In the film, Questioning Darwin, it is asked of ‘Darwinists’, “How does evolution deal with death?”
I have to admit, I don’t know what this question really means. Is he asking why there is death? What happens after death?
Several people texted just this question during the live broadcast of the Nye / Ham debate and I didn’t understand it then either. In that context, they had posed this question as something of an experimental challenge to evolutionists and I interpreted it as meaning … ‘ Just wait until you die, heretic. Then you’ll see who’s right.’ Perhaps I had been to quick to this conclusion ?
If there is anyone out there who can explain just what this means, please let me know. Right now it’s nothing but an inside joke that I don’t get.
February 24, 2014 at 8:59 am
I am pretty certain that Darwin would be saddened by the fact that Christians, Non Christians, Naturalists, Evolutionists, Creationists; are all using his studies as the pinnacle of a debate. Especially a debate that continues to tear people down. From what I understand, Darwin himself, believed in God and believed the bible to be true. His thirst for understanding, wanting to know how things worked in the world, being a scientist who liked to observe and investigate; this all led him to the conclusions he made. Now as for the death question, I think you are right. I think it’s a question that it is a pointing finger, “we’ll see who’s right”. It’s a distraction and really, the entire debate is a distraction. For me personally, my beliefs are my own, and while I would love for everyone to have a relationship with God and for them to experience the love and freedom I have experienced, I am not going to get into a “I am right and you are wrong” debate about any of it. I believe that our creativity, our sense of awe and wonder, our thirst for knowing, is all given to us by God, whether we believe in Him or not, but if someone doesn’t believe that, it’s okay. Evolution doesn’t deal in death, it is the beginnings and changes that it is focused on and I suppose that the view of death depends on the core beliefs of the person who studies evolution. The question is a personal one and cannot be answered by one evolutionist, it has to asked by each individual. I would dare say that there are even some Intelligent design folks who would come up with an answer to the death question that differs from that of their compatriots.
February 24, 2014 at 10:04 am
You’re right in saying that Darwin, himself, spent at least much of his life being deeply religious. In fact, he had considered joining the church as a younger man and was heavily conflicted in his later years as his observations led him to conclusions different from what he had been taught to believe earlier.
Yet, he was on no crusade against the church, he simply wanted to understand the world in which he lived.
I figured that the death comment was likely a jab, but I wasn’t sure. One thing the questions brought up by creationists has been very useful for is to help define new questions for science. Good questions are good questions no matter where they come from.
thanks for your input.
February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am
In conversations I had with biblical literalists years ago it was nearly always an argument from consequences. “I don’t like the idea of personal extinction, therefore personal extinction can not be true, therefore the bible is literally true, and evolution and modern cosmology are just an evil conspiracy.” I must have had this conversation with biblical literalists, in one form or another, a couple of hundred times. These conversations were particularly common just after Duane Gish came to the University where I was a chemistry student, and proceeded to lie about Thermodynamics and the fossil record for about two hours in a very peculiar “debate” in which he had no opponent.
There was also a small minority that argued that death was unknown until The Fall. There is death now. Therefore Genesis is literally true. And the proof for that is a literal reading of Genesis.
I’ve not seen “Questioning Darwin”, so I don’t know if either of these positions apply. Maybe they both do?