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The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester *

In science, the word ‘theory’ means a well supported and tested explanation of available evidence. The theory of evolution states that the diversity of life has developed over time. The Museum’s official position is to accept the following as scientific facts:

  • Planet Earth, along with the other planets in the Solar System, was formed approximately 4,560 million years ago.
  • Life has existed on Earth for thousands of millions of years and has evolved through random genetic changes and natural selection.

These facts are accepted by the overwhelming majority of scientists and are established beyond reasonable doubt as the simplest explanations of the physical and biological evidence.

The theory of evolution is central to the field of biology; the relationship between this scientific theory and religious belief has varied enormously and has sometimes been the cause of confusion and conflict. While The Manchester Museum has taken a definite position on the science of evolution, we support the right of freedom of belief for all and acknowledge that there is a range of perspectives on this subject.