Darwin’s Argument Against God


Darwin’s argument is sad and powerful, it is one that not only reinforces the convictions of atheists and agnostics; it also troubles believers in God. It poses the question how can a good God seemingly create and tolerate a nature in which the following takes place?

 

In a letter to the botanist Asa Gray, Darwin wrote:

With respect to the theological view of the question: This is always painful to me. I am bewildered. I had no intention to write atheistically, but I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae ( parasitoid wasp ) with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars …”

Darwin must have had some understanding of the Bible and of its first book Genesis, and most importantly its opening chapter describing creation. He attended an Anglican school with the aim of becoming a clergyman and went to the University of Cambridge for the required Bachelor of Arts degree. This included studies of Anglican theology.

It is inconceivable that after such an education Darwin was ignorant of two key issues: firstly that God created all things and described this creation as “very good”. And secondly that all creatures ate plants and their produce: leaves, fruits and nuts etc. There was therefore no place or reason for survival of the fittest, and no nature red in tooth and claw. Predators were not present and nor were prey; nature was at peace both with itself and with its Creator. Neither could Darwin have been unaware of the biblical cause of death and suffering. The Fall of not just mankind, but all of nature’s kingdom through the effects of disobedience, sin, rebellion and death. And with this calamity came cruelty, yes malignant cruelty, and a fallen world came under judgement. God is not just the giver of life He is also the taker of life. Judgement became an inevitable factor following the collapse of the relationship between God and His creation.

God is love, but it is to be deaf to the call of our feelings and sense of justice not to admit it is difficult to reconcile the dilemma felt so strongly by Darwin. We all feel it, atheists and Christians. In the Bible there is another complicating factor which is the presence of evil personified: the Devil. A fairy story  you may argue, and just one of many. How to stand up in defence of such accusations? To answer that question would take an essay at the very least. And that is not my purpose here, but rather to take a look at Darwinism as it is currently understood. Because there is a careless evil at its heart, heartless killers called mutations. Survival of the fittest is harsh. Inevitable extinctions are harsh, but neither compare to the method envisaged by Darwin’s followers. 

Charles Darwin had championed his theory of common descent and evolution by natural selection. This concept springs from artificial selection, a procedure breeders use to enhance desired characteristics such as stamina, colour, size, yield, and so forth, in animals and plants. Darwin thought that a similar process happens in nature. There is nothing to disagree with here. Natural selection can bring about evolution in a fashion similar to artificial selection, but this only takes you so far before it hits a brick wall. Animal and plant breeders have always known that artificial selection has limits beyond which no-one has ever been able to pass. There is a reason for that, evolution by that route is impossible. There is a genetic roadblock. By the early part of the 20th century this was well known. Consequently a new cause of diversity was needed to save Darwin’s theory of evolution via natural selection. The saviour came in a strange form: mutations. Here is an evolutionary account of how this can work in the real world. It looks good at first glance, partly because it is made to look like a story with a happy ending.

Mutations contribute to genetic variations within Species.  

Mutations can also be inherited, particularly if they have a positive effect.

For example, the disorder sickle cell anaemia? is caused by a mutation in the gene? that instructs the building of a protein called haemoglobin?. This causes the red blood cells? to become an abnormal, rigid, sickle shape. However, in African populations, having this mutation also protects against malaria.

Note the positive effect. This is the best these apologists for evolution can provide. This mutation may give you painful episodes called sickle cell crisis, which can be very severe and last up to a week, an increased risk of serious infections, anaemia (where red blood cells cannot carry enough oxygen around the body), which can cause tiredness and shortness of breath. Some people also experience other problems, such as delayed growth, strokes and lung problems.

This mutation is of benefit only if you live in Africa and are unlucky enough to catch malaria. You would have thought that over the course of life’s history in all its diversity an example a little more heart warming could be given rather than this certainty of a nasty illness that may protect you from the possible future potential of getting a worse one.

But your evolutionist friend may argue that mutations do so much more than that, they have been working from the beginning. They have after all served to evolve us from bacteria upwards to the summit of animal life. For that they should surely be awarded a Nobel Prize for the advancement of Species. A reality check might be in order here. Mutations are our enemies. I know this because I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Cancer is the cause of extremes of suffering to humans at every stage of life, it is no respecter of age, it cares nothing about the goodness or badness of the person it infests. It takes over from within and destroys whatever part of the body it is primed to attack. It has no mercy and it tortures not just the body but the mind and spirit as well. 

