Morality and the Irrationality of an Evolutionary Worldview

By Purdom, Georgia; Lisle, Jason | Phi Kappa Phi Forum, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

Morality and the Irrationality of an Evolutionary Worldview


Purdom, Georgia, Lisle, Jason, Phi Kappa Phi Forum


Morality is a very difficult problem for the evolutionary worldview. This is not to say that evolutionists are somehow less moral than biblical creationists--or anyone else. Most evolutionists adhere to a moral code and believe in the concept of right and wrong. But evolutionists have no rational reason for this position. Thus, only creationists have a rational, logical and consistent reason for morality.

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The foundation of morality

Even though most people do not acknowledge it, the morality and rules that most humans adhere to have their basis in the Bible, specifically in the literal history of Genesis. The Bible claims to be the revealed Word of God [2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21) and that the biblical God is the ultimate authority and foundation for knowledge (Hebrews 6:13; Proverbs 1:7, 2:6; Colossians 2:3). The Bible tells us that God is the Creator of all things and, therefore, all things belong to Him (Genesis 1:1, Psalm 24:1). Thus, God as the Creator has the right to define absolute standards of behavior.

Apart from biblical creation, morality has no justification. Christian philosopher Dr. Greg Bahnsen (1948-95) states, "What does the unbeliever [person who rejects the biblical God] mean by 'good,' or by what standard does the unbeliever determine what counts as 'good' (so that 'evil' is accordingly defined or identified)? What are the presuppositions in terms of which the unbeliever makes any moral judgments whatsoever?" (1) Although unbelievers may classify actions as good or evil, they do not have an ultimate foundation for defining what is good and evil.

In fact, many evolutionists are quite clear that evolution does not provide a basis for morality. William Provine, evolutionist and biology professor at Cornell University, states in referring to the implications of Darwinism, "No ultimate foundations for ethics exist, no ultimate meaning in life exists, and free will is merely a human myth." (2) Thus, if evolution is true, then there can be no universal moral code that all people should adhere to.

And Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg, evolutionist and physics professor at the University of Texas, states, "I think that part of the historical mission of science has been to teach us that we are not the playthings of supernatural intervention, that we can make our own way in the universe, and that we have to find our own sense of morality." (3) Again, if morality is determined by our own sense, then a universal moral code that all people should follow cannot be justified.

Why murder is wrong

Murder is an obvious example of immoral behavior. The basis for this comes from Genesis 1:27, which states that human beings are made in God's image and are different from the animals. Murder is condemned in Genesis 4, where God punishes the first murderer, Cain, for killing his brother Abel. God's condemnation of murder is further established in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:13). Death and suffering were not part of God's original creation as exhibited by God's command to Adam and Eve and the animals to eat only plants (Genesis 1:29-30). God states in Genesis 1:31 that His creation was "very good." This terminology is meaningless if it includes death and suffering.

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Evolutionists might say that standards of right and wrong can be created apart from God. However, this thinking is arbitrary and will lead to absurd conclusions. If everyone can create his or her own morality, then no one can judge the morality of others. For example, Jeffrey Dahmer, Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin chose a moral code in which murder was perfectly acceptable.

This might seem upsetting to us, but how could we argue that it is wrong for others to murder if morality is determined by our "own sense" and "no ultimate foundation for ethics" exists?

Moral outrage simply does not make sense in an evolutionary universe. …

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