Atheists critical of “blind-faith” Christianity have a valid point. If Christians make claims that our beliefs are anchored in reality, space, and time, we need to back them up with rational explanations. If we fail to do that, we can be ignored or dismissed.
But that cuts both ways … why should their claims be allowed to rest on “blind faith”?
If we raise rational objections to their position, atheists need to defend it. Just as they challenge biblical authority, we should challenge Darwin’s.
If the atheist can’t give us a rational answer to honest questions, we are not obligated to believe your claims, either. Were I an agnostic instead of a Christian, evolutionary theory would still have enough serious deficiencies that I could not accept it.
First, there’s the question of motive. Atheism has elevated Darwin to a cult figure. As a Christian, I wouldn’t care if God had used evolution to Create; there are, after all, religiously-orthodox theistic evolutionists. But since “Darwin has made it possible to be an intellectually-fulfilled atheist,” the stakes for the other side are obviously high. If they are so committed to their no-God hypothesis, they would need an alternate origin story. Many, like Dr. Nagel, “want atheism to be true.”
Ideas are like jigsaw puzzle pieces. The right (true) ones will fit neatly in place with everything around it. The wrong (false) one can be hit, pressed and forced into place, but in the end, won’t line up with the big picture. That’s my problem with Darwinism’s claims.
You don’t have to be a Christian to find fault with it, either. Dr. Thomas Nagel wrote a book detailing his reasons, which include Naturalism’s inability to properly account for the mind.
Adamant atheists will tell us that “purpose” is an illusion, and some claim our only real purpose is reproduction. But we don’t live as though that were true. We have birth control and abortion. Our wealthiest (“strongest”) people have the fewest progeny. Are they sabotaging the gene pool? Is Octo-mom more fully realized as a person than, say, Dawkins with only one child?
The problem with Darwinism is that we can’t live it out consistently. Do we have hospitals, and boast of our sick kids’ hospitals? Are such hospitals noble or foolish? If the strongest really should survive, why do we save the weak, infirm, and elderly? Were people justified in sterilizing the disabled? If not, why not?
What explains our violently emotional reactions to “tragic” circumstances? A gazelle eaten by a crocodile is “nature”, a child eaten by that crocodile is a travesty. We might all recognize the truth of that, but the atheist must explain the difference. If we are just another animal, then why should our fate — even in death — be noteworthy?
Ethical problems are important, too. Are we meat-machines, “dancing to our DNA”, driven by urges and synaptic firings? Some preach such bleak Determinism.
But we don’t LIVE as though that were true. We call our ability to reason real. Independent reason only works if we have choice. We know we make choices. We may lack absolute freedom, but we have a range of freedoms within our circumstances, from which we make meaningful choices. Jail awaits people who abuse those freedoms.
Our moral choices are different in another sense. When decaying atoms, falling trees, or charging bears wound or killed a man, that is “mishap”. If a man wounds or kills him, that is violence. Whether humanity is making choices, or being affected by outside forces, we treat such interaction as different and special. Why?
We consistently live as though humanity is special, regardless of race, sex or creed.
It deeply offends us to see people treated like animals. Child neglect and slave trade are outrageous. Even hardened relativists gasp when faced with Auschwitz. We recoil at the large-scale eradication of human life, and label those responsible sub-human.
But Hitler’s plan required the concept of superior race. That’s Darwinistic vocabulary. Eugenics was developed by Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton. It wasn’t just the Nazis who embraced it. It was popular among American and European “Progressives”. Go see for yourself.
Finally, there’s the question of Origins itself. Atheism mocks Christian belief in “magic”. But they invoke “time-plus-chance” as their own hocus-pocus, but even that hits a roadblock. Natural selection does not — CANNOT — account for the rise of the very first cell. And even some mathematical probability models overthrow the evolutionary hypothesis.
Inorganic things do not feed, grow, mutate, or replicate. But all these parts for life allegedly came together, formed a cohesive cell, taught itself to correctly feed, excrete, avoid hazards, and — somehow — reproduce. It did all those things in a single cell’s life span. High achiever!
…and they say WE “appeal to magic”???
This has been a brief sampling of a very long list of intelligent objections critics (including atheists) of the the evolutionary hypothesis have put forward. Calling the science “settled” rather than presenting a compelling rebuttal is a cop-out unworthy of real scientific inquiry.
You may believe that the last piece of the puzzle will someday make your claims plausible, but many of us find your Darwin-of-the-Gaps theories unconvincing. You’ll have to take Darwin’s Blind Leap alone. I’m not coming with you.
[Note: Author’s use of “Darwinism’ uses common vernacular, synonymous with Evolution]
Image: Author: Jpbazard Jean-Pierre Bazard; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license