The Origin of an Agnostic

Written by Drew on November 29th, 2005

I just finished reading Newsweek’s tribute to Charles Darwin, “Evolution of a Scientist,” yet another attempt to deify the clergyman-turned-agnostic and to bolster the war effort against the Intelligent Design Movement.

The article was not without its merits. The account of Darwin’s famed voyage to the Galapagos islands was of particular interest. At 22 years of age, the amateur naturalist embarked on a five-year journey from Plymouth, along the Atlantic side of South America, through the Strait of Magellan and into the Pacific, before returning home by way of Australia and Cape Town. His vessel was a little ship, only 90 feet long and eight yards wide.

But Darwin is not remembered so much for his travels as he is for his groundbreaking work, The Origin of Species, penned 28 years after he made his voyage. I am not a scientist, but I do know a one-sided presentation of the facts when I see one. For this reason, Newsweek’s fawning representation of Darwin’s legacy leaves much to be desired.

The article mentions that, by Darwin’s time, “geologists had concluded that the Earth was millions of years old.” It goes on to say, with great confidence, that “today we know it’s around 4.5 billion.” This gave Darwin the time he needed to make his theory plausible. Before then, Bishop Ussher’s biblically calculated timetable set the earth’s creation at 4004 B.C. Of course, no mention is made of recent reports by credible scientists whose findings indicate the earth is probably no more than 6,000 years old.

Furthermore, Newsweek says Darwin learned that, in the Galapagos islands, it was possible to tell on which island a tortoise was born from its shell. Then a question is posed: “Did God, the supreme intelligence, deign to design distinctive shell patterns for the tortoises of each island?” So what if He didn’t? Such is an example of “microevolution”–adaptation within a species–not “macroevolution,” a theory which challenges the creation story. Moses merely said God created the plant and animal kingdom to reproduce after its “kind” (Gen. 1:11, 21). A variety of shell patterns doesn’t challenge the inspired account at all.

Newsweek tried to paint Darwin as a non-assuming, open-minded individual who struggled with his faith as long as he could. The caption below the title of the article reads,

He had planned to enter the ministry, but his discoveries on a fateful voyage 170 years ago shook his faith and changed our conception of the origins of life.

However, they slipped when they included a quotation from Darwin’s Descent of Man: “…man with all his noble qualities…still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.” Call it what you will, Darwinism is an assault on religion. According to its claims, man was not made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27); he crawled out of a primordial soup, but not before he was robed in ape-skins. This should warn any clear thinker of the danger of nonsense like theistic evolution, a combination that works about as well as small children and sharp knives.

Darwin’s work has been very influential. Great Britain has even bumped Dickens from the 10-pound note in exchange for his image. But not everybody has bought his theory. The Intelligent Design Movement is gaining ground, particular in America’s schools. And, despite decades of atheistic indoctrination in government schools, 80 percent of Americans still believe in God and less than 50 percent believe in evolution. But believers must continue to march. The battle is far from being won.


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