When Charles Darwin began formulating his theory of evolution, he probably never dreamed of causing humanity grief or degrading the human condition. Instead, he wanted to advance scientific knowledge. Through his theory of evolution, he offered an explanation of how life might have come into existence apart from God. It was a revolutionary idea that has had a monumental impact far beyond the field of science.
Yet what Darwin offered to the scientific world in 1859 in his book The Origin of Species has precipitated a great deal of collateral damage—that is, unintended consequences. Sadly, few in society at large have considered the repercussions of his landmark idea. Like a bomb shattering an innocent silence, the shock waves from Darwin's supposition continue to relentlessly pummel society.
How the theory of evolution evolved and how it has been defended is a story filled with irony, deceit and even religious-like faith held by nonreligious people. Here is a tale stranger than the animals Darwin observed on the Galapagos Islands.
Before offering his theory of evolution, Charles Darwin completed a degree in theology. Yet Darwin's theory rejected the biblical explanation of special creation. He was unsure of whether life initially came about through a Creator or of its own accord. In any case, Darwin supposed that different gradual evolutionary changes in various life-forms accounted for the variety of creatures—mammal, fish, fowl, etc.—extant today.
Why did Darwin abandon biblical teaching? Why did he offer a completely unproven theory that was in opposition to the Bible? As it turns out, Darwin apparently wasn't well-grounded in the Scriptures.
In rejecting religion, Darwin struck a chord that resonated with many in his day and continues to resonate today. In holding to Darwin's theory, some mistakenly think they are free from the rules and laws of a Creator and are free to decide for themselves what is right and wrong.
Had such individuals only read the Bible, they could have known that Adam and Eve tried the same thing—rejecting God—several thousand years ago and suffered a terrible consequence. In rejecting God's revealed knowledge and deciding for themselves how to live, Adam and Eve lost access to the tree of life, which represented the opportunity to live forever (Genesis 3). Sadly, Darwin and his supporters were undeterred by biblical history.
It seems they didn't want to "retain God in their knowledge" (Romans 1:28 Romans 1:28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
American King James Version×)—much less hear what God had to say through the pages of the Bible. They mistakenly thought their course of action gave them freedom—an enticing word often used in propaganda.
The introduction of Darwin's theory opened up an all-out debate over truth. Ironically, Darwin's supporters claimed that religion was just a humanly devised invention to help people during times of trouble. Ah yes. Humanly devised—as if the theory of evolution wasn't . . .
Evolution under the microscope
In reflecting on his theory of evolution, Darwin knew there were dauntingly unproven aspects of his hypothesis. For example, he admitted that the complexity of the eye presented certain problems. He also acknowledged that there was no fossil record proving the gradual changes in life forms that he imagined had taken place. He simply hoped that fossils would eventually be found to prove him correct.
Given the weaknesses of his theory, Darwin was surprised at its positive reception. Today it seems that Darwin himself had more doubts about his theory than many Darwinian devotees who have accepted it without question.
Yet under the microscope of inspection, scientists and competent thinkers have jointly discovered serious flaws with Darwin's theory. A number of the theory's supposed proofs have been found inadequate (see "Myths of Evolution Part 2").
The church of Darwin
With no valid evidence to prove Darwinian evolution and mounting scientific evidence against it, supporters of evolution find themselves increasingly challenged to maintain their faith. It's an awkward position demanding unquestioning adherence.
When evolutionary theory is challenged by scientific evidence such as that offered by the intelligent design movement, some are surprised that Darwinian supporters almost always respond by claiming that intelligent design is thinly disguised religion. Yet technically, one doesn't have to believe in a particular God or creed to believe in intelligent design since the arguments for intelligent design are made from scientific evidence alone.
Sadly, it seems that those who faithfully hold to Darwin's theory don't want to acknowledge the accumulating body of scientific information undermining their position. The reason they don't is obvious: Their worldview is at risk.
If the creation indeed has the fingerprints of the Creator—as mounting evidence indicates—they will have no excuse for ignoring God. Indeed, the Bible says just that (see Romans 1:20 Romans 1:20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
American King James Version×).
For the academic world to accept intelligent design would be as monumental a change as was the acceptance of Darwin's theory. Unwilling to face the evidence, true-believer Darwinians respond by trying to discredit the science as religion. Ironically again, these days it seems to take more faith to believe in Darwinism than it does to believe in the Creator God of the Bible.
Since its detonation, the Darwin bomb's blast wave has impacted just about every field of study, with some seriously negative consequences. While Darwin's devotees are fond of talking about all the deaths associated with religious wars, they don't like to be reminded of the immoral, materialistic worldviews that have been built upon or justified by Darwin's theory.
A biography of Joseph Stalin explains that Stalin considered Darwin's book The Origin of Species proof that there was no God (E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin, 1940, pp. 8-9).
As a seminary student, Stalin encouraged a fellow student to read Darwin's book so his friend would also understand that talk about God is "sheer nonsense" (ibid.). With reassurance from Darwin that there was no God with rules against killing other human beings, Stalin had no qualms about murdering millions of his countrymen in an effort to build a better state.
In Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler's concept of breeding a master race was based on the "survival of the fittest" concept inherent in Darwin's philosophy. Whether or not Darwin's own views were racist, his theory and even the full title of his book—On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life—aligned with Hitler's racist worldview and his killing of 6 million Jews in his effort to build a superrace.
Again, if we don't rely on God for the truth that it is wrong to murder other human beings, people's choices simply become matters of personal opinion.
Is the killing of millions of people the outcome Charles Darwin desired in writing The Origin of Species? Of course not. But the collateral damage associated with Darwinism doesn't end with Stalin and Hitler. It has continued its relentless march through numerous fields with perhaps none more striking than that of moral conduct.
If people are simply animals, as Darwin suggested, there is nothing wrong with them mating with whomever they wish whenever they wish. Disregarding biblical instructions governing our sexual conduct has led to the destruction of numerous families and untold heartache. Chalk it up to collateral damage.
Furthermore, if people are simply animals, then it really doesn't matter if a woman chooses to have an abortion or not. With this mind-set, millions of babies have been aborted before they ever drew their first breaths. More collateral damage.
When writing The Origin of Species, did Darwin anticipate that his philosophy would be instrumental in destroying marriages and snuffing out the lives of millions of babies? Surely not. But a faulty premise leads to faulty conclusions. The negative effects of immoral conduct justified by Darwin's theory continue to add up.
How strange that so many support a mistaken idea that has evolved into a materialistic philosophy devaluing human life and undermining mankind's faith in his Creator. How sad to see all the unnecessary heartache. Why not acknowledge God as God and choose to live a lifestyle of blessing and restoration, not of collateral damage?
For more information, be sure to read our free booklet Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe? GN