Talk:Social effects of evolutionary theory

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As it stands this article is more about various reactions to the theory of evolution than its history, and it should be merged with History of evolutionary thought to avoid confusion as to what each each article is for.-dave souza 18:57, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

It was originally titled Social effect of evolutionary theory but somebody moved it. It, however, should remain separate from the scientific history of the theory, although that article should have a summary and a Main article: link. Lexor|Talk

This page needs work[edit]

The intro is terrible. Most of the religious objections to the theory of evolution don't have anything to do with humans being classified as animals but rather how evolution contradicts their creation myths. The article's intro seems to be exclusively focusing on how "evolution says humans are animals". That's not really something on a he said/she said basis ... it's the phylogenetic truth. And humans aren't "just" animals - more specifically, we're vertebrates, and more specifically than that, we're placental mammals. Nobody denies this. The religious objection is that in addition to being placental mammals we have some sort of soul, which the theory of evolution actually doesn't say anything about. So I would contend that there should be no religious objections to biology for classifying humans as placental mammals (and hence animals) because that's the truth. All of the religious objections are for other reasons. The article needs to be changed to reflect this. --Cyde Weys [u] [t] [c] 21:31, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I have made a small edit to the intro to include objections on creationism grounds but I have left in that others object to it because it says humans are animals that share a common ancestor with monkeys rather than being something special, as there are many who do. Most of those who object do so on both reasons although even then usually more strongly on the creation side of things.-- 11:34, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

The third sentence begins "Because the theory of evolution includes an explanation of humanity's origins", but TOE includes no such explanation. The scientific study of humanity's (or indeed, life's) origins is called abiogenesis, not evolution. Evolution is the study of how life evolved, not how life originated. Berberry (talk) 15:17, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Territory and Dominance It is surprising that these well studied aspects of social behavior in animals have not been extended to human behavior. Perhaps it is the difficulty of doing laboratory research on the human subjects, but I don't think so. Perhaps the " dominance " of behavioristic and operational research in academic research has ruled out the softer evidence in humans. Perhaps the dominance of psychoanalytic theory in psychiatry has edged out non-Freudian ideas. Perhaps the weight of religious opposition to futher intrusion of evolution into the "purely human " behaviors have mititated against such discussion. I would be interested in developing a section for this article or perhaps a separate article on territoriality and dominance in human social behavior if it would be acceptible to the ruling editors. May I have some discussion on this. Without discussion I probably will proceed. 22:17, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Have indulged in a major bout of Huxley-love. Adam Cuerden talk 16:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, that might have to go somewhere else. It's own page perhaps? It's larger than the rest of this article put together, and not nearly as informative. Endomorphic 02:12, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Should information on social debates over evolution (ie: Scopes Monkey Trial) go in this article, or in the evolution main? Tyrant Rex 03:46, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Anon plea[edit]

please can someone try to narrow this down and make it simple for us students who simply have to find out the differences between darwins theory and conflicting theories, and sugesst reasons for the different theories—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 13:11, 28 May 2007

There are no "conflicting theories" for evolution, only religious myths. In science, the word "theory" does NOT mean simply an idea somebody dreamed up, although that is exactly what some conservative religions want you to believe. In science, a theory is the best explanation yet proposed to explain a specific set of natural phenomena. If your school is requiring you to find "different" theories to explain biological phenomena, you should register a strong complaint against your teacher, because he or she is clearly incompetent. Berberry (talk) 15:28, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia isn't tailored for homework. You might have to do some work :) Richard001 07:50, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
There are of course conflicting theories and debates about various aspects of the evolution theory itself. Science will always involve a component of skepticism, and seeking to find new and better answers to questions is at the core of knowledge acquisition. ChildofMidnight (talk) 20:18, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Various aspects of evolution theory are debated, yes, but the same can be said for any scientific theory. But there is NO alternative to TOE itself, at least no scientific alternative. There is only religious myth.

