Creating an Evolutionary Way of Seeing Things
K.C. Cole discusses in her article, “Seeing Things,” that there is never just one way to look at something. There are numerous views one can take on when observing possible scientific theories. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is criticized and compared to the theory of creationism. Both theories are prime examples of seeing things from a different perspective influenced by either science or religion. The ability to see things clearly resonates in both arguments and each side presents a different way on how to perceive their own theory. To have clear vision you must be able to make decisions based on the information given to you as well as provide intelligent answers about how you see things. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has been a point of argument since the day it was published nearly 150 years ago. Darwin’s way of seeing things is one that many people identify with, yet it is still incredibly controversial. Charles Darwin suggested that, “Over time, gradual changes continually occur in the physical makeup of plants and animals. Genetic mutations and other factors are responsible for these changes. If the changes are great enough and happen over a long enough period of time, a new species will eventually evolve provided that the plant or animal survives the changes” (Bruno). Darwin was able to realize the truth in these genetic mutations by observing nature as it McFadden 2
evolved around him. He made his discoveries through detailed studies of his subjects, reptiles and birds, and by testing his findings until he was satisfied they were accurate. This way of seeing is one that directly relates to K.C. Cole’s article, “Seeing Things.” “Scientific perception has a different authority from personal perception, because it can more easily be shared. It’s a way of seeing that many people can agree on- or at least agree on a way of thinking about it” (82). Darwin used his scientific findings to back up his theory, which was easily understood and accepted by his fellow colleagues. When people have hard evidence in front of them, they have no reason not to believe it. Darwin’s theory of natural selection is explained better using examples rather than a raw definition. Darwin explains natural selection in terms of wolves hunting their prey. Wolves prey on deer, and if by some chance the deer decrease in numbers during the winter season, one can safely assume the strongest of the pack would survive. The strongest wolves would be preserved or selected provided that they retained their strength during the following seasons and be able to continue to adapt to the environment they reside in (Darwin 7). The explanation of evolution by natural selection is a brilliant answer to this complex matter because it is not a theory of chance. The evolution of species represents a gradual buildup over millions of years, which begins with something very simple but works up slowly to greater complexity. This way of thinking is one that can relate to an idea Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit discusses called Occam’s razor. Sagan states that, “If there are two hypotheses that explain the data equally well choose the simpler” (Baloney). Evolution as presented by Darwin is a tangible idea, while the Intelligent Design theory is harder to grasp and does not provide hard evidence to support McFadden 3
it. Even though many people do believe in scientific side of how the world evolved, some do have serious critiques on the theory. “Much of it revolves around the appealing idea that living things are simply too exquisitely complex to have evolved by a combination of chance mutations and natural selection” (Ayala). The main argument is that all of the living structures that make up our world have such complex systems that it makes it nearly impossible to predict how a plant or animal could react to the changes. For example, the human eye structures are so elaborate that some have come to the...
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