Monday, March 15, 2010

Evolution in the Future

Throughout the book, Coyne provides great evidence that the theory of evolution is credible. Evolution can never be proved to be the ultimate truth because there will always a lack of evidence in certain areas. How do you see the acceptance of evolution in society changing in the future? Is there any evidence that if found would help to make evolution more credible? Is there any evidence that limits the acceptance of evolution in society? Connect to the book and outside sources in your response.


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  2. A study in Science magazine showed that in 2005, only 40% of US adults accepted evolution, while 21% were unsure and 39% rejected it. Our low percentages rivaled only Turkey, who had 25% acceptance.
    I think that an increase in awareness would correlate with the acceptance of evolution in society. Americans need to be educated, they need to be given straight evidence and facts, not wishy washy statements encouraging them to choose and support an idea and ignore the evidence for others. One of the main problems with evolution is all of the haze surrounding it. Often, it is not presented as fact or even as well tested theory. It is presented as a guess that students should use caution around. I encountered no formal discussion of evolution until my junior year of high school.....

    It is said that "American Protestantism is more fundamentalist than anybody except perhaps the Islamic fundamentalist". Groups of Americans take to a very literal interpretation of Genesis, in which God created everything, end of story.
    But this view reflects the extreme narrow mindedness of many Americans. I, for one, fail to see why creationism and evolution can't coexist. Why can't there be a creator that made the first reproducing molecule and then individually evolved each organism? How can some people just ignore the fossil record? The fact that so many people are outright denying evolution and all of the evidence that comes with it is an indicator of medieval-style ignorance, in which people refused to believe the heliocentric theory because it countered what the church said.

    It is not so much evidence or lack of evidence that limits the acceptance of evolution in society (p 222). There also is no evidence against evolution. Intelligent Designers insist that some structures are too complex, but in his book, Coyne gives us a step by step walkthrough of how the very complex camera eye could have developed. The problem is that evolution means so much "for many believers, who want to find in the story of our origins a reason for our existence, and a sense of how to behave" (225). How can millions of years of evolution give us a reason to live? Can it justify behaviors, can it explain our morals? It's a big deal.
    At any rate, it would probably take the ability "to see selection and evolution in real time" (p 125) to convince fundamentalists, but even then, people like to stick with their religions. Evolution has quite a lot of credible evidence already. It's tested extensively by many professionals. But Americans in general are limited in accepting evolution because of our reluctance to be taken by anything that a group of intellectuals has to say.

    In all, it's hard to say why people are so unconvinced. It has to do with personal beliefs, with religion and God, with ignorance, confusion, misleading information. But once societies can accept evolution, just like they accepted the formation of the Grand Canyon and the existence of the atom and the supernova as a scientific fact, it means that our awareness, education, intelligence, and open mindedness have all improved, and that we can openly discuss both evolution and God and see what role each has and is playing in our current world.

  3. As time progresses, it is impertinent that new fossils are found to fill the gaps in the evolutionary chain. If evolution is truly the truth and is never proven false, as time passes, it is inevitable for us to find numerous fossils. The sheer number of factual evidence and fossils may be able to convince the average man, but for those who are religious or are devoutly creationist, there will never be enough. Just as there are an infinite number of numbers between 0 and 1, die hard creationists would ask to see every single one, and surely, there are not an infinite number of fossils buried deep underground.

    From an international viewpoint, the US is quite behind on accepting evolution. However, this is mainly because it has been heavily politicized and the religious freedom blocks the ability for evolution to be taught in schools. If we look at the graphs of other countries, however, we see that several of the more developed and scientific countries with high GDPs have accepted evolution. As the US expands and becomes more prosperous and developed, it is deductible by trend that the US will follow suit and accept evolution as fact.

  4. oh, source for the above: