succeeded in giving them a scientific appearance….” The case of T.H. Huxley, “Darwin’s Bulldog,” is cited: “Huxley, as is known, took the lead of that school, and in a paper written in 1888 he represented primitive men as a sort of tigers or lions, deprived of all ethical conceptions, fighting out the struggle for existence to its bitter end, and living a life of ‘continual free fight’; to quote his own words–‘beyond the limited and temporary relations of the family, the Hobbesian war of each against all was the normal state of existence?”

Political difficulties prevented Petr Kropotkin from publishing his refutation of the Hobbesian-Malthusian-Darwinian hypothesis (evolution from struggle) until 1902. Mutual Aid–A Factor in Evolution is still an impressive, well-documented argument for the thesis that sociability, not conflict, is the key to evolutionary progress. In his own words: “While fully admitting that force, swiftness, protective colours, cunningness, and endurance to hunger and cold, which are mentioned by Darwin and Wallace, are so many qualities making the individual, or the species, the fittest under certain circumstances, we maintain that under any circumstances sociability is the greatest advantage in the struggle for life. Those species which willingly or unwillingly abandon it are doomed to decay; while those animals which know best how to combine, have the greatest chances of survival and of further evolution, although they may be inferior to others in each of the faculties enumerated by Darwin and Wallace, save the intellectual faculty. The highest vertebrates, and especially mankind, are the best proof of this assertion….”

Kropotkin was a member of the highest Russian aristocracy, his family descended from the Princes of Smolensk and Kieff. Politically, however, he was in the tradition of egalitarian republicanism. Consequently, regarded as an “anarchist,” he was in and out of prisons during the last decades of the nineteenth century. An “anarchist,” it should be noted, is not someone who is “opposed to all order” (the common definition), but someone opposed to the various “-archies,” including monarchy and oligarchy. On the basis of his wide experience, Kropotkin came to the understanding that the highest and most enduring achievements of mankind come from the masses. The legacy of ruling classes, he believed, is war and destruction.

In all, “Prince” Kropotkin, as he was known by many, was the nineteenth century scientist best qualified to be designated the successor of Lamarck. In 1883, Kropotkin was imprisoned in France for political reasons. In England a petition for his release was drawn up, stressing the importance of Kropotkin’s many contributions to science. Many notable Britons signed the petition. T.H. Huxley declined to add his name.

Later, Huxley, who was in 1883 president of the Royal Society, explained his refusal to offer aid to a fellow scientist in this way: “So long as I am President of the Royal Society, I shall feel bound to abstain from taking any prominent part of public movements as to the propriety of which the opinions of the Fellows of the Society differ.”

In the years following, Petr Kropotkin published many articles which were directly critical of Huxley’s Hobbesian Darwinism. Huxley failed to respond to any of the criticisms.

Into the Twentieth Century: Darwin Looks at Lovelock

Given the backwardness of biology in the middle nineteenth century, there was really not much that Darwin or anyone else could have said, with certainty, regarding the mechanism of evolution. Now, in fairness to Darwin, let us give him another chance….

It is June 1859. Charles Darwin, having worked up quite a headache trying to figure out evolution, leaves his study and enters the parlor. There waiting for him is a large package. He opens it and finds a manuscript. The manuscript is not from his brilliant junior colleague, Alfred Wallace, the co-discoverer of Natural Selection; rather, it is from the future…. it is a book by James Lovelock called Gaia–A New Look at Life on Earth.

With great wonderment, Darwin reads the “Gaia hypothesis” of Lovelock, the hypothesis that “the entire range of living matter on Earth, from whales to viruses, and from oaks to algae, could be regarded as constituting a single living entity, capable of manipulating the Earth’s atmosphere to suit its overall needs and endowed with faculties and powers far beyond those of its constituent parts.”

No view could be more different from that of Darwin. Darwin regards the hypothesis as preposterous. At the same time, he is intrigued by the wealth of data Lovelock brings to bear on his thesis, and especially by the fact that “The climate and the chemical properties of the Earth now and throughout its history seems always to have been optimal for life.” “Astonishing!” Darwin remarks to himself.

Astonishing, indeed. The Earth, Lovelock demonstrates amply, is a “homeostatic” phenomenon. “Homeostasis” is a word invented by the American psychologist Walter Cannon. It refers (in the words of Lovelock) to “that remarkable state of constancy in which living things hold themselves when their environment is changing.”

The fact of homeostasis would have given Darwin the reference he was looking for. “Ah!–nature is homeostatic, and thus what we mean by ‘Natural Selection’ is homeostatic selection!” The Lovelock data would have provided Darwin with a valid scientific framework and enabled him to define Natural Selection is a testable way. (Methodological aside: Only hypotheses that can be tested can be considered “scientific.”) Natural Selection might have been defined as “homeostasis-producing selection,” or, for short, “homeostatic selection.” All organisms are under pressure to “balance” with environment; organisms most effective at balancing, for whatever reason, are most likely to survive and reproduce. What “fittest” would mean, in a Lovelock context, is “most aware and appropriately responsive.”

Unfortunately, Darwin simply did not have the data or the necessary technical means to establish a scientifically viable hypothesis regarding the mechanisms of biological evolution. As formulated by Darwin, Natural Selection cannot be tested, cannot be validated. It can only be assumed. Lamarck had been on the right track; but for Darwin and his colleagues, Lamarckism was “heresy.”

The Failure of Philosophy

In 1903, as Adams points out, classical Darwinism didn’t have a leg to stand on. It was dead. So…. if it was dead, why didn’t it fall?

It didn’t fall for the reason discussed above … it had become part and parcel of the modern basal paradigm. Further, there was apparently no one around with the competency and will to say, “Look, this famous theory that all the world now believes in is nothing but a load of rubbish. Let me explain just why….”

Let us regard scientific enterprise in general as a factory–a factory that produces “true knowledge” about the way things are. Okay, who or what is responsible for quality control? The ultimate quality control is the job of philosophy, “science of science.” In Darwin’s time, and in our own, philosophy was (and is) not doing its job. Generally speaking, philosophy in our civilization has been compromised out of existence. It was taken over, first by the churches and then by academe. Philosophy was not equipped to say Darwinism was dead because philosophy itself was dead.

It is a sad commentary on the quality of the Western knowledge factory that today, as we stand ready to step into the twenty-first century, our orthodox theory of evolution is still, after all these years and refutations, Darwinism.

Scientists are “workers” in the knowledge factory and ordinarily are not “objective” enough to run good quality control. In the typical education of a scientist, there is little (if any) attention given to the philosophy and practice of scientific methodology. Scientists are invariably specialists. They have degrees in nuclear physics, in beetles and bugs, in a thousand and one specific fields of interest. Few, if any, are degreed in scientific method, its philosophy and practice.

As a result, the proponents of Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism have been able to say whatever they like without being challenged. The work of contemporary Darwinist Richard Dawkins is a case in point. In his defense of Darwinism titled The Blind Watchmaker, Dawkins addresses the question of how it is that intricate organs, such as eyes, evolve. They evolve, he writes, “by gradual, step-by-step transformations from simple beginnings, from primordial entities sufficiently simple to have come into existence by chance. Each successive change in the gradual evolutionary process was simple enough, relative to its predecessors, to have arisen by chance….” Where is the evidence that anything comes into existence “by chance”? There is none. What is the nature, exactly, of the supposed “gradual step-by-step transformations” of primordial “simple” biological receptor mechanisms into organs such as eyes? No details provided. Just more conjectures, conjectures on top of conjectures.

The earliest “eye” we know of is a frequency receiver-transducer known as an “integral membrane protein,” or IMP. The first organism to arise is, of course, the single cell. The basic cell membrane is formed by organic compounds called phospholipids, which self-assemble into spherical form. Between the layers of the membrane are situated the IMPs, which are the eyes, hands and mouths of the cell. (See the graphic on the IMP Complex)

The IMP is a stimulus-response mechanism. (A) Each IMP has a “receptor” component. The function of the receptor is to identify a specific item (a certain chemical, for instance) important to the cell, and then to “capture” that item. When the receptor detects the item it seeks, it reconfigures itself so as to capture the item. This signals the “effector” component to prepare to receive and transduce (“carry through” the cellular barrier) the target item.

The IMP is the very simplest “eye” we know of. Even this simple eye is wonderfully complex. Here, Mr. Dawkins, is your “primordial eye.” Now please explain how it arose “by chance.” Dawkins cannot do this, of course. His premise is sheer conjecture.

Darwin, Mayr, Dawkins–the whole raft of Darwinists–have from time to time passed off nonsense and gibberish as true scientific understanding; and there has been no one to stop them. The quality control function belongs to philosophy, and philosophy, as indicated elsewhere, isn’t at home. And it isn’t at work. Where is it? It is the eleventh hour, Western Civilization. Do you know where your science of science is?

