Term Paper: Evolution Creationism

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Evolution and Creationism

In the early 1920's the older Victorians, called Traditionalists, became alarmed at the social chaos they found in society, with Intellectualism, women beginning to feel less restricted, with jazz, dancing the Charleston, smoking, drinking, flaunting prohibition, abstract art, Freudian psychology and no one asking permission to do anything. The Traditionalists felt that everything valuable was slipping away. A wave of Revivalism swept the South to counteract Modernism and Intellectualism. There was conflict between the liberals and the conservatives in society, between the Evolutionists and the Fundamentalists. Things came to a head in the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, when John Scopes, a high school biology teacher, was tried for teaching the theory of evolution. The trial was widely covered by the most famous broadcasters in the nation. In the trial, also called the "Scopes Monkey Trial," it was decided that it would be legal to teach evolution in the public schools. (Futuyma, 1982)

More recently, "Creationists" have brought up the issue again, trying to get a religious theory accepted back into the public school curriculum. The Fundamentalists want "Intelligent Design" taught in the classrooms, rather than "Darwinism," a term meaning "Evolution," which is now the dominating theory espoused by science teachers and biologists. (Darwin 1962) Today, the social scene is similar to the 1920's, in that Fundamentalists are alarmed at the apparent licentiousness in society today. Young people seem to be out of control, the nation seems to be moving away from its roots, the core American family is hard to find and religion is on the wane as fewer and fewer people go to church. The Neo-Creationists, however, are not like their forbearers in that they do not believe in a young earth (only a few thousand years old) or in a literal interpretation of the Bible. These Fundamentalists simply reject naturalism, as opposed to supernaturalism in the beginning of life, and oppose an atheistic "scientific method" as the means of natural selection and other scientific phenomena. They want religion to be an alternative choice for young people who study the universe.

Darwin is described by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as:

distinctive form of evolutionary explanation for the history and diversity of life on earth. Its original formulation is provided in the first edition of On the Origin of Species in 1859. This entry first formulates 'Darwin's Darwinism' in terms of five philosophically distinctive themes: (i) probability and chance, (ii) the nature, power and scope of selection, (iii) adaptation and teleology, (iv) nominalism vs. essentialism about species and (v) the tempo and mode of evolutionary change. (Darwinism, 2004)

Darwin was a man who travelled the world observing biolog in plants and animals. As he travelled and observed, he found he was dealing with a mechanism of natural selection, as some species were able to survive in certain environments while others died out, but were those that died out were still able to in kinder environments. This observation grew into his theory of Natural Selection, in which evolution became a matter of "Survival of the Fittest." In his day, there was no rigid definition of "Darwinism" and the ideas spread throughout the world, becoming rather popular. It was so popular that lecturers toured the country expressing this new idea to great crowds of people.

Today, Darwinism, or Evolutionism is the accepted view of biologists, who teach natural selection as a matter of fact and evolution, including various theories of how the world began and how… [END OF PREVIEW]

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