Proving evolution to someone who doesn't believe anything


AronRa said:
Again, no. I don't understand big bang cosmology, and what I know about it is that cosmologists are trying to explain it more than it explains anything. So I don't like big bang cosmology, and I don't necessarily "believe" it, but I must concede that it is still the best model we have, and I can't reject it because it works in certain applications, and because I don't have anything better to replace it with. When Lavoisier disproved phlogiston theory in 1777, it wasn't enough to say "I don't believe that". He disproved it with his own theory of oxygen.
So here I don't agree.
I believe in the big bang as well, I have seen the evidence for it.
Before I read about the evidence, I didn't believe in it.
If an hypothesis can explain something, it's still doesn't mean it is consistent. If there is a fact that disproves the theory, it has a huge problem, and that's all I ask, to see the evidence, and to see it is actually consistent.
Then how do we disagree? Because it doesn't seem that we do.

You said you accept microevolution plus speciation [macroevolution] so you've accepted evolution in total
No. If I accept that speciation can occur, it does not mean I accept that pine trees and elephants are related (I'm joking of course).
Anyways, I still need to see the evidence step by step (because If it's not consistent, it's not an explanation at all).
And if evolution is true, and backed by so many evidence like you say, why is that a problem? No, I'm not convinced, is that it?
Are we done here? because if that's all you can show me (changes up to the possibility of speciation), sorry, I just can't accept that whole theory.
Then what part do you reject? Because there is nothing left. So far, you have already said you accept that evolution is a fact of population genetics, that every objection to it has always been irrational, and that the theory of evolution has been effectively proven by an overwhelming preponderance of evidence. As I already pointed out, all the mechanisms of evolution are contained within microevolution plus speciation. There are no evolutionary mechanisms beyond what you have already accepted, and you have accepted all of it. So it appears that your problem is not with any evolutionary process, but maybe with our system of classification? I still can't tell because you refuse to say.

So for instance, the phylogeny challenge, are you gonna answer it as well? I don't think I've seen you do it.

• Is the short-tailed goanna related to the perentie and all other Australian goannas? And how do you know that?
• Are all Australian goannas related to each other and the African and Indonesian monitors? And how do you know that?
• Are today’s terrestrial varanids related to Cretaceous mosasaurs? And how do you know that?
• Are varanids related to any other anguimorphs including snakes? And how do you know that?
• Are anguimorphs also related to scincomorphs and geckos? And how do you know that?
• Are all scleroglossa related to iguanids and other squamates? And how do you know that?
• Are all of squamata related to each other and all other lepidosaurs? And how do you know that?
• Are lepidosaurs related to placodonts and plesiosaurs? And how do you know that?
• Are lepidosauromorphs related to archosaurs and other diapsids? And how do you know that?
• Are all diapsids related to anapsids or synapsid “reptiles” like dimetrodon? And how do you know that?
• Are all reptiles related to each other and all other amniotes? And how do you know that?
• Are all amniotes related to each other and all other tetrapods? And how do you know that?
• Are all tetrapods related to each other and all other vertebrates? And how do you know that?
And so on. Which of these are related? And how do you know that?
Someone who is interested in evidence would look at specifics, but you try to be as vague as possible, and ignore much of the evidence you're given.

But your contention (which is still vague) is that the one thing you don't accept is some as-yet unidentified aspect of common ancestry, which is apparently related to our method of classification rather than your understanding of evolution. That's why I'm still asking you to answer the phylogeny challenge. I'm only asking you to point out where you think the problem is or why you think there is a problem. This is now the third time I've asked you this same question.
Ok, sure.
so all the questions above^
my answer to all of them is "I don't know".
No, you DO know. Earlier, you mentioned how I don't like philosophy. The reason being that I always see it misused to deny reality and make-believe some alternative fantasy instead. That's what you're doing now. My promise was to prove that biological evolution is the truest, best explanation there is for the origin of our species, and that it is the only explanation of biodiversity with either evidentiary support or scientific validity. I phrased it that way to contest Intelligent Design creationists trying to pretend as if their fantasy qualified as a theory. But you said you don't even have an alternative fantasy. So it's like arguing with a flat earther who doesn't understand that if they don't even have their own model, then they have no basis for contention. There is only the mainstream science, which you already totally accept (even if you don't adequately understand any of it) and there is literally no other possibility.

