The principle of Natural Selection is one of the fundamental mechanisms in the evolution of individuals. It sets out to differentiate organisms not just in genetic composition (genotype) but physically (phenotype). These variations in individuals occur as a result of random mutations and can inherited by offspring. With time as a causal effect, their genetic composition changes according to the level of interaction with the environment. Species that develop stronger traits that can withstand the environment tend to survive of the weaker ones hence the popular moniker, survival of the fittest. It is therefore vital to investigate how areas of knowledge have evolved over time and how opposing AOKs compete in terms of taking stances over the others.
Natural selection tends to suggest that there must be a variation in species and that these species adapt differently to their environments because of these variations. These variations are transferred to offspring and are a key determinant in which species survives the harsh environmental issues. In this context, species will be used to refer to different areas of knowledge. Before Darwins theory of adaptation and speciation was accepted by the scientific community, many theories had been presented that aimed at explaining the origin of man. Roman Poet Lucretius and his predecessor Empedocles posited ideas such as natural teleology that stated that organism emerged by the accidental consequences of heat and cold. Until the 19th century, the predominant view of the origin of species revolved around creationism theories and the Platonic theory that suggested that the movement of plates gave rise to different species. Darwin gathered evidence diligently for his works On the Origin of Species. However, his work was rejected on the basis of being too weak to explain the strong diversity among species. These views that included referring to the theory as non-progressive proved to be a great impediment to the theory and was not accepted for many years. With many educated scientists adopting the work such as Herbert Spencer (who coined the phrase Survival of the fittest), then the work became more acceptable even in the light of more scientific evidence. This goes to prove, that with new knowledge, then Darwins evolutionary theory was posited as the more plausible explanation for origin and variation of species.
In this essay, I aim to divulge information on how different AOKs have evolved over time in a given environment to ensure their survival. Many AOKs have evolved to give rise to pseudo-knowledge. Case in point is the ever potent disagreement between creationists and evolutionists. Creationists have stuck to the theories of a deity creating all living beings even in the face of new scientific knowledge that presents evidence that man was not a consequence of ex-nihilism. Taking into account the term the fittest, then I should be able to dissect which ideas are most adapted and why they are easily adapted and a result, spread easily. Ideas tend to adapt and evolve for various reasons such as social, economic, religious or even political. Individuals or societies will adopt those ideas that readily feed their psychological needs and give them greatest value. However, since individuals tend to differ in terms of traits, then it is also safe to conclude that the levels of needs are different too. A good case of this is the gradual yet concrete adoption of gay rights in America and Europe. It shows the decline of conservative views in matters pertaining sexuality and an increase on liberal views about the matter. It would therefore be important to discuss the reasons for this dynamic shift. First, cultural attitudes towards sexuality have shifted among millennials, a generation of more upbeat and socially- accepting individuals. Secondly, same sex marriages are not a politically decisive matter anymore as evidenced by President Obamas staunch support for the LGBT community in the United States of America (Becker). Homosexuality cannot become a leverage point for politicians anymore because cultural and religious values have become more fluid and interactive. Thirdly, societies have become more accepting of homosexuality for political reasons; many politicians will claim to be pro-homosexuality to garner more votes in their quest for political office. As witnessed with the Obama administration, subtle tensions have arisen between its relations with those countries that have stringent measures on same-sex relations. More importantly, new information has come to light about the psychology of homosexuals; no concrete evidence has arisen to classify it as a form of mental illness. Furthermore, there is influx of information on the various cultures that indulged in homosexual practices. However, caution should be exercised in drawing conclusions that homosexual relations in these communities served the same purpose as they do now (Crompton). Conclusively, same sex marriage can be explained by the growing need to incorporate social and structural trends to the norms of society.
It is imperative to distinguish between what we consider best knowledge and contextual knowledge. It is rather obvious that our knowledge is gained based on experiences and the environmental situations we find ourselves in. we therefore interpret knowledge differently due to our experiences. This therefore brings to light the imminent question, is there a standard in terms of the knowledge we acquire and consume? Certainly not, based on the previous argument, knowledge is contextual and experiential. However, much as this holds true, it still does not impede the emergence of different schools of thought on different areas of knowledge such as science, religion or sexual matters. For instance, the emergence of pseudo-science that rivals the theories and facts of science. Pseudo-science tends to back natural acts as scientific while the opposing scientific world disapproves of these works based on the fact that they are not backed by scientific methodology.
Natural selection is then therefore metaphor because different ideas compete for acceptability. These ideas are man-made and are influenced by factors such as environment and experiences and cater to the individual needs of a society at a given time. For example, the era of impressionism in France is a classic tale of how many artists were excluded from the Salon of 1874 because their works of art adopted different themes and techniques from the conventional art. However with time, their alterative form of art was adopted and included in the classical works of art. Their perception of art at the time was rejected because it was the emergence of new knowledge that the artists at that time were not familiar with. It goes to show, that with time, ideas and concepts considered erratic become part of the basket that is considered evolutionary knowledge (or new knowledge).
Identifying the weaknesses of the knowledge of discipline in relation to natural selection is paramount. Reasoning and hypothesis is used by many scientists to come up with scientific claims and works. Reasoning is an important aspect in adopting knowledge especially that we consider foreign or new. Even though the principle of evolution states that species evolve within a given environment in order to survive, emotions have played a vital part in accepting these works. There was extensive knowledge and evidence when Darwin was developing his theory of natural selection but it was rejected on the premise of emotion rather than reason. His idea was considered too foreign for a scientific explanation and therefore was not rejected objectively but subjectively (which in this case emotions come into play). However, after the presentation of evidence, such as the butterfly, human beings and more scientists began to understand his theory and therefore embraced it. We often tend to reject evolved ideas based on our senses and perceptions while it these same factors that enable us to develop the very same ideas that we often reject.
The principle of natural selection can also be viewed in a different realm other than what it really is. It can be used to explain the moral nature of human beings and his ability to explain these norms based on both monotheistic and polytheistic aspects. Science runs parallel to these claims and holds on to its works that the origin and development of species is based entirely on evidence a scientific work. Our cultures and indigenous beliefs are also affected by the principle of natural selection. Once influential figures adopt or conceive beliefs, then we automatically adopt them based on our perceptions and trust in them. It then becomes easier for us to adopt this new knowledge and mechanisms because they have undergone societal reconstructions.
Evolution is based on natural selection and how the human species id actively engaging in sifting knowledge to determine which is most beneficial to him. A perfect example would be scientists coming up with newer theories to either dismiss the older ones or build on them in order to come up with better and more formidable systems. This can be reflected on Darwin who conducted massive research in order to come up with a more elaborate explanation as to why species vary and adapt differently to the same environment.
The metaphor with regard to natural selection does to some extent help us to explain the development of knowledge and how we understand it. We eliminate that knowledge that does not address our needs at the moment, but with time adopt the other forms of knowledge that end up being useful to us eventually. Usefulness of knowledge is a key pillar in the human evolution scale. It has helped him develop key ideas for his successful survival for instance, extensive research in the field of cancer to understand its causes and how to remedy it. Thus, just as the natural selection laws state, useful knowledge gets passed on one person to the other depending on the need for it. As time goes by, the knowledge may get refined to eliminate any ambiguities or mistakes that existed in it. This is a process that is ongoing just like human evolution.
Becker, Jo. Why More Americans Accept Gay Marriage Than Ever. 13 March 2015.
Crompton, Louis. Homosexuality and Civilization. Havard University Press, 2003.
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