Acceptance of evolution by religious groups
Although biological evolution has been vocally opposed by some religious groups, many other groups accept the scientific position, sometimes with additions to allow for theological considerations. The positions of such groups are described by terms including "theistic evolution", "theistic evolutionism" or "evolutionary creation". Theistic evolutionists believe that there is a God, that God is the creator of the material universe and (by consequence) all life within, and that biological evolution is a natural process within that creation. Evolution, according to this view, is simply a tool that God employed to develop human life. According to the American Scientific Affiliation, a Christian organization of scientists:
A theory of theistic evolution (TE) — also called evolutionary creation — proposes that God's method of creation was to cleverly design a universe in which everything would naturally evolve. Usually the "evolution" in "theistic evolution" means Total Evolution — astronomical evolution (to form galaxies, solar systems,...) and geological evolution (to form the earth's geology) plus chemical evolution (to form the first life) and biological evolution (for the development of life) — but it can refer only to biological evolution.
According to Eugenie Scott, Director of the US National Center for Science Education, "In one form or another, Theistic Evolutionism is the view of creation taught at the majority of mainline Protestant seminaries, and it is the official position of the Catholic church".
Theistic evolution is not a scientific theory, but a particular view about how the science of evolution relates to religious belief and interpretation. Theistic evolution supporters can be seen as one of the groups who reject the conflict thesis regarding the relationship between religion and science – that is, they hold that religious teachings about creation and scientific theories of evolution need not contradict. Proponents of this view are sometimes described as Christian Darwinists.
- 1 Acceptance
- 2 Spectrum of viewpoints
- 2.1 Bahá'í
- 2.2 Christianity
- 2.3 Deism
- 2.4 Hinduism
- 2.5 Islam
- 2.6 Judaism
- 2.7 Samaritanism
- 2.8 Pantheism
- 3 Proponents
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 Books
- 8 External links
- 9 Other
This view is generally accepted by major Christian churches, including the Catholic Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Episcopal Church USA, and some other mainline Protestant denominations; virtually all Jewish denominations; and other religious groups that lack a literalist stance concerning some holy scriptures. Various biblical literalists have accepted or noted openness to this stance, including theologian B.B. Warfield and evangelist Billy Graham. A 2007 poll showed that acceptance among American Buddhists, Hindus and Jews was higher than among any Christian groups (graph below). One recent survey, conducted by physicist Max Tegmark, on “of how different US faith communities view origins science, particularly evolution and Big Bang cosmology.” Although “Gallup reports that 46% of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form less than 10,000 years ago", it found "only 11% belong to religions openly rejecting evolution."
With this approach toward evolution, scriptural creation stories are typically interpreted as being allegorical in nature. Both Jews and Christians have considered the idea of the creation history as an allegory (instead of a historical description) long before the development of Darwin's theory. An example in Christianity would be the earlier writings by St. Augustine (4th century), though he later rejected allegory in favor of literal interpretation. By this Augustine meant that in Genesis 1 the terms "light", "day", and "morning" hold a spiritual, rather than physical, meaning, and that this spiritual morning is just as literal as physical morning. Augustine recognizes that the creation of a spiritual morning is as much a historical event as the creation of physical light. [In later work, Augustine said that "there are some who think that only the world was made by God and that everything else is made by the world according to his ordination and command, but that God Himself makes nothing".] Three noted Jewish examples are that of the writings of Philo of Alexandria (1st century), Maimonides (12th century) and Gersonides (13th century).
Theistic evolutionists argue that it is inappropriate to use Genesis as a scientific text, since it was written in a pre-scientific age and originally intended for religious instruction; as such, seemingly chronological aspects of the creation accounts should be thought of in terms of a literary framework. Theistic evolutionists may believe that creation is not literally a week-long process but a process beginning in the time of Genesis and continuing through all of time, including today. This view affirms that God created the world and was the primary causation of our being, while scientific changes such as evolution are part of "creatio continua" or continuing creation which is still occurring in the never ending process of creation. This is one possible way of interpreting biblical scriptures, such as Genesis, that seem otherwise to be in opposition to scientific theories, such as evolution.
