• Question: What is, in your opinion, the most compelling piece(s) of evidence for evolution to persuade a creationist?

    Asked by carysxmas18 to Reka, Gemma, Ed on 3 Jan 2019.
    • Photo: Edward Morrison

      Edward Morrison answered on 3 Jan 2019:

      This video from Dr Ken Miller is a nice example as it concerns human evolution from the human-chimp ancestor:

      TLDW: humans have one pair fewer chromosomes than other great apes. This is because during speciation two different chromosomes fused together to make one big chromosome. We know this because human chromosome 2 has “vestigial telomeres”. These are special sections that mark the end of chromosomes.

      Imagine a chromosome as a stack of lego blocks. Each one has unique red blocks at the end. Chromose 2 has red blocks at the end but also in the middle, where they don’t belong: this is because they are the leftover of sticking together two stacks.

      (The same is also true for a “vestigial centromere” which a special section in the middle of DNA.)

    • Photo: Gemma Chandratillake

      Gemma Chandratillake answered on 3 Jan 2019:

      DNA sequence and the fossil record (and the fact that the two are completely independent yet agree). But, I’m not sure that you can always persuade somebody with facts to be honest – that is sort of the point of faith. I think people usually have to come to this sort of change in viewpoint through their own journey when they are open to it.

    • Photo: Reka Nagy

      Reka Nagy answered on 4 Jan 2019:

      Also, some are quick to point out that evolution is ‘just a theory’ – this is an unfortunate consequence of the use of the word ‘theory’ in common language, versus its meaning in science:

      ‘a scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world.’

      The good thing about the theory of evolution is that it does not need people to believe in it to be true – so even if you feel like you’ve failed to ‘convince’ someone, that does not make evolution any less real!