Intelligent Design of the Universe
The search for knowledge about the origin of humanity is as old as its inhabitants. Since the early 1800's mankind has narrowed the debate to creation by a Supreme Being and the theory of evolution. Ever since then, science has been at odds against religion. Now it appears that science is returning to religion. Scientists are finding proof that the universe was created by a Supreme Being.
The word evolution refers to the change of something over a period of time(Webster's 634). In biology, the theory of evolution is "the complex of processes by which living organisms originated on earth and have been diversified and modified through sustained changes in form and function"(Valentine). This theory proposes that between 4 million and 10 million years ago, all organisms on earth had a common ancestor and that through a process of evolution, all living organisms descended from this common ancestor(Coyne).
Chevalier de Lamarck, a French naturalist proposed a theory of evolution in 1809. His idea did not get much scientific consideration until Charles R. Darwin announced his theory of evolution(Coyne). Darwin published "his most famous book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection"(Valentine) in 1859. Darwin stated that offspring resemble their parents, yet they are not exactly identical to them. He also noted that some of these differences were not effects of their environment, but actually were passed down from parents to children(Valentine). Darwin is the most well known scientist to write on evolution.
There are many different variations on the theory of evolution. Darwin states that natural selection is the main reason for the evolution of life. The fight for food, water and other necessities benefits those creatures who are well adapted for the struggle. Those that cannot survive, die with no offspring to continue their genetic line. Natural selection is also called survival of the fittest. Another related idea to evolution is gradualism. "Gradualism is the idea that evolutionary changes do not occur suddenly but over large amounts of time, ranging from decades to millions of years"(Coyne). Genetic drift is another way that scientists define evolution. When two of a species mate, their offspring gets 23 chromosomes from both parents. When a gene does not split and combine correctly, a mutation occurs. This mutation will get passed down from the creature to its offspring. In this way a species can permanently be changed(Coyne). Scientists who have accepted the general theory of evolution as fact disagree among themselves about the ratio of importance between natural selection and genetic drift. They also disagree about what caused the apparent gaps in fossil layers. New species "abruptly"(Valentine) appear in the fossil record with no apparent mutation from another species, then remain unchanged for long periods of time. They do not seem to exhibit the gradual changes that would be...