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Do you think the study of human evolution is important or relevant?Do you think the...

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ranmaakane | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 14, 2011 at 11:49 PM via web

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Do you think the study of human evolution is important or relevant?

Do you think the study of human evolution is important or relevant?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 14, 2011 at 11:58 PM (Answer #2)

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This is, of course, a matter of opinion.  My opinion is that the study of human evolution is important only in an academic sense.  It is very interesting (at least to me) but it is not important in any tangible way.

I am very interested in human evolution simply because it is fascinating to think about issues like why humans evolved the way we did.  Why do we, alone, walk upright?  Why do we have language when no other animals do?  But these are questions that have no effect on my (or anyone else's) daily lives.  If we knew nothing about them, it would not make us poorer.  We cannot really even learn any lessons from our evolution with regard to how we should live our lives today, which means that human evolution is even less relevant than things like ancient history.

Therefore, I believe the study of human evolution is interesting, but not important.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 15, 2011 at 2:12 AM (Answer #3)

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I concur with most of the same points as pohnpei. It is a form of scientific history, and I find nearly all forms of history fascinating. Additionally, the history of human evolution is important from a scientific point of view, serving as a counterpoint to those who choose The Bible and religious teachings as absolute fact.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 15, 2011 at 5:48 AM (Answer #4)

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Yes. The study of human evolution is very important because it touches on several aspects of human nature such as the development of cognitive abilities, the capability to acquire and understand language, changes in human diet, changes in the human body's defenses and much more.

I think that if we do not give ourselves the chance to analyze the process of the evolution of the human race we are depriving ourselves of very important information that could lead us to predict how else mankind will change in the future. To me, it is criminal when I hear that schools choose to teach Creationism versus the Evolution. In fact, I feel it is counter-productive and ridiculous and should not be allowed.

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 15, 2011 at 10:26 AM (Answer #5)

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I agree with the above posts that the teaching of human evolution is absolutely essential. It is unfortunate that there are those who see a conflict between religion and science. Many of my students are offended when we discuss the evolution of humans at the beginning of my World History class; and I try to tell them that there is no conflict between the teachings of the Bible and the theory of evolution; sadly many of them refuse to see it.

It is impossible for one to understand how we humans got where we are, and why we act the way we do at times without some understanding of the evolutionary process.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 15, 2011 at 3:54 PM (Answer #6)

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Interestingly, Charles Darwin was studying to become a minister before he took his trip to the Galapagos Islands, so the charges against him of being athestic in his Origin of Species certainly appear unfounded.

Evolution is intrinsic to nature.  The adaptation of animals to their environments provides an intriguing and informative study for students; it is an observable fact.  Survival of the fittest has also been a proven fact, at least before modern medicine intervened.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 16, 2011 at 4:02 AM (Answer #7)

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Absolutely so.  The study of science in general is important and relevant, but understanding the evolutionary processes and history of the human race offers us key insights into our anatomy, genetic makeup, and adaptability.  At this moment in time, with the issues facing us, you can't get much more relevant than that. It is essential to understanding not only where we have come from, but what we are capable of in the future.

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bobchoelalala | Student | eNoter

Posted June 21, 2011 at 1:14 PM (Answer #8)

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Science is important, and most of it is what you think about it. However, research is key in Science, so it is important.

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted June 23, 2011 at 4:43 AM (Answer #9)

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Bob Marley once said, ''If you don't know your past, you can't know your future.''

Human Evolution is one of the most important areas of human knowledge. It helps us to answer those eternal quesion, "Who am I?", "How did I get here", "Why am I here?"...

You are the ape that got lucky. You are an animal, no different from the fish in the sea or the birds in the air. You are the product of evolutionary processess. You were not purposefully designed with a destiny, you simply evolved over millions and billions of years.

Now, maybe this is not what people want to hear, but it is the truth and therefore it is essential. I can't think of any knowledge that is more important to our understanding.

