Adapted from a John MacArthur article in The Master’s Seminary Journal
The drift of modern society proves the point. We are witnessing the abandonment of moral standards and the loss of humanity’s sense of destiny. Rampant crime, drug abuse, sexual perversion, rising suicide rates, and the abortion epidemic are all symptoms that human life is being systematically devalued and an utter sense of futility is sweeping over society. These trends are directly traceable to the ascent of evolutionary theory.
And why not? If evolution is true, humans are just one of many species that evolved from common ancestors. We are no better than animals, and we ought not to think that we are. If we evolved from sheer matter, why should we esteem what is spiritual? In fact, if everything evolved from matter, nothing “spiritual” is real. We ourselves are ultimately no better than or different from any other living species. We are nothing more than protoplasm waiting to become manure.
As a matter of fact, that is precisely the rationale behind the modern animal-rights movement, a movement whose raison d’ētre is the utter degradation of the human race. Naturally, all radical animal-rights advocates are evolutionists. Their belief system is an inevitable byproduct of evolutionary theory.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is well known for its stance that animal rights are equal to (or more important than) human rights. They maintain that killing any animal for food is the moral equivalent of murder; eating meat is virtually cannibalism; and man is a tyrant species, detrimental to his environment.
PETA opposes the keeping of pets and “companion animals” — including guide dogs for the blind. A 1988 statement distributed by the organization includes this: “As John Bryant has written in his book Fettered Kingdoms, [companion animals] are like slaves, even if well-kept slaves.”
Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s controversial founder, says, “There is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights… A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”15 Newkirk told a Washington Post reporter that the atrocities of Nazi Germany pale by comparison to the killing of animals for food: “Six million Jews died in concentration camps, but six billion broiler chickens will die this year in slaughterhouses.”16
Clearly, Ms. Newkirk is more outraged by the killing of chickens for food than she is by the wholesale slaughter of human beings. One gets the impression she would not necessarily consider the extinction of humanity an undesirable thing. In fact, she and other animal-rights advocates often sound downright misanthropic. She told a reporter, “I don’t have any reverence for life, only for the entities themselves. I would rather see a blank space where I am. This will sound like fruitcake stuff again but at least I wouldn’t be harming anything.”17 And the summer issue of Wild Earth magazine, a journal promoting radical environmentalism, included a manifesto for the extinction of the human race, written under the pseudonym “Les U. Knight.” The article said, “If you haven’t given voluntary human extinction much thought before, the idea of a world with no people in it may seem strange. But, if you give it a chance, I think you might agree that the extinction of Homo sapiens would mean survival for millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species … phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.”18
That is worse than merely stupid, irrational, immoral, or humiliating; it is deadly.
But there is even an organization called The Church of Euthanasia. Their Web page advocates suicide, abortion, cannibalism, and sodomy as the main ways to decrease the human population. Although the Web page contains elements of parody deliberately designed for shock value,19 the people behind it are deadly serious in their opposition to the continuance of the human race. They include detailed instructions for committing suicide. The one commandment church members are required to obey is “Thou shalt not procreate.” By deliberately making their views sound as outrageous as possible, they have received widespread coverage on talk shows and tabloid-style news programs. They take advantage of such publicity to recruit members for their cause. Despite their shocking message, they have evidently been able to persuade numerous people that the one species on earth that ought to be made extinct is humanity. Their Web site boasts that people in the thousands have paid the $10 membership fee to become “church members.”
That sort of lunacy is rooted in the belief that humanity is simply the product of evolution — a mere annual with no purpose, no destiny, and no likeness to the Creator. After all, if we got where we are by a natural evolutionary process, there can be no validity whatsoever to the notion that our race bears the image of God. We ultimately have no more dignity than an amoeba. And we certainly have no mandate from the Almighty to subdue the rest of creation.
And if a human being is nothing more than an animal in the process of evolving, who can argue against the animal-rights movement? Even the most radical animal-rights position is justified in a naturalistic and evolutionary worldview. If we really evolved from animals, we are in fact just animals ourselves. And if evolution is correct, it is a sheer accident that man evolved a superior intellect. If random mutations had occurred differently, apes might be running the planet and humanoids would be in the zoo. What right do we have to exercise dominion over other species that have not yet had the opportunity to evolve to a more advanced state?
Indeed, if man is merely a product of natural evolutionary processes, then he is ultimately nothing more than the accidental byproduct of thousands of haphazard genetic mutations. He is just one more animal that evolved from amoeba, and he is probably not even the highest life-form that will eventually evolve. So what is special about him? Where is his meaning? Where is his dignity? Where is his value? What is his purpose? Obviously he has none.20
It is only a matter of time before a society steeped in naturalistic belief fully embraces such thinking and casts off all moral and spiritual restraint. In fact, that process has begun already. If you doubt that, consider some of the televised debauchery aimed at the MTV/Jerry Springer generation.
