Happy Birthday Darwin!

By Michael Gakuran | | Journal | 9 Comments |

Darwin's 200th BirthdayI can’t let today pass without giving one of the greatest Naturalists of our time a proper birthday message! A—– Happy, happy, happy, happy birth-day, Dear Darwin! 200 years young today! ^^; Most people are probably much fonder of Darwin today than they were when he published the Origin of the Species 150 years ago, except his lovely wife of course. But do people really realise the profound effect his theory had on our thinking today? Do you really appreciate it?

I’m currently taking an elective module at University in Evolutionary Psychology, which is based on Darwin’s magnificent theory of evolution. The course attempts to examine the thinking that human behaviour and social interaction are a result of our developing such traits over time – evolution, in other words. The tendency to protect each other, for example, or why we seem to prefer company rather than solitude most of the time. I personally find it fascinating, although not all people agree that evolution speaks the truth. Many devout Christians will hold that the Original Sin depicted in the Bible is the explanation for our being the way we are. The old teleological (design) argument in Philosophy, too, seeks to say we are the creation of a master designer (God). But what is the best explanation?

There are many things in this world that we have theories for but cannot back up fully with evidence. So, we often rely on a principle called ‘The Inference to the Best Explanation’ to solve these problems. Basically, the most plausible theory is the one to be accepted. People once thought that the most plausible theory about the Earth was that it was flat and that ships could go right off the edge of it if they sailed long enough. That was the best theory then, but not today. Even so, a very small selection of people still hold that the earth is flat. Have a look at ‘The Earth is Flat Society‘.

flat-earth-society

With evolution then, it may not be the right explanation, but I do believe it is currently the best. I would challenge anyone to give an alternative theory in this day and age as to why we are so well adapted to the world around us that doesn’t in some way point to natural selection. Remember though, we’re dealing in scientific evidence here. Faith is not a currency (it has its rightful place, just not here).

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