Hello. I have been reading some of your views on evolution lately at your site. I really enjoy your articles and I thank you for the time you taking to spell out your views. I am wishing to know why do you think it is that so many Christians do not believe evolution? Do you have thoughts on this question?
There are several reasons as to why so many Christians are opposed to evolution. It is widely believed that Darwinian evolution insists that the biblical story of Adam and Eve is a myth and that God has no role in the development of life. Theologically speaking if evolution denies a historical Adam and Eve then it would mean that there can be no Original Sin, no Fall, and no saviour in Jesus. Moreover, if God is said to play no role in life’s creation, then does he even really need to exist at all? Many Christians also hold to the view that the Earth is merely 6000 to 10 000 years old since they believe that this would be the best exegetical interpretation of the Genesis creation account. However, it is not that hard to see that this wouldn’t sit too well with the fact that evolution, as a gradual process, is said to take place over millions of years. For these Christians it’s either thousands or millions of years. It cannot be both. These several factors would explain why many Christians have a bone to pick with evolutionary theory and its perceived incompatibility with their theological beliefs.
This perceived incompatibility has also been perpetuated in our society and especially by some top scientists who have an anti-theological agenda. According to the atheist Richard Dawkins, Darwinian naturalism insists that materialistic processes alone are responsible for the origin and development of life. If he is correct then how are human beings any different to the lower animals? And how would the Christian ground his being created in the image of God if this is the case? Also, consider the late atheist William Provine’s view on the consequences of accepting evolutionary theory: “There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either” (1). Most scientists would surely not resort to this kind of radical thinking and philosophy. However, Christians often take the bait and assume that this needs to be one’s conclusion if they accept evolutionary theory. Many practicing scientists and Christians wouldn’t agree.
However, in his rejecting of evolution the Christian would thus fall into conflict with the overwhelming consensus of scientists who embrace evolution as the best explanation of the development of life here on Earth. For many this gives Christianity a perception of being unscientific and closed minded to scientific progress. However, that is not to deny that many Christian intellectuals have forwarded arguments that they think would sufficiently undermine Darwinian explanations (William Dembski, J.P. Moreland, Peter Williams, Stephen Meyer etc.). Yet, this considered, we cannot honestly answer this question without noting that many prominent Christian thinkers, including biblical scholars and scientists, believe in the compatibility of evolutionary theory with their Christian beliefs. Some prominent proponents would include Francis Collins, Deborah Haarsma, N.T. Wright, Tim Keller, Kathryn Applegate, Howard van Till, and many others who may be well familiar to many Christian believers.
I hope this sufficiently answers your question.
1. Provine, W. 1994. Origins Research. p. 9.