h1

An Educated Guess: 6 Strong Evidences for Evolution

May 16, 2007

I have been accused of being a creationist. That’s sort of like being accused of being a communist sympathizer or, (Bush-forbid), a terrorist. I’m really interested at looking at the full scope of evidence instead of putting blinders on and towing the party line. I have not spent any time covering conventional theories so far, because honestly these articles take a long time to write, and I don’t want to be simply repeating something that is widely known. I have spent two days writing this article. It’s a tip of the hat to conventional theory that has gotten us to where we are today. I think it is important to properly understand conventional theory before we propose alternatives. That is largely the purpose of education.

Evidence of Evolution
I often hear assertions such as “there is no proof of evolution” or “I don’t understand how scientists can believe in evolution”. To assert that a certain theory, especially a widely held theory, has absolutely no evidence is blatantly untrue. There are thousands, if not millions of scientists across the world who know that evolution is true and apply it to their respective scientific fields on a daily basis. In fact, evolution has been called the very foundation of scientific understanding. “Evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology” (TalkOrigins). Evolution extends beyond biology into other areas of science, including atmospherics, geology, astronomy, and even quantum physics. Today evolution has become a cultural icon as well, being incorporated into brand names or parodied in product ads. Evolution is the symbol of progress and modern scientific understanding. For this reason, I am going to summarize some of the strongest evidences for evolution that I have found as I have done my research.

Note: This is only a list of strong evidences. Most theories have numerous weak evidences that may be stretching or considered circumstantial. Many of these “evidences” actual weaken a theory if they are toppled. So here I will only cover the strongest evidences for evolution that I know of.

6 Reasons

marrus_orthocanna.jpg1) Common chemical basis for all life. Today it is generally taken for granted that all life uses the same chemical basis, but I would like you to stop for a second and truly appreciate that fact. All life on this planet uses DNA to code for amino acids. All life uses the exact same coding scheme to transcribe the same amino acids in the same way. All life forms use the same basic cellular structure: cell membrane containing the cell’s unique chemical environment, same basic organelles in varying degrees, and the presence of organized DNA. That means that your body runs on the same chemical process that keeps celery alive. This is not what I would call intuitively obvious, but it is what enables us to derive nutrition by eating plants and animals. We are literally subsuming the common amino acids and chemicals that they have pull from the environment. That’s right, we also have the same chemicals in use that exist in the dirt.

This is important to note when we consider all the other possibilities. There is plenty of discussion on what alien life might be like. We are carbon-based, but maybe you could have silicon based life, etc. There are also plenty of more mundane possibilities. Namely it would be just as easy to use a different amino acid encoding scheme for each type of life. The encoding in the DNA only needs to match the free codons attached to various amino acids floating in the cytoplasm. DNA can also exist in left-handed and right-handed varieties that would be unable to mix with each other but all DNA in all living creatures is the same orientation. This very trait of life is what makes genetic engineering possible. Jellyfish DNA is compatible with mouse DNA, which is compatible with humans. This most directly points to a common origin and common ancestor.

Retraction (Oct 31): At the time of writing I thought the “universal genetic code” was truly universal. Now I’ve found out that that is not the case. NCBI lists 16 different “alternative” genetic codes. Meaning that a certain codon codes for a different amino acid in that species. Multiple species have several codons that do not code for the same thing.  Including our very own Human Mitochondria, which contains six different codons! That means that genes from these species are NOT compatible. According to conventional theory, most of mitochondrial DNA migrated to the nucleus.  So how does that work?

The problem with changing the codon coding is that it represents a holistic change that affects the entire organism. It would alter the amino acid sequence of every single gene that the organism needs to survive. What’s harder to explain is that often times the stop codon is changed. That not only has the potential of changing an amino acid, it would randomly alter the length of every single gene. Most of the species studied so far are single cellular bacteria, but the list also includes highly complex multi-cellular invertebrates. Intuitively, this kind of drastic alteration would turn even a single celled organism into pureed protein soup. Most of the papers I have found focus on rationalizing how this could have happened. While explanations of how this could have happened can certainly be imagined, I think this no longer fits the criteria of “strong evidence”.