Scientists opposed to Darwinism are often as lacking in methodological competency as the pro-Darwinism scientists. Michael Denton is a case in point. In 1986, Denton, an Australian scientist, published Evolution: A Theory In Crisis. This book, a highly interesting critique, comes to the conclusion that Darwinism is “the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century.” “One might have expected,” Denton writes, “that a theory of such cardinal importance, a theory that literally changed the world, would have been something more than a myth.”

In practically the same breath, Denton remarks, “Darwinism remains…. the only truly scientific theory of evolution” (!) Compounding the confusion, Denton writes, “It was the lack of any obvious scientific alternative which was its [Darwinism’s] great attraction in the nineteenth century and has remained one of its enduring strengths ever since 1859. Reject Darwinism and there is, in effect, no scientific theory of evolution.”

In fact, a “scientific alternative” was available–the Transformism of Lamarck. In fact, there was a Lamarckian school of thought in the last century, and this school of thought persists into our own time. It is only an illusion that there was and is no alternative to Darwinism, an illusion created and perpetrated by the Darwinists. Denton “bought into” the illusion. Further, from the point of view of methodology, it is not a “strength” of any particular theory that there is no alternative to the theory. A theory must stand on its own merits, not on an “absence” of other theories.

For a long time, a principal “defense” of the Darwinists has been “Well, no one is offering a better idea.” This is not a valid defense. As Macbeth indicates, “The proponents of a theory, in science or elsewhere, are obligated to support every link or chain of reasoning, whereas a critic or skeptic may peck at any aspect of the theory, testing it for flaws….”

Philosophy has failed us. This is one important reason why classical Darwinism is still with us today. Another important reason is that classical Darwinism underwent, after the turn of the century, some major changes. It became “Neo-Darwinism.” It “evolved,” so to speak, in the nick of time. Its rescuer was a scientist by the name of August Weismann. How it was that Weismann accomplished this remarkable rescue is one of the subjects of the next chapter.

The Rise of Materialistic Scientism in England

Herbert Spencer, British Philosopher

Herbert Spencer, British Philosopher (1820-1903): The Social Darwinist [i.e., one who applied Darwinian biology and evolutionary theory to social and political institutions] most influential in the United States, Spenser was an exceedingly ambitious self-made materialistic philosopher who endeavored to unify all scientific knowledge, the record of this endeavor being his multi-volumed work, Synthetic Philosophy. Though he took issue with the principle of Natural Selection [ see The Inadequacy of Natural Selection], he was a champion of Malthusian Darwinism. According to Richard Hofstader, His categorical repudiation of state interference with the ‘natural,’ unimpeded growth of society led him to oppose all state aid to the poor. They were unfit, he said, and should be eliminated.” Hofstader continues, quoting Spencer, “The whole effort of nature is to get rid of such, and to make room for better…If they are not sufficiently complete to live, they die, and it is best they should die. Spencer was opposed to state-supported education, sanitary supervision, regulation of housing conditions, protection of the people from medical quacks, tariffs, state banking, and governmental postal systems. [Richard Hofstader, Social Darwinism in American Thought (Boston: The Beacon Press, 1962 [1944]). P.41]

Thomas Huxley, British Social Darwinist

Thomas H. Huxley (1825-1895), “Darwin’s bulldog”: Huxley, a naturalist and principal Social Darwinist, was the key personage in a triumvirate (which included Joseph Hooker and John Tyndall) that governed and determined the official side of scientific affairs in London during much of the latter half of the 19th century. He was elected as president of the Royal Society in 1883. Two years later he retired from public life on account of ill health, but continued to write and publish until the time of his death.

The British Royal Society

The Royal Society: The oldest scientific society in Great Britain and the most famous in the world. The full title of the organization was “The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge.” It was incorporated with the sanction of Charles II in 1662. Within a year after incorporation, the Society entered into active correspondence on learned questions with philosophers and scientists of France, Germany, Spain and Italy. In 1664, it began publication of Transactions. Within ten years of incorporation, the Society was considered semi-official by the British government. According to the 1927 edition of the World Book Encyclopaedia, “the society practically controls the British Meteorology Department, the National Physical Laboratory, several scientific trust funds and the governing bodies of many British public schools.” Sir Isaac Newton was in his time a president of the Royal Society. The fact that the British Empire was able to become so all-pervasive and all-powerful as it was, was due in no small measure to its superior intelligence system, the Royal Society being an important component. British Intelligence per se was established in the reign of Elizabeth I.

Social Darwinism

Social Darwinism: The phrase “Social Darwinism” dates from the 1930’s, but as an intellectual movement, it dates from 1859, the year Darwins Origin was published. The concept embraces all efforts to apply Darwinian biology and evolution to human society. Given the fact that Darwinism rapidly became the orthodox biology and evolutionary science, Social Darwinism underlies virtually all of the social sciences. One key premise is that “the masses are unprincipled, dangerous to themselves, society and the planet.”

There are two basic schools of thought regarding an “appropriate” response to this condition: (1) Laissez faire,–do nothing for the masses except that which will accelerate their self-destruction; and (2) exercise complete control over the masses, and at the same time refine the scientific means to “handle the problem of the masses” at a fundamental level, e.g., the genetic level. Historically, laissez-faire did not work. The masses proved “far more cunning” than the elites supposed. Thus, option (2) became the standard policy; in political terms, this option translates into “state socialism.” State socialism is not the bright-eyed optimistic socialism of those who invented socialism, the “utopian scientists” according to Marx. State socialism is a direct political expression of Social Darwinism.

Sir Francis Galton, Father of Eugenics

Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911). A cousin of Darwin’s, Galton is the “father of eugenics.” In his acquisition of the doctrine of Natural Selection from Alfred Wallace, Charles Darwin unwittingly stole “the devil’s pitchfork.” Cousin Francis endeavored to make the “pitchfork” into a scientific instrument, to breed better crops of humans by means of scientific techniques. In 1883, Galton coined the word “eugenics,” meaning “good birth,” to describe his work, and published several books on the subject, including Hereditary Genious–Its Laws and Consequences, Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development, and Natural Inheritance. He distinguished between two types of eugenic processes: Negative eugenics seeks to prevent the multiplication of those considered unfit; and positive eugenics seeks to encourage the multiplication of the fit. Hitler’s “race purification” and the “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia are examples of the former.

On one occasion, Galton expressed the hope that eugenics would become “the religion of the future” [Stefan Kuhl, The Nazi Connection–Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), p.16]. Kuhl cites anthropologist Roger Pearson’s Race, Intelligence and Bias in Academe (1991) as a comprehesive defense of eugenics,which is defined therein as “the practical application of genetic science toward the improvement of the genetic health of future generations.” The movement of eugenics was politically and scientifically influential in the first half of the 20th century, particularly in Great Britain, Germany and the United States. The word eugenics was originally taken in 1883 by Galton to mean “the science of improving the stock.” In his view, the eugenics movement should aim to give “the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable.” [p.4]

Suppression of Knowledge of Symbiotic Evolution

Suppressed: Symbiotic Evolution, i.e., evolution through the establishment of cooperative [rather than competitive] relationships among organisms. See discussion in the main narrative of Petr “Prince” Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid–A Factor of Evolution. In the 1880’s and 1890’s, Kropotkin published a number of excellent papers challenging the Hobbesian Darwinism of Huxley et al. Kropotkin was ignored.

Suppression of Concepts of Idealistic Socialism

Suppressed: Idealistic socialism (all forms). The term “socialism” was first used in England in 1833 with reference to an organization called the “Association of All Classes of All Nations.” The first socialist party (Social Democrats) appeared in Germany in 1863 with a very simple program–a “democracy,” which means literally “rule of the people” [as opposed to rule by aristocracy or capitalistic oligarchy, the current U.S. system]. Socialisms of all kinds are based on the Hobbesian premise of struggle, the State of Nature as a constant struggle, and the only solution being the handing over of all power to a Government that will “own” and manage the means of production. In other words, socialism is simply a latter day version of monarchism, with the difference that the sovereignty is vested in the State rather than in the monarch.

Idealistic socialism theorizes that the creation of the said State can be accomplished without violence (i.e., cooperatively); Marxian (materialistic) socialism ridicules idealistic socialism as “utopian,” and regards violence as a necessary means of political evolution.

Like Dawinism, Marxism emerged as “the orthodoxy” in its field–political science. In the process, idealistic socialism was suppressed, along with anarchism [which means opposition to hierarchical orders, not opposition to order], and various European versions of egalitarian republicanism. At the present time, the only economic system in Europe worth imitating is egalitarian rather than socialistic. This is the so-called “Mondragon” system developed in the Basque region of Spain. The system is comprised of over 500 producer-owned cooperatives, one of them being a bank. (19th century British socialists Beatrice and Sidney Webb declared that “producer co-ops could never work,” and that idiotic view became socialist doctrine in the 20th century. The architect of the Mondragon system was a Catholic priest.)

