ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Life Sciences

What Evolution Isn't

Updated on February 22, 2016

Untangling the Misconceptions About Evolution

Some people in America have a lot of erroneous ideas about what Evolution is. They think it's a religion, an ideology, a moral judgment, or an evil plot to turn them away from God.

Well, evolution is none of those things and through this page I hope to show some of what evolution isn't and explore why it seems like so many conservative Christians have such hatred for this one particular scientific theory.

Darwin as an ape, image in the public domain from Wikimedia Commons

Share Your Stance on Evolution

Which of the following best describes your position?

See results

Evolution is Not a Philosophy, Not a Belief System, nor a Moral Code: Evolution is Just a Natural Process

Science is Based on Empirical Observations

Evolution is just a process by which change occurs in nature. The process of evolution was deduced by interpretation of evidence that holds up to empirical scrutiny. Evolution is like many other natural processes which are deduced by interpretation of evidence. A couple of other processes we have deduced from evidence found in the natural world are erosion and eutrophication.

Evolution has no moral bias, any more than erosion or eutrophication do. Evolution is an explanation of a process which takes nothing into account but the physical evidence and only that evidence which holds up to careful scrutiny. The process by which scientific theories are arrived at and supported has much in common with crime scene investigation. Data surrounding the thing being investigated is collected and examined as scientists compare it to other known quantities and try to puzzle out how the event happened. Any evidence which doesn't hold up to rigorous empirical investigation is discarded.

The theory of evolution is a similar set of deductions used to postulate what may have happened to cause the existence of myriad life forms on our planet. Like a crime scene investigation, none of the evidence was purposely left for the investigators. In the case of evolution, the events or circumstances happened so long ago and on such a slow scale that by the time we began investigating it, much of the evidence was dust. Our "crime scene" was old, contaminated, and had millennia of wear and tear before we even realized we ought to be looking at it.

A group of crime scene investigators might not piece together the exact story of what happened with 100% accuracy. Perhaps Mrs. Potter didn't kill her husband with a napkin holder in the basement and stuff him in a dryer, maybe he wasn't dead when she stuffed him in the dryer but died inside it of the wounds Mrs. Potter inflicted with a napkin holder. However, the basic facts are correct - it was Mrs. Potter who killed Mr. Potter and she did use a napkin holder to fatally wound him and did stuff him in a clothes dryer. The same lack of 100 percent accuracy of every tiny detail that may have occurred applies to the natural scientists that have pieced together and interpreted the evidence to suggest evolution via mutation and natural selection over the course of millions of years. However, neither group would "take the case to trial" if the evidence wasn't compelling.

My point is that evolution isn't a philosophy, it isn't a religion, it isn't a disproof of the existence of God; it has no moral bias. Evolution doesn't make people into atheists any more than climate changes, global warming, or sedimentation do. Evolution is simply a reasonable, scientific deduction based on analysis of the evidence available. I have no understanding why people have chosen to feel threatened by evolution - it's as bizarre as feeling threatened by erosion or euthrophication or any other natural process.

More Reading on Darwin and Evolution

The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition
The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition

The original book about evolution. If you haven't read this book, maybe you ought not to have an opinion on evolution.

 

Evolution is Not The Same as Social Darwinism

Misuse of Darwin's Name Created the Confusion

There seems to be some confusion, especially in the conservative Christian community, between the Theory of Evolution and Social Darwinism.

"Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" which came out in 2008 was a film created to arouse anti-science and anti-evolution sentiments among viewers. To that end the film purposely confused the meaning of Social Darwinism and the Theory of Evolution implying that the Theory of Evolution caused the Holocaust and created communism. The writers of "Expelled" didn't come up with the idea that the Theory of Evolution and Social Darwinism were one and the same. That particular misconception has existed for some time and some natural confusion is completely understandable. However, they used and built upon the misconception for their own purposes.

The confusion about Social Darwinism and The Theory of Evolution is so common that many people repeat the misconception innocently and thus spread misinformation.

Charles Darwin was the writer of "On the Origin of Species" and is considered the father of the Theory of Evolution via natural selection. When his name was applied to the elitist ideology, Social Darwinism, the confusion began.

Social Darwinism is an ideology which holds that competition between human beings drives social evolution in that humanity improves as the strong reproduce and the weak die off. Rich and powerful people have used Social Darwinism to support the idea that the social elite are inherently better and that it is their natural place in the order of things to flourish by stepping on the weak and powerless.

