Evidence for evolution
Science benefits us everyday. Knowing how the world works helps us to better our lives and gives us meaning and purpose. Understanding where we stand in the grand scheme of life and why we exist makes all the difference in how we live and how we view those around us. However, certain views on science and existence, specifically views on evolution, have been falsely interpreted to a relatively high degree. The more clear the truth is and the more evidences upholding and contradicting evolution are brought into the light, the closer we will be to understanding the world around us.
Natural selection is one of the basic foundations of evolution. It is a principle formulated by Charles Darwin to explain the means as to how a single organism can develop enough as to "evolve" into an entirely new organism or even species. Natural selection is defined as: "A process resulting in the survival of those individuals from a population of animals or plants that are best adapted to the prevailing environmental conditions. The survivors tend to produce more offspring than those less well adapted, so that the characteristics of the population change over time, thus accounting for the process of evolution." In other words, organisms adapt to the environment around them by changing their physical appearances. Natural selection dictates that their is a "kill or be killed" survival instinct in all organisms that allows them to adapt to their surroundings. This method of adaptation is how Darwin explains how species were gradually able to form new species over millions of years from one common cellular ancestor. However there are some problems with this principle. For instance, common features that evolutionists like to point to are offensive and defensive structures such as horns, venom, barbs, antlers and claws as being an obvious product of natural selection because of their survival purposes. There are organisms such as a simple fruit that Darwin claims to have developed from the same cellular ancestor. Take a strawberry for example. If there is a "survival of the fittest/ adapt or be killed" law that dictates natural selection and is innately coded into all organisms, then something like a strawberry should have adapted to survive and defend itself by developing some sort of poison or barb or shell. However it remains a completely exposed strawberry. This goes for all other "defenseless" organisms. If natural selection really existed at the rate that would allow evolution of all species from one ancestor, these organisms would have been weeded out and eliminated, since they are weaker than the others. Even the idealism behind natural selection is something to be question. It states that the fittest are those who survive but also "those who survive are deemed fittest." It all seems to boil down to total circular reasoning, a tendency that almost always appears when studying the defense of evolution.
While Charles Darwin was on a research mission in the Galapagos Islands, he made an important discovery that would rock the science and evolutionary world forever. Or did he? The HMS Beagle set out from England in late December of 1831 for South America and, eventually, the Galapagos islands. Charles Darwin was working as the ship's naturalist and was there to observe the species there and take samples back to study. Research performed there and the species Darwin brought back to England were instrumental in the formation of a core part of the original theory of evolution and Darwin's ideas on natural selection which he published in his first book On the Origin of Species. Darwin specifically focused in on a group of finches which, although nearly identical in all other ways to mainland finches, had different beak structures than that of those in the developed portions of the surrounding countries. Darwin's research concluded that their beaks had adapted to the type of food they ate in order to fill different niches on the Galapagos Islands. This basically "proved" that, given enough time and means, species will evolve. However is this what we should conclude from these discoveries? While it is false that species are immutable, meaning unable to evolve, this was held as truth at the time. Animals and plants are able to adapt in such a way that they can change certain characteristics. However, Darwin later implies in his book that this is how organisms came to being which is simply untrue. Darwin's mistake was that he simply inferred from his observations of the finches that an organism has an unlimited adaptive power, and could therefor morph into a completely new organism. However, he used only his observations of beaks, tails and plumage to base this assumption. Any organism can vary, just because a species has different features does not mean that they are turning into a completely different species. Assuming that because a handful of birds have different beaks means they are becoming different individual species is ridiculous. It like saying that because someone from Africa and someone from America have different skin colors then they are becoming a different species. Basically, Darwin's whole theory of evolution was based upon observations that were completely assumed and generalized.
The Fossil Record
The fossil record is another tool that evolutionists use to back up evolution as fact. The Biology Online Dictionary defines the fossil record as: "The totality of fossilized artifacts and their placement within the earth's rock strata."It is generally thought of by evolutionists as a "window into the past" or a method of interpreting the different stages of the earth's life. However while consistently being used in arguments against creation, as well as teaching the fossil record as a factual way of determining the earth's age, even the evolutionists themselves have shown doubts as to its authenticity. Even Charles Darwin himself revealed doubts in the capabilities of the fossil record. He stated "But just in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? ...The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record." These "intermediate varieties" that Darwin refers to are today known as intermediate or "bridge" species. These are the species in the fossil record that should demonstrate how certain species were able to evolve into an entirely new species. These include the changes from reptiles to birds, apes to man, fish into mammals, and single celled organisms into fish. Darwin believed though these intermediate species had not yet been found in his time, they would emerge in years to come.
Darwin Has high hopes for the future but are his expectations for an intermediate, gap bridging species. But were his hopes met? On multiple occasions an intermediate species appeared to have surfaced, bringing immense excitement and publicity to the scientists who discovered them. However, there seem to be several pressing issues with these specimens. The most famous intermediate fossil is a bird-like reptile called the Archaeopteryx or Urvogel (meaning first bird). It was thought to live in the late Jurassic age and originally known as the bridge between reptiles and birds. Evolutionists have argued whether birds evolved "from the ground up" or "from the trees down." This means they either evolved through leaping for pray and flapping or gliding from trees and developing feathers. However as more and more problems, such as questionable reptilian features, a full bird-like lung system and hollow bones, eventually led scientists to question the authenticity of the Archaeopteryx being a true intermediate species. In Eichstätt, Germany, in 1984 there was a major meeting of scientists who specialize in bird evolution, the International Archaeopteryx Conference. They disagreed on just about anything that was covered there on this creature, but there was very broad agreement on the belief that Archaeopteryx was a true bird. This agreement was kept on the down-low and evolutionists continue to use it strongly as proof of evolution, and even today there are no examples of living or fossil scales that resemble a feather at all.
An Evolutionist's view on evolution and its evidence, simply put:
- Natural Selection Harper Collin's English Dictionary. Last accessed December 3, 2016. Unknown Author
- Adaptive Radiation: Darwin's Finches PBS. Last accessed December, 3 2016. Unknown Author.
- Tornado In A Junkyard: The Relentless Myth of Darwinism. Burlington, MA: Refuge Books, 2003. pg 57. Print. Perloff, James.
- Charles Darwin's Fnches About Education. Last accessed December, 7 2016. Scoville, Heather.
- Tornado In A Junkyard: The Relentless Myth of Darwinism. Burlington, MA: Refuge Books, 2003. pg 45-46. Print. Perloff, James.
- Fossil Record Biology Online. Web. Unknown Author last modified June, 24, 2009.
- On the Origin of Species. London, England: John Murray, 1859. pg 280. Print. Darwin, Charles.
- Archaeopteryx Wikipedia. Web. last modified January 5, 2017. Unknown Author.
- Wieland, Carl. Bird evolution flies out the window Creation.com. Web. last accessed January 5, 2017.)