Extremes meet theory of evolution

Evolution - Wikipedia

extremes meet theory of evolution

The social effects of evolutionary thought have been considerable. As the scientific explanation .. Christian missionaries, on the other hand, were the very first individuals to meet new peoples and develop writing systems for The most extreme ideological expression of nationalism and imperialism was Social Darwinism. The previous, similar debates on neutral theory in evolutionary genetics and on null .. that plausibly meet these criteria, including flower/pollinator interactions, .. which specifically predicts the evolution of extreme preferences for extreme. Thus, extreme altruism is due to both kinship and coercion. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection was built on a foundation of small heritable .. Boomsma J. J. Kin selection versus sexual selection: why the ends do not meet.

Infor example, the Kansas Board of Education voted to remove evolution from the list of subjects tested on state standardized tests, in effect encouraging local school boards to consider dropping or de-emphasizing evolution. Inthe Kansas tug-of-war continued, with pro-evolution moderates again retaking control of the Board.

Social effects of evolutionary theory

Inattention shifted to Dover, Pennsylvania, where the local school board voted to require teachers to read a statement about intelligent design prior to discussions of evolution in high school biology classes.

Eleven parents of Dover students challenged the school board decision, arguing that it violated the Establishment Clause. After a six-week trial, U. District Judge John E. Jones issued a page findings of fact and decision in which he ruled that the Dover mandate was unconstitutional.

extremes meet theory of evolution

Judge Jones's decision was surprisingly broad. He concluded that "ID is not science," but rather is a religious theory that had no place in the science classroom.

The evolution of extreme altruism and inequality in insect societies

Jones found three reasons for his conclusion that intelligent design was a religious, and not a scientific, theory. Jones found ID's "irreducible complexity" argument to be "a negative argument against evolution, not proof of design.

The decision of Judge Jones in Kitzmiller v Dover is available online: Conflicts between science and religion will not end any time soon. In the future, legal conflicts between science and religion can be expected over theories such as "The Big Bang," which also undermines Fundamentalist beliefs about creation.

We encounter an idea that comforts us, an account like Genesis 1 that establishes our specialness, and ask: Must we believe it? Darwin knew that many people, raised to believe in miracles or magic, would find his theory hard to swallow. In his autobiography, he noted that, as a young man on the H. As the confirming fossil and DNA evidence piles up, as the theory of evolution reveals itself to be a powerful tool for both explaining the imperfections of species and accounting for transitional species, it becomes ever more difficult to believe in the pleasing creation stories told in Genesis and elsewhere.

Facts, as John Adams reminded us, are stubborn things.

extremes meet theory of evolution

Whether 20 years or years from now, the accumulating evidence will become so overwhelming that evolution will be as accepted as the Sun-centered solar system is today. No gloating allowed, scientists. Measurements of the radioactive elements in materials from the Earth, the Moon, and meteorites provide ages for the Earth and the solar system. These measurements are consistent with each other and with the physical processes of radioactivity. Additional evidence for the ages of the solar system and the galaxy includes the record of crater formation on the planets and their moons, the ages of the oldest stars in the Milky Way, and the rate of expansion of the universe.

Measurements of the radiation left over from the Big Bang also support the universe's great age. What's wrong with teaching critical thinking or "controversies" with regard to evolution?

Nothing is wrong with teaching critical thinking. Students need to learn how to reexamine their ideas in light of observations and accepted scientific concepts. Scientific knowledge itself is the result of the critical thinking applied by generations of scientists to questions about the natural world. Scientific knowledge must be subjected to continued reexamination and skepticism for human knowledge to continue to advance.

extremes meet theory of evolution

But critical thinking does not mean that all criticisms are equally valid. Critical thinking has to be based on rules of reason and evidence. Discussion of critical thinking or controversies does not mean giving equal weight to ideas that lack essential supporting evidence. The ideas offered by intelligent design creationists are not the products of scientific reasoning.

