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Nietsche and Evolution Essay

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Nietsche and Evolution

"It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all."
-Melville

In 1859 Charles Darwin offered a theory that seemed to disprove the longstanding explanation of the Origin of existence. Darwin's theory of evolution proposes a convincing argument that the universe was not created for a purpose, with intention, by a conscious God, but rather, was a phenomenon of random change. Fredrick Nietzsche articulated the gravity of the effect of Darwin's theory on society. He said that when Darwin published the theory of evolution people stopped believing in God. Nietzsche wrote that when people stopped believing in God, God died. According to Nietzsche people read the theory of evolution
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When humans stop searching, when we no longer yearn to know the Origin of existence then God will die.

This searching for the ultimate explanation for existence is a phenomenon that has permeated human thought for centuries, if not for the entire history of humanity. Aristotle gave an explanation of this Origin: God. This explanation was cherished for centuries. Darwin did not try to substitute Aristotle's explanation with another, he did not offer a theory to what the actual Origin of the first species was, but rather, suggested a scientifically based proposal that there is no evidence of the existence of a conscious, purposeful God. This revolutionary idea sent a shock through western society. People's beliefs were unsettled and they were forced to begin a new search for the answer to the question of Origin.

Even before Aristotle, Plato made an attempt to answer teleological questions in a scientific manner. Daniel Dennett describes Plato's theory of Ideas by writing, "every earthly thing is a sort of imperfect copy or reflection of an ideal exemplar or Form that existed timelessly in the Platonic realm of Ideas, reigned over by God. This Platonic heaven of abstractions was not visible, of course, but was accessible to Mind through deductive thought." Aristotle used this theory of Ideas to expand his theory of Essences. Aristotle's theory of Essences is the theory that "permeated the thinking of just about
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