Did Religion Evolve?

One of the most intriguing things that science can tell us is that human religious behavior has ancient roots. As … Continued

One of the most intriguing things that science can tell us is that human religious behavior has ancient roots.

As a biological anthropologist, I suggest that our religious impulses evolved from a fundamental, evolutionarily old need for belongingness— for mattering to and connecting with others in a deeply emotional way. We humans have evolved to crave belongingness, and we seek it with other people, and with God, gods, and spirits.

Our ancestors first became tool-makers, and later, clever hunters. When textbook images and museum dioramas focus only on spear-wielding and fire-making, though, they miss the most fascinating aspects of our past. Judging from what we know of other primates, our ancestors felt deep affection for family and friends, and mourned their deaths. Empathy and compassion, just as much as aggression and violence, made up the prehistoric behavioral repertoire.

No scientist can fail to grasp the importance of genetics in evolutionary processes. But theories that posit religion as a byproduct of ancient brains tell us little about meaning-making in our flesh-and-blood human ancestors, and theories of God genes tell us even less. What’s key to explore are the ways people related with each other as they began to confront life’s (and death’s) timeless mysteries.

If we look at the archeology of the Neanderthals, those enigmatic close cousins of ours, we see tantalizing hints of emerging spirituality in communal burial rituals. After about 70,000 years ago, our own species (Homo Sapiens) began to create more elaborate symbol-laced ceremonies and to paint on cave walls and ceilings in ways that cry out for spiritual interpretations.

Alternative hypotheses for apparent spiritual practices must always be pursued in order for good science to take place, and there’s no need to think that every burial or ritual would have had spiritual overtones. Yet looking at the evidence from our past, it seems indisputable that we evolved as spiritual beings. This perspective frees us to bring together science and religion in a way that honors both.

I don’t tell the Evolving God story to imply that somehow it is more progressive–or more moral or more right—to be religious today. A truly evolved perspective leads us to respect as equals all those who practice love and compassionate action in the world, whether that action is faith-based or rooted in agnosis or atheism.

Walk into a bookstore these days, and it’s hard to miss evidence of a relentless wave of books by scientists who write about religion. Some are divisive and shrill, others embracing and enlightening. Most, right now, are deeply personal. It’s a hot trend for scientists to proclaim either a deep faith in God or a hostile rejection of God. I’m here to affirm that there’s a role too for the scientist who says nothing personal about God.

Barbara J. King is Class of 2007 Professor of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary. Her new book is Evolving God: A Provocative View of the Origins of Religion (Doubleday, 2007).

  • Sherman Wilcox

    Very interesting essay. I’m happy to see that we can approach this topic scientifically. It just makes sense: clearly humans have a need, a drive, to feel spiritually — whether that is expressed in organized religion, in a belief in some higher power, or simply in a sense of awe at the majesty of the natural world and universe. Scientists like Dr. King are helping us to discover the source of this. Kudos to Dr. King for rising above the hubbub of contention that the religious right, and even other scientists, too often bring to the discussion.

  • Russell D.

    I like the explanation. I agree: humans need to feel like they belong overall, and they do search for more. Whether its in religion or in nature, or within themselves, people are always searching for it. But the coolest part is that you can feel it. You can feel the energy from people. That is what gets me. That is what leaves me to conclude that we are a people of great ability and great power…..however that power is let out.

  • FRIEND

    Religion has “good stuff “love, compassion…” and a lot of bad”, because people have “good stuff “love, compassion…” and a lot of bad”.

  • halozcel

    Turkey.Date BC 10000,gobekli tepe,first temple built by those who had believed to go to heaven.An,god of heaven,BC 4000,sumerian kings were the representetives of god An.Amon Ra,King of gods,BC 3000,pharaoh was the representetive of god Amon Ra.Teshup,god in the sky,BC 2000,hittites kings were the resresentetives of god teshup.God of Jacob has temples(synagogues) in Turkey.Zeus,father of gods and his son god apollo,BC 1000.God,Father of Jesus Christ,King of Heaven,AD 2000,Pope is the representetive(vicar) of Son of God.Allah,God of Islam.Did Religion Evolve? Let the readers make decision.

  • Bill C.

