Darwinism, Badges, and Guns
by Gary North: The
developed a strategy for promoting their outlook over a century
ago. It was first articulated by Lester Frank Ward in 1883. To understand
the nature of the Darwinists' strategy for education, we must first
understand established churches.
In 1833, the
state of Massachusetts passed a law ending the 200-year-old state
subsidy to Congregational churches. This was not the last trace
of the established church in America. Local governments throughout
the United States continued to subsidize local denominations in
various ways. One way was to provide a subsidy in the form of access
to tax-funded meeting houses. Competing churches had to build their
places of worship. As towns grew, the churches that had built in
the path of development prospered. The story of government subsidies
to local churches and their subsequent demise is told in a great
book by sociologists Rodney Stark and Roger Finke, The
Churching of America. Its message: government subsidies
weaken those who receive them. The recipients fail to keep up.
They cannot compete.
This is another
example of how bad ethics, coupled with government coercion, produces
bad results. Special-interest groups that resort to state coercion
to maintain their dominance eventually lose influence when the state
ceases to support them. The subsidies weaken them. Then the subsidies
me to the subject at hand: Darwinism.
Darwinism in the United States have a major problem. Almost nobody
thinks they are correct.
In 1982, a
total of 9% of the people surveyed by the Gallup organization said
that they believed that man evolved over millions of years, and
that God had nothing to do with the process. This is straight Darwinism.
It is the theory of evolution through natural selection. In 2012,
15% of those surveyed said they held to this view. In other words,
153 years after the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species,
the Darwinists have failed to persuade 85% of the American population
of the truth of their position.
This is the
case, despite the fact that Darwinists have by law captured all
of the public schools, the vast majority of the universities, and
most of the media, which inclues captured Hollywood, the news networks,
the publishing industry, and cable television. This has been the
most concerted effort in government-financed, government-regulated
propaganda in the history of the United States, and it has come
a cropper. The overwhelming majority of Americans think that the
theory is nonsense.
Why have they
failed? Because they have relied on the state to promote Darwinism
and to defend it against rival views. Once any idea becomes dependent
on federal money and federal law, its failure is guaranteed. Its
promoters lose their ability to compete in the marketplace. Then
the government pulls the subsidy.
CONFUSION OVER EVOLUTION AND DARWINISM
When this Gallup
poll was released, the media picked up on it. But the entire media
misunderstood the poll. They reported that half
of Americans believe in evolution. This missed the main point.
What is the main point? This: 85% of Americans reject Darwinism.
do not rejoice when somebody says that he believes in evolution,
but an evolutionary process guided by God. This idea is anathema
to the Darwinists. Darwin took his stand against exactly this position.
In his day, intellectuals believed in an old earth. They believed
in God-directed evolution. God imposes order on the universe, they
argued. Darwin's idea of evolution through natural selection was
the answer to this view. This is why the Darwinists are passionate
in their rejection of the ideas promoted by a movement that calls
itself "intelligent design." Darwinists reject intelligent design
as being as unscientific as the six-day creation movement.
The main point
of Darwinism is not the idea of evolution. That idea long preceded
Darwinism. It goes back to classical Greece. The main point of Darwinism
is to promote the idea of purposeless life prior to the advent
of man. It promotes the idea that all life came out of a purposeless
universe, and until the advent of man, there was no purpose in the
The main motivation
of Darwinists has always been to elevate man as a replacement of
God. What God is not allowed to do, namely, shape history, including
cosmic history, in terms of His purposes, man is now said to be
able to do, and therefore he has a responsibility to do it. It is
the elevation of man as the new God that is the essence of Darwinism,
not the doctrine of evolution. This is why Darwinism is a religion.
The way they
do this is to promote evolution by natural selection. They are not
opposed to the idea that man can use scientific technology to evolve
new species. On the contrary, they would hail this as a major breakthrough
in science. Then we can get evolution through intelligent design,
as long as man is the intelligent designer.
I have written
a long article on this, which appears as Appendix A in my book,
Sovereignty and Dominion. I first published it in 1982. You
can download it here.
is a gigantic bait-and-switch operation. That which they deny to
God, namely, the ability to impose purpose in the universe, they
now say that man possesses. By men, they mean scientists who understand
the laws of evolution and the laws of genetics. They mean elite
planning man, not the average man on the street. I have covered
this in my appendix. Check the footnotes.
They come in
the name of neutral science. Science is never neutral. They come
in the name of neutral education. Education is never neutral. They
come in the name of neutral civil government. Civil government is
Then they escalate
their claims. Ever since 1981, it has been illegal for any tax-funded
school to teach creationism. This has been extended to intelligent
design. So, the Darwinists have used coercion layered on coercion
to promote their viewpoint.
the rest of the article
North [send him mail]
is the author of Mises
on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com.
He is also the author of a free 31-volume series, An
Economic Commentary on the Bible.
2012 Gary North
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