1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutevolution/

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Evolution vs. Creationism: Conflict Between Science and Religion

Is evolution a science? Is creationism a science? What is science? Is there evidence for either? Religious fundamentalists often attack evolution, but rarely from a positions of really understanding what evolution is and how it works. These articles will not only teach you more about the nature of evolution and evolutionary theory, but also explain some of the more common complaints and where they go wrong.
  1. Evolution & Religion (20)
  2. Kitzmiller v Dover (30)
  3. Evolution Explained (31)
  4. Creationism & Design (162)
  5. Origins of the Universe (5)
  6. Science vs. Religion
  7. Book Reviews: Evolution
  8. Evolution & Abiogenesis (7)
  9. News: Evolution
  10. Philosophy of Science
  11. Evolution Polls
  12. Abiogenesis and the Orig...
  13. Belief in Evolution & Creationism (8)

Evolution Chronology - Chronology of Events in Evolutionary Theory
The development and events surrounding the theory of evolution can be as interesting as the progress of evolution itself. From the life of Charles Darwin to the various legal battles in America over teaching evolution in public schools, few scientific theories have been associated with as much controversy as the theory of evolution and the idea...

Evolution Textbook Disclaimers: Should Biology Texts Have Disclaimers?
In recent years a popular tactic among creationists has been to get 'disclaimers' put in school science texts. Because creationist efforts to have creationism taught alongside evolution have failed, they want to use disclaimers to cast doubt on the truth of evolution by telling students something like 'evolution is only a theory.' In fact, the...

Transitional Fossils & Evolution - What Are Transitional Fossils?
Fossils that show intermediate characteristics are called transitional fossils - they have characteristics that are intermediate in nature to organisms that existed both prior to it and after it. Transitional fossils are strongly suggestive of evolution because they indicate the progression of from just as evolutionary theory predicts....

Evolution & Law - Why Care About Laws on Teaching Evolution?
Does it really matter if legislatures try to limit or eliminate the teaching of evolution? Is it all that important when school boards try to force science teachers to include non-scientific theories about the development of life alongside evolution in their lessons? Yes, people who care about science, religion, and secularism should care very...

Scientific Creationism - What is Creationism? Is Creationism …
Like evolution, creationism can have more than one meaning. At its most basic, creationism is the belief that the universe was created by a deity of some sort - but after that, there is quite a lot of variety among creationists as to just what they believe and why. Some believe that a god simply started the universe off and then left it alone;...

Evolution & Creationism: Issues, Science, and Religion
Is evolution a science? Is creationism a science? What is science, anyway? Is there evidence for either? Religious fundamentalists often attack evolution, but rarely from a positions of really understanding what evolution is and how it works. Te documents in this FAQ will not only teach you more about the nature of evolution and evolutionary theory, but it will also explain some of the more commo…

Evolution & Creationism: Issues, Science, and Religion
Is evolution a science? Is creationism a science? What is science, anyway? Is there evidence for either? Religious fundamentalists often attack evolution, but rarely from a positions of really understanding what evolution is and how it works. Te documents in this FAQ will not only teach you more about the nature of evolution and evolutionary...

Evolution & Animalism: Overcoming our Aversion to our Animal Natures
Part of the common conceit which many humans have is the belief that, as human beings, we are completely separate and different from the rest of the animal world. People may accept positive, metaphorical comparisons with certain animals, but a distance between themselves and animals must be maintained. This may be one reason why so many are so averse to evolutionary theory.

Countering Creationists in Public Schools
Public school teachers and administrators shouldn't allow creationism, which is a religious ideology, to be presented in classes or other officially sponsored school activities (assemblies, field trips, etc.). Unfortunately, we can't always trust school administrators to do the right thing. Whether through ignorance or malice, creationism slips in and complaints from parents come too late.

Evolution and the Missing Link: Why Is It Missing?
Life is more like a spectrum than a chain, but not a spectrum with discreet ends. It%u2019s a spectrum in that there are gradual transitions from one species to another, all of whom are certainly linked together, but no discreet links in a chain which can be broken, repaired, or readily followed.

