Archive for June, 2013

Evidence for Evolution

Posted on 29. Jun, 2013 by .


217In a recent gallop poll, 46% of Americans reject evolution entirely in favor of creationism, 32% believe in evolution guided by god, and only 16% believe in evolution  without any assistance whatsoever. These numbers are much worse than almost every other modern democracy on the planet, with only Turkey being more evophobic than we are.

So as a public service, here is a short list of ten of the most compelling points of evidence for evolution that I could think of. There is a mountain of other evidence, but these ten should be sufficient to keep a creationist busy for a lifetime, trying to explain them away. And if you are a creationist, just ask yourself why none of these objective observations make any sense at all if all life was created together. And then consider just how perfectly they are explained if indeed evolution is true. There really is no way for a reasonable person to deny evolution any longer. To deny it now can only be seen as an act of willful ignorance similar to denying a spherical Earth. You are not going to win this one. Grow up and let’s move on.

1. Fossil record: In all cases fossils are found in strata consistent with their placement in a phylogenetic tree. Simple organisms predominate in older rock, and complexity grows as rocks get newer.  For instance we find the great apes only in the very newest rocks. Makes perfect sense if evolution is true, makes no sense in terms of Creationism/ID.

2. Pseudo genes: These are genes that are still present in many animals, for characteristics they no longer exhibit, but which were present in their ancestors. The genes for teeth in birds is one example. In fact in some cases just by applying a certain protein in the area of the developing beak, a bird will grow teeth. Again makes perfect sense if evolution is true, makes no sense in terms of Creationism/ID.

3. Vestigial behaviors, organs and limbs: Some snakes still have pelvis bones floating in tissue from the time they had legs. Similarly many Whales still have non functional leg bones. Birds with wings that no longer function. Blind fish with eyes that no longer function, or are closed over, because they live in caves. In humans do you ever wonder what goose bumps are for? In apes they raise the hairs on the body for insulation or to look larger when scared. Humans still get them but they no longer serve a purpose since we have lost the hair. The list simply goes on and on. Again makes perfect sense if evolution is true, makes no sense in terms of Creationism/ID.

4. Atavisms: These are like vestigial limbs, but rather than appearing in all animals of a species they are rare occurrences that manifest the entire lost limb or organ in a certain animal. For instance whales have been found with fully developed legs just as they would have appeared in it’s ancestors. This happens when pseudo genes still present in a species are reenabled by means of a mutation. Again, makes perfect sense if evolution is true, makes no sense in terms of Creationism/ID.

5. Geographic distribution: Certain animals are found on islands that are found no where else. But in all cases these animals are found to be closely related to animals living on nearby mainland. In addition, only animals that could conceivably get to the island via drifting at sea or sailing on the wind are ever found there. No large mammals for instance. In addition different closely related species are always found in close proximity to each other. Again makes perfect sense if evolution is true, makes no sense in terms of  Creationism/ID.

6. Fetal development: The general progression of fetal development through evolutionary stages from fish to reptile to mammalian, all the way to tails and hair like our closest relative, that are lost just before birth. Evolution can’t build a new organism from scratch, it must build on what was there before, and fetal development is a record of all the body plans that evolution had to go through over hundreds of millions of years before it ever got to modern humans. Again makes perfect sense if evolution is true, makes no sense in terms of Creationism/ID.

7. Endogenous retroviruses  :  Retroviruses  have the ability to insert their own DNA right into a host cell’s DNA sequence. The resulting, new DNA, is called an endogenous retrovirus or ERV. If this occurs in reproductive cells, the ERV will be passed down from generation to generation, and since the insertion point is random,  if two individuals share even one identical ERV, even if they are of different species, it is extremely strong evidence that they had a common ancestor. Humans share at least 7 of these ERVs with chimps. Game over. This makes zero sense in terms of Creationism/ID.

8. The missing Chromosome: Humans have 23 pairs of Chromosomes, but all other great apes have 24 pairs, Where did the extra Chromosome go if we were descended from a common ancestor? Well as predicted, even before we could sequence DNA, it turns out one of our Chromosomes is an almost perfect copy of two chimp chromosomes, merged into one. Well beyond any reasonable doubt, we share a common ancestor  with chimps. Makes zero sense in terms of Creationism/ID.

9. 99.9% extinction rate: It is estimated that over 99.9% of all species that have ever existed on Earth are now extinct. We know this because most of the fossils we dig up are of species that no longer exist. This is what we would expect to see if evolution were true, since most species will change over time into other species. How does this make any sense at all in terms of a perfect creation, unless this perfect creation was evolution itself? But that’s another article.

10. Mitochondrial DNA: Mitochondria are organelles contained within our cells that generate energy for the rest of the cell. These organelles look very much like bacteria, and in fact contain their very own DNA, separate and unique from the DNA in the nucleus of our cells. Strong evidence that at some point  two bacteria entered into a symbiotic relationship, which enabled the  evolution of multi-cellular life. Like all the rest of this list, it makes perfect sense if evolution is true, and makes no sense at all if creationism/ID is true.

It remains ironic, that those who deny most vehemently, our connection with other primates, resemble them so closely in their inability to comprehend and accept the mountain of evidence that so definitively confirms that reality. Such is the ability of blind faith to short circuit our reason and make us little more than receptacles for dogma.


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