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Darwin And The Crisis Of Christianity

Politics / Religion Mar 15, 2013 - 11:17 AM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop


In the primal soup of our ex-democracies in meltdown, as we thrill to one petty demagogue after the other, the 'recourse to religion' is surely making a comeback.  This will also bring back the 160-year-old crisis of Christian, Juadaic and Islamic doctrine set by the theory of evolution. Darwinist defenders of "large scale abiogenesis-based evolution" present things as follows. Four and a half billion years ago our young planet's naked land masses were almost completely engulfed by shallow primordial seas, their waters formed by inorganic atmospheric and volcanic-tectonic chemical processes.  Powerful winds gathered random molecules from the atmosphere and some were deposited in the seas. Tides and currents thrust the molecules together.  Then, somewhere in this ancient shallow ocean or at its edges the miracle of life began. The first organized form of primitive life was a tiny protozoan one-celled animal. Billions of protozoa soon populated the ancient seas and were completely self-sufficient in their sea-water world, feeding on bacteria and other organisms, which had also miraculously been formed. Much later on, life in the seas spread to the land and to the air.

Darwin was certainly schooled in The Classics, and had read Aristotle who believed that inorganically decaying material could be transformed by the “spontaneous action of Nature” into living animals.  His rather crude theory was finally rejected, but Darwin's theory holds that over billions of years, billions of random inorganic chemical combinations will produce a primal soup of living cells. Via random mutation and natural selection, these will morph into the variety of organisms that are living today.

Darwin was intensely religious, but not as religious as his wife who he did not want to offend by publishing his famous book, and delayed publishing it for a considerable time. Darwin believed in "the chain of life", also called the Tree of Life.

This concept - a chain or tree of life - is a controversial subject: Darwinists have to explain why there are no clear "intermediate" or "bridging" species. Even in his own lifetime (1809-1882) zoologists, animal physiologists and paleontologists, among others had attacked his theory of “missing links”, saying it is misleading because it suggests that only one link is missing in each segment or part of the chain, or part of the tree's branches. In reality so many links are missing that it is not evident whether there ever was a chain. Species yes. Clear evolutionary links between them, no.

But this discussion already accepts primal soup. We would first have to accept and believe this  "molecules-to-man" process. We would supposedly accept: (a) evolution of simple molecules into complex molecules, (b) evolution of complex inorganic molecules into simple organic molecules, (c) evolution of simple organic molecules into complex organic molecules, (d) evolution of complex organic molecules into DNA or similar information storage molecules, and (e) final existence of self-reproducing and evolution-capable multicellular organisms, which do evolve.

None of this is easy to believe. Defenders of Darwininian "large-scale evolution", which we can call macroscopic evolution have beaten a retreat to defending microscopic evolution (not to be confused with mutation), calling this Neo Darwinism.  Keeping the debate off macroscopic evolution, from the Primal Soup through chimps and porpoises, parrots and Papuans, to Urban Industrial Man and his primal urge to consume, is the strategy used to keep True Science believers believing.

The basic problem is simple to state: any macroscopic evolution, like any microscopic evolution would need multimillions of atoms welded together the right way into biochemical links, for example "protein stubs", the bases for making proteins. Even the simplest cell, of algae and bacteria, contains tens of thousands of intricately designed pieces of "molecular machinery". This cell will need one hundred thousand million atoms placed in exactly the right frameworks and structures to operate - totally unlike anything found in inorganic chemistry. Putting the bases together "by random combinations" and producing organised life able to reproduce would take an awful long while to try out. At least as important, some trace of the organisms produced in the "development and linking processes" would be expectable, but these links do not exist in Nature today, nor in fossil records. 

Scientists lack plausible just-so stories for most of evolution, except microscopic evolution in highly specific, and special laboratory conditions.

Macroscopic Darwin-type evolution needs leaps of faith. Fish evolved to lungfish then to amphibia. Happily for Darwinists, there are lungfish. They could be the missing link but looking at a lungfish, then at the "before-and-after" of fish and amphibia, is troublesome even for Believers. However, Darwinists tell us to believe the process kept going: the amphibia evolved into reptiles, which curiously evolved both into birds, and into mammals, which finally made it to the crowning glory of Man.

Especially for Christian doctrinal controllers and checkers, Darwin is often discredited by calling him a "crypto Christian". His theory, like their religion, needs huge leaps of faith not reason - and the proof of this is his macroscopic evolution theory which is indistinguishable from a miracle. Before Darwin, most zoologists postulated 'immaterial vital forces,' or drivers of a basically mysterious nature which forced evolving organisms ever upward to more complex and perfect states. Without this drive - which for controllers of religious doctrine can only be God - only random change can explain why there are mice, men and mosquitoes as well as whales. Why would they evolve in any specific way?

Alternatively for religionists, they can call God the random changer, but this sets huge doctrinal problems because it would mean serious rewriting of the overt and underlying doctrine of all the "Holy Books". As a direct result of this but rarely admitted, defenders of the official religious doctrine of all three Religions of the Book (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) discredit and reject Darwinism, but conversely often accept Big Bang theory. The Universe could have formed itself spontaneously - but not, please not, living things on this tiny planet!

Whether organisms were ever programmed to evolve into higher states is a difficult question for religious doctrinists: why would God firstly place inferior and unevolved creatures on Earth? Also, if God "programmed evolution" we might suppose there would be no random processes - in fact the more logical process called "saltation" or evolution by leaps or jumps, which better fits the fossil record might have been closer to "Godly evolution". Religious doctrinists also reject saltation.

For decades in the late-19th century, Darwin's macroscopic theory was treated as "catastrophic for religion". No biblically derived religion could include Darwinism and remain uncompromised - except as Max Weber, the founding sociologist remarked - through doctrinal religion's adoption of the "natural selection" evolutionary accelerator, a basic principle of Darwin's macroscopic evolution. This concept of "social Darwinism" was powerfully exploited by defenders of liberal bourgeois wealth accumulation, inequality, and the social class system, then evolving with 19th century industrial capitalism. One of its triumphs, and not the least has been that today, the entire scientific ethos and conventional social philosophy of modern Western man is committed to Darwinian theory.

One highly spurious excuse for this is - apart from the fairy story of biblical creationism and the theory of planet hopping panspermia - that we have no obvious scientific alternative to Darwinism. There is No Alternative - the same way as we have "no alternative to capitalism".

This de facto situation of a near total absence of any alternative theory has remained an enduring strength of Darwinism, ever since his book appeared in 1859. It is the default solution and the organized religions have not only exploited this but have long since adapted (we could say evolved!) with Darwinist junk science - in order to discredit it, now often using molecular biology and the science of genetic modification to help them.

The return of "the evolution debate", for and against Darwin, is likely under conditions of stress and insecurity, but only adaptive change in both religious and scientific doctrine can bridge this massive gap - through the acknowledgement that where we came from, and how we got here, is an unanswerable question. Whether you believe in the God you invented, or not, you can't know: you are human.

By Andrew McKillop


Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2013 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

Andrew McKillop Archive

© 2005-2015 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


15 Mar 13, 16:19
No Miracle's Just the laws of Physics


No miracle, just the laws of physics, research the Proton Gradient which is THE the driver of life i.e. ATP, which given the universal laws of physics implies that the universe is teaming with life.

So again, NO MIRACLEs.

Another criical point is that evolution is NOT RANDOM genes. It's primary driver is NATURAL SELECTION.

I.e. ALL INDIVIDUALS in a population group are DIFFERENT! It is not ONE unified cloned specices that evolves but every individual is DIFFERENT, which either gives that individual an advantage or disadvantage in response to their precise environment and in reaction to other competing or predator species, thus only those INDVIDUALS that are best able to compete pass their genes onto the next generation. It is this that creates the tree of life, in individual differences within the same species as the distance in location and time between generations that results in evolution into new species.

