Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Years ago, I was listening to an interview on NPR that startled me. The man being interviewed was the Director of The Center for Compassion and Altruism in California. (By the way, Altruism is the unselfish concern for others. And I have no memory of the interviewee.) The rest of this blog is my best recollection of this interview.
“I became a Christian after studying altruism,” he said. That got my attention! He went on to say, “I believe Darwin and evolutionary science are largely correct in the animal and natural world, but I believe they are wrong regarding humans. And here’s why.” The basic premise of evolution is that we live in a dog eat dog world. The survival of the fittest. Every species competes with not only other species for survival, but they even compete with their own species. Lions kill other species like antelopes for food, but they regularly kill other lions as well. And a lion will die protecting it’s own pride, but no lion will ever die protecting another lion’s pride, or a herd of antelope or baboons. It’s survival of the fittest.
But why is it so many humans will willingly give up their own lives to protect or rescue total strangers? There are doctors, nurses and missionaries who willingly go to war zones, or treat Ebola patients. We even have people who will give up their personal comfort to devote their lives to protect animals in far away jungles. Their selfless sacrifice goes against everything that is supposed to happen in an evolutionary world.
That observation got me thinking that humans had to have something more in themselves that sets them apart from all other animals, other than we humans are just a more advanced evolutionary species. And that “something” could not be the product of evolution. It had to have come from outside of ourselves.
When the Bible says, God created man (human) in his own image, that doesn’t mean we look like him. It means that we have some of the characteristics of God. We can create, we have rational thought and most importantly for this discussion, we have a moral compass that enables us to value justice and mercy enough to love sacrificially. Some have called these characteristics, our “soul,” In any case, they enable humans, Christian or not, in some cases to overcome the evolutionary instinct to dominate and survive at all cost, and actually compels humans to love sacrificially.
To be sure, humans as a whole are still selfish, and we’ve had our share of “Hitlers” and “Inquisitions” throughout history. But most humans do not admire them, because our soul tells us their behavior is wrong. Humans in every culture teach their children to resist selfishness and to live by what the Bible calls the Golden Rule, Do unto others, what you would have them do unto you.
All world religions teach a moral code. But Christianity uniquely teaches that the source of this internal morality is God, and he himself demonstrated that, by sacrificing his own Son on the cross for us humans.
That’s why I began the journey toward Christianity – it’s the antithesis of Darwin’s observations. You won’t find anything in the New Testament that celebrates anything higher than love.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
In conclusion You may want to read this blog to your older children or grandchildren. While it does not prove the existence of God, or disprove evolution entirely, it does make a powerful case for man being created in his own image.
How following Jesus works in real life.
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