SCIENCE AND EVOLUTION 1
There are various theories to demonstrate that evolution, indeed,takes place. Comparative biology shows that various features inorganism develop continuously. Science is considered as the gatewayto understanding evolution. Accepting or dismissing evolution dependson the success or failure of scientific conviction. Studentsinterested in biological studies have varied perceptions ofevolution. A majority have pre-formed attitudes shaped by eitherreligion or cultural background. Convincing them successfully aboutthe reality of evolution is a challenging task. However, others areopen and receptive to the information provided by reputable scholarsin science. Contrary to many people’s attitudes towards evolution,the theories are neither absolutely right nor wrong. The context ofthe scientists influences the information they present. Although theyhave various shortcomings, they are not, absolutely, wrong.
Understanding of biological sciences cannot be ideal withoutappreciating the reality of evolution. Scientists agree that theterms accept and belief determine learners’ perception ofevolution. Believing is more of a personal conviction that does notnecessary has to involve information backed by evidence. For example,believing in the creation theory depends on people’s conviction.Conversely, acceptance requires the presentation of evidence to backa given claim. For example, Charles Darwin, in his five-year voyage,collected finches of different groups and discovered that they haddifferent features to adapt to their specific environments (Wiles,2014). Evolution is, therefore, more appealing than theories based onconviction.
The theories of evolution are not absolutely right or wrong.According to Asimov (1989), the theories of the shape of the earthare prime examples. The scientists who believed that the earth wasflat were not wrong because the curvature of the earth in a mile isalmost zero (Asimov, 1989). However, when scientists usedsophisticated instruments to conduct their observation of the earth,they found it to be spherical. If in future, scientists may refutethis observation, the current scientific claim will not be wrongentirely. They may only improve on it.
Besides the scientific theories being subject to improvement, it isnotable that science and evolution are inseparable. Researchers whowere passionate about evolution discovered most of the basicscientific pillars (Wiles, 2014). However, some of them had to endurethe criticism of the previous conviction that people had. Forexample, when Darwin claimed that human beings evolved from primates,he became a laughing stock. His images with a human face and aprimate body became a luminary (Stix, 2009). However, the evidence hepresented cultivated a gradual acceptance among fellow scientists andcommon people. Others include Gregor Mendel, who discovered geneticinheritance and Anaximander, who claimed that all organisms evolvedfrom fish (Stix, 2009). The people’s perception, influenced byreligion, attitude towards science and social factors, deters logicaland scientific thinking. Instructors should first seek to get rid ofthese barriers to create a receptive environment for understandingevolution.
In conclusion, learners cannot understand evolution outside thescientific context. The perceptions that people have emanating fromreligion, culture and attitude towards science affect their responseto evolution. The available evidence from comparative researchinfluences people’s acceptance of evolution. Also, while thetheories may be subject to certain criticisms due to laterdiscoveries, they are not absolutely wrong. To cultivate a positiveresponse to evolution among science students, instructors should dealwith the barriers of conviction and encourage acceptance.
Asimov, I. (1989).The relativity of wrong. The Skeptical Inquirer, 14(1), 35-44.
Stix, G. (2009).Darwin`s Living Legacy. Scientific American, 300(1), 38-43.
Wiles, J. R. (2014).Gifted students` perceptions of their acceptance of evolution,changes in acceptance, and factors involved therein. Evolution:Education and Outreach, 7(4).