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felquilem | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 16, 2011 at 11:47 PM (Answer #10)

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As a student of both science and English Bible, I find the above discussions intersting.  In science, we acccept the uncertainty principle ( if we know where a particle is, we know nothing of its path to get there).  Secondly, all scientific study is based on models, hypotheses-if you will. These models have all been modified, sometimes abandoned when new evidence has demonstrated the need.  So, what is evidence?  It is a fact that I choose to believe.  There is a suggestion that evolution is a "truth", but no suggestion as to the nature of truth.  The accumulation of research data is a peronal selection choice.  My own professional and published research was done in an area that many of my predecessors felt was complete and finished.  The thrill of research lies in always being ready to look beyond.

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cantheman | Student , Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 22, 2011 at 9:35 AM (Answer #11)

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I find it very interesting to learn about but I do not think that it is true. That is up for discussion. If you have every taken time to study about Charles Darwin you will see that on his death bed he said  (do not quote me on this) I did not completly believe in evolution it was just a theroy. I do not think that it should be forced to learn in school. I think that it should be a option to learn it or not. Now you could say you already have the option to learn it because you could just not listen but there is aways a point when you will have to remember it for a test if it is inforced to learn it.

 

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truthseekah | Salutatorian

Posted August 3, 2011 at 12:31 AM (Answer #12)

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First, we need to define evolution with its vast complexities that many within the evolution community want to ignore and understand the politics involved within the evolution community alone.  It would also benefit others to know that it is portrayed that one must be either a Darwinist or a Creationist, but there are many shades of grey to explore.

“We do not deny the importance of mutations. Rather we insist that random mutation, a small part of the evolutionary saga, has been dogmatically overemphasized. The much larger part of the story of evolutionary innovation, the symbiotic joining of organisms . . . has systematically been ignored by self-proclaimed evolutionary biologists.” - Lynn Margulis

“Self-organization may be the precondition of evolvability itself. Only those systems that are able to organize themselves spontaneously may be able to evolve further. How far we have come from a simple picture of [natural] selection sifting for fitter variants. Evolution is far more subtle and wonderful.” - Stuart Kauffman


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mrmason | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 13, 2011 at 2:55 PM (Answer #13)

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Many people, before the study of evolution, are misinformed about what it really is.  Many people think that evolution is a physical change in a biological being.  Evolution is about survival of the fittest in a given environment, they reproduce, so the population will slowly change.  It is very fascinating, the misinformation that people have.  Many Christians are against the theory of evolution because of this misinformation.

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akhelloufi | Student , Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted October 8, 2011 at 9:55 PM (Answer #14)

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Bob Marley once said, ''If you don't know your past, you can't know your future.''

Human Evolution is one of the most important areas of human knowledge. It helps us to answer those eternal quesion, "Who am I?", "How did I get here", "Why am I here?"...

You are the ape that got lucky. You are an animal, no different from the fish in the sea or the birds in the air. You are the product of evolutionary processess. You were not purposefully designed with a destiny, you simply evolved over millions and billions of years.

Now, maybe this is not what people want to hear, but it is the truth and therefore it is essential. I can't think of any knowledge that is more important to our understanding.

i disagree because if we all evolved then how come the average monkey is not as developed as a human. plz answer im really confused

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akhelloufi | Student , Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted October 8, 2011 at 10:01 PM (Answer #15)

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Science is important, and most of it is what you think about it. However, research is key in Science, so it is important.

so you actually believe that you evolved from a monkey?

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:54 AM (Answer #16)

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It is fascinating to learn about how living things have adapted to a changing Earth. That said, when one looks at differences in current people and fossils of our past ancestors, it is interesting to see differences in size, shape of the skull, and other humanoid features. It is also interesting to compare other Primates with man, such as apes and orangatans. Evolution is ongoing and natural selection weeds out the least adapted individuals, making way for the "fittest" individuals to survive and reproduce. It would be interesting to see how humans would look in the future, if one could time travel.

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