Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The Implications of Darwinian Evolution

April 7, 2008

             I have studied the theory of evolution as set forth by Darwinians like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris for years. Some like Dawkins argue that evolution is “proved.” For him, there is no God, no supernatural, nothing beyond this world. All things happen by the processes of natural selection, survival of the fittest, and random change brought on by mutation. Everything in life, from amoebas to DNA to human emotions and religious impulses can be explained by these mechanisms. 

            Against such a point of view are other scientists who, in frustration with the lack of proof and evidence, have come to other conclusions. Scientists like Stephen Jay Gould(“punctuated equilibrium”), Francis Crick(“panspermia”), and Francis Collins(“theistic evolution”) cannot subscribe to the above views for various reasons.

            I’m not here to argue who is right. What I’d like to do is consider the implications of true Darwinian theory as set forth by Dawkins, whose writings about it are bestsellers.

            To do that, let me tell you about a real life incident concerning a friend whose daughter was gang-raped in her college dorm room by three football players. They targeted her because she was a Christian and a virgin. As they repeatedly raped and sodomized her, they mocked her religious and sexual morals. She now struggles with alcoholism, doubt toward God, and a deep bitterness about life. The culprits, later caught doing this to other women, suffered minimal consequences. One plays in the NFL today for millions of dollars a year.

            What does a Darwinian really have to offer this girl? Just think it through with me for a moment. 

            First, what happened to her happened because she was weak and they were strong. Survival of the fittest. They were more fit than her and by it advanced the species.             Second, if she asks, “How can I get my life back together?” the Darwinian has to answer, “You can try, but since you’re so weak, you’re being weeded out from the herd. Death is all you have to look forward to. And good riddance.” 

            Third, if she says, “Who will make this right for me?” The Darwinian answer again is, “No one. There is no such thing as justice or redemption in this world. There is no God or afterlife. You’re on your own.”

            I cringe at those answers, but I don’t really think a Darwinian would say any of the above. He couldn’t because it’s too callous and horrific even to consider speaking aloud. But really what else does his worldview have to offer?

            In contrast, as a Christian I can unequivocally say to this girl, after weeping with her and just being there, perhaps for a long time, “We live in a fallen world and bad things do happen to good people in it. But you can trust that God will be with you through this. He will comfort you supernaturally through his people. Somehow he will make even this work for good in your life, and show that to you. In the end, if those rapists never repent, he will punish them with eternal hell. At the same time, he will take you to his heaven where you will never experience pain or anguish again. He will wipe every tear from your eye, and help you understand his plan for your life. You will live in the company of those who will love you forever and nothing like this will happen to anyone there ever again.” 

            To me, that encapsulizes the Darwinian view and the Christian view. One might appear nice in theory, but can it work in the real world?

            The other? Well, you be the judge.

            My friend says they’re working through the pain with their daughter. It’s slow going, but there’s a lot of love to go around. She trusts that God will not only get her through this, but her daughter, too. In the end, no matter what happens, she knows this world isn’t the end for any of them, and that is to her strong comfort indeed.  

This Infernal War

April 1, 2008

    Okay, let’s grant that most of us want this war in Iraq and other places to end. We don’t want more casualties, we don’t want to spend more trillions. We all feel it should have been won long ago. Some claim, even Sen. John McCain himself, the war has been mismanaged until recently. A large bloc of voters believe we never should have gone there in the first place. 

   But here are some questions that I’m asking in my feral brain these days as a non-military person who still respects the need for a strong military in these perilous days.    First, why should we just “pull out” in 30-60-90 days or whatever, if we’re winning at this point, as nearly everyone says(McCain, Murtha, etc.)? Casualities are lower than ever. The Iraqi government is slowly getting their act together. Al-Qaeda is virtually destroyed in Iraq. This looks to me like a Super Bowl team forfeiting at three points ahead just because some of the fans hate them. 

   Second, since we face an enemy motivated by religious and ideological concerns, why should we think defeating them should be easy? In the America of today, we are far too used to seeing quick and easy solutions to even the toughest problems. But my impression of problems like jihadism is that they were a long time coming and will be a long time going. These people crave dying in their cause. They use universally despised and reviled techniques to fight – suicide bombers, women and children as “shields,” murder, rape, and all kinds of world-recognized evil — because their cause not only permits it, but  commands it. And they believe they will be rewarded for such actions in ways not even Donald Trump could offer. Facing such an enemy is totally new and unprecedented. So why should we think this war would go like anything resembling a conventional war? 

   Third, do we really believe if we did simply quit the field of battle that jihadism will simply disappear, satisfied that they have the Middle East to themselves? They have made clear that their gripe is not our presence in the Middle East. Their gripe isn’t even a gripe. It’s a goal, a determined, implacable resolve to conquer the whole world for Islam. So how can we even begin to believe that quitting will in any way stop this force?  In fact, if we do quit, it will send a signal to all of them that they should keep going.

   Fourth, how can anyone say, “I support our guys in the military, but I can’t support their mission, cause, and actions in the Middle East”? Look, if you hate the military, hate what they do, hate everything about it, simply say so. We can take it. But this pretend stance of supposedly supporting them personally but saying as those young people face suicidal maniacs, snipers, IEDs, and imminent death every day, “On the other hand, I reject your goals, your work, and I will do everything I can to make sure you fail” is truly evil. And it doesn’t work logically, realistically, or even theoretically. It’s just a political dodge. Like in poker, either you’re in or you’re out. But you can’t be both. 

   Show me answers to these questions with facts, logic, and realism, and perhaps I’ll come over to your side. But for now, I honestly think we’re in the fight of our generation and our lifetimes. Giving up when most people in power say we’re winning is foolish at best, and suicidal at worst. Moreover, it won’t solve the problem because the problem isn’t the war, the killing, the casualties, or any of that. It’s them. Their ideas, their outlook, their hearts, their repeatedly proclaimed desire to convert us or kill us.         

   Show us how to deal with that permanently, and you have my unwavering support.