the secular atheist sees no reason or evidence for belief in a god or gods
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Evolution and Natural Selection

While atheism and evolution are entirely separate topics, they are frequently linked by theists because for a range of reasons they believe that the teachings of their religion contradict evolution. It is important that the active atheist thus understands enough of the topic to respond when it is raised, or where to go to find the information needed to be able to respond.

The first thing to do is to find out why the theist sees evolution being at odds with their religion. In most cases, it is a literal interpretation of a holy book like the bible, which describes an alternative proces like god created the earth and everything on it in 6 days or 6000 years. Remember that the claim is being made by the theist and to get them to explain and justify the basis of their belief.

Secondly, present the theist will the evidence one piece at a time and ask them to interpret it. It is a mistake to simply throw the fact at them that evolution is supported by overwhelming evidence and expect anything that a rejection of your argument from them. Present a single piece of evidence and ask them to explain it. For example, ask them to explain the process of dating fossils and what they see as the issues, or the fossil record and why it shows a progression in development. Again, remember that the theist is making a claim that is based on belief and not evidence or knowledge. Also, remember that belief is incredibly powerful so they will not be corrected or told but have to reason from the bottom up if they are going to break free from their irrational position. They have to work it out for themselves and you most powerful approach is to be a driving force in helping them think through the logic of their position, one piece of evidence at a time.

Sources that provide the evidence for evolution and debunk creationism

Despite the overwhelming evidence for evolution, there are people who dismiss it repeating arguments usually propogated by their religion. For many of these people, evolution is at odds with their religious beliefs and has therefore to be wrong. However, evidence is evidence, and no amount of denial will change the facts. Evolution is sound and well established. The evidence is clear. By contrast, creationism is at odds with the evidence and has not basis other than religion.

Books on evolution

For anyone who wishes to gain an in-depth understanding of evolution, there are numerous excellent books available.

Young Earth Creationist Eric Hovind

Evolution in your body

Abiogenesis

Theists repeatedly conflate abiogenesis and evolution, then go on to engage fallacies like the-god-of-the-gaps as their 'proof'. Firstly, abiogenesis and evolution are entirely seperate concepts. Secondly, a failure in logic invalidates the arguments. Thirdly, 'proof' of a god is not the same as 'proof' of your god. Once again, atheists should not need to know anything about abiogenesis to defend their stance, but given the huge amount of emotion and conviction that theists invest in this failed logic, it is wise to be able to respond to their misguided view of 'proof' if you intend to engage on your position.

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