Evolutionists claim the following evidences for the evolutionary theory:
1. The similarities found in various plants and animals - To the evolutionist, this is evidence that plants and animals evolved from common ancestors. To the creationists, however, this testifies of their common Creator.
2. Vestigial organs - Evolutionists believe that vestigial organs (parts of the body which do not seem to serve any necessary function) are evidences of organs that were needed in previous stages of development but are no longer necessary.
At one time 180 vestigial organs or structures were listed for the human body. Increased knowledge, however, has reduced this number to zero. Useful functions for all organs of the human body are known today. One that is still listed in some books as a vestigial organ is the appendix. However, it is now realized that this organ helps to provide protection against infection, especially in infants, and that it provides a storage place for vital intestinal organisms which might otherwise be lost in a severe case of diarrhea.
3. The Embryonic recapitulation theory - This once popular theory taught that a human embryo (a child developing in its mother's womb) went through its evolutionary ancestry as it formed. A human embryo first has one-celled animal characteristics, then it appears as a worm, fish, reptile, mammal, and finally as a human.
Today, increased study reveals that the most complex organs begin to develop first in the embryo, which gives it various exaggerated and strange appearances in the first months of its development. Matters such as a "tail formation" and "gill slits" which formerly were quoted as support for this theory have been proven to be incorrect. Presently, this theory has fallen from favor and has lost most of its supporters.
4. A stratified fossil record - This record shows simpler life forms located in the bottom layers of rock and more complex forms in the top layers. This simple to complex idea has been used to form the Evolutionary Geological Table as seen on the opposite page.