by Jake Hebert, Ph.D., and Michael Stamp *
Within a consistent evolutionary worldview, there is no logical basis for moral absolutes. If mankind is truly a cosmic accident, then there is no Creator-God to whom we must give an account, and there is no logical and objective basis for claiming that a given action is morally right or wrong.
In such an amoral worldview, it's perfectly "natural" for the strong to prey upon the weak, as often occurs among animals in the wild. And if it's natural for the animal, it's also natural for strong humans to discard the weak. An individual might claim that he prefers that a frail human not be harmed, but is one's mere preference an objective basis from which to make a moral claim that applies to all people?
The recent trial of American abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell dramatically illustrates this deep ethical problem with the evolutionary worldview. Gosnell is charged with killing four newborn infants who had apparently been born alive after surviving his attempted abortions. He is also charged with murdering a 41-year-old woman, but the grisly killings may have gone far beyond even this (see references below).1, 2
Many of those familiar with this case (including evolutionists) have been horrified by it. But if evolution is true, why is Gosnell's behavior wrong? Some might argue that his behavior is wrong simply because he broke the law—but then why is breaking the law wrong? On what basis can one claim that any behavior is wrong?
The essential question is straightforward: Is human life precious and sacred or not? When we witness atrocities like the Gosnell crimes, we recoil in horror because human life has been ravaged. Our collective consciences concur that his acts were wrong and even malicious. At these moments we all agree human life is sacred—it's uniquely precious—and that sacredness is the objective basis for our determining right and wrong.
Human life is sacred because humans are made in the "image of God" (Genesis 1:27). God alone has authority over life because He alone is its Author—this is the objective, logical basis for declaring that Gosnell's actions are wrong. Human life is sacred in every case simply because God made it so.
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well. (Psalm 139:13-14)
Evolution denies God's existence and, in so doing, negates the objective and intrinsic value of human beings. Dr. Gosnell and his like are, in a sense, acting this belief out as they discard the weakest and most helpless human beings.
The Lord Jesus said, "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor [can] a bad tree bear good fruit."3 Bad ideas often have bad consequences, and evolution is one such very bad idea.4 The theory of evolution sowed its amoral seed generations ago, and the desacralizing of human life is part of its bad fruit today.
- Associated Press, "Babies treated worse than sick dogs, prosecutor alleges at abortion doc murder trial," Fox News, April 29, 2013.
- However, witnesses have claimed that Gosnell may have killed more than one hundred newborn infants. Weigel, D. Kermit Gosnell: The Alleged Mass-Murderer and the Bored Media. Posted on www.slate.com on April 12, 2013, accessed April 15, 2013.
- Matthew 7:18 (NKJV).
Women have long been told that their pre-born children pass through different evolutionary animal "stages" in the womb, and such a claim may make the prospect of abortion psychologically easier to accept. It has long been known that Ernst Haeckel, the zoologist who first proposed this evolutionary animal stages idea, falsified data in order to strengthen his argument. Unfortunately, many biology textbooks still present versions of this argument as "evidence" for evolution.
Thomas, B. Do People Have 'Gill Slits' in the Womb? Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org July 20, 2012, accessed April 15, 2013.
* Dr. Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Texas at Dallas. Michael Stamp is an editor at the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on May 3, 2013.