The most important aspect of a scientific theory is the predictions it makes. What can it tell us before we run an experiment? Here are some predictions which the theory of evolution made, and how they were verified:

* Paleontologists successfully predicted that they would find a "missing link" between fish and tetrapods in upper Devonian Strata (They named it Tiktaalik Roseae)

* Evolutionary Theory Predicted that Jawless Fish would be the only vertebrates to lack the alpha/beta divide in hemoglobin.
See Richard Dawkins, "The Information Challenge"

* Evolutionary Theory is frequently used in fighting contagious disease. See Berkeley Evolution

* Biologist P.Z. Meyers discussed numerous verified predictions of evolutionary theory concerning vertebrate eyes.

* Predictions of Evolutionary Theory are discussed in "The Seven Daughters of Eve" and "Evolution for Everyone" though the predictions are too complex to sum up here.

* Paleontologists predicted an evolutionary predecessor to Triceratops would be found (See this article on Albertaceratops).

* Charles Darwin predicted the ancestors of man would be found in Africa (Due to the homologies with African Apes).

* Darwin predicted that precursors to the trilobite would be found in pre-Silurian rocks. He was correct: they were subsequently found.

* Darwin predicted that Precambrian fossils would be found. He wrote in 1859 that the total absence of fossils in Precambrian rock was "inexplicable" and that the lack might "be truly urged as a valid argument" against his theory. When such fossils were found, starting in 1953, it turned out that they had been abundant all along. They were just so small that it took a microscope to see them.

* Evolution predicts that Fossil Amphibians will make their first appearance in the fossil record after the first fish and before the first reptiles. (They do)

* In "The Origin Of Species" (1859), Darwin said:

"If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection."
Chapter VI, Difficulties Of The Theory

This challenge has not been met. In the ensuing 140 years, no such thing has been found. Plants give away nectar and fruit, but they get something in return. Taking care of other members of one's own species (kin selection) doesn't count, so ants and bees (and mammalian milk) don't count.

* Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, while gorillas and chimps have 24 pairs of chromosomes. When humanity evolved, where did this extra set of chromosomes go? The set could not possibly be deleted, as a chromosome contains so much vital genetic information that this would be fatal. The only possible explanation is that two pairs of chromosomes fused together. Some critics have asked, "Why couldn't the ape lineage have begun with 23 pairs of chromosomes, and a chromosome duplication have occured in the gorilla and chimp lineage?" Simple: There have not been any recent chromosome duplications in gorillas or chimps. If there had been, there should be two sets of chromosomes that are nearly identical. So far as I know, there are not.

But Sure Enough, two sets of chromosomes were found fused together in humans.

Some of these predictions come from Don Lindsay's Archive.


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