September 13, 2009
For years, Steve Sailer pointed out that all those liberals and leftists who championed Charles Darwin against Bush-loving fundamentalists have probably never read the subtitle to his most famous book. Otherwise they’d be horrified.
[S]omebody should ask liberal pundits if they believe in the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.
I bet not many would agree. Yet that’s the subtitle to Darwin’s The Origin of Species.
Paradoxically, while the Religious Right engages in attacks on Darwin’s theory of what animals evolved from, the left and center clamps down upon Darwin’s theory of what humans evolved to.
Nor do many liberal commentators know that much of Darwin’s second most important book, The Descent of Man, consists of an evolutionary explanation of human racial differences.
In it, Darwin wrote:”… the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other—as in the texture of hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body, the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the skull, and even the convolutions of the brain. But it would be an endless task to specify the numerous points of difference. The races differ also in constitution, in acclimatization and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotions, but partly in their intellectual faculties.”
This means that Darwinian science is on a collision course with progressive egalitarians. Darwinism requires hereditary inequalities. What natural selection selects is genetic difference. In his famous The Descent of Man, Darwin wrote, “Variability is the necessary basis for the action of selection.” The left fears true Darwinian science because the politically correct dogma of our factual equality cannot survive the relentlessly accumulating evidence of our genetic variability.
What’s equally interesting, though less well discussed, is how the Religious Right almost invariably attacks Darwin from the left. Indeed, I often get the sense, with the grassroots and leadership alike, that Michael Behe, ID theory, and “irreducible complexity” are dispensable side issues when it comes to the real beef the Religious Right has with Darwin—he was a racist! (And he thus conflicts with the Christian, monotheist version of the “psychic unity of mankind.”)
My hunch was affirmed once again when I read this report about this new British Darwin biopic, Creation:
Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin’s “struggle between faith and reason” as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie.
The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia.
However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.
Movieguide.org, an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as “a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder”. His “half-baked theory” directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to “atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering”, the site stated.
The film has sparked fierce debate on US Christian websites, with a typical comment dismissing evolution as “a silly theory with a serious lack of evidence to support it despite over a century of trying”.
Jeremy Thomas, the Oscar-winning producer of Creation, said he was astonished that such attitudes exist 150 years after On The Origin of Species was published.
“That’s what we’re up against. In 2009. It’s amazing,” he said.
“The film has no distributor in America. It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it’s because of what the film is about. People have been saying this is the best film they’ve seen all year, yet nobody in the US has picked it up.
“It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America. There’s still a great belief that He made the world in six days. It’s quite difficult for we in the UK to imagine religion in America.
We live in a country which is no longer so religious. But in the US, outside of New York and LA, religion rules.
Andrew Stuttaford suggests that the film will find a distributor, eventually; I think he’s right. The snooty, left-wing Telegraph was probably just taking the opportunity to make fun of Christians.
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