Evolution Essay

This essay has a total of 2517 words and 11 pages.

Evolution




The origins of mankind is an extremely controversial issue within today’s society.
Scientists have a host of different theories pertaining to man’s inhabitance of earth.
Many disagreements arise between scientists who have different beliefs pertaining to where
and how mankind arose. One such argument is the conflict involving the theory of
evolution versus the theory of creation. After extensive scientific research, it is
apparent that the theory of evolution is correct.

Evolution is the theory that life arose by natural processes at an early stage of the
earth’s history and that complex organisms developed from simpler organisms by a process
of slow change (Coren 209). It’s the idea that new species arise from older species after
thousands of years of gradual chemical, environmental, and genetic change (Coren 142).
Evolution can also be described as the complex processes by which living organisms
originated on earth and have been diversified and modified through sustained changes in
form and function (“Evolution”). Scientists, looking for an explanation to the origin of
man and other organisms created this evolutionism theory, which also presented answers to
the many asked questions dealing with similarities between species. Unlike the theory of
creation, which states that the complexity of life and different species can only be
explained in

terms of a supernatural creator or god who placed life on earth, the theory of evolution
has a plethora of evidence proving it to be true (“Creation”).

There are several different types of observations that support the theory of organic
evolution as an explanation for the similarities and the differences among species. One
such observation is in the geologic record. The geologic record is the rock scheme found
within the earth’s outer crust. By means of radioactive dating, the ages of rocks in many
places on earth have been determined. It’s a timetable of the earth’s geologic history.
This combined with the fossil record, another observation supporting the evolutionary
hypothesis, has produced an apparent sequence of life forms from most simple to most
complex during the history of the planet. Fossils are any remains or traces of a
once-living organism, which are formed by preservation, petrifaction, or sedimentation.
Organisms can be preserved and protected against decay by being trapped in amber, tar, or
frozen in ice. The hard parts of an organism, such as shells or bones, can be preserved
when the flesh of an organism has decayed away. In other cases, materials of a dead
organism may be gradually washed away and replaced by minerals from the water causing the
organism to petrify, or harden. Imprints, molds, or casts left by an organism after it is
enclosed in sedimentary rock and decomposed are also fossils, as well as footprints and
tracks. The fossil record is the timetable of fossils found in within the earth’s
geologic record. Since the upper layers of sedimentary rocks are assumed to have been
laid down over lower layers, the upper layers are younger than those deeper into the
earth. Therefore, fossils found within the upper layers

are also younger than those found within the lower layers. This combination of geologic
and fossil records shows the progression of species as time also progressed (Coren 142).

In reiterating the definition of evolution, we are reminded that gradual changes in one
life form’s anatomy, cytology, embryology, or biochemistry could cause for a new species
to originate. Similarities in these categories link species together and are therefore
studied to support evolutionism. In comparing anatomy, the structures of different
organisms often show unexpected similarities. Cell organelles, such as cell membranes,
ribosomes, and other structures found within cells, are also similar in organisms of all
kinds, showing that comparative cytology can also shows signs of evolution. When
comparing the embryos of different organisms, comparative embryology, similarities can be
seen in early stages of embryos that are completely different at maturity. Finally,
comparative biochemistry, which is the comparing of biochemical compounds, such as amino
acids, can also show similarities in species, reinforcing the idea of evolution (Coren
143).

As curiosity rose throughout much of the world, scientists began to question the existence
of organisms and why some are so alike in so many ways and so diverse as well. Several
theories have been proposed in the past to account for the diversity and similarity of
species. One scientist by the name of Lamarck proposed that changes in species occurred
basically as the result of a striving of organisms for improvement. One main point of
this theory was use and disuse. New organs

appear in a species as a result of a need for them, and they increase in size or
effectiveness through repeated use. Organs not needed decrease in size or strength as a
result of disuse. A second idea included in his theory was the transmission of acquired
characteristics. This means that a trait acquired during the lifetime of an organism,
including improvements of existing traits, can be transmitted to its offspring (Coren
145). Later in scientific history, it was Charles Darwin who came up with the most
convincing theories of adaptation and development. In 1859 he published The Origin of
Species, introducing the theory that species evolve from others, including man’s
development from apes (Lampton 48). Darwin proposed that evolution occurred as the result
of natural selection. Natural selection is the process by which environmental effects
lead to varying degrees of reproductive success among individuals of a population of
organisms with different characteristics and traits. It’s the idea that organisms with
favorable variations are better able to survive and reproduce than organisms not well
adapted (“Natural Selection”). Overproduction is a main idea of Darwin’s theory. He
believes that more offspring are produced than can survive, because of limitations in
living space and food supply. He also believes in competition, where individuals of each
generation compete for available food and opportunities to mate and reproduce. A third
idea of Darwin’s evolution theory is variation, meaning some individuals are better fitted
to survive than others, because of variations in characteristics. Survival of the fittest
was how he explained the fact that individuals better fitted to survive are more likely to
live longer and reproduce. Darwin’s idea of transmission of

favorable characteristics modified the earlier idea presented by Lamarck. Charles
believed offspring of the fittest individuals would inherit only the favorable variations
that enabled their parents to survive and reproduce (Coren 145). Explaining this idea,
Charles Darwin stated, “Beneficial variations of all kinds will thus, either occasionally
or habitually, have been preserved, and injurious ones eliminated” (Thomas 130). In the
end, Darwin expressed his idea on the evolution of species saying that the accumulation of
favorable variations will gradually lead to the appearance of new species better adapted
to their environment. Another scientist, DeVries, later added to Darwin’s theory that
mutations were the source of new traits that permitted evolution to occur. These
scientists put together today’s basis of thinking and questioning evolutionary processes
(Coren 145).

Once these new scientific explanations were introduced into the society, people began
questioning not only animal origins, but also the beginnings of mankind itself. Through
years of research, experimentation, and applying the theories of evolution, it has been
suggested that man derived from the ape, and there is an endless amount of evidence to
prove it.

The first step in proving that man derived from ape is to compare the two organisms from
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