Social Darwinism is actually a misnomer; Charles Darwin himself did not support the ideas behind the ideology, holding that principles of natural selection resulting in fitter offspring should not apply or be applied to human beings. Darwin outright stated that it was man's responsibility to care for weaker members of society and that we have evolved feelings of sympathy to that end.

The Social Darwinism movement also substantially predates the publication of Darwin's treatise - "On the Origin of Species." It wasn't given the name Social Darwinism until much later when key words used to describe natural selection such as "survival of the fittest" struck a chord in those who followed the ideology. It would more properly be called Social Spencerism after Herbert Spencer, the person who published his theories on a natural origin for inequality of the social classes about eight years before Darwin's theory hit print.

The Theory of Evolution is a scientific theory regarding the origin of the myriad of species of life on earth via process of natural selection. The Theory of Evolution is a description of a natural process. It isn't a moral judgment; it's a description of natural forces and probable events as interpreted by scientists.

Social Darwinism bears as much relation to the Theory of Evolution as child molestation bears to making love. Social Darwinism is a perversion. Or you could say Social Darwinism bears as much in common with the theory of evolution as the message of Christ bears to the Spanish Inquisition.

Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution
Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution

Believing in evolution does not conflict with believing in God. This book explains why.

 

Polls Show The Vast Majority of Scientists Accept Evolution - No Matter What Religion They Believe or Don't Believe

It seems many people are unaware that people can both believe in God or Gods and accept evolution as a sound theory. But surveys show that scientists, many of them quite religious, overwhelmingly accept evolution.

What Makes Us Human? - Divine Nature or Ourselves?

Some believe that if man evolved rather than being created it would negate our humanity. They believe that we would have no basis for morality if we evolved and were not created. What do you think?

If evolution happened and happens does it make man less human and special than if he were created by an outside force?

Yes, it is because we were created in God's image that we are human and thus contain some of the divine.

Yes, it is because we were created in God's image that we are human and thus contain some of the divine.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Amit 2 years ago

      I agree. So many people seem to belveie that evolution theory is a proven fact and not just a theory. We Christians need to share with the world how we are being brain washed. Great to hear from you Darlene.

    • TeacherSerenia 6 years ago

      Since all humans do have some morality, I personally do believe we must have been created. BUT we can still be moral humans without being religious and without being christians. Its just that some humans choose to NOT follow their morals.

    • Kylyssa Shay 6 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      But there are far more than just two options. You could believe some other creation story, for instance. There are thousands of them. Or, you could do as the majority of Christians worldwide and believe that perhaps God created us via evolution.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      The question is moot. Either you believe God created man in His own image, or you believe we just evolved from some tiny organism and evolved into our current state. If you believe the latter, then that tiny organism IS your God. The question man will never be able to answer is "but where did God come from?" Because we can't answer it, each of us must decide whether to accept a divine Creator or a divine microscopic organism. I choose God.

    • Bambi Watson 8 years ago

      Evolution and God do not have to be oppossing forces, only organized religion want that. I believe are souls or our spirit selves are in fact made in "gods image" not our physical temporary human shells.I also believe that evolution is an accurate description of how our human bodies evolved on this particular plane of existence. Now the reason I said no is because of the way the question is written, so yes we are created in Gods image, but we are humans only because our spirits chose to be human in this carnation, and yes we are what and who we are no matter how we got here or anywhere else. :-)

    • Spook LM 8 years ago

      Tough one to answer. What I really think is that we are just men and therefore we have no real comprehension of anything about God, but we think we do. In other words, one of Gods days, may be millions of years of our days? Something like that anyway and will leave it at that.

    No, we are what we are no matter how we got here.

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • castlecrasher 4 years ago

        To say that we're anything less for being the result of millions of living things coming and going to finally get to the sentient, wondrous, boundless thing that is the human being is to be traitor to your own kind. Intelligent design undermines all the scientific study so many have worked for. All the while they were people believed we were inbred slaves born with sin and have to believe in something in order to avoid eternal damnation. Now you all have flip flopped and claim God planned evolution... which makes no sense because why would God take all that time to get to us... W/e God you believe in you can't change your story just because science caught genesis with its tail between its legs. Science is about evidence, faith is believing in something with no evidence, which is in and of itself ludicrous. If you need to believe Jesus died for our sins and that if you be a good Christian you'll go to a magical place in the sky called Heaven it sounds like you've got some work for a shrink to take care of. No one should need suggestion to be a good person, it takes very little effort and makes life a lot easier. In short, enough denial; follow your 'good book' to a Tee or don't bother with it at all. Otherwise you're fooling yourselves and offending your deity...

