did man come from?
2) the history of evolution
will not accept [creation] philosophically, because I do not want to believe
in God. Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically
impossible - spontaneous generation arising to evolution."
1971 Nobel prize for biology
without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western religion."
- Gary Zukav
The prehistory of evolutionary theory.
Belief in creation
has been around for a long time, but not because it was the only alternative.
Some of the first writings that conceive of evolution actually pre-date
Darwin by 2,300 years. These writings were offered by Greek philosophers
such as Lucretius, Anaximander, Thales, and Empedocles.
But it was not until the nineteenth-century that a literally godless explanation
for the appearance of man became popular. Now atheism could finally say,
"God doesn't exist because I don't need him to".
Since the time of Darwin's
writings, advances in fields such as geology and microbiology, with the
assistance of computer modeling, have led to new directions in evolutionary
thinking. Darwin's original concept of evolution has since been superseded
several times by ideas that better conform to evidence gathered since Darwin's
time. Darwinism itself has been slightly changed and restated to account
for what we call genes, and is now referred to as Neo-Darwinism.
One of the more recent
evolutionary theories, Directed Panspermia, enjoys the prestige of having
been formally introduced by one of the Nobel prize winning discovers of
DNA, Francis Crick. Crick's theory truthfully has one foot in the
evolution camp and the other in intelligent design. I don't credit it toward
the latter, however, for reasons that will be clear later.
Crick's work has since
been slightly modified by Sir Fred Hoyle, British scholar knighted
for his exemplary work in astronomy and astrophysics, and N. Chandra
Wickramasinghe, noted Sri Lankan mathematician and astrophysicist. Their
work has begun to take the non-Christian explanation for origins down a
whole new path.
As for why these new
paths are becoming popular, and why non-Christians as well as other anti-creationists
are shelving Neo-Darwinism for other theories, the answer begins with looking
at the traditional theory of evolution. First in terms of its history, then
its explanation, and lastly the evidence for and against it.
was, and still is, a philosophy as much as an attempt at explaining human
origins. And it is precisely because it is a closed and tightly embraced
social philosophy that it can never become fluid and keep pace with advancing
In 1809, the evolutionary
beliefs of Chevalier de Lamarck were published in Philosophie
This French biologist believed that changes in, and adaptation to, environment
shaped living creatures. These changes progressively accrued in their offspring
until a descendant, many generations later, no longer bore any resemblance
to its ancestors; even to the point of being a new species. (Note: while
minor variations and adaptations within a species have always been accepted
as fact (referred to as micro-evolution), the idea that the same
process could effect changes on a macro-scale is what was the new departure.)
Lamarck's idea described
nature as a continuous escalator of being. At the low end, lifeless matter
was turning into living cells, and all along the way creatures were on their
Lamarck's concept of
evolution as an inheritance of acquired characteristics would eventually
prove false when genetics became known many years later. Genes fixed at
conception were being passed on, not the habits and skills of the parent
generation. But at the time, the philosophy of evolution caught fire as
it perfectly dovetailed with the ideology of the Enlightenment and the French
evolution was the concept that the lowly had the capability or even destiny
to become great. Lower forms either became dominant or they perished.
This was seen by some as an ultimatum and gave a seemingly biological
and even moral justification for rebellion and overthrow of authority. This
was just one factor in the French Revolution, but not the last time evolution
was to have such an effect.
In England at this time,
Lamarck and his ideas were rejected for lack of proof as well as for fear
of political instability. Still, evolution continued to be proselytized
by such men as Robert Chambers and Herbert Spencer. It was
Spencer who first coined the phrase "survival of the fittest". Spencer was
a philosopher who applied the idea of evolution to social progress. He believed
Self-will and effort
were the paths towards almost inevitable progress, and when applied to
human society the survival of the fittest meant that advancement came
from natural strength and the inherent capacity to adapt. Roughly speaking,
the rich were rich because they had the prowess to become so; the poor
were poor because they were lazy or incompetent, or both. 4
Such ideas reflected
many of the societal changes being brought about by industrialism in Victorian
England. These changes included such things as cottage industries which
incrementally grew into large and complicated factories; a very visual example
of how the human species was being said to have evolved from simpler forms
Darwin's theory in Europe
The concept of evolution
was quickly accepted as fact to non-theists and the politically ambitious,
but to the rest of the world, and to those who were being subjugated in
its name, evolution still lacked proof.
