Did Darwin Kill God?

Where humans are from and why we’re here is perhaps the question that has most fascinated and perplexed me for many years. While researching, I looked to philosophers such as Descartes, Plato and Jung, but they were all too heady for me. I wanted cold, hard facts. I wanted the raw data that showed us exactly who we were and where life came from in the first place. This, then, led to an immense string of books, from ‘Evolution From Space’ by Sir Fred Hoyle, to ‘Darwin’s Black Box’ by Michael Behe, to ‘Finding Darwin’s God’ by Ken Miller , the atheist’s bible; ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins, and a still-growing collection of books that’s verging on obsession on my part.

I poured through journals, books, essays and articles from all sides of the debate that offered theories of evolution and the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.  I couldn’t get enough and could sense this overwhelming sense of “something’s not right here.”  And one day, like the proverbial light going on in one’s head; it hit me:  It became abundantly clear that each author was compelled to prove or disprove the existence of a god couched within the very narrow framework of “atheism versus Christianity with dashes of agnosticism.”

It was as if the only legitimately arguable positions by the leading thinkers on the topic are atheist, Christianity, or agnostic.  This baffled me at first until I looked at the statistics:  All of these books were by Westerners, and the overwhelming majority of Westerners are either Christian, atheist or agnostic.

Spirituality, especially when coupled with physics, is a fertile ground of answers and explanations.  When one frees oneself of the bounds of these limited perspectives of atheism, Christianity, agnosticism or nothing, there is much more latitude to construct answers to one of the most fundamental questions that we humans ask ourselves.

So, regardless of what some Christian loudmouths would like to peddle, arguments about Creationism are easily dismissed. Arguments about an intelligent hand directing evolution (“Intelligent Design” or “ID” for short) are looking less and less likely as evolutionary science and genetics advance, at least in terms of life on planet Earth, but the scope that intelligent design is assigned to is extremely limited from both a philosophical as well as a physics-based perspective.  Perhaps the debates need to be wrought with limitations and specific filters in order to apply to larger audiences, but they cripple any debate from the outset.

The simple fact is, is that the Christian God can be easily dismissed (see “Be a Good Christian: Kill Your Children?”), and I choose to argue my position without wasting precious time on proving that the Bible is anything other than a borrowed piece of mythology, written by mere mortals long after the fact, endlessly translated by those in power to maintain control over a people, full of easily discredited contradictions and inaccuracies, with a God that is more hateful, cruel, and vindictive than most humans could ever imagine at the center of a belief system responsible for more deaths, atrocities, and wars than the history of the world since the time of God combined.

The main thrust of Dawkins’ argument for atheism is that since evolution is virtually an undeniable fact, it therefore logically follows that our Universe started off quite simply, with such evolved beings as ourselves gradually evolving over billions of years from the primordial soup.  I have no disagreement with that position, and it is trumpeted as the end of Christian God, but why limit the discussion to those boundaries?

Dawkins himself makes it vividly clear that the arguments in his book ‘The God Delusion’ are a direct response to the Christian God and the Christian explanation of who we are and where we came from.  And that, to me, is such a waste of valuable brain power; yes, any rational, thinking being who’s either done a bit of research or who has done what most who claim to be Christians haven’t, which is actually read the Bible, have little trouble making it vividly obvious and clear that the God of the Bible was a poorly-constructed invention of 1st century scribes looking write their own creation myths.

What if there was an intelligence that was void of linearity, unaffected by time, an intelligence that created or gathered the materials that would allow for a system, completely evolutionary, completely self-contained, and completely free to exist, allowing this system to evolve entirely on its own as well? And what if this mixture was what we know today as the ‘Big Bang?’ All the intelligence would have to do after creating that mix, was to wait for life to arise anywhere within this system, anywhere in its universe, waiting for the capability of self-awareness to arise in whatever life form that appeared. Once it did, it could then use this ‘candidate species’ as a vehicle in which to place the mechanism of consciousness and a soul!