      • travis-w-deuley 4 years ago

        @Serenia......Your assumptions about human morality need some fine tuning. Please research human empathy and how it has evolved from our early evolutionary days. Empathy is that which spawns (usually) our moral attitudes.

      • reasonablerobby 5 years ago

        evolution is happening it hasn't just happened

      • Mandy 6 years ago from Montana

        no way. you said it best, we are what we are no matter how we got here. it doesn't make our species less special at all.

      • jrnjames 7 years ago

        Evolution complements reincarnation. For millions of years animals have been the vehicle for mans Awareness [conscious mind/spirit] to travel in and reincarnate from one animal species to another, as the animal body dies. To finally becoming the Awareness [conscious mind/spirit of human animals.

      • FlynntheCat1 8 years ago

        How does being made make us better than making ourselves? And more - cannot evolution be considered an outside force?

      • dannystaple 8 years ago

        Each and every person is as great as they try to be, as great as they allow themselves to be through their thoughts and experiences. And as terrible as they can be, with, on the most part, only themselves to blame.

      Why I Think Some Christian Fundamentalists Hate the Theory of Evolution but Not Other Scientific Facts

      What do some fundamentalist Christians and some other religious fundamentalists have against the theory of evolution? Why do they seem so upset by the very idea of evolution?

      Evolutionary theory contradicts the literal story of Genesis as found in the Bible. However, a lot of scientific knowledge contradicts parts of the Bible. For some reason, scientific knowledge or facts which contradict literal interpretations of parts of the Bible other than those in contradiction to Genesis in particular simply don't fall under fundamentalist Christian fire.

      The Theory of Evolution evokes extreme emotions in some fundamentalist Christians and some other religious fundamentalists for some reason. They openly express disdain, fear and outright hatred of everything to do with the Theory of Evolution.

      Some fundamentalist Christians in America feel so strongly about the Theory of Evolution that they throw fortunes at getting it stricken from existence. The Christian Right in America lobbies aggressively to get evolution removed from public school curricula. Fundamentalist Christians have even created "Creation Museums" to counter the theory of Evolution at the cost of millions of dollars. The Christian Right in America is very upset with the Theory of Evolution.

      So why do some fundamentalist Christians feel threatened by that particular theory - evolution - but not by other scientific theories of natural processes such as erosion, eutrophication, or genetics? Why aren't they laughing at people and calling them stupid for accepting the theory of plate tectonics, too? Why don't any fundamentalist Christians attack people for accepting geometry, geology, meteorology, and chemistry?

      Why are fundamentalist Christians so focused on only those scientific schools of thought which contain elements contradictory to the literal interpretation of Genesis but not those which contain elements contradictory to other portions of the Bible?

      My theory is that the book of Genesis deals with the nature of man himself and the nature of life. It defines man as a divine being created in God's image and sets him above all other thing excepting God himself. The Genesis story in the Bible leads to the idea of man possessing a soul, given to him by God.

      The Theory of Evolution places humanity as part of the world which gave him life and identifies mankind as a species of animals. That is counter to the nature of man described in Genesis.

      People have strong emotional feelings about the divine nature of man, made in God's image. If pi is a tiny bit larger than exactly three or if science shows that the world has never been covered by a global flood, nothing about the nature of man is called into question.

      So, in my opinion, it all boils down to self-image. Anything that threatens long-held ideas of self-image will tend to create a strong emotional impact and create a backlash, much as the Theory of Evolution has among fundamentalist Christians and other religious fundamentalists.

      Weigh in with Your Opinion on Evolution!

      The Theory of Evolution says nothing about the origin of life, only the origin of variation between species. Keeping that in mind, how would you answer?

      Do you accept evolution as a valid scientific theory as to why so many varied species of life exist on earth?

      Yes

      Yes

        0 of 8192 characters used
        Post Comment

        • anonymous 5 years ago

          Because I'm not an idiot.

