IS EVOLUTION TRUE? (ELVINCE AGER)

Being a Darwinist in a non-Darwinist world is a lot of work. In all the environments that I have been to and all the people that I have interacted with I have been the one person who truly understood evolution. For a while, it was a source of pride to know more than the next guy but when one of my tutors turned out to know significantly less on the basics of evolution than me, I was concerned.

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So I dedicated my time to teach evolution to as many as I could. And I have done that with a lot of ferocity and diligence. Yet there are the ignorant theological bunch that hide under the umbrella of the respected Intelligent Design and the less honourable Creationists and the completely insane Flat Earthers. These people propagate a lot of misconceptions that make my job futile. Since it is fair to pay one by kind (the laws of Moses) today I want to cover the gaps that these misconceptions have created. These misconceptions include:

  • Evolution is a theory about the origin of life.
  • Evolutionary theory implies that life evolved (and continues to evolve) randomly, or by chance.
  • Evolution results in progress; organisms are always getting better through evolution.
  • Individual organisms can evolve during a single lifespan.
  • Evolution only occurs slowly and gradually.
  • Because evolution is slow, humans cannot influence it.
  • Genetic drift only occurs in small populations.
  • Humans are not currently evolving.
  • Species are distinct natural entities, with a clear definition, that can be easily recognized by anyone.
  • Natural selection involves organisms trying to adapt.
  • Natural selection gives organisms what they need.
  • Humans can’t negatively impact ecosystems, because species will just evolve what they need to survive
  • Natural selection acts for the good of the species.
  • The fittest organisms in a population are those that are strongest, healthiest, fastest, and/or largest.
  • Natural selection is about survival of the very fittest individuals in a population.
  • Natural selection produces organisms perfectly suited to their environments.
  • All traits of organisms are adaptations.
  • Taxa that are adjacent on the tips of phylogeny are more closely related to one another than they are to taxa on more distant tips of the phylogeny.
  • Taxa that appear near the top or right-hand side of a phylogeny are more advanced than other organisms on the tree.
  • Taxa that are nearer the bottom or left-hand side of a phylogeny represent the ancestors of the other organisms on the tree.
  • Taxa that are nearer the bottom or left-hand side of a phylogeny evolved earlier than other taxa on the tree.
  • A long branch on a phylogeny indicates that the taxon has changed little since it diverged from other taxa
  • Each trait is influenced by one Mendelian locus.
  • Each locus has only two alleles.
  • Evolution is not science because it is not observable or testable.
  • Evolution is ‘just’ a theory.
  • Evolutionary theory is invalid because it is incomplete and cannot give a total explanation for the biodiversity we see around us.
  • Gaps in the fossil record disprove evolution.
  • The theory of evolution is flawed, but scientists won’t admit it.
  • Evolution is a theory in crisis and is collapsing as scientists lose confidence in it.
  • Most biologists have rejected ‘Darwinism’ and no longer agree with the ideas put forth by Darwin and Wallace.
  • Evolution leads to immoral behaviour.
  • Evolution supports the idea of ‘might makes right’ and rationalizes the oppression of some people by others.
  • If students are taught that they are animals, they will behave like animals.
  • Evolution and religion are incompatible.
  • Teachers should teach “both sides” of the evolution issue and let students decide—or give equal time to evolution and creationism.
  • Evolution is itself religious, so requiring teachers to teach evolution violates the first amendment.

i will be giving details on the above to show how evolution indeed is true.

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