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Listen: How Darwinism Fueled Nazi Racism, White Nationalism

Photo: Entrance to Auschwitz II-Birkenau death camp, by Nelson Pérez [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

A new episode of ID the Future features the newly released Darwinian Racism: How Darwinism Influenced Hitler, Nazism, and White Nationalism by distinguished historian Richard Weikart. Here Andrew McDiarmid reads from the Introduction and Chapter 1. Weikart begins his book by revisiting the harrowing Columbine High School mass shooting and underscoring the curious fact that one of the mass shooters, a white nationalist, claimed inspiration from not just Adolf Hitler but also Charles Darwin.

Since Darwin was a peaceable Victorian English gentleman and naturalist, what possible connection could there be between him on the one hand and Hitler and contemporary white nationalism on the other? Weikart shows that the connection is in fact quite clear from the writings of Hitler, Darwin himself, and early Darwinists, and that the connection has continued to fuel scientific racism down to the present, despite the fact that the racist notions that Darwin and Germany’s Ernst Haeckel used to support the case for apelike-primate-to-human evolution have long since been debunked. Weikart’s new book is revelatory. Download the podcast or listen to it here.