2) Morphological homologies in all forms of life: It was actually my mother who first pointed out that, while the historicity of exact lineages can be questioned, the usefulness of evolution in taxonomy cannot be questioned. Beyond a molecular basis, there is also a very obvious categorical hierarchy of “body plans” that animals seem to follow. These similarities have given rise to the modern taxonomic system. For example, almost all insects have six legs and two sets of wings. In beetles, one set of wings forms a hardened shell that protects the other wings. This is a good example of adaptation of one structure for another purpose. All vertebrate animals share the same four limb body plan (plus or minus a tail). That includes reptiles, amphibians, and mammals like bears and humans. This body plan extends to creatures that don’t look like they would need common features (hips in whales), as well as animals you would expect to have extra features. Giraffes have the same number of vertebrae as you and me. This commonality lends itself naturally to a common ancestry and a branching evolution of life on this planet. Why reinvent the wheel? Why reinvent the backbone? If it works, don’t fix it.

Chimp evolution into a Caucasian

3) Fossil Evidence of Early Man: I have grown up accustomed to scenes of archaeologists squabbling over tiny fragments of fossils they think might be a missing link. So I was a bit surprised to find that, while parts of the fossil record get pretty sketchy, there are a couple categories where there is tons of evidence. There are over 200 fossils which have been identified as Homo Erectus and around 300 fossils of Neanderthals. These fossils have been found with evidence of controlled fire as well as stone tools. This is more than the picking over a spare tooth or an unmatched skull fragment. There is good evidence that humans have undergone morphological changes in the past. Check out this video that does a pretty good job covering morphological similarities and fossils.

4) Evidence of Microevolution all around us: Examples of microevolution, or adaptation, are occurring in nature all the time. I feel I’d simply be repeating others to talk about the Peppered Moth, Mussels, bacterial resistance, new strains of influenza, etc. There a plenty of examples of the spread of a beneficial trait through a population. Feel free to dig up your own. I have a deep respect for the author of Things Creationists Hate, who has already stated this kind of day to day observation far more eloquently than I can:

“If anything, I have more daily-life experience to show me evolution happening than I have for those other things [gravity, bacteria, electrons]. I can see that offspring aren’t identical to their parents. I have seen new varieties of plants and animals developed within my own lifetime. I live in an area where boll weevils often win the evolutionary race to develop resistance to pesticides. I can easily catch a case of (newly evolved) resistant staphylococcus, which might very well kill me. I have seen and touched and personally found the fossils of the now-extinct ancestors of living creatures.”

dna.jpg5) Conservation Patterns in DNA: I think this is probably the strongest evidence for evolution I have ever seen and interestingly most people aren’t familiar with it because it is a bit technical. Through the use of gene sequencing we now have the opportunity to make direct comparison between DNA sequences of different species. There are many similarities in genes and pseudo-genes that would indicate a common ancestor. When a DNA sequence is the same in two animals it is described as being conserved and when it is different it is unconserved from the common ancestor. The pattern that we see in DNA conservation is exactly what you would expect from an evolution.

The parts of DNA that code for proteins, and hence the positions subject to natural selection are also the most conserved nucleotide positions. While regulatory regions vary more, and junk DNA is the least conserved. Junk DNA appears to be drifting randomly under no selection pressure. This variation matches taxonomic distance and has actually been used to judge how closely related species are. To top it off, inside protein coding sequences the third nucleotide position which can code for the same amino acid is less conserved than its neighbors. That’s quite a pattern. It appears that, despite the problems faced by natural selection, it is actually selecting for millions of nucleotide positions at the same time in spite of a high mutation rate.

Retraction: Well, we all do our best but we can only speak from what we know at the time. There is a major research initiative called ENCODE, on the same scale as the Human Genome Project, that released its results this summer. The ENCODE project upended many previously held notions that supported a classic view of Neo-Darwinian evolution, including conservation of functional elements across species. Here’s the summary from the ENCODE Press Release:

Other surprises in the ENCODE data have major implications for our understanding of the evolution of genomes, particularly mammalian genomes. Until recently, researchers had thought that most of the DNA sequences important for biological function would be in areas of the genome most subject to evolutionary constraint – that is, most likely to be conserved as species evolve. However, the ENCODE effort found about half of functional elements in the human genome do not appear to have been obviously constrained during evolution, at least when examined by current methods used by computational biologists.

