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Author Topic:   "Best" evidence for evolution.
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1926 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008

Message 39 of 830 (498964)
02-15-2009 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Engineer
02-15-2009 6:10 PM

Re: The Diversity of Life, as we know it, from the evidence all around us.
Hi, Engineer.

engineer writes:

This is where I have a complaint. How do you test the theory of evolution in a way that is meaningful? You can illustrate fruitfly genetics, mutations, perhaps even speciation, but how do you show that a whole new phylum can come from this?

Evolution is just change over time. It doesn't matter whether new phyla arise at all. So, observing a single speciation event, or even a single instance of a mutation being favored by natural selection, is irrefutable proof, not just evidence, of evolution.

Your phylum-level evolution question is a different story. For that, the fossil record, which preserves several transitional fossils that bridge the gap between phyla or other higher-level groupings (such as the latest, Schinderhannes bartelsi, which bridges the gap between arthropods on one of their possible ancestral groups), combined with the genetic pattern of nestedness that continues right across phylum borders is more than enough evidence for higher-level evolution.

Genetics is by far the most powerful tool we have, and probably contains the best evidence, but the conformity of the fossil record and the radiochronology to the genetic pattern plays a great supporting role.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Engineer, posted 02-15-2009 6:10 PM Engineer has taken no action

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