Darwin’s theory of evolution stands out among many theories. It has been in existence for a long time despite the fact that it has been controversial in many ways. However, that does not negate the fact that Darwin contributed greatly in the filed of science as well as in other related fields, which are inclusive but not limited to biology, geology, paleontology and genetics.
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His theory explains that new species are formed through natural selection as illustrated in the studies of Bowler (pp. 8). It is important to note that the popular theory of evolution was not only opposed by religious people but also by scientists. However, some of the scientific controversies reduced, especially after various studies were conducted in search for evidence. Nevertheless, the theory is still controversial even to date. Based on that fact, this essay shall focus on major controversies concerning Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.
Given that Darwin’s theory on evolution is controversial, it is important to try and understand reasons that contribute to the same. It illustrates that human beings and animals originates from a similar ancestor. Darwin illustrated that initially, human beings were ape-like creatures and have been evolving since they came to being. The fact is demeaning as it illustrates that there is no big difference between people and the higher animals. Apart from that, the theory was opposed as it threatened to change the tradition religion, which also explains the origin of life on earth. For instance, it provided a different world view bearing in mind that creation story in Genesis illustrates that everything on earth was created by God.
A critical analysis of the theory reveals that it contradicts itself. For instance, Darwin embraced the fact that human mind could be trusted in scientific interpretations but had a lot of trouble believing that the same mind could come up with sound religious interpretations. Moreover, there are a lot of issues that are not explained comprehensively. For example, it was not possible to explain why some good qualities of human beings managed to survive while there were other harsh and strong qualities.
Understanding some concepts of the evolution theory is also a major problem especially in the current age characterized by various developments in the scientific field. Instead of solving the controversy, new research is complicating the issue even further. For example, it is not logic to believe that the main reason behind human beings’ survival is for the sole purpose of conservation of human genes. Secondly, Darwin estimated that natural selection requires about four fifty billion years to take place. The issue is controversial since it is estimated that the age of the earth is less than four fifty billion years. The fact creates another doubt as it hard to believe the fact that natural selection has already taken place (Bowler pp.9).
Although there are many theories which explain the origin of the earth, Darwin’s theory evokes strong responses due to the fact that it opposes religion and it does not meet all the requirements of a scientific theory. This is the sole reason why it has been criticized by religious people and scientists as well. Instead of solving the questions that human beings have concerning origin, it increases the questions and doubts concerning the same issue. In addition, as technology continues to improve and some disciplines like molecular biology continues to improve, even Darwin confessed that it is absurd to believe that some parts of the body like ears and eyes have come about through natural selection.
It is a fact that all theories are always criticized, but Darwin’s theory has been over criticized. The life of Darwin is also a major contributor to the controversy. For a long time, Darwin kept his religious beliefs concealed and although his family members were Christians, it is not clearly illustrated whether he ascribed to the faith.
On the other hand, although he never responded directly to the religious views, his theory was against the Christian views. His autobiography illustrated that he had attempted to study theology though he was later overtaken by his scientific discoveries. It has been treated differently in relation to other theories due to the fact that it touched on very sensitive issue regarding science and religion. Since time immemorial, science and religion have never been in agreement although both serve the same purpose of explaining the origin of life (Bendz Para 3).
There are many reasons why people are always reluctant to go by the Darwin’s theory of natural selection. His natural selection idea has been considered dangerous by several authors who came after him. According to Bowler, (pp.178) the theory did not only threaten the religious views, but it went far much beyond the scope of a scientific theory. Apart from lowering the status of man, it negates the fact that God is really responsible for all the creation that is present on earth. Up to date, the theory still creates major conflict as a lot of people believe that a supernatural being is responsible for the origin of life on earth.
However, accepting the evolution theory does not mean that someone has rejected religion. This is due to the fact that the Darwin’s theory is not mainly about the existence of God, but its main focus is to explain the origin of life. In addition, the Bible contains some evidence concerning Darwinism. For instance, the creation theory in Genesis explains that the earth has been in existence for along time. Similarly, Darwin’s theory holds the same stand as it explains that the current species have been evolving for a long time. As much as many Christians believe that Darwin’s theory of evolution is dangerous to religion, it is God who gives human beings wisdom and knowledge to conduct various scientific studies.
Bowler, Peter, J. Charles Darwin: the man and his influence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Print.
Bowler, Peter, J. Evolution: the history of an idea. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. Print.
Bendz, Fredrik. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin. 1998. Web.