Why creationists fear Darwin

Why creationists fear Darwin September 16, 2008

Albert Mohler is a radio evangelist and president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He’s not happy with the CofE’s support of Darwin. Not happy at all. Why? Because he recognizes that scientific understanding biology and evolution – and, let’s face it, science in general – is a major reason that people turn away from the loopier religions.

Mohler has a pretty good understanding of the threat that Darwinism and rationalism poses to his world view. In a blog post today he writes:

Charles Darwin abandoned belief in God, and he himself traced this loss of faith to his theory of natural selection. He believed that his own doctrine of evolution was a direct contradiction to theism in general and to Christianity in particular.

Darwin argued that belief in miracles was insane and that the Christian doctrine of hell is immoral. In his Autobiography he wrote, “I can hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my father, brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.”

There are several points to observe here. First, Darwin clearly expressed confidence that Christianity is not true, and that we should be thankful for this fact. Second, Darwin, unlike some modern reformers of hell, understood that “the plain language of the text,” that is, the Bible, points to hell as everlasting punishment. Third, Darwin simply would not believe in a God who would send his relatives and friends to hell — period.

But, by the time Darwin wrote his Autobiography, he had already abandoned belief in any personal deity. As Janet Browne of the British Society for the History of Science and University College, London, explains: “Living out or himself the archetypal Victorian crisis of faith, Darwin perhaps recognized that he had lost the last vestiges of faith when he discovered that biology provided him with the answers he most desired. In the end, in his autobiography, he asserted that religious belief was little more than inherited instinct, akin to a monkey’s fear of a snake.”

And that, bottom line, is why creationists fear and reject Darwinism. They recognize that it is fatal to their faith.

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