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).

9 comments on “Happy Birthday Darwin!
  1. Egmont says:

    I went to a Christian elementary school, where we learned that Charles Darwin “hated God and Christians” and that’s why he “made up” his theory. “Do you really think an alligator could ever give birth to a monkey?”

    Hurrrr

    It’s interesting, though, I heard that Darwin’s wife was a very devout lady, and he put off publishing his theory for her sake. Makes you wonder to what extent he knew his theory would be controversial, doesn’t it? To think that, even after 150 years, it would STILL be one of the most divisive ideas around.

    • Mike says:

      Seriously?? That’s shocking to hear!

      Darwin’s wife was allegedly a very devout lady and Darwin’s theory was a constant source of anxiety between them, particularly because she was afraid of them being split up in the afterlife. She always stuck by him though.

      He really did know his theory would cause uproar. He put off publishing it for 20 years, and was only prompted because another naturalist was working on the exact same thing Darwin was! If I’d put all that effort into something I’d want to publish too!

  2. Egmont says:

    I went to a Christian elementary school, where we learned that Charles Darwin “hated God and Christians” and that’s why he “made up” his theory. “Do you really think an alligator could ever give birth to a monkey?”

    Hurrrr

    It’s interesting, though, I heard that Darwin’s wife was a very devout lady, and he put off publishing his theory for her sake. Makes you wonder to what extent he knew his theory would be controversial, doesn’t it? To think that, even after 150 years, it would STILL be one of the most divisive ideas around.

    • Mike says:

      Seriously?? That’s shocking to hear!

      Darwin’s wife was allegedly a very devout lady and Darwin’s theory was a constant source of anxiety between them, particularly because she was afraid of them being split up in the afterlife. She always stuck by him though.

      He really did know his theory would cause uproar. He put off publishing it for 20 years, and was only prompted because another naturalist was working on the exact same thing Darwin was! If I’d put all that effort into something I’d want to publish too!

  3. Panther says:

    I believe both evolution, that is to say intrinsic values, and the environment play a part in shaping our lives. Sure there are some general traits across the board in almost all humans, making the idea of “Nature” rather prominent, but differences as we grow up start to show, highlighting the point of “Nurture” as part of the process.

    By the way I thought I saw that the Vatican recently admitted Darwin’s theories were actually in accordance with the Bible’s teachings. I think it was a link I saw in Twitter, but I cannot remember.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for your comment ^^. I agree that both nature and nature has a role to play in our lives, but there seems to be an awful lot that we cannot account for through evolution. Sometimes scarily so…

  4. Panther says:

    I believe both evolution, that is to say intrinsic values, and the environment play a part in shaping our lives. Sure there are some general traits across the board in almost all humans, making the idea of “Nature” rather prominent, but differences as we grow up start to show, highlighting the point of “Nurture” as part of the process.

    By the way I thought I saw that the Vatican recently admitted Darwin’s theories were actually in accordance with the Bible’s teachings. I think it was a link I saw in Twitter, but I cannot remember.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for your comment ^^. I agree that both nature and nature has a role to play in our lives, but there seems to be an awful lot that we cannot account for through evolution. Sometimes scarily so…

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