Does the Bible Teach Female Inferiority?

by Bodie Hodge and Dr. Georgia Purdom on August 24, 2007
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An atheist asks how we can take Darwin to task for his sexism when the Bible supposedly does the same thing? Dr. Purdom and Bodie Hodge respond.

I just wonder, as a feminist, how you can make Darwin out to be a bad guy for saying women are inferior, when your bible has been changed through out the years to make women to be the biggest sinner ever known to mankind? oh i am an athiest by the way..(please don’t be mean to me) i’d also love to know how you dated the dinosaurs lives as the science people have dated them A LOT farther back than you have. . . . do tell me as i am most curious. thanks for your time. . . sorry if i’ve offended you. . . but i'm sure as i will never judge you or be mean to you, i know you will do me the same curteousy.

—K.F., U.S.

I just wonder, as a feminist, how you can make Darwin out to be a bad guy for saying women are inferior,

To begin, let us ask you on what basis you, a self-confessed atheist, use the term “bad”? In an atheistic worldview, standards of morality are without basis. The Bible defines what is good and what is bad, and for an atheist to refer to something as “bad” means that she is borrowing from the Bible’s standard of right and wrong. Since the Bible is true, this presents a problem for both atheism and Darwinism. Other atheists point out that in atheism, there is no basis for right and wrong. For example Richard Dawkins made the point clear that morality is out of the question (see “Evolution: No Morality”).

We are assuming you are referring to the article in Answers magazine titled “Darwin Taught Male Superiority” regarding Darwin’s views on the inferiority of women. Darwin made it very clear in his writings that he believed women were inferior to men. He said,

. . . a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can women—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive of both composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison. We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on “Hereditary Genius” that . . . the average of mental power in man must be above that of women (Darwin, Charles. 1896. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. New York: D. Appleton and Company page 564).

Darwin “bolstered” his claims with assertions that women were “childlike” and “less spiritual.” We (one of us is a female) believe most females, feminist or not, would find Darwin’s views on women completely unacceptable.

In addition, Darwin's views of women are in direct odds with the Bible in regards to the status of women. According to Galatians 3:28, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ.” Therefore, Darwin’s views on women are also in complete opposition to the Word of God; thus, biblically, we can condemn his views. For more on the biblical view of women, see “Inferior or Equal.”

when your bible has been changed through out the years

This claim is baseless. What evidence is there to claim that the Bible has been changed throughout the years? God can easily preserve His Word flawlessly throughout time. Textual criticism, Dead Sea Scrolls, and so on are a great confirmation that the words of the Bible have been preserved. This is no ordinary book; this is the Bible, the written Word of God who knows and has revealed the past, so people can understand the world around us!

to make women to be the biggest sinner ever known to mankind?
After Eden 74: Good Enough?

What verses are you specifically referring to in regards to women being portrayed as “the biggest sinner ever known to mankind”? Is it the fact that Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil before Adam, thus making her out to be the “biggest sinner”? God clearly attributes sin and the subsequent curse on creation to Adam. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” And 1 Corinthians 15:22 adds, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” Sin entered through Adam—not Eve.

This really makes Adam out to be the “biggest sinner.” But note 1 Corinthians 15:22: we all sinned. We can’t simply blame Adam entirely, since we all sin too. Adam is on record with this one sin, and one was exceeding the sin limit since God is holy and cannot look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13). Any sin is so bad that it caused the curse and death to enter creation. But since God is good, He cannot allow sin to continue forever. Judgment is coming. But with Christ, one can be forgiven and return to a right relationship with God. In the words of an old friend, “It is unwise to anger the one who created everything.”

oh i am an athiest by the way..(please don't be mean to me)

As an atheist, why does it matter to you what God or even Darwin thought about women? According to atheism, truth is relative, and human reason is the full and final authority (which is why there are many “truths” out there in this view—there is more than one person!). If that is the case, then Darwin was perfectly justified to believe women were less evolved and inferior. What basis is there for judging his thinking on this matter? However, using the Bible as the full and final authority, there is a basis to challenge Darwin’s assertions.

Our comments are not meant to be “mean,” and we hope you read this with the kindness that we intend. The Bible commands us to be gentle and to respond with respect (1 Peter 3:15). However, the Bible also commands us to demolish arguments (2 Corinthians 10:5) and stand for truth (Zechariah 8:16), which can set you free (John 8:32), so this will not be compromised. From an atheistic perspective though, both “mean” and “nice” are really the same thing—chemical reactions in the brain—and have nothing to do with truth (which is a nonmaterial entity, so atheists have no basis for believing in this anyway).

Additionally, have you considered this (perhaps) hidden assumption in atheism? For one to claim there is no God means that one can see everywhere in the entire universe at the same time, as well as be transcendent, to verify that God really doesn’t exist. Such attributes are that of God. So, when one claims to be an atheist, they are really claiming to be God, thereby undermining their own position.

i'd also love to know how you dated the dinosaurs lives as the science people have dated them A LOT farther back than you have. . . . do tell me as i am most curious .

First, AiG and many other creation ministries employ “science people.” Specifically, our on-site and affiliated Ph.D. researchers are well qualified in their respective fields. Second, very rarely are dinosaurs dated. Ages for dinosaurs are assumed based on the uniformitarian timescale which is applied to certain fossils. By this timescale, dinosaurs are found in one of three places in geologic layers (Triassic, Cretaceous, and Jurassic). So the layer in which one finds a T. rex is assumed to be one of those three. This is how index fossils are used. Then, the uniformitarian date is applied, which already assumes millions and billions of years.

The layers themselves are not a problem biblically. The problem is the date assigned. Most of the geologic fossiliferous layers were laid down by the Flood of Noah; hence, a better date can be ascertained by using the biblical chronologies. Dating methods have many assumptions and have been shown to yield inaccurate ages of things of known age; so why, logically, would anyone use these dating methods on rocks of unknown ages? For more information, please see “How Old Is the Earth?

thanks for your time. . . sorry if i've offended you. . .

Thanks for emailing and no offense is taken. Many of us at AiG were in the same shoes in our past—some of us being atheists and all of us were non-Christians before the Lord graciously brought us to repentance and faith in Him.

but i'm sure as i will never judge you or be mean to you, i know you will do me the same curteousy.

This email, technically, did judge us (determining that we have no right to point out that Darwin was a bad guy) and judged God (the Bible has been changed to make women look worse and that the “science people” have the highest authority when it comes to dating, not God). Yet strangely, in an atheistic worldview, there is no basis for judging us or God because, according to such a worldview, all truth is relative. But God, the Creator, does have the right to judge; and it is His Word that is the measure of judgment:

He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. (John 12:48)

We hope this email will challenge you to get into the Bible and read it instead of making claims about it. You can read it for free online. Our hopes are that one day you will learn to trust God and His Word and place your faith in Jesus Christ and be saved.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

With kindness in Christ,
Dr. Georgia Purdom and Bodie Hodge


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