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Homology, Evidence for Evolution?

Posted by: David Carroll

homology One of the primary evidences given for evolution is homology--the observation that different species have similarities. For example, the vast majority of animals have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, two ears and four limbs. This supposedly indicates that somewhere, far back in the history of life many hundreds of millions of years ago, there was a common ancestor who had these traits and the descendants eventually split off into a variety of species.

The bone structure of many skeletal reptiles and mammals are similar. Notice for example the picture on the right. This cartoon depiction of an x-ray of an alligator's front limb, a human arm and a bird's wing respectively. You can see that the bone structure of all three share some similarities. All three have two bones in the "forearm" part of their limbs. The radius and ulna, as these bones are called, allow the end of the limb (our hand) to rotate about 200 degrees. This benefits us as well as the alligator and the bird. Other similarities are the five digits on both the alligator and human. In Darwinian evolution, these benefits were selected in the original ancestor because of it's ability to compete and survive over it's less endowed siblings and cousins who did not have such features. And then of course these traits were passed down to their descendants and continued to be preserved even in widely divergent species.

You can see that there has been an observation and then a hypothesis proposed but never tested. Such a test is impossible to make because of the extremely slow pace of the process. There is a test however. If the evolution hypothesis is true, there should be evidence in both the fossil record and in some species of life today of transitional forms. This we do not see. Stephen Jay Gould in a moment of honest reflection admitted:

“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils… We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.”

There is another hypothesis. Perhaps this benefit of having two bones in the forearms of so many creatures is a design feature which was used by a wise Designer who efficiently used the same excellent design on many different kinds.


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Anthony Delgado wrote:
It's great to see someone actually be honest about the subject. I find that even many Christians naturally assume that evolution is real. It is really a faulty science and I am baffled that the study is allowed to continue.

Sabbath wrote:
.., the interesting thing about evolution is that even Charles Darwin admit the lack of evidence of his preposition.... thanks for the post... this is good to read for those who believe in evolution...
Efrain wrote:
Hello, I am pleased to read your page and invite youi to read mine as well as it talks about similar views regarding evolution, it is



Bible maps wrote:
An excellent post, and let me also say that evolution is a fact of nature, the theory explaining it is the only thing causing controversy.
Biblical Love Stories wrote:
You have a good point here. i am a bible lover, but interpret it as a general guideline rather than a directive - evolution seems like the right idea to me
Brent Greyson wrote:
Hello Brothers and Sisters, I need your help please. My daughter was surfing the internet and she came across this terrible site where they are burning the bible. She is only seven years old. This kind of material needs to stop damaging our society.


Please help me shut this site down! Thank you.
Petronas wrote:
I am glad to see that you are dealing with the issue of evolution. The Antichrist is corrupting our children to discount the genius of God. www.numberofthebeast.info/the-antichrist
gold bullion wrote:
Evolution give rise to diversity at every level of biological organization.
Evolution exists in that people do evolve but it's absurd to think they evolve from apes, microorganisms, etc.

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windows screen Bethesda MD wrote:
The answer is still complicated, we can't tell accurately that all the animals and humans had same ancestors, though we have nearly same physical attributes and characteristics.