    What is the reason we should bring science and religion together “in a way that honors both.” They are not equals and never will be. Everywhere science advances, religion retreats and reformulates itself so as to salvage its dignity. They are not things which should be held in equal regard. Should astrology be held in the same regard as astronomy, or numerology along with mathhematics, alchemy with chemistry, or should holistic medecine be taught in medical schools? This is laughable and so is religious belief. It is out of mere political correctness and sensitivity that most scientists bite their tongues on matters of religion, but thankfully that is changing.The only truth is that science has a lot to say about religion but religion has nothing to say about science.

  • JOZEVS Continued Thread

    HALOZCEL, JIHADIST et Al: Hello Real World & Cyber World, come ONE come ALL, Brothers & Sisters of OUR WORLD:Attachment: From the preceding thread;The “Proof” that “THE SEPERATION” of the HUMATE INTELLIGENCE-System from Biblical BELIEF-Systems, is JUST as RHIGHTEOUS as thinking, and NEVER FORGETing, the “Adage” “Seperation of “CHURCH” from STATE. So Church (Belief) [Vs]. Intelligence (State) are TWO DIFFERENT REALITY (a/k/a/ our TRANSFINITY in IT (Our Almighty Fearless Unjealous TRUE Lord G-d the ECLAT as the Eclati IN YOU. US!

  • FRIEND

    Bill C:Science didn’t help my parents when they were orphans, a religion did.Religion shouldn’t always be interpreted literally, leave that to the religious fundementalists.

  • Anonymous

    Jozevs,When you say Church (Belief) [Vs] Intelligence (State), is your “Almighty Fearless Unjealous TRUE Lord G-d the ECLAT” included in “Belief”? I just want to make sure I understand SOME of what you are saying.

  • Mark Eaton

    What I find appalling is the statement of supporting the “scientific study of religion”. What exactly is that? I happen to believe that science is a religion. It takes faith to believe that this marvelous body of mine “evolved” from a micro-organism. It takes faith to believe that all the universes were created from a cosmic “big bang”. And without worshipping at the throne of these two gods, you cannot discuss science to anyone involved in academia. Especially an anthropoligist. What if we reversed the original statement? Do you think Ms. King would support or believe anything that was published from the “religious study of scrience”? Who is the religious biggot, me or her?

  • Lyn

    Anonymous wrote:”What’s more confusing to me, when I try to understand her words, is that she mentions evolving as “spiritual” beings, but then mentions “science and religion,” instead of “science and SPIRITUALITY” as if the words religion and spirituality are interchangeable.”EXCELLENT point!And as a follower of a religion, I completely agree with you that her statements should more readily lead people toward thinking about the spiritual beginnings and growth of man. I’m not convinced that there’s any proof of organized religion on those cave walls…

  • candide

    What exactly does it mean to say we have evolved as spiritual beings? There is no spiritual dimension, only a physical one.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    A comment on this essay in the form of an old New England story:It’s October and the political campaign season is in full swing. Two farmers show up at the town hall to take in a political debate. A politician is talking away in favor of his candidacy.One farmer to the other: “What’s he talking about?”The other farmer replies: “He don’t say.”

  • ALM

    Dr. King,Your chosen field sounds like a fascinating pursuit. No doubt you have speculated on what could have caused humans and our closest relatives to move in a spiritual direction.I am wondering if the development of awareness of self and the ability to project that awareness to your fellows beings, caused a need to reclaim a state where a feeling of individual separateness did not exist. The assumption I am making here is that animals who do not have this sense of “I am me” and “you are you” would not be driven by the need to feel Unity and connectedness with the Source.I guess the question I am asking here is, “Does a dog have Buddha nature?”

