A research paper on Darwinism
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Natural Selection and Fitness……………………………………….4
The subject of evolution is one of the issues that many people have been taking interest in. Many scholars and many theories have been developed to explain how different organisms have evolved to be what they are today. One of the theories that have been used in these explanations is the Darwinian theory of evolution. The term Darwinism has been employed in the explanations of degeneration or the evolution of different special in different contexts. The term has been used by various scholars in their specific studies. But in all the studies the term focuses on the development of species according to various times. The term is applied in the social world, political world and also in the biological field.
The Darwinian theory of evolution is the one that has brought a lot of heated debates due to its explanation of where the human and other species came from. There has been great differences between those who belief in the Darwinian theory and those who belief in creation
theory. One of the areas that the Darwinian theory has had an upper hand over the creation theory is the fact that the theory is more scientific and has produces some evidence. But on the other hand the creation theory has not been able to produce evidence of the supernatural being who it holds that created the universe. This is a theory that explains how different species have evolved in different stages. (Fiske 2008).
In this paper I will look at the different concepts that are related to Darwinism and the applicability of the process in the life that we are living. The concepts to be discussed are the process of evolution, natural selection, fitness, social darwinisn, political darwinism, moral darwinism. I will also look at some of the weakness that darwinisn theory has. Thesis statement is that darwinian theory is still applicable in our modern world.
Natural Selection and Fitness
Darwinian on the issues of the degeneration of the species uses the explanation of the natural selection where the preferred species survive over other species. The theory holds that life is usually a struggle every creature must struggle in order to survive. The more an organism.
According to the Darwinian theory it is those organisms that are fit that are in a position to survive. The capability of an individual to survive depends on the way the organism is able to adapt to changes in the environment and also its capability in reproduction (Behe 2007). However this is not static as the genotypes that effect change may change overtime. Those genotypes that have a higher fitness usually become more common. This softness usually depicts itself by the use of phenotype. This genotype is usually affected by the genes and the environment of the individual. It should be noted here that individuals with the same genotype do not adapt at the same level. There are those that are more adaptable than the others. Most of the time this will depend with the environment by which the individual live. (Arthur 2007).
Fitness also depicts how a certain organism is successful in passing of its genes from one generation to the next. If an organism has many off springs that are able to reproduce then it means that that organism will survive for a long time. This idea of fitness is the same as the looking at the quality of an individual. This concept of fitness is important in the explanation of why some organisms reproduce more than others or why certain species of animals get extinct.
In our day to day lives it is noted that there are species of animals that are usually common. One of the reasons behind this is the fact that the animals are in a position to reproduce quickly. Also it should be noted that these animals which are many in number in a certain environment are have the ability to adapt to such kind of an environment than others. Even in human beings if there is an outbreak of a disease there are people who are able to survive this epidemics but some other who are weak are not in a position to adapt and they end up perishing.
The other concept that arises out of Darwinian theory is the issue of natural selection. Natural selection which can also be related with fitness. This process states that it is only the strong who survive. This individual organism that is not in a position to compete with others does not survive. Darwin came up with this idea after he realised that various organisms had who belonged to the same species had some traits that had variation. Those are the traits that made some to be more suited to survive than the others. In his explanation he stated that the better suited would survive while the weaker ones would die. In this process the organisms would change totally to become other creatures. This issue of natural; selection was evidenced during the industrial revolution when the light coloured moths failed to survive because they failed to adapt to the environment. But the dark coloured moths survived as they hid by the trees which had been darkened by the soot from the smoke therefore making the predators not able to find them. This is also evidenced while people select the strong animals for breeding and they eliminate the weak animals as they would prefer to have breeds that are strong. (Russel 2007).
This theory has also been tested in the laboratory. The organisms which have been used for the tests are the male guppies. In the test those that had large tails than the other and had bright colouration were selected more by the females for mating. However at the same time the colouration made them to be more vulnerable to the predators. The other issue that depicts natural selection is the resistant of bacteria to penicilin.First when an individual took antibiotics it would destroy the bacteria which caused the illness. But in the process there were some bacteria which had a stronger resistant and therefore they would survive. They would reproduce some other bacteria that were much resistant. This process continued until all the bacteria became resistant to the antibiotics as they had a strong gene that would resist the effect of the penicillin. (Carroll 2004).
