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In my opinion, the idea of changing forms got a strong start in Romanticism and German idealism at the start of the 19th century, and then Darwin was almost inevitable. Many 19th century thinkers then tried to incorporate a broadly or narrowly evolutionary point of view. There are versions of religion that are very open to change and discovery, although unfortunately it's the absolutist and dogmatic varieties that make the most noise.
I concur with your thoughts. However, I feel that religion - with its steadfast norms and dogged determination to hold onto outdated explanations of the world, itself is an example of evolution. Religion has moved from being the biggest show in town, to being a marginalized side product that now justifies itself by claiming monopolies on such subjects as 'understanding the human heart', and being the upholders of morality. Outside of that, take groups like Hillsong and other non denominational churches - they appeal to younger audiences by being more in the way of entertainment, with informercial quality discussions interspersed between moments of singing. Bight visual displays are the norm, and there's enough activity and emotion to keep even the most cynical ADHD member of the audience captivated. This is evolution. Religion has changed in order to ensure its own survival. At least in the Western world anyway. Theocratic states in the east are a very different thing.
Richard - I had a feeling that the pre-conditions in the 19th C were just right for a Darwin to come along. Also - my terms are very loose... no religion has a clear/unalloyed alliance with Platonic thinking, and our society is very far from a pure Darwinism (even a social-darwinism-lite). I just believe that D finally killed off the lingering shards of P.And Scott - yes, I've got a pile of rough notes that laser in on religion specifically, and our recourses to it. If I read you right, entertaining displays and theatrics are a religion's way of creating more believers. I can't wait for smartphone integration...You can keep dressing the same old song with an endless variety of presentation... etc.
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