Evolution Is Hostile To Reason
Evolution is as irrational as it is amoral. In place of God as Creator, the evolutionist has substituted chance—sheer fortune, accident, happenstance, serendipity, coincidence, random events, and blind luck. Chance is the engine most evolutionists believe drives the evolutionary process. Chance is therefore the ultimate creator.
Naturalism essentially teaches that over time and out of sheer chaos, matter evolved into everything we see today by pure chance. And this all happened without any particular design. Given enough time and enough random events, the evolutionist says, anything is possible. And the evolution of our world with all its intricate ecosystems and complex organisms is therefore simply the inadvertent result of a very large number of indiscriminate but extremely fortuitous accidents of nature. Everything is the way it is simply by the luck of the draw. And thus chance itself has been elevated to the role of creator.
John Ankerberg and John Weldon point out that matter, time, and chance constitute the evolutionists’ holy trinity. Indeed, these three things are all that is eternal and omnipotent in the evolutionary scheme: matter, time, and chance. Together they have formed the cosmos as we know it. And they have usurped God in the evolutionist’s mind. Ankerberg and Weldon quote Jacques Monod, 1965 Nobel Prize-winner for his work in biochemistry. In his book Chance and Necessity, Monod wrote, “[Man] is alone in the universe’s unfeeling immensity, out of which he emerged by chance … Chance alone is at the source of every innovation, of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, [is] at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution.”21
Obviously, that is a far cry from being created in the image of God. It is also utterly irrational. The evolutionary idea not only strips man of his dignity and his value, but it also eliminates the ground of his rationality. Because if everything happens by chance, then in the ultimate sense, nothing can possibly have any real purpose or meaning. And it is hard to think of any philosophical starting point that is more irrational than that.
But a moment’s reflection will reveal that chance simply cannot be the cause of anything (much less the cause of everything). Chance is not a force. The only legitimate sense of the word chance has to do with mathematical probability. If you flip a coin again and again, quotients of mathematical probability suggest that it will land tails-up about fifty times out of a hundred. Thus we say that when you flip a coin, there’s a fifty-fifty “chance” it will come up tails.
But “chance” is not a force that can actually flip the coin. Chance is not an intellect that designs the pattern of mathematical probabilities. Chance determines nothing. Mathematical probability is merely a way of measuring what actually does happen.
Yet in naturalistic and evolutionary parlance, “chance” becomes something that determines what happens in the absence of any other cause or design. Consider Jacques Monad’s remark again: “Chance … is at the source of every innovation, of all creation.” In effect, naturalists have imputed to chance the ability to cause and determine what occurs. And that is an irrational concept.
There are no uncaused events. Every effect is determined by some cause. Even the flip of a coin simply cannot occur without a definite cause. And common sense tells us that whether the coin comes up heads or tails is also determined by something. A number of factors (including the precise amount of force with which the coin is flipped and the distance it must fall before hitting the ground) determine the number of revolutions and bounces it makes before landing on one side or the other. Although the forces that determine the flip of a coin may be impossible for us to control precisely, it is those forces, not “chance,” that determine whether we get heads or tails. What may appear totally random and undetermined to us is nonetheless definitively determined by something.22 It is not caused by mere chance, because chance simply does not exist as a force or a cause. Chance is nothing.
Fortune was a goddess in the Greek pantheon. Evolutionists have enshrined chance in a similar way. They have taken the myth of chance and made it responsible for all that happens. Chance has been transformed into a force of causal power, so that nothing is the cause of everything. What could be more irrational than that? It turns all of reality into sheer chaos. It therefore makes everything irrational and incoherent.
The entire concept is so fraught with problems from a rational and philosophical viewpoint that one hardly knows where to begin. But let’s begin at the beginning. Where did matter come from in the first place? The naturalist would have to say either that all matter is eternal, or that everything appeared by chance out of nothing. The latter option is clearly irrational.
But suppose the naturalist opts to believe that matter is eternal. An obvious question arises: What caused the first event that originally set the evolutionary process in motion? The only answer available to the naturalist is that chance made it happen. It literally came out of nowhere. No one and nothing made it happen. That, too, is clearly irrational.
So in order to avoid that dilemma, some naturalists assume an eternal chain of random events that operate on the material universe. They end up with an eternal but constantly changing material universe governed by an endless chain of purely random events — all culminating in magnificent design without a designer, and everything happening without any ultimate cause. At the end of the day, it is still irrational. It evacuates purpose, destiny, and meaning from everything in the universe. And it therefore it leaves no ground for anything rational.
In other words, nihilism is the only philosophy that works with naturalism. Nihilism is a philosophy that says everything is entirely without meaning, without logic, without reason. The universe itself is incoherent and irrational. Reason has been deposed by pure chance.
