Charles Darwin’s introduction of evolution created the battle between evolution and religion.
Still, to this day, the influence of Darwinism has people asking themselves where they came from. God, a higher spirit, or the process of evolution are the two main choices to pick from. For many years, God was the predominant answer, but after the ideas of Darwin, scientists have taken the task to trace humans back to the beginning of existence and try to give a scientific explanation. Obviously, since no one really knows for certain what happened that resulted in the creation of man, it can only be determined on a personal basis; through religious beliefs and educated guesses. It’s quite clear that without the influence of Darwinism, there would be no controversy.
However, there doesn’t have to be a controversy. The creation of man should be thought of as a combination of God and evolution. Before the thoughts of Darwin, most people concluded that there must have been a higher creator who had placed them on earth. So, for many years, they worshiped God tenaciously, and to this day some people still do. To change such an idea that has existed for so many years is hard to accomplish.
Therefore, Darwin’s theory was considered outrageous. According to Steve Jones in his book Darwin’s Ghost,” in 1991, a hundred million Americans believed that during the last ten thousand years, man was created by God the way he is now. Man wasn’t created from a previous species (1). It’s most likely that there was a higher spirit that created the existence of life.
It explains how the world began. If you sit and think about it enough, it’s frightening to consider that there could possibly never have been anything at all – just an empty space of nothing, with no living mammals, insects, trees, grass, or clouds. However, the fact that humans, along with the other million types of living mammals, insects, and so forth, were created by God is very unlikely. More likely, after a higher spirit created the beginning life form – a single-cell organism – after many years, this organism progressed into what is now considered the highest life form alive. In Darwin’s book, Origin of Species, he states that Nothing at first can appear more difficult to believe than that the more complex organs and instincts should have been perfected not by means superior to, though analogous with, human reason, but by the accumulation of innumerable slight variations, each good for the individual possessor.”
Nevertheless, this difficulty, though appearing to our imagination insuperably great, cannot be considered real if we admit the following propositions: that the gradations in the perfection of any organ or instinct, which we may consider, either do now exist or could have existed, each good of its kind; that all organs and instincts are, in ever so slight a degree, variable; and lastly, that there is a struggle for existence leading to the preservation of each profitable deviation of structure or instinct. The truth of these propositions cannot, I think, be disputed. (Jones 331) Darwin never stated that there was not a superior being but stated that organs and instincts were not perfected by God. While a higher being began life, scientific actions took place to get where we are today. In the book of Science and Technology, it states that Darwin’s theory had a weakness in that it didn’t explain how and why small variations in individuals eventually created a new species. He believed it had to do with reproduction and heredity, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that geneticists explained how, through Modern Synthesis” (1192).
With that bit of information, it’s even more logical that evolution and God coexist. It’s also logical that Darwin not only influenced the science world, but he also influenced religion. Bibliography: Evolution.” Science and Technology Illustrated.
First edition, 1984. Jones, Steve. Darwin’s Ghost.
New York: Random House, 1999