        • reasonablerobby 5 years ago

          the empirical evidence seems to support the thesis

        • anonymous 6 years ago

          One could understand resistance to the concept of evolution if such resistance were the product of some other scientific theory, but to simply disregard the mountains of corroborating data because they conflict with your 'belief' is a perfect demonstration of human resistance to cognitive dissonance. The more the evidence is stacked against you, the tighter you will cling to your belief. I accept evolution as the prevailing theory which has been the general consensus of the leading experts. If said experts discover evidence that leads to a new generally accepted theory, I will accept that. It is not the place of the layperson to determine scientific truth, as such determinations will invariably be influenced by personal desires and the psychological tendency to avoid cognitive dissonance through irrational clinging to dogmatic beliefs.

        • efriedman 6 years ago

          Yes, it explains the mechanism of gradual change of living systems over time. This scientific theory does not attempt to answer the question of the existence of a supreme being - it just explains how living systems behave.

        • Mandy 6 years ago from Montana

          I stick with the facts. I think religion is more of a theory.

        • anonymous 6 years ago

          Evolution isn't a theory it's a FACT. In Darwin's day it was theory .. the theory has since been been tested.

        • BennyJKintz 6 years ago

          Absolutely! The proof is everywhere!

        • eccles1 7 years ago

          Yes but it took reading science books to realize it

        • anonymous 7 years ago

          Why would any thinking person not accept evolution as a valid "theory"? The problem is that those who are against religion with rabid emotion get very angry when concepts such as "you can't have a watch without a watchmaker" are introduced. I have an engineering degree with a specialty in electromagnetics and I enjoy being a skeptic within both the religious world and the scientific world. On several occasions when I was poking at some of the problems with the current theory of evolution I was asked "are you a religious fundamentalist?" That was a very odd question and a clever diversion from the discussion at hand. Why would someone just assume that I'm religious just because I'm challenging the weaknesses of a currently popular scientific theory? There is a lot more emotion and religious doctrine flowing within the "scientific" community these days than they are willing to admit. You can see it in the anger that is generated whenever evolution theory is challenged. Why would any thinking and emotionally mature person get angry over a challenge to any scientific theory? Isn't that what science is supposed to be about?? Perhaps what they claim to be "science" has become more of a religion for them? You should switch hats for a while and challenge this phenomena and see where it leads intellectually.

        • FlynntheCat1 8 years ago

          Your question is misleading :DAs the cause of the variation of species, yes, of course, - s the cause of life, no, as obviously evolution works on what already exists. That life could have arisen by natural means? Yes, I believe so, but it does not mean the same thing as evolution.

        • Bambi Watson 8 years ago

          Though Evolution in and of itself does not prove the origin of life, molecular science does, as well as bio-physics & partical physics. Recently a 47 million year old fossil of the so called "missing link" between human & primate was found...proving beyond a doubt that humans are related to lemurs. The reality is that science proves that evolution is real and also proves that God exists...of couse organized religion is against both because then who would give them money, lol

        • Quirina 8 years ago

          Absolutel! Yet, the monkey in my picture is a coincidence...

        • Spook LM 8 years ago

          As already stated above.

        • dannystaple 8 years ago

          It is not the origin of life. Abiogenesis leads to evolution as a process, or the two things co-evolve. However, evolution is responsible for the varied species and the diversity.On it being "only a theory" - I think Cari_Kay you may wish to understand the scientific term "theory" - ie the "theory" of gravity, the "theory" of relativity or electromagnetic "theory" - none of these are considered not fact.

        • MobyD 8 years ago

          Evolution does not explain the origin of life. That's not its purpose. It does explain how species develop over time, however.When laymen use the word "theory" they usually mean something like "hunch" or "guess." When scientists use the word, they mean something a lot stronger. One definition from an online dictionary is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena." That's a lot more than a hunch or a guess, but anti-evolutionists want you to think when scientists say "theory" they mean "wild guess," which is what anti-evolutionists themselves mean. Anti-evolutionists have an agenda rooted in fear and they are not above lying, misrepresentation and disingenuousness in promoting it.

        • Susanna Duffy 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

          Of course. What else could have happened? Aliens landing and leaving us here?

        • alexei2ru 8 years ago

          Is the human race the same as it was 2 or maybe three thousand years ago? No. We, as all other species, adapt. We adapt to climate changes, viral diseases, etc. I think every organism evolves in time. We can debate the origin of life, but, from the origin to what it is now, I think it's evolution.

