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Essay: Evolution – only a theory? / Essentialism

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  • Subject area(s): Science essays
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  • Published: 15 November 2019*
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  • Words: 853 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)

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1. Only A Theory

Christians view evolution as one of the best things God created, as written by Harries. Harries and Dawkins wrote the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, a letter in regards to their concern about how science would be taught in schools, specifically colleges, where religion was also taught. The letter expressed concern from both scientists and bishops. Dawkins had no intent of targeting religious groups who didn’t believe in evolution when writing this book. Dawkins also continues by saying that while many preachers, priests, and pastors may follow and believe in evolution, but turn around a do a sermon about Adam and Eve, not mentioning that they never existed.

Scientists view evolution as a theory in the sense that it’s an idea that has proven to be true over and over again, while non-believers view it as a possible reason for something. Mathematicians are the only people able to completely prove something. Everything else is just ideas, hypotheses, theories, theorums, and conjectures. Facts are defined to be something that is irrefutably known, a lot of times through experience.

At the University of Illinois, they conducted an experiment that tested how far from reality an eye witness account could be. In this test, observers were asked to pay attention to one aspect of a video. After the video was shown they were asked if they noticed a gorilla that was centered in the shot for a third of the video, and not a single one noticed it. Dawkins believe this video should be shown to every judge in jury in relation to an eye witness account being told in court. DNA evidence is much more reliable than an eye witness account in most cases. In Texas, a state in which the death penalty is permitted, many thirty-five individuals where discharged on account to new DNA evidence finding them guilty of the charges they faced.

Many theories that at one time in history seemed abstract and abnormal are slowly starting to be viewed as factual in the public eye. This applies to the heliocentric universe, in which all the planets revolve around the Sun, rather the Earth; continental drift, in which all the continents were a part of Pangea, but slowly drifted apart over millions and billions of years into separate countries; and finally, evolution, all living things coming from a common ancestor from billions of years ago. All of these facts started as small hypotheses, but have been proved time and time again. This is how every scientific fact begins. In Darwin’s time, many scientists refuted his idea of natural selection as the driving force of evolution while proposing their own ideas behind it all. While some of these are merely a possibility, natural selection is the far most evidence-based theory. Most other theories do not support adaptive evolution as well as natural selection theory does. Evolution is not necessarily something that can take place in front of the human eye. The human life is far too short for evolution to clearly take place in front of someone.

2. Dogs, Cows and Cabbages

Essentialism is a form of belief that an object must have specific characteristics to be what they are. For example, different kinds of rabbits, while they have slightly different characteristics in some ways, they all have the essential characteristics of being rabbits. All life comes from common ancestral form, and as this form expands with new traits, branches of life stem off from those with similar and different traits from the last. This variation can be aa multitude of traits. Mayr coined the term population thinking which is the base idea of essentialism. A hypothetical experiment was thought out to take the genes of a rabbit and trace it back to a common ancestor with the leopard and if one could be created by the other. There’s what is called a hairpin path, due to all the random mutations that would have to take place, all of which are tiny links to a massive chain. They would also have to trace the path of animals that links the two modern day animals together. Through this path, one would also have to overlook a multitude of other animals as this path would most likely contain a majority of mammals in somewhere along the way.

Darwin was a bit of an expert on plant/animal breeding and eventually came to write a whole book about it. A large amount chapter pertains to domesticated animals and cabbages. Cabbages are the base vegetable for a large assortment of modern vegetables today, both domesticated and wild. The same happened with the wolf, which became a large variation of dog breeds. Domestication is a strong force in causing evolutional changes quicker, however in same cases it’s not always non-random. The would be the case in dog breeding.

Genes don’t combine like paint colors, the mix like salad. During the mixing, the genes are not changed and the stay intact. Darwin came close to being the founder of Mendel’s Law of non-blending genes, but didn’t see how important it was.

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