Darwinian Explanation of Evolution: Part I

Darwin did something very important for us some 150 years ago, when he published his "On the Origin of Species" in 1859. This famous book, as you might already know, is about evolution.

However, contrary to popular belief, Darwin is the not the originator of the concept of evolution. Darwin's grandfather, for example, had also a similar idea.

The contribution of Darwin is that he conceived a logical notion to explain the mechanism of evolution. Darwin's explanation is quite simple indeed: the evolutionary mechanism is by natural selection.

The important thing to highlight here is that evolution is not a theory, it is an observable fact. For example, that human and other lifeforms living on earth is an observable fact.

To explain this fact, we may invoke the Jewish notion that we are created by Elohim using only dust of the ground. The Chinese also have a similar notion for the origin of humankind, they postulated that we are created from soil by a goddess named Nǚwā (女娲). The Muslim, on the other hand, maintained that we are created by Allah from blood clots.

All of these notions may be grouped together as one theory on the basis that they presume the existence of a divine being. And it is interesting to emphasize here that the prerequisite used in these explanation cannot be proved and disproved by scientific arguments.

Erich Von Daniken have another theory for the origin of human beings. His theory is that human is just a type of alien-ape crossbreed. This is another interesting theory.

In modern evolutionary biology, the origin of humankind is usually explained using evolution by natural selection. It maintained that we evolves progressively from lower primates, as shown in the following illustration.



Evolution by natural selection is a theory. There exist other theory to explain evolution. Lamarck, for example, proposed in 1809, that living things evolve by passing their acquired physiological characteristics to the next generation.

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