Therefore Evolution is not a theory but a law of nature, which given the proton gradient will eventually take place anywhere water exists in all 3 forms, as the recent news out of Mars illustrates.



16 Mar 13, 10:28
Darwin & Religion

I agree Nadeem - no miracles. There can be no reconciliation between science and religion; one defers to disprovable notions using data (find a rhino skeleton in pre-cambrian rock and you have disproved evolution), the other defers to undisprovable mythology. The God Gene in humans is a blind spot that, no doubt, has helped the species survive the rather depressing realities resulting from self consciousness. I do, however, enjoy reading Andrew McKillop's articles on financial matters.

16 Mar 13, 12:55
no crisis

there is no crisis of christianity, things are exactly how God intends them to be. In britain the church apostosised many years ago. There is the slow train crash of western civilisation as a result of rejecting its founding biblical authority. Evolution / creation ? The real fairy story is the one about how elements can self assemble into a fully funtioning genetic language complete with storage systems, error checking etc a reproductive system which is by far the most complex system we know of. Watson who discovered it with crick knows as does dawkins that the features of the genetic code lie completely outside natural processes but rather than believe in a creator to whom they would be responsible to they invented the idea that life was seeded here by aliens. one fairy story leads to another

16 Mar 13, 16:12
Proton Gradient

No alien seeding.

The proton gradient is perhaps just as important as Darwins recognition of Evolution.

Virtually all cells breath by pumping protons (hydrogen ions) across a membrane. The origins of life is AT THE VERY CORE OF EVERY CELL IN YOUR BODY!

It all started at natural proton gradients between acidic seas and akaline hydrothermal vents which over a billion years ! BILLION evolved into the ATP energy system.

Evolution is about to go super-nova. In a few hundred years time there will be MANY species of human as Evolved humans CHANGE their own and many other creatures DNA, then what for God, religion ? Yes I know the God gene ensures that many if not most will continue to be blind to reality. So th deulusion that appears necessary for most people to retain sanity will continue.

2000 years ago, humans did not have a clue so believed in heaven - blue sky, hell volcanoes, and could not reconcile themselves with death being the end, they had no clue about the laws of physics, atoms, chemsity, biology, infact it is only recently that the likes of the catholic church conceded that the Earth goes around the Sun!

So people 2000 years ago, even 200 years ago had every reason to believe in fairy tales, but no sane person has the same excuse today!

Seriously, you are living in the best time to be alive, ever!, don't waste a single moment with fairy tales instead learn the secrets that science has revealed.


Nadeem Walayat

19 Mar 13, 01:23
So Christians are clueless about Science

You guys talk like there is this war between the Christians and science, and you talk about an evidence based system to validate an argument. The person that came up with this evidence based system ie Laws, hypothisis etc was a Christian his name was Robert Boyle. Some of the most influential thinkers that shaped our modren world were practising Christians.

Martin Luther although not in the field of science found that he was stuck in a system contrary to Gods word and stuck a 95 point thesis on the church door starting a movement that broke the stranglehold of the Catholic church in Europe. This freedom helped Europe break out of the dark ages. So is Christianity to blame here, or merely infighting amongst Christians, intersting that the closer the movement got to God's word the more prosperous society became.

So man has discovered the building blocks of life and with reverse engineering will be able to form new organisisms by manipulating these building blocks, but nature should be seen as a whole and the unintended consequences will be disasterous, Monsanto's gm crops have contaminated the natural ones and time will tell if this is benificial or not. This is very similar to a group of men sitting around a table assuming all knowledge setting the interest rates and stealing from the masses to implement large scale market interventions to make themselves feel good.

19 Mar 13, 08:15
Thats Life


That's life, evolution does not necessarily mean that the next step forward will be an improvement.

