Charles Darwin in his work The Descent of Man (1871), used a phrase to voice his theory of human evolution: Descent With Modification. Darwin's theory established that human traits are passed down through generations, are modified over time, and that these changes are produced either through natural selection, or with mutations in DNA.
Natural selection 'is the gradual process by which heritable biological traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of the effect of inherited traits on the differential reproductive success of organisms interacting with their environment. It is a key mechanism of evolution'. ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection
Gene Mutation, 'is a permanent alteration in the DNA sequence that makes up a gene, such that the sequence differs from what is found in most people. Mutations range in size; they can affect anywhere from a single DNA building block (base pair) to a large segment of a chromosome that includes multiple genes'. ~ http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/mutationsanddisorders/genemutation
Darwin's theory was revolutionary in his time, and continues as a source of confrontation today against the views of science. Specifically, proponents of biblical accounts of creation in Judea-Christian traditions hold strong opinions against any principles of evolution. The debate remains active nearly 150 years since The Descent of Man was first published.
It's interesting to note that science doesn't pursue to debate against creationism. Rather, it is creationists that work to discredit principles of evolution, and who insist on attacking science in doing so. Creationists generally support a view of human development that comes from a historical interpretation of the Holy Bible, and argue vehemently against the views understood in science.
For Christians in particular, principles of evolution assault much of the literal interpretations of human history celebrated in the tradition. Although science does not seek to dismantle the creationist argument directly, some use arguments supporting evolution to dismantle creationist views out of a duty to represent their own proposed faith, the faith of Atheism. The debate against creationist views has strong support in the community, where disagreement is stressed as vehemently as from those supporting views of creationism in the religious camp.
It's evident that the disagreement that began in Darwin's day continues on in the world. A colorful debate in which to hear both an atheist and Christian worldview is shared in an exchange of insightful positions on political arguments (including evolution) is found in the YouTube video titled, Hitchens vs. Hitchens.
It is a debate between two brothers, One that reflects well the societal discussion still active between creationists and atheists today. The discussion is reminiscent of the sibling rivalry displayed between brothers Cain and Abel in biblical times.
With now nearly 150 years gone by since Charles Darwin first presented to us his seminal work, we continue as humans to be at odds in representing the truth of our origins. The debate lingers and divides us, as many other such issues tend to do.
Perhaps we can never find resolution among us. Perhaps such an argument can only be settled (if she proves in time to actually exist) by God, Herself. Personally, I think we're long overdue, in bringing a total end to such debate. As we struggle as humans with issues relative to our evolutionary transition towards globalization and rising risk of extinction, it would seem we have much more pressing things to discuss.
Issues of hunger plague humanity. Global warming is on our plate. Overpopulation stands to risk our very survival. The population is stricken with issues of psychological trauma, lying at the root of many of the social problems we currently share.
Should God exist, I'm certain God would be quite happy with us all, should we choose to end the creation/evolution debate. Choosing to do so, might well ultimately empower collective humanity, to get on with the resolution of all these far more pressing and current issues at hand.
Atheism, Wikipedia, 2015: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism
Charles Darwin, Biography, 2015: http://www.biography.com/people/charles-darwin-9266433
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man & Selection in Relation to Sex, 1871: http://infidels.org/library/historical/charles_darwin/descent_of_man/
Gene Mutation, Genetics Home Reference: What is Gene Mutation & How do Mutations Occur, 2015: http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/mutationsanddisorders/genemutation
Heather Scoville, Descent with Modification, 2015: http://evolution.about.com/od/Evolution-Glossary/g/Descent-With-Modification.htm
Hitchens vs. Hitchens, YouTube Video, 2013: https://youtu.be/hjuS6gkkfp0
Holy Bible, Creation Story, The Bible Gateway, 2015: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=GNT
Holy Bible, Cain & Abel, The Bible Gateway, 2015: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+4
Natural Selection, Wikipedia, 2015: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection
Hitchens vs Hitchens
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