In a post at the Uncommon Descent blog, Davescot has an excellent summary of the connection between Darwin and eugenics. The article is A complete Darwin quote with a brief translation (20 April, 2008). Davescot's article is simple, accurate, and straight to the point.
For those who follow these debates, this may come as a surprise. Normally I find little of value at Uncommon Descent, and I'm very surprised to see this one. But credit where it is due; Davescot's post is excellent, and needs no modication or qualification to get my full recommendation.
The article has a full quote from Descent of Man, including the second paragraph traditionally omitted by those who want to link Darwin to the holocaust. He follows this with a couple of very simple and straightforward observations.
Paraphrasing briefly, Darwin notes that we humans are animals in the body, and that the same selective breeding applied to farm animals for generations would work in the same way if it was applied to humans. Immediately after this, Darwin also notes that the attempt would degrade the noblest part of our nature, the very part which distinguishes humans from other animal species.
Quoting Davescot's concluding paragraph.
If there’s any real case to be made for Darwin and the holocaust it’s the opposite of what’s messaged in Expelled. The holocaust resulted from a failure to heed Darwin’s warning that eugenics could only be practiced by sacrificing the noblest part of our nature, the very part and only part that separates us from other animals. Those responsible for the holocaust, beginning with the eugenics movement in America, were the true animals. Those opposed were nobler than the animals.
Hat tip to Wes Elsberry at the Austringer for alerting me to Davescot's post. Flunked, Not Expelled: Not Even David Springer Buys the Darwin-Leads-to-Hitler Rhetoric.