Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Rensselaer Republican, a twice-a-week newspaper in Rensselaer, Indiana — population 5,859. The title is If evolution were true, then we are all accidents. It’s actually a column, written by the newspaper’s religion columnist, and they don’t have a comments feature.
Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher. It’s Gregg Nydegger, described as “the evangelist at Christ’s Church at Monticello.” We can’t find their website in Indiana. Here are some excerpts from the rev’s column, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:
Murder, violent crime, guns, gangs, rape, abuse … the list goes on. Our nation is becoming more vicious, violent and vile, with some — even young teenagers — acting like savage animals at times. [Gasp!] Drug addiction and alcoholism are increasing. Families are disintegrating. Too many people seem to care only about themselves. Should this surprise us?
It doesn’t surprise the rev. He says:
For the last 60 years, our public education system has taught that humans ARE animals [What?], albeit evolutionarily advanced ones. However, the biblical principle is true: “Don’t be deceived: God isn’t mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). We’ve sowed the wind; now we reap the whirlwind. The theory of evolution is foundational teaching in most primary and secondary public schools. Textbooks explain the science of evolution and the origin of the species. The alternate idea that God may have created anything is left to the home and the churches.
This is terrible — and it’s even worse! The rev tells us:
Intelligent design? Summarily discounted, disregarded and dismissed. [Oh no!] Thankfully, some educators supplement their curriculum with additional resources and information which challenges evolutionary theory. Higher education, the news media, and cultural elites take the theory of evolution for granted; a God-less beginning is assumed a priori. That’s how they teach, write, lead and operate. Only fanatic, Bible-thumping, religious nuts claim to believe that “In the beginning, God created …”
We hear and read that it all started with a Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago; that life on Earth began 3.77 billion years ago. Lifeforms have been evolving ever since. Random chance, natural selection, mutations (both good and bad), and eons of time have brought us to today. Humans evolved from lower order ape-like lifeforms to the superstar animal species we are now.
Wow — no wonder things are so bad! The rev continues:
Let’s ponder, if evolution were true, what would a few of the ramifications be? What would some of the effects of teaching only evolutionary theory be? Could some of the evil behaviors in our society be linked partially to the fact that our society is awash in teaching evolution in both public schools, higher education and news media? Let’s consider what might logically follow if evolution were true.
The rev gives us a list of things that would “logically follow” if evolution were true:
If evolution were true, then … we’re an accident. No more, no less. This earth we live on, everything we see around us, and even our own life is nothing more than a cosmic accident.
But just by happenstance, some stuff went to the exact right place at the exact right time with the exact right temperature and the exact right force and the exact right conditions for life to come into being. How fortuitous.
That first primordial life … did a lightning bolt spark it? Volcanic eruption? Meteor strike? Who knows, but over the course of a few billion years, random chance produced mutations, adaptations and more which have resulted in us being here today.
The probability that this could’ve all worked out the way it did is so astronomically small as to be non-existent [Yeah!], but scientists claim that given enough time and chances, anything can happen … . Thus, humanity, people — you, me, us — are accidents and freaks of nature. Does that help your self-esteem and self-worth?
Well, dear reader, how does it feel to know that you’re a freak of nature? Let’s read on:
If evolution were true, we have no purpose. If all life is accidental, if there’s no perfect plan, only time and chance, then all life — even our own — has no purpose. We aren’t here for a reason; we’re here for NO reason. … Can you see how these ideas could lead to hopelessness and helplessness?
Can you see it, dear reader? Now do you understand your feelings of hopelessness and helplessness? The rev’s column ends with this:
Continuing next month [Ooooooooooooh! Another column!], we’ll see that this thinking might cause folks to believe that life has no value, all life (whether animal or human) is the same [Gasp!], all events are random, death is the end, live for today, survival of the fittest, it’s all about me, all laws come from man, might makes right, there’s no right and wrong — only behavior, and we’re alone. Or, we can listen to Jesus who said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1).
That was powerful stuff, don’t you agree, dear reader?
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