Featured as a back-of-page article in the CSABC Quarterly Letter of December 2006
by Richard Peachey
Top scientists agree with creationists on this one: the evolutionary worldview is essentially atheistic! The universe starts with an unplanned ”Big Bang,” living cells arrive through mindless chemical processes, and biological diversity emerges without any need for God. Anyone who thinks he can logically believe in both evolution and the Bible at the same time will find himself opposed by all of the following leaders in evolutionary thinking. [Bold print in the quotations below indicates emphasis added.]
“. . . Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” — Richard Dawkins (Oxford zoologist and leading evolutionary spokesman). 1987. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 6.
[Richard Dawkins responding to the question, “Is atheism the logical extension of believing evolution?”]
“They clearly can’t be irrevocably linked because a very large number of theologians believe in evolution. . . . My personal feeling is that understanding evolution led me to atheism [italics in original].” — Richard Dawkins. 2005. Interview: “The Problem with God.” <http://www.beliefnet.com/News/Science-Religion/2005/11/The-Problem-With-God-Interview-With-Richard-Dawkins.aspx?p=2>
“Natural selection [is] an immensely powerful idea with radical philosophical implications. . . . The radicalism of natural selection lies in its power to dethrone some of the deepest and most traditional comforts of Western thought, particularly the notion that nature’s benevolence, order, and good design, with humans at a sensible summit of power and excellence, proves the existence of an omnipotent and benevolent creator. . . . To these beliefs Darwinian natural selection presents the most contrary position imaginable.” — Stephen Jay Gould (Harvard paleontologist and leading evolutionary spokesman in North America until his death in 2002).1997 (Jun 12). “Darwinian Fundamentalism.” The New York Review of Books, XLIV(10):34.
“Our latest survey finds that, among the top natural scientists, disbelief is greater than ever — almost total. . . . Our survey found near universal rejection of the transcendent by NAS [National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)] natural scientists. . . . Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality). . . . As we compiled our findings, the NAS issued a booklet encouraging the teaching of evolution in public schools. . . . NAS president Bruce Alberts said: ‘There are many very outstanding members of this academy who are very religious people, people who believe in evolution, many of them biologists.’ Our survey suggests otherwise.” — Edward J. Larson and Larry Witham. 1998 (Jul 23). “Leading scientists still reject God.” Nature394:313. <https://www.nature.com/articles/28478>
“The Darwinian theory is a scientific theory, and a great one, but that is not all it is. The creationists who oppose it so bitterly are right about one thing: Darwin’s dangerous idea cuts much deeper into the fabric of our most fundamental beliefs than many of its sophisticated apologists have yet admitted, even to themselves. . . . The kindly God who lovingly fashioned every one of us (all creatures great and small) and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight — that God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in.” — Daniel C. Dennett. 1995 (May/Jun). “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea.” The Sciences 35(3):34,40.
[E. O. Wilson, listing his reasons for departing, as a college student, from his earlier belief in the Bible]
“But most of all, Baptist theology made no provision for evolution [italics in original]. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God? Might the pastors of my childhood, good and loving men though they were, be mistaken? It was all too much, and freedom was ever so sweet. I drifted away from the church, not definitively agnostic or atheistic, just Baptist no more.” — Edward O. Wilson (noted Harvard biologist). 1998. Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 6.
” ‘Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism,’ [says Cornell biology professor William Provine]. Attempts to join evolution with God are futile, as seen in beliefs that God is simply natural law itself or that God created but now is silent. ‘Those gods, frankly, are worthless,’ Provine says. ‘They don’t give life after death, they don’t answer prayers, they don’t give you foundations for ethics. In fact they give you nothing.‘ ” — Larry A. Witham. 2002. Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 23.
“Some shrink from the conclusion that the human species was not designed, has no purpose, and is the product of mere material mechanisms—but this seems to be the message of evolution.” — Douglas J. Futuyma (noted evolutionary biologist and author of college-level biology textbooks). 1983. Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 13.
“Haeckel says that Darwin’s theory of evolution leads inevitably to Atheism and Materialism. In this we think he is correct. . . . We have thus arrived at the answer to our question, What is Darwinism? It is Atheism. This does not mean, as before said, that Mr. Darwin himself and all who adopt his views are atheists; but it means that his theory is atheistic, that the exclusion of design from nature is, as Dr. Gray says, tantamount to atheism.” — Charles Hodge (Princeton theologian). 1994. (Originally published in 1874.) What Is Darwinism? (Edited by Mark A. Noll and David N. Livingstone.) Grand Rapids: Baker Books. pp. 114, 156.
For further reading:
“PhD Study Finds: Evolution is Incompatible with God!” <http://www.creationbc.org/index.php/phd-study-finds-evolution-is-incompatible-with-god/>
” ‘Finding Darwin’s God’ — Is It Possible?” <http://www.creationbc.org/index.php/finding-darwins-god-is-it-possible/>
Jerry Bergman. 2010. “Why Orthodox Darwinism Demands Atheism.” Answers Research Journal 3:147-152. <http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v3/n1/orthodox-darwinism-atheism>
John G. West. 2009. “Is Darwinian Evolution Compatible with Religion?” <http://www.discovery.org/a/9721>