Here’s an interesting essay from Michael Ruse, published in the Georgia newspaper the Rome News-Tribune:
So why should we take the idea seriously? Why should we ever think that it could ever be much more than a “theory,” meaning an iffy hypothesis like speculations on the Kennedy assassination? Why should we ever agree that evolution is a “fact”?
Darwin realized full well that often we don’t have direct evidence, but that doesn’t stop us from talking about facts. Indirect evidence can be overwhelming. It can trump direct evidence even! Take a murder, or some other crime against the person. What would lead you to point a finger at a culprit? Sure, eyewitness testimony is going to be very powerful. But we all know that people under strain can be very unreliable about remembering faces. That is not a weakness; it is a very understandable aspect of human nature.
There follows an impressively succinct summary of some of the evidence for evolution. Worth a read.
Alas, I had to roll my eyes at his concluding paragraph:
And now I will break my promise not to mention science and religion. I believe that the human ability to peer into the past as do evolutionists is one of the most wonderful things that we ever do. If ever I wanted proof that although we may be modified monkeys we are nevertheless made in the image of God, this would be it.
The only way I can make sense of this, given that Ruse is a nonbeliever (as he has made clear elsewhere) and therefore does not believe that we are made in the image of God, is that he is saying if you are the sort of person inclined to believe we are made in the image of God, and if you seek some confirmation for your belief, the human ability to peer into the past is just such confirmation.
Somehow I do not think that religious believers uncomfortable with evolution are going to find much solace in this thought. They are more likely to note that our peering has shown us to be the chance result of billions of years of evolution by bloodsport, and wonder what that tells us about the existence of God, and of our role in creation.