Evolution is a scientific theory describing change in allele frequency over time. It is also used as shorthand to refer to Charles Darwin's explanation for the diversity of life on earth, stating that all life descended from a common ancestor by the processes of evolution driven by natural selection.
The Evidence for Evolution
An in-depth study on the subject of evolution is beyond the scope of this wiki. Only those arguments that relate directly to atheism and the existence of God should be cited in articles. For more information, please visit the TalkOrigins website or the Evolution Wiki.
The Untenability of Theistic Evolution
Theistic evolution = matter + evolutionary factors (chance and necessity + mutation + selection + isolation + death) + very long time periods + God.
God is, in Philosophy 101 terms, supposed to be all good, all powerful and all knowing. These attributes do seem to clash with using natural selection. First, if God is all powerful and all knowing, He could simply create the life forms He wants and not have to rely on a mechanism to do the work for him. An obvious reply to this is, however, to re-emphasis the view that God is the divine watchmaker who builds a world that can run on its own. Of course, many religious thinkers, such as Berkeley, regard this view as unacceptable. After all, if laws and mechanisms do all the work, what need is there for God? In any case, this does rekindle the old debate over the degree of God’s involvement in the world.
Second, if God is all good, then natural selection seems incompatible with God. This is so for two main reasons. The first reason is that natural selection seems to be terribly wasteful and brutal. It seems almost inconceivable that an all good being would allow so many species to simply perish. The second reason is that natural selection seems arbitrary. It is, after all, a chance driven mechanism. To leave survival up to chance hardly seems like the action of a perfectly good being.
"Of all species that have ever lived, 99.9 percent are extinct."
From Teresa MacDonald, Director of Education, KU Natural History Museum & Biodiversity Research Center.
10 Dangers of Theistic Evolution - shows the incompatibility of Christian teachings and the theory of evolution.
Some literalist Muslims reject origin of species from a common ancestor by evolution as incompatible with the Qur'an. However, even amongst Muslims who accept evolution, many believe that humanity was a special creation by God. For example, Shaikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, an American Muslim and specialist in Islamic law has argued in Islam and Evolution that a belief in macroevolution is not incompatible with Islam, as long as it is accepted that "Allah is the Creator of everything" (Qur'an 13:16) and that Allah specifically created humanity (in the person of Adam; Qur'an 38:71-76). Shaikh Keller states in his conclusion however:
"As for claim that man has evolved from a non-human species, this is unbelief (kufr) no matter if we ascribe the process to Allah or to "nature," because it negates the truth of Adam's special creation that Allah has revealed in the Qur'an. Man is of special origin, attested to not only by revelation, but also by the divine secret within him, the capacity for ma'rifa or knowledge of the Divine that he alone of all things possesses. By his God-given nature, man stands before a door opening onto infinitude that no other creature in the universe can aspire to. Man is something else."
According to Qur'an, Adam is the first human being and the father of humankind. First Adam was created from clay, God himself formed the material of which Adam is made and breathed his spirit into him, and then Eve was created from Adam, the Qur'an does not report when she was created . Subsequently all humankind was created from clay. Today, some modern Muslim commentators have decided that, since the Qur’an makes no mention of the evolution of one species to another kind of species, the Darwinian theory of evolution is contrary to the teachings of the Qur’an. An apt verse that summarizes the process of human creation is:
"From the (earth) did We create you, and into it shall We return you, and from it shall We bring you out once again
Qur'anic verses 3:59, 35:11, 96:2, 20:55, 6:1, 24:45, 15:26, 7:11, and 19:67 are all related to the origin of mankind. Some critics of Islam and many Muslims state that the Qur'an and modern evolutionary theory are not compatible.