Blog post for Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010

Post your response to the class prompt under comments for this post. Comment on two items: give an example of how ‘natural selection’ is used outside of discussion of Darwin, and give some comparison of how ‘natural selection’ was used by Darwin, and how it is popularly used today. Please enter your post by Monday evening-

18 Responses to “Blog post for Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010”

  1. McKenna Lehman says:

    The term ‘natural selection’ is very widely used in the sports world. Sports teams usually work together as one unit, coining the popular phrase, “There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” Because sports teams work as a whole to win whatever game they’re playing, it leaves no room for weaknesses. It is widely understood that groups are only as good as their weakest link. Therefore, in sports, the weakest link is usually weeded out. If a team member cannot adapt to his/her surroundings, he/she will be singled out and eliminated. Darwin’s ‘natural selection’ theories are commonly used in the sports world in this way.

    There are many different ways that we can view Darwin’s “The Origin.” One can look at it from an atheistic perspective, stating that science and science alone are the only ways to describe our being here on earth. One can also look at “The Origin” theologically, believing that as creation, we “…plainly bear the stamp of a higher workmanship” (Campbell, 362). I think that Darwin wanted there to be several different ways to look at his theories, because he knew that there were several different kinds of people on this earth that believed, or disbelieved, certain things. Darwin remained humble throughout “The Origin” to raise his credibility, to get the reader to trust him. He confesses that he spent five years of his time on the subject, and therefore he believes in it that passionately to spend a big chunk of his life on the subject. Darwin wants the reader to understand his concepts of natural selection, because he thinks that “changed conditions of life are of the highest importance in causing variability (“The Origin”, 45). Darwin gave us pigeons as examples, yet he wanted us to take it on a more grandeur scale. We are nature; as humans we are part of evolution, creation, or both! Darwin simply wants us, no matter what lens we choose to look through, to just be an active part of nature so that we can, in turn, understand it. Darwin wants us to look at nature as a complex thing, with a history and a reason, and he chooses to explain that to us through his theories on “natural selection.”

    Today, Darwin’s theories/concepts have been analyzed and re-analyzed, taken apart down to the very last word. Many religious groups criticize his theories, saying that he completely discounts creation. In that sense, they could be wrong, because he clearly allows us to look theologically at his work when he says “Let this process go on for…millions of individuals of many kinds; and may we not believe that a living optical instrument might thus be formed s superior to one of glass, as the works of the Creator are to those of man” (Campbell 388). But just as theologians may discount his work, there are just as many atheistic scientists who may say Darwin intended for us to ONLY look at his work scientifically, that there is no creator. We are divided, most of us, either believing evolution or creationism, attacking each other until we’re raw to the bone. Yet, Darwin’s theories of ‘natural selection’ are there for us to give way to more possibilities. There are many today who believe both, that “God is so wise, He makes all things to make themselves” (Campbell 384). However, we have seemed to forget about Darwin’s concepts and solely focus on the arguments that have been born out of his work.

    In our time, we take Darwin’s words quite literally, leaving no room for possibilities. But what he really wanted us to do was look behind his words, which are the result of limitations of his era. Darwin wants us to look at his concepts and accept the fact that nature is a complex, ever-changing being, and that we, as humans, are a part of nature. Darwin wants us to stop worrying about “how” we came to be, and simply wants us to start “being” a part of the nature that surrounds us.

