Two babies, both destined to be great by worldly standards, were born on Feb. 12, 1809. One was born into poverty and the other into wealth; one into a family lowly in status and the other into society’s elite; one into true faith in the creator and one into pretense of faith. These two babies would grow into men separated by far more than the vast distance between their continents; they would be separated by the enormity of their differing world views.
One would become such a man of faith that his knees would callous from bending in prayer to his maker and the other would devise a theory to sway millions away from the creator. The man with calloused knees would lead a nation with the concept of equality to all men and would push hard for that belief; the other, although himself against slavery, would popularize a world view that would enslave multitudes and cause the death of millions.
While one wrote a proclamation declaring equality for all men, the other wrote a book titled “On the Origin of Species” with the subtitle of “The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.” As one was fighting a war to free men of “dark skin” from slavery, the other called those with dark skin “degraded” and declared he would rather have descended from a monkey than from such a “savage.” The first man would give his life to reunite a divided nation and the other would cause division, not only in his own country, but in all countries for centuries to come.
Two hundred years have now passed since the renowned day of their births and while the first man, President Abraham Lincoln, is celebrated as the leader who led a nation to abolish slavery because “all men are created equal,” the second man, Charles Darwin, is celebrated as the man who abolished the need for a creator. Ideas aren’t without consequences. Lincoln’s ideas led to freeing men from slavery while Darwin’s assumption that men evolved by random chance led Josef Stalin, a mass murderer of multitudes, to become an atheist as a young man while reading his works in seminary. It inspired Karl Marx who offered to dedicate his book “Das Kapital” to Darwin, to state that Darwin’s theory “contains the basis in natural history for our view...” and it influenced Hitler, a devout evolutionist who instructed his troops in evolution by providing them books by Darwin and Friedrich Nietzche to the idea of inferior races and thus the slaughter of millions in an effort to speed the evolutionary process.
These Darwinian enthusiasts, some of the world’s most notorious and depraved leaders along with Mao, Pol Pot and other communists leaders have murdered close to 100 million people and all of them compliments of a theory which lessened the value of human life to an accident of random chance, thus no greater than that of any animal.
These two men, President Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, great by worldly standards, left two vastly differing legacies. How is it that the first, Lincoln, is briefly mentioned in many public classroom settings, while the other, Darwin, a racist man who promoted racist ideas that led to and justified horrific mass genocide is frequently praised for “opening the minds of many” ?
Clyde Ellerbee Jr., is a resident of Arabi.