The State of Georgia vs. Evolutionary Biology

The State of Georgia vs. Evolutionary Biology

Length: 799 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The State of Georgia vs. Evolutionary Biology


Douglas J. Futuyma, in Evolutionary Biology defined evolution as, "...change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next." (1)

Like most of the population, I've never picked up a copy of Evolutionary Biology and have only recently thought about the most correct definition of the term. The issue at hand is that most people do not reference scientific texts when formulating an opinion about evolution. Webster's Dictionary defines evolution as "...the development of a species, organism, or organ from its original or primitive state to its present or specialized state; phylogeny or ontogeny". Evolution, as I have concluded, is a scientific term, which has taken on a more controversial and politicized meaning in the non-scientific community, due in part to misinterpretation and false or misleading definitions like those presented in common publications like Webster's Dictionary. In our society, is it possible to avoid the politicized issues surrounding evolution by giving the concept a new name?

In January of 2004, Georgia State Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox proposed a new biology curriculum for students which would remove the term evolution from the classroom and replace it with biological changes over time. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other regional publications, critics are saying that this change in terminology will weaken students' learning experience. The adjusted biology curriculum would not require a revised textbook, nor would individual public school systems be prevented from teaching evolution in depth if they chose to do so. (2) Yet, even with this flexibility and minimal change to actual curriculum Georgia residents and politicians nationwide are in an uproar. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution online survey found that 12,900 people preferred the term "evolution" as opposed to the 1,783 who were in favor of biological changes over time.

Evolution, according to the most scientifically accepted theories is biological change over time. In What Evolution Is, Ernst Mayr presents the same simplified definition, describing evolution as "...change in the properties of populations of organisms over time". (4) If Kathy Cox feels that the theory might be better accepted if it is known as biological changes over time, that is her decision as State Schools Superintendent.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The State of Georgia vs. Evolutionary Biology." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=24636>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Tree of life: Genetic Sequencing and Evolutionary Biology

- The diversity and the unity of life are equally meaningful and striking aspects of our Earth (Dobzhansky, 1973). Although an astounding 1.2 million species have already been identified, it is estimated that another 8.7 million are yet, to be discovered and classified (Mora et al., 2011). By understanding what unifies us –our genes, our understanding of the organisms we share our planet with will continue to grow. Genomic sequencing is the process of determining the precise order of nucleotides within a DNA molecule....   [tags: genomic sequencing, evolutionary biology]

Research Papers
1635 words (4.7 pages)

Practical Applications of Evolutionary Biology Essay

- Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace's concept of natural selection and descent with modification helped shape the theory of evolution which holds as much weight as the theory of relativity per se. Evolutionary biology is the science devoted to understanding how populations change through time in response to modifications of their environment and how new species come into being by studying adaptation and diversity (Freeman and Herron 2004). Evolutionary biology has proved that all organisms have evolved from a common ancestor over the last 3.5 billion years....   [tags: Biology]

Research Papers
1498 words (4.3 pages)

Evolutionary Developmental Biology Essay

- Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) was instituted in the early 1980s as a distinctive field of study to characterise the new synthesis of evolution hypothesis (Müller, 2007). Evo-devo is regarded as a new rule in evolutionary biology and a complement to neo-Darwinian theories. It has formed from the combination of molecular developmental biology and evolutionary molecular genetics; their integration has helped greatly to understand both of these fields. Evo-devo as a discipline has been exploring the role of the process of individual development and the changes in evolutionary phenotype, meaning the developmental procedure by which single-celled zygotes grow to be multicellular or...   [tags: Biology ]

Research Papers
2219 words (6.3 pages)

Essay on The Evolutionary Biology Of Cancer

- So picture yourself, your mother or father has just undergone cancer treatment and now you are afraid that the disease could be passed down to you. Now picture yourself in the alternative knowing that the disease can be based down to you and your offspring and there are effective treatments in place. These are the studies that are being done in evolutionary biology of cancer and scientists are making great progress. Ecology and Evolutionary Biologists claim that natural selection has a factor in the genetics of cancer....   [tags: Evolution, Charles Darwin, Biology]

Research Papers
733 words (2.1 pages)

The State Of Georgia 's Coast Essay

- The state of Georgia was founded in 1733. The coast along the Altamaha River was not much more than just a tidal swamp and mud. The early Spanish settlers named this section of marshland Guale Territory. There was not much incentive to develop the coastal marsh lands because the original Georgia grant limited each family with 50 acres and prohibited the use of slave workers. Therefore, large plantations found in South Carolina and Virginia were not available to the Georgia Colony. Hofwyl-Broadfield is relatively new, historically speaking, because of Georgia’s long history....   [tags: Slavery, American Civil War, Georgia, Plantation]

Research Papers
931 words (2.7 pages)

