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1. Gradual change over time.

In everyday use Evolution is generally taken as any gradual change over time.

The term is often misused, and used as an alias for "adapt" or "develop".

2. A belief system for the origins of life.

Evolution is the belief that living things naturally change over time into more developed (i.e. "more highly evolved") creatures. Evolution is typified by the belief in spontaneous creation of simple single cell life and that such a single cell organism "evolved" into man over many millions of years.

Evolution is often mistakenly confused with natural selection. Natural selection (which is observable in nature) is the process of "survival of the fittest" (and sometimes the luckiest). Natural selection favours those genes/traits which make a creature better suited to its environment and has the tendency to reduce the size of the gene pool (and thus the capability for variability within the species). Contrariwise, evolution requires new and novel genes/traits to be added to the gene pool. Evolution assumes that mutations in the genes account for new genes (and thus new information in the upward struggle) despite the observation that all known mutations result in a loss of information.

Evolution has never been observed. It is not repeatable. It is not supported by any evidence that has not either been debunked or is in contention. Evolution is a belief system masquerading as science. It is a philosophy, which for many is a religious dogma. The theory of evolution has the dubious distinction of being possibly the only theory still to be clung to despite evidence to the contrary.

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3. A search technique for finding optimum solutions in a large search space.

Evolution as a search technique relies on natural selection to select between possible parameters. Technically it uses natural selection and not evolution.