The Battle of Creationism verses Darwinism Jessica S. Murphy American Military University Abstract This paper includes the explanation and history of Darwinism and basic principles of Natural Selection. It will cover different aspects of Creationism. This paper will show the differences between Darwinism, and Creationism and discuss recent court battles within the United States between the two theories. The Battle of Creationism verses Darwinism The question, “Where did humans come from? ” has plagued the earth for as long as humanly recorded.
There are many theories that are believed to answer this question. Two of the most controversial theories are Darwinism, and creationism. Throughout the years both creationist and evolutionist have worked to disprove the others theory. The battle between creationism and Darwinism can also be categorized as the battle between science and religion. Though both have been generally accepted around the world, the war continues between both theories due to their differences. Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species was published in 1859. The book was about Natural Selection, and ultimately the evolution of species. His theory presumes that life can begin a non-life organism and stresses “descent with modification”. This means, creatures or organisms can evolve from more simplistic creatures or organisms over time. Basically, irregular genetic transformations take place inside an organism’s genetic code. The valuable transformations, or mutations are saved within the organism because the help with survival. This process is known as “natural selection. The valuable mutations move on to the next generation of the species, organism or creature. Over time, the valuable transformation of the original specie builds up. This eventually results as a completely different species, or organism. Darwin is credited with this information largely in part because of a study done while he was in the Galapagos Islands. He learned that it was home to species that could not be found in any other parts of the world. Darwin noticed that some birds on the island were different than others based on what island they inhabited.
He collected thirteen different species of finches to observe differences with their beak size. He realized that their differences were because of the need for the species to live in different environments. The sizes of their beaks had changed to allow them to get enough food in the parts of the islands they inhabited so that they may survive. This was verified with extensive research at the end of the twentieth century. From the time that Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species” in 1859 on up to the present; the presumptions of many people led them to misread the title.
They assumed that it was “On the Origin of the Species”. The implication of inadvertently adding “the” is that his book was about human evolution. In fact, that was not the case, though it had implications for human evolution. It focused on non-human animals and the mechanisms of evolution. He did not pointedly address the question of human evolution until the publication of his 1871 book “Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex”. This set the tone for future evolutionist all around the world.
Charles Darwin theory of natural selection, and evolution threatened many Christians and what they believed to be as Creationism. The theory of evolution gives human the idea that the universe is here by chance and takes away hope and purpose. Creationism is the concept that we were created as we are today by God, or a Supreme Being mainly due the account of Genesis. Many believe that account of creation listed in Genesis is to be taken literally. There are three types of creationism: old earth creationism, young Earth creationism and intelligent design creationism.
In old earth creationism, people believe that Genesis’ six day account of creation stretches the time span out to consider scientific evidence. Young earth creationism believe the six days are actually twenty-four hour time periods, and that God suspended the laws of science and designed each species specifically. Intelligent design Creationist focus less on “proving” creationism and more on rejecting evolution and redefining science to make it more compatible with their version of Christianity.
The first court case between evolution and creationism in America was the so-called “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925. The court case was about an enforcement of a Tennessee statute that prohibited teachers from using theories of evolution in public school. This trial included Clarence Darrow battling with three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. Unfortunately it did not resolve the question of whether the First Amendment permitted states to ban teaching of a theory that contradicted religious beliefs.
This set the stage for oncoming trials and the battle of evolution and religion in American Courts everywhere. It wasn’t until 1968 did the Supreme Court rule in Epperson vs. Arkansas that such bans contravene the Establishment Clause because their primary purpose is religious. The Court used the same rationale in 1987 in Edwards vs Aguillard to strike down a Louisiana law that required biology teachers who taught the theory of evolution to also discuss evidence supporting the theory called “creation science. ” The controversy continues in new forms today.
In 1999, 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. In 2000, Kansas voters responded to the proposed change by throwing out enough anti-evolution Board members to restore the old science standards, but by 2004 a new conservative school board majority was proposing that intelligent design be discussed in science classes. In 2006, the Kansas tug-of-war continued, with pro-evolution moderates again retaking control of the Board.
Charles Darwin had no idea his theories or studies of finches in the Galapagos Islands would be the beginning of a battle that would go on until the end of the world. As science continues to evolve, so does Darwin’s legacy as scientist build off of his theory. Creationist also continues to fight against Darwinism as science evolves. However, based on a recent Gallop Poll in 2012, forty-six percent of Americans accept creationist explanation for human existence which is up two percent since 1982. Only thirty-two percent believe in evolution.
It’s not likely that the war between creationism and Darwinism will end in the near future. The end of the debate would truly be the end of science, or the end of religion, and within those means, the end of mankind. References Creationism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). (n. d. ). In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved January 11, 2013, from http://plato. stanford. edu/entries/creationism/ Darwinism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). (n. d. ). In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Retrieved January 12, 2013, from http://plato. stanford. edu/entries/darwinism/ Parry, W. (2012, June 1). Gallup Poll: Americans’ Views On Evolution, Creationism Little Changed. Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www. huffingtonpost. com/2012/06/01/gallup-poll-americans-creationism-evolution_n_1563800. html The Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design Controversy. (n. d. ). UMKC School of Law. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from http://law2. umkc. edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/evolution. htm