Why the World is celebrating Darwin?

By Philip Robinson

I write this in 2009 which is an anniversary year in which Christians have the opportunity to remember many important people and events in their heritage. For example, it’s the 500th anniversary of the great reformer John Calvin’s birth, and the 150th anniversary of the 1859 Ulster revival, the effects of which can still be seem in our country today. However, in the western secular world, these are not anniversaries that have any meaning or importance, instead of remembering it’s Christian heritage, 2009 has been dubbed ‘The Year of Darwin’ in remembrance and celebration of the 200th anniversary of the English naturalist Charles Darwin’s birth, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book On the origin of Species by Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

The opportunity that ‘The Year of Darwin’ presents to promote evolution as an established fact in the public sphere seems to have been latched onto by just about everyone. For example, we have had ten one hour documentary style programmes looking at different aspects of Darwin’s life, experiments and theory on BBC 2, a BBC radio 4 series called Dear Darwin in which ‘five leading scientists address letters to Charles Darwin, expressing their thoughts on his work and legacy’, all the major scientific magazines and journals acknowledged Darwin in some way in the first three months of the year, the Royal Mail have released a 2009 Charles Darwin Commemorative stamps presentation pack, the Royal Mint have produced a 2009 Charles Darwin £2 coin, 200,000 copies of a special 2009 comic book representing Darwin as a comic book hero have been given away for free, ‘Darwin 200’ celebration websites have been set up by museums, and even an HMS Beagle project has been established in an attempt to rebuild the ship that Darwin sailed round the world in. These are but a few examples that I have chosen, I could go on for quite a while.

But why is this man Charles Darwin so celebrated in western culture? I would suggest that it is because of the very obvious metaphysical outcomes of where his theory leads. Prof. Peter Bowler, no friend of creationists, rightly points out that ‘Darwin’s initiative broke the logjam that had built up within science as pressure to explore ideas of natural development ran up against the blockage caused by the lack of any plausible mechanism.’ In other words, before Darwin used the concept of natural selection, which has been cleverly spun since his time so that people think that these two words can explain everything, there was no realistic naturalistic mechanism that allowed naturalists to escape some sort of divine creation acts. As evolutionist Jonathan Silvertown explains ‘the reason that natural selection was such a revolutionary idea was because it explained how living things that contain complicated structures, which look as though they must have been designed by an intelligent and skilled designer, can in fact arise without any supernatural intervention.’  Seeing  that there was now an apparent naturalistic mechanism where there had not been one before, the eminent atheist Richard Dawkins once put it, ‘Darwin then allowed people to become intellectually fulfilled atheists’. This was the exact same conclusion that was presented to the masses at the end of Jimmy Doherty’s first episode in March on BBC2, in which he stated, ‘In the book Darwin lays out his detailed scientific argument that we’ve followed to show that life on earth evolves through the mechanism of natural selection without God.’ And this is the real reason that Charles Darwin has become the peoples hero – he has removed their need for a creator God by apparently showing how new species arise all by themselves.

Darwin’s original theory of Natural selection has underwent some modification since his time, called the modern synthesis, as it was realised that natural selection only works if there is something to select, that there needed to be some source of new information introduced (now called mutations) in small accumulative steps for descent of all life from a common ancestor (evolution) to occur. Natural selection, has never been an issue for Christians with a biblical view of creation, (rather than an incorrect Christianised adaption of the Greek Philosophers concept of fixity of species in which species can neither change or adapt held to by many in Darwin’s time) in which the Bible teaches that animals and plants were created to reproduce within their kinds, and that after the flood in Noah’s time they would have left the Ark and spread, adapted and specieated all over the earth. Edward Blythe, a creationist, actually described the process of natural selection as a culling force more than 20 years before Darwin published The Origin of Species. However, Darwin, his contemporaries, and people ever since have realised the implications of what he popularised and spun using natural selection his book, The Origin of Species.

