The Big Gamble: Why the Creation/Evolution Issue Is So Important
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999|
|Historically and at present, many have argued that general acceptance of the theory of evolution has had greater consequences than realized for religion, morality, and mankind’s sense of purpose in life. This article explores some of these issues to explain why the theory of evolution is, in fact, a “bad idea.”|
“Trust the evolutionary process. It’s all going to work out all right.” (Timothy Leary, The Politics of Ecstasy)
(excerpted from Darwin’s Leap of Faith, Harvest House, 1998)
A Bad Idea?
Someone once cleverly remarked that Darwin had the luck to please everyone who had an axe to grind. We are not going to please everyone, but we are going to examine Darwin’s theory critically, and show its outgrowth for both science and society. Our central thesis will be to show that the theory of evolution is scientifically in error and that, therefore, its overarching consequences are also in error. (The term “evolution” is used to refer to the general theory that all life on earth has evolved from non-living matter and progressed to more complex forms with time; hence, it refers to macroevolution and not microevolution (minor changes within species illustrated in crossbreeding, such as varieties of dogs or varieties of corn).)
Historically and at present, many have argued that general acceptance of the theory of evolution has had greater consequences than realized for religion, morality, and mankind’s sense of purpose in life, and has even influenced, to some extent, recent totalitarian governments and the very respect for authority that holds a society together.
Of course, the truth or falsity of a theory cannot be judged on the basis of its legacy alone, but neither can it ultimately be separated from it. If bad ideas produce a bad harvest, and if evolution is a bad idea, this needs to be pointed out even if some people are offended. Far-reaching ideas that impact our day-to-day lives need to be carefully evaluated, especially if we are frequently unaware of their impact. With evolution, this kind of evaluation is rarely attempted, partly because the theory is so widely accepted that it is deemed unquestionable. But this only makes such critique all the more necessary.
A scientific evaluation is, of course, vital. To determine if evolution is true or false is clearly necessary. However, as much as this can accomplish, it can never tell the whole story. Thus, to briefly explore its impact on history and on people’s lives is also vital because it completes the subject. To expose the social harm evolutionary ideas have wrought, intentional or not, is to be alerted to future ill advised theories.
Some ideas are so bad that it may be argued they should be rejected on the basis of their implications alone. As we will see, evolution seems to be one of those ideas.
Encountering the Meaning of Life
There is little doubt that the legacy of Darwin’s theory has, in whole or part, dealt with life and death issues. Evolution significantly impacts our views of both life and death in the logical development of its philosophical outlook.
All of us know by experience that, generally, life is good, but very fragile. The Princess Diana tragedy that touched the world illustrates how life can be here one moment and gone the next instant. Or, consider another tragedy, the fate of the Boeing 727 jumbo jet, flight JAL #123, and its 520 passengers. It took this aircraft a full nine minutes to crash.
On that jumbo jet all 520 passengers were killed—people who fully expected to be alive the next day, but never saw the wonder of another dawn.
For many of us, it often takes exposure to a disaster of this nature to make us ponder the meaning of life. And it is here more than anywhere that the creation/evolution issue is personalized. In the end, the issue of origins involves much more than a scientific theory or theological doctrine. It tells us who we are and it impacts how we live. Indeed, our collective view of origins can dramatically affect how efficiently and ethically we function as a society.
We feel it is important to examine some of the implications and impacts of evolutionary theory both for us as individuals and in terms of recent history. We think this information will be both surprising and useful to our readers. So, to begin, what does evolution really mean to each of us personally?
Although most people may not have considered the implications of evolution to them individually, they are quite pronounced and quite personal. In the evolutionary or materialistic worldview, unfortunately, man has no special or unique relevance other than which he may arbitrarily choose to give himself. As the late leading evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson observed:
- In the world of Darwin, man has no special status other than his definition as a distinct species of animal. He is in the fullest sense a part of nature and not apart from it. He is akin, not figuratively, but literally, to every living thing, be it an amoeba, a tapeworm, a seaweed, an oak tree, or a monkey—even though the degrees of relationship are different and we may feel less empathy for forty-second cousins like the tapeworm than for, comparatively speaking, brothers like the monkeys….”
Simpson’s reference to mankind being literally related to tapeworms is apropos. Darwin himself believed we were descended from something like tapeworms. In their book Evolving, Ayala and Valentine agree, “To be sure, both butterflies and humans have descended from a remote common ancestor, most likely a small wormlike marine animal resembling a flat worm.”
If humans are only advanced animals that nature has bestowed her favors on by chance, then where do we draw the line as to which animals have which rights and which rights (or animals) are most important to preserve? According to evolution, man is quantitatively better than the animals (has a bigger brain) but not qualitatively better (created in God’s image). It is therefore ethically wrong to violate the rights of other animals, who are our literal brothers, evolutionarily speaking. (At least according to popular views of evolution.)
As the national director of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), Ingrid L. Newkirt, stated, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy!” By this line of reasoning, apparently, all “higher” forms of life are to be considered equal. More startling, a representative of The Church of Euthanasia believes animal rights are actually superior to human rights. In all seriousness, she told a national TV audience, “If we are going to kill off species, let’s kill humanity first because humans are only a minor species with a minor role to play in the overall diversity of Nature.” Other animal rights groups maintain that “eating meat is murder” or “man is the tyrant species” and that killing cows and chickens is equal to “the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis.”
If evolution is true, we can hardly avoid the conclusion. We are all just animals and the animal rights groups seem to have a valid argument. We have no right at all to violate the rights of other animals. All of sentient nature is equally valuable and, as far as rights go, “A rat…is a boy.” Marvin M. Lubenow, an expert on human fossils, comments as follows and then summarizes the argument:
- While it is difficult to prove that evolution is largely responsible for this equating of human and animal rights, it is more than coincidence that all of the animal-rights advocates who have expressed themselves publicly on the subject are evolutionists. According to evolution, it is merely the “luck of the draw” that man has evolved a big brain….Had certain mutations not happened in our ancestors and instead happened in the ancestors of the chimpanzees, we might be where they are and they might be where we are….Hence I have no ethical right to use my superiority, achieved by chance, to violate the rights of other animals who through no fault of their own did not evolve the same abilities
The animal rights groups have taken us here to one of the logical if idealistic consequences of the philosophy of evolution. But as we will see, there are others. The scientific literature of recent years has justified everything from adultery and homosexuality to irresponsible genetic engineering and barbarous fetal research on the basis of our animal status, in accordance with evolutionary principles.
- George Gaylord Simpson, “The World into Which Darwin Led Us,” Science, Vol. 131 (1960), p. 970, from W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited: The Theories of Evolution and of Abrupt Appearance, Vol. 1 (New York: Philosophical Library, 1989), p. 139, emphasis added.
- Ayala and Valentine, Evolving (Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co., Inc.).
- Marvin L. Lubenow, Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1992), pp. 187-89.
- Deborah Erickson, “Blood Feud,” Scientific American, June 1990, p. 17, from Ibid, p. 188.
- Personally seen by John Weldon on cable television, “The Internet Café” January or February 1997.
- Charles S. Nicoll, Sharon M. Russell, “Animal Rights Literature,” Science, May 26, 1989, p. 903; and Bartell Nyberg, Denver Post, Dec. 6, 1987 from Lubenow, Bones, p. 188.
- Lubenow, Bones, p. 188.
- In another sense, it can be argued the evolution popularizers are wrong. Based on theories of natural selection and survival of the fittest, genuine evolutionary scientists could easily maintain that “might makes right,” in spite of the implications for the human animal, as seen for example, in the abuse of social Darwinism.