Darwinian Depression

When you stop to think about it, you realize that Todd Friel really is a Renaissance man. He’s a radio and TV host, a comedian (or at least he tries to be), an interviewer, and a professional evangelical. But now we have a new label to give Mr. Friel. Psychologist!

While we can’t give him that title officially, Todd did a wonderful job of showing us how much he understands the human psyche. While visiting some churches in Scotland, he asked his tour guide (who had visited America and Canada) two questions.

1. Are European teens more depressed than American teens?

2. If so, why? (Extra points if you can somehow include The Bible in the answer.)

Now to be fair, the first is a very good question. If it hasn’t been done already (and I’ve looked), a study on the percentage of American teens that suffer from depression versus the percentage of European teens that suffer the same would be very interesting.

Todd, however, is interested in running a radio show, not conducting a scientific study. And so rather than worry about it, he just asks his tour guide for his opinion. It isn’t terribly surprising that he believed that the European teens (or at least those in the UK) were on average more depressed than their cousins across the pond.

Less surprising is the reason Todd and his Scottish friend give for those depressed kids. It’s Charles Darwin and his evil theory of evolution.

What other answer could there be? The UK is more secular than the US. A larger percentage of their population accepts evolution. And, perhaps worst of all…Darwin is on their money! So of course Todd puts two and two together.

By believing in evolution, these poor teenagers think they came from nothing and are going nowhere. If they had Jesus and The Bible then they just might see that there’s something to live for.

First of all, I am not a scientist. But I am the youngest Watchdog here. It wasn’t all that long ago that I was a teenager myself. And a depressed one at that. While I can’t speak for even a small part of the population, I can say that not once did I stop and think about evolution being true and have that add to my bad vibes.

Second of all, Todd is forgetting a very simple thing…which isn’t that unusual for Todd. Let’s suppose that he’s one hundred percent correct. Not only are teens more depressed in Europe, but the reason for that depression is that they’ve been taught that evolution is correct and they can’t party with Jesus after they die.

Even if all that is true, it doesn’t disprove evolution or prove Christianity. All it would mean is that Christianity is comforting to people. Unfortunately for Todd, that is no kind of proof.

No one says it any better than Darwin’s bulldog himself:

"There are all sorts of things that would be comforting. I expect an injection of morphine would be comforting---it might be more comforting, for all I know. But to say that something is comforting is not to say that it's true." – Richard Dawkins.

The usual listeners of WOTM Radio may not figure that out for themselves. Because Jesus makes them feel good they assume he must be real. But with any luck, some of them will visit us and be put straight.

Even if they do end up going away depressed.