This morning I have been reading the latest issue of National Geographic (July 2015). In one of the small half-page features that NG has near the beginning of the magazine there is found the tale of the quagga mussel. Quagga mussels are a species native to the Ukraine. They have apparently been hitching rides as stowaways in the ballasts of ocean-going ships and have made their way to the U.S. Now this invasive species is overrunning the Great Lakes. The quagga mussels are eating up native algae and changing the entire ecosystem of the Lakes. You know what I say? So what?
“Wait a minute,” I hear you cry. “Don’t you care that an entire ecosystem is in danger of being destroyed?”
Well, actually I do. I care about the environment. I care about the earth. I believe responsible Christian believers should care. God is the Creator of this planet, and He gave into the hands of man to steward and care for it. Yes, I do care. But I responded with a facetious “So what?” because of evolutionary theory. You see, evolution is all about survival. Period. That’s it. Any organic life found in the Ukraine (or the Great Lakes) has developed so that it is capable of survival when other species have not—and that is simply the stuff evolution is made of. There is no moral issue here. There can be no moral issue in evolution. What survives is good, right and it is what is supposed to be dominant in any ecosystem. That’s it. So, GO quagga! Yea!
You see, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t posit that the evolutionary process (chance organic modifications, random mutations, and evolutionary survivability) is what is supposed to happen and then complain when it does happen. So what if you like the former Great Lakes ecosystem? Too bad. Evolution means changes in organisms and, over the long haul, dramatic changes in organisms. And modified and different organisms will automatically result in changes in food chains, species extinction, and different ecosystems. It is the nature of evolution.
Isn’t it funny that we want evolution to be this grand, wonderful, inexorable process that is responsible for all that lives on this planet—but we don’t like it in certain specific instances. So… get over it. This is just the way it is. There is no moral mandate here. There is no design or purpose to nature. There is no overarching plan for the planet. What happens is just what happens. It is the way of nature. Get used to it—if you truly believe in evolution.
It is the same thing when it comes to GMO’s, genetically modified organisms. Many people concerned with healthy eating now want us to shun these bugaboos. But wait a minute…. Isn’t this what evolution is all about? Aren’t genetically modified organisms the very part and parcel of evolutionary theory? Indeed, some biologists assert that the evolutionary process occurs through a series of fits and starts. It is called punctuated equilibrium. Basically this means that BIG random mutations occur every so often that bring radical changes in evolutionary development. It is in this way the fittest survive and organic progress is made. It is the very stuff of evolution. And each advance is simply a naturally occurring GMO. So what’s the big deal if human beings are doing the same thing that nature has been doing for millions of years. Same thing, isn’t it? Again, there is no moral issue here. What happens, just happens.
Indeed, couldn’t you assert that if humans advance their own species through GMO’s then this is a good thing? Haven’t we evolved to be the species we are? So you could argue that our superior intelligence that enables us to understand genetic theory and to modify the genetic process is just part of our evolutionary “destiny.” To do this is just the natural result of the evolutionary process for homo sapiens.
Unless…. Unless we are morally responsible. Unless we are truly stewards of this planet. (See my thoughts on earthly stewardship.) Unless there is a God who created all things with a purpose. Unless evolution is a myth, creationism makes sense, and we do have a Maker that we will answer to. And we will answer to Him in regards to how we treated the planet He made, and that He placed us in charge of keeping for Him (see Genesis 1:26, 2:15 and Revelation 11:18). If this is true (as I firmly believe it is), then there is a reason for being concerned about quagga mussels, as well as any other environmental concerns. We care about these things because all life has been placed here by design, by a Creator. All life, and all ecosystems, and this planet itself are part of His plan. They have meaning and purpose, and they have value. There is no meaning, no value, in evolutionary theory. There is only survivability. If you want moral value and ethical environmental responsibility, then I would suggest that you examine your theory of origins. It makes all the difference.