Creationists are always claiming that there’s no evidence for evolution — and as they do so, they are totally oblivious to the lack of evidence for their creationist mythology. One of their claims is that no one has ever seen one species evolve into another. Well, duh! — that can take thousands of generations for a large, slow-breeding species, and when changes are actually demonstrated with rapidly-breeding species like bacteria or fruit flies, they always respond that they’re still bacteria (or fruit flies, or whatever.)
It’s difficult to know what they’re thinking. Most of them probably think evolution looks something like Count Dracula turning into a bat. Others may be a bit more sophisticated and will acknowledge “micro evolution,” but they’ll claim that the fossil record isn’t sufficient to demonstrate anything else, and they waive away the evidence of common ancestry shown by DNA — even though DNA evidence good enough to force a father to pay child support.
Anyway, the next time you run across the claim that “No one has ever seen evolution in action” you can rebut it (or at least try) with this article at EurekAlert, the online news service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):
Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein
How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?--Robert A. Heinlein
It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers
If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle
If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1
"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.
quote:A new study from biologists at Rice University, the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Florida finds that ongoing evolutionary changes in one fruit fly species are having a domino effect on at least three species of predatory wasps. The researchers focused on the jump of a native North American fruit fly onto apple trees in the 1850s.
"Our new work takes a close look at the evolutionary process termed 'sequential speciation,'" Egan said. "Sequential speciation identifies the fact that adaptation and speciation of one species is not an isolated process. The appearance of a new species creates new niche opportunities that can be exploited by other species, and that opportunity can promote the origin of other new species."
Rhagoletis is in the act of evolving into two species. The change is driven by differently timed fruiting cycles between apple trees, which some Rhagoletis prefer, and the North American hawthorn, the native fruit where Rhagoletis have traditionally laid their eggs. In extending their work on Rhagoletis speciation, the researchers focused on three species of wasps that are known parasites for Rhagoletis.
The parasitic wasp, Utetes canaliculatus, on a snowberry shrub, searching for its Rhagoletis fly host.
Nice, one of the authors, Jim Smith, is my Molecular Evolution instructor. If I go on for my PhD (which looks likely), I might ask him to be on my committee.
Obviously, this won't be very convincing to a creationist. In fact, I don't see how it really addresses the evolutionary linkage between different "kinds" of critters at all. However, I don't think that convincing anyone that "evolution is true" is much of an objective any more; the better objective is just understanding how complex and interdependent life on this planet is, which this is a great example of.
Whoever calls me ignorant shares my own opinion. Sorrowfully and tacitly I recognize my ignorance, when I consider how much I lack of what my mind in its craving for knowledge is sighing for... I console myself with the consideration that this belongs to our common nature. - Francesco Petrarca
"Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe." - another Petrarca gem.
Ignorance is a most formidable opponent rivaled only by arrogance; but when the two join forces, one is all but invincible.