In 1809, exactly 199 years ago this past Tuesday, Charles Darwin was born. Fifty years later, he published The Origin of Species, arguably the most intellectually innovative and intensely disruptive single text in the history of science.
And now, here we are two centuries later: 262 days ago, the $27 million Creation Museum opened its doors; 174 days ago, a U.S. presidential candidate defended his stance against evolution; and earlier this week, the last public hearing was held by Florida's Board of Education over proposed standards to require that evolution be taught as the fundamental underpinning of biology. Clearly, Darwin and his singular theories are still under fire, but if a group of British scientists have their way, Darwin's upcoming 200th birth year may be the time to begin an organized campaign to address Darwin's critics with fervor.
Next month, Darwin Today will launch. Founded by the UK's Research Councils, government agencies for funding and supporting work in the sciences, the website aims to highlight the Darwinian underpinnings in research that pertains to our daily lives, with emphasis on evolution's role in "areas as diverse as conservation, biology, robotics, society and art."
Today, roughly the same percentage of Americans believes or disbelieves in evolution as did 25 years ago, according to the latest Gallup polls. Between 40 and 65 percent of Americans believe God created humans in our present form at a single moment during the last 10,000 years.
Darwin would be the first to acknowledge that a plurality of beliefs is vital to society and, especially, to education; yet, when the same rhetorical status is bestowed upon theories based on cultural traditions or religious beliefs as those built upon the strong foundation of the scientific method, the fragile line between science and belief becomes dangerously blurred. And as the fierce debates over stem cell research and other genetic studies continue to heat up at the highest level of our government, the status of evolution's place in the classroom is going to matter.
Initiatives like Darwin Today are certainly a step in the right direction. The issues scientists will uncover in the next two centuries will only grow in their complexity; let us hope that future generations will be armed with the invaluable tool that is a sound scientific education with which to properly evaluate and define our wonderfully uncertain future.
How can Charles Darwin be considered a viable scientist if his only degree is in theology? In fact, he only had a B.A. in Theology in 1831 from Cambridge University. How does that qualify him as a scientist?
Yes, he had "some" training in science, but by no means would he be considered a "scientist" in both today's terms or even back then. Even Wikepedia delcares no other training other than "some" studies in medicine at the Edinburgh University until he became too sensitive to the sight of blood.
How can a society become so engulfed in a "theory" being taught as fact with no solid evidence (i.e. repeatable experiments like ALL other scientific laws) whatsoever.
Of course, the REAL answer comes from another evolutionist , Stephen Jay Gould who admitted declares that the only other viable alternative is divine creation, which of course would mean that there is someone else to be accountable to asside from ourselves when its all said and done.
So please please remember that this whole deity surrounding Charles Darwin is only a smoke screen to the real truth about creation, God and the saviour of the world, Jesus Christ.
Despite Mr. Darwin's professional training, or lack therof, his theories surrounding the natural world have had far reaching impacts. Couple his insights with the work of Mr. Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics, and the plausability of evolution and natural selection do not seem that far fetched. Especially from a scientific vantage: Taking into account scientific method, and the many other requirements that have produced life saving medecines and other modern wonders.
By contrast, I assume the text you look to for theories on the "Big Question" is none other than the Holy Bible. Certainly, many people value the Bible and use it for guidance, but in issues of science (This website, by the way, is called Popular Science.) I believe the majority of level headed, informed people will choose to believe in that science. As opposed to, say, trying to decipher 1 - 2,000 year old rants, where people can live in whales and a woman should be stoned in the street for having premarital sex; coupled with the many other inconsistencies.
Perhaps Darwin lacked training, and he may have become queasy at the sight of a little blood, but let's face it, Charles Darwin was a scientist, and I would reccomend leaving science to people like him. Eventually, we may one day be able to cure the hysteria you've succumbed to, and that would benefit everyone.
Darwin made a lot of good observations about how species change, but unfortunately he took natural selection too far. He imagined that organisms took giant leaps beyond the limitations of genetics. Variation in species occurs when DNA information is sorted or lost when passed on to the next generation. Darwin's evolution requires NEW genetic information to arrive by some sort of magic. Darwin never observed this and neither has anyone since. He also borrowed the idea of millions of years (from Lydell) because he imagined he needed vast amounts of time for his theory to work. In short, he had a great imagination, but evolutionary theory is as unscientific as a theory can be, and it's amazing that most accept it as science 150 years later.
I have studied Origin of the Species and have studied the Biblical account of creation. The history found in Genesis provides a far more fitting and, yes, dare I say, scientific, explanation of life on earth than what Darwin and others imagined. Any other "level-headed and informed" person who has taken a hard look at the evidence in fossils, (not artists' interpretation of fossils), geologic layers, genetics, the complexity of cells, should see that Darwin's imagination does not provide an adequate explanation of the origin or progression of life on earth.
The alternative then is God, and that I feel is more than many people (including Darwin) want to deal with. It's much easier to classify evolution as science and the Bible as religion and not dare to think these ancient scriptures could actually be historically true. Then we would have to deal with things link moral responsibility and such messy concepts contained therein. Life seems simpler without a Creator, even though the very same life would not be without Him. But that's just my theory.