Genetics provide powerful evidence of evolution

An excellent survey from The Logic of Science, with striking examples. At every level of detail, the family trees inferred from morphology match the trees established by molecular biology.

The Logic of Science

Many people are under the false impression that evolution is just a guess or a belief, when in reality, it is one of the most well-supported concepts in all of science. The evidence for it is overwhelming and comes from many different disciplines such as paleontology, comparative anatomy, biogeography, and perhaps most significantly, genetics. Indeed, modern genetic tools have allowed us to repeatedly test evolution’s predictions, and those predictions have consistently come true. Therefore, I am going to explain in simple terms what the genetic evidence is and why it is so compelling. As I will show, the evidence perfectly matches the predictions that the theory of evolution made decades before we could test those predictions. Further, the patterns do not make sense if our modern organisms were specially created, because there is no reason why a creator would have had to make life with these patterns. In other…

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About Paul Braterman

Science writer, former chemistry professor; committee member British Centre for Science Education; board member and science adviser Scottish Secular Society; former member editorial board, Origins of Life, and associate, NASA Astrobiology Insitute; first popsci book, From Stars to Stalagmites 2012

Posted on February 28, 2017, in Evolution and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I think that most difficult point is that the pattern is not just a matter of similarities, but similarities and differences, a “nested hierarchy” of a “tree of life”. Creationists are known to dismiss the evidence of similarities with “of course, since all life has a common Creator, we would expect there to be similarities”. But the important point is that the similarities and differences are in this particular pattern, the pattern which immediately suggests “descent with modification”. (The same pattern as in the history of languages and in studies of manuscript traditions, with the same conclusion of descent with modification.)
    I don’t know how to get across the significance of this pattern in the tree of life.


    • I thought you’d just done so rather well. If molecular biology had failed to replicate the established nested hierarchies of resemblance, we would have had to abandon the standard account. Creationists ofc try to have it both ways – genetic similarities, they say, are only to be expected as ways of producing similar organisms, bu,t in the next breath the existence of convergent evolution shows that molecular similarity is not needed for morphological similarity


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