  • Volt Rare

    Science, religion, and evolution?Science explains the How and the mechanisms.Religion is one line of thinking on the Why and the purpose, and on values.Of course, several thousand years ago, religion was probably used to explain the natural world, and the academic discipline of philosophy was not yet a contender for discussions about purpose, importance, and values. In the absence of facts, and in the dearth of logic and reason (in the modern world, there is no such absence of opportunity for learning and thus: ignorance, stupidity and/or stubborn pig-headedness), a form of confabulation may have encouraged magical/mythical thinking, giving form to, or being mistaken for “religious” thinking.And also throughout history, religion politically asserted itself to maintain its dominance over other lines of thought.As for the evolution of religion, there are several aspects to this. Any particular belief system may change over time — of course. If the art of thinking about purpose, values, and importance advances, then this (IMO) benefits humanity. If a religious ideology hinders good thinking, then it is a pox or parasitic drain on humanity.And religions (emphasis on the plural) could be regarded as multi-celled organisms consisting of its members.etc…Another aspect of religion probably would be the focus on the profound experience of human consciousness, but probably this would be a difficult question of mysticism or meditation than of “religion”…–jsp akha Volt Rare

  • Terra Gazelle

    I am not a scientist, only a spiritual being…and as a being that has sought the meaning of being that spiritual being…it was not belongingness that the ancients sought…but the understanding of the mystery of life and death. When you have to worry from day to day and season to season if you or your off spring were going to survive, you tend to worry about appeasment of the spirits around you and be in awe of those spirits. What was going to happen in the next moment…was the river going to over flow and kill you, were the animals going to allow you to hunt them down? Each thing held a spirit…and it could hurt you if you did not obey the laws. It was the mystery of birth…after all a woman could bleed each month and not die,…then she could give birth and feed that baby from her own body. That was a mystery and it was special. Man could not do that. Then the women could feed the clan with the grasses and herbs she found…then she started healing with those herbs of the fields. While the men could hunt there were times when there was no meat and only the greens of the fields that fed the clan.It was not wanting to belong, they did belong to a family, a clan…it was the mystery of living that they saw spirit in, back when God was a Woman. In Catal Huyuk in Turkey there were over 40 shrines found dateing from 6500 BC onward…and that civilization lasted more then a thousand years and it’s main deity was a Goddess…In the burials red ocher was used to cover the dead…a symbol of the womb of the Mother Earth? What was found though has been that it was mainly women that were covered in the ocher. Maybe a connection with the woman and the Earth? Both gives of Herself.Science wants to prove that it is right..but it does not think. It sees the many facts but does not fit them together.Any way, it was not to belong, but to understand and connect that the ancients wished.

  • Ralph

    Belief in an afterlife helps humans cope with the losses of those to whom they have strong and deep emotional bonds of kinship. With an afterlife, a human can love deeply and still survive the emotional loss of seeing others die, which was much more common just a few centuries ago than it is today. We still experience death in developed countries, but not on the grand scale that they expienced it when things like plagues ravaged entire populations. Today, spirituality serves America by giving families something to cling to when their children, siblings, and parents are conscripted for war. The knowledge and faith that there is an afterlife and that a higher force can protect a loved one lessens the resistance to making people in soldiers. America has great sacrefices and wonderous glories ahead of it in the deserts of the Middle East, and the country’s spiritual re-awakening plays a central role to preparing for the wars ahead.It’s only natural.

  • Larry

    Volt RareI enjoyed your thoughtful entry. It would be interesting to test your theory about the staying power of organized religions by putting several (Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc) to your 6 prong test. What conclusions would you draw?

  • FRIEND

    ACRAPIST:You said:When we find a “bad” part of the bible, we cannot easily change the “word of god” where as when we find a mistake in the body od scientific knowledge we have a much easier task to correct it.Why would we want to change the book? It’s not a scientific paper. It is a book that our anscestors chose to guide them. There are insights into our beliefs and attitudes that are both good and bad in this book. How will we know where we’re going if we don’t know where we are and have been? We should argue with the fundementalists on using the any holy book as absolute knowledge. We should tell them about the scientific method and why this method has reaped all the complex technologies (good and bad). We should acknowledge the poetic beauty and insight that the book provides. We should point out the bronze age attitudes in the book. Look at how one of the posts above equates the scientific method with religion. We need to teach that there is a study on the Philosophy of Science. We acknowledge the limitations of the method and it’s assumptions. The end result has been an incredible insight into the workings of the universe. We should point out why science can’t study something which doesn’t appear in the physical universe and there are no facts to support.Let’s not make the same mistakes addressing questions about the role of the Bible.You said:Do you think people can express kindness outside of the context of religion? Yes, of course.Organized religions have taken it upon themselves to set up orphanages and soup kitchens. There is a whole infastructure that supports our communities. Religion is not just about bronze age descriptions of the universe.Take care.

