Last week we briefly visited two cities. The first city was the City on a Hill, the city envisioned by America's founders, which is built on the firm conviction that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. The second city is built on the teachings of Charles Darwin; not just his scientific theories, but, more importantly, their philosophical implications. In recognition of his birthday, which was this week, let us more carefully explore Darwin's City.
Foundations are important. In Darwin's City, the underlying story unfolds like this: In the beginning...there was a Big Bang. A billion years after the Big Bang, stars and galaxies began to appear. Billions of years later, planet Earth just happened to form. Then, 3.7 billion years ago, in a warm little pond, quite by chance, life emerged.
"Quite by chance" is a reoccurring theme in this story. Nobody intended for the Big Bang to happen, it just did. All of the succeeding events occurred entirely by chance in Darwin's atheistic, impersonal world. Everything in Darwin's City—every mountain and valley, every bird, fish, and mouse, every man, woman and child—has emerged from the same equation: matter + time + chance.
The evolutionary-chance view of life is the foundation of both science and philosophy in Darwin's City. Since ideas have consequences, Darwin's perspective creates a distinct view of the nature of man, the character of truth, and the meaning of life.
The Nature of Man
Under the Darwinist view, human beings are not created in the image of God. God is simply a creature of our imagination. Human beings emerged gratuitously from the primordial ooze. Since we are the product of mere chance, we have no inherent dignity, value or worth.
Creatures that came into being through mere happenstance don't have a claim to innate dignity. If people and plants formed through the same random process, what objective standard determines that one is more valuable, or has more dignity, than the other? Plants and people are simply different ways of organizing matter. Neither have intrinsic value. There is no basis for inalienable rights conferred by the Creator when the existence of the Creator is denied from the start.