‘Flattened by the evolution steamroller’?!
This first appeared in CMI-Australia, CMI-Singapore, and CMI-UK/Europe’s Update, February 2022.
As a young teenager, Christopher Beckingham had made a commitment to Jesus Christ.1 However, when he studied biology he was “flattened by the evolution steamroller”, as he put it. He realized that evolution, as taught by mainstream academics, contradicts the Bible’s account of Creation and the Fall in Genesis. They could not both be correct, he thought, and he put his ‘faith’ in the ‘facts’ of science.
“It was in this way that the rug of faith was pulled from under my feet, and it was eight long years before I recovered my trust in the Lord.”
Initially, Christopher would engage with his believing Dad in the creation/evolution debate, but he grew increasingly disinterested as he hardened his heart towards God.
“I hardened my heart and rejected God, indulging in unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness and covetousness. I became increasingly cold and aggressive as I mercilessly pursued my own selfish ambition.” He likened his attitude to those the Apostle Paul referred to in Romans 1:22: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools…”.
He felt invincible and thought that his intelligence and the wisdom of the world would give him whatever he wanted. He even investigated the occult.
But in September 2016 Christopher was brought to his knees.
“As part of my struggle, I developed a severe migraine and became extremely ill—vomiting, bed-bound, and unable to think straight for the pain. This progressed to black spots in my vision and I ended up in hospital.”
About this time, Christopher’s dad obtained tickets to attend the first CMI-UK/Europe’s European Creation Conference, to be held in London (a thousand people attended). Out of respect for his dad, and also some degree of curiosity, Christopher went along with his father. He says,
“Though still battling to concentrate, I was very impressed, particularly by [Professor] Stuart Burgess whose book Hallmarks of Design was to profoundly impact me. I believe this signalled the collapse of evolution’s stronghold on my life.”
“I was now ready to learn about who God is, which required recognition of him as Creator and acceptance of the Genesis account, along with personal recognition of my helplessness, frailty and utter dependence on him.”
He was so thankful for the patience and prayers of his parents and family during his time in the wilderness. They were not pushy, but just trusted the Lord and prayed.
Christopher found a Bible-believing church, began reading his Bible earnestly, and was baptized. He then took a ‘sabbatical’ year, travelling around the world and visiting various countries.
“Everything I saw was just bursting with praise to the Creator: the stars, seas, mountains, birds… I was truly in awe of the beauty of creation for the first time.”
As Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10b.
Many have travelled a similar road as Christopher, raised with some knowledge of the Gospel but losing interest when exposed to evolutionary teaching. This includes some well-known names, such as Richard Dawkins and E.O. Wilson. The latter (also known as ‘a Darwin for the modern day’ and who coined the term ‘scientific humanism’) related,
“As were many persons from Alabama, I was a born-again Christian. When I was fifteen, I entered the Southern Baptist Church with great fervor and interest in the fundamentalist religion; I left at seventeen when I got to the University of Alabama and heard about evolutionary theory.”2
Note that many, such as Dawkins and Wilson, are not just passive atheists but actively work to promote a materialistic philosophy and thus to destroy Christian faith in those they influence.
Wilson is professor emeritus at Harvard University and a world expert on ants. He went on to apply what he discovered about ants to human society and human behaviour. He coined the term ‘sociobiology’, which is the attempt to explain human behaviour, including morals and altruism, in purely Darwinian terms (due to our genes). ‘Sin’ becomes a consequence of our genetic makeup, our imagined evolutionary origins, not our moral choices that offend a holy God.
The growth of atheism
Social surveys underline the role of evolutionary teaching in the growth of atheism (secular humanism) in once-Christian countries such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. For example, McCrindle Research found that over half of all Australians (53%) say science and evolution is an issue that blocks their interest in Christianity and that 1 in 3 (34%) say it blocks them significantly or completely.3 There is nothing in experimental science that undercuts Christian belief; it is only the story of cosmic evolution that does that.
The census data in Australia show the growth of atheism. From 1901 to 1966 fewer than 3% regarded themselves as having ‘no religion’, but the number rose steadily from 1971 onwards to over 30% by 2016.
What changed in the 1960s that could account for this rise of atheism? State education departments introduced the teaching of evolution to all students in general science in middle high school. Up until that time, only senior high school biology students got evolutionary teaching, a tiny proportion of the total student population.
Similar patterns can be seen in other countries. For example, in the USA:
“Evolution … was barely mentioned in school textbooks as late as 1954 … After Sputnik  … the study of evolution was suddenly in all the schools.”4
All manner of social statistics (such as property crimes, violent crimes, suicide, children born out of wedlock) increased following the teaching of evolution to all students.
The experiment of kicking God out of a country has been run before, many times. And the result in each case has been the same; chaos and grief. We read about some of these experiments in the books of Kings, Chronicles, and Judges in the Old Testament.
Reading recent history, we also see the social consequences in countries such as the UK and the USA prior to the ‘Great Awakening’ in America with the revivals, beginning with Jonathan Edwards in the 1730s and 1740s, and subsequent periods into the 19th century. The movement also profoundly influenced other countries with long Christian heritages that had also drifted ‘off song’, such as the UK (John Wesley, George Whitefield). And this overflowed to countries like Australia and New Zealand in the 1800s with widespread conversions to Christ and church planting. One of my forebears pastored a church in inner Sydney in the 1920s where the church ran a Sunday School with 500 children (mostly outdoors!).
Singapore was a late comer with the John Sung revival meetings of the 1930s, with that profound influence still being felt today.
“Men have forgotten God”
In his Templeton address in 1983, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said,
“…if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
Not surprisingly, the state-mandated school curriculum in the Soviet Union had evolutionary teaching as the core ideology.
The teaching of evolution is now destroying ‘the West’ (once strongly Christian nations). The atheist Daniel Dennett, in his book Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, described evolution as the universal acid that “eats through virtually every traditional concept”. Indeed so. According to deep time thinking—as per evolution—death, suffering, and disease characterised the world since its beginning, thus the sin of man did not cause it. If the first Adam did not usher in death and suffering, then the significance of the suffering and death of the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:21,22,45) is undermined right there. The Gospel implodes. This also brings into question the goodness of God and the reliability of the Bible, and much more.
Creation ministry has never been more important than it is today. Thankfully, we have many opportunities to strengthen the faith of young people to help them avoid being run over by the ‘evolution steamroller’.
Thank-you for your part in helping us do what we do. We appreciate your encouragement, your prayers, and practical support.
- This testimony extracted from, Gardner, C., Broken—and rebuilt, Prophecy Today UK, 07 May 2021; prophecytoday.uk/comment/church-issues/item/2208-broken-and-rebuilt.html. Return to text.
- Wilson, E.O., The Humanist, September/October 1982, p. 40. Return to text.
- McCrindle Research, Faith and Belief in Australia, p. 33, May 2017. Return to text.
- Lewontin, R., Harvard University, Scientists Confront Creationism, Godfrey, L.R. (ed.), W.W. Norton, NY, p. xxv. Return to text.