  • Volt Rare

    Larry wrote:Hopefully, we are transitioning into a different era — where peaceful & rational people have less to fear from brutality and injustice (which itself is an effort of human will and transcendence over our more beastial and immature natures). In the modern day, human beings are valued more for their minds and hearts rather than their ability to enrich the state with a sword arm and by pushing a plow. Thus the playing field has changed. Religions have to compete less with military force and more in the realm of ideas and the needs of its communities.The modern, global, technological world is a relatively new development in human history. Religions will have to adapt to the culture shock. The groaning inertia and fear of change from millenia old religions is understandable. But any religion that fails to evolve and peacefully exist with science and the modern world, might find itself obsolete. —–As ideologies developed within humanity, there was evidently competition involved. And therefore, the hardiest ideologies evidently have developed characteristics of multi-celled organisms — especially that of self-preservation.I am not passing a value judgement on this aspect of ideology or religion. The question of whether this is “good” or “bad” would apply to how it helps groups of people and the individual.Religion can and has been a great source of comfort, inspiration, and warmth for society and for its people, but it can be a negative influence if it promotes ignorance and tribalistic egotism.It’s exasperating to hear assertions that science is just another religion. Science relies on proof and logic. If science was just another belief system, then how would one’s computer work? Planes would fall out of the sky when people have doubts about the technology. There is a consistency of logic in science, and science is never comfortable when inconsistencies of fact and reason occurs — this is in stark contrast to religion.It’s because of our ability to reason objectively that the modern world is even possible. Advances in medicine, agriculture, civil engineering, architecture, etc… everything that has changed the context of humanity so that it is not hunting animals with our teeth and fighting each other for food in order to survive, is due to objective reasoning. In fact, scientific advances give us the free time beyond scraping for food and shelter, so that we can help improve our culture and allow opportunities to study religion in the first place.On another note, I don’t know if this “on faith” series has asked about values and moral reasoning — but this is yet another thing that should be put into context, and highlighted as important to society.Religion can help us give meaning to our lives — and this is important, but science gives us the tools to help humanity reach potentials beyond our loftiest imaginings. If there is a God, why would not a scientifically advanced, morally conscious just society, with rich, compassionate, diverse, and humane cultures be a greatly valued part of the Plan?–jsp akha Volt Rare

  • Was Lost

    Professor Barbara King rationlize evolution and religion quite well.Note. This is a controversial topic and my opinion is only a suggestion.

  • Freevoice

    I had long suspected that the Holy bible was a manual that gives us some insight into the history of mankind. Churches have failed humanity miserably in the aspect of teaching the truth it was always politics as usual and is to this day more politics than teaching the message behind the word. I never took the Holy bible at face value or took somebody’s word for it…instead I constantly questioned every bit of information I received. Today I am confident to say that my search for wisdom and understanding was well worth it. Religion and Science should be honored because they compliment each other.God does not control ones mind….people use religion to play mindgames the same way they use politics.God works through people for good and never for evil. God is spirit….energy, a force and the light of life…not darkness and destruction!

  • Oracle at Delphi

    This writer seems to be fairly close to the opinion of Daniel Dennett in his masterful work, “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.” We are not wired for religion or God, but we might be wired for something else that has spawned our religious or God thinking, at least in some people. Mostly, I believe that we are religious or believe in a god or gods as a result of training as children, or as a result of some emotional upheaval later in life. Both are unnecessary. Is religious upbringing “brainwashing” then? Perhaps.

  • morgan hawley

    I would like comment about religion evolving,I believe this may be true for some cultures the bible says there was a time when we all did our worship in our own way and this was also true of me until I had an experience with Jesus and my evolution became a relationship with my God and my friend. That was quite a distance I came from ceramonial pipemaker to Jesus on a personal level.

  • garyd

    Sorry but it doean’t make sense things usually don’t simplify over time they complicate. Why then would we go from mulitple Gods to one God?Animism believes in one spirit inhabiting all things and that spirit has to be placated at every turn. Then we evolved to Greco Roman style Mythologies in which there were numerous spirits with different ways to placate each and from thence back to one spirit and in the case of Christianity one radically different who placated himself? Just doesn’t seem a logical progression to me.