        • SJP 8 years ago

          "May faith disallows it" sums this argument up. Evolution by Natural Selection is as close to fact as theory can be, as close to fact as gravity or that water is H2O. Faith ignores reason--doesn't undo reason, ignores it in favour of a, by definition, assumed and uncontradictable other. One is either ignorant or religious if one does not understand (not "believe in") evolution for the former prohibits reason by not knowing, the later as a matter of eternal importance. Evolution is fact.

        • anonymous 8 years ago

          Of course, evolution is the only theory that explains our existence and varied species of life on earth. Sadly it is not properly understood by many. As Dawkins says, Darwins theory seems to be the only one that needs to be proved again and again and again. Sad that!

        • juice28 8 years ago

          i do believe in evolution, i especially like the darwinism play, most people mix the 2. I am a religious person and do i believe man evolved from a single celld orgamisn billions of years ago naa not really my faith wont allow me to, but i do believe that certain factors change, and life changes/evolves with it.. look at kids today(an easy example) the average highschooler is bigger stronger faster more grown up so to speak now than 10 years ago, the times have changed and we as people have naturally changed with it. but i don't think that in 10 years we will have gills and webd feet due to global warming...

        No

          0 of 8192 characters used
          Post Comment

          • Kylyssa Shay 5 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

            RT Dad, what does belief in God and your belief in how intelligent doctors and scientists are have to do with accepting evolution as a reasonable hypothesis? Additionally, you apparently haven't read about any of the surveys showing the majority of scientists accept evolution, no matter what belief in God or Gods they have or don't have. You are attempting to argue from authority by setting yourself up as a member of a group with superior intelligence while assuming belief in God requires disbelief in evolution. It's considered polite to read editorials or webpages before commenting on them or dropping links. The entire point of this page is to show that you don't need to feel threatened, science and belief in God can easily co-exist.

          • anonymous 5 years ago

            Having a medical degree I think it's interesting that 76% of medical doctors believe in God and life after death and only 7% of other scientists (archaeologists, astronomers, physicists, etc.) believe there is no God. Both groups are highly intelligent and have spent years studying science, but there is a drastic change in position over this topic. I can say that for my own reasoning, whenever I here someone say "mutation" that ends it right there. In microbial life forms, sure, bacteria will mutate to adapt to forms of antibiotics, but no matter how much the bacteria mutates, it will always be a bacteria. In higher developed forms of life "mutation" is never a good thing. It results in deformations, disabilities, and/or and early death. The number of "links" required to go from ape to man would be in the thousands and they just haven't been found. Sure every once in a while a new skull is found, but we're all human and I believe scientists get overly excited and don't adequately critique what they've found. Through genetic randomization, some traits will be passed on more than others causing societies to differ, but to say we came from a single celled life form without organelles and developed into the human race should not be given the "theory" status it has. "Mutation" does not change one species into another and as I said, in higher forms of life, "mutation" isn't a progressive step. Why do archaeologists and astronomers have such a hard time believing in God? I think it's because you won't find God digging in the dirt or gazing at the stars. You'll find him in people. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8318894/ns/health-heal...

          • anonymous 6 years ago

            I refer back to my response to the former question. I DO believe that the form of man has changed over the years since it all began. So, yes, I believe we (along with most other species) have "evolved" to our current state. I do NOT, however, believe that what we are today is the result of the evolution of a microscopic organism that "just was" in the beginning.

          • anonymous 7 years ago

            God created the world in six days

          • religions7 8 years ago

            No, evolution isn't the origin of the variety - it's a description of the process of change. Natural selection is obviously a fact, but the question is: where does the new come from? Where does the variety come from? the word 'evolution' is not an explanation of how that has happened.

          • Webcodes LM 8 years ago

            I believe in microevolution, but definitely not evolution as the origin of life. A watch has a creator, how much more complex we are than a watch to say that we just evolve.. A watch did not just form out of the blue!

          • Kay 8 years ago

            My graduate studies in the natural sciences heavily involved the theory of evolution. It's a theory and hasn't been proved to be more at this point. I had a few profs that suggested it was fact but, for the most part, everybody else accepted it for the theory it is.

          • Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

            I would say that I do not have any strong beliefs in this matter. However, I tend to agree with what Mike had to say...what did life start from?Brenda

          • MikeMoore LM 8 years ago

            I'm not religious, and I believe in evolution, but does evolution explain the ORIGIN of life? I don't really think so. For evolution to work, you need something to evolve. Where did that FIRST life form come from? How did it just appear. I think that the theory of evolution and religion can go hand-in-hand. One theory does not discount the other. Hope that made sense.

