In trying to understand nature and seek explanations of natural processes, naturalists use science as their main resource. Some people believe that science and religion are very different and irreconcilable as science is based on rationality as opposed to faith which is irrationality. Other people believe that naturalism is the home of reconciliation between science and religion with yet some irreconcilable discrepancies showing conflict between naturalism and science. Evolution is the scientific explanation of the origin of life in nature that was proposed by Charles Darwin and it remains one of the most contentious and hotly debated issues in religious naturalism. This paper will explore naturalism in religion with a bias in evolution as put across by science and scientific theory of evolution and natural selection. First, the paper will have a brief description of naturalism and then have a look at evolution and the controversies surrounding the evolutionary theory. Naturalists can be described as pragmats who have their basis of reality in empirical logic and do not consider testimony as a source of truth of reality (Anderson 111). All the conscious differentiations of reality are based on the way that human beings identify the various qualities of world experience and how they think and reason about them. The natural world is the centre of the most significant experience and understanding of nature and thus it is the most valuable thing in the assessment of an individual’s well being. The idea of a supreme being is considered to have no grounds and everything is approached from a rational point of view and the harmony of reason and our understanding of the universe as informed by science (Griffin 56). Naturalism is presumably not a religion as such as it stands but it plays a vital role just like a religion does which is that of giving adherent to a world view. It provides explanations of why thing happen the way they happen, it tells us what fundamentally the world is and what is important in the world and the essence of human life and general life in the world. This is to a great extent what other religions do except for a few differences which might arise from worship and rituals which are not necessarily part of naturalism. There have been concerns whether theology is compatible with naturalism which has often elicited different responses and controversies. Theology and naturalism are compatible but not all forms of naturalism are compatible with theology as it is both the science about God and also the science about the human experience of God’s manifestation in individual life, the society or nature (Francis, Robbins & Astley 95). With science being the underpinnings of naturalism as it provides the explanations for the fundamental structure of the universe, one may think that the theory of evolution is one of the major pillars in naturalism. The theory of evolution which was put forward by Charles Darwin stipulates that all life in the universe is related and share a common ancestry. It further says that life originated from non life with more complex organisms forming out of more simple organisms and that human beings have an animal descent (Smith 3). The theory puts it that more complex organism evolve from simple organisms over a long period of time and that there are mutations that occur on the genetic makeup of organisms that may favour their survival in a process called natural selection (Smith 4). This
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