The Rise of Materialistic Scientism in Russia

Abolition of Serfdom

Abolition of Serfdom (1861): Alexander II was the “Lincoln” of Russia. In 1861, he abolished serfdom throughout the Empire, setting free more than 20 million men. Further, Alexander also provided a state system of loans whereby freed men were able to purchase small farms.

Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution (1905-1917): Typically, the Russian czars were paternalistic, and intransigent when faced with opposition. Revolt broke out in 1905, inaugurated by a series of strikes. In an attempt to break a strike in St. Petersburg, the government killed more than 500 people, many of them women and children. The writing was on the palace wall … the government of the czar would not be tolerated much longer. Like Louis XVI, Czar Nicholas attempted to maintain his regime while at the same time allowing for the expression of popular sentiment. The Czar permitted the existence of national assemblies.

Mutual accomodation ended on March 12, 1917, when Michael Rodzianko, president of the Duma (national assembly) telegraphed the Czar, “The hour has struck, the will of the peopel must prevail.” Within four days, Czar Nicholas, weakened by the First World War, abdicated. The ministers connected with the old regime were deposed, and a few were imprisoned. There was remarkably little loss of blood. Alexander Kerensky became head of the provisional republican government, July through November 1917. Kerensky attempted to continue the war, went to the front himself, but failed to stop the Russian retreat. His authority was then greatly diminished.

Bolshevik Revolution

The Bolshevik Revolution (November 1917): The name Bolsheviki, which means the majority, was adopted by the followers of Lenin in 1905, when they split from the Social Democratic party. The Bolsheviks were joined by radicals of the Peasants Revolutionary party, and the two combined to overthrow the provisional government and create a “soviet republic.” Lenin made separate peace with the Germans. Decrees were issued placing workmen in control of factories, private ownership of land was abolished, and mines, forests and waterways were taken over by the state. Marxism-Leninism became the official “scientific” basis of the world’s first state socialist government. Thus was born modern totalitarianism.


Stalinism (1924-1953): Lenin died in 1924, and his place was taken by one of the greatest mass-murderers in history–Joseph Stalin. “Stalin,” meaning “steel,” was an adopted name. Stalin was the personification of Leviathanism–he ruled by terror. He murdered indiscriminately. No one was safe. He was especially watchful for anyone who might challenge him, and as a result he practically destroyed the leadership of his military forces. Consequently, when the German nation reemerged under Hitler as the most powerful nation in Europe, Stalin was compelled to enter into a non-aggression pact. Stalin’s one positive claim to fame is that when Hitler turned on the Soviet Union, Stalin managed to rally a counter-offensive. Stalin, and the Russian winter, stopped the Germans. As a national hero, Stalin became even more murderous. It is believed that he was responsible for the death of more than 60 million people. The subject of Stalinization of the former Soviet Union is so painful, I find it difficult to go into detail. For those interested, I recommend a film called “Stalin” and the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, especially The Gulag Archipelago.

The “Cold War”

The Cold War (1945- 1990): What is called the “Cold War” began with an event that was cold only in the sense of ruthlessness–the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. The dropping of these bombs, an act which implicated the United States (for the first time, overtly) in the mass destruction of civilian populations, was meant (so we are informed these days) as a “warning” to the Russians. The Russians apparently got the message. Under Stalin and his successors, the Soviet Union emerged in a very short time as a monolithic militaristic empire. The net result of the Soviet Union’s long confrontattion with the “Free World” was collapse. The Soviet Union was not defeated by America, as a great many think. It was defeated by global socialism.

Editorial Comment on the Rise of Global Socialism – 1995 T.D. Hall, Ph.D.

[Editor: Another aspect of this is that the Soviet Union, specially the Bolshevik Revolution was in great part funded from the United States, as was the buildup of Nazi Germany. Again, the only way to institute global socialism, was to create extreme forms of the types of socialism that they desired to eliminate. This is why both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were funded by the Eastern Establishment in the United States. The “Cold War” was just a sham for public consumption. Gorbachev, who has never renounced Marxism, was “imported” into the United States by the Reagan-Bush administrations, who had as their objective global socialism, in order to participate in the political effort to dismantle the national military capablity of the United States, and to assist, while at the taxpayer-funded “think tank” (Gorbachev Institute) at the Presidio in San Francisco, in the dissolution of United States national sovereignty. Note that our current president Clinton spent time in the Soviet Union. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand the current political program. The “Cold War” was a sham because nuclear war assured mutual destruction and a nuclear winter from which the planet would never recover, and secondly, as the work of Bruce Cathie has shown, nuclear devices will not work except at specific earth grid locations at specific times, thus a “willy nilly” nuclear exchange is not possible to achieve. The destruction of the United States could only be achieved by “communizing it,” while at the same time the destruction of the Soviet Union could only be achieved by “capitalizing” it. The end result is that global socialism takes control. Unfortunately, those who promote global socialism do not fully realize that it, too, is a system that cannot work–it can only promote the destruction of the human species. If an extreme of national socialism didn’t work (Nazi Germany), an extreme of international socialism didn’t work (Soviet Russia), what must by definition become an extreme (global socialism), cannot work. Only mutual aid, cooperation, and scientific holism will bring this planet into a new age and into a position to intermingle on an interplanetary scale.]

Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, and Population Control …

In the conclusion of his remarkable book The Nazi Doctors–Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, Robert Jay Lifton writes of a visit to Auschwitz: “I went to the camp a few years ago and was shown the many exhibits maintained there, exhibits that leave nothing to be added concerning the evil human beings can do to other human beings. But the one that left the most profound impression on me was the simplest of all: a room full of shoes, mostly baby shoes.”

Genocidal campaigns are not new. They occurred before the Holocaust; and they are occurring at this moment.What distinguishes the Nazi “race purification” extermination program from other genocidal campaigns is its “scientific” character. At a mass meeting in 1934, Nazi Deputy Party Leader Rudolf Hess stated, “National Socialism is nothing but applied biology.” “The entire Nazi regime was built,” Lifton writes, “on a biomedical vision that required the kind of racial purification that would progress from sterilization to extensive killing.” As early as the publication of Mein Kampf (1924-26), Lifton indicates, “Hitler had declared the sacred racial mission of the German people to be ‘assembling and preserving the most valuable stocks of basic racial elements [and] . . . . slowly and severely raising them to a dominant position.’ . . .”

Where did the “biomedical vision” of Hitler and his party originate? The primary sources were: Darwinian biology and evolutionary theory; Social Darwinism, the evangelistic dissemination of Darwinism; and a pseudo-science called “eugenics.” In the first several decades of the twentieth century, eugenics was considered by many as humanity’s best hope for the future. It played the role now played by “genetic engineering.” It was applied Darwinism. The following outlines, briefly, the nature of these related sources:

Today, our orthodox theory of biology and evolution is “neo-Darwinism.” Neo-Darwinism combines what is called “classical Darwinism” with modern genetics. Classical Darwinism dates from 1859, the year in which English naturalist Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, subtitled (note carefully) The Preservation of the Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Despite the fact key premises underlying Darwin’s theory were unproven scientifically, the theory was embraced by numerous scientists and intellectuals as if it was gospel — the Gospel of Science. In a relatively short time, the Origin replaced the Bible as western civilization’s preferred authoritative text on the subject of the nature of life on Earth. In 1871, Darwin published the even more controversial The Descent of Man.

The major premises of Darwinism

The major premises of Darwinism may be summarized as follows:

(1) The first premise, the concept of the evolutionary transformation of one species into others, was derived from the “Transformism” of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who founded evolutionary science in 1809 with the publication of Philosophie Zoologique. In his History of Creation (1873), evolutionist Ernst Haeckel writes, “To him [Lamarck] will always belong the immortal glory of having for the first time worked out the Theory of Descent, as an independent scientific theory of the first order, and as the philosophical foundation for the whole science of Biology.” Indeed, the very term “biology” was coined by Lamarck.

Darwin became acquainted with the work of Lamarck through his friend and mentor, the eminent geologist Charles Lyell. Volume II of Lyell’s Principles of Geology, which contains a long exposition of the Lamarck theory, was received by Darwin in South America in 1832, in the first of his five years engagement as ship’s naturalist on the H.M.S. Beagle.

(2) The second premise of Darwin’s theory is that “natural selection” is the cause of divergence in species, i.e., the origin of species. The first published mention of the idea of Nature-as-selector is in Rousseau’s “Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men” (1755). In a discussion of the conditions of life in ancient Sparta, Rousseau writes, “Nature used them precisely as did the law of Sparta the children of her citizens. She rendered strong and robust those with a good constitution and destroyed all the others.”

