Does Evolution Make Bad People?
Does Evolution Make Bad People?
We sometimes hear that kids who watch too much violence on TV turn out to be violent themselves. This makes sense if all we see in life is a corrupted view of aggressive behavior. My own childhood probably contained an excessive amount of TV violence, but yet I didn't turn out violent. However, I also grew up in a home that taught right from wrong, and that the Bible was the word of God. I knew that good ultimately wins out and that evil always fails in the end. Therefore I had a standard against which to compare what I saw on TV.
Evolution is the same way in its influence upon people. Unfortunately, many do not have the Bible and good teaching to filter out evolutionary propaganda. Society generally just tries to treat the symptoms of violent behavior. Why people become violent in the first place however, is too controversial. Therefore the causes of the problem aren't dealt with in any unified manner. Likewise, the deviant behavior that may come out of a steady diet of evolutionary teaching is also treated symptomatically. Evolutionary philosophy as THE cause of much of today's deviant behavior is just not considered.
For example, we surmise that one natural result that comes out of a belief in naturalistic evolution is the tendency to put less value on human life than someone who believes man was created by a special act of God. This is because that person believes that there is nothing special about a human being. People are just accidental biological products made from the same slime that produced cockroaches. But if God is our creator, then we know that all people are our brothers and sisters, and we treat them accordingly.
How does an evolutionist having "less value for human life" manifest itself? For many evolutionists this may simply mean a lack of consideration for others, such as when in traffic or the workplace. For evolutionists who are more strongly influenced by their evolutionary belief, they may feel justified in using other people for selfish gain, such as in lying, fraud, or sexual exploitation. Still others - for the same reason - may feel no guilt in the abortion of unborn babies. And for the few in history who really lived up to their evolutionary-based philosophy, they felt entirely justified in the extermination of many thousands of people - all because they believed that evolution justifies such behavior.
But you and I both know many people who are evolutionists who are not bad people. So how can evolution be bad? Some of them are even more moral than some Christians I have know! I am glad most evolutionists are good people. That means there is still hope for them and us. If an evolutionist really believed what his philosophy taught, he would be such a clear and present danger to society that nearly everyone - even other evolutionists - would recognize the menace of evolution.
I remember once talking to a young husband and wife who believed in naturalistic evolution. They seemed to be very upright moral people. So I asked them why that was so. To make a long story short, they admitted that they had never given it much thought, but it probably could be attributed to the way they were raised and the influence of American Midwestern culture.
I pointed out that both their upbringing, and the American culture that they lived in were founded upon a belief in God as the Creator. If all that they had were parents and a country that new nothing but naturalistic evolution, then for sure they would not be standing in front of me as upright and moral people. The kindness and thoughtfulness that we take for granted in the people who surround us every day can not come out of a vacuum; it must come directly or indirectly from a belief in God.
Evolution's influence on morality is not always obvious and may come from unexpected sources. Before I became a Christian, I went to the minister of the church that I was attending and asked him for an explanation for the great ages that the Bible seemed to be giving to the Bible characters in the early chapters of Genesis. He said that maybe a person's age in those days were counted by the revolution of the moon around the earth rather than the earth around the sun. I went home and studied that explanation and found that it didn't fit in with other biblical statements, especially since it would make people in that day having children at 4 or 5 years of age.
I think that this minister was a very moral and dedicated Christian. But he also probably was somewhat negatively influenced by Biblical Criticism and the philosophy of evolution which helped spawn it. This causes people to conclude that if something in the Bible doesn't jive with what scientists believe, then it must either be wrong and therefore rejected; or it should be reinterpreted in the light of science so that it will be made understandable.
When people searching for answers, this type of explanation doesn't cause them to put much faith in the historicity of the Bible! But this minister - and many Christians - try to explain Biblical difficulties away because they perceive them as stumbling blocks to belief - when in actuality, the miracles and difficulties in the Bible are the very things that make it unique and most certainly written by God!
So to answer the original question, "Does evolution make bad people?", the answer is yes, if that philosophy is not countered, or at least tempered, by the correct view of origins. And wouldn't we expect that any incorrect view of life would eventually lead to damaging behavior? Whether it is a warped view about money and material possessions, or an incorrect understanding of the law of gravity, not believing the right things can eventually harm us and others.
But I don't want to leave the impression to our evolutionist friends that Christians can't be bad. A reality check shows that everyone is subject to sin. The difference with Christians however is that their sin is generally the result of choosing to ignore what God has said on a matter. Whereas with an unbeliever, their sin is a result of choosing not to believe what God has said on a matter.
In looking back at my childhood, I now see some things that molded my personality that I could not see then. If I can recognize some of these bad influences, then I can prevent them from swaying me. And in looking back at the history of the United States and the world, we can also now see some of the incorrect notions that people have had, and the erroneous philosophies by which people lived.
All of these errors of belief have had a negative impact. But the doctrine that teaches that everything is the result of evolution is especially pernicious because the belief is so widespread in the world and the consequences remains unrecognized. When people do begin to see it for what it is, then something can be done to correct it.