What Are the Social Consequences of Belief in Evolution?
Opinions about origins have profound social consequences and even affect the way we think. Consider the following italicized perspectives and some responses. Notice that all these perspectives presume evolution occurred, despite the scientific evidence. We recognize that some people believe that God used evolution to create and that evolution is compatible with the Bible; however, a careful reading shows, in dozens of ways, that it is not.
1. Animal-like Behavior. If humans descended from animals, why shouldn't humans behave like animals?
2. Meaninglessness. If evolution happened, why believe that life has any purpose other than to reproduce and pass on your genes?1
Response: Evolution did not happen. Your life has purpose and hope. God does not make mistakes. You are not an accident.
3. Good vs. Evil. If nature is all there is, why believe there is good and evil?2
Distinguishing good and evil requires broad, even absolute, standards—and Someone competent to set those standards. Humans instinctively know there is good and evil, right and wrong. Someone implanted that understanding in us; the laws of physics cant.
4. Survival of the Fittest. If we evolved by "survival of the fittest," then getting rid of the unfit is desirable. To conquer and exploit weaker people, businesses, or countries is just the law of the jungle from which we evolved. Mercy killings, forced sterilization, and selective breeding of humans, while unpopular with some, would be beneficial, in the long run, and very logical—if we evolved.
5. Communism. Friederich Engels, one of the founders of communism, wrote Karl Marx, another founder, and strongly recommended Charles Darwin's book, The Origin of Species. In response, Marx wrote Engels that Darwin's book "contains the basis in natural history for our view [communism]."3 Marx offered to dedicate his book, Das Capital, to Darwin, but Darwin declined.
Joseph Stalin, ruthless dictator of the Soviet Union from 1929 to 1953, killed millions of his people. Stalin read Darwin's book as a student at a church-based school and urged others to read it. During that time, he became an atheist.
6. Personal Responsibility. If everything came into existence by chance and natural processes, then we have no responsibility to some supernatural being. Religions would be a crutch for the weak-minded and superstitious. Churches would be monuments to human ignorance.
Furthermore, if evolution happened, then we and our actions are consequences of billions of years worth of natural events—over which we had no control. Our responsibility for our situation is relatively small. If bad things happen to us, we are primarily victims.
Response: We were created for a purpose, so we have great responsibility, and our Creator will hold us accountable. More will be expected from those who have been given more.
7. Relativism. There are no absolutes, moral or otherwise (except the fact that there are absolutely no absolutes). Your belief is just as good as mine; your truth is just as good as my truth.
Response: Obviously, the One who created the universe, life, and humans has the authority and ability to establish timeless moral absolutes—and He has.
8. Social Darwinism. If life evolved, then the human mind evolved. So did products of the human mind and all social institutions: law, government, science, education, religion, language, economics, industry—civilization itself.
Response: Technology progresses, information accumulates, and civilization often improves, but humans remain humans—with all our frailties and shortcomings.
9. Secular Humanism. If the "molecules-to-monkeys-to-man" idea is correct, then man is the highest form of being. Man should be the object of greatest concern, not some fictitious Creator that man actually created.
Response: That philosophy is called secular humanism (a humane, intellectual-sounding term) that claims God is irrelevant and the Bible is fiction. Secular humanism will decline as people increasingly learn the scientific flaws of evolution.
10. New Age Movement. If people slowly evolved up from bacteria, then aren't we evolving toward God? Aren't we evolving a new consciousness? Aren't we evolving
into a glorious New Age?
Response: These beliefs, built on evolution, continue to spread like a cancer, even in many churches in the world. New age beliefs also will decline as the scientific errors of evolution become known.
11. Marriage. If marriage is a cultural development, begun by ignorant tribes thousands of years ago, then why not change that custom, as we do other out-of-date customs? Animals don't marry; why should people? After all, we're just animals. If people are a product of natural processes, then why not do what comes naturally? What's wrong with sexual activity outside of marriage as long as no one is hurt?
Response: God instituted marriage when He created a man and a woman (Adam and Eve) and said they should become one.
12. Racism. If humans evolved up from some apelike creature, then some people must have advanced higher on the evolutionary ladder than others. Some classes of people should be inherently superior to others.
Response: But that's racism. That's the twisted logic Hitler used to try to establish his Aryan master race and to justify killing six million Jews in the Holocaust. This does not mean that evolutionists are racists, although Charles Darwin and many of his followers of a century ago were extreme racists. However, evolution has provided the main rationale for racism. Stephen Jay Gould wrote that "Biological arguments for racism ... increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory." People with darker skin have suffered greatly from evolutionary racism. Belief in evolution has also caused others to suffer even more. They are victims of a greater holocaust going on all around us—abortion.
