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Why Evolution Is True

Jerry Coyne

If Evo correct
1. Fossil record shd clearly show transitional forms
2. they shd occur in rock sequence in order (ie oldest at lowest level, youngest at top)
3. Evol change always a remodelling of existing forms

If Creationism correct
1. no point in transitional forms - perfect creator get things right first time
2. various forms should be all mixed up since all made at same time
3. should expect perfection from omniscient and omnipotent creator

Extinctions a major problem with ID. 99% of all species have gone extinct. Why wd an ID design animals he knows are going to go extinct, only to be replaced by others almost exactly the same, most of whom would also vanish?

We still have the genes to make a tail, but usually deactivated in humans. But occasionally babies born with one, which can be anything from an inch to a foot long, complete with muscles, nerves and blood vessels(doctors just cut them off at birth).

A more dangerous remnant in humans is appendix. Rabbits and other herbaceous animals have a large appendix which serves as a fermenting vessel for bacteria todigest cellulose into usable sugars. Humans can't digest cellulose, so we just have a vestigal appendix. But it easily gets blocked and becomes infected. Before safe operations in late C19 a ruptured appendix could be fatal (20% mortality rate)

Dover Area School trial ruled that the defendants had lied when they said they weren't motivated by belief in Creationism, that Intelligent Design was simply Creationism relabelled to try to sneak it into the science curriculum, and that while it is a possible theological argument, it is not science. And while the Theory of Evolution cannot explain every point, that is not a justification for thrusting an untestable hypothesis grounded in religion, into the science classroom.

Charles Darwin on what TofE meant: "When we no longer look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as something wholly beyond his comprehension; when we regard every production of nature as one which has a long history; when we contemplate every complex structure as the summing up of many contrivances, each useful to the possessor, in the same way as an great mechanical invention is the summing up of the labour, the experience, the reason, and even the blunders of numerous workmen when we thus view each organic being, how far more interesting does the study of Nature become."

Problem for some is the implications of TofE. It seems that we are not only related to other creatures, but, like them, are the product of blind and impersonal evolutionary forces. If humans are just one of many outcomes of natural selection, then maybe we aren't special after all. And maybe it erodes morality - if we are simply beasts then what's stopping us acting like beasts?

Evo in summary: Life on Earth evolved gradually, beginning with one self-replicating molecule. It branched off over time, throwing off many new and diverse species. The mechanisms are basically mutations and natural selection.

Natural selection does not provide perfection. It produces the fitter not the fittest. Every animal has imperfections.

Variation every time DNA is copied. Most variations either harmful or neutral. But if it is favourable, and increases chances of leaving offspring, then the variation will spread. The variation is produced by chance, but the filter of natural selection chooses the best ones

Atomic Theory isn't just a statement that atoms exist. It's a statement about how atoms interact with each other , form compounds, and behave chemically. In same way, TofE is more than just a statement that evo happened: it is an extensively documented set of principles that explain how and why evolution happened.

For a theory to be considered scientific, it must be testable and make verifiable predictions. We must be able to make observations about the real world that either support or disprove it.

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