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Essay/Term paper: Intelligent design of the

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Science Research Papers

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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 expected by modern
evolutionists(Valentine). Many people, including
those in the scientific community, do not accept
the theory of evolution as fact. When Darwin was
alive, his theory was attacked by many scientists
and religious leaders(Coyne). In the 1900's,
United States public high schools began teaching
evolution in science classes. By the 1920's, laws in
twenty states to ban the teaching of evolution in
public schools had been proposed by people who
did not want their children being indoctrinated.
"They considered the teaching of the theory to be
part of a dangerous trend toward the separation of
religious beliefs from everyday life"(Coyne).
Several of the proposed laws were passed into
effect in states including Arkansas and Tennessee.
"The ACLU challenged the Tennessee law in
1925 by defending a teacher named John T.
Scopes, who had volunteered to stand trial on the
charge of teaching evolution"(Coyne). The ACLU
lost the case but because of bad press, creationists
appeared ignorant to science. However, in 1968
the Supreme Court of the United States "ruled that
laws banning the teaching of evolution were
unconstitutional because they made religious
considerations part of the curriculum"(Coyne). The
courts continue to give rulings on creation and
evolution in schools, some have come as recently
as 1987(Coyne). The fight to keep evolution out
of the classroom is still persevering. Those who
are pushing to keep evolution out of the public
schools are primarily creationists. Creation is the
belief that a Supreme Being created the universe
and all its contents from nothing(Vawter). Many
different people have believed different stories of
how and why this was accomplished. Judaism,
Christianity and Islam are a few of the major faiths
that teach Creation. There are many differences in
what different people believe. Many Jews and
Christians with a literal interpretation of the Bible
or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible,
believe that God created the universe and all that
is in it in six 24 hour days. They believe that each
species on earth has remained relatively the same
since the Creation. These people "base their
beliefs on the Bible"(Eve) and some use fossil
evidence of long consistencies and abrupt
changes(Valentine). Others believe that God
created everything, but not in six days. Still others
believe that God created the universe by lighting
the fuse: the big bang was God's way of creating
the universe. Many people have gone in search for
proof that the universe was created by a Supreme
Being. The case for Intelligent Design was argued
by Reverend William Paley of Carlisle, England in
his 1802 book Natural Theology. Take, for
instance, a rock and a watch. How old are the
two objects? The rock has "remained more or less
the same perhaps since the earth was
formed"(Miller 24). The watch is different because
of the intricate gears, springs and parts. It was
produced with a specific design and knowledge of
the watchmaker, and watchmakers have not been
around forever. Paley knew "there cannot be
design without a designer; contrivance without a
contriver.... The marks of design are too strong to
be got over. Design must have had a designer.
That designer must have been a person. That
person is God"(Miller). Paley's examples are
understandable examples that form "a line of
reasoning known as the 'argument from
design'"(Miller). Even some evolutionists have
come to realize that humanity is not an accident,
even if they disagree with the six, 24 hour days
belief. The Anthropic Principle is based on so
called "technical observations about the evolution
of the universe since the Big Bang"(Glynn 28).
This principle has concluded that not only was the
creation of the universe not an accident, but "the
existence of human life is something for which the
entire universe appears to have been intricately
fine-tuned from the start"(28). This principle is
based on universal constants such as Planck's
constant and the gravitational constant. It started
out as a list of coincidences, but as the list grew
the more it appeared as if the universe had been
designed for humanity to exist(29). The second
law of thermodynamics has been extensively
studied by scientists and people as another proof
of creation. The second law of thermodynamics
can be stated: "The thermodynamic principle
which governs the behavior of systems is that, as
they are moved away from equilibrium, they will
utilize all avenues available to counter the applied
gradients. As the applied gradients increase, so
does the system's ability to oppose further
movement from equilibrium"(Schneider 30). In
every system, the entropy, or disorder, will
increase, not decrease. This is one of a number of
different analogies to simplify this law. There is a
box with ten equal compartments. Ten thousand
marbles are released into one compartment. If the
box is randomly shaken, it is expected that the
marbles would pass through the open doors in
each compartment and there would be
approximately 1000 marbles in each
compartment. It is highly improbable, yet not
impossible that if the box continued to be shaken
