…The world was not only imaginatively comprehensible, it was benevolently ordered. It is true that, ever since Copernicus and Galileo, the earth could no longer be regarded as the center of the universe; the music of the spheres was stilled. But God presided every instant, through the invisible filaments of gravitation, over the perfectly ordered harmony of the planetary motions.
And if the earth was not the center of the universe, man was still emphatically the center- the end and purpose- of life on earth, a life which had issued, fully formed in all its variety of fish and flesh and fowl, directly from the hands of the Creator, to be subject to a man quickened into life, as in Michelangelo’s famous fresco, by the outstretched finger of God: “fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” A characteristic treatise published in 1833 was entitled “On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God as Manifested in the Adaptation of External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Constitution of Man.” It would be hard to think of a neater inversion of the Darwinian theory.
In harsher climates and in times when man’s control over nature was more precarious, this doctrine often needed supplementation. The fall was necessary to explain the tiger, and men wondered whether there were insects in Eden. By the eighteenth century, however, nature was sufficiently tamed tobe idealized, at least by those who did not themselves labor on the land, and educated men were sufficiently leisured and urban to be sentimental about it. The eighteenth century was the heydey of the cult of a benevolent and edifying nature, while the Fall receded more and more into the theological background.
(see link at end)…Unfortunately, it’s precisely the philosophical foundations of decency that are undermined by the Darwinian perspective. If taken deeply to heart, Darwinism erases the distinction, the right of protection, that a human being earns simply by being human. After all, there’s nothing special about belonging to our species over any other. All the species are part of a continuum of life bubbling up from history without guidance, purpose or meaning.
The respect in which such ideas are held in prestige society can’t help but have a morally corrosive effect that trickles down and outward to the rest of the culture. When they are honest with themselves, Darwinists admit this. In his book, Smith quotes Richard Dawkins, who entertains a fond daydream in which scientists find a living human/chimp hybrid, able to breed with both species and thus finally proving that human beings are just another kind of animal:
We need only discover a single survivor, say a relict Australopithecus in the Budongo Forest, and our precious system of norms and ethics could come crashing about our ears. The boundaries with which we segregate our world would be shot to pieces.
Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/kingdomofpriests/2010/03/if-the-intelligent-design-side-in.html#ixzz2EkqypoLo