Evolution and Cosmic Purpose    

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Evolutionary Atheism

In the debate against Intelligent Design and other forms of creationism, the most visible representatives of natural evolution are also some of the most vocal advocates of atheism. This is not surprising, as surveys show that almost all evolutionary biologists are atheists.

The most legendary of these is Richard Dawkins, whose books about evolution have helped millions of people to better understand the theory and its evidence. However, Dawkins would be the first to admit that his primary motivation has always been to use the theory of evolution to try to disprove the existence of God. He writes about evolution and atheism as though they are inseparable, and because of this, he is often accused of causing millions of people to reject evolution, thereby encouraging creationism and helping to escalate social division.

These days, the most visible representatives of natural evolution on the Internet are the evolutionary biologists who contribute to the Talk Origins website and the Panda's Thumb blogsite. Many of these eminent scientists have their own blogs in which they argue over the finer points of evolutionary theory and pat each other on the back for being so clever. However, despite frequently claiming that evolution does not necessarily disprove the existence of God, when you look closely at some of the statements on their websites, it is often difficult to tell whether they are promoting evolution or preaching atheism.

Evolutionary atheists say that the randomness of natural evolution proves that the rise of intelligent life on earth was nothing more than an unintended accident of nature. This sounds reasonable enough. However, it can also be argued that evolutionary competition drives the selection of sharper senses and other beneficial traits, making the rise of intelligent life almost inevitable. Evolutionary atheists respond to this with a wide range of counterclaims, most of which are mere word tricks or are otherwise based on flawed logic. In any case, when pushed to this level of debate, they have nothing that will ever convince the god-fearing masses to accept their particular brand of evolution.

The evolutionary atheist position is weak and unpopular, its advocates are disorganized, their arguments are immature and undeveloped, and they lack any solid political support, even within the universities. Worst of all, they seem to be losing an unlosable public relations battle against an obvious myth. For the sake of defeating the creationists, the evolutionary biologists should stay out of metaphysics and focus on one fight at a time. Concentrate on explaining natural evolution instead of selling atheism.

With the vast majority of the world's population believing that our existence has some kind of cosmic significance, the evolutionary biologists would have much more success trying to convince people to accept a religion-friendly interpretation of evolution rather than trying to convert them to evolutionary atheism. After all, it is actually possible to explain natural evolution in a way that satisfies those who believe that our existence is orderly and purposeful as well as those who believe that it is random and purposeless.

By preaching that natural evolution proves that there is no purpose to our existence, the evolutionary biologists are only inciting a greater fear of science and evolution, and making it easier for political opportunists to exploit the debate. Maybe the theory of evolution needs new representation.

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