Jerry A Coyne, in his book Why Evolution is True, says that the theory of evolution is as accepted as any scientific fact. In scientific circles, it is as accepted as the germ theory of disease and the existence of atoms.
Creationists point to "gaps" in the fossil record as "evidence" that evolution is not true, but they conveniently ignore the considerable weight of evidence outside paleontology, from botany and anatomy to genetics and molecular biology.
All of this evidence has logical consistency, which the bible does not. Or, where the scientific evidence in favor of evolution DOESN'T have logical consistency, science at least has the mechanisms in place to improve our understanding.
So, yes, I think it's irrefutable to someone who doesn't feel threatened by the truth.
This might help:
and click on the link in line 3 for a pdf.
In the tree of life analogy, wouldn't a "missing link" be more like a missing branch than a missing leaf?
Not that it doesn't exist, just that we havn't found it. I think a missing branch(or segment of a branch anyway) more accurately follows the analogy. A missing leaf would describe a species that has not yet been discovered which is at the end of its path through the tree (which is pretty difficult to determine).
Scientists from all over the world think that life came to earth in form of bacterias included in meteorites.
Have a look:
Their fossilised remains have been found in the rock, which was blasted out of
Mars 16 million years ago as the solar system was forming.
The meteorite, called Allen Hills 84001, made headlines in 1996 after fossils
were found in it. Scientists believed they were bacteria from Earth that
contaminated the rock while it lay in the frozen wastes.
But a Nasa report now says there is strong evidence they originated on Mars,
according to The Sun.
Dr Emily Baldwin, deputy editor of the UK's Astronomy Now magazine, said: "Many
scientists argued that what looked like fossils in the meteorite were really
caused by the explosive event, such as an asteroid impact, that blasted the
rock out of Mars in the first place.
"But the Nasa team is now saying they have proved that they could not
have been produced by the blast itself.
"If the features turn out to have an extraterrestrial, biological origin
and were not formed during the 13,000 years the meteorite spent lying on
Earth, this will have profound implications for our understanding of how
life evolved in the solar system."
Prof Colin Pillinger, of the Open University, who was behind Britain's
ill-fated Beagle 2 probe to the planet that was lost on Christmas Day 2003,
said: "This is good quality work and more compelling evidence to add to
the mix. These guys have been plugging away at this for years. It is a very
careful study by very reputable people."
The Nasa study, led by Kathie Thomas-Keprta, found carbonate discs and tiny
magnetite crystals inside the space rock. Scientists were able to use high
resolution electron microscopes that were not available 13 years ago.
They concluded "unusual chemical and physical properties" in the
meteorite were "intimately associated within and throughout these
carbonate disks". That, they said, was evidence of interaction with
water on Mars more than 3.5 billion years ago.
Nasa is expected to announce the findings, from its Johnson Space Centre in
Houston, Texas, later this week.
I have read about this and agree it is a possibility.....this still doesnt explain how life came to be.... just how life came to be on planet Earth.
Edit: it is also possible that life began on both Earth and Mars and was transported between the two via meteorites. We would essentially then have two trees of life from which evolution occurred.