The theory of evolution is important to view from various religious and scientific viewpoints

The theory of evolution is important to view from various religious and scientific viewpoints.

The relationship between religion and science has always sparked debate. This is more so in matters concerning origin of man. According to religion, A supernatural being is responsible for the creation of life on earth. On the other hand, science holds that life originated from a single cell and evolved to human beings and other forms of life on earth. The debate between creationists and scientists have been going on since Darwin released his evolution theory in 1859 (Mary  2004). Prior to the publication of the evolution theory most people subscribed to the creationist school of thought. After Darwin theory came to being, people saw things from a different perspective. Science is systematic approach that uses tests and observations to develop explanations for the processes, history and structures of nature (Berteka & Miller 2016). Sometimes the tests and observations are direct and other times they are indirect. An explanation about an aspect in nature that is backed up by observation is called a theory. For example, the Darwinian theory of evolution is backed up by observations. Religion on the other hand is a cultural phenomena unique to a certain group that comprises; traditions, social institutions, literature, sacred texts, sacred places, and sacred stories that identify and send a message of ultimate understanding and meaning (Berteka & Miller 2016). Religions are diverse and most identify with a deity but there are those who do not identify with a deity like Buddhism.

Science provides explanations for the way things are and the way they are going to be through deliberate and explicit testing. Religion on the other hand draws from traditional authority and subjective insight. Both science and religion have historical traditions. These traditions exhibit development in time. Both institutions are important to the general wellbeing of human beings thus re important in shaping the society.

Summary of Opposing Views:

Christians, Judaists, and Muslims believed that nature was created by a superior being who the commonly refer to as God (Kirkpatrick 2005). This is a creationism view that hold that all creation was brought to life in one instant by a deity. Evolutionist on the other hand use science to explain that man and other specials evolved over thousands of years and the origin of man can be dated back to a single cell. The cell then developed to man. While religion shows no evidence of progression, science claims that man is still evolving to be a better version of himself.

I subscribe to the evolution school of thought. Evolution unlike religion can back up its facts with evidence and shows a way forward in the future. In other words, evolution theory is dependable as it can be backed up with facts. Religion on the other hand is a personal opinion that is not backed up with data or proof. While religion is important to keep us morally in check, in the face of evolution theory, religion has a week explanation as to how things came to be. The story of creation is more of a myth than a real happening.

Creationists reject the evolution theory and scientific findings and methods. Creationists go on to argue that living things were created in their present forms-Genesis story of creation (Kirkpatrick 2005). Initially, there was man and woman and they later procreated and we are their offspring’s today. If this was to be the case, if we all hailed from the same ancestor, how then do you explain the different races?

Prior to the evolution theory, most people believed in the creation theory. Creationsist believe that science came to poison peoples reasoning and make them second guess their religious story of origin. Science has since then gained more followers for having more facts to back up its claims.  Apart from stories of creation, there is no other evidence to prove the creation story.

Statement of Understanding:

Religion played an important role before the Darwinian Theory. The creation story was used by various religions to educate their followers about their origin. The creation story was and is the foundation under which their traditions and values are based on. For example, without the existence of Adam and Eve fro the bible, much of Christianity history does not exists-it all becomes a hoax. Christians thus continue to argue that man was created in his current form and did not evolve from a cell. Creationists believe the world’s distribution of fossils is as a result of the flood during Noah’s time. The religious story of religion is more grounded in history, stories and traditions than it is in facts and proof. There is nothing valid about these facts as we can only believe what is in the religious books. Under no circumstances would I be swayed to take the creationists point of view as it lacks in facts.

Statement of your Position:

Without the principle of natural selection, our prospects for understanding the world around us are as hopeless as understanding a sculpture without any concept of an artist. Natural selection differs from both materialism and theology. Darwin’s Theory of natural selection is like a recipe with three ingredients (Wilson 2008). According to Wilson, these three ingredients are variation, consequence and heredity. Variation involves the various ways in which human beings ranging from height to eye color to size of limbs. Consequence is the ability to survive as influenced by different variations. Finally heredity is the traits that off springs gain from their parents. All these three ingredients lead to a seemingly inevitable outcome when combined (Wilson 2008). Imagine a population of months that vary in color (first ingredient). The bright are easily eaten by predators as they are easy to spot (second ingredient). The survivor’s offspring are not easy to spot like their parents (third ingredient). As a result, the moths have increased their fitness and become more adapted (Wilson 2008). Understanding the three ingredients of natural selection is not all there is to natural selection. Natural selection provides a third way of explaining the properties of organisms. Natural selection explanations differ from theological and material explanations. The author compares living organisms into clay. Though clay is used to mould a sculpture, it does not cause the properties of the sculpture. In the same way, heritable variations turn organisms into a kind of living clay that can be molded by natural selection (Wilson 2008).

Statement of Context:

Creationists have come to accept the evolution theory and even infuse it in their creation theory. By accepting evolution theory, creationists have argued that God used evolution to create life. This new school of thought has not yet been captured in books or any form of literature. It is referred to as the ‘theist’ version. The theist version however has no standing in the scientific world as it cannot be proved as a theory. It is merely an infusion of a theory into religion to back up a religious belief that lacks in facts. The theist version of creation is not acceptable as it does not lie anywhere in science nor in religion, if creationists believe in evolution, then it makes their creation story null and void. On the other hand the theistic belief has no credibility in science.

Statement of Benefits:

The Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection best explains evolution. Science is reliable as opposed to religion in explaining the origin of man. While evolution took several years, creation only took 6 days. In evolution, man and nature begin as a single cell and evolve over time and change to adapt to different environmental conditions. Creation on the other hand holds that all forms of life were created in their present for. For example, Adam and Eve were created as whole and did not evolve from anything. There are gaps in the creation story; so many questions are left unanswered. There are no loop holes in the scientific explanation of evolution. Charles Darwin using facts and tests explains the evolution story. With these facts, Darwin is able to project a future something religion cannot do. In a scientific enquiry about an organism, Natural selection plays a role the extent that the organism being investigated has been shaped by natural selection. Natural selection however does not play an exclusive role but plays an important role at the beginning of the inquiry as the shaping influence of natural selection is easier to understand than genetics.

 

 

Reference

Berteka,  C. & Miller, J.(2016). Science, Religion, Evolution and Creationism: Primer.                  Smithsonian National Museum of National History Retrieved from:          http://humanorigins.si.edu/about/broader-social-impacts-committee/science-religion-                evolution-and-creationism-primer

Kirkpatrick, L. A. (2005). Attachment, evolution, and the psychology of religion. New York:          Guilford Press. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=7-3UvJk5XY8C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

Mary, F. (2004). Religion and evolution since 1859: Some effects of the theory of evolution on        the philosophy of religion. South Bend: University of Notre Dame.

Wilson, D. S. (2008). Evolution for everyone: How Darwin’s theory can change the way we think about our lives. New York: Bantam Dell.