HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINCOLN AND DARWIN! Surprising and Unsettling Parallels
So who’s birthday did you celebrate last Thursday? Most people know that February 12th is the birthday of our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. He was also our first Republican president, but liberals please keep reading.
A lot of people however do not realize that February 12th is also the birthday of another maybe even more influential person in history. Charles Darwin, father of the “theory” of evolution was also born on that day. In fact, Lincoln and Darwin don’t just share the same birthday, they were both born on the same day in 1809.
Historians point out that there were a number of similarities these two men shared besides just being born on the same day. For instance, they both lost their mothers when they were young boys, Darwin when he was eight and Lincoln when he was nine.
In adulthood, they both lost young children, Lincoln a son of three and Darwin a daughter at the age of ten.
Neither man achieved any level of success or notoriety until their late forties. Lincoln gained national attention from his debates with Stephen Douglas in 1858 and a year later Darwin became one of the most famous scientists in history when his opus On the Origin of Species was published.
While there are parallels in their lives, the lasting contributions these two men made to human history stand in stark contrast.
Abraham Lincoln, of course, held together the union of the United States, fractured over the issue of slavery (though there were other issues like states rights, tariffs, and trade). Lincoln took this nation to war against itself to preserve the foundational principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Another interesting parallel between the two men is that Darwin, like Lincoln, was a staunch proponent of the abolition of slavery. Darwin felt it was a great curse on humanity.
What’s ironic however is that the very theory Darwin developed lends justification to the slavery he so abhorred. While Lincoln’s worldview saw that all men were of equal value and constituted with a divine spark, Darwin’s theory reduced man to just another animal living by survival of the fittest.
Darwin’s theory eliminated the need for a Creator and, in turn, by necessity disposes with natural rights, the rights our civil society is based on. Therefore, why treat your fellow man better than a horse or some other beast of burden? If you are the stronger or smarter or more powerful, in Darwin’s strictly materialistic world, dominating whoever you can to get what you want is not only possible but for the increasing viability of the species, desired.
I always found it interesting that Karl Marx was so interested in Darwin’s theory. He and Darwin were quite the pen pals. Getting rid of God the Creator and reducing the intrinsic value of man to no more than that of a deer or Pacific kelp makes it much easier on the conscience to “manage” the proletariat.
The eugenics movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in this country thoroughly embraced the Darwinian model and was seen as the way to preserve and improve the groups already dominating society. Oh yes, survival of the fittest was all the rage in this country before Hitler even put on his first boot.
Over thirty states in the early twentieth century passed sterilization laws to prevent “inferiors” from reproducing. Euthanasia on a wide scale was contemplated though fortunately never implemented.
Of course, the aforementioned Hitler later used race superiority and survival of the fittest to fuel and justify the most heinous chapter in human history. And later, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot did their best to keep the string going. And there will be others if we allow it.
The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote in his novel The Brothers Karamazov that if God did not exist, everything is permitted. There is some dispute that Dostoevsky really wrote this, but whether he did or not, it is absolutely true. Without God, there is no grounding of morality. Morality becomes what we make of it. Therefore, he who has the power makes the rules, you know, survival of the fittest.
Darwin’s theory is on the verge of collapsing under the weight of wide ranging scientific evidence to the contrary. However, it remains the lifeblood of world politics. It’s the gift that keeps on giving for tyrants.
Darwinism will eventually make its way to the ash heap of history and a better day will reign. Until then, the battle will rage.