Perceptions Of Science




Here are two examples of controversies in science.

The Theory of Evolution

The theory of evolution is so called as so far it is yet to be proven wrong, therefore it remains a theory until any other evidence contradicts it.

In 1859 Charles Darwin published a book called ‘The Origin of Species’.

His worked portrayed ideas of how species evolved over time and that if all life is interconnected and natural selection spurred change, then we, humans, are descendants of apes and not a creation of God.

The theory, obviously, caused conflict between many people and especially from the church, for this reason Darwin had his publication delayed for 15 years.

Darwin received a letter from a fellow naturalist, called Alfred Russel Wallace, which contained an essay on evolution that very closely matched Darwin’s theory, this gave Darwin the confidence to publish his own work.

It was in 1831 that Darwin started his journey around the world which lasted 5 years. Within this time Darwin collected many specimens and samples which would lead to the development of his theory.

From evidence collected, Darwin came to the conclusion that it is a case of ‘survival of the fittest’.

In order for plants and animals to continue living, their characteristics will be passed on to offspring and will become more common, this can cause the species to change or produce an entirely different species.

In 1860 a debate took place in Oxford between the church and followers of Darwin’s theory.

It was here that a very close friend of Darwin’s, Thomas Henry Huxley, defended the views on evolution, which caused many arguments between Huxley and a scientist name Richard Owen, who famously gave dinosaurs their name.

Owen rejected the theory of evolution by claiming it was impossible for us to descend from apes, however in 1863 Huxley published a book called ‘Evidence on Mans Place in Nature’, which proved Owen wrong.

Their battle was at last over and the theory was now gaining acceptance from the world of science.

The idea that God created everything is still firmly believed by many even now: however there is no evidence to support this and until someone proves otherwise it would seem that we are just distant relatives of apes.


Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland is the largest high energy particle accelerator in the world.

In order for scientists to discover the conditions immediately after the Big Bang they will use hadrons: photons or lead ions, which will collide with each other and create particles for scientists to analyse and understand more about the creation of our universe.

The many scientists involved with the project are unsure as to what results the collision will bring, it is because of this that it has caused concern with the public.

The main areas that worried the nation was the prospect of the LHC creating black holes and vacuum bubbles and the possibility of Earth ceasing to exist.

The use of the LHC can provide the scientific world with answers to questions that have been researched for many years and possibly information that has never been thought of.

However with it being an extremely large and potentially dangerous experiment it is an obvious worry for some people, especially if they do not have an understanding of the procedures.

I do not believe that the concerns put forward by the media can be justified.

Why would CERN have permission to continue with something that may possibly destroy us and lead to a non-existent universe?

Although the outcome is not conclusive it will ultimately lead to exciting new developments, if not and the universe is destroyed we won’t know any different anyway.


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