The term biological evolution has been of contention for a long time. While its meaning in the evolution of life has faced the same criticisms, it is important to have a common understanding of the word. Biological evolution refers to any form of evolution that involves living entities. Therefore, anything that goes beyond the formation of biological entities is not part of biological evolution (Moran, 2006). On the other hand, the building blocks of life like the first molecules could be introduced to the term. This causes complications. The right definition of the world would entail information on the evolution of various living populations and the changes that have taken place in the frequencies of their alleles (Moran, 2006). As a result of this confusion, various terms have cropped up in regards to evolution. They include, chemical evolution, as well as religious view of the beginning of life.
Throughout history, many scientists and philosophers have come forward to give their insights on the realities of the evolution of life in the universe. While biological evolution remains an integral part in determining the origin of life, there are various setbacks in the theory. One of the main setbacks is that it does not give consideration to evolution of life before the formation of biological entities (Moran, 2006). Chemical evolution refers to the evolutionary processes that led to the development of the first molecules. From these two revolutionary theories the theory of abiogenesis is born. Abiogenesis refers to the origin of life from non-living entities (Moran, 2006). It mainly tackles the smallest of chemical compounds that came together through evolution to form the building blocks of life. This essay seeks to discuss the challenges of abiogenesis as an evolutionary theory, various evolutionary theories have been discussed in conjunction with biological evolution in order to have a better grip at the concept.
Various evolutionary theories have been discussed throughout history. The Darwinian theory was brought by a scientist Charles Darwin who came up with the concept of natural selection in evolution. In his theory, Darwin argues that evolution is as a result of various changes in biological entities that come up as a result of the need to adapt to the environment they live in. the theory has also been discussed as survival for the fittest, where the most suitable species survives at the cost of the less suitable ones (Meyer, 2013). The basis of this theory has been its main point of criticism.
The book “Darwin’s Doubt: the explosive origin of animal life and the case of intelligent design, Stephen C, Meyer gives a comprehensive critique of the Darwinian theory in regards to evolution. His main point of criticism is through the introduction of the notion of intelligent design in evolution. In his argument, he cites the Cambrian explosion where most of the major animal phyla abruptly appeared in records of fossils without any evolutionary origin or history (Meyer, 2013). The Cambrian evolution has attempted to nullify many evolutionary theories because there are no any genetic studies that have explained the concept. Furthermore, there is no any fossil evidence of any precursors of the Cambrian explosion (Meyer, 2013). Darwin’s theory has also failed to explain the origin of new genetic forms that have resulted in the production of new animal forms and proteins.
Meyer and other scientist who are against the Darwinian theory believe in the theory of intelligent design. Intelligent design in evolution is used to attest to the fact that there have been systematic and random manipulation of the evolutionary process by an intelligent being. This claim is further supported by the documentary, “unlocking the Mystery of life”, where computer visualizations have been used to take the audience into the cellular structure of living organisms and even the DNA. In this research, Meyer claims that the fact that there is encoded information in the DNA and molecular structures of living organisms is proof of intelligent design in evolution (Meyer, & Allen, 2004). The point by the large portion of scientists is that abiogenesis and chemical theories alone cannot explain the evolution of life (Meyer, & Allen, 2004). The argument given by Meyer is that the microscopic world of the cell can give evidence of a design in the evolution process.
Another theory has also come up to criticize abiogenesis by further supporting intelligent design. The documentary “living waters: intelligent design in the oceans of the earth” gives a tour of the mysterious ocean world. Given that oceans cover about 70% of the world, its biodiversity can go a long way in studying evolutionary processes (Sternberg, 2017). This documentary offers several evolutionary traits in sea animals that cannot be explained by any forms of biological of chemical evolution. The traits include; the magnetic compass that is inscribed in the head of sea turtles, the internal sonar system of a dolphin and the power and grace of a humpback whale (Sternberg, 2017). All these traits in these sea creatures defy Darwinian’s theory of evolution.
In yet another documentary titled “metamorphosis: the beauty and design of butterflies”, the superbly engineered body a butterfly has been observed under huge magnifications to reveal compound eyes that have thousands of lenses embedded in them, the fly’s wings are also covered with micro solar panels that warms its muscles during flight (Christian Movie Shop. 2017). The butterfly also portrays unique navigation traits that guide monarch butterflies during migration to Canada from Mexico each year.
Having observed the evidence from these anomalies in the genetics and evolutionary inexplicability of their traits, one is left to wonder what might have been the cause of these unique traits. It is highly unlikely that they come from blind evolutionary abnormalities. This means that there is a high probability of intelligent design in evolution. While abiogenesis too has its evidences, the fact that there are other realms that do not back the theory means that it is short in its explanation of evolution. On the other hand, intelligent design can encompass the concepts of biological evolution and chemical evolution. Biological evolutionary theories like the Darwinian theory fall short in explaining abrupt genetic changes that have no evolutionary precursors like the case of the butterfly of the unique features of some sea animals.
While human beings have based their knowledge of evolution on natural causes, the concept of intelligent design opens new realms of study that had not been thought before yet are very important and based on factual evidence. It is therefore important to increase research in such studies in order to have a better understanding of the evolutionary process. From this point of view, all the above mentioned evolutionary theories are relevant in the overall concept, what one theory does not give is explained by another theory. Intelligent design theories tend to harmonize these theories by introducing a factor that had not been thorough of before. The existence of a being more intelligent than human beings and one that accounts for the intelligent design in evolution.
Christian Movie Shop. (2017). Metamorphosis: The Beauty and Design of Butterflies DVD - Christian Movie Shop / RPI.
Meyer, S. C. (2013). Darwin's Doubt | Center for Science and Culture.
Meyer, S. C., & Allen, W. P. (2004). Unlocking the Mystery of Life-- | Center for Science and Culture.
Moran, L. A. (2006). Evolution and Abiogenesis.
Sternberg, R. (2017). Illustra Media - Living Waters.
Than, K. (2015). Darwin's Theory of Evolution: Definition & Evidence.