Theistic belief, involving a personal, loving, interventionist god has been undermined. Literalism in belief, apart from being dangerous, is ridiculous given our current and ever-expanding scientific knowledge.
Rational believers, if one can use that oxymoron, deny biblical creation and refer to it as 'metaphor’ or simply speculation by ignorant people. Sensibly, these believers â€“ or 'hopers’ as they should be called – prefer scientific explanations to biblical ones. The problem for them is that the more science they accept, the closer they get to atheism. It isn’t just Evolution that’s responsible.
The Universe began aeons ago. As things developed, the Earth came into being and, eventually, primitive life developed. (Craig Venter, first sequencer of the human genome, says that he is about to undertake some experiments to create artificial life. Interesting, eh?)
Evolution explains the development of life on Earth brilliantly and makes predictions that are constantly being borne out. Have a look at the growing and consistent mass of evidence here. If your friends don’t accept Evolution, they are very silly. Things are true if they’re true. Not liking them doesn’t make them any less true. It’d probably take a bit more than the Principle of Evolution (notice that I do not say 'Theory’) to make an atheist of a believer. In the middle ages, 'God’ was everywhere. The creation story was universally taken as true; plagues were punishments from Him, and people lived their superstitious lives constantly in fear of 'the loving Father in Heaven’. Now, such explanations seem ridiculous â€“ our scientific knowledge has seen to that.
The Enlightenment philosophes, who helped to throw off the tyranny of religious thinking, during the eighteenth century, did so even though Darwin and Evolution were yet to come. It was knowledge, and the beginnings of science, that drove and informed them. Some remained deists, others became atheists. Yet we now know much than they did.
The Evolutionary Principle alone doesn’t always lead to atheism. There are some Christian Evolutionists, but not many. The wealth of parallel scientific knowledge, with Evolution, makes religious faith very difficult to justify rationally.
Posted: December 4th 2007
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