According to ENCODE researchers, this lack of evolutionary constraint may indicate that many species’ genomes contain a pool of functional elements, including RNA transcripts, that provide no specific benefits in terms of survival or reproduction. As this pool turns over during evolutionary time, researchers speculate it may serve as a “warehouse for natural selection” by acting as a source of functional elements unique to each species and of elements that perform the similar functions among species despite having sequences that appear dissimilar.

The explanation given is that functional regions of DNA can somehow mutate freely and still maintain their same functionality over long stretches of time. As a computer programmer I have a hard time swallowing this explanation. While you can say the same thing multiple ways, there a big gaps between one functional design and the next that should hurt the organism, and thus create selection pressure.  Until this theory is really tested with the same rigor that uncovered the problem, I think I need to take “Conservation Patterns” (or lack thereof) off the Strong Evidences list.

.

6) Evolution is commonly accepted in academic circles: More than anything else, this is the evidence that speaks loudly of the validity of evolution to the common person. We have thousands of trained scientists in specialized fields that all agree on the fact of evolution. Consider for a moment, the alternative or null hypothesis. If that many scientists can be wrong about something, it would call into question how one could even say that they were wrong. We have a highly structured education and peer-review process that is specifically designed to keep scientists honest. The only other regulatory systems like that I can think of are governmental checks and balances, and the banking system. Of course, if you can’t even trust scientists you could always try to get into the field yourself. I can almost guarantee you that if you went into a PhD educational process with the same philosophy, that after years of education, you would no doubt come to the same conclusions that they did.

(More references may be forthcoming. Here’s a funny moment I had while researching for this article. Gotta love text substitution.)

Advertisements

18 comments

  1. I wonder if there is any relation between human curiosity and evolution. For instance, people are generally compelled to learn about the world and rationalize it for their own means of coping. Which brings up the question of stress being a factor in the whole evolution process.

    Furthermore, the phrase “curious as a cat” had to have come from somewhere. Does the above so called “human compulsion” apply not just to humans but animals as well?


  2. oh ya… I have heard of several studies being conducted on multiple species of primates. For instance, chimpanzees have exhibited behavior that we would call morality. Perhaps human ethics and morals are derived from them.


  3. I am pretty sure that God only gave us people morals.

    Oh ya and I read your page, and I thought you would like to see a video we saw in class today.

    It’s good


  4. I’m afraid that entire segment was complete rubbish. It was full of religious propaganda and had no real basis. Instead, it used the bible. For that matter why not the Koran or Torah?

    There are numerous examples that completely disprove all, unfortunately few scientific statements made by the speaker. Furthermore, let me know when you can find a video that can maintain a serious and nonsarcastic tone. Winning audiences with comedy and silliness is inappropriate and not serious for this type of discussion.

    Also, why EXACTLY is evolution so threatening to creationist christians?


  5. Hello Clay and RShaw,
    Thanks for the discussion. I have something for both of you to consider. A bad presentation, especially one that contains faulty information, is usually more hurtful to that viewpoint than any critic can ever be.

    Clay, when compiling my list of evidence for evolution I had to sort through a lot of false or defunct evidences as well. Things like Earnst Haeckal’s Embryonic Recapitulation, and many supposed “Missing Links” actually hurt the evolutionary position when they are included. In order to be a good scientist one has to be willing to admit when they are wrong. I am actually going to have to make a retraction after I finish this comment. To that end, your comment about using the Torah or Koran rather than the Bible just revealed that you’re not really familiar with either of them. The Torah is the name given to the first five books of the Christian Bible taken from the Jewish Masoretic Text. So Genesis and the Torah are the same thing. Further, if you read the Qur’an (Koran) the beginning is very similar to the Torah.

    RShaw, I would like to limit discussion of creation to the creationist articles like Genetics of Species. The video you linked to, while interesting, is only appropriate at a middle school level or lower. There are a lot of other things I could say but I’ll save that for if you would like to talk about Dinosaurs more in the creationist section.

