I was just looking for something about natural selection on the net and came across this site here. What do you say about these claims which I marked? I have heard about this fossil record problem according to which the simplest life forms are on the bottom and over the time with the different layers the life forms also seem to have haven gotten more complex. This is indeed something which makes you think that evolution has happened. Later on the writer asks if somebody who didn't read the Genesis account would have come to the conclusion on his own that everything happened the way the bible says it? What if people like Darwin were indeed sincere and looking for the truth? If we didn't have the bible then I don't think that there would be many people which would come to the conclusion that everything was created from nothing at one point in time or what do you think? http://www.atheists.org/evolution/creationscience.html The Logic Of Evolution The conclusion that evolution has occurred is drawn from two simple observations: Observation 1: Living things come only from living things. Spontaneous generation is not possible when living things are already in existence. Observation 2: Fossil remains show that living things in the remote past were very different from living things today. THEREFORE: Conclusion: Life has changed through time (evolved). A dramatic proof of the thesis that life has changed through time is seen in the fossil record of the vertebrates, animals having a segmented backbone. At the beginning of the Cambrian Period (570-500 million years ago), there were no vertebrates at all. Later in the Cambrian, problematic forms appeared which seem to have been related to the vertebrates, but showed distant affinities with the echinoderms as well. (Echinoderms today are represented by starfish, sea lilies, sea cucumbers, etc.; embryologically they appear to compose the phylum most closely related to the Chordata, the phylum to which vertebrates belong.) Toward the end of the Cambrian Period, the first vertebrates appeared: the ostracoderms, jawless fishes possessed of a bony armor plate and having flattened bodies apparently adapted to a bottom-feeding way of life. According to the fossil record, vertebrates went without jaws for many millions of years. Finally, at the beginning of the Devonian Period (395-345 million years ago), the first fish with jaws entered their remains into the record in the rocks. At the very end of the Devonian or the beginning of the Carboniferous Period (345-280 million years ago), the first primitive amphibians arose. These fish-like animals differed from their air-breathing fish ancestors mostly in their elaboration of the bony structure of the paired appendages - converting fins into hands and feet - and in reinforcement of the structures attaching the paired appendages to the spinal column. The first reptiles did not appear until the last half of the Carboniferous Period. To give the lie to creationist claims that there are no connecting-link fossils to join the vertebrate classes, the Permian Period (280-225 million years ago) saw the appearance of an entire order of animals, the mammal-like reptiles (Therapsida), which can be seen to change with time from typical, primitive reptiles, into primitive mammals. It was not until late in the Triassic Period (225-190 million years ago) that the therapsid-mammal transmutation was complete. Contrary to the first chapter of Genesis, which claims that the first mammals appeared on the earth a mere twenty-four hours after the first fish, the first mammals did not appear on earth until more than 300 million years of fish evolution had transpired! Birds, which, according to both creation myths in Genesis, were created on the same day as fish, do not enter the fossil record until the Jurassic Period (190-136 million years ago). Representing an ultimate variation on the dinosaur theme, birds trace their descent from reptiles quite different from those ancestral to the mammals. Contrary to the claims of some creationists, evolutionists do not claim that reptiles evolved into birds, and birds evolved into mammals! Even though the first mammals appeared in the Triassic Period, forms for which the English language has names would not appear until the late Cretaceous (136-65 million years ago), when opossum-like forms appeared, the Eocene Epoch (60-40 million years ago), when primitive whales originated, and the Oligocene Epoch (40-25 million years ago), when apes, monkeys, and primitive grazing mammals appeared. The record in the rocks, thus, is evidence either for fishes evolving into birds and mammals, or it is evidence of thousands of successive "special creations" - magical replacements of successive faunas by slightly different ones. Curiously, the latter interpretation is as unbiblical as it is unscientific. If either of the biblical myths were true, all types of vertebrates - living types of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes - would be found along with bacteria and trilobites at the very beginning of the fossil record and would be extractable from all rock layers of later ages. But of course, nothing could be farther from reality. The infamous "gaps in the fossil record," adduced by creationists as evidence against evolution, are actually a devastating refutation of the idea that all forms of life were miraculously zapped onto the earth at the same time! The Logic Of Natural Selection Since creationists in their attacks of evolution in general, and of natural selection in particular, usually obfuscate the scientific principles involved and generally substitute a straw man which is easier to ridicule, it is important that we state clearly just what it is that science has to say on the topic of how new species come to be. The modern ("synthetic") theory of natural selection consists of a tightly interwoven fabric of observations and logical conclusions drawn from them. Observation 1: All living things tend to reproduce in geometric progression, so that if all offspring survived, the entire earth would be overrun by them. Observation 2: In fact, however, the earth is NOT so overrun. The populations of various species remain approximately constant in size from century to century, due to the finite resources of the environment. THEREFORE: Conclusion A: There must be a competition for the available resources of the environment, a "struggle for existence." Observation 3: Heritable variations (mutations) are observed to occur spontaneously, from time to time, in populations of all species. Observation 4: In a given environment, some of these variations are helpful in the struggle for existence, and others are harmful or neutral. THEREFORE: Conclusion B: A natural selection of individuals will result. Those with helpful mutations will survive and expand in numbers, and those with harmful mutations will tend to perish and be reduced in numbers. Observation 5: The source of inheritable changes is either (1) change in the sequence of chemical "bases" in the DNA molecules making up an organism's genes, (2) rearrangement of genes on chromosomes, or (3) multiplication or deletion of genes or chromosomes. Observation 6: Physically and chemically speaking, there is no limit to the amount of base changing possible in DNA or the amount of gene rearrangement which can take place. THEREFORE: Conclusion C: There will be no limit to the amount of variation possible in any given species. Given enough time, and changing environmental conditions, mutation will add to mutation, and any species will gradually change into one or more new species. As mutations cause greater and greater cumulative change, and as sexual recombination assembles novel hereditary ensembles, species will turn into new genera, genera into new families, etc. With the exception of the observations concerning changes in DNA and chromosomes as the source of evolutionary variation, the theory above was discovered by Charles Darwin in the middle of the last century. Darwin came to his theory grudgingly - he had originally been a creationist himself. But the facts of nature which he uncovered in his trip around the world on H.M.S. Beagle forced him to give up the Genesis mythology in favor of evolutionary science, and made him formulate the theory of natural selection. The lesson to be learned from this is that the facts of nature compel unbiased minds to conclude that evolution has occurred, and that natural selection is at least a part of the cause of evolutionary change. (Population size and genetic isolation of populations are also important factors affecting the degree to which evolutionary change will occur.) As we examine the bizarre details of the Genesis creation myth, however, we must ask: Is it conceivable that any person not already aware of the first Genesis myth could go out into the world of nature and conclude that green plants came into existence before the sun? That birds existed before reptiles? Without knowledge of the second Genesis myth, who would come up with the idea that man is older than both plants and animals, but that woman did not come into existence until the last animal species had appeared? Without being brainwashed by the Noah's Ark tale, what geologist would conclude that the whole planet was covered by a shell of water 4,334 years ago? What independent observer would conclude that the kiwi, which can neither swim nor fly, came to New Zealand from Mt. Ararat in Turkey, but couldn't make it to Greece or Australia? Could anyone conclude that there was once a "firmament" in the sky -- with windows in it, and water above it?