101 Reasons Why Evolution is True

Posted on 12th February 2012 by Ryan Somma in Ionian Enchantment

Jump To:
Age of the Earth and Its Fossils
Comparative Anatomy
Transitional Fossils
Convergent Evolution
Vestigial Traits
Artificial Selection
Evolution in Action
Sexual Selection
And The List Goes On…

    These reasons will work from the general to the specific. I’ve used links to articles in Wikipedia as much as possible because Wiki articles are refined over time with our understanding of the subjectmatter and are less subject to link-rot. This post is licensed Creative Commons and all photos listed here are available under some form of free-to-use licensing. Please feel free to refine this list and repost it, just please preserve the photo credits and links to photographers. Also, suggestions for improvement on any items is welcome as this is a lot of material over a wide range of scientific fields, so I have certainly bungled some things here.

    Over time, new evidence will certainly find some of these examples in error, and that’s a good thing because science is about refining our understanding of the truth. The Theory of Evolution is strong enough that nearly half these examples could be disproved and the evidence would still be fairly overwhelming. There is so much in this world that only makes sense in the light of Evolutionary Theory.

    Age of the Earth and Its Fossils

    We live on a very old Earth.

  1. Lithologic Stratigraphy
  2. Looking at Millions and Millions of Years
    Looking at Millions and Millions of Years
    Credit: cobalt123

    The Earth’s crust has layers. Some of these layers are from the decomposition of sediment, others come from chemical precipitation, others from decaying organic matter, and others from volcanic lava. The reason we can see the layers is because they were formed in different ways.

  3. Law of Superposition
  4. Geologic strata at bright angel trail
    Geologic strata at bright angel trail

    Layers are laid down on top of each other, with the bottom layers laid down first and the top layers laid down last; therefore, the layers on the bottom are the oldest and the ones on the top are the youngest.

  5. Fossilized Footprints
  6. Dinosaur trackways
    Dinosaur trackways
    Credit: jacashgone

    Dinosaur footprints, slug footprints, Australopithecus footprints and other footprints on top of any layer in the strata means that layer was at the top of the stack long enough for something to walk on top of it before it got covered by subsequent layers and hardened into solid rock.

  7. Fossils
  8. Petrified Wood
    Petrified Wood

    The process of permineralization, where mineral deposits form internal casts of organisms, provides us with a vast quantity of fossils that give us an idea of the different forms life has taken in the past.

  9. Fossils of Extinct Species
  10. A collection of skeletons mounted in museums of various dinosaurs
    A collection of skeletons mounted in museums of various dinosaurs

    We have lots and lots and lots of fossils of species that don’t exist anymore. Lots and lots and lots of them in just the superorder Dinsosauria alone.

  11. The Law of Faunal Succession
  12. Agate Springs Block
    Agate Springs Block
    Credit: IslesPunkFan

    You will never find a Neanderthal bone in the same stratum as a Tyrannosaurus rex bone. Tyronnosaurus rexes weren’t alive at the same time; therefore, their stratum didn’t get laid down at the same time.

  13. Seashell Fossils on Mountaintops
  14. Strata - Lulworth Cove
    Strata – Lulworth Cove
    Credit: mgjefferies

    Benjamin Franklin saw that there were fossilized sea shells on top of the mountains of Appalachia, some of them imprinted into solid rock, and concluded, “Tis certainly the Wreck of a World we live on!” The shells were deposited in layers on the Ocean floor over millions of years, layers that would be violently broken up and rippled into a mountain range 480,000,000 years ago by a catastrophic earthquake.

  15. Plate Tectonics and Continental Drift
  16. First known illustration of the Opening of the Atlantic Ocean, by Antonio Snider-Pellegrini, 1858.
    First known illustration of the Opening of the Atlantic Ocean, by Antonio Snider-Pellegrini, 1858.

    South America fits into Africa, rocks get younger the closer you get to where the crust is spreading under the ocean, and satellites have observed the drift. The continents drift at a rate of a few centimeters a year and the distance between the Americas and Africa is 455,000,00 centimeters.

  17. Same Fossils on Both Sides of the Atlantic
  18. Snider-Pellegrini Wegener fossil map
    Snider-Pellegrini Wegener fossil map

    There are matching fossils on both sides of where the continents appear to have split apart. Cynognathus, a Triassic land reptile, fossils are found in South America and Africa. The Triassic era was between 250,000,000 and 200,000,000 years ago.

  19. Radiometric Dating
  20. Uranium Decays to Lead Inside Zircon
    Uranium Decays to Lead Inside Zircon

    Take a quantity of uranium-238 and in 4.5 billion years half of it will have turned into lead-206. When molten rock hardens into a solid, the uranium-238 within it begins to decay. By comparing the ratio of uranium-238 to lead-206, we can estimate how old the rock is. The same thing can be done with Samarium-neodymium, Potassium-argon, Rubidium-strontium, and Uranium-thorium transitions.

  21. Radiocarbon Dating
  22. 1. Formation of Carbon-14
2. Decay of Carbon-14
3. The
    1. Formation of Carbon-14
    2. Decay of Carbon-14
    3. The “equal” equation is for living organisms, and the unequal one is for non-living ones, in which the C-14 then decays (hence the 2).

    Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years. There is a semi-constant ratio of carbon-14 in the air and ocean as it is constantly being created by cosmic rays. Plants take in carbon from the atmosphere and ocean and fix it into themselves. Animals eat plants and fix the carbon into themselves. By measuring the ratio of carbon-14 in a younger fossil, scientists can estimate its age.

  23. Dendrochronology
  24. 1341 year-old Redwood
    1341 year-old Redwood
    Credit: Me

    Many trees grow a new ring in their trunk every year, meaning the tree is as many years old as it has rings, meaning trees can be used to calibrate Radiocarbon dating to confirm its accuracy.

  25. Stromatolites
  26. Stromatolite
    Credit: Me

    These fossilized bacterial colonies date back 2.7 billion years and may extend 3.4 billion years. Stromatolites grow at a maximum rate of 5cm every 100 years and a stromatolite 1.5 meters in diameter was found in Virginia and a 500cm high stromatolite was found at the foot of Wutai Mountain in China.


    How genes and mutations work give us insights and tools into how evolution works.

  27. Heredity
  28. Table showing how genes exchange according to segregation or independent assortment during meiosis and how this translates into the Mendel's Laws.
    Table showing how genes exchange according to segregation or independent assortment during meiosis and how this translates into the Mendel’s Laws.

    Offspring inherit the characteristics of their parents, which are controlled by genes.

  29. Universal Genetic Material
  30. Chemical structure of DNA
    Chemical structure of DNA

    All life on Earth uses a three-letter code to produce 20 standard amino acids. Researchers have artificially expanded the genetic code to produce additional amino acids as tools, but all natural life use the same 20 amino acids from our common descent.

  31. Miller–Urey Experiment
  32. Miller-Urey experiment (1953).
    Miller-Urey experiment (1953).

    In 1952 Stanley Miller and Harold Urey synthesized organic compounds from inorganic precursors found in the Earth’s original atmosphere, producing more than 20 different amino acids using electrical sparks to simulate lightning.

  33. Mutations
  34. DNA Covalently Bonded to the Cancer-Causing Mutagen in Tobacco Smoke, benzo[a]pyrene.
    DNA Covalently Bonded to the Cancer-Causing Mutagen in Tobacco Smoke, benzo[a]pyrene.

    The genomic sequence in cells is under constant mutation pressure from radiation, viruses, chemicals, and copying errors.

  35. Speciation
  36. Spatial Aspects of Speciation

    Spatial Aspects of Speciation

    Speciation is the process by which new species are formed. When a species gets split into two groups by a river, mountain range, island, lake, or ocean via earthquakes, floods, droughts, climate change, or continental drift, the two populations will begin to drift genetically.

  37. Natural Selection
  38. The life cycle of a sexually reproducing organism.

    Selection Pressures on a Sexually Reproducing Organism

    Mutations that reduce an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce will be less likely to end up in offspring. Mutations that give an organism a survival and reproductive advantage will be more likely to show up in offspring.

  39. RNA/DNA Codon Table
  40. RNA/DNA Codon Table
    RNA/DNA Codon Table

    Genes that code for proteins are composed of three-nucleotides (U/T, A, G, or C). All the different ways these nucleotides can combine to produce the various amino acids is listed in the above table. Note that the third nucleotide usually makes no difference on the amino acid produced, meaning it can change (mutate) without having any effect on the gene’s expression.

  41. Noncoding DNA
  42. Screenshot of tiny portion of the human genom in hdv (n's are non-coding)
    Screenshot of tiny portion of the human genom in hdv (n’s are non-coding)
    Credit: Markus Kison

    A large portion of eukaryotic organisms’ total DNA does not produce amino acids. In humans, more than 98% of the genome is noncoding. Much of this DNA is vestigial–it expressed in our ancestors but not longer serves a purpose. DNA that does not serve a purpose can mutate without having any affect on the organism.

  43. Molecular Clock of Mutations
  44. Cytochrome C Protein Sequences Compared to Humans
    Cytochrome C Protein Sequences Compared to Humans

    The number of genetic differences between two species will increase with the time since they originally diverged. Mammals and birds will be equally divergent from fish, and vertebrates will be equally divergent from yeast.

  45. Hox Genes
  46. Legs Replacing Antennae on a Fly
    Legs Replacing Antennae on a Fly

    These genes provide for the basic blueprint of all segmented life, such as arthropods, insects, and organisms with backbones. They define what, if anything, should grow out of each segment of the body plan. Mutations in hox genes can replace antennae with legs, as in the above photo of a fly, or give humans a sixth finger, but they also make it much easier for species to mutate in useful ways to produce body plans adapted to a wide variety of environments.

  47. Sexual Reproduction
  48. The sexual cycle
    The sexual cycle

    While asexual reproduction is more efficient in nature because it prevents an organism from having to find a mate to reproduce, it also condemns a species to only produce clones of itself. Sexual reproduction improves a species ability to survive by constantly varying the traits of offspring, making it more likely that some will be able to survive a dramatic environmental change such as drought or famine.

  49. Mitochondrial DNA
  50. Human Migrations Across the Earth
    Human Migrations Across the Earth
    Credit: Me

    While sexual reproduction mixes up the genes from generation to generation, the mitochondria, energy-factories of the cell, have their own DNA and get passed down directly from the mother to her offspring.

  51. Genographic Project
  52. Genographic Map
    Genographic Map

    This DNA survey of human beings has traced our migration out of Africa into Europe and Asia and then over to North America and finally South America.

  53. Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam
  54. Early diversification
    Early diversification

    Because mitochondrial DNA are transferred from the mother to her offspring unchanged, scientists can use the variation in mitochondrial DNA across modern humans to estimate a rate of mutations (one every 3,500 years) and estimate a time back to a common ancestor who lived around 200,000 years ago.

    Because Y-chromosomes are transferred from father to son unchanged, we can trace our ancestry using this DNA sequence. Using a survey of Y-chromosomes from all over the world and a reconstruction of ancestral Y-chromosome DNA from reversing mutated DNA segments, we can estimate a common ancestor to us all between 60,000 and 142,000 years ago.

  55. Neanderthal DNA in Humans
  56. A map depicting the range of the extinct Homo neanderthalensis
    A map depicting the range of the extinct Homo neanderthalensis

    Non-African humans have between 1% and 4% Neanderthal DNA from when our ancestors interbred with the extinct species.

    Comparative Anatomy

    Comparing species traits, their DNA, and their geography are tools for outlining their evolutionary progression and relatedness.

  57. Nested Hierarchies
  58. Phylogenetic groups
    Phylogenetic groups

    We don’t just have a list of species, we have a tree logically laid out according to the similarities and dissimilarities among all the different species on Earth now and fossilized in the past.

  59. Cladistics
  60. Cladogram

    Cladistics is a methodology for classifying species into groups based on their characteristics. While some characteristics like eyes and sexual reproduction have emerged more than once in the history of life on Earth, for the most part we may assume that a organisms sharing a trait such as a jaw, central nervous system, lungs, or mammary glands share a common ancestor.

  61. Comparative DNA
  62. 16S rRNA secondary structure
    16S rRNA secondary structure

    Phylogenic trees are built from comparing genomes in addition to comparing anatomical structures.

  63. Statistical Probability of Congruent Phylogenetic Trees
  64. Phylogenic and Molecular Cladograms
    Phylogenic and Molecular Cladograms

    When comparing the phylogenetic tree to the molecular tree, they match so well that the significance is P <= 0.00077.

  65. Thompsonian Transformation Grids
  66. Illustration from On Growth and Form
    Illustration from On Growth and Form

    D’Arcy Thompson in his book On Growth and Form saw that one species could be turned into another through the application of mathematical transformations to alter their proportions.

  67. Homology
  68. Homology in vertebrates
    Homology in vertebrates

    The bat’s wing, seal’s flipper, cat’s paw, and human hand all have the same bones and muscles because they all share a common ancestor. For example, giraffes have the same number of neck vertebrae as humans, seven.

  69. Embryonic Recapitulation
  70. Human Embryo (7th week of pregnancy)
    Human Embryo (7th week of pregnancy)
    Credit: euthman

    While the specific hypothesis of Recapitulation, that embryos retrace the evolutionary steps of their ancestors in their growth, has been discredited. Embryos do temporarily take on the characteristics of their ancestral species, such as human embryos having gill arches, a tail, eyes on the sides of the head, a tube-shaped heart, and ear-bones in the jaw during development, all of which vanish in later development. Just as Hox Genes make is possible for species to easily change forms and configurations, the stages of fetal development can change to produce very different characteristics in an organism.

  71. Neoteny in Humans
  72. Infant Chimpanzees More Closely Resemble Humans
    Infant Chimpanzees More Closely Resemble Humans

    Chimpanzee infants more closely resemble humans, suggesting an easy route from our ancestors to us would be to simply stop the development of many features earlier, leaving our heads larger in proportion to our bodies and our faces flatter.

  73. Atavisms
  74. Atavistic Tail in Human Infant
    Atavistic Tail in Human Infant

    While a species may no longer express the traits of its ancestors, the DNA for those traits may still exist in the organism’s genome and occasionally come out in individuals. As a result, we see hind legs on whales and snakes, hind fins on dolphins, extra toes on horses, teeth in chickens, humans with extra nipples or a tail, and many other traits.

  75. Blood Salinity
  76. Haemoglobin

    Terrestrial vertebrates “have body fluids roughly the same osmotic concentration as fresh-water fish, roughly 1/3 the concentration of sea water.”

  77. Endosymbiotic Theory
  78. Endosymbiosis

    There is strong evidence that Mitochondria and plastids were once bacteria that evolved on their own before being ingested by our cells into a symbiotic relationship. These organelles resemble bacteria that exist in nature and carry similar DNA.

  79. Endemic Island Species
  80. Varanus komodoensis
    Varanus komodoensis

    Islands comprise 30% of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and some of the most unusual species, as we would expect from habitats where species are left to evolve in unique ways.

  81. Species Not Found on Oceanic Islands

  82. Hawaii

    Islands that have never been a part of a continent, but formed from volcanoes do not have terrestrial mammals, amphibians, or fresh water fish, as we would expect if the island could only be populated by seeds and birds over the air or small animals carried on rafts of vegetation.

