RR Excerpt #5: The Fact of Evolution

This is excerpt #5 from The Reason Revolution: Atheism, Secular Humanism, and the Collapse of Religion, a short, FREE e-book available at Smashwords, Goodreads, and Amazon

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This is the third of nine posts describing "Reasons for Skepticism" derived from scientific discovery, not from wishful speculations about the supernatural.  These will be followed by several "Reconciliation Theories" for bridging the growing chasm between science and religion.

3. The fact of evolution. Evolution is a theory in the same sense that gravity is a theory—it is no longer a disputable opinion. All contemporary species of plants and animals, including our own, arrived at their current state through the process of natural selection, resulting in an amazing diversity of living organisms. Geneticists have determined that modern humans share common ancestry with every other living creature on Earth—not only with primates but with all mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, plants, and fungi. The last universal common ancestor (LUCA in scientific literature) lived about 3.7 billion years ago. Evolution takes time, more time than can be easily imagined.

There was no particular generation at which the parent was an animal and the offspring was a human. The fuzzy boundary between pre-human and human is at least tens of thousands of years wide. If, as Christians and others believe, humans have a soul that distinguishes us from non-humans and that survives our physical death, at what point did the deity-creator install that soul? Do mosquitoes, frogs, and mushrooms—all distant cousins of modern humans—also have everlasting souls?

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