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What is Evolution?

On the Theory of Evolution

What exactly is evolution? It’s a liberal plot to indoctrinate our kids. It’s a test of our faith engineered by Humanists. It’s a legitimate scientific theory and you should just shut up. It’s not a witch, it’s you (wait, what?). Those are all opinions on what evolution is, but are they the truth? Opinions are simply biased perceptions of how things are, capable of being skewed by lack of information or denial of the facts. So if the above statements are opinions, then what are the facts? What is evolution, really? And what opinions can one draw from the factual information on evolution? Who’s right, and who’s wrong? These are the questions the author shall be asking, and which, after considering the evidence presented in this paper, the author has arrived at the following conclusion: it is impossible to determine if evolution is certainly true or not, because the universe is incapable of absolute truths. However, with all the evidence gathered, evolution leans towards the truth as much as anything else we consider factually truthful does. This is not an orthodox thought, and earlier the author would have considered it orthodox enough to not understand why it isn’t. But in the end, it is quite unorthodox, but that’s exactly what makes it the author’s opinion and no one else’s. The author apologizes for any confusion and subsequent misfortune resultant from this unorthodoxy.

Let’s take a look at the premier source on Evolution, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. It should be the premier source. After all, it proposed the idea. In the end, Darwin’s theory of evolution can be summarized as thus: traits in organisms which promote a greater chance of survival and procreation will pass on in offspring, while traits that do not will eventually be discarded or rendered obsolete (Darwin 502). Nowhere in there does it ever say that Mankind came from monkeys. Nowhere in there does it say that the Bible is stupid. Nowhere in there does it say that one should become an atheist and rise up against Christianity. Now, yes, following the empirical form of thought (more on that later), it would be safe to assume that if humans are the product of a cruder form of organism, then that form of organism must have come from something even cruder, which in turn came from something even cruder, until the origin of all life can be traced back to single-celled organisms, which were created from matter and energy coming together to produce stars and planets and such, and which were in turn created by two atoms colliding. HOWEVER, the ACTUAL theory of evolution DOES NOT SAY THAT! That is a different theory, the big bang theory, which was proposed by (funnily enough) clergyman Monsignor Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître (Davoren). It’s common to associate the two theories together, however, in the end, that’s all they are. Two separate theories, independent of one another, and capable of being dissociated. The author is not here to debate the validity of the big bang theory, merely the validity of the theory of evolution, and understanding evolution’s dissonance from the big bang is the first step to determining what evolution really is.

Indeed, a little known fact, Charles Darwin never once thought the Origin of Species and Genesis to be mutually exclusive. He merely believed that God could not have conceived every single variation of every single species everywhere by Himself, instead believing that He had created bases for those species to arise from based off of natural laws, which God had created as well. After all, the Bible states “And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.’ So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” (NIV, Genesis 1:20-21). But does it say anywhere that God created the Cookiecutter Shark, or the Yellow-lipped Sea Krait, or the Lammergeier, or the Kakapo, or the Ai-Ai, or any of the other incredibly obscure species out there in the wild?

Some might say well that’s all well and good, but it still implies that apes and humans came from some common ancestor. If that’s true, then why are there still apes? That is a very good question actually, and to answer it, please allow the author to divulge a little anecdote. In an episode of the tv show Star Trek: Voyager, one of the crew members starts to rapidly evolve due to him having broken the Warp-10 barrier of space travel. However, the crew member does not get a larger cranium, less hair, and telekinesis, as one would expect. Instead, he becomes allergic to water, becomes incapable of processing oxygen, and in the end, turns into a giant lizard-thing ("Threshold"). It was, to put it bluntly, Voyager at its worst. But it did show a very crucial fact regarding evolution that so many people either don’t realize or ignore. Evolving does not necessarily mean gaining intelligence, losing muscle, and growing opposable thumbs. All it entails is gaining a greater chance for one’s spawn to survive and flourish so that their eventual spawn will survive and flourish and so on and so forth. The reason there are still apes out there is because for the particular environment that they live in, it was necessary for the traits that make apes apes to continue on, whilst in the environment where humans grew up, it was necessary for the traits that make us humans to continue on ("PBS.org").

