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A Purposeful Existence

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Are you the result of blind chance? Or is there reason to believe you were created for a reason, with a wonderful destiny ahead?

When Charles Darwin wrote his thesis On the Origin of Species, it opened the door for belief in a purposeless existence. Because of Darwin’s theory, it should not surprise us that so many today live with no greater expectation and hope than to be happy before ceasing to exist forever!

When Charles Darwin wrote his thesis On the Origin of Species, it opened the door for belief in a purposeless existence. Because of Darwin’s theory, it should not surprise us that so many today live with no greater expectation and hope than to be happy before ceasing to exist forever!

If life is a random and temporary burst between aeons of nothingness, why should anything matter? Drug use, violence, perversion, all forms of selfishness—if nothing lasts, if nothing is permanent, if nothing has real meaning, why should it matter what anyone does?

The Apostle Paul understood the consequences of such a futile and short-sighted worldview when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:32: “If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!’”

One fact is certain: if Darwin and his followers are correct, life can have no permanent, lasting meaning! On the other hand, if Darwin was wrong and there is a real Creator God, we need to discover that Creator’s transcendent purpose for us.

In this article, we will briefly discuss one way in which Darwin’s theory is flawed, show how that theory is based in a secular religion that has changed man’s worldview, and briefly show that the Bible addresses the subject of purpose. Yes, we are the result of a purposeful creation—and knowledge of that purpose can change your life in ways Darwin’s theory never could.

It is important at the beginning to clarify what is meant by “Darwinism.” Charles Darwin’s theory opened the door for belief in a purposeless universe, existing and evolving by chance.  Yet, over time, scientists have realized that some of the nuts and bolts of Darwin’s ideas come up short. So, terms such as “Neo-Darwinism” and “modern evolutionary synthesis” are now used to explain how scientists have altered their views on Darwin’s original thesis. But the bottom line is the same: all life, according to these theories, is the result of naturalism, i.e. natural processes apart from any outside source. Or, to put it another way, God or intelligence cannot be even considered as the cause of life.

One problem with the evolutionary concept is the lack of evidence for it. Strangely, most have never considered this possibility and blindly believe science has plenty of incontrovertible evidence at hand! After all, we have all seen those evolutionary trees in science books, showing the development of one kind of life form from another. Then there are the pictures of mythical transitional figures between reptiles and birds. And that is exactly the problem: these are mythical figures and mythical life trees! The facts tell a very different story.

Show Me the Links!

The very term evolution means that something changes incrementally. For one creature kind to evolve into another creature kind, many incremental changes must take place. This means that there ought to be countless intermediate fossils that could be easily found, but this is not the case. Michael Denton explains the lack of fossil evidence: “But as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?” (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Denton, p. 157). As an example, whales are considered to have evolved from some unknown land mammal, but exactly how could this occur? Denton gives an abbreviated list of modifications that must have occurred for this to happen:

“Forelimb modifications, the evolution of tail flukes, the streamlining, reduction of hindlimbs, modifications of skull to bring nostrils to the top of head, modification of trachea, modifications of behaviour patterns, specialized nipples so that the young could feed underwater (a complete list would be enormous)—one is inclined to think in terms of possibly hundreds, even thousands, of transitional species on the most direct path between a hypothetical land ancestor and the common ancestor of modern whales” (Denton, p. 174).

Strikingly, even the mythical land animal from which whales supposedly evolved is unknown and not found in the fossil record, much less the hundreds of transitional forms. The same scenario would have to play out between reptiles and birds, fish and land creatures, or for that matter, any change from one kind to another; but the fact is, there are no transitional forms! The very rare supposed examples given in textbooks are exactly that—supposed examples. Paleontologists have sought for decades to find the “missing link” between modern mankind and the more primitive primates. Scientists concede that this presumed link no longer exists as a living species, yet neither can it be found in the fossil record! There are plenty of primate fossils, but no trail of transitional forms—intermediates—between us and our presumed ancestors. Yet for evolution to be true, there would need to be so many intermediate steps that it defies logic to believe in evolution from ape to man when those transitional forms simply are not there!

“The absence of intermediates, although damaging, was not fatal in 1860, for it was reasonable to hope that many would eventually be found as geological activities increased. . . . Only a small fraction of the hundred thousand or so fossil species known today were known to Darwin. But virtually all new fossil species discovered since Darwin’s time have either been closely related to known forms or, like the Paganaphoras, strange unique types of unknown affinity” (Denton, pp. 160–161).

Denton also writes:

“The overall picture of life on Earth today is so discontinuous, the gaps between the different types so obvious, that, as Steven Stanley reminds us in his recent book Macroevolution, if our knowledge of biology was restricted to those species presently existing on Earth, ‘we might wonder whether the doctrine of evolution would qualify as anything more than an outrageous hypothesis.’ Without intermediates or transitional forms to bridge the enormous gaps which separate existing species and groups of organisms, the concept of evolution could never be taken seriously as a scientific hypothesis” (Denton, pp. 157–158).

For the record, Steven Stanley is a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist, but he is not alone in admitting there is a problem with the evidence. Michael Ruse is a well-known philosopher, evolutionist, and self-identified agnostic. “In 1981, Ruse testified in a case in which an Arkansas judge ruled that creation science—which the state had tried to introduce in schools—was not valid science but an unconstitutional attempt to teach religion in the classroom. The Supreme Court upheld the decision in 1987” (The Boston Globe, “Evolutionary War,” May 1, 2005).

