Why do people so readily accept the Theory of Evolution?

There are a number of possible answers to this. First: Evolution is taught as fact, even though some scientists (not creationists) have their doubts about aspects of it.

Second: Somewhat related to this, there is the regular use of what could be called 'fuzzy terminology' where any change in an organism is termed as evolution, when it is merely variation within the pre-existing genetic make-up of an organism. Changes certainly occur, for various reasons such as environmental pressures, but for evolution to occur there must be new genetic information which did not previously exist. The use of careless terminology means that everything is viewed as evidence for evolution - it is seen as happening all around us and those who wish to use more scientifically accurate terminology are branded as holding 'fixity of species.'

Third: There are those who have a philosophical agenda. Communists, beginning with Marx, stated that evolution was the scientific basis for his political philosophy. It must be stated here that by far the majority of scientists who accept evolution today are not communists. Some have said, however, that evolution is part of a naturalistic, humanistic, even atheistic world view, and that creation 'must not be allowed to get a foot in the door.'

Fourth: Many people do not and cannot possibly live with certain philosophical conclusions derived from the theory, such as "ultimate meaninglessness." So, even though they hold evolution to be true scientifically, they hold various forms of Christian and Biblical morality which are not consistent with an evolutionary worldview. What some tend to do is to say that evolution is no threat to belief in an Almighty Creator God and they hold theistic evolution which states that 'God used evolution.'

Fifth: For those who have rejected God, evolution seems to provide a justification for this choice. Thus evolution, in which nothing can be either moral or immoral can in some cases support certain personal choices.

Sixth: There are those who would claim a purely rationalistic/scientific justification, 'on the basis of the evidence.' It is not the place here to cast doubt on the sincerity of such claims. The only thing that could be noted is that there are people who claim to reject evolution on purely scientific grounds. Those who insist they have a purely rational reason for their decision seem most aggressively devoted to it and less willing to discuss any possible scientific objections which is suggestive of something non-rational.

People readily accept the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection because of the mounting scientific evidence that supports it. Evolution is the best explanation for the facts. The Catholic Church was, naturally, slow to acept the reality of evolution, but the following summary shows how its position has changed over the last 60 years:

  • Pope Pius XII stated in his encyclical Humani Generis (1950) that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith and that he considered the doctrine of "evolutionism" a serious hypothesis, worthy of investigation and in-depth study equal to that of the opposing hypothesis;
  • Pope John Paul II, in an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (1996), said that new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis;
  • Pope Benedict has refused to endorse "intelligent design" theories, instead backing "theistic evolution" which considers that God created life through evolution with no clash between religion and science.

The Episcopal Church has said that Darwin's theory of evolution does not conflict with Christian faith. In 2006, the General Convention affirmed, via Resolution A129, that God is creator and added that "the theory of evolution provides a fruitful and unifying scientific explanation for the emergence of life on earth, that many theological interpretations of origins can readily embrace an evolutionary outlook, and that an acceptance of evolution is entirely compatible with an authentic and living Christian faith."


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