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However, in the 1920s Christian fundamentalists in the United States developed their literalist arguments against modernist theology into opposition to the teaching of evolution, with fears that Darwinism had led to German militarism and was a threat to religion and morality.This opposition developed into the creation–evolution controversy involving Christian literalists in the United States objecting to the teaching of evolution in public schools.
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.
In 1996, Pope John Paul II said that evolution is "more than a hypothesis" and acknowledged the large body of work accumulated in its support, but reiterated that any attempt to give a material explanation of the human soul is "incompatible with the truth about man." Pope Benedict XVI has reiterated the conviction that human beings "are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary." Muslim reaction ranged from those believing in literal creation from the Quran to many educated Muslims who subscribed to a version of theistic or guided evolution in which the Quran reinforced rather than contradicted mainstream science.
This occurred relatively early, as medieval madrasahs taught the ideas of Al-Jahiz, a Muslim scholar from the 9th century, who proposed concepts similar to natural selection.
Objections to evolution have been raised since evolutionary ideas came to prominence in the 19th century.
When Charles Darwin published his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, his theory of evolution (the idea that species arose through descent with modification from a single common ancestor in a process driven by natural selection) initially met opposition from scientists with different theories, but eventually came to receive overwhelming acceptance in the scientific community.Darwin's gradualistic account was also opposed by saltationism and catastrophism.