Remember that evidence is a body of objectively verifiable facts that are positively-indicative of, and/or exclusively concordant with only one available position or hypothesis over any other. You already accept that evolution happens and that it leads to speciation, and [importantly] there is no other mechanism that can do this. So given the question of whether the short-tailed goanna is related to the perentie and all other Australian goannas, you tried again to be evasive; you tried to flip it to answer with another question, "how do you know that?" Well, I'll tell you.


Varanoidea is a taxonomic superfamily of primitive, mildly venomous and powerful predatory lizards, including some that are large enough to be man-eaters. There are a couple dozen varanid species in Australia, including the two-meter parentie, the sand goanna, lace monitor, argus monitor, spiny-tailed monitor, short-tailed monitor, mangrove monitor, Spencer's goanna, the stripe-tailed goanna, and the massive seven meter-long giant extinct monitor known as Megalania. All of these are classified together because of a suite of shared diagnostic traits unifying them with a larger group of Varanids found in Africa and Asia too, as well as several more examples in the fossil record.

Although these are all different species, they are what creationists would universally classify as the same "kind" because they are so similar to each other. You already accept evolution as a mechanism that can and does produce this sort of variation, and—importantly—there is no other way these monitors could be related; nor is there any way they could be unrelated.

Morpholigical evidence should be enough, especially when corroborated by fossil evidence too, but runaway skeptics will always demand more than any reasonable person would. Fortunately, we also have genetic evidence, as we now do for every extant clade in the biosphere. This includes mtDNA which can be used to trace a phylogenetic family tree complete with molecular clock estimates which typically match the fossil evidence very closely.

Before we move on to the rest of these categories listed above, do you understand and accept that this collection of evidence that you didn't ask for but said you wanted to see proves at least the first and second category questions I just posed to you?
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Aron Ra said:
Do you understand and accept that evolution is a process of varying allele frequencies among reproductive populations leading to (usually subtle) changes in their morphological or physiological composition, which—when compiled over successive generations—can increase biodiversity when continuing variation between genetically isolated groups eventually lead to one or more descendant branches increasingly distinct from their ancestors or cousins? Or more simply, it is how life forms diversify via descent with inherent modification.
Sure, but - can you give me an example of a new gene that was slowly compiled over successive generations and helped the ones who held it? Was something like that observed? Again, not trying to be difficult, just asking.
I already listed a few examples in my video on the Phylogeny Challenge. Since you missed the evidence you're still asking for, I suggest you watch it again, from 7:30-8:12.

Do you understand and accept that of these mutations, some may be deleterious and thus quickly removed from the gene pool, a few may be advantageous and possibly see a selective advantage, but that the majority of them would be effectively neutral, and will continue to accumulate over many generations?
Can you give me a few examples of such mutations? Including in humans.
Of course. For example, kinfolk in the village of Limone Sul Garda in northern Italy have a mutation which gives them a better tolerance of HDL serum cholsterol. Consequently this family has no history of heart attacks despite their high-risk dietary habits. This mutation was traced to a single common ancestor living in the 1700s, but has now spread to dozens of descendants. Genetic samples from this family are now being tested for potential treatment of patients of heart disease.

Another example of new variance was a mutation of two genes identified in some Tibetans that allows them to endure prolonged periods at high altitudes without succumbing to apoplexia (also known as altitude sickness). As Peter Tyson states in Inside NOVA, Scientists have found evidence that, over the thousands of years that Tibetans have lived on the Tibetan Plateau, natural selection has been working on their genes, causing evolutionary changes that enable Tibetan peoples not only to survive but to thrive at altitudes of 13,000 feet or more. A different but similar mutation was identified in high altitude natives in the Andes.