    Transitional Fossils

    The fossil record shows endless “in between” forms. The word “to” used in these examples does not mean a direct ancestry between two fossils, but rather refers to the evolving characteristics found in them over millions of years of time.

  83. Dinosaurs to Birds
  84. Iberomesornis

    Pedopenna to Anchiornis to Scansoriopteryx to Archaeopteryx to Confuciusornis to Sinosauropteryx to Eoalulavis to Ichthyornis

  85. Fish to Tetrapods (Life from Sea to Land)
  86. Tiktaalik

    Osteolepis to Eusthenopteron to Panderichthys to Tiktaalik to Elginerpeton to Ventastega to Acanthostega to Ichthyostega to Hynerpeton to Tulerpeton to Pederpes to Eryops.

  87. Synapsid (“mammal-like reptiles”) to Mammals
  88. Thrinaxodon Lionhinus
    Thrinaxodon Lionhinus

    Protoclepsydrops to Archaeothyris to Clepsydrops to Dimetrodon to Procynosuchus to Thrinaxodon to Morganucodon to Yanoconodon.

  89. Artiodactylans to Whales (Land to Sea)
  90. Ambulocetus

    Pakicetus to Ambulocetus to Kutchicetus to Artiocetus to Dorudon to Aetiocetus to Basilosaurus to Eurhinodelphis to Mammalodon.

  91. Horse Evolution
  92. Equine evolution
    Equine evolution

    Hyracotherium to Mesohippus to Parahippus to Merychippus to Pliohippus to Equus.

  93. Human Evolution
  94. Skulls from Human Evolution
    Skulls from Human Evolution
    Credit: Me

    Apidium to Aegyptopithecus to Proconsul to Pierolapithecus to Ardipithecus to Australopithecus to Homo habilis to Homo erectus to ‘Archaic’ sapiens… and there’s alot more fossils than these.

    Convergent Evolution

    Different species will evolve similar adaptations to the similar challenges.

  95. Placental Mammals and Australian Marsupials
  96. Mammals and Marsupials
    Mammals and Marsupials

    Despite evolving in geographic isolation, the marsupials of Australia have evolved many analogous features of placental mammals in the rest of the world.

  97. Ichthyosaurs and Dolphins
  98. Ichthyosaurus

    The ichthyosaurs, a marine reptile from 250 million years ago, and dolphins are both air-breathing and both descended from land animals. They adapted to life in the ocean with a hydrological design that includes fins and a body shape like that of a fish.

  99. Birds and Bats
  100. Bat and Bird Wings
    Bat and Bird Wings

    Birds and bats both have wings made out of bones that were arms in their ancestors.

  101. The Eye
  102. Eye Evolution
    Eye Evolution

    Complex image-forming eyes have evolved some 50 to 100 times, with the first eyes appearing in the fossil record 540 million years ago.

  103. Succulents in the Americas and Africa
  104. Succulents from Different Continents
    Succulents from Different Continents

    Although they evolved on different contents, the succulents of Africa and the Americas adopted very similar traits to survive in arid climates and soil conditions.

  105. Homo floresiensis and Dwarf Elephants
  106. Homo floresiensis - reconstruction
    Homo floresiensis – reconstruction

    The “hobbit” human of Indonesia and Dwarf elephant both adapted to limited food sources on the island of Indonesia by shrinking in size 840,000 years ago.


    Many of the same organs in species are adapted to specific tasks both within a species and across them.

  107. Coevolution
  108. Sexually-deceived
    Credit: ~Squil~

    Flowers bribe insects and hummingbirds with nectar in exchange for acting as their instruments of sexual reproduction by carrying pollen from plant to plant. Orchids use deception by mimicking the pheromones and appearance of insects to trick them into attempting to mate with the flower. The existence of unknown insect species has been predicted by the discovery of orchid flowers.

  109. Beaks
  110. Bird Beaks

    Bird Beaks

    Birds exhibit a wide variety of beak shapes that are adapted to their feeding habits.

  111. Insect Mouthparts
  112. Insect Mouthparts
    Insect Mouthparts

    The primitive mouthparts of grasshoppers have evolved to a wide variety of specialized feeding strategies in other insects.

  113. Tall Trees
  114. Coastal Redwood
    Coastal Redwood

    Trees grow tall in order to get above the competition for access to sunlight. Shorter trees get left in shadow while the tallest trees get to photosynthesize.

  115. Human Skin Color
  116. Skin color map
    Skin color map

    Humans rely on sunlight to generate vitamin D. As humans migrated north, they recieved less sunlight; therefore, natural selection favored lighter skin that produced more vitamin D in response to sunlight.

  117. Sickle-Cell Disease
  118. Sickle cells
    Sickle cells

    The gene for this disease is prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is common. Individuals who carry only a single sickle-cell gene are more tolerate of malarial infection.

  119. Lactase Persistence
  120. Modern-day lactose intolerance in humans
    Modern-day lactose intolerance in humans

    Most mammals develop an intolerance to lactose, the sugar found in milk, as they grow older, but humans in some regions are able to continue digesting milk, the result of humans consuming the milk of livestock such as cows, goats, and camels (this is also an example of convergent evolution).

  121. The shape of the penis.
  122. Mushroom
    Credit: Fluffymuppet

    The human male penis has a bulbous end that maximizes its ability to displace the semen of rival males from the vagina.

    Vestigial Traits

    Various species, including humans, have numerous physical traits that are leftovers from our ancestors.

  123. Hip bones in Whales
  124. Baleen whale Pelvis

    Baleen whale Pelvis

    Baleen whales still have hip bones inside them, serving as anchors for muscles, from when their ancestors had legs.

  125. Laryngeal Nerve in Giraffes
  126. Scheme of path of the recurrent laryngeal nerve in Giraffa camelopardis

    Scheme of path of the recurrent laryngeal nerve in Giraffa camelopardis

    Although the most direct route for this nerve is just a few inches, it may be up to 13 feet long in giraffes as it goes all the way down the neck, loops back, and comes all the way back up again. This nerve takes a similarly crazy route in humans too. The nerve is long because our fish ancestors had no neck, and the nerve looped around a gill arch that would become the dorsal aorta in mammals.

  127. Veriform Appendix
  128. Veriform Apendix Connected to Large Intestine
    Veriform Apendix Connected to Large Intestine

    In our ancestors, the appendix is used to digest plant fibers. As humans began cooking our food, we did not need to digest plant cellulose, so this organ shrunk to its current pinky-size. A recent hypothesis suggest the veriform appendix now serves as a reservoir for bacteria to repopulate the large intestine after illness wipes them out.

  129. Coccyx
  130. Pelvic girdle, posterior view
    Pelvic girdle, posterior view
    Credit: Rob Swatski

    The tailbone is the final segment of the vertebral column in tailless primates, all that remains from our ancestors’ tails. Today it serves as an attachment point for muscles and something to sit on.

  131. Goose Bumps
  132. Goose Bumps
    Goose Bumps

    These bumps on our bare skin occur in cold weather or when experiencing fear. In our ancestors they would cause the fur to rise up, increasing insulation against the cold and increasing the appearance of size against threats.

  133. Maxillary Sinuses
  134. maxillary sinuses
    maxillary sinuses

    These sinus cavities have their drainage hole in the top. This is because, when our ancestors walked on all fours, the drainage hole was positioned in the front.

  135. Blind Spot in Vertebrate Eyes
  136. Vertebrate VS Octopus Eye
    Vertebrate VS Octopus Eye

    The optic nerve that carries information from our eyes to our brain actually comes through the eye, creating a spot where there are no photoreceptor cells on the optic disc to recieve light. As a result, our brains fill in the blank spot using surrounding details and information from the other eye. The optic nerve of octopus eyes stays behind the photoreceptor cells, so they experience no blind spot.

  137. Blind Cave Fish
  138. cavefish and zebrafish embryos
    cavefish and zebrafish embryos
    Credit: wellcome images

    Animals that move to a dark environment will quickly lose evolutionary adaptations that are no longer useful. Cave fish embryos begin to develop eyes, but then stop and skin grows over them.

  139. Flightless Birds
  140. Ostrich
    Credit: Doug Wheller

    Similarly to cave fish, the wings of birds that no longer need to fly will grow smaller and the birds will become flightless.

  141. Tyrannosaurus rex’s Arms
  142. Tyrannosaurus resting pose
    Tyrannosaurus resting pose

    Contrary to popular belief, Tyrannosaurus rex’s arms are not vestigial, but show large areas of muscle attachment. They may have been used in mating or in helping the animal rise from a prone position.

  143. Wisdom Teeth
  144. Impacted wisdom teeth
    Impacted wisdom teeth

    Similar to the appendix, these teeth helped us grind up plant cellulose. As we began cooking our foods, our jaws atrophied, leaving less room for these teeth to come in. As a result, many people have them pulled today.

  145. Plica Semilunaris of Conjunctiva
  146. Plica Semilunaris
    Plica Semilunaris

    This fleshy part found in the inner corner of our eyes is what remains of our ancestors’ third eyelid. Today it produces eye-boogers.

  147. Palmar Grasp Reflex – Infant grasping reflex
  148. palmar grasp reflex
    palmar grasp reflex
    Credit: Geoffrey Wiseman

    From birth until five or six months of age, human infants will instinctually grasp things that brush their palms. This is a vestigial reflex from our primate ancestors who had fur to which infants could cling.

  149. Ear Muscles
  150. Ear Muscles
    Ear Muscles

    Humans have fairly useless ear muscles from when our ancestors were able to manipulate their ears independent of their head, like in cats.

  151. Antarctic icefish
  152. Icefish

    This fish has clear blood because it contains only 1% hemoglobin, the metalloprotein that carries oxygen in our blood, because it lives in oxygen-rich cold water but still has the genes to make hemoglobin that it got from its ancestors.

  153. The Panda’s Thumb
  154. Panda Hand
    Panda Hand
    Credit: Travis S.

    Panda’s, which are related to carnivorous bears, have five clawed fingers and a modified wrist bone that sticks out to function like a primitive thumb, which they used to grab bamboo–which they can barely digest because they are descendent of carnivores.

  155. Route of the vas derens
  156. Route of vas deferens from testis to the penis
    Route of vas deferens from testis to the penis

    This tube routes sperm from the testicles to the base of the penis in anticipation of ejaculation in humans. Although the direct route is only a few inches, the vas deferens loops up and over the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder and back down again because our ancestors testes were on the inside. Human male embryos start out with their testes on the inside, but they descend to the scrotum during development.

    Artificial Selection

    For thousands of years humans have bred various species to maximize desirable traits.

  157. Wild Silver Foxes into Puppies
  158. young silver fox
    young silver fox
    Credit: matt knoth

    Dimitri Belyaer, by selecting for non-aggressive behavior and non-fearful behavior, was able to turn wild silver foxes into tail-wagging, friendly animals very similar to domesticated dogs in just 10 generations.

  159. Dog Breeding
  160. Great Dane and Chihuahua mixed-breed
    Great Dane and Chihuahua mixed-breed

    Humans have produced a wide variety of dogs in many shapes and sizes by selecting for traits in just 10,000 years.

  161. Corn
  162. Teosinte, Maize-teosinte hybrid, Maize.
    Teosinte, Maize-teosinte hybrid, Maize.

    Maize is a domesticated descendent of teosinte, a wild grass. Although they appear very different, two genes control the differences between them.

  163. Chickens
  164. different breeds of domestic chicken in comparison with the wild ancestor, the Red Jungle Fowl
    Different breeds of domestic chicken in comparison with the wild ancestor, the Red Jungle Fowl
    Credit: Staffan Ullström

    Farm chickens are descendants of Red Jungle Fowl.

  165. Domesticated Turkey
  166. Wild and Domesticated Turkeys
    Wild and Domesticated Turkeys

    When you look at the domesticated turkey, it’s hard to believe Benjamin Franklin lamented to his daughter that the turkey should be the American mascot rather than the bald eagle, but the wild turkey is a very athletic and rather majestic animal.

  167. Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Cauliflower, Turnips, Rutabega, Kohlrabi
  168. Brassica oleracea
    Brassica oleracea

    Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Cauliflower, Turnips, Rutabega, Kohlrabi are all descendants of Brassica oleracea, a wild cabbage plant.

    Evolution in Action

    Natural selection has been observed to happen in the real world, with species evolving right before our eyes.

  169. Prions

  170. bovine spongiform encephalopathy
    Credit: Public Health Image Library, APHIS

    Prions, an infectious protein, are protein molecules that fold other proteins into their state, causing diseases like Mad Cow disease. These molecules have been found to evolve under selective pressures, such as medical treatments, despite not having DNA.

  171. Peppered Moth
  172. Biston betularia
    Biston betularia

    The most famous example of natural selection, during the Industrial Revolution in England, the lichens on trees died and the bark was stained black with soot. Peppered moths that were light grey and speckled lost their camouflage and black peppered moths were able to hide better, so dark moths became more prevalent whereas grey moths were formerly more prevalent.

  173. Antibiotic Resistance
  174. Antibiotic resistance

    Antibiotic resistance
    Credit: Wykis

    The widespread use of antibiotics has put selective pressure on bacteria to evolve resistances to drugs, which they rapidly achieve.

  175. Pesticide Resistance
  176. Pest resistance
    Pest resistance
    Credit: Delldot

    Fruit flies, houseflies, rats, mosquitoes, and Colorado potato beetles are among some of the species observed to evolve a resistance to a variety of pesticides.

  177. Nylon-Eating Bacteria
  178. variants nylon 6 and nylon 6,6
    variants nylon 6 and nylon 6,6
    Credit: Michael Ströck

    In 1975, Japanese scientists discovered bacteria eating the byproducts of nylon 6 manufacture in the wild despite the fact that those substances are thought to not have existed before nylon production in 1935.

  179. E. coli Long-Term Evolution Experiment
  180. Lenski's long-term lines of E. coli
    Lenski’s long-term lines of E. coli
    Credit: Brian Baer and Neerja Hajela

    For over two decades Richard Lenski has tracked the changes in generations of 12 initially identical populations of asexual Escherichia coli, freezing every 500th generation to track evolutionary changes. The project reached 50,000 generation in 2010 and observed numerous adaptations, most strikingly one strain evolving to consume citric acid–something the species was previously thought incapable of (Experiment website here).

  181. Speciation of Fruit Flies
  182. allopatric speciation in the fruit fly
    allopatric speciation in the fruit fly
    Credit: Diane Dodd

    William Rice and G.W. Salt were able to breed a population of fruit flies into two species by selecting them for their food preferences in just 35 generations.

  183. Ring Species
  184. Ring species seagull
    Ring species seagull

    Seagulls around the North Pole, salamanders around California’s Central Valley, and Warblers around the Himalayas are species that can breed with their neighbors all the way around the circle, but cannot breed with species opposite them in the circle, meaning neighbors are the same species, but those at opposite ends of the circle are different species.

  185. Cancer
  186. Brest cancer
    Brest cancer

    One of the reasons cancer is so difficult to treat is because the disease evolves through natural selection to grow more resistant to treatments.

    Sexual Selection

    Natural selection doesn’t just apply to climate, food, and predators. Members of a species that sexually reproduce must compete with one another for mates.

