Do you think that the worldview of evolution is something relatively new, something that happened after Darwin put forth his thesis? Think again. Listen to these words written long ago by King Solomon:
“(The ungodly) reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves, ‘We were born by mere chance, and hereafter we shall be as though we had never been. . . . Reason is a spark kindled by the beating of our hearts'” (Wis. 2:1,2 NRSV).
That is from “The Wisdom of Solomon”, an apocryphal book. But just because it is not part of the protestant Bible does not mean that it is not true or not worth paying attention to its words. For this is the same Solomon who was given great wisdom by God–so great that people traveled from all over the world to hear his wisdom. Surely we can move our fingers to turn a few pages to see what this wise man of ancient times can tells us about our present-day phenomenon of evolution. It is nothing new, as is seen from the passage above, and the fact that the false philosophy of evolution has resurged in popularity in our own day, ages after Solomon lived, would not surprise him, for he also said:
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new’? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time” (Eccl. 1:9,10 NIV).
The thinking of modern-day evolutionists was familiar to Solomon even in his day of long ago. Therefore, we ourselves would be wise to see what this man greatly blessed by God with godly wisdom has to say about this worldview of evolutionism that has become so widespread in our own day. Three things in particular stand out immediately when we look at what Solomon says about what we today call evolutionists:
1. They reason unsoundly.
2. They credit chance as the source of their existence.
3. They say that man’s reasoning ability is also by chance, the product simply of our biological makeup, and not a gift from our Creator (since they do not believe in a Creator).
What follows is a brief look at each of these three statements.
First, Solomon says that the ungodly reason unsoundly. This is something which I have repeatedly noticed when perusing atheist websites to try to understand their worldview or when reviewing their books, many of which are popular these days. Of course, they think the same about us: They think Christians are the ones who think illogically. But they go beyond this. I have also noticed an arrogant pride in their reasoning ability. And again, they accuse Christians in their blogs and websites of the same arrogant attitude.
Rather than get into that quagmire (plus I just don’t like to argue or even venture into apologetics; I leave that to more knowledgeable Christians whom God has called to that field), I simply reference passages from the Bible that confirm Solomon’s statement of the unsound reasoning of the ungodly.
“It is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Cor. 1:19-21 NIV).
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (Eph. 4:17,18 NIV).
Many Christian authors and theologians, as well as lay people, have commented on the unreasonableness of believing that all that exists came about solely through chance. There is no need for me to echo their words. Those who wish to argue this point, please go elsewhere to do so. There are plenty of both Christian and atheist web sites that take up this argument and which welcome comments. Here, we need to spend our time more fruitfully by looking at the third and last point mentioned by Solomon–the first two, crediting all that exists to chance and the unreasonableness of such reasoning, already having been mentioned briefly above. So it is the third and last aspect mentioned in this passage that is now examined, that of attributing human reasoning capacity to totally natural biological processes.
“Reason is a spark kindled by the beating of our hearts.”
This is the third and last aspect of the evolutionist viewpoint mentioned by Solomon in our passage. Again, I will not argue against it, for that is not what this blog is about, nor is it what God has called me to do. As mentioned before, I am not an apologist. All I desire to do here is draw attention to the self-defeating nature of this viewpoint and also the sadness and emptiness that this viewpoint of evolutionists engenders in those who adhere to this philosophy.
On the one hand, I have noticed how proud, to the point of arrogance, atheists are of their reasoning abilities, and the disdain they pour out against Christians for their supposed lack of intelligence. And on the other hand, there is, at the same time, a puzzling and illogical reasoning often put forth by these who take such pride in their reasoning abilities. Not only that, but they seem to take pride in crediting this supposedly superior reasoning abilities that they say they possess to nothing more than the normal, natural processes of their biological systems: Reason is a spark of the beating of our hearts. They pride themselves on having something of which they had no part whatsoever in having attained and which they claim is the result of purely mechanistic processes in their body.
How paradoxical to be proud of something over which one had no control and no input. It is like being proud of one’s looks or physical appearance, or athletic abilities, or inherited wealth–all of which can possibly be enhanced or detracted from by one’s own actions, but which in essence, are solely a gift from one’s parents or genes passed on.
“For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (2 Cor. 4:;7 NIV).
Not only that, but if one truly believes that one’s superior reasoning ability is the result of nothing more than natural causes, arising from biological processes, how can one ever be sure that all the supposedly brilliant thoughts, reasonings, and conclusions are not, in the end, absolutely worthless? What is there, after all, to give them any real value and worthwhileness? Are they not, after all, simply, at most the most basic level, random biological impulses?
