There’s something about Charles
Is it just me, or has the world has gone Darwin-mad?
I live only about 30 minutes drive from Down House, Kent, where Darwin lived and worked for about half his life, and these days it seems like everyone is talking about Charles.
2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and 150th anniversary of his most famous work - The Origin of Species. And today, Darwinian ideas are everywhere – from his theory of evolution in your science text book, to the X-Men movies where mutants are seen as the “next stage in evolution".
Darwin's theories have had a profound impact on the question of origins – how and why did humans come about? As soon as it was published, Darwin's theory caused great divisions.
Some saw evolution as strengthening the atheist position, which was unpopular in Darwin's day. They supposed that if all the diversity of species on Earth could be explained through evolution, maybe there was no 'god' after all.
Others saw evolution as an attack on the Biblical account of Creation. They argued God created all life, including humans, in 6 days, so a theory suggesting millions of years of gradual changes just didn't add up. These positions continue to be held strongly today. On one side, argued by atheists such as Richard Dawkins and on the other by creationists such as Australia's own Ken Ham.
Today (and in Darwin's time), many Christian believers and scientists see no conflict between evolution and trust in the Bible. They argue that both address completely different questions. While the Bible looks at "why was the world created?", evolution asks "how did it all happen?"
From that understanding, they would say the Bible tells us God is the Creator, and He created all things to ultimately bring glory to His Son, Jesus. They may also add that evolution is a possible answer to the question of 'how did it happen'. This, they say, explains why one can be an atheist or a Christian, and still be an evolutionist.
In my opinion, the best thing about the world going Darwin-crazy is that it gives people a chance to think about the issues for themselves. There will be many stories, documentaries and radio spots about Darwin this year. Christians should be careful not to think every evolutionist is a Bible-hating athiest; nor should we dismiss every Creationist as an unscientific fool. We should listen to what both have to say and consider the evidence, remembering throughout that since God did all the making, it is to Him that we should give all the praise.