A more immediate source was the evolutionary theory of English naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who committed to paper a theory of evolution by natural selection prior to the completion of Darwin’s work. In June of 1858, Wallace submitted to Darwin an unpublished work titled “On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type.” Shortly thereafter, Darwin wrote to Lyell, “Your words have come true with a vengeance — that I should be [could be] forestalled. You said this when I explained to you here very briefly my view on Natural Selection depending on the struggle for existence. I never saw a more striking coincidence; if Wallace had my M.S. written out in 1842, he could not have made a better short abstract! Even his terms now stand as heads of my chapters . . . . ”

Had Wallace simply published his manuscript, he would have had priority with regard to the concept of evolution by natural selection. Instead, priority went to Darwin. The questionable means by which priority was conferred on Darwin are discussed in a fascinating book by Arnold Brackman titled A Delicate Arrangement. Darwin’s understanding of natural selection derived from his work with breeding. The breeding of plants and animals Darwin called “artificial selection;” the breeding that occurs in “the wild” he called “natural selection.” Early in the Origin, Darwin defines natural selection in these (anthropomorphic) terms: “Natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing . . . . every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working . . . . at the improvement of each organic being . . . .” In effect, Darwinism replaces the traditional belief that order in nature is the result of a divine presence (God) with the idea it is the result of a natural presence (Natural Selection).

(3) The third premise in Darwinism is that the drive behind evolution is the sexual-reproductive instinct. Given the tremendous influence of this drive, life is an incessant struggle for existence:

“A struggle for existence inevitably follows from the high rate at which all organic beings tend to increase. Every being . . . must suffer destruction . . . otherwise, on the principle of geometrical increase, its numbers would quickly become so inordinately great that no country could support the product. Hence, as more individuals are produced than can possibly survive, there must in every case be a struggle for existence, either one individual with another of the same species, or with the individuals of distinct species, or with the physical conditions of life. . . .” The basic premise (“the high rate at which all organic beings tend to increase”) and the “principle of geometrical increase” are, as Darwin indicates, “the doctrine of Malthus applied with manifold force to the whole animal and vegetable kingdom. . . . ”

The Malthus in question is the Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834), famous “pessimist” and author of one of the most influential essays in modern times — the “Principle of Population” (1798). In this essay, Malthus argues that because “all animated life [tends] to increase beyond the nourishment prepared for it,” there can never be real progress or happiness for mankind. Give man a little more bread than usual, he’ll breed more than usual, wiping out his little gains. Populations increase by geometrical progression, Malthus asserted, while the means of subsistence increase by only mathematic progression. Thus man is doomed to procreate himself into destitution. Malthus, one of the founders of the “dismal science” of economics, painted visions of a future filled, inescapably, with starving and diseased multitudes.

Before Malthus and his nightmarish visions, the rulers of Europe looked upon large populations as assets; after the “Principle of Population,” they began to view the same populations as liabilities, potentially disastrous liabilities. The revolution in America and the abortive revolution in France had made it very clear that masses can be lethal to the ruling classes, and Malthus provided just the perspective the rulers of Europe were looking for. The masses are totally unprincipled. Populations must be strictly controlled. In 1789, the first year of the French Revolution, the European country with the largest population was France. The statistics were on the wall, and the rulers of Europe were not slow in reading them.

In the opening half of the nineteenth century, throughout Europe, members of the ruling classes gathered to discuss the newly discovered “Population problem” and to devise ways of implementing the Malthusian mandate, to increase the mortality rate of the poor: “Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague. In the country we should build our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlements in all marshy and unwholesome situations,” and so forth and so on.

The Reverend Malthus, who took the understandable precaution of publishing his “Population” essay anonymously (in 1798), is the prototype of the Nazi-style social theorist. “Malthusianism,” as it was called, found adherents throughout Europe, but few of these dared to express their opinions outside the private chambers of fellow believers. By the end of the century, however, the Malthusians were out of the closet.

In Germany, “racial scientists” openly advocated the killing of unwanted members and segments of the population. One of these scientists, Adolf Jost, “issued an early call for direct medical killing in a book published in 1895 . . . The Right To Death (Das Recht auf den Tod).” Jost argued that for the sake of the health of the social organism, the state must take responsibility for the death of individuals. Adolf Jost was a mentor to Adolf Hitler, who agreed 100 percent. “The state must see to it that only the healthy beget children,” Hitler said. “The state must act as the guardian of a millennial future. . . . It must put the most modern medical means in the service of this knowledge. It must declare unfit for propagation all who are in any way visibly sick or who have inherited a disease and can therefore pass it on.”

Between the first decade of the nineteenth century and the last, what was it that occurred that made Malthusianism “respectable?” Darwinism. Specifically: Darwin’s adoption of the “Malthus doctrine” as his third premise. In the third premise is a foundation of the Third Reich. In effect, if not intent, Darwinism is Malthusianism, re-presented in the guise of true science. Under the banner of Darwinism, “The Only True & Sacred Biology & Evolution,” the Malthusians and their masters were able to wreak havoc in our civilization. Among their legacies are the ravages of the imperialists in the late nineteenth century, the lethal socialisms that have plagued our century, the world wars, holocaust after holocaust, and very possibly one or more of the serious diseases which now afflict humanity.


In Palo Alto, early 1994, I attended a lecture on evolution by a distinguished Stanford professor. The professor began his lecture with the bald statement, “Today, the science of evolution is synonymous with Darwinism.” The professor paused, smiled. There were no challenges from the audience, and so he continued, repeating the “truisms” of Darwinism, truisms that are not true but only seem so because they’ve been repeated so often. Unlike any other scientific theory I know of, Darwinism has survived refutation after refutation. In 1971, Norman Macbeth, a Harvard-trained lawyer who made the study of Darwinian theory his avocation for many years, published quite a good critique of Darwinism — Darwin Retried. One of Macbeth’s major concluding points, which is well documented, is that most Darwinists have little confidence in their own theory. The eminent Karl Popper calls the book “an excellent and fair, though unsympathetic retrial of Darwin.” (What “sympathy” has to do with science I do not know.) It is 1995, almost twenty-five years later. Darwinism is still our orthodox biology.

In 1986, Australian scientist Michael Denton published Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, a thoroughgoing critique of Darwinism which concludes that the much-celebrated theory is “the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century.” “One might have expected,” Denton writes, “that a theory of such cardinal importance, a theory that literally changed the world, would have been something more than metaphysics, something more than a myth.” Practically in the same breath, Denton remarks that “Darwinism remains . . the only truly scientific theory of evolution.”

Denton’s confusion is understandable. It is difficult to believe that a theory with so little merit could have become so profoundly entrenched in our science — and in the conventional wisdom. Isn’t science supposed to free us from myth? Darwinism may remain the teflon orthodoxy for another twenty-five years. That should not dissuade us from the vital work of critique.

So far, we’ve analyzed Darwinism into its three basic premises. How valid (strong) are those premises?

(1) The strength of Darwinism is in the first premise, the Lamarckian premise of the evolutionary transformation of one species into others. Lacking sufficient data, Lamarck viewed the evolutionary line as strictly linear. Species A produces B, B produces C, C produces D, and so on. In 1855, Alfred Wallace re-articulated the premise,

arguing that the evolutionary line may be branched, i.e., Species A may produce C as well as B, B may produce D, E and F, etc. Further, Wallace argued, evolutionary steps are not necessarily “progressive” (more and more perfect), as Lamarck had maintained.

The Wallace articulation came to be known as “the Sarawak Law.” Every species has come into existence coincident both in time and space with a pre-existing closely allied species. The long and short of it is: When the Lamarck-Wallace premise fell into Darwin’s hands, it was in good shape scientifically. It was, and is, a valid premise, supported by much evidence.

(2) Darwin’s second premise, that natural selection is the cause of divergence in species, is what is called an “empty generalization.” It sounds good, but it tells us nothing. If I were to tell you that the cause of divergence in species was the “environment,” would you find that an adequate explanation? No, of course not. “You must be more specific,” you would say. “What is it, specifically, in the environment that causes divergence?” “Natural selection” is no more specific than “environment.”

It is not difficult to understand why so many scientists have accepted the premise of natural selection uncritically. It does seem to be an explanation more in the scientific direction than “Zeus,” for instance, of “Jehova.” Nevertheless, natural selection is simply a “false scent” that takes us nowhere, except deeper and deeper into the woods. Darwin himself was uneasy with the term. In the sixth and last edition of the Origin, he says that survival of the fittest is a “more accurate” expression of what he had previously called natural selection. Interestingly, the phrase “survival of the fittest” was coined not by Darwin, but by philosopher-evolutionist Herbert Spencer some seven or eight years before the publication of the Origin. By 1872, the phrase had become the common catchword (slogan) for Darwinism. Darwin laid claim to it (“selected” it, we should say), preferring it over the meaningless natural selection.

Further, the concept of natural selection was tied too closely to Alfred Wallace, the talented young evolutionist who had been totally eclipsed by Darwin. (When the famous theory of evolution was first presented, it was called the “Darwin-Wallace” theory. A correct title would have been the “Wallace-Darwin” theory.) The phrase “survival of the fittest” was the product of one of Darwin’s most ardent apostles. Mr. Spencer was quite delighted Darwin adopted the phrase.

