Charles Darwin Continues to Spark Unnecessary Debate

Charles Darwin Continues to Spark Unnecessary Debate
Can we leave the science versus religion controversy dead and buried already? It seems it is impossible to utter Charles Darwin at the dinner table without broiling a proverbial storm of frigid discourse. Yet ever since the double-helix was unraveled, the validity of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is as widely accepted by scientists as the fact that the Earth revolves around the sun. As the birthday of the infamous scientist approaches in February, the legacy of Charles Darwin continues to spark unnecessary controversy, but why?

It is often reported that the reason Charles Darwin continues to spark unnecessary controversy is that many Christians, particularly in the United States, hold to a literal view of the creation account in Genesis. However, as in all aspects of life, their exist many shades of gray. Can scientists, and in particular those with an atheistic bent, share at least some of the blame for sparking a debate where none need be?

Nearly everyone who has ever taken high-school biology has been taught the theory of evolution as developed by Charles Darwin. If asked in an oral exam if evolution is guided, many students are prone to answer, “no.” The problem with this query is that it masquerades under the guise of being a scientific, rather than metaphysical, question. Yet too often, evolution is taught in public schools as if it were unguided; so it should be no surprise that the mere mention of Charles Darwin sparks a controversy among folks who believe in a God that intentionally brought humanity into being.

On the other side of the coin, evolution and atheism tend to be presented as two sides of the same coin by the mainstream media that seemingly role into each other in a very natural and intellectually appealing way. This is most noted by the widely acclaimed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who also happens to be the world’s most notorious atheist.

Dawkins represents a brand of atheism commonly dubbed “the New Atheists” that is equivalent to a school yard bully who is proud that he is smart and eager to inform everyone that Santa Claus does not exist. The term atheist used to have the connotation of a gravitas professor wearing a crisp, tailored sport coat smoking a pipe. Now it has the connotation of a smug redditor masturbating to his own cleverness behind a keyboard. Yet the pretentiousness that accompanies the New Atheists doesn’t do the movement any favors whose goal, among many others, is to educate a largely religious population about the merits of evolutionary theory.

As a public educator, Dawkins rightly refuses to debate creationists. Such hesitation is met on the grounds that sharing a public platform with a creationist gives the false impression that legitimate doubt regarding the merits of evolutionary theory—namely, that all living organisms are related— exist within the scientific community. It is therefore unfortunate that Bill Nye, who needs no introduction, plans to debate with Ken Ham at the Creation-Museum on February 4th which, appropriately enough, is the birthday of Charles Darwin.

The legacy of Charles Darwin continues to spark unnecessary debate so long as scientists purport a theory of evolution that is inherently naturalistic and Christians hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis. Rather than one sect outfitting the other, Christians and Atheists will simply have to co-evolve.

Opinion By Nathan Cranford


Christian Post

5 Responses to "Charles Darwin Continues to Spark Unnecessary Debate"

  1. Matthew Reece   January 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Evolution is guided. It depends on environmental factors, which determine which traits will be selected for or against.

  2. Philly Jimi   January 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I find it funny that in this “debate” there is 1 side that will not bend or give an inch. They have found the right and the only answer inspite of any and all evidence. Then call the top proponents and defenders of evolution a “school yard bully” because they call out the “arguments” for detractors of evolution to be silly and most importantly not science. There is 1 thing that duct tape can’t fix and that is stupid.

    Dawkins is right, should a top medical researcher debate with a witch doctor about how small pox should have been treated with blessed chicken blood baths? Is this a debate worth having?

    When one side brings nothing to the table but a book about how the first rib woman doomed all of humanity because she got tricked by a talking snake into eating the wrong fruit. This forced the hand of the invisible creator to knock up a virgin, so his son could fake his death for 3 days and become a zombie and himself at the same time. This zombie atoned for the fruit crime of Eve and now the zombie savior is your ticket to everlasting happiness once you die. Thus evolution is not true because in the part of the book about talking snakes it says we were created in god’s image. So science, so put that in your pipe and smoke it – case closed. How is this a valid debate?

  3. Charles J. Budde   January 13, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Evolution is a fact, not a theory. The work of Darwin and many, many others have clarified both natural selection and the authenticity of evolution.

  4. Cash Atheos   January 13, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Couldn’t the author have just said, Hey guyyyyyyyz… I don’t like all the arguing, can’t you please just get along. Maybe even get a coexist bumper sticker.

    The truth is that in the States, the Religitards use their magic sky daddy stories in our schools and in our government.

    There is real harm caused.

    Leo, there is no “deep psychological need to believe that a creator god does not exist”. There is no and I mean zero proof or evidence for a God and thusly no “deep – need” to believe anything.

  5. Leo Daugherty   January 12, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Your implicit (and almost explicit) claim here is that evolution IS really guided. So you argue that to teach it as UNguided sparks unnecessary debate. This is false, because evolutaion is indeed unguided. (Or, to use your other word, evolution is indeed “naturalistic.”) The debate is necessary, after all, because belief in the theory/reality of unguided evolution cannot easily coexist with belief in a creator god. The only way to resolve the two, for god-believers who believe in unguided evolution, is to believe that their god exists outside nature. So the REAL argument is whether or not this is possible. Fortunately, the answer is an easy YES, and a growing number of religious believers have no trouble with the answer. Unfortunately, however, militant atheists like Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, the late Chris Hitchens, et al, say NO to it because . . . they want to say there is no choice for evolutionists but atheism. WHY do they believe, and preach, that there is no choice? Because, obviously, of some deep psychological need to believe that a creator god does not exist.

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