Think About IT: Darwin’s Influence on the Sanctity of Human Life

Darwin asseverated that, “…Species are produced and terminated by slowly acting and still existing causes, and not by miraculous acts of creation and by catastrophes.” ((Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, (Originally published by John Murray, London, in 1859: reprint with introduction by Michael T. Ghiselin, Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2006), 305.)) He was so confident of his own acuity that he further averred, “…we may feel that the ordinary succession by generation has never once been broken, and that no cataclysm has desolated the whole world.” ((Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 307.)) So much for science being open ended, at least as far as Darwin was concerned!

Darwin clearly determined that what is observable at the time is sufficient basis and guide for all hypotheses concerning past, present, and future. ((This is the common theme of thought, argument, and emphasis throughout Darwin’s books On the Origin of Species and Descent of Man.)) It is sufficient for understanding all about man, some about God–at least one can say that God is not involved in His world in any real or substantive sense but has left everything to “impressed laws upon matter”. Of course, Darwin and every other scientist has disproven his hypothesis; for example he thought the cell was just a blob, and of course now we know that each cell is a highly developed factory; moreover, the history of modern science is densely populated with examples of more factual and clear knowledge being dependent upon technological advances. Another example is that not only is the DNA the source of information, as once thought, but there is a highly developed hierarchy of information of which the DNA is a part. ((Steven Meyer explores this in his book Signature in the Cell.))

Darwin believed that study of the anatomy and behavior of animals could be analogized for man since he concluded that man was merely an animal. He viewed the difference between man and animal one of degree rather than kind. He said, “But everyone who admits the principles of evolution must see that the mental powers of the higher animals, which are the same in kind with those of man, though so different in degree, are capable of advancement.” ((Charles Darwin, Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, (originally published 1871: reprint with introduction published New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004), 548.)) This is the same naturalistic philosophy by which the Princeton Ethicist Peter Singer concludes that parents should be able to kill their babies up to 28 days after birth if a defect is found.

Concerning the beginning of human life, the membership of the National Academy of Sciences weighed in with a resolution declaring that the question of when human life begins was “a question to which science can provide no answer…Defining the time at which the developing embryo becomes a person must remain a matter of moral or religious value.” ((John G. West, Darwin day In America: how our politics and culture have been dehumanized in the name of science (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2007), 333.)) However, scientists then cried “separation of church and state” and went on to argue scientifically about when human life begins. They used the same arguments of recapitulation of phylogeny (evolution of a group) by ontogeny (developmental history of an organism), as captured by Ernst Haeckel, 19th century German biologist, that at a particular time fetus and fish are the same.

Of course he, as well as a Darwinist, is simply carrying on the fallacious philosophical idea that the seeable is the sum of reality. For example, Darwin compared the process where a frog passes through the condition of a fish to a fetus, “inasmuch as at one period of its life the tadpole has all the characters of a fish, and, if it went no further, would have to be grouped among fishes. But it is equally true that the tadpole is very different from any known fish…In like manner, the brain of a human fetus, at the fifth month, may correctly be said to be not only the brain of an ape, but that of an arctopithecine or marmoset-like ape;” ((Darwin, Descent, 175.)) He said of man, “viewing him in the same spirit as a naturalist would any other animal.” ((Darwin, Descent, 141.))

So, the subreptions from anatomy continue; if a fetus does not look like a fully developed human then it is not. Of course, doffing one’s Darwinian spectacles, one can see that the fetus is a fully developed human for a fetus. It is quite “elementary my dear Watson.” ((Yes I know Sherlock never actually said this, but he sure should have.))

As one who is keenly aware of the benefits of modern science, I am extraordinarily grateful, but all of the advancements will never counter balance the rapacious depredation of man by naturalistic tyrants swathed in the diaphanous respectability of being a scientist.

Ronnie W. Rogers