Having the good-old creation V evolution debate with one of my aunts (back-and-forth via Facebook).

Her claim of the moment is that there have been no observations of evolution, only speculation from fossils; thus the theory of evolution fails the scientific method.

I've got a couple good counters and links in mind, but was hoping to get some additional responses from all my fine friends here on Think Atheist. I could quote pages of research and tons of examples, but I'm sure it will overwhelm her if I just give her a wall of text; and if she is overwhelmed she will just dismiss it. So I'd like to make it a list and keep each entry fairly brief; so I'm looking for single-line examples, and internet links.

Thanks for your help!

Tags: Darwin, Observed Evolution, argument, creation, evolution, science

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Are you sure your aunt knows what the scientific method actually entails?

* Ask a Question
* Do Background Research
* Construct a Hypothesis
* Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
* Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
* Communicate Your Results

Which step says "observe it happening"?

I'd ask you aunt to provide an alternative and superior explanation for the diversity of lifeforms on the planet that is also supported by the evidence.
I started with the list for the scientific method, and when she came back with the claim that creation-scientists go through the same steps. I elaborated further (and pointed out where creation-scientists usually breakdown), and in detailing I used the term "observe" as part of the testing/experiment step. So she threw back at me that no evolution has ever been observed.
Without evolution children would simply be exactly half one and half the other of their parents, rather than more like one than the other.
Here's a good link to a story about rapid evolution in the Congo River.
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Evolution-in-the-Deepe...
I don't know if this is a good example or not, but what about domesticated dog breeds? Dog breeders select certain members of the species for the purpose of their desirable characteristics. Of course, the driving force here is the intention of the breeder rather than the impartiality of natural selection and it may be confused as promoting the concept of a "designer" underlying evolution. Still, it might provide a real-world analogy to talk about some of the principles of genetic variability and selection.
Thanks Shine; I do have a paragraph on human selection illustrating evolution on domesticated animals.

She is mostly of the 'young earth' mindset from everything she has argued so far; she doesn't prescribe to 'the designer shaping evolution.' So I don't think that will be an issue, but I'm wording it carefully.
Thanks for the great responses so-far everyone!

I've decided to do a slightly different reply before proceeding with the list you're helping me compile.

Can I ask a few questions to try to establish a baseline?

1. Do you think that more offspring are produced than are able to survive to maturity and reproduce?

2. Do you think that offspring resemble their parents, but have genetic variation that makes them unique?

3. Do you think that an offspring with a trait that helps them survive (collecting food, defending/escaping from predators, surviving the environment, or attracting a mate) will be more likely to reproduce and have offspring of its own?

I think that most who oppose evolution don't actually understand it even at the most basic premise. Is this honest asking her these questions this way? I don't want to be dishonest about it, but almost want to 'trick' her into agreeing with these, and then try to ease into 'that's evolution.' Are there any notable flaws in my wording?
Thanks Nelson.

And great picture, I'm sure I'll be able to put that to use.
This is clear and succinct, a graphical representation of evolution by natural selection. Most on this website find this easy to see, even the word 'inference' may be a little weak for those of us who have witnessed this process in action, in marine life, for example. I fear those who, for religious reasons, wish to ignore this simple fact will continue to for, to them, groping in the darkness of ignorance is more comfortable than a mortal reality, they have been indoctrinated to dread.
I find myself asking: Has she ever observed god? What does he/she/it look like?
Oh yes, but I'm trying to keep the discussion on topic. LOL!

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