February 21st, 2009 13:45 EST
Darwinism Under the Microscope
DARWINISM: Under the Microscope
Regardless of all the attacks on Darwinism, Darwinism has survived all tests of time and has remained the kingpin, the paradigm of all exacting science. In other words, biology would make little sense without evolution.
Darwinism simple means that living things must adapt to their changing environments, and those who adapt, survive and are better suited to pass on their genes to succeeding generations. And these subtle changes produce over a long period of time variations in the species.
In short, Darwin explains everything in the natural world. He is often attacked not because of this simple fact of nature, but that his theories are synonymous with all evolutionary theories. The idea of evolution existed before Darwin; all he did was explain how it works.
But people fear Darwin because his ideas are associated with general naturalistic terms, and these, that life can be explained through a natural explanation and understanding of reality, much like the origin of the solar system can be explain through natural laws. This is the real issue, and modern thinkers like Gills and Woodward who attack Darwin, do so only through half witted philosophical arguments peppered with colorful metaphors to attract their narrow audience, instead of using sound scientific reasoning based upon quantitative data.
Creationists want to negate all gradual changes in the morphological structure of living things. Their dogmas dictate that species were created ready made out of the hand of the creator and can be traced back to the arc. They abhor transitions and are generally blinded to them much like those who refused to acknowledge the moons of Jupiter for Galileo. Transitions do exist from horses to humans, birds, reptiles, ever living thing as the fossil record becomes more complete. Recent frontal assaults focus upon the so called Cambrian explosion.
Biologists are not at a loss to account for the rapid development of a plethora of new species as if they were some how miraculously placed there. Recent evidence supports that life was just as abundant before the Cambrian period, but due to their lack of something hard to fossilize fossils are rare. As cells evolved from prokaryotic to eukaryotic we should have both gradual and rapid transitions in the complexity in the cosmic soup of life. This is what we find. Only when life added newer calcium byproducts (shells and carapaces) do we have a rapid increase in fossils.
The Cambrian explosion is more about the nature of fossils than the explosion of species. Darwinism will always remain under the microscope as all scientific theories and will remain the paradigm of modern thought because it is the only rational explanation that explains the fossil record. Until someone comes up with a better theory Darwinism will remain in our textbooks.