How Evolution’s Devaluation of Human Life is Affecting Our Culture
For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another (Gal. 5:14-15).
Eating your neighbor is not a happy thought. None of us would consider doing it. There are internal moral constraints that keep us from becoming a Hannibal Lector. These God-ordained constraints are described as “the work of the Law written” on the heart and the “conscience bearing witness” with our “thoughts alternatively accusing or else defending” our thoughts and actions (Rom. 2:15). But these internal moral constraints have not stopped people from killing, molesting, raping, aborting, making war against, and generally abusing our neighbors. It happened quite early when Cain murdered Able (Gen. 4:1-10).
If we’ve evolved from some cosmic pre-biotic soup, how do we account for a conscience, love, compassion, and the intrinsic worth of a neighbor? There is no accounting for them in a matter-only cosmos. Atoms don’t have a conscience. They don’t love. They don’t regard anything as being their neighbor. A conglomeration of atoms doesn’t make it anymore so. It’s been said that you can’t get blood out of a stone. Similarly, no matter how atheists try, they can’t account for moral standards that must be obeyed from the stuff of the cosmos.
Dr. William Provine, Professor of History and Biology from Cornell University, claimed the following foundational principles for atheistic in evolution in his “Darwin Day” address at the University of Tennessee:
(1) No gods worth having exist; (2) no life after death exists; (3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; (4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and (5) human free will is nonexistent.1
In his address, Provine offered the first four principles as religious evolutionary fundamentals by stating, “The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them.” Is it possible that some young people’s thinking processes act in terms of these “implications”?
The most damning assessment of a matter-only cosmos devoid of a Creator is that we got to this place in our evolutionary history by violence, killing, raping, and eating our neighbors, and there is nothing in the vastness of the cosmos that says our evolving ancestors didn’t evolve by doing violence to their equally inconsequential neighbors.
Consider the following from Joann Rodgers in her book Sex: A Natural History:2
- “Even rape, fetishes, bondage, and other so-called aberrant sexual behaviors are almost certainly biologically predisposed, if not adaptive, and may therefore be what biologists call ‘conserved’ traits, attributes or properties useful or essential to life across all cultures and genomes” (11).
- “Animals, insects, and bacteria, with their multiple desires, mutinous genders, alternative sex lives, and sometimes violent mating habits, behave in ways that we humans, in our arrogance, consider graceless if not immoral. And yet what we may consider profane in nature is indeed profound…. With evolutionary biology as our guide, however, we are better able to see what has long been concealed in our nature and nurture, and that the profound is not at all profane” (40-41).
- “Rape or at least rape-like acts clearly exist in many species, giving additional weight to both rape’s ‘natural’ roots and its ‘value’ in our biological and psychological legacy” (412).
“Conserved traits … violent mating habits … the profound is not at all profane … rape’s ‘natural’ roots and its ‘value’ in our biological and psychological legacy.” The violent processes of evolution are “natural” and devoid of morality. It can’t be otherwise since, given the operating assumptions of atheistic evolutionists, we are nothing but a collection of carbon molecules kept alive by a jolt of low voltage electricity.
In the process of evolutionary development (survival of the fittest), some evolved carbon units consider themselves more special than others. The Columbine murderers thought the human race to be beneath them, one investigator of the Columbine murderers said. For example, Eric Harris
“talks a lot about natural selection and that kind of leads into his admiration of Hitler and Nazism and their ‘final solution’ — that we, the human race have interrupted or disrupted natural selection by inventing vaccines and stuff like that. In one of his writings, he talks about that: ‘It would be great if there were no vaccines, because people who should have died would have died, and we wouldn’t be perpetuating this kind of stuff.’”3
While famed atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins is not advocating cannibalism, he asks whether it would be moral to eat human meat if it’s grown:
What if human meat is grown? Could we overcome our taboo against cannibalism? An interesting test case for consequentialist morality versus “yuck reaction” absolutism.
Consequentialist moral evaluations and justifications for what a person does are determined by the value of the consequences of a person’s “actions, rules, policies, strategies, character traits, etc. … That is, the ultimate question to be asked of any action, rule, or character trait under evaluation is, ‘Does it [the action, rule, or trait in question] promote the good?’”4
Goodness or badness in a world where everything that exists has evolved from a chemical soup does not exist. Who determines what’s good? Why is there a taboo against cannibalism? Why is it morally wrong to eat people since people are animals,5 and humans eat animals, and if there is no God how can anyone say who or what we can eat, kill, rape, steal from, enslave for someone’s view of the greater good? Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung believed in the greater good as moral consequentialists, and given the operating fundamentals of evolutionists, who is to say otherwise?
In his book Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism, James Rachels stated in a direct way about the moral consequences of evolution:
[H]uman life will no longer be regarded with the kind of superstitious awe which it is accorded in traditional thought, and the lives of non-humans will no longer be a matter of indifference. This means that human life will, in a sense, be devalued, while the value granted to non-human life will be increased. A revised view of such matters as suicide and euthanasia, as well as a revised view of how we should treat animals, will result.6
And what of the value of human life? “The difficulty is,” Rachels writes, “that Darwinism leaves us with fewer resources from which to construct an account of the value of life.”7 In the end, “it undermines the traditional idea that human life has a special, unique worth.” And what is the “traditional idea” that evolution undermines? The “image of God thesis,” the biblical teaching that humans are not animals but are a separate creation of God made in His image (Gen. 1:26, also 5:1; 9:6; Eph. 4:24; James 3:9).
Dawkins and others have argued that humans are not special. Humans are on a continuum of evolutionary development. If you trace that evolutionary chain back far enough, you will find that our common ancestor arose spontaneously from a primordial soup of chemicals, and primordial soups have no regard for right or wrong. They are all about survival by any and all means possible.
- William Provine, “Evolution: Free Will and Punishment and Meaning in Life” (Feb. 12, 1998): http://eeb.bio.utk.edu/darwin/DarwinDayProvineAddress.htm. [↩]
- Joann Rodgers, Sex: A Natural History (New York: Henry Holt, 2001). [↩]
- Dave Cullen, “Kill mankind. No one should survive,” Salon (Dec. 23, 1999): https://www.salon.com/1999/09/23/journal_2/ [↩]
- “Impartiality,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Feb. 6, 2017): https://goo.gl/mcDuVt [↩]
- “We admit that we are like apes, but we seldom realise that we are apes.” Richard Dawkins, “Gaps in the Mind” (Jan. 1, 1993): https://www.richarddawkins.net/1993/01/gaps-in-the-mind/ [↩]
- James Rachels, Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 5. [↩]
- Rachels, Created from Animals, 197. [↩]