The process of the natural selection is also applicable in plants. Biologically most plants have adapted differently to in various environments. There are those that will adapt well in cold places
while the other will do well in the warm or hot environment. Some plants are capable have strong resistance to harsh climatic conditions while others do not.
Then there is the social Darwinism which is usually there application of evolution in human society development. It depicts the kind of struggles that usually goes on in the society. It shows how those who win these struggles survive while those who fail the struggles perish in the process. This idea of social Darwinism has been used in explanation of capitalism and also in the explanations of political power and war.
The theory gives explanations of the economic development of America. It gives that explanations hoe economies develop like ecosystems making the strong to be more successful and putting the weak out of the market. It explains how the US economic became so competitive and eliminated those who could not cope with the competition especially the small industries. (Laurent 2001) This selection of the strong is seen as way of creating more competition which makes the various companies be in a position to offer quality goods in the market. This also makes them be in a position to offer good prices for their products in order to try to put the competitor out of the market. This concept of the survival for the fittest is still very applicable today when one looks at how the economy operates. This is evidenced by the way the larger companies which have a lot of funds have been eliminating the small industries out of the market. This is because they are in a position to offer a variety of products while the weaker companies can only offer limited products. (Arthur 2007).
The elimination of the weaker companies have made the large corporate to be in a position to control the American economy. The competition is becomes strong as the companies try to be more snmatter than the rest. This competition has really assisted the economy to grow. The only problem with this competition is that it has made the businesses to lack a sense of accommodation as they are only engaged in the process of outdoing one another. Social Darwinism is also experienced in sports where in order to be in a position to be able to compete with the other one has to practise very hard and posses more skills.(Laurent 2001)
In politics darwinism there is predator called democracy. This is a system which fights for free elections and also has the concept of the rule of the majority. This is a system that is formed on the aspect that decision which should be followed is the one that the majority of the people support. This makes the other group which do not support such that ideology to support the one that the majority group is supporting. In the same line if it is in the elections, a candidate who gathers the majority votes becomes the winner and rules even the group that did not support him. People are also allowed to follow the rules and the regulation that are mostly developed by the political class or a few individual who posses power. (Dickens 2000).
In political elections those candidates who have a lot of resources usually have a high chances oif winning as compared to those candidates who do not have enough resources. This is because if one has enough resources he or she is in a better position to have stronger teams for the campaigns which would not be possible for the other candidate who does not have enough resources. (Smith 2006). In the same case a candidate who has more ideologies that people would require also stands a position to win in the elections than the candidate whose ideologies are termed as weak. This depicts how the weak would find it difficult to survive in the political field. (Dickens 2000).
Political leaders also exploit the masses. In many countries of the world the political class exploits the other people by giving themselves large salaries and allowances while the citizens work for them for just little pay. They take the advantage of the lack of knowledge among many people in using public utilities and resources. (Laurent 2001). All these depict how Darwinism theory concept of survival for the fittest is practical even in our modern society on the issues of the governance. (Smith 2006).
Darwinism is still applicable morally where cultures are striving to make other cultures to conform to their values. In fact this has lead to development of new cultural values when the weak cultural values are integrated in the strong cultural values. There has been justification of the survival for the fittest even in the justification of our social inequalities. This is wrong considering that a human society is artificial and human beings should strive to support those who are weak. But this is not the case in our current society where you find that the strong would wish to exploit the weak. This depicts the extent by which we neglect human values for personal gains. Society is supposed to give the same rights those who are strong and also the weak. Our society is supposed to behave in a way that there is caring for humanity. Some groups should not feel that their cultural beliefs are stronger than others and therefore take any advantage. There should be more accommodation of the cultural beliefs. The society should be run in a manner that all human beings benefit out of the human civilisation. (Wicker 2002).
