Aaron Kinney makes a good point about claims that the Holocaust was Darwin-inspired:
I would argue that even if Hitler really did use Darwin’s theory as inspiration for the mass-murder of Jews, he got it wrong. Throwing millions of Jews into death camps is, in my opinion, artificial selection! It is stacking the decks, not proving the superior adaptability of a breed of human.
Exactly so. There are a lot of mistaken ideas about how an individual demonstrates a natural superiority to other individuals, and foremost among them is this belief that it always involves being “red in tooth and claw” and exterminating the competition (secondmost: that it is always those who have the most babies who win). Simple-minded aggression and heedless procreation actually seem to be very poor strategies for human beings, who are more the slow and deliberate type of replicator, dependent on conspecific cooperation. The kind of social Darwinism/eugenics that Hitler favored was not evolution or Darwinism—it owes more to farming folk knowledge than to the complexity of evolutionary theory.
Not that that will matter to the people peddling the Darwin-Hitler link. I think they’d have a better case if they were arguing for a pigeon fancier-Hitler link.