          Evolution isn't the strict bipolar issue many American Christians make it out to be. There are thousands more options of belief than just believe in literal Biblical creation or think evolution happened. There are not only thousands of other beliefs to be found in the creation stories of other religions and cultures but there's also the option most Christians worldwide use- belief in God plus the acknowledgment of evolution.

          Teaching Evolution

          Should Schools Be Required to Teach Biblical Creation As an Alternative to Evolution in Science Classes?

          See results

          I find it strange that people think evolution is meant to disprove God's existence. Evolutionary theory says nothing about God. Additionally, wouldn't an all-knowing, all-powerful God be able to create the universe with a beautiful and elegant set of laws that would ultimately result in whatever He wanted them to? To me, that seems far more awe-inspiring than a being working outside the natural laws He created to create life on earth.

          Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
          Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design

          Learn why Intelligent Design is not the same thing as evolution and why it isn't actually a scientific theory but a religious belief.

           

          Teaching About Evolution in Schools

          Does Teaching About Evolution in Schools Cause Kids to Become Atheists?

          Yes, once you believe evolution happened you can no longer believe in God.

          Yes, once you believe evolution happened you can no longer believe in God.

            0 of 8192 characters used
            Post Comment

            • anonymous 6 years ago

              If children are not taught about God at home, it certainly could change the way they view religion. If we can't talk about the Biblical view of creation along with the evolutionist view, then we leave children with no other frame of reference to believe that they were created by that "tiny microscopic organism" mentioned earlier. That organism then becomes (by default) their creator and, thus, in effect, their god. I think teaching about evolution is just as much a "religion" in some cases as is teaching about God as our divine creator.

            • Mary114 6 years ago

              The mankind exists millions years. It is the fact. Fossil subjects framed by the person find in layers of million prescription...

            • eccles1 7 years ago

              Yes it's true once I read about evolution I knew 100% the story I was brought to believe all my life called Genesis was a lie and I no longer believed in the God that Genesis is talking about the world being made in 5 days is not possible I know better now Religion will not mind their own business so they block us from the truth about evolution the whole world knows it's all about evolution but in America this knowledge is being suppressed by our religious leaders that's what I think now

            No, evolution is just another science subject like any other.

              0 of 8192 characters used
              Post Comment

              • Kylyssa Shay 15 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

                Things don't exist in nature because they are needed, but because they happen. Evolution occurs due to a build up of mutations that are beneficial or just non-lethal and mutations are fairly random in nature. It has no needs or wants any more than eutrophication does.

                Words like "necessity" used in this context must come from the idea that evolution has a goal or some intelligent force directing it. Evolution is a natural process, not a being with goals or a purpose in mind.

                Variety is something that the surrounding environmental conditions select naturally. If the variety of life forms is small, there's a possibility that the entire ecosystem may collapse through the loss of a single species of plant or animal. Ecosystems that tend to survive through a lot of environmental changes are those with more variety. They have the ability to lose species without collapsing. If there's only one species of pollinating insect in an area and it dies off or moves away, every plant that requires insect pollination in the area will die off eventually. If there are a few dozen species of pollinating insects in an area and one species dies off or flies away to live elsewhere, the remaining pollinating species will take over their niche and pollination will be back to normal levels in mere seasons as other insect species grow in population in response to the food supply the missing species used to consume..

              • El Shaddai 2016 15 months ago

                Evolution does not explain the necessity for variety in the same location.

              • reasonablerobby 5 years ago

                How ridculous. Natural science addresses a different set of issues to meta physics. Natural science bases itself on observation and empirical evidence that is allied to an acceptance of the fallibility of all knowledge. It is open minded and critical. Religion is any one of a number of institutionalized interpretations of spiritual affairs that require adherents to believe in the absence of evidence, hence the emphasis on faith. Some religions are largely uncritical and hence dogmatic and closed minded. These two philosophical positions science and theology needn't necessarily be in opposition. There are plenty of scientists who have faith in God. They just don't mix metaphysical concerns with substantive issues.

              • efriedman 6 years ago

                no, teaching about evolution just teaches kids what biology is. Their religious beliefs are a separate topic.

              • Mandy 6 years ago from Montana

                I think the compilation of teachings related to religion is what makes people atheist or "without religion" not teachings about facts that we know happened.

              • Kylyssa Shay 6 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

                Serenia, don't you mean thousands instead of BOTH? There are thousands of religious beliefs regarding how the earth and its life came about, not just one.