Spectrum of viewpoints
Many religious organizations accept evolutionary theory, though their related theological interpretations vary. Additionally, individuals or movements within such organizations may not accept evolution, and stances on evolution may have adapted (or evolved) throughout history. There is considerable variance in overall acceptance of evolution between different countries, with studies showing that acceptance of evolution is lower in the United States than in Europe or Japan (only Turkey had a lower rate in the 34 countries sampled), and attitudes within religious groups may differ somewhat between counties.
In the Bahá'í Faith, `Abdul-Bahá, the son of the founder of the religion, wrote about the origin of life. A fundamental part of `Abdul-Bahá's teachings on evolution is the belief that all life came from the same origin: "the origin of all material life is one..." He states that from this sole origin, the complete diversity of life was generated: "Consider the world of created beings, how varied and diverse they are in species, yet with one sole origin" He explains that a slow, gradual process led to the development of complex entities:
- "[T]he growth and development of all beings is gradual; this is the universal divine organization and the natural system. The seed does not at once become a tree; the embryo does not at once become a man; the mineral does not suddenly become a stone. No, they grow and develop gradually and attain the limit of perfection"
Evolution contradicts a literalistic interpretation of Genesis; however, according to Catholicism and most contemporary Protestant denominations, biblical literalism in the creation account is not mandatory. Christians have considered allegorical interpretations of Genesis since long before the development of Darwin's theory of evolution, or Hutton's principle of uniformitarianism. A notable example is St. Augustine (4th century), who, on theological grounds, argued that everything in the universe was created by God in the same instant, and not in six days as a plain reading of Genesis would require. Modern theologians such as Meredith G. Kline and Henri Blocher have advocated what has become known as the literary framework interpretation of the days of Genesis.
Contemporary Christian denominations
All of the traditional mainline Protestant denominations support or accept theistic evolution. For example, on 12 February 2006, the 197th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth was commemorated by "Evolution Sunday" where the message that followers of Christ do not have to choose between biblical stories of creation and evolution was taught in classes and sermons at many Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Unitarian, Congregationalist, United Church of Christ, Baptist and community churches.
Additionally, the National Council of Churches United States has issued a teaching resource to "assist people of faith who experience no conflict between science and their faith and who embrace science as one way of appreciating the beauty and complexity of God's creation." This resource cites the Episcopal Church, according to whom the stories of creation in Genesis "should not be understood as historical and scientific accounts of origins but as proclamations of basic theological truths about creation."
The positions of particular denominations are discussed below.
Anglicans (including the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, the Church of England and others) believe that the Bible "contains all things necessary to salvation," while believing that "science and Christian theology can complement one another in the quest for truth and understanding." Specifically on the subject of creation/evolution, some Anglicans view "Big Bang cosmology" as being "in tune with both the concepts of creation out of nothing and continuous creation." Their position is clearly set out in the Catechism of Creation Part II: Creation and Science. In an interview, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams expressed his thought that "creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories. Whatever the biblical account of creation is, it's not a theory alongside theories... My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it." His view is that creationism should not be taught in schools.
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church affirms a Creator God and supports the scientific study of evolution.
“We recognize science as a legitimate interpretation of God’s natural world. We affirm the validity of the claims of science in describing the natural world and in determining what is scientific. We preclude science from making authoritative claims about theological issues and theology from making authoritative claims about scientific issues. We find that science’s descriptions of cosmological, geological, and biological evolution are not in conflict with theology.” 
Church of the Nazarene
The Church of the Nazarene, an evangelical Christian denomination, sees "knowledge acquired by science and human inquiry equal to that acquired by divine revelation," and, while the church "'believes in the Biblical account of creation' and holds that God is the sole creator, it allows latitude 'regarding the "how" of creation.'"
While Richard G. Colling, author of Random Designer and professor at Olivet Nazarene University, received criticism from elements within the denomination in 2007 for his book (published in 2004), Darrel R. Falk of Point Loma Nazarene published a similar book in 2004, and Karl Giberson of Eastern Nazarene, the first Nazarene scholar to publish with Oxford University Press, has published four books since 1993 on the tensions between science and religion, including his most recently published Saving Darwin.
Theologians of note in the denomination whose work on science and religion shows the promise of cooperation include Thomas Jay Oord (Science of Love, The Altruism Reader, Defining Love), Michael Lodahl (God of Nature and of Grace), and Samuel M. Powell (Participating in God). These theologians see no major problem reconciling theology with the general theory of evolution.
