We are now moving into the evidence for evolution. This can be an emotional time for some. As I sat in my desk, taking notes with the students, watching slide after slide of evidence go by, I sensed how overwhelming lectures might feel. Sometimes, it can be an hour and fifteen minute parade of what-I-don’t-know. Dr. Fritz, however, does it in a way that’s quite palatable; he provides a few main points and loads up on the examples.
Like Darwin, Dr. Fritz is breaking it all down very slowly. I’m not about to try to list the evidence for evolution on this blog. I am a poet, after all, and countless books have been written on this subject. I do, however, just want to say how much I enjoyed Fritz’s method.
Dr. Fritz began explaining what Darwin had to counter. In Darwin’s day, the Theory of Special Creation held that species are 1) Created independently of each other 2) Do not change 3) Created Recently: 4004 BCE, the 26th of October at 9 a.m., to be exact, according to Archbishop James Ussher’s Old Testament genealogies. So, just a refresher from before…. Scientific theories have two components: first a statement of fact—like a claim about a pattern. The second component is the claim about how that pattern/process exists.
The evidence that Darwin used to show that species are interrelated and that they have changed included observable small-scale evolution called microevolution; fossils (which show extinction and change); and vestigial structures (like how we get goosebumps when afraid. When we used to have more hair, we’d look bigger when frightened or threatened. Now, we just look, well, cold.) DNA has also now corroborated the first two points. As for the third, that will be discussed next Tuesday.