9. The Lucifer Principle
While The Lucifer Principle isn’t exactly a historical work that lay in obscurity, it earns its place on this list for the mere suggestions that it makes and for the public outcry it received, with some even suggesting that it attempts to use science to promote evil and even outright fascism. This work claims that evil, in a very Nietzschean way, isn’t just a bad, undesirable part of the human existence, one that we will hopefully someday banish from society, but is actually a creative force built within the very structures of our material existence.
Yes, it proposes that you are inherently evil in many aspects. So is society. So is nature. The subtitle is A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History, and it achieves just that, touting an impressive list of sources of hard, concrete science to back up its claims, such as The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, and attempts to piece together the story, from the tiniest genes to organisms to prehistoric warfare to societies to the massive, necessary superorganism that is human society, and shed light on our darker natures.
This work is a dose of cold, hard truth: Mother Nature is brutal, violent, and destructive. She creates through destruction in a never-ending cycle of creation and destruction, and this is built into the fundamental fabric of existence, the harsh reality being that evil and destruction are inescapable. With large sections such as “Bloodstains in Paradise” and “Why Humans Must Self-Destruct,” its content has challenged the delicate sensibilities of its readers since its original publication in 1995. Some versions of the book’s cover clearly brag that many have called for it to be outright banned.
You’re not evil because you’re flawed; you’re evil because all of the structures of life are inherently partially evil . . . and the hard science of biology tells us this is how it is. Evil is in your DNA. Deal with it.