Another example of a beneficial mutation is the CCR5-delta 32 mutation. About 10% of white people of European origin now carry it, but the incidence is only 2% in Central Asia, and is completely absent among East Asians, Africans, and tribal Americans. It appears to have suddenly become relatively common among white Europeans about seven hundred years ago—apparently as a result of the Black Plague, indicating another example of natural selection allowing one gene dominance in a changing environment. It is harmless or neutral in every respect other than its one clearly beneficial feature. According to, if one inherits this gene from both parents, they will be especially resistant (if not immune) to AIDS. Similarly, population genetics is being credited as one reason why incidence of sickle-cell genes in African-Americans is apparently decreasing over time.

Then there’s the account of a family in Germany who were already unusually strong, but one child in the family happened to be born with a double copy of an antimyostatin mutation carried by both parents. The result is a Herculean kiddo, who was examined at only a few days old for his unusually well-developed muscles. By four years old, he had twice the muscle mass of normal children and half the fat. Pharmaceutical synthesis of this mutation is being examined for potential use against muscular dystrophy and sarcopenia. An MSNBC report from June 24, 2004 states, Somewhere in Germany is a baby Superman, born in Berlin with bulging arm and leg muscles. Not yet 5, he can hold seven pound weights with arms extended— something many adults cannot do.

And then there’s a family in Connecticut who’ve been identified as having hyperdense, virtually unbreakable bones. A team of doctors at Yale traced the mutation to a gene that was the subject of an earlier study in which researchers showed that low bone density could be caused by a mutation that disrupts the function of a gene called LRP5. This clued them that a different mutation increased LRP5 function, leading to an opposite phenotype—that is, high bone density. According to their investigators, members of this family have bones so strong they rival those of Bruce Willis’ character in the movie Unbreakable. According to Professor Richard P. Lifton, M.D., If there are living counterparts to the [hero] in Unbreakable, who is in a terrible train wreck and walks away without a single broken bone, they’re members of this family. They have extraordinarily dense bones and there is no history of fractures. These people have about the strongest bones on the entire planet.

All of these are examples of specifically identified mutations that are definitely beneficial, and that have spread through the subsequent gene pool according to natural selection. These are just some of indisputable evidence of evolution in humans.


Aron Ra said:
To put it another way, do you understand and accept that subtle variations exist among the siblings of every brood, not just from genetic recombination in the case of sexual reproduction, but that every descendant of any individual organism will also have some number of unique mutations?
So far, so good.

Do you understand and accept that one of the inevitable results of this genetic drift is that one population that is divided for many generations will accumulate their own uniquely distinctive mutations, such that if we eventually happened across a lone wanderer, we should be able to identify which ancestral group it came from, according to its indicative traits?
No, not yet.
Interesting. So what do you think causes the variance we see in just in humans, where certain physical characteristics indicate whether someone's ancestral lineage came from eastern Asia, Africa, Australia or Europe?

Do you understand and accept that this would lead to subspecies, where every member of a regionally isolated subgroup shares a suite of diagnostic traits that are not shared by any member of the alternate groups? A subspecies is equivalent to a breed, the difference being whether it was derived by artificial or natural selection.
I accept that if the above is true, then yes, that is what will happen.
Again, this is interesting. How could you accept that these subtle variations could accumulate to distinguish new species if you don't accept that these subtle variations could accumulate at all?


I don't think I understand some of it.
Could you explain further about that please:
"There is a caveat here is that within a single interbreeding population, the dominant gene pool tends to restrict diversity, such that notable variation typically occurs in smaller, more isolated populations. If the two groups resume interbreeding, then all that may meld together again as if it had never been."
Sure. If one individual has a novel mutation that is beneficial in that it helps him secure a mate and procreate, that mutation might also be written out again in the very first generation of descendants, just as a side-effect of recombination. The larger the gene pool, the higher the probability that it will inhibit the new variance. If you have two visibly distinct varieties of the same species, where the difference in their appearance indicates their region, then if they remain separate, the morphological/genetic gap between them will continue to increase. But if they resume interbreeding, then whatever trivial difference once existed may vanish in the blend of their offspring.
Yeah, for me it's especially hard to accept the evolution of the joints and knuckles (of the knee, of the hand..)
I don't believe in a kind. All i'm saying is that I'm not yet convinced of that common ancestry.
Then I am confused, trying to see how the evolution of a knee or a hand relates to whatever your issue is with common ancestry.