  2. kscrimsh says:

    For the example of how natural selection is used outside of Darwin, I found a little review article of a book by James Graham. In his book he presents a theory that cancer is natures way of culling the human herd, so to speak. In this way natural selection is enacting a “survival of the fittest” and effectively removing people with “bad” genes. The link to the site is: http://www.jamesgraham.bz/cancerselectioni.html

    As for the comparison of Darwin and popular use of natural selection today, I found that many people today, as we also discussed in class, associate natural selection and Darwinism with being something completely unrelated with God and his creative hand in the bigger picture. I found an interesting website that gives examples of the continuing debate of “science vs. Religion” in the respect of Darwin and whether it is right to teach the theory of evolution in US schools today. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/evolution.htm

  3. Mary McClellan says:

    Darwin’s definition of Natural Selection is more long winded than the definition of today in order to play to the logic of his audience. Darwin says that more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive which creates a struggle for existence. Therefore any being that varies to make itself more likely to survive will be naturally selected to reproduce and carry on that trait. Today natural selection has much of the same definition as Darwin gave. It is today considered a process by which traits become more or less common in a population because of the survival and reproduction of its parents. Today we have a much more accepted and understanding view of natural selection. Many other scientists’ works have been examined since Darwin’s time and the general public now has a more complete understanding of the genetics behind natural selection as well as things such as geology and fossils which make it so that Darwin’s view of natural selection is much more accepted.
    I believe that the definition of natural selection has not changed but perhaps people’s reaction to it has. When Darwin wrote of natural selection he was humble and didn’t give the impression that he was fighting the church. Today, people see evolution and natural selection as a means to challenge the church and people’s ideals.
    The term natural selection almost always brings to mind Darwin. There are even terms such as Darwinisms, Darwinian, and Darwinist tying every idea Darwin had to him. I could not think of any use of the term natural selection that could be used outside of the discussion of Darwin. The only thing I can think of is that Darwin didn’t know what we do about genetics so if you are talking about the genetics of a species and how natural selection is prevalent then you wouldn’t be able to necessarily bring up Darwin in the genetics part of the conversation.

  4. Kelsey Voss says:

    Today, when I think of ‘natural selection’, I tend to think of the way it is loosely used in every day language instead of the scientific definition. For example, when I lived in Montreal, my family and I were watching the local news and saw a story about someone who was killed because they got run over by a snow plow. My dad cracked something along the lines of “there’s natural selection at its best”. Everyone laughed, it was true in a harsh way because anyone who is unfortunate enough to get run over by a snow plow (which moves at probably a max speed of 10-15 mph).. probably shouldn’t stick around to reproduce.
    The reason households like ours can crack these jokes about Darwin’s theory is probably due to the fact that it is now more widely accepted as the truth. Of course there is always opposition and there will always remain opposition to his theory, but nevertheless the term is able to be used loosely now because of its acceptance into the regular daily vocabulary.
    I think Darwin would be delighted to see this change over time, especially since in the current day we haven’t lost sight of his original idea or altered it in any way. The definition of ‘natural selection’ hasn’t been altered overtime because its easily understood; and its easily understood because it is observable to us throughout our lives. We see the environment change, and the species of animals which inhabit it either adapt and survive, or get wiped out due to lack of adaptation.
    Darwin’s definition of natural selection in his “Origin of Species” is overly analysed. His brief 2 cents to the church were perfectly logical at the time, but it doesn’t change anything about his findings. Our current definition is just right, if you read a biology textbook, you will be reading a paraphrase of his original text. Whether or not he supported the church, or even opposed it, does not matter. What matters is what he found during those 5 years, and what it means about the study of life.

  5. Tomoya says:

    Natural Selection as described by Darwin comes down to basically mean survival of the fittest. What ever is best adapted for the environment, more abundant or aggressive will have a more likely chance of surviving and spreading.

    Today, I notice this “Natural Selection” in technological advances we’re constantly surrounded by. It is seen in cars, gaming systems, phones, televisions, and mp3s. Using the i-pod as an example, the i-pod compared to other mp3 players had significant advantages which appealed to its buyers. When the competition made improvements so did Macintosh. Soon enough the i-pod out grew its competition by having more functions, memory space, and convenience. I-pod commercials also appealed to younger generations where other mp3 players had little marketing. If one asked a group of students what they used for a portable music player, the majority would most likely say an i-pod. This i-pod example of Natural Selection shows how the i-pod “survived” while other mp3 products failed. Human interest was the environment in the Natural Selection among technology.

