Editor's note: Today, Nov. 24, is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species."
PETERSBURG, Ky. (BP)--Most people, when asked what they consider to be Charles Darwin's legacy, would quickly say "evolution." Indeed, evolution and Darwin are virtually synonymous, especially this year, as evolutionists worldwide have been celebrating his 200th birthday, plus the 150th anniversary this month of the publication of his book "On the Origin of Species."
But what is not so commonly known is that there have been adverse parts of Darwin's legacy that many of his followers have either denied or kept from public knowledge.
Ideas, it is said, have consequences. What people believe about their origins and the purpose and meaning of life affects their entire worldview. It molds how they view themselves ... and others.
Darwin's ideas concerning "molecules-to-man" evolution have left a significant negative legacy on society. For many secularists, his ideas were ammunition to eliminate any consideration of the supernatural. For example, in Darwin's house (now a museum) in England, which I have visited, there is an exhibit which comments on our Creator:
"[E]very living creature looked the way it did because God had designed it that way. Darwin's theory made nonsense of all of this."
The exhibit declares there is no God connected to why and how life exists. This idea dominates America's science classrooms. God has been outlawed there. "Science" is now defined as "naturalism" (really atheism) -- it's the only explanation for the origin of life currently allowed. Any hint of the supernatural is not permitted.
The situation in public schools has only gotten worse in recent decades. If we continue to have generations of students going through a public education system that largely teaches them they are just animals and the result of natural processes (e.g., a Scientific American article stated, "we are all animals, descendants of a vast lineage of replicators sprung from primordial pond scum"), we will continue to see a growing moral collapse in society.
The horrible school shooting in Finland in 2007 is a prime example. The killer stated: "I am prepared to fight and die for my cause, ... I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection. ... I am just an animal, a human, an individual, a dissident. ... It's time to put natural selection & survival of the fittest back on tracks!"
This student was only carrying out in practice what he had been taught concerning origins, as well as the lack of purpose and meaning he found in life.
We should not be shocked when we see students only becoming more consistent in carrying out evolutionary beliefs. After all, they are acting out what they have been taught they are -- animals.
Indeed, in almost all public schools today, children are being told that fallible humans are the authority, not God. As a result, even Christian children in this system can graduate and come out thinking like humanists -- and when they get into positions of authority, they won't make decisions based on God's Word, the Bible.
Herein lies the terrible legacy of Darwin and his "Origin of Species" book, which has affected all modern cultures.
Consider the continuing problem of racism. Darwin wrote that within the human kind, some people groups were closer to their supposed ape-like ancestors than others. No wonder the late evolutionist Stephen J. Gould stated: "Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory." We have an entire exhibit in our Creation Museum on the connection between evolution and racism. (Though we don't state that evolution causes racism; evolution can fuel racist ideas, however.)
An increase in abortion has gone hand in hand with the growing acceptance of evolution. Over the years, some women have told us that people at abortion clinics told them that when they get rid of their "unwanted" baby, it's OK because it's just an animal. Some have been told that the baby as it develops in the womb retraces its evolutionary ancestry (e.g., saying that at a certain stage, they would just be getting rid of a "fetus" in its "reptile" stage).
Also, as Genesis is attacked by evolutionists, marriage -- instituted by God in Genesis -- is redefined in society. "Gay marriage" -- not one man for one woman as ordained by God -- is now more acceptable as Genesis and the Judeo-Christian ethic are removed in society.
In addition, this humanistic teaching has helped lead to a mass exodus of young people from our churches. Research conducted by America's Research Group, headed by the highly respected market researcher Britt Beamer, which we put into our new book "Already Gone," showed that, contrary to what most of us may have believed, we are actually losing them by the end of middle school or high school. Over 80 percent were "already gone" from the church in their hearts and minds before they even started college.
The "big picture" reason for their departure was their beliefs concerning Scripture. These young adults were not taught the Bible as a true book of history, nor were they taught how to defend the Scriptures against the faith-shattering attacks of this age (e.g., Darwinian evolution/millions of years, etc.).
What an awesome and serious responsibility God requires of us as parents (and church leaders) to train our children. The family is the educational unit that God created to transmit the knowledge of godly, biblical teachings to the next generation. I trust each one of us might be able to say of our children as the Apostle Paul did of Timothy: "And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15).
Ken Ham is President of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, online at www.answersingenesis.org and www.creationmuseum.org