Berlinski linked Nazism and Darwinism while connecting atheism with violent government regimes of the 20th Century, Hitchens bristled and went on the attack in his next turn at the podium.This seems to be a particular sticking point with the Discovery Institute and several posts here and elsewhere have dealt with this subject. Writers such as Berlinski and David Klinghoffer (and here, also) seem compelled to ascribe all of the world's evil to evolution and they do not seem to care how much they get correct or how much academic and intellectual dishonesty they commit in the process.
Connecting Nazism with Darwinism "is a filthy slander," Hitchens said. "Darwinism was derided in Germany."
Hitchens said Adolf Hitler claimed in "Mein Kampf" that he was doing God's work with his policies against the Jews and that the first Nazi treaty was with the Vatican.
"To say that there is something fascistic about my beliefs, I won't hear said, and you shouldn't believe," Hitchens said to the audience, almost thundering despite his diminished voice.
Berlinski responded that fascist and Communist governments including Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia held in common the proposition that "No power was greater than their own, and they acted on that." They were godless governments, despite some "infiltrations of religious thought," he said.
It has been established that Hitler did not use Darwinian principles during the Third Reich. The problem is that if the Discovery Institute admits that, then it is hard to paint evolution in a moral light. It becomes what it should have always been: a scientific theory. Nothing more, nothing less. I am not a fan of Hitchens' theology. In many ways, he gets exactly the same things wrong for different reasons. He accuses Berlinski of using Darwin as a scapegoat for the world's evils then proceeds to argue the same thing for religion. The truth is that violence is committed both for secular and religious purposes and it is simplistic to point to one or the other as the culprit.
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