Monday, December 6, 2010

Despite a million chances to be wrong, evolution always comes up right.

From page 223 of Jerry Coyne's priceless book "Why Evolution is True":


Every day, hundreds of observations and experiments pour into the hopper of scientific literature. Many of them don't have much to do with evolution--they're observations about details of physiology, biochemistry, development, and so on--but many of them do. And every fact that has something to do with evolution confirms its truth. Every fossil that we find, every DNA molecule that we sequence, every organ system that we dissect supports the idea that species evolved from common ancestors. Despite innumerable possible observations that could prove evolution untrue, we don't have a single one. We don't find mammals in the Precambrian rocks, humans in the same layers as dinosaurs, or any other fossils out of evolutionary order. DNA sequencing supports the evolutionary relationships of species originally deduced from the fossil record. And, as natural selection predicts, we find no species with adaptations that benefit only a different species. We do find dead genes and vestigial organs, incomprehensible under the idea of special creation. Despite a million chances to be wrong, evolution always comes up right. That is as close as we can get to a scientific truth.

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