Is Darwinism Holy? Pretending that Science is Religion
Why do so many Christians pretend that science and/or evolution are religions? This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many possibilities. Perhaps religion so controls their lives that they can't think outside of religious categories. Perhaps they can't imagine that anything which makes strong claims isn't religious.

Christian Hate: Evolution is a Jewish Conspiracy
Christian extremists make up all sorts of things about evolution and science in order to push their theocratic agenda, but one of the most disturbing is the idea that evolution is part of a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. It's bizarre, but then again all conspiracy theories are pretty bizarre.

Plate Tectonics is Incapable of Being Scientifically Proven?
Creationists like to pretend to know something about science, but usually just end up demonstrating their ignorance. One good example is the attempt to 'prove' that evolution is incompatible with science, an attempt which involves distorted and outlandish definitions of science not actually used by anyone who works in the science. The definitions sound good to the ignorant, though.

Human Evolution Proceeding
Every so often, someone repeats the claim or assumption that human evolution has essentially stopped because human culture and technology have so reduced environmental pressures on human survival (for example, by helping infants survive who wouldn't have made it in the past). This claim is false, and demonstrably so.

Policing Behavior in Animal Groups
Some theists insist that the existence of morality is a sign that God must exist - after all, morality couldn't evolve, right? Well maybe it can. Not only are there plenty of signs of rudimentary moral behavior among some animals, but some animals even show evidence of policing behavior in their social groups.

Do Outspoken Atheists Hurt Evolution & Science?
It's not just enough that atheists and religious skeptics have to sit down and shut up in the field of politics rather than criticize the Christianity people are pushing in government; atheists also have to shut up in the field of science rather than criticize Christianity there because this prevents Christians from accepting the truth of evolution. Why don't we just gag all atheists permanently?

Blending Christianity and Science in the Service of Political Ideology
The conflicts between religious faith and empirical science seems to be continual, but just as continual are the efforts to find some middle ground where both can co-exist. It's important for many Americans to find a way to bridge the gulf between traditional Christian faith and modern science.

Blaming Evolution for All Society's Ills
The Christian Right seems to believe that if only everyone followed their brand of Christianity faithfully, everything in society would be good and right. The presence of social problems thus leads them to search out anti-Christian influences which are causing the problems. One of the top items on their list is the teaching of evolution.

Should Schools Teach Both Sides of Mormon History & Genetics?
Mormon faith is predicated upon a simple and testable idea: ancient Hebrews traveled to the Americas and established here a civilization. Whether this is true or not can be determined by basic DNA tests. Do the peoples of America have any genetic connection to Semites from the Middle East? No - their lineage is traced back to Asia, not the Israelites. The Mormon faith is a fraud.

Evolution, Christian Fundamentalism, and Morality
Fundamentalists' objections to evolution and science aren't based upon science itself - they don't reject evolution because it's not good science. Their objections are, instead, a product of their belief that evolution undermines faith and morality. It's pretty much the same objection they have had to every facet of modern science and culture.

Why Do People Yawn?
Everyone yawns, probably several times a day - but why? What is the purpose of yawning? You'd think that with something so common and basic, scientists would have some idea about what is going on and why, but the truth is they don't. The reasons for yawning are just as mysterious as the reasons for why yawning is contagious.

Global Warming & Evolution: Skepticism & Genuine Science
Evolution and Global Warming are two entirely different areas of science; at the same time, though, they share an interesting similarities: they are vociferously opposed by people who adopt the mantle of scientific skepticism even as the entire scientific community has gotten behind a general consensus. The 'arguments' offered by the 'skeptics' are remarkably similar, too.

Political Hack Censors NASA Science to Conform to Christian Beliefs
First they came for the evolutionary biologists... and did you say anything? How about when they came after geologists? If not, you should have, because now the anti-science Christian extremists are taking aim at astronomy and physics. Last year, a political appointee at NASA instructed the web designer to add "theory" after every instance of "Big Bang" because the Big Bang is just an "opinion."

