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Evolution is a concept that was initiated by Erasmus Darwin but later the idea was engineered and pioneered by his son Charles Darwin. Darwin noted that some changes were observed in a given population within a given duration due to the imbalance that is exacerbated by the quantity of offspring that are left by organisms which possessed different character traits. The inherited traits conferred fitness that increased the survival rate of the species. Lamarck who was another evolution adherent presented the evolution idea that was driven by perfection as the tendency that led to organisms of greater complexity. The closer the organism was to perfection, the more adapted it was to the immediate environment. The body parts that were exploited more often managed to become stronger and larger while those that were underused or not used at all become deteriorated by reducing in value or weakening in terms of function. The acquired characteristics could be inherited by an organism through the various processes of gene transfer.
Evolution, gradualism, Speciation, Inguinal Canals, Inguinal hernias.
Evolution is a biological phenomenon that emerged ages ago. The term “evolution” encompasses all the activities and events that enable various living organisms to fit in a given environment by ensuring continuity of the given organism. The tissues of issues concerning evolution sprouted in the minds of various philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle who tried to unravel the mystery behind the origin of species and life on Earth. Plato held that all kinds of occurrences that transpired in the world had a fixed function. Plato believed that any evolutionary thinking was baseless since everything was taken to be invariable. Aristotle backed up the Platonic view on the nature of things as everything was taken as unalterable. The very first floral and faunal classification was undertaken by the famous Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1635 (Coyne, 2014 p. 5). The paper will strive to investigate the historical development of evolution and try to determine why evolution should be embraced as absolute truth.
Aristotle classified all the living into particular strata based on the increasing complexity. The evolutionary notion that Aristotle had was presented in a summarized form that was referred to as the Scala Naturae. The fundamental view of the proponents of the concept held that the species were entities fixed in nature. Any possibility of evolution was inconceivable in their opinion. The creationists subscribed to the Aristotelian and Platonic philosophies whereby the perfection and immutability of the organisms were defended vehemently. The idea of perfection was derived from the creator and it was believed that the nature of the living things was unalterable. God had the full control of any sign of life and the purpose of the organism was dictated by the Maker (Coyne, 2014 p. 1). The design of anything that proceeded forth from the God was considered as perfect.
Evolution has stood the test of time as stigma was rampant whenever anyone raised the issue. The pioneer evolutionist Erasmus Darwin bore the virgin thought of evolution but then it was to be continued by his son Charles Darwin who furthered the father’s work. The concept mat stiff opposition as it was a fight pitting science against superstition. Science advocated rationality while religion accounted for irrational belief setups that could not offer definitive and tangible solutions to the issues of the origin of life and biodiversity. The geologists attempted to establish the age of the earth in many past years with respect dating of the various specimen found in rocks. Organic evolution was the basis of evolution that many people embraced in the wake of the nineteenth century. The discovery of the fossil record served to support the existence of the previous ancestral species for all the species that existed but the original species had then come to an ultimate extinction. The comparative and systematic anatomy research managed to decipher the similarities that existed among various species. The possibility of heritability in the species preoccupied most of the scientists. Charles Darwin decided to present the concepts of evolution via his masterpiece “The Origin of Species” (Coyne, 2014 p. 3). The ideologies presented conveyed the concept of descent through the modification of the previous species. Darwin elaborated on the idea of natural selection. The entire idea was attached to the aspect of survival for the fittest against the survival of the flattest.
Components of Evolution
Evolution encapsulates various processes such as gradualism, common ancestry, speciation, natural selection, evolutionary changes that are nonselective in nature. Speciation encompasses the processes that exacerbate the occurrence of the various species in diverse parts of the earth. Gradualism highlights the rate at which evolution transpires which is fairly slow before a new species emerges. Common ancestry refers to the relationship between different species when tracing the family tree up to the level of their original ancestors based on the different genealogical physiological and morphological character traits. Natural selection encompasses the different ways in which beneficial characteristics are protected and retained in a given organism while the unwanted genes are silenced or eliminated completely for the sake of fitness and survival value (Coyne, 2014 p. 3). Evolutionary changes that are nonselective compound the aspect that acts randomly regardless of the nature of the particular trait.
Evolutionist Darwin undertook a voyage that lasted five years from 1831 to 1836. Darwin visited the islands of Galapagos where he made investigations that transformed his previous popular notion concerning the species being fixed as it was posited in the works of Aristotle and Plato. The present mammals were discovered to resemble the fossil South American mammals though with slight differences. The armadillos, Ilamas, sloth, giant tortoises, and finches depicted variations from one island to the other but the species in the various islands are similar in some particular aspects (Coyne, 2014 p. 104).