But some still say, so what? The Bible says that God created the Earth and everything in it in seven days, and there’s no room in those seven days for evolution. Adam and Eve didn’t come from some common ancestor, and neither did anything else. It was all created by God. Ooh, another lovely point. But let the author ask those somes something. Adam and Eve were two people. Just two people. They probably had the same bone-structure, the same skin-color, and the same overall features. According to a certain Mister Carleton S. Coon, there are 5 basic racial templates (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid, Capoid, and Australoid), of which every other race and sub-race and ethnicity of humanity is based off of (S. Coon). Altogether, those races and sub-races and ethnicities number in the thousands, if not in the millions. Think about that, millions of different human beings, each differing due to their environment. And they all came from two humans of the same race, sub-race, and ethnicity. How did that happen, if it weren’t for a little help from evolution, allowing those two “prototypes” to produce all the other different human beings out there?

Why do humans have an appendix, an organ which serves no other purpose than to get sick and possibly kill its host? Why do doctors have to constantly update vaccinations and medicines? Why is it that the more isolated an environment is, the more unique and interesting the species there are? These are all questions with a simple answer: there is something at work in nature that allows organisms to grow and change over time. But that’s not evolution, that’s adaptation, some might say. But you see, evolution IS adaptation. Adapting to ones environment to survive is exactly what evolution is. That’s all it ever was. It was never an atheistic belief system. It was never supposed to explain the origin of life. It was never anything more than a scientific theory developed by a young Englishman attempting to explain the world around him.

Aha! The somes shout out there! You just admitted that evolution is just a theory. Well of course it is. The author makes no pretensions that evolution is anything more than a theory. But the thing is, that’s exactly why it is so trustworthy. Getting back to a previous point, evolution is not the product of atheism, but rather empiricism. Empiricism is the idea that truths in this world can be determined through experimentation and observation. Empirical theories are “if this…then that” statements that are testable and able to be observed, but are impossible to fully answer with certainty. Because you see, Empiricism believes that true certainty is impossible, unless something is directly experienced, and humans are merely able to make guesses on the validity of ideas (Carroll). Empirical theories have three categories: Hypotheses, True Theories, and Speculative Theories. Hypotheses are testable statements that, with all the evidence gathered, appear to be false. Speculative Theories are statements that, with our limited capabilities, are unfortunately untestable. Then True Theories, of which evolution is one, are testable statements that, with all the evidence gathered, appear to be true.

Of course, we’ll never really know if true theories are actually, completely, and undebatably true. But in the end, we’ll never really know if the Bible is actually, completely, and undebatably true. What is evolution? It’s a scientific theory trying to fill in the blanks brought about by discrepancies between the Bible and the real world, which with all the evidence gathered, leans greatly toward the truth. It’s not trying to convert people. It’s not trying to change people’s minds. It’s just trying to strengthen people’s beliefs as they are confronted by doubts. And for those somes who still say nay, let the author pose one final question. Isn’t it far more plausible, and far more glorious, that there was a being so omnipotent, and so omniscient, that it was able to create matter and energy, which created stars and planets, which created atmospheres and environments, which created single-celled organisms, which created multi-celled organisms, which created fish, which created amphibians, which created reptiles, which created monotremes, which created mammals, which created primates, which created humans, which created hopes and dreams that no dying star or cluster of galaxies could match in wonder, all just from two little atoms colliding? Think about it.




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This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

The_Earl_of_Zerces said...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm:
Alright, next, let me say something I've had to say multiple times to multiple people regarding the subject: you WILL NOT, no, CAN NOT, ever convice me that the world didn't happen by accident. Why? Because I can still find the world to be beautiful when I think it happened on accident. In fact, I find the world to be MORE beautiful when I think it happened on accident, rather than by intelligent design. Think about it, you don't find the artwork of a painter who carefully studied th... (more »)
 
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The_Earl_of_Zerces said...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm:
First of all, let me just say this: I didn't write this for you. No, no, hold on, let me explain. I grew up in "The Deep South", where my whole school thought that America was founded on Christian principles, and should never change or grow into something more. All men being created equal only applied to Christians for them. And the topic of Evolution in particular was a hot topic. In my HIghschool biology class, there were literally riots when we got ot the topic. But the thing is... (more »)
 
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Cat-GirlThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Oct. 20, 2012 at 9:32 am:
Earl of Zerces, I agree with you on some of your points. In fact, I've actually thought through this several times before reading your article and found a few of my thoughts in it. But there is a bit more depth to the Bible and how it ties in with evolution. The Bible has some metaphorical input in it, so when it says "seven days" it may mean seven long periods of time. If you are theoretically saying God exists, the Bible also says that a thousand years are like one day to him, ... (more »)
 
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