  187. John Endler’s Guppies
  188. Poecilia reticulata
    Poecilia reticulata
    Credit: Silvana Gericke

    Endler documented the colors of guppies and the competing forces of predator and sexual selections. Where there were fewer predators, the guppies got more colorful to attract mates.

  189. The Peacocks Tail
  190. Indian Peacock Plumage
    Indian Peacock Plumage
    Credit: Vidhya Narayanan

    Peafowls have huge ungainly tail feathers that, while beautiful, seem like more of an encumbrance when dealing with predators; however, peacocks display this plumage to peahens as part of courtship, suggesting the peahen discerns something about the health of the male’s genes in the display.

  191. Babirusa Tusks
  192. Babyrousa babyrussa Crane
    Babyrousa babyrussa Crane
    Credit: Didier Descouens

    These canines drive through the skin and curl back towards the forehead, providing a defense for intra-species fighting while the bottom canine-tusks provide an offense.

  193. Bowerbird
  194. Bowerbird Sorting His Treasures
    Bowerbird Sorting His Treasures
    Credit: dracophylla

    Male bowerbirds construct elaborate bowers, decorating them with colorful objects, berries, piling twigs, stones, and other displays of which female bowerbirds will evaluate several before choosing a mate. After mating, the female then builds a nest elsewhere to raise the young alone.

  195. Irish Elk Antlers
  196. Irish Elk
    Irish Elk
    Credit: Franco Atirador

    Stephen J. Gould argued that these enormous antlers, which required great mineral resources from plants to support and prevented the elk from navigating through forests, were largely responsible for their extinction. The positioning of the antlers were poor for combat between males, but were great for intimidating rivals and impressing females.

  197. Bird-of-Paradise
  198. Bird of Paradise
    Bird of Paradise

    These birds have evolved a wide variety of plumage displays for the sole purpose of attracting a mate.

  199. Duck Penis
  200. Duck genitalia and mechanical barriers
    Duck genitalia and mechanical barriers
    Credit: Patricia L. R. Brennan1,2,*, Christopher J. Clark1,2 and Richard O. Prum

    Ducks copulate through rape. As a result, females have evolved mazelike vaginas, complete with dead-ends to prevent insemination. Male ducks have evolved one of the longest penises in relation to body-size of any vertebrate as well has having a penis that takes on a corkscrew shape to better navigate the female’s vagina.

  201. Waist-to-Hip Ratio in Human Females
  202. Waist-to-Hip Ratio
    Waist-to-Hip Ratio
    Credit: Mikael Häggström

    Waist-hip ratio is a significant measure of female attractiveness in humans, which makes sense as the waist is an indicator of fertility while the hips are an indicator of being able to give birth to human infants with their extremely large heads.

    And the List Goes On and On…

    Aphids go from asexual to sexual in times of stress. Eating Cicadas can trigger a shellfish allergic reaction. Antifreeze proteins and lots and lots of other examples of convergent evolution. The Phylliidae Convention in Japan. Dr. J. Craig Venter engineering the first self-replicating semi-synthetic bacterial cell. Artificial cell membranes. Yeast evolving into multicelluar yeast in two months in a lab. The Triune brain. Radiotrophic fungi. Urban wildlife. Chromosome 2 in humans. Cytochrome c. Examples of mutations that occur in humans when you change just one amino acid. The extensive list of fossil sites from around the Earth. Boa constrictors have hip bones. Domestic Pigs. Domesticated Cows. Alligators and frogs taste like fishy chicken. Male nipples. Tibetan high-altitude genes and the Milano mutation. The science of memetics. Chalk mountains are made from piles of forminifera shells. The convoluted contortions of flat-fish growth. Cannibals in Papua New Guinea developed resistance to prion protein disease. Tibetans evolved genes for higher red blood oxygen carrying capacity after diverging from the Han Chinese 3,000 years ago. Smallpox and HIV resitance. The Black Death and the CCR5-Delta32 mutation. Beta-thalassemia. Asian alcohol flush syndrome. The Palmaris longus muscle. Blue Eyed people. The Vomeronasal organ. The Plantaris muscle. Darwin’s tubercle. Scientists regressed a bacteria and got it to retrace it’s evolution to its current state.

    And there’s more and more being discovered all the time. Without the theory of evolution, this is just a list of trivia. Through evolution, all of these facts fit together into one incredibly beautiful painting of how we came to be here today.


  1. Wow, great article! A fine counter point to ignorant tripe such as this:


    Comment by Dave — February 12, 2012 @ 7:03 am

  2. @Dave: Thanks! That site made me cringe with its misunderstandings and shallow interpretation of the theory. Ouch.

    Comment by ideonexus — February 12, 2012 @ 10:50 am

  3. I like the intention of this article, but unfortunately a few of your statements are incorrect and might just end up feeding the creationists’ theories. That being said, great work!

    The idea that the Irish Elk died out because his antlers grew too large has no evidence at all and even contradicts basic selection: there’s always a balance between natural selection and sexual selection, since sexual selection IS a part of natural selection.

    The Miller experiment: evolution doesn’t state anything about the origin of life. One of the biggest creationists’ arguments is that evolution can’t explain the origin of life fully. The thing is, evolution doesn’t try to do that.

    And last but not least: junk DNA is a term often thrown around by both scientists and creationists, but the term has become nonsensical. Junk DNA is a misnomer, no one truly believes DNA without a known function really HAS no function. More and more evidence in the past few decades has shown that this DNA is important in gen regulation. Unfortunately people keep digging up this archaic term and it gets used by both evolutionists and creationists to prove their point.

    Comment by Pieter — February 15, 2012 @ 7:41 am

  4. Pieter,

    Thanks so much for the input! I’m modifying the post in response to your feedback:

    1. The “maladaptation” hypothesis concerning the Irish Elk antlers came from Stephen J. Gould, so I’ve added an equivocation to that point. I’ve read a lot of Gould, but not this particular essay. You are correct about there being problems with the idea and one person’s pet hypothesis does not a consensus make.

    2. I posted the Miller-Urey experiment only to demonstrate the amino acids were present in abundant quantities on Earth at the time life was forming. I agree with you that evolution doesn’t make any definitive claims about how life got started (yet), but the Miller-Urey experiment is a remarkable discovery that provides another piece of the puzzle in understanding how non-living molecular replication became life. I included natural selection in prions for the same reason.

    3. I concur with you and have removed the term “Junk DNA” to avoid the silly semantical debate. Donald R. Prothero’s Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Mattersmakes the convincing argument that this DNA is actually vestigial, which would explain atavisms. The purpose it serves in regulating genes is by providing a buffer zone where mutations can happen in the genome without impacting the organism. The DNA piles up in the genome as animals evolve, and the piles happen to help prevent mutations.

    Again, your feedback is very much appreciated, and helps me to clarify the items on this list. Thank you so much!

    Comment by ideonexus — February 22, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

  5. Thank you for a very comprehensive article. I think evolutionary biology is the most fascinating area of science and this gives me some new areas to discover.

    Comment by Tom Sus — February 28, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  6. This is an incredibly comprehensive list. Congrats!

    Comment by Eduardo — March 18, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

  7. wow, the different sizes of dogs is not a part of evolution, neither is the color of birds feathers. not all humans look the same and it’s not because of evolution. yes, some of the things you did say have to do with where they live, like for people in africa, yeah, there skin is darker, not because their ansestors are monkeys though, it’s because of how close to the equator and how much sun that part of the world gets. goosebumps are because the muscles get tight, and yes, we’re mammals, but not because, again, we came from monkeys. this is all a bunch of bull and you need to take more details and look at both sides. if evolution was real, y r things still not evolving, and y can’t horses breed with cows, skunks breed with chickens, monkeys breed with frogs if we all came from the same cell? there r more things proving evolution wrong more than right.

    Comment by someone — March 18, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

  8. I believe in God, Jesus and the holy spirit, and this is BULLSHIT!

    Comment by Taylor — May 25, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  9. Dear Taylor,

    It appears you have outwitted me. Your simple eloquence has shaken me to the core. My hands are trembling as I type this response out of sheer awe of your brilliance. My humble little blog has clearly been graced with a visit from a magnificent intellect. I am truly humbled and dumbstruck by the immense power of your argument.

    For some time after reading your profoundly articulate and stirring refutation, my finger hovered over the “delete” button for this post. So incredibly shamed am I by your single sentence response to my 101-plus arguments that I desperately wanted to wash this entire article away, call in sick to work, and curl up in bed with the blinds drawn in hopes of never being seen in the light of day again.

    But that would be intellectually dishonest of me. You have so clearly and so deftly refuted me, that I must leave my now-hollow arguments online as a memorial to my foolishness and your majesty. Some people might find your use of the word “BULLSHIT” grandiloquent, but your ingenious use of all capital lettering for the locution suggests a subtle nuance only the most highly-educated of literary critics could possibly appreciate. Thank you so much for putting this sad, inferior simpleton in his place.


    Ryan Somma

    Comment by ideonexus — May 27, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

  10. If you’re calling any of this bullshit,you are an IDIOT,this is proven fact,you are getting your info from a stupid book written by primitive men 2000 years ago that have no factual basis whatsoever,there is no debate on your part my friend

    Comment by Jackal — June 13, 2012 @ 7:00 am

  11. Damn. I had thought Ryan made a great argument with lots of facts supporting it, but after Jackal’s amazing points, I’ve changed my mind! You really showed him good. LOL. (In case you are as stupid as you sound, this was all sarcasm.)

    Comment by Clint — June 17, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

  12. Bravo. Great list.

    There are many who attempt to refute the evidence as seen by the comments on this page and many like it. A large portion of the population will say, ignorantly, “it’s just a theory” when we know evolution happens, evolution is a fact and the theory explains how it happens. This list summarizes the how with excellent examples.

    Unfortunately this list won’t affect them. They don’t want to accept it so they don’t understand it. They believe they know the truth and it doesn’t include evolution. To them, “I didn’t come from no monkey” is a rational statement.

    This battle has raged for 150+ years. It will continue, but it seems the younger generations aren’t being indoctrinated with religion as have prior generations. I get comfort from that thought, but I won’t live long enough to see the day when someone reads about the Dover case or the Scopes trials and asks what that was all about.

    Comment by James Piper — June 29, 2012 @ 12:30 am

  13. More proof of human evolution I stole from r/askscience on Reddit:

    New Scientist 2 April 2011
    Evolution in the fast lane.
    Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea ate their deceased relatives and developed kuru, a degenerative brain disease (like mad cow disease). It killed many except the descendants of someone born about 200 years ago that had an unusual mutation in the prion protein that prevented the disease. If ritual cannibalism had not been stopped in the 1950’s the genes would have spread to the majority of the tribal population.

    3000 years ago the Tibetans diverged from the Han population of China and evolved genes for higher red blood oxygen carrying capacity.

    People with a genetic mutation that makes them more resistant to the AIDS virus probably have smallpox to thank, according to two population geneticists at the University of California, Berkeley. About 10 percent of Europeans have a mutation that disables a protein the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1) uses to slip into immune system cells. HIV-1 has a harder time infecting people who have a mutation in one of the two genes that code for this receptor protein, and if these people become infected, their disease progresses more slowly. Those with mutations in both copies of the gene are almost completely resistant to the virus.

    The Black Death affected human evolution. The Black Death killed more people without the CCR5-Delta32 mutation than with, so now many more of us have the mutation than did before. This mutation also confers some protection again AIDS.

    Reduced brain size. Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion. “I’d call that major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink,” he says. “This happened in China, Europe, Africa—everywhere we look.”

    Human skin colour, but was going about 6-10K years ago.


    Asian alcohol flush syndrome

    Palmaris longus is a forearm muscle which is absent in approx 15% of the human population.

    Blue Eyed people –
    “ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2008) — New research shows that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. A team at the University of Copenhagen have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye colour of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today.”

    Jacobson’s Organ

    Plantaris muscle

    Darwin’s Point

    Comment by Dave — June 29, 2012 @ 6:28 am

  14. […] but religious institutions hate science. We see attacks daily on evolution in schools despite the multitude of overwhelming evidence of its […]

    Pingback by Why America Was Not Founded On Christianity(and Why it Shouldn’t Be) « Thoughts of a Disillusioned Man — June 29, 2012 @ 7:45 am

  15. @ comment 14. HAHAHA, religious institutions don’t hate science, they hate the theory of evolution, which is promoted by materialists. Science does not necessarily agree with either materialism, Christianity, or any other faith-based world view (it is the materialistic scientists of today who promote that science should be based on materialism, but science should be based on the data found, not your world-view). Materialistic scientists simply show “evidence” that supports their viewpoints, often through media propaganda which uses artistic pictures and latin terminology to make their view seem more believable. To be fair, scientists should be scientists first, and then materialists or Christians, or Muslims.

    @ comment 12. Micro-evolution is a fact, sir. Macro-evolution is not a fact, and never will be. The FACT that you don’t know this, or clarify this, makes you seem just as ignorant as the people you are bashing.

    This article is honestly too brief in each of its explanations. While they are good examples of how micro-evolution (speciation) has occured, it shouldn’t be called “101 reasons why evolution is true”, but “101 reasons why micro-evolution (speciation) is true.”

    Let me point out that fossilization is rare, thus the fossil record can’t possibly include most of the intermediary fossils needed to prove macro-evolution to be true. Skeptical that fossilization is rare because there are billions of fossils? There are quadrillions, quintillions, or even sextillions of life-forms living today. If macro-evolution did happen, then there are quadrillions, quintillions, or even sextillions of “missing links” (all the life that didn’t fossilize).

    Finally, I have to be angry at the dishonesty used by most evolutionists. If there is a fact that contradicts your viewpoint, and promotes the opposition’s viewpoint, you shouldn’t just ignore it. It is not going to go away. Glossing over anything that opposes your theory is a propaganda technique, and we all know how Hitler’s Nazi Germany used propaganda to start raising the next generation into his obedient slaves. NOTICE that EVERY major university in the world promotes macro-evolution. CONSEQUENTLY, NOTICE how they use media propaganda such as artistic illustrations of ape-men, and fanciful latin names for fossils to convince the ignorant masses (you) that macro-evolution is true.

    It has become a circus show (which has been going on for 150 years or so), where the ignorant masses will accept whatever trash they throw out there, such as a whole article (with the only evidence being one pig-tooth fossil) complete with ape-men illustrations and fanciful names for them. Nebraska man, is what this specific example was called, and pictured as half-man half-ape. Later studies of the tooth revealed it was a wild pig tooth!!! I ASSURE YOU, THIS PROPAGANDA TECHNIQUE OF ARTISTICALLY DEPICTING what the fossil MAY have looked like, and giving it a latin name, HAS NOT CHANGED!!!

    If you examine the news reports of “missing links” today, you will see exactly what I mean. Any evolutionist who is unaware of this is simply ignorant.

    IT IS AMAZING how so many “missing links” are SUPPOSEDLY being found today. After all, there are only billions of fossils, while there are quadrillions of life-forms. THEREFORE, there should be quadrillions of “missing links” that never fossilized, and MOST missing links should be undiscoverable!!!!!!!

    Hopefully, I gave you something to think about at least.

    Comment by Jason — July 10, 2012 @ 12:02 am

  16. to comment 15:

    Here’s a theist ranting against evolution, “I ASSURE YOU, THIS PROPAGANDA TECHNIQUE OF ARTISTICALLY DEPICTING what the fossil MAY have looked like, and giving it a latin name, HAS NOT CHANGED!!!”

