Explain Darwin’s theory of Evolution and how it presents arguments against design and a designer. (30) A01
To answer this question productively, I must first, of course, explain both Darwin’s theory of evolution and the Design or teleological argument (D.A). Both offer a fairly comprehensive explanation of how the world came to be what it is today. We will first start with the theory of evolution. Charles Robert Darwin, was born on the 12th of February 1809, and is the founder of evolutionary theory. He initially planned to follow a medical career, and studied medicine, but later switched to divinity. In 1831, he joined a five year scientific expedition on the survey ship, HMS beagle. While on the ship, Darwin read Lyell’s ‘Principles of Geology’ which suggested that the fossils found in rocks were actually evidence of animals that had lived many thousands or millions of years ago. But, Lyell’s argument was instated and reinforced in Darwin’s own mind when the ship reached the Galapagos Island. Here he observed the rich variety of animal life and this is where the inspiration for his theory came. Darwin noticed that each island supported its own form of finch; they were closely related between islands but had key differences. On Darwin’s return, he proposed the theory of evolution, occurring by the process of natural selection. The animals (or plants) best suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce, passing on the characteristics which helped them to survive. Gradually, the species changed over time, as those that were not ‘as well adapted’ die out. Darwin worked on this theory for the next 20 years, and in 1859, published the book, ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’. He died on 19th of April 1882.
Now, we must move onto the Teleological argument. Technically, there is more than one, but it was first brought into the light by Thomas Aquinas in the 13th Century. Then again by William Paley in the 18th century,...
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