Friday, October 25, 2019
Americas Fear of Evolution :: Exploratory Essays Research Papers
America's Fear of Evolution In August of 1999, the teaching of evolution in schools was banned by the state of Kansas. In Texas, educators have debated over which textbooks to use in grade school science solely by the language of evolution each text contains. In Georgia, educators talk about replacing the word "evolution" with the phrase "biological changes over time." (1) Apparently, our apprehensions about teaching the theory of evolution are popping up all over the news. In hearing these debates, one usually thinks that it is only religious groups or fanatics trying to preserve their stories by eradicating the teaching of evolution. However, I think that culturally we have trouble accepting the theory of evolution because of other stories we tell ourselves. While religion does play a large role in our stories of creation, we have many ethics and ideals outside of faith that contrast with the theory of evolution. We may have trouble facing the facts of evolution because of what it says about the human race. A ccepting the theory of evolution places us on the same level as all other species in terms of how we came into existence and how that existence will end. It means letting go of many misconceptions we hold about ourselves. For example, that humans are somehow superior or meant to wield control over the earth. It affirms that we have not been here for nearly as long as our world, and will be long gone before the world ends. Evolution, it seems to me, touches more closely on our fears about death and our place in the grand scheme of things than it does on our faith. The reason evolution comes into such great conflict with religion is because questions such as, "Where will we go after our lives here end?" are so important to us. Consequently, the fear surrounding the theory of evolution belongs not only to the religious and the fanatical, but also to anyone who has ever asked him or herself such questions. America was founded on the concepts of idealism and opportunism; we all are broug ht up to take advantage of our opportunities and succeed to the best of our abilities. The nature of evolution is to go against these ideals. Evolution occurs randomly, meaning the human race did not "earn" its place as sovereign of the earth. As Americans, we see ourselves working toward a society that is closer and closer to perfection.