Evolution and Reincarnation are interrelated concepts that are discussed a lot in scientific, religious and other circles. They are different concepts, but they are the same; they are real, but they are illusions. As everything, they are a matter of perception.
What Is Evolution According to Science?
Evolution is considered one of the cornerstones of modern science. According to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, organisms that are best adapted to live in an area will survive and reproduce and pass more of their genes on to the next generation. According to these theories, evolution is an inevitable law of nature which affects lower life-forms to steadily mutate into higher ones. Evolutionists suggest that natural selection still affects modern human populations, however, they admit that the timeline of human evolution is long and controversial, with significant gaps. There are many theories that criticise theories of evolution (including human evolution). There are theories about the existence of a Creator (or a God) who engineered or designed us and there are other problems, such as the chicken or the egg causality dilemma.
Is There Any Development?
Evolution is interrelated with the environmental mechanisms that underlie development. Some theorists believe that we are still improving and just in the last hundred years the human brain seems to have developed and accomplished an astonishing progress in the fields of physical science and technology. Someone might believe that most people from so called developed countries are more 'developed'. This seems wrong. Theories about races seem to be disproved (human-to-human genetic variation is estimated to be around 0.5%). However, it might be questioned, as there is political pressure around this subject, which might suppress the truth; people might use theories for their own ends. Also, what some might believe to be development, it is just an illusion. For example, if an Aborigine comes to live with us, many would consider him/her 'primitive'. But if we go among Aborigines, they would laugh at us because we may appear unskilled in their eyes (image - aboriginal art).
Adaptation and Development Are Not The Same
Over an extensive period of time some of our abilities and skills add together and they are passed on to new generations, but some are lost. The reason for this is that we can only do one thing at a time, so we can only maintain a limited number of skills in our lifetime. Consequently, it means if we learn and practice new skills, some older skills need to diminish. In addition, it is a common sense that we only change as much as needed. As we always adapt to our environment, it does not mean we are constantly evolving. A number of abilities are improving, some relapse and a few of them totally disappear. Natural laws are constantly optimising our facilities and energy resources, which affect different aspects of our physical and mental capabilities. For example, if we stop being physically active, then our body is going to reduce muscle tissues and bounces are going to weaken because it is not economical to maintain these things if they are not used. But if we start to exercise, there is a pressure on our body, so it starts to build up until it reaches the point when it does not suffer during our physical activity. Also, there are different mental forces and pressures during our daily activities, so our brain adapts to the environment in a similar way as our body does, but this adaptation is not necessarily a development.
What Goes Up Must Come Down
Also, it is worth taking in consideration that there are a number of evidence that there were many similar advanced civilizations in the past, so it is questioned by many researchers if we are at the peak of human development. Consequently, it may also be questioned if the human race is just about 100 000 years old and whether we are going to be 'super humans' in the future. Now it may seem that our brain is going through evolution at this time in history because more of our vital energy is occupied with the conscious mind while less is being used for other mechanisms of our being. But spiritual hunger may end this modern era of mind-worshiping. In the cycle of life, things increase, then decrease. If you are observing something when it is increasing, then it may seem that it will always increase. But actually, it is like the tide of the ocean. The water starts to rise, but later it reverses. According to yogic philosophy, there are the cycles of yugas, each characterised by a general upswing or downswing in the level of human consciousness. One cycle lasts ~24000 years. The recent age is called Kaly Yuga, which is ~1300 years long. It is believed that an average person has extremely limited use of his inner potential in this era. However, we are going out from this yuga, so most likely this is the reason why the present-day humanity is in an ascending, rather than in a descending curve.
Spiritual Evolution and Reincarnation
Looking from a spiritual (holy science) view, there is no evolution of human beings in a scientific sense. Nevertheless, looking from a spiritual point of view there are some elements of evolution that are worth getting highlighted. An evolution that happens on an individual level, day-by-day, but it is different for everyone. If we take into consideration that reincarnation may exist (which is for some of us certain), there is a continuous evolution through our constant rebirth. In this case, previous abilities may seem to disappear, but they remain with us (yet, they are often hidden). Our evolution through reincarnation is a personal effort, which does not happen on physical, but on a spiritual level. This evolution is actually our self-realisation or spiritual development, but it can be called spiritual evolution as well. Another similarity between the idea of evolution and reincarnation are the principles of laws. While the theory of evolution is concerned about natural laws, it is believed that reincarnation laws are following the rules of karma.
Supposedly scientists will never find the missing link between the animal kingdom and humankind because we ourselves are evolving from lower beings to humans and from humans to higher ones. We know very little about our universe and it does not matter whether or not Darwin is right. What really matters is that we need to make an effort for our own spiritual evolution. By researching this subject I have accidently found a very interesting article on a Krishna Movement website that supports this philosophy. It says that "Darwin has no clear conception how the evolution is taking place, neither he has any idea about whose evolution. He simply takes account of the body. A body never evolves. It is the soul within the body–he evolves, transmigrates from one body to another".