Rejection of evolution by religious groups

Religious rejection of evolution / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Recurring cultural, political, and theological rejection of evolution by religious groups[lower-alpha 1] exists regarding the origins of the Earth, of humanity, and of other life. In accordance with creationism, species were once widely believed to be fixed products of divine creation, but since the mid-19th century, evolution by natural selection has been established by the scientific community as an empirical scientific fact.

A satirical cartoon from 1882, parodying Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, on the publication of The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms (1881)

Any such debate is universally considered religious, not scientific, by professional scientific organizations worldwide: in the scientific community, evolution is accepted as fact,[1] and efforts to sustain the traditional view are universally regarded as pseudoscience.[2][3][4] While the controversy has a long history,[5][6] today it has retreated to be mainly over what constitutes good science education,[7][8] with the politics of creationism primarily focusing on the teaching of creationism in public education.[9][10][11][12][13] Among majority-Christian countries, the debate is most prominent in the United States,[14] where it may be portrayed as part of a culture war.[15][16] Parallel controversies also exist in some other religious communities, such as the more fundamentalist branches of Judaism[17] and Islam.[18] In Europe and elsewhere, creationism is less widespread (notably, the Catholic Church and Anglican Communion both accept evolution), and there is much less pressure to teach it as fact.

Christian fundamentalists reject the evidence of common descent of humans and other animals as demonstrated in modern paleontology, genetics, histology and cladistics and those other sub-disciplines which are based upon the conclusions of modern evolutionary biology, geology, cosmology, and other related fields. They argue for the Abrahamic accounts of creation, and, in order to attempt to gain a place alongside evolutionary biology in the science classroom, have developed a rhetorical framework of "creation science". In the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover, the purported basis of scientific creationism was judged to be a wholly religious construct without scientific merit.

The Catholic Church holds no official position on creation or evolution (see Evolution and the Catholic Church). However, Pope Francis has stated: "God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life...Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve."[19][20][21] The rules of genetic inheritance were discovered by the Augustinian friar Gregor Mendel, who is known today as the founder of modern genetics.