If schools should be teaching "alternatives" to evolution theory, then why don't they teach "alternatives" to the germ theory of disease? Lots of religious folks believe AIDS is caused by the wrath of their god, for instance. Should that be taught in science class too? What about flat-earth theory, or geocentric universe theory? Why is it that only TOE has to be subjected to this kind of nonsense in science classes? Berberry (talk) 22:51, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


The heading for this article seems to have got lost below a section on transmutation, so I'll hide that until this gets sorted out. . dave souza, talk 14:01, 28 May 2007 (UTC)


Shouldn't the lead section that is in bold exactly mimic the article name? The social effect of evolutionary thought doesn't quite convey the same thing. WLU 14:24, 3 November 2007 (UTC)


Reference 5 was removed from YouTube for breaking copyright terms. (talk) 02:06, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

social effect of other religions[edit]

This article focuses a lot on Christianity. What about how evolution affected other religions? Should a link to the article on Jewish views on evolution be added to provide more viewpoints? Of course I can't think of any examples where other religions were impacted as much as some sects of Christianity have been (at least not as publicly), but then again I could be wrong. --Deepraine (talk) 15:17, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

You could do a {{main}}, or a merge, depending on how long the pages are. I'd duplicate what happened with the RC church - main link and short article. WLU (talk) 15:25, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I added the link like for the Roman Catholic church, but I didn't summarize anything. I think someone a little more knowledgeable should write a short paragraph there, I gave it a try but ended up with a mess...
As for adding other religions, there is already a page for Islamic creationism and Hinduism and creationism that mention evolution, but it seems a bit unorganized to me. Either way more information seems to be needed. Unfortunately, I tried doing a google search to see if I could find anything, but the only thing that came up were sites about evolution and Christianity. --Deepraine (talk) 22:06, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

The biggest problem with this page is that it quote too much. It should synthesize information more, instead of using multiple long quotes.


Is it an encyclopedic article, or some ORish essay? I have some doubts... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 02:47, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

"Some argue"??? a very biased article[edit]

"Some argue that six million of the people killed during the Holocaust were killed because of their religion (Judaism) not their race, "strength," or any reason with an obvious link to the mechanism of Darwinian evolution"...
who and where argues that? It's very known that also Jews converted to Christian religion or to Catholicism were sent to the concentration camps (a famous example: Edith Stein)!
a very biased article! --Domics (talk) 07:24, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

"In many Axis and Axis-occupied countries, racial legislation restricted, banned, or did not recognize the conversion of Jews to Christianity. Across Europe—in Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and Slovakia—Pius XII's nuncios saved their staunchest protests for the effects of the various anti-Jewish laws on baptized Jews."[1].
And Jewish scholar Michael L. Brown writes: "Thus, baptized Jews who were church members in good standing were still forced to wear the yellow star, still deported to the concentration camps, still slaughtered systematically – simply because “Jewish blood” flowed in their veins."[2]--Domics (talk) 08:27, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Richard Weikart, Jim Walker, R.G. Price : a double standard ?[edit]

How is possible criticize Weikart's book for his link Darwin/Hitler quoting article and books by others who, without a rebuttal in this same article, link racism and Hitler with Christian religion as if this is the truth?
If we must know Weikart affiliation with creationist Discovery Institute why in the article we can'not know that Sam Harris is a member of the New Atheism movement?
Anyway I know that Weikart is a professor from California State University Stanislaus, but who are Jim Walker quoted in note n. 4 and R.G. Price from note 2?
Please, who cited them must submit their credentials. Are they an accredited source for Wikipedia? --Domics (talk) 07:24, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Darwin, eugenics as evil? a trunked citation[edit]

In the article we read: "Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless; it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil."
Someone omitted the last passage: "Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.".
I would remember 1) that marriage restriction is an eugenic policy ("Negative eugenics sought to limit procreation through marriage restriction..") 2) there Darwin writes about "civilised societies " so 3) I could understand (peraphs) who are the "weaker" but someone could explain us who are the "inferior members of society" according to Darwin?--Domics (talk) 08:02, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Evolution in relation to Social Darwinism and Imperialism[edit]

Much of the material here seems to either be biased or not belong here. It exclusively mentions that some abolitionists were Christians, ignoring the large number of Christians that used their interpretation of the Bible to justify racism and slavery. Of course, the whole thing is rather off-topic, as the article is about evolutionary theory, not what certain members of other groups that opposed evolutionary theory though, particularly when the group in question was just as imperialistic, if not more so. (talk) 08:32, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Also, it says of missionaries "being critics of darwinism" they opposed slavery.should be "social darwinism" (talk) 19:26, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

"Nazi literature"[edit]

The broad statement that references to Darwin or the theory of evolution would be entirely absent from Nazi literature and ideology is utterly, patently false. Just take Mein Kampf, for instance: Hundreds of pages of the book deal with endless references to "natural selection", the "struggle for life", and the "survival of the fittest" in the animal kingdom, name-dropping Darwin and the word "evolution", in order to justify Hitler's social-Darwinistic racism and anti-Semitism. Much of Nazi propaganda from 1933 onwards consisted of spreading these ideas of a kind of "vulgar Darwinism" to the German people, such as in the propaganda film Alles Leben ist Kampf that showed documentary footage of fighting beetles in order to justify eugenics of the mentally and physically disabled.

