Asked in BiologyCharles DarwinEvolution
Is the theory of evolution correct?
December 12, 2010 7:24AM
Evolution is a scientific theory, meaning, that it is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena. It has been directly observed and largely confirmed in experiments to justify its status as a scientific theory. N.B. The notion of a scientific theory is different from the colloquial use of the word "theory", which is closer to the scientific terms "hypothesis" or "conjecture". No scientific theory, no matter how obvious or trivial, can ever reach absolute correctness and this is the nature of science.
We have clearly seen that evolution is a process that is still happening in our world. Some examples include the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, which have evolved as a result of human use of antibiotics, and some insects which have evolved a resistance to insecticide. Evolution is seen all the time in the wild and in laboratories, and does merit the name theory. But the initial appearance of life from non-living matter is not as well confirmed as is the subsequent evolution of life from simple beginnings to its current complexity. N.B. Evolution seeks to explain how life came to the amazing complexities now from less complex forms, not to explain the origin of life itself. Logically, if one is to accept evolution, then the beginning of life can be as simple as a number of molecules, though this does not disprove the possibility of other origins of life or explain how the planet came to be able to support life in the first place (unlike other plants in the system).
Other arguments for the origin of life
The Earth is in too perfect a location for it to be an accident: closer to the Sun and we would burn and melt, farther out and the water would freeze.
Religious explanation (faith-based):
Everything was created by the Christian God. There are no fossils of the links for evolving fish to frogs to monkeys to people.