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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2006
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Claim CA006.2:

Stalin accepted Darwinian evolution, which he used to justify oppression and murder.


AiG, 1988. What happened when Stalin read Darwin? Creation 10(4) (September): 23.


  1. Stalin rejected neo-Darwinian evolution in favor of Lamarckism.
    Mendeleyev's "periodic system of elements" clearly shows how very important in the history of nature is the emergence of qualitative changes out of quantitative changes. The same thing is shown in biology by the theory of neo-Lamarckism, to which neo-Darwinism is yielding place. (Stalin 1906, 304)
    More specifically, Stalin rejected the ideas of August Weismann, a 19th-century German biologist, in favor of Trofim Lysenko, a pseudoscientist who based his ideas on Lamarckism. Weismann, who accepted Darwin's theory of evolution, disproved Lamarckism and proposed that germ cells pass on hereditary information; his work was an early variant of the modern evolutionary synthesis which unites evolutionary theory with genetics. Stalin appointed Lysenko head of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences of the Soviet Union, where he had great political power. (Rossiannov 1993)

    Stalin and Lysenko rejected evolution and genetics for ideological, not biological, reasons. (Stalin was quite ignorant of science in general.) The class struggle of Marxism contradicts the individual competition implied by natural selection. More importantly, genetics, implying that traits were fixed at birth, contradicted the ideal of moulding and improving traits. Stalin proclaimed genetics a capitalist pseudo-science.

  2. Stalin was, first and foremost, a Marxist dictator, far above any allegiance he might have had to any theories concerning the origin of species, whether Lamarckian or Darwinian. Stalin distrusted scientists as being prone to free-thinking. Though his persecution of biologists and biology were particularly egregious (causing appalling damage to Soviet agriculture), he imprisoned and killed thousands of scientists and engineers from all fields.

  3. Oppression and murder have been used as tools of statecraft long before Darwin published his work.

  4. There is no evidence that Darwin's work was used as a justification for oppression and murder. Stalin doubtless accepted Newton's theory of gravity, but creationists do not claim that Newton's theory should be suppressed because Stalin believed it.


  1. Rossianov, Kirill. 1993. Stalin as Lysenko's Editor: Reshaping Political Discourse in Soviet Science, Configurations - Volume 1, Number 3, Fall 1993, pp. 439-456, The Johns Hopkins University Press. Online at and

  2. Stalin, Josef V. 1906. Anarchism or Socialism? In Collected Works, vol. 1, Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954.

Further Reading:

Elsberry, Wesley R. and Mark Perakh, n.d. How Intelligent Design advocates turn the sordid lessons from Soviet and Nazi history upside down.
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created 2006-7-28