Since the early 1800s people have been trying to figure out the natural world. In the beginning we thought that creationism was the explanation for everything. This was the idea that a higher power had a hand in the origin of the universe, the earth, and all of its beings. Scientific creationism is a belief in six ideas. First the universe, and everything in it were created by a higher power using supernatural processes. Second these creations took place simultaneously around ten thousand years ago.
Third the universe today is virtually unchanged since its creation. Fourth living forms may undergo limited change within kinds of organisms, but no kinds give rise to other kinds; they were all created separately. In other words, there has been no evolution of any species. Fifth the data from the geological and fossil records documents events which have taken place over about ten thousand years. How so much change could have occurred over such a short period of time is accounted for by the claim that those records are largely the results of a single major world wide catastrophe. We know this belief as Noahs flood.
Sixth there is scientific evidence in support of their model, and at the same time there are serious scientific problems with the model proposed by standard evolutionary science. Evolution is sometimes said to be not a fact but just a theory. (Gould 58) When these ideas are subject to the stringent methodology of science, not one shred of evidence can be found to support the second, third, fourth, or fifth idea of the scientific-creation model. The first idea is not scientific at all, since it can not be tested, or disproved. Making the ideas proposed by the scientific creationists not scientific, instead it is pseudoscientific. (Gould 58) Some of the most important early concepts which have lead us to where we are today, are the concepts of deep time, catastrophism, uniformitarianism, evolution, and natural selection. The first published and widely accepted date of creation was published by Bishop Ussher in 1650.
I think religion and science have always been in conflict. Since the theory of Creationism has always been tied to religious accounts, it is only natural that this comes in conflict with the theory of Evolution. As it is, the theory of Creationism is based on legends and ancestral stories, whereas the theory of Evolution is based on empirical observations and scientific inquiry (“History of ...
His belief was that 2004 BC was the date of creation (class notes).
This was proved to have been false by James Hutton in his 1795 book Theory of the Earth. Huttons idea of deep time (The theory that the earth is billions of years old and thus has a long history of development and change) became the newly accepted idea, and until this idea was accepted, the discovery of ancient stone tools and animal bones were not taken as evidence of anything significant. This was one of the first major steps which helped toward developing our present day understandings. The next major idea was Georges Cuviers idea of catastrophism. He said that the history of life in the Paris area and elsewhere, had been disrupted routinely by geologic revolutions-earthly convulsions related to buckling of the earths crust as the world continued to cool down from an originally very hot state.
These revolutions sometimes caused the sea floor to be raised, and laid dry or alternately, the dry land to be submerged. Such catastrophes were thought to have occurred suddenly and to have caused great loss of life and extinction of species over quite large areas. Following each catastrophe Cuvier argued that devastated areas were repopulated by migration of organisms, some entirely new for the locale, coming in from unaffected regions. Lyells Principals of Geology (published 1830-1833) synthesized the available evidence for deep time, and building on the earlier works of Hutton and others, established a theoretical position called uniformitarianism. Unlike Cuviers catastrophism, uniformitarianism is the belief that the steady changes in the earths crust that we see today were preceded by similar slow changes throughout geological time. One example of this is erosion which occurs all around the world over long periods of time. After this the ideas of evolution started surfacing.
... Darwin’s conclusion and glossary of terms. Darwin’s observations led him to believe that species did adapt to their changing ... selection. Later, in 1844, Darwin received from a fellow naturalist, Alfred Wallace, notes outlining a theory ... is careful to point out that the idea of evolution by natural selection is “ ... inner senses. But instincts too may change over time as “consequences of one general law ...
Lamarck developed a theory to account for evolutionary change, known as the transmutation of species. Lamarck had proposed that over time animals change their behavior to meet their needs and that small anatomical changes occurred in response to need, or to use or disuse of organs, and that such acquired characteristics came to be inherited. This theory is untrue and has been replaced by Darwins theory of natural selection. This is the principal mechanism of Darwins evolutionary change by which the individuals best adapted to the environment contribute more offspring to succeeding generations than others do. As more of such individuals characteristics are incorporated into the gene pool the characteristics of the population evolve. Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin both agreed on three main ideas of natural selection. The first was that natural selection operates to make each species to its environment as possible. Evolutionary change has no particular direction.
Species may become more complex over time. Or they may become less complex. What works is, well what works. The second idea was that adaptive traits do not arise when they are needed. Traits are already there in the variation within each species (although Darwin and Wallace not knowing about genetics did not understand where the variations came from).
Nature selects adaptive in that those individuals within a species that posses such traits are more reproductively successful and so pass those traits on to more offspring.
Note that this model relies on the luck of existing variations; thus, it isnt always successful as is Lamarcks model. Extinction is possible Darwin and Wallaces model, and they both realized that, in fact it is quite common. The third idea was that the process acting constantly and over long periods of time, will eventually cause varietys within a species (Wallace also used the term race) to diverge so much from the original species that they would themselves become separate species. It is really the diversity of species that Darwin and Wallace are trying to explain. Recall the title of Darwins famous book The Origin of Species (51).
When Charles Darwin released his findings on Natural Selection in 1858, he did not do so in a vacuum. Many factors contributed to the formulation of his theories, and many popular misconceptions contradicted his conclusions to the point that he was reluctant to publish them for sixteen years. Despite widely held opposing doctrine, the intellectual environment of the day was already receptive for ...
In the article entitled Natural selection Darwin and Wallace that in any minute variation in a living creatures structure, habits, or instincts, adapting that creature better to the new conditions, would tell upon its vigor, and health. They go on to say that in a struggle the creature may have a better chance of surviving, and those of its offspring which inherit the variation, be it ever so slight, would also have a better chance. Later in the article, they go on to say the possibility of procuring food during the least favorable seasons, and of escaping the attacks of their most dangerous enemies, are the primary conditions which determine the existence both of individuals, and of entire species.
(52) Most or perhaps all the variations from the typical form of a species must have some definite effect, no matter how slight on the habits or capacities of the individual. Even a change of color might affect their safety by rendering them more or less distinguishable. Changes such as an increase in the power or dimensions of the limbs or any of the external organs, would more or less affect their mode of procuring food or the range of country which they inhabit. All varieties of species therefore fall into two classes; those which under the same conditions would never reach the population of the parent species, and those which would in time obtain and keep a numerical superiority.