Is it Science or Religion?

However, Ruse altered his opinion regarding the source of evolution’s strength some years later. In late March 1992, University of California law professor Philip Johnson invited Ruse to take part in what became known as the Darwinism Symposium at Southern Methodist University. Johnson was a convert to the idea that evolution is a flawed theory after reading Michael Denton’s book, and has become a significant figure in the debate. Ruse, who seems to be a rather reasonable fellow, welcomed the opportunity to discuss the question on an academic level in a gentlemanly fashion.

Johnson’s contribution to the debate has been to shine light on the fact that evolutionary science is not an entirely objective science, but is based on naturalism: “a philosophy that ‘assumes the entire realm of nature to be a closed system of material causes and effects which cannot be influenced by anything from “outside”’” (Woodward, Doubts About Darwin, p. 95).

The gentlemen’s discussion between Johnson, Ruse, and the other participants had an impact. A year later, Ruse spoke at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston to make a presentation at “The New Antievolutionism,” seminar, which was organized to challenge the fledgling Intelligent Design movement. His talk was to address the growing “Philip Johnson problem.” He began with a critique of Johnson’s book, but what followed was not what some wanted to hear.

“Ruse then abruptly startled his audience by saying he had been rethinking the issue of philosophical bases in recent years, and after his participation in the symposium, he had changed his mind on a key point: ‘I must confess, in the ten years since I performed, or I appeared, in the creationism trial in Arkansas, I must say that I’ve been coming to this kind of position myself.’ What position? Ruse explained that those in academia especially ‘should recognize, both historically and perhaps philosophically, certainly that the science side has certain metaphysical assumptions built into doing science, which—it may not be a good thing to admit in a court of law—but I think that in honesty … we should recognize [this]’” (ibid., p. 147).

Ruse then went on to say:

“…for many evolutionists, evolution has functioned as something with elements which are, let us say, akin to being a secular religion.” But he wasn’t finished as he continued, “evolution, akin to religion, involves making certain a priori or metaphysical assumptions, which at some level cannot be proven empirically.… And I think that the way to deal with creationism, but the way to deal with evolution also, is not to deny these facts, but to recognize them, and to see where we can go as we move on from there” (ibid.).

Microbiologist Michael Behe was another convert of Denton’s. As captured in the popular video, Unlocking the Mysteries of Life, Behe explained that he had for many years assumed evolution to be true, but when he read Denton’s book he realized there were “very difficult problems for Darwinian evolution which I had never thought about and which no one in all my studies leading to my Ph.D. had bothered to mention.… I immediately recognized that they were difficult problems and I became angry that nobody had brought these up. I felt like I was being led down the garden path to a conclusion that didn’t really have the evidential support that I thought it had.”

The fossil record has taken a back seat to the even greater challenges facing the theory of evolution from the field of microbiology, but the fossil record still remains a huge problem for evolutionary theories. Darwin might have been excused 150 years ago for posing his hypotheses despite lack of fossil evidence, but it is evident today that none of the tens of thousands, or even millions, of intermediaries (missing links) have been or will be found. They simply are not there!

A Purpose for Life

So what is Darwin’s contribution to the world? Darwin’s legacy and that of his followers who continue to tweak his theory, is a purposeless existence.

“It was because Darwinian theory broke man’s link with God and set him adrift in a cosmos without purpose or end that its impact was so fundamental. No other intellectual revolution in modern times… so profoundly affected the way men viewed themselves and their place in the universe.… The idea has come to touch every aspect of modern thought; and no other theory in recent times has done more to mould the way we view ourselves and our relationship to the world around us.… The triumph of evolution meant the end of the traditional belief in the world as a purposeful created order—the so-called teleological outlook which had been predominant in the western world for two millennia” (Denton, pp. 15, 67).

Chance cannot explain or give purpose. It is God, not evolution, that gives purpose to life. There can be no lasting purpose without God, because only God can give life beyond the grave. Job asked the most important question that can ever be asked, and then gave the answer: “If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands” (Job 14:14–15).

Man is God’s workmanship. The very first chapter of the Bible declares God’s purpose for us: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26–27). Other scriptures elaborate on this original theme. “As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people. … I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty’” (2 Corinthians 6:16, 18).

Instead of digging in the ground in a futile search for the millions of missing links that simply are not there, man ought to be looking up and discovering the God who made us and offers us a great, glorious, and everlasting purpose. A young shepherd boy, who later became a king, once mused when looking into the night sky, “What is man that You [God] are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4). The Apostle Paul, in referring to this Psalm, gives the answer to the question and how it relates to Jesus Christ. “For it was fitting for Him [Christ], for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:10).

The theory of evolution can look attractive on the surface. It is popular. It is politically correct. It is always presented as authoritative, as though it is a fact, when it is far more akin to a secular religion than true science. Yet the fossil record does not lie—and neither does the God who created you for a wonderful purpose!

To learn more about the purpose for your very existence, be sure to request a copy of our free booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny. It explains exactly what the Bible says about God’s purpose for mankind—an eternal destiny far more exciting than going to a kind of “candy store in the sky” or playing a harp on a cloud forever and ever.  Knowledge of your purpose will bring about a change—and not just an incremental one—in your life!

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