In ICR's article "Just How Well is Evolution Proven?" John Morris stated a challenge: "Now devise an experiment to verify evolution. Keep trying. There must be one. I suspect even Dr. Rusewould be unable to propose an experiment to verify evolution like we verified our mathematical equation. Even if both statements are facts, obviously they are not the same kind of facts."
I emailed ICR a list of experiments that verify evolution. My words are in plain letters, ICR's response is in italics (A lady by the name of Cynthia Carlson responded to me), and my final response is in bold. After two weeks they have not emailed me back, but if they do I will post their follow up.
Experiments that verify evolution
1) The first is one that anyone can observe. Think of viruses. Think of how they spread. They go around and around in the population, affecting it over and over.
We know that people become immune to viruses, but they keep spreading. Why is this? It is because viruses mutate and evolve over time, making it possible for
the virus to become something new by the time it goes around again.
Yes viruses mutate, but what is the nature of mutations? The virus
causes a new form of disease but the virus isn't "something else," it is
still a virus. Creationists understand that things change--the argument
is over the nature of that change. New viruses creating new diseases is
What this shows is that DNA can change within a population. Evolution is a shift in gene frequency of a population, so this does illustrate evolution. Creationists argue that an organism cannot change "kind"; but just exactly why not? DNA can change, so where is the limit to stop it from changing even more? Why can't it change a good deal over a long period of time?
2) Experiments showing that unicellular organisms can evolve into multicellular organisms. Shikano, et al. (1990) reported that an unidentified bacterium underwent a major morphological change when grown in the presence of a ciliate predator. This
bacterium's normal morphology is a short (1.5 um) rod. After 8 - 10 weeks of growing with the predator it assumed the form of long (20 um) cells. These cells have no cross walls. Filaments of this type have also been produced under circumstances similar to Boraas' induction of multicellularity in Chlorella.
Microscopic examination of these filaments is described in Gillott et al. (1993). Multicellularity has also been produced in unicellular bacterial by predation (Nakajima and Kurihara 1994). In this study, growth in the presence of protozoal grazers resulted in the production of chains of bacterial cells.
There are organisms that live both as colonies and as individuals such
as the different forms of chlamydomonas. These colonies act like a
single organism but they can still live as single individuals if the
colony breaks up. They are not becoming another life form, they are just
working together. The next step for a bacterium is to obtain a nucleus
and the endosymbiotic theory also has its problems. Again, it has never
Here is what I was talking about from Talk Origins: "Shikano, et al. (1990) reported that an unidentified bacterium underwent a major morphological change when
grown in the presence of a ciliate predator. This bacterium's normal morphology is a short (1.5 um) rod. After 8 - 10 weeks of growing with the predator it
assumed the form of long (20 um) cells. These cells have no cross walls. Filaments of this type have also been produced under circumstances similar to Boraas'
induction of multicellularity in Chlorella. Microscopic examination of these filaments is described in Gillott et al. (1993). Multicellularity has also been produced in unicellular bacterial by predation (Nakajima and Kurihara 1994). In this study, growth in the presence of protozoal grazers resulted in the production of chains of bacterial cells."
This bacteria became multicellular. Of course, you argue it could go back to unicellularity, but so what? It still shows how multicellularity can evolve, and
just because all cells are not dependant on one another means nothing, this is what you would expect.
3. Observing the genome of the 'Nylon Bug' Bacteria
before and after it adapted the function to consume
Example 3: Nylon eating bacteria. This is an interesting adaptation but
It is evolution. A mutation occured that added a nucleotide to the genome which was useful and allowed the bacteria to survive better. The mutation spread through the population. It is a perfect example of evolution.
This website features a refutation of aig:
4. Observing the order of the fossil record from simple to complex. Also note the thousands of transitional fossils like Pakicetus, Ambulocetus, Australopithecus Afarensis, Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, etc.
This is not really a good assessment of the fossil record. For one
thing, the fossil record begins with complexity in the Cambrian
Explosion (even if you start with the Ediacaran, there is no transition
forms between the algae and bacteria found there to the complex marine
life in the Cambrian). Secondly, very few fossils can be discovered in a series (especially hominid fossils, their existence in the fossil record
all overlap). Thirdly, the fossil record doesn't show evolution, it
shows death. You have to assume uniformitarian ages and evolution to
"see" evolution in the fossil record.
