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Creationism Vs. Evolution Essay

1201 words - 5 pages

Creationism vs evolution: through the eyes of Jay Gould It has been over 100 years since English naturalist Charles Darwin first told the world his revolutionary concept about how livings things develop. Evolution through natural selection and adaptation was the basis of his argument as it remains to this day a debated subject by many. Across this nation, a 'return' to 'traditional' values has also brought the return of age old debated topics. One issue that truly separates Americans is the issue of creation versus evolution. Since the 19th century, this divisive topic has been debated in school boards and state capitols across America. In many instances religious fundamentalists won the day by having banned the instruction or even the mention of 'ungodly' evolutionary thinking in schools. With today's social and political climate, this question is back with greater force than ever. This is why this subject is more important now than ever. In Jay Gould's book The Panda's Thumb, an overview of and an argument for Charles Darwin's evolutionary thinking is conducted with flowing thoughts and ideas. This essay titled 'Natural Selection and the Human Brain: Darwin vs. Wallace' takes a look directly at two hard fought battles between evolutionists and creationists. Using sexual selection and the origins of human intellect as his proponents, Gould argues his opinion in the favor of evolutionary thought. In this essay titled 'Natural Selection and The Human Brain: Darwin vs. Wallace,' Gould tells about the contest between Darwin and another prominent scientist named Alfred Wallace over two important subjects. These topics, one being sexual selection and the other about the origins of the human brain and intellect were debated by men who generally held the same views on evolution. However on these two subjects, Wallace chose to differ as he described it as his 'special heresy' (53). The first of these two areas of debate between the two men was the question of 'sexual selection.' Darwin theorized that there laid two types of sexual selection. First a competition between males for access to females and second the choice 'exercised by females themselves' (51). In this, Darwin attributed racial differences among modern human beings to sexual selection 'based upon different criteria of beauty that arose among various peoples' (51). Wallace, however, disputed the suggestion of female choice. He believed that animals were highly evolved and beautiful works of art, not allowing the suggestion of male competition to enter his mind.The debate of sexual selection was but a mere precursor to a much more famous and important question . . . the question of the origins of the human mind. Gould's discussion of the origins of the human mind is one that he in which he vocalizes his own opinions and feelings in a much more critical manner. Gould begins the topic of human origins by briefly criticizing Wallace for his...

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