Darwin was at loggerheads with the society since his views tend to contradict the spiritual teachings as stipulated in the holy books. The professionals from the realms of theology claimed that they had received insight into the aspects of the life on earth. Some scientist could not buy the idea of transformation via modification as stated by the Darwinian theory of evolution. Such scientists dismissed the evolution as unfounded and ambiguous since there was lacking explanation concerning the genesis of complexity or the function of design (Coyne, 2014 p. 1).
Drawbacks of Darwinian Theory
Darwin’s theory could not account exhaustively on the nature of occurrence of variation and the way the variation was handed down the generation that followed. The concepts were pegged on the parental characteristics. The idea was not feasible since variation would be lost in the blending process (Coyne, 2014 p. 116).
The Rationale for Success of Darwinian Theory
The Mendelian synthesis of the inheritance theory with reference to the Darwinian Theory served as a booster to the ideologies that were presented by Darwin. The various expositions that Gregor Mendel achieved via his pea-experiments provided sufficient explanations that could support the way variation was conferred to posterity. The hallmark research that was conducted by various individuals who had animated interest in evolution which provided significant insight and enlightenment into the future prospect of the discourse. The theory of Darwin had the capacity to elucidate the biodiversity pattern, the distribution of organisms geographically, chance, and other anatomical anomalies that are portrayed in various organisms. The similarity index in terms of features in various related species determine the time that has passed since the existence of the missing link species; the ancestral species(Coyne, 2014 p. 185). For instance, the digestive and respiratory systems lack the design as compared to cases of mammals and fishes.
Different pieces of evidence concretely support the issue of evolution. Evolution is unpopular in many countries of the world but the need to define the rational and plausible origin of the biodiversity keeps pressing. Providing a solution to the evolution concept is inevitable. Natural selection is considered to be the sole aspect that has the incredible capacity to provide explanations to the bizarre life patterns as it has led to enormous research in genetics, biogeography, paleontology, and other numerous fields (Coyne, 2014 p. 185). The field of paleontology has achieved milestones due to the many awesome examples of transitional forms that include fossils that provides a strong link between the terrestrial and aquatic fauna and flora. The evidence ranges from mammals such as the whale to half-wasps that have been lodged in amber. The specimen from the research have been dated with the highest level precision and hence dispelling any reasonable doubt about evolution.
There is compelling evidence that superimposes the concept of evolution in any field of study. The various vestiges that have remained in various organisms or rather disappeared completely in given species confirm the relationship between various organisms. Such evidence affirms that evolution is true. The presence of the appendix in humans and other herbivores is a remaining evidence of a trait of the ancestral missing link of the various species (Coyne, 2014 p. 59). The feature speaks volumes of the reality of the evolution ideology in a sound and tangible version since reference can be drawn from various organisms and thus underpinning the traces of evolutionary history that has been preserved in flora and fauna.
The earliest natural classification that was undertaken by Carl Linnaeus was a milestone in trying to substantiate the validity and possibility of evolution in the spring of life on earth. The basis of categorization was pegged on the various features where particular organisms were grouped together because of their commonalities. The closeness in similarity helped confirm common ancestry and the level of differences show the duration the species had passed after they parted with their ancestral missing link (Coyne, 2014 p. 186). The greater the discrepancy between any given species, the longer the time of separation.
The intricate and articulate manner in which the laryngeal nerve makes its way from the neck to the breast as it makes well-fashioned loops around the aortic surface before tracing its way back to almost where the nerve originated in the larynx suggests that no designer would employ such a tortuous route. The consideration of the different evolution aspects of the larynx from a gill arch in the aquatic ancestors helps in clarifying the provenance of the laryngeal nerve (Coyne, 2014 p. 87). The creationists who are avid opponents to evolution believe in the work of an Intelligent Designer while the proponents of the evolutionary concept base their understanding on the various stages of evolution that helped fashion life for fitness and survival which in the process resulted in speciation. The fact that no Intelligent Designer could assume such an irksome journey of the laryngeal vessel traversing the chest and back to the point of origin reaffirms that evolution is true.
There are numerous pseudogenes within the various living organism that have no definite function due to the fact that they have lost roles they are designed for by being silenced via deleterious genes. The “selfish gene” has the capacity to work in favor of a given gene or vice versa depending on the benefits accrued by the organism in retaining the role of the given gene. The dead genes can be found littered at various points within the genome as derived from the various gene sequencing that genetic researchers have conducted with a view to gain insight into the genetic makeup of diverse lives on earth. The presence of such “dead genes” within the genome provides crucial hints to the past with reference to the missing links. The loss of function of such genes resulted in the genes being “deprived” of their position in the genome by remaining “dead, useless, and idle”. The lack of selection and use are considered to be the chief reason for the fate of dead genes. For instances, dolphins have silent genes that came in handy in detecting airborne odors but most primates lack such gene(Coyne, 2014 p. 124). The Lamarckian concept of evolution comes into play in such a situation since some genes lose their function whenever their significance becomes diminished or lost absolutely. The human body has about four hundred thousand silent genes which are a fairly monumental number for an Intelligent Designer to produce and given that they remain functionless entirely. Hence evolution is considered real in this token.
