Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Theory of Evolution

When we were younger, the idea fed to us regarding the theory of evolution was that it – quite literally – meant that our ancestors were monkeys (much like the ones we saw in Disney’s Tarzan or National Geographic). We were made to understand that the common as well as professional opinion on the matter was of satire, that the only ones who believed in it were, for their own reasons, people who refused to accept either religion or even God.

As I grew up, I learned the exact opposite: the theory of evolution is the most important theory in all of biology according to most scientists and researchers. It is as important to biology as plate tectonics is to geology, as one man had put it. So what are the misconceptions that have pushed most of the world to reject this very important idea?

The first is that it is a theory, and as such, it is a mere proposal to the science of biology. This is untrue because while the terminology theory is a synonym to a studied guess in almost all fields of communication, it is not so within the scientific community. A theory is a validated – through a rigorous set of proofs – hypothesis, so while it does hold the potential to contain wrong, it does not have the potential to be wrong. To sum up: the main idea of the theory holds, with the possibility of the ideas concluded from, and added to, it to be false.

The second is that it means there is no God. This is also untrue because, as the name suggests, it only provides an idea of how living things changed over time; it does not talk about whether or not, for instance, God created the first bacterial cell, nor does it attempt to give an opinion on the interventionist view of God. To sum up: evolution has nothing to do with the existence/nonexistence of God.

The third is that it refutes the classical interpretations of the most significant of the world’s religions. The debate of creationism vs. evolutionism still rages on (and will continue for some more decades). To be fair to the creationists, I have seen some evolutionists change their opinion, but the general trend is such that evolution is emerging as the victor. To sum up: Do you really think God created the whole world (and according to some, the entire universe) in six Earth days?

The fourth is that our ancestors are the monkeys we see today. Once again, this is untrue; us and the monkeys that inhabit the planet with us today are not a straight chain of evolution. They evolved and became what you see now; we evolved and became what you see now. Obviously, we both evolved very differently, with us changing much, much more. To sum up: we are not the grand kids of monkeys, more like their really, really far nephews with a super ancient shared ancestor.

Finally, it must be mentioned amongst the absolute truths that I have learned by simply living is that there is the all the possibility that I might just be completely wrong (I see you down there writing that this is a paradox, go milk a cow or something).


  1. What I really like about your articles is NOT the opinions you assert, no offense there its just that I don't feel for most of the things you write about...
    But its the way you present them. Its so forceful, well-organized and effective. I feel like I'm reading the words of a truly intelligent scholar.
    Great job, and keep them coming! Your choice of topics is indeed fascinating! Nobody thinks such orthodox science in such an unorthodox manner these days!

    1. That, coming from Top of the World, should mean something :D


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