by David Catchpoole

Illustration by Caleb Salisbury

How could they shoot and kill their fellow students? That was the question asked following the shooting deaths of 15 people at Columbine High School in Colorado, USA, on 20 April 1999. Why would young people kill, destroy and bomb in a suicide attack?

Their clothes may give a clue to the thinking of these teenage murderers. The autopsy report for one of the killers documents that on the day of the tragedy he was wearing black combat boots, a black glove on his right hand, and a white T-shirt with the inscription ‘Natural Selection’ on the front.1

What was meant by ‘Natural Selection’? One newspaper reporter has linked the T-shirt’s inscription to a video game of the same name, which is promoted as ‘a place where survival of the fittest takes a very literal meaning … it’s the natural way, it’s Natural Selection.’1 Since the Columbine massacre, it has become widely known that the killers were obsessed with blood-drenched video games and violent death. They were also fascinated by the German Nazi belief, fueled by ideas of Darwinian struggle, in a ‘master race.’2

In groping for answers to this and other tragedies, more and more people are expressing surprise and concern at the increasing glee with which many teenagers approach depictions of violence. However, this fixation with death is hardly surprising given that most public schools in Western nations now teach that violence and death are ‘natural’ evolutionary mechanisms that have operated with chance processes to produce man over millions of years.

Having been told since childhood that man is just an animal, that death and violence are a natural part of evolution, and that ‘only the fittest survive,’ it is no wonder that this generation of young people are wallowing in utter hopelessness. Even when they hear ‘Jesus loves you,’ many either do not understand what this can possibly mean in a ‘world of death and randomness,’ or it makes them more angry and bitter that such a beautiful possibility seems denied by the ‘facts’ of science. Many of these people are ‘walking time-bombs,’ without fear of any judgment after death, and primed to explode in anger and hatred at any time….

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