Presentation on theme: "Naturalism and Humanitarianism Naturalism is the doctrine that scientific procedures and laws are applicable to all phenomena. Evolutionary Theory has."— Presentation transcript:
Naturalism and Humanitarianism Naturalism is the doctrine that scientific procedures and laws are applicable to all phenomena. Evolutionary Theory has roots in ancient Greece, as well as Eastern Sources. In fact, evolution is part of the larger question of cosmogony, the study of the origin of the cosmos. The evolution of the solar system has been a topic of speculation since the beginning of the shift away from a geocentric solar system. Kant actually advocated an early version of the nebular hypothesis. Evolutionary theory influenced science as a whole, including biology and psychology.
Difference between the Nebular Hypothesis and the Big Bang Theory The Nebular Hypothesis is an explanation for the formation of solar systems. The Big Bang Theory explains the origins of this universe. One as-yet unanswered question — what was the ORIGIN of the extremely compressed matter that exploded in the Big Bang and initiated our ever-expanding universe?
Geological Evolution One of the first to argue for geological evolution was George-Louis Leclerc, known as Comte de Buffon. But, theological authorities forced him to retract his views. Sir Charles Lyell, the founder of modern geology, published Principles of Geology in which he advocated uniformitarianism (the view that changes on earth occur slowly and gradually) instead of catastrophe theory (the view that geological changes had been quick and radical).
Organic Evolution The emergence of theories of organic evolution has been a slow process that continues in contemporary society. Significant impetus for theories of organic evolution came from difficulties within Christian creation theory. Comte de Buffon suggested that humans and apes may have common ancestors, and he studied humans developmentally.
Charles Darwin Comes on Stage Charles Darwin, a theology student with interests in the natural sciences, was asked to join the voyage of the Beagle to examine life in and around South America. After his return, Darwin read the work of Thomas Malthus, who described population growth relative to available resources. Darwin presented evolution by natural selection in a joint presentation with Alfred Russel Wallace, but Darwin was the first to publish the ideas in 1859 in his classicwork, Origin of Species.
Growth of Organic Evolution Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin, argued that plant life developed before animal life and that all animals evolved from the same organic material. The evolutionary mechanism he accepted was the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Jean-Baptiste Lamark promoted progressionism, the idea that there is a steady linear advance in nature from simple to more complex forms of life. Lamark also proposed the inheritance of acquired characteristics as the mechanism of evolution.
Darwin Becomes Lightening Rod Evolution by natural selection implied the following: 1) Species tend to overpopulate. 2) There is variation in all populations. 3) There is a struggle for survival, and some variations will do better than others at adapting to the environment. 4) The survivors (superior adapters) will pass benefits to the offspring.
Darwin’s Controversial Beliefs Darwin argued, furthermore, that all changes that become fixed happen in this way, that all changes occur by imperceptible gradations, and that all changes arise originally by chance. Evolutionary theory was significant for psychology in a number of ways. Evolutionary theory provided the grounds for the psychological study of interspecies or comparative psychology. Conway Lloyd Morgan advocated his principle of parsimony, a specific application of Ockham’s Razor (see Chapter 4), to limit the anthropomorphism encountered in much of early comparative psychology.