(3) Darwin’s third premise — the so-called “Malthus doctrine” — has no scientific validity, and it never did. In the modern jargon of critique, we would call the Malthus doctrine an example of “reductive, or simplistic, sexual determinism.” (Sigmund Freud is whipped routinely by contemporary commentators for having fallen into the trap of sexual determinism.) The idea that “all animated life” is governed exclusively by the sexual-reproductive drive was suggested to Malthus by early eighteenth century reports regarding goats that had been released by buccaneers on certain of the Galapagos islands circa the 1670s. The reports indicated that the goats had multiplied to the point that scarcely a bit of vegetation was left.

Malthus read the reports and concluded that human beings, if left to their own devices, would do the same thing. They would reproduce themselves right out of house and home, to the point the entire population would be left without a can of beans. This conclusion is the pseudo-scientific basis of the “Malthus doctrine” that Darwin so enthusiastically embraced, and amplified — by his declaration that it “applied . . . to the whole animal and vegetable kingdom.”

Any form of reductive determinism is the intellectual equivalent of a tar pit. Malthus was trapped in his own tar. In later life, he endeavored to correct the erroneous doctrine, but by then, it was too late. The doctrine had become a part of our common stock of “true ideas about the way things are.” Thus it is that Darwin writes with such certainty, that “There is no exception to the rule, that every organic being naturally increases at so high a rate, that if not destroyed [Italics mine], the earth would soon be covered by the progeny of a single pair . . . .”

“Even slow-breeding man has doubled in twenty-five years,” Darwin continues, “and at this rate, in a few thousand years, there would literally not be standing room for his progeny.” This “Malthus-Darwin doctrine,” let us call it, was the basis for much hysteria in the ruling classes of the last century. The Malthus-Darwin doctrine clearly suggested that the human population of the planet had become a problem. “If not destroyed,” to use Darwin’s phrase, this population would soon leave the planet as barren as the goat-infested Galapagos islands. The Malthus-Darwin doctrine had no scientific basis whatsoever; it was based on the erroneous reasoning of Malthus. Darwin should have known better. Perhaps he did. Whatever the case, the doctrine was a big hit with the rulers of the last century, a strong incitement — sanctioned by science — to over-run the planet before others did so.

Suddenly, the nations of Europe found themselves with “surplus populations.” The Age of Imperialism was born, as nation after nation entered the race to acquire foreign lands and foreign countries, not because of greed, but because of national survival. The nations that would survive into the future would be those in possession of vast tracts of land for the dumping of surplus population. In a very short time, all of Africa was carved up by the European nations. Aboriginal peoples of that continent who objected to slavery were slaughtered. Many great tribes — tribes that for thousands of years had existed in balance with their environment — were eradicated in the “African Holocaust.”

Imperialistic competition for “empire” (i.e., colonies throughout the world) was probably the principal reason for World War I. In 1901, Arthur Dix, the editor of two Berlin journals, writes, “A timorous people, which knows not how to use its elbows, may of course put a stop to the increase in its population — it might find things too narrow at home. The superfluity of population might find no economic existence. A people happy in its future, however, knows nothing of an artificial limitation; its only care can be to find room on the globe for a livelihood for other members of its own race.”

In Britain as Germany’s Vassal (1912), German Social Darwinist (and retired general) F. Von Bernhardi writes, “In the interest of the world’s civilization it is our duty to enlarge Germany’s colonial empire. Thus alone can we politically, or at least nationally, unite the Germans throughout the world, for only then will they recognize that German civilization is the most necessary factor in human progress. We must endeavor to acquire new territories throughout the world by all means in our power, because we must preserve to Germany the millions of Germans who will be born in the future, and we must provide for them food and employment. They ought to be enabled to live under a German sky, and to lead a German life.” Given such attitudes — not only in Germany, but throughout Europe — war became inevitable. It was inevitable for another reason as well:

War was viewed by Bernhardi and his many Social Darwinist colleagues in Europe as “an indispensable regulator” of populations. “If it were not for war,” Bernhardi writes, “we should probably find that inferior and degenerate races would overcome healthy and youthful ones by their wealth and their numbers. The generative importance of war lies in this, that it causes selection, and thus war becomes a biological necessity.”

The German word for “colonies around the world in which to dump surplus populations” was “Lebensraum” — living space. For the Germans, the loss of the First World War meant, among other dire things, the loss of their lebensraum. The punitive reparations demanded by the victors was a serious matter; far more serious was the fact that Germany was physically contracted and stripped of her colonies. This contraction of Germany was, from the point of view of the Darwinists in that country, a death sentence. With the empire-building option blocked (momentarily at least), German social planners began to focus more exclusively on internal options for guaranteeing the survival of the German race.

In 1923, Fritz Lenz, a Germany physician-geneticist who became a leading ideologue in the Nazi racial purification program, complained bitterly that Germany under the Weimar Constitution was falling far behind America in the all-important field of eugenics, the science of improving the race by means of “selection” of degenerate individuals and groups for sterilization: “Lenz complained that provisions in the Weimar Constitution (prohibiting the infliction of bodily alterations on human beings) prevented widespread use of vasectomy techniques; that Germany had nothing to match the eugenics research institutions in England and the United States (for instance, that at Cold Spring Harbor, New York, led by Charles B. Davenport and funded by the Carnegie Institution in Washington and by Mary Harriman).” Mary Harriman was the widow of the railroad tycoon E. H. Harriman. Both E. H. Harriman and Andrew Carnegie had been great admirers of Herbert Spencer, who was the chief conduit in America for Darwinian dogma.

In historical context, “eugenics” may be defined as applied Darwinism. The founder of eugenics is Francis Galton, a cousin of Darwin’s and the author of several highly influential books on heredity, including Hereditary Genius (1869), Inquiries into Human Faculties (1883), and National Inheritance (1889). Not long after Galton published the last-named book, a group of so-called “racial scientists” became quite active in Germany. (Also influential in the formation of the group was German Social Darwinist Ernst Haeckel, who declared that the various races may be defined as separate species.) One of these scientists was Adolf Jost, previously cited as the author of The Right to Death (1895). The main thesis of this book is that the final solution to the population problem is state control over human reproduction. The book is couched in the rhetoric of (Darwinian) natural rights. The state has a natural right and a sacred responsibility to kill individuals in order to keep the nation, the social organism, alive and healthy.

Later advocates of state-medical killing, such as law professor Karl Binding of the University of Leipzig and Alfred Hoche, professor of psychiatry at the University of Freiburg, would stress the therapeutic value of destroying “life unworthy of life.” The destruction of such life is “purely a healing treatment.” Between the world wars, sterilization became the most preferred tool for the control of population. The fact the Weimar Constitution did not allow sterilization was no small matter; Social Darwinistic scientists and their followers saw it as a dire threat to the nation. “If the power to fight for one’s own health is no longer present,” Hitler wrote, “the right to live in this world of struggle ends.”

To understand why sterilization was such an important issue for the Social Darwinists, we need not look far. “In civilized man,” Ernst Mayr (America’s dean of Darwinism) writes, “the two components of selective value, adaptive superiority and reproductive success, no longer coincide. The individuals with above-average genetic endowments do not necessarily make an above-average contribution to the gene pool of the next generation.” Indeed, Mayr continues, “shiftless, improvident individuals who have a child every year are certain to add more genes to the gene pool of the next generation than those who carefully plan the size of their families. Natural selection has no answer to this predicament. [Italics mine} The separation [in] the modern society of mere reproductive success from genuine adaptedness poses a serious problem for man’s future.”

In other words: When humans are in the state of nature, their numbers (and their quality as biological organisms) are effectively controlled by natural selection. In the struggle for existence, the fittest usually win, and the weakest usually lose. The winners get to pass on their winning genes; the losers get to skulk away and die. When man becomes “civilized,” however, the game changes. The weak are no longer destroyed. Indeed, the weak are protected by unnatural do-gooder religions and philosophies. They are given advantages they have not earned. They have nothing to do in life but reproduce, and reproduce they do — “a child every year,” according to Mayr. While those who are unworthy of life proliferate right and left, the genuinely superior find themselves more and more restricted, more and more disadvantaged in the evolutionary struggle.

Thus it is Mayr issues his dark prognosis . . . this situation “poses a serious problem for man’s future.” Mayr’s view is essentially a contemporary re-statement of the old eugenics propaganda. When Hitler and his Nazis commenced their programs of sterilization and extermination, they were operating on the firm conviction that for the sake of the German people and the future of man, National Socialism must take over where Natural Selection left off. In Darwinism — both classical and neo-Darwinism — natural selection is the only ordering principle in nature. If the principle of natural selection is thwarted by misguided man, what is the inevitable result? Disorder, degeneracy, and destruction.

