Evolution is the change in allele frequency over time as well as the scientific theory which describes it. This accounts for the diversity of life on earth, starting from a common ancestor by the processes of evolution driven by natural selection. The theory was proposed in Charles Darwin's book The Origin of Species and since developed to include genetics and many other scientific discoveries.
Evolution is often linked to atheism because it is perceived to be a threat to biblical literalism and young earth creationism. However, many religions and churches accept or at least tolerate evolutionary theory. 
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 any or all of the following:
- TalkOrigins website, which provides in depth explanations of apologetics relating to evolution.
- Evolution Wiki
- "Evidence of Common Descent" at Wikipedia
- "List of Transitional Fossils" at Wikipedia
- "Human Evolution" at Wikipedia
Acceptance of evolution varies between religions and denominations.
"some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis"
While generally accepted by Christians, evangelical protestant Christians in the US generally reject evolution, with 64% of whites and 50% of blacks believing humans were created by God in their present form. Catholics and mainstream protestants in the US generally accept evolution as true. A minority of Christian believers accept the notion of theistic evolution, in which God directs evolutionary processes. 
Common Misconceptions about Evolution
There are some very common and persistent misconceptions about the basics of evolution itself:
- Evolution only concerns itself with the diversification of living species. It does not address other topics such as the origin of life itself, the Big Bang, the formation of planet Earth, and so on. These are each covered by different scientific fields of study, such as abiogenesis, cosmology, and physics. Creationists often misuse the term "evolution" to erroneously refer to pretty much any science that contradicts a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis (see the Jack Chick tract 'Big Daddy' for an example).
- Evolution is both an established fact and a scientific theory. In science, a theory is not the same thing as a hypothesis. Those who try to dismiss evolution with the claim that it is "just a theory", are ignorant of the meaning of the word "theory" as it's used in science.
- Micro-evolution and macro-evolution are not distinct processes.   Small changes can accumulate over long periods and results in large changes.
- Evolution does not predict that speciation will result in a completely different kind of animal.  Evolution predicts mammals remain mammals and primates remain primates, etc. Generally, evolution does not allow for two different species to interbreed (i.e. a Crocoduck cannot occur).
- Fossils that exist between two lineages, so called "transitional fossils", exist.
There are many other objections made against evolution but these are addressed in the resources cited below. The TalkOrigins archive is an excellent and comprehensive resource regarding objections to evolution. 
Religious Objections to Evolution
- The grouping of life specified in the bible is called a "kind" and has fixed boundaries. This is not consistent with the current scientific consensus on the common descent of life. The Bible does not define the boundary of a kind.  The study of kinds, as described in the Bible, is known as Baraminology and is a form of pseudoscience.
- There is insufficient time for evolution to take place if young earth creationism is true. Youth Earth creationism considers the Earth to be less than 10,000 years old. Evolution would require a longer time period to evolve complex life from the common ancestor: probably hundreds of millions to billions of years.
- Humans are descended from other animals. If animals do not have souls, at what stage did human ancestors acquire a soul? The idea of common descent is therefore objectionable.
However, being an atheist is not a requirement for understanding and accepting evolution. There are plenty of theists who see no personal religious conflict in accepting evolution and believing in a deity.  Evolution is a biological science and does not say anything about deities, one way or another. Likewise, not believing in a deity does not automatically mean that one accepts evolution; for example there are non-theistic groups such as the Raëlians who deny evolution.
Theistic evolution is a group of beliefs relating to the compatibility of religion and evolution. They range from God creating the laws of nature with the knowledge that they would result in humans to the belief that God directly influenced the mutations that occurred to produce humans. Many religions accept evolution but consider abiogenesis to have a supernatural cause.
While claiming compatibility with science, theistic evolution is not required for the evolutionary process to occur and does not provide any additional explanatory power. Therefore the theistic evolution hypothesis can be discarded by Occam's razor.
Evolutionary processes are wasteful and unnecessary
- Main Article: Argument from poor design
Evolution is full of failed attempts, suffering of living things and the extinction of most historic species. An omnipotent designer would not use such cruel means to create humans.
Past events are not testable
- "The past is not directly observable, testable, repeatable, or falsifiable; so interpretations of past events present greater challenges than interpretations involving operational science. Neither creation nor evolution is directly observable, testable, repeatable, or falsifiable. "
Evolution has been seen to occurred even on relatively short time scales. Evolution also makes falsifiable predictions about what we should expect to find in the fossil record.
Religion as an evolutionary phenomenon
- "If people literally applied counterfactual religious principles and prescriptions to factual navigation of everyday environments they would likely be either dead or in the afterlife in very short order-probably in too short an order for individuals to reproduce and the species to survive. "
Evolutionary theory predicts that detrimental traits, such as religious tenancies incurring a cost, would become progressively less common in later generations due to natural selection unless they are counter-balanced by some evolutionary benefit. Various theories of a direct evolutionary benefit have been advanced, including: intellectual benefits, emotional functions, it regulates socio-economic activity, etc. The other school of thought is that religion is a side effect or by product of our species development that had other evolutionary advantages. 
Among animals, humans have large brains compared to their body size which has been linked to social and cognitive abilities. This may have arisen because of the evolutionary advantage of improved social ability or language use with a tribal group. It also may have occurred because it enabled tools to be created and used which provided an evolutionary advantage. The need for social skills and language may have grown out of the advantages afforded by social living. It may be that the social bonding aspects of religion provide a direct evolutionary advantage in this context. Alternatively, since evolutionary development tends to be rather hodge-podge, humans are prone to many cognitive biases which may have inadvertently predisposed them to religion.
The exact mechanism for religion to occur has not been conclusively determined and research is ongoing.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Acceptance of evolution by religious groups, Wikipedia 
- ↑ 
- ↑ 
- ↑ John D. Morris, "What Is The Difference Between Macroevolution And Microevolution?" 1996, Acts & Facts. 25 (10). 
- ↑ Douglas Futuyma, "Evolutionary Biology" (1998), pp.477-8
- ↑ Watch Tower Society, "Was Life Created?", p. 20
- ↑ Index to Creationist Claims, TalkOrigins archive
- ↑ Watch Tower Society, "Was Life Created?", p. 28
- ↑ 
- ↑ Scott Atran, In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion, 2002
- ↑ 
- Warren Kurt VonRoeschlaub, God and Evolution, TalkOrigins archive.