    This comment is not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings I would just like to encourage everyone to learn, seek, and investigate. The world already has enough uniformed arguments, let’s see if we can make something different.


  6. if you ask me. I have to believe judaism came b4 Christianity. So… to say that the bible and torah have similar beginnings says to me that the bible plagiarized the torah.

    Furthermore, I don’t consider it appropriate for people to judge one another based on spelling errors.

    The complete video on ken miller is very interesting, especially at the very end when he gives two examples of evolution that occurred over the span of less than one-hundred years.


  7. I just realized that Photoreceptor has not responded to clay’s question of “Also, why EXACTLY is evolution so threatening to creationist christians?” Instead he “attacked” his credibility.

    Whether or not it is answered in another section of the blog. I believe Clay still deserves an answer.


  8. I’d like to field this question Topher.

    As we can see in the video we found on religionandatheism’s blog of the lecture by Ken Miller http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg
    The creation science issue isn’t really very scientific at all.

    There is a point in the lecture where Mr. Miller is talking about some people outside who were in the business of telling him where his immortal soul is headed if he were to believe in evolution.

    On top of that they believe that evolution is the cause of all manner of evil in the world.

    Ironically enough Photoreceptor did have a good point about RShaw’s post. Take a look at this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VHeNxMgAGg

    When a person believes that an idea such as evolution can cause so much evil they will try to refute it whether it’s true or not.
    If you take a look at AnswersInGenesis make by Ken Ham, the same guy who made that huge creation science museum in Kentucky, and one of the leading institutions for creation science. In their statements of faith http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/about/faith.asp
    he says…

    “No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.”

    What this means is that no matter how much evidence they find pointing to evolution, or anything else for that matter, that contradicts the bible. They will only believe their version of history.

    This would mean that if they built a Doctor Who style time machine, went back a few million years, and saw evolution happening. They would STILL plug the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis.

    This also means that they are not above the practice of burning any evidence that does not agree with their views.

    The Institute for Creation Research has this in their statements of belief, http://www.icr.org/research/index/research_tenets/

    “The Bible, consisting of the thirty-nine canonical books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven canonical books of the New Testament, is the divinely-inspired revelation of the Creator to man. Its unique, plenary, verbal inspiration guarantees that these writings, as originally and miraculously given, are infallible and completely authoritative on all matters with which they deal, free from error of any sort, scientific and historical as well as moral and theological.”

    Creation scientists only care about turning a very nice creation myth into literal truth. Anything that contradicts that, or is otherwise heretical, is the biggest threat they face. They don’t play fair, and definitely don’t care about the scientific method.

    And if they are on a mission from God they certainly can’t be bogged down by the inconveniences of gathering or analyzing data in order to form a logical conclusion.


  9. I can only speak for myself, so that is what I am going to do.

    What I am trying to do here is apply the scientific method on a large scale. One that encompasses the observer, the experimenter, all the participants, and all the data. This website is not just about listing through a series of theories and evidence, I am testing sociology. I am testing how people react, analyze, and how best to communicate. This experiment has two scopes. The first experiment is to really take a look at all of the evidence, see the world from every viewpoint possible and see what lines up and what doesn’t. Regardless of the results of the first experiment, the second is crucial. I am trying to understand how people react to information and how best to communicate. Whatever I eventually decide, (and it hasn’t been decided), I need to be able to communicate those ideas effectively. Whether it turns out that evolution is the truth, or there is a creator, or that life formed from cosmic energies harmonizing, or if I simply go insane, I still want a link back to the human race. I think it would be the hardest thing in the world to have found the keys to the universe, the Unifying Theory of Everything, to be able to cure cancer, travel through space and time and solve all the worlds problems and not be able to communicate that to another individual.

    There is one more thing that I seek. I am putting this site up and getting it out to as many people as possible because I want to know if there is anyone else on this planet who thinks as I do. That may sound melodramatic but I have been searching for someone else who can step outside of themselves and simply see their beliefs, their actions, their entire person as a separate entity and manipulate it at will. I would really like to meet this person. Everyone else that I know is ultimately bracketed by a series of emotional experiences, prejudices, and things about themselves they are simply not willing to give up. Now that is perfectly fine, it seems to be working well for everyone on this planet, I just can’t shake the feeling of being very alien in an interconnected world.

