Home / Opinion / Evolution isn’t ‘just a theory’ and that’s not up for debate

Evolution isn’t ‘just a theory’ and that’s not up for debate

Even with all of our modern scientific advancements, even with all of our technological prowess, there are points of scientific fact that are “debated” by people who have no scientific knowledge or vocabulary. These usually involve topics that most religions get wrong. To any logical person, when you find evidence that contradicts your held beliefs, you change them. However, there are many who don’t follow this line of thinking. It comes up less and less nowadays, but the scientific theory of evolution is often either misunderstood or just refuted. To hold an antagonistic position to evolution is to take the same position to gravity. 

The issue lies with science education in the United States. For many years, it was considered heretical or immoral to even utter the word “evolution” in a classroom because society was forced to be overwhelmingly Christian and the theory of evolution blows the incorrect belief called “creationism” out of the water. Even today, there are still some science classrooms where science educators have to either tread lightly when teaching about evolution and natural selection, they have to teach both evolution and creationism, or they aren’t allowed to teach evolution at all. This is wildly inappropriate and it’s often not even their fault. Many teachers are at the mercy of their administrators or their school boards.  

Let’s get one thing clear: evolution/natural selection and creationist teachings are not on equal footing whatsoever. Evolution and natural selection have hundreds of thousands of metaphorical mountains of evidence to support it, much of which can be directly observed today. I’ll state that again: there is clear and present evidence for evolution and natural selection that can be observed with our own eyes. There is none such scientific evidence for the creationist perspective. It’s based on absolutely subjective experience and biased perspective of the world. 

There’s nothing wrong with being religious. The issue comes when you refuse to alter your worldview when new evidence is presented. The history of life on planet Earth is documented in the fossil record. There are some animal lineages that we can trace from species to species over millions of years. 

Let’s break this down. Evolution and natural selection operate on an observable and explainable progression. The way natural selection works is that when animals produce offspring together, genes are jumbled, and mutations occur creating different traits in those offspring. This could be anything from fur color to enhanced eyesight. These traits could be beneficial to the animal (give it a higher chance of surviving in its environment) or harmful to the animal (give it a lower chance of surviving). When an animal, or more specifically that animal’s traits, lives long enough to reproduce, they pass on those traits and by virtue of statistics, those traits spread throughout a population over time. It’s not magics and it’s not random. It’s simply science.  

Trying to deny evolution is just absurd. Animals, including humans, change over time. In many animals, we don’t observe speciation, or the process by which new species come about, because the changes are so miniscule. However, that doesn’t mean the changes are not occurring. I encourage anyone to spend a little time reading up on evolution and natural selection from respected scientific sources. Natural selection has a beauty and an elegance to it that is quite unmatched. 

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