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Kenneth Lucero

3/19/2015
English 120
Evolution and the Importance of Acceptance
Evolution can be a controversial issue that has been debated for more than a hundred
years. So is it time that everyone accepts evolution? It is important to emphasize that this is not
meant to validate or invalidate the merits of evolutions but to discuss what the value of accepting
evolution will have. I would also like to point out that I am writing this with the sentiment that
evolution is a fact. It is not important for me to argue whether or not evolution is correct because
that topic has been debated to no end. No, the point that I want to argue is what value the human
race obtains by accepting evolution and the possible effects of not accepting evolution.
To be able to get a good understanding of why and how evolution can have any value we
must also look at the arguments against evolution as this will give a good starting point to jump
off from. The argument I probably hear most opposing evolution is that it does not explain where
the origins of life began on earth. This statement is in fact true; however evolution is not the
theory that is used to investigate where life on earth began but rather the process in which living
organisms have come to adapt to their environment and develop into the beings that are seen
today. Another argument that I often see is that people are too complex for humans to have just
happened randomly. There are two things that must be examined when reviewing this argument.
First is that evolution is mostly not random and that the only random element of evolution is

mutation. Secondly there is no reason to believe that just because humans are complex does not
mean that given enough time that humans could adapt into the beings they are. Another common
argument is that Evolution is just a theory and for this I feel this is a misunderstanding of what a
theory is. A theory is not the same as a hypothesis in that it is an educated guess, but rather it is a
well understood concept and has been reviewed countless times and refined into a well
understood knowledge. The last argument and probably the one I will be demonstrating is not the
case most with this article is that evolution is not happening now (people do not see to see it
happening). This, as mentioned before, will be examined further in the article and will hopefully
show that this is not the case.

Commented [SD1]: You connect this with the acceptance and


what youll be talking about.

So what value is there in accepting evolution? Most notably the value comes from
predictive capabilities. When I say predictive capabilities I dont mean that scientists can see into
the future like a fortune teller, but more about how human actions today might affect the
environment in the future. One way that human action has affected the evolution of a particular
environment is through shrinking fish. For many years fishermen have been throwing back
smaller fish to let them grow larger, however this is proven to have some very negative side
effects. We are starting to see the side effects of this fishing practice because the smaller fish that
were thrown back are more likely to reproduce and create offspring that are smaller. According
to Brenda Borrell in article about shrinking fish restrictions have made things worse. By
targeting only the largest, oldest fish in the species, we are inadvertently manipulating fish
genetics. When fishermen take large fish out of the population, they put evolutionary pressure on
fish to stay small and mature quickly. Borrell also states if selecting fish is bad for a single

Commented [SD2]: But how about the fact that we know


Squirtle will evolve into Warturtle?! CHECKMATE.
(sorry- had to bring more pokemon into this)

stock, its even worse for a marine ecosystem. Taking only the heavyweights out of our oceans
has left us with an unnatural, bottom heavy ecosystem that is more difficult to harvest
sustainably because it is unstable. So how can the humans fix this problem? The answer is very
simple: by simply diversified the type of fish that we are fishing. So instead of just catching large
fish and throwing back the small fish we release large fish back into the ocean we should, as
Borrell says We should stop penalizing fishermen for catching young fish and find more uses
for anchovy-size fish in our diets and as animals feed.
Another way we can use evolutionary predictive capabilities is through the means of
sustainable farming. In the past in order for farmers to protect their crops from pasts like insects
and rats the general consensus was to spray poison in the fields. The problem that arises is that
the pests that survive the poison buildup and immunity to the poisons and pass along that gene to
their offspring. The solution to this was to spray stronger more deadly poisons which do seep
into our foods. With this sort of practice eventually the poisons will eventually be extremely
deadly for even human consumption and will also greatly increase the cost of farming. The
solution to this problem is also fairly simple and that is to spray pesticides on most of your crop
but not all of it so that those pests that build up an immunity are more likely to breed with those
that do not and create offspring that are less likely to also have immunity to the pesticides. This
may seem obvious. However if you dont accept how evolution and genetics work, coming to
this conclusion is a great deal more difficult.
The last example Im going to give on how human actions have affected the environment
around us deals more directly with humans than my previous examples. Because humans have
been treating bacterial infections with antibiotics for such a long time many of these bacterial

