top-rated free essay

Is Evolution Natural or Purposeful?

By gtkmay Jan 14, 2012 314 Words
When I think of evolution, I tend to think in terms of a series of what I call happy accidents. A creature through a series of genetic mutations is born with an attribute which fits well with its habitat thus providing it with an advantage over others of its kind. This advantage in turn makes the creature hardier than its compatriots leading to increased chances for survival and, perhaps, better selection of mates. This uniquely equipped animal then breeds and its new trait is passed on to some of its progeny who in turn breed, pass it on, and so forth until those with this new trait outnumber and ultimately outlast those who lack the evolutionary advantage provided through a happy genetic accident. For good or bad, I think there are also unhappy accidents which occur in much the same manner as the happy ones with an equal and opposite effect thus eliminating these unfortunate benefactors from the genetic pool through the process of natural selection.

Does the Darwinian theory of natural selection show that there is no such thing as purpose in nature, or does it show that there are purposes and they are perfectly natural causal processes (Rosenberg, 2005)? When considering this question posed by Rosenberg (2005), I tend to agree with the latter contention, believing that, in the course of things, changes occur which make creatures better suited for their environments and these traits are passed on to future generations leading to their eventual dominance and the extinction of traits or even species that do not have the fortune of experiencing such happy accidents. It is not, in my estimation, a conscious process, but one driven by purpose with traits possessed of greater utility persisting for longer periods in the natural world.

References

Rosenberg, A. (2005). Philosophy of science: A contemporary introduction (Second ed.). New York, New York, USA: Routledge.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Natural Selection and Evidence for Evolution

    ...UNIT 1 – LESSON 2 NOTES Natural Selection and Evidence for Evolution:  The mechanism for evolution is called Natural Selection to distinguish it from Artificial Selection.  Evolution occurs at the population level because genetics don’t change. The frequencies of different genetic types (genotypes) within a population do change ov...

    Read More
  • Evolution and Natural Selection

    ...STATED CLEARLY: EVOLUTION AND NATURAL SELECTION (TRANSCRIPT) What exactly is evolution? In biology, the theory of evolution doesn’t exactly tell us how life began on Earth, but tells us how life, once it came into existence, diversified into the many incredible forms we see now and in the fossil record. It also helps us make sense of the way...

    Read More
  • Lab 1 Natural Selection, Evolution

    ...will survive”, and undoubtedly, think of the strength of a lion or the ferociousness of a bear, but this is not always the case to being a dominant species in a community. In this lab, we will explore the theory of natural selection, or as Charles Darwin put it, “Survival of the fittest” (King et al, 1-14). Through this concept, we will...

    Read More
  • Natural Selection and Patterns of Evolution Worksheet

    ...Associate Level Material Appendix F Natural Selection and Patterns of Evolution Worksheet Complete the worksheet writing 100- to 200-word short answers for each question. Format your references consistent with APA guidelines. 1. What is the direct evidence in support of the theory of natural selection? Include at least four examples....

    Read More
  • Natural Selection/ Evolution Study Guide

    ...Science Natural Selection/Evolution Study Guide Important People: - Charles Darwin developed the theory of evolution by natural selection after collecting and studying many organisms on the voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle. - Jean Baptiste Larmarck (1700s): he was a soldier and a biologist and an early proponent of the idea of evolution ...

    Read More
  • Evolution

    ...The Theory of Evolution One of the greatest questions of all time is: "Where did we all come from?" One of the most popular answers to this question is creationism, the idea that everything was created by a higher being. Another popular idea is evolution, the idea that all living organisms descended from a less complex organism. Evolution pos...

    Read More
  • evolution

    ...Evolution of Polar Bears The observed fossil transitions that inform our knowledge of Polar Bear speciation are very well documented. Bear fossils change through time: generally, when examining the fossil record, successively deeper levels of sediments or sedimentary rocks yield successively older fossils. For some transitions from one species...

    Read More
  • Evolution

    ...separated from that continent by an open space of ocean, between 500 and 600 miles in width." At this early stage of his life, along with graduating college Darwin soon began collecting evidence for his theory of Evolution and natural selection. While on his journey Darwin made many observations. They were mainly about the different speci...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.