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That's Better, Sam...but Here's What Happened

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Posted by Michael W. Pearson on August 8, 2002 19:53:45 UTC

Hi Sam
As a departure point for my brief reply,
I quote your quotation,
" 'We see Hitler devoutly convinced that evolution produces the only real basis for a national policy....The means he adopted to secure the destiny of his race and people were organized slaughter which has drenched Europe in blood.'"

Unfortunately, knowing the partial truth does not make the world right. There are many ways to try to explain what I am going to try to explain, and almost all of them are easy to poke holes in...
but there are many true ideas that can be ridiculed. Please try to see the house of cards
that follows as I intended its meaning. Let it settle for a few minutes and forgive my inadequacy for all the understanding in the world would move us to weep at our predicament as humankind, and at the mistakes that have gone before us.

** **

Europe was truly in upheaval. Hitler rose to power in a country whose educated gentry had been
half wiped out in World War One. Though he (and T and S. you mention) did read the book, their own thoughts were not appropriate. They did not comprehend what their options were. It was partly the churches, synagogues, temples, lodges, and other folks who can study this in future as they might have done in past.
How did it go so wrong? Bear with me a minute. Germany was presented with very harsh penalties for their part in World War One, which some wise minds have said were not a good way to manage the situation. Germany was truly disintegrating.
Have you heard about the starvation that was occurring? The wheelbarrows of money?
After centuries of being checkerboarded by Catholic vs. Protestant principalities which were hostile to one another,
the persons in that region observed the rise of a modern nation-state which invented the social security system for the elderly in the 1800s.
A writer in the mid-1850s said the Germans of that time were among the most generous persons he'd ever seen. Although not wealthy,

Most, though not all, of human history is marked by invasions of larger populations. Germany, like Russia, was a nation whose lot in life left them with few balmy coastal climes which enhance the invitation to become aesthetically relaxed in the style of many of the Greeks, French, Italians, Spanish. The typical German or Russian winter is foggy, cold, dark and a trial of the spirit. By the way, Jews were considered quite formidable and the terrible propaganda that called them inferior was part of the confusion of
those times...and it was occurring in a vacuum of knowledge and leadership. Who was supposed to be providing that knowledge and leadership? The churches had for centuries reserved that role to themselves, and then they forgot that role. This gave rise to secular orders. Germany, being a crossroad in the interior of the smallest, most densely populated continent, had tremendous strains to contend with, including the extra assignments of assimilating diversity.
Remember, this was before much of modern knowledge
was made widely available. These folks cannot be judged by today's standards...The worst things they did were motivated by fairly simple desires -- to have an economic system that worked.
ENORMOUS mistakes were made and crimes committed.
But we should know the causes rather than only
condemn and not understand the causes.

Take these together:
1) Punitive, disintegrating economic system
among a people who had long been strained by such events.
2) A history of being checkerboarded by religious disputes, and not having a single nation like France or England until fairly late in the 1800s
3) Being trapped in the interior of the continent where vast invasions and mass migrations were most frequent in semi-modern times.

Add: the fact that Evolution IS how these things came to be. To fault evolution for creating world war two is like blaming the sign on a bank for
why bank robbers go there. By the principle of
mapping how changes occur, if we are not too smug and presumptuous of our true level of comprehension, we can also recognize what made, from a child, a bank robber rather than a happier adult member of society. Recognition of evolution 's firm role does NOT license cruelty or evil. But as human beings, we do live in a world where things eat each other
(the peaceful scenery is full of bugs, birds, and mammals etc. eating plants or other animals).
I remember some of the church orators were among the first to hail Darwin's book, as the wealthy among the churches at first believed that their personal wealth was endorsed as having expressed God's pleasure with their own practicality and deservingness.
All today's corporations, whether overtly or not, recognize the marketplace operates precisely as Darwin described when left without regulation or philosophical leadership to the contrary. Churches have not really done their homework on the meaning of evolution. Unless we admit evolution is true, we continue to make poor plans and be blindsided by events. Rather, we must say
how we want evolution's inexorable pull to be modified, and we must explain how we can pay for the energy and effort required to make that occur.
If praying to God helps us do that, and I think it will, we should also realize our first attempts may contain errors. Evolution's best explanations illustrate that we have a deep opportunity to adjust our strategies and foresee consequences... and still we can be doing as right as we can.
So I hope you will get it now.
And stuff and things,
Mike

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