Hormones and Human Behavior
Theists typically believe that who we 'really' are is located in some sort of immaterial 'soul.' What this soul is and how it functions is evidently a mystery, but even more mysterious is how much of our physical selves would continue to affect our behavior. If my 'soul' is responsible for who I am and what I do, then why is my behavior so strongly influenced by something like hormones?

The Human Mind as a Sign of Genetic Fitness
A persistent problem in biology is explaining the origins of the human mind. Most animals survive just fine without anything like our complex thinking ability, so what need drove our development of it? Geoffrey Miller, of the University of New Mexico, argues that some higher-level behaviors developed for the same reason as the peacock%u2019s tail: to show off sexual, genetic fitness.

Evolutionary Adaptation vs. Human Happiness
The principle behind evolution is pretty simple: species adapt to their surroundings and those who reproduce the most are those who pass more genes on to the next generation. The behaviors and genes of the best reproducers are what determine the behaviors and genes of future generations. What makes one group reproduce more is not necessarily what is best for living itself, though.

Evolution of the Modern Human: Are People Still Evolving?
Many people believe that evolution has basically stopped in modern humans - in particular, because modern medicine and technology are saving people who would have died before and, therefore, are preventing the unfit from being eliminated. This is based upon a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution.

Darwinism, Evolution, and Human Nature
Evolutionary theory is threatening to many people - they assume that if evolution is true, then this undermines people's ability to value themselves and their accomplishments. In reality, evolution should probably help us to be thankful and happy for what we have achieved because we have managed to accomplish so much with so little.

Science vs. Ideology: Manipulating Science for Ideology Doesn't Work
The Bush administration's desire to manipulate science for the sake of conservative, religious ideology is a losing proposition. It will produce shoddy, unreliable results that won't deserve the label 'science' while undermining any rational substance to their ideology itself. There are many examples of nations perverting science this way, all bad examples.

Signs of Creationist Nonsense
Creationists can't get any support for their ideas in scientific circles, which is why most of their efforts are directed at public relations and garnering political support. People with no understanding of science come out to defend creationism because they buy into the clever marketing tactics. Fortunately, there ways to detect this occurring.

Simplicity vs. Complexity: Does Simplicity or Complexity Signal Design
A common argument from supporters of Intelligent Design is that the complexity of biology and living systems is so great that it couldn't have been brought about by natural processes - it must have been designed by an intelligent creator. What these supporters fail to understand that is that a far stronger argument can be made for the idea that simplicity is a sign of design, not complexity.

Karl Popper and Evolution: Is Evolutionary Theory Based on a Tautology
Quite a few creationists try to rely upon comments by Karl Popper in their attacks on evolutionary theory. In a sense they have a point because Popper did criticize evolutionary theory; but they ignore the fact that Popper later retracted his criticism after he learned that he was mistaken. He demonstrated what being a scientist is all about.

Evolution and Religion
Are evolution and religion complimentary or contradictory? Should religious people oppose the teaching of evolution because is necessarily violates their beliefs or should they embrace it as an example of how the human mind can discover and learn about the very nature of our existence here on earth?

Evolution and the Law
Evolution is perhaps the only area of science which has been transformed into a legal issue on which courts around the country have had to render decisions. No one initiates lawsuits over the teaching of gravity, physics, chemistry, or any other part of the science curriculum. It's also highly unlikely to find heated legislative debates over the status of such topics in public schools.

Evolution, Creationism and Evidence
This article focuses on the evidence and usefulness of evolution and creationism. We will begin by considering what the evidence is for common descent. Following that we can look at how useful evolution is in the sciences. Finally we will see whether there is evidence for creationism and the usefulness of creationism as a theory of origins.

Glossary of Evolution and Creationism
Learn more about the terminology used in biological evolution, as well as in debates over creationism and evolution - from abiogenesis to Young Earth Creationism! (over 50 entries)

Do You Favor Teaching Creationism in Public Schools?
A 2005 poll conducted by the ADL found that 56% of Americans want to see creationism taught alongside evolution. Do you agree with teaching creationism in public schools? Why or why not?

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.