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The apparent change from the rather mechanistic explanation of evolut

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The apparent change from the rather mechanistic explanation of evolut  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2018, 03:53
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The apparent change from the rather mechanistic explanation of evolution put forth by the Greeks to the more creationist reasoning found later in Europe was a significant paradigm shift, yet it is clear that the idea of evolution was not first pioneered by Darwin himself.

It is essential to confront the creationist issue and to look at it in a scientific manner. Creationism is not science and doesn‘t belong in the science classroom. However, a frank discussion of creationism with students is also important. To avoid it may suggest that perhaps there is something valid there, lurking in the irrationality.

The late Carl Sagan, one of the staunchest advocates of rationality and reason in the increasingly irrational and superstitious world in which we live, has defended the importance of good science teaching by saying: ―In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, [science] may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness.‖ In its most simple form, the concept of evolution is that populations of organisms change over time. One can trace the origins of evolutionary thought at least as far back as the Greeks.

Anaximander, in 500 BC, held the belief that living creatures were formed from water and that humans and other animals were descended from fishes. Empedocles, around 400 BC, proposed an evolutionary hypothesis in which he stated that heads, limbs, and various other parts of animals were continuously joined in random combinations – e.g. human heads with cows‘ bodies – and that only some of these combinations were fit for survival.

Christian philosophers later elaborated on the ideas of Aristotle and Plato when they reasoned that because existence is a good thing and because God is considered benevolent, God must have bestowed existence on all creatures. This twist of circular reasoning, to which the name ―natural theology‖ was applied, dominated the period preceding Darwin, and this philosophy resisted change long after Darwin published his theory of natural selection in 1859.

Thomas Huxley, one of Darwin‘s most ardent supporters, was one of the founding members of the powerful London School Board, which helped to set curriculum guidelines for students and teachers. However, in the United States a strong biblical fundamentalism was taking hold, using the Bible as both a means of consolation as well as a guide for moral conduct. Many states passed laws banning the teaching of evolution in schools, and teachers who persisted either did so quietly or allowed themselves to be martyred. Most recently, those opposed to the teaching of evolution in schools have pressed the idea of ―creation science,‖ a tactic devised by creationists in the late 1960s to infiltrate America‘s science classrooms with religious ideas.

Creation science, despite the apparent oxymoron, is a phrase that has been widely used by creationists to add legitimacy to their claims by stating that creationism is a scientific theory just as much as evolution. By claiming that their ideas are scientific, creationists could then demand equal time in the classroom devoted to both evolutionary theory and the ―theory‖ of creationism.

1. When reviewing all of the arguments made in the passage it becomes apparent that the author‘s main idea in this passage is:

A. to explain the differences between natural selection and creation science.
B. to show how the continued spread of creationist views is a potentially dangerous affront to a rational, scientific understanding of evolution.
C. to contrast the creationist viewpoints, such as fundamentalism and natural theology with more ancient views of evolution.
D. to explain why the concepts of evolution are more scientifically correct than those of ―creation science.‖
E. to argue that ‗creation science‘ is the best explanation of evolution



2. The author brings up Greek philosophers to point out which of the following:

A. that the origins of evolutionary thought comprised some silly notions such as heads, limbs, and various other parts of animals were always being joined in random combinations.
B. that the origins of evolutionary thought began long before Darwin.
C. that both evolutionary thought and creationism have their origins among the Greeks.
D. Anaximander first came up with the theory of evolution.
E. Greeks were far more learned than any other group at that time



3. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

A. A frank discussion of creationism is pointless
B. Carl Sagan was indifferent towards rationality
C. Anaximander believed that humans were descended from apes
D. Thomas Huxley approved of Darwin‘s theories
E. Christian philosophers rejected the ideas of Aristotle and Plato


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Re: The apparent change from the rather mechanistic explanation of evolut  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2018, 02:45
OE
1..
A main idea question hidden in the middle of the question set. Predict using topic, scope, and purpose: The author wants to promote the teaching of evolution and to argue against the teaching of creation in the classroom. Only (B) and (D) suggest that the author is trying to argue for and against something, and of the two only B) incorporates the idea of learning and understanding, which the author focuses on extensively in the discussion of classroom instruction.

(A): Faulty Use of Detail. While the author discusses the differences briefly in ¶7, it‘s only to show that creation science isn‘t in fact science at all (despite what creationists say) and to argue that it shouldn‘t be taught in the classroom, a point that this choice leaves out.

(B): The correct answer

(C): Out of Scope. The author describes all these things, but makes no attempt to contrast them. This choice also leaves out the author‘s attack on creation science, which takes up the latter half of the passage.

(D): Faulty Use of Detail. Though the author does this very briefly in arguing that creation science isn‘t science at all, it‘s only to make the larger point that creation science shouldn‘t be taught in the classroom.

(E): The author never argues in favour of any such thing


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Re: The apparent change from the rather mechanistic explanation of evolut  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2018, 02:46
2..

While this question is straightforward, the answer choices are meant to trick the test taker who does not take time to read through all the possibilities. The author brings up Anaximander and Empedocles in ¶3 as evidence of his claim that ―one
can trace the origins of evolutionary thought at least as far back as the Greeks.‖ But be careful—he also brings up Plato and Aristotle in ¶4, stating that Christian philosophers elaborated on their ideas when they came up with what became creationism. Therefore both evolution and creationism have their origins in Greece. C is correct.

(A): Faulty Use of Detail. The later part of this answer is taken from ¶3 when the author details Empedocles‘ theory, but his point was never to show is was silly.

(B): Faulty Use of Detail. This is the point of ¶3, but it ignores the evidence in ¶4.

(C): The correct answer

(D): Out of Scope. Anaximander is the earliest source mentioned as a precursor to evolutionary theory, but the author never claims that he is the original source.

(E): Extreme language


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Re: The apparent change from the rather mechanistic explanation of evolut  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2018, 02:47
3..


3) A straightforward detail question D can directly be inferred from ¶6

(A): Extreme language

(B): ¶3 says the opposite

(C): ¶4 clearly says that Anaximander believed humans were descended from fishes

(D): The correct answer

(E): ¶5 says that Christian philosophers actually elaborated on the ideas of Aristotle & Plato


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Re: The apparent change from the rather mechanistic explanation of evolut &nbs [#permalink] 01 Sep 2018, 02:47
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The apparent change from the rather mechanistic explanation of evolut

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