I maintained my cool up until he started saying there was a relationship between Darwinism and Social Darwinism. The latter merely hijacked the name and has nothing to do with Darwinism, the only link is the phrase “survival of the fittest”, which as we all know is so often interpreted in a completely different sense from Darwin’s intent. Like fascism and eugenics, the point about Social Darwinism is that it is brought about by choice, the exact opposite of Natural Selection. For someone to come out and accuse Darwin of lying and then use such twisted arguments to support his case is at best disingenuous and really, well, let’s call it by its name “lying”.
I found the discussion interesting. Wiker seems to be arguing for a “moderate” religious position. His assertions that Darwin was lying about his pre-Beagle beliefs do seem to be kind of compelling, but I think we can forgive Darwin and his father for not being entirely forthcoming about their atheistic beliefs given the times in which they lived. It was certainly not socially acceptable to be atheist and possibly even dangerous at that time.
As far as the “enlightment ideology” idea, that also seems credible. Unlike, Wiker, I would applaud Darwin for promoting such an ideology. As for Wiker’s other accusations, I agree with Keith. It seems dishonest. To equate eugenics as promoted by Nazis with abortion is simply absurd as is the suggestion that atrocities perpetrated by dictators who instituted a cult of personality around themselves are somehow connected to atheism. Cults and Religions are fundamentally indistinguishable. The suggestion that natural selection is not sufficient betrays the usual religionists’ complete inability to comprehend the time scales over which natural selection acts. It comes from almost the same level of ignorance displayed by the tea party ignoramuses when they assert that evolution can’t be true because we don’t see monkeys turning into people overnight.
I don’t think it is a bad idea to have people like Wiker on the podcast. DJ did a good job of countering Wiker’s arguments.