Evolution and Morality

By Jerry C. Ray

The worth of a doctrine can often be judged by observing its application in human thought and experience. No doctrine, no matter how attractive or plausible it may seem, is valuable if the consistent application of its principles results in the degradation and dissipation of humanity. After 100 years we can look at the fruits of evolution and see that by this principle it stands condemned.

Prof Jacques Barzun of Columbia University has pointed out the profound significance of the year 1859. In that year was sown the seed that has brought forth a terrible harvest. In that year Darwin published his Origin of the Species, Karl Marx published his Critique of Political Economy and Wagner published “Tristan and Isolde.” Darwin’s book destroyed man’s faith in God, Marx’s book destroyed man’s faith in the rights of private property, and Wagner’s opera gave the cultural background that was indispensable to make these revolutionary ideas both popular and palatable. (Evolution’ published by International Christian Crusade, Ontario, Canada, 14th edition, page 78).

What then are the fruits of evolution?

1. It tends to destroy faith in the Bible, Jesus and God. One cannot believe the Bible and what the Bible says of God and Christ and at the same time believe the theory of evolution. They are antithetical. Some individuals try to harmonize evolution and Christianity, but it is an impossible task.After William Jennings Bryan delivered a defense of the Biblical account of creation in the Wesley Memorial church in Atlanta about forty years ago, he talked with some students and others. A student from Emory University said to him, “Mr. Bryan, I can reconcile the Bible with the theory of evolution.” Mr. Bryan replied, “You have more sense than Darwin; he couldn’t.” The student then said, “All you have to do is to discard the first two chapters of Genesis.” Mr. Bryan, with eyes flashing, replied, “That would not be reconciliation; it would be mutilation.”

There is no place in the evolutionary theory for sin, the soul, salvation and a Savior.

2. It fosters militarism and imperils world peace. Darwin’s original thesis and the 20 or so different evolutionary theories of today that come from it teach the “survival of the fittest.” Progress comes through the killing off of the weak and the emergence of the stronger species. In the words of Prof. S. J. Holmes of the University of California: “Darwinism, consistently applied, w o u I d measure goodness in terms of survival value.”

Might makes right. The weak are destined to die. The stronger must conquer the weaker. This concept is not original. It is the old law of the jungle. It is a devolution to barbarism. But this is the consistent application of the evolutionary theory. The subtitle to Darwin’s book is: “The preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.”

There were wars before the evolutionary theory became popular. But the theory and its underlying philosophy gave plausibility to the insanity of war. Evolution is the cornerstone of the modern philosophy of militarism. Exponents claim that from an evolutionary standpoint war is both good and necessary, that it is the application of the natural law and is biologically normal and right to crush the weaker people of the earth.

Hitler drank deeply of this philosophy and it became the foundation for Nazism and his “super-race” concept. Bethman Von Hollweg saturnically justified the invasion of Belgium on the principle that the big animal eats the little one and the Belgian turtle was in the way of the German Dinosaur. Hitler said, “The whole of nature is a continuous struggle between strength and weakness, an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.”

George Bernard Shaw said, “Darwinism, a mechanical doctrine, destroyed religion, but gave us nothing in its place. It gave an air of science to moral and political opportunism and to struggle-for-life militarism.”

Communism is based upon dialectical materialism, whose foundation is evolution. Evolution is an inherent part of communism. Destroy this atheistic facet of communism and you lay the ax at the root of the tree of communist philosophy. If the existence of a Supreme Being and the moral accountability to the same be accepted, the unquestioned and undeviating loyalty to the Party is disturbed. The “end justifies the means” philosophy with its ruthlessness and violence suffers when the communist realizes there is a higher power to which man must give an account. This the party cannot tolerate in its conspiratorial conquest of the world.

3. It encourages atheism. Atheism is the logical results of evolution in the spiritual realm. “Evolution is atheism in thought and anarchy in conduct.”

Charles Smith, former president of the American Association for the advancement of Atheism, said, “Evolution is atheism.” Woolsey Teller, former vice-president of the same organization, has stated, “the God idea cannot be reconciled without knowledge of evolution.”

The influence of evolution can be illustrated in the life of Charles Darwin. Before embarking on his career as a naturalist he studied for the ministry for three years at Cambridge. At the time of his voyage on the Beagle, collecting his materials from which comes his book, he himself said he was “quite orthodox.” Nearly fifty years later, however, he wrote, “for myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any revelation” (Evolution, p. 82).

4. It encourages modernism. Modernism has developed due to the lack of faith in the truthfulness of the Bible and an obsession to worship at the altar of scientific theory. Every human philosophy that discredits the Bible is faced with the problem of explaining the origin of life. Evolution is their answer. Modernism is no different. Supernatural religion is set aside for evolutionary theory.

5. It injures public morals. It tends to break down all law, moral and spiritual, and to give free course to the worst passions of men, all under the guise of doing that that is normal and natural.

On May 21, 1924, in Chicago, Nathan F. Leopold, nineteen-year-old son of a wealthy box manufacturer, and Richard A. Loeb, eighteen year old son of the vice-president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., murdered Robert Franks, fourteen. Leopold was a graduate of the University of Chicago and Loeb of the University-of Michigan.

