There’s a lot of heat going around 150 years after Darwin supposedly settled it all. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein’s documentary, both reports it and contributes to it. At least I feel a lot of heat from atheists about the documentary, but then, they seem to be always chronically ticked off.
Evolution at Catholic High School
I mentioned previously that I attended Catholic High School and we studied the theory of evolution. Our textbook even had those little illustration of embryos which showed how embryos followed an evolutionary progression as they developed; started out with gills, absorbed their monkey tails, etc. “Interesting,” I had thought. Trouble is, those illustrations were faked. For my science project, I modeled the heads of humans progressing through evolution. I got an “A” and they kept the models in the biology lab after I left.
Why did a Catholic school teach evolution? I remember they also said God made us. Why didn’t that seem odd to me? Why didn’t we become atheists because we were taught this? Looking back, studying evolution had no effect on my belief or non-belief in God whatsoever. It just really didn’t matter that much. We were Catholics; we didn’t read the Bible much. Our belief in God wasn’t based on the Bible; it was more…intuitive.
I went through a sort of spiritual evolution from Catholic to atheist to agnostic to Hindu to Generic Christian. Evolution didn’t become an issue until I was told that every word of the Bible was literally true. I had no problem abandoning evolution at that point, because it truly has many gaps and flaws; it actually requires a lot of faith to buy the scenario as presented-and faith in what? Scientists?
What is Darwin’s Theory?
I searched a long time to find Darwin’s theory this morning. I mean his theory in his own words. I couldn’t find it! I read Origin of the Species and some of Descent of Man and did not find a sentence that succinctly stated his theory in his own words. Now, you can glean from his words that he believed: 1) Species show variation 2) Populations reproduce in excess (somebody’s got to go) 3) Individuals with better survival characteristics live and reproduce (and pass their survival characteristics on.) Really, that’s it, that’s Darwin’s theory. Other people came along and added to it later.
Philosophy Mixed Up with Science
Species show variation-agreed (duh.) Populations reproduce in excess and compete for resources-hmm, he said he got this from Thomas Malthus, a philosopher-is it science or philosophy? Individuals with better survival characteristic survive-well, yeah-by definition they do. These seem like pretty weak claims to cause so much grief. Later followers took it further, though. They said all creatures descended from a common ancestor by natural selection through undirected changes. This is full of holes. There is no way they can know or prove the changes were undirected-that’s pure opinion, based on the worldview that there is no Director. No Director, so of course it’s undirected. Everything is undirected, everything is the result of random chance, no God, no meaning to human life, no value to human life, no afterlife. You’re a random animal, you struggle along and die and that’s it.
Or natural selection is valid as stated by Darwin, plus we come from God, we return to God, and our goal is to grow while we are here. Did current species emerge from more primitive species by directed or undirected means? I don’t know and neither do the scientists! The word “species” itself is just a human invention. I won’t go into why there are so many things we don’t know, but “even” scientists don’t know much. I don’t either, except that we come from God, we return to God and our goal is to grow while we’re here.