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Analyzing Darwin’s theory of evolution

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Zachary D.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Darwin's examples of animals portraying similarities to human actions
  3. Animals have a form of reasoning....
  4. Conclusion

As an intellectual Christian of this century, though I have had some training in biology more-so then the average intellectual, it is hard not to notice the work of Mr. Charles Darwin and the well detailed and grounded system of evolution. But he has made some major errors in his concept of man. Mostly these come from the examples he uses in the forms of animals, and they way he disregards the complex intelligence of man, and the lack of human development in the last few thousands of years. I do agree with Darwin's beliefs in evolution among animals. He has shown a good well rounded argument through The Origin of Species of how evidence has proved that animals do show traits of having evolved, but I have trouble understanding is the way Darwin tries to take this form of evolution and place it upon humans as well since we are much above any other animal, while many animals can be placed at some sort of level with each other.

Darwin uses many examples of animals portraying similarities to human actions. Darwin states that ?many kinds of monkeys have a strong taste for tea, coffee, and spirituous liquors: they will also, as I have myself seen, smoke tobacco with pleasure.? (The Descent of Man, 179) He goes on to state that in one notable case a monkey drank too much brandy and proceed to never touch brandy again. Darwin uses these as a means to show a similarity between humans and monkeys on the ground of common pleasures.

[...] Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin's long-time correspondent and fellow, stated, "How could natural selection, or survival of the fittest in the struggle for existence, at all favor the development of mental powers so entirely removed from the material necessities of savage (Wallace, Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection. A Series of Essays). Darwin believes that sexual selection can create these non-adaptive mental powers. I am more prone to agree with Wallace. Wallace, who is a long time defender of natural selection, decided that natural selection cannot account for such things as mathematical, artistic, or musical talents, as well as metaphysical musings or wits or philosophical concepts. [...]


[...] His examples of animals seem only to mention similarities rather then to mention anything more, and also seem to be unimportant in terms of natural selection or are full of extreme uncontrollable variables. Natural selection works off of variables in the environment, these variables are things like weather, other animals, lack or excess of food, the geography, etc. these variables causes the animal to be forced to change. But what happens when variables that are controlled are used, such as things like culture which can cause changes but don't seem to be caused by natural selection since natural selection is caused by uncontrolled variables, while controlled variables can possible control the outcomes. [...]

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