Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Last year I went to a meeting of the C.S. Lewis Society. The attendees are devout followers of this great Christian philosopher, and so I tossed out my question to them: "What were Lewis' views on macro-evolution." I had previously heard conflicted accounts, but only received the same tentative but hushed assertions at this Society.

I was therefore surprised by the overwhelming evidence assembled in "C.S. Lewis Anti-Darwinist" by Jerry Bergman that Lewis had had serious and varied objections to Darwinism. In the Preface, Karl Priest wrote:

  • Lewis called evolution “the central and radical lie in the whole web of falsehood that now governs” modern civilization. True Believers in Evolutionism believe that evolution explains everything: the stars, the galaxies, the solar system, the planets, and all life from amoeba to humans. Lewis explained that evolution is “not the logical result of what is vaguely called ‘modern science,’ but rather is a picture of reality that has resulted, not from empirical evidence, but from imagination, [and] most people believe in orthodox evolution on the basis of authority ‘because the scientists say so’ and not on the basis of fact and scientific knowledge.” 
Well, who cares what Lewis thought on this subject anyway? Many do! Lewis is still so highly esteemed that his opinions tend to settle any controversy. Consequently, everyone, including Darwinists, wants to claim Lewis as their own. However, it seems clear that Lewis had been a creationist:

  • Material events cannot produce spiritual activity, but the latter can be responsible for many of our actions on Nature. Will and Reason cannot depend on anything but themselves, but Nature can depend on Will and Reason, or, in other words, God created Nature...It is not inconceivable that the universe was created by an Imagination [God] strong enough to impose phenomena on other minds ("God in the Dock," 276)
Did Lewis believe that God had merely jump-started everything and then left His creation into the hands of blind evolution? In 1925, in a letter to his father, Lewis had written:

  • It will be a comfort to me all my life to know that the scientist and the materialist have not the last word: that Darwin and [evolutionist Herbert] Spencer undermining ancestral beliefs stand themselves on a foundation of sand...[and have created] gigantic assumptions and irreconcilable contradictions an inch below the surface of the theory. ("Collected Letters," 1:213)
These same doubts about Darwinism were also expressed in his later writings:

  • There is no general tendency even for organisms to improve.. There is no evidence that the mental and moral capacities of the human race have been increased since man became man. And there is certainly no tendency for the universe as a whole to move in any direction which we should call "good." ("Christian Reflections," 58)
This represents a total rejection of Darwinism. Specifically, Lewis had argued that the human mind could not have been the product of evolution "because it undermined the validity of reason." He also ruled out "a Darwinian account of morality because it would undermine the authority of morality by attributing it to an essentially amoral process of survival of the fittest." (John West, "Magician's Twin," 25)

These represent only a very small sampling of Bergman's collected evidence.

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