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Research Paper On Evolution

2779 words - 11 pages

Michael Janes College English Research paper DATE \@ "M/d/yyyy" 4/10/2009 Janes, PAGE 2
The Threat of Theology"Sigmund Freud once argued that what he termed 'the universal narcissism of men, their self-love' had suffered 'three severe blows from the researches of science'" (Durant 8). Theses blows had been administered by Copernicus; who had revealed that the earth is not the center of the universe; by Darwin, who demonstrated that man evolved from animals, and are not superior to them, and of course by Freud himself, who had shown that the ego does not rule in its own house (Durant 8). Freud's argument is obviously self-severing, but it does show the psychological impact that science has had on our culture. "Throughout the ages science has de-mythologized our world" (Durant 8). Ever since the renaissance - when science separated from the church - science has wrecked the credibility of the bible, and religion has always fought back. The most well known battle between science and religion is evolution vs. creation, and the question of which theory has the right to be in our schools.When Charles Darwin first published the theory of evolution in 1859, it seemed doomed for a life of criticism, but with the rediscovery of Mendel's work on genetics in 1900, most debates came to a halt (Huxley 3). Of course, the Genesis story was not completely forgotten, but most people in the twentieth century regarded the bible as a source of moral and spiritual inspiration, not scientific relevance. "The Old Testament account of creation was seen as a myth that had explained their origins to peoples who had no access to the revelations of modern biology. God was still recognized as creator perhaps; but it was generally agreed that his method had been naturalistic and evolutionary" (Barker 182). Although, most people viewed Genesis as a myth, the creationists were far from abandoning their crusade. The controversy was refueled in 1925 when Tennessee made it a crime to teach evolutionary ideas, and similar laws were passed in Mississippi and Arkansas (Barker 183). It seemed the creationists had won a major battle, but with the launch of sputnik in 1957, many Americans began to worry about the quality of the science being taught in public schools (Barker 183). As a result a new line of textbooks were written, ones that embraced evolution. The textbooks once again revived the conflict.In 1968 the Supreme Court ruled that a state could not forbid the teaching of evolution on religious grounds (Barker 183). But by this time, a new opposition towards the evolutionary theory began to emerge. Increasing scientific creationist - as they began calling themselves - began claming that the theory of evolution is nothing more than a guess (Kitcher 30). They claimed that evolution is no more a fact than creation. Therefore evolution is not a science, and should not be taught in schools.So, what is science? Most scientists agree that a theory must meet certain criteria before is...

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