Many scientists and historians alike believe that Charles Darwin has made the historically single largest impact on scientific study for centuries to follow. It is believed that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”, and it is not hard to see why that is the case. Darwin was born and educated at a time when special creation was the prevailing scientific view. Most everyone believed that God created the universe and every species that currently lives on Earth a mere few thousand years ago. His findings not only challenged the belief of creationism, but fossils that he discovered several meters below the surface directly contradicted the biblical Great Flood. Creationism could not explain why fossils were found of species that had never seen humans; why would God create a creature, only for it to die off forever? Observing how the Darwinian theory of evolution was perceived by people both then and now can provide us insight into the modern issues and divisions among our society.

Before Darwin, a sense of some sort of evolution existed, but was confined to purely linear belief as all creatures made by God must yearn for perfection. Darwin’s findings were radical because they were godless. The publication of his studies marked a significant paradigm shift in the pursuit of science, as his theory of evolution provided a logical explanation for a question that pervaded any argument regarding religion. If there is no God, why are we the way that we are? Darwin’s theory suggested that we weren’t always this way, and that there is actually scientific reason behind every physical or mental feature that us as humans possess, just as there is a reason behind every characteristic of every living creature. However, as the religiously enriched times would suggest, Darwin’s theory wasn’t necessarily taken at face value. A divergent theory of Intelligent Design arose in response to Darwin, merging aspects of creationism, with parts of Darwin’s theories by believing that although evolution happens, its changes are only slight and our original forms were indeed created by a divine entity. .Hundreds of years after On The Origin Of Species, creationists still roam our cities, suburbs and even our government, existing on a plane of thought, while the concept of evolution makes sense. the thought of humans originating from anything but a heavenly creator is just downright offensive. The argument for Darwinian Evolution is often conflated with the presumption that humans are descended from monkeys, allowing the strawman to be used as an attack point on the scientific community on contentious issues regarding the validity of science.

While Darwin’s theory of evolution provided a backbone for the rest of the scientific community to spring off of, it can serve as an indicator for how polarized our society is today. Walk into an elementary school in Texas or Arkansas and there’s a good chance that the teachers there teach Creationism or Intelligent Design, passing off evolution as merely an “unproved theory”. This may be an indicator for other prevalent societal issues as well. These school districts that promote creationism are typically poorly funded, and in counties where families suffer from poverty, poor healthcare, or even opiate addiction. By using the dichotomy of Darwinian Evolution vs. Divine Creationism as a marker for impoverished regions in the United States, we can observe a clear correlation between educated communities that thrive and uneducated communities that suffer.