In the 19th century, the theory of evolution began to exert an influence over a wide sphere, beyond such branches of science as biology and paleontology, extending from human relations to the analysis of history, from politics to society. Efforts were made to adapt Darwin's idea of the struggle for survival in nature-as a result of which the fittest would survive while the weak were eliminated-to human thought and behavior. Applying Darwin's claim that nature was a battleground to human societies served as a justification of class conflicts, a social order in which the strong oppressed the weak, racism, colonialism, exploitation, repression and other forms of inhumanity.
Reading between the lines, even evolutionists admit the inhumanity that Darwinist ideas continue to inflict on societies.
Theodosius Dobzhansky is a geneticist and evolutionary biologist at Columbia University:
Natural selection can favor egoism, hedonism, cowardice instead of bravery, cheating and exploitation, while group ethics in virtually all societies tend to counteract or forbid such "natural" behavior, and to glorify their opposites: kindness, generosity and even self-sacrifice for the good of others of one's tribe or nation and finally mankind. 462
P. J. Darlington is of Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge:
The first point is that selfishness and violent are inherent in us, inherited from our remotest animal ancestors.... Violence is, then, natural to man, a product of evolution. 463
Robert Wright, author of the book, The Moral Animal:
Evolutionary theory, after all, has a long and largely sordid history of application to human affairs. After being mingled with political philosophy around the turn of the century to form the vague ideology known as "social Darwinism," it played into the hands of racists, fascists, and the most heartless sort of capitalists. 464
We were victims of a cruel social ideology that assumes that competition among individuals, classes, nations or races is the natural condition of life, and that it is also natural for the superior to dispossess the inferior... The law of natural selection is not, I will maintain, science. It is an ideology, and a wicked one... 465
462- Theodosius Dobzhansky, "Ethics and Values in Biogical and Cultural Evolution" Zygon, the Journal of Religion and Science, as reported in Los Angeles Times, Part IV (June 16, 1974), p. 6.
463- P.J. Darlington, Evolution for Naturalists, 1980, pp. 243-244.
464- Robert Wright, The Moral Animal, New York:Vintage Books, 1994, p. 7.
465- Earthwatch, March 1989, p. 17; cited in Henry M. Morris, The Long War Against God, Baker Book House, 1989, p. 57.