In this site, evolution means the belief that all life arose naturally 1 (without God) and that the universe was not created by God.
Unfortunately, evolution is one of those words that has several meanings, and many evolutionists take advantage of that fact, switching between different meanings to confuse, or simply fail to clarify the differences in meanings. 2 However, I believe that in most cases, when people say the believe in evolution, they usually believe in the statement provided above. Here are a few alternate definitions:
- “Genetic change over time.” 3 If this were the real definition, Christians would immediately agree. Personally, I’ve never met anyone that denies that there is genetic change over time.
- “Natural selection.” Technically, we agree with natural selection, although it isn’t exactly a scientific observation. In any case, natural selection by itself does not say that molecules turn into people–it just says that some animals survive and others don’t.
- “The belief that molecules turned into man.” This is the biological definition of evolution, but it’s not the whole story. Most evolutionists take it a step further.
- “The belief that the universe was not created by God, and life on the earth arose naturally (without God).” I think this is what most people believe who hold to evolution.
Coyne, J. A. (2009). Why Evolution Is True. New York: Viking.
Meyer, S. C. (2013). Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life And the Case for Intelligent Design. New York: HarperOne.
- Coyne, 2009, p. 3: that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago; it then branched out over time, throwing off many new and diverse species; and the mechanism for most (but not all) of evolutionary change is natural selection.” ↩
- Meyer, 2013, p. x: “That term [evolution] has many meanings, and few biology textbooks distinguish between them. “Evolution” can refer to anything from trivial cyclical change within the limits of a preexisting gene pool to the creation of entirely novel genetic information and structure as the result of natural selection acting on random mutations.” ↩
- Coyne, 2009, p. 3: “The first is the idea of evolution itself. This simply means that a species undergoes genetic change over time.” ↩