The amazing and compelling evidence obtained from various islands in Australia and other islands depicted a good deal of evolution process. The fossil species of kangaroos that were derived from different sites in Australia portrayed a close relationship between them and the kangaroo species that were in other neighboring islands. Some islands tend to have far much fewer species of organisms than others. Such a discrepancy that shows a differential and preferential species distribution in the various islands and other environments raises a critical query as to which Intelligent Designer could dislike one island by providing fewer species while allowing more species in others. A perfect and a fair God could not allow such grave discriminatory act to prevail. Evolution then becomes that solid solution to the prevalence of the various quantities of species in different world setups based on natural selection and fitness. The vagaries of nature allow evolution to provide indiscriminate distribution of life in the world. The capriciousness of evolution offers the various species to settle and yet exploit the opportunities of life at that given setup. The logical and plausible evidence provided by the evolutionary ideologies underscore the truth in the spirit of evolution (Coyne, 2014 p. 104).
The natural selection effect on a particular organism results sometimes negatively affects the adaptation capacity of the organisms hence undermine their fitness within the given setup. Natural selection has the capacity to design an animal into a stable state that can enable it to survive in a particular environment. Natural selection is a mere tinkerer though and hence it does modify an existing species into fitness. Hence, natural selection cannot produce a perfect organism as that can only be achieved by an Intelligent Designer. The concept of imperfection challenges the ideologies of the proponents of Intelligent Design since the species that are unfit get eliminated completely due to the weeding out of adaptive ability. It would be ridiculous if an Intelligent could just create given adaptive traits for given organisms only to do away with the traits in the middle of the lifetime of the given organism (Coyne, 2014 p. 116). The act of depriving the organisms of the capacity to survive is one of selfishness and wastage. The modification capacity of particular organisms in order to enable the organisms to gain fitness for survival underscores the excellent work evolution.Hence evolution is absolutely true.
An Intelligent Designer produces perfect creatures with a lot of completeness and absoluteness. The example of a sea turtle is one of the cases that help to rule out the work of God but rather confirms the work of evolution. The female sea turtle creates beach nest by strenuously and clumsily burrowing through the sand using the flippers in a painful and slow pace that subjects the eggs to predators instead of protection of the products. The ID should have provided flippers that were more or less like shovels which would make it easier for the nesting process which would enable the entire to be faster and better than the current status of events. An extra provision a duo of limbs coupled with retractable appendages of a shovel-like nature would do the turtle a lot of justice. The turtles are stagnated in their level of development which is acts as a disadvantage in their survival (Coyne, 2014 p. 13). Failure of the ID to meet the aforementioned provisions supports the concept of the evolutionary work. The process of evolution attempts to sculpture the turtle so that it can cope with the life in the sea. Hence evolution is true.
Human males would be better off if the gametes for could be formed externally where the temperatures are favorable instead of the current internal formation of which tend to jeopardize the longevity of the male gametes. The high temperatures in the body do not favor fully the sperm formation process. A fetus of seven or six months is compelled down the scrotum via an expulsion process geared towards evading the detrimental abdominal heat. The fetus passes via inguinal canals which later result to weak spots along the respective body areas. The weak spots predispose men to a medical condition called inguinal hernias, a condition that exacerbates intestinal obstruction and that may culminate in death if the surgery is not undertaken on time. There is no Intelligent Designer who could subject men to such a tortuous and overtaxing testicular journey of sperm formation. Men are stuck with that mode of sperm formation since they inherited the trait from the ancestral missing links of the fish descent whereby the gonads were formed and then remained in the abdominal cavity (Coyne, 2014 p.13). The testicular development of the male testes is a perfect version depicting a classic evolution which confirms the reality of the evolution process.
Evolution is an ancient phenomenon that arose in the ancient civilization times and yet it has been in existence to date. The controversies behind the resistance to the reality of evolution are no new issues but time has been a rich factor that has ensured that the truth dawns on various people in order to stomach the concept. The discoveries of the missing links and the various vestigial organs in various organisms affirm that evolution is not a mythology but rather a real scientific concept that is alive today due to the various visible, feasible and discernible effects on various faunal and floral species. The variety of evidence that accounts for evolution in various fields is so sound that no scintilla of a doubt should emerge. The evolution process is a perpetual process and more research is underway in a bid to make the point clear to the living doubting Thomases who dread the idea of entertaining the idea that is perceived as contravening the moral fiber of the society.
Coyne, J. (2014). Why evolution is true. New York: Penguin Books.
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