The Nazarene Manual, a document crafted to provide Biblical guidance and denominational expression for Church members, states: "The Church of the Nazarene believes in the biblical account of creation (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . .”—Genesis 1:1). We oppose any godless interpretation of the origin of the universe and of humankind. However, the church accepts as valid all scientifically verifiable discoveries in geology and other natural phenomena, for we firmly believe that God is the Creator. (Articles I.1., V. 5.1, VII.) (2005)
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church is divided in two large categories, which might be labeled as compatibilism and dualism.
On the one hand, compatibilists hold that evolutionary science and theology are compatible and view them as complementary revelations of God. As God is the source of both his specific revelation of himself in the Christian faith and the source of the general revelation of himself in nature, the findings of science and theology cannot really contradict; the contradictions must be merely apparent and a resolution possible which is faithful to the truth of God's revelation. Nicozisin (Father George) is a compatibilist.
On the other hand, dualists hold that evolution can be incompatible with faith. They usually argue either that evolutionary science is philosophically based on a kind of naturalism or that God's specific revelation is infallible and therefore trumps the findings of human reason in the case of any conflict between them. This is often based on a suspicion of human reason to arrive at reliable conclusions in the first place. Their stance is somewhat similar to Averroism, in that there is one truth, but it can be arrived at through (at least) two different paths, namely Philosophy and Religion. Bufeev, S. V, is a dualist, preferring to see the spiritual level above the mechanical, physico-chemical, or biological levels; he attributes discrepancies between spiritual matters and scientific matters to be because of the purely naturalistic views of evolutionists.
Roman Catholic Church
The position of the Roman Catholic Church on the theory of evolution has changed over the last two centuries from a large period of no official mention, to a statement of neutrality in the early-1950s, to limited guarded acceptance in recent years, rejecting the materialistic and reductionist philosophies behind it, and insisting that the human soul was immediately infused by God, and the reality of a single human ancestor (commonly called monogenism) for all of mankind. The Church does not argue with scientists on matters such as the age of the earth and the authenticity of the fossil record, seeing such matters as outside its area of expertise. Papal pronouncements, along with commentaries by cardinals, indicate that the Church is aware of the general findings of scientists on the gradual appearance of life. Indeed, Belgian priest Georges Lemaître, astronomer and physics professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, was the first to propose the theory of expansion of the universe, often incorrectly credited to Edwin Hubble. In the 1950 encyclical Humani generis, Pope Pius XII confirmed that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution, provided that Christians believe that the individual soul is a direct creation by God and not the product of purely material forces. Today[update], the Church supports theistic evolution(ism), also known as evolutionary creation, Under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the International Theological Commission published a paper accepting the big bang of 15 billion years ago and the evolution of all life including humans from the microorganisms that formed approximately 4 billion years ago. The Vatican has no official teaching on this matter except for the special creation of the human soul. The Pontifical Biblical Commission issued a decree ratified by Pope Pius X on June 30, 1909 stating that special creation applies to humans and not other species.
Deism is belief in a God or first cause based on reason, rather than on faith or revelation. Most deists[who?] believe that God does not interfere with the world or create miracles. Some deists[who?] believe that a Divine Creator initiated a universe in which evolution occurred, by designing the system and the natural laws, although many deists believe that God also created life itself, before allowing it to be subject to evolution. They find it to be undignified and unwieldy for a deity to make constant adjustments rather than letting evolution elegantly adapt organisms to changing environments.
One recent convert to deism was philosopher and professor Antony Flew, who became a deist in December 2004. Professor Flew, a former atheist, later argued that recent research into the origins of life supports the theory that some form of intelligence was involved. Whilst accepting subsequent Darwinian evolution, Flew argued that this cannot explain the complexities of the origins of life. He also stated that the investigation of DNA "has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce [life], that intelligence must have been involved." He subsequently clarified this statement in an interview with Joan Bakewell for BBC Radio 4 in March 2005: "What I was converted to was the existence of an Aristotelian God, and Aristotle's God had no interest in human affairs at all."[relevant? ]
Hindu views on evolution include a range of viewpoints with regard to evolution, creationism, and the origin of life within the traditions of Hinduism. The accounts of the emergence of life within the universe vary, but classically tell of the deity called Brahma, from a Trimurti of three deities also including Vishnu and Shiva, performing the act of "creation", or more specifically of "propagating life within the universe". with the other two deities responsible for "preservation" and "destruction" (of the universe) respectively. Some Hindu schools[who?] do not treat the scriptural creation myth literally and often the creation stories themselves do not go into specific detail, thus leaving open the possibility of incorporating at least some theories in support of evolution. Some Hindus[who?] find support for, or foreshadowing of evolutionary ideas in scriptures, namely the Vedas.
