What Are Your Favorite Arguments For Evolution?

Complexity, but only if you don’t examine it in any depth. Going deeper reveals the iterative nature of biological complexity, which is nothing like the complexity we produce.

Your turn! What is your favorite piece of evidence for evolution, Jonathan?


Shouldn’t the question be “what are the best arguments”? If the question is being asked of creationists, as it seems to be, a creationist’s favorite argument for evolution would probably be the one that’s easiest to refute.

You may recall. :slightly_smiling_face:

I do. What does it have to do with the subject?

Thank you for asking, @mercer!

An argument for evolution that I see around quite a bit (and find to be of some interest) is that (apparently), the majority of scientists with expertise in the fields most relevant to origins seem to affirm evolution. Further, evolution is sometimes described as the “scientific consensus.”

Ultimately, being an individual that places a high value on personal inquiry, I think that this would not be a particularly good reason to affirm evolution. I do, however, think it is an interesting (and quick) observation that is worth people’s consideration.

P.S: There always seem to be different scientific arguments and pieces of evidence for evolution being kicked around, but none really come to mind as my “favorite.”

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The best argument IMHO is the amazing consilience of so many independent lines of scientific evidence from dozens of different scientific disciplines all supporting the evolution and diversification of life over deep time.

The best piece of evidence IMHO is the amazingly close correlation of the two phylogenetic trees created independently from the fossil and genetic records - the twin nested hierarchies of life.


6 posts were split to a new topic: Are “Better” Scientists Less Likely to Believe in God?

You’re most welcome. However, you’re not answering my question:

I didn’t ask you for an argument. I asked for evidence. Do you not know the difference?

It is, because there is so much evidence. Are you unwilling to look at the evidence for yourself?

I agree; arguments are not the reason. But since you claim to place a high value on personal inquiry, how much inquiry have you personally made into the evidence?

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What do you think the difference is?

Easy there @Mercer, this topic is asking for a favorite argument. You can quiz about favorite evidence too, but response is voluntary.

We should also accept that favorite opinions cannot be wrong - it’s true that it is his favorite opinion! Let’s keep the distinction between facts and opinion, and let this be a friendly discussion.


I think the arguments for simple adaptions are solid and evidence driven.


Do you not think that there is one?

Evidence is a component of an argument. The evidence for evolution is so strong that there is no need for any argument to frame it–if one is willing to examine evidence.

The evidence for ID is so weak that there’s nothing but arguments.

Huh? Easy there? What about my comment would even suggest that I think that a response is mandatory?

Indeed. I would say that not answering a question is 10x less friendly than pointing out that the question wasn’t answered.

@J.E.S, what is your favorite EVIDENCE for evolution?

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The tenor of your questions seem aggressive. I’m certain that you did not mean them to be. Jonathan was in favor of posing this question in juxtaposition to the original one about ID. But I suspect he’s one to avoid what feels like it could become an argument. So don’t take his or any non-response as being unfriendly.

I would like to respond, however.

I enjoy reading articles that look at two different data sets and correlate them together. As with the “Cool new paper” thread. Any time one can see to disparate sets of data that are correlated significantly or point to the same result or conclusion, it is very interesting. Thanks @T.j_Runyon for posting, @John_Harshman and @Rumraket for their explanations, too.


By “evidence”, do you actually mean “empirical data”? Because it seems that you are using those terms in a colloquial sort of way, and I don’t want to comment too deeply before I know what you’re talking about.


I got called on that distinction recently. They are not interchangeable.

If it was consilience it would not be amazing. it would just be natural for a accurate conclusion.
I would say there is not consilience but instead just mutual lines of reasoning unrelated to actual evidence.

Your example is case in point.
They are both silent on evolution. They are only after the fact data sources.
From a creationist stance they also would be twins. any biology in the past/fossils identity would also have a genetic likeness.
The genes must be hand in glove with the morphology.
So there is tree groups from your example but only one. Just a error of line of reasoning.

6 posts were split to a new topic: Arguments vs. Evidence in the Creation Debate

If I may chime in, the best evidence today was the best evidence 130 years ago: the nested hierarchy.

George Romanes wrote a great essay in 1882 laying out the best evidences for evolution, and many remain so. I quoted large sections of the essay in another thread, so I won’t do the same here. I do encourage people to give it a read:


That’s pretty cool. It’s like TalkOrigin’s 29+ Evidences For Macroevolution only written over 100 years earlier. :slightly_smiling_face:


A powerful argument for common descent (but not for blind/unguided evolution) was given to me by gpuccio, a gifted contributor at the ID blog « Uncommon descent ».
According to him, « the simple observation of the frequency of synonymous mutations in different species is the strongest argument for common descent that we can imagine ».
I’ve tried to find a way to counter his argument, but after several exchanges, I was forced to realize that it was very powerful and I gave up.
For those that may be interested to know more about the argument, I invite you to look at posts 1/123/131/144/159/161/164/169/171/175/181/184 of the conversation below.