              • TeacherSerenia 6 years ago

                I learn it and then I forget it.... I still believe we were created. WHY can schools not teach BOTH beliefs? Evolution AND Creationism?

              • greeneto 8 years ago

                Ironically, creationists who play the prejudice-pandering "atheist card" are shooting themselves in the foot. They are the ones who are all the time in their rhetoric saying things like "If you accept evolution, then you must reject God" or "evolution is an atheist attack on religion" - they are banking on a fallacious argument using anti-atheist prejudice to attack the idea of biological evolution, telling everyone (including their own kids) that either you stick to the particular religious beliefs that are unscientific and anti-science, or if you accept evolution then you must reject religious belief altogether. So they hardly have any room to complain when a lot of their children as they get older and go to college and learn enough about the science to realize that biological evolution really is based on the relevant scientific discoveries end up have a crisis of faith - precisely because that is what their parents and other people in their church have been telling them. They've been told that if they accept the science that creationists despise, then they must reject religious belief, so that's what a lot of them do.The fallacy, of course, is double: (1) First of all, fundamentally, evolutionary science is no more, and no less, contrary to belief in God that is, say, meteorology, or medical science, or chemistry. What is, simply is. If reality is genuinely contrary to theism, then the creationists are right, but in fact they are not right enough, because they're not being consistent, because they're accepting the natural processes of meteorology and medical science and chemistry and so on, while still believing in God. If they accept the legitimacy of science at all, then according to the philosophical basis of their own argument they should reject their belief in God. (2) Second, just because one thing implies another thing that you really don't like (say, for example, atheism), that does not in any way imply that the first thing is not true. So the "atheist card" creationist use to attack evolution is a fallacy, that is really just the same thing as saying "If X is true, then Y is also true, and I really don't like Y, so I'm not going to accept X." However, whether or not we like the implications of X, this has absolutely nothing to do with whether X is true or not. Our personal desires do not dictate what reality is. Creationists are using the premise that their personal desires determine what the truth is, and that premise is completely wrong.

              • Spook LM 8 years ago

                But look to the parents on both sides of the coin.

              • MobyD 8 years ago

                No. But it is possible that someone who learns about evolution in school might come to doubt people spouting creationism, intelligent design or whatever other scheme is being promoted by anti-evolutionists. This could cause the student to begin questioning the anti-evolution crowd, which could lead to questioning religious beliefs in general. This is not necessarily a bad thing, although it is the anti-evolution crowd's biggest fear.

              • Kylyssa Shay 8 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

                Evolution is just another subject to learn about in science class. Why would it affect a child's belief any more than learning about any other science subject would?

              So What Do You Think about Evolution? - Is Evolution an evil plot to take away religious belief? Or is it just science?

                0 of 8192 characters used
                Post Comment

                • Zut Moon profile image

                  Zut Moon 5 years ago

                  Also ..featuring it in my lens - Mankind: An Amazing Creation ... or a Collossal Mistake?

                • Zut Moon profile image

                  Zut Moon 5 years ago

                  I like this lens. Blessed it and am going to feature it in my lens A Look at the Complexities of Man.

                • profile image

                  Edutopia 5 years ago

                  I think that the discourse in America over evolution says more about education in our country than it does about the validity of either side.

                • profile image

                  reasonablerobby 5 years ago

                  Evolution is a theory that is supported by a considerable weight of evidence. The evidence suggests that biological change occurs over considerable lengths of time. It makes no claim to stipulate the originating cause, God , demiurge, or whatever. Evolution is a process not a belief system. Science is circumspect about its claims. Dogma isn't described as dogmatic for no reason!

                • anaamhussain profile image

                  anaamhussain 5 years ago

                  I believe evolution is another theory, an attempt by science to solve a mystery. It has nothing to do with religion. we all are entitled to our believes.

                • efriedman profile image

                  efriedman 6 years ago

                  Evolution is a sound scientific theory and the fundamental concept of biology, so it should be taught in biology class. Religious beliefs should not be taught in biology class just as we don't teach sewing or basketball in biology class. Furthermore, creationism is a view held by only one religious group - there are many other religions that do not share this view. It is a narrow view to assume there is one version of religion.

                • TheGutterMonkey profile image

                  The Gutter Monkey 6 years ago

                  "Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people." Carl Sagan

                • profile image

                  alyssa87 6 years ago

                  great great great lens, vvv informative, keep it up :)

                • Kylyssa profile image
                  Author

                  Kylyssa Shay 6 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

                  @anonymous: Then why do most Christians, worldwide, believe evolution happened? There are not just two sides. Every religion has its creation story.

