Charles Darwin and the Evolutionary Theory Essay

The first issue to consider is that if God designed the human mind, why is it that it took so long for humans to develop theistic concepts and beliefs. The second issue is he question asking why would God use evolution to design the living world when the discovery of evolution would contribute to so much unbelief in God? It interests me because there is so much proof of the existence of God, while on the other hand there is so much that points towards evolution as well.

I have my own personal opinion and reasons for why I believe that the world and all of its elements were created by God, but due to the fact that there are so many unanswered questions I chose to research Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution to gain a more in-depth dead of what exactly his thoughts on evolution were, where they came from, as well as more recent research and thoughts in other peer reviewed Journal articles. On the Origin of Species As a young child, Charles Darwin had always shown an interest in natural history and in collecting things such as shells and minerals.

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After college, he began working towards publishing a book titled On the Origin of Species, in which would present his evolutionary theory to the public. It took him a while because he wanted to make sure that before he published his work, it would be supported by strong scientific evidence. The basic idea of his book was that in nature, a process of natural selection results in the survival of those organisms that are best suited for the environment, and as a result, the elimination of those that are not fit for their environment. In other words, species that aren’t able to adapt or adjust to the environment will not survive.

This idea is better known as the “survival of the fittest” (Green, 2009). He also had a theory of natural selection. The theory of natural selection made four important contributions. First, it explained change over time in an organic design. Second, it furnished the causal processes by which different species originate. Third, it explained the seemingly purposive quality of the component parts- their adaptive functions or the ways in which these characteristics aid in survival. Fourth, natural selection unified all species past and present, including humans, into one grand tree of descent (Buss, 2009).

The Finches’ Beaks As Darwin went on to study variations among and within species while visiting the Galapagos Islands, he had seen how animals of the same species evolved over time in different ways in response to the differing environmental conditions. A couple of Princeton University biologists decided to go and monitor the modifications found in succeeding generations of 13 finches as the birds adapted to dramatic changes in the environment (Deletion et al. , 2011). This research lasted more than 30 years. Through their research, they realized that evolution was occurring faster than Darwin had expected.

In relation to the survival of the fittest, during severe drought conditions, the birds’ food supply was reduced to tough spikes seeds, and only the finches with the thickest beaks survived because they were able to break open the seeds. The birds with thinner beaks died off. During a time when heavy storms and floods struck the islands, only tiny seeds were left, making it necessary for the finches to have slender beaks in order to eat and survive. Therefore, these finches began to flourish and the thick-beaked birds were unable to survive.

A similar study was done on two different sites on the Galapagos Island. The first was El Garrotter; an undisturbed site, and Academy Bay; a severely disturbed site. This study examined the potential ecological-adaptive drivers of the differences in modality by quantifying relationships between the beak and head dimensions, the bite force, and environmental characteristics. They wanted to focus on a different type of evolutionary effect and explore possible human influences on the evolution of the finches on this island. It was found on El Garrotter that diet, beaks, and bite associations were present.

In Academy Bay- diet, beak, and bite associations were diminished (Deletion et al. ). Thus, evolutionary processes can be influenced by human disturbances as well as by the environment. The Struggle for Mates Darwin identified three classes of survival struggles that form the core important research in evolutionary psychology today. Darwin said that as more individuals are produced than can possibly survive, there must in every case be a struggle for existence, either one individual with another of the same species, or with individuals of different species, or with the physical conditions of life (Buss, 2009).

The struggle for mates is a struggle that falls into the category of one individual with another of the same species. The peacocks’ alluring feathers, and the pervasive sex differences interested Darwin because there were so many facts that seemed unable to be explained according to his theory of natural selection. Darwin also developed a second evolutionary theory, which was the theory of sexual selection (Wade, 2010). Sexual selection depends on the advantage that certain individuals have over others of the same sex and species, in exclusive relation to reproduction.

There are two processes in sexual selection. The first is same sex competition, which is the idea that if males compete, and the victors gain preferential sexual access to females, then evolution occurs because the victorious males reproduce more successfully and consequently pass on genes that contributed to the development of those qualities that led to their successes. The second process is centered on mate preferences. In this concept, the female exerts some choice and accepts one male in preference to other males (Wade).

Female mate choice also produces a struggle among males who “display their charms before the female”. Although Darwin focused on female choice and male competition, it is now known that male choice and female competition are prevalent as well, especially among humans. This sexual selection theory made little impact on biologists at the time, but within the past several decades it has emerged as one of the most important theories in modern evolutionary biology, inspiring heretical refinements and launching hundreds of empirical studies in evolutionary psychology (Buss, 2009).

Race, Gender, and Culture Darning’s theories of natural selection and sexual selection are both significant scientific achievements, although his understanding of race and gender was defined and limited by his own life circumstances and the socio-historical context within which he worked. Race, gender, and culture were all represented and explained by Darwin and the ways that his observations and opinions on gender and race were taken up by others, and more often than not, misapplied.

Charles Darning’s theories roved a framework for understanding three of the important facets of human social organization which are the evolution of gender differences, variations between cultures, and the delineation of races (Shields ,2009). From the inception of Darning’s theory of evolution, he supported a view that all humans could trace their origin to a single common ancestral group in which physical and mental evolution distinguished them from a common ape-like ancestor (Shields).

The extent to which an individual resembled that ideal type was the determinant of his or her racial classification. Darwin held a deeply conflicted position on race. On one hand, he argued the biological unity of all human groups, and on the other hand, he unquestioningly assumed the superiority of Europeans. Darwin believed that divergence in mental and social characteristics were due to the environmental conditions in which groups lived (Shields). For example, harsh climate was an environment that required inventiveness for survival, therefore fostered more intelligence and creative races.

The challenge of gender was to identify the mechanism that could account for what to Darwin were the obvious and significant fundamental differences between women ND men. He supported the general inferiority model of women’s capacities, considering some of those inferior traits fortuitous counterweights to masculine characteristics. Darwin pointed out that in childhood, girls and boys resemble each other closely, like the young of so many other animals in which the adult sexes differ widely.

Darwin also asserted that male superiority was originally produced by both sexual selection and natural selection and was maintained by a tendency of some characteristics acquired in adulthood to be transmitted only to offspring of the same ex (Shields, 2009). Therefore, the qualities that adult men acquire in their “struggle for life” was more likely passed on to their male than to their female offspring. Darwin also put forward an idea that extinction follows chiefly from the competition of tribe with tribe, and race with race.

When civilized nations come into contact with barbarians the struggle is short, except where a deadly climate gives its aid to the native race. This theory set in motion the “biologists’ of human diversity’, both in the search for race-defining features and physical appearance and in using temperament and culture” as a measure of evolutionary status (Crawford,2009). Darning’s Impact on Psychology Darning’s evolutionary theory provides the framework for thinking about human behavior (Burgher’s, 2010).

He created a focus on animal psychology, and a focus on the description and measurement of individual differences. He also put an emphasis on the functions rather than the structure of consciousness. While structural psychologists continued to search for general laws that encompassed all minds, the psychologists that were influenced by Darning’s ideas searched for ways in which individual minds differed. The evolutionary theory brought a change in psychology subject matter and goals.

Darwin also brought new methods of research to the table by gathering data from geology, archaeology, demography, and observations of wild and domesticated animals. Darning’s evidence pointed to the conclusion that no sharp distinction existed between human and animal minds (Burgher’s). Therefore, scientists could propose continuity between all physical and mental aspects of humans and animals because of the fact that humans were believed to be derived room the continuous evolutionary process. References Burgher’s, G.