Sunday, February 20

Darwin and Atheism; or how Darwin changed my life

darwinTrawling through the blogs on Darwin day, Michael Ruse saw someone 'flying' an atheist flag on their blog, and began to query the connection between Darwin and Atheism. After all Darwin, wasn't an atheist, at least never explicitly. He never claimed there was no God. He didn't even eat babies!

But when I think of Darwin, I think of Atheism. Darwin, and the hundreds who have continued and improved his work, made me the atheist I am today. And they showed as well that an atheist can be a spiritual person.

I was the person in high school who argued against evolution. I would fight with my friends during biology class. I probably missed most of what was being taught, and so I didn't really encounter evolution until I looked into it myself in my early 20's.

I'd already started asking questions. Things had already begun to not make sense, and I had moved away from a Judeo-Christian God, but still believed in some kind of creator. The world was too beautiful, and too connected to not have anyone behind it.

It wasn't until I understood evolution, that I let go of God completely. Evolution was so simple that I didn't have a need for a God anymore. Everything was there because it started small. It made sense, and it didn't need a deity to see it on it's way.

But evolution is more than simple. It's beautiful too. It proves that we have a connection to all of nature. The beasts of the field became my cousins. And it showed me how lucky I was! Far from being a pre-destined creation I was the result of billions of years of evolution, of breeding, of luck. Had anyone of my ancestors failed to breed, had the environment been slightly different, had a single predator chosen a different meal, I wouldn't be here today. I am the result of billions of years of luck. The fact that I am alive is a miracle, larger than any I can comprehend.

Charles DarwinThis is a far more beautiful idea than being created. I have no grand purpose. I am not special. And yet I'm here anyway! What a chance! What a joy! And what freedom! Out of millions of possibilities I showed up! I was given the chance to make the best of this thing called life! And if it wasn't for Darwin I may never have known this.

Evolution whetted my appetite for science too. It showed me my connection with the universe. It challenged my beliefs and showed me how to keep challenging them. And so I grew. I know so much more now than I ever knew as a believer. But more importantly, I know all the things I don't know! Science is an amazing thing, with so many questions, and so many things waiting to be found out. It's like a playground waiting to be explored. And I would never have known about it if it wasn't for evolution.

I owe to Darwin, and the men and women who followed him, a massive thanks. You changed my life, and I have never looked back.

This blog is a baby. Help it to grow. If you like what you've read please share it!

No comments:

Post a Comment