Day and night of Brahma
Science writers Carl Sagan and Fritjof Capra have pointed out similarities between the latest scientific understanding of the age of the universe, and the Hindu concept of a "day and night of Brahma", which is much closer to the current known age of the universe than other creation myths. The days and nights of Brahma posit a view of the universe that is divinely created, and is not strictly evolutionary, but an ongoing cycle of birth, death, and rebirth of the universe. According to Sagan:
The Hindu religion is the only one of the world's great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long, longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang.
Capra, in his popular book The Tao of Physics, wrote that:
This idea of a periodically expanding and contracting universe, which involves a scale of time and space of vast proportions, has arisen not only in modern cosmology, but also in ancient Indian mythology. Experiencing the universe as an organic and rhythmically moving cosmos, the Hindus were able to develop evolutionary cosmologies which come very close to our modern scientific models.
Daśāvatāras and evolution
The British geneticist and evolutionary biologist J B S Haldane observed that the Dasavataras (ten principal avatars of Lord Vishnu) provide a true sequential depiction of the great unfolding of evolution. The avatars of Vishnu show an uncanny similarity to the biological theory of evolution of life on earth.[not in citation given]
|Matsya.||First avatar is a fish, one which is creature living in water.||If we compare it with biological evolution on different Geological Time Scale first developed life was also in the form of fish which originated during Cambrian period.|
|Kurma||Second avatar was in the form of Tortoise (reptiles).||In geology also first reptiles comes as second important evolution which originated in Mississippian age just after Amphibians.|
|Varaha||Third avatar was in the form of Boar.||Evolution of the amphibian to the land animal.|
|Narasimha||The Man-Lion (Nara= man, simha=lion) was the fourth avatar.||But in geology no such evidences are mentioned. It may have been related with Ape Man The term may sometimes refer to extinct early human ancestors.|
|Vamana||Fifth Avatar is the dwarf man.||It may be related with the first man originated during Pliocene. It may be related with Neanderthals. Neanderthals were generally only 12 to 14 cm (4½–5½ in) shorter than modern humans, contrary to a common view of them as "very short" or "just over 5 feet".|
|Parashurama,||The man with an axe was the sixth avatar.||It has the similarities with the first modern man originated during Quaternary period or the man of Iron Age.|
Lord Rama, Lord Krishna and Lord Buddha were the seventh, eighth and ninth other avatars of Lord Vishnu. It indicates the physical and mental changes and evolution in the man from its time of appearance.
Some literalist Muslims[who?] reject origin of species from a common ancestor by evolution as incompatible with the Qur'an. However, even amongst Muslims who accept evolution, many believe that humanity was a special creation by God. For example, Shaikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, an American Muslim and specialist in Islamic law has argued in Islam and Evolution that a belief in macroevolution is not incompatible with Islam, as long as it is accepted that "Allah is the Creator of everything" (Qur'an 13:16) and that Allah specifically created humanity (in the person of Adam; Qur'an 38:71-76). Shaikh Keller states in his conclusion however:
"As for claim that man has evolved from a non-human species, this is unbelief (kufr) no matter if we ascribe the process to Allah or to "nature," because it negates the truth of Adam's special creation that Allah has revealed in the Qur'an. Man is of special origin, attested to not only by revelation, but also by the divine secret within him, the capacity for ma'rifa or knowledge of the Divine that he alone of all things possesses. By his God-given nature, man stands before a door opening onto infinitude that no other creature in the universe can aspire to. Man is something else."