You have your facts wrong on christianity for it has repeatedly tried to STOP SCIENCE, remember Gallileo ? and A LOOONG list after him. Without Christianity then prehaps we would be 1500 years further advanced then where we are today! The nut jobs burnt the greatest store of knowledge in ancient world ! The Great Library of Alexandria!

Ancient knowledge such as the FIRST COMPUTER !!!!!!! Remnanents of which that have been found in the Med. sea that date back to that era. How different our world would be if the religious nut jobs had not plunged europe into a 1200 year religious dark age.

But, as Is said, belief in God is genetic, it is hard wired so for most it is just not going to be possible to see through the smoke and mirrors, it is too difficult a barrier to break, it is going to take a looooong time, many generations, a slow process.

And why i metion christianity more than other religions is because I don't want to get my head chopped off, as christianity is going through a more civilised phase than in the past.



19 Mar 13, 11:16
christianity and science

i expect nadeem is thinking of the average professing christan rather than newton, farraday, pascal, keppler,mendel, planck, kelvin, francis bell, bacon, charles babage etc. these werent nominal christians but preachers and teachers also. Christianity or the belief in a creator laid the foundations of the scientific method and it is no accident that the science, technology and medicine we know today had its development in the biblical west. Are ordinary christians unscientific ? No more so than ordinary atheists. Real christians are creationists for obvious reasons and the larger part of this group have an active interest in paleontology, geology geomorphology and basic genetics which is more than can be said for your average atheist. I am typical of this group of people and give talks on these subjects from time to time. I am an amateur in these subjects but i have never had any difficulty in publicly answering the objections of non believers because evolution is a historical philosophy and not science and hence it is quite simple to identify the underlying assumptions and dismantle them. Real christians are unusual, there are many that profess to be so but they dont believe or know what the Bible teaches. God gives people what they want. If someone wants to believe that christians havent a clue about science then that is what God will send them. best wishes. PS nadeem i think your your forecast for gold is right, ie range trading for the foreseeable future, i would have thought the recent events in cyprus would have given the price a hefty boost but it does not seem to be the case so far.

19 Mar 13, 12:20
Your Right... sort of.

Without christianity and the whole host of religions that preceded it that it copied and innovated such as the Jewish and Roman religions , who copied what went before such as the Egyptions then we would not be where we are today because we would never have been able to come together to build societies at a critical mass that allows individuals to stop foraging or growing food but instead embark on scientific discovery.

But that is the whole point of humans having evolved religion over hundreds of thousands of years.

ALL human societies for eons have defered to the relgious gene as without it we would still be living in small hunter gather , forager groups.

And just because a scientist accepts religion doesn't mean his science is derived from religion. Religion always hinders scientific progress, look at the dark ages, when scientific progress was halted for 1,000 years!. Look at today and the opposition to stem cell research.

The NEXT evolutionary step will be to realise this and embark on our next series of evolutionary steps which given genetic engineering is likely to be exponentially greater over the next 100 years than that which we have experienced even over the past 200,000 years.

GOLD - Is behaving very weak, I agree that news such as cyprus should have resulted in a stronger rally. The probability for a down year for gold has risen a little to about 45% chance.



20 Mar 13, 02:03
Pol Pot stopped progress

Nadeem, I don't understand, I explained the work that Martin Luther did to break the stranglehold that the Catholic church had on Europe, a thousand years as you stated, so WAS THIS TRUE CHRISTIANITY that held progress back or merely barbaric man. There are many athiest mad men in Africa holding progress back. Ask Pol Pot what he thought of educated man or the ring leaders of the French revolution.

As a Libertarian I hold free will and choice paramount, but draw the line at stem cell research from embreyos(excuse spelling). Stem cells can be collected via permision of parent from the cords etc no need to kill the embreyo, also stem cell from your own bone marrow etc, nothing wrong with that, but to kill a little baby goes against my non agression principles. (we'll agree to disagree)

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