Discussing these ideas in science classes would not be appropriate given their lack of scientific support. Recent calls to introduce "critical analysis" into science classes disguise a broader agenda. Other attempts to introduce creationist ideas into science employ such phrases as "teach the controversy" or "present arguments for and against evolution.

In this way, they are intended to introduce creationist ideas into science classes, even though scientists have thoroughly refuted these ideas.

Dialectics of Nature-ch10

Indeed, the application of critical thinking to the science curriculum would argue against including these ideas in science classes because they do not meet scientific standards. There is no scientific controversy about the basic facts of evolution. In this sense the intelligent design movement's call to "teach the controversy" is unwarranted.

Of course, there remain many interesting questions about evolution, such as the evolutionary origin of sex or different mechanisms of speciation, and discussion of these questions is fully warranted in science classes. However, arguments that attempt to confuse students by suggesting that there are fundamental weaknesses in the science of evolution are unwarranted based on the overwhelming evidence that supports the theory.

Creationist ideas lie outside of the realm of science, and introducing them in science courses has been ruled unconstitutional by the U.

extremes meet theory of evolution

Supreme Court and other federal courts. What are common ideas regarding creationism? In the most general sense, it refers to views that reject scientific explanations of certain features of the natural world whether in biology, geology, or other sciences and instead posit direct intervention sometimes called "special creation" in these features by some transcendent being or power.

Some creationists believe that the universe and Earth are only several thousand years old, a position referred to as "young Earth" creationism. Creationism also includes the view that the complex features of organisms cannot be explained by natural processes but require the intervention of a nonnatural "intelligent designer.

Wouldn't it be "fair" to teach creationism along with evolution? The goal of science education is to expose students to the best possible scholarship in each field of science. The science curriculum is thus the product of centuries of scientific investigation.

extremes meet theory of evolution

Ideas need to become part of the base of accepted scientific knowledge before they are appropriately taught in schools. For example, the idea of continental drift to explain the movements and shapes of the continents was studied and debated for many years without becoming part of the basic science curriculum. As data accumulated, it became clearer that the surface of the Earth is composed of a series of massive plates, which are not bounded by the continents, that continually move in relation to each other.

The theory of plate tectonics which was proposed in the mids grew from these data and offered a more complete explanation for the movement of continents. The new theory also predicted important phenomena, such as where earthquakes and volcanoes are likely to occur. When enough evidence had accumulated for the concept of plate tectonics to be accepted by the scientific community as fact, it became part of the earth sciences curriculum.

Scientists and science educators have concluded that evolution should be taught in science classes because it is the only tested, comprehensive scientific explanation for the nature of the biological world today that is supported by overwhelming evidence and widely accepted by the scientific community. The ideas supported by creationists, in contrast, are not supported by evidence and are not accepted by the scientific community. Different religions hold very different views and teachings about the origins and diversity of life on Earth.

Because creationism is based on specific sets of religious convictions, teaching it in science classes would mean imposing a particular religious view on students and thus is unconstitutional, according to several major rulings in federal district courts and the Supreme Court of the United States. Does science disprove religion?

Genetic Drift

Science can neither prove nor disprove religion. Scientific advances have called some religious beliefs into question, such as the ideas that the Earth was created very recently, that the Sun goes around the Earth, and that mental illness is due to possession by spirits or demons.

But many religious beliefs involve entities or ideas that currently are not within the domain of science. Thus, it would be false to assume that all religious beliefs can be challenged by scientific findings. As science continues to advance, it will produce more complete and more accurate explanations for natural phenomena, including a deeper understanding of biological evolution.

Both science and religion are weakened by claims that something not yet explained scientifically must be attributed to a supernatural deity. Theologians have pointed out that as scientific knowledge about phenomena that had been previously attributed to supernatural causes increases, a "god of the gaps" approach can undermine faith. Furthermore, it confuses the roles of science and religion by attributing explanations to one that belong in the domain of the other.