Darwin 's Theory Of Evolution Essay

Darwin 's Theory Of Evolution Essay

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In Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ the theory of evolution argues that the appearance of design in creatures are favourable chance mutations that have developed over time. Species have adapted to their habitats over a period, possessing many unfavourable traits that have slowly diminished over time due to not being able to survive in that particular environment (Darwin 1906: 97). Darwin’s theory has posed multiple problems for the Christian doctrine of creation, from the effect it has had on the concept of intelligent design to undermining the idea that humankind was made in the image of God. Nevertheless there are a handful of theistic counter-arguments to contest the theory of evolution but many lack legitimacy and evidence as it has been argued that ‘theology necessarily deals in presumption, not proof’ (Brooke 2012: 60).

One problem that Darwin’s theory of evolution has presented to the Christian doctrine of creation is that the idea of God as the Creator has become redundant. The theory of evolution has shown that things come into being through a process of natural selection and not by God’s will. Daniel Dennet claims the gaps in our understanding about the creation of the world in the earlier stages of history were filled by the idea of an intelligent designer – God. However science, and evolution in particular, has led to the decline of the God-of-the-Gaps mentality and essentially freed us from Providentialism (Ferguson 2012: 83). Conversely, John Henslow has argued that Darwin accredited powers to God to ‘impose laws on the organic world by which to do his work’ (Brooke 2012: 52); meaning that God is the Creator but used evolution as his process of creation. In addition, we still only know fragments of the evolutio...


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...spects of the Christian doctrine of creation and the different ways people interpret it; whether or not Darwin’s theory disproves the doctrine of creation depends on ones’ own belief system. Fundamental Christians would argue that it does not disprove creation as that the theory of evolution is just that – a theory. It therefore no more disproves the doctrine of creation as that can disprove evolution. Whereas liberal Christians may have always believed in evolution where God is the Creator of the process. Some will also argue that the Christian doctrine of creation expands past the literal view of Genesis. For some, empirical evidence is necessary and the lack of it is enough to disprove the doctrine of creation. Therefore whether Darwin’s theory of evolution disproves the Christian doctrine of creation ultimately relies upon how important faith is to an individual.

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