The Weak Theory of Evolution Essay

2778 Words 12 Pages
The Weak Theory of Evolution

One of the most contested issues in the creation/evolution debate is the origin of the eye. Creationists see the eye as the pinnacle of complex design; evolutionists see the eye as the accumulation of small mutations preserved by natural selection. Charles Darwin started the controversy with an argument that is widely quoted by both sides:

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely
…show more content…
There can be no doubt that Darwin's argument is a rhetorical tour de force that attempts (1) to impute the difficulty of "believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection" to our imagination rather than to the theory of evolution and (2) to place the theory on the side of reason and science. But with the 1986 publication of The Blind Watchmaker by the zoologist and outspoken defender of Darwinism Richard Dawkins, the argument has been touted as a knock-down rejoinder to critics of Darwinism, and it has been extended to cover the evolution of any organ or biological feature. It has taken on such a general character that it can be dubbed the Continuum Argument for evolution and stated as follows:

For any organ or biological feature, such that there are extant examples running a gamut from simple to complex, we are justified in positing an evolutionary continuum.

Darwin originated the argument, and Richard Dawkins is its most enthusiastic contemporary proponent. Unfortunately, the argument is weak, if not logically fallacious, for several reasons.

First, we may not have to imagine various examples of an organ, but we do have to imagine the evolutionary pathway an organ takes; such a pathway is the very thing that needs to be demonstrated, so merely positing that one exists

Related Documents