Evolution Question

One statement that always comes up during creationist-evolutionist debates among the creationists is, “if evolution were real, why don’t we still see species evolving along the spectrum (i.e. in between the well-defined species we already well know)?” Is it that the conditions conducive to continuous evolution have ceased at some point in history? I am curious about it and also would like to have a reasonable response.
Thanks

So, is this kind of an extension of “if monkeys evolved into humans, why are there still monkeys?”. I mean that seriously.
Are these people expecting to see current versions of species that are in between versions of species we do see? Because there are lots of those, we call them sub-species. I’d have to hear a more detailed description of what they mean.
It’s the same answer as the monkey question. Current monkeys and current humans share a common ancestor which is something different, a different kind of primate. It just takes a long time to create differences like that, and over that time, the original usually dies out.
And we now do have video evidence of the creation of a new species. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Domesticated_Red_Fox But to get that, we had to artificially isolate some foxes and encourage them to breed in pairs that we selected. That sped up the evolutionary process.

Lausten: I understand what you’re saying. It’s difficult to articulate without sounding silly, but I guess they mean “why don’t we see species that are not quite human, but not quite resembling monkey species either…perhaps a species in transition?” Most I know to say to people is to go to the Smithsonian and check out the “Lucy” exhibit for human origins.

There have been recent species that were not quite human. Neanderthals, for example. They aren’t till around because they died out.

Lausten: I understand what you're saying. It's difficult to articulate without sounding silly, but I guess they mean "why don't we see species that are not quite human, but not quite resembling monkey species either...perhaps a species in transition?" Most I know to say to people is to go to the Smithsonian and check out the "Lucy" exhibit for human origins.
Okay, then I think I understand the question correctly. The best answer I have is, evolution takes a really long time. Species change because the environment changes. It took a large area and a few million members to maintain a species like the one we were a half million years ago. Then we had an ice age, and other things just changed, we (our ancestors) started moving around. Those now extinct species didn't survive. Birds are a better example, because we can find sub-species on islands. This probably won't be satisfying to them though. They will bring up words like "type" or "kind" because they don't what they are talking about.

They also often state they believe in microevolution but not macroevolution, conveniently ignoring the time it takes for new species to evolve. Frankly, they’re going to believe what they want to believe and ignore all evidence to the contrary. We see this all the time here when Creationists come around spouting their drivel.

Well, and isn’t there also the issue that complex things evolve slowly.
In the microbial world dramatic evolution is now being watched happening in real time (er, human time-scales).

That we don’t see more transitional species is an argument for a old universe. That could be part of their problem. If there were only the amount of animals that could fit on the Biblical size ark 6,000 years ago, and those prototypes divided into what we see today, evolution would be a very rapid process. We would see new species coming into existence within a matter of months. We would see the branching of the tree of life going on all around us. It would be magnificent. But that’s not how it works.

But of course all this is comes from the same people that ask how climate change is possible when they still experience cold days.

