Volume 77, Issue 3, Summer 2003
Rachels on Darwinism and Theism
In his book, Created From Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism (1990), James Rachels argues that the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection undermines the view that human beings are made in the image of God. By this he means that Darwinism makes things such that there is no longer any good reason to think that human beings are made in the image of God. Some other widely read and respected authors seem to share this view of the implications of Darwinism, most notably Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett. Unlike Dawkins and Dennett, Rachels gives a detailed argument for this view about the implications of Darwinism. In this article I explain Rachels’s argument and critically engage with it, arguing that he does not sufficiently well consider all of the options that are open to the theist in defending the view that human beings are made in the image of God.