A profound shift in scientific philosophy has occurred in the last 100 years. Significant scientific breakthroughs are manipulated into a grasp for control. The theory of evolution fundamentally changed the character of the Christian pursuit of science, casting humans as the masters of creation and making nature into our image. We have decided that if there is no longer a Creator, then we are the masters of creation.
We live at an unusual moment in history, one in which scientific discoveries and the denial of science seem to go hand-in-hand. Ancient assumptions about when life began were put to rest in the 1960s when ultrasounds were first used to view a fully-formed human in the womb, alive and moving within weeks of conception. Within a few years of this technological breakthrough, abortion was legalized in 1973. The moment we knew for sure the fetus was a living human, even at its earliest stages, we made them legal to be killed. We now live in a world where such things are so commonplace that their defenders don’t even bat an eye when yet another Planned Parenthood sting video emerges with doctors detailing how to cut off individual arms and legs, or save a brain for research.
Similarly, Dolly the sheep was the first animal cloned from an adult somatic cell in 1996. Dolly’s success opened the field of stem cell research, where adult organs could be grown from any cell in the body. Instead of using the technology to give life, biologists took up the cry for the right to embryonic stem cell research. Cloning experiments would be done on human embryos, because embryos don’t have to sign liability waivers. Today it is common for scientists to debate the possibility of cloning humans solely for organ harvesting, which to most people still sounds like a bizarre 1950s sci-fi movie where body parts are separated and cell lines sold to the highest bidder.
Similarly, microbiology has taught us what distinguishes male from female. In 1905, XX and XY chromosomes were discovered, explaining why boys are boys and why girls are girls. As more information on the human genome was discovered in the 1960s, the exact mechanism that makes a boy into a boy was identified as the SRY-gene. This gene becomes attached to the Y-chromosome during fetal development, turning the embryo into a boy. The importance of the SRY-gene in creating males was confirmed in the mid-1980s when several men with XX chromosomes were discovered. In each case, the SRY-gene had become attached to the X-chromosome, but they were still genetically male (Wallis et al. 2008, 3182-95). Science showed that even genetic abnormalities maintain a distinction between male and female. However, thirty years later we live in a world that leaves the decision up to each individual to become male or female. A little girl cannot play with a toy truck without someone assuming that she may not actually be a girl, regardless of what her genetics say. The minute that science, after thousands of years, identifies the source of gender, we decide that gender is a meaningless social construct that we change by law.
Since World War II evolutionists have strived to maintain a distinction between their scientific theory and any practical application of that theory. However, the logical connection between evolutionary theory and an attempt to gain power over nature was made by Darwin himself. In The Descent of Man Darwin stated, “The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races through the world.” Francis Galton, Darwin’s cousin, wrote after reading Origin of the Species, “The question was then forced upon me. Could not the race of men be similarly improved? Could not the undesirables be got rid of and the desirables multiplied?” Galton is credited with coining the term “eugenics” in 1883. Darwin’s son, Leonard, was president of the Eugenics Education Society in Britain.
Without a Creator, men are creators of themselves, masters of their destiny, forgers of their evolutionary path. Scientific philosophy in the age of evolution does not teach men humility, but requires us to manipulate our destiny. If we discover something, we own it, we are the masters of it. The result becomes a denial of science itself. As C.S. Lewis described in That Hideous Strength,
“The physical sciences, good and innocent in themselves, had already…begun to be warped, had been subtly maneuvered in a certain direction. Despair of objective truth had been increasingly insinuated into the scientists; indifference to it, and a concentration upon mere power, had been the result.”
In 1882 this was noted by the geologist and educator Sir John William Dawson. He saw the despair that an evolutionary mindset would eventually bring about when he said,
“The attempt to make science, or speculations based on science, supersede religion is one of the prevalent fancies of our time, and pervades much of the popular literature of the day…They have hitherto given birth only to such abortions as Positivism, Nihilism, and Pessimism.”
The restoration of science will come from a humility before God as Creator. Until then, moderns will continue the attempt to fashion a hideous future for ourselves, making nature into our own image.
Brignell, Victoria. 2010. The Eugenics Movement Britain wants to Forget. New Statesman (December 9).
Darwin, Charles. 1871. The Descent of Man.
Dawson, John William. 1882. Facts and Fancies in Modern Science.
Lewis, C.S. 1945. That Hideous Strength.
Gardiner, Anne Barbeau. 2008. The Darwinian Base for Eugenics. New Oxford Review (September 1).
Wallis, M. C., P. D. Waters, and J. A. Graves. 2008. Sex determination in mammals – Before and after the evolution of SRY. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 65, no. 20 (June): 3182–95.