Is Biology in left field at this critical time in history?

There is muffled debate dividing society that I find inconsequential and more importantly a hindrance to science and prosperity.

Should we teach evolution or creationism in school? More precisely, should we teach evolution or creationism in school as the causal agent of the origin and diversity of life?

Let me tell you why I find it inconsequential:

The general concept of evolution is an observation of a species’ environmentally imposed changes over time. Without a strong imagination (hypothesis) it is of little help in the discussion of origins or diversity in the higher species of life. It is this further hypothesis (evolution as a causal agent for the origination of life and species diversity) that is being referred to and which we will address in this article.

No, we should certainly not teach creationism or species to species evolution in science classes, as the two are both religiously and not scientifically substantiated.

What we know in 2014( obviously this is not an exhaustive list):

Survival of the fittest:

  1. Optimal health
  2. The “Will to Survive”( it appears to be only partially genetic)
  3. The most relevant and efficient to the surrounding environment and the future
  4. What else?

Genetics:

Genetic drift and the observation of species barrier: There is a certain species barrier in the higher species that allows for adaptation and genetic change within certain boundaries, but appears to limit or exclude changes beyond the set limit. Within those boundaries it is sort of like the sky is the limit. Take as a case in point the unusual intentional alterations made to the canines. The canines have an incredible adaptive capability which has been pushed to its limits by people for well over 5000 years, but the boundaries are apparent and have been un-crossable in at least 5 millennia of breeding for the extremes. It is possible to imagine one day, the fantasy of crossing that barrier with canines through natural breeding, but considering our observable period so far, such imagination is neither a logical nor a reasonable assumption. It may be impossible, but with today’s knowledge we can still fathom its potential possibility, but not much more is within the realm of logical reason.

It used to be believed that in the higher species only breeding could change genetics.

Actually, the new science of epigenetics that comes to us thanks to Cancer research radically overturns that. Actually, life experiences and environmental situation turn genes on and off in ‘real time’. This does not affect the elder people, as they will not have any more children. It affects the children according to what every generation before them in their genetic lineage experienced between fetal stage and childbearing both male and female. Essentially, the individual has many more genes than what are expressed and therefore, by the epigenetic mechanism, they have the innate capability to adapt radically to environment and emotions in real time and then pass the altered genetics to the unborn children and grandchildren.

Is evolution distinctly different from adaptation as is often asserted? It was long assumed that genetic evolution was due either to the mechanism of “survival of the fittest” or to outside breeding programs. In 2014 we know something new about the most notable observable characteristic of the phenomenon of environmental “fitting in” by individuals within a species. Many common changes to fit environment are due to internal programming adaptations, and not necessarily due to the external “survival of the fittest” mechanism. The internal limits to these adaptations may be broad, but they are still very well defined within the species, at least in the more complex forms of life. Survival of the fittest is potentially only a periphery effect mechanism that may be positive or negative to future survivability, while internal adaptations are strategic and innate in the individual. If “evolution” is distinct from adaptation, that it certainly needs to be redefined to fit modern understandings. If it is not distinct, than “adaptation” conjures a less confusing understanding of reality and should be preferred in education for that reason. Education is not for the purpose of impressing upon students the implied superior knowledge of the educator, but for facilitating the acquisition of knowledge.

In any case it should be clear that in 2014, reason gives us less possibility of accepting“survival of the fittest” as a mechanism for species to species evolution, and therefore less reason to accept evolution as a causal agent for the great mystery that can be termed in the humblest sense, the innate self organizing characteristics of life.

What is the causal agent? Could it be any of the previous assumptions or just as likely newly unfathomed ones? Our humility must be strong enough to not teach what we do not know in 2014. Interestingly, regarding origins, we have “known” for over 100 years, and before that we “knew” something different. In the 1970’s and 1980’s we knew artificially hydrogenated margarine was more heart healthy than natural butter. By 1995 we knew this to be reversed but even natural butter was not so good. By 2010 we knew that the cows eating an unnatural diet produced heart unhealthy cream and milk fat while the ones on their natural diet of grasses and herbs produced a supremely heart-healthy fat profile both in the milk and in the meat. In the 1960’s we knew that DDT was safe to spray even in baby cribs, kitchens, and barnyards. By 1970 we knew it was not really safe to spray on the planet, period. For many years we knew that eggs, though a wonderful source of protein, have a preponderance of heart unhealthy cholesterol. By 2012, we knew that they have that characteristic when fed in confined feeding operations, while the eggs from free range chickens actually have a heart healthy fat profile. In the 1400’s, though other cultures on the planet had long assumed a spherical earth, the Europeans knew it was flat. Later they knew the sun revolved around the earth. It was once known that gravity could be wholly described by the effect of larger masses pulling on smaller ones, now, even gravity appears to be a lot more complicated than that and is yet to be fully described.

“Spontaneous generation” was once the predominant theory of microbiology until Louis Pasteur proved that you don’t get something from nothing; now everyone laughs about our former ignorance. ‘Spontaneous generation’ is still taught and highly regarded in modern biology as the causal agent of life on earth, termed “evolution”. Is it time to evolve in step with our knowledge in 2014 and learn to use the cliché “I don’t know”?

“Should we teach evolution or creationism in school? More precisely, should we teach evolution or creationism in school the causal agent of the origin and diversity of life?”

No, we should certainly not teach creationism or species to species evolution in science classes, as the two are both religiously and not scientifically substantiated.

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