In a great many ways, the Nazi movement was a crusade against what they perceived as degeneracy, a crusade in the name of the new god . . . Science. The legacy of the Malthus-Darwin doctrine is sad indeed. The mandate it gave our rulers was, “Control population and progress . . . or perish.” From this mandate arose two political strategies that were to make the twentieth century the most cruel and barbaric on record. One of these strategies was strictly Malthusian: “Do nothing for the masses except that which accelerates their destruction.” This was called “laissez-faire” . . . don’t interfere. The other strategy saw in totalitarianism, the complete control of society by the state, the only satisfactory answer to the population problem. Most of the “socialisms” of our century fall in this category.

The Rise of Materialistic Scientism in Germany

“Racial Science” of Ernst Haeckel

Racial Science: (1880’s-1945) “Racial science” in later 19th century Germany was based on the declaration of Ernst Haeckel that the races are “separate species.” Once the concept of races as “separate species” was defined, the next step was to distinguish between “progressive races” and “regressive races” (species), and then making “scientific” recommendations regarding “eugenic improvement.” One highly influential race scientist was Alfred Jost, author of The Right to Death (1865). The main thesis of the Jost book was that the “final solution” to the “population problem” is state control over human reproduction. The book is couched in the rhetoric of (Darwinian) “natural rights.” The state, according to Jost, has a “natural right” and “sacred responsibility” to kill undesirable individuals in order to “keep the nation, the social organism, alive and healthy.” This so-called “right” was the basis for the “race purification” programs of the Third Reich. Another key individual was Alfred Ploetz, Social Darwinist and founder (1904) of the German Society for Racial Hygiene. Ploetz looked to Galton as his scientific mentor.

Bismarkian Militarism

“Blood and Iron” Militarism: Not until 1860’s were the German states unified into Germany, by Karl Otto Eduard Leopold Bismark-Schonhausen, usually referred to simply as “Bismark,” (1815-1898). Bismark set the tone of the new German empire in 1862, when he said, “Not by speeches and resolutions of majorities are the mighty problems of the age to be solved, but by blood and iron.” The “Iron Chancellor” originated these measures for the working classes; it was the foundation for state socialism. His methodology is sometimes referred to as “paternalism.” The Germany military at the turn of the century, educated in the “school of Blood and Iron,” took to Social Darwinism like tanks to battle (an appropriate parallel to “ducks to water.”) One key military opinion leader in early 20th century Germany was retired General Bernhardi, who is quoted in chapter three: “If it were not for war, we should probably find that inferior and degenerate races would overcome healthy and youthful ones of their wealth and their numbers.” The generative importance of war lies in this, that it causes selection, and thus war becomes a biological necessity. Combine race science with Bismarkian militaristic paternalism, and we have the formula for the Third Reich, personified in Adolph Hitler.

German-American Eugenics Liaison

German-American Eugenics Liaison (1919-1939): Under the highly punitive terms of the Versailles Treaty, Germany was physically contracted and stripped of her colonies. In Social Darwinistic terms, this contraction was not simply a punishment, it was a death sentence. Any country [that subscribed to Malthusian beliefs] that did not “have room to dump its surplus population,” would perish. Blocked in terms of discharging its “surplus population” into colonies, Germany was compelled to find an internal solution to the “population problem.” It was no alleviation that vast numbers had perished in the First World War. The blood of the noblest had been shed, it was believed, and “the blood of the degenerates” now threatened to inundate Germany. Race scientists found in America the model they were looking for–the precedent of sterilization and other means of control of “undesirable population” on a significant scale.

Fritz Lenz

In 1923, Fritz Lenz, a German physician-geneticist who became a leading ideologue in the Nazi race purification programs, complained bitterly that Germany, under the Weimar Constitution (which prohibited the infliction of bodily alterations on humans), prevented widespread use of vasectomy techniques, and that Germany had nothing to match the eugenics research institutions in England and the United States. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, there was a significant flow of eugenics information from the United States to Germany, which was later used by Hitler to provide his genocidal programs with the appearance of scientific legitimacy. Eugenics was not simply a German interest, so the propaganda machine declared, it is a “science” practiced throughout the world. Best references are the oft-cited Lifton book, The Nazi Doctors, and Stefen Kuhl’s The Nazi Connection–Eugenics, American Racism and German National Socialism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

The Third Reich

The Third Reich (1933-1945): As early as the publication of Mein Kampf (1924), Hitler declared that the sacred survival mission of the German people was the “assembling and preserving of the most valuable stocks of basic racial elements [and]…slowly and severely raising them to a dominant position.” The Third Reich was a powerful machine designed to do just that, to assure the worldwide dominance of the Germanic genes, the “basic racial elements.” Hitler was no madman–he was the ultimate Social Darwinist demagog.

The Kaiser Wilhelm Society

During the period of Hitler, the Kaiser Wilhelm Society (KWG), Germany’s most prestigious scientific institution, focused a great deal of its attention on eugenics. The KWG operated between 1911 and 1945. If Hitler had won, it would now be the “Vatican” of Scientism. See Science, Technology and National Socialism, by Monika Renneburg and Mark Walker (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993). Note especially an essay by Herbert Mehrten (“Irresponsible Purity,” etc.), which makes the very important point that “pure science” is no valid justification for participation in scientific work involved in destructive or questionable political programs. “Pure science” is then defined as irresponsible.

The Nuremburg Trials

The Nuremburg Trials: As showcase for the display of righteous indignation, the Nuremburg trials were very effective. As a means for determining the causes behind the horror perpetrated by the Third Reich, the trials were an abject failure. A few notorius leaders of the Third Reich were condemned and disposed of. Most of the scientists associated with the Reich were quickly assimilated into the scientific and intelligence establishments of the Allies. The scientific vision underlying the Third Reich–Social Darwinism–was of course never brought to trial. A few fanatical puppets of the paradigm were slain. The paradigm itself remained, and remains to this day.

Influence of Malthus and Darwin
on the European Elite

“There is no exception to the rule that every organic being naturally increases at so high a rate, that if not destroyed, the earth would soon be covered by the progeny of a single pair. Even slow-breeding man has doubled in twenty-five years, and at this rate, in a few thousand years, there would literally not be standing room for his progeny….” —Charles Darwin

The Premises of Classical Darwinism

The first premise of classical Darwinism is that species evolve from other species. The second premise is that Natural Selection is the means of evolution. The third premise is the so-called “Malthus doctrine.” This doctrine maintains that organisms tend to reproduce at a geometrical rate, whereas resources replenish themselves slowly–at an arithmetic rate. Consequently, severe struggle for the means of subsistence becomes inevitable.. It is this premise that is referred to in the subtitle of the Origin … The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

The Malthusian Doctrine: The Effect on the Elite

The Malthus doctrine was set forth by the Reverend Thomas Malthus in one of the most influential of modern essays, the “Essay on the Principle of Population” (1798). In this essay, Malthus argues that because “all animated life [tends] to increase beyond the nourishment prepared for it,” there can be never be real progress or happiness for humankind. Humanity is doomed to procreate itself into destitution.

Before Malthus and his nightmarish visions, the rulers of Europe looked upon large populations as assets; after the “Principle of Population,” they began to view large populations as liabilities. Behind their readiness to embrace Malthusianism was the terrible French Revolution, which had made it very clear that large masses of people can be lethal to ruling classes. In 1789 (first year of the Revolution), the European country with the largest population was …. France.

Leader of the reaction against the French Revolution–and all that it represented–was Britain. England’s initial response to the revolution in France was mild enthusiasm. Certainly there was no need for a similar revolution in England. England had a constitution, one that was greatly admired. However, when inflammatory pamphlets started circulating in England, the voices of reaction began to make themselves heard. The most articulate of those voices belonged to Edmund Burke, who in his younger years had pleaded the cause of the American colonies before Parliament. In 1790, Burke was an old man. An old man with a large estate to support.

On February 9, 1790, Burke arose in the House of Commons and began his critique of the new “democracy.” “Our present danger is … from anarchy, a danger of being led, through an admiration of successful fraud and violence, to an imitation of the excess of an irrational, unprincipled, proscribing, confiscatory, plundering, ferocious, bloody, and tyrannical democracy. On the side of religion, the danger is no longer from intolerance but from atheism–a foul, uncanny vice, a foe to all the dignity and consolation of mankind–which seems in France, for a long time, to have been embodied into a faction, accredited, and almost avowed.” In November of the same year, Burke published his famous Reflections on the French Revolution, which represented the “conservative” position in most convincing terms.

The subsequent excesses of the French Revolution appeared to many to prove Burke’s argument. When news that Louis XVI had been beheaded reached London, George III and most of his subjects were absolutely shocked. There was no more cheering for France. On January 24, 1793, the British government ordered the French minister to leave the kingdom. On February l, France declared war on both England and Holland.

