A World without God
Has the popularity of evolution made an impact on our society? Michael Denton1 thinks so. Here is a longer extract from the conclusion of his book ‘Evolution: A theory in crisis’:
The twentieth century would be incomprehensible without the Darwinian revolution. The social and political currents which have swept the world in the past eighty years would have been impossible without its intellectual sanction…today it is perhaps the Darwinian view of nature more than any other that is responsible for the agnostic and sceptical outlook of the twentieth century…
The influence of evolutionary theory on fields far removed from biology is one of the most spectacular examples in history of how a highly speculative idea for which there is no really hard scientific evidence can come to fashion the thinking of a whole society and dominate the outlook of an age. Considering its historic significance and the social and moral transformation it caused in western thought, one might have hoped that Darwinian theory was capable of a complete, comprehensive and entirely plausible explanation for all biological phenomena… That it is neither fully plausible, nor comprehensive, is deeply troubling. One might have expected that a theory of such cardinal importance, a theory that literally changed the world, would have been something more than metaphysics, something more than myth.
Previously we have spoken at length of one possible outworking of evolutionary thinking: The proposition that evolution ‘proves’ that God does not exist. Ravi Zacharais has more to say about the effects of this in his book ‘Can man live without God?’. At this point he is attempting to answer "the oft repeated but ill-understood charge: what about the thousands who have been killed in the name of religion?"
… The attackers of religion have often forgotten that these large-scale slaughters at the hands of antitheists (Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, et al.) were the logical outworking of their God-denying philosophy. Contrastingly… those who killed in the name of God were clearly self-serving politicisers of religion, an amalgam Christ ever resisted in His life and teaching. Their means and their message were in contradiction to the gospel. Atheism, on the other hand, provides the logical basis for an autonomous, domineering will, expelling morality. Darwin himself predicted this slippery slope of violence if evolutionary theory was translated into a philosophy of life. Neitzsche (an atheistic philosopher who greatly influenced Hitler and Stalin) talked of the enshrouding darkness that had fallen over mankind - he saw the ramifications. The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevski repeatedly wrote of the hell that is let loose when man comes adrift from his creator’s moorings and himself becomes God - he understood the consequences. Now, as proof positive, we witness our culture as a whole in a mindless drift towards lawlessness - we live with the inexorable result of autonomies in collision.
1. Michael Denton is a non-Christian medical doctor and molecular scientist.