The Greatest Show on Earth

16 09 2009

The Greatest Show on Earth is the title of Richard Dawkins’ latest book, arguing that there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that evolution is a fact of science. I haven’t read the book, but I was interested by the review from The Economist in the September 5 issue.

The Economist generally charts a fairly moderate course on most issues, making the (expensive) weekly issues a very readable and helpful survey of world news. But apparently they have no such moderation when it comes to the question of origins. Their review of The Greatest Show is hardly a review, but a combination advertisement (for the book and evolution) and polemic (against any suggestion of a Creator or Intelligent Designer).

Among the cute anecdotes from the article: creation scientists are “a ragbag of nonentities, mostly engineers or chemists rather than biologists.” We have a PhD biologist in our church who also happens to be a creation scientist. I’m humored to learn that he is actually a nonentity!

I was also intrigued by their claim that the “immensity of pain” in the animal kingdom (and the world at large) is a fatal blow to any suggestion of an intelligent designer. They claim that “among the many puzzles that evolution explains so well are the futility and suffering that are ubiquitous in the natural world.”

Is survival of the fittest really the best explanation? The Bible pegs the moral climate of our modern world (Rom. 1:24-32, II Tim. 3:1-5), the religious climate of our modern world (II Tim. 4:3-4), and the pain and heartache of our modern world (Rom. 8:21-22, I Thess. 4:13). It also explains the universality of these problems (Ps. 51:5, Rom. 5:12, Jer.17:9, Eph. 2:3) and their impact on creation (Rom. 8:22). These things provide a remarkably thorough worldview, explaining “the futility and suffering that are ubiquitous.” To claim that such futility and suffering “defies explanation” by any theistic view is to demonstrate a gross ignorance of the Bible. The Economist should do better.

Unlike Darwinism, the Bible also provides the answer, because God has provided the answer (Rom. 5:15-17). Because of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, even the creation will someday be set free from its slavery to corruption (Rom. 8:21). That will be the greatest show on earth.


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