I will not make any attempt to recap here the evolution controversy as it would wear out both myself and the reader. Suffice it to say that a great many authors have long been horrified by the apparent threat Darwin poses to their faith. And many others have tried to reconcile religion and science through “theistic evolution” so that we could hang on to both our faith and our respectability. All of this can lead to some very complicated scientific and philosophical discussions.
But we ought to be very clear about one thing. Darwin’s theory never addressed the origins of life. What he proposed was an explanation for the diversity of species, not the beginning of life on the planet. And the very cornerstone of Darwin’s theory, natural selection, disqualifies itself as a contender for a way to explain how life began.
Why? According to Darwin, natural selection happens when a mutation occurs with the following two characteristics:
- The mutation must be beneficial
- The mutation must be passed on to succeeding generations
By its own definition then, natural selection cannot be the means by which non-living matter became a living cell. Because non-living matter does not reproduce. If any process could be found by which amino acids may have accidentally clumped together in advantageous ways, the clump would soon disintegrate by other natural forces without ever having passed on its “preferred” way of grouping organic matter. Natural selection does not apply to non-living matter. Ergo, Darwin’s theory has nothing to do with the origins of life. Ergo, even from an evolutionist’s point of view, Darwin should pose no threat at all to the existence of God as the creator of life.
As to whether Darwin’s observations about adaptation have anything to do with the origins of the species, I suppose there is room for debate. Personally, I think that the intensely intricate interdependencies that exist between different species is an incredibly strong argument against any incremental development of species.
About the origins of life itself, the single cell is such an amazing marvel that I just do not have enough faith to be an atheist! I would heartily recommend a great video on how Intelligent Design theory came about:
“Unlocking the Mystery of Life” from Illustra Media
 no such force has ever been discovered, and the foremost proponent of such a theory in the last 30 years has changed his mind and joined the Intelligent Design theory! (ref. “Unlocking the Mystery of Life”)