A few weeks ago I put out a poll asking what you all wanted me to write about. This was the winner. The question of whether evolution is a religion will be the subject of this article. The question is relevant because evolutionists frequently frame the debate as one of science versus religion. However, if evolution is a religion, then their argument is invalid.
In order to proceed, we need to first discuss what a religion is. Dictionary.com defines it as follows: “A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” This is a fairly broad definition, but it covers religion quite well. Obviously the belief in a Creator would fall under this definition, but would belief in evolution? In order to decide that, I have broken the definition of a religion down into three parts. Each part will be examined in turn to determine whether evolution may viably be classed as a religion.
The first part of the definition is the beliefs about the “cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.” Evolution most definitely makes statements about the universe’s cause. Evolutionists regularly decry special creation and claim that the universe evolved naturally over billions of years. That is a clear statement about the nature of the universe, namely that it is guided by chance random processes. Further, it indicates that there is no external cause for the universe, that is simply exists because it exists. Because evolutionists claim the universe has no cause, it has no purpose either. Evolutionary belief passes the first part of the religion definition with flying colors.
The second part of a religion is the involvement of devotion and ritual. This one is not quite so clear. However, consider this quote from well known evolutionist and Harvard professor Richard Lewontin “we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door…” In other words, evolution is believed in spite of evidence, not because of it. This level of devotion comes from a religious belief. Evolution is beginning to look suspiciously similar to other world religions in this regard.
The final part of the religion definition is the moral code. Evolutionists undoubtedly will argue that their ideas contain no moral code. They would be incorrect in doing so. Having no imposed moral code is the same thing as having an all-permissive moral code. Essentially, by removing the moral code set by the Judeo-Christian background, evolution replaced it with one of its own. This code is summed up in the catchphrase “If it feels good, do it.” This is an extremely permissive, anything goes, type of morality which has lead to many of the moral quandaries we find ourselves in today. Evolution therefore does fit the definition of a religion.
Evolutionists will openly dispute this of course. However, some of their own luminaries have admitted as much publicly. Dr. Michael Ruse of the University of Guelph Ontario not only stated that evolution is a religion, but also that it always has been. “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. . . . Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.” It is a religion. Even Richard Dawkins admits this, without meaning to. “Of course we can’t prove that there isn’t a God.” Dawkins said. Since there is no proof that a god does not exist, evolutionists must take it by faith. Faith is part of a religious system of belief, not a scientific one. Science demands proof. Faith accepts things without proof. Therefore faith and science cannot be mixed in a belief system. This being the case, since evolution requires that its followers take by faith the concept that there is no god, evolution is a religion. It cannot be science, no matter how many scientists believe it or promote it.