At their trial the following August these young men were defended by the celebrated criminal lawyer, Clarence Darrow. His eloquence is credited with saving their lives and his defense speech is considered one of the greatest in American judicial history.

His defense was (1) they were insane, of diseased mind, ( 2) they were victims of hereditary taint, (3) they were victims of evolutionary teaching. Below are quotations from Darrow’s closing argument (Famous Jury Speeches, pp. 992-1089).

“I know that one of two things happened to Richard Loeb; that this terrible crime was inherent in his organism, and came from some ancestor, or that it came through his education and his training after he was born.” ( 1050).

“I do not know what remote ancestors may have sent down the seed that corrupted him, and I do not know through how many ancestors it may have passed until it reached Dickie Loeb.

“All I know is that it is true, and there is not a biologist in the world who will not say that I am right.” (1050).

“If there is responsibility anywhere, it is back of him; somewhere in the infinite number of his ancestors, or in his surroundings, or in both. And I submit, your Honor that under every principle of natural justice, under every principle of conscience, of right, and of law, he should not be made responsible for the acts of someone else.” (1051).

Of Nathan Leopold, Darrow points out that he became enamoured of the philosopher, Nietzsche. Continuing, Darrow says:

“He wrote one book, ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ which was a criticism of all moral codes as the world understands them; a treatise holding that the intelligent man is beyond good and evil; that the laws for good and the laws for evil do not apply to those who approach the superman.” (1053).

Darrow continues and quotes Nietzsche:

” ‘The morality of the master class is irritating to the taste of the present day because of its fundamental principle that a man has obligation only to his equals; that he may act to all of lower rank and to all that are foreign, as he pleases.’

“In other words, man has no obligations; he may do with all other men and all other boys, and all society, as he pleases–the superman was a creation of Nietzsche, but it has permeated every college and university in the civilized world.” (1055).

“If this boy is to blame for this, where did he get it? Is there any blame attached because somebody took Nietzsche’s philosophy and fashioned his life on it? And there is no question in this case but what it is true. The university would be more to blame than he is. The scholars of the world would be more to blame than he is. The publishers of the world–and Nietzsche’s books are published by one of the biggest publishers in the world–are more to blame than he. Your Honor, it is hardly fair to hang a nineteen-year-old boy for the philosophy that he was taught at the university.” (1059).

Leopold, with his obsession of the superhuman, repeatedly said that Loeb was his idea of the superhuman. In a letter Leopold wrote:

“It may not have occurred to you why a mere mistake in judgment on your part should be treated as a crime when on the part of another it should not be so considered. Here are the reasons. In formulating a superman he is, on account of certain superior qualities inherent in him, exempted from ordinary laws that govern ordinary men. He is not liable for anything he may do . . .”(1067).

In 1925 Darrow defended John Thomas Scopes in the Dayton, Tenn. trial. State law forbade the teaching of the evolutionary theory. Scopes, the biology teacher at Rhea high school in Dayton, taught the evolutionary hypothesis. I have often wondered what Darrow’s feelings were in defending the teaching of evolution in the public schools after having defended Leopold’s crime on the grounds that he had been taught the evolutionary theory in the public schools.

6. It encourages racial prejudice. The White Citizens Council, Greenwood, Miss., distributes literature saturated with the evolutionary “survival of the fittest” and white supremacy justified by the law of the jungle.

One pamphlet is a reprint of a 1907 Saturday Evening Post article by Harris Dickson. Here are some quotes from the article:

“The negro should never have been trusted with the ballot. He is different from the white man. He is congenitally unqualified to exercise the most responsible duty of citizenship. He is physically, mentally, morally racially and eternally the white man’s inferior. There is nothing in the history of his race, nothing in his individual character, nothing in his achievements of the past or his promise for the future that entitles him to stand side by side with the white man at the ballot box.

“The inestimable privilege was thrust upon the Negro snatching him out of his twenty thousand barbaric years and placing him shoulder to shoulder with the heir of all the ages.”

“I maintain that so long as the African and Caucasian races coexist in the same society, the subordination of the African is its normal, necessary and proper condition, and that such subordination is the condition best calculated to promote the highest interest and the greatest happiness of both races, and, consequently, of the whole society–that the white is the supenor and the black the inferior, and that subordination, with or without law, will be the status of the African in this mixed society. Therefore, it is to the interest of both, and especially of the black race, that this status should be fixed, controlled and protected by law.”

“From the beginning of time the white races have never bowed to a superior, and have rarely brooked an equal. They have tolerated other peoples so long as those other peoples did not come into direct competition and conflict with them–so long as other races took nothing from the white man which the white man desired for himself. For instance, the white man needed the Indian’s land–and took it. The Indian resisted– and disappeared.”

Does this sound like something from Adolph Hitler? Many more quotations could be offered from various pamphlets; this is the warp and woof of the “justification” of racial discrimination put out by this organization.

The conclusion of the whole matter: Evolution stands indicted by its own corrupting influence.

Truth Magazine: IX, 2, pp. 2-4
November 1964