Darwin, Dawkins & the Religion of Evolution

With the 200th anniversary of the birth of Darwin in 2009, we were bombarded on the TV and in the press with the wonders of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. We are reliably informed that Evolution as an explanation for the origins and development of life is an unassailable “fact” and that no informed, intelligent person would bother to challenge it. But is the theory of Evolution as impregnable as we are led to believe by the popular media and certain prominent scientists? Lets see!

The Emperors New Clothes

Most of us will be familiar with the Hans Christian Anderson story named above. This children’s story illustrates a well documented phenomenon of human behaviour. When the Emperor parades through the town naked in his new “invisible” clothes, no one speaks out because they are afraid that if they cannot see the clothes they are, ignorant, stupid or mad! This incredible situation persists until a child exclaims “the Emperor has no clothes!”

This story illustrates the mind-set that we see, particularly in Britain around us today, with regard to the Theory of Evolution. The hold that this theory has over the scientific community and the popular imagination is quite fascinating. The idea has become so popular that it has become almost impossible to question it for fear of being branded “ignorant”, “stupid”, or even “insane”. In fact, the fervour with which the Theory of Evolution is defended by its chief proponents reveals that it is more than a scientific theory – it has become the foundation of a belief system, and in particular that of Atheistic Humanism.

Heretics and Heresy?

When a scientific theory can no longer be questioned, as has happened with the Theory of Evolution, then it leaves the realm of Science and enters that of Religion and Holy Writ. Those who dare to question are shouted down as heretics or madmen.

The position of the religious Evolutionist is that the forces of nature are purposeless and self existing. In other words, these things, in fact all things, just came into existence and continue to exist without the influence or action of any outside agency. Man is at the pinnacle of this world-view. He alone is the sole arbiter of truth, right and wrong, good and evil.

Richard Dawkins famously said in the introduction to his book “The Blind Watchmaker”:

Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose…

Blind Watchmaker 1996 p21

He then goes on to write an entire book that tries to persuade us to ignore this fundamental observed evidence! Earlier in the book he states that if we were to visit another planet and found a complex machine, we would know that intelligent life had existed on that planet because machines are designed by intelligent beings (p2). Yet he disregards this logic when it comes to our own planet! This is quite an admission and reveals a determination not to go where the evidence leads, but to follow a path governed by a pre-existing belief that there is no God. Dawkins uses his imagination and skillful story telling skills to try and persuade his readers that, evolution by random mutation and natural selection, is sufficient to account for the appearance of design and purpose so clearly evident in the world around us, and the universe beyond.

Having the courage to go where the evidence leads!

Let us for a moment consider the example of the human body. In each of the trillions of cells that make us what we are, there are microscopic, finely tuned, molecular machines. Not only that, but each of these machines is manufactured and governed by a complex molecular computer programme. These facts alone are a huge headache for Evolutionists – how on earth did useful information, in the form a complex code, come to exist without the input of an intelligent mind? They have no viable answer. There is a list of more fundamental problems with the theory of Evolution and a couple of useful links to other web-sites that discuss these topics in greater depth at the bottom of this article.

The belief that the mindless, non-deliberate processes of nature are the first, and only, cause that can possibly be considered when it comes to explaining the origin and diversity of life on this planet, is not a requirement of the “scientific method”, but rather it is a philosophical position, a philosophical position that requires a large dose of faith to adhere to. This view is described as Philosophical Naturalism.

The evidence now, more than ever, overwhelmingly points to genuine design and purpose, which in turn point to a source of conscious and purposeful intelligence.

The Bible reveals to us the source of the intelligence that caused life to come to be, and sustains the natural laws which govern our existence.

So, is the Emperor naked or what?

It’s interesting to note that when it suits them, secular scientists are quite happy to look for “supernatural” sources of intelligence, and in fact spend hundreds of millions of pounds doing so. Consider SETI (the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence). There are numerous sites around the world such as Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, with radio telescopes pointing into space listening for signs of intelligence. But how will they know when they have heard a message from intelligent beings? What are the criteria for recognising intelligence? Well, “it’s simple,” say the Scientists. All you need is something like a simple non-random code (for example a list of prime numbers such as 1,2,3,5,7,11, etc;) to be discovered by the radio telescope. Such numerical sequences, or codes, could not occur by chance, they say, so if we receive one we can be certain that it has emanated from an intelligent civilisation – its only a matter of time until we discover one!

Meanwhile back at the genetics lab…. Now, lets apply that same reasoning to another area of science – molecular biology, and in particular, genetics. Here scientists have discovered the most complex non-random code ever known, DNA. DNA is a more complex code than the numerical example described above by a degree of thousands of millions. To what do they attribute this highly complex, purposeful code? They attribute this code to chance! Why? For two reasons: they have been trained to think this way, and, because to admit otherwise would cause the unravelling of all that they have ever known, and in most cases their livelihood too. The failure to see this obvious contradiction is staggering.

So is the Emperor naked? Yep – not even a loin cloth to cover his modesty I’m afraid – he’s totally starkers!

Fundamental Problems with the Theory of Evolution

  1. It presumes that it is possible to get something from nothing, i.e. matter and then life just appeared. It is against all known laws and logic to believe the universe and life, are the product of nothing!
  2. For the Theory of Evolution to work you require to have a DNA bearing, self replicating, living organism. Even if you can accept point 1 above, how you get from there to life, and then from life to a self replicating, DNA bearing organism, is a massive leap of faith – There is no evidence to draw on.
  3. There is no clear evidence of one species developing into another in the fossil record (transitional fossils). The popular examples, such as the bird/reptile Archaeoptryx, are hotly disputed even amongst evolutionists.
  4. As already noted, the existence of information bearing molecular codes cannot be explained by random mutation and natural selection.
  5. The only examples we have of beneficial genetic mutations, such as bacterial resistance to antibiotics, results because of a deficit of information in the genome, not the addition by random mutation.

This is just a brief list, there are many more equally fatal problems

See some of our recommended links for more detailed discussion of this subject:



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