Atheists doubt evolution, according to a survey in UK and Canada conducted by YouGov for Newman University, Birmingham, UK, published 5 September 2017.
As part of a project named “Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum”, researchers at Newman University surveyed British and Canadian adults on their beliefs about science, evolution and religion. As expected, a minority of people in both countries believed that God created all living things, including ourselves, and evolution cannot account for the origin of all living things. Surprisingly, they also found that a small but significant number of atheists doubted evolution when it came to human beings.
The survey found 12% of UK atheists and 31%Canadian atheists agreed with the statement: “Animals evolve over time but evolutionary science cannot explain the origins of human beings”. The survey also found 19% of UK atheists and 38% of Canadian atheists agreed with the statement: “Evolutionary processes cannot explain the existence of human consciousness”.
Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker, Director of the Science and Religion Exploring the Spectrum project, commented: “It appears, rejection of or uncertainty about aspects of human evolution is not necessarily an issue of ‘religion versus evolutionary science’, but an issue of universal questions around what it is to be human and about the human experience that affect all of us, across those of all faiths and none. This fundamentally challenges the way we tend to think about evolution and creationism”.
Editorial Comment: Ever since Darwin wrote The Descent of Man, the standard evolutionary story is that human beings are just another animal that arose by chance, with no more significance than any other living thing. However, deep down people have an intrinsic sense that human beings are more than just the result of random molecules banging into one another, and it is interesting to see that some atheists are prepared to admit it.
Human beings are different from all other living things because we are made in the image of God, and our whole being is not just a physical body, but body, soul and spirit.
Fern Elsdon-Baker is partly right – the creation evolution debate has never been about science versus religion. It is about truth versus error, or what is the real history of the real world. Science alone cannot answer this question, as the scientific method is simply a systematic way of studying the present world.
To know what happened in the past you need the testimony of a reliable witness who was there to observe it and make a record of it. We have that in the word of the Creator God in Genesis, but God does not expect us to close our eyes, turn off our brains, and have blind faith. We are instructed to love God with our minds (Luke 10:27), and to test everything and hold onto what is right and good (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Therefore, we should use our minds to know what God’s Word actually says, and study God’s world to see what the evidence actually is. This is why at Creation Research we keep an eye on current scientific discoveries, go on field trips, and carry out our own experiments, as well as critiquing those who tell a different story.
When atheists admit doubts, we should be ready to help them find the truth – not just facts about biology, but the One who is the Truth, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Evidence News vol. 17, No. 18
27 September 2017
Creation Research Australia
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