Charles Darwin believed in the power of the Gospel. His theory of evolution looked fine in the academic journals. But it didn't travel well. In fact it got quite sick when it set off to sea. The Gospel was a far more reliable travelling companion.

At times, we see glimpses of honesty as Darwin admits that his faith in evolution, while strong in the library, does not fare so well at sea. His ship, HMS Beagle pulled up to the shore in New Zealand in 1835. Having landed there, he acknowledged that the people he met had not evolved from an earlier life as wild cannibals. He was grateful that they had been transformed by the Gospel.

He arrived in New Zealand in time for Christmas, and spent the season at the home of a missionary. He records what he discovered:

I found there a very large party of children, collected together for Christmas-day, and all sitting round a table at tea. I never saw a nicer or more merry group: and to think, that this was in the centre of the land of cannibalism, murder and all atrocious crimes.

It was easy to theorize about evolution being the driving force bringing man to a higher plane. But Darwin could not actually live with that philosophy. He was fortunate that he had not landed at that spot 20 years earlier when the Gospel had not yet arrived on those shores. And he knew it. So rather than hoping to find welcoming products of an evolving species on his travels, he left his materialistic philosophy behind when he took to sea. In real life he lived by a different creed. As he put it,

Should he [a voyager] chance to be at the point of shipwreck on some unknown coast, he will most devoutly pray that the lesson of the missionary may have extended thus far.

John Sorensen comments on this irony of Darwin's inability to really live with the implications of his theoretical philosophy. He tells us that Darwin realized that if it were not for the Gospel, he "might have been on the menu rather than enjoying the birthday of Christ with a company of cheerful children." Read more... The survival of the fittest is not a creed that bodes well for the pale academic surrounded by muscular cannibals.

When the chips are down, evolutionists often resort to praying "Our Father which art in heaven." As Charles Spurgeon quipped, they can't live with the alternative liturgy which should begin, "Our father which art up a tree."