In general, three of the four major denominations of American Judaism (Reconstructionist, Reform, and Conservative) accept theistic evolution. Within Orthodoxy, there is much debate about the issue. Most Modern Orthodox groups accept theistic evolution and most Ultra-Orthodox groups do not. This disagreement was most vociferous in the Natan Slifkin controversy which arose when a number of prominent Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis banned books written by Rabbi Natan Slifkin which explored the idea of theistic evolution within Jewish tradition. These Rabbis forming part of Jewish opposition to evolution considered that his books were heresy as they indicated that the Talmud is not necessarily correct about scientific matters such as the age of the Earth.
Advocates of theistic evolution within Judaism follow two general approaches. Either the creation account in the Torah is not to be taken as a literal text, but rather as a symbolic work, or, alternatively, that the 'days' do not refer to 24-hour periods. The latter view, called day-age creationism, is justified by how the first day in the biblical account actually precedes the creation of the sun and earth by which 24 hour days are reckoned and by how the seventh day of rest has no evening and morning. In the day-age view, Jewish scholars point out how the order of creation in Genesis corresponds to the scientific description of the development of life on Earth—the sun, then earth, then oceans, then oceanic plant life, fish preceding land-based life, with mammals and finally humans last—and in no way specifies the method of creation in a manner prohibitive of evolution.
Karaite Judaism is a Jewish a movement which is distinct in that they do not accept the Talmud (a series of Rabbinic commentaries) as law and follow the Hebrew scriptures as they are written. Karaites are currently divided on the question of evolution with many or most Karaite Jews leaning in favor of Theistic Evolution.
The Samaritans, a divergent branch of the Israelites (the other being the Jews), generally accept Theistic Evolution. Samaritans do not consider themselves to be Jewish, but hold similar beliefs. The Jews, however, hold the Tanakh (consisting of the Torah or Pentateuch, plus Nevi'im, and Ketuvim) as canonical scripture in conjunction with the Oral Law as compiled in the Talmud, while the Samaritan's canonical scriptures consists only of the Torah (a slightly differing Pentateuch, i.e. the Five Books of Moses), but exclude both Nevi'im and Ketuvim, as well as excluding the Talmud.
Evolutionary biologists who were also theists
Although evolutionary biologists have often been agnostics (most notably Thomas Huxley and Charles Darwin) or atheists (most notably Richard Dawkins), from the outset many have had a belief in some form of theism. These have included Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913), who in a joint paper with Charles Darwin in 1858, proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection. Wallace, in his later years, was effectively a deist who believed that "the unseen universe of Spirit" had interceded to create life as well as consciousness in animals and (separately) in humans. Darwin had a longstanding close friendship with the American botanist Asa Gray who was a leading supporter of Darwin's theory, and a devout Presbyterian. Gray wrote a series of essays on the relationship of natural selection to religious belief and natural theology, and supported the views of theologians who said that design through evolution was inherent in all forms of life. Darwin had Gray and Charles Kingsley in mind when he wrote that "It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent theist & an evolutionist".
An early example of this kind of approach came from computing pioneer Charles Babbage who published his unofficial Ninth Bridgewater Treatise in 1837, putting forward the thesis that God had the omnipotence and foresight to create as a divine legislator, making laws (or programs) which then produced species at the appropriate times, rather than continually interfering with ad hoc miracles each time a new species was required.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955) was a noted geologist and paleontologist as well as a Jesuit Priest who wrote extensively on the subject of incorporating evolution into a new understanding of Christianity. Initially suppressed by the Roman Catholic Church, his theological work has had considerable influence and is widely taught in Catholic and most mainline Protestant seminaries.
Both Ronald Fisher (1890–1962) and Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900–1975), were Christians and architects of the modern evolutionary synthesis. Dobzhansky, a Russian Orthodox, wrote a famous 1973 essay entitled Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution espousing evolutionary creationism:
- "I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God's, or Nature's, method of creation. Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 BC; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way... Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology. Only if symbols are construed to mean what they are not intended to mean can there arise imaginary, insoluble conflicts... the blunder leads to blasphemy: the Creator is accused of systematic deceitfulness."
In the realm of biology and theology, the saying coined by Thomas Jay Oord is perhaps appropriate: "The Bible tells us how to find abundant life, not the details of how life became abundant."
