Evolution, Religion, and Science

William B. Provine

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780199543656
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Evolution, Religion, and Science


Understanding evolution does not undermine many beliefs in god: deism, gods that work through natural phenomena, gods invented from tortured arguments by theologians or academics, and many others. Understanding evolution is, nevertheless, the most efficient engine of atheism ever discovered by humans. It challenges the primary, worldwide, observable reason for belief in a deity: the feeling of intelligent design in biological organisms, including humans. The first section of this article documents the widespread, worldwide sympathy with the feeling of intelligent design in animals and plants. The second section explains why and how the understanding of evolution in nature undermines and destroys the feeling of intelligent design and promotes atheism. Creationists and believers in almost any religion are right that evolutionary biology should be feared and rejected. It is the great engine of atheism.

Keywords: deism; creationism; evolution; atheism; intelligent design; evolutionary biology

Article.  6839 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religion and Science

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