Many people who do not understand evolution claim that is a theory. They keep pointing at missing links, and say…there! That proves that evolution is mistaken!
First of all, a theory, as used in science, is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena. Our planet dates back to about 4.5 billion years ago, and life started around 3.5 billion years ago. Life started in water bodies, as single celled living organisms. This alone refutes creation, which, at best, it puts our planet at 6000 years old.
Creation, or what has come to be called intelligent design, dates back as far as when the religious books were written or the times of Abraham. Before that, no one talks about a one true God creating. Facts of evolution are not only found in the fossils all over the world, but also in the genetic coding of the species. That is why, gorillas are 98% related to humans because we do share a common ancestor. (We do not come from apes, but share a common ancestor!)
Scientists use the technique of carbon dating to calculate the age of fossils and places where they are found. Populations change over time genetically. The changes occur gradually and not overnight. These changes are driven by a natural selection that includes very many factors. Speciation occurs where a different species gives rise to other different species and that is why we have diverse richness of life on our planet. Evolution is supported by transitional fossils between different species, genetic coding. Humans, for example. People ask, “if humans came from apes, why are there still apes?” Evolution does not work like that, and humans did not come from apes, but rather, they share a common ancestor. If you trace back the lineage of both the apes’ family and the humans, you reach a point where they intersect.
So, the humans took a branch and the apes also took another. Thus, humans are not descended from chimpanzees or from any other ape living today but from a species that no longer exists that might have lived seven million years ago.
When Charles Darwin proposed the theory of evolution, more than 150 years ago, very few evidence was known about the origin of species. The proof for evolution does not hinge on fossil records only as many people think. DNA research in molecular biology and genetics has revealed how evolution works at the level of molecules. “Unknown when evolution and natural selection were first proposed in 1859, genetics has shown that traits are passed from parent to offspring through DNA, a molecule in all living things that directs how cells grow and reproduce,” says Francisco J. Ayala, Chair, University of California and co-author of science, Evolution and creationism.