American Vision recently received an email response to “Where is God in the Constitution?: Part 1,” an article that was written by guest columnist David New and appears on our website. The emailer writes that he is “dismayed to see the propaganda displayed” in the article where the “author launches into a tirade against secularists.” He goes on to write that it is “laughable” to suggest “that it is Darwin that made the United States secular.” Although I did not write the article that infuriated the emailer, I’ve decided it deserves an answer. Michael New is correct that Darwinism has secularized everything in America, including our understanding of the Constitution. There are still remnants of the older worldview operating, but officially, America is Darwinian and, thus, secular.

Of course secularism existed prior to Darwin, but it was argued philosophically and defended rationalistically. This is still done today, but Darwinism changed the method of argumentation from a philosophical construct to science. Evolution is taught as a scientific fact that can no longer be questioned. Darwinism is so pervasive as a scientific fact, that evolutionist Daniel C. Dennett described it as a “universal acid” that “eats through just about every traditional concept, and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view, with most of the old landmarks still recognizable, but transformed in fundamental ways.”[1] There are traditional concepts in the Constitution. One of those concepts is a belief in God. (More about this in a later article.) The Declaration of Independence states “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Since belief in a Creator is one “of the old landmarks,” the universal acid of evolution has eaten through it, and it no longer has a traditional meaning A.D., that is, After Darwin. The emailer needs to know that the Darwinists themselves are saying this.

Let’s let Dennett answer the emailer’s comments on “the laughable suggestion that it is Darwin that made the United States secular”:  “The creationists who oppose [Darwinism] so bitterly are right about one thing: Darwin’s dangerous idea cuts much deeper into the fabric of our most fundamental beliefs than many of its sophisticated apologists have yet admitted, even to themselves. Even today, many people still have not come to terms with its mind-boggling implications.”[2] Apparently American Vision’s email critic hasn’t gotten the message yet. Dennett is not a lone voice in pushing the “universal acid” idea. Richard Dawkins and Michael Ruse are equally strident in their affirmations. Dennett has taken evolution to its logical limits without apology. He believes in a purely godless cosmos and opposes any worldview that might call it into question. He proposes that those holding a theistic worldview, which our founders held, could be a part of the newly secularized world, but they could only exist in “cultural zoos.” His warning to parents who believe in God is chilling:

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If you insist on teaching your children falsehoods—that the earth is flat, that “Man” is not a product of evolution by natural selection—then you must expect, at the very least, that those of us who have freedom of speech will feel free to describe your teachings as the spreading of falsehoods, and will attempt to demonstrate this to your children at our earliest opportunity. Our future well-being—the well-being of all of us on the planet—depends on the education of our descendants.[3]

Let’s put Dennett’s logic to a simple syllogism:

  • Major Premise: Darwinism is a universal acid that eats through just about every traditional concept.
  • Minor Premise: Belief in God is a traditional concept.
  • Conclusion: Darwinism eats through any belief in God.

If Dennett had been alive in the eighteenth century and was able to apply the “universal acid” of evolution, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Witherspoon, Roger Sherman, John Jay, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, all who believed in God, would have been put in Dennett’s “cultural zoo” to be scorned and mocked as intellectual Neanderthals. John Jay, America’s first Supreme Court Justice, wrote the following to Jedediah Morse on February 28, 1797: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” We can see why. If Dennett and his secular friends get their way, belief in God will be criminalized.


[1] Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995), 63. [2] Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, 18. [3] Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, 510.