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A Study in Darwinism

Introduction

Darwinism is the theory of evolution by natural selection created by Charles Darwin in the middle to late 1800s. Since then, many people have clung to the theory with the hope that life can be lived and answers can be found without the existence of God. But can life be lived without God? Can answers really be found solely in nature? This essay will cover some of the far-reaching implications of Darwinism in an effort for evolutionists of all kinds to think more about their worldview. The thesis is as follows: Darwinism leads nowhere.

For Theists

I. Sound and Logical Reasoning Is Destroyed

What are the far-reaching implications of theistic evolution? It may be important for Christians who believe in evolution to understand its thesis. In 1995, The National Association of Biology Teachers said, “The diversity of life on earth is the outcome of evolution: an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contingencies and changing environments.” Later in 1997, they omitted the words unsupervised and impersonal and added that “evolutionary theory, indeed all of science, is necessarily silent on religion and neither refutes nor supports the existence of a deity or deities.” In other words, God may or may not exist, but there is no evidence that He created the world.[1] What does this imply for those who hold to both theism and evolution? It implies that the Bible is unreliable because Scripture reasonably claims that nature supports the existence of a deity.[2] If there is creation, then there is a creator. If there is intelligent design, then there is an intelligent designer. Darwinism ignores the cosmological and teleological arguments, and therefore destroys sound and logical reasoning in the minds of those who hold this view.

II. The Bible’s Value is Destroyed

When theists claim that they believe in evolution, they do not believe in evolution in its entirety because they accept the existence of God. So how do theists attempt to fit evolution into their worldview? One of the most common doctrines of theistic evolution is that the creation account of Genesis is allegorical and not to be interpreted literally. One college student said that evolution is the science that studies how God created the species.[3] What does this imply about the Bible? If the creation account is just an allegory, how much of the Bible can be trusted as a literal and historical account? It is as if the creation account was misunderstood for thousands of years until Darwin arrived on the scene. It as if God Himself wrongfully believed the world was created in six literal days and gave its timestamp to Israel for the law of the Sabbath.[4] Darwinism ultimately does not allow the plain reading of the Biblical text. Nowhere does the Bible claim of an allegorical creation, and therefore no theist can have a relationship with God and believe in evolution.

For Naturalists

I. Human Life Is Devalued

Darwinism teaches that humans have a common ancestor with an animal. This has led some to believe that animals and humans are equal. If Darwinism is true, then this belief is not wrong. Richard Dawkins once said on Twitter, “With respect to those meanings of ‘human’ that are relevant to the morality of abortion, any fetus is less human than an adult pig.” Dawkins misses something very important: the difference between a human fetus and an adult pig, is that the former will transform into an intelligent being, and the latter into bacon. But what makes a human more or less “human” according to Dawkins? He said that humans are animals indeed, but more sophisticated.[5] What makes humans “human” is their big brains, preaches Dawkins.[6] But are not humans still animals according to Darwinism? It would be interesting to hear Dawkins’ reply if a cannibal were to walk into his grandchild’s home, beheaded the “animal with a bigger brain than all the other animals”, and eat the child in front of him. According to Dawkins, the cannibal would not be wrong because at the end of the day, humans are technically still animals at best. The far-reaching implication of Darwinism for humans is that it devalues human life.

II. Morals­ Are Subjective

What are the far-reaching implications for morality if Darwinism is true? If nature is God, then nature is the moral law-giver. Nature calls the shots. What does this mean? Darwin said, “A man who has no assured and ever-present belief in the existence of a personal God, or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are strongest or which seem to him the best ones.”[7] Nietzsche said that man must make his own way through life.[8] What happens when people apply this doctrine? Jeffrey Dahmer is one example. He murdered, raped and then dismembered 17 males before being arrested. In an interview, he said,

“If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then—then what’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we, when we died, you know, that was it, there is nothing…"[9] 

Another example is a teenager who killed seven classmates, his teacher, and then himself. Prior to the crime, he said, “I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection.”[10]

Darwinists have realized the error of putting the source of morality upon individuals, and have transitioned the source to societies. But which society is right? On the one hand, naturalists say that whatever society deems right is right for that society. On the other hand, they say that Nazi Germany was wrong for their mass murder of the Jews. If Darwinism is true, then Hitler was only doing what he thought best, and the society he lived in was only doing the same. Darwinism could not hold Nazi Germany accountable for their actions, and therefore they do not truly believe that nature is the moral law-giver.

