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Your Thoughts On Evolution. Help Needed For School Project!

*****First of all, DO NOT POST RUDE OR INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTS TOWARDS A CERTAIN PERSON OR GROUP OF PEOPLE. This is not an opportunity to bash anyone's opinion because we're all entitled to having one, so please don't bother commenting here if you are just looking to be an offensive *****.******

--- I know that most, if not everyone, in this group supports Evolution, but some may have joined to write against it so this is open to anyone's thoughts about the topic.---

For my Advanced Composition class, I've decided to write a paper on Evolution in a non-threatening, Rogerian styled argument. To successfully address the key components that classify an argument as Rogerian, I find it beneficial to hear various opinions from both sides of the dispute. I am looking for anyone to give me their two cents about either side of the topic or maybe even a common ground found between the two sides. Like I said, this is not a chance to attack someone's opinion, reasoning, or religion because that is not my point for doing this project. I understand that it is quite rare to truly change someone's mind on a topic like this. Therefore, I want to make it clear that my purpose for writing this paper is simply to compel the reader to CONSIDER a certain aspect of my argument that they had no prior knowledge of; in other words, expose them to information that they may have not had the chance or desire to look into. I am in no means trying to be a manipulator on this subject matter. I believe that both sides can share a common ground to an extent.

With all of that said, feel free to explain why/how you have come to your conclusion on the topic as well as any influences that are/were a part of your opinion.

----- Thanks everyone!
RelianceOnScience RelianceOnScience 22-25, F 7 Responses Mar 26, 2012

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Thank you! I will check out that site now!

Sorry - - - I just need to add a resource for you to study.<br />
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Please read http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf This is a ruling on the truth between Creationism/Intelligent Design versus Evolutionary Biology. It is well thought out and a very even toned ruling by a conservative judge.<br />
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What you will see is the unmasking of the shocking lies spread by the creationist community. As judge Jones stated; "The citizens of Dover were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID (Intelligent Design) Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would tine and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.<br />
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Read it! To me it is an exciting moment in law.

"Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of Evolution" Theodosius Dobzhansky<br />
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He was one of the founders of what is called the "modern synthesis". The modern synthesis is called that because it combines the theory of natural selection with genetics, population biology, cladistics and other far-flung disciplines. For instance, part of modern theory is what is called "punctuated equilibrium". Darwin thought about gradual change but always came across jumps in the fossil record. Two scientists, Niles Eldridge and Stephen Jay Gould tested the hypothesis that change is quite rapid when widespread populations become isolated. Large populations are genetically conservative and it is not until fragments are isolated, by geology, by disease, or other mechanisms, that small changes can be fixed into the population and become predominant. This is borne out by more recent experiments.<br />
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There is the truth of Evolution, and then there is the Theory of Natural Selection (which has the same weight as the Theory of Gravity). It is not the explanatory power of Evolutionary Biology that is its greatest success. Its greatest success is from a humble beginning answering the questions led to the illumination of broad areas of understanding in Biology. There is beauty in this view of life.

Thank you! Well said. I completely agree... Really nailed it with the "believing leads to truth" comments.

As someone that has never been religious, evolution has always been the obvious answer for me. There are no other logical answers. That is, evolution is the only explanation that has stood up to the logic of science.<br />
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Many people much smarter then me have spent lifetimes studying evolution and there is nearly unanimous agreement among the experts that evolution is the only scientifically sound theory to explain the history of living things on our planet.<br />
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Since I am unaware of any other scientific theory that is seriously challenging evolution, I assume that when you refer to "both sides of the dispute" the other side you are referring to are people that see evolution as violating or negating their religion.<br />
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In this case, let me ask a question in return: Since leading theologists around the world haven't yet agreed on a single religious explanation as an alternative to evolution, how could I (much less educated about religion) pick any of the alternatives as better than the other?<br />
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Just as I must wait for the experts to come to consensus on whether string-theory helps explain our universe, shouldn't the followers of religion wait until they can agree amongst themselves on a common narrative before suggesting their theory to others as the "only" answer?<br />
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You mention how hard it is to change a persons mind on issues such as these. I think there is a fundamental difference in how people understand truth. The scientifically inclined think carefully documented observation leads to truth. On the religious side, my observation is :) that people think believing leads to truth (e.g., the comment to "Just Believe").

Thank you! I appreciate your time :) That was a wonderful response and exactly the type of answer I was hoping to see.

My formative years were spent in a fundamentalist Christian home. I'm pretty sure that I did not hear the term "evolution" until my mom went to college when I was in 3rd grade, and then it was derisive. I was not exposed to the meaning of the word until middle school.<br />
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My heavy Christian upbringing shielded me from really *hearing* what those teachers said, so I did not fully understand this thing called evolution until my sophomore year of high school. (Even so, I remember being quite young, and trying to understand the logic of the Creation stories, both as they were in the Bibles I had access to, and as it was preached and taught in church.)<br />
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Tenth grade was the year that my Biology class was introduced to Punnet squares and elementary genetics. Even though it was more mathematical than I cared for, I remember a light going off above my head.<br />
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I remember staring at the textbook, and up at my teacher...my eyes must have been the size of dinner plates. I was utterly blown away, because *this made sense*!!! THIS answered so many of the questions that nobody in my parents' circle were willing or able to answer. Here on paper I could see why 3 of my mom's siblings had blue eyes, but the 4th did not. On this paper was the reason that Dad was tall, Mom was short, and I was in-between.<br />
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Even though I never could do the math required for any more advanced science, I remained fascinated by the way things change over time. It made sense to me, in a way that Creationism never really did.<br />
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Well, I could accept Creationism in the larger picture. All through high school I ended arguments by stating "What caused Big Bang? Simple. God clapped His hands." And I'd clap for emphasis.<br />
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Even though the term hadn't been coined yet, you could say that I believed in Intelligent Design. Some big Entity started the universe spinning, and the rest was a series of things changing over time.<br />
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Fast-forward *cough* years. <br />
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It's been a looong time since that sophomore Biology class, and evolution still makes sense. Perhaps it's because I'm a child of the Show Me State; but evolution is something I can witness in action. I can see how it works, I can see how the offspring of two parents has traits from both.<br />
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I can't say the same for the religion of my youth. I bear it no ill will, nor do I hold hostility toward those who are Christian. I just have long since stopped walking that road.<br />
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But I do accept the theory of evolution. I accept it because the logic makes sense to me, and has from that blinding moment in 10th grade.

Wow - what a neat story. What you saw in 10'th grade was a portion of the explanatory power of the scientific enterprise. In my career I added a few small ideas to our knowledge before leaving research. Those I am still very proud of.