    Of course, we know exactly what Jesus looked like and I see no end to Christians and their depictitions of him.

    Comment by James Piper — July 10, 2012 @ 7:54 am

  17. to comment 15:

    I will add we kow what the fossils look like, no need to depict them, because we have them.

    Comment by James Piper — July 10, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  18. no 16/17, Jesus occured 2000 yrs ago not 2 million. & we dont always have all the fossils. the whale is supposed to be descended from a huge doglike animal (andrewsarchus mongoliensis) but theyve found nothin but a skull part. skeleton fossils are rarely complete.

    Comment by Andrew — July 11, 2012 @ 5:35 am

  19. To #18

    “Jesus occured (sic) 2000 yrs ago not 2 million”

    Can you show me where I made that claim. (Hint: this is a strawman argument.)

    A whale? Again, a strawman agrument.

    Have you been drinking? How does anything you wrote have anything to do with my comments.

    1. We have fossils. No need to deptict them as stated by the poster, “what the fossil MAY have looked like.” We know what they look like because we can look at them.

    2. No one knows what Jesus looks like, but it doesn’t stop people from painting his image, engraving it, and carving it into stone. Now that’s some propaganda.

    Comment by James Piper — July 11, 2012 @ 5:50 am

  20. Very interesting and informative! Some of these may be disproved only to be replaced with more accurate, more reliable and more detailed facts to help us understand the world and everything in it without drawing god into the picture.

    Comment by Kaunis_lyn — July 12, 2012 @ 7:28 am

  21. You said that we dont know what Jesus looked like, though Christians draw and carve him (few do, actually), but we know what ancient creatures looked like, because we have the fossils.

    A. Jesus lived in Palestine/Israel 2000 years ago, and was a Jew. That gives us a good idea what he looked like. At any rate, 2000 years is a lot less a time than so many millions of years.

    B. We do not have all the fossils, contrary to popular myth. A complete skeleton is rarely found. The whale is an example: all we have to show for whale ancestor andrewsarchus mongoliensis is a skull part. Do your research. I did mine on Bing Images.

    C. Drawing and carving Jesus is not propaganda. Propaganda is media skewed towards controlling minds & setting them against something. Making pictures & statues of a religious founder for religious purposes is idolatry.

    Comment by Andrew — July 13, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

  22. Also, Christians arent the only Creationists. Muslims, religious Jews, and Christian-based cults are also Creationist. And Muslims and Jews make no religious art.

    Comment by Andrew — July 13, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

  23. I just wanted to pop in here and respond to a couple of things Jason (Comment #15) said. If I’m summarizing his post correctly, he states that this article only provides evidence of microevolution, but no evidence of macroevolution. On the contrary, much of the evidence, including the entire first section of this article concerning dinosaur footprints, sedimentary layers, and geological dating methods, is evidence of macroevolution. Although some of us like to idealize it, we scientifically-minded individuals do have things we take on faith, such as the faith that our world can be understood rationally. Another faith that stems from this belief in a rational world is the concept of inference, the idea that we can take a body of evidence and infer logical conclusions from it. We can infer macro-evolution from just two facts: (1) The fact of micro-evolution and (2) a fossil record dating back billions of years. If life has been around for billions of years on Earth, and that life has been subject to the same forces of micro-evolution we can reproduce through experimentation and observation today in just a few years and decades, then it would be silly not to accept the idea that the forces of micro-evolution could produce macroscopic results over time periods 100,000,000-times the length of our periods of observation.

    He also states “Micro-evolution is a fact, sir. Macro-evolution is not a fact, and never will be.” This is a half-truth. Macro-evolution is indeed not a fact, but it is a THEORY, and a theory is the best model we currently have to explain the evidence laid out before us. And this is an extremely important point to keep in mind, because that means you can criticize the theory of evolution all you want, and, if some of your criticisms are valid, the theory will either change to account for them or be discarded in favor of a better theory. Notice here that in order to disprove the theory of evolution, you must must must must must provide a better falsifiable alternative explanation for all of the 101-plus facts listed in this article and elsewhere. Until you can do that, you are wasting your breath (Note the “falsifiable” part, that’s crucial).

    He also notes, correctly, that fossilization is extremely rare and if we consider the immense, awe-inspiring biodiversity surrounding us today, “then there are quadrillions, quintillions, or even sextillions of “missing links” (all the life that didn’t fossilize).” But somehow this is meant to be evidence that macro-evolution isn’t true or lacks evidence or something. I’m not really sure, but yes, the number of species known through fossils must be less than 1% of all species that have ever lived. For archeologists and biologists, this is a good thing, because without the gaps in the fossil record we wouldn’t know where one species ends and another begins, things would transition so smoothly from one form to another that we would be at a loss as to where to draw the division line (Dawkins has a great metaphor for this fact in his book “The Magic of Reality”). Instead, what we do have is sample fossils, that we can date, that show forms found in other species that are in various states of transition and we infer that these fossils are links in the chain of macro-evolution from the fact that the fossil appears in the geologic strata between two other forms and the logical assumption that it and other members of its species were subject to the same forces of micro-evolution we are subject to today.

    Now to respond to something Jason and several others have brought up in the comments, which concerns the idea that evolution disproves religion. I have absolutely no idea why some religious people are so incredibly offended by the idea that species gradually change over time in response to environmental stresses in a way similar to humans growing more mature over their lifetimes in response to life experiences. It seems many of them think the theory disproves their religion’s origin story for human beings, but the same thing happened in 1600 when Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for suggesting there were worlds other than Earth and Galileo Galilei was placed under arrest for suggesting the Earth was not the center of the Universe because the church believed these ideas completely discredited religion… and yet, here we are today, looking through telescopes at hundreds of exoplanets and galaxies at the edge of the Universe, and even the church accepts these facts without losing faith in their scriptures. If you were so incredibly wrong in the past, but were able to reconcile your religion with the idea of an Earth moving through the Cosmos as one of trillions of worlds out there, why not consider that you might not be wrong today and reconcile your worldview to allow for a chain of life that extends back billions of years and holds the promise of extending and improving into the future?

    Comment by ideonexus — July 13, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

  24. To #21

    “You said…we know what ancient creatures looked like, because we have the fossils.”

    No I did NOT! Did you even read my posts. Can you not understand the point I was making. Stop putting words in my mouth.

    “B. We do not have all the fossils, contrary to popular myth. A complete skeleton is rarely found. The whale is an example: all we have to show for whale ancestor andrewsarchus mongoliensis is a skull part. Do your research. I did mine on Bing Images.”

    Why are you telling me this? Where did I say we have all the fossils? Where did I saw we have complete skeletons? It’s completely irrelevant to the point I’m making. Read what I wrote! Bringing this up is a complete waste of time. Do some reading on what is called a strawman argument.

    We do not know what Jesus looked like. To say otherwise is a complete fabrication. Your mention of time lines is irrelevant. As creationists like to say: were you there?

    The best guess is: he was short, stubby, dark skin, dark curly hair. I have yet to see an image of him that reflects this. He is usually made to look European. Tall, white, with straight brown or blonde hair. Now if that’s not propaganda, I don’t know what is.

    “Propaganda is media skewed towards controlling minds & setting them against something.” Paintings, carvings (like the crosses in churches), drawings are all media and they serve to control the minds of the followers. It’s propaganda.

    Note. The Roman Catholic Church established the College of Propaganda in 1622.

    Comment by James Piper — July 14, 2012 @ 1:08 am

  25. May i comment on that? Reserve the right to remove this if it’s impolite to respond to the comment of the person who runs the website. “Religious people/groups” refers to all of them, not particular favorites to pick on.

    Religious people dont believe it because they dont think through what theyve been taught, and evolution, to be frank, is morally offensive (millions of years of animals killing each other & hiding from each other & mating w/ each other, mistakes in what was already perfect, and no purpose or significance beyond satiation & survival and ability to do such. Yeah, anything is evil when ya put it like that. Thats just how they read it. IDK y).

    Also, it isnt hard to get over the fact that earth is proven to be not the center of the universe, the religious texts dont teach geocentrism explicitly. But they do teach explicitly their own non-evolutionary theories that have direct inconsistencies w/ evolution. Also, certain religious groups believe that the universe will get worse before it gets better, and that it will only get better via a revolution, usually started & finished by a Messiah or messiah-like figure.

    Also, there are some whove had religious experiences (eg faith healings, visions, etc) w/ whatever religion, so they believe that religion, & dont need to think things through.

    Comment by Andrew — July 14, 2012 @ 1:13 am

  26. 24: Word for word you said “I will add we know what the fossils look like, no need to depict them, because we have them”. Depicting is any kind of drawing or writing something in any state. & you didnt specify which fossils we had. You just said “fossils” as if it was that simple.

    I know what a straw man argument is. I addressed what you said & how i perceived you meant it. If i was wrong, i was mistaken, & to be honest, you should say exactly what you mean to avoid such instances.

    Archaeology works w/ Assyriology & Egyptology, right? & ancient Greece & Rome, right? Why not Israel in the time of Jesus, too? In fact, archaeologists have determined that at that time, Jews wore long tunics w/ robes or cloaks or similar. The men also had short or longish hair, & grew beards. Also Jews of all ages & places tend to be brunet & light(er)-skinned, w/ few but admittedly existent exceptions. I never said we knew for sure exactly what he looked like, but i did say we had a good idea.

    Propaganda, to be more specific, is posters, videos, articles, reports, &/or lectures that urge one to join a cause, & call one evil or stupid if they dont. Idolatry (which is what drawing & carving Jesus is) is making art of divine religious persons to feel closer to whoever you’re making art of. People dont make idols to convert people to their religion. Idols, in fact, usually turn people off to that religion.

    The Catholic Church makes propaganda. Westboro Baptist Church makes propaganda. Do you therefore stereotype all Christians & say they all make propaganda? Most Christians dont even make religious art.

    Comment by Andrew — July 14, 2012 @ 2:35 am

  27. Also, the College of Propaganda in 1622 was probably just another attempt to convert Europe back from Protestantism.

    Comment by Andrew — July 14, 2012 @ 2:37 am

  28. […] counted. There are actually 101 Reasons Why Evolution is True listed on this one […]

    Pingback by Carnival of Evolution #48: The Icelandic Saga! « Random Information — July 18, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

  29. The main arguments against evolution are as follows:

    A. The Mutation-Natural Selection-Speciation model changes nucleotide arrangement, but it doesnt account for new chromosomes.

    B. It also covers small variations such as size, shape, coloring, & muscular ability, but doesnt account for new organs or structures

    C. It also doesnt account for behavior or other psychological issues, or even the mind in general.

    D. The primordial soup theory, it supposes that the nucleotide structure was perfect from the start. Any mutations in the 1st DNA structure (supposedly/presumably a perfect arrangement), the 1st mutated organism wouldnt have survived.

    E. If the 1st organism didnt have a perfect sequence, it wouldnt have survived anyway.

    F. The 1st organism wouldve died quickly anyway, or never have formed, due to all the effects of the environment (especially extreme ones) on organism structures & functions (ie mightve burned or frozen or disintegrated or similar). What the success of the primordial soup theory calls for is the organism’s victory in a figurative Cell vs. Universe competition.

    G. The primordial soup theory also does not account for the 1st groups of cells. The theory thinks in terms of single-celled non-colonizing organisms as the 1st organisms.

    Comment by Andrew — July 20, 2012 @ 3:19 am

  30. Sorry, i didnt specify. These are my personal main arguments against evolution. As well as

    H. Neither Primordial Soup nor Mutation-Natural Selection-Speciation can sufficiently explain how mini-groups of cells in an early cell colony wouldve taken on different shapes & functions to make the 1st multicellular organism

    I. They also cant explain the existence of 3 kinds of prokaryotic cells (plant, animal, fungus) &/or how some of cells of the 1st type evolved into cells of the other 2 types.

    Comment by Andrew — July 20, 2012 @ 3:35 am

  31. Also:

    J. Mutations are rare. Beneficial mutations are even rarer. But how about a beneficial mutation that adds new DNA? Mutations only scramble or subtract already-existing DNA.

    K. Supposing there was a beneficial mutation that added new DNA that had never been there before (as opposed to old DNA that was only misplaced). Mutations are individual occurences. A mutated organism would probably not be able to reproduce w/ non-mutated organisms of the same species & have offspring thats viable &/or can reproduce. The DNA of the mutant & the DNA of the non-mutant wouldnt be a complete match.

    Comment by Andrew — July 21, 2012 @ 4:08 am

  32. ??? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ??? ????

    Comment by Hassan — August 24, 2012 @ 6:40 am

  33. I would like to say many people have been saying this is fact and proven. Science is never 100% true or fact. It is always subject to change. Years ago people though the earth was the center of the universe was a fact. Gladly, it was proven wrong. I see many errors in evolution, but Creationism is not proved either. To believe one or the other requires faith. One thing I do see is that no dna is ever added to a gene. It is impossible. Mututions and genetic changes are always small changes in skin tone, height, wieght,; but never a large amount of change for the good. To believe in evolution and creationism you need faith. The debate won’t end. You all use ad hominem all you want on me, but the debate won’t end. Evolution is not unproven yet(though I disbelieve it is true) and creationism is not unproven either. But niether are proven scientifically. Science cannot become truth.

    Comment by Adam — October 10, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

  34. So atheists, what happens after you die?

    Comment by Apollo — October 12, 2012 @ 7:41 am

  35. Nothing comes from nothing specially something so complex as a living cell , every living creature has a creator including us

    Comment by tomasluque — November 4, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  36. about the peacocks, i think the reason for their large tail feathers is cos it proves to peahens that even with that large tail they are able to survive and therefore they must be strong enough to hold the tail up and still walk around and escape from predators. e.g. if a man is lifting a heavier weight this suggests he is stronger than the man lifting the lighter weight.

    Let me know what you think of this

    Comment by joe — November 20, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  37. @tomasluque: “Nothing comes from nothing.”
    First, tomaslugue cannot explain where “the Creator” came from. Presumably he/she thinks that at least one thing (the so-called “Creator”) has always existed, even when the world didn’t.
    Second, tomaslugue clearly has a very simple notion of ‘nothing’ (and probably of ‘complexity’). As it happens, complexity can arise from the simplest things (this has been shown on numerous occasions). So it’s not surprising that complex creatures can arise (over time) from simple things such cells. More importantly, however, is the fact that physicists do not necessarily believe in “nothingness”. According to quantum theories, there can be no such thing as “nothingness” or “void” or “empty space” or ” zero energy”. To state that a proton only exists because a Creator created it is at least as absurd as saying that it arose spontaneously. It certainly isn’t any less absurd! The fact remains that science is discovering answers; religion is just dim.

    Comment by Dean — January 3, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  38. Hey, loved reading the list, it was very inclusive! I thought I would let you know that I noticed a typo in #59:

    “The gene for this disease is prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is common. Individuals who carry only a single sickle-cell gene are more tolerate of malarial infection.”

    tolerate should read toerant

    Comment by Scott Kotzur — January 3, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

  39. Great read, thanks! It’s a shame it had to be spoiled by creationist propaganda in the comments, but that could be expected I guess.