Contemporary advocates of theistic evolution
||This section contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. (March 2009)|
Contemporary biologists and geologists who are Christians and theistic evolutionists include:
- Paleontologist Robert T. Bakker
- R. J. Berry, Professor of Genetics at University College London
- Microbiologist Richard G. Colling of Olivet Nazarene University, author of Random Designer: Created from Chaos to Connect with Creator
- Geneticist Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health and director of the Human Genome Project and author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief in which he has suggested the term BioLogos for theistic evolution. Collins is also the founder of the BioLogos Foundation.
- Biologist Darrel Falk of Point Loma Nazarene University, author of Coming to Peace with Science
- Biologist Denis Lamoureux of St. Joseph's College, University of Alberta, Canada who has co-authored with evolution critic Phillip E. Johnson Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins (Regent College, 1999)
- Evangelical Christian and geologist Keith B. Miller of Kansas State University, who compiled an anthology Perspectives on an Evolving Creation (Eerdmans, 2003)
- Kenneth R. Miller, professor of biology at Brown University, author of Finding Darwin's God (Cliff Street Books, 1999), in which he states his belief in God and argues that "evolution is the key to understanding God" (Dr. Miller has also called himself "an orthodox Catholic and an orthodox Darwinist" in the 2001 PBS special "Evolution")
- Biologist Joan Roughgarden at Stanford University is author of various books including Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist
- Paleobiologist Prof. Simon Conway Morris of Cambridge University, well known for his groundbreaking work on the Burgess Shale fossils and the Cambrian explosion, and author of Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe
Philosophers, theologians, and physical scientists who have supported the evolutionary creationist model include:
- Novelist, theologian and noted Christian apologist C. S. Lewis
- Christian apologist, theologian and philosopher William Lane Craig
- Political commentator and apologist Dinesh D'Souza
- Eco-theologian Fr. Thomas Berry
- Eco-theologian and evolutionary evangelist Rev. Michael Dowd, advocate of religious naturalism
- Fr. George Coyne of the Vatican Observatory
- Astronomer and philosopher of science at Harvard University Owen Gingerich
- Physicist Karl Giberson of Eastern Nazarene College, author of several books: Worlds Apart: The Unholy War between Religion and Science, Species of Origins: America’s Search for a Creation Story, The Oracles of Science: Celebrity Scientists Versus God and Religion, and Saving Darwin.
- Theologian and New Testament scholar N.T. Wright, Anglican Bishop of Durham and contributor to the BioLogos Foundation.
- Theologian John Haught of Georgetown University.
- Biochemist and theologian Alister McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Oxford.
- Theologian Thomas Jay Oord of Northwest Nazarene University (known for saying, "The Bible tells us how to find abundant life, not the details of how life became abundant.")
- Pope John Paul II, who is famous for praising evolutionary biology and calling its accounts of human origins "more than a hypothesis"
- Ted Peters, co-author of the book Can You Believe in God And Evolution?
- Physicist and theologian Rev. John Polkinghorne of Cambridge University.
- Theologian Rev. Keith Ward, former Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford, author of God, Chance, and Necessity
- Theologian-philosopher Rev. Michał Heller, professor of philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Kraków, Poland, and an adjunct member of the Vatican Observatory staff.
- Theologian-philosopher catholic archbishop Józef Życiński, professor of philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Kraków, Poland.
- Theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg, University of Munich, author of "Toward a Theology of Nature."
- Many members of the American Scientific Affiliation and contributors to its journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith.
- Ahmadiyya views on evolution
- American Scientific Affiliation
- Arthur Peacocke
- Biblical cosmology
- Cosmological argument
- Epic of Evolution
- Level of support for evolution § Support for evolution by religious bodies
- Mormon views on evolution
- Natural theology
- Religious Naturalism
- The Challenge of Creation
- Timeline of the Big Bang
- Timeline of the formation of the Universe
- Ultimate fate of the universe
- Craig Rusbult, Ph.D. (1998). "Evolutionary Creation". American Scientific Affiliation.
A theory of theistic evolution (TE) — also called evolutionary creation * — proposes that God's method of creation was to cleverly design a universe in which everything would naturally evolve. Usually the "evolution" in "theistic evolution" means Total Evolution — astronomical evolution (to form galaxies, solar systems,...) and geological evolution (to form the earth's geology) plus chemical evolution (to form the first life) and biological evolution (for the development of life) — but it can refer only to biological evolution.
