Respected schools of thought, have overlapping ideologies of what Evolution is all about. Almost all of them, seem to see Evolution as an alteration in traits of a given generation or population. When a given population is divided into sub-units, usually very small in nature, these units or groups develop characters that are independent of the larger or original population. And subsequent divisions of the subunits give rise to new sets of populations with unique traits and the process continues (Abraham, 38). This has accounted for the reason while fossil records indicate that almost all organisms share a common ancestral background.
The Nature of Man
Human nature, on the other hand, is a concept that tends to portray humans as possessing unique characteristics, which establish their uniqueness from other organisms. Prominent among these distinctive characteristics are the humans’ thinking and acting capabilities.
Man and other Animals; the Distinguishing Factor.
Science for decades now has sought answers as regards the distinguishing factors between man and other animals. Putting the question of what distinguishes man from other animals in another perspective, is enquiring about the basis of Human distinction. A lot has been written about this topic and many see no basis on which to categorically state that man or humanity is different from other animals. They only see man as being more complex and aside from this nothing more. From the biblical point of view, man is believed to be created in the image of God, while every other animal is just a reflection of the awesomeness of GODs creation (Abraham, 68). The defenders of this ideal, try to establish that Humanity is created in the image of God alone distinguishes man enough from other animals.
Martin Nowak, in his write-up, sympathizes with evolution theorists, but he does not see evolution as described in totality the evolution and nature of man. He states categorically that what evolution has succeeded in doing is helping man think more about his nature. Martin feels they are a lot of questions regarding the nature of man, that are yet to be answered and that evolution has not provided answers to such questions.
Frans de Waal, from his analysis of the distinctiveness of humans, seems not to see anything spectacular that distinguishes man from other animals. Frans feels every other animal poses all the characteristics that man claims are peculiar to him.
Considering the two writers, Martins seems to be more rational in his analysis. Francs, take upon the matter is more entertaining than scholastic. Thus, one can categorically state that martin Nowak’s case is more anchored on reality than Francs.
The discussion on the degree to which evolution answers the basic questions on the nature of man is an interesting and unending one. It will be right to state that evolution, has within the realms of human reasoning answered the questions regarding the nature of humanity. And till date, provoking interesting arguments that answers to them will to a great extent enrich the knowledge of man regarding his origin.
Abraham, Agba. The Human Evolution. Makurdi: Aboki, 2005.