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Discovery Magazine 10/1/1999

The Theory of Evolution— Doing Without God?

Professor Richard Dawkins hates Christianity and is a big supporter of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. "Darwin," he says, "made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." In other words, Darwin made it easier for people to believe that God does not exist.

The funny thing is, Darwin did not set out to attack Christianity. He started out believing in God. He trained to be a minister for the Church of England. His favorite professors at school were ministers. So how did he come up with a theory that took God out of the picture altogether?

Darwin loved nature. He liked to hunt, collect bugs, and go on long walks in the country. He read a lot of books on science. He joined science clubs, and hung around professors and friends who were scientists.

But after a while, Darwin could not square his knowledge of nature with the Church of England’s views on creation. It started with a misunderstanding of God’s Word. Genesis says that creatures multiplied "according to their kind" (1:21). This means that a member of, say, the elephant kind would never become something other than an elephant. But teachers in the Church confused biblical "kinds" with scientific "species." If kinds don’t change, they thought, then species don’t change either.

This put them in a bind. Let’s go back to the elephant. One species of elephant with small ears lives in Asia, while another species with big ears lives in Africa. They are very similar. Surely they must be related? Not according to the Church of England.

Well then, how did we get two species of elephants? The Church’s solution was to say that there were two separate creations: God put the big-eared elephants in Africa, and the little-eared elephants in India.

Darwin just could not believe this. He was impressed by the tremendous variety of life. But why were creatures so alike? Why would a Creator make so many different species that seemed to be related? Darwin agreed that each creature was well-suited for the place in which it lived. But it look to him like nature, not God, could explain these little adjustments. And if nature was the best answer for small differences, he thought, then nature was the best answer for everything that ever lived.

This is where Darwin went too far. Perhaps his theory could explain a small amount of change. Perhaps the big-eared elephant and the small-eared elephant were related after all. Nature could do some of it, but no one has proved that nature could do all of it.

Atheists might try to find comfort in Darwin. But everyone should know that Darwin did not succeed. He did not rid our world of a wonderful, loving Creator God.



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