Aristotle Vs Darwin Essay Research Paper The — страница 2

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on the “final cause” of the entire entity. Aristotle accepted that the “soul” was probably the final cause, and his Parts of Animals says “now it may be that the form of any living creature is soul, or some part of soul, or something that involves soul. Aristotle s ideas and traditions continued on their path long after his physical shell passed away. In the 12th and 13th century, Aristotle s philosophy was re-founded and incorporated into Christian philosophy by St. Thomas Aquinas. During the Renaissance, when the earth was discovered to no longer be the center of the universe, Aristotle s astronomical systems broke down, but his biological theories remained intact. This does not mean all people accepted Aristotle s theories during the Renaissance, however. One

philosopher from the twentieth century, Mayr, accuses Aristotle s teleology of the non-organic world for the refutation of Aristotle by Descartes and Bacon. Both of these men criticized “the existence of a form-giving, finalistic principle in the universe” and believed this rejection demanded the removal of all teleological uses even biology (Mayr, 38). Scientists were forced to look over the concept of living things again when time was discovered in the 18th century. With the exception of Heraclitus and Lucretius, most scientists had described a static world. Once Buffon remade the geological structure of the earth, and put it into a series of stages, all scientists were forced to account for this new information that the world was much older than originally thought. This

formed the field of Paleontology. The information gained from paleontology and the “new” geology was necessary to the evolutionary argument. Deists, however, created another explanation for the creation of the world; God created the world and then gave it a set of laws that guided the world into perfection (Mayr, 57). The use of natural theology helped stabilize religion. By the mid 1850 s, the sciences of psychics and chemistry were used to explain the unknown forces, such as gravity, that were previously associated with religion. The general population still felt safe with their beliefs because they agreed to the above deist explanation of the history of the earth and because biological functions were continually explained in conjunction with a creator. Theology in the

English Protestant Church was documented through “Natural Theology,” the “demonstration of the goodness of god by the contemplation of nature and the benevolent artifice which seemed everywhere to demonstrate” (Burrow, 17). The church at this time, of the Victorian Era, was very dominating. The Christian heritage was flourishing in this epoch of regulation and purpose. The only dissension from the austere Victorian Era was from a man named Lamarck. In 1809 he published Philosophie Zoolique, in which he intended to prove that organic structures gave rise to additional organs when needed and that these new organs were passed onto their progeny (Ayala, 9). Lamarck s hypothesis of evolution embodied the two main standards to include: 1) there is an inherent drive towards

progress; and 2) that there is a birthright of traits that are acquired characteristics (Simpson, 266). For some reason, the study of natural history became immensely popular in the early nineteenth century. Exploring nature was seen as a way to explore God and natural theology. Because such exploration was easy to accomplish, unlike astronomy (which required mathematics) things like trees and birds were studied by common folk as well as scientists. This popularity was proven when the initial 1,250 copies of Darwin s Origin of the Species sold out in one day (Burrow, 19). Charles Darwin was one of history s most knowledgeable biologists and ranks with some of the greatest intellectual heroes of mankind (Simpson, 268). After several career changes, Darwin became a naturalist. In

1831, he began a position as a naturalist on the H.M.S. Beagle, an exploration vessel that needed a naturalist to keep a record of the ship s biological discoveries (Moore, 9). When Darwin began this trip, he shared the popular belief that every organism was created to suit its environment and that there was order and harmony in nature. When Darwin returned to England five years later, he still believed there was harmony in nature but now doubted in perfect adaptation. Instead, he believed in transmutation of the species (each species is a descendent of an earlier species and that the traits are inherited) (Moore, 10). Darwin s metamorphosis occurred during a time when many naturalists were beginning to reject the teleological approach to explaining biological shapes. One