The scientific theory of evolution is fairly young compared to the religious belief of creationism. Before Charles Darwin, evolution was a blasphemous idea, while the belief that a god who is creator of everything was widely accepted. But ever since Darwin introduced his theory of evolution a century-and-a-half ago, there has been an ongoing debate about the theory versus creationism [Sober, 2013, pg: 68].
It’s undeniable that evolution occurs on some level with small adaptations, such as stronger limbs [Sober, 2013, pg: 69]. The problem arises with larger adaptations, such an organism gaining a new body part. According to Elliot Sober in his ‘Core Questions in Philosophy’, there are two types of evolution: theistic and atheistic [Sober, 2013, pg: 69]. The former states that God set evolutionary processes in motion, while the latter is similar but denies that God exists. It’s important to note that one does not necessarily have to be non-religious to believe in evolution. For instance, the Catholic Church has taken the stance of theistic evolutionism for years. Nevertheless, there are others that believe God directly gives rise to life, also known as ‘creationism’.
Before the theory of evolution came to being, there existed the Design Argument (an argument for the existence of an intelligent creator), which creationism follows [Sober, 2013, pg: 61]. In his formulation of the argument, William Paley uses the analogy of finding a watch on a beach. Did the waves by random chance create the watch (the ‘Random’ Hypothesis) or is it the product of intelligence? By the Surprise Principle (the notion that the more probable hypothesis makes what we observe less surprising than other hypotheses), the latter, called ...
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...aneously is a process even relevant to the idea of irreducible complexity. We can apply Sober’s method of thinking to evolving two eyes at the same time – it’s entirely possible. However, the system of a single eye is different than the system of four legs in that the components of the eye are unique while each of the horse’s legs have very similar, if not non-unique components.
As debates about evolution versus creationism continue, we grow closer and closer to finding an answer to this age-old question. It seems increasingly difficult, however, to attempt to prove creation in light of the fact that there seems to be no methods of research. On the other hand, proving evolution has been becoming increasingly viable as scientists research potential physical evidence. In the present day, however, neither hypothesis has any conclusive proof – all we can do is speculate.
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