Confessions of a Lapsed Evolutionist
There was a time, some years ago, when I was a firm believer in the theory of evolution, that appealing doctrine revealed by Darwin, preached by Huxley, and handed down by apostolic succession to the present generation. I was quite content with the theory of evolution, for there is something infinitely consoling about the doctrine. The evolutionist goes to the zoo, gazes at the monkeys, acknowledges his kinship with them, yet prides himself on his superiority. Thus, evolution combines the satisfactions of democracy with the advantages of aristocracy.
Unfortunately, as the years have passed, I have grown skeptical in regard to this ancient faith and I am now a virtual agnostic. When I was young and innocent, I could take evolution on faith alone. As I grew older, however, and became a Christian, I began to demand facts. That is one difficulty in studying theology: the science of religion tends to weaken one’s faith in the religion of science.
The history of my lapsed faith in evolution goes back to my college days. The college I attended was a denominational institution and a model of liberal or “enlightened” religion. The professors all believed in God, but they saw Him as a more or less cautious and scientific deity who used Darwinian natural selection His wonders to perform.
My biology professor, for instance, was a Higher Pantheist. He was a large, rubicund man with a loud voice and an optimistic view of the universe. The geological ages cheered him up immensely. If he came to class in a low mood you could encourage him by mentioning the Silurian, Devonian, or even the Cambrian periods.
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