Of course it's clear that Darwin himself and his work can't be blamed for that, but it's also a fact that the ill-conceived conflation of his theory with racism, imperialism, and partly eugenics was already rampant during his own lifetime, and Nazi ideology since its early days in the 1920s appealed to this popular misconception.

The source given for the patently false statement that Nazi ideology, propaganda, and/or "literature" would be entirely free of such notion, just like much of the current article here, in that regard is really only a product of the modern North-American Creation–evolution controversy that developed after WWII, where both sides use Nazism and the Holocaust as a tool to denounce their opponent: They hold that the Holocaust occured either because of fanatical faith, or cold, scheming rationalism. They consider it impossible that reason and religion could ever mix, believing that what they are blaming upon the other side could at outmost be a corruption of their own side by the other.

The reality behind Nazism is much more complex than a simplistic dichotomy between science and religion: We know from Mein Kampf, Hitler's Table Talk, and many other sources that Hitler did believe that his anti-Semitism was entirely rational and scientific. He also did use words such as God or providence, however none of his public or private statements on God or religion ever contradict what he saw as scientifically proven facts. His religious views were more flexible than his scientific ones, as he believed the former to be determined by the latter, and not the other way around. In other words: He saw religious rhethorics as a convenient tool to bring science to the common people. If taken at face-value, Hitler's utterances on religious matters proposed a deity that was a cruel, sadistic social-Darwinist and anti-Semite that glorified power and violence, using evolution and the "struggle for life" for the creation of a superior master race, a divine masterplan that was under constant threat by the Jews which Hitler saw as an "inferior breed" that according to him had originated from genetical degeneration due to miscegenation and bestiality of man with apes. Similar with Alfred Rosenberg and Heinrich Himmler who both believed modern man to be descendent from superior, almost God-like "Aryan Atlantides" in possession of esoterical pagan powers whose collective gene pool had degenerated by miscegenation and bestiality, creating lower races.

All in all, what we see with Nazism is not a definitive, clear-cut "either-or" of "science *OR* religion" that especially modern American proponents of the creation–evolution controversy buy into (as their country at present is close to the only Western nation where organized religion so intensely determines politics and public affairs), but rather the typical dialectic (= corruption) of Enlightenment whereupon reason and science early-on became corrupted by the positivism and ethnocentrism of traditional prejudices, thus giving rise to ideological pseudo-sciences (see Positivism#Antipositivism and critical theory, Antipositivism, Positivism dispute, and Frankfurt School#Theoretical work). It's a process we often see with ethnocentric prejudices whenever these traditional prejudices adapt to new social and cultural paradigms (epistemes, as Focault would call them), be they a new religion or a new scientific paradigm. In other words: People will always update the justifications for their traditional, ethnocentric, and positivistic prejudices according to the latest paradigms of their culture.

(Many of the things blamed by "atheists" upon clergy and/or religion itself stem from the same process that also tarnishes much of rational and scientific thought. Many self-proclaimed "atheists" fail to tell religion and clergy apart - which also renders their so-called "critique of religion" mere attacks on a clergy that don't practice what their religion preaches - insofar as that many of these "atheists" even subliminally or openly flirt with "original" or "genuine" versions of the religion they're seemingly attacking, with paganism, Eastern mysticism, or any number of what may be considered superstitions, folklore, or "folk" religions, on account of what they perceive as "more egalitarian traits" within those, not realizing that the only reason for the terrorism-endorsing Dalai Lama to currently not be on an active Jihad against infidels is that the imperialist Chinese have removed him from his status of worldly power. Of course, much the same as to these "atheists" applies to religious authorities who can't tell science or reason apart from scientists or political leaders.)

That's what Adorno meant when he said that the rational logos ("science" or "Enlightenment") became the new irrational mythos, and that pre-scientific mythos was the same as scientific logos insofar as that both often serve the same irrational collective needs in history and society, especially wherever dominant socialization and culture, in Marcuse's words, favor surplus repression of the Id, thus giving rise to the Authoritarian personality type (also see Right-wing authoritarianism) and, accordingly, to all kinds of numinous ethnocentric and positivistic prejudices (psychologically related to magical thinking) such as racism, anti-Semitism, or any other notions of inferiority associated with marginalized, dehumanized, and demonized minorities, as part of the cultural construction of strong ingroup-outgroup dichotomies, whereupon the in-group consists of the dominant hegemonical culture with its associated constructed values. -- (talk) 04:23, 2 August 2012 (UTC)