natural selection Table of Contents Intro Page 3 Natural Selection and Charles Darwin Page 4-5 Herbert Spencer, Social Darwinism Page 5 Arguments against Natural Selection – Page 6 Conclusion Page 7 Bibliography Page 8 Evolution is one of the most controversial topics that has been argued about for centuries. Natural selection is one of the main supports for the evolution theory; it is defined as: the process in nature by which, according to Darwin’s theory of evolution, only the organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive and transmit their genetic characteristics in increasing numbers to succeeding generations while those less adapted tend to be eliminated(4).
A similar term would be survival of the fittest. For centuries Evolutionists have argued between themselves about the evolution of the human race. There are many different theories of natural selection, the first of which was proposed by Charles Darwin. Some of the common theories within natural selection include discussion of Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism.
When discussing evolution, one must also look at the common debates of natural selection because of its controversy. Natural selection occurs when a certain cell mutates in a favorable way to either help it survive or make it more likely to procreate. This is one of the bases for Darwinism in that, without that adaptation to the environment, a species would just die off at the first change in weather patterns or from being extinguished by predators. While sailing on the H.S.S. Beagle, Darwin wrote about this topic and other observations in his book: On the Origin of Species. One such observation was made about the population of different animals in relationship to each other: From experiments which I have tried, I have found that the visits of bees, if not indispensable, are at least highly beneficial to the fertilization of our clovers; but humble bees alone visit the common red clover (Trifolium pratense), as other bees cannot reach the nectar. Hence I have very little doubt, that if the whole genus of humble bees became extinct or very rare in England, the heartsease and red clover would become very rare, or wholly disappear.
important so that we can understand our behavior, in other words, that way that we act. In this essay I will show that the majority of evidences supports the idea of evolution. The idea that Darwin had when he came up with his theory. I believe that Darwin's idea best describes how things evolved, and may still continue to evolve. In a scientific study of genes it was proven that evolution occurs. ...
The number of humble-bees in any district depends in a great degree on the number of field-mice, which destroy their combs and nests; and Mr. H. Newman, who has long attended to the habits of humble-bees, believes “that more than two-thirds of them are thus destroyed all over England.” Now the number of mice is largely dependent, as every one knows, on the number of cats; and Mr. Newman says, “Near villages and small towns I have found the nests of humble-bees more numerous than elsewhere, which I attribute to the number of cats that destroy the mice.” Hence it is quite credible that the presence of a feline animal in large numbers in a district might determine, through the intervention first of mice and then of bees, the frequency of certain flowers in that district(1, P. 73)! This observation shows to what length Darwin would go to study something and then deliberate over it. He would also spend hours just studying a group of simple barnacles.
This demonstrates the level of commitment that he had for scientific exploration. Another observation that he noted was the different beak sizes of the same species of birds on the same island. He then hypothesized that the birds beak size was related to the food that it ate and that it had evolved this way over many thousands of years to accommodate this. This was not the first reflection on the idea of natural selection, but Darwin definitely expanded it more than anyone else had up to that point. However, Darwin does openly admit to the possibility of error and the need for further investigation; he is careful to point out that the idea of evolution by natural selection is “one of long argument”(1, P. 459).
Evolution, the changing of organisms to better fit their environment, is the driving force in life’s diversity. Though not widely accepted, due to religious beliefs of the origin of life on Earth, evolution is known to many scientists as the most important way to understand biology. According to Theodosius Dobzhansky, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Though this ...
When scientists wondered why humans were not actually evolving biologically anymore, many theories were put out; the answer turned out to be cultural evolution.
Cultural evolution is when people adapt to their environment through culture rather than biological changes. Herbert Spencer, a popular sociologist and philosopher in the 1800s, coined the phrase survival of the fittest based on natural selection and cultural evolution. Spencer also had the view in that to help a poor person would go against survival of the fittest and therefore would only be artificial preservation of those least able to take care if themselves(2, P. 343).
This view is now more commonly known as Social Darwinism. It is strange however, that the Nazis used this system of thought in their world conquest even though it was against societies norms (an acceptable way to carry out your believes) and ideology (a system of values and norms that the members of a society are supposed to believe in and act on.) One might wonder why our culture has evolved into the opposite that it is supposed to have started at. From the very primitive survival of the fittest to the new need: helping the weak.
That might be one reason that the Social Darwinism school of thought was rejected at the turn of the 20th century. Many other theories relating to natural selection have been disproved or rethought as new discoveries have been made in the ways we can see and study life. One such advancement was the discovery of the gene and the ability to see microscopic cells that were, until recently, just speculated about. With the use of the microscope, scientists were able to see that the inter-workings of cells were not simple like first thoughts but actually more like complicated machinery. This was opposite because scientists thought that cells would be simple and basic for evolution to use them as the building blocks for multi-celled life. Because of this difference, fundamental Christian Scientists have attacked evolutionists thoughts about how life started in such books as Darwins Black Box by Michael J. Behe.
Behe talks about the eye and how the complexity points out that evolution does not have all the answers Darwin dismissed the question of the eyes ultimate origin: How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated(3, P. 18).
... well). The theory of evolution not only says that life evolved, it also includes mechanisms, like mutations, natural selection, and genetic drift, which ... of a quick change in the environment and a species ability to adapt concerns the color of the Gypsy ... say that evolution is the cause of life. Darwin's theory of evolution fundamentally changed the direction of future scientific thought, though it ...
Behe also talks about an argument put out by an Anglican clergyman William Paley who said that for humans to evolve the way they did would be like similar to finding a watch on the ground and presuming that it was spontaneously made over many steps over many millions of years. Even though fundamental Christians try to disprove evolution, their thoughts on the theory of natural selection are similar, just more towards the species adapting but not changing into another species. Evolution and the part natural selection played in how life took form will be debated for many years to come. Although some of the ideas in natural selection have changed over the years, the main idea of it has stayed the same. Darwin was seeing changes in the same species but whether or not natural selection can make changes from one species to another is still in question. Possibly with new technological advances we will be able to uncover the truth behind the mysteries of life. Bibliography 1.
Darwin, Charles. (1859) On the Origins of Species. London: John Murray. 2. Spencer, Herbert. (1874) The Study of Sociology. New York: Appleton 3. Behe, Michael.
(1996) Darwins Black Box. New York: The Free Press 4. American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition: Found on: www.dictionary.com.