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Are Humans “A Plague on the Earth”?

David Klinghoffer

Back in January in Dallas, Discovery Institute organized its major conference on science and faith, before a huge and appreciative audience. We are releasing videos of presentations from the Dallas conference, including today, John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science & Culture, on “Darwin’s Corrosive Idea.”

This is well timed. I can’t help but think that how we respond to the present health crisis has a lot to do with how we, as individuals, saw reality before we gave a moment’s thought to the coronavirus. As Dr. West summarizes here, “Ideas really do have consequence.” 

In the case of Darwin’s idea of unguided evolution and of a planet of life formed from blind, merciless material processes alone, West notes a range of consequences and impacts, on how we see the sanctity of human, how we understand morality and spirituality, and much more. One observation caught my attention: an interview with Sir David Attenborough, in 2013, in which the famed evolutionist called humans “a plague on the Earth.”

According to Attenborough, in the past, natural selection kept humans in check by killing them off. But modern society undermines natural selection by saving the sick and finding ways to feed more and more people.

In remarkable contrast to that is a perspective that recognizes design in the cosmos. As biologist Michael Denton has put it, “The human form is something significant in the cosmic order, and that is a scientific finding.” 

We are releasing videos from the Dallas Conference on Science & Faith each Wednesday here at Evolution News. Check back next week and see Douglas Axe on “Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Design.”

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.



Center for Science & CultureCharles DarwinDallas Conference on Science & FaithDavid AttenboroughDiscovery InstituteDouglas AxeevolutionistsJohn Westmoralitynatural selectionplagueSir David Attenboroughspirituality