- Scott, 271
- Numbers, Ronald (November 30, 2006). The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, Expanded Edition. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-02339-0. pp 34-38
- Evolution Vs. Creationism, Eugenie Scott, Niles Eldredge, p62-63
- [Max Tegmark, Eugena Lee, and Meia Chita-Tegmark, "The MIT Survey on Science, Religion and Origins: the Belief Gap", Feb. 11, 2013,http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/survey/survey.pdf, p. 1]
- Davis A. Young, "The Contemporary Relevance of Augustine's View of Creation" from Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 40.1
- Taylor, JH (trans) (1982) "St. Augustine. The Literal Meaning of Genesis", Paulist Press, New York, p171
- ""Allegorical Interpretation, I" from The Works of Philo Judaeus, translated by C.D. Yonge". Archived from the original on 2013-05-15. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- The Guide for the Perplexed 2:17
- Milchamot Hashem 6:8
- Can You Believe in God and Evolution, Ted Peters and Matrinez Hewlett
- Religious Groups: Opinions of Evolution, Pew Forum (conducted in 2007, released in 2008)
- Miller, J.D.; Scott, EC; Okamoto, S (2006). "SCIENCE COMMUNICATION: Public Acceptance of Evolution". Science. 313 (5788): 765–6. doi:10.1126/science.1126746. PMID 16902112.
- Effendi 1912, p. 350
- `Abdu'l-Bahá 1912, pp. 51–52
- `Abdu'l-Bahá 1908, pp. 198–99
- Churches urged to challenge Intelligent Design -20/02/06
- Science, Religion, and the Teaching of Evolution in Public School Science Classes (pdf), The National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy, Teaching Evolution, March 2006
- Catechism of Creation Part II: Creation and Science
- The Guardian, March 21, 2006
-  The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church – 2008, The United Methodist Publishing House.
- "Can God Love Darwin, Too?" by Sharon Begley, Newsweek, Sept. 17, 2007 issue
- Random Designer: Created from Chaos to Connect with the Creator, Browning Press, 2004, ISBN 0-9753904-0-6
- Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology, InterVarsity Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8308-2742-0
- Worlds Apart: The Unholy War between Religion and Science, Beacon Hill Press, 1993 ISBN 0-8341-1504-2
With Donald Yerxa, Species of Origins: America's Search for a Creation Story, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2002 ISBN 0-7425-0764-5
With Mariano Artigas, The Oracles of Science: Celebrity Scientist Versus God and Religion, Oxford University Press, 2006 ISBN 0-19-531072-1
- Manual, p.371
- Farrell, John (August 27, 2010). "Catholics and the Evolving Cosmos". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "Evolutionary Creation" (PDF). University of Alberta. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
Evolutionary creation best describes the official position of the Roman Catholic Church, though it is often referred to in this tradition as 'theistic evolution.'
- "Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God." Vatican: The Holy See. International Theological Commission, 2002. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. ch.3 p.63 <http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20040723_communion-stewardship_en.html>.
- "Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God". International Theological Commission. La Civilità Cattolica. July 2004. pp. 254–286.
- Stenson, James B. (March 1984). "Evolution: A Catholic Perspective". Catholic Position Papers, Series A, Number 116. Ashiya-Shi, Japan: Seido Foundation for the Advancement of Education.
- Atheist Philosopher, 81, Now Believes in God | LiveScience
- BBC interview, Professor Antony Flew March 22, 2005.
- "Religion & Ethics-Hinduism". BBC. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
- Moorty, J.S.R.L.Narayana (May 18–21, 1995). "Science and spirituality: Any Points of Contact? The Teachings of U.G.Krishnamurti: A Case Study". Krishnamurti Centennial Conference. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
- Sagan, Carl (1985). Cosmos. Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0-345-33135-9. p. 258.
- Capra, Fritjof (1991). Tao of Physics. Shambhala. ISBN 978-0-87773-594-6. p. 198
- Evolution and Islam
- Jesus and the Indian Messiah – 13. Every Wind of Doctrine
- The New Oxford Dictionary Of English. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1998. p. 1341. ISBN 0-19-861263-X.
- Owen, H. P. Concepts of Deity. London: Macmillan, 1971, p. 65.
