Why do Atheists love Darwin?

Recently, I had an amazing opportunity to visit the Midwest Mother-ship of Atheism.  Madison, Wisconsin is home to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and their annual conference.  Of course, I had to go!  🙂

Why?  Because I love Atheists!  Yes, I want to get to know them, learn what makes them tick, become their friend, and give them a chance to understand the Good News of Jesus.

This photo was taken at the conference and yes, I am not afraid of burning in hell, but I am more accurately described as an UNABASHED THEIST.  I am not ashamed of the Gospel and I will walk into the belly of the beast to share the love of Christ.

The FFRF has a beautiful location downtown called Freethought Hall and I was given the chance to look around.  Did you know that Atheists have their own flag?  This was news to me, but got me thinking.  Do you supposed people let their “A” flag fly?  Now that would be a great icebreaker with your neighbors.  “Hey Ted, are you an Angels fan?”  “Thanks for asking Dan, but no… its my Atheism flag.”


You know, I have to respect the FFRF for their honesty and clarity when it comes to what their organization is about.  Here’s a shot of the lobby with an Atheism sign and on the wall is a framed piece of governmental art that leaves God out of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Another amazing aspect of the Freethought Hall in downtown Madison, Wisconsin is the library.  Not only do they have a spiral staircase, big windows, and thousands of books to encourage readers to ditch their faith, they have stained glass.  There is a strange feeling of worshipful reverence in the FFRF library.  But the question we must ask, if not God then who is revered in this palace of worship?

Of course, no atheist library would be complete without a life-like statue of Charles Robert Darwin himself.  He posed for a photo with me and we’re now bros.  He calls me Willie and I call him Chuckie.

So, why do Atheists love Darwin?

Darwin gave atheism a foundation.  Just like Christianity having the foundation of an intentional Creator God, the idea of biological evolution having taken place due to natural selection instead of supernatural causation gave Atheists a place to stand.

FFRF has a page dedicated to highlighting Darwin’s Atheism, click here.

Also, the famed Darwin Day celebration that takes place every year on February 12th was started by Humanists, click here.  They are very clear in communicating why Darwin is their beloved.

“He was also sensitive to the private and social upheaval that the theory of evolution would cause: revealing that human beings all belong to one common family and relating us to all other living things came at the cost of displacing humanity from the central, divine position we had previously occupied.” – source

Atheists love Darwin because…


But don’t take my word for it, read what these famous experts have to say.


“So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be.” – A Brief History of Time [1988]


“Just as Darwinism removed the need for a creator in the sphere of biology, Britain’s most eminent scientist argues that a new series of theories have rendered redundant the role of a creator for the Universe.”



“It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us.”



Evolutionary biologists and geneticists awarded the National Medal of Science.

“There is, of course, nothing conscious or intentional in the action of natural selection.”



Award two Pulitzer Prizes and the National Medal of Science

Harvard professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

“Evolution in a pure Darwinian world has no goal or purpose: the exclusive driving force is random mutations sorted out by natural selection from one generation to the next.” – From So Simple a Beginning https://www.amazon.com/So-Simple-Beginning-Expression-Emotions/dp/0393061345


Professor and evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Irvine

“It was Darwin’s greatest accomplishment to show that the complex organization and functionality of living beings can be explained as the result of a natural process–natural selection–without any need to resort to a Creator or other external agent.”



University of Oxford Professor for Public Understanding of Science

“Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” Chapter 1 – Explaining the Very Improbable (p. 6)

“Sophisticated theologians are quite happy to live with evolution, I think they’re deluded.  The evangelicals have got it right in that there really is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=27&v=BAbpfn9QgGA

“What finally made me into an atheist was the realization that there was no scientific reason to believe in any sort of supernatural creator. And that came with the understanding of Darwinian evolution.” – RICHARD DAWKINS



“I believe a true understanding of Darwinism is deeply corrosive to religious faith.  If I was a person who were interested in preserving religious faith, I would be very afraid of the positive power of evolutionary science, and indeed science generally, but evolution in particular, to inspire and enthrall, precisely because it is atheistic.” – RICHARD DAWKINS



Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago

“If you accept even a little bit of divine tinkering in the evolutionary process, you’re not standing on some inclusive middle ground—you are, as P.Z. Myers said, halfway to crazy town.  There can be no compromise with superstition, for superstition is the camel’s nose in the tent of science.”