The attitude of the upper classes in England at the time might be summarized by the word “panic.” In the words of the Durants, “panic struck the upper classes of Britain when they found themselves faced by another revolution so soon after the costly revolt of the American colonies. The thousand-year-old world of kings and aristocracies seemed to be collapsing, besieged by peasants burning feudal chateaux and title deeds, and by city mobs imprisoning the royal family and cutting off hundreds of noble heads…..” All this, many Britons felt, was the result of “atheistic” French philosophers (especially Rousseau) and their English counterparts, people like William Godwin (the “Foolish Philosopher”) and Thomas Paine, the “pen of the American Revolution.”

An Exposition of the Malthusian Doctrine

It was against this background that Rev. Malthus committed to paper his pessimistic appraisal of the condition of man. It all began as something of an academic exercise. Thomas’ father was an admirer of Rousseau. Wouldn’t be fun to challenge Father with a view completely different from his own? The father was so impressed by the ingenuity of his son, he encouraged Thomas to publish the piece. Malthus took up the dare and published the “Principle of Population” in 1798.

Populations, whether animal or human, know no internal constraints, the Rev. Malthus argued. Populations simply grow and grow, until checked by Famine, Disease, or War. Do populations exhibit any internal constraints to excessive population growth? Malthus’ answer was “No.” Populations are unprincipled.

Where did Malthus get the idea that unless held in check by severe external factors, populations devastate their environment? Curiously, the same islands that were so important in the formation of Darwin’s thought played a major role in the cogitations of Malthus … the Galapagos.

Malthus and the Galapagos Goats

In the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth, ships would stop at the Galapagos to pick up giant (delicious) Galapagos turtles. The turtles, piled on their backs in the holds of ships, would remain alive for a very long time. Goats, on the other hand, were a lot of trouble. Goats, the standard meat source, had to be fed, and they couldn’t be piled on their backs. For those traveling near the Galapagos, the sensible thing to do was to stop and trade goats for turtles. A great many goats were released on the islands. In time, goats on certain of the islands ate just about every bit of vegetation.

Malthus happened to run across the “Galapagos goats” information in a book on the Poor Laws published by Viscount Townshend in the early 1700s. Gladly Malthus seized upon the data, as it supported him in a long-running debate with his father. What the goat situation indicates, Malthus believed, is that the sexual drive knows no constraints, no internal constraints that is. What is true for the goats is also true for humanity, Malthus supposed. Consequently, populations–whether populations of goats or humans– must be controlled by external factors, by a responsible elite. This point of view was more than welcome to the elites of Europe.

In the opening half of the nineteenth century, throughout Europe, the ministers of monarchy and members of the ruling classes met to discuss the newly discovered “population problem” and to devise ways of implementing the Rev. Malthus’ recommendation that the mortality rate of the poor must be increased.

“Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor,” Malthus declared, “we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague. In the country we should build our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlements in all marshy and unwholesome situations,” and so forth.

Another way to state the main premise of the Malthus doctrine is : “All animated life” is governed exclusively by the sexual-reproductive drive. The “-logy” (logic) behind biology is the “logic of sexual drive.” Thus stated the Malthus concept is an example of “sexual determinism” of the most reductive kind. Why “reductive”? Malthus reduces a complex interplay of factors to just one factor–sexual drive.

Any form of reductive determinism has, on its face, little or no scientific merit. Some very innovative thinkers have been castigated, and cast out of the scientific forum, because of their attachment to reductive determinism. Sigmund Freud is a case in point. Once the label of “sexual determinist” was applied to Freud, Freudian psychology was essentially finished.

The Malthus doctrine, one of the most influential “doctrines” of modern times, never had any scientific basis whatsoever. Malthus took a very unusual situation–that of the goats in the Galapagos–and called it typical, the way things are in the biological realm. If they are not subject to external constraints, all animals will over-run their environment, breed themselves out of existence. Prepared by his theology to take a rather dismal view of humanity, Malthus concluded that humans were no different from the goats. Humans had to be checked by Famine, Disease or War, or by the intervention (or non-intervention) of an ethical elite, or they would over-run the planet, leaving it as barren as the goat-infested Galapagos.

In his later years, Malthus acknowledged his error and revised his position on the “principle” of population. Unfortunately, it was the original view, and not the revised, that came to the attention of Charles Darwin.

The Malthus-Darwin Connection

In putting together his theory of evolution, Darwin was pressed to find an explanation for “variability”–variations in organisms and species. He knew from his observations in the Galapagos and elsewhere that geography was an important factor in speciation. Take members of the same species and put them in different geographical locations, they’ll evolve into different species. So much was certain. What was not clear to Darwin was the mechanism, the means, by which the differentiation occurred. The matter was problematical. Then, in 1838, Darwin read the Malthus’ essay on population.

“In October 1838,” Darwin writes in his autobiography, “I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on , from long continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved and unfavourable ones to be destroyed.”

The Malthus idea of “existence as an incessant struggle” suggested to Darwin an explanation for variation that would be regarded as sensible by just about everyone: The “Mother” of variation is none other than the old, familiar struggle for existence. And Natural Selection is the “Dad”–the decider. Dissertations on geographical determinism, dissertations on any type of determinism, not required. Variations existing now are the winners of past and present struggles for existence. Variations of the future will be those that survive the tests of struggle and selection.

Recall the subtitle of Darwin’s book: The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Ever since the French Revolution, the fate of the ruling classes had been somewhat in question. Was the elite losing ground? Was the elite obsolete? “No, indeed,” saith Darwinism. “Elite status is prima facie evidence of evolutionary superiority.” What does it take to maintain that superiority? “Acceptance of the first and foremost responsibility of the elite–to subdue all expressions of unprincipled natural man.”

The Malthus-Darwin position regarding natural man was the direct opposite of the Deistic position of those in the line of Rousseau and Lamarck. For the latter, natural man was divine, close to the Creator. “Civilization” is corruption. For those in the Darwin camp, the opposite is true. Natural man is vicious, and society represents the efforts of “the ethical few” to contain the violence and the destructiveness inherent in natural man.

“Among primitive men,” wrote foremost Social Darwinist T.H. Huxley, “the weakest and stupidest went to the wall, while the toughest and shrewdest, those who were best fitted to cope with their circumstances, survived. Life was a continual free fight, and beyond the limited and temporary relations of the family, the Hobbesian war of each against all was the normal state of existence. The human species, like others, plashed and floundered amid the general stream of evolution, keeping its head above water as it best might, and thinking neither of whence nor whither.” The Hobbesian war of each against all is the natural state of existence.

Further: “One of the most essential conditions, if not the chief cause, of the struggle for existence, is the tendency to multiply without limit, which [tendency] man shares with all living things….” This is the familiar Malthus hypothesis, which Darwin incorporated into his theory.

Further: “The effort of ethical man to work towards a moral end by no means abolished … the deep-seated organic impulses which impel the natural man to follow his non-moral course….” Ethical man is the product of “moral” (as opposed to natural) evolution. Society is an expression of moral evolution. “Society not only has a moral end, but in its perfection, social life, is embodied morality.” The primary, absolutely necessary function of ethical man, and society is to regulate non-moral man. Ethical man “founds his life on a more or less complete self-restraint, which is the negation of the unlimited struggle for existence….” Thus it was that Darwinism (and Social Darwinism) gave the ruling classes of the nineteenth century a new lease on power, a new justification for existence. They were the regulators of the sex-crazed, violent beast–the amoral masses of mankind.

As the quotation which heads this chapter indicates, Darwin fully embraced the Malthus hypothesis that all organisms breed at a geometrical rate and know no internal constraints. This is the hypothesis we label the “Malthus doctrine.” “There is no exception to the rule,” Darwin writes with totally unwarranted certainty, “that every organic being naturally increases at so high a rate, that if not destroyed, the earth would soon be covered by the progeny of a single pair.” What about humans? “Even slow-breeding man,” Darwin states, “has doubled in twenty-five years, and this rate, in a few thousand years, there would literally not be standing room for his progeny….”

The long and short of it is: Darwin took a perverse, elitist, unscientific philosophy (Malthusianism) and made it one of the foundations of modern biology and evolution. Without the legitimization that Darwin provided, Malthusianism would not have survived much beyond mid-century. It was patently part of an hysterical ruling class response to the French Revolution.

Did Darwin knowingly conspire to insinuate into science an abhorrent view of life?–conspire with reactionaries to establish an evolution theory that justified the rulers of the last century and our own in committing numberless crimes against the common people, all in the name of science. “The greatest authority of all the advocates of war is Darwin,” wrote Max Nordau in the North American Review in 1889. “Since the theory of evolution has been promulgated, they can cover their natural barbarism with the name of Darwin and proclaim the sanguinary instincts of their inmost hearts as the last word of science.” In response to the above question, I can enter only an opinion at this point: Darwin was no original thinker; he was great collector and synthesizer of information. Where social theory is concerned, Malthusianism had achieved an orthodox status among Darwin’s associates in the Royal Society. All indications are that Darwin truly believed in the Malthus theory. “As more individuals are produced than can possibly survive,” he writes with apparent sincerity, “there must in every case be a struggle for existence, either one individual with another of the same species, or with the individuals of distinct species, or with the physical conditions of life. It is the doctrine or Malthus applied with manifold force to the whole animal and vegetable kingdom….”

