Evolution by natural selection essay

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Evolution by natural selection essay

Schneider "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. This Evolution by natural selection essay true both of Christians who accept evolution and support teaching it in the public schools of the United States and those who reject it and oppose its teaching.

Part of the problem for this widespread ignorance lies with the politics of local education, as became clear the first year I taught "Science and Faith" at Berea College.

After we had looked at evolution, I asked the twenty students in the seminar if they had learned about evolution in any of their high school science classes. Only four had, one in a Catholic high school. One by one, most of the students who attended public high schools stated, "The teacher skipped that chapter.

She didn't want to get late-night phone calls with complaints from irate parents, or a pointed request from the principal to avoid 'controversial' subjects. My students would have been exposed to evolution in the junior-level Natural Science core course and perhaps other science courses.

Also clearly, they did not want to talk about evolution, even as I emphasized that this concept is at the core of every life science from genetics to biochemistry to ecology, and that the term "evolution" is used to describe not only the emergence of new species on this planet but also the emergence of the cosmos from the Big Bang.

We live in an evolving creation, I asserted, and we really cannot understand what science is reading and finding in the Book of Nature unless we understand evolution.

Yet, the topic made some of them uncomfortable, and others may have hesitated to speak up in class out of a concern that their point of view might cause conflict with other students. Attempts to draw them into discussion following presentations that dealt with evolution by their fellow students or myself were more often than not met with silence.

Many Berea College students are exposed to a negative view of evolution in their churches. They are taught that evolution is contrary to the Bible, that they cannot believe in both God and evolution, that evolution is an atheistic philosophy, and, sometimes, that evolution is an invention of the devil.

Any information they receive about evolution in sermons or Sunday school usually comes from young earth creationists and not from evolutionary scientists, and, sad to say, what they learn is a not a true picture but a caricature. This anti-evolution viewpoint can stir powerful feelings in many students when the topic comes up in classes and reading assignments in college.

One student told one of my science colleagues that when he was exposed to evolution in a previous course, he became physically ill. I hope and trust that such a reaction is rare, but it does point up the difficulty I and others face in trying to help students armed and armored against evolution by religious authority figures to let down their defenses and listen to another point of view--to understand evolution in a different and positive light.

All the more reason, then, for me to explain, as best I can, what evolution is or is not. Since this essay is aimed primarily at an audience of Christian students, I will include among my sources the writings of several scientists who are evangelical Christians. A significant number of scientists from all Christian traditions are among those who advance the research that every year more firmly grounds evolution as a valid scientific way of understanding the history of life.

Evolution by natural selection essay

Like me, they earnestly desire that all Christians understand what evolution actually is and why one can accept it without giving up belief in God, the doctrine of creation and the Bible, including the assurance of salvation Holy Scripture proclaims. I would ask the reader who approaches this assertion with skepticism to try to set aside, to "bracket" as it were, any negative views or feelings, and listen to the voices of scientists, including their fellow Christians, as they explain evolution.

Like Big Bang and the history of the universe, biological evolution is such a broad and complex topic that I can do little more than summarize its most important features. I urge the reader to go farther, however, and fill in the details, using any of the books, articles, and on-line resources given in "Further Reading" or in the "Resources" section of this site.

Whether you read the works of anti-evolutionists like young earth creationist Ken Ham and intelligent design advocate Phillip Johnson, or evolutionary materialists like scientist Richard Dawkins and philosopher Daniel Dennett, you will find these strange bedfellows of conservative Christians and atheists agreeing on one thing: Those of us who accept evolutionary science and believe that God's creation is an evolving one reject this tragically erroneous point of view.

I shall address the arguments of these spokespersons in separate essays later, but I want to make the point here that both sides fail to distinguish between a scientific theory that empirically accounts for what nature has revealed, and a materialistic belief system.

The materialists argue that their philosophy necessarily follows from the science, and therefore evolution removes any need for God. The creationists, strangely, buy this faulty argument, and agreeing that one cannot separate the science from the philosophy reject both. So the young earth creationists offer their "creation science" and the intelligent design proponents their "theistic science.

Both sides tend to make their voices loudly heard in the public arena through speeches, debates, books, articles, on-line sites, and verbal jousts on cable news channels.

But they are the extremes that exclude the middle, and the middle is this: The philosophical system that totalizes reality is better referred to as "Evolutionism.

While materialists claim support for their belief system from the science of evolution, the belief system and the science are not identical. The scientific concept of evolution simply accounts for the world as nature presents it.

It needs to be understood and evaluated as science, not as philosophy. I want to make this point as strongly as I can, because what I present here is science.

I will outline and highlight the major elements of the empirical study and research that has placed evolution at the center of the modern scientific world-picture.

As evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala has noted, "More than two million existing species of plants and animals have been named and described: No less astonishing are the incredible variety of species and their habitats. Living species range in size from the giant Sequoias of California to bacteria less than one-thousandth of a millimeter in length.

The range of life's habitats is equally staggering, for species are found in every nook and cranny on earth from the heights if not the peaks of the Himalayas to the deepest ocean vents, in the coldest ice masses in Antarctica and the hottest springs in Yellowstone park.Natural selection Natural selection is one of the basic mechanisms of evolution, along with mutation, migration, and genetic drift.

Darwin's grand idea of evolution by natural selection is relatively simple but often misunderstood. Evolution And Natural Selection Are Related - Darwinian evolution is the theory of biological evolution stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive and reproduce.

Evolution by natural selection essay

Some mechanisms involved in evolution are mutation, recombination, gene flow, isolation, random genetic drift, and natural selection.

These ideas together constitute our idea of the evolutionary theory. I've chosen this title for the essay on biological evolution because it has become clear to me that most Christians know little about the scientific details of evolution, either about the enormous amount of evidence already gathered to support evolution or the dominant theory that explains how it happens, natural selection.

This is true both of. Natural selection is the only mechanism known to cause the evolution of adaptations, so many biologists would simply define an adaptation as a char- acteristic that has evolved by natural selection.

Charles Darwin started formulating his world-renowned theory of Natural Selection in late s and early s, but the process went on silent for about 25 years. Darwin conducted widespread research on animals and plants in order to learn the critical process of evolution.

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