In 1859, a naturalist
by the name of Charles Darwin established an intellectual basis for
belief in evolution that was accepted by many as proof-enough. It was proof-enough
for Karl Marx who felt that evolution validated his own views of
society and materialistic philosophy. These he spelled out in Das Kapital.
If life was shaped by
environment as evolution claimed, then so-called higher individuals
had both the freedom and duty to shape society by political environment;
this to their correspondingly higher likings. Marx was even moved
to ask permission to mention Darwin on the dedication page of his book.
However, Darwin's wife prevailed recommending against it.
In Germany, belief in
evolution continued to spread quickly and with incredible zeal. Blackmore
and Page note,
From the outset in
Germany, Darwinism was adopted as an ideological tool which presaged a
new future. As new animal species had risen from the graveyards of the
old, so modern social reforms would eventually triumph over political
conservatism. The thwarted revolutions of 1848 had created a pressure
for liberal reform. 5
Zoologist Ernst Haeckel's
belief in evolution added to that pressure:
Progress is a natural
law that no human power, neither the weapons of tyrants nor the curses
of priests, can ever succeed in suppressing... Standing still is in itself
regression, and regression carries with it death." 6
Haeckel further stated
in an unwitting prediction of Germany's then-near future,
The theory of selection
teaches that in human life, as in all animal and plant life everywhere,
and at all times, only a small and chosen minority can exist and flourish,
while the enormous majority starve and perish miserably and more or less
Others joined Haeckel
in fueling resentment against authority; including the authority of the
church as well as the state. Ludwig Buchner stressed the absence
of God in his scientific writings Force and Matter. In his own writings,
Friedrich Nietzsche declared, "God is dead! God remains dead!" 8
Near the turn of the
century, and before his nation's central role in two world wars, Nietzsche
predicted that 'the glorious demise of God' would sweep over Europe and
that this would produce a new and wonderful Germany in the coming twentieth
century. While all of this may or may not have been to Darwin's liking,
Darwin nevertheless recorded,
The support which
I receive from Germany is my chief ground for hoping that our views will
ultimately prevail. 9
Darwin had correctly
judged the German peoples' acceptance of his ideas. Darwin's and Nietzsche's
views prevailed in the mind of a then-unknown Bavarian house-painter named
Adolf Hitler. Rightly deriving that morality stems from one's worldview,
he would one day write, "Nature is cruel, therefore we have the right
to be cruel".
To Hitler's (limited)
defense, once the world began to embrace a purposeless, survival-of-the-fittest
view of human origins, it was only a matter of time before someone conceived
of a single master race of human species; one driven to dominate and out-survive
all others. Unlike Darwin, however, Hitler would employ more than hope to
see that those views prevailed.
Darwin's theory in America
In America, as in England,
religious conservatism slowed the acceptance of evolution as a legitimate
system of belief. However, evolution still managed to exert significant
influence, notably in its legal system. For example,
dean of the Harvard Law School, theorized that as man evolved, then
his laws must also evolve. Deciding that judges should guide the evolution
of the Constitution, in the late 1800s he introduced the case law study
method under which students would study judges' decisions rather than
the Constitution... Blackstone's [Commentaries on the Law] was deemed
to present an outdated approach to law because it taught that certain
things were always wrong and did not change - particularly those related
to human morality and behavior. 10
interpretations of the Constitution were allowed to evolve just as humanity
supposedly had evolved, in spite of the public's general rejection of Darwinism.
Of the two most significant results, one was the movement of the legal system
towards an amoral perspective. The foundation for judgments began to
be moved away from the concept of right and wrong, and moved toward judges'
personal interpretations and technical precedents. The role of judges
reversed from one of being held in subject to the Constitution to one of
controlling the Constitution:
Charles Evan Hughes,
Chief Justice from 1930 to 1941 ...explained, 'The Constitution is what
the judges say it is.' 11
The second major result
was the beginning of a fragmentation of the judicial branch of government
as set in motion by the legal system's adaptation of evolutionary principles.