    I hope that clears up any future misunderstandings about my beliefs, my motivations, or my willingness to process new information. I am 100% malleable, so if anyone can give me real information and data I will gladly take it in. If I can find conclusive proof of evolution then I will use evolution as my framework for the world. If I find more convincing scientific proof that subatomic particles are pixie manifestations then I will believe that instead. How many people can say that? I will always keep investigating. The problem with being neutral is that you are the perceived enemy to anyone with an ‘Us and Them’ mentality.

    Ok, so I’ll answer an important question. Sorry I can’t spend all my time answering every off hand comment, but there were a couple of good ones. I’m going to give this equal treatment so as to make sure and offend everyone.

    Good Question#1: Why EXACTLY is evolution so threatening to creationist Christians?
    Good Question#2: Why EXACTLY is creation so threatening to atheistic evolutionists?
    The reason I didn’t answer that question before is because I really had to sit down and think about it and do my research. I put careful thought into questions like this.
    Answer: We like to treat Science, Religion, and Philosophy as three separate entities, but the truth is that they are not always separate. The issue of origins is a major area where Science and Religion overlap, they are joined at the hip. It is just as impactful as asking “who are my real parents?” or “how did I get here?”. If you were struck with amnesia and you started asking these questions, they are more than mere queries for information, it is a matter of identity. Now if that same person asked “What is the average density of lead?” that probably wouldn’t affect them at a deep level. The question of where the universe came from is an essential question to everyone’s lives. This is best understood by example.

    Before Darwin’s Theory of Evolution how could one possibly be an atheist and be rational? By faith. Faith that one day someone would discover a scientific theory that would explain how the world created itself, formed itself, and sprouted life. Faith is believing in something without seeing it, without experiencing it.

    Darwin’s theory came at just the right time. Great Britain had had its fill of Christianity, they wanted a relief. But how could one rationally say that there is no God with undeniable evidence of a creator? People really didn’t have much of a choice both intellectually and culturally, so they went through the motions of church. I think this is where deism came from, because it really sucked to have an all-knowing God looking over your shoulder but people had to explain the world. So God created everything, then he left us all alone. Notice deism’s decline in popularity lately? What a relief it was to know that there no longer needed to be a creator because the world could have created itself. Darwin freed people from the tyranny of creationism.

    Now let’s flip it around. One of the most basic, fundamental tenets of Biblical Christianity is that the Bible is the true, uncorrupted, word of God to all mankind. This is not something that is isolated to the ICR, as Zach mentioned, but is nearly universal in Christian churches and organizations. A lot of people use it as the definition of what a Christian is (yes, that excludes progressives). This means that if evolution is provably true then it undermines the foundation of Christianity. Mind you, most people don’t pick up on this at a conscious level in the same way that few atheists realize that creation threatens their faith anymore. On a practical level, the ability to be a practicing Christian is based on a person’s ability to take the Bible at it’s word. If that’s what it says, that’s what it means.

    The moral system implied by evolution is the antithesis of the moral system promoted by Christianity. In evolution, it is the strong who survive. In Christianity, the strong are designed to serve the weak and if necessary to die for them. In evolution, it is the strongest, smartest, the most fit that should lead. The Bible says that God uses the foolish things of this world to humble the wise. Evolution is Survival of the Fittest. Christianity derives its name from the sacrifice of the fittest.

