John B. Olson's Fossil Hunter, the book that started all these posts, begins one of its sections with a quote from Darwin himself in his The Origin of Species:
"I see no good reason why the views given here in this volume should shock the religious feelings of anyone. It is satisfactory, as showing how transient such impressions are, to remember that the greatest discovery ever made by man -- namely the law of the attraction of gravity -- was also attacked by Leibnitz, "as subversive of natural, and inferentially, of revealed religion." A celebrated author and divine has written to me that "he has gradually learnt to see that it is just as noble a conception of the Deity to believe that He created a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms, as to believe that He required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of His laws."Well, that is one full statement that provokes considerable objections in my thinking. First of all, the fact that someone attacked a true law as being subversive of religion doesn't make everything attacked as subversive true. So it's a specious argument.
Second, it is not by any means just as noble to think that God created "a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms" as that He provided everything at an instant. The former goes against not only His character and general policy, but the whole reason we're here at all -- which isn't to "self-develop". In fact, we are totally and completely incapable of developing anything in ourselves that is worth anything long term. The entire statement betrays an ignorance of who God is and how He deals with us. God doesn't give us a little and tell us to go out and figure out the rest. We're depraved. We're a mess. We're hopeless and helpless without Him.
"So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs but on God who has mercy. " Ro 9:16
He is the one who will fulfill His will, not us. All we're called to do is learn who He is, then trust and obey Him.
Darwin's statement shows a break from the mindset of grace and the need for salvation to something closer to religion. (Religion being defined for this discussion as man by his own efforts seeking to do something to earn salvation or blessing from God. Jesus did it all. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves lest any man should boast.) The whole idea that God left His creation to develop itself on its own contradicts who He is. Transcendent, omnipresent, omnipotent, sovereign, all knowing, aware of the smallest thing that happens... the sparrow that falls to the earth, the number of hairs on our heads. He's holding everything together right now, knowingly.
The very core of Darwn's theory goes against the notion that He has provided everything needed for His creatures, and continues to do so (though what we think is needed and what He knows is needed might be two different things). In other words, it violates the grace of God.
More than that -- worse than that -- it's given people the supposed freedom to finally put God out of the picture. With a purely materialistic explanation for how everything came to be, they no longer have to consider Him, not even to give Him lip service. And once that happened, God was pushed further and further out of public life and culture.
Science has produced many wonderful things to make our lives better and more comfortable. It offers areas for careers that are quite lucrative. But to partake in those you must believe in evolution. Or at least not openly disbelieve. It's a given. On college campuses it is taught as fact and the opposing view is not allowed. The data, such as there is, are manipulated to support it, and the whole idea of free inquiry and pursuit of the truth has been corrupted by it.
Evolution tells us that we are here on our own. That we need to evolve. That we can do it, we can make the world a better place. Heaven on earth. No more death, no more war, no more disease... the seeds of that all lie in its self-help template. Evolution is about creatures getting the credit for their existence, for their shape and form. Or, put another way, in evolution the focus is on the creatures. On how they developed, how they responded to the environment, adapted, evolved "to form other and needful forms...to supply the voids caused by the action of His laws."
Creation focuses on the Creator. He's greater than we are. He made us and everything in the material world and we don't really know how He did it. But we are going to worship Him because He made us and provided this place for us and sustains us every single day. More than that, He sent His son to die for us so that whoever believes in Him should have eternal life with Him forever.
There are no voids in anything God does. The only void lies with us, in our evil, ignorant thinking and our sick, deceitful heads, thinking we can be like God, knowing good and evil...