Is it that the conditions conducive to continuous evolution have ceased at some point in history?
No, evolution is an ongoing process. One of the problems that I see is that people do not look at the history of evolution as it pertains to the facts. One needs to separate wild or natural animals from domesticated animals. Then one need to start asking questions about the two types of animals. For example, do domesticated animals follow the same evolving patterns as wild animals? According to the text books they do. So, how does the text books know this if it sometimes takes thousands and thousands of years for the evolution to take place? The information is used as scientific facts. Where is the proof? It is obvious that the animals including man, do not match the text book evolving timelines. Therefore the creationist-evolutionist debates are working with unproven data. It turns out that because of the time it takes to field test the evolution theory that we don’t have any real scientific tests. Except one done with chickens at the University of Oxford by Professor Greger Larson. Chris Velazco had written an article titled “Researchers see evolution working faster than expected (in chickens)" in engadget.com on the internet in 10/31/2015. The test has been going on for fifty years now. The timeline is a 2% DNA change every one million years. The domesticated chickens have had two mutations in just fifty years. Does not match the text books at all. I phoned Professor Larson and ask the professor several questions pertaining to his work with mitochondrial DNA and the evolution process, to make sure that I was understanding the data correctly. The professor said there are major changes in the thinking of how evolution works being worked on right now and to expect results to be published in a few years. When Charles Darwin formulated the Origin of Species, he was going backward in time from domestication knowledge that was already understood and was common knowledge at the time. With the rise of the Christian revolution and fact that Germany was into the Pure Race. The knowledge of domestication has been for lack of better words, “Lost". Until the knowledge of domestication is reintroduced to the main stream knowledge base these creationist-evolutionist debates will most likely continue.
Lausten: I understand what you're saying. It's difficult to articulate without sounding silly, but I guess they mean "why don't we see species that are not quite human, but not quite resembling monkey species either...perhaps a species in transition?" Most I know to say to people is to go to the Smithsonian and check out the "Lucy" exhibit for human origins.
Okay, then I think I understand the question correctly. The best answer I have is, evolution takes a really long time. Species change because the environment changes. It took a large area and a few million members to maintain a species like the one we were a half million years ago. Then we had an ice age, and other things just changed, we (our ancestors) started moving around. Those now extinct species didn't survive. Birds are a better example, because we can find sub-species on islands. This probably won't be satisfying to them though. They will bring up words like "type" or "kind" because they don't what they are talking about.Islands are a super way of demonstrating evolution since they're all experiments in evolution. It's sad how these wonderful examples of evolution are so poorly known. When you look at the wide range of ages of islands and see the rate of evolution plainly demonstrated, you can't help but be excited and amazed. Explaining convergent evolution and radiant speciation are where the amazing and mysterious properties of a god get their greatest workout.
One statement that always comes up during creationist-evolutionist debates among the creationists is, "if evolution were real, why don't we still see species evolving along the spectrum (i.e. in between the well-defined species we already well know)?" Is it that the conditions conducive to continuous evolution have ceased at some point in history? I am curious about it and also would like to have a reasonable response. Thanks
An analogy that might work to get the idea of evolution over long periods of time is a snail on a road. Once on a trip with my son I was trying to get this very idea across. I told him to imagine he was a snail sliding along a road. If he was on the road to the next town, he wouldn't see his progress or a change in the scenery, but if his children and their children kept on the same road, they'd eventually get to the next town. Now, if he extended his snail trip for hundreds of generations in either direction, he could see that no snail would experience a single moment where a town just popped into view, but over enough time, all those snails would have traveled to hundreds of towns. And if you imagine that one snail can have many kids, and each kid can turn down a different road, then over the generations hundreds and thousands of towns can be passed through. I like the snail/road analogy because the branches in a road and the speed of the snail are very easy to imagine, and they both relate really well to speciation over time. This should also kill the canard about how species should be expected to simply appear (croc-a-duck) since this shows how you can eventually get to any town (species) with enough time, and along the way baby snails can branch off to other towns (speciation) in other directions, leading to an interconnected network of roads (tree of life).
One statement that always comes up during creationist-evolutionist debates among the creationists is, "if evolution were real, why don't we still see species evolving along the spectrum (i.e. in between the well-defined species we already well know)?" Is it that the conditions conducive to continuous evolution have ceased at some point in history? I am curious about it and also would like to have a reasonable response. Thanks
An analogy that might work to get the idea of evolution over long periods of time is a snail on a road. Once on a trip with my son I was trying to get this very idea across. I told him to imagine he was a snail sliding along a road. If he was on the road to the next town, he wouldn't see his progress or a change in the scenery, but if his children and their children kept on the same road, they'd eventually get to the next town. Now, if he extended his snail trip for hundreds of generations in either direction, he could see that no snail would experience a single moment where a town just popped into view, but over enough time, all those snails would have traveled to hundreds of towns. And if you imagine that one snail can have many kids, and each kid can turn down a different road, then over the generations hundreds and thousands of towns can be passed through. I like the snail/road analogy because the branches in a road and the speed of the snail are very easy to imagine, and they both relate really well to speciation over time. This should also kill the canard about how species should be expected to simply appear (croc-a-duck) since this shows how you can eventually get to any town (species) with enough time, and along the way baby snails can branch off to other towns (speciation) in other directions, leading to an interconnected network of roads (tree of life). Well said, perhaps well conjured is more accurate since it definitely paints a good mental image.

I understand if people truly believe in a 6,000 year old earth how easy it would be to doubt evolution but remember, for the most part they are the only people with doubts about evolution. I recall someone mentioned to look at evolution in microscopic life if you wish to see more rapid changes in evolution. I agree with that totally but even that will not explain why we still have non human apes on our planet but it will show us how pathogens mutate and change so they can continue to attack us.

One statement that always comes up during creationist-evolutionist debates among the creationists is, "if evolution were real, why don't we still see species evolving along the spectrum (i.e. in between the well-defined species we already well know)?" Is it that the conditions conducive to continuous evolution have ceased at some point in history? I am curious about it and also would like to have a reasonable response. Thanks
An analogy that might work to get the idea of evolution over long periods of time is a snail on a road. Once on a trip with my son I was trying to get this very idea across. I told him to imagine he was a snail sliding along a road. If he was on the road to the next town, he wouldn't see his progress or a change in the scenery, but if his children and their children kept on the same road, they'd eventually get to the next town. Now, if he extended his snail trip for hundreds of generations in either direction, he could see that no snail would experience a single moment where a town just popped into view, but over enough time, all those snails would have traveled to hundreds of towns. And if you imagine that one snail can have many kids, and each kid can turn down a different road, then over the generations hundreds and thousands of towns can be passed through. I like the snail/road analogy because the branches in a road and the speed of the snail are very easy to imagine, and they both relate really well to speciation over time. This should also kill the canard about how species should be expected to simply appear (croc-a-duck) since this shows how you can eventually get to any town (species) with enough time, and along the way baby snails can branch off to other towns (speciation) in other directions, leading to an interconnected network of roads (tree of life). Well said, perhaps well conjured is more accurate since it definitely paints a good mental image. Thanks cc. I just got back from vacation down around Vancouver, and while there saw lots of beautiful, gigantic slugs. Watching them slide over the ground brought to mind my analogy again, and I started wondering how long it would actually take a slug to go from where I live to the next closest town (Didsbury to Carstairs is 14 km [8.7 mi]). A quick search and a little math gave me a range of between 30 and 150 feet per hour. Taking 100 as an average, it would take a slug about 460 days (1.25 years). One site stated that the lifespan of a slug is about 18 months, so a slug could, if it didn't stop, almost make it between towns! A more reasonable assumption is that the slug would, (if interested in following roads and with a destination in mind) get about 1/10 of the way there in a lifetime (due to stopping to eat and sleep and mate and play board games and other necessaries of life.) Thus, if we count the 'generation time' as 1/2 the lifespan, it would take about 20 generations to go between towns. Someday I might take some time to look at average speciation rates to see how long it would take and distance between towns, to get a tree of life like we have, using snails.