This then, opens the possibility that any species on earth could have evolved into the species that was given the gift of self awareness. It just happened to be humans; it could have just as easily been dolphins or elephants or plants. But at the moment, we have been the species that has managed to dominate the Earth for quite a long period of time now, and who’s to say that it will last forever?

Ask a dinosaur that question.

To me, the simple fact is that we humans are no more or less evolved than innumerable other living organisms on this planet; each organism today is a winner in the game of evolution simply because it’s here. We, as humans, can’t claim to be the most complex of organisms; dolphins have a more complex biological structure that we have. We can’t even claim to be the most efficient at reproduction; we move at a snails pace compared to some strains of bacteria that can replicate and cover the entire earth in a very short period of time.

Perhaps the universe is really a massive incubator, consisting of an almost infinite combination of elements in different places, and we could be the first success of that experiment. Maybe this ‘Creator’ wanted to make sure that it would succeed, so it crafted an incubator the size of our universe to allow all possible variance in conditions in the hope that life will rise in the least one of them. Maybe the fruit of this success was the gift of self realization, of consciousness. And maybe, just maybe, this was a way for the intelligence to grow, to evolve itself, to experience all that it could possibly experience, especially if it had no concept of time as being something that is linear; a rare gift that we, as humans have been given!

This then, would also explain why we, as humans, seem to have complete control over our actions and our destinies; if we weren’t given complete freedom of will and then nothing we would ever observe or accomplish would be real, and there would be no point to the experiment. We face real choices each and every day and from these choices, entirely new paths and futures spring forth. This would lay to rest the ceaseless debate over why there is good and evil in the world, or whether or not we have free will, especially if there is a god that exists for love:

My God loves his creation so dearly that we’re offered the gift of free will.

So for all who feared that accepting Darwinian evolution would also mean the death of God, it’s quite the contrary. If, as is stated in ‘Darwin’s Black Box’ by Michael Behe, that there is a grand designer assisting evolution, then, in my mind, this is taking away from, and lessening the power of an ultimate intelligence or a creator.

Why? Because this creator would have bumbled about, as species after species of animal went extinct throughout history, as imperfect creations of the creator who wouldn’t be any more than a Grand Tinkerer.

The answers I so desperately sought I found in science and of what science was beginning to build a rock solid case for: Evolution did happen on this planet; intermediate species between fish and mammals are being found all the time, complex systems such as the rise of eyesight can be traced to its most early beginnings, and even the formation of life itself from inorganic compounds has happened in the laboratory. Debates about ‘irreducibly complex systems’ such as blood clotting have been shown to be nothing more than hopeful theories by Creationists as a way of not only proving the existence of the god they want to believe in, but as a way of giving meaning and purpose to our lives.

This, to me, limits the vast potential and gifts we have been given as humans, to explore, to feel, to hate, to love, to make the sweetest of love or the bloodiest of wars. My god is all knowing and all compassionate, offering us many tools along the way if we choose to use them. My god offers us so much more than we have been taught to believe we posses, and places us in a position of such power; the power of complete control over what we do with each other and with this planet and with this Universe.

Suddenly having a spirit guide doesn’t seem so far fetched; it would be more surprising and shocking if we DIDN’T have spirit guides. My god even provides helpers for the humans that began to reach beyond the confines of the dogma that had been placed within them; offering something more for the humans that could see beyond their humanness.

I now believe that we are not only seeing beyond our humanness in these moments, but that we are seeing into and through the eyes of the intelligence that created us; of our god. We have risen above our vehicles, and have become so self-aware, that we realize there is more to us than these physical frames. I was shocked at the absolute wealth of information that was available on this topic.

In short, I think we are all the original intelligence; the Creator. We hold all the keys and the power in the Universe. I am not only that; I am god, the god, as are all of you. I created this reality as did you, and we are a singular consciousness spread throughout the universe, experiencing itself in infinite ways, learning, growing, evolving, and experiencing everything that being in a carbon-based frame can offer.

In a related note: My god actually lies in the uncertainty of quantum mechanics. Only there does physics break down, where each and every event we experience in this world occurs in ways that, no matter how sophisticated our science ever becomes, we could never predict.

More on that in my ‘MY QUANTUM GOD‘ essay.

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