Most geologists accept radiometric dating techniques as valid because

When Charles Darwin published his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, he convinced most of the scientific community that new species arise through descent through modification in a branching pattern of divergence from common ancestors, but while most scientists accepted that natural selection is a valid and empirically testable hypothesis, Darwin's view that it is the primary mechanism of evolution was generally rejected, in favour of alternative mechanisms.At that time the specific evolutionary mechanism which Darwin provided of natural selection was actively disputed by scientists in favour of alternative theories such as Lamarckism and orthogenesis.In 1996, Pope John Paul II said that evolution is "more than a hypothesis" and acknowledged the large body of work accumulated in its support, but reiterated that any attempt to give a material explanation of the human soul is "incompatible with the truth about man." Pope Benedict XVI has reiterated the conviction that human beings "are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary." Muslim reaction ranged from those believing in literal creation from the Quran to many educated Muslims who subscribed to a version of theistic or guided evolution in which the Quran reinforced rather than contradicted mainstream science.This occurred relatively early, as medieval madrasahs taught the ideas of Al-Jahiz, a Muslim scholar from the 9th century, who proposed concepts similar to natural selection.The observation of evolutionary processes occurring (as well as the modern evolutionary synthesis explaining that evidence) has been uncontroversial among mainstream biologists since the 1940s.

However, it would rein in Catholics who proposed that evolution could be reconciled with the Bible, as this conflicted with the First Vatican Council's (1869–70) finding that everything was created out of nothing by God, and to deny that finding could lead to excommunication.

Charles Darwin's theory of evolution gained widespread acceptance as a description of the origin of species, but there was continued resistance to his views on the significance of natural selection as the mechanism of evolution.

Evolutionary ideas came to prominence in the early 19th century with the theory of the transmutation of species put forward by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.

Although early objectors dismissed evolution as contradicting their interpretation of the Bible, this argument was legally invalidated when the Supreme Court ruled in Epperson v.

Arkansas in 1968 that forbidding the teaching of evolution on religious grounds violated the Establishment Clause.

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