Evolution poses a further threat to Christianity, though, a threat that goes to the very heart of Christian teaching. Evolution means that the creation accounts in the first two chapters of Genesis are wrong. That's not how humans came into being, nor the cattle, nor the creeping things, nor the beasts of the earth, nor the fowl of the air. Evolution could not have produced a single mother and father of all future humans, so there was no Adam and no Eve. No Adam and Eve: no fall. No fall: no need for redemption. No need for redemption: no need for a redeemer. No need for a redeemer: no need for the crucifixion or the resurrection, and no need to believe in that redeemer in order to gain eternal life. And not the slightest reason to believe in eternal life in the first place.
Christianity is like a big, chunky sweater. It may feel cozy, it may keep you warm, but just let one stitch be dropped and the whole thing unravels before your very eyes. Evolution is that stitch. Evolution destroys the loving creator on which the whole of Christianity depends. I can quite understand why the evangelicals throw up their hands in horror at the very idea of it and will do everything in their power to suppress it. But they can throw up their hands all they like: it won't make any difference to the reality. All that will be achieved by their determined efforts to keep young people misinformed about it is that another generation of Americans will be condemned to ignorance, unable to understand the world around them properly, and at a real disadvantage when having to deal and compete with their peers from more enlightened countries. Wilful ignorance is a choice; evolution is not.
Paula Kirby (Consultant to Secular Organisations) wrote this response to Governor Perry for On Faith, the Washington Post’s forum for news and opinion on religion and politics.