natural selection 10381327 2

Your assignment. 

·       Answer the following questions. Do NOT retype the question.  

1.     Write a paragraph explaining who Charles Darwin was, when he lived, and where, as well as some of the things he did that changed our view of the Universe.  Link (Links to an external site.)

2.     Explain why Darwin named his theory “Natural Selection.” 

3.     Try to explain Unnatural Selection or Artificial Selection, and describe how it is different from Natural Selection.

4.     What causes some species to thrive while other species from the same time and place become extinct?

5.     Describe diversity, what it means, and what kinds of things cause diversity it.

6.     Explain how diversity determines who survives.

7.     Animals and plants do not change or evolve in their own lifetime in response to changes in the environment, so how do species evolve over time?

8.     Herbert Spencer was one of the fathers of Sociology.  Spencer (not Darwin) thought Natural Selection must play a role in the formation of societies (groups of people working together to survive and prosper).  However, Spencer thought a society was strong if everything was uniform, the same.  Spencer thought diversity made a society less fit for survival.  Spencer coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” to describe his own concept of social evolution.  This was a tragic mistake.  For a time Spencer’s hypothesis was popular among very conservative politicians because it played on people’s fear of others who were different, fear turned to hatred, and this led to racism, and many years later to genocide.   So many people confused Spencer’s ideas with Darwin’s that Darwin changed the second edition of his book to read ” natural selection . . . which some call survival of the fittest. . . ” This was Darwin’s reference to Herbert Spencer’s idea.   Make no mistake.  Charles Darwin never embraced racism or hatred.  Indeed, he and Alexander von Humboldt (another naturalist) were attacked in the newspapers for defending black people as humans, and part of human society.  Darwin declared that human survival required diversity, that human society is stronger as variation increases.  In your own words describe why we should not confuse evolution (natural selection) with ‘survival of the fittest’.

9.     How does Darwin’s theory relate to Employment (or job seeking).

10.  How does Darwin’s theory relate to business and economics?

11.  Static means unchanging.  Dynamic means changing.  Use these two words and describe why survival increases as a species is more diverse and more evolutionary.

12.  Why is a static economy unhealthy?

13.  A person looking for a job is like an organism seeking to survive.  How would a dynamic environment change both?

14.  People used to assume organisms never change, but thanks to Darwin we now know they do.  People also used to assume geology never changed.  However, thanks to Humboldt we know even the mountains, rivers and oceans do change.  People used to think that climate never changed, that it was always the same from age to age.  In fact many thought that climate would only change at the end of the world, in a biblical sense.  Link (Links to an external site.)   What have we learned over the centuries, about climate.  Has it changed?  If it has, will it continue to change?

15.  If Diversity (as the engine of evolution) is the source of biological and economic survival, why are so many people afraid of it, or opposed to it?  This question is not about biological diversity.  This question is more about “fear of evolution as a fact of life.”  Survival through diversity within a species is the same thing as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.  Here is the formula:   [Survival through diversity within a species]  = [Darwin’s Theory of Evolution] = EVOLUTION   Evolution is as much a fact as Isaac Newton’s Theory of Gravity, and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and Heisenberg’s Theory of Uncertainty, Schrödinger’s Theory of Conservation of Information, and Democritus’ Theory of Matter, and Epicurus’ Theory of Truth, “that which is real exists, and that which is not real does not exist.”  The problem is that people have a tendency to mince words, or play with words, to gain acceptance from other people in a crowd: such as when they are in a classroom (even an online class).  Thus in a classroom in Salt Lake City it is very common to see the following situation.  A teacher will say, “Raise your hand if you think Evolution of Species is real, and is a fact of nature.”  Nearly all the hands will go up.  However, privately over half the students in that classroom are lying when they raise their hand, because they do not truthfully think Evolution is a science or a fact.  Some are honest, but many lie.  Lying always seems fashionable.  Often people publicly say, “Of course evolution is real. . .” but privately they say to themselves “Evolution is nonsense because man was created perfectly in the Garden of Eden about 6,000 years ago. . .”    This is interesting, because to lie is to commit a moral error.  Why would someone lie, especially someone who believes in the moral authority of a bible narrative?  Why would they equivocate, or prevaricate?  Raising a hand to affirm something they do not believe is a lie.  Is this a balancing act?  Do they believe it is better to raise their hand for the sake of social acceptance, and privately lie, than to not raise their hand and thus be honest with self?  Especially in the pursuit of truth who cares what others may think?  This discussion is not proposing that only certain people will lie.  It is proposing that a commitment to be truthful is difficult under peer pressure.  It is also proposing that one of our goals in this class is to convince students that the best way to live is to be consistent: something true in nature should also be accepted as true.  There should be no conflict between being true to yourself and true to the facts of nature.  In this situation, in this online course, in this question, I am asking you to raise your hand by posting a statement about the truth of evolution.  Of course, I am also asking you to be truthful in discussing several issues: 

16.  Is Darwin’s theory of Evolution true, or is it false, and why do you feel that way?  Do you personally accept the fact of biological evolution?  Do you raise your hand in affirmation of Darwin’s theory of natural selection: which is the same thing as Evolution?  Note to students: professors must write this way because we are well aware that students will exploit any ‘wiggle room’ in a question such as this.

17.  What do you propose to do with the fact that evolution is a fundamental theorem of modern business theory, economic theory, medical theory, psychological theory, geological theory, chemistry, physics, and even Cosmology?  If you think it is false, then explain your approach to all these fundamental theorems.  If you think it is true, discuss how you can educate those around you who do not think it is true.

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