The Idea Of Natural Selection

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The idea of anthropocentrism provides comfort to humans. It posits that in this messy, incomprehensible world, we are still the central species. This idea allows, and even encourages, humans to view the world through a very anthropological lens and assume that, because we are the dominant and most important species, nature works in human terms and is the domain of man. The idea of creationism is very anthropocentric itself. In the Hebrew Bible, man was created before all other animals and designed in God’s image. He was given domain over nature by God as well. This idea of human supremacy and exceptionalism has persisted into modernity, but the advent of Darwin’s evolutionary theory altered human’s perception of themselves and the natural world.
The typical belief in human dominance was shaken through Darwin’s idea of natural selection and evolution which posited that humans, just as all other species “descended from some one prototype” (484). The descendants of this one prototype evolved based on natural selection. Evolution led to the creation of all organisms, living and extinct, including humans. The theory of evolution challenged the ideas of human exceptionalism and anthropocentrism by including humans in the same category as all other organisms, organisms that we as humans feel superior to. In evolutionary theory, humans become simply another species that managed to survive the “struggle for existence” rather than a master of nature created in the image of
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