Okay first things first, a Scientific Theory is the best explanation that is supported by “ALL” of the evidence and provides the most plausible explanation of the observations of that evidence. Now most Creationist and Intelligent Design proponents have a specific set of arguments to support their position and in fact they are quite dedicated to these arguments, okay lets examine them and compare them to the actual data and facts.
One of the major arguments is that evolution is the only explaination of how life evolves once it “Already Exists” and does not account for the “Formation of Life”. Wrong!
The study of the origin of life has been a scientific pursuit for many centuries, by the 1950’s enough progress had been made that a logical approach, based on current knowledge, was devised. Around the world at this time, the scientific community was examining what kind of environment would be needed to allow life to begin. In 1953, Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey, working at the University of Chicago, conducted an experiment which would change the approach of scientific investigation into the origin of life.
Miller/Urey took molecules which were believed to represent the major components of the early Earth’s atmosphere and put them into a closed system . Within days of starting the experiment the liquid changed colors and an analysis was performed of the liquid and amino acids were found, the basic building blocks of life itself. This occurred in about a 1 week period using the most basic components found on the early earth, methane, ammonia, water and hydrogen and then ran an electric current thru it.
Juan Oro, in 1961 found that amino acids could be made from hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and ammonia in an aqueous solution. He also discovered that his experiment produced an amazing amount of the nucleotide base, adenine. Adenine is biologically significant as an organic compound because it is one of the four bases in RNA and DNA. It is also a component of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which is a major energy releasing molecule in cells.
Some have leveled criticism at the Miller/Urey experiment because of the assumptions made about a continuous electrical current used in the experiment and the assumption of the content of the atmosphere at that period in earths formation. However meteorites recover from many locations around the world have been shown to contain amino acids, the most notable was one in Australia contained over 90 amino acids.
Either provides more than sufficient evidence to explain the formation of the building blocks of life.
So where did life come from? Evolution, I know its a dirty word to its opponents but the facts is that life evolved in stages and over hundreds of millions of years.
- Stage 1: The origin of biological monomers
- Stage 2: The origin of biological polymers
- Stage 3: The evolution from molecules to cell
The next major argument is that “NO TRANSITIONAL FOSSILS” have ever been found. A transitional fossil is one that show a species evolving into a new form. Even Darwin himself noted that the biggest problem with his theory was the lack of these fossils. Okay, this was a valid point in the 1850’s and it was due to a poor fossil record, that was 160 years ago and is no longer valid.
Today’s fossil record contains a vast number of transitional fossils that include, Pohlsepia mazonensis which is the earliest described octopod, dated at approximately 296Ma , which has a clear chain of fossil records to Palaeoctopus newboldi which was a primitive octopod that lived in the Late Cretaceous, approximately 89 to 71 million years ago.
One of the best is the Tetraod evolution starting with Eusthenpteron, a fish and ending with Ichthyystego one of the first reptiles.
Man himself is a transitional species, our current form has already evolved just in the last 10,000 years of recorded history from short and stocky to taller and thinner and more lanky. Based on observation of the proponents of Intelligent Design and Creationism they seems to have an aversion to the thought of evolving from a common primate because it somehow demeans the value of their ability to think and understand their awareness of the world.
The homonid fossil record now goes back almost 5Ma years with Ardipithecus ramidus a hominid, not an ape found recently in Ethiopia.
Irreducibly Complex Systems could not evolve but must be created. I love this argument because its so obviously wrong.
Irreducibly complexhas been defined as a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly (that is, by continuously improving the initial function, which continues to work by the same mechanism) by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional. An irreducibly complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would be a powerful challenge to Darwinian evolution. Wrong!
Blood clotting is a perfect example of a complicated biological process and a very important one that did NOT occur by accident, a process called evolution took 4Ba years in order for the right chemical and protein combinations to occur in order to produce this process.
In order to verify that blood clotting in the body is not specific to just clotting lets look at the mechanism involved.
Protein C is a major factor in blood clotting but it also plays roles in inflammation and cell death. If it were only responsible for a single mechanism in the human body it might be valid but in also occurs in reptiles and insects, demonstrating a clear evolutionary path across species.
There are some other arguments that I have heard that is suppose to disprove evolution, two of them that make no sense are that that evolution violates the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, how these laws even came into the overall discussion about evolution I am somewhat unclear of, but Thermodynamics have NOTHING to do with EVOLUTION and deal with the BIG BANG THEORY.
I believe the biggest issue with evolution is that God existence is questioned when it comes to science providing an explanation of how we came to be. Because if evolution is how man came about as a species then God wasn’t a part of that Biblical process where he created man, then woman from man’s rib. Part of the magic and awe that has belonged to God and religion fades away.
It appears to be a fear that somehow the stories we were told as children are losing their luster and life itself is somehow diminished if life can be easily explained other than a magical creature that created us in his image, and those of the faithful want to hold on to that belief in spite of overwhelming data and evidence.
In time this will change and a grander and more wondrous exploration will drive us to understand the nature of the existence of subspace. space, gravity and the nature of the multiverse and how its wonderful complexity creates life on an ongoing and diverse basis.