In his 1986 book, The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins said “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” I have quoted Dawkins many times, but until it was brought to my attention recently, I never recognized the glaring—albeit implicit—admission he makes about atheism. To say Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist would mean the rejection of God’s existence came before there was sufficient reason to think it possible that God did not exist. Prior to Darwin, one’s commitment to atheism was a commitment of the will, not a commitment of the mind based on evidence. Only after Darwin could account for the apparent design of the universe in purely material terms could atheism be taken seriously.

Unbeknownst to Dawkins, he testifies to the truth of Romans 1 in two ways. First, creation reveals the Creator, and the appearance of design cries out for a Designer. The revelation of creation is so clear that those who rejected it prior to Darwin did so only to the detriment of their own intellectual honesty, for while they could not explain the existence and form of the universe without God, they rejected Him anyway.

Second, as Paul said, people already know God, but suppress that knowledge because their deeds are evil. Atheists are not being intellectually honest with themselves when it comes to the question of God’s existence. Atheism is a commitment of the will in search of justification, no matter how weak that justification may be. Darwinian evolution is a case in point.