Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A rushing river of stupid (Part 2): is creationism responsible for eugenics?

Creationists of late have been spending a fair amount of time writing that the theory of evolution by natural selection naturally flows into eugenics. This would only appear obvious if you have a very superficial understanding of evolution and is easily debunked. Their only smoking gun is that several prominent defenders of evolution were also proponents of forced sterilization of "mental defectives".

I'll repeat what I've written elsewhere: even if this were true, it wouldn't be a convincing argument against evolution. Relativity made the atomic bomb possible. That doesn't mean relativity is wrong.

Now, Andrea Bottaro writes in the Panda's Thumb that we can understand eugenics better as a product of its time, and that in the early and middle parts of the 20th century, prominent members of the creationism crowd also were members of the eugenics movement. This is well worth a read. Find it here.

Note that pointing out that creationists supported eugenics doesn't make creationism a natural flow into eugenics. It merely points out that eugenics was a commonly held and popular belief in the early parts of the 20th century.


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