McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)–In the book, “Getting a Grip on Evolution,” author David Burnie writes, “The notion that living things slowly adapt and change as generations succeed each other is so well validated that it is no longer simply a theory, but a paradigm that shapes every aspect of the science life.”
Mr. Brunie is not alone in his assessment of Darwin’s theory concerning the origin of life. A poll conducted by People for the American Way released in the spring of 2000 indicated that 83 percent of those responding believed the theory of evolution belonged in science class; 71 percent felt that evolution, and evolution alone, should be taught in public schools.
I think it is high time that those who believe the “fact” of evolution start demanding its application in every aspect of life. The fruit of Darwin’s didactic is already being realized in the area of family planning with abortion. It manifests itself in the area of sexuality with homosexuality and various other perversions. The medical community is beginning to feel evolution’s impact with euthanasia and infanticide. Since the paradigm of evolution taints so much of our life, let’s not hold back. Another area where evolution’s “truth” must be applied is environmental policy.
One of the tenets of Darwin’s theory is natural selection — or as it is referred to by some, “the survival of the fittest.” In simple terms, this “fact” of evolution holds that poor-performing (weak and/or unable to adapt) species will be weeded out in the struggle for survival. On the other hand, species that are fit (able to adapt and/or overcome challenges) will survive and thrive via procreation.
Since, according to Burnie and others, evolution is an established “fact,” they should demand the principle of natural selection be employed when making environmental decisions. So the next time a whale becomes beached or trapped in Arctic ice, it must simply be left to die. No more moving heaven and earth to help; the mammal in question is simply unfit for survival. It is, in the catch phrase of a popular television game show, “the weakest link.” So we have to say, “Goodbye.”
The paradigm of evolution should impact the Endangered Species Act as well. Writing in “Getting a Grip on Evolution,” Brunie states, “Since life began, about 99 percent of the species that have evolved on Earth have died out.” (Don’t you feel lucky to even be alive?) He continues, “For every species on Earth, life is destined to end in the ultimate failure; extinction. But although extinction represents failure for individual species, it is part of the process that allows life to adapt and change.”
Spotted owls will just have to adapt to logging in the Pacific Northwest or “another one bites the dust.” Suckerfish can grow lungs, sprout legs and crawl out of a dried up lake or become compost. According to Brunie, extinction is simply reality, part of the price to be paid for evolutionary progress.
Those who assert the “fact” of evolution should get serious about applying it to every facet of life. If we are nothing more than animals, then it is time we start acting like it and treating other species accordingly. Remember, when the environment gets tough, the “tough” evolve – and the rest become museum exhibits!
Boggs, whose column appears each Friday in Baptist Press, is pastor of Valley Baptist Church, McMinnville, Ore.