Here is a little insight into another connection between cancer and evolution. An area in which evolution is actually known to work. It ensures that whatever drugs we use to mitigate the effects of the disease are lessened or made useless. Most patients with advanced cancers, even when there is a well-known target and a specific drug response to therapy, still find relief is temporary. This is due to the evolution and proliferation of a resistant population of cancer cells. While targeted therapies have been among the most recent approaches to treating cancer, the vast changes in the genetics of tumours via mutations reduce the effectiveness of targeted therapies and are a reason why targeted therapies cease to work. 

But who cares, since in the great scheme of things we owe so much to mutations. Due to them we can look forward to our future extinction: something called Genetic Load; which is the presence of unfavourable genetic material ( mutations ) in the genes of a population. High genetic load may put a population in danger of extinction. Genetic load is the reduction in the mean fitness of a population relative to a population composed entirely of individuals having optimal genotypes. Load can be caused by recurrent deleterious mutations. 

My conclusion is this: if the parasitoid wasp put Darwin off God then I think the above and the list of cancers below have put me off Neo-Darwinism. Its method of advancing the diversity of species would not be recommended by any sane person. If you find fault with the Bible account of Creation then please do not lay down your critical faculties until you have applied them to the Modern Synthesis / Neo-Darwinism / Evolutionary Theory. In the world of mutations evolutionists struggle to find one of countless trillions that can be said to have been of benefit. The examples they give are few and doubtful. The loss of sight to creatures who live in perpetual darkness. A lesser sickness that gives resistance to a greater one. The bargain basement of doubtful benefits is the best they have on offer. 

If God is to held accountable and blamed for the creation of the parasitoid wasp then why is God not applauded for parenthood, beauty, love, self sacrifice and a treasure trove of wonders in nature beyond counting? Does God have to become a one dimensional monster in order to buttress an account of nature which centres around examples such as the parasitoid wasp?

I believe God is flawless in love. Not everybody agrees with that, but one thing we may well agree on is that even those we count as friends, and maybe even cohabit with have character flaws. They might manifest vices like anger, selfishness, even cruelty sometimes, but these failings do not necessarily obscure the good and the noble in them. So in nature there are seemingly mixed messages concerning the Creator. This should make us look deeper into the picture not turn away in disgust at something for which an explanation is given. If we did put down our pre judgements, we may find a Creator who so loves what was created that He, Jesus Christ, when He found it ruined by an enemy chose to sacrifice His own life in order to reclaim what was lost. A mission to defeat His enemy and return creation to its original perfection. To a life and a place prepared for us following our death. That is the required leap of faith, one which many people have made and few have regretted. 

Postscript:. The video below tells you everything you need to know about mutations and their effects in the real world and relate to the tragic consequences which hit Darwin through the death of his daughter Annie from tuberculosis at the age of ten years old. She died after a lingering illness caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Darwin feared inbreeding had caused Annie’s illness and death. He did not consider the role of microbes and infectious diseases in his work. M. tuberculosis is an obligate human pathogen and is said to have co-evolved with humans for millennia. Today one-third of the world’s population is estimated to be infected and 1.7 million people die from TB each year, more than anytime during previous human history. Co-infection with HIV is an important risk factor for TB, increasing the lifetime risk of progression from infection to active disease from 5% per lifetime to 5% per year, which is a particular problem in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, the emergence of bacterial strains resistant to most current antimicrobial drugs threatens to make TB untreatable.

A 2019 report from the website Science Daily has this to say; Scientists have discovered a genetic variant which greatly increases the likelihood of developing tuberculosis. Their research elucidates how this mutation affects the immune system. The almost too horrible connection to mention is that something similar to the parasitoid wasp happens here, and it has Darwin’s name ( Neo-Darwinism ) associated with it. A mutation causes a disease to arise and destroy a vital function of the body of its host from within. The video below traces the journey of mutational damage. To even begin to imagine this process could ever have contributed to the wonder of nature’s diversity and beauty is verging on the obscene.

 

 

So hope comes through combating and over-riding the effects of the Neo-Darwinism mechanism for evolution. A bizarre and contradictory story which perhaps goes some way towards shaking the foundations of the monstrous lie known as The Modern Synthesis of Evolutionary Theory. Here below is the real inheritance of mutations Read the list and rejoice if you can at their presence in the world. Remember that these causes of the diseases listed below result from the same processes we are told have enabled the evolution of life to occur. 

 

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