Creationvs. Evolution — Questioning the Most Consistent Account for Originof life and Biodiversity
Thequestion of the origin of life is one of the puzzles that transcendthe discussions of the contemporary society. The community has beencompelled to contend with a never-ending debate concerning theaccounts of the origin of life. While theories have been developed,they have not fared any better than providing exacerbating arguments.
Commondiscussions about the origin of life have revolved around the contestbetween the creation and the evolution theory. Therefore, to acertain significant extent, the discussions have been torn betweenscience, which has been supporting the evolution approach, and thereligion that has been supported the creation theory.
Thisessay argues that the evolution is the most popular theoreticalapproach to the origin of life because it attempts to provideevidence to its presuppositions, contrasting with the creationperspective that merely relies on spiritual revelation and thinkingalong the lines of faith. The rest of the essay is organized asfollows. First, the theoretical positions of the two theories areexplored to understand their differences. Subsequently, strengths andweaknesses of the evolution perspective, including the shortcomings,are discussed. The merits and demerits of the creation theory arealso discussed, leading to the conclusion.
ThePosition of Creation and Evolution Theories
Theevolution perspective posits that all forms of organisms arise anddevelop through the natural selection process, which is brought aboutby small variations in inheritance that occur by chance and whichincreases the ability of an organism to differentiate itself fromothers by increasing the capacity of competing for resources,surviving and reproducing.
Thestudies focusing on the origin of biodiversity accept the four forcesof evolution as the basis of the process. These are naturalselection, random genetic drift, gene flow, and mutation. The processof evolution begins with variation in genetic characteristics thatoften occur by chance. This stage may be facilitated by the processof mutation or genetic drift (Coyne, 2012). In this case, mutationsare random changes that occur in an organisms’ DNA, and whichconsequently affects the organisms’ behavioral traits. The affectedattributes range from how the organisms behave, to their basicphysiology and appearance. On the other hand, genetic drift is also arandom process wherein changes play a role in determining the genevariants that should survive as the fittest. In ecosystems, organismsare always struggling for survival and existence. Mutations andgenetic drift give some groups of organisms an upper advantage ofsurvival and existence over others. This is the point that naturalselection, processes by which the best-adapted organisms have thecapability of reproducing at a higher rate than those that areinsufficiently adapted, takes effect. The same characteristics offavorable adaptation are carried to their offspring.
Geneflow is the processes whereby genotypic characteristics aretransferred from one population to another. It is also referred to asgene migration process. An example of gene migration is when a pollengrain is blown by the wind to a different population, carrying withit new genetic material into the new population. An isolatingmechanism functions to place same species organisms into differentgrouping, characterized by limited in-between interactions. In turn,these isolated groups become fully-fledged species. Isolationmechanism ensures that groups can no longer interact freely hence,their similarity in their genetic codes differentiates from othergroups with time, a process referred to as speciation (Carroll,Grenier & Weatherbee, 2015).
Onthe other hand, the creation perspective presupposes that everythingin the inverse, including the living and non-living things, werecreated. This approach is essentially a religious view of the originof life, asserting that a supreme being (God) created all thesystems. The Christian’s six-day creation theory serves as one ofthe favorite examples of this model. The six-day creation modelposits the universe was empty and desolate initially. God started bycreating the earth and the heaven, followed by the day and night. Healso proceeded to create the waters, lands, and the sky. Aftercreating the earthly space, he continued to create the vegetation,including the sun, the stars, and the moon. The diverse species ofbirds and animals, as well as the human beings, were furtherinstructed to reproduce and fill the earth. In this regard, thecreation perspective sets itself apart from the evolution thinkingbecause it posits that life did not occur spontaneously but wascreated (Coyne, 2012).
TheStrength of Evolution
Theevolution theory presents perhaps one of the strongest and mostconvincing scientific evidence in defense of reliability. Theevidence can be categorized into four: the existence of fossilrecords of changes that occurred in preceding species, the existenceof similarities between anatomical and chemical composition indiverse organisms, the nature of geographical distribution ofbiodiversity, and the notable changes in genetic structure oforganisms.
Theexistence of fossil records of changes that occurred in precedingspecies
Theremains of organisms excavated from sedimentary rocks provideinformation concerning the genetic changes that have been occurringover time. The records reveal that there have been varieties ofliving things of which many extinct species exhibit traits thatcannot perfectly correspond to those of the modern day creatures.Their characteristics are mostly transitional. Such transitionalattributes mainly reveal that the organisms have not remained thesame, but have been evolving over time. It is asserted that if thegaps in transitions exist, then it is because of incomplete data. Themore the data will be collected from certain lines of species, themore the evidence of evolution will come out clearly. Indeed, Benton(2014) discusses that some of the pieces of evidence that havealready filled in the transition gaps were the discovery of the smallforms of bipedal dinosaurs, whose traits matched the modern birds,resulting into the inference that the birds must have evolved fromthe dinosaurs. Moreover, as Avise, Hubbell and Ayala (2012) explain,Archaeopteryx, the fossil dating to over 150 million years was foundin Germany just two years after Darwin published his evolutionthinking. The fossil possessed teeth, jaws, and the bony tail, withbroad feather wings like birds, verifying the hypothesis that birdshave reptilian ancestry.
