Sir David Attenborough
In promoting a new special that commemorates the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, one of television’s most popular and enduring naturalists has declared that the Bible is to blame for humanity’s destruction of the environment.
Sir David Attenborough, who for 50 years has been the face and voice of the BBC’s natural history programs popular in both the U.S. and U.K., says that the Book of Genesis has taught generations that people can “dominate” and “devastate” the environment under the excuse that God gave humanity dominion over the earth.
Genesis 1:28 reads, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.’”
Attenborough insists that Genesis has allowed people to justify destroying the environment and that embracing Darwinist evolution frees people from their biblical excuse.
“The influence of the Book of Genesis,” says Attenborough, “which says the Lord God said ‘go forth and multiply’ to Adam and Eve and ‘the natural world is there for you to dominate,’ [is that] you have dominion over the animals and plants of the world.
“That basic notion,” Attenborough continues, “that the world is there for us and if it doesn’t actually serve our purposes, it’s dispensable, that has produced the devastation of vast areas of the land’s surface.”
Attenborough further explained to the science journal Nature, “That’s why Darwinism, and the fact of evolution, is of great importance, because it is that attitude which has led to the devastation of so much, and we are in the situation that we are in.”
Attenborough’s new program, “Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life,” is scheduled to be broadcast in the U.K. on BBC One at 9 p.m. tomorrow. A promotional video for the program, produced by Nature, can be seen below, with Attenborough’s comments about the Bible appearing toward the end of the clip:
In the promotional video, Attenborough further insists that Darwin’s theory of evolution has been conclusively proven beyond doubt.
“Evolution is not just a theory, as many a correspondent writes to me and says,” Attenborough claims. “It is a historical fact like any other historical fact and as certain as the fact that William the Conqueror landed in 1066, except it’s more certain because the evidence for it is from a much wider range of fact.”
In a 2003 interview with Australia’s Syndey Morning Herald, Attenborough gave some background into his lifelong advocacy of Darwinist evolution, his self-described “agnostic” worldview and his criticism of the Bible’s account of Creation.
“It is something I get frequent letters about,” he told the Herald. “They always start with sweet reasonableness; you know, ‘We love your programs, isn’t nature marvelous,’ and so on. But they always go on to say, ‘We do wonder why it is that you don’t give credit to the almighty God who created each one of these species individually.’
“My response,” he said, “is that when Creationists talk about God creating every individual species as a separate act, they always instance hummingbirds, or orchids, sunflowers and beautiful things. But I tend to think instead of a parasitic worm that is boring through the eye of a boy sitting on the bank of a river in West Africa, [a worm] that’s going to make him blind. And [I ask them], ‘Are you telling me that the God you believe in, who you also say is an all-merciful God, who cares for each one of us individually, are you saying that God created this worm that can live in no other way than in an innocent child’s eyeball? Because that doesn’t seem to me to coincide with a God who’s full of mercy.’”
Despite Attenborough’s critical views of Creationism and the Book of Genesis, the Independent, a U.K. newspaper, reports that the Darwin program itself will refrain from mentioning the Bible … with the exception of one, pointed allusion.
“Darwin’s great insight revolutionized the way in which we see the world,” the program reportedly states. “But above all Darwin has shown us that we are not apart from the natural world – we do not have dominion over it.”
The Independent also reports the perspective of Catherine Pepinster, editor of The Tablet, a British Catholic weekly newspaper, who says Attenborough has completely misinterpreted God’s intent in the Book of Genesis and misrepresented the position of Creationists toward Creation.
“The idea that you survive by treating the world as if it is dispensable and only there for our purposes is to misunderstand was is meant in Scripture by ‘dominion,’” Pepinster writes. “If you go back to the roots of that term, you find that it means a kingly rule of the kind bestowed by the shepherd-king David. It means rule in God’s image, a pastoral rule of great care. In other words, stewardship.
“Stewardship means responsibility,” Pepinster continues. “It means acting like Noah to preserve the animals threatened with flood. Increasing numbers of Christians today are rethinking their relationship with the environment, with God’s creation. This planet is not ours to use and abuse.”
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