Today vs. the Past
• A fundamental rift occurred in the West in the relationship between science and religion after the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in 1859, in which he argued that all life is the product of purely undirected natural forces – time, chance, and a process he called ‘natural selection and random mutations.’
• According to Charles Darwin, natural selection explained the appearance of design without a designer and order without arrangement. Natural selection became a kind of God-substitute by which unplanned, unguided natural forces brought about all the variety and complexity of the living world. On these grounds, to invoke an intelligent Designer for the architecture of the universe was dismissed as unnecessary or impossible.
• The impact of Darwin’s theory of evolution was very profound. It fundamentally changed not only science, but the way many Western people viewed themselves, their world, and their significance in it.
• In the decades that followed, God was virtually eliminated from scientific articles and textbooks, and the scope of science was restricted to a search for naturalistic explanations for all phenomena. In this way, reality became limited to just matter. Nature replaced God, the laws of nature replaced God's Will, and evolution replaced creation as the most widely accepted explanation for human origin. This negated any special position of human beings in creation, along with their special responsibilities.
• Many Western scientists today refuse to acknowledge God as Creator, and attribute the awesome, sophisticated creativity of the world solely to physical laws, such as gravity. One of the world’s most prominent scientists, Stephen Hawking, stated, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.” He added: “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”