Darwin Day and Worldview

It has taken me a long time to get to this point, but I am finally ready to praise People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or as they are more commonly known, PETA. This organization really gets it when it comes to worldview. In fact, PETA accepts and follows the logical consequences of a worldview better than almost any other group I can think of. 

Let me explain.

[Yesterday was] Darwin Day, the 199th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. The Darwin Day Celebration website explains that Darwin Day "is an international celebration of science and humanity." The site suggests that we hold "civic ceremonies with official proclamations, educational symposia, birthday parties, art shows, book discussions, lobby days, games, protests, and dinner parties."

If you think that sounds a little excessive, you ain't seen nothing yet. As Regis Nicoll wrote on our blog, The Point, next year will be proclaimed "the year of Darwin" to celebrate Darwin's 200th birthday. British organizations are planning an "Evolution Megalab" to teach visitors of all ages how to "see evolution at work in the natural world around them." And that will be just one of "an unequalled spate of high-profile broadcasting and public events throughout the world."

Here's where PETA comes in. PETA was celebrating Darwin Day long before there was an official Darwin Day. You can see it in everything it does-from its ads comparing the slaughter of animals to the Holocaust, to PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk's famous statement that "When it comes to pain, love, joy, loneliness, and fear, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy."

What does that have to do with Darwinism? Everything. To a Darwinist, you see, there is no distinction between human beings and animals. We all came about by chance; we are made of the same "stuff," and we all end up as nothing more than dust. Instead of recognizing humans as bearers of God's image, Darwinism sees us as nothing more than competitively successful bipeds with opposable thumbs. Forget any talk of human dignity.

And that is exactly the worldview that PETA lives by. If Darwinism-which we teach in the schools-is true, then they are right: Slaughtering and eating animals is just as bad as the Holocaust. It is cannibalism. If Darwinism is true, then PETA was correct when it recently compared the American Kennel Club to the Ku Klux Klan for trying to create a "master race" of dogs. Charles Darwin and Ingrid Newkirk are so much on the same page that without Darwin, there could be no PETA. It is a perfect example of following a worldview to its logical conclusion.

You have gathered by now, I hope, that the first part of this commentary was satirical. But it is no joke that the kind of thinking I am describing is exactly what the Darwinian worldview can lead to. Darwin Day is not really about parties and science fairs; it is about a total loss of moral transcendence and the loss of dignity of human life.

And the real tragedy is that people like PETA are more faithful in following their worldview than many Christians are in following ours. Christians who buy into Darwinian evolution need to understand what they are really saying: that their God considers them of no more value than a rat, or a pig, or a dog.

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  • Guest

    I believe we Catholics are granted much latitude in this discussion.  I for one have struggled with it …. but I believe rightly so, we need not stick our heads in the sand and ignore possible truths that exist in some or part of the theory of evolution …. for so long as we agree that a soul was imparted on man sometime ago … that's enough for us to pick up our story at this point.  I very much enjoy and respet Chuck Colson, but they walk on thinner ice than they have to.

  • Guest

    REaders of this story might be interested in this link about cardinal schonborn's new book


  • Guest

    Colson is wrong about one thing.  There is a big distinction between animal and people in PETA's worldview.

    You see, if PETA really believed people are the same as animals, then they would have to agree that people should  be allowed to adapt however they can to ensure their species reproduces and dominates their environment — just like every other animal does when it gets to the top wrung in its environment.

    But PETA says people are not allowed to do this. 

    Somehow, PETA says, people are held to a different standard from the animals.  People are not allowed to make their top priority the survival and dominance of their species.  Somehow, without saying it, PETA realizes that people are the stewards of their environment, not simply the smartest pieces of meat to randomly come to dominate it. 

    Point this out to a PETA person sometime and see if it sinks in.

    Anyway, I'll recommend the Cardinal's book to all the smart monkeys on my mailing list!

  • Guest

    PTR – I got the impression that Colson doesn't support the misguided efforts of PETA for the reasons you state.  His later statement of it being "satrical" seems to point that out don't  you think. 

  • Guest

    Someday I'll check my spellings before pushing post …. someday …

  • Guest


    I realize Mr. Colson does not support PETA. I agree with him that PETA is wrong and even worthy of satire.

    But I must point out that while he gives them credit for faithful consistency in their Darwinist worldview, I disagree for the reason stated above.