never entertained before: the best people—those who really cared and who took life seriously—seemed to strive for goals that were higher than any that they themselves or those around them had ever attained. They recognized their own failures and sought to do better. Their mind's eye was fixed on ideals that they were unable to reach. Where did those ideals originate?
Could it be possible that the unreachable ideals that idealistic humans reached for were put there for them from above, put there by the God I had long ago decided did not exist?
Hadn't I thought about this before? It seemed like a new thought to me. Hadn't it been addressed by Nietsche or Kant? Hadn't existentialist Albert Camus covered this point? I couldn't remember the details of my early reading in philosophy. What about Socrates and Plato? Plato taught that the imperfect squares, circles and triangles humans drew with ink or traced on the sand were mere copies of self-existing Forms dimly perceived beyond the human realm. Could it be that unselfish love, altruism and the spirit of self-sacrifice similarly existed independently of the human mind, somewhere above the human plane, like Plato's Forms?
The evolutionists I had read would have attributed the highest human ideals to some sort of social consciousness evolved by early men whose chances for survival depended on the degree to which they put the welfare of the tribe ahead of their individual welfare. But wouldn't the self-sacrificing individuals have died off in the very act of preserving the tribe, hence not contributing their genetic material to the next generation, and not passing on that desirable trait? Somehow, the survival-of-the-fittest argument failed to explain Ghandi and Jesus and Schweitzer and other examples of self-sacrificing love.
Could brute beasts really have refined themselves, through some evolutionary process of natural selection, to produce Mozart and Beethoven? How would weeding out the inferior members of the species—those not as adept at finding food or at securing a mate—how would that process, combined with random genetic mutations, have produced such musical genius? The score of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
played through my mind's ear as an eloquent testimony against the theory of evolution. How could the ability to create such a masterpiece have helped in the survival of the fittest? Could some genetic mutation that helped certain cave men kill antelope for food have carried with it the ability to compose Beethoven's Fifth Symphony as an accidental byproduct? I found myself becoming skeptical of religious skepticism, as I lost faith in the theory of evolution.
If I were to present this today as an argument for the existence of God, I would make my case very simply this way: Think of the sweetest, kindest, gentlest person you know—someone beautiful inside and out, someone who brings a tear to your eye when you think of him or her. For me such a person is my wife. For you, it might be your son, or a granddaughter, or someone else that you both admire and love. Could you really believe that this delightful person came into being as the result of a long series of accidents involving molecular interactions, one undersea life form defeating another in survival of the fittest, an unnamed something crawling ashore to continue mutating , and brutish ape-men wiping each other out, until finally his or her great-great-grandparents' ancestors appeared? How reasonable is that, when compared with the Bible's assertion that an even kinder, more loving, more admirable Creator carefully crafted the first humans in His own image, and put within them the intricate genetic code needed to reproduce more of the same?
Just how does the Bible explain mankind and his condition today? It tells us that human history began when God created the first man and then his wife. Even evolutionists now agree that all members of the human species descended from an original pair possessing the present genetic makeup of homo sapiens. That first pair rebelled against God by disobeying an explicit command, the Bible explains, and this brought many sorrows upon the race. (Genesis, chapters 1-5)
Corruption and violence had reached such a foul state that God eventually intervened by washing the planet clean through a global Deluge, preserving only Noah and his family, including his grown sons' wives.