Darwinian theory is masterfully articulated and skillfully presented in a documentary series produced by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)—Evolution. The scientist’s vision that caused the inconceivable transformation of people’s understanding of the universe and their place in it is also clearly held forth throughout a book of a philosopher Daniel Danner—Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. These two sources of information will help me to develop a paper in which I will argue that it is impossible to integrate Creationism within a framework of Darwinism without encountering substantial logical contradictions or majorly distorting Darwin’s core thesis.
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Darwin’s theory of evolution by means of natural selection can be summarized as the ability of the fittest individuals to survive and reproduce, thereby passing their heritable traits and giving rise to new species over time (Dennett 42). The scientist’s views have always been contested by a wide spectrum of opponents subscribing to various religious beliefs and representing numerous religious denominations. While the crux of Darwin’s argument is that no intelligent supervision is necessary for the creation of a seemingly endless level of complexity associated with living creatures, those who derive their knowledge from the Book of Genesis—just like FitzRoy does in the series—tend to hold the opposite view of the universe (Evolution). Creationists or literal interpreters of the Bible reject the idea that the world and everything in it is just a matter in motion. However, the argument from faith can be rejected just as easily based on the fact that people are surrounded by a wealth of evidence of gradual algorithmic evolution, whereas there is no incontrovertible proof of the existence of a creator, which is described in the Bible.
If one were to accept that the Book of Genesis presents a factual account of the creation of species, they would have to agree that God’s hand is at work in the creation of new breeds of cats, cattle, and corn, which implies that at least two out of seven days of creation—third and sixth—are still in motion. However, this idea explicitly contradicts the word of the Bible; therefore, there is no way one can hold this view without exercising the art of mental gymnastics that is necessary for dealing with the cognitive dissonance produced by rationalizing tendencies of the human brain. Unfortunately, that is precisely what creationists do.
Animal-breeders that oppose the theory of evolution while regularly participating in the process of the creation of new breeds argue that it is impossible to achieve speciation through the accumulation of slight variations between individual animals during countless successive generations (Dennett 43). In order to refute their position, it is necessary to consider the fact that all species exist in the environment that can be characterized by “the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of existence, causing an infinite diversity in structure, constitution, and habits, to be advantageous to them” (Darwin qtd. in Dennett 42). Such variations in conditions give rise to “relentless culling of natural selection” (Dennett 44), which helps to produce subtle differences that can be passed to successive generations. If an ancestral chain is long enough, organic beings will inevitably become fundamentally different from their predecessors.
It can be concluded that it is impossible to draw a connection between Darwinism and Creationism without stumbling upon numerous contradictions that completely destroy any semblance of consistency.
Dennett, Daniel. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Life. Simon and Schuster, 2014.
Evolution. Directed by Jane Goodall, performance by Liam Neeson, Public Broadcasting Service, 2001.