Reflections of A Former Darwinist

Dennis Garvin
Dennis Garvin

I am a reasonably educated man.  Valedictorian of my college class, honors graduate of medical school, product of a surgical subspecialty training program ranked in the top two in the nation.  I was an intellectual, scientific, Darwinist atheist.  Yet it was a deficit in the Darwin doctrine that drove me to question my atheism and, ultimately, to my belief in a Creator.

In my mid thirties, I was vexed by a question that, to many, might seem small.  But it drove me crazy.  Altruism.  It existed.  I had seen proof of its existence.  Yet, it was completely counterintuitive to a Darwinist.  Why would a man endanger himself to rescue a child he does not know?  He is risking sacrificing himself (thereby denying the gene pool the benefit of his input) for a human creature with unknown genetic potential.

It gets worse when we consider the soldier who throws himself on a grenade or IED, permitting his own destruction in order to save his friends.  This man, by his mental and physical quickness in realizing the risk and acting upon it, is demonstrating that he is a better contributor to the gene pool (and therefore the survival of the species) than those he seeks to save.

There is a whole initiative out there essentially comprising Darwinian psychology.  I looked at it.  The Darwinian accounting for altruism is laughable, unless you believe that mindless adherence to a flawed doctrine is, by itself, an act of altruism.

 This is what set me off.  By contrast, I had to conclude that, while altruism was nonsense in Darwinian terms, it was exactly consistent with the major religions of the world.  So, with as open a mind as is possible in a smug atheist, I investigated my previous bias against religion and, effectively, a Creator.

I learned that you can scientifically support Deism or atheism only if you allow yourself to be mired in the Newtonian concept of universal laws.  The six days of Genesis’ creation is easily explained by Einstein’s theory of time dilation and the application of the Common Background Radiation left over from the Big Bang. It shows how the 15 billion years of the universe and the 6 days of Genesis are in perfect, even frighteningly precise, accord.

Even the mystery of the Trinity has scientific logic if you apply slit lamp experiments, quantum mechanics and specifically the idea of phase entanglement.  None of these generally accepted advances in science and physics proves the God of the Bible.  But they do make it hard, indeed impossible, to scientifically reject Him.  This still leaves you free to be an atheist; even God gives you that prerogative.  Just don’t claim that modern science backs you up.  It makes you look like a fool, just like I was.

The above paragraphs are actually just to establish my right to express an educated opinion.  What I fear, now, is the impact of Darwin upon our most vulnerable minds.  Atheists (myself previously included) have accused Christianity of labeling human beings as dirty, evil, sinful, and unworthy.  Despite our wretchedness, God delivered us with the sacrifice of His son.  But we, of ourselves, remain worthless.  Atheists proclaim that this denigration of humanity runs counter to our being the ultimate species, the very best that evolution can produce.

In order to sustain this indictment of Christianity, the atheists must (as usual) edit the realities of this faith.  It is God’s love of mankind that produces value.  Our adoption, as ‘Children of God’ confers upon humanity a pedigree of nobility, of heavenly royalty.  If God is the ruler of a Kingdom of God, and if I am his child, the implication is inescapable.  Humans are of sufficient value to warrant divine sacrifice.

Now let’s look at the implications of Darwin and, indeed, all of modern science.  Lacking a Creator and a purpose for our being here on earth, Darwinism concludes that all of us are an accident, a meaningless convergence of oddities.  As a human being, you are a collection of quarks arranged into atoms-molecules-tissues, then organs.  You move about this earth, yet another condensation of quarks.

You making funny noises, interact with other equally odd human quark-piles.  You consume other quark condensations referred to as ‘food.’  Then, one day, you stop making noises, interacting, or consuming.  Your quarks return to the big quark pile we have named ‘universe.’  Because nothing exists of you beyond your quark pile- no spirit, no essence- you ceased to exist.

Darwin renders foolish all your pretensions.  ‘Celebrate diversity?’  Why in the hell should we?  Our diversity is no more valid than the diversity obtained by throwing mudballs against a wall.  Establish a government that cares for the ill and incapable?  Rank stupidity – Darwin’s survival of the fittest would make short work of, say Diabetes, if we only let everyone who has the condition die as a result of it.

This makes Darwinist sense.  Why waste money on poor contributors to the gene pool?  Everyone is beautiful and special in their own way?  There is no Darwinist support for such a vacuous and unempirical conclusion; quite the contrary.

All of the world’s major faiths proclaim the special nature of humankind: created by a loving God, for a divine purpose, endowed with a spirit that transcends the body it occupies.  Aside from being rank Darwinist heresy, this is the only embodiment of human valuation that accords a special nature to men and women.

 I am not saying that these faiths have no bad history.  They are as flawed as any perfect thing placed at the disposal of imperfect humans.  The error of the world’s faiths is either in improper use or improper understanding.

Darwin, however, can only permit a special status to humans if applied with a robust dose of denial.   But what of those among us who do not have a strongly developed sense of denial?  The suicide rate among young people, ages 15-24, is double what it was in 1960.  I choose this decade because that was when religion was frogmarched out the door of the public schools.

As usual with statistics placed in the hands of secularists, this epidemic is attributed to many social pressures.  But never, never in their wildest epiphanies, would they point out that we have placed our impressionable youth in an educational system that has silenced the philosophies that accord nobility to the human species, replacing it with a doctrine that informs a student that he is of less value than a pizza.  At least a pizza had a creator.

 “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing… they believe in anything.”

                                                                                                            GK Chesterton