  6. ehall says:

    Natural selection is evident in all facets of everyday life. From the biological (textbook) side to other parts of our life like our schooling. When you go to college, for example, one of 2 things will happen in 4 years. You will either graduate or you will not. Those that are better suited for the amount of studying and hard work that go into getting a degree will “survive” and graduate, while the others that do not have the “traits” will not make it. Natural selection is the sum of variation, inheritance, survival and reproduction. For natural selection to occur, there needs to be a type of trait that is more favorable for survival that will be passed down to the next generation. The variance in the traits come from members of a population not being identical. This is the popular view of how we see natural selection now, and a skim off the top version of how Darwin saw his idea then. His concepts are held generally true, but with the advancements in technology since he did his research, we have been able to further his study of natural selection.

  7. Kelly Horvath says:

    For the comparison between Darwin’s use and its use today, I found an article discussing natural selection and its influence on medical importance. With the help of medical history and experiments, the study discovered that natural selection causes slow, evolutionary change in medicine. The experiment, performed by Boston University, focuses on women and their overall health.

    Today, the media and various businesses use Darwin’s theory of natural selection outside of evolution. When making movies, producers must decide what will appeal to its audience and what will not. They may take examples from earlier movies and discover a way to modify it so that it appeals to present-day children, teenagers, adults, etc. Similarly, businesses create commercials in order to encourage its audience to buy its product. McDonald’s competes with other fast food restaurants every day; as a result, these restaurants create new food for their menu that will sell more than others. Similarly, a clothing store (for example, Nordstrom) competes with other clothing stores for the hottest new style for its audience. In a sense, we as humans and the audience, naturally select which movies survive, which food restaurants survive, and which clothing stores and styles survive.

  8. Tori Wong says:

    I have a feeling Darwin would go nuts if he were released into today’s technological world because different cases of natural selection and evolution are everywhere. I believe that one of the most common examples of modern day natural selection is evident in trends. Popular trends seem to appear out of nowhere, and much like the way species evolve based on a variation traits that allow them to survive, some trends will get picked up by the public as “cool”, while others will be unable to reproduce at a level fast enough to sustain, and they will remain just another weird thing a small group of people do…

    Take for example, hipsters. Urban dictionary defines hipsters as a “subculture…that values independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.” The trends of hipsters changes almost on a regular basis, and while no one can really explain the notions of being hipster, everyone can see the effects and pick out the trends. (see attached article for a history of the “hipster.” http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2009/12/the-evolution-of-the-hipster-2000-2009.html ) How do hipsters know what is hip? Somehow, somewhere, the trend of looking like a lumberjack adapted at a faster rate than a thousand other (more attractive) trends in a modern example of what Darwin calls natural selection. Awesome.

    I agree with most of the other posts in that the term “natural selection” has been thrown around so often and in so many different contexts that it can be applied to practically any situation. In fact, as we discussed on Thursday, the term natural selection in itself is somewhat contradictory because the word “selection” is conscious in character. Giving a phrase as controversial as natural selection was in its day human-like characteristics makes us feel that we have any choice in the matter. But much like the evolution of species based on adaptation, we, average people do not consciously create the trends that end up affecting almost every purchase and many of the choices that we make.

  9. willbennett2012 says:

    I found an interesting reference to natural selection on a website writing about the Golden Compass. The writer refers to the humanized polar bears and their fighting for supremacy as a basis for the movie/book containing elements of natural selection.

    People frequently toss the term natural selection around in a seemingly meaningless way. They will refer to natural selection in any instance where something beats something else out for supremacy. It gets use anywhere from the workplace when someone “beats” someone else for a raise or a promotion, to a sports team, when one player beats another for a starting spot.
    I find these seemingly trivial uses of the term to have strayed from what Darwin intended. I don’t think Darwin intended for intraspecies natural selection to occur. My impression of natural selection was that Darwin meant that species would outlast other species, not other individuals in their own species. The common pop culture use of the term is a weak variation of the original term.