    @Adam The Germans idolised the Aryan race and the Third Reich, yet it is called propaganda. Please don’t tell well educated people that christianity, as well as many other religions, do not use a form of propaganda, it might encourage others to call christians like you stupid.

    Comment by Tampie — January 3, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

  40. I enjoyed this article, but certain spelling errors and grammar mistakes take away from the credibility.

    Comment by Berl McLaurin — January 3, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

  41. What a wonderful summary of evolution. Congratulations.
    One or two brief points.

    1. Creationists, note how willingly the author changes the post to fit with

    2. Why do creationists have such trouble with:
    Micro-evolution many, many times = macro-evolution.
    Evolutionists do not claim that macro-evolution happens in one jump.

    3. By the end of the 1800s most Christians had accepted evolution /

    Why have the right-wing -fundamentalists risen in the last few years so
    much? It seems to be a phenomenon almost exclusively from the US.
    I can only assume it is through lack of critical thinking skills.

    Watching the recent US presidential election from the UK revealed some
    extraordinary claims about the cause of rape that supports this.

    4. Could I suggest a section devoted to ‘visible evolution in our time’.
    I realize you have covered some of this (e.g. Antibiotics), but a
    whole section might awaken someone.
    (e.g. fruit flies in the lab, viruses, lizzards in the adriatic etc..)

    Thank you for a great job,


    _Peppered Moth_
    Creationists claim that this is not an example of evolution, as since
    the UK cleaned up its cities from the 50s, the peppered moth is again
    becoming paler, thus confirming that this is only micro-evolution
    within existing gene sets.
    (Please don’t shoot the messenger!)

    Comment by Hobjob — January 4, 2013 @ 7:41 am

  42. I’m a devout Christian.
    I believe in evolution.
    How do I do this? It’s called hermeneutics – aka, How to Read the Bible As If You Have a Brain. You learn this technique when you become educated about your own faith.
    There, was that so terribly hard?

    Comment by Bai-xue88 — January 4, 2013 @ 11:24 am

  43. @Dean: The law of causality states that everything finite and limited has a beginning, and everything with a beginning has a cause. The only two relevant options as pertains to the beginning of the world are either an infinite regress of causes (impossible, because of the law of entropy: the universe should’ve ended long ago) or a first cause (itself without beginning or cause, only impossible if we regard the physical laws of the universe as absolute). We cannot accept both, we cannot reject both.

    On top of that, “nothing comes from nothing” is a restatement of the laws of conservation of mass and energy (respectively), that neither can be created ex nihilo or destroyed into “nihilo”, and is therefore truthful.

    Furthermore, the statement “religion is dim” is insulting to Buddhists. Moreover, it implies to some extent ignorance of how religion works, why it’s here, and what its territory is.

    @Tampie–Dont say it was spoiled by Creationist propaganda. The word “spoiled” encourages certain philosophical creationists, and it wasnt propaganda, except in if you define propaganda loosely.

    Propaganda tends to appeal to emotions and accuse those who reject the exhortations as villains/morons. Most of the creationist content aforementioned appealed to reason/logic and made no subjective accusation, therefore, it was mostly philosophical arguments (I concede that not all creationist comments were such).

    @Hobjob–Any evidence the author/compiler of this article changed is not being seen by the author of this comment. Please cite specific examples.

    Creationists have no trouble with micro vs. macro. One is a scientifically verifiable principle in biology, the other is the closest thing to a myth outside of actual mythology, and is a matter of faith. The commentator Adam has probably the most realistic viewpoint so far.

    Christians accepting it 100ish years ago doesnt make it compatible with what Christianity really is in every age since it was started. A lot of people 100ish years ago professed Christianity and held all sorts of beliefs incompatible with Christianity (Christian Science, for instance; and some still hold such beliefs).

    Creationism is popping up again because science-based belief systems are failing–animistic-type beliefs and Eastern-type beliefs (neither of which are necessarily scientific) are getting more popular too. If that doesnt convince you that science as an almost-religion is failing, think of how much religion would be decreasing if it were succeeding. Religion–Christianity, Buddhism, and all–is strong as ever, maybe stronger.

    Peppered moth: Creationists claim that they dont count because of allegations that the pictures were faked. The pictures portray the moths on tree trunks in broad daylight, even though in reality they’re nocturnal leaf-dwellers.

    @Bai-xue88–You say that as if all creationists everywhere are completely unintelligent. In reality, it’s only Ann Coulter and the Westboro Baptist people. On top of that, the statement implies that only evolutionists are capable of intelligence. Which is giving most public figures more credit than they merit. Either way, it’s stereotypes.

    Also, when some people get educated about their own faith, they grow stronger in it, as opposed to compromising important parts of it.

    Comment by Andrew — January 10, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

  44. @Hobjob–Just spotted changed posts. The mentioned experiment doesnt prove that organic material existed before life did, it proves scientists can manufacture organic material artificially, that is, without getting it from lifeforms. Irish elk were probably ousted by humans.

    Vestigial DNA proves creationism, actually: if vestigial DNA prevents important mutations, and we suppose that so many thousand years ago there was less vestigial DNA, then it follows that important mutations were more frequent. If we continue along with this notion, the further back we go, the more likely a mutation would spell the life or death of an entire species, so evolution occured faster.

    It follows that the origin of life was probably sooner than evolutionists suppose, and the fossils we’ve discovered are likely the only fossils to ever be buried (Creationists can cite several examples of fossilization occuring in comparatively few years, such as fossilized clocks and miner’s hats that have been found).
    This calls for reconciling this theory with dating methods. To start with, more than 90% of dating methods yield smaller numbers than scientists profess. Organic-based ones (eg tree rings) are unreliable due to the aforementioned mutation possibilities, which would have played with their growth and development (at least some). Also, contemplate the possibilities of previously-evolved intelligent lifeforms having played around with the genetics of their contemporary flora/fauna.

    Also, we dont know how extinct species worked. We can get a good idea of what they ate, and how they got it, and whether they formed groups, but that’s about it. Nobody’s raised a baby dinosaur, so we don’t know how long it takes them to grow up, and so on.

    As for chemical/nuclear-based dating methods, scientists use them like theyre sure that a fire or comet didnt mess up the process. They also suppose that they knew how much was there to begin with (nobody does).

    Geological-based dating methods suppose that the speed at which the river deepens (or the tectonic plate moves, or similar) has always been the same. Actually, when the aforementioned geological processes (among others) started, they went faster, so they took less time. Therefore, the age of the earth by those standards probably isnt as old as scientists cause to be written in textbooks.

    If life has started, increased, prospered, and failed multiple times throughout Earth’s history, and/or the geological layout of the Earth has been completely rearranged multiple times as well, I’m definitely wrong, but theres no way to prove it.

    Comment by Andrew — January 11, 2013 @ 12:48 am

  45. @Andrew
    I think you are reading more into my posts than I intended!!

    I was really referring to comment 4 by ideonexus (the OP) who changed what was written in the light of comments made (more for clarity than radical review of meaning).

    This is the scientific process at work.

    “The pictures portray the moths on tree trunks in broad daylight, even though in reality they’re nocturnal leaf-dwellers.”
    I am no expert but it was my understanding that the moths live on the bark of trunks, branches and twigs, rather than leaves. They hide in the day and the males fly at night to look for females (which emit pheromones) with which to mate. Females I think only fly when first emerging from the pupa.

    I have seen a peppered moth caught in a trap put onto a tree trunk and it stayed in the one place all day, but was gone next morning.

    The other point that I will comment on is that science is not a religion, or even an “almost-religion” as you impute, and it is not failing; just look at technology. The recent UK census data, and recent US data show remarkable rises in people professing no religion in strong contra-distinction to your statement.

    I am sad that you have been unable to learn from the 101 reasons that evolution is true.

    Comment by Hobjob — January 11, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

  46. @Hobjob–See these links: &

    And if a moth was on a tree in the day in a trap, it raises questions as to whether a creature found doing something while in captivity will actually do so when in the wild.

    Also, you might try actually addressing my actual arguments: An experiment that duplicates a process that is theorized to have happened by chance (the Miller-Urey experiment) does not prove it did happen by chance; it proves that scientists can do whatever they want in a lab provided they have enough materials and time.

    Irish elk are probably another example of human recklessness leaving a permanent mark on nature.

    Vestigial DNA, which accumulates over time & prevents important/dangerous mutations from happening (both ideas have been discussed), proves that important/dangerous mutations used to be more frequent, and more important as far as having effects on the species, so evolution happened faster & its going slower today. Therefore either life has started, spread, flourished, declined, and re-started several times throughout the Earth’s history, or it didnt take long after life began to arrive at our present-day biological layout. The rest is questions about used dating methods. Also, try addressing my arguments against evolution in general in comments 29-31.

    And I did not say that science was a failing religion, I said that science-based religions were failing. You cannot use the advancement of technology to prove that a belief system is failing/succeeding. “Atheism” is not the only science-based religion (Christian Science, to some extent; Scientology, to some extent; they come to mind). If people are choosing “no religion”, then theyre not choosing science-based religion. Also, the media is not objective as it pretends, it always has to dance to somebody’s tune. The statistics may be tampered with. And how much of those saying “no-religion” are teenagers who want to have fun and avoid the issue?

    Yes, “atheism” is a religion, mostly. Many tend to have a religious attitude (such as feeling hostility/pity toward non-believers), and it’s trying to bump all the other belief systems, and is always trying to get state funding. It is trying to be a state religion, if it isnt one already. Also, as has been discussed in these comments, even atheists take some things on faith (such as a lot of evolutionism as an origin theory).The only difference between philosophical materialism and religion is language.

    For instance, instead of “the wages of sin is death”* and “those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens”**, or “suffering is caused by desire and attachment to things that do not bring lasting happiness” and “the way to eliminate desire and attachment is the Eightfold Path”, we have “ethical behavior evolved because it was advantageous for the species, and cultures tend to decline when economic and political situations make people desperate enough to ignore ethics”. Instead of using the afterlife ideas of heaven/hell or karma to enforce moral behavior, we have “you only live once, do you want to die with regrets/similar?” and so on.

    Science-based religion failed when the New Age movement began: the tendency of people to reject both monotheistic religions and science-based religions (and Christian Science, the awkward attempt to mix the two) for mystical religions & “occult” (read: magic-based or “spiritualism”) religions. Up ’til then people expected either Jesus to return or for science-based religion to become the new world religion (as if either concept was that simple).

    *Romans 6:23 **Daniel 12:3

    Comment by Andrew — January 11, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

  47. The links didnt make it, so in explanation, it was the Wikipedia article on peppered moths and an article on truthinscience.org.uk called “The Peppered Moth”.

    Comment by Andrew — January 11, 2013 @ 10:02 pm

  48. I’m sure some creationist fanatic will explain why they are incapable of doing this – but why can they not just accept that evolution on a micro and macro scale is a system created by God with which He is able to vary life on earth? While we are there, I think God created the big bang as well.

    Comment by Pohla18 — February 5, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

  49. @Pohla18–“Fanatics” flap signs or weapons around with hateful messages, and in general have group antisocial behavior (i.e. they’re regular mobs). “Philosophers”, “pseudoscientists”, and “scientists” deduce a belief or set of beliefs from evidence: the former solely on abstract evidence, the latter solely on observable & verifiable evidence, the middle one on a basis of a few debatable observations and/or a previously assumed belief or set of beliefs (and sometimes—scratch that, pretty frequently—on the person’s merits as a professional [fill in the blank]).

    If God caused the big bang, the collapse of the nebula into the solar system, the possible collision of the earth with a Mars-sized object, primordial soup, and evolution, it makes me wonder just how fair He is to actually create sin and death, and then let Young Earth Creationists blame themselves falsely.

    Moreover, it says something about His logic to spend millions of years using mistakes on His own design (i.e. mutations and nondisjunctions) and creatures behaving with violence (or “competition”), sexual immorality (or “reproduction”), cowardice (or “survival strategy”), and indulgent behavior (or “basic survival”) to make a species to which those behaviors are forbidden by Him and who represent His greatest creation (no other animal has science and religion and the arts).

    Moreover, it would make him a liar or tolerant of lies (there’s not really that much of a difference), in that he either told Moses wrong (when Moses wrote Genesis) or let Moses tell the ancient Hebrews wrong. The belief that God caused evolution was made not based on any science or reason but in an attempt to compromise two extremes (those who are not theistic evolutionists will recognize that I put the basic concepts of “micro-evolution” in those terms as a convention to contrast a supposedly holy God with a creation-method that is, as stated above, morally offensive (but can’t help itself there)).

    Also, most Creationists of any kind accept “micro-evolution”, or the belief that things adapt and compete to survive. Creationists mostly have a problem with the belief that this can in any way rearrange or otherwise change the species (“macro-evolution”). Nobody has been able to prove that a species can change into one or more different species by citing instances that occurred without deliberate human interference. It is merely a logical sequitur of “micro-evolution”.

    The other thing Creationists have a problem with is an interpretation of the fossil record based on an evolutionary viewpoint. It is more broken and fragmented than Evolutionists would like to suppose, and Evolutionists normally do not take into account the possibility that some disaster(s) occurred to mess with the fossil record (e.g. a sudden burst of radiation from space would’ve both created and decayed radioactive materials, making things seem older than they were, a global seismic phenomenon such as a flood or earthquake would’ve displaced fossils, volcanic eruptions would’ve destroyed them, so on).

    Also, scientists who date fossils normally assume that the process of whatever dating method they’re using wasn’t interrupted, and assume that fossilization occurs slower than it does (it really doesn’t take longer than a few decades—people have found fossilized clocks and miner’s hats). Dating methods in general have already been addressed.

    Comment by Andrew — February 6, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

  50. I challenge all of you , creationists and evolutionists alike , and especially the author , to actually read the book written by Charles Darwin “The Origin of Species” on evolution . You can not argue about a topic that you do not know all the information about !! if you do read the book you will see that the majority of the book is detailing the many objections that people could have against his view and very little of it actually has solid (and by that i mean physical, not just hypothetical) proof. Now in Darwin’s time most of his hypothesis’ were accepted simply because they sounded logical , however we have since then learned a lot about genetics.
    Micro-evolution is only changing WITHIN a certain species which as we know is 100% possible. However Macro-evolution requires one type of species to be able to change into a Totally Different type of species.
    With our knowledge of genetics we can now see that for macro-evolution to actually work there would have to be a process that ADDS information to the creatures genetic codes because the creature would have to be able to unlimitably change. I’m afraid i can’t explain this very well since i am not a scientist, which is why i suggest you read the book and do some serious research .
    As you will see if you do do some research(and i do mean research not just googleing it) Macro-evolution started out as a hypothesis and even after almost 200 years of research is still a unconfirmed hypothesis . In fact there is so little evidence supporting it that it never even advanced to a theory. now im sure there will be many arguments over this , however like i said earlier don’t argue about things that you do not know all the information about. If you ask a serious (and honest ) scientist or even better a Paleontologist , they will have to admit that it is definitely in no possible way a fact like people make it out to be.
    another thing that our knowledge of genetics show us is that Homology is in fact not possible , if you do not believe me research it there is actual physical proof against it !!

