Evolution Is Racist

Evolution is racist, says thinking-man’s conservative Rod Dreher.

But before we anti-creationists pull out our handy refutations of the Darwin-Hitler smear, take another look at Dreher’s real argument.

Dreher is no knee-jerk creationist.  He wants public schools to teach evolutionary science.  For that matter, he wants ALL schools to teach evolutionary science.  He explicitly rejects the simplistic equation of “Darwin” with “racism.”

But Dreher yet objects to the ways liberals hasten to conflate creationism with anti-scientism.  Too many liberals, Dreher argues, pick and choose from their scientific principles.  Just as do creationists, liberals begin with the notion of “forbidden knowledge,” of facts that may or may not be true, but in any case are too dangerous to be widely shared.

For Dreher, the implications of Darwinian natural selection are just such ideas.  Too often, the facts of genetic variation among humans have led all-too-fallible humans to a sinister conclusion.  As Dreher explains,

I flat-out don’t trust our species to handle the knowledge of human biodiversity without turning it into an ideology of dehumanization, racism, and at worst, genocide. Put another way, I am hostile to this kind of thing not because I believe it’s probably false, but because I believe a lot of it is probably true — and we have shown that we, by our natures, can’t handle this kind of truth.

The point, for Dreher, is not the crude creationist mantra that evolutionism leads directly to Hitler.  The point, rather, is that capital-s “Science” has and will be misused to justify humanity’s darkest impulses, just as Religion can be so misused.  Dreher’s point, as I understand it, is that those anti-creationists who smugly wave the flag of Science to discredit religious opposition unwittingly expose themselves as shamefully ignorant of the real issue.  As Dreher concludes,

liberals who love to put the Darwin fish on their cars and rail against fundagelicals who want to teach Creationism in public schools should be honest with themselves and admit that they don’t really want to teach Science and nothing but either. Their enthusiasm for just-the-facts science typically stops the moment science tramples upon one of their sacred principles.

Evolutionary theory may not be racist, in a simple sense.  But Dreher gives us an important reminder that any idea can be misused as a smear to discredit one’s opposition.


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  1. So, tu quoque expanded edition? He seems to think that the Grand Inquisitor should have gone after Einstein once he was done with Jesus. Not impressed.

    • I would never want to put words in Rod Dreher’s mouth, but I think the Grand Inquisitor parallel would need to be tweaked to be directly relevant. If I remember Ivan’s story correctly, the GI was confronting the real returned Christ. Dreher, I’m guessing, would object that liberals put themselves in the role of the real returned (if now secular and non-judgmental) Christ, when in fact they are nothing more than another false messiah. In other words, Dreher is disputing the very above-the-fray stance of liberals when it comes to the impeccability of Science.

      • I was thinking of this: “He claims it as a merit for himself and his Church that at last they have vanquished freedom and have done so to make men happy.”
        Compared to this: ” I am hostile to this kind of thing not because I believe it’s probably false, but because I a lot of it is probably true – and we have shown that we, by our natures, can’t handle this kind of truth.” Looks quite similar, and employs the same logic which says a philosophy or theology is mistaken because its adherents behave badly on occasion. I suppose all this is a problem for someone who thinks man has a fixed nature which determines his behavior. The author’s use of the plural in the quotation above would seem a tacit admission of error on that point – a Freudian slip maybe?

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