Evolution could not have produced a single mother and father of all future humans, so there was no Adam and no Eve. No Adam and Eve: no fall. No fall: no need for redemption. No need for redemption: no need for a redeemer. No need for a redeemer: no need for the crucifixion or the resurrection, and no need to believe in that redeemer in order to gain eternal life. And not the slightest reason to believe in eternal life in the first place.It's a great thing to read in such a prominent newspaper.
However, the author, Paula Kirby, also reiterates a characterization of 'theory' and 'hypothesis' that I vehemently disagree with:
In everyday English, 'theory' can mean something vague, a hunch, a guess. In scientific English, it is almost as far from that meaning as it's possible to get: in science, a theory is the best explanation for a set of facts. It carries real weight: in science, nothing can be called a 'theory' until it is very well established indeed. Science has its own term for what, in a non-scientific context, the rest of us might call a 'theory': the scientific term for a suggestion, a best guess, something that seems plausible but has not yet been shown to be reliably true, is 'hypothesis'. You will never, ever hear a scientist talk about 'the hypothesis of evolution', for the simple reason that evolution is long past that stage. Evolution is a theory in the scientific sense of the word - tested, researched, explored and supported by masses and masses of evidence. There may still be specific details that are not entirely agreed upon; but the fact of evolution itself is not disputed by any reputable scientist.It's a common misunderstanding that those two words convey degrees of certainty in science. They do not. A theory need not be "very well established", and a hypothesis is not necessarily something that has "not yet been shown to be true".
Rather, in science, a theory specifies a cohesive explanation of a natural phenomenon. A theory is a model of how something works, and can produce several hypotheses that can be tested. For example, gravity is a theory of how masses attract each other and other related phenomena (and it is a fact that the phenomenon of gravity exists), and one hypothesis that comes from that theory is that that a hammer dropped above the surface of the moon will fall down to the surface. But again, neither theory nor hypothesis need to be true to be called theory and hypothesis. There are theories that have been shown to be wrong, and yet we still call them theories. The theory of the ether has been shown to be wrong, but it is still a theory. The theory of homeopathy has been shown time and again to be false, and yet we can still refer to it as a theory.
Similarly, a hypothesis need not be a tentative statement of fact. It is a hypothesis that a hammer will
At least, this is how I use the words, and I am a scientist (but see impostor syndrome).