By: Natalina (Sogang University)
Since time immemorial, man has always questioned the origins of life, perhaps with this simple question “Where did we come from?” This sounds simple yet intriguing, but actually it has very deep mystery behind it which all expert scientists have tried to bring up and break, but it has remained unsolved until now. For the time being, there are two views that can be put forward about how living things first appeared on earth. The first view states that all living things were created by God, and the second view states that life is formed by random coincidences and beyond intent. Some people who have heard the Darwin’s Natural Selection and Evolution may think that this concept only concerns the field of biology and doesn't affect everyday life in the slightest. I think this assumption is a big mistake because this theory is more than a biological concept.
I was introduced to this theory when I was in middle school by one of my professors who thought Biology. The first thing I learned in school about Darwin’s theory was Theory of Natural Selection. My professor explained that in a book entitled The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, the author as well as scientist Charles Darwin claimed natural selection to be the process by which the origin of species occurred. He gave us an example that there existed short-necked giraffes and long-necked giraffes, where the long-necked giraffes are those who could survive until now, while the short-necked giraffes are those were already extinct because it wasn't easy for them to get food by reached the leaves on the trees. Due to their survived, the long-necked giraffes were able to reproduce, and they passed the adaptive nature of the long neck to the next generation. That’s why all the long-necked giraffes are existed now. Besides the example above, there are so many examples that Darwin gave in the form of facts that he collected to support his theory. In my opinion, the example that I mentioned above does make sense, even thought it cannot be witnessed with my eyes since I wasn't born that time.
In the case of environmental change, I am sure it is true that nature has always been changing. It can be caused by natural disaster, drought, differences in temperature and climate, etc. Organisms that live in nature should be able to adapt to the environmental changes in order to stay alive. The survival of a species of organisms is also influenced by the availability of food. We all know that organisms need food, and food sources come from the environment that has potential to provide foods. Otherwise, organisms proliferate continuously, so that their populations continue to increase, and this will lead to a competition among members of the populations which live in the same area. It seems like natural selection really embraced the notion, “Who is stronger will be the winner”, and the consequences for the losers have to leave the habitat and find a new place or otherwise they will die. Meanwhile, the stronger will win and stay in the area.
I happened to think about this while I focused on this discussion of Natural Selection, that apparently natural selection does not only occur for animals in the forest. The theory is everywhere, and can happen in our lives. Joining a community for example whether it is in the neighborhood, an organization, or in the working world. If we cannot adapt and get along with people, of course we will be gradually eliminated from the community. This is where it takes a great emotional intelligence of a person, and not wrong if one said that someone who has a high IQ (Intelligence Quotient) may not work if it is not supported by a good EQ (Emotional Quotient), I mean it is not only competition but cooperation.
To consider another of Darwin’s theories that I learned about at school, the Theory of Evolution, this theory can be viewed from two different aspects, namely as a historical process and how the process occurs. Regarding the issue of the Theory of Evolution which has been and still will be debated about, in my opinion, it should be viewed from different glasses. From one side of the glasses, it viewed as the evolution is the result work of human thought and observation based on the intelligence, and the other side of the glasses, it depends on everybody’s belief.
According to Darwin's theory of evolution, the ancestors of human are apes. We know what is being said by Darwin's theory is limited, which means his statement could be wrong. In my case, personally I disagree with the statement said man is descended from apes. I am not sure whether it is true or not Darwin wrote this in his book because I did’t directly read his book since I don’t have any interest in reading this kind of crispy essays full with confusing things. However, what I have learned from school, all of my professors who thought Biology, History of Science, and other subject they always mentioned about this statement. They even showed the same drawing which shows several steps of how an ape turned into a man.
Now, I remember when my middle school professor showed the drawing to us, we all were like “What, are you serious sir Darwin?”, and we started to mock each other by saying “Probably you are the one who descended from apes, because you just look a little bit the same as an ape”, until some of my friends cried because of being ridiculed. I guess all of teen students maybe did the same thing as we did when they learnt about it.
We actually just learnt about the first creation of human being on earth through Religion class 20 minutes ago right before the Biology class, where they said Adam and Eve, a couple who created by God are the first human beings. Since that, we started confusing that did Darwin theory revelation was against the religion’s belief or the religion belief did? Anyway, I get seriously sick when I imagine about the ancestor or human being in a form of an animal. Who’s going to be happy if somebody tells you that you are descended from an animal? I think no one, or maybe there is. ‘Man is descended form an ape’ does’t really make sense because a human and an ape are totally different species, so humans are not descendants of apes. Logically, if humans are descended from ape, why there are still apes? Why did’t they all turn into men? Another reason underlying the difficulty of recognizing the theory of Darwinian evolution is why only apes were evolving into human, and other animals were not?
Darwin’s theory has always been a big controversial issue. I think, things will be fine and there will be no complicated things, and even disputation between religion and science if Darwin only mentioned and gave examples of evolution about animals and nature, instead of the presence of human being on this earth, or if he has strong evidence for what he wrote in his book. However, I believe the hundred percent might be true that the first man must be a man which is Adam, and human beings are perfect from other creatures, hence a man must be come from human, not an animal.