Why I am not a fan of Charles Darwin

Olavo de Carvalho

Diário do Comércio, February 20, 2009

The billionaire festivities commemorating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth make some essential facts about the life and works of this man of science momentarily invisible.

To begin with, Darwin did not invent the theory of evolution: He found it ready-made, under the form of an esoteric doctrine, in the work of his own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, and as a scientific hypothesis in innumerable mentions scattered in books by Aristotle, Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and Goethe, among others.

All he did was to venture a new explanation for that theory—and his explanation was wrong. No one else, among the self-proclaimed Darwin’s disciples, believes in “natural selection.” The theory in vogue, the so-called neo-Darwinism, proclaims that, instead of a selection mysteriously oriented toward the improvement of the species, all that happened were random changes. As far as I know, mere chance is precisely the opposite of a rationally expressible regularity founded on natural law. Darwinism is a slippery and proteiform idea, with which one cannot seriously discuss: as soon as it is pushed against a wall by a new objection, it does not defend itself—it changes its identity and walks away crowing about victory. Many theories worshipped by the moderns do this, but Darwinism is the only one that is barefaced enough to transform itself into its contrary and go on proclaiming it is still the same.

All the celebrants of the Darwinian ritual, the new-Darwinists inclusive, reject as pseudoscientific the theory of “intelligent design.” But it was Charles Darwin himself who made up this theory. It becomes very clear in the final paragraphs of The Origin of Species, which I read from cover to cover in my teenage years with so much enchantment and which made me a fanatic Darwinist, to the point that I hung a picture of the author on my bedroom wall, surrounded by dinosaurs (only now I realize that he is one of them). Now, thanks to the kindness of a reader, I got acquainted with the studies of John Angus Campbell on the “rhetoric of science.” He studies scientific books from the vantage point of their strategy of persuasion. In a fascinating video that you can see at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_esXHcinOdA, he demonstrates that “intelligent design” is not only the final touch of the Darwinist theory, but also its fundamental premise, discreetly spread throughout the whole argumentative edifice of The Origin of Species. “Intelligent design” is therefore the only part of the Darwinian theory that still has advocates: and those are the worst enemies of Darwinism.

It is certainly a paradox that the author of a false explanation for a preexistent theory should be celebrated as the creator of this theory, though an even greater paradox is that the founding premise of the Darwinian argument should be repelled as the very denial of Darwinism.

Purely farcical, however, is the general attempt to camouflage the genocidal ideology that is embedded in the very internal logic of the theory of evolution. When the apologists of the British scientist acknowledge, against their will, that evolution was “used” to legitimize racism and mass murders, they do so with a monstrous hypocrisy. Darwinism is genocidal by itself, from its very roots. It did not have to be deformed by disloyal disciples to become something it was not. Just read the following paragraphs by Charles Darwin and tell me honestly whether racism and apology of genocide had to be grafted onto an innocent theory afterwards:

“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes. . . will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla”

Imagine if, during the American presidential elections, John McCain’s campaign declared that Barack Hussein Obama was closer to the gorilla than the republican candidate!

And there is more: “Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world!”

To finish the point, an unequivocal appeal to the extermination of the undesirable:

“With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to smallpox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

Notice well: I am not against the evolutionist hypothesis. From what I have observed thus far, I must conclude that I am the only human being, in my inner and outer circle, who does not have the least idea whether evolution happened or not. Everyone has beliefs about it and seems willing to die or kill for them. I have none.

However, my abstinence from opinion with regard to a problem that I consider unsolvable does not forbid me to perceive the absurdity of the opinions of those who hold one. I understood a long time ago that scientists are even less trustworthy than politicians, and the paradoxes of Charles Darwin’s fame do nothing but confirm it. My malign instincts compel me to grab Darwinists by the throat and ask them:

“Why so much fuss about Charles Darwin? He invented “intelligent design”, which you hate, and natural selection, which you say is false. He overtly preached racism and genocide, which you proclaim to abhor. To celebrate him, you must create out of nothing a fictitious character that is the opposite of whom he was historically. Can’t you see that all of this is just buffoonery?”

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