the system is thoroughly atheistic, and therefore cannot possibly stand. God has revealed his existence and his government of the world so clearly and so authoritatively, that any philosophical or scientific speculations inconsistent with those truths are like cobwebs in the track of a
tornado. They offer no sensible resistance.
Charles Hodge, vol. 2, Systematic Theology, 15 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
In saying that this system is atheistic, it is not said that Mr. Darwin is an atheist. He expressly acknowledges the existence of God; and seems to feel the necessity of his existence to account for the origin of life. Nor is it meant that every one who adopts the theory does it in an atheistic sense. It has already been remarked that there is a theistic and an atheistic form of the nebular hypothesis as to the origin of the universe; so there may be a theistic interpretation of the Darwinian theory.
Charles Hodge, vol. 2, Systematic Theology, 16 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
Professor Huxley says that when he first read Darwin’s book he regarded it as the death-blow of teleology, i.e., of the doctrine of design and purpose in nature. Buchner, to whom the atheistical character of a book is a recommendation, says that Darwin’s “theory is the most thoroughly naturalistic that can be imagined, and far more atheistic than that of his despised (verrufenen) predecessor Lamarck, who admitted at least a general law of progress and development; whereas, according to Darwin, the whole development is due to the gradual summation of innumerable minute and accidental natural operations.”
Charles Hodge, vol. 2, Systematic Theology, 16-17 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
Darwin, therefore, does teach precisely what Dr. Gray pronounces atheism. A man, it seems, may believe in God, and yet teach atheism.
The anti-theistic and materialistic character of this theory is still further shown by what Mr. Darwin says of our mental powers. “In the distant future,” he says, “I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.” Of this prediction he has himself attempted the verification in his recent work on the “Descent of Man,” in which he endeavours to prove that man is a developed ape. The Bible says: Man was created in the image of God.
Charles Hodge, vol. 2, Systematic Theology, 19 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
Note that Hodge explicitly states that one can hold to Darwinism and be a theist. On the other hand, Darwin’s theory is essentially atheistic.
One does not have to be an atheist to hold to what began as an atheistic philosophical theory. One can be a committed theist, and even a Christian theist, and hold to this theory. The fact that Christian theists hold to some form of this theory does not make it correct, however. That is part of what Hodge is telling us here.
While the genetic fallacy is certainly a logical error, this is not a genetic fallacy. It is recognizing that Darwinian evolution is an atheistic philosophy that has been too carelessly accepted by many.
Ideas have consequences, and atheistic ideas will have atheistic consequences.