Skip to comments.Getting over our love for Darwin (Many Christians are still Infatuated with Darwin)
Posted on 11/10/2009 2:43:38 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Charles Darwin published his Origin of Species in 1859. There he presented the classic formulation of his theory of evolution. Lady Ashley, reacting to the theory at the time, remarked, "Let's hope that it's not true; but if it is true, let's hope that it doesn't become widely known." Lady Ashley's second hope has failed: Darwin's theory is everywhere and has now become textbook orthodoxy. This year, universities around the globe are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Darwin's Origin of Species as well as the 200th anniversary of his birth.
But what about Lady Ashley's hope that Darwin's theory is false? Darwin presented a bleak picture of ourselves: we are mere modified apes; we are the "winners" in a brutal competitive evolutionary process, most of whose players are "losers," wiped off the evolutionary scene before they could leave a legacy; the traditional Christian view that we are made in God's image is simply a story we tell to convince ourselves that we're special.
Intelligent design supporters like me view Darwin's theory as untrue and even as laughable: The theory purports to give a materialistic account of life's development once life is already here, but it has a gaping hole at the start since matter gives no evidence of being able to organize itself from non-life into life. The fossil record, especially the sudden emergence of most animal body plans in the Cambrian explosion, sharply violates Darwinian expectations about the historical pattern of evolutionary change. The nano-engineering found in the DNA, RNA, and proteins of the cell far exceeds human engineering and remains completely unexplained in Darwinian terms.
Darwin lovers are quick to reject such complaints. After all, as novelist Barbara Kingsolver declares, Darwin's idea of natural selection is "the greatest, simplest, most elegant logical construct ever to dawn across our curiosity about the workings of natural life. It is inarguable, and it explains everything." Kingsolver is no fan of Christianity. Yet many Darwin lovers are Christian. Francis Collins, who directs the National Institutes of Health, is a Christian Darwinist. Leaving aside a healthy skepticism that regards every scientific theory as refutable in light of new evidence, Collins exempts Darwinian evolution from such skepticism: "evolution, as a mechanism, can be and must be true."
Any theory that explains everything and that can and must be true is either the greatest thing since sliced bread or the greatest swindle ever foisted on gullible intellectuals. The intelligent design community takes the latter view, siding here with Malcolm Muggeridge, who wrote: "I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it's been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books in the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has."
Still, it's easy to understand why so flimsily a supported theory garners such vast support. It provides the creation story for an atheistic worldview. If atheism is true, then something like Darwinian evolution must follow. Hence, any attack on Darwin becomes an attack on the atheistic secularism that pervades our culture.
Nonetheless, even though atheism implies Darwinism, the reverse is not true: Darwinism does not imply atheism. Indeed, Christian theists who embrace Darwin abound.
The wedding between Darwinism and Christianity, however, is an uneasy one. To be sure, plenty of marriages are uneasy, and uneasy marriages are often endured because divorce can entail more difficulties than endurance. Thus, when I got involved with the evolution controversy 20 years ago, I naively thought that any Christian, given sufficient evidence against Darwinism, would immediately jump ship. Darwinian evolution, according to Cornell historian of biology Will Provine, is "the greatest engine of atheism ever invented." Why should Christians stick with such an engine when it's no longer needed?
Little did I realize how infatuated many Christians are with Darwin. Having convinced themselves that design is an outdated religious dogma, they embraced Darwinism as a form of enlightenment. And having accommodated their faith to Darwin, they became loath to reexamine whether Darwinism is true at all. Unlike Lady Ashley, Christian Darwinists hope that Darwinism is true. But is it really? In this year of Darwinian bacchanalias, let us soberly reassess whether Darwin's theory is indeed true. And if the evidence goes against it, as the intelligent design community is successfully demonstrating, then let's be done with it. In that case, reconciling Christianity with Darwinism becomes a vain exercise, solving a problem that no longer exists.
William A. Dembski is research professor in philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of prominent books in the field of intelligent design, including his latest, The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems, written with biologist Jonathan Wells.
“Intelligent design supporters like me view Darwin’s theory as untrue and even as laughable:”
I find it laughable that Christians support IDers who believe in evolution and that God is dead.
I believe in God, the Creator. I don’t think man came from apes, or that man and ape evolved from the same species. I believe there are indications of intelligent design in the way life is organized and reproduces itself.
I am pleased to see scientists and philosophers backing the concept of intelligent design, even though some of them say that they don’t believe in God. These people are coming to their conclusions based on evidence, not on religious belief. Sure, I wish everyone could have the comfort and joy of a relationship with God, but if that isn’t possible, I am encouraged at least that a stake is being driven through the heart of Darwinism.
Darwinism is responsible for a great darkness in the world, and the deaths of many millions of innocent people. I long for the day, which I believe is coming in the future, when scientists will wonder and shake their heads, mystified as to how so many scientists could have tricked themselves into believing in and proclaiming Darwin’s theory.
You do realize that ID is based on man's common descent, just like darwinism.
I bet you will live to see the opposite. You are in such a small minority. Even Christian schools do not teach your YEC nonsense.
No. I do not regard Genesis as a scientific text. I have no vested theological interest in the age of the earth or the universe. I find the arguments of geologists persuasive when they argue for an earth that is 4.5 billion years old. What’s more, I find the arguments of astrophysicists persuasive when they argue for a universe that is approximately 14 billion years old. I believe they got it right.
I haven’t said that I believe in the “young earth”. I only said that I believe in a Creator God.
Notable how an great intellectual can be such a fool.
The fossil evidence is overwhelming that early man was much different from modern man.
OECers have more to fear from YECers than from evolutionists. YECers say that after they kill evolution, they will take on the OECers till everyone believes the only 'true' religion, a 6000 year old earth.
Please draw no conclusions regarding the intelligence, creativity, or reasoning capability of Christians from the content of this thread. We are not all this stupid.