The very terminology of “believing” in evolution is controversial. Two contrasting views on the subject popped up on blogs I read yesterday.
Paul Braterman emphasizes the problems with using such language. Here is a sample from his post:
Evolution, whether we mean changes in the genetic make-up of populations over time, or the common descent of living things on earth, is a fact. It is supported by, and explains, innumerable more specific facts concerning the fossil record, molecular phylogeny (the same kind of evidence that is used every day in DNA paternity tests), the frozen-in historical accidents of organs that have lost or changed their function, the distribution of species throughout space and time, and much more besides.
I have faith that, when astronomers observe objects in space that are millions of lightyears away, they are seeing these objects as they existed millions of years ago, rather than seeing beautiful illusions that God conjured up because he couldn’t figure out how to make pretty things in space without lying to us.
Both posts make important points.