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Is Natural Selection at loggerheads with God?

Updated on September 12, 2015

Here's an article that I've developed from my last book.

Darwin generally described himself as an Agnostic. He felt one cannot know whether there is anything beyond merely the material. He discarded his previous views of the existence of God together with his belief in the immortality of the soul. And so he threw away the notion that there was more in man than just mere breath of the body. In doing so he confessed that in his present belief the grandest scenes would not cause any such conviction in existence of God.

But were these the only beliefs that Darwin threw out? No. His prior love of music dissipated with his obsession with his theory. Isn't it remarkable that with turning away from God he in turn lost passion for music? Thus the wonder of life was merely put down to chance instead of attributing it to a Creator.

When one explores the theory of Natural Selection a fascinating pattern emerges. Firstly when he talks about discovering his theory he says that favourable variations in a species would tend to be preserved and unfavourable ones destroyed, resulting in the formation of a new species. He claims that Natural Selection is "daily and hourly scrutinizing...rejecting what is bad and preserving and adding up all that is good."[1] Do we not see the mind-like qualities which could be attributed to a Creator inventing such a theory or natural law? Look at his quote again, "daily and hourly scrutinizing...rejecting what is bad and preserving and adding up all that is good." In fact to reduce to the hourly scrutinizing shows intention. While rejecting, preserving and adding up all show purpose or control. These can only be the result of a mind and not by the throw of a dice.

Darwin also views Natural Selection as arising mainly from the natural selection of successive, slight favourable variations. But hang on a minute. If we are talking about chance events then why should there only be slight favourable variations in succession? Could not variations be unfavourable or even neutral in one step but leading to a hideous creature at a step further down the line? Darwin cunningly reasons that all unfavourable variations will cause the creature to die as the result of a struggle of survival and the survival of the fittest. But wait, why could not a creature be hideous and yet strong enough to fight the species it evolved from. Why can not the unfavourable variations be hideous, but advantageous? Therefore in becoming a hideous mutation it could be unfavourable in some respects, e.g. having to mate by force, ostracised by the pack or herd and yet a favourable variation in that it was much stronger to dominate mates and rivals.

Why is that all species of animals are so beautiful? Isaac Newton wrote; "Whence is it that nature does nothing vain; and whence arises all that order and beauty which we see in the world? How come the bodies of animals to be contrived with so much art, and for what ends were their several parts? Was the eye contrived without skill in optics? Does it not appear from phenomena that there is a being incorporeal, living, intelligent?"

When we take an example of the giraffe which is claimed to be an example of macro-evolution (a species evolving into another species) it is clear there are problems. While it would be no sweat for a Creator to enable or cause macro-evolution, for nature to do it by itself causes big problems. We must ask how did that creature evolve? Some claim it is by the creature stretching its neck up to leaves in the trees when there was none on the ground. But that theory is fraught with difficulty. The creature would have had to evolve not only the heart to pump the blood up to the brain, but developed longer and stronger veins, arteries and incidentally most organs of its body.

I believe that if Darwin had retained his love for music he may have in fact retained his openness in seeing the awesome beauty around him and reasoning that there is in fact a designer of our universe. The existence of evil was a stumbling block he felt he could not overcome. Furthermore if Darwin had seen the intricate intention and purpose within his theory he could returned to a belief in a Creator. Therefore I believe that Darwin was so close to rediscovering God, but that he let those little links with such a belief escape him as he sought to find a theory that equalled man and all other creature. He viewed that we do not have immortal souls. In doing so he turned morality on its head and only saw us differing from the rest of the animals in degree and not in kind.

[1] Charles Darwin, Origin of Species. Facsimile of the first (1859) edition as cited in God: Fact or Fiction?: Exploring the Relationship between Science, Religion and the Origin of Life (Brendan Roberts), Kiwi Graphix, Auckland, 2003, 37.


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      Rad Man 6 years ago

      Very interesting hub godfactauthor, I think you may have to take another look at Evolution though.

      Evolution doesn't happen because one wants to be taller so one stretches his neck. That is absurd. A baby is born with a slightly longer neck then the others. Just like my kid is 6 ft. all and I'm well not even close to 6 ft. tall. In the case of the slightly taller giraffe he or she would be able to get more food which would make him stronger and better able to have babies. Those babies would then be taller then the rest as well. That's natural selection. Proof of this lies in the recurrent laryngeal nerve. In mammals this nerve travels from the brain to the larynx. It takes a weird roundabout path. It runs from the vagus nerve, down the neck, into the chest, under the aorta, around a ligament in the lung, then back up to the larynx in the throat. In the giraffe, this nerve goes a very long way to the chest, and then up again to the larynx. Just a little bit of intelligence would have sufficed to give the giraffe a direct way for this nerve.

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      Samuel E. Richardson 7 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

      Your hub is very interesting. I'm finding that molecular biology is showing a strong evidence for some type of "intelligent design." I voted you up.