Summary: Christianity answers three basic questions: 1. What is the origin of life? 2. What is the meaning of life? 3. What is the value of life?
On March 5, the Ohio House of Representatives began hearings on two controversial bills which are attempting to allow students to be taught alternative views of biological origins. House Bill 481 would call for “origins science” classes to be “taught objectively and without religious, naturalistic, or philosophic bias or assumption.” The new standards must be adopted by December 31, 2002. Surprisingly, according to the Columbus Dispatch, a majority of the state board’s Standards Committee supports presenting the “intelligent design” concept, and wants to add it to the curriculum alongside evolution, and fully half of the full 19-member board supports the idea. If passed, it would make Ohio the only state to require the teaching of alternatives to evolution. It would not do away with teaching the evolutionary theory, but simply present other theories objectively as well so that the students could decide for themselves. The bills have gained a lot of press, and the ensuing firestorm has produced a great deal of heat without generating much light.
I’m not sure whether I would be in favor of the adoption of the bills or not, but it would be interesting if an accurate and thoughtful presentation of the theory of intelligent design were given an honest hearing along with the theory of evolution. I have heard at least two different sources on the radio recently that referred to evolution is a “proven fact.” Evolution is not a proven fact any more than the theory of intelligent design is a proven fact. Our belief that the world was created by a good and loving God is a matter of faith not fact, but it is based on what we believe to be a thoughtful and reasonable consideration of the evidence in the world around us. As Paul wrote: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
Some sincere Christians believe that God created the world, but he did it using the evolutionary process (Theistic evolution), but today I want to address non-theistic evolution as it is usually thought of. The evolutionary theory, based on the non-existence of God, proposes that all that exists in the universe happened by chance — the stars and planets, and everything in the cosmos and on the earth, are the result of an unexplainable accident. There is no purpose or design to the world. There is no reason for our existence. It is a philosophy called Nihilism which believes that nothing matters. It states that there was no higher Being which called the world into existence, and therefore there are no values in life, and all attempts to discover values or meaning are pointless. This is the message of evolutionary theory properly understood. It is pretty depressing actually. If you believe that we are alone in the universe, and that we are the result of accident and chance with absolutely no meaning to life, it is a very bleak worldview.