One thing that might help is to point out that all skeletons were initially cartilage. Some species also incorporate a percentage of calcium, ossifying that cartilage into bone. But it's a matter of proportion; how flexible or bony is it? Dr Neil Shubin's best-selling book, Your Inner Fish goes into great detail on this, probably too much detail for someone like yourself. I think my own series on the Systematic Classification of Life gives a much more simplified break-down. Though I admit that where I did only four episodes for the specific development you're talking about, I could have done as many as nine epsodes to cover all the intermediaries you're asking about now. While I do cover all of them in only four epsodes, I run through it in summary. I think you need something between Neil Shubin's presentation and mine.

10. Eugnathostomata

11. Sarcopterygii

12. Eotetrapodiformes

13. Tetrapoda

One of the laws of evolution is that the young of two closely-related species are more similar than the adults are. Ernst Haeckel's notion that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" could have been a timeless truth of evolution if he had written it correctly, but he included a couple erroneous elements. He said that an embryo would pass through the adult stages of its evolutionary ancestry, and he was using antiquated categories. Karl Ernst von Baer corrected Haeckel's Biogenetic law with his own fourth law of embryology, that "fundamentally, the embryo of a higher animal never resembles the adult of another animal form, such as one less evolved, but only its embryo." The first three of his laws would allow a crude taxonomic tree to be devised just on embryology alone, and it would be accurate, though it would have far fewer categories, and the lack of detail means that it wouldn't be very useful.
Sure, and I understand that. But I would still like to see it.
Because one tree by genetics is really good. But a tree with just genetics, a tree with just fossils, a tree with just embriology, a tree with just morphology, And all tell the same story? That's sounds very nice. That's why I would like to see it.
You can't get one for embryology without morphology, because you have to have the morphology of the embryo as opposed to the adult form. None the less, ask and ye shall receive.


I honest, I don't think I'm dodging, I said I cannot answer the challenge, meaning that I don't think I can explain any point in which I know there isn't any relationship, because literally I don't know which are related and which are not, that's why I want the evidence.
Literally every fact we have in the foundation of modern biology—all the evidence there ever was—indicates that all life has evolved, and there was never any fact anywhere that ever indicated otherwise.

Call Me Emo

New Member
I read it but maybe I missed it, could you point out where in the citation it gives the evidence?
You're beginning to play with me. The paper clearly describes not only that the plants are all variants of the same species, but also describes how they were cultivated to look the way they look.

Do you accept the fact that these plants are related? If not, give reasons for your answer and evidence to support it. Screenshot_20200316-030607.png


Active Member
Because they were in a specific environment, and were "stable" there, then they moved to quite a different environment, so they had different selective pressures (being tasty and so on), and when I'm picturing in my head returning to the same environment - they would not need to be tasty or pretty anymore, and the same selective pressures that were in the beginning should come back, That was my reasoning.
During the process of artificial selection, genes that are present in the wildtype are actively selected against. That means that several genes that would have been present in the wildtype are no longer present in the cultivated type. Thus, placing a cultivated variety back in its natural environment will not produce something akin to the original wild type. Read more about that here.

No, I'm not saying any of that.
Convergent evolution can happen, I think, when It's quite essential, simple, and the similarities are superficial.

But if it's a complicated characteristic, then I didn't really think why would that evolve twice, kinda like a mammal evolving feathers.
Do you think wings, that bats and birds have, are simple? Beyond that, them being superficial is the point of convergent evolution.

I also do not understand your point about mammals evolving feathers. Mammals have not evolved feathers, but why are feathers more complicated than wings?


I also do not understand your point about mammals evolving feathers. Mammals have not evolved feathers, but why are feathers more complicated than wings?
There is a field of evolutionary study called "evo devo" which looks how how embryological development matches evolutionary development. Feathers are a collection of several stages of increasingly complex integrated structures that develop in a particular sequence. To have all those elements independently occur the same way in mammals without any unique variation is already too statistically improbable to consider, especially when we see that they develop in the same order both in living chicks and in a chronological arrangement of fossil dinosaurs.