What Hath Darwin Wrought? If ideas have consequences what has been the result of Darwinism?


“What Hath Darwin Wrought?” is a TV special that investigates the shocking history of “social Darwinism” in America and Europe, including the eugenics crusade against the “unfit,” the euthanasia movement, Nazi genocide, and current efforts to devalue the lives of the handicapped. Hosted by Todd Friel, the program features Discovery Institute Senior Fellows David Berlinski, author of The Devil’s Delusion and The Deniable Darwin; John West, author of Darwin Day in America; and historian Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler.

The documentary explores such questions as:

  • What impact has Darwin’s theory had on society and culture during the past century?
  • Is “social Darwinism” a logical application of Darwin’s theory, or an outrageous perversion of it?
  • Is it fair to talk about the social consequences of Darwinian evolution, or is it a cheap shot? 

“The standard refrain today is that social Darwinism had nothing to do with either Charles Darwin or his biological theory,” says Dr. John West, whose work is highlighted in the documentary. “But ideas have consequences, and it’s clear that Darwin himself understood that fact. I think many viewers will be surprised when they learn just how closely Darwin’s own views are connected to the rise of social Darwinism—and just how much of a continuing impact social Darwinism has on Darwin’s followers today.”

“What Hath Darwin Wrought?” is airing on cable television as a one-hour special, but it also is being released as a two-DVD set in an extended 80-minute version along with more than 100 minutes of additional interviews. A free discussion and study guide is available to facilitate use of the documentary in small groups and adult education classes.