ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Evidence For Evolution

Updated on May 28, 2013

What is evolution?

Before I start talking about the different evidence for the theory of evolution I will first explain what evolution is in terms of variation, adaptation and selection.

Evolution can be defined as the process by which different kinds of living organisms develop and diversify from earlier forms of the same organism.

In a nutshell evolution works in the following steps:

  • A variation occurs.
  • The environment 'selects' these variations that give the species an advantage.
  • Individuals that display this advantage will be able to survive and therefore reproduce.
  • Their offspring will have this advantage/variation.
  • The next generation will be better adapted to the environment in which they live.
  • Over time the organism will become very well adapted to it's environment.

Examples of evolution today

There are many examples of evolution occurring in organisms that live today and a lot of the reasons why they evolve are due to human behaviours - some examples include:

  • Pesticides were devised by humans to kill insects and pests that eat crops and this is now putting a huge selection strain on the insect population. The insects that are more susceptible to the pesticides will die and the individuals that have some kind of resistance to them will survive. These resistant insects are then able to pass on their characteristics to their offspring and very rapidly the population of insects become more and more resistant to pesticides.
  • The use of antibiotics puts a huge selection pressure on the bacteria population. When a person is prescribed antibiotics the majority of the bacteria are killed and the person feels much better and stops taking them without finishing the full course. This means that the surviving few bacteria can reproduce and create a new population of bacteria that are resistant to that specific antibiotic.

Evidence for evolution


  • Charles Darwin (the person to initially propose the theory of evolution) studied a huge range of fossilised organisms so he could have evidence to support his theory. One fossilised organism that Darwin noticed changed over time was called the Brachiopod which appeared in rocks formed over 5 million years ago. They can be used to determine the age of rocks because the Brachiopods from different times had different characteristics due to evolution.
  • However, Darwin wasn't the only person to use fossils as evidence for evolution. More recently it has been shown that the older a fossil the more simple the organism is and the fossils that were formed more recently show signs of being more complex (such as humans). The evolution of humans can be seen in fossils that can be dated back to 3-4 million years ago.
  • Archaeopteryx is a fossilised organism that is thought to be one of the earliest birds and shows characteristics of both reptiles and birds.

Biological Molecules:

  • Very recently biological molecules (for example cytochrome c) have been used as evidence for evolution.
  • If one species gives rise to another species it can be assumed that they will both have the same biological molecules. Seeing as certain molecules are found throughout the living world this suggests that all species would have evolved from a common ancestor.
  • It has also been found that two species that have recently evolved to be separate from each other will have the same, if not very similar, biological molecules compared to those who evolved to be different species a long time ago, whose biological molecules will differ a lot more.

Variation in Proteins:

  • DNA/RNA polymerase are proteins that are found in all living things.
  • The central part of these proteins have been found to be the same in pretty much all living organisms however, higher organisms will have extra subunits which will improve the action of the protein but not the basic function.
  • The genes of organisms can also be compared by the sequence of the DNA bases.
  • Species that are more distantly related will have more of a difference between the arrangement of their DNA bases and comparisons can show evolutionary relationships.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Tod Zechiel profile image

      Tod Zechiel 

      4 years ago from Florida, United States

      Your article is well written. However, you make the common mistake of mixing observation (science) with nonscientific, hitsorical records (fossils) and claiming evolution as science. Not to fault you, this is the way most scientists are taught. True science is very, very limited in what it can claim since it can only observe the present and predict the future. See my hub for details:

    • Anthropophobia profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      You observe evolution each passing moment (re-read the antibiotic resistant bacteria section of the hub for an example of this). There is no 'magic' it is not a 'religion' - it is a scientific theory that is based on hundreds of years worth of biological research, artefacts and evidence - so much of which that it is essentially accepted as fact.

      Thanks for reading though.

    • profile image

      incidental surfer 

      5 years ago

      People who still believe in evolutionism? Really? I don't buy it. The story of the frog who changed into a prince-- with time being substituted for the princess' kiss... And it's the intelligent designers who are said to be gullible for magic? As if we have no empirical data on the source of information and functionality. Hey, let's just ignore everything we observe each passing moment and make believe. Strange religion. Funny and sad.

    • Anthropophobia profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you very much, I'm glad that you found it interesting!

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 

      5 years ago from India

      I voted you informative hub UP... This is really very good, i enjoyed reading your knowledge hub. Great work!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)