Theexistence of similarities between anatomical and chemical compositionamong organisms
Livingorganisms have more or less the anatomical structures and chemicalcompositions. The fashion in which the structures develop and howthey operate is also more or less the same, regardless of theirsimplicity and complexity. For instance, organisms comprising ofmillions of cells ideally begin with a multiplication of a singlecell, and like single-celled organisms such as protozoa, the divisionprocesses occur in the same fashion. Moreover, all these cells have alimited lifespan, for which they age and die.
Accordingto Raup (2015), all living organisms have the abilities tomanufacture complex molecular compounds from carbon and other simpleelements such as oxygen. Virtually all forms chemicals of life,including fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are created by combingonly 6 out of all the 92 common elements. This feature does notcertainly come as a coincidence, but it serves as the evidence thatall organisms have a single origin.
Lastly,all organisms inherit certain genetic characteristics from theirparents through gene distribution. The genes, as molecular biologistshave hinted, are derivatives of deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA).Moreover, in their tens of thousands, all the organisms are onlycomprised of twenty types of amino acids, and this is despite theirdiversity. Apart from the similarities they share regardingmolecules, many organisms either derive their energy fromphotosynthesis or from consuming other organisms (Avise, Hubbell &Ayala, 2012).
Thenature of geographical distribution of biodiversity
Anotherpiece of evidence to evolution model is the nature of distribution ofdiversity across regions. This distribution gives a clue that animalsin isolated lands evolved into different forms of species fromothers. According to Raup(2012),for instance, before the arrival of humans, Australia had over ahundred species that were distinct from those found in other regions.It has been explained that originally before the continents driftedapart, certain families organisms (such as jaguar, lions, and tiger)had belonged to the same species, but geographical barrierseventually took a toll in limiting interbreeding, while triggeringgenetic variations to bring about the differences (Raup,2015).
Thenotable changes in genetic composition of Organisms
Scientistshave asserted that the environmental conditions have been changingdrastically, resulting in organisms to adjust through evolutionprocesses. Ideally, in some cases, these changes happen to be soadverse that many animal and plant species cannot tolerate, causingsome to die because they are unable to survive. Nevertheless, asenvisaged in the model of evolution, not all organisms perish becauseof adverse environmental conditions. Some groups of the organisms areendowed with genetic diversity, which enables them to be versatileand survive the tough environmental conditions. Eventually, they liveto reproduce and pass their traits to the future generations, whilethose of weaker generations die out. The incidences of evolution havebeen reported for certain adaptive forms of bacteria strains.Moreover, the evidence of evolution is evidenced by the emergence ofdrug-resistant pests that have rendered obsolete the conventionalpesticides (Raup,2012).
However,it is worth noting that the evolution theory has failed to accountfor the origin of the first parent cell adequately. Ideally, it hasrelied on the abiogenesis approach, which posits that the first cellmight have originated from a unique interaction of certain chemicalmolecules. This view is particularly questionable considering that,in the convention, one living organism can only be derived fromanother organism. It nevertheless presents a strong point forconceptualizing the origin and existence of biodiversity much morethat what the creation model can offer.
TheLimitations of Creation
Indeed,the difference between the two theories is evident and shows thatcreation approach may not be very popular. The creation model isessentially mythological, while the evolution is a scientific theory.The fact that creation account is a myth implies that itspostulations cannot be proven, unlike scientific approach that canpresent some evidence. The creation methodology creates the allowancefor some questions to thrive. For instance, it is hard to tell whenit happened and what exactly happened in the creation process. Someof the theories assert creation evidence as strictly borne ondivinity. In the essence, there is no indication of the creation,other than the asserted spiritual manifestations and revelations(Coyne,2012).
Thisview contrasts with the evolution theory, which has been lauded forthe defenses that it offers, and which can be tested and verified.The evidence presented by the model is discoverable. Moreover, unlikethe creation model, theevolution methodology goes further to provide the dates in which theimportant evolutionary processes may have occurred (Coyne,2012).Other sensitive areas that the creation theory fails to accountinclude the existence of diverse organisms whose fossils werediscovered and failure to recognize the trending various in forms oforganisms that had never existed before.
Inconclusion, this paper has examined the question of what lends itselfas the most consistent methodology of the origin of life between thecreation and evolution theory. It has successfully argued that theevolution methodology model is the most popular theoretical approachto the contested issue because it attempts to provide evidence to itspresuppositions, contrasting with the creation theory that simplyrelies on spiritual revelation and thinking along the lines of faith.
Theevolution explanation posits that all forms of organisms arise anddevelop through the natural selection process, which is triggered bysmall variations in inheritance that occur by chance and whichincreases the ability of an organism to differentiate itself fromothers by competing for resources, surviving and reproducingfavorably. On the other hand, the creation methodology presupposesthat everything in the inverse, including the living and non-livingthings were created.
Theevidence of the evolution theory is manifested in four ways: theexistence of fossil records of changes that occurred in precedingspecies, the existence of similarities between anatomical andchemical composition among organisms, the nature of geographicaldistribution of biodiversity, and the subtle changes in geneticstructure of organisms. While the validity of the theory inexplaining the origin of the first parent cell is questionable,especially considering life must originate from another form, itnevertheless presents a strong point for conceptualizing the sourceand existence of biodiversity.
Thecreation theory is unpopular because of its mythologicalunderpinnings, contrasting with the evolution theory that isperceived scientific method. This point implies that its postulationscannot be proven. The creation theory only creates the allowance forsome questions to thrive such as exactly when the creation could haveoccurred, and why it the evidence cannot be established.
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