Aristotle Vs Darwin Essay Research Paper The — страница 3

  • Просмотров 493
  • Скачиваний 9
  • Размер файла 19

biologist, Sir Thomas Henry Huxley, felt the renewed inspection of evolution was going to be the extinction of teleology. Huxley said, “The doctrine of evolution is the most formidable opponent of all the common and courser forms of Teleology The Teleology which supposes that the eye, such as we see it in man or one of the higher vertebrate, was made with the precise structure it exhibits, for the purpose of enabling the animals which possesses it to see, has undoubtedly received its death blow” (Ayala, 228). Darwin realized that with the teleological approach contrary to his views, he should attempt to shed doubt on the ideas of a fixed relationship between an organism and its environment. One example of Darwin s powerful debates against teleology includes winged yet

flight-less beetles. In trying to prove that some organisms have extremities that are useless to them, Darwin says “if simple creation, surely it would have [been] born without them [the wings]” (Ospovat, 26). Even though Darwin rejected the idea of teleology, he still very much respected its “creator,” Aristotle. Darwin appreciates Aristotle s contribution to biology so much that he is mentioned in the opening paragraph of Origin of the Species. Darwin also praises his pioneering work, and recognizes his role in knowledge now common, but to have discovered and theorized such principles in Aristotle s time, Darwin considers an amazing discovery. In 1860 Darwin wrote Asa Gray, “I cannot think the world as we see it is the result of chance; and yet I cannot look at each

separated thing as the result of Design I am, and shall ever remain, in a hopeless muddle.” According to Ayala, this thought shows that while Darwin has a mechanistic viewpoint, he is never truly denying any sort of evolutionary viewpoint to its fullest; he is simply stating that which he believes in (225). However much confused about teleology, Darwin did not think the world should be explained in terms of its purpose in the universe. Once, Darwin asked the question, “What would the astronomer say to the doctrine that the planets moved not according to the laws of gravitation, but from the creator having willed each separate planet to move in its particular orbit?” (Burrow, 48). Darwin is referring to the breakdown between astronomy and religion, physics and chemistry that

happened during the Renaissance period. Darwin suggested the inclusion of biology as a hard science so that other sciences like physics and chemistry would not be unfairly built on the organization of knowledge, based on testable, working hypotheses. The theory of evolution was not formed by Darwin. Ideas of man progressing from smaller life existed even in Ancient Greece. Empedocles evolution theory involved “the coming together of limbs,” while Xenophanes thought that humans came into existence “from earth and water.” Darwin s beginning to the Origin of the Species is mostly a listing of antecedents to philosophers of evolution, and what views they held. One of these predecessors was Darwin s grandfather, Eramus Darwin. Why Charles Darwin was more “powerful” than

the other evolutionary scientists was his theory of natural selection as the vehicle of evolution. Darwin credits the inspiration of his natural selection theory to reading T.R. Malthus Essay on Population (1798). In this essay, Malthus tried to show an equilibrium viewpoint unless checked by famine, disease or voluntary restraint, population growth will outrun food supply. Darwin s theory was finished by the time he wrote the “sketch of 1842″ but he did not release it for twenty years because he wanted to produce a large work with both his own evidence for his ideas, and evidence of other naturalists (Ospovat, 1). Darwin was made to publish his own theory earlier than planned, when he learned that another naturalist was planning to publish a similar one. (Coincidentally, the

other naturalist, Alfred Wallace, was inspired by the same essay). Darwin s theory completely changed biological philosophy. With his theory came the recognition that the self(individual) is the most vital unit of biological change, and that this polymorph happens due to total chance. In his theory, Charles Darwin suggested that there is a “Struggle for existence.” This “struggle” was later put into use for support within several arguments. British Imperialists attempted to rationalize their operations by arguing that Darwinism suggested the strong must overpower the weak. In the late 19th century, “Passionate Nationalism” caused members of each nationality to trust that their nation was the most powerful. And, in the early 20th century, Hitler and other Nazi party