If evolution is true, then what is joy?
If evolution is the true creation story for human beings, then we are here for no other reason than …, well, there is no reason at all. Human beings, like earth, wind, and fire exist simply because the Big Bang atoms jostled about without plan or purpose long enough for us to be here.
Unlike earth, wind, and fire, however, human beings are said (by human beings) to experience something called “life.” Life, in an evolutionary regime carries no meaning other than to somewhat arbitrarily distinguish “living things” from “non-living things” like earth, wind, and fire.
Does the earth experience feelings of joy? If the wind could talk, would it ever utter a joyous sound? Does fire ever wish it could shout simply so it could shout for joy?
Why, then, do human beings have in their language the word “joy”? Why do we experience joy, speak of joy, and sometimes shout for joy? What, exactly, is this thing we call joy?
Could it be that human beings were created differently than were earth, wind, and fire? Not if evolution is our true creation story. If evolution is our true creation story then human beings are mere atom-conglomerations like any other atom-conglomerated thing in the universe.
In an evolutionary world, if joy did not exist before the Big Bang it does not exist now. Anywhere.
But we undeniably do experience joy! Is it possible that human beings are ontologically different from earth, wind, and fire? (Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality. To ask our question is to ask if human beings are different in nature from other created things like earth, wind, and fire.)
Despite the necessary implications of evolutionary theory to the contrary, we know from all that is in us and around us that human beings are, indeed, different by nature from any other thing created—by nature or by God—on earth.
And one of the things in and around us that cannot be explained by evolutionary theory is joy. Where is joy in a natural system that relies on one thing as an explanation for progress: killing of the vulnerable, the weak, the slow, and the dumb. Even the winners of the natural selection system experience no joy; they are merely existing by nature’s constraints.
If you ever experienced joy, you experienced something that evolution did not produce. If you desire joy in your life, you are desiring something that is foreign to the naturalistic world view behind evolutionary theory. True joy is a nonmaterial real thing, and we know that we can gain it and lose it. Most people would gladly gain and maintain joy in their lives if they knew how.
How appropriate, we see, is the third Sunday of Advent. On the third Sunday of Advent we are invited to reflect on the joy we have access to because of our faith in Jesus. One of the defining characteristics of Christ-followers is their joyful demeanor. The great story of God’s involvement in the cosmos culminates in the great joy we can have because of Jesus.
Joy? Faith? Jesus? What do any of these words mean if evolution is true? An evolutionary advent can be only, by definition, joyless.
But what meaning might joy, faith, or Jesus hold if evolution is a lie, and human beings are created by God in His image?
Think about it.
(C) Creation Reformation photo and text