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What evidence do we have for evolution besides fossils and genes?

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In a Nutshell

Scientists have found multiple lines of evidence for evolution, not just one or two.  These types of evidence are independent of each other, coming from sources as different as ancient fossils and modern genetics labs. Evidence also comes from comparing the anatomy of creatures living today.  All creatures with four limbs (whether mammals, birds, or reptiles) have the same bone structure in each limb, pointing to their descent from a common ancestor. More evidence comes from biogeography.  Isolated islands are missing common species found on the mainland, but are filled with many unique species that can be related by a common ancestor. Finally, evidence comes from embryonic development.  As an embryo of a mammal grows, its heart develops through stages similar to fish, amphibians, and reptiles.  God’s creation declares the history of life in many different ways. All these ways are pointing to a consistent picture of God creating through evolution.

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Further Reading

More from BioLogos

  • Falk, Darrel. Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004. (book info) Chapter 5 is an excellent introduction to biogeography.
  • Falk, Darrel “Evidence for Evolution in the Mouths of Birds” BioLogos Forum, June 8, 2009 (blog)
  • Kerk, David “Evidences for Evolution, Part 3a: The Heart and Circulatory System of Vertebrates” BioLogos Forum July 12, 2010 (blog)
  • Matheson, Stephen. “New Limbs from Old Fins” BioLogos Forum, September-October 2011 (blog series). Part 1 discusses comparative anatomy, Part 3 discusses embryonic development.
  • Venema, Dennis. “Understanding Evolution: Theory, Prediction, and Converging Lines of Evidence” BioLogos Forum March-April 2012 (blog series). This series discusses multiple lines of evidence for whale evolution, including embryonic development.

Recommended External Resources

  • In his blog series, Stephen Matheson recommends these books. While not explicitly Christian, these books are a helpful introduction to this field of science:
    • Neil Shubin. Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. New York: Vintage Books, 2009 (Google books listing)
    • Brian K. Hall, ed. Fins into Limbs: Evolution, Development, and Transformation. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007. (Google books listing)
    • Carl Zimmer. At the Water's Edge: Fish with fingers, whales with legs, and how life came ashore but then went back to sea. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999. (Google books listing)
    • John Gerhart and Marck Kirschner. Cells, Embryos, and Evolution: Toward a cellular and developmental understanding of phenotypic variation and evolutionary adaptability. Blackwell Science, 1997. (Google books listing)