The word "evolution" can evoke a variety of meanings, especially for students and members of the general public. For some, evolution is equated with natural selection. Others think that evolution addresses the origin of life. Still others impose a distinction between micro-evolution and macro-evolution. Part of the issue stems from an unclear understanding of what evolution is in a scientific sense.
Problem Concepts in Evolution: Cause, Purpose, Design, and Chance
by Eugenie C. Scott
ABSTRACTThe American student population is largely religious and a significant minority rejects evolution. Evolution and other scientific theories are restricted to explaining through natural cause (methodological materialism), but because evolution has existential connotations, many students confuse the ability to explain through natural cause with a conclusion that therefore God does not exist (philosophical materialism).
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