  • FRIEND

    I just wanted to point out that evolution in the natural world doesn’t imply that life becomes more complicated, only that life changes to suit the environment.

  • Roy

    I will agree with our need for belongingness with other humans, but I am not sure this belongingness belongs with any non-corporeal entity like a god or God or spirit. It seems that humans invented those non-visible beings in order to make sense of or control the world, rather than from a sense of needing to belong.I am not sure what this sentence actually means:

  • horace jackson

    as person who believes in scientific principles it is difficult for me to believe that anyone is an atheist. they may be an agnostic but not an atheist because of the question how did the first quark come into existence?

  • Mr Mark

    Horace wrote:”as person who believes in scientific principles it is difficult for me to believe that anyone is an atheist. they may be an agnostic but not an atheist because of the question how did the first quark come into existence?”Good point. We don’t know the answer…yet. What we can say to some degree of certainty is that there was no god involved, or that if there was a god involved, it was probably Wotan or Apollo. :)Yes. I’m an atheist. Agnostic is to religion as independent is to politics. It is lukewarm, so I cast it out.

  • Dave Patterson

    The proposition that spirituality is evolved is not new, it’s many decades old. What remains unclear, and nothing Dr. King writes in her brief essay even hints at an explanation, is how spirituality evolved. Did spirituality evolve under natural selection and, if so, what was the agent of selection? Alternatively is spirituality a by-product of the evolution of something else, for instance of a brain that, in order to promote its bearer’s survival to the fullest possible extent, will not take ‘death’ for an answer and which as a result imagines an afterlife to resolve the contradiction between the will to live and the fact that we all die. These are two very different evolutionary explanations for spirituality with very different implications for how ‘sensible’ a belief in god(s) is.

  • FRIEND

    There is a lot of apologizing that needs to go around – from them to us, from us to them.But we are beasts not gods, I guess, and that may bury us.

  • Acrapist

    The question is not the evolution of spirituality, but the evolution of the brain, where now its structure gives rise to

  • Hewitt

    We are social animals, therefore God. This is a bad argument.

  • rafael

    Mr. Mark: “Yes. I’m an atheist. Agnostic is to religion as independent is to politics. It is lukewarm, so I cast it out.”I agree with and appreciate the clarity of most of what you say on these boards, but here is a position where we differ. Agnosticism is not atheism lite, it does not say simply, “I just can’t decide,” as your post implies. It is a rational position that says we have no means to know anything outside the material world. It is consistent, and I would argue more consistent than atheism, with a scientific approach to the world based on the principle that hypotheses cannot be proven with certainty, they can only be disproven with a degree of probability. It is the position of methodological naturalism to *assume* that material effects have material causes. Agnosticism therefore rejects truth claims of spirituality but in a different way from atheism.

  • FRIEND

    JOZEVZ: The neurons firing in your head fire the judgement hell for the children of Abraham. I cry at your pride.

  • Soja John Thaikattil

    Dear Professor KingI agree religions evolved, but the awareness of God itself is innate to human nature, because we are created with a receptivity to the spirit of God that pervades the universe He created, and the spirit of God within us in whose image and likeness we are made. The reaching out to the transcendent reality, called God, expressed itself in many different ways in different cultures, and religions evolved from it. Great breakthroughs in consciousness, to the greater reality of God, by individuals led to the founding of great religions. We did not evolve into spiritual beings, we were created as spiritual beings and our capacity to relate to and understand the spiritual in us and around us evolved with time.We did not evolve upwards towards God consciousness, but rather evolved inwards into a greater awareness of what has been in us all the time. It is only our minds and intellect that expresses the same reality with a different vocabulary of the times we live in, depending on our level of consciousness, but the reality itself is one and unchanging. One could say that our minds are evolving in the way we understand God, but God Himself, who is Eternal and unchanging remains the same. Buddha and Jesus manifested a level of consciousness which is available to us all if we follow their teachings and example. Throughout history many individuals have reached high levels of consciousness within their lifetime, while the vast majority have lived at very low levels of consciousness and continue to do so even now. Does science need to explain God? It is a pleasurable activity for the mind, but not an essential prerequisite for a life of faith in God. The scientific method is a tool to discover some aspects of the universe, and improve the lot of human beings, but it may or may not be suited to find the most important aspects of God and faith. So while it is interesting to have explanations of God from as many scientific disciplines as possible, and some of the work may help weed out some superstitions religions, the eternal truths remain and the faithful can rely on them, whether science is able to explain them or not. The way to higher levels of consciousness, as taught by the Hindu Rishis, Buddha and Jesus Christ are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago.Science and religion belong together and there should be no conflict at all if both are aware of the unique roles of the other – sometimes complementary, sometimes parallel. Soja John Thaikattil