You will find that the so-called transition fossils fall apart on close
examination. The transition is usually based on one transition bone, or
trait. There are countless thousands of things that need to change to
turn one basic kind into another. 90% of those things cannot be seen in
a fossil because only the structural parts fossilize.
"The Late Precambrian and Early Cambrian fossil record of the metazoan phyla shows the same pattern as that of class- and order-level taxa in the Phanerozoic. Near the origin of these higher-level taxonomic categories, the boundaries between the taxa become blurred and fossils become difficult to classify. Moving back in time toward their presumed point of diversion from a common ancestor, organisms belonging to separate phyla converge in morphology. Several Early Cambrian organisms possess morphologies that bear similarities to more than one phylum, making their placement in existing phyla a matter of dispute. This classification problem is resolved either by erecting new phyla or by broadening definitions to include the new forms.
Some Late Precambrian Ediacaran fossils (~580-560 Mya) bear strong resemblances to colonial coelenterates called pennatulids, or sea pens. Others appear to have been solitary coelenterate medusoids attached to the sea floor. Some of these medusoid fossils show clear impressions of tentacles around their margins. There are also sack-shaped organisms interpreted as sea anemones. Although Seilacher has questioned the placement of many Ediacaran fossil forms in living phyla, he also recognizes the presence of a group of sand-filled cnidarian coelenterates he has called the
Psammocorallia. The fossil record thus indicates that the Late Precambrian was dominated by solitary
and colonial coelenterates that may have included all four living cnidarian classes.18 Recently spicules from sponges of the class Hexactinellida have been
identified in Ediacaran age rocks.19 There is also evidence for the presence of arthropods as well as echinoderms before the beginning of the Cambrian."
Secondly, very few fossils can be discovered in a series (especially hominid fossils, their existence in the fossil record all overlap).
There are many series. Horses, Whales, Hominids, etc. and their are plenty of them. Over 4,000 hominid fossils according to Talk Origins. Most reputable websites will tell you that the fossil hominids are at least in the hundreds. Overlapping is not a problem, I don't see why it would be. If you understand Punctuated Equilibrium, the problem is solved.
"Thirdly, the fossil record doesn't show evolution, it
shows death. You have to assume uniformitarian ages and evolution to "see" evolution in the fossil record."
Uniformitarianism is a reasonable assumption. Processes working now worked in a similar way in the past. The fossil record does show evolution, I don't see how anyone can deny it. The first fossils are unicellular, and an increase in complexity is seen from there. There aren't any humans buried with dinosaurs, there aren't any fossil rabbits in the precambrian. Life changed over time.
"You will find that the so-called transition fossils
fall apart on close examination. The transition is usually based on one transition bone, or trait. There are countless thousands of things that need to change to turn one basic kind into another. 90% of those
things cannot be seen in a fossil because only the structural parts fossilize."
No. I've looked into the transitional forms extensively, and even listened to the criticisms. I found they did not hold up. (NOTE: This website examines many of the creationist claims about transitional fossils, and their criticisms do NOT hold up. Almost all of the transitionals are based on near complete skeletons, and many times more than one fossil of the species).
5. Observing Retroviruses in action and how they can be inserted into the genome at random. Verify for yourself that the process is random. Once you are done, observe the genomes of primates and humans and note the ERV's which are in the very same places. This is a surefire indicator of common descent.
The evolutionary assumption is two organisms share the same trait (or
gene) because they have a common ancestor. This is still assumed and
observed such as 2 + 2 = 4. Creationists would expect organisms to
traits, cells, genes, energy pathways, etc. because God made them that
way-a common designer instead of common ancestor.
We think the arguments for creation-design, complexity (especially of information, DNA), beauty, stasis in the fossil record, living fossils and many others trump the evidence for evolution. Thanks for writing.
Complexity can be produced by evolution. Computer models have shown this. After billions of years of Natural Selection, what wouldn't be complex?
You are right that Our world is beautiful, but it's broken and needs patching up in a lot of places. Stasis in the fossil record is predicted by Punctuated Equilibrium. I have an article about living fossils here: