Your Q was moved out of Religion & Spirituality by some unknown person, to this Biology category, so the claim here by one person that we have "another covert creationist in our midst" is unwarranted. My answer is to show the way old evolutionary theories have developed, so that you might better...
Best answer: Your Q was moved out of Religion & Spirituality by some unknown person, to this Biology category, so the claim here by one person that we have "another covert creationist in our midst" is unwarranted. My answer is to show the way old evolutionary theories have developed, so that you might better understand such concepts as "foresight" when applied to ideas about DNA coding itself for improvements.
After Charles Darwin's second book on evolution (1871), much thought was applied to his theory, that nature itself determined the development and progress of all living things. This implied that any man-centred or God-centred view of the world was mere wishful thinking. For example, Charles Kingsley described the impact of Darwin's theory like this:
"Men find that now they have got rid of an interfering God - a master-magician as I call it - they have to choose between the absolute empire of accident, and a living, immanent, ever-working God." In the 19th century, the whole fabric of Christianity was called into question, with science, philosophy and history used in an attempt to show that the Christian faith no longer had a leg to stand on. However, the Scottish Free-Church man, Henry Drummond, pointed out a problem with the idea of the survival of the fittest. Even in the animal world, he said, survival is not simply a matter of stealth and strength. Care and compassion pay an important part. So Darwin's theory has been modified because of that truth.
That's by way of a general introduction. Now, what is a scientific definition of Darwinism? I take the following from 'Life' book - Nature Library - Evolution. The full title of Darwin's first book states his own definition; "On The Origin Of Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life." His second book was, "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex". Darwin believed that "A struggle for existence inevitably follows from the high rate at which all organic beings tend to increase." And also that a creature's desirability as a mate played an important part in promoting desirable, or beneficial traits. Darwin accepted an accurate and convenient term proposed by Herbert Spencer; "survival of the fittest". He had shown that all life is one, because all life has arisen from one unremembered beginning.
But Darwin did not know about DNA and the role of genes, so evolutionary theory today has... evolved accordingly! "In 1856 Austrian monk Gregor Johann Mendel launched the first of a series of experiments that were to demonstrate that inheritance, like evolution, is not a chaos or chance, or miracle, but a matter of law. Darwin never heard of Mendel's work, and the monk's reports lay ignored by the scientific world for decades." Others contributed to the development of evolutionary theory. Hugo de Vries (d. 1935) developed the first mutation theory through extensive studies of the evening primrose. He thought he had formed new species through mutations. (He had actually identified segregated characters, not mutations but his work provided a platform on which to build.) De Vries discovered the import of Mendel's work and, in a paper read before the German Botanical Society in 1900, he gave Mendel full credit for one of the most momentous discoveries in scientific history.
Now, I relate all of that to show why Darwinian evolution is not the same as evolutionary theory today. A lot that Darwin proposed is now known to be wrong, and later discoveries have caused evolutionary theory to develop, so most writings on the subject deal with the up-to-date understanding, though tribute is always paid to Darwin's original proposals
DNA is now understood to be part of a massively complex chemical interaction within cells that requires information to be de-coded by brainless cells, in order for them to replicate successfully. The question is where do we apply the word 'foresight'? To brainless cells, or to the creator of DNA? That is the question! Try asking again, once more in the R&S section, and if you get such questions removed, email me so that I might (hopefully) assist your enquiry.
3 days ago