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The Validity Of The Evolutionary Theory

1396 words - 6 pages

The evolution theory, one of the most significant theories, laid groundwork for the study of modern biological science. This theory has lead scientists into unending debates due to lack of empirical supports. Until the mid-eighteenth century, when Charles Darwin came up with an explanation to evolution, scientists, then, began to endorse this hypothesis. In “Natural Selection,” Darwin explains the natural selection, a plausible mechanism that causes evolution, to gain approval of his cynical audience for his evolution theory. He supports his claim with numerous examples of animals and plants that have developed traits beneficial for survival. A century later, Stephen Jay Gould, influenced by Darwin’s work, supports the evolution theory with a different method. In “Evolution as Fact and Theory,” Gould, in contrast to Darwin, criticizes his detractors, the creationists who believe that every life form is the creation of a supernatural being, to reinforce the validity of the evolution theory. Gould undermines creationism by emphasizing its misused concepts of theory and popular philosophy, proving that it is not science. Besides denouncing creationism, Gould also provides theoretical examples as evidence to prove evolution is a theory. Despite their different approaches, both Darwin and Gould effectively prove the existence of evolution.
One of the aspects that causes Darwin’s essay to differ from Gould’s is the targeted audience. Writing to a particular audience certainly affects the tone used in the essay. In this case, even though Darwin and Gould both claim the validity of evolution, they aim at different readers. As illustrated in “Natural Selection,” Darwin, focusing on the doubtful audience, maintains a neutral tone, and sometimes even pleads throughout the essay in order to gain approval. For instance, Darwin “begs permission” from his readers to “give one or two imaginary illustrations” (60). By “begging,” Darwin shows his respect for the audience’s opinions, making them listen to his claim without feeling obligated. Darwin realized that had he kept asserting the idea of the evolution theory upon the readers, he would have ended up losing them. The readers would have eventually gotten tired of listening to him. Therefore, Darwin composed his essay in a subtle tone so that the readers would not feel offended and would eventually approve the evolution theory. Through gentle persuasion, Darwin triumphs in gaining his readers’ support in evolution.
While Darwin uses neutral tone to persuade his readers, Gould, on the contrary, portrays his essay in a more vehement tone. Since Gould aims at people who are in favor of evolution, his cynical opinions toward the creationists tends to please his audience. While Darwin employs subtle tone to persuade his readers, Gould uses fervid criticism to create emotional appeal that links him and his readers. Employing emotional connection, Gould effectively makes the readers feel that they are both on...

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