Pushing the boat out

 

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During the 1930s Malcolm Muggeridge was a socialist and a journalist for a leading English national newspaper. After emigrating from England he went to live in the Soviet Union which attracted many left-leaning English intellectuals of the time who were convinced by inadequate socialist convictions. He soon came to realise that a culture based upon atheistic materialism inevitably leads to various forms of death and destruction. So after witnessing the results of mass starvation in the Ukraine, he returned whence he came; to England, a country not perfect, but better than most of the alternatives of that time. Later he was recruited into British Army Intelligence during WW2 and served much of his time in the war in Mozambique. Yet it was a providential meeting with St. Teresa of Calcutta, towards the final years of his life, which is said to have been the main reason for his eventual conversion to Roman Catholicism. In a short book entitled, The End of Christendom, the author reveals his views on Evolution.

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In his short autobiography Mr Muggeridge writes about a lifelong spiritual journey towards Roman Catholicism but he also explains his views on evolution. I find what he says interesting because he is not persuaded by the prevailing secular dogma of evolutionary theory. I recall many years ago in October 1974 being on a geology trip with my school and walking on a wave-cut platform, not unlike the one in the picture above, searching for fossils near the Dorset coast. This was when I first had reason to consider the theory of evolution and wondered why animals were not noticeably in the process of evolving into other species? If evolution was true why did everything around me appear more or less complete? Were we, was everything, the finished evolutionary article? The answers I received seemed somehow insufficient and it did not then occur to me to read the primary author of evolution and natural selection, Charles Darwin. Over forty years later, and after reading The Voyage of the Beagle, The Origin of Species as well as an acclaimed biography by Paul Johnson, I think there is every reason to question Darwin’s ideas on evolution and natural selection. `Darwin questioned the lack of fossil evidence at the time but thought the answer lay beneath the oceans in yet to be discovered transitional fossil forms. Apart from the aforementioned dubious claims the evidence is not there. Macro-evolutionary theory fails to convince because one species does not become another species. Although a finch may adapt to its Galapagos island environment, as Darwin once observed, it does not become a penguin nor is it ever likely to. The following exchange is taken from The End of Christendom by Malcolm Muggeridge where, at an invited event, he is questioned about evolution by a member of the audience.

Question: What are your views on evolution?

Muggeridge: I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it has been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books in the future. Posterity will marvel that so flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredulity it has. I think I spoke to you before about this age as one of the most credulous in history, and I would include evolution as an example. I’m very happy to say I live near a place called Piltdown. I like to drive there because it gives a special glow. You probably know that a skull was discovered there and no less than five hundred doctoral thesis were written on the subject and then it was discovered that the skull was a practical joke by a worthy dentist in Hastings who’d hurriedly put a few bones together, not even from the same animal, and buried them and stirred up all this business. So I’m not a great man for bones.

Question: My question is, supposing you are mistaken that the theory of evolution will be a curiosity. What effect does this have on Christianity, if any?

Muggeridge: I don’t believe it’s true.

Questioner: That’s not the point.

Muggeridge: But it is the point, I beg your pardon. It’s not your point but it’s my point.

Questioner: I’m asking a hypothetical question. Would it make a difference to Christianity if evolution were true?

Muggeridge: Well, if it were true, I should have to consider that. But as it isn’t true, I don’t have to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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