    One more point i would like to make it about the fossil record , now this is something else that it would be good to research as there is a lot of controversy over it. Now im not sure of the exact time , but nearly a hundred years ago a man discovered that in the lowest levels of rock where there was supposed to be only the simplest of life forms from the beginning of time ( this was a big part of the evidence for evolution ) there were in fact complex life forms of EVERY kind . this means that for evolution to work everything would have had to appear at the EXACT same time , no millions and billions of years , no all at the same time !!! Now this man kept the evidence of this hidden for 80 Years. and even when the information was released people simply ignored it , textbooks published today still sometimes ignore this fact simply because it doesnt fit with their beliefs

    Thank you for reading this , I apologize if i bored you or if i offended you , on that note i’m afraid that whoever the author is I am going to offend you on purpose

    and again i will repeat do research before you argue because i have done my research and can knock any arguments you make

    Comment by Melkiu — February 7, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

  51. @Melkiu–you sound like a fellow Creationist of some kind. However, I am going to have to challenge you to avoid making your arguments sound like a rant (à la CAPITAL LETTERS and stating/implying that other participants in the debate are completely ignorant).

    Comment by Andrew — February 8, 2013 @ 2:07 am

  52. “You give the awful impression, I hate to have to say it, of someone who hasn’t read [and understood] any of the arguments against your position, ever.”

    (Square brackets added)

    Comment by Hobjob — February 8, 2013 @ 7:05 am

  53. @Andrew Thank you for telling me i was ranting and i would like to sincerely apologize for doing so , i tend to get caught up in things i feel strongly about, i will strive not to do so in the future and if i do so please tell me. I would also like to clear up that i was not commenting on any previous comments but simply on the original article. after reading the previous comments i realize that i was getting into the middle a debate and would just like to say that my comments are not in reference to the debate and i apologize for making it seem so and for offending anyone (or everyone) in the process. Im afraid it was a wrong move on my part to say some of the things i said and especially in the way i said them i also apologize for that , one of my many faults is not thinking before i speak and this is a classic case, please understand that i had no desire to offend anyone i was simply caught in the moment , i repeat that i will strive not to do it agian.

    @ hobjob again i was not commenting on any arguments simply on the article but also again i did it in the wrong way and in doing so ruined my whole argument , I would also like to thank you for being honest in saying what you said and i will try not to give that impression again
    that being said i would like to add that i do understand what i am talking about , I have honestly done a lot of research . so my question to you is – have you read the book? or better yet have you done a study on genetics??

    Comment by Melkiu — February 8, 2013 @ 9:22 am

  54. “i do understand what i am talking about”

    No – you believe that you understand, but believe me you do not understand.
    Sadly the closed mind and lack of critical thinking of creationists is not amenable to logical argument because of inburnt pre-suppositions.

    It is time we rid ourselves of the tired circular argument of
    ” –> its in the bible –> the bible is inerrant –> my pastor/parents told me it is true –> it says it in the bible –>”.

    There are masses of things that are in the bible that are not true or are no longer believed/followed even by the majority of christians. There are heaps of contradictions.

    The order of creation (which in any case varieschapter by chapter); non-virgins on their wedding night must be stoned; god ordered the killing of Amelikites children and infants; a bat is a fowl; insects have four legs; the world is not flat; the firmament is not held up by four pillars; Jesus came with the sword to split families; the dead did not rise from their graves and run round Jerulsalem after the crucifixion; pray on your own, not in public like hypocrites; animals can be bred to form stripes and speckles if you put sticks near their troughs; speaking snakes and donkeys; sell all your belongings and have no thought for the morrow; the second coming did not occur in the apostles lifetimes; slavery; women’s suffrage; Jonah lived for three days in a whale (or fish if you prefer) etc., etc..

    Yes I have read Darwin’s book (when it was republished to celebrate his anniversary about 18 months ago) cover to cover and so too the Bible. To be honest ‘on the origin of the species’ is not that accessible to readers of modern English and I did not enjoy it. Also, I have read most of Dawkins, several twice as I have needed to re-inforce my memory. I suggest starting with Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, as it is concise and logical.

    Dawkins, The Greatest show on Earth, is also tremendous and try too ‘Evolution for Dummies’. A great series that I have learnt from on many different subjects.

    Then go on to Sagan, Gould, Mayr and Maynard Smith. Try IronChariots wiki which destroys Talk.Origins and Answersingenesis. The swelfish gene, climbing mount improbable and unweaving the rainbow are still classics – I bet they are still in print or available second hand on line.

    It is extraordinary how much Darwin got right 150 years ago, and how much modern evidence supports his basic idea.

    Darwin’s book is “_On_ the Origin of Species”….
    By Means of Natural Selection, or, the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

    You ask if I have done “a study on genetics”. No research no, but I have used genetics as part of my daily work.

    Comment by Hobjob — February 8, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

  55. you are right i simply think i understand but then again if you want to go deeper does anyone really understand anything ? i do try to stay open minded but again you are right in the way that i am often closed minded, I will try to improve on this in the future.
    on a different note i took a couple of courses on logic and in researching evolution there are very few logical arguments for it – if you name some i will gladly admit that i am wrong

    Question- why do you believe in evolution -> my science teacher said it was true -> my parents believe it -> it is a generally accepted theory -> all my friends believe it ,., most evolutionists are simply followers of the crowd and in that way just as closed minded as christians supposedly are

    I honestly never said i was a creationist, or a christian for that matter or that i had ever read the bible or knew anything about it , however i am flattered that you think i am. do you know any strong christians personally because it is not fair to stereotype , being a christian personally I can say that the whole bible is believed and accepted , and no not all of the rules in the Old Testement are followed because they were fulfilled when Christ came. now that may confuse you but im afraid im not very good at explaining things so if you would like that statement cleared up I advise going to a minister and while your there perhaps get to know some Christians personally you may be suprised by what you find out.
    I’m afraid i do not know what you are refering to in your paragraph on the order of creation but you have to understand that for the bible to be understood you have to keep it in context you cant simply use random parts that suit your purposes.
    i didnt like darwins book either and i have to agree with the modern english point it is rather tedious to try to understand what he is saying
    I will read Why Evolution is True as soon as i can as well as the other books you mentioned however keep in mind that not everything you read is true, just as you read the bible but decided that it was not worth believing i can read all the books supporting evolution in the world but simply write it off as myths.

    another slightly random question , have you ever read any devotionals on the bible or perhaps commentaries? it seems you are well versed in evolution but to refute Christianity you must be well versed in it as well.

    ps . the point was not the correct title but i apologize for misleading anyone.

    pps. sounds like an exciting job, so i assume you believe in either neo- darwinism or punctuated equilibrium or perhaps a new version of Darwin’s theory I have to admit i do not know if they have added to it at all recently

    ppps actually i would like to mention that have you ever observed that while evolution is constantly changing to fit new data , creationism has never changed?

    Comment by Melkiu — February 8, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

  56. @ Melkiu–Dont worry, everybody struggles with that. Even me. It takes me a while (5-15 minutes, at best) to come up w/ this stuff. & I’ve seen worse. Case in pt: comment #8.

    @ Hobjob–This will offend you, I’m afraid, but you really have no room to talk about in-burnt pre-suppositions. “Since life doesnt make me 100% happy all the time, and God would make me happy 100% of the time if He existed, there must be no God. Therefore the world was not created, and it came about by some kind of non-supernatural means. I will therefore explain everything on a basis of philosophical materialism.”

    And your list of things that Christians no longer believe is another example. Christians actually do believe that God had ancient Israelis kill Amalekites–and dont call God names because of it, learn about Amalekite rituals. Everyone had to go. The kids, too, or else they would’ve either grown up to do those same things, or they would’ve tried to get revenge (and thus destroy the Messianic Line), or they would’ve behaved themselves but felt inferior for being related to an immoral people.

    And on top of that, racism was cross-cultural standard operating procedure, God or not (same with slavery, and Hebrews were forbidden from being cruel to slaves). Religion is only tangentially the motive for human behavior (that is, it provides the excuse, not the motive). Research about all atrocities commited in the name of Science, in the name of Christianity, in the name of Islam, in the name of Communism, in the name of Nazism, in the name of Americanism, this list could go on…

    And they actually do believe about the “sticks”, and Jonah, and the risen dead people. The former and latter were miracles (God can do that, as with talking donkeys; unfortunately so can Satan, as with talking snakes) and since many believe dinosaurs et al lived with humans, the big fish was probably some kind of plesiosaur (whales and sharks are implausible candidates).

    “Sell your belongings”is actually “give your belongings”, and it w/ “pray on your own” & “stone non-virgins” (the latter also misunderstood: adulteresses were the victims, not widows or rape victims) are 2 rituals and a punishment, and therefore are variable culture to culture. The idea behind giving and not worrying is to stop being self-centered and entitled, and the idea about praying in private is to approach God with sincerity, which is more important than any question of publicity or lack thereof. Read Romans 14, about what matters and what doesnt to different people.

    Bats & insects: different language, different definition of “bird”. The Hebrew word used means “winged creature”. Bats weren’t mammals until more recent times. The ancients also didnt consider an insect’s backmost legs to be “legs” due to that insects use only the front 4 to actually walk.

    Flat earth and sky pillars: the Bible never specifies what the 3D shape of the world is, the closest thing is symbols used in poetic and prophetic passages. The sky is quite specified: it is an expanse, not a roof, and is not held up by pillars. The pillars are again symbolic, not literally meant. Neither issue is raised in the Creation story (which does have a specific order of events).

    Jesus with a sword? Again, symbolic. Christianity indeed has torn families apart like no other religion had up ’til then nor has since.

    Women’s suffrage was not an issue. Democracy wasnt in Israel at the time. It was a monarchy. And there were several notable women involved in Israel’s politics–Deborah the judge, who was a straight-up ruler; Queen Bathsheba, who helped Solomon secure his throne; Queen Athaliah, who usurped the throne; Queen Jezebel, who manipulated her husband the king; and Miriam, who was one of Moses’ lieutenants.

    People will say the Bible’s wrong because it’s either too childish or too gruesome, but God did not dictate it to anyone to provide a mellower version of mythology (or a less mellow version). He dictated it to the people in the Bible to teach us what’s wrong with the world, what the world was meant to be, and how to overcome the world, and what to do if we fail.

    Comment by Andrew — February 8, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

  57. You seem interested so I will reply, even though I may be
    feeding a troll ;-)

    1. Order of Genesis.
    Read the two accounts; they don’t agree, and the order
    is bizarre.
    Biblical scholars believe there were two (or more) writers.
    Light appeared on Day 1, the sun on Day 4?!!
    It surprises me that a practicing christian does not know this.

    2. “Why do you believe in evolution -> my science teacher said it was true -> my parents believe it -> it is a generally accepted theory -> all my friends believe it”

    Firstly that is _not_ a circular argument as in the example I posted.
    Secondly I delight in the beauty and simplicity of the logic.
    Thirdly, I have come to my own conclusions via my reading (see previous posts)
    and listening to debates.

    “i can read all the books supporting evolution in the world but simply write it off as myths”
    Facts and myths are not the same. You sound determined to have a closed mind.

    My previous phrase “inburnt pre-suppositions” seems confirmed.

    3. Evolution is not constantly changing to fit new data. New data fits evolution and so far evolution has passed, with flying colours, the scientific tests of repeatedly being challenged, and not failing.
    This is the scientific method at work. Wiki it.

    ” researching evolution there are very few logical arguments for it – if you name some i will gladly admit that i am wrong”
    – Try these headings from the top of this page.

    Age of the Earth and Its Fossils
    Comparative Anatomy
    Transitional Fossils
    Convergent Evolution
    Vestigial Traits
    Artificial Selection
    Evolution in Action
    Sexual Selection
    And The List Goes On…

    You have read the 101 arguments?

    4. I have read devotionals and christian literature; but not for some time.
    I listen to two apologetics podcasts weekly!

    “being a christian personally I can say that the whole bible is believed and accepted”
    So you accept all the things that I listed? Stoning to death non-virgins on their
    wedding night? Speaking snakes and donkeys? I could list many, many more.

    You might learn quite a lot by researching different denominations and their varying beliefs.
    Start with the eucharist.

    Also read about who wrote the torah / Pentateuch – traditionally claimed to be written
    by Moses it is now thought to be written by an amalgum of sources, known as
    the J, E, D and P sources.. ‘Who wrote the Bible’ by Friedman is fascinating on the documentary hypothesis and the lack of evidence for divine origins.
    It will change how you see the bible.

    Bart Ehrman (free eBook download) and David Fitzgerald will give you food for thought on the new testament.

    Good luck in your search.

    I’ll close with another Hitchism
    “Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.”

    Comment by Hobjob — February 8, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

  58. Andrew

    You are a great apologist – well done.
    No, you have not offended me.

    I am so pleased that you believe that the bible was ‘dictated to the people’ by god himself.

    Your post appeared whilst I was writing to Melkiu, hence curious reply order.

    Comment by Hobjob — February 8, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

  59. @Hobjob

    Re: Creation Order of Events—Yes, light can occur without the sun, à la many chemical reactions and electricity (and nuclear fission, their hyperactive combination). The sun uses nuclear fusion (the psychopath arch-nemesis of fission). Most people are perfectly aware that there was light before the sun. And “what most scholars think” is subject to change with new information, and therefore bears no permanent authority. Nobody can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was more than 1 author, and even if there was, they will never prove that God did not dictate it.

    Re: Why People Believe What They Believe—Again, atheistic evolutionists have as much bias and prejudice and make as many assumptions as Christians. They expect God to solve all their problems out of a sense of entitlement, and when they get disappointed, they conclude that he doesn’t exist. Also, since (as stated) atheistic evolutionism is the modern-day state religion, most people don’t even question it. Melkiu is right, they only believe because everybody else does, and none have any room to complain about Christian making in-burnt presuppositions.

    Re: Evolutionary Evidence—Many prove nothing. Most arguments I’ve made so far address them in generalized arguments. My arguments still remain unaddressed.

    Re: The Bible—Again, yes, it’s believable. It doesn’t have to be likable. Evolutionism is just as morally offensive as you portray the Bible. Try reading a study Bible.

    Comment by Andrew — February 8, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

  60. Im afraid i do not have enough time to properly comment but i do have a question that is not meant to be offensive to anyone even if it may seem that way

    Q. Do you consider evolution to be a religion or is it still simply a scientific theory?

    oh and i would like to thank @hobjob for basically calling me a closed minded simpleton, it is always good to know your weaknesses so you can work on them :)

    Comment by Melkiu — February 8, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

  61. @ Hobjob

    Last argument, I was in a hurry to get out the door, I did not see that last comment. I’m not sure how to take it, this is the internet, I do not see people’s facial expressions, body languages, tones of voice, or thoughts. If it was meant well, then my last comment did not acknowledge yours, so I apologize.

    “Dictated to the people” refers to the Pentateuch, most of which cannot in any case be from documents (e.g. the antediluvian civilization) and the books of prophecy, and the book Revelation ( I acknowledge that not all of these were dictated in the strictest sense of the word).

    @Melkiu–Since you asked, I will answer, tell me if you werent asking me.

    It’s both. Micro-evolution (observable changes within a species) is a fact. Macro-evolution (species changing into other species completely) is a hypothesis. Evolutionism (the belief that the universe as we know it formed slowly via natural processes) is a creation myth (à la Philip Freund). It was discussed and debated in several above comments (comments 43-46) the religious behaviors exhibited by people who dont consider themselves religious.

