Evolution Blog

Class blog for BIO E Evolution and Systematics

Friday, December 01, 2006

Project 0, from Marlyn

“From dust we came”, this is a short catchy biblical sounding title used by Dr. Pacifico Payawal in his leaflet about the essential minerals found on rocks (calcium, iron, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, potassium, iodine, nitrogen, sulfur, magnesium) which we human indirectly benefit from these, that, when our breathing ends, we get back to where we came from. It sounds like symbolic term equates scientific explanation.

How do I see evolution?

Living organisms have gradually and dramatically changed in their long history. The process of gradual changing is referred to as evolution. As stated in the World Book Encyclopedia, the idea that living things evolved from non living matter and changed through the ages is called the theory of evolution. Accordingly, the first single-celled organisms appeared about 3 or 4 billion years ago, soon after the earth’s crust had formed and cooled. As time passed, more complex organisms gradually developed specialized characteristics that helped them adapt to their environment. This evolutionary process eventually produced all the species that inhabit the earth today.

The theory of evolution today is the most important fundamental concept in biology but, as relevant as it is, acceptance to its underlying principles created a great universal conflict.

Accordingly, this theory of evolution was attacked by many scientists, religious orders and other groups. Many denounced the theory because it conflicted with the Biblical account of the creation. They opposed the idea that human beings were related to lower species. The teaching of evolution was banned in United States. However, many people accept the basic principles of evolution within the framework of their religious beliefs. Some biblical scholars interpret the story of creation as a symbolic rather than literal account of the origin of human beings and other living things.

In as vast as those contradictions laid by some great men before, what can a single mind express about it? With what is the truth and not, is never an issue (as I see it). The pressuring struggle is how one sees evolution, how one feels about it and how he believes on it.

Actually, its sometime in 2005 when I got a chance of asking a professor I met in UP about which one – Darwinism or creationism she believed on. She’d rather not reply. Apparently, this calls for measuring how much one knows about it, give evidences as proof or rather lead a debate instead or swallow the whole time leaving other works undone.

Numerous evidences to evolution were million times printed on books. Fossils of ancient life, a key to knowing the great mystery of the organisms that lived on earth million years ago where found. Information on fossil ages can be determined through radio carbon dating. We almost moved nearly to knowing the gaps towards the truth that the theory of evolution offers us but convincing myself that human races evolved from lower species like chimpanzees, gorillas orangutans or gibbons is difficult to accept. In the New Book stated, “Human beings are the highest product of evolution. Human intelligence is far superior to that of any other organism. In structure, the human body is closely related to that of apes, but this does not mean that human beings evolved from any of these apes.” More fossils of early human beings are being discovered from time to time and accurate ways of determining its dates are being developed but scientists still do not know the complete history of evolution with uncompleted and puzzling evidences, gaps were hindering the possibility of drawing conclusions from clues, to end up the whole story. From those missing links of the past, my hopes were – human beings were not descendants of those lower species.

An encyclopedia cited – “over million of years, by small changes, species gradually evolved. The new forms of life were not really new. They were improvements of earlier models. The improvements were helpful in meeting demands of a changing earth.”

Accordingly, the similarity of cell structures as to plants and its varieties, cell structures of animals as to human beings were found related to . These connections lead scientists to conclude the idea that ancestry play a relevant role in evolution. That, as stated above, present forms of life were not new, only these are improvements of the past. It’s easy to understand how human developed their thinking skills and improved their lives through inventions and technologies they engaged into. They learn to produce body enhancements, they were able to lengthen life spans through operations and surgeries, they learn to adapt to their environment, to their fast. Changing societies and make there lives comfortable but for plants, for specific animals, to change and improve structures for its own adaptation to its environment is hard to believe. For one reason, a plant like cactus for its struggle for existence, (I think) cannot do something to improve its structures for predators not to easily feed on them. Can it do augmentations to survive? Varieties of cactuses existed maybe due to geographical differences.

Some maybe deprived of gigantic sizes or amount of thorns structured in them maybe because of changes in the climate but not avoidance or protection to predators, so they automatically evolved into newer and better variety.

In the studies of Charles Darwin to bird varieties in Galapagos Island, he found that animals in the island were different from what he have seen before and much varieties were existing there. From puzzling state of mind, he was able to suggest at later studies that there’s a process by which life may have evolved. The process as he called, is natural selection. For him, the nature “selected” those organisms best suited to survive in their thrive for existence. Thus, those with better traits were able to lived longer and have more offsprings.

The nature selected. Any organism can react and adapt but I don’t think a nature can select which, how, what, when and why, or maybe my understanding towards natural selection is too narrow.

In as much as I believed, somebody manages all these, plans all these and created all these as confused as those groups in the past, I may conclude that two disciplines, science and religion should not overlooked each other’s views. Both science and religion have their own views which we, can discern with. Both disciplines maybe conformable to fact and not at certain degree.

In every strand of everything, from unicellular unit of life up to the vast solar bodies, science can enumerate scientific explanations regarding occurrences of these or disappearances of those but still, numerous phenomena exist and yet, no courageous attempts could explain them. (Maybe only resolving them through acceptance of the creator’s supernatural power and no more).

Science existed to mobilize quality of living, improve our way of life and comfort us with its inventions and technologies while religion is I think a different dimension of life which at certain manner guards us, saves our thinking. Utterances and actions from evil thoughts and deeds (only if we submit ourselves and commit ourselves to the Divine Creator)

I think, both science as justified by evolution and creationism, a pillar for our religion is actually associated with each other. Evolution inculcated in us views and concepts in literal manner while creationism conveyed to us views and concepts in symbolic, biblical manner.

Yet, the only thing which keep me stay in my preference (that God created us humans, disregarding how plants or animals evolved) is the fact that we people, in as much us we could, try avoiding sinful, worldly actions because we believed eternal life awaits after death. We try conforming to what our religion taught us and have guilty feelings when we made sinful odd things. If God do not exist, why are we trying to be good?

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