What Is An EvolutionistQUESTION: What is an Evolutionist?
What is an Evolutionist? There are two types of evolutionists -- naturalistic and theistic. The naturalistic evolutionist believes that the universe began about 14 billion years ago. The earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Life began, probably as bacteria deep in rocks and has been evolving ever since. Purely natural forces without any input from any god or other deity have driven the evolutionary process. Some of these evolutionists do not believe in any type of god. Others believe in one or more gods who are not involved in the process. Some of these evolutionists are Deists who believe that God created the universe, started it in motion, left the universe, and allowed natural processes to originate life and drive evolution.1
Theistic evolutionists believe in the same process as the naturalistic evolutionists, but they believe that it was a tool used and/or controlled by God. A theistic evolutionist would say that the early chapters in the Book of Genesis in the Bible are not to be taken literally.
The National Association of Biology Teachers quotes the scientist Theodosius Dobzhansky (1973): Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. The National Association of Biology Teachers states that evolution provides a framework that explains how organisms adapt to challenges and changes in the environment. They state that the fossil record and diversity of organisms we see today, along with modern techniques of molecular biology, taxonomy and geology, give evidence for current evolutionary theory.
They state that scientists have firmly established evolution as an important natural process. The NATB Board of Directors adopted these statements in 1995, and revised them in 1997, 2000, and May 2004. The Society for the Study of Evolution and The American Association of Physical Anthropologists endorsed these statements in 1998.