Commented [SD3]: Page numbers? If not, thats fine.

have created a resistance to said antibiotics. The book Evolution in Health and Disease the
authors Koella and Stearns state that Nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections are a severe and
often underappreciated public-health problem. In the United States alone, at least 200,000 people
and probably far more suffer from hospital acquired infections every year. View associated
mortality is considerable; the Center for disease control has estimated that 90,000 US residents
die each year from nosocomial infections (125). Bacteria found in hospitals are more drugresistant then bacteria found in other places due to their exposure to antibiotics found in the

Commented [SD4]: This is a longer citation and should be


formatted differently, but we didnt go over this explicitly in class,
so no points deducted.

hospitals. This also becomes a financial issue because Patients who are infected with antibiotic
resistant strains stay in hospital longer, are more likely to die, and are more expensive to treat
then the patients who are infected with drugs-sensitive strains common outside of the
hospital(Koella, Jacob C., and S. C. Sterns 125). So in other words the hospital is possibly
making people more sick because the bacteria that lives in hospitals has evolved to better suit its
environment and the patient who picks up bacteria from the hospital will come down with the
disease harder to cure because of that bacteria.
Accepting evolution is important and it may be over presumptuous to say that everyone

Commented [SD5]: How do we address this? You go into


solutions for the other two, but what do we do?
(I know I know: dont take antibiotics for viral infections and take all
of the meds you do get)

must accept evolution, but it is still very important for us to be able to handle situations that we
cause because of it. According to the Pew Research Center 34% of the general population
believe that humans have existed in present form since the beginning of time, which to me is a
staggering number because without accepting evolution it becomes nearly impossible to accept
that humans have caused some of these changes in the living organisms and therefore make it
difficult to create a solution to resolve these issues. Accepting evolution has value because it

Commented [SD6]: This is a bulky sentence and should be


broken up.

gives us the ability to predict how her actions affect our environment, how it affects ourselves,
and how it might affect our children.

Commented [SD7]: Solid conclusion

Work Cited
Borrell, Brendan. Don't Throw Back Those Baby Fish Discover. 07 February 2013. Web. 26
February 2015.
Compare Political Typology Groups Pew Research Center U.S Politics & Policy, 26 June 2014.
web. 26 Feb 2015.
Koella, Jacob C., and S. C. Stearns. Evolution In Health And Disease. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2008. eBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 22 Mar. 2015.

Content
Area

Description of An Exemplary Position Paper

Points

Argument

The introduction presents an overview of different stances on the


33__/35
issue, demonstrating an understanding of these views and contains a
main claim statement. The writers main claim is clearly defined and
the writer refers back to this claim throughout the paper. The writer
presents an opposing viewpoint (acknowledges a counter argument)
and successfully argues against that view. The writer uses at least two
scholarly articles or book chapters with opposing viewpoints to situate
his or her own argument. The writer has a clear understanding of these
articles and uses the research to enhance the writers own argument.

Analysis

The writer uses secondary sources (articles or book chapters) in their


paper to create an effective dialogue with the opinions of other
writers. The writers critical thinking skills enhance their analysis
helping the writer to present his or her own stance on the issue as an
extension of another writers argument or as a synthesis of two
opposing arguments.

__25/25

Organization

The paper is organized in a logical manner that enhances the flow of


the writers argument. The writer has included an introduction and
forward thinking conclusion. Body paragraphs have topic/point
sentences that show the reader the paragraphs relationship to the
argument and concluding sentences. The writer has used transitions
between ideas and paragraphs to add to his/her ideas clarity.

_15_/15

Presentation
& Format

The report is free of


distracting errors of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The report
meets the page length requirement. The writer has used Times/Times

_10_/10

New Roman 12 point font; the document in double spaced, and uses 1
inch margins.
Style

The writer uses an economic style meaning that the language is


concise, not repetitive or overly wordy. Sentence structure and
meaning is clear.

__5/5

Cover Letter

The writer has supplied a cover letter that discusses the rhetorical
situation for their document (3 points), overview of
strengths/weaknesses (2 points), a request for specific feedback (1
point), and a reflection on the required SLOs (4 points).

_8_/10

Total: 97/100 Plus 1 for feedback during peer review