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  • Subject area(s): Science
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  • Published on: 15th October 2019
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The origin of all life on earth is very often a topic of debate among scientists. Was the world created by a supernatural being, or has every living organism evolved over billions of years? The most popular ideas being debated are evolution and creationism. The theory of evolution, proposed by Charles Darwin after his studies of different species, suggests that all current species found on earth can be traced back to one organism that evolved due to natural selection over billions of years. On the other hand, creationism finds its roots in religion, usually Christianity, and suggests that a supernatural being created the earth and all its species. Creationism and evolution are more similar than one might think. Natural selection plays a huge part in the amount of species present today.

Evidence of evolution is quite factual although it is only a theory, it has not been proven as yet. Embryo development, fossils, comparative anatomy and molecular biology are the main facets of evidence scientists have. Fossils that are found deeper in the earth’s crust are simpler whereas fossils close to the earth’s surface are more complex showing evolution among many different species through mutation and selection pressure. Comparative anatomy provides a great insight into how two species that have the same traits or features are more likely to have the same common ancestor. Homologous structures shared between two different yet related species lead the way towards there being a common ancestor between them. Homologous structures can also be found in embryo development, humans have yolk sacks in embryonic form which are considered vestigial organs, leftover from previous forms of humanity. Vestigial organs are organs that were once present and functional in an organism’s ancestors. Changes over time to the environment have made the organs need to adapt and therefore the vestigial organs are no longer functional. These show the evolutionary change in a species from a past activity. Another piece of evidence for evolution is the DNA and protein structures of species. DNA is double-stranded, but the strands can be separated with sufficient heat and will reform as the temperature falls. Single-stranded DNA from different species can be mixed together to identify the degree of similarity. Closely related sequences will join together more strongly as they share more complementary base pairs. The strength of the hybrid molecule can be measured by how much heat is needed to separate the strands. Closely related sequences will have a higher melting temperature than distantly related sequences.

Darwin’s theory states that every living organism on earth has the same one common ancestor from millions of years back. This means more complex creatures have evolved from more simple ancestors over time.

Evolution is also supported by the process of Carbon Dating. Carbon dating is a different kind of radioactive dating which is only used on matter that was once living, taking in carbon dioxide from the air for photosynthesis. Carbon dating measures the ratio of Carbon 14 atoms to Carbon 12 atoms remaining in the organism and it compares it to that of what was in the atmosphere when the organism was supposedly alive. By Measuring the radioactive emissions from once living matter and comparing its activity with the equilibrium level of living things, a measurement of time elapsed since the organism has died can be made. Carbon dating is quite reliable as it is a proven fact although some trees from 4000 BC were predicted 700-800 years too young.

Evidence for creationism lies in a load of places. This evidence is found in irreducible complexity. Three examples of irreducible complexity are the eye, the cell, and the flagellum. These are so incredibly complex that they could not possibly have evolved - the parts on their own would be useless and eventually natural selection would remove the useless parts as they do not provide any sort of advantage. Darwin attempted to dispute this argument, saying that the transitional form of the eye could sense light, therefore causing the eye to last past this transitional form and evolve into what is there today. However, even the light sensors of the eye are incredibly complex and require a significant amount of biochemicals working in the right place at the right time to function properly. This is one of the only pieces of evidence that, provided the perspective is changed for each theory, cannot be argued as supporting both theories (such as molecular biology, which can be used as evidence for evolution and creationism depending on the perspective used).

Further evidence for creationism is found in the scientific observations of today - there are no transitional forms being found, and the mutations being observed are not creating new information. The changes in species are simply shuffling or reorganizing DNA to create a new type of a species. No currently known mutations have ever been shown to present new genetic information. One of the main ideas of evolutionist belief as existing genetic information in the first organism could not have created all the biodiversity on the earth today. Even if it did, these mutations only have a fifty percent chance of passing to the offspring due to the nature of the reproduction system. As well as this, red blood cells and traces of hemoglobin were found in Tyrannosaurus Rex bones. These would have decomposed by today if the fossil was millions of years old. This provides evidence for creationism as it suggests that the earth is much younger than evolution suggests, meaning the all of the biodiversity of the earth would have to have ‘evolved’ in a short amount of time. However, this isn’t possible.

Another piece of evidence is the fossil record, which is evidence of all life from the beginning of the universe, and in that fossil record there are complex structures. The fossil record has systematic gaps and a lack of transitional forms; the missing link between the common ancestor and today’s biodiversity is yet to be located, suggesting the creation of complex structures from the beginning by a Devine force.

This research suggests that the evidence for creation and evolution are basically the same. Neither theory can be properly proved. Creation and evolution are both theories that are unproven but with further research the debate will be settled and we will finally know if we evolved from species or if we were created.

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