The Irresponsible Evolutionary Man
Modern man’s irresponsibility stems, in a large part, from evolution’s naturalism. Modern science has invented a natural history of man in which he is largely passive.
In evolutionary dogma, man is a product of a natural process. He is not the creation of a righteous God, but of “nature.” He is what he is because of heredity and environment.
Naturalistic science has split into two camps regarding man’s current responsibility to his environment. One view elevates nature as primary. It sees all life as a product of natural process and believes man must defer to that process. In this camp are the radical environmentalists. They fear that man’s intelligence and his technology have too great an impact on life and are in danger of destroying the integrity of the evolutionary process.
The second view sees man himself as primary, as the highest expression of the process, and who must now take control of it. Man, they believe, has evolved into the supreme being of the evolutionary process. They believe in man’s use of science to define, control, and improve on life itself. They are the genetic engineers of the brave new world, the cult of science. This position rests on the integrity of man as the product of evolution’s process.
The two positions see man’s current responsibility differently, but, in terms of the past, both see man as a product of his heredity and environment.
Scripture says man is over the creation and under God. There is no “nature” in Scripture, as naturalistic science presents it. There is only the natural world created by God over which He placed man as vice-regent. Scripture presents a creation passive in relationship to God (in creation, curse, its laws, and miracles) and passive in relation to man (and his care or abuse of it).
Non-Christian science inverts this order. It places man under nature and over God, which it sees as a creation of man’s psychology. Nature after Darwin became a creator and sustainer of life, a replacement for God and His provident care.
Even those who believe man’s evolved status has legitimized his desire to control nature still say that, morally, man is nature’s product. Man, in this view, still is wholly controlled by his past. Both views, moreover, subject man to further controls. Man is to be controlled by either the evolutionary process and its environmentalist guardians or by a scientific elite.
Evolution’s premise is that man is a product controlled by his world. It is thus easy to claim victimhood and blame some aspect of his environment or heredity. Blame (guilt) for what he is can be transferred to one aspect of his environment (past or present) or another endlessly. Evolutionary dogma precludes responsibility. It can, after Freud, identify guilt, but can only deal with it as a scientific, psychological fact, rather than a moral one.
Scripture makes man a product, a creation, of God. But it also makes it clear that man’s sin is wholly his responsibility and emphasizes the righteousness of God. It allows man to accept his personal responsibility (in repentance) and have faith in God’s reconciliation of man to His righteousness (justification). Man is then free to have dominion under God over himself and his world. Evolutionary man is irresponsible man. The redeemed man is a responsible man, restored to his intended purpose.