- Martin Fichman, An elusive. (2004). Victorian: the evolution of Alfred Russel Wallace. p. 159
- "Historical Resources". Darwin Correspondence Project. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
- "Essays & reviews by Asa Gray". Darwin Correspondence Project. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
Asa Gray (January 15, 1874). "Essay: Evolution & theology". Darwin Correspondence Project. The Nation. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
- "Letter 12041 — Darwin, C. R. to Fordyce, John, 7 May 1879". Darwin Correspondence Project. Archived from the original on 2014-06-29. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
- Pope John Paul II, "Truth Cannot Contradict Truth", New Advent, ed. Kevin Knight, 15 Feb 2009 <http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_jp02tc.htm>
- Numbers, Ronald, The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, Expanded Edition, 2006, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0674023390
- Scott, Eugenie C., "Antievolution and Creationism in the United States", Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 26, (1997), pp. 263–289, JSTOR
- Collins, Francis; (2006) The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief ISBN 0-7432-8639-1
- Michael Dowd (2009) Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World ISBN 0-452-29534-3
- Falk, Darrel; (2004) Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology ISBN 0-8308-2742-0
- Miller, Kenneth R.; (1999) Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution ISBN 0-06-093049-7
- Miller, Keith B.; (2003) Perspectives on an Evolving Creation ISBN 0-8028-0512-4
- Corrado Ghinamo; (2013) The Beautiful Scientist: a Spiritual Approach to Science ISBN 1621474623; ISBN 978-1621474623
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- Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution by Denis Lamoureux (St. Joseph's College, Edmonton)
- About: Agnosticism/Atheism on 'Theistic Evolution & Evolutionary Creationism' by Austin Cline; overview of various viewpoints
- Creationism: What's a Catholic to Do? by Michael D. Guinan, O.F.M.; critical assessment of creationism and intelligent design from a Roman Catholic perspective.
- What is Creationism? by Mark Isaak, presents various forms of creationism
- What is Evolution? by Laurence Moran, presents a standard definition for evolution
- Answers In Creation Old Earth Creationism, with section on theistic evolution
- Evolution & Creation: A Theosophic Synthesis Surveys critical problems in Darwinist explanations and common theistic views; explores ancient and modern "excluded middle" alternatives
- The Vatican's View of Evolution: The Story of Two Popes by Doug Linder (2004)
- Nobel Prize winner Charles Townes on evolution and "intelligent design"
- Spectrum of Creation Beliefs From Flat Earthism to Atheistic Evolutionism, including Theistic Evolution
- OrthodoxWiki article on Evolution.
- Thank God for Evolution Michael Dowd's evolutionary ministry
Proponents of theistic evolution
- Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution by Theodosius Dobzhansky
- Kenneth R Miller's homepage
- God and Evolution at the TalkOrigins Archive
- Evolutionary Creationist Ghinamo Corrado's homepage
- Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences: On Evolution subtitled "Truth Cannot Contradict Truth", by Pope John Paul II, 22 October 1996.
- On Cosmology and Fundamental Physics, by Pope John Paul II, 3 October 1981.
- Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God Statement on creation and evolution from the International Theological Commission headed by Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), 23 July 2004.
- Science Does Not Need God, or Does It? A Catholic Scientist Looks at Evolution transcript of talk by astronomer George V. Coyne, S.J.
- Perspectives on Theistic Evolution An examination of both the theological and scientific aspects of theistic evolution.
- The "Clergy Letter" Project signed by thousands of clergy supporting evolution and faith
- DMD Publishing Co. home page Essays arguing that even a literal treatment of Genesis requires theistic evolution.
- Thomas Jay Oord Science of Love: The Wisdom of Well-Being, Templeton, 2003.
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Le Milieu Divin (Tome 4: Essai de vie intérieure), Seuil (1 January 1998) ISBN 2-02-020136-4
- Denis R Alexander, Can a Christian believe in evolution?, The Evangelical Alliance, 12 May 2006
- Let There Be Light: An Orthodox Theory of Human Evolution For the 21st Century, John P. Maletis, Theandros, Vol. 5 No.3
- Norman Hughes, Professor Emeritus of Biology, Pepperdine University. See his letter to the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation and the response by Apologetics Press.
- Attitudes by denomination (mainly American) - long list from "Old Earth Ministries"