- 'Evolution' generally describes any gradual process of change. It is used more specifically to describe any theory that explains biological diversity through gradual change derived from initial commonality. There have been many theories of this type (for example, Lamarckianism). Finally, it is used to refer to Charles Darwin's theory of evolutionary development through natural selection, a picture that was later completed with the discovery of genetics and thus the mechanism of inherited random mutations. Scientists and philosophers disagree sharply on the propriety of extending Darwinian theory to explain non-biological spheres including human psychology and social and economic relationships. One particularly contentious issue concerns eugenics: if we are evolving is it not licit, even morally obligatory, to take control of our own evolution? Philosophically, evolution raises a number of issues including the viability of traditional conceptions of creation and original sin. Another hotly debated issue in the science and religion arena is whether evolution is inherently dysteleological such that no agent, not even God, can direct the 'random' mutations that occur, or whether God could be providentially directing each step of the process.Further reading: Beilby 2002; Dennett 1996; Haught 2000; Hull 2001; Melsen 1965; Midgley 2002
Christian Philosophy . Daniel J. Hill and Randal D. Rauser. 2015.