The Debate Over Origins: Creationism or Evolution?Ever since the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859, the theory of evolution has provoked widespread and often bitter controversy. Today this controversy continues, breaking into public consciousness especially in local school districts, wehre opposing creationist and evolution partisans square off over what should and should not be taught.
Illustration by Marcia Klioze Hughes/The World & I |
Ever since the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859, the theory of evolution has provoked widespread and often bitter ...
Evolution: Fact and Theory
Geospiza fortis is one of the fourteen finch species living on
the Galapagos Islands. It feeds on the seeds of the plant
Tribulus cistoides. G. fortis specializes in the smaller seeds
of this plant. Another finch, G. magnirostris, has a larger
beak and specializes on the larger seeds. The health of these
bird populations depends on seed production in this plant.
Seed production depends on arrival of the wet season. In 1977,
rainfall was below normal and plants produced fewer seeds. The
G. fortis population quickly depleted the supply of small
seeds, leaving only larger ones. Most of the finches starved.
The number of finches dropped from about twelve hundred to
less than two hundred. Peter Grant noted that more larger than
smaller birds survived. These birds left offspring with
correspondingly large beaks. As a result, the average beak
size of G. fortis offspring was 4 percent larger the year
after the drought. This type of change in a population is
called evolution, or microevolution. ...
Issues in the Creation-Evolution Controversies
Darwin's theory of evolution has produced more widespread and
bitter controversy than any other theory in the history of
Western science. Except for the infamous condemnation of
Galileo by the medieval Catholic Church, there wasn't much
fuss over Copernicus' heliocentric theory of the solar
Relatively little controversy greeted Harvey's theory of the
circulation of the blood, Newton's theory of gravitation,
Mendel's theory of biological inheritance, or Einstein's
theory of relativity. Only Darwin's theory has provoked
radical and enduring differences of opinion among large
numbers of people. Even now, almost a century and a half
it was proposed, it continues to be the focus of heated
scientific disagreements, bitterly contested court cases, and
politically charged school board debates. ...
Why Believe in a Creator?: Perspectives on Evolution
Ever since Charles Darwin published Origin of Species, the
theory of evolution has been a battleground for competing
scientific claims and religious ideologies. Evolution is not
the first scientific theory to suffer this fate. Over a
century earlier, Isaac Newton's laws of mechanics flowered
into a metaphysics of clockwork determinism. Darwin's
scientific theory has been coopted to serve a variety of
philosophical masters: social Darwinism, eugenics, moral
relativism, a metaphysics of chance, and, perhaps most
important, the claim that there is no longer any reason to
believe in a Creator. ...