Evolutionary Development Biology Essay

- Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has been instituted in the early 1980s as a distinctive field of study to characterize the new synthesis of evolution hypothesis (Müller, 2007). Evo-devo has been regarded as a new rule in evolutionary biology and complement to the neo- Darwinian theories. It has formed from the molecular developmental biology and evolutionary molecular genetics that their integration helps to greatly understand both of them into the recent evo-devo. Evo-devo as discipline has been explored the role of the process of individual development and the evolutionary phenotype changes that is mean the developmental procedure by which single-celled zygotes grow to be mul...   [tags: Biology, Embryology]

Research Papers
2144 words (6.1 pages)

Essay on Georgia 's State Of Georgia

- Peaches, peanuts, Vidalia onions, The Hunger Games, Vampire Diaries, Coca-Cola, and Chick Fil A. What do these four items have in common. They are all products from the state of Georgia. After being founded by James Oglethorpe in February 1733, Georgia became the thirteenth of the thirteen original colonies of the United States. It became a state on January 21, 1788 and has had five different state capitals: Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, Milledgeville, and the current state capital Atlanta. Georgia’s make up is predominantly rural with urbans cities such as Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, Athens, and Augusta....   [tags: United States Senate, Democratic Party]

Research Papers
1057 words (3 pages)

Essay on Biology And Evolutionary Biology : Why Are We Here?

- Who are we, and Why are we here. The search to answer these questions has led me to my interest in physical anthropology and evolutionary biology. Through my undergraduate studies in these fields, I not only discovered the wonders of human evolution, but my classes have made me became more aware of the many healthcare issues both locally and globally. It was this realization, and my growing interest in public health and healthcare policy, that lead me to apply to the integrated graduate studies program to receive a Masters in Bioethics, simultaneously with my undergraduate degree....   [tags: Medicine, Public health]

Research Papers
747 words (2.1 pages)

About Georgia Essay

- Georgia was admitted as a state in 1788 and was one of the Confederate States of America. It was once primarily a farm state, producing large amounts of cotton, but has since become a major manufacturing and service industry state. Georgia is named for George II of England. It is bordered by Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, and Florida. The population of the state is estimated at about 8,186,453. Caucasian people make up about 71% of Georgia's population, while African-Americans account for about 27%....   [tags: Report Georgia]

Research Papers
981 words (2.8 pages)

Biology Essay

- Biology is the science of living systems. It is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring knowledge of the physical sciences and mathematics, although specialities may be oriented toward a group of organisms or a level of organization. BOTANY is concerned with plant life, ZOOLOGY with animal life, algology with ALGAE, MYCOLOGY with fungi, MICROBIOLOGY with microorganisms such as protozoa and bacteria, CYTOLOGY with CELLS, and so on. All biological specialties, however, are concerned with life and its characteristics....   [tags: Biology]

Free Essays
2806 words (8 pages)

Related Searches



Terrie Kielborn, a middle school science teacher who served on the curriculum committee, said that the rationale for not including the term evolution was community reaction. The United States, especially the south, is known for its very active Christian Conservative voting block. In the past, this particular group has fought to ban evolution completely in schools, because of its conflict with the Creationist teaching. The Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to ban evolution on religious grounds in 1968; as such legislation would violate first amendment rights. (3) Cox has been accused of distorting evolution by distorting its meaning in the classroom, I, however, beg to differ. If evolution is, in essence, still being taught to Georgia's school children with only slight modification, it shouldn't matter if Georgia teachers were referring to it as George, the theory of evolution is still be taught.

Cox has described evolution as controversial, and indeed it is. By detaching the community from the divisive term and instead focusing attention to the correct teaching of the theory, Cox has attempted to make a new story for the students of Georgia. Her assertion is that evolution can be taught without the constraints of terminology, however, she was wrong. Despite her attempts to avoid controversy, her curriculum amendments only created further disagreement. On February 5th, Superintendent Cox decided to scrap her plans to remove the term evolution from the curriculum. The Georgia Governor described it as the right thing to do. (5)

The United States is still adjusting to the idea that a theory like evolution can exist in addition to other competing theories and moreover, be taught in schools. Superintendent Cox was merely thinking outside of the box. Despite the supposed eagerness of constituents and politicians to now preserve the biological education of Georgia students, perhaps they are only impeding it? If students, and their parents, thought of evolution in a different way, by reevaluating the terminology or understanding of the theory, perhaps teaching would be more effective. However, the United States is not ready to evolve just yet.

Works Cited

1. Moran, Laurence http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-definition.html
2. MacDonald, Mary "Georgia may shun 'evolution' in schools" http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/0104/29curriculum.html, January 29, 2004.
3. "The Closet Atheist" http://www.geocities.com/closetatheist/evolutionclassroom.htm, January 2001.
4. Mayr, Ernst. What Evolution Is. New York: Perseus Book Groups, 2001.
5. "Georgia Schools Chief Says 'Evolution' Will Stay" http://www.newsday.com/, February 6, 2004.
Return to 123HelpMe.com