    For a better explanation of this I suggest the video “Why America is losing it’s Christian Heritage”. I particularly like the movie clips, like X-Men, that use evolution as the moral of the story. It reminds me of the old movies we watched at Mystery Science Theatre where they would quote Bible verses at the beginning and end of the movie. Evolution is very much the fabric of our society. It’s a lot more than just a scientific theory to be evaluated objectively, it is an essential framework for sanity without God. Researchers beware.
    Why America Is Losing its Christian Heritage:Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four Part Five

    For an atheist’s explanation of this issue check out “Hard Truths About Science“. Dr. David Menton puts it fairly well in the extremely educational video The Hearing Ear. “Many people, very intelligent people, honest, good workers have trouble. It appears essentially impossible to believe there is a creator for the Ear, a creator for the Eye… If you do not have a savior, can you really afford to have a creator? I think we get the idea that we can go out there and hit people over the head with a lot of scientific evidence about how wonderfully made this or that part of the body is, or how magnificient birds are. And by doing this we think we are going to brow-beat or intellectualize people into becoming Christians. I think what we often do is scare the daylights out of them… People are not that stupid you know… Maybe we get the cart before the horse sometimes.” This is the biggest thing that I have learned so far. I originally thought that maybe if you had enough evidence, people would believe based on evidence, but now I know that is not the case. Sound a lot like Ken Miller? It should. We’re all humans after all.

    Perhaps there is a possibility for some kind of a truce. I really don’t think personal attacks flying back and forth are really helping anyone see the evidence in an objective fashion, so let’s drop it. People are more alike than we are often willing to admit. Dr. Sanford, (a former atheist, and now a creationist) told me “I haven’t seen any real change in the distribution of people. There are plenty of nice, intelligent and honest people on both sides and we both have our share of dogmatic people and dishonesty.”

    What we are slipping into in America is multiple sides that are all trying to wipe each other out. If there were absolute, undeniable evidence for either side it would logically, remove any rational reason for the other choices to exist. I have spent four months digging and searching and I can honestly, objectively say that the evidence is ambiguous, it’s mixed. I don’t think any side can make an air-tight case. This leaves people with a choice and with freedom to make their own decisions. No intellectual tyranny. Free will is a central theme of Christianity. Checks and balances is the basis of our government. Science ceases to function when people stop investigating and questioning the current norms. We could all benefit from the freedom to chose.


  10. For strong evidence in favour of evolution and against creationism, look here:
    http://religionandatheism.wordpress.com/2007/06/27/evidence-for-evolution-and-against-intelligent-design/


  11. Okay, everyone go look up at the top of the page and tell me what this article is about. How is it that we go from talking about scientific evidence to talking about Christian history in just a few comments? Think about why that is the case. There is a very definite anti-culture going on here. It’s like punks defining themselves as whatever the preps aren’t. You let someone else define you. Evolution should be able to stand and be evaluated by itself, not as being “well it’s better than those stupid ID people.” So what, there are more than two theories you know.

    Atheists talk about God more than any other person I’ve met. Literally, they have a serious God obsession. Drop it. If God is not real why do you spend every waking moment trying to convince yourself and others about that. Think about our friend’s username “Religion and Atheism”. That is your identity here? Methinks you protest too much.


  12. Allright, that’s it.

    The reason that you may think that all day long, ALL atheists do is talk about how much they don’t believe in god, is that the only time most Christians ever encounter someone’s atheism is when Christians are trying to push Christianity on them.

    I have never once heard of a pair of Atheists banging on someone’s door at 9 in the morning to ask them if they have heard of the Word of Atheism, (because there isn’t one).

    40% of our country literally believes that within their lifetime Jesus is going to come back to take them all to heaven. But before he can do that we have to bring about the end of the world through an apocalyptic battle that in some way involves the middle east. I can only imagine these people rejoicing on 9/11.

    And to top it off we have creationists trying to insert their religious views into high school science classes. In fact I think this is where the whole Religion vs. Science thing got started.

    It would be nice if we could all be polite enough to keep our faith to ourselves, but that’s not the world we live in.

    You made a Creationist web page that’s trying to tell people that 6000 years ago God decided to make our ancestors out of Playdough like some sort of 3rd grade art project in a garden with talking snakes, and a magic apple tree.

    When you set a precedent like that how could you not expect people to start talking about the Bible. It would be like me setting up a page devoted to archaeological evidence that was found showing the existence of some sort of “Grinch” creature that at one point attempted to steal Christmas, and then berating people for posting about Theodor Seuss Geisel.

    I can, and often do, go throughout my entire day without thinking of religion, until of course I end up on this page.