    Comment by Andrew — February 8, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

  62. I have a question about item #61 where you claim the shape of the penis evolved to remove the semen of other males. I can’t see how this would work except in cases of gang rape. Do you have any citations of published scientific papers to support this?

    Comment by Pedro — March 16, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

  63. Some people are just heart set on the literal meaning of the bible. In the end if they don’t have an answer, it is, “because god.” I find that it is just best to nod and smile. Then walk away knowing that less and less people are reading the bible literally and more are listening to the reason of the theory of evolution. Given a slightly more lenient translation of the bible, i.e. the six days are a metaphor for the big bang and evolution is the manifestation of god’s plan, both ideas the ideas of religion and evolution can coexist. I realize this is a hot topic and all the people who commented have their own opinions, but no matter what the idea of religion can’t be completely proven disproven to everyone. I propose that we all live with our own ideas, instead of trying to verbally assaulting those in the comments that have differing opinions with such hostility.

    Comment by bill — March 20, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

  64. Hello Pedro,

    Sorry for the delayed response concerning your question about the shape of the penis serving to displace rival sperm. In the list item, I provided the following link:

    Secrets of the Phallus: Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?

    Which contains the following quote: ” the coronal ridge offers a special removal service by expunging foreign sperm. According to this analysis, the effect of thrusting would be to draw other men’s sperm away from the cervix and back around the glans, thus “scooping out” the semen deposited by a sexual rival.”

    I also highly recommend Mary Roach’s wonderful book “Bonk” which goes into great detail about the experiments conducted using models of penises and vaginas to measure the actual displacement of fluid.

    Comment by ideonexus — March 22, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

  65. @bill–Your argument does not take into account that followers of Abrahamic religions blame some things on Satan, and some things on Adam’s original sin. And it seems to me that you are using the word “lenient” to mean “that which agrees with what I believe, or at least undermines the face value of what I don’t believe.” See comment 49, my as yet unanswered argument against Theistic Evolution.

    And we can’t just “live with our own ideas,” humans are too curious to be satisfied with that. Also, there’s too much at stake. For example, our souls. What happens after death? Can we manipulate our afterlives before we face them? So on.

    My last point for this comment is that if you’re going to say anything in the Bible is symbolic, you should have a system of interpreting the symbols that is A. consistent with other biblical symbolism and B. consist with the non-symbolic passages of the Bible. Just saying it’s “symbolic” or “metaphorical” for something else opens the passage to any translation, destroying whatever the author had in mind when he/she wrote the passage, and every person who interprets the Bible symbolically/similar has a different interpretation.

    For instance, the Beast out of the Sea in Revelation 13 has been, at various times throughout history, the Roman emperors, the Pope or the Catholics in general, the Turks, any of many twentieth-century dictators, the Muslims, and any modern-day politician(s) one dislikes. It all depends on who you don’t like, and what you interpret the symbols to mean, and not one iota on what the Bible says (okay, maybe a half an iota. That’s optimistic, though).

    Comment by Andrew — March 25, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

  66. Could we have come from two beings sent from another planet???
    No religion here… just trying to understand why all this Muhammed / Jesus stuff is around….

    Comment by Jack — April 5, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

  67. @ Jack–Possibly, if you believe in the theory of ancient astronauts or similar.

    Comment by Andrew — April 8, 2013 @ 12:35 am

  68. Wonderful collection of information, for a layman. Known lot.

    Comment by Radhakrishnan — April 8, 2013 @ 10:46 am

  69. Another evidence for a young Earth made by God (and yes, credit goes to answersingenesis.org):

    The half-life of carbon-14 is 5730(±40) years. Which means if you have a quantity of C14 with the same mass of the Earth (5.97219 x 10^24 kg), it would be gone in less than a million years.

    Let’s say it’s gone through 130 half-lives (=744,900±130 to 5,200 yrs).
    (0.5)^130=7.34684 x 10^-40
    7.34684 x 5.97219 x (10^24) x (10^-40)=4.38767243796 x 10^-15

    In other words, after 745,030 to 750,100 years, the amount of C14 left would be 0.00000000000000438767243796 kg. Way less than a percent of a milligram.

    For 1 gram of C14 to be 1 million years old, there would have to have been 3.43380680994649 x 10^49 kg there to begin with. That’s approx 5.74966102877921 x (10^24) times the Earth’s mass.

    It makes matters worse that we have a lot more C14 in the world than 0.00000000000000438767243796 kg.

    Other half-life dating methods either have too short of half-lives to make a difference or have half lives too long to be credible beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s already hard to prove C14’s half life empirically, as nobody can sit around for 5690 to 5770 years observing and waiting for C14 to decay to half its original quantity. Try millions or billions of years (cough cough uranium, samarium, potassium, and rubidium). A refreshing exception would be the uranium-thorium method, but it’s still too long to observe.

    As to where the C14 came from, I would suggest a major event that causes radiation. If there was a global flood and the Earth’s atmosphere was thicker before the flood, the parts of the atmosphere that block radiation would be better at their job than they are now, and when the atmosphere expanded and decreased pressure during/after/shortly before the deluge, the amount of radiation reaching the Earth’s surface increased, which both created radioactive material and caused its then-rapid decay (except that theory borrows a lot already postulated from answersingenesis.com, and they might have already came up with it in its entirety. Here’s giving credit where it’s due if it’s due).

    Comment by Andrew — May 8, 2013 @ 11:43 am

  70. Andrew,

    First, thank you so much for posting a rational, mathematical argument. It’s a refreshing change from the purely philosophical and religious arguments found in this thread.

    You are correct that Carbon-14 decays too quickly to date fossils that are millions of years old; however, no one is using Carbon-14 for this purpose. The ratio of Carbon-14 to nitrogen-14 in plant fossils is only useful in dating archaeological sites up to 60,000 years old. While it’s true that no one can “sit around for 5690 to 5770 years observing and waiting for C14 to decay to half its original quantity,” we can sit around for a few minutes measuring the rate of decay (14 disintegrations per minute) and assume that the laws of physics have remained constant over tens of thousands of years to conclude the half-life of Carbon-14. The same goes for Uranium-lead dating, Samarium-neodymium dating, K–Ar dating, Rubidium-strontium dating, and Uranium-thorium dating.

    It’s often assumed scientists have no faith, but we do. In addition to our faith that the Universe can be understood rationally, we have faith that the laws of the universe remain constant–that the same physical laws we observe and measure empirically today were in effect millions of years ago. This means that if we make numerous, independent observations of a constant rate of decay in a mass of billions of atoms over a period of time, that we may infer the half-life of that element within a certain margin of error.

    Comment by ideonexus — May 8, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

  71. As usual, feel free to delete this comment if it seems rude.

    I agree, but it’s still a mystery where all this C14 comes from. I proposed a young-Earth theory for its solution, so I’ll now use an old-Earth theory, for fairness.

    According to this theory, the processes in the atmosphere that produce carbon-14 would increase or decrease with the atmospheric pressure, which is deducible from atmospheric moisture, i.e. in the Ice age, not much C-14 would have formed because the atmospheric pressure was greater, because there were huge glaciers in the polar regions and lush forests in the tropics.

    I would deduce that the atmospheric pressure was higher, so the atmosphere’s volume was lower, so the polar and equatorial moisture increases (respectively) were broader in range. Therefore the Ice age happened in the polar and subpolar regions and the tropical and subtropical regions were more fertile. The air was more humid, and so the production of C14 was faster, and “dropped” more C14 into organic material.

    Comment by Andrew — May 9, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

  72. Andrew,

    You’re comments are not rude at all. You are quite polite and collegiate, and I appreciate that. : )

    I’m afraid I’m not following your explanation for the origin of C-14 in the atmosphere and why atmospheric pressure would influence it. I’m not an expert on this subject by any means, but my understanding is that C-14 is produced in the atmosphere all the time by cosmic rays acting upon nitrogen. Because of this, there has always been a fairly steady amount of C-14 in the atmosphere until the 20th century, when neutrons from nuclear tests increased the levels of C-14 in the atmosphere .

    You might be able to formulate an argument that because nuclear blasts increased the levels of C-14, other past historical events may have done the same, which would taint Carbon Dating results; however, you would need to document other mechanisms for C-14 production, such as volcanoes or solar flares, and then show in the tree rings or elsewhere that there are other spikes of this isotope in history. It could be a fascinating area of research.

    Comment by ideonexus — May 9, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

  73. Thanks for the reassurance. As for my theory, I just noticed that I said in one line that the Ice Age didn’t produce C-14, then I said a few lines down that it did. Obviously, I’m not a professional scientist. Philosophy is more my thing. Either that or I shouldn’t theorize at all on an empty stomach…

    I ate a while ago, so I’ll take another shot. If the Earth is as old as evolutionists think, then I propose that every 26 to 32 million years, the comets and/or similar that tend to hit Earth at those times bring in extra cosmic rays. The atmospheric results of that temporarily disturb Earth’s atmosphere’s protective parts enough to let even more in. Therefore the C-14 production and decay increased during those times. The increase in decay works kind of like a nuclear reactor, the particles from one split atom going on to split the next, I think. Could be wrong, though; my last comment didn’t work out too well.

    Comment by Andrew — May 9, 2013 @ 11:02 pm

  74. […] http://ideonexus.com/2012/02/12/101-reasons-why-evolution-is-true/ […]

    Pingback by 3rd Response to response to Why there is no god | ironatheist's Blog — June 9, 2013 @ 10:03 am

  75. More than half of the info in this website has nothing at all to do with proving/disproving evolution. The FACT of the matter is humans evolving from lower life forms will never be proven, unless of course one can create a human from lifeless matter more than once, establishing scientific theory. Evolution is simply a theory, and ANYONE who says different is obviously not using true scientific method.

    Comment by Dave — June 10, 2013 @ 11:55 pm

  76. A Creationist saying that “Evolution is only/simply/merely/just a theory,” is like an Evolutionist saying that “Creationism is only/simply/merely/just a myth/superstition/religion.” Both are emotional statements, with negative emotions, in fact, and certainly not intellectual ones, which would sound emotionally neutral; both speakers are oversimplifying the matter (“only/simply/merely/just”); and both speakers obviously know nothing about their respective predicates of identification (i.e. Creationists who make that argument don’t know what a theory is, and Evolutionists with that argument haven’t studied mythology, religion, or superstition).

    Also, the theory of evolution is different from the story of evolution or the religion of evolution. The theory states that only the organisms with beneficial traits will survive and reproduce, and that the world is older than a few thousand years. The story states that life came from non-life slowly and gradually, and that humans are descended from ape-like creatures. The religion of evolution is not relevant.

    The point of the matter is that making a human from lifeless matter would be proof of God, not evolution. Proof of evolution would be accidentally duplicating what evolutionists suppose happen (in this order, making creatures similar to these, and descended from each other: molecules, cells, sea squirts, fish, salamanders, lizards, rats, monkeys, apes, humans), which is a lot more complicated than turning nonliving matter into fully functional humans.

    And finally, the scientific method is mostly irrelevant to the matter, in that it’s used to figure out how things work and not how things happened. We use records of some kind for that job.

    Comment by Andrew — June 11, 2013 @ 6:25 pm

  77. I have read every comment so I hope this will be original…

    First, the Miller-Urey experiment produced both left-handed and right-handed molecules in equal proportion. By contrast, we humans are homochiral…the same orientation for all such molecules. This means that beyond the arguments that the experiment was contrived (brilliant minds creating an experiment to mimic mindless randomness), the result never could have led to life as we know it.

    There is much debate on faith vs. science. The atheist position is “God, who cannot be seen or measured cannot exist.” The Christian states that “God, who cannot be seen or measured, exists and is involved in his creation, etc.” Both positions require faith. One cannot prove there is no God in a lab any more than to prove there is. They are assumptions that then guide our thinking and decisions.

    Please understand that the Christian has two options whereby to view evidence: “This came here by a an accumulation of random happenings over time”, or “This was evidently designed, implying a designer.” Respected Christians fall into both pro-Darwinian evolution and pro-Creation camps. We have the intellectual opportunity, as does an archaeologist or other forensic researcher, to say “which theory best fits this evidence?” The atheist, on the other hand, cannot consider alternate viewpoints. It has to be Darwinian evolution, because any hint to the contrary requires abandoning their faith assumptions (see previous paragraph). The Scientific Method flourishes when there are multiple considerations for each piece of evidence.

    There is another issue in some parts of the scientific community. We all know that at one time the earth was thought to be the center of the universe. Astronomy, then, was defined as “The study of how the sun and planets revolve around the earth.” The problem here is that asking the question in that way precludes us from getting to the right answer…that the earth and planets revolve around the sun. I have heard the study of origins defined as “Determining how life came to be in its present form through natural causes.” But this feeds the assumption that only natural causes could be responsible. I believe we must never rule out half of the possibilities because of our faith, whatever it is. It is why I read every of the 101 evidences and all of the comments on both sides.

    All feedback welcome. But consider whether you are willing to set your perspective on the table for a moment and “try on” the opposing viewpoint. It is a wonderful exercise whatever you end up concluding.

    Comment by Chris — June 19, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

  78. I would say you summed it up pretty good, both sides need a bit of faith to have true conviction of thier ‘theory’ and it appears neither will be ‘proven’ for quite a long time. I’ve noticed atheists get very offended when you point out that they have as much faith in thier science books as Christians have in their books. Whereas Christians revel in thier faith. Believers of evolution theory claim it is ‘science’ and fact, but any intelligent person can find as many holes as Swiss cheese within it.
    Noone will truly know how ‘it’ all started, and natural selection in same spieces may be provable, but thier just isn’t enough physical evidence showing ‘morphing into new speices’ type evolution, as far as I’m concerned.

    Comment by Chris — June 20, 2013 @ 1:26 am

  79. Chris writes:
    >The atheist position is “God, who cannot be seen or measured cannot exist.”>

    This is a complete misrepresentation of atheism, albeit a common one.

    Atheists have failed to find any credible evidence that a god exists after looking. It isn’t a matter of faith. If any credible evidence turns up atheists will of course have to re-evaluate their position. They are in effect all agnostics at the same time.

    Comment by Hobjob — June 20, 2013 @ 7:05 am

  80. Chris writes
    >I’ve noticed atheists get very offended when you point out that they have as much faith in thier science books as Christians have in their books.>

    Another common misapprehension that is way off the mark.

    For a start there are some scientists who are also Christians, so lets confine the argument to science books. I think you ought to start by researching the ‘scientific method’. How an early hypothesis is tested and tested until a scientific theory results – a scientific theory being very different in meaning to the the use of the word ‘theory’ in general conversation.

    So once something has been tested and retested and retested to exhaustion a scientific consensus results. But all the research and discussions that have gone on remain in the public domain for anyone to examine. At this point a scientific book may result. It is based on evidence that has been tested.

    Lets take a concrete example. In the 50’s and 60s rediacl maststectomy was considered the operation of choice for breast cancer – a large operation that involved dissection of the arm pit and removal of lymph notes from under the breast bone. It was traumatic and disfiguring.

    Subsequent research showed that a simple mastectomy (without all the dissection) gave the same results. Then with advance in radiotherapy and chemotherapy further research showed that simply removing the cancerous lump with chemo and radiotherapy either before or after also gave the same results.

