Blog Two: The Importance of Understanding Evolution

During my high school years, I attended a private Christian academy. Naturally, evolution was not taught in any light except to point out that it was wrong and had no place in our curriculum.

It wasn’t until I attended MSU that I was actually taught what evolution, natural selection, etc. were. My freshman year I took an ISB class and accompanying lab that centered around insects. Evolution was imperative in the instruction – especially in learning about why insects had certain structures on their body.

In my major of Criminal Justice, I don’t necessarily encounter the subject of evolution very often. However, in my psychology classes, evolution is a necessary part of the curriculum. We must learn about human development across the ages in order to better understand the inner workings of the human mind as well as the occasional abnormalities. It’s also important in learning about the development of human societies specifically from our hunting/gathering ways in the very beginning.

Because psychology is often a helpful aide in the study of Criminal Justice, I find it’s very important to understand the science of evolution.

Back in my ISB class, I often felt very far behind the other students because the professor often glossed over evolutionary topics as if they were common knowledge. She touched on them, used them, but never taught them as I suspect that most high schools have done a complete job of informing their students the very basics of the evolutionary process. I, however, had no clue on what evolution was except that we “came from monkeys”.

Having to do much of the study on my own, I’ve learned a great deal about it and have found it extremely interesting. I’ve become particularly interested in the topics on human evolution, our links to apes, and early Neanderthals.

Whether or not someone believes or knows of the evolutionary process when studying topics such as psychology would have a vast difference of opinion on the subject, I believe.

Those who know and understand evolution would recognize that natural selection and mutation have resulted in the different aspects of humanity that we see and recognize today. Those of any other understanding might believe that these aspects are and always have been a part of the human experience.

The readings of this week did not necessarily make me think about my field of study differently but it did make me ponder the necessity of the understanding of evolution.

Many facts and explanations flowed smoothly from the theory of evolution without even a thought. Without the understanding of evolution, these studies would not easily be comprehended.

Even something as simple as the sickle cell anemia link to malaria would not be understood as that is a small scale version of natural selection that links inherently to the evolutionary process. Migration patterns and the like are equally as necessitating of evolution.

I think evolution is important in practically any field of study – some more than others – and ultimately affects the understanding of more complex topics built onto the understanding of the evolutionary process.

 

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