Evidence for Evolution- Where do living things come from?
Why are there so many
different kinds of organisms, and how have they come to be so proficient at tasks like
finding food, acquiring mates, fighting disease, and avoiding predators?
Charles Darwin was an English naturalist who devoted his life to answering these
In the 1820’s the leading explanation in Europe for the origin of species was the
Theory of Special Creation, this theory held that all organisms were created by
God during the six days of creation as described in the Bible’s Book of Genesis.
The ideal types formed by this special process, including Adam and Eve, were the
progenitors of all organisms living today.
The theory stated that species are
unchanged since their creation, or immutable, and the variation within each type
is strictly limited.
The theory of creation has 3 components; Species were created
independently of one another, they do not change through time, and they were
created recently, the process responsible for this pattern was a special or
supernatural act of creation by God.
Darwin started with what he called “descent with modification” that later came to
be known as evolution- species have changed through time and are related by
descent from a common ancestor.
In 1992, Scott Carroll and Christin Boyd worked with the soapberry bug, an
insect native to the southern United States.
Soapberry bugs feed by using their
long beaks to pierce the fruits of their host plants.
The bugs reach in to penetrate
the coats of the seeds inside the fruit, liquefy their contents, and then suck them
In the 1950’s planters began planting balloon vines called the flat-podded
golden rain tree.
As their name suggests, the tree has thing fruits.
found that on average the population of bugs living on the thin-fruited host had
much shorter beaks than the other population living on the thick-fruited host.
short-beaked bugs living on the thin-fruited host are descendants of the long-
beaked bugs that lived on the thick-fruited host.
One of the main tenets of the Theory of Special Creation is that species, once
created, are immutable.
There is living evidence for change through time, one way is through
monitoring natural populations, we can directly observe small scale
change, or microevolution.
Secondly, if you examine the bodies of living
organisms, you can find evidence of dramatic chance, or macroevolution.
Vestigial Structure is a functionless or rudimentary version of a body part
that has an important function in other, closely allied, species.
argued that the presence of vestigial traits is inexplicable under the Theory
of Special Creation, but readily interpretable under the Theory of
The evolutionary interpretation of the vestigial structures in
these animals (Mexican tetras have eye sockets but no eyes, the North
Island brown kiwi has wings but is a flightless bird, and the rubber boa has
remnants of hind limbs) is that each species is descended, with