LOUISVILLE, Ky. &
The founder of a popular Kentucky Christian museum that rejects evolution says in a new book that Darwin's theory fuels racism and genocide.
Ken Ham, who opened the Creation Museum last year, and co-author Charles Ware, president of Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, have written "Darwin's Plantation: Evolution's Racist Roots," arguing that the theory inspired the Nazi belief in racial superiority and the murderous policies of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
"What Darwinian evolution did I would say is provide what people thought was a scientific justification for separation of races," Ham said in an interview.
Ham is not the first to try to tie Darwin with racism. The charge has been made for years.
It came up last month in arguments over science curriculum at a South Carolina state school board meeting. In 2001, Louisiana's state legislature considered a bill that said Darwin supported racist ideologies.
David L. Schultz, associate professor of biology at Nicholls State University in Louisiana, said Darwin was egalitarian and had a history of speaking out against slavery.
"Darwin was not a racist," he said.
Ham runs the Christian group Answers in Genesis and has already made an impact with his $27 million high-tech museum in Petersburg, south of Cincinnati.
The complex has attracted more than 300,000 visitors with exhibits that treat the Bible's creation story as natural history and contend that evolution theory is wrong because it contradicts the Old Testament. The Creation Museum asserts that the earth is just a few thousand years old, dinosaurs coexisted with man and Adam and Eve were the first humans.
In the new book, Ham says that Darwin's theory that natural selection caused gradual biological changes over time, puts some races "higher on the evolutionary scale" and others "closer to the apes."
"Although racism did not begin with Darwinism, Darwin did more than any person to popularize it," Ham writes.
Ham further contends that the theory fanned the flames of "ethnic superiority."
"Stalin, Hitler and Mao were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions &
and it can be shown they did this because of the influence of Darwinian naturalism...," Ham writes.
Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, a California group that defends teaching evolution in public schools, said Hitler rarely mentioned evolution.
"Darwinian evolution is based on natural selection, which means that any population can adapt to its environment," Scott said. "The ironic thing for the creationists is that Hitler grounded Aryan superiority as a God-given quality."
Ham said he came to the topic because he was upset by the unfair treatment of aboriginal tribes in his native Australia and the racism he saw in the United States when he arrived here in the 1970s. He said he experienced a backlash from some church groups after he wrote an article critical of biblical-based arguments against interracial marriage, which made him even more determined to tackle the issue.
"I got more what I would call hate mail from people, supposedly Christians in the church, than for any other article I've ever written," Ham said. "So to me I just had a real burden that I wanted to educate the church on this matter."
But Schultz called the argument "a ploy to get evolution out of the curriculum."
"Of course everybody's against teaching children racism, so if you call it racist, you can have it removed," said Schultz. He testified before a Louisiana legislative panel that took up the bill that would have tied evolution with racism. The measure was eventually stripped of any reference to Darwin.
Ham said Answers in Genesis does not advocate teaching creationism in public schools.
In South Carolina, that state's board of education approved a biology textbook that references evolution. One board member had argued that the scientific theory was used by Nazi Germany as an excuse to kill millions of people.
New book calls Darwin racist
LOUISVILLE, Ky. &