  10. James Cruz says:

    An example of Natural selection used outside the context of Darwin’s Origin of Species is the term and notion of social Darwinism. The idea of social darwinism has it roots in late 19th America. Essentially what social Darwinism boils down to is people in a society should be able to support themselves and those who rise to the top are the best suited to the social environment. Basically Social Darwinism was used to justify the laissez-faire economics and other “anti-welfare” aspects of the United States government.

    Natural selection used by Darwin is not anti-theological. I would say, as others have already stated, this is one of the huge departures from Darwin’s original theory that we face in a contemporary world. I have often even heard people say Darwin was against Christianity and intended to destroy the credibility of Christianity. Essentially in today’s world it is Evolution/Science vs Christianity.

  11. Brandy Simpson says:

    The modern day meaning of “natural selection” has been pared down to the phrase “survival of the fittest”. While Darwin provides a lengthier explanation of natural selection, I believe that the essence of his argument can still be described by the same phrase. In Darwin’s “Origin of Species”, he explains that natural selection is the process in which the recurrence of traits depends on which traits help a species best adapt to their environment. Despite the constant analysis of “Origin of Species”, I feel that the current understanding of the term “natural selection” has generally remained the same as Darwin’s original intent.

    I think a modern example of Darwin’s natural selection can be seen in the constantly changing job market. From the beginning of the widespread use of computers in the workplace some 20 years ago to the increased number of applicants with Bachelor’s degrees, the job market has become a fiercely competitive environment where one needs to continue acquiring new skills in order to stay competitive. With the downturn in the economy, the phrase “survival of the fittest” certainly applies to the current job market. Those with the highest degrees and the most job experience are considered the “fittest” thus they are able to compete for the highest paying jobs. Those who are unable to secure jobs typically find it more difficult to provide for themselves to the same degree as someone who is considered “fit”.

  12. Stephanie George says:

    Modern Representations:
    1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Enw791vZh1s&feature=related
    2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t4sdgvy-pk

    Presently, the concept of evolution, natural selection, and survival of the fittest seems pervasive throughout numerous texts. Examples range from Guinness commercials, to mainstream music, to the “Evolution of Dance” YouTube video; each shows how Darwin’s 150 year-old concepts and terms have been transmuted, molded, and condensed by various rhetors to become commonplace representations of his theories. Even most people who do not believe in Darwin’s theories have at least a base understanding of it, whether learned from a school textbook or simply picked up from media references. But with this 150-year gap between when Darwin published his ideas to our modern day, an important question inevitably arises: how does Darwin’s use of “natural selection” differ from popular uses today? If Darwin could see the ways in which modern representations depict his ideas, what would he have to say?
    There are various rhetorical aspects of Darwin’s original use of “natural selection” that differ with modern mainstream portrayals of it. Among these are applications of the term “natural selection” and the different styles of diction.
    In order to make his idea accessible to his audience, Darwin opens his argument by pointing out the ways in which man has actively taken part in natural selection by selective domestic breeding. He contends that this selective breeding is part of natural selection, although he explains that the resulting change occurs on a shortened timescale and far more methodically than it does with wild creatures. Today, we generally do not consider or portray man’s breeding of species to be part of natural selection. Instead, we focus on the changes that seem to occur inherently in the wild. The argument that the systematic intervention of man is also a part of natural selection seems distinctly unnatural to a modern audience.
    Further contrast is in the tentativeness of Darwin’s diction and writing, as compared to the resoluteness prevalent in modern uses. Darwin presented his ideas as being logical possibilities, but not necessarily certainties. While heated debate still exists, much of it has been quelled by time and by nearly ubiquitous backing of Darwin’s theories by the scientific community. As such, the diction has become imbued with a sense of authority.