randomly, that all the marbles would go back into
the same compartment they started in(28). The
second law of thermodynamics is an excellent
argument for creation. Creationists stand in "awe
of the perfection of the earth... If it were a little
farther away from the sun the entire planet would
be one gigantic Antarctica; if it were a little closer,
it would be one continuous Sahara Desert. Earth's
placement is precise; and that, my friends, is not a
result of chance"(Limbaugh 154). There are infinite
numbers of variables. If one were changed just
slightly, like the distance from the sun, Earth would
be unhabitable and humans would not exist. This
preciseness leads these people to use the second
law of thermodynamics as an argument. An
ordered world like Earth could not exist in a
universe that was created by an explosion.
Humanity itself is a good example for creation.
The differences between other animals in nature
and humans are vast. However, many evolutionists
claim that we are animals ourselves. Jonathan
Swift shows the absurdity of this comparison in the
fourth book of Gulliver's Travels. Guliver is living
between two extremes: the reason based
Houyhnhms and the savage Yahoos. Gulliver tries
so hard to fit in with the Houyhnhms, or horses.
They "conclude that Gulliver 'must be a perfect
Yahoo'"(Suits 116), yet Gulliver believes that he is
more Houyhnhm. This struggle can represent the
origin struggle. The evolutionists say that humans
were once like the Yahoos, but by saying that
humanity evolved because of an haphazard
accident, they are claiming that humans are now
the superior being in the universe. They claim we
are like the Houyhnhms(Sagan). Humans are not
like that. The Houyhnhms are divorced of passion.
"They have no shame, no temptations, no
conception of sin"(Williams 62). Marriage is "'one
of the necessary actions in a reasonable
being'"(63). These definitely do not identify
humanity. Gulliver "understands none of this"(72).
Humans have the ability to use reason and humans
have certain inherent desires that cannot be
reasonably explained: love, marriage, and a sense
of right and wrong. Still the debate continues. It
seems "the double standard at work here is
breathtaking"(Glynn 32). Scientists who believe in
evolution are free to use detailed accounts of what
happened 4 billion years ago and base it on
Darwin(Sagan). "But the moment scientists begin
marshalling rather considerable and persuasive
evidence for the opposite case, their speculation
risks being branded by colleagues as
'unscientific'"(Glynn 32). This parallels the third
book of Gulliver's Travels. The ways of the
respected Laputan people were very precise,
according to Gulliver. All their wise men reject
what seems obviously the best way preform a
task(Williams 49). Member of the Academy are
seen trying to weave with spider web and make
ice into gunpowder(Swift 196). Such acts of
stupidity are Swift's attack on the Royal Society of
England in Swift's time; however the apply
perfectly to many of the scientists who reject what
they do not want to see. The argument about the
origin of the universe will definitely continue. There
will be those who argue both sides until this world
comes to its end. To what extent people believe
the Biblical teachings or what some scientists teach
is a personal decision. Darwin concluded his
book: "There is grandeur in this view of life, with
its several powers, having been originally breathed
by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and
that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on
according to the fixed law of gravity, from so
simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful
and most wonderful have been and are being
evolved"(Miller 32). The more science seems to
dig and research about the origins of humanity, the
less likely it is that Earth and all the creatures on it
were an accident. All the precision, consistency
and detail point to an universal architect, a
Supreme Being, God. Bibliography (please
disreguard my mess for now) Coyne, Jerry A.
"Evolution." World Book. CD-ROM Eve,
Raymond A. "Creationism" World Book.
CD-ROM Glynn, Patrick. "Beyond The Death of
God." National Review May 6,1996:28-32.
Limbaugh, Rush. The Way Things Ought to Be.
New York:Pocket Books, 1992. Miller, Kenneth
R. "Life's Grand Design." Technology Review.
Feb./March 1994:24-32 CD-ROM. 1996 SIRS.
SIRS 1994 Life Science. Article 59 Sagan, Carl.
"Snowflakes Fallen on the Hearth: The Evolution
of the Earth." Planetary Report. Jan./Feb.
1993:4-9 CD-ROM. 1996 SIRS. SIRS 1994
Earth Science. Article 53 Schneider, E.D, Kay,
J.J. "Life as a Manifestation of the Second Law of
Thermodynamics." Mathematical and Computer
Modelling 1994: 25-48. Suits, Conrad. "The Role
of the Horsesin 'A Voyage to the Houyhnhnms.'"
Modern Critical Interpretations, Jonathan Swift's
Gulliver's Travels. Ed. Harold Bloom. New
York:Chelsea. 116-125 Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's
Travels. New York:Penguin,1960. Valentine,
James W. "Evolution." Encarta. CD-ROM.
Microsoft Corp:1994 Vawter, Rev. Bruce.
"Creation." Encarta. CD-ROM. Microsoft
Corp:1994 Webster's New Twentieth Century
Dictionary. Second Edition. 1983 Williams,
Kathleen. "Animal Rationis Capax." Modern
Critical Interpretations, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's
Travels. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York:Chelsea.

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