13. Abortion. We dispose of unwanted animals such as cats and dogs. If humans are evolved animals, why not terminate an unwanted pregnancy? Isn't it the mother's right? Shouldn't she have a "choice" in such a personal matter? After all, a fetus has no name or personality. During its first three months, it's just a tiny glob of tissue—no more important than a little pig or rabbit. Why shouldn't a fetus, having less value than an adult, be "terminated" if adults or society would benefit? This will help solve our population problem. We must guide our destiny.
Response: Abortion is the premeditated killing of an innocent, defenseless, developing (but completely human) baby. Calling an unborn child merely a "fetus" is dehumanizing. Nor should we speak of "terminating a pregnancy." That is simply a euphemism for killing a very young human.
Nine years after Darwin published his theory of evolution, Professor Ernst Haeckel announced that animal embryos, including unborn humans, pass through stages that mimic their evolutionary ancestors. Human embryos begin as microscopic spheres, because, Haeckel said, humans evolved from bacteria, which are sometimes microscopic spheres. Later, unborn babies look like fish, because humans evolved from fish. Still later, human embryos look like chimpanzees, because humans evolved from some apelike ancestor. So, human embryos are not yet human. Can you see the errors in this logic? Similarity does not imply a genetic relationship.
Haeckel faked his drawings to fit his theory. In the following 140 years, hundreds of textbook writers copied these drawings, popularizing the theory. It has since been taught as fact worldwide, even in medical schools. Today the theory is completely discredited, although it is still taught.
Unborn children are human. Each adult's body has about 100 trillion cells. When you were just one cell inside your mother, all the marvelous, complex information that physically defines you and every organ in your body was there. Although you were tiny and immature, you were completely human when you were one cell. While you were in your mother's womb, she was your support system, just as medical support systems are needed by some sick or elderly people. Needing a support system does not remove a person from the human race or justify killing that person.
Although these matters have nothing to do with whether evolution is true or false, they have much to do with the importance of the issue and the adverse consequences of teaching that evolution is a fact. These social problems did not originate with evolution, but they follow logically from evolution. No doubt most evolutionists are as opposed as creationists to many of these social problems, but from an evolutionist perspective these behaviors are easily justified, rationalized, or tolerated. Evolution, while not the cause of evil, can usually defend or justify such behavior—with seeming scientific credibility.4
Obviously, the creator of a complex machine can best provide its operating instructions. Likewise, only our Creator has the authority and ability to establish timeless moral absolutes. By what logic could anyone oppose these thirteen italicized viewpoints if there were no moral absolutes? Without moral absolutes, "right" and "wrong" will be decided by whoever is in control, but that will change from time to time. A false understanding of origins has subtle and far-reaching consequences.
YES INDEED! IF THERE IS NO GOD; IF EVERYTHING SLOWLY EVOLVED; THEN THERE REALLY IS NO MORAL RIGHTNESS. YOU DECIDE WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU; OR A SOCIETY DECIDES, BUT THEN OTHERS CAN DISAGREE AND CAN OVERTHROW THE RULING PARTY SO IT CAN ESTABLISH OTHER IDEAS, LAWS, AND ON AND ON IT GOES.
THE REASON PEOPLE WANT TO BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION IS VERY SIMPLE: THEY KNOW IF THEY ADMIT THERE IS A GOD WHO CREATED ALL THINGS, THEY THEN WOULD HAVE TO BELIEVE HE HAD THE AUTHORITY AND THE POWER, TO GIVE TO HUMAN BEINGS AN INSPIRED INSTRUCTION BOOK, WHICH WOULD INFORM US HOW WE SHOULD LIVE OUR LIVES. THEY WOULD HAVE TO BELIEVE GOD CAN THEN SET THE RULES, THE LAWS, THE PRECEPTS, THE STATUTES, FOR ALL HUMANS TO LIVE BY.
THE THINGS OF NATURE ALL AROUND US GIVE WITNESS TO US THAT THERE IS A CREATOR GOD. I WAS BORN IN A SMALL VILLAGE IN SOUTH WALES; NATURE WAS ALL AROUND ME; IT FASCINATED ME. MY PARENTS SENT ME TO A CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOL. THE FIRST DAY IN CLASS, GRADE ONE, WE WERE GIVEN A BIBLE, TOLD TO OPEN TO ITS FIRST PAGE. THE TEACHER READ: "IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH……." AS THE TEACHER CONTINUED TO READ GENESIS CHAPTER ONE, THE LIGHT WENT ON IN MY HEAD, I SAID TO MYSELF: "YES, THIS IS THE ANSWERS TO THE GREAT AND WONDROUS CREATION I SEE ALL AROUND ME; THERE IS A SUPREME GOD IN HEAVEN WHO MADE IT ALL!"
FROM THAT DAY FORWARD I BELIEVED GOD DID EXIST; IT WAS THE LOGICAL ANSWER TO THE CREATION ON THIS EARTH, AND TO THE UNIVERSE.