The Atheistic Argument from Evolution
It is a common taunt among combative non-theists (henceforth called atheists) that evolution, because it is a well-established scientific fact, somehow provides positive proof that God does not exist. God, as the title of the evolutionary zoologist Richard Dawkins’ book proclaims, is a delusion. If this is so it then follows that belief in God is the same as belief in Santa Clause, which directly opposes our best scientific knowledge. It appears as if there is an atheistic argument being made.
1) If evolution is true then God does not exist.
2) Evolution is true.
3) Therefore, God does not exist.
Notice a couple of things about this argument. First, it follows logically. By virtue of the law of logic called modus ponens the conclusion is necessary and inescapable if the two premises are true. That means in order to defeat the argument at least one of the premises will have to be denied.
Second, notice is that premise 1 is a theological in nature, and premise 2 is a scientific in nature. If someone wants to defend or refute premise 2, they will have to do some science, and similarly, if someone wants to defend or refute premise 1 they will have to do some theology (something atheists generally don’t want to do). Now we could argue against that second premise and question if evolution is in fact true. But today I want to look at that the more crucial first premise.
Premise 1: If evolution is true, God does not exist
If evolution is true does this imply that God does not exist?
It seems clear that it is not so. If evolution is true, the most that means is a certain literal interpretation of Genesis 1 is incorrect. Now if such an admission shakes you, I hope that those shakes don’t register on the Richter scale. There have been many Christians who have believed in God, and found no contradiction in also believing in evolution. Many very clever people have been and are theistic evolutionists. C.S. Lewis was one of these who thought that God very well could have used the process of evolution to bring about human life…
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