Science versus Religion, 1859 – 2014

On November 24, 1859, scientist Charles Darwin published his book On the Origin of Species wherein he explained the process of natural selection, in which the struggle for existence is self-regulated by survival of the fittest. The book is considered the basis of modern evolutionary theory.

On the same day in 1974, a fossil estimated to be 3.2 million years old was discovered in Ethiopia. It was nicknamed Lucy and was found to belong to an extinct hominid species which was given the name of Australopithecus afarensis. This ancient primate is considered to be an ancestor or close relative to modern humans.

More recent scientific discoveries have proven there were several species of early humans living on Earth at the same time, and that they interbred.

In 2007 the Creation Museum opened in Petersburg, Kentucky. It promotes the literal interpretation of the Bible, including the belief that God created the Earth in six 24-hour days. One of its exhibits shows humans and dinosaurs coexisting on Earth in the past. In 2013 the museum’s administrators estimated that almost 1.9 million people had visited their facility, and claimed that yearly attendance has surpassed 250,000 in each year of its operation.

A 2014 Gallup poll showed that 22% of Americans still believe that the entire Bible is the literal word of God.

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