Thanks for checking out Jesus Name News! We know this probably seems like an odd thing for us to post, let us up front say that our staff believes that God created the heavens and the earth. However, we also believe that we can’t just dismiss anything that disagrees with how we think He did that without understanding it. That’s why we post articles like this, please take a look and let us know why you think (and why you disagree!). Christians can, in fact, be scientific, too!
For over 150 years—since the time of Charles Darwin—the Theory of Evolution has been through more scrutiny and rigorous investigation than just about any other scientific claim. And the theory has only been strengthened as more evidence has been accrued. While there are many that people who, for ideological reasons, want to make it seem like evolution is not widely accepted within the scientific community, this is not actually the case.
Across universities, research institutions, and scientific organizations, evolution is not only nearly universally accepted, it is also the basis upon which active, exciting, and important research is being done. Indeed, the scientific fact that is evolution is the basis of most of biology.
To that end, this is a complete overview of the most direct evidence in support of evolution.
Common Traits. Common Ancestor.
Think about your family. You and your closest relatives look more alike than you and your cousins. Likewise, you look more like your cousins than you do more distant relatives, and more like distant relatives that people on the other side of the globe. The closer you are related, by-and-large, the more similarities you share. Of course, these similarities extend well beyond the surface level, reaching into our genetics.
This patterning, like in your family, extends throughout all life on Earth. The patterning of the similarities speaks volumes. In evolution, these “similarities” are known as “synapomorphies.” They are characteristics that are present in ancestral species and are shared exclusively (in more or less modified form) by this species evolutionary descendants. Synapomorphies come in nested hierarchies that are related to the variety and intensity of the similarities.
Why is this the case? The similarities have been inherited from common ancestors, and the further back in time any two species shared a common ancestor, the more faded and distant the similarities become. It is important to note that, species with a large number of similarities tend to live near each other—penguin species only live in the Southern Hemisphere, marsupials live almost exclusively in Australia, cacti almost exclusively in the Americas, lemurs in Madagascar, etc. If evolution was not true, this geographic patterning would make absolutely no sense. Furthermore, these similarities often seem to be completely arbitrary, rather than having some selective advantage.