The theory of evolution is one of the most profound discoveries in human history. It tells us that the human race is but one species that evolved on this planet. Life on this planet developed billions of years before the first human ever developed. While we are the current masters of the planet, we are intimately interconnected and part of the ecosystem.
This world-view has particular implication for modern industrial society, in particular our dependence on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are vast pockets of stored solar energy in the form of chemical bonds from the remains of plants and animals that existed millions of years ago.
Fossil fuels were not placed in the ground by a benevolent creator for our eventual benefit. It is merely a historical artifact which happens to have benefits and some potential issues. In the long-term, the most pressing issue is whether burning this vast reservoir of energy too quickly will poison the ecosystems the human species depends on for our survival. There is evidence this is precisely what we are doing.
This is one of the reasons why evolution is important to internalize. It shows us that we are the masters of our own destiny. There is no benevolent hand guiding our development. Our actions can have disastrous consequences not only for ourselves but on the entire planet. No one will come down from the sky and save us from our folly.
Our ability to shake off the myth of a paternalistic and benevolent creator is not just an issue of scientific rectitude, but may very well essential to our collective survival.