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CHAPTER 5: DARWIN’S CENTURY: EVOLUTIONARY THINKING ° Species problem – sometimes referred to as the “mystery of mysteries” is the problem of the origin of the species addressed by enlightenment thinkers faced/ with increasing uncertainty over biblical accounts (origin of the Earth’s animals, plants; story of the Ark…) ° Argument from Design – explained the great complexity in nature by arguing that it required a superior being (i.e., God) to produce it; associated with Reverend Paley’s “Natural Theology” but is also recognizable by the great medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas Paley drew an analogy between the complex design of a watch, which necessitates a watchmaker to make it, and that of the infinitely more complicated human eye, which requires an “eye maker” who is by definition infinitely more superior to the humans using those eyes This design enabled a minister/scientist to study the workings of nature while maintaining a belief in the Supreme Designer ° There is no movement that had as profound an effect on psychology as Evolution ° Coming to modern psychology, humans have been getting less and less special Idea that we’re not the center The theory of Evolution had a very profound effect on psychology by making us one of the animals – compared us with the natural world The idea that humans descended from the same animal line as chimps was considered to be stunning and shocking in the 19 th century – we now know we share 99.6% genetic makeup with chimps - We’re more genetically similar to chimps than frogs are to toads There’s no debate that evolution occurs ° We think of Darwin when we think of Evolutionary Theory because his is the one most agreeable with modern sciences, but he’s not the only one – many multiples in this theory ° Prior to the theory of evolution, scientists believed basically what Theologians believed – they wrote about the creation of animals by God, preservation of all living forms by the ark – the scientific view and the story of creation in Genesis were identical The way origin was explained prior to evolutionary thought was by special creation animals don’t change through time and look like they’ve always looked – living forms as being fixed Especially in the 19 th century, questioning about special creation grew – there was an increase in interest in nature - Romantic movement, nature seen as grand and more powerful - Naturalists were scientists that looked into the wonders of nature – more of a hobby of the rich - If you tried to put all of these creatures into one space, how much space would you be talking about? - People realized that two species could not have just been put into the ark 1
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° Barren Couvier Frenchman who was considered the founder of paleontology - Dug up fossilized remains, joined by many English naturalists - These findings especially raised questions about special creation ° Erasmus Darwin (1721-1802)
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This note was uploaded on 05/30/2010 for the course PSYC 4008 taught by Professor Hawkins during the Spring '09 term at LSU.

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