In their enthusiasm for the “Malthus-Darwin doctrine,” some of Darwin’s followers carried the idea of “life-as-fight” to absurd lengths: “T.H. Huxley said that all the molecules within each organism were competing with each other. August Weismann [a German biologist] suggested that the particles of germ plasm were in conflict with each other, so that the ancestors who had contributed them could be seen as struggling with each other as to which should be re-created. Wilhelm Roux developed the theory that the organs were struggling with each other for nourishment, kidneys against lungs, heart against brain. Neither Darwin nor his immediate followers had much feeling for the internal stability and harmony of the organism.”

Interestingly, the “struggle for existence” is rarely discussed any longer as an issue in biology. As Norman Macbeth indicates, “Darwin took it over from Malthus, who was a sociologist (and a grim one) rather than a biologist. It was not derived from a loving contemplation of plants and animals. Such a contemplation would show that there were always more seeds than were needed for the replacement of the parents, but it would not show that ‘each organic being was striving to increase at a geometrical ratio’ or that there was continual struggle….”

Today, in biology, the emphasis is on co-operative relationships among organisms rather than competitive ones. In The Lives of a Cell, for instance, biologist Lewis Thomas writes: “Most of the associations between the living things we know about are essentially cooperative ones, symbiotic in one degree or another; when they have the look of adversaries, it is usually a standoff relation, with one party issuing signals, warnings, flagging the other off….”

The “Survival” Game

After 1859, the Darwinian “vision” of existence as purposeless struggle and of evolution as a haphazard process quickly replaced the Judeo-Christian vision of human life as a purposeful, divinely guided moral struggle. The Darwinian revolution deposed God as Source, and indeed exiled from the realm of “true science” all teleological considerations (considerations as to the purpose and ends of life). “Instead of endorsing the eighteenth-century concept of a drive toward perfection,” writes Ernst Mayr, “Darwin merely postulated change…. By chance this process of adaptation sometimes results in changes that can be interpreted as progress, but there is no intrinsic mechanism generating inevitable advance.”

“Darwin’s new and revolutionary [reactionary] view,” writes Australian scientist Michael Denton, “implied that all the diversity of life on Earth had resulted from natural and random processes and not, as previously believed, from the creative activity of God. The acceptance of this great claim and the consequent elimination of God from nature was to play a decisive role in the secularization of western society….”

Further, the “idea of life as meaningless struggle” played a decisive role in the brutalization of the western world. Guided by the “scientific” ideas that “war is the health of the nation” and that the great threat to the state is over-population, the rulers of late nineteenth century Europe precipitated the Age of Imperialism. After Darwin, the nations of Europe found themselves with “surplus populations.” Nation after nation entered the race to acquire foreign lands. The motive was not greed, it was “survival.” The nations that would survive into the future, it was believed, would be those in possession of vast tracts of land for the dumping of surplus population.

In a very short time, all of Africa was carved up by the European powers. Aboriginal peoples of that continent who objected to slavery were destroyed. Many great tribes, tribes that for thousands of years existed in balance with the environment, were eradicated. It was the “African Holocaust.” Today, the holocaust continues.

Competition for empire (i.e. the possession of colonies for the dumping of surplus population) was a major cause of World War I. In 1901, Arthur Dix, the editor of two Berlin journals, wrote: “A timorous people, which knows not how to use its elbows, may of course put a stop to the increase of population–it might find things too narrow at home. The superfluity of population might find no economic existence. A people happy in its future, however, knows nothing of artificial limitation; its only care can be to find room on the globe for a livelihood for other members of its own race.”

In Britain as Germany’s Vassal (1912), Social Darwinist (and retired German general) F. von Bernhardi writes, “In the interest of the world’s civilization it is our duty to enlarge Germany’s colonial empire. Thus alone can we politically, or at least nationally, unite the German civilization throughout the world, for only then will they recognize that German civilization is the most necessary factor in human progress. We must endeavor to acquire new territories throughout the world by all means in our power, because we must preserve to Germany the millions of Germans who will be born in the future, and we must provide for them food and employment. They ought to be enabled to live under a German sky, and to lead a German life.”

Given such attitudes (not only in Germany, but throughout Europe), war became inevitable. It became inevitable for another reason as well: War was viewed by Bernhardi and other influential hard-core Social Darwinists as an “indispensable regulator” of populations. “If it were not for war,” Bernhardi writes, “we should probably find that inferior and degenerate races would overcome healthy and youthful ones by their wealth and their numbers. The generative importance of war lies in this, that it causes selection, and thus war becomes a biological necessity.”

In the twentieth century, the Malthus-Darwin doctrine conditioned a struggle for power on an unprecedented scale. The twentieth century is the most bloody, the most brutal on record. For the first time, the principal targets of war became populations.

The Concept of Mutual Aid and Cooperation

One who had attempted to stop the carnage was the Russian naturalist and evolutionist Petr Kropotkin. In the last decades of the nineteenth century, Kropotkin argued the view that the key to evolutionary progress is not conflict, but cooperation. In his years of research in Siberian and elsewhere, Kropotkin maintained, he failed to find “that bitter struggle for existence, among animals belonging to the same species, which was considered by most Darwinists (though not always by Darwin himself) as the dominant characteristic of the struggle for life, and the main factor of evolution. “If we ask Nature,” Kropotkin writes, “Who are the fittest: those who are continually at war with each other, or those who support one another?” we at once see that those animals which acquire habits of mutual aid are undoubtedly the fittest. They have more chances to survive, and they attain, in their respective classes, the highest development of the intelligence and bodily organization….”

In 1902, Kropotkin published Mutual Aid–A Factor of Evolution, a thorough, scientific refutation of the idea that struggle for survival is the source of evolutionary progress. It was too late. The Social Darwinists were in command of the field, and they were demanding war. In 1914, the despairing Kropotkin wrote: “When the present war began, involving nearly all Europe in a terrible struggle, and this struggle assumed … a never yet known character of wholesale destruction of life among the non-combatants and pillage of the means of subsistence of the civil population, ‘struggle for existence’ became the favorite explanation with those who tried to find an excuse for these horrors.”

Applied Darwinism and the Nazi Reich

As we all know, the First World War was only the beginning of the horrors. For many twentieth century leaders, “genocide” was regarded as a legitimate tool of state policy. “National Socialism,” said Nazi Deputy Party leader Rudolf Hess in 1934, is nothing but applied biology.” The third premise of classical Darwinism became the foundation of the Third Reich.

“The entire Nazi regime,” writes Robert Jay Lifton, “was built on a biomedical vision that required the kind of racial purification that would progress from sterilization to extensive killing.” As early as the publication of Mein Kampf (1924-26), Lifton indicates, “Hitler had declared the sacred racial mission of the German people to be ‘assembling and preserving the most valuable stocks of basic racial elements [and]…. slowly and severely raising them to a dominant position.’…” For Hitler, the most famous of the twentieth century Social Darwinist politicos, the stakes were absolute: “If the power to fight for one’s own health is no longer present, the right to live in this world of struggle ends.”

Annihilation “In the Name of Survival”

By the middle of our Malthusian century, the great “Superpowers”–the winners of the struggle for dominance–were threatening the annihilation of the entire planet … in the name of survival.

“The twentieth century would be incomprehensible without the Darwinian revolution,” writes Michael Denton. “The social and political currents which have swept the world in the past eighty years would not have been possible without its intellectual sanction… .”49 Among the “currents which have swept the world,” we may list … Imperialism, the mad rush for empire in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth; the rise in the twentieth century of various forms of socialism premised on the idea that the first responsibility of the state is population control, a responsibility inevitably involving emphasis on the elimination of supposedly defective peoples; the First and Second World Wars; the so-called Cold War; and the numerous late twentieth century “hot” wars.

Since the establishment of Darwinism as the West’s official evolutionary theory, “war’ has been the order of the day. “War,” writes Jacques Barzun, “became the symbol, the image, the inducement, the reason, and the language of all human doings on the planet. No one who has not waded through some sizable part of the literature of the period 1870-1914 has any conception of the extent to which it is one long call for blood,….” 50 The call for blood began with the French Revolution. The blood of the nobility ran in the gutters, and that was something that steeled the hearts of those in the ruling classes. The masses had dared war on their masters. They would pay the price. And pay they did, by willingly engaging in war after war … marching off to the sound of the death drums of Hobbes and Malthus and “our gentle” Charles Darwin.


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