In 1859 Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species where he proposed the theory of evolution for the first time. Since this radical theory was first proposed, there has been a debate over its validity and the theological implications that come with it. In order to understand the reasons why Darwin's theory has caused so much debate over the past century it is first necessary to examine evolution and Darwin's theories about the origin of species.
Evolution is, strictly speaking, simply change over time. A biological definition is, more specifically, "any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next (1)." Darwin's theory of evolution is composed of many parts. These parts include the belief that life is constantly changing and is not a static system. Also included in The Origin of Species is the idea of common descent, which basically states that all species are related because they have all evolved from a common ancestor. A third contention of Darwin's theory of evolution is that species change gradually over time by a process of inheriting very small differences. The mechanism for evolution, according to Darwin, is a process known as natural selection. Natural selection is based on the principle that occasionally an organism will develop a mutation that will increase its chances for survival. The progeny of this organism will inherit this advantage and will eventually become prevalent among the population as a result of this advantage. This will lead to a change in the gene pool of the species. Finally, Darwin's theory states that the origin of species is due in part to the process of natural selection, but he does not state specifically ho...
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... Faith, Harper Collins, San Francisco 1989, pp. 114-117.
3. Wright, 125-126.
4. Dorman, Clark (1996, January 30) McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education [Online]. Available: earth.ics.uci.edu:8080/faqs/mclean-v-arkansas.html [1996, November 23].
5.Creation vs. Evolution: Opposing World Views [Online]. Available: web.canlink.com/ocrt/ev_world.htm [1996, November 20].
6. Atkins, Peter W. The Second Law 1984, p.25.
7. Fossil Record Overview - Missing Transitional Forms [Online]. Available: emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/fossils.htm [1996, November 22].
8. Wright, 129.
9. Proving Evolution or Creation Science [Online]. Available: web.canlink.com/ocrt/ev_proof.htm [1996 November 24].
10. Issak, Mark Five Major Misconceptions About Evolution [Online]. Available: earth.ics.uci.edu:8080/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html [1996, November 20].
11. Wright, 129.
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