    And for the most part I went through most of my life without thinking about it that much until somebody comes up to me and decides that I absolutely need to hear about their favorite god, or that I absolutely need to go to their church.


  13. Indeed,

    Isn’t it odd that roughly 63% of people believe in evolution.


  14. I can, and often do, go throughout my entire day without thinking of religion, until of course I end up on this page.

    In that case, I am thankful that I am indeed getting you to think about things you don’t normally consider. I like it when people start investigating. Hopefully that investigation is not one sided. I made the mistake of only looking at critics material for 8 years. It never even occurred to me that there were scientists actively researching these issues. Now I know there are all sorts of great places to get information. There’s the full Answers Book Online, the Geoscience Research Institute, Talk Origins, True Origins, CMI, CSM, ICR, and more. I think the answers book is the most comprehensive and easy to grasp starting point, though it is designed for a Christian audience like almost everything else.

    It would be like me setting up a page devoted to archaeological evidence that was found showing the existence of some sort of “Grinch” creature that at one point attempted to steal Christmas, and then berating people for posting about Theodor Seuss Geisel.

    Ok, I guess that’s a really good point. Even though I am mainly intrigued by the scientific evidence it would be a pretty massive oversight to ignore the global anthropological evidence for the global flood, as well as creation, the antediluvian period, the tower of Babel and the subsequent migrations of varying people groups. Talk Origins has a pretty extensive listing of flood accounts from all around the world. It takes up 93 printed pages with the index alone being 3 pages long. There is actually far more material than just this but I’m honestly a bit daunted by the extent of reading, so I have a tendency to fall back on the genesis account because I’m fairly familiar with it and it is also very detailed. The Genesis account takes 7 pages from flood to Babel and includes the Table of Nations which serves as a genealogical tie-in point for all other national stories and genealogies.

    Overall, Genesis is the best one-stop resource I’ve found, but even without Genesis one could reconstruct the history of mankind through a consensus of ancient mythologies. Hopi, Mayan, Chinese, Greek, Egyptian, and Indian folklore can all be composited together and you will get the same basic outline of history. There are lots of details I could point out like the Etymology of Noah, but I think either people will be willing to listen to their ancestors or I’m just wasting my breath. If anyone is searching, the global flood story is a good place to start.


  15. “Evolution extends beyond biology into other areas of science, including atmospherics, geology, astronomy, and even quantum physics.”

    Can you please elaborate more on this statement and explain why they relate?


  16. Cool, back on topic.

    Examples of evolution in other fields:
    Evolution of the Atmosphere – University of Wisconsin
    Evolutionary Origin of the Physical Laws of Our Universe – Science Blog
    The Physical Constants as Biosignature by James N. Gardner
    Galaxy Evolution
    Network Tierra – Software Evolution
    KurzweilAI.net has an interesting exponential evolution perspective on technology. That would at least explain why technology has really taken off in the last 100 years.

    That should do for now. I found an interesting quote at Physorg “Our view of the universe is in many ways not complete, he says. The content of 90% of the matter in universe is unknown – the so called “dark matter”. And there are contradictory opinions about what happened after the Big Bang. Therefore, we should welcome all new knowledge even if it does not agree with our present conception of the world.”


  17. These “strong evidences” for evolution seem to me to be only as strong as the evidence that our world has been fine-tuned to support life by a creator. The facts may seem to point to a certain conclusion (common descent/fine-tuner), or it can be explained from another perspective (common creator/anthropic principle). As you like to say on this blog, the meaning is not inherent in the fact.

    I don’t see how micro-evolution is such a strong evidence for evolution as a whole. Nobody denies that micro-evolution happens. M-e examples are probably the most widely cited as proof of evolution, but it seems clear to me that basically all m-e is limited to either built in adaptability (peppered moths) or a mutation that ultimately destroys genetic information and weakens the total fitness (sickle-cell anemia vs malaria).

    As for evidence #5, I remember reading somewhere that researchers discovered that a lot of supposed junk DNA was remarkably similar between mice and humans. That ENCODE project also indicates that DNA isn’t actually junky.

    Evidence #6 basically just says that lots of smart people believe the previous evidence. I wouldn’t call it evidence on it’s own.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: