Painting depicting Satan’s fall from heaven.
I don’t know whether Satan exists or not. But if he does, he can’t be very powerful. He was merely an archangel, with about as much power as Michael, before he fell. How did he get to be nearly as powerful as God himself, as most fundamentalists would have you believe? We are told Satan “planted” the evidence for evolution, causes natural disasters, and can even create life (parasitic creatures, viruses, and cancer cells, for example). But angels never had that kind of power; only God himself can do those things.
Some argue that God allowed Satan free reign over the Earth because of free will, but that still doesn’t explain why he would suddenly have Godlike powers, like being able to create life forms and cause natural catastrophes. No angel or archangel has ever been able to do those kinds of things. Would God have given him that sort of power just because he demanded to have it? I think not.
Satan is given way too much credit, in my opinion, and attributed with way too much power. He also gets way too much attention. It all seems like a form of idolatry to me. As the Ultimate Narcissist, Satan would be tickled pink at all the attention he gets and power that’s attributed to him.
Personally, I think evil resides in the hearts of men. Since we humans have trouble accepting our dark side, we project it onto an outside entity. “The devil made me do it,” we say, not wanting to accept responsibility for our own evil actions. If there is a supernatural explanation for evil, I think it’s likely there’s a whole population of fairly weak malicious spirits (demons, if you prefer) trolling the the earth. Collectively, they could do a whole lot of damage. It’s also possible Satan is real, but if so, I doubt he (or any of his demons) would be planting fake fossils to “prove” evolution or recombining DNA into invasive and parasitic life forms. Still, I think it’s wise to be very careful with or completely avoid dabbling in the occult.