Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Worm-in-the-eye Defense

David Attenborough, the well-known naturalist, broadcaster, and advocate of Charles Darwin, once said,

"My response is that when Creationists talk about God creating every individual species as a separate act, they always instance hummingbirds, or orchids, sunflowers and beautiful things. But I tend to think instead of a parasitic worm that is boring through the eye of a boy sitting on the bank of a river in West Africa, [a worm] that's going to make him blind. And [I ask them], 'Are you telling me that the God you believe in, who you also say is an all-merciful God, who cares for each one of us individually, are you saying that God created this worm that can live in no other way than in an innocent child's eyeball? Because that doesn't seem to me to coincide with a God who's full of mercy'."

A West African boy going blind because of a parasitic worm doesn't coincide with our image of God--if we deny the Book of Genesis, which Mr. Attenborough does. The Bible's explanation is that we live in a fallen creation, with not only worms in the eye, but worms in the stomach--round worms (up to 15 inches long), pin worms, tape worms, and hook worms. We get ring worms in our hair, worms in our crops, worms in our dogs and cats, worms in our apples, and we can even have the excitement of parasitic worms crawling under our skin. The thought makes your skin crawl!

When Mr. Attenborough was asked if he believed in God, he said, "My view is: I don't know one way or the other but I don't think that evolution is against a belief in God."

He's correct. We can believe in God and evolution, but to make the theory fit, we have to discard the God of the Bible and make up a false god, deny the fallen creation of Genesis, and also deny our moral responsibility to God, which Mr. Attenborough does. Idolatry is the most convenient of bushes behind which guilty sinners may temporarily hide.

The West African boy of whom he spoke also has disease-ridden mosquitoes that can bite him, killer bees than can sting and kill him, leaches that can suck his blood, snakes that can poison him, bedbugs that can bite him, lions and crocodiles that can eat him, and human beings that can murder him. He may also have a problem with fever-spreading ticks, typhus-spreading lice, and plague-causing fleas. Then again, he may die from trypanosomiasis, which comes through the bite of an infected and nasty little tsetse fly.

Add to these things, continual earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, cancer, pain, suffering, disease and death, and you have a strong case for a holy God and a sinful fallen humanity. That's if you ever give serious thought to the existence of God. Mr. Attenborough doesn’t. He once said "It never really occurred to me to believe in God." So nothing about this subject makes too much sense to him.

But if you and I believe that a morally perfect God made man and woman in the beginning, and sin caused creation to be under the Genesis curse, then every deathly disease and devastating disaster makes sense.

Just a note of caution for potential Attenborough clones. The African boy with the worm in the eye won't be any sort of defense on Judgment Day.

David Attenborough, 2003. "Wild, wild life." Sydney Morning Herald, 25 March. Attenborough has also told this story in numerous other interviews.
"David Attenborough on ''Friday Night with Jonathan Ross''". YouTube. 31 October 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvoJSlcIYmM
Walker, Tim (26 January 2009). "Sir David Attenborough questioned on faith, naturally". The Daily Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mandrake/4347954/Sir-David-Attenborough-questioned-on-faith-naturally.html.

Photo attribution: Wildscreen's photograph of David Attenborough at ARKive's launch in Bristol, England © May 2003