Experiment: Take a Darwinist to Church
“Go to church and breathe easier,” announced an unusual entry on EurekAlert. A study at Temple University found a positive correlation between religious activity and lung function. They said that “religious activity is emerging as a potential health promoting factor, especially among the elderly.” In addition, “going to church provides social contact and emotional support, thereby reducing the isolation that afflicts many elderly and boosting psychological well-being.”
Meanwhile, a group of hard-core atheists, many of them prominent evolutionary scientists, is on a campaign this Christmas season to rid science and society of religion. Read about their Beyond Belief 2006 conference on Evolution News and Uncommon Descent. There were no reports of singing at their conference.
Do this experiment: invite a hard-core Darwinist to a quality Christmas concert at a good old-fashioned, Bible-believing church in town – you know, the kind that actually believes Jesus was born in Bethlehem as the Son of God, with angels singing and all the rest. We realize this is somewhat risky to your friend’s health, at least at first. The shock of seeing such joy may be too much to endure. He or she will undoubtedly become very conflicted, trying to Darwinize the overwhelming display of artistry, factual content, confident hope and love as manifestations of sexual selection and selfish genes.
A Christmas Concert with instruments, choir, soloists, a short sermon and the involvement of a happy audience with talented and committed Christian musicians carries a message with a wallop that will be hard to explain away. In only 90 minutes, a Christmas Concert intertwines elements of history, music, light and color, theology, emotion, intellect, reasonable faith and love in ways that a scientific paper and website cannot possibly convey. It will be hard for your poor Darwinist friend to rationalize the lovely lilting voice of the soprano as glorified ape grunts, or the incomparable blend of rich male voices with female voices in the choir, each with their characteristic sonorities combined with human language expressing intelligent communications, artfully woven into rich aesthetic harmonies, as manifestations of sexual selection. Then a good preacher can wrap this all around a solid message based on the real events that occurred in Bethlehem and Jerusalem in recorded history (you know, about Herod, Caesar Augustus and the rest of those mythical characters in the Christmas story), showing that this is not just some social ritual a few steps up from the jungle. Any Darwinist with a piece of soul left will have to ponder, Have I been missing something?
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie,
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the Everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given;
And the government shall be upon His shoulder,
And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
The spiritual dimension that makes humans unique in all creation will be displayed in a loving, thought-provoking, uplifting atmosphere where everyone can breathe easier. Darwinism doesn’t have a song that can compare with such a spectacle. Music plunges into a soul where argument cannot reach.
You won’t need to say anything afterwards except, “Thank you for joining me! I’m so glad you could come. Merry Christmas!” If your Darwinist friend can manage to endure the initial pain of withdrawal that night alone at home, then he or she, too, might be drawn to take their first, real, invigorating, breath of fresh air.
PS: Be sure to follow up with an invitation to the Easter Concert.