                • profile image

                  anonymous 6 years ago

                  I don't think it is necessarily an "evil plot." However, if the Biblical approach to creation is not presented side-by-side with the evolutionist approach, then I think the children are, by default, being taught that God did not create us and, therefore, is not the Supreme Being that we Christians claim him to be. If one side is presented, then the other should be also. Since or no science, it influences religious beliefs.

                • eccles1 profile image

                  eccles1 7 years ago

                  I am happy to come across something nice said about Charles Darwinthank you

                • ElizaRayner profile image

                  Eliza Rayner 7 years ago from Boulder, Colorado

                  Thanks for posting this page. I teach biology and there are SO many misconceptions about what eveolution is and isn't that its nice to see you address some of that here. I spend over 12 weeks talking about it in my classes! I have added this page to my newest page - a few of my favorite things. thanks.

                • nickupton lm profile image

                  nickupton lm 7 years ago

                  I thank God that I don't live in a religious fundamentalist state. Evolution explains the process of change, Creationism deals with how things originated, they deal with different things. The only conflict arises if you believe that there is no chainge and that all things were made as they are - that belief contradicts much of what we know as fact about nature; things we can see before our eyes.

                • homeschoolsonya profile image

                  Sonya Chappell 7 years ago from UK

                  Doing our Dinosaur Discovery project with the children left us in no doubt that evolution is a fact. I'm glad you raised the issue though and I think in the States its more of a discussion point than over here in the UK where evolution is pretty much accepted.

                • Webcodes LM profile image

                  Webcodes LM 8 years ago

                  Thank you for the discussion. 5*.

                • JanieceTobey profile image

                  JanieceTobey 8 years ago

                  Very nice lens! 5 stars

                • profile image

                  anonymous 8 years ago

                  Good thought provoking lens! I think it is possible to believe in both. One is science and in my opinion does not take away from God's creation of life itself. I've often wondered if the humans that are spoken of in Genesis Chapter One are evolutionary man - the people evolving from earlier creation into pre-Neanderthal and beyond. Genesis Chapter One speaks of many humans having dominion over the other creatures. Genesis Chapter Two speaks of ONE man and ONE woman created in God's likeness and put in the Garden of Eden. Couldn't that explain the difference of what we think of as "Cavemen" or pre-historic men and what seems to be the sudden appearance of men who are more like what we are today? And if there weren't already some sort of "evolutionary" humans on earth - how is it that Cain found a wife in Nod?

                • mysticmama lm profile image

                  Bambi Watson 8 years ago

                  Wonderful fun :-)Though I personally believe in both evolution and "God" as in the source of all energy in the universe, not the guy in the clouds lol...It saddens me how organized religions use the idea of "God" as an excuse for hate, war, terrorism...money, power & greed...and repress scientific proof because then they would lose the power to manipulate the masses and profit from it.

                • profile image

                  Quirina 8 years ago

                  Hi Kylyssa, I love this lens! I think the question you are raising ('Why don't fundamentalist Christians attack people for accepting geometry, geology, meteorology, and chemistry?') is brilliant, and I share your guess about the answer. Thank you!

                • Spook LM profile image

                  Spook LM 8 years ago

                  Thanks for the thought provoking lens. Unfortunately I just happen to be one of those people who love a good debate

                • profile image

                  dannystaple 8 years ago

                  Excellent lens. It clarifies a number of points that some people often mistake in this topic.

                • Kylyssa profile image
                  Author

                  Kylyssa Shay 8 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

                  [in reply to Amitabh1702] Oh, thank you!

                • profile image

                  anonymous 8 years ago

                  I have featured your lens in my lens here => The Blind Watch Maker - Book ReviewHope you approve.

                • profile image

                  anonymous 8 years ago

                  I am not surprised you adore Dawkins. Here's 5 *'s for your fantastic lens.

                • profile image

                  juice28 8 years ago

                  great! it is a topic of debate, im not gonna repeat my comment posted above but i like it!! good job

                • MikeMoore LM profile image

                  MikeMoore LM 8 years ago

                  Very interesting lens. Thanks for the read!

                • profile image

                  anonymous 8 years ago

                  This debate goes on an on without any solid solutions

                Click to Rate This Article