Pre-Darwinian Ideas Regarding Evolution – Assignment Example

The paper "Pre-Darwinian Ideas Regarding Evolution" is an excellent example of an assignment on history. Though many people think that Darwin’s theory of natural selection was unique in concept, it is a fact that the Greeks had similar notions of “descent into modification” which was not as sophisticated as that of Darwin but was nonetheless a precursor to the idea of progress and evolution of species. During the medieval times, there was a lot of emphasis s on the concept of “special creation” which is a forerunner of the modern-day idea of “intelligent design”. This concept holds that as a species humanity is too complicated and intricate in design that it cannot be just the work of a “blind watchmaker” (Dawkins, 2004). Hence, this essentially Christian conception of our evolution holds the promise of an intelligent hand behind the creation as it exists today.
The pre-modern theories of descent and ascent were also attempted to explain the place of humans in the world and had much in common with Darwin’s theory. However, the fact the Christian church was especially concerned with the idea of human evolution as conceived by a just and watchful god who assigned proper places to all animals, plants, and humans in the natural environment. This finds an echo in the theological conception of Adam and Eve and the “fall” as signifying humanity’s descent as opposed to the heavenly ascent that has been ordained by God.
In conclusion, the battle between natural selection and intelligent design rages to this day and has been a marked feature of the debate between the rationalists and the religionists. It is indeed the case that this debate looks like it is not going to be settled soon.