I come from the Michael Behe school if ID. I accept common descent, by which I mean universal common ancestry. It seems to be the consensus view in science, it seems reasonable to me, and I don’t have any compelling reasons to doubt it.
But could I actually defend my belief in common ancestry if asked? All living organisms share certain features in common. Organisms leave offspring. Therefore, universal common ancestry. That sounds pretty weak, I admit. I need to do better.
I don’t believe that new organisms appear out of thin air, so to speak. I accept that the organisms of today are the offspring of prior organisms. Even young earth creationists accept common descent prior to the flood and common decent after the flood, though they resist the idea of universal common ancestry. I still haven’t figured out how and where they draw the lines though, so why should I draw a line that I cannot defend. Therefore common ancestry. That still sounds pretty weak, I admit. I still need to do better.
So time to hit the books. What are the arguments for universal common ancestry in the books on evolution that I have. Erm… Halp!
Why do folks believe in universal common ancestry and what is the best book on “the evidence for evolution” to refer to in order to find the best arguments in favor of universal common ancestry?
What if it’s not the evidence for the theory of common descent per se that leads people to accept it, but rather how the theory of common descent provides an explanatory framework. Does its explanatory power outweigh the need for evidence for it and do people confuse what it can explain with what constitutes evidence for the theory?
What is the evidence for universal common ancestry and why is it considered evidence for universal common ancestry?