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The boy who’s proud to be a killer

Will Cornick murders teacher in front of classmates in Leeds, England


Illustration by Caleb Salisbury 9872-how-to-3-sm
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The horrendous stabbing murder1 of an English high school teacher and the comments the perpetrator made afterwards are a potent reminder of the possible effects of evolutionary thinking on impressionable minds.

Some of the sickening comments the teenage student made after the killing included:

“I wasn’t in shock, I was happy. I had a sense of pride. I still do.
“I know it’s uncivilised but I know it’s incredibly instinctual and human. Past generations of life, killing is a route of survival.
“It’s kill or be killed. I did not have a choice. It was kill her or suicide.
“I know the victim’s family will be upset but I don’t care. In my eyes, everything I’ve done is fine and dandy.”1

He had previously said of the teacher on Facebook that “she deserves more than death, more than pain and more than anything that we can understand”.1

The details of the killing make disturbing reading. It happened at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds, England, when the teenager walked up behind a 61-year-old female teacher, winked at fellow students and then fatally stabbed her.

The boy, Will Cornick, has since been jailed, and details of his planned attack and callous attitude were revealed in court. While it’s impossible to know what influences impacted the killer and resulted in such psychopathic tendencies, his statements that “it’s incredibly instinctual and human” and “killing is a route of survival”, have inescapable evolutionary overtones.

After all, at the heart of Darwin’s philosophy that overwhelms the education system and the wider community is the belief that we are nothing more than biochemistry—that all our thoughts, feelings and actions are simply the result of our genes and the environment.2

As well, Cornick’s statements are somewhat similar to those of the notorious American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer who once said: “After all, if a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then—then what’s the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we, when we died, you know, that was it, there is nothing…”3

After the shooting massacre in 1999 in America in which teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves, people were asking, ‘How could they do such a thing?’4 The killers were obsessed with blood-drenched video games and violent death. They were also fascinated by the German Nazi belief, fuelled by ideas of Darwinian struggle, in a ‘master race’.5

Only a moral and legal code based on Christian morality will act as some sort of restraint to such tendencies. But once there is the justification that it’s ‘natural’ to kill, this will happen more. The analogy can be made with depression/suicide; even if depression in a culture remains at a constant level, the percentage of those who then give in to their impulse to self-destruct will be higher when people think life has no meaning and there is no afterlife.

The fact that Cornick’s attack happened at a Catholic college also speaks of the way in which much of the church has embraced evolution over the creation account in Genesis. Science, some churches say, has shown the Genesis account of creation to be wrong, so it is appropriate to take a different view.2

So, even in church-run schools children are told that man is just an animal, that death and violence are a natural part of evolution, and that ‘only the fittest survive’, so it is no wonder that young people are wallowing in utter hopelessness.5

At CMI, we argue that science and Scripture do not collide, and that there is no need to compromise either—a view which numerous articles on this website show to be entirely reasonable.2 The Bible can be trusted absolutely in what it says about earth history. And it can be trusted in what it says about everything else too, particularly that it is wrong to kill another human despite a mindset like that of this troubled individual who subscribes to the notion that ‘it’s incredibly instinctual and human’ to carry out such an act.

Published: 22 January 2015

References and notes

  1. Rayner, G., Boy, 16, winked at fellow student before stabbing teacher Ann Maguire to death as she tried to flee, telegraph.co.uk, 3 November 2014. Return to text.
  2. Statham, D., The slippery slope, 20 October 2011; creation.com/slippery-slope. Return to text.
  3. Interview with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, 29 November 1994. Return to text.
  4. Catchpoole, D., Inside the mind of a killer, 9 November 2007; creation.com/killer. Return to text.
  5. Catchpoole, D., How to build a bomb in the public school system, Creation 22(1):17, December 1999; creation.com/bomb. Return to text.

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