WORLD Magazine’s article on its 2011 Books of the Year assumes that teaching about creation or evolution is important—but is it? After all, we are entering a campaign season in which the debate will focus on healthcare, government spending, and other hot issues. We don't have time to discuss theories, do we?
We should make time for one big reason: If Darwin was right, the Bible is wrong, and we are foolish to follow it. But evolutionary thought that ignores God also has other effects of which we may be unaware. (Ask a fish about water and he's likely to reply, "What's water?"—if he's sufficiently evolved to be a talking fish.) The theological objections to macroevolution are literally crucial because they tell us whether the Cross was necessary, but some secondary issues are also worth pondering.
Politics.Woodrow Wilson started federal government expansion in 1912 by opposing the "Newtonian" view that the government should have an unchanging constitutional foundation, somewhat like "the law of gravitation." He argued that government should be "accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. . . . Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice." Wilson was the president who started the modern pattern of disregarding the Constitution, and in the 2012 election we will either start a second century of governmental expansion or yell, "Stop!"
Economics.Evolutionary thinking influenced not only Social Darwinists but socialists like H.G. Wells who thought it was time to advance beyond competitive enterprise. (Karl Marx in Das Kapital called Darwin's theory "epoch making" and told Friedrich Engels that On the Origin of Species "contains the basis in natural history for our view.") Many books and articles have linked Darwin's thought to Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, and Hitler: Darwin is obviously not responsible for the atrocities committed in his name, but evolutionary theory plus his musings about superior and inferior races provided a logical justification for anti-Semites and racists.