And such a view of chance is the polar opposite of reason. Common-sense logic suggests that every watch has a watchmaker. Every building has a builder. Every structure has an architect. Every arrangement has a plan. Every plan has a designer. And every design has a purpose. We see the universe, infinitely more complex than any watch and infinitely greater than any manmade structure, and it is natural to conclude that Someone infinitely powerful and infinitely intelligent made it. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made” (Romans 1:20).
But naturalists look at the universe, and despite all the intricate marvels it holds, they conclude no one made it. Chance brought it about. It happened by accident. That is not logical. It is absurd.
Abandon logic and you are left with pure nonsense. In many ways the naturalists’ deification of chance is worse than all the various myths of other false religions, because it obliterates all meaning and sense from everything. But it is, once again, pure religion of the most pagan variety, requiring a spiritually fatal leap of faith into an abyss of utter irrationality. It is the age-old religion of fools (Psalm 14:1) — but in modern, “scientific” dress.
What could prompt anyone to embrace such a system? Why would someone opt for a worldview that eliminates all that is rational? It boils down to the sheer love of sin. People want to be comfortable in their sin, and there is no way to do that without eliminating God. Get rid of God, and you erase all fear of the consequences of sin. So even though sheer irrationality is ultimately the only viable alternative to the God of Scripture, multitudes have opted for irrationality just so they could live guilt-free and shamelessly with their own sin. It is as simple as that.
Either there is a God who created the universe and sovereignly rules His creation, or everything was caused by blind chance. The two ideas are mutually exclusive. If chance rules, God cannot. If God rules, there’s no room for chance. Make chance the cause of the universe and you have effectively done away with God.
As a matter of fact, if chance as a determinative force or a cause exists even in the frailest form, God has been dethroned. The sovereignty of God and “chance” are inherently incompatible. If chance causes or determines anything, God is not truly God.
But again, chance is not a force. Chance cannot make anything happen. Chance is nothing. It simply does not exist. And therefore it has no power to do anything. It cannot be the cause of any effect. It is an imaginary hocus-pocus. It is contrary to every law of science, every principle of logic, and every intuition of sheer common sense. Even the most basic principles of thermodynamics, physics, and biology suggest that chance simply cannot be the determinative force that has brought about the order and interdependence we see in our universe — much less the diversity of life we find on our own planet. Ultimately, chance simply cannot account for the origin of life and intelligence.
One of the oldest principles of rational philosophy is “Ex nihilo, nihilo fit.” Out of nothing, nothing comes. And chance is nothing. Naturalism is rational suicide.
When scientists attribute instrumental power to chance they have left the realm of reason, they have left the domain of science. They have turned to pulling rabbits out of hats. They have turned to fantasy. Insert the idea of chance, and all scientific investigation ultimately becomes chaotic and absurd. That is precisely why evolution does not deserve to be deemed true science; it is nothing more than an irrational religion — the religion of those who want to sin without guilt.
Someone once estimated that the number of random genetic factors involved in the evolution of a tapeworm from an amoeba would be comparable to placing a monkey in a room with a typewriter and allowing him to strike the keys at random until he accidentally produced a perfectly-spelled and perfectly-punctuated typescript of Hamlet’s soliloquy. And the odds of getting all the mutations necessary to evolve a starfish from a one-celled creature are comparable to asking a hundred blind people to make ten random moves each with five Rubik’s cubes, and finding all five cubes perfectly solved at the end of the process. The odds against all earth’s life forms evolving from a single cell are in a word, impossible.
Nonetheless, the absurdity of naturalism goes largely unchallenged today in universities and colleges. Turn on the Discovery Channel or pick up an issue of National Geographic and you are likely to be exposed to the assumption that chance exists as a force — as if mere chance spontaneously generated everything in the universe.
One Nobel laureate, Harvard professor George Wald, acknowledged the utter absurdity of this. Pondering the vast array of factors both real and hypothetical that would have to arise spontaneously all at once in order for inanimate matter to “evolve” into even the most primitive one-celled form of life, he wrote, “One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible.” Then he added, “Yet here we are — as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.”23 How did Weld believe this “impossibility” came about? He answered: “Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless here. Given so much time, the ‘impossible’ becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.”24 Given enough time, that which is impossible becomes “virtually certain.” That is sheer double-talk. And it perfectly illustrates the blind faith that underlies naturalistic religion.
There is no viable explanation of the universe without God. So many immense and intricate wonders could not exist without a designer. There’s only one possible explanation for it all, and that is the creative power of an all-wise God. He created and sustains the universe, and He gives meaning to it. And without Him, there is ultimately no meaning in anything. Without Him, we are left with only the absurd notion that everything emerged from nothing without a cause and without any reason. Without Him we are stuck with that absurd formula of the evolutionist: nothing times nobody equals everything.
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