Quantcast


Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Persons
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
 Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

Sponsored links

 

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

The origin and development of living species

Naturalistic evolution: one of three origin models

Sponsored link.

Note:

This essay describes naturalistic evolution. This is one of three main belief systems about the origin of the species.

Other essays in this section describe the other two main systems: creation science and theistic evolution.

Two naturalistic evolution models:

These models accept that biological evolution happened, and that it was caused by purely natural forces, without a specific goal in mind, and without any input from a supernatural being:

bulletNaturalistic evolution (a.k.a. "atheistic evolution" "naturalistic evolution," "the theory of evolution," or simply "evolution"): This is a belief that attempts to explain development of all living species from the first living cell to the present diversity of plant and animal species. Evolution proceeded in response to natural processes, without intervention from God or other deities. Evolution happened blindly without a goal.

Belief in evolution directly interfaces with other branches of science:
 
bulletCosmology, the study of the development of the universe. This includes the "big bang" concept of the first few seconds of the universe's existence.
 
bulletAbiogenesis, the study of the development of the first living cell from non-living matter. This field of study is still in its infancy.

The theory of evolution is coupled with cosmology and abiogenesis and other "ologys" leads to a comprehensive model the origin of the species, the earth itself, the solar system, and the rest of the universe.

The universe started in a "big bang," -- a natural phenomenon, not involving God in any way. The coalescence of the earth, the development of its crust, the appearance of life in the form of a single-celled life form and the development of new species through evolution are all viewed as having proceeded strictly by blind natural processes. A minority of scientists believe that species evolved more or less at a regular rate over the past few billions of years. Most believe, on the basis of the fossil record, that species evolved through a process of "punctuated equilibrium". A given species continued to live for long periods of time with few changes. A small group became isolated from the main group and was subjected to different environmental pressures. A new species evolved from the old very quickly in evolutionary time. Scientists assume that there was no intervention by a God in any of these processes.

If one were to go back to the age of the dinosaurs, many tens of millions of years ago, there were no humans. There were small mammals which were our distant ancestors. Most scientists believe that the dinosaurs were wiped out by the environmental changes brought about by an asteroid impact. If that collision did not happen, then the evolution of the species may well have taken an entirely different path. Intelligent species might have evolved by now -- tens of millions of years later -- looking very different from human beings. Perhaps they would have green scales in place of skin. Alternately, intelligent species might not have evolved by now at all.

The term "atheistic evolution" is really a misnomer, because belief in evolution is not limited to Atheists. Agnostics, Deists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others can and do believe in the existence of both a supreme being (or beings) and naturalistic evolution. That is, an individual may believe in God, and simultaneously hold the belief that one or more supreme beings had no involvement in either driving or guiding evolution.

The philosophical foundation of naturalistic evolution is not Atheism, as many conservative Christians assert. Rather, it is the belief that the most productive scientific research results when scientists assume that all events in the universe happen as a result of perfectly natural forces. Another way of expressing this is that scientists assume that the events that they are studying did not occur as a result of miracles created by God. This is a sensible approach, because if God regularly interfered with natural processes and performed many miracles, then there would be no processes that could be studied scientifically.

Philosophers and theologians have been attempting to prove the existence of God for thousands of years and have come up with many "proofs." None have been totally convincing. If at any time in the future, it becomes possible to prove the existence of one or more creator Gods, then scientists would have to acknowledge the presence of an supreme deity and be on the lookout for her/his/their/its direct involvement in nature.
 

bullet Deistic evolution: This is a hybrid belief system combining belief in a deity who created the universe, and in the evolution of the species as a result of natural forces. In the belief, God created the universe, perhaps using the "big bang" about 14 billion years ago as his method. He set up basic laws to govern the running of the universe, and then left the scene entirely. God has not been seen or heard from since. The earth coalesced about 4 or 5 thousand million years ago without any input from God. Later, elementary life forms formed, which evolved into the animals and plant life that we see today through purely natural forces. It is essentially identical to naturalistic evolution, excepts that it reserves one action for God: that of initially creating the universe and its laws. This belief is common among Deists. A sizeable minority of North Americans believe in Deism, although most have never heard of the religion.

Site navigation:

 Home > Christianity > Christian history, etc. > Beliefs > Models > here

or Home > "Hot" religious topics > Evolution > Models > here

Copyright © 1995 to 2013, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published on 1995-NOV-3
Most recent update: 2013-OCT-06
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or return to the "Evolution & Creation Science models" menu, or choose:

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

 

 
Sponsored links: