The theory of evolution is a naturalistic theory of the history of life on earth (this refers to the theory of evolution which employs methodological naturalism and is taught in schools and universities).
Merriam-Webster's dictionary gives the following definition of evolution: "a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations..." Currently, there are several theories of evolution.
Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics.
In 2007, "Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture...announced that over 700 scientists from around the world have now signed a statement expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution." In addition, in 2011, eight anti-evolution bills were introduced into state legislatures within the United States encouraging students to employ critical thinking skills when examining the evolutionary paradigm.
In 2009, there were seven states which required critical analysis skills be employed when examining evolutionary material within schools.
A 2005 poll by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Social and Religious Research found that 60% of American medical doctors reject Darwinism, stating that they do not believe man evolved through natural processes alone.
Just under half of Britons accept the theory of evolution as the best description for the development of life, according to an opinion poll.
The theory of evolution posits a process of transformation from simple life forms to more complex life forms, which has never been observed or duplicated in a laboratory.Although not a creation scientist, Swedish geneticist Dr.Nils Heribert-Nilsson, Professor of Botany at the University of Lund in Sweden and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, stated: "My attempts to demonstrate Evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed.At least, I should hardly be accused of having started from a preconceived antievolutionary standpoint." The fossil record is often used as evidence in the creation versus evolution controversy.The fossil record does not support the theory of evolution and is one of the flaws in the theory of evolution.Despite the large number of fossils available to scientists in 1981, evolutionist Mark Ridley, who currently serves as a professor of zoology at Oxford University, was forced to confess: "In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favour of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation." In addition to the evolutionary position lacking evidential support and being counterevidential, the great intellectuals in history such as Archimedes, Aristotle, St.Augustine, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and Lord Kelvin did not propose an evolutionary process for a species to transform into a more complex version.Even after the theory of evolution was proposed and promoted heavily in England and Germany, most leading scientists were against the theory of evolution.The theory of evolution was published by naturalist Charles Darwin in his book On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, in 1859. I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science." Darwin's theory attempted to explain the origin of the various kinds of plants and animals via the process of natural selection or "survival of the fittest".The basic principle behind natural selection is that in the struggle for life some organisms in a given population will be better suited to their particular environment and thus have a reproductive advantage which increases the representation of their particular traits over time.Many years before Charles Darwin, there were several other individuals who published articles on the topic of natural selection.