  13. Amanda Howland says:

    Post your response to the class prompt under comments for this post. Comment on two items: give an example of how ‘natural selection’ is used outside of discussion of Darwin, and give some comparison of how ‘natural selection’ was used by Darwin, and how it is popularly used today. Please enter your post by Monday evening-

    Researching natural selection, I found out that there is not much deviation of how that phrase is used today. Most natural selection contexts had to do just with Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and of evolution. There were, however, a few different articles that didn’t pertain to just evolution and Darwin. There is actually a video game called Natural Selection, which must have been popular since they are creating a Natural Selection 2. Another article that completely presented the phrase natural selection in a different context was an article called “The Natural Selection of Leaders.” It was written by Anjana Ahuja in 2010 and is hosted on NewScientist.com. The article talks about since the earliest days of our species, there have been people chosen as leaders who everyone looks to for direction. They suggest that certain people, a select few, are born to be natural leaders. These pre-chosen know what exactly makes a good leader, and how to become one. Its not that they grow into a great leader, they were born to lead. It also states that humans are born with ancestral biases so we know who the good candidates are to lead us. They are born to lead and we are born to choose them, leading to a natural selection of leaders.
    In comparison, Charles Darwin first introduced the phrase ‘natural selection’ for his book On the Origin of Species in 1859. Darwin first used the phrase natural selection back then to state how nature selects the best adapted varieties in a population to survive and to reproduce. These varieties or characteristics then continue on in each generation’s offspring, until that population comes completely adapted for that set environment. However, the environment is always changing, even on tiny Galápagos Islands where Darwin studied, so natural selection continually selects new adaptations in each generation. His phrase then went on to come up with the theory of evolution, which is still studied today.
    Today, natural selection is primarily used in classrooms, ranging from elementary school to college campuses. There students learn all about Darwin and his studies that discovered natural selection. Science has come a long way since the time Darwin first studied natural selection. Now, scientists have found out what exactly causes natural selection to occur. However, you will still be hard pressed to find a modern article that talks about natural selection without ever mentioning Charles Darwin.

  14. Emily Sherman says:

    The best and most relevant example that I have at least seen is that of high school. I know that it sounds overdone as a comparison and cliché, but I think that there are so many similarities between the subjects that it cannot be ignored. I had always found it interesting that there was such a wide spectrum of failure and success in high school, when every single student was given the same opportunity in terms of classes to choose from, books provided by the school, and teachers. It seemed very strange that while some good have fantastic grades, play on sports teams, join clubs, and take up various leadership roles, others could just as easily fall behind in class and never become involved within the school community. In some hypothetical situation, two students could come into a school with the same opportunities (same income within the family, same teachers, same materials, and with an exact schedule) and one could fail and drop out by the end of their senior year while the other may be student government president and an honor student. My conclusion is a form of natural selection. It is always a competition to succeed. One person/team/species is always going to better than the other because one person/team/species is stronger, faster, smarter, and can more easily adapt themselves into the environment than the other. And those are the ones that are going to get the opportunity to expand and become a larger part of the community.

    Darwin’s first publishing were, admittedly a little weak (as he even stated on the first page) but the point that the wanted to make got across as believable and was accepted by the public as a possibility. While some people might have thought that his ideas went against their religious ideas of creation, Darwin’s argument was remarkably strong enough to get so much public attention. The idea and research could have been discarded because there was not a huge amount of support coming from people other than Darwin in this time period. Instead, Darwin started a scientific resolution and developed a theory that is still being studied (as if it were definitely the truth) and being taught in schools.

    Today, it is remarkable how much the theory has developed. There has been much more research that supports Darwin’s Natural Selection theory and that research has been formed into clearer and (more) well constructed arguments. I do feel that still today, people are looking past to the science and the research too much and that it is clouding their views of the actual science. It seems that people are getting offended by the research and the facts that have been collected. While I understand that the conclusion that has been drawn goes against that of many people’s religious beliefs, however it is very difficult to ignore the facts, and the people that do, in my opinion, do not have a good argument because they have science and proof going against them along with the fact that they are clearly misconstruing such a commonly accepted theory.

