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The Theory of Natural Selection - Admission/Application Essay Example

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From the paper "The Theory of Natural Selection it is clear that findings extent the understanding of natural selection as one occurring from simply to survival of the fittest paradigm, to one that is actively affected by all human cultural practices…
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The Theory of Natural Selection
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Education While Charles Darwin first articulated the theory of natural selection in the 19th century in his seminal text ‘Origin of the Species’, the theory has experienced tremendous changes since this early incarnation. In these regards, advances in evolutionary genetics and carbon dating have greatly sharpened and expanded scientists’ understanding of evolutionary processes. In recent years, one of the most notable considerations in terms of natural selection has been the extent that human culture actively plays a part in evolution, with scientists increasingly demonstrating the impact of culture. Considering these recent scientific findings, this essay argues that education doesn’t merely function as a means of acculturation, but also holds the potential of fundamentally changing humanity’s physiology.
Natural selection has been understood as changes in the genetic code as a result of an organism’s survival relative to environmental challenges. Traditionally natural selection has believed to have been solely the result of this environmental factors, however scientists have increasingly argued for a cultural component. Wade writes, “other genes seem to have been favored because of cultural changes. These include many genes involved in diet and metabolism and presumably reflect the major shift in diet that occurred in the transition from foraging to agriculture that started about 10,000 years ago” (Wade). In addition to diet, a number of other cultural factors have been demonstrated, with a strong degree of scientific veracity, to have influenced evolutionary processes. While these findings do not preclude evolutionary shifts from occurring because of traditional pressures, it does indicate that human cultural practices have actively influenced the human genetic code.
With the established nature of evolution as being impacted by human culture, one considers the obvious implications this holds for education. Perhaps the most profound implication is that the educational establishment and classroom practices contain within them the potential for impacting human physiology. While evolution through natural selection is understood to occur over an extended time frame, the structural nature of the institution of education can still be considered within this context of investigation. Beginning with ancient Greek and Roman means of instruction the educational establishment has functioned as a means of imbuing students with intellectual capabilities to strengthen their survival in the world environment. While the nature and efficacy of such educational practices is a concern for educational theory, this overarching understanding of human evolution demonstrates that education is not merely shaping citizens, but is actually shaping the very nature of the human.
In conclusion, this essay has argued that education doesn’t merely function as a means of acculturation, but also fundamentally changes humanity’s physiology. Within this context of understanding, recent scientific findings demonstrating the impact of culture on natural selection have been considered. These findings extent the understanding of natural selection as one occurring from simply to survival of the fittest paradigm, to one that is actively affected by human cultural practices. This understanding is then extended to the nature of education as a process wherein humanity is not simply education, but in the long term is actually physiologically changed.
References
Wade, Nicholas. "Human Culture Play a Role in Natural Selection." New York Times. N.p., 2010. Web. 4 Dec 2011. . Read More
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