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Sunday, 11 January 2015

Evolution

Evolution is a scientific theory used by biologists to explain how living things change over a long time.

Augustine of Hippo believed in evolution. He thought that some species of plants and animals had developed from earlier creations.

Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, a Medieval Persian scholar, put forward the basic theory of evolution 600 years before Charles Darwin was born

Charles Darwin formulated an argument for the scientific theory of evolution by means of natural selection. He first published his theory on August 20, 1858 in The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, alongside Alfred Russel Wallace's same theory. The next year Darwin expanded on his ideas in his book On the Origin of Species.

  Charles Darwin
                                                             

After Charles Darwin postulated his theory of evolution in Origin of Species, some intellectuals latched on his theory with great enthusiasm. However he was vehemently attacked and ridiculed by the church, most famously during a debate with the pro evolutionist Thomas Huxley at Oxford when Bishop Samuel Wilberforce summed up the ecclesiastical indignation over evolution by asking Huxley whether he was descended from apes on his grandfather or grandmother’s side.

When the tower of Chichester Cathedral fell down a bishop in the House of Lords blamed Darwin.

Robert Fitzroy, the commander of the Beagle, on which Darwin made his five-year voyage in the 1830s became one of Darwin's fiercest critics on scriptural grounds. Tragically he later committed suicide for the part he believed he played in undermining the Bible.

The first edition On The Origin Of Species did not contain the word ‘evolution’, though its last word is ‘evolved’.

The sixth edition of On The Origin Of Species, published in 1872, mentions ‘evolution’ eight times, with another six uses of ‘evolve’ or ‘evolved’.

The phrase ‘survival of the fittest’, often associated with Darwin, was coined by biologist Herbert Spencer after reading Darwin’s work.

The animal most frequently mentioned in Origin Of Species is the pigeon.

The U.S. state of Tennessee outlawed evolution from being taught in public schools on January 14, 1925. The theory wasn't allowed back until 1967.

John T. Scopes, a high school biology teacher from Tennessee was convicted and fined $100 on July 21, 1925 of teaching the theory of evolution to his class, an illegal act under Tennessee law. The trial, nicknamed “The Monkey Trial”, received world-wide publicity.

Photograph of John Scopes taken one month before the Tennessee v. John T. Scopes Trial.

The Scopes Trial decision caused the subject of evolution to become very rare in American secondary biology textbooks for a generation.

Billy Sunday, the American evangelist proclaimed in the 1920s, “if a minister believes and teaches evolution, he is a stinking skunk, a hypocrite and a liar.”

In America, the competing religious belief of creationism was legally disallowed in secondary school curricula in various decisions in the 1970s and 1980s, but it returned in pseudoscientific form as intelligent design (ID), to be excluded once again in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case.

President George W. Bush declared his support for the teaching of intelligent design (ID) theory in public schools along with Darwinian evolution.

The Frigate bird appears to have escaped natural selection. Its feathers are not waterproof so it can't swim or dive for food. Its feet are not webbed enough for it to paddle and its wings are too big for it to take off from the ocean, so it has to rely on stealing food from other birds.

In the western world Darwinian evolution, despite being merely a theory, is treated as factual by most. Those who believe in a literal creationist interpretation of the Bible are considered to be intellectually lacking.

Belief in evolution is highest among Icelanders (80 per cent) and lowest in Turkey (24 per cent).

Source Daily Express

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