How Evolution Means the Death of the Soul

How Evolution Means the Death of the SoulEvolutionists rarely proclaim their incompatibility with Christianity so as not to alarm Christians. They will generally try to present it as a purely scientific theory that seeks to explain the origins of the universe. If religious people have a problem, it is their narrow vision to blame, not the theory itself.

I have always viewed this perspective as dishonest. It is obvious to me that this debate goes beyond science. The liberal media and educational establishment put too much emphasis on a process that can only be truly verified by going back millions of years (which no one can).

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Liberals lose no opportunity to introduce it into any narrative. It seems no tourist site or museum can be left without some reference to evolution eons ago. There has to be something else that makes it so important to the liberal mindset.

Another indication of this importance is the fact that it impassions both the left and the right, liberals and conservatives, atheists and Christians. No one seems content to leave it in the dark and distant past. No one becomes impassioned about something that is not important. Therefore, it must be important.

A Common-sense Rejection of Evolution

At the same time, I have always thought it ironic that, despite all the propaganda in favor of evolution, so few Americans actually believe in it. We are supposed to be the nation of technology and progress.

Yet a 2012 Gallop poll, for example, found that only 15 percent of Americans believe that man is the product of Darwin’s ape-to-human natural selection process alone. Some 46 percent believe in Creation by God alone. The others are somewhere in the middle. It appears that most people do not have sufficient faith in science to believe in the highly improbable hit-and miss narrative over billions of years.

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Indeed, it takes a lot of faith to believe in evolution. To explain a world of evident intelligent design, it is much more commonsensical to believe in God as Creator.

Evolution Means There is No Soul

Thus, the debate rages mainly in the scientific fields. Although Creation supporters debate well in this field, few see evolution as a graver danger to philosophy, theology or Christianity as a whole.

That is why I was surprised to find a recent bestseller that just plain said it. Curiously historian Yuval Noah Harari in his book Homo Deus:, A Brief History of Tomorrow, recounts his musings about the undue importance given to evolution as opposed to other scientific theories. He sought to find out why modernity needs evolution to progress.

And when he finds out, he bluntly says it: “if you really understand the theory of evolution, you understand that there is no soul.”

Harari is an important writer that enjoys the greatest prestige and support from the liberal establishment. His books have been on the New York Times bestsellers list and enjoy endorsement from figures like former President Barack Obama and Bill Gates. It is safe to say that his views represent the cutting edge of liberal thought.

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The Soul is Rejected by Science, Therefore It Does Not Exist

Thus, he explains why evolution means there is no soul. This is because the immortal, immutable and indivisible soul simply cannot fit into a narrative that is a changeable, divisible and selective. Evolution only works when the being that is evolving has parts that can change, mutate and thus evolve. The soul has no parts. “Something that cannot be divided or changed cannot have come into existence through natural selection,” Harari concludes.

His logic is very clear: the existence of souls is incompatible with the theory of evolution since the process cannot produce everlasting entities. Everything is mutable. To him, souls are something we, as humans, created to assure our immortal future in an imagined afterlife. Thus, he says that the whole scientific establishment rejects the notion of the soul and have never found proofs of its existence.  As it cannot be scientifically observed, the soul does not exist.

The Consequences of Evolutionary Theory

This explains why radical liberals like evolution so much. Christianity exists for the salvation of souls. The role of religion is to link souls to God and prepare them for their eternal destiny. If there is no soul, they can be no God. Religion makes no sense. Thus, it is not by chance that there is a fundamental incompatibility between the adherents of religion and by those who really understand evolution’s full implications.

Of course, the premise that the soul does not exist has practical consequence in society. if there is no soul, then there is no final destination to punish evil and rewards good forever. Morality itself become irrelevant. As Harari claims, man becomes reduced to a conscious animal governed by pre-determined impulses without free will.

Such a society corresponds to the dialectic materialism espoused by Marx and is carried forth by liberal thought to our day. Scholars like Harari at least have the honesty to admit the essential role of evolution in forming the society they see for the future.

These scholars looking into future also proclaim their opposition to those who cling to a society based on what Russell Kirk called the “permanent things.” An evolutionary order cannot come to terms with permanent norms of courage, duty, courtesy, justice, and charity that owe their existence and authority to a transcendent God.

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Thus, the battle lines are drawn.  Most people defending a Divine order sense incompatibility between the two world views implicitly although they do not know how to express it clearly. The evolutionists know better the brutal laws of evolution yet dare not state it bluntly. The result is a situation that leads to so many people, as Harari rightly claims, prefer “to reject the theory of evolution rather than give up their souls.”

As seen on The Imaginative Conservative.