Many creationists fight evolution with a desperate intensity, because they fear that if any part of the Bible is proven wrong then none of it will be believed. I respect the dedication and moral fervor of the creationists, although I do not agree with their reading either of scripture or the scientific evidence. Moreover, the broader anxiety about Darwinism in the culture is not simply a product of creationism.

It is said that the wife of a London aristocrat, when informed about Darwin’s claim that man is descended from an ape-like creature, responded, “My dear, let us hope that it is not true, but if it is, let us pray that it may not become widely known.” This woman was raising an interesting question: what does it do to man to teach him that he is nothing more than an animal? Perhaps he will start acting like an animal! Consider this disquieting thought. If your neighbor entered your house by force, killed or stupefied you with blows, and then dragged your daughter to his own place to forcibly mate with her, most people would consider that an outrage. But that kind of behavior is common, natural, and expected in the animal kingdom.