  15. Fairuz Maggio says:

    The term “natural selection” can be used to discuss the small business industry. Many people struggle to get their businesses off the ground. In order for a business to succeed it must appeal to a broad audience so that it can get the revenue to keep it in business. Many restaurants fail to get the customers they need because the food isn’t good or it is in a bad location and the owners can’t afford to keep it going with lack of funds.

    When Darwin was around “natural selection” was applied to characteristics of animals that were better than others and grew in the species. It was used to describe how animals adapt to their certain environments over thousands of years. These days Darwin’s theory is used to refute the belief that there is a God, which is not what Darwin said at all. What he did say was that over years humans have evolved to adapt to their environment (like how people now can be found to be born without wisdom teeth because we don’t need them anymore) NOT that we evolved from primates, which is why they have one less chromosome.

  16. Brian Brown says:

    The modern representation I selected is the Simpson’s portrayal of Darwin in the episode Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish. A three eyed fish is found in a pond outside Mr. Burn’s power plant, signaling a necessity for pollution regulations. Mr. Burns, in an attempt for political advancement and repairing his image, engages in a dialogue with an actor portraying Charles Darwin. The dialogue presents the idea of Mother Nature choosing variations in species to make them better; three eyes on a fish create a “super fish”. The actor even remarks about advantage, “I wouldn’t mind having a third eye, would you?”
    This modern interpretation takes the idea of natural selection, which is not completely understood by the general public, and manipulates it to seem plausible. Yes, it could seem reasonable that a third eye on a fish or any kind of genetic mutation might give a species an advantage. In reality, however, this theory does not accommodate for time, how genetic variations are random, and how advantages aren’t a matter of getting bigger teeth or sharper claws. The effectiveness of Burns is measured in making the argument seem logical to an audience not fully aware of what natural selection entails. A similar rhetoric connects between the two as Darwin twisted the logic of creationism to be able to accommodate a contradictory idea. While Mr. Burn’s portrayal is not entirely of the same caliber, his rhetoric demands one to accept natural selection and genetic mutation as ideas that operate together successfully.

    For the second part, outside of Darwin’s use of ‘natural selection’ the idea is being portrayed in regards to the evolution of human society.

  17. shaheen dabestani says:

    Originally Darwin’s notion of natural selection simply had to do with explaining change over a long period of time; such a long period that even today few humans can appropriately conceive the time lengths involved. Interesting that the first ideas of plate tectonics and the idea of billions of years of formation of the earth has led to the current environment also took place during the same era, yet unrelated to Darwin, yet I digress. Darwin’s theory of this change overtime was mutations, tiny modifications that by chance would aid the individual to overcome not only the obstacles of the environment, but to procreate beating out others of its kind for reproduction and resources to ensure the survival of the species as a whole. Then one must ask where is the line drawn? Is not the entire point then to ensure the survival of genetic code? And at which point does one species differ from its ancestors? Thus the undeniable result is that while one may view natural selection as the insurance of the survival of the best adapted, one may also view it as the insurance of the survival of the species, which inevitably leads that natural selection is the process of insuring the survival of life. For life to exist for such lengths of time as it has, it must be a self sustaining system. In fact it matters not whether the planet remains “habitable” but how quick of a change it might make, as long as it is gradual and slow enough, life, through the concept of natural selection will move on.

    The term natural selection has been used in every topic of discussion imaginable. specifically politics. The alleged inherent truths associated with natural selection run contrary to some common democratic values such as equality. Examples of this are plentiful where ever there is genocide/ethnic cleansing. The idea of natural selection has also directly led to the creation and study of the field of eugenics which can run the entire range of “good” to “grey” and even to areas most humans would reject as harmful in general. It has been used economically to defend capitalism, and seems to be generally accepted by the masses as a method of determination, be it advertisement marketing, human progress, or even daily personal issues. For those who do not question or understand the original concept, it becomes an excuse, as they begin to believe they are as they were born, a shove to the nature side of the debate. This can either be very immobilizing for some, while giving others a false sense of authority over others.

