Evolution is a fascinating process, and it really helps us understand the living world that surrounds us.
We can see evolution in action almost anywhere that we look today, in fact, there is a good chance that you are evolving at this very minute, or at least carrying random DNA mutations which can be passed onto your children which gives them a better or worse chance of surviving in this world.
Let’s take a little look at some facts surrounding evolution.
Observable Examples of Evolution
Many people dismiss evolution as simply being a theory, perhaps because it is labeled The Theory of Evolution by Charles Darwin.
However, it has extended way past the point where Charles Darwin first introduced evolutionary theory.
Evolution is a science fact the same as the Earth is round. We might not be 100% on the details, just as the Earth isn’t exactly round, it bulges, but no one today would argue the Earth is flat and no reputable scientist should argue evolution does not occur.
Evolution is actually observable before our very eyes, we can see the process of evolution by means of natural selection at work, not only in labs but in the wild, and it is something which is continually happening.
Biological Evolution Started 3.7 Billion Years Ago
Well, around that time frame. The earliest species were bacteria which dominated the land and the sea.
We are direct descendants of those bacteria, and it shows the massive changes that evolution can force upon us.
We (life on Earth) is one big family of related DNA.
It’s a scientific fact that all species have DNA and we all fit on the DNA family tree.
Evidence of Evolution – the Fossil Record
Since Charles Darwin put forward his theory of evolution, many fossils have been discovered. The fossil record, though not perfect allow us to view evolution over time.
In fact, put all of these fossils together and it shows that evolution simply works and you can witness evolution over millions of years for yourself.
As time passes many of the milling links in the fossil record will be filled. Consider we are looking through billions of years worth of fossils, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what is out there.
Evolution is recent, well sort of at least, in the grand scheme of things, modern evolution is quite recent. The first three billion years of earth was just bacteria. The first advanced biological species i.e. jellyfish didn’t appear to around 7OO million years ago.
Evolution Fact: We Share 70% of our DNA with a Slug
I know it’s not the most exciting of science facts, however, this goes to show that we all have a common ancestor. Isn’t it surprising that well over half of our DNA can also be found in a creature which is incredibly different from us, well incredibly different from most people at least, not too sure about the creationists : it’s a joke, please don’t smite me!
This sort of statistic can be found almost everywhere you look, for example, there are thousands of animals where we share over 70% of our DNA, of course, the most popular of these is the ape, I just found the slug example to be slightly more exciting!
These are facts not speculative theories.
Human Origins : We are Newly Evolved
Isn’t this odd? We consider ourselves the most advanced species on the planet, but we are new arrivals.
We’ve adapted to the planet in such a way we’ve dominated almost all of it and are looking to the stars, but are we truly the best, most evolved species on the planet?
Would we survive the sorts of natural disasters that wiped out the dinosaurs?
Maybe so, maybe not, whether we survive or not the bacteria and probably the humble cockroach would.
Precambrian Era Evolution
The Precambrian Period is the point in which history changed for good.
This began around 600 million years ago and that was when the first creatures with bones and shells began to appear. More organisms appeared during this time than any other point in history, and it is observable.
Dinosaurs Weren’t the first Reptiles to Evolve
The first reptiles actually came many millions of years before dinosaurs, although many people regarded dinosaurs as the ‘earliest’ form of large life on the planet.
The first reptiles crawled onto land 340 million years ago, whereas dinosaurs didn’t pop along until 220 million years ago, but they had pretty good innings as they stuck around for 160 million years.
Birds Evolved from Reptiles
There is verifiable proof that birds evolved from reptiles and some mammal like creatures. This is probably one of the main things which points towards a common ancestor theme.
Evolution Doesn’t Aim to discover the Origin of Life
One of the main problems that the theory of evolution had was with the church.
They claimed that evolution theory was not religious at all, and Charles Darwin was persecuted by his peers as a result.
Contrary to popular belief though, the theory of evolution doesn’t aim to discover the purpose of life, that is up to interpretation, which is why so many religious people still follow science: theistic evolution.
The science of evolution does not preclude a God or creator, we still do not know for sure how life first developed on the Earth or even if it did first develop here. There are theories life could have developed on other planets and asteroid fragments brought the first microscopic life to Earth.
Until science discovers the answers to the origin of life we just don’t know how life began, but we do know life has evolved over the past few billion years culminating in you reading this awesome article on ten evolution facts and posting your opinions in the comments below :-)