III. Obtaining Truth Is Useless

Some Darwinists say that theists are irrational for believing in a Creator. They put theists in the same category as those who fall for faith-healing scams and palm readers.[11]. However, Darwinism opens itself up for falsification. Charles Darwin said,

“The horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has developed from the mind of lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust the conviction of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”

After sharing this quote, James Sire pointed out that a Darwinist cannot be sure that their own theory of origin can be trusted if their brain is no more than that of a superior monkey. That means that Darwinism has no real evidence.[12] So, when evolutionists charge theists with being irrational, they ought to charge themselves with the same thing. What Darwinism implies in this respect is that evidence is meaningless. This might be the reason why many evolutionists are agnostics. In essence, they claim that there is no way of obtaining truth, but they know that evolution is true. In the end, one cannot obtain truth in Darwinism.

IV. Darwinism Leads to Nihilism

If Darwinism is true, then there is no God, human life is devalued, morality is subjective, and there is no way of obtaining truth. With these premises shaping reality, then there is no way of knowing whether God exists, there is no way of knowing the value of human beings, and there is no way of knowing what is right or wrong. If someone believes these things, then what is the purpose of life? There is not one. This is called nihilism. Nihilism is what James Sire called the natural child of naturalism. It is the conviction that everything in life is meaningless.[13] Sire also said,

“ In some ways the theory of evolution raises so many questions as it solves, for while it offers an explanation for what has happened over the eons of time, it does not explain why. The notion of a Purposer is not allowed by naturalists…. And Richard Dawkins, one of the more vocal of neo-Darwinian evolutionists, confirm this: ‘Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Any intentionality is ruled out as a possibility from the beginning.’ ”[14] 

If natural selection has no purpose in view, then there is no use in trying to find purpose. Solomon discovered this implication when he said that life was vanity without God.[15]

Conclusion

In summary, theists must not also be Darwinists, because it defeats all reason and the authority of God’s Word. For naturalists, they must follow the trail of Darwinism to see where it ends, which is nowhere. Once someone sees these far-reaching implications, the next step is to use the reason that God gave them and open His Word for guidance.


Works Cited [1] Johnson, Phillip E., An Easy-to-Understand Guide for Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, pg. 15, 120-121, InterVarsity Press. Downers Grove, Illinois. 1997. Print. [2] Psalm 19:1ff; Rom. 1:19-20 [3] Ibid, pg. 14. [4] Exodus 20:8-11 [5] Richard Dawkins, “Apes with Big Brains: Richard Dawkins on What Makes Us Human,” New Statesman, June 16, 2021, https://www.newstatesman.com/uncategorized/2014/01/apes-big-brains. [6] Ibid [7] Darwin, Charles, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, pg. 94, W.W. Norton. New York. 1958. Print. [8] Nietzsche, Friedrich, Schopenhauer as Educator, pg. 106. 1870. Web. [9] An Interview with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, 11/29/1994. Web. [10] Butt, Kyle, Dead Teen Understood Implications of Evolution, Apologetics Press. 2007. Web. [11] Johnson, pg. 37. [12] Sire, James, The Universe Next Door, pg. 93-94, IVP Academic. Downers Grove, IL. 2020. Print. [13] Ibid, pg. 84, 87. [14] Ibid, pg. 72. [15] Ecclesiastes 1:2

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