Still on the moral issue Darwinism is still depicted on how our society has grown in its beliefs. Cultural believes have developed from the traditional kind of a society to the modern cultures. In the process of culture degeneration, those values in the society that have failed to stand the demands of the modern times have been eliminated but the values that have been able to adapt to the modern lifestyle are still held in our culture. Those individual who have failed to adapt to the modern values of life are also being eliminated out of the society. For example those who fail to adhere to the law are usually imprisoned or taken to remand institutions so that they can be rehabilitated in order to adapt to the demands of the society. (Wicker 2002).
The other area where Darwinism has been used so much is examining the origin of species. Many people are so much interested in understanding how they originated. The creation theory holds that organisms were formed by a supernatural being. The darwinian theory of evolution holds that organisms evolved .In evolution theory species have different traits according to the generation. For example the theory holds that there was a time that the giraffes had short necks but in the modern species they have a long neck. According to this theory it’s the demand of nature that allows animals to form some characteristics so that they can adapt to such kinds of environment. In the case of the giraffe it’s the demand for the search of food in the tall trees that made theme to be elongated. In the development of human beings the desire to be in a position to adapt to the modern society makes us to develop in our way of thinking and in the technology. For example the theory holds that we have developed through stages to reach at the stage that we are today. There were species that used stones as cutting tools but due to demands to make work easies and efficient human mind has developed to invent machines that are used for cutting which are operated using electricity. The theory holds that organisms will
not stop developing but that they will continue evolving with time in order to adapt to the needs of the environment. This holds sense for example in the development of the human brains. As compared to the last 20 years there has been great development in technology each and every day there are inventions which are more practical that the former ones. This shows that human mind is evolving by becoming brighter.
One of the areas that the theory has been criticised is in its explanation of the development of the human mind. Scientist holds that the development of the human mind cannot be as a result of natural selection but it is unique .Many scientists hold that the development of the mind is out of the environment that an individual is exposed to. This holds some water because for example in our modern society institutions of learning have been used as the brain sharpeners to the children. There is a difference on those people who attend the institutions and those who do not attend. So the development of their mind is out of the learning they receive from schools but the issue of natural selection does not arise.
This theory also can be criticised using the John Locke view that a child is born having a blank mind i.e. tabula rasa but the mind is filled with information or knowledge out of the experiences and the environment that he or she is exposed to.
Another weakness of darwinisn is in the issue of evolving of organisms in various stages. There has been no scientific proof to make this concept a fact. This is evolving in terms of the physical traits. For example there is no empirical evidence that there was a time that the giraffes had shorter necks than they have today. In the same line there has been no proof that there is any species that have changed to become other species due to change in the environment. Darwinism theory only gives explanations of how this happens without giving any scientific proof.
On the issue of evolution there is no yet scientific proof that atoms can develop to form living things as the theory explains. This is what has brought a lot of criticism from biological scientists. (Fiske 2008).
In social Darwinism the theory describes democracy as a predator. This might not be necessarily true as countries which have good democratic governments have been in a position to develop more as compared to countries that have been governed by use of dictatorship governments. It is also not necessarily that society develops with time as the theory holds. There are some societies that do not progress i.e. they either remain in a static position or retrogress even as time moves.
As can be seen from the above information the darwinism theory can be used in different fields. It very practical even today despite the few weaknesses that it has. It our duty in the society to use it in a more positive way rather than to use the theory to justify our inhumane acts.
In the scientific field it has really helped many scientists in development of other theories in evolution and development of species. So the theory should not be eliminated as many people have been suggesting.
Arthur, J. Darwinism and human life, READ BOOKS publishers (2007).
Behe, M.).The edge of revolution, free press (2007
Carroll, J. (2004).Literally Darwinism: evolution, human nature, and literature, Routledge (2007)
Dickens, P. Social Darwinism: linking evolutionary thought to social theory, Open University press. (2000).
Fiske, J. Darwinism and other essays, Biblio bazaar publishers (2008).
Laurent, J. (2001) Darwinism and evolutionary economics, Edward Edgar publishing. (2008).
Russel, A. (2007).Darwinism: An exposition of the theory of natural selection, Cosimo publishers (2008).
Ruse, M. Darwinism and its discontents, Cambridge university press. (2006).
Smith, R. Money, power and elections, LSU Press. (2006).
Wicker, B.(2002).Moral Darwinism, Intervarsity press.
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