Those of you who visit are well aware of my disdain for Darwinian evolution. Recently, I have gone so far as to point out that some of the most detestable events of human history have been perpetuated on the basis of Darwinian Evolution. Some have challenged this notion saying that even if that is true, it has nothing to do with ‘modern Darwinian evolution’ as if there can be drawn such a clear line–a line that many are unwilling to give to the church as regards some of our jaded past.
I posted a link to an essay posted at Answers in Genesis and was told that the authors of that website are ‘too biased’ to be considered reliable. Well, as it turns out, I’m not the only one (not that I thought I was, it just took time to find more) (nor is AIG!) pointing out the moral deficiencies of Darwinism. I just today came across an author named Benjamin Wiker. Here are his credentials:
Dr. Benjamin Wiker, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, holds a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Vanderbilt University, and has taught at Marquette University, St. Mary’s University , and Thomas Aquinas College (CA).
He is currently a Lecturer in Theology and Science at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and a full-time, free-lance writer. Dr. Wiker writes regularly for a variety of journals, including Catholic World Report, New Oxford Review, and Crisis, and is a regular columnist for the National Catholic Register.
He has published three books, Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists (InterVarsity Press, 2002), The Mystery of the Periodic Table (Bethlehem Books, 2003), and Architects of the Culture of Death (Ignatius, 2004). He is currently working on another book on the “intelligent design” theory for InterVarsity Press called The Meaning-full Universe. (From St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology)
In his essay Moral Darwinism and the Descent of Man he wrote:
When it comes to sorting out the moral implications, those who champion evolutionary theory present a decidedly disunited front. Richard Dawkins believes that evolutionary theory rests on the assumption that the universe is utterly devoid of good and evil, and that we are free to construct our own Ten Commandments. Steven Pinker has suggested that infanticide is natural, and that we therefore ought not to be so morally censorious to those who kill their young. Some like Francis Fukuyama and Larry Arnhart have even tried to make an argument that evolutionary theory is fundamentally conservative, supporting marriage and the family as essential evolutionary structures.
What did Darwin think? Perhaps he might help us sort things out. After all, if anyone knows the real implications of evolutionary theory for morality, it should be the man himself. We find Darwin’s account of morality in his Descent of Man, a work published about a decade after his more famous Origin of Species.
This is a most serious essay that those who have disagreed with me should read because it goes straight back to the source: Darwin. My point in continuing this quest is to point out that Darwinism is not so morally neutral as Darwinists would have us to believe. There are real, profound, and in some cases deadly consequences of believing, practicing, and evangelizing in the name of Darwin. Dr Wiker concludes:
While he didn’t call for direct extermination of the weak, Darwin did believe that the unfit shouldn’t be allowed to breed at all. As for the fit, “there should be open competition for all men; and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring.”
What does this mean? Forced sterilization? The end of monogamy? Breeding camps for the hyper-fit and concentration camps for the unfit? Darwin was purposely vague, but ended with the ominous remark: “All do good service who aid toward this end.” Well, that’s morality according to Darwin. Again, it ain’t pretty, but all must agree on one thing. Darwin correctly drew the logical moral implications from his evolutionary theory. It’s hard for the most adamant advocates of Darwin to recall the horrors of the 20th century—to bring to mind all those who thought they were doing “good service” by the eugenic elimination of the unfit—and not squirm a bit.
These are powerful insights into the full scope of Darwinian belief and practice. What matters is here is not, how many people have nothing to do with such beliefs, but rather how many practices in our current culture find their full bloom in the soil where Darwin sowed these seeds. To be sure, there will be many who say: “That’s not what current evolutionary doctrine teaches,” to which I must respond, “Your teacher’s name is still attached to the dogma. Your work is built upon his ideas, upon his foundational work.” I think this is a brilliant essay even if you don’t arrive at fully agreement with the author.
Dr Wiker has written a book titled Moral Darwinism: How we Became Hedonists. Here’s a short review from Amazon.com:
Abortion. Euthanasia. Infanticide. Sexual promiscuity.Ideas and actions once unthinkable have become commonplace. We seem to live in a different moral universe than we occupied just a few decades ago. Consent and noncoercion seem to be the last vestiges of a morality long left behind. Christian moral tenets are now easily dismissed and have been replaced with what is curiously presented as a superior, more magnanimous, respectful and even humble morality. How did we end up so far away from where we began? Can the decline be stopped?Ben Wiker, in this provocative and insightful book, traces the amazing story that explains our present cultural situation. Wiker finds the roots of our moral slide reaching all the way back to the ethical theory and atheistic cosmology of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. Christian teaching had been in contention with this worldview long before it reached its pinnacle with the rise and acceptance of Darwinism. But it was Darwinism, Wiker contends, that provided this ancient teaching with the seemingly modern and scientific basis that captured twentieth-century minds. Wiker demonstrates that this ancient atomistic and materialistic philosophy supplies the guiding force behind Darwinism and powerfully propels the hedonistic bent of our society while promoting itself under the guise of pure science.This book is a challenge not only to those who believe Darwinism to be purely scientific fact but to Christian who have at times inconsistently lived out their Christian moral convictions and so have failed to recognize and address the ancient corrosive underpinnings of our present moral and intellectual crisis.
Of course, I realize some who read this will scoff because books are somewhat intellectually inferior, full of speculation and lacking peer reviews as they are. But for others who have open minds and are willing to test their time held convictions to Darwinistic Dogma, this book might be a great, challenging read.
Soli Deo Gloria!
PS–for what it’s worth, Francis Collins, ‘a leader in the field of medical genetics, served as the director of the recently completed Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health,” has written a book titled The Language of God (See Review by Catherine Couch in the March/April 2007 Books & Culture). While I don’t agree with the necessary conclusion of the author (or the reviewer) that ‘theistic evolution’ is a viable option for the Christian who believes Genesis 1 to be foundational to the entire canon, it may, nonetheless, be a good read for those who struggle with both sides of the equation, or in the reviewer’s words, “For someone seeking reassurance that religion has not been disproved by science, this book will be welcome.” Collins also ‘adresses a series of potential intellectual objections to religious faith.’ I’m not at all sold on ‘theistic evolution.’ In my mind, I believe it to be totally at odds with Scripture (and folks like R Dawkins finds it to be totally at odds with evolutionary theory!). Nonetheless, I mention the book that perhaps it might be a bridge for some since it is written by someone with credentials that might be appealing.