Naturalistic evolution

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The Naturalistic evolution theory (or unguided evolution) posits the view that new species of life came into being as a result of natural causes only, that is, without any supernatural intervention (compare Creationism). Thus it is "a view that was expressly intended to take God out of the picture of creation"[1]

Put this way, it makes a crucial distinction between the more general or vague formulations espoused by proponents of Evolution.

Evolutionists frequently claim that they are not atheists or materialists, and even that evolution is compatible with religious faith. However, this claim rests on an ambiguity (most likely a deliberately framed one). The term unguided evolution cuts through this fog.

The primary claim of Evolution is that human beings "have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life". The secondary claim is that science can explain this process satisfactorily in terms of natural forces and processes.

When evolutionists say that someone "believes in evolution", they imply that the person accepts both the primary and and the secondary claim. However, surveys such as the March 2001 Gallup Poll [2] show that this is an enormous exaggeration. The reason they get away with this is that the term Creationist is ambiguous.

Contents

Naturalistic evolution and Creationism

Young Earth Creationism is the belief that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so". However, there is another "creationist" idea, Old Earth Creationism, which states that God's creative process for life on earth took millions of years.

About 15% of Americans believe in unguided evolution, while 80% reject it and 5% have no opinion. [3]

  • These numbers shows that skepticism that life developed via purely unguided evolutionary processes remains very high. [4]

Naturalistic evolution and Theistic evolution

Naturalistic evolution may be contrasted with Theistic evolution which suggests that evolution happened but was guided by God to produce mankind.

Usage

Many evolutionists object to the term unguided evolution on the ground that the Theory of Evolution is a scientific theory which is concerned only with naturalistic causes and makes no reference to "guidance" other than the guiding effect of Natural selection.

Partisanship

The concept of unguided evolution is important in the legal debates over evolution education in U.S. public schools. Evolutionists generally argue that evolution should be taught as a "fact" and without any discussion of whether it has been "guided" or not.

US Polls

Poll results vary.

  • 9-12%: Humans developed, but God had no part in process. [5]
  • 18%: evolution took place without God playing a role (just teens polled) [6]

"Human beings have evolved, but God had no part in the process." [7]

  • All: 12%
  • Men: 17%
  • Women: 8%

References

  1. Christian author Glenn S. Sunshine wrote, "scientists can simultaneously accept undirected evolution—a view that was expressly intended to take God out of the picture of creation—and yet believe in God" [1]
  2. http://www.unl.edu/rhames/courses/current/creation/evol-poll.htm
  3. Humans developed, with God guiding (37%). God created humans in present form (45%). 37 + 45 = 82. [2]
  4. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2005/12/why_many_people_dont_care_that.html
  5. http://www.unl.edu/rhames/courses/current/creation/evol-poll.htm
  6. http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=20311
  7. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2005-10-10-evolution-debate-centerpiece_x.htm
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