Charles Darwin’s work in natural selection and the theory of evolution helps us answer the basic question that befuddled all of man, where do we come from? At the turn of the 20th century, there were only considered two major competing theories that would solve that basic human conundrum. Those theories, evolution and creationism; represented conflicting assertions to answer it. Evolution represented science’s opinion of how the universe began, and creationism offered the religious explanation. While Darwin’s theory has stood the test of time and has been proven correct on many fundamental issues such as natural selection, diversification and the general thesis of mutation and change over a long period of time, the theory still contained gaps that were left unreciprocated. Then came along a new theory to challenge the heavyweights; enter “intelligent design.” Intelligent design’s essential claim is that life as we know it could not have occurred through a seemingly random natural process. It proposes that only through the wisdom and regulation of a supreme benevolent higher power could explain the vast diversity we find both in life and nature. Michael Behe, a professor of biochemistry at Leigh University and author states in his book, Darwin's Black Box. "On a small-scale, Darwin's theory has triumphed...it is at the level of macroevolution - of large jumps - that the theory evokes skepticism." (Behe) He later describes in essence, the black boxes that Darwin originally failed to address and concludes that the theory of intelligent design holds the key that unlocks the answers. Evolutionary Theory, is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as a process of continuous gradual change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex or better state. The theory of evolution, formalized by Charles Darwin, is as much a scientific theory as the theory of gravity, or relativity. Evolution is the binding force of all biological study and has been unchallenged since Darwin published his book, On The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection in 1859, yet it represents one of the most debated theories of human kind, unlike that of physics. Darwin theorized through extensive scientific research that all living organisms shared a common ancestor. The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree. I believe this simile largely speaks the truth. The green and budding twigs may represent existing species; and those produced during each former year may represent the long succession of extinct species . . . The limbs divided into great branches, and these into lesser and lesser branches, were themselves once, when the tree was small, budding twigs; and this [connotation] of the former and present buds by ramifying branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups . . . From the first growth of the tree, many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off, and these lost branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders, families, and genera which have now no living representatives, and which are known to us only from having been found in a fossil state . . . As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever branching and beautiful ramifications" (Darwin).
Intelligent Design (ID) as a theory differs greatly from previous versions of design, especially in consideration of the creationist theory. Creationism, one of the longest tenured theories of design relies completely upon a religious understanding. It is founded from accounts described in the bible that are taken at a literal measure. They include, but are not limited to: God created the heavens and the...
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