  18. Kaley Huston says:

    The term “natural selection” strikes fear in the obedient, Catholic prep school student in me. It was ingrained in me that God was good and Charles Darwin was only his stepping stool. Now, I don’t mean to make this an argument between church and personal values, as I am sure that argument has, in its own way, evolved from one generation to the next in both its controversy and ability to annoy. However, the arguments for and against natural selection itself has gone through variance, inheritance, high rate of population growth and differential survival and reproduction, most significantly in the way that the Catholic church has used this theory in its teachings. I knew little about Charles Darwin in relation to my own Catholic upbringing and I believe that is how the Catholic church wanted it. At first, the Catholic Church repudiated any talk of evolution or random generic variation. They used their own rhetoric both inside and outside the Church to discredit Charles Darwin and threaten his scientific theories. However, this stance on hist teachings has “evolved” to that of indifferent contradiction. Devout theorists still argue that divine causality is the only explanation for our world today, while some believers have adopted certain adaptations of Darwin’s theory to coincide with both their religion and scientific concerns. This adaptation is an example of Darwin’s theory variance, where “organisms” example individual variance in appearance and behavior. Inheritance, particularly among cradle Catholics and those whose religion has been a sort of heritage passed down to them, exhibits the arguments’ strong and outlasting traits, such as the evolution and natural selection arguments, while other arguments show weak “heritability” within the eyes of the Catholic faith. High rate of population growth is mostly correlated with time and generational mindset, which inform Catholic homily and interest. As time has gone on and population growth and recession has occurred within the Catholic Church, Darwin’s theory has been allowed to insert itself within official teaching and understanding, both with clergy and lay believers. As time passed and Charles Darwin became more credited among the common man, the Catholic Church was forced to reevaluate its stance on the issues or risk losing thousands of scientifically-minded followers. Darwin’s own differential survival and reproduction proves his scientific value and contribution to the creation argument, as his theories have been proven and reproven scientifically, politically and religiously. They are currently taught alongside Church teachings within the classroom and Church environment. Their long lasting ability and generational contribution has been tested and selected.

    It was very difficult for me to separate Charles Darwin’s “natural selection” theories from Darwin himself. Evolution has become synonymous with his name and likeness. However, one comparison between his idea of natural selection and ours today deals with what Darwin himself was fiercely passionate about- science. Through science and technology, natural selection has become almost unnatural. Technology within the healthcare and medicinal industry has allowed for people to live longer and better lives, or so we have assumed. Our reliance on modern medicine and unnecessary means has allowed for more time to live but has also resulted in overpopulation, world hunger and diminishing natural resources. I myself cannot even criticize this new, unnatural selection because I have benefited from it. Born with a physical disability that hundreds of years ago would have probably left me outcast, unable to walk or dead, I was allowed the chance to live a relatively normal existence. Natural selection should have gotten the best of me, but it did not. My grandparents lived to the age of 98, while our same species used to be ecstatic to live to the age of 60. This is not to say that I would deny unnecessary measures, as our own outlook on long-lasting life and health has itself evolved since the time of Charles Darwin and before. I just believe that a true comparison of Darwin is in his most long-lasting theory of evolution and natural selection. As our society has become more obesity-prone and less health conscious, we have also had longer life expectancy rates. Science and medicine is a miracle, but it must be compared with Darwin as “unnatural”. If I become ill, I will be the first one to call the ambulance but, in doing so, am I going against Charles Darwin’s own theory of natural selection? I was born weaker and have remained relatively so throughout my life, with the inability to outrun a predator or exist without medical intervention. Should I have been a genetic goner by now, and what does this mean to the future of our environment and world?