Reasons Why Evolution is True

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Across the next 10 articles, I present a few of the quirky examples of evolution that we can readily observe in nature. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but merely a set of stories which I feel illustrate well the power of evolution to create complexity, and how we can see evidence for natural selection by looking carefully at the idiosyncrasies it has produced.

The examples I provided in this series can be broadly categorised into a few themes; coevolution (Fig Wasps and Hawk Moths), evolutionary constraints on adaptation (Pandas, The Human Eye), convergent evolution (Birds and Bats), adaptive radiation (Galapagos Finches, Ring Species) and homology (DNA and the Pentadactyl Limb). And within each of these categories, there are numerous other stories I could have told to illustrate my point. But the point I am trying to illustrate is that evolution is a real phenomenon. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is one which explains the natural world around us in both a satisfying and verifiable way.


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9 comments on “Reasons Why Evolution is True

  1. As stephen Hawking said, the concept of true can not be applied to theories. For example the “germ theory of disease” is clearly not true and has been falsified in almost all of its aspects in numerous ways. That does not mean that it is not useful. And it can be chopped into smaller parts so that we can say that “disease X is caused by agent Y, under circumstances 1,2,3 …)

    The theory of evolution is useful, and can be falsified. The idea of creationism (I almost spelled cretionism) can not be falsified, so it is not a valid scientific theory. As Wolfgang Pauli said, it is not even wrong.

  2. To say “evolution is fact” is just as ignorant and small minded as saying creationism is fact. Neither can be proved true beyond a reasonable doubt. Yes evolution has many things leaning towards fact, but it has just as many or more leaning it towards false. Keep an open mind to any and all possibilities in life because as science is proving, it is all really still a mystery.

    • I will have to respectfully disagree with you there. It is a basic tenant of the scientific method that nothing can be proven to be true, only proven to be false. However the theory of evolution IS a falsifiable hypothesis and one that has withstood decades of rigorous testing from multiple angles. At every opportunity, evolution has not been falsified despite the best attempts of evolutionary biologists and creationists alike. It is simply not true that there is as much evidence for as against – in fact there is NO evidence found yet that has falsified the theory of evolution. That evidence may one day arise, and if that happens biologists will have to accept a major paradigm shift and we will develop new hypotheses to explain this new evidence.

      But at this time, to say evolution is fact is as bold a statement as saying that gravity is fact. It began as a hypothesis, but after withstanding many decades of testing, it remains the best explanation we have for the world around us. Gravity is fact, just as much as evolution is.

  3. Evolution true?
    Q: How did atoms (which have no intelligence) figure out all the instructions to form a human brain, eyes, ears, teeth, bones, heart, muscles, blood, skin etc. by themselves, and encode all these instructions in DNA?
    A: They couldn’t have.

    Evolution is a fraud.

    • Hi Andrew,

      Thanks so much for your comment! That’s a great question. It is difficult to study the origins of life to answer these types of questions, so scientists have several theories, but they all focus around the idea that the earliest ‘life’ on earth was formed from very simple molecules. These simple molecules formed by chance – and this part of the process we’ve been able to synthesise in the laboratory – into nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. Of course it takes a very long time for this to happen by chance, but life had time – around half a billion years, we think. So eventually, after many many different nucleotide chains had formed and broken up, over millions of years, eventually one arose by chance that could replicate itself – it’s shape just so happened to allow it to catalyse it’s own replication. This wasn’t too complicated, since it was only quite a simple chain of simple molecules. But that was enough to set evolution in motion. Once self-replicating ‘organisms’ existed, passing on their sequence to their offspring, natural selection could step in to optimise the process, producing molecules that were better and faster at replicating themselves. Over time, these molecules started synthesizing other things, like a cell wall to protect themselves and keep their food to themselves. Although some people think it was more likely RNA than DNA that encoded the first life on Earth, you can see that no intelligence was required to produce it, and that this sequence underpinned life right from the start. The code has been honed carefully over many many iterations so that it now produces not just simple cell walls, but complex proteins, signalling molecules and so on, which orchestrate multicellular development, pattern tissues and regulate and entire human body.

      Of course, evolution is not a fraud – a fraud perpetuated by whom and to what end? Evolution is a tested a verified theory that explains the world around us, much like the theory of gravity.

      Thanks for reading,
      Claire

      • Hi Claire,
        Life can only come from life. Abiogenesis is false. (They never mention that in evolution text books.)
        Abiogenesis is the foundation stone that evolution stands on, which means evolution can’t even get started. You conveniently ignore that crucial fact. Do you dispute that fact?
        Can non-living matter spontaneously transform into living matter? Answer: No.
        Researchers have NEVER been able to demonstrate non-living matter spontaneously transforming into living mater, despite many attempts over several decades in laboratories all over the world. Miller-Urey never produced any living cells. Nobody has. However, you just dismiss that massive problem, with blind confidence that given enough time, anything is possible. Okay then, given enough time, pigs will grow wings – it just takes time. Thus evolution could be summarized in 3 words: Pigs will fly.

        Evolution is a fraud, promoted by people who refused to admit the facts of life.
        When the truth is inconvenient, evolutionists discard the facts.
        Can a universe form by itself from nothing? No. Nothing = no thing.
        Where did all the matter (and energy to form the matter) originate from? You have no answer.
        The law of conservation of energy, has to be discarded in order to start the universe from nothing. As if.

        Evolution is not a tested theory. Rather, it’s a faith opinion, by people who live in denial of the real world laws of chemistry and physics.

  4. I’m an oddball. I believe in evolution and creation. And I do have my reasons.
    I remember my first biology lecture on, of course, the origin of life. Well-known ‘science-y’ university, not religious, not at all Bible Belt. About halfway in, someone (Was it me? I can’t quite remember.) asked a question and from that point it just wouldn’t stop. Questions from all over the theatre. The professor ended up lifting her hands as if fending off an attack (though it wasn’t anything like that, merely widespread dissatisfaction with the provided explanation of life’s origins) and finally said something like, “Yes, yes! I know! But it’s the best explanation we have!” Students kept asking their questions until the lecture’s end when an assistant professor joined her on stage against the tightening circle of enquiring minds. It was wonderful. After all I’ve learnt about the origins of life, one thing hasn’t changed: it’s still one of the biggest mysteries in this universe. Scientists and religionists should view the question with the humility appropriate to beings made up of cellular machinery that’s smarter than we are :)

  5. Please turn your theory of eveolution into a LAW. That would solve this whole debate. They don’t do it. Why? Because they can’t.

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