Talk:The Theory of Evolution/draft
The Theory of Evolution, introduced by scientist and naturalist Charles Darwin in his book On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, published in 1859, is a scientific theory that explains the process of evolution via natural selection. The basic principle behind natural selection, states that in the struggle for life, some organisms in a given population will be better suited to their particular environment and thus have a reproductive advantage, increasing the representation of their particular traits over time.
The Scientific Theory of Evolution
Evolution is change in populations of organisms over generations. Offspring differ from their parents in various ways either due to mutation, genetic recombination or environmental effects. . When these differences are helpful, the offspring have a greater chance of surviving and reproducing, and when these differences are inheritable, they are likely to become more common in the next generation. In this way, differences can accumulate over time, leading to major changes in a population. According to the theory of evolution life on Earth evolved from a common ancestor and the current diversity of life can be explained as a product of natural selection and various other forces such as neutral drift.
Other Related Definitions of the word
The word "evolution," in its strictest sense, simply means "change over time." In current political debate, the word "evolution" has come to stand for five different concepts which are related. 1. Change of animal and plant species over time. 2. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, a specific hypothesis to explain how animal and plant species change over time, 3. Descent of man from non-human ancestors, a hypothesis (not advanced by Darwin in his Origin of Species, but elucidated in his later book Descent of Man. This is connected to the more general assertion that all life descends from a common ancestor. It is possible in principle to separate these concepts; for example, a person could accept that animal and plant species evolve (i.e., change) over time, while rejecting the specific theory of evolution proposed by Darwin, or could accept that animal and plants have evolved by natural selection since the time of Noah, but reject the billion-year age of the Earth. Proponents of theistic evolution generally accept all of them, while Young Earth Creationists generally reject all but the first. Old Earth Creationists generaly accept all but the 3rd and 4th. Note that scientists generally use "evolution" to refer to neo-Darwinian theory, including common descent, specifically excluding abiogenesis and an old earth.
Critiques of Evolution
Various critiques of evolution have been given by creationists who do not subscribe to theistic evolution.
Some creationists, especially the Young Earth Creationists (who disagree with the scientific consensus regarding the age of the earth) often argue against evolution indirectly by arguing that the age of the earth is not as old as most scientists think and that among other implications, this leaves insufficient time for evolution to take place. Arguments include that radiometric dating is faulty or that the Noachian Flood distorted the geological and fossil records.
Direct arguments against evolution take a number of forms. One common claim is that speciation cannot occur although some maybe creationist ministries such as Answers in Genesis reject this claim.. Another common claim is that mutations cannot add new functions or cannot add "information" to genomes.
Given most frequently in Presuppositional apologetic contexts, these arguments argue that the Bible is true and then argue that exegesis and interpretation of Biblical passages do not allow one or more aspects of evolution to take place. These arguments frequently rely on Genesis 1:21-22.