posted on Sep, 26 2008 @ 03:30 PM
Evolution theory doesn't seek to explain creation, it explains the small, gradual divergence and undirected modification of species. I think you
could loosely view it as a brachiating tree, in which the species toward the top of the "tree" have common ancestors, but they have diverged to the
point where the "branches" can no longer interbreed, due to their genetic divergence.
I think some fall into an error in thinking that it all happened in the past, and is over. Evolution occurrs to this day, and continues very
gradually, as it always has -- our human time on this planet is a blink in the larger timescale. The continuation is evidenced to our observation
by smaller, short-lived creatures: For example, areas that are sprayed for mosquitos; the spray is usually effective to a point, but frequently
some mosquitos survive. Those that survive the chemicals are somewhat naturally-selected as immune to the spray, and thus the reason that the
chemical formulas of mosquito treatment has to be changed frequently for it to continue to be effective.
Another example off the top of my head is that antibiotics that once worked against bacterial infections in human systems -- many of them no longer
work, as the bacteria has shifted to a type that is immune, and thus different antibiotics have to be developed.
In my opinion, evolution theory doesn't address nor does it care about religion. It explains the mechanisms whereby life evolved, diversified and
become more complex. I don't believe that ANY part of the theory attempts to rule out life on any other planet or planetary body. It addresses
how life diversified on Earth, and doesn't preclude it happening in a similar manner of with similar mechanisms elsewhere. It is never addressed,
because we, as humans, lack the ability to study other planetary systems to that degree. Scientists can study and form evidence as to the atmosphere
(or lack of it) of other planets with spectrometry of which this information is an analysis of light spectra from the planetary body.
Hope this helps flesh out some of your questions.
edit to add: For what it's worth, myself I see no conflict between religious dogma and evolution theory. To me they are both different languages
and approaches to describe Terran phenomena. My own view is that God- the all-that-is created life, and this is the mechanism in which it
progresses and diversifies. I stress that that is MY opinion and not that of Darwin's. Evolution theory is a science and is measurable.
Religion is faith-based, and primarily rooted in historical documents. Completely compatible.
[edit on 26-9-2008 by argentus]