Although U.S. judges were originally conceived to collectively represent
a single branch of government, the new emphasis on subjective and individual
interpretation effectively released judges to become free agents; no longer
having to act as if they played on the same team, no longer having to dispense
the same so-called justice for all.
Because these effects
of evolutionary theory are still in full force today, it is no surprise
that judicial appointments have become hotbeds of controversy as we all
wonder what new direction the law will take with each one.
A third result of evolutionary
philosophy, not only in America but worldwide, was a so-called scientific
basis for moral relativism. Speaking broadly of evolution's philosophical
base, John G. West explains:
was dubious science and even shakier philosophy, but it had far-reaching
consequences for Western society. By claiming that all human thoughts
and actions are dictated by either biology or environment, scientific
materialists undermined traditional theories of human freedom and responsibility.
By asserting that our moral beliefs were merely the products of heredity
or environment, scientific materialists laid the groundwork for moral
If that is not sufficiently
clear, Ludwig Buchner provides an application:
Man is no more 'responsible'
for becoming willful and committing a crime than the flower for becoming
red and fragrant. In both instances the end products are predetermined
by the nature of protoplasm and the chance of circumstances. 73
Once again, if life
is a purposeless accident, then both purpose and the adherence to or deviation
from that purpose (right and wrong) are illusory, or are subjective social
constructs at best.
Darwin's theory in religion
Finally, no review of
evolutionary beliefs and evolution-based relativism would be complete without
mentioning the philosophical contributions of Julian Huxley. More
than avid on Darwinian evolution, Huxley created what he himself called
a religion around the belief in evolution. That religion is called humanism.
In Huxley's own words,
This new idea-system,
whose birth we of the mid-twentieth century are witnessing, I shall simply
call 'humanism'. It must be focused on man... It must be organized round
the facts and ideas of evolution...It will have nothing to do with Absolutes,
including absolute truth, absolute morality, absolute perfection and absolute
Huxley had rightly observed
that evolution discards the concept of moral rights and wrongs in its description
of humanity to be an accidental by-product of biological mistakes rather
than a purposed creation by an absolute authority. Yet one must seriously
question whether right and wrong were not discarded first and it was evolution
that was the resulting effect as Huxley explains:
I suppose that the
reason that we all leapt at the Origin [of Species] was that the idea
of God interfered with our sexual mores. 13
Julian's brother and author of Brave New World, said nearly the same
We objected to the
morality [of creationism] because it interfered with our sexual freedom.
Aldous further stated
that evolutionary philosophy was essentially just a tool for liberation
from moral rights and wrongs.15
The admissions by Julian
and Aldous Huxley that belief in evolution is more the result of a justification
for sexual promiscuity than it is the result of evidence are alluded
to by many modern day anti-creationists. Fred Hoyle, though one of Darwinian
evolution's harshest critics, blatantly states that belief in evolution
is "psychological rather than scientific"16
and reveals that, "the biggest thing going for Darwinism was that it finally
broke the tyranny in which Christianity had held the minds of men for so
Hoyle's writings themselves
disdain biblical morality, as do certain science-oriented works by Francis
Crick, Carl Sagan, and other secular evolutionists. These jabs seem out
of place in science books until one remembers that a prejudice against
biblical morality or other forms of absolute authority are sometimes the
premise of evolutionary conclusions, and are thus a very necessary part
of the complete evolutionary argument.
Of the three formal
arguments for evolution, the first theory we will review is Neo-Darwinian
evolution, the form of evolution most widely known. It is the foundation
upon which all subsequent evolutionary variations have been built.
The second evolutionary
argument, punctuated equilibria,
proposes a timeline radically accelerated beyond what Darwin visualized
for the development of life.
The third argument,
directed panspermia, accepts
the accelerated timeline, but proposes a radically unusual location and
process for the origin of life.
Then we will introduce
intelligent design theory,
and then, lastly, creation
(top of page)
PART 3) Darwin's theory
did the earth come from?
Where did the universe come from?