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Evolution and Despair

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

If evolution is true, then human beings find their soul’s habitation can be safely built only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair.

That is not our conclusion, we got that from Bertrand Russell. And if evolution is true, Russell’s words are also true.

Here is the full quote, with bold emphasis added:

That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the débris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built. ? Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship

Unyielding despair. Do you find it curious at all that despite all our technological advances we have raised a global generation of despairing kids who grow up to be despairing adults?

We don’t. What other outcome can be expected when a generation of adults has been told by those they trust that they are nothing but–in Russell’s words–an “accidental collocation of atoms”?

If evolution is the true creation story for humans, then we must all agree that nothing done in this world matters at all; in the end the universe who created us without dignity will devour us without dignity.

Our only end is to despair of any true hope, if evolution is true.

Do the all the evolutionists reading this now who propogate evolution as the true creation story have the intellectual integrity to admit that Russell’s conclusion is correct? Can the evolutionists who are certain that nature alone created them admit that their chosen creation story–whether true or not–if believed, leads to no rational place but a dark place of despair in the human condition?

Many evolutionists are timid, pretending that humans are created by evolution and yet also–somehow–have dignity, purpose, and value. But this exercise in contradiction is rarely taken to heart by human beings who find the contradiction disturbingly pendantic. Everyone knows deep down that if evolution is true, humans truly are mere “accidental collocations of atoms” and they have no more dignity than every other accidental collocations of atoms, such as rocks, dirt, and slime.

Do you find yourself slipping down the foundation of unyielding despair?

There is hope in another foundation. But you will need to re-learn much of what others have told you to find it. Any you will need courage to jump to it. But once on the new foundation you will find your life actually has true meaning and dignity.

Consider: If evolution is not the true creation story, then Russell and all the other evolutionists are already believing a lie. And the timid ones not as intellectually honest as Russell have no problem continuing to tell lies upon lies about human dignity.

But lies upon lies serve only to give those who believe them a false, unexamined, hope. And this fragile hope cannot stand against the relentless presence of despair.

The first lie–that nature created us for no purpose–is believed by many. The second lie–that as nothing but an accidental collocation of atoms we nevertheless have human dignity and purpose–is evidently believed by few. The second lie simply does not logically follow from the first.

So most people who believe evolution live without even a false hope. There is no hope at all. Only despair.

But there is true hope built on the truth of our human origins. And the truth that leads to this hope can be discovered. Follow your heart, believe your mind, trust your instincts, and above all, think for yourself.

You will find the truth and you will be set free to despair no more.

Think about it.

Thoughts for this post drawn from Tim Keller, podcast episode 693: Maker of Heaven and Earth.


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