On that last sentence some will cry foul but consider Nancy Pearcey's tool (in Total Truth) for assessing the fundamentals of a worldview. Simply ask these three questions of any ideology:
- Where did we come from? (Creation)
- What went wrong? (Fall)
- How do we fix it? (Redemption)
Marxism, for instance, provides these answers:
- Self-creating, self-generating matter. ("We may regard the material and cosmic world as the supreme being, the cause of all causes, the creator of heaven and earth." - V. Lenin)
- Private ownership.
- Arm the proletariat to overthrow the bourgeoisie and equally distribute the wealth so all citizens can focus on life and not production that benefits others.
Where Christianity states:
- Man was created in the image of God.
- Justice and forgiveness through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ (fully God, fully man) and regeneration through the Holy Spirit given to write the law on the hearts of all who receive Christ's sacrifice for their sin.
What Does Darwin Have To Do With Marx?
In the Marxist system, there is no moral foundation (answer to question 1) to provide the sideboards for working out the answer to question #3. Are murder, starvation, war and repression acceptable in the pursuit of Marxist redemption? To the true Marxist, the answer is yes because they are necessary in pursuit of the common good. Darwin's Theory provides an "intellectual" atheistic explanation for our origins (and our redemption) and so continually founds the Marxist worldview.
In 1861, Karl Marx wrote to his friend Ferdinand Lassalle, "Darwin’s work is most important and suits my purpose in that it provides a basis in natural science for the historical class struggle. ... Despite all shortcomings, it is here that, for the first time, ‘teleology’ in natural science is not only dealt a mortal blow but its rational meaning is empirically explained." (source marxists.org)
Do we need any more evidence of the evil potential of an atheistic worldview that depends on human understanding for moral boundaries (source: The History Place)?
- Pol Pot in Cambodia: 1975-1979 - 2,000,000 deaths
- Mass Death in Mao's Great Leap Forward - Between 16 and 40 million deaths
- Stalin's Forced Famine: 1932-1933 - 7,000,000 deaths
For further evidence, review this comprehensive treatment from Dr. Bryan Caplan at George Mason University.
Darwin's Influence Extends Even Further
In addition, a growing academic community is acknowledging the connection between Naziism and Darwinian Theory. This great article at "Thinking Christian" as well as this article by David Klinghoffer provide great insight into the connections and the controversy. Hitler's zeal for preserving the Aryan race resulted in 6 million deaths.
Over 30 million deaths and maybe tens of millions more...
Darwin never explicitly condoned these atrocities but his theory provided an underpinning to atheistic worldviews that have no ultimate accountability for their actions. When the proprietors of these worldviews choose to isolate certain people groups as inferior or dangerous and eliminate them, they do it for the "common good" with no constraint from a higher moral boundary. Even among evolutionists, it is hard to deny the possible connection between Darwin and the expansion of racism and the dehumanization of certain people groups.
While most educated people in England during Darwin’s time held similar views, Darwin’s writings fueled racism. The late evolutionist Stephen J. Gould stated: “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.” (from Ken Ham's Blog)
Lincoln Wasn't Perfect EitherNeither man was perfect. Lincoln failed in many ways and even on the issue of race was in error (of which John Piper provides a great summary). Indeed no one is perfect but that does not mean no one's life is worth celebrating. When we celebrate a person, we celebrate their guiding principles - the thinking that led them to acts of courage or creativity.
Both men communicated error.
I hold that this government was established...for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever, and should be administered by white men, and none others. -Abraham LincolnAt 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. -Charles Darwin
But only one held to a worldview (at least in his communication) that would correct his error and lead to emancipation. Consider this statement from his second inaugural address:
"Neither [side] anticipated that the cause of the conflict [i.e., slavery] might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. 'Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!' If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.' "
I celebrate his life today - moreover I celebrate the life of the one perfect man on whom Lincoln's worldview was founded.