56:02 – “Learning about evolution turns you into an atheist, and certainly for some people that’s true.  I think that happened to Darwin for example. And certainly people who go into evolution, eventually a lot of them, their religious belief tends to be retired.

57:07 – “Acceptance of religion is a palpable and important force in blocking acceptance of evolution.”

58:30 – “If you want people to accept the fact [of evolution], the conclusion you would draw is, you’d have to get them to reject their faith.  In other words, Get rid of religion.”



Regional Director for the Council for Secular Humanism

“Thus while accepting evolution may not cause atheism or even necessarily make atheism more likely, there is a good chance that it will at least force a revision of what one thinks about their theism. Anyone who consciously considers and accepts evolution should think about it long and hard enough to cause them to seriously question some of their traditional religious and theistic beliefs. Such beliefs may not be abandoned, but they may not continue untouched.”


By Thomas Henry Huxley


I am fairly at a loss to comprehend how any one, for a moment, can doubt that Christian theology must stand or fall with the historical trustworthiness of the Jewish Scriptures.
The very conception of the Messiah, or Christ, is inextricably interwoven with Jewish history; the identification of Jesus of Nazareth with that Messiah rests upon the interpretation of passages of the Hebrew Scriptures which have no evidential value unless they possess the
historical character assigned to them. If the covenant with Abraham was
not made; if circumcision and sacrifices were not ordained by Jahveh; if the “ten words” were not written by God’s hand on the stone tables; if Abraham is more or less a mythical hero, such as Theseus; the story of the Deluge a fiction; that of the Fall a legend; and that of the creation the dream of a seer; if all these definite and detailed narratives of apparently real events have no more value as history than have the stories of the regal period of Rome–what is to be said about the Messianic doctrine, which is so much less clearly enunciated? And what about the authority of the writers of the books of the New Testament, who, on this theory, have not merely accepted flimsy fictions for solid truths, but have built the very foundations of Christian dogma upon legendary quicksands?


Now, I would ask, is the story of the fabrication of Eve to be regarded as one of those pre-Abrahamic narratives, the historical truth of which is an open question, in face of the reference to it in a speech unhappily famous for the legal oppression to which it has been wrongfully forced to lend itself?

Have ye not read, that he which made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and the twain shall become one flesh? (Matt. xix. 5.)

If divine authority is not here claimed for the twenty-fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis, what is the value of language? And again, I ask, if one may play fast and loose with the story of the Fall as a “type” or “allegory,” what becomes of the foundation of Pauline theology?–

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians xv. 21, 22).

If Adam may be held to be no more real a personage than Prometheus, and if the story of the Fall is merely an instructive “type,” comparable to the profound Promethean mythus, what value has Paul’s dialectic?


October 1836 – January 1839: [page] 86


During these two years I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality. I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come, by this time, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow as a sign, etc., etc., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian. The question then continually rose before my mind and would not be banished,—is it credible that if God were now to make a revelation to the Hindoos, would he permit it to be connected with the belief in Vishnu, Siva, &c., as Christianity is connected with the Old Testament. This appeared to me utterly incredible.

By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported,—that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become,—that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us,—that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events,—that they differ in many important details, far too important as it seemed to me to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eye-witnesses;—by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me. Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can hardly be denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories.

But I was very unwilling to give up my belief;—I feel sure of this for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels. But I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished.

And this is a damnable doctrine.

Although I did not think much about the existence of a personal God until a considerably later period of my life, I will here give the vague conclusions to which I have been driven. The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection has been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by man. There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws.


Many religious folks subscribe to evolution.  In fact, the Pope has affirmed the compatibility of evolution and Catholicism.

Yet, there is no logical, nor reasonable way to fully subscribe to evolution and also claim there to be a Creator God.


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