  • Anonymous

    Let’s face it everyone: everything evolves; even religion, along with government, with which it is closely allied, evolved, obviously,as a method of population control. I would guess that religion came first to a species pre-dating our (allegedly) sentient selves. Its initial form was simple and practical, consisting of fear of and submission to dominant male leaders of small groups. It had selective advantage in that previous chaotic meanderings, dangerous and inefficient, were now governed by purposeful leadership. God was not some complex spirit that explained creation and existence; no, God was their leader, palpable and real, right there before them. Does religion still confer survival benefits through natural selection? Since it is so widespread, one could answer yes, it does; else it would have died out like unused or harmful mutant genes. But, modern science has concluded (tentatively)that religion is probably not coded for in the genome. Memetic theory holds that our behavior is governed by the meme, analgous to the control of our physical features by the gene. The meme seems to be deeply embedded in the psyche, passed along from parents to offspring, that guides our behavior and gives our lives purpose and meaning. “There is a God” seems to be the operating meme governing religion. Evolution operates on genes. Surviving genes, under the watchful eye of evolution, have passed the selective test. Memes, however, are not directly controlled by evolution. Bad memes may accompany healthy genes. Which is the point of this posting: The selective advantage of religion has long since passed, and it now threatens to destroy us.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    AnonymousWho says science has all the answers? The genes didn’t “exist” until the electron microscope was invented. So much for science knowing everything about the existence of everything in the universe. As someone famous said, science only studies the shadows in the cave, but it does not bring any light.Science and technology can destroy us too. Think of nuclear weapons for instance.We need real religion and more of the real thing, not less of it. If you don’t need religion, please stay away from it, but please don’t deny it to those of us who need it. Religion brings more joy and meaning into our lives.

  • carol

    I just love these blogs there is some really serious thought going into it. Mind if I throw in my two cents worth?On the matter of evolution of man and religion given all the studies on it I have noticed one interesting paradox in that there are cultures of primitive people in South America that don’t have any religion at all. They are to this day as primitive as the rest of the human race was six thousand years ago. The gather hunter type but lack in every respect a longing for a diety or any structured religious setting and dispite missionary attempts by various churches don’t seem very quickly motivated to start. I think what humans crave most with a higher intelect is order, community, and out of those needs for that religion came to be a tool to ensure order and form a strong community for which to survive such nasties like the elements, wild life, loneliness. Then as we progressed over time complex societies arose, creating more need for order and even greater need for a single consensus on communal thought, which would now do more then meet the needs of unanswered questions of what to do when leaving earth, to what to do with staying ontop of the latter of human society. With that latter need came organized religion that came about just in time to meet organized politics. Alas they go hand in hand don’t they. And I do think that as time goes on we will see yet more changes to the scene of religion.. its called keeping our sanity 101 in the midst of caos and bloodshed and cheap human value, and what to do with transientness in the nuclear family that no longer knows each other except who left the sock in the bathroom. We have the latest arrival of big time religious developements that came in time to nip that problem in the bud with all the nice needy things met from family, to community, to organization, and eternal reward. Mormonism. Yes the map of human developement is ever changing and upgrading. Don’t forget to go to the bookstore and upload the latest version of humanity 2000.0 Its a doozy of an upgrade.