Solomon went down this pathway of reasoning about reasoning. His conclusion?: “I thought to myself, ‘Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.’ Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief” (Eccl. 1:16-18 NIV).
What sorrow and grief indeed to know that all one’s lofty and deep thoughts are suspect because they arise from biological impulses that are meaningless. For who is to say that one person’s interpretation of reality and reasoning is any better or worse or truer or false than any other person’s? If there is no God, what absolute reference point is there? This too, of course, is argued against by those espousing evolution and all its senseless consequences, but why should we pay any attention to their arguments if what they say is actually true. that human reasoning really is a result of natural, physical causes only? What, then, is there to judge what is meaningful or meaningless? No wonder Solomon concluded about all this:
“Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king’s successor do than what has already been done? I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness. The wise man has eyes in his head, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.
“Then I thought in my heart, ‘The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?’ I said in my heart, ‘This too is meaningless.’ For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die!
“So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the win” (Eccl. 2:12-17 NIV).
Is that not the only real conclusion that can be drawn if there really is no deeper source of reason and meaning than natural physical forces in the universe? All becomes empty and meaningless. The word meaningless is used many times in Solomon’s record of his thoughts on the deepest things of reality and existence, which he recorded in the book of Ecclesiastes. This is because he was looking at it from a purely human or rationalistic viewpoint, with occasional retreats to scriptural truths or viewpoints.
Francis Schaefer and other Christian authors have noted this same thing, that if a Creator God is rejected, then there is no real meaning to life. Schaefer, in particular, has pointed out that since there is no basis for any real meaning in life with this outlook, then those who adhere to it are really just fooling themselves when they live as though their lives had real meaning. Solomon would be correct in his thinking that the only rational conclusion to be drawn would be to hate life–because it is so meaningless yet inescapable. No wonder that depression and emptiness haunt many who adopt such an outlook on life. Not only that, but there is no hope for any change for the better, because all depends upon man and his own abilities, especially that of reason, and as already been noted, there is no solid foundation available there, no real peg to hang our thinking hat upon.
Evolutionists and any who reject God as the creator of all that exists, including the ability of human beings to reason, look to that reasoning as the highest force in the universe. To them, human reasoning is their god. But Scripture says, “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool” (Prov 28:26 ESV).
Nevertheless, human reasoning is the peg upon which so many hang their thinking hat. But that is a weak and unsure peg, just as it was for those of ancient Israel who trusted false prophets instead of God. They looked to those false prophets as a sure, firm peg, but God told them, “‘The peg driven into the firm place will give way; it will be sheared off and will fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut down.’ The Lord has spoken'” (Is. 22:25 NIV).
Those words apply just as solidly to our own day and our day’s reliance upon the unsure peg of evolution and human reasoning. And make no mistake about it, many do live as if their lives depended upon evolution being true and an adequate explanation for existence. This belief is that upon which they rest and stake their very lives.
But God says that that firm peg will give way. He will one day call them to account for their refusal to accept the one true, firm peg that he has furnished for the world to rest not only their thinking hat upon but their whole cloak and clothing of their lives: Jesus Christ. He is the one with whom we are to clothe ourselves in order to exist before the ultimate reality of God, just as he informs us in the parable of the great wedding feast in heaven:
“When the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth'” (Mt. 22:11-13 NIV).
I may not have presented in-depth defenses of the Bible’s statements regarding the falsehood of evolution, and thus be open to objections from evolutionists. But, as was noted, this was not meant as a defense as such but simply as an interesting note on what Solomon said about this. But I do know this: Whatever counterarguments are given by those disagreeing with Scripture’s truths regarding the false worldview of evolution and other faulty worldviews, they will one day all be silenced. For when in the presence of the King of Kings, it is as described in the wedding feast parable of the man who had no acceptable attire. “The man was speechless.” Or as Scripture says elsewhere, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Ps. 46:10 NIV), and, “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (Hbk. 2:20 NIV).
Until that day when all the earth will be silent before God, no longer spouting these false philosophies about reality, men will no doubt continue to invent new illusions and repeat old ones. For they all come from the same source, flowing back and forth in the sea of humanity’s wicked imaginations.
“All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:7-9 NIV).
These are the words of Solomon, confronting the age-old wicked imagination of man’s mind and heart, including that of evolution, which denies God the glory due him for his creation.