Small Errors: Huge Consequences

Dec 21, 2015 1783


Very few people know the truth about the most influential book of the last fifteen hundred years, On The Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin. This book was based on what now seems a tiny mistake, but it changed the world drastically for the worse.

Historian and scientist Janet Browne, in her biography of Charles Darwin, tells us that the Origin was the product of Victorian society.

It was in 1838 that Darwin read Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Malthus. The book urged that as population rises and the food supply diminishes struggle for existence wipes out the weak and preserves the strong. Malthus was referring to humans but Darwin immediately applied it to animals and the Origin was born. Hence the motto: Survival of the Fittest.

The third chapter of Darwin’s famous book is entitled Struggle for Existence. More than twenty times, we find the key word: ‘struggle’. And on page 59 (reprint by Oxford University Press of Darwin’s second edition), we read:

As more individuals are produced than can possibly survive, there must in every case be a struggle for existence. … It is the doctrine of Malthus applied with manifold force to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms. …

Here now is the point. Thomas Malthus has not been taken seriously for a long time. Likewise, his theory. The Cambridge Companion to Darwin by Johnathan Hodge and Gregory Radick says on page 162:

Since the synthesis of Darwin and Mendelian genetics in the 1930’s and 1940’s, Darwinians have not regarded the struggle for existence as a cause of natural selection.

Many scientists have echoed this conclusion. There is a struggle for existence in nature but it does not have the prominence Darwin gave it. Most species are plant, seed or fruit eaters, and carnivores are much in the minority. V.C. Wynne-Edwards, a British zoologist, has written at length, showing that living things balance their population in an interesting way, not by fierce competition (Darwin’s idea), but by limiting reproduction.

There is much more on this topic in my recent book Genesis Versus Darwinism. But the point we must not miss is that Darwin jumped to a conclusion, which has led the world into atheism and a disregard for the sacredness of life. His small mistake has led to the cruel killing of millions by war, as well as social and industrial greed.

History is one of God’s lesson-books. From the Darwin story we learn how influential our own decisions and conclusions can be.  Our influence is like the dropping of a stone into water causing wider and wider circles. Small mistakes by any one of us can have tremendous consequences for the lives of many.  This awareness should lead us to think and pray much, and to refuse all carelessness of behaviour. Only by much consideration of the person and work of our Saviour can right choices become instinctive for us. Then, and then only, we shall be a saviour of life unto life.

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