The Religion of Evolution

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The Religion of Evolution

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Often lost in the debate over how life began is the equally significant question of why life began. Or, to personalize it, why do you exist? Is there a reason, a purpose, for your life?

All religions fundamentally exist, some have concluded, to try to answer that question, along with its close relative: Is there life after death? It has even been stated that belief in evolution is itself a religion. Indeed, by the dictionary definition of religion as "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith," it certainly qualifies.

So, for evolutionists who deny the existence of a Creator and claim that life spontaneously came into existence, intellectual honesty eventually requires them to step into the religious arena and tackle the meaning-of-life question. In fact, many do. Their answer is simple: Since life arose and evolved through a series of random coincidences, there is no meaning or purpose in our existence. We are merely an accident.

For some people that is no problem, but the concept nags deeply at many others. Eliminate a life-giving God from the picture and something has to replace not only Him, but also the idea of His purpose for our existence. Evolution does not merely dismiss a Creator. It rejects any spiritual meaning for our existence. And since we tend to shape our behavior according to our understanding of the significance of life, thinking there is no inherent purpose in life logically leaves the entire rationale for the ethics, morality and law by which individuals and societies govern themselves up for debate.

This has not been lost on some prominent evolutionists, who have realized that widespread acceptance of the theory of evolution inevitably ignited a revolution in moral thinking.

One of the leading evolutionists of the 20th century, Sir Julian Huxley, who described evolution as "religion without revelation," admitted as much. "Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions," he wrote. "This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct something to take its place."

Now it should be pointed out that Huxley was of the opinion that "there is no basic cleavage between science and religion." Yet what he proposed was radical—not merely a new outlook on the origins of life, but what it would mean for our worldview. A "drastic reorganization of our pattern of religious thought is now becoming necessary," he said, "from a god-centered to an evolutionary-centered pattern."

So who then takes God's place? Who becomes the new authority? Without a God, only man can step in—and some are all too glad to assume this role. Man thus becomes the highest authority on all matters important, the sole determiner and arbiter of purpose and meaning, morality and ethics.

Evolution as a religion does not do away with God—it merely replaces Him with human gods. And if you think it requires faith to put your trust in a supreme Creator God, how will your faith fare when put in the hands of man?

In November the media will no doubt be awash with coverage on how Charles Darwin lit the fire of evolutionary thought with his publication of The Origin of Species 150 years ago. We hope our focus in this issue helps you see more clearly not only the holes in the theory, but the dangerous ramifications for morality and ethics and where that leads. GN