It is those consequences that West examines in a well-researched book, a worthy companion to Richard Weikart's From Darwin to Hitler. Both books are essential reading for anyone who wants to get beyond the patina of popular myths about Darwin, Darwinism and its supporters, and dig into the historical record of their actions and their influence.
Indeed, Darwin Day's great strength is the trove of information that I had never encountered before (and most people who follow the intelligent design controversy probably haven't either): Mainly about how much negative popular culture is a direct outcome of the assumptions that Darwin and his supporters introduced.
There is a good reason why I hadn't encountered that information. West hadn't known it himself until he began his methodical research. In his Preface, he writes, "It has been a long journey. Along the way, I discovered that many of the things I thought I knew about the history of science and public policy were wrong, or at least misleading." (p. x)
The misleading material is usually intended to soften us towards Darwinism. It is put forward by earnest, well-meaning people - people who could easily discover that the information they purvey is false or misleading, but they do not dare. Given that support for Darwinism spans the political spectrum (West, p. xv), they choose not to.
West has made a different choice. He digs into the information.
There is also a curious cultural reluctance, particularly in popular media, to be honest about where the passion for materialist evolution leads us - all the while celebrating the supposed insights it provides. That is, few seriously ask, "When people believe that they are merely evolved animals, will they think that they can simply choose to behave well?" Usually, the question is sloughed off as bad faith on the part of the questioner. ("You wouldn't be asking if you weren't a ... ")
Not only does the Darwin popularizer provide no adequate account of how free will can exist, what's more significant is that few even seek such an account from him.
West quotes political philosopher Leo Strauss, explaining that scientific materialism tries " ... to understand the higher in terms of the lower: the human in terms of the subhuman, the rational in terms of the subrational (p. 4).
To test his assumption, take a pop science mag and make a mental note of all the articles on human beings where the implicit or explicit assumption is that human behaviour can be understood in terms of animal behaviour.
On reflection, everyone knows that that is not true. Try to explain 9-11 in terms of animal behaviour and you will see what I mean. Nonetheless, "we think like animals" is the defining falsehood of our time. The falsehood is not argued for, it is merely asserted and assented to by millions of people who should know better.
West has a look at some of the social trends tracked by materialist Darwinian evolution, including eugenics, non-morality-based sex education, and featureless apartment buildings that resemble broiler houses.
Next: Part Two: Always a political project, always a spin job
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