evolution of human
“In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve. Biological evolution … is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions.”
– Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates 1986
According to biology evolution has nothing to do with the actions that a human being is doing during his life time but it is a description of the laws that govern the change of the biology of the human species in the course of history.
Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.
Evolution is not
“the doctrine according to which higher forms of life have gradually arisen out of lower..” – Chambers
People that start from different definitions of evolution cannot discuss because they have different things in their mind. The latest definition is not scientific and it is wrong. When someone claims that he does not believe in evolution he does not refer to the first definition; heritable changes in a population over many generations is a fact not a belief. This is important.
history of evolution : Ionian philosophers
The idea behind evolution is natural change; In the 6th Century BC the Ionian Philosophers for the first time in known history they tried to explain the world without referring super natural forces. Heraclitus Anaximander (c. 610–546 BC) and Empedocles (c. 490–430 BC) suggested non-supernatural explanations for the origin of living things;
Evolutionary theory begins with the Ionian philosopher Anaximander (ca. 611 – 546 B. C. E.). Very little is known about his life, but it is known that he wrote a long poem, On Nature, summarizing his researches. This poem is now lost, and has survived only in extracts quoted in other works. Enough survives, however, that Anaximander’s thought can be reconstructed with some confidence. For Anaximander, the world had arisen from an undifferentiated, indeterminate substance, the apeiron. The Earth, which had coalesced out of the apeiron, had been covered in water at one stage, with plants and animals arising from mud. Humans were not present at the earliest stages; they arose from fish. This poem was quite influential on later thinkers, including Aristotle. – Evolution and paleontology in the ancient world
Another Greek philosopher, the fifth-century materialist Empedocles of Acragas (in Sicily), postulated that the universe was composed of four basic elements — earth, air, fire, and water. These elements were stirred by two fundamental forces, which Empedocles called Love and Strife. (“Attraction” and “repulsion” might be better modern terms for what Empedocles actually meant.) The constant interplay of these elements, alternately attracting and repelling each other, had formed the universe. Empedocles claimed that the Earth had given birth to living creatures, but that the first creatures had been disembodied organs. These organs finally joined into whole organisms, through the force of Love, but some of these organisms, being monstrous and unfit for life, had died out.
Please not that the views of Anaximander and Empedocles were not scientific theories, but they were philosophical theories that tried to explain the origin of the Cosmos. They have nothing to do with the theory of evolution, except that they are the first know attempts to explain life without using super-natural explanations which is what the science of Biology is trying to do.