Darwin is dead, and so is Darwinism. One little organism demonstrates it.
Charles Darwin thought that all of life descended from a common origin through a process of “natural selection,” aka survival of the fittest. In 1856 Darwin wrote to his friend Asa Gray that there were only two possibilities for the complexity we witness today, “Either species have been independently created, or they have descended from other species ….”
The significance of those words is multiplied exponentially in the context of today’s science debates. Darwin says either a species is independently and purposely created, or we are the result of random selection. Ensuing scientific discovery has clearly shown that the complexity of organisms is more rationally explained by a Creator than by chance. And yet on a grass-roots level, Darwin is still taught all over the world. Evolutionism is an ideology found not only in biology but is the assumption underlying all academic studies.
In other words, we have embraced Darwin’s first assertion and ignored his second. By Darwin’s own measure, what science has discovered since Darwin should turn every honest scientist to acknowledge an Intelligent Designer, i.e. the Creator God.
“Natural selection” is the term Darwin used to describe natural changes, without a guiding intelligence, processes without design or purpose. His parallel, as he conceived it, was that nature selects randomly, without purpose or direction, in contrast to what human beings do in selecting by their intelligence, imagination and will.
“Artificial selection” is the breeding of dogs or roses or grapes whereby human intelligence controls the process to achieve a given purpose. Dog breeders might develop a breed with greater ability to herd and protect sheep. Grape culturists will cultivate a new grape for its fragrance or taste. In all these cases, human beings guide the process from the point of their imagination through their willful activity to the final product.
In a world where people are free to observe, reason, and draw life conclusions, putting one’s faith in an Intelligent Designer is a stronger position than regarding the universe as a cosmic accident. While the latter view leaves us “free” to live without moral restraints, it comes at a dear cost: a life without purpose. And of course without any true freedom as well.
This, in my opinion, is why the modern world is in such a mess. People live lives of unrestrained license to follow one’s own instincts – the “taking people,” rather than those who live lives of freedom and generosity – “the edifying people.”
Charles Darwin saw a major crack in his own theory. He not only identified this potential fault but even offered a challenge in his book The Origin of the Species: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
Darwin himself points the way to the demise of his own theory. And biochemist Michael Behe of Lehigh University has established, in Darwin’s own terms, how and why Darwin’s theory has “broken down.” Dr. Michael N. Keas writes,
About a half century ago biologists found that some bacteria swim by means of a rotating flagellum, which is a long whip-like propellor connected to a rotary engine that is situated within the cell membrane. About twenty years after this Behe discovered that the bacterial flagellum and many other molecular machines within living cells exhibit a property that he called “irreducible complexity,” and which implied that they could not have originated by an unguided material process like natural selection. Behe sparked a revolution with his book that announced his discovery: “Darwin’s Black Box” (1996), which has sold 300,000 copies.
This is not playing faith against science because Darwinism is theory, not science. The evolutionism that has dominated Western academic and intellectual life since 1850 has been proven wrong, on Darwin’s own terms. Science has proved Darwin wrong! Yet modern science and its followers continue to reject science for an atheistic faith.
There is no conflict between biblical faith and science. There is a conflict between modern science and atheist faith. It is wise to heed Darwin’s advice and acknowledge that his theory of evolution is dead.
- Darrow Miller