Darwin, Eugenics and Hitler: So What?
I realized that throwing up extended quotes from my last post could be misleading. So here is an outline of why this matters to us today:
Darwinian theory, for good or evil, has influenced many people's thinking regarding many areas of human endeavor. Among these are the fields of religion, philosophy, morality, law and public policy. His theory has been called the most important idea of the 19th century. Given the impact of his theory, one must acknowledge that it has, at the least, inherent implications in all these areas. Because of its religious, philosophical and moral implications, and the requirements of the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution, it is reasonable for school boards and the courts to insist that it not be taught in such a way as to promote a particular religious or anti-religious viewpoint of any kind. Since organized religion is banned from public schools, Darwinian theory should not be taught in such a way as to promote a philosophy or moral reasoning framework that competes adversely with traditional religions.
How do you do this? A good start is to be very careful to teach it with a balanced presentation, including both the evidence for it and the evidence that tends to undermine it.
At the end of my last post, I included links to previous posts where I discussed related issues.
[Update: I wanted to add a clarification so there can be no confusion: the way people used evolution to promote eugenics tells us nothing about whether evolutionary theory is true or not.]