Why People Need Religion

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  • Topic: Charles Darwin, Evolution, Natural selection
  • Pages : 7 (2860 words )
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  • Published : February 4, 2007
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Religion is an important part of peoples' lives, it gives meaning in this chaotic world we live in to face another day. Collectively, Christianity is the world's most practiced religion and possibly the most powerful. Many people have tested and tried that power and authority that the church holds, people such as Galileo, Giordano Bruno, and King Henry VIII of England, just to name a few. But no other has challenged the authority of the church like Charles Darwin and his "dangerous Idea." (qtd. in Miller 12) The theory of evolution's origins can be traced back to the time of the ancient Greeks, but it wasn't until Charles Darwin arrived on the scene that any actual evidence suggesting such ‘heresies' ever gained the attention of the Church. Darwin's theory made a big impact on the Christianity because of the contrary ideas to that of the religion, the state the church was in, and because of Charles Darwin himself.

Darwin's theory of evolution changed traditional ways of thinking with ideas such as, natural selection and sexual selection.Darwin's theory of natural selection states: Darwin's Theory of Evolution is the widely held notion that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor: the birds and the bananas, the fishes and the flowers -- all related. Darwin's general theory presumes the development of life from non-life and stresses a purely naturalistic (undirected) "descent with modification". That is, complex creatures evolve from more simplistic ancestors naturally over time. In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism's genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival -- a process known as "natural selection." These beneficial mutations are passed on to the next generation. Over time, beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is an entirely different organism. (Darwin's Theory of Evolution – A Theory in Crisis) From that paragraph I can only find one remotely similar idea between Christianity and Darwinism, and that is that life descended from a common ancestor. Other than that, everything is different. The notion that life was created from non-life is the biggest issue, as far as being a Christian is concerned. Why? It attempts to deny the existence of God by implying that life sprang up from nothing—life by chance, not intelligent design. Descent with modification is also a hurdle to jump over. Descent with modification says that an organism can change from a very simple life form to a more complex one naturally over time. In Christianity, it is quite the opposite. Man was made perfect and as time passed He became less perfect. Genesis 5:5 says "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died." Genesis 5:8 "And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died." Genesis 5:27 "And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died." And in Psalm 90:10, it says "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." This psalm was written by Moses, who historians date back to approximately 1500 BC. (Basic Bible Chronology) What these Bible texts imply is that since the world started people have lived much longer and more prosperous lives than we do today. Descent with modification also attacks the Christian belief that God created man in his own image, stated in Genesis 1:26. Like any great theory, Darwinism had its misconceptions as well. David N. Livingstone, the author of Darwin's Forgotten Defenders: The Encounter Between Evangelical Theology and Evolutionary Thought, points out two: "The first misunderstanding grew out of the phrase "the survival of the fittest"—which, as it turns out, was not Darwin's own formulation at all. It had been coined by the social theorist Herbert Spencer, who had been writing about aspects of...
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