Evolution Undermines Religion

People who understand evolution recognize that the facts of evolution undermine, or even disprove, many fundamental and definitive religious beliefs. Among those who understand it are some religious people who, viewing the subversion of religion with alarm, try to ignore or deny the facts. But the facts revealed by the discovery and study of evolution have been substantiated by tens of thousands of researchers working over 150 years.

Some of the specific religious tenets undermined by these facts are as follows:

Humans, like all creatures, evolved from earlier creatures, subject to the response of natural selection to the pressures of changing environments; there was no special path or purpose for humans.

Human evolution was so slow and incremental that it is impossible to determine when or where humans emerged from pre-humans. In particular, there is no identifiable “first man” or “first woman”.

Men and women certainly evolved simultaneously, so men do not take precedence over women. Of course, even if a “first man” is arbitrarily chosen, he was born to an existing woman.

Just as there can be no identifiable first humans, there certainly can be no enumerable genealogy linking a later person with a supposed “first man”.

Human intelligence and cultural knowledge evolved along with our bodies; there was no moment when humans suddenly acquired a “knowledge of good and evil”. In addition, virtually all animal (and plant) evolution depends upon sexual reproduction. There is no intellectual or physical basis for the concept of “original sin”.

Since “original sin” did not and does not exist, there was and is no reason for anyone to atone for it.

A basic moral sense evolved among social mammals, including humans, as a way to promote the viability of individuals living within groups. This basic moral sense existed before identifiable humans, and certainly before religion.

To defend the tenets of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam the facts of evolution (and the theory of evolution) have to be ignored or denied. But the facts remain: the verifiable truths of evolution undermine many fundamental beliefs of religion.

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