Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

December 29, 2016 September 2nd, 2019 Teaching

There has always been a long standing debate as to how we (living organisms) got to Earth, and how there is such a great variety of organisms currently living on Earth. Recently, a bill forbidding the teaching of creationism in public schools reignited this debate into the theory of natural selection and intelligent design. While both of these explanations try to explain the same event, they have exorbitantly different ideas as to how the current living organisms came to be. These different explanations of how life came to be, have caused much disputes in many areas such as politics and education, although there might not really be much of a debate on it once you are informed of what each idea really is and what they each have to support them and what is against them.

In the theory of natural selection, it is stated that the immense variety of living organisms currently on Earth arose out of millions of years of evolution. This theory states that small, insignificant mutations in each generation of an organism that helps that organism survive leads to the much grander changes that we can see today in a fish and a human. These changes can result from genetic mutations as a way which better fits the organism??™s survival needs and therefore leads to more offspring with this mutation, while the rest of the normal organisms slowly die out and either become extinct or stay the same, something that can be called survival of the fittest. The theory of natural selection was first published and released to the scientific community by Charles Darwin in his book ???On the origin of species??? and although it was thought of before, it had never been formally presented as a scientific theory with evidence before Darwin. The theory of natural selection is also commonly believed in in combination with abiogenesis, the idea that life can come from nonliving structures such as amino acids, but not always and is still common within religious individuals too.

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On the other hand, intelligent design (creationism) takes a more ???theological??? approach towards this problem and can be explained as the thought that the variety of organisms on Earth all came to be through supernatural powers or a ???designer??? commonly depicted as a religious deity. Creationism states that an intelligent designer has to have created the current living organisms due to the innumerable complexities that exist in each different organism, something that they think is impossible to have occurred without a creator or as a result of chance. Intelligent design also explains how life came to be created, something that natural selection is unable to do, and also explains what all the mechanisms behind the variety of organisms are.

Although these two ideas are debated together as scientific theories or hypothesis, intelligent design is thought of as a pseudoscience and isn??™t considered a scientific idea due to its use of religious ideas and an untestable hypothesis while evolution and natural selection have plentiful evidence towards their hypothesis and is accepted by a vast majority of the scientific community. The one downfall of natural selection, however, is that it is unable to explain the actual origin of life, something that intelligent design does explain and which is a large part of numerous debates. When comparing evolution and creationism, you are left with two ideas on opposite sides of a spectrum which try to describe the same event, but with varying amounts of evidence. For natural selection, there is a lot of evidence such as fossil records, embryonic development, cytochrome C, and human chromosome 2 which supports the common ancestry of humans and apes. Intelligent design on the other hand, basically states that anything that cannot be currently explained is so incomprehensibly complex that it had to have been created by a designer and cannot possibly be the result of chance. There have also been some instances in which ???proof??? for intelligent design appears, but it is usually either disproved or dismissed as something which is scientifically untestable and there has never been any evidence that disproves the idea of natural selection or of a common ancestry that has been proved to be correct. Intelligent design also never mentions any religious scriptures or anything which could be considered unscientific and theological, but also fails to show anything that is scientific and usually attempts to make a point without any evidence, but rather due to the reason of not having any other scientific or proven explanation. Evolution also has some flaws however, such as the first creation of life on Earth and the thought that the actual chance of everything that supposedly happened for there to be life on Earth is such an insignificant number that it can be difficult to believe that something with that low of a percentage of happening actually led to the incredibly complex organisms that exist today. With the varying amounts of evidence in each of these ideas, I, personally, think that evolution, being the most reputable of the two in a scientific sense, is correct when compared to an idea that has no empirical evidence or testable hypothesis.


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