On the website, evolutionfaq.com, there's an article titled, Five Proofs of Evolution. I can see the article is geared toward a lay audience and is certainly not very technical so I won't try to pretend that this is the best evidence evolutionists have. On the other hand, the author calls these five examples “proof” of the theory. What's more, there is a lot of supposed evidence for evolution out there and this site picked these five to make the argument for the theory so they must think they're somewhat compelling. So even if they're not what I would consider great evidence for the theory, this website presents them as though they are. Let's take a look at list and see.
1) The universal genetic code. All cells on Earth, from our white blood cells, to simple bacteria, to cells in the leaves of trees, are capable of reading any piece of DNA from any life form on Earth. This is very strong evidence for a common ancestor from which all life descended.
Universal DNA is not a prediction of evolution. Certainly if all life descended from a single common ancestor with DNA, then all living organisms should also have DNA but there's nothing about evolutionary theory that requires abiogenesis to have only occurred once. Another lineage could exist that did not have DNA. Would that then prove evolution false? Hardly. Therefore, whether DNA is universal or not, the theory of evolution would chug along either way.
It makes perfect sense, on the other hand, to believe that universal DNA is the product of design. If God originally intended people and animals to eat only plants, for example, it wouldn't be possible if the various life forms were completely alien to each other.
2. The fossil record. The fossil record shows that the simplest fossils will be found in the oldest rocks, and it can also show a smooth and gradual transition from one form of life to another.
This is a misleading characterization of the fossil record. First, many of the creatures appearing near the bottom of the illustration provided with the article, are organisms that are still alive today – sponges, protozoans, and protists. Over the last 500 million alleged years, sponges have evolved into what? Sponges?
But even the “simplest” life forms are incredibly complex. Darwin might have believed that unicellular creatures were little more than gelatinous blobs of protoplasm that could form accidentally from a fortunate arrangement of amino acids. We know better now. Single-celled creatures, for example, use a whip-like tail, called a flagellum, for locomotion. This diagram shows the complexity of just this single structure. There really is no such thing as a “simple” organism.
The fossil record shows something completely different than simple to complex progression from bottom to top. If you looked at a cross section of the earth, you would see marine animals at the lowest layers with plants, birds, and mammals at the top. That very closely resembles the order in the article's tree-of-life chart. I maintain that the appearance in the fossil record more closely depicts where the creatures lived rather than when they lived.
3. Genetic commonalities. Human beings have approximately 96% of genes in common with chimpanzees, about 90% of genes in common with cats, 80% with cows, 75% with mice, and so on. This does not prove that we evolved from chimpanzees or cats, though, only that we shared a common ancestor in the past.
The similarity between human and chimp DNA has been vastly exaggerated, to the point of lying. I wrote about this just a few months ago. Most telling is that chimp DNA is 8% longer than human DNA. Therefore, if the two were identical in every other respect, they could only be 92% similar at most. But human/chimp DNA are not identical except for their length. If you do a letter by letter comparison of human/chimp DNA, estimates of their similarity range between 70-81%. So if similar DNA “proves” we shared a common ancestor with chimps, then dissimilar DNA should be evidence against having a common ancestor.
Regardless of all this though, I reject the premise that similar DNA must be the result of common descent. DNA has been compared to blueprints; they are the instructions that build living things. The more similar 2 creatures are, the more similar their DNA should be. Even according to creation theory, human DNA would be more like a chimp's than a bird's. Consider this, if I drew 2 lines, one 9 inches and one 10 inches, the lines are 90% similar – but they are similar because I drew them that way, not because they have a common ancestor!
4. Common traits in embryos. Humans, dogs, snakes, fish, monkeys, eels (and many more life forms) are all considered "chordates" because we belong to the phylum Chordata. One of the features of this phylum is that, as embryos, all these life forms have gill slits, tails, and specific anatomical structures involving the spine. For humans (and other non-fish) the gill slits reform into the bones of the ear and jaw at a later stage in development. But, initially, all chordate embryos strongly resemble each other.
Ernst Haeckel was a professor of biology about the time of Darwin. He published several papers and books where he presented a series of drawings comparing the embryos of different animals. He advanced a theory called embryonic recapitulation which basically says that, as embryos develop in the womb, they progress through stages similar to our supposed evolutionary history.
There was a controversy surrounding Haeckel with claims that he intentionally altered the drawings to make the embryos more similar. Modern photos we've taken of embryos at the same stages as Haeckel's drawings do not show the same similarity Haeckel saw.
Human embryos do not have gill slits. At a certain stage of development, human embryos have folds in the skin of their necks that bear a superficial resemblance to gill slits. As they develop, though, the folds become glands and parts of the ears. They have nothing to do with the respiratory system as fish gills do.
When an antibiotic is applied, the initial innoculation [sic] will kill most bacteria, leaving behind only those few cells which happen to have the mutations necessary to resist the antibiotics. In subsequent generations, the resistant bacteria reproduce, forming a new colony where every member is resistant to the antibiotic. This is natural selection in action. The antibiotic is "selecting" for organisms which are resistant, and killing any that are not.
The author here has precisely described natural selection. I've said many times that natural selection is the opposite of evolution. Some bacteria in the colony already have the immunity to antibiotics and the ones that don't are removed. It's survival of the fittest. Pointing to an example of unfit creatures being removed from a population doesn't demonstrate the kind of evolution that would add feathers to dinosaurs or legs to fish. Evolutionists routinely conflate natural selection with evolution as though they are the same thing. They're not. Evolutionists want to use examples of things we do observe (natural selection) as evidence for something we don't observe (evolution).
In conclusion, these supposed "proofs" of evolution are hardly persuasive. Not even in the least. Is this the best they have. Surely not. What it does demonstrate is how people's belief in evolution is less about the evidence and more about their willingness to believe in evolution.