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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 rejected by some.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.For decades the Roman Catholic Church avoided official refutation of evolution.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.
One of the main sources of confusion and ambiguity in the creation–evolution debate is the definition of evolution itself.
Such arguments against evolution have become widespread and include objections to evolution's evidence, methodology, plausibility, morality, and scientific acceptance.
The scientific community does not recognize such objections as valid, pointing to detractors' misinterpretations of such things as the scientific method, evidence, and basic physical laws.
In 1950, the encyclical Humani generis of Pope Pius XII first mentioned evolution directly and officially.
It allowed one to enquire into the concept of humans coming from pre-existing living matter, but not to question Adam and Eve or the creation of the soul.