Major Themes in the Theory of Evolution Essay

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Major Themes in the Theory of Evolution The world around us changes. This simple fact is obvious everywhere we look. Streams wash dirt and stones from higher places to lower places. Untended gardens fill with weeds. Other changes are more gradual but much more dramatic when viewed over long time scales. Powerful telescopes reveal new stars coalescing from galactic dust, just as our sun did more than 4.5 billion years ago. The earth itself formed shortly thereafter, when rock, dust, and gas circling the sun condensed into the planets of our solar system. Fossils of primitive microorganisms show that life had emerged on earth by about 3.8 billion years ago. Similarly, the fossil record reveals profound changes in the kinds of…show more content…
The ancient Greeks were already speculating about the origins of life and changes in species over time. More than 2,500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Anaximander thought that a gradual evolution had created the world's organic coherence from a formless condition, and he had a fairly modern view of the transformation of aquatic species into terrestrial ones. Following the rise of Christianity, Westerners generally accepted the explanation provided in Genesis, the first book of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim Bible, that God created everything in its present form over the course of six days. However, other explanations existed even then. Among Christian theologians, for example, Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 to 1274) stated that the earth had received the power to produce organisms and criticized the idea that species had originated in accordance with the timetables in Genesis.1 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, and Gregor Mendel laid the foundations of modern evolutionary theory. During the early 1800s, many naturalists speculated about changes in organisms, especially as geological investigations revealed the rich story laid out in the fossilized remains of extinct creatures. But although ideas about evolution were proposed, they never gained wide acceptance because no one was able to propose a plausible mechanism for how the form of

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