Science vs Myth Essay
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Science vs Myth Essay
The paper deals with the debate concerning the opposition of science and myth. As points of comparison and contrast Darwin’s theories and Judaism are taken. At the beginning the general opposition is briefly discussed and the basis for argument is found. Then the Judaist positions and further Darwin’s theories are critically analyzed. The paper is concluded by the idea that Darwin’s views, being not ideal, are more preferable.
It happens when some discussions once started could never be stopped. Probably, the discussion between science and religion or science and myths about the origin and development of life on the earth will never stop. In terms of this paper, an attempt to distinguish what point of view has stronger positions will be made. In order to fulfill this task Judaism and its basic ideas would be opposed to Charles Darwin’s and his followers’ theories. Generally speaking, Judaism can be treated as a typical religious view on the problem of human nature, origin and development of human beings as well as their life and philosophical perception of the world and relation between humans and God. Quite naturally, the theories developed by Darwin and his followers are absolutely different from religious view on the same problems. So, it may be said that Judaism and Darwin’s theories represent two opposite views on the world and human beings as its essential part, religious and scientific. Due to their religious or scientific character they treat the problems mentioned above correspondingly. It means that Judaism, as well as other main religion of the world, explains the origin of life by the divine act or will, as well as all further life of the mankind completely depends on the will of God. On the contrary, Darwinists believe that all process are natural and develops due to the evolution and there is no external intrusion from the part of God. In all probability, the latter looks more convincing and nowadays it is more appropriate interpretation that have ever took place or keep taking place now. In other words, Darwin’s theories are more motivated than Judaist views.
In order to understand, what ideas have better argumentation or which seem to be more persuasive it is necessary to briefly analyze both views. Speaking about Judaism, it is necessary to underline that it is characterized by a religious understanding of all the processes that take place in the world. It means that, according to Judaism is created by God and predetermined by a divine will. From the very beginning, Judaists stood on the ground that everything was created by the act of God.
As a result they explain the origin of human in the same way. The creation story of Geneses, where the process is described, is a very helpful in understanding Judaist view on it. According to the latter, human beings were created in God’s image. Furthermore, despite there were only two of humans they were equal.
At the same time, opponents state that should be treated not literally but allegorically. So the opponents of religious interpretation of the origin of the world and life criticize Judaists beliefs and state that Geneses is an allegory for the process of humankind’s development. More exactly, it is meant that in the story of Geneses is depicted the transformation of people’s conscious from animal to human one. In other words, it is allegorical description of human evolution supported by Darwinists.
In such interpretation, the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is extremely important since it is a means that could make human beings equal to God. The humans take a bite and the ability to understand, but it is very symbolic that they bite only a piece of the fruit that should be interpreted as if they did not get all the knowledge the God possessed but only its small part. Immediately after human beings realized that their appearance, their nakedness is shameful. Furthermore, they realized that it makes them closer to animals but not to creatures made in God’s image. As a result, God had expelled first people from the Garden of Eden. Being expelled, they had to work hard and suffer from numerous problems they had never had before.
It is an extremely important not only for understanding the origin of human beings but it also contribute to understanding what human beings actually are, their relation to God and God’s attitude to his creatures. From the creation story of Genesis it is obvious that humans are predisposed to sin as they violate one of the rules of God and they bite the forbidden fruit. It means that from the very beginning of their existence humans tend to sin and it is in their nature.
At the same time, it is also obvious that God gives human certain freedom as they may act as they will without divine direct guidance. So, to a certain extent they are free to choose to enter relationship with God. On the other hand, there is a hope for humans in God’s compassion. It means that, according to Judaism, God may forgive people for their sins making possible the reestablishing of relations between humans and God. At the same time, Judaism underlines that God seeks personal relations with human beings whom he created.
Thus, Judaism, being quite an influential religion, treats human beings and everything that happens to them from theological positions but it seems that they treat it a bit literally though it is quite normal for the religion. What is meant here is the fact that it is hardly possible to make a serious conclusion only on the basis of faith and blind belief without any scientific evidences or factual support. The Darwin’s view that will follow differs significantly at this respect.
It is a noteworthy fact that Judaism interpretation of the origin of the world and life, which has a lot of similarity in principle points with other religions, as well as perception of human beings and their role remained dominant for a great number of people. Generally, religious views were quite strong until the 19th century when Charles Darwin developed his theory that significantly influenced all further development of science and philosophy.
As soon as Darwin’s theory about the origin of species and evolution appeared, the opposition between this theory and a religious belief, including Judaist, in the almighty God. It is also noteworthy that Darwin was aware of the domination of religious views and he delayed the publishing of his main work “The Origin of Species” until he became aware that Wallace was about to publish similar views. Why was then he so aware? It is logical to presuppose that his ideas would be, and they really were, shocking for people with strong religious beliefs. Not surprisingly, his works are often called as a revolution in science.
Now it is necessary to explain why his works were so shocking for a wide audience and for specialists as well. Unlike Judaism and other religions, Darwin has changed completely our view on the origin of life, development not only humans but other beings, and he has changed human perception and understanding of life itself. So, according to Darwin, human beings originate from other animals for they actually became humans in the result of evolution. By the way, there is one more significant difference between Judaism and Darwin’s theories. Darwin and later his followers did made the distinction between the origin of life and origin of humans, whereas Judaism did not make such a distinction. According to Judaism, there was no difference between these two processes because both humans and life were created by God. Darwinists explain the latter by a biogenesis while the origin of humans is the result of evolution. In the context of Darwin’s theory one of its key points is the natural selection which is a kind of engine of the evolution because, according to Darwin, only the strongest, the smartest survives. And the best quality acquired by ancestors that helped to survive are inherited and developed by descendants. Actually, this theory is common for all species, including humans. Probably that was the most shocking in his theory because in Judaist tradition humans were created in the image of God that naturally put them higher then animals.
Furthermore, an extremely important is the Darwin’s belief that human beings did not have any inherent problems and consequently they did not need any prescriptions, unlike Judaist belief in sinful nature of human beings and the necessity to get the forgiveness of God.
Finally, the theory of evolution is supported by many scientists on the basis of numerous research and data that were gathered and received in different sciences, such as biology, genetics, ecology, etc. At this respect, Darwin’s theories have stronger positions than Judaist ones.
Nonetheless, regardless all facts, researches, arguments and simply beliefs, there is still some uncertainty what is right, or what is more reasonable. Even though Darwin’s theories are supported by many people, including the author of the paper, there is still some doubt. For instance, there is an epistemological argument that says that the probability that the evolution is the correct explanation of life as we know it may approach 99,999…9% but it will never be 100%. Thus evolution, one of the cornerstones of Darwin’s theory, cannot be a fact.
However, this kind of argument may be appropriate in philosophy but it won’t do in the real world. But even though there remains a hypothetic possibility for an erroneous nature of Darwin’s theories it still remains the best and the most appropriate for many specialists explanation of the origin of life, humans and their nature. Thus, as there is no strong alternative that may be competitive enough Darwin’s ideas and theories will remain dominant in the contemporary highly scientific and technological world.
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