Evolution Blog

Class blog for BIO E Evolution and Systematics

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Project 0, from Lynda

I see evolution as two different things depending on which “mode” I am in.

If I am in my “Christian-Catholic Mode”, I see evolution as the work of God prepared in 7 days.

But if I am in my “Science teacher Mode”, I see evolution as the continuing process of how life continues to exist. My understanding of evolution is pretty elementary, honestly speaking. I can even express it in an equation: Evolution=Charles Darwin=Survival of the Fittest. For my husband, he defines evolution as the “scientific explanation of the diversity of all living things on earth.” Is his definition better than mine? Or maybe both our definitions, when combined, may come close to what evolution really is.

I am quite amazed at the depth on how my classmates have discussed this question in the IVLE. Nelson defined his understanding of evolution as “The scope and utility of evolutionary theory goes far beyond the discussion of human origins” while Lloyd remarks “I don’t consider that evolution is true.” Their remarks are for them to defend. As for me, I see evolution as an on-going progress of changing and adapting to one’s environment.

Charles Darwin has opened a Pandora’s box when he began writing about “The Origin of Species”. At one end of the spectrum, this book has “become the central organizing principle of modern biology, relating directly to topics such as the origin of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, eusociality in insects, and the staggering biodiversity of Earth's ecosystem.” (Wikipedia) On the other end, it has come to be also known as an Atheist book because it completely negated the existence of a Supreme Being, a concept that is the foundation of many religions around the world.

When it comes to evolution, the one thing that interests me the most is how it can be explained if one takes into consideration one’s religious beliefs. Will evolution and religion be always at the opposite end of a spectrum? Proponents of “Creation Science” argue that because of the complexity of the beginning of life, there IS an all-powerful creator that made order out of the chaos of the Universe[1]. But Scientists (as scientist are!) explain on the basis of what is observable using the scientific process. They create their theories and laws with these. Can we say the same if one is to explain evolution from a religious point of view?

I hope to increase my knowledge of Evolution beyond the equation that I have given at the beginning of this text. Unlike Lloyd, I do not have any doubts regarding evolution. It is all around us. It is the reason why we are now bipeds and not in four legs, it is the reason why we have adapted to our environment and its is the reason for our existence and the continuation of life. If given the chance to teach evolution, I would like to first find out what my students think of evolution and then guide them on seeing how it continues to be a part of our existence. ---------------------------------
[1] Creative Design has now been replaced by „Intelligent Design“. Intelligent Design “implies” that there is a Creator while Creative Design was more explicit in stating that there must be a God that designed the Universe.

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