Shortcut Navigation:

The Science of Evolution

The theory of evolution by natural selection is the only scientific explanation for the spectacular diversity of life on Earth.

But from the moment it was published by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago, the theory has been engulfed in controversies. As Darwin himself anticipated, the concepts that humans share a common ancestry with earlier primates, and that humans and other species evolved over immense spans of time, seem incompatible with some people's religious beliefs.

Yet many today, including prominent religious leaders and scientists, view the search for understanding as one that embraces both scientific explorations into the material world and a spiritual search for the meaning of human existence, with no inherent conflict between the two.

Social controversy over the theory of evolution is long-standing and will doubtless persist. Yet objections based on spiritual or philosophical perspectives do not undermine the theory's scientific validity, importance and impact. The theory of evolution persists today much as Darwin first described it.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Maps and Directions