    So a surgical textbook in the 50s and 60s wouod give a very different view on the treatment of breast cancer than a modern book to-day.

    Read Ben Goldacres, Bad Pharma: How drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients and/or Testing Treatments: Better Research for Better Healthcare and/or Bad Science. Here you will find one doctor objecting to the methods of others. This is scientifc debate.

    Now compare this process to writing of the Bible; in spite of contradictions, unknown authors, copies of copies of copies in variying languages, only fragments of many books, some books thrown out at various times ………………….. etc..

    Chris also wrote:
    >Believers of evolution theory claim it is ‘science’ and fact, but any intelligent person can find as many holes as Swiss cheese within it.>

    Please do critique the evidence – see if it can be shown to be wrong. So far this blog has failed to refute ryan at ideonexus.com.

    Finally, you need to differentiate between abiogensis – how actual life came into being – from evolution – how life once formed evolved into what we now see around us.

    Best wishes.

    Comment by Hobjob — June 20, 2013 @ 7:38 am

  81. @Hobjob Merriam-Webster defines an atheist, or atheism, thusly. Of course, if we all have our private interpretation of a term, it can mean what we want it to:

    a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
    b : the doctrine that there is no deity

    (a) involves the word belief; often called faith.
    (b) involves the word doctrine, most commonly used by the religious for a dogma on a certain topic.

    Merriam’s Concise Dictionary continues, defining atheism (noun) as;

    “Critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or divine beings. Unlike agnosticism, which leaves open the question of whether there is a God, atheism is a positive denial. It is rooted in an array of philosophical systems.”

    Hence my earlier comments that with no provable basis, the atheist decides there is no God, who by any definition is not visible or tangible. Finally, atheism, as Christianity, is “rooted in an array of philosophical systems.”

    It was not my intent to refute Ryan. I am currently considering the many compelling arguments he made, rather than make an immediate knee-jerk reaction. Please understand that such a reaction is common on “both sides” of the creation-evolution debate. I think there is a healthy need on “both sides” to walk a mile in the other man’s shoes.

    Comment by Chris — June 20, 2013 @ 8:08 am

  82. @Hobjob You are such a regular contributor to this blog. Thanks for making me consider my understandings and evaluate what I’ve always thought.

    As far as abiogenesis, I would challenge you in this. The nature of evolution is to describe how we got from earliest life to our current state by natural causes. It is inconsistent to then say “we have no idea how earliest life came to be.” Francis Collins (a Christian evolutionist and leader of the human genome project) goes as far as to say that God created earliest life and evolution took over from there. I trust most evolutionists would not agree with this stipulation.

    My limited research indicates that the complexity of early life makes a random origin implausible. What is the genome of the simplest known life form? How do we imagine that this much information, all correctly sequenced, came together at once? Any mutation would render such an organism or micro-organism unworkable.

    So I thnk if you cling to natural causes only, you have to take it back to the beginning and work forward. If the beginning (abiogenesis) doesn’t work, the theory of evolution has no foundation to build on. A bit like building a building starting with the second floor.

    And I should not have referred to the “Scientific Method”. Neither creation nor macro-evolution are reproducible in any laboratory. So we are left with forensics, which involves some guesswork and inference.

    Comment by Chris — June 20, 2013 @ 8:18 am

  83. Unfortunately, even though I myself am one, I don’t think Creationists revel in their faith as much as you seem to suppose, Chris. The Creationists seem intent on not only discrediting evolution but also they oblige themselves with reconciling science and the Bible somehow, which to me suggests that they have more faith in science than they do the Bible (you all will understand that here I refer to science as a belief system–I should actually say “modernism” or similar–and not as a method of obtaining knowledge).

    As for justifying this belief of mine, there are many kinds of Creationism that aren’t Young Earth Creationism: Old Earth Creationism, Historical Creationism, Theistic Evolution, Day-Symbolic Creationism, etc., which are actually all just saying God caused evolution. They just use different excuses to defend the lack of faith.

    I call it “lack of faith” because the person who holds that belief obviously has no faith in the Bible, they tossed it for the sake of “science”. However, they can’t have too much faith in “science,” either, for apparently with them evolution requires God. Forgive the joke, everybody, but personified Hegelian dialectic, you had one job…

    And even the Young Earth Creationists can’t help but use scientific evidence of some kind to support their view. Fortunately for their philosophical validity, a leading Young Earth Creationist named Ken Ham states that the Y.E.C.’s faith isn’t a blind faith, but a defensible faith.

    Comment by Andrew — June 21, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

  84. Also, Hobjob, I recognize that their are contradictions in the Bible, but they’re minor ones that ultimately don’t make a difference, and are easily reconciled. For instance, God told Abraham that the Israelis would be in Egypt 400 years, but the Bible later reports it as 430 years. That’s not a contradiction in the strictest sense; it’s God using round numbers.

    As a second example, some kings of David’s line are listed in the books 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, and 2 Chronicles, which are left out of Jesus’ legal genealogy in Matthew 1. That just means that Hebrew and Greek (from which the Bible was translated) work differently from English.

    Whereas evolution has one glaring contradiction which is essential to its validity. The theory as I remember it starts out by saying (or says close to the beginning), “A creature can only reproduce offspring similar to itself.” It later goes on to hypothesize about speciation, the idea that a species can turn into another species that can be quite unlike the original. The problem is that these two statements are not in agreement. Dinosaurs to birds, for example. There would be several in-between stages, and so it follows that at some point some dinosaur would lay an egg that hatched as something not like the dinosaur. This betrays the idea that a creature can only reproduce offspring similar to itself. It makes matters worse when there are no creatures contemporary with the one in question that are also similar to the one in question (I’m looking at gingkos).

    Also, my arguments against evolution in comments 29-31 remain unaddressed.

    Comment by Andrew — June 21, 2013 @ 11:48 pm

  85. […] http://ideonexus.com/2012/02/12/101-reasons-why-evolution-is-true/ […]

    Pingback by 2nd Response to Elijiah on Why there is no god | ironatheist's Blog — June 23, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

  86. Andrew,

    I think there are plenty of contradictions in the bible!! I Know Seth Andrew’s site the ‘Thinking Atheist’ has a list of some, so too the ‘secular web.’

    Off the top of my head:
    Where was Jesus born, did he and his family flee to Egypt, the death of Judas, Jesus’ last words, colour of Jesus’ robe on the way to crucifixation, who was present when he first appeared to the ladies, etc. etc. I always smile when the the paternal lineage of Jesus is brought up – according to the bible it had nothing to do with Joseph,. but his lineage is quoted.

    Abiogenesis is dealt with well by Wikipedia.

    Your arguments in 29-35 and in your last answer are best answered by people reading widely on the web, especially wikipedia which has its own built in peer review system.

    Ken Ham is not a good example to use – I gather he has a dinosaur with a saddle on in his creation museum as he believes that humans and dinosaurs co-existed.

    I shall be away for some time,

    Comment by Hobjob — June 24, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

  87. @Hobjob

    The four Gospels are documents written in primarily prose form that purport to describe true events. Earliest copies go back to within a few decades of when the events happened. Furthermore, no extra-biblical indications have been made which point to any factual errors in the the Gospels. Research the subject, if you don’t mind, and forgive me if that sounds insulting. As for the Gospels, they are obviously historical documents, and any contradictions they have are minor and secondary and easily reconciled, and have no real bearing on the general message of Christianity. At least, when we look at the two different accounts of Hannibal in the Alps that appear in secular literature, that rule appllies (i.e. the secondary and minor details can contradict). In fact, if they were all 100% alike, you’d be accusing them of plagiarism.

    The basic message of Christianity is that God made us; He loves us; we sinned against him; we deserve all the evil and pain that came as a result; He wants better for us; He became the man Jesus Christ to take our sins away; Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died by crucifixion, resurrected, and ascended into heaven, and He will return one day to finish his work. If any part of the Bible contradicts that message, or if that message contradicts itself, I’m wrong. However, neither instance is true, and minor details that contradict aren’t enough to bring the entire thing down.

    As for the particular example of Joseph’s genealogy, that only signifies that Jesus is legally descended from Solomon (adoption counts). Hence, he may not be a descendant of Solomon biologically, but he is still Solomon’s legal heir. The lineage through Mary described in Luke proves that he still is descended biologically from David.

    Furthermore, yes, Ken Ham does believe that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. So do I. What effect does that have on his credibility? Dr. Oz is a Muslim, and few to none question his credibility. Einstein was Jewish. Sir Richard Owen, Sir Isaac Newton, and other famous scientists were Creationists. Do we denounce them as not credible? Nope. What someone believes about the origin of the world should have no effect on their credibility.

    Also, the question of whether ancient schoolchildren rode a Triceratops or not to and from schools and field trips (figuratively speaking) is irrelevant. I quoted that he said that the Christian faith is a defensible faith.

    And a bunch of contrived experiments does not prove that life comes from non-life.

    Comment by Andrew — June 26, 2013 @ 12:03 am

  88. >>>Furthermore, no extra-biblical indications have been made which point to any factual errors in the the Gospels. Research the subject, if you don’t mind, and forgive me if that sounds insulting.>>>

    It is hard to understand that the Sun stopping for a couple of hours, sudden blackness in the middle of the day (and there was no eclipse), an unrecorded census, an earthquake, graves opening and people coming back to life and wandering around Jerusalem – all failed to get recorded.
    There was such a lack of non-christian evidence that Josephus was hacked to provide some.

    >>>Furthermore, yes, Ken Ham does believe that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. So do I. What effect does that have on his credibility? >>>

    It should have everything to do with their credibility and ability to follow logic.
    That you don’t think it matters is a problem.
    I know that belief in creationism is widespread in USA (?45%). This leaves people on this side of the pond open-mouthed and amazed at such scientific illiteracy. Try reading Dawkins’ early books, the ones before he became so outspoken about atheism. ‘The selfish gene’, ‘climbing mount improbable’ and ‘the blind watchmaker’ – if read with a proper open mind of the learner, creationism can not be supported. He writes in such a simple style it is easy to follow – he was after all professor of communication in science (or something like that). Evolution for Dummies (not really intended for dummies!) and Gerry Coyne’s ‘why evolution is true’. I liked Dawkins’ book on evolution too, but its better to read around different authors.

    >>>Also, the question of whether ancient schoolchildren rode a Triceratops or not to and from schools and field trips (figuratively speaking) is irrelevant.>>>

    No it is highly relevant. If someone is trying to tell children that this is what happens it brings into doubt everything that they claim. To mislead children is terrible and very sad.

    >>>And a bunch of contrived experiments does not prove that life comes from non-life.>>>

    I agree, which is why I said we don’t know (yet – I doubt we will in my life). You use ‘the god of the gaps’. I find that intellectually unsatisfactory.

    Kind regards

    Comment by Hobjob — June 26, 2013 @ 6:03 am

  89. 1. Few examples you used are mentioned in the Gospels. Those that are also are not discredited by extra-biblical sources. The census is generally believed to have happened 4 to 7 years before A.D. 1. And Josephus wrote his works long after the eyewitnesses died out, so his works are irrelevant.

    2. Why should one’s beliefs destroy or create one’s scholarly credibility? Arguing that is philosophical bias, for that automatically destroys the credibility of all scientists who also happen to be Creationist. The findings of Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Richard Owen, Sir Isaac Newton, and Galileo Galilei are now discredited. It also makes 100% credible non-scientists who slam religion (such as every celebrity who supports evolution).

    That you think it does matter speaks of some prejudice or similar.

    3. The “open mind of the learner” also sees that evolution cannot be supported. The fossil record is a more of a mess than evolutionism predicts, there are no verifiable examples of beneficial mutations that affect chromosomal maps or anatomy, many half-lives of radioactive substances frequently used in dating fossils and artifacts are not verifiable with direct observation, and there is still the contradiction of similar reproduction vs. speciation. On top of that, Pasteur showed that spontaneous generation is impossible, so the primordial soup theory is invalid. There are too many variables and requirements.

    4. The dinosaurs and humans argument is irrelevant. You were the first to bring it up, and only to damage Ken Ham’s credibility with his (and my) beliefs, which I have already stated is bad grounds for discrediting. I was quoting his belief that faith is not a blind faith, but a faith that makes the unseen seen.

    Comment by Andrew — June 27, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

  90. […] http://ideonexus.com/2012/02/12/101-reasons-why-evolution-is-true/ […]

    Pingback by Why Christianity is a lie | ironatheist's Blog — July 26, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

  91. […] & THE TRUTH OF #42 “DINOSAURS INTO BIRDS” REVEALED.  Pedopenna to Anchiornis to Scansoriopteryx to Archaeopteryx to Confuciusornis to Sinosauropteryx to Eoalulavis to Ichthyornis – Source […]

    Pingback by Myth of Evolution Exposed | The Official ?pirit WorldThe Official ?pirit World — July 31, 2013 @ 10:10 am

  92. @Hobjob (Entry #88)
    Two thoughts…I suspect any explanation of anything involving God will be unsatisfactory to you. That’s your bias approaching the topic, and I understand.

    Secondly, you mention that “God of the Gaps” is unsatisfactory to you. Again, I understand. But so is what I call “Darwin of the Gaps”. It goes like this: We see a great progression of species. We only ever OBSERVE micro-evolution, small incremental changes within a species that result in another member of that species (breeding dogs/cats/etc.). But we have to explain macro-evolution, so we surmise that enough micro-evolution must somehow turn into macro-evolution, because it just has to.

    Finding a progression of species is an argument for both evolution and creation…we are similar to chimpanzees by design, one might say, as they encounter the same atmosphere, food supply, etc. as we do. But macro-evolution has to be inferred as a mechanism because it can’t be duplicated or measured.

    Comment by Chris — August 21, 2013 @ 12:13 am

  93. @Clemens

    1. The Bible does preach young Earth. Probably not as young as 6000 years (my personal best guess would be 6500 years, rounded to the nearest 500-year-unit), but still young. There is no definite evidence beyond reasonable doubt within the book of Genesis that a previous world existed between the first two verses of Genesis. The only evidence anyone has used for that idea is poetical passages from some later books in the Old Testament. The notion also contradicts the standard Biblical logic that sin, death, pain, and God’s wrath are results of the Fall and did not exist before the Fall.

    2. Why would God want people to not believe and trust Him? His whole entire plan revolves around getting a relationship with the human race–hence the call of Abraham, the first four Commandments, the prophets, and sending Jesus Christ. If God did not have in His plans at least giving the opportunity to everyone to believe and trust, then the Bible would have no verses like John 3:16-21 or Romans 3:23-24,29 or 10:13 of the same book.

    3. The rest, I agree. However, a later writer wouldn’t have included more information, he would have made more stuff up.

    Comment by Andrew — August 21, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

  94. It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to close comments on this post. This article is simply a collection of facts that, when taken as a whole, offer extremely strong evidence for the evolution of all life on planet Earth over billions of years. That’s all it is, a collection of empirical evidence.

    It is not a critique on religion. Nowhere in this blog post do I make any reference to religion. I was hoping for an engaging discussion of the science here, but too many comments in this thread deal with the existence of god or the validity of Christianity, and are therefore completely off-topic. I do occasionally write about my Secular Humanism, and I welcome everyone to post about religion on those articles, but this is not the proper place for a discussion about religion.

    Comment by Ryan Somma — August 21, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

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