The basic claim of atheists is that they are superior to believers because, in their view, believers look for easy answers. In their view, belief in God boils down to an easy explanation for all matters scientific, even though that is the last thing on the mind of most believers.
My contention, especially when I hear atheists speak, is just the opposite. When I hear people like P.Z. Myers, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins speak, their attitude is not one of scientific inquiry but one of “closed book”: “I read Darwin, and Darwin had all the answers! I didn’t have to believe in God anymore!” They are the ones who have intentionally sought out a reason *not* to believe in God. Why have they done this, if belief in God is such a simple answer?
God does not answer questions: God opens up a whole new realm of questions. In reality, the study of science always opens new doors: first the molecule was thought to be the basic unit of matter; then the atom; then the proton, neutron and electron; now we have nuons, quarks, tachyons and other theoretical sub-nuclear particles. What happened before the Big Bang?
For the theologian, the questions extend far beyond the big bang.
Scientific and philosophic minds ask these questions. Atheists do not. They settle on the easiest answers science provides and say, “God does not exist.”
Belief does not answer questions; it creates more. It also doesn’t provide an easy way of life, since belief requires morality. Atheists balk at the notion that atheism is inherently amoral, yet there really is no basis for any objective morality without a moral lawgiver. Atheists can only be positivists, at best, and usually are moral solipsists, at worst.
What is the more challenging belief system? One that says we evolved from apes, therefore we are little better than apes, therefore we can justify any action that we commit as due to our genetic heritage?
Or a belief system that says a higher being created us with a special dignity that we must live up to, that we are spiritual as well as incarnational beings, that our intellect and spirit should ultimately have control over our body?
This, of course, is why Darwin is so all-fired important to them. Nevermind that it’s been perfectly obvious from day 1 that there are things in the Bible that are not miracles yet not sensical, either (such as blatant historical errors). The Fathers taught that, if it comes to the Bible versus science or history in a matter of science or history, you go with science or history.
Whether God made Adam out of clay or out of a primate, it doesn’t really make a difference, but to atheists, who want an easy out, it does. Darwin is so important to them because, with Darwin, they can discount Genesis, and it’s not the first part of Genesis 1 they really care about; it’s Genesis 2 and 3.
When Darwin becomes your Gospel, then you can discount Original Sin.
Who’s really looking for easy answers?