  • victoria

    i think having nothing to say is still choosing not to decide i agree with norries farmer story

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  • Peter William

    It is not the purpose of this article to present a scientific argument in the Creation vs. evolution debate. If you are looking for scientific arguments for Creation and/or against evolution, we highly recommend Answers in Genesis, and the Institute for Creation Research. The purpose of this article is to explain why, according to the Bible, the Creation vs. Evolution debate even exists. Romans 1:25 declares, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen.”A key factor that we all must recognize is that the vast majority of scientists who believe in evolution are also atheists or agnostics. There are some who hold to some form of theistic evolution, and others who take a deistic view of God (God exists but is not involved in the world…everything proceeds along a natural course). There are some who genuinely and honestly look at the data and arrive at the conclusion that evolution betters fits with the data. Again, though, these represent an insignificant portion of scientists who advocate evolution. The vast majority of evolutionary scientists hold that life evolved entirely without ANY intervention of a higher Being. Evolution is by definition a naturalistic science.For atheism to be true, there must be an alternate explanation for how the universe and life came into existence. Although beliefs in some form of evolution predated Charles Darwin, Darwin was the first to develop a plausible model for how evolution could have occurred – natural selection. Darwin once identified himself as a Christian, but later renounced the Christian faith and the existence of God as a result of some tragedies that took place in his life. Evolution was “invented” by an atheist. Darwin’s goal was not to disprove God’s existence, but that is one of the end results of the theory of evolution. Evolution is an enabler of atheism. Evolutionary scientists today likely would not admit that their goal is to give an alternate explanation of the origins of life, and thereby to give a foundation for atheism. However, according to the Bible, that is exactly why the theory of evolution exists.The Bible tells us, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). The Bible also proclaims that people are without excuse for not believing in a Creator God, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). According to the Bible, anyone who denies the existence of God is a fool. Why, then, are so many people, including some Christians, willing to accept that evolutionary scientists are unbiased interpreters of scientific data? According to the Bible, they are all fools! Foolishness does not imply a lack of intelligence. Most evolutionary scientists are brilliant intellectually. Foolishness indicates an inability to properly apply knowledge. Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”Evolutionary scientists mock Creation and/or Intelligent Design as unscientific and not worthy of scientific examination. In order for something to be considered a “science,” they argue, it must be able to be observed and tested, it must be “naturalistic.” Creation is by definition “supernatural.” God, and the supernatural, cannot be observed or tested (so the argument goes), therefore Creation and/or Intelligent Design cannot be considered a science. As a result, all data is filtered through the preconceived, presupposed, and pre-accepted theory of evolution, without alternate explanations being considered.However, the origin of the universe and the origin of life cannot be tested or observed. Both Creation and evolution are faith-based systems when they speak of origins. Neither can be tested because we cannot go back billions (or thousands) of years to observe the origin of the universe and life in the universe. Evolutionary scientists reject Creation on grounds that would logically force them to also reject evolution as a “scientific” explanation of origins. Evolution, at least in regards to origins, does not fit the definition of “science” any more than Creation does. Evolution is supposedly the only explanation of origins that can be tested; therefore, it is the only theory of origins that can be considered “scientific.” This is foolishness! Scientists who advocate evolution are rejecting a plausible theory of origins without even honestly examining its merits, because it does not fit their illogically narrow definition of “science.”If Creation is true, then there is a Creator to Whom we are accountable. Evolution is an enabler for atheism. Evolution gives atheists a basis for explaining how life exists apart from a Creator God. Evolution denies the need for a God to be involved in the universe. Evolution is the “creation theory” for the “religion” of atheism. According to the Bible, the choice is clear. We can believe the Word of our omnipotent and omniscient God, or we can believe the illogically biased, “scientific” explanations of fools.There is only One religion that is Holiness-Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy. Lev 19:2All other religions are man made religion.For God is not the author of confusion, Cor 14:33Amen.

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  • Jack Metcalf

    I am an 80 year old man, not really educated but an inquisitive mind. I grew up in a very religious home. I quit high school at sixteen years old and joined the Navy. I wanted be a good son and follow my families religious teachings, It so happens I grew up in the south. The Church I attended thought Dancing, going to movies, ballgames or any other form of entertainment on Sundeay was a sin. My first Duty station was in Hawaii. So I wanted to follow my upbring so I went to church, the same denomination, and I was in for the shock of my life. After Sunday services,the Kids were sent to the movies and on Friday nights the church sponcered dances the teenagers. After this shock I started to think study man religion for the rest of my life.

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