You see when Darwin’s theory of evolution was applied to man, for which he himself dedicated an entire book to in 1871 called The Descent of Man, it has devastating effects for the Christian faith. The evolutionary history, basked in its naturalistic philosophical worldview, completely contradicts that of the Bible’s history of both the creation account in general, but more specifically that of you and me, the human race. Desmond Morris, writing last year for the Daily mail said, ‘whenever my gaze happens to fall upon my lump of fossilised slime I experience a strange sensation, a deep respect, for I am looking at my most ancient ancestor. Yours, too, unless you still believe in the tale of Adam and Eve and a talking serpent in the Garden of Eden.’ Morris is clear that for him the evolutionary descent from a primordial slime is in clear opposition to the biblical creation account of man, and he is correct in his understanding.

Unfortunately the consequence of this loss of man’s special creation, made in God’s image, has all too often been better understood by atheistic evolutionists that some who reside within the walls of churches. For example, atheist Frank Zindler when debating William Lane Craig made it clear that he thought ‘the most devastating thing though that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of Biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve were never real people the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve then there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin then there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation then there is no need for a saviour. And I submit that that puts Jesus, historical or other wise into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that Evolution is the absolute death knell of Christianity.’ He correctly sees that a real historical fall for the human race must take place in Adam for the divine plan of salvation in Jesus Christ to make sense. Indeed to think otherwise makes a mockery out of verse like 1Corintians 15:21-22 “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also come through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” To explain Adam’s fall, and the rest of humanity falling in him, as anything other than a real historical event takes some serious unneeded exegetical gymnastics which destroys what we read in Genesis, 1Corinthians 15 and many other passages in the Bible.

For Christians, evolution has presented with two fronts that we must fight in tandem with one another. That of the naturalistic origins replacing God as Creator with Lady luck herself, mother nature, and secondly, showing people that they are special, made in the image of God, yet fallen in Adam so that the Gospel then makes sense to them.  But this must be done in a logical manner as Paul found out in Athens (Acts 17). When at first Paul tried to explain the Gospel to the people there, he was called a babbler because they did not have the right foundation to hear the Gospel. They did not acknowledge God as creator, nor their fall in Adam for salvation to make sense to them. So Paul when he speaks to them later takes them right back to the beginning, explaining that God was their creator, that they were descended from one man (Adam), that they would be one day be judged by the very same creator God, and then went onto explain the significance of the resurrection. In an ever increasingly un-churched society we too must take note of how Paul went about presenting the Gospel in Athens.

The whole theory of evolution has tired to disguise itself behind a veil of scientific objectivism working within the worldview of naturalistic methodology which does not acknowledge any supernatural intervention. It’s really all about God. Yet another stage in a long war to remove him from his rightful place as Creator, a denial that “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1) In effect the whole campaign has always been a blatant attack on Christianity, for they do not want the Creator God to sit in judgment of them. They want to put up a big sign up saying that this world is “under new management”, a management which says, “God, we don’t need you anymore. We now know that evolutionary processes brought us into being and that ultimately there is no meaning in life or judgment to come. So we will live our lives as we please. We will stop feeling guilty and will enjoy our lives in whatever way we see fit.” The atheist does not need to say “Jesus is not the Son of God, he did not die for your sin, and he did not rise from the dead.” By simply removing the concept of God, and thus His ownership of this world, they don’t need to enter into discussion about what the Bible has to say regarding sin, judgment, grace, mercy, love or Jesus Christ.

In this ‘Year of Darwin’, Charles Darwin is being paraded as a poster boy for the Atheists everywhere, and it is the metaphysical overtones that have been incredibly overt on the television, magazines and museums. They have used Charles Darwin’s popularisation of the theory of evolution to explain everything without the creative power of God.  The question for you Christian, is how will you respond to this? Will you lie down and let the naturalistic worldview gain even more ground in our cultures mind, or with a renewed Godly vigour stand firm on the word of God including the very real history that we find in it and at every opportunity refute that worldview which so vehemently oppose ours?

If in ‘The Year of Darwin’ you’re interested in finding out more about Charles Darwin, his life, presuppositions and the state of the theory of evolution at the minute, why not consider viewing a copy of Creation Ministries International Darwin Documentary film, The Voyage that Shook the World, and perhaps watching it along with someone else who has challenged you on this issue recently? For more details see www.creation.com