Christopher Emerling
University of California, Berkeley

Bio: The goal of Evolution for Skeptics is to provide examples from contemporary research that suggest that evolution, as opposed to creationism, is the best explanation for the diversity of life. The six themes this blog covers are based on facts, not theory, though these facts are then considered in the context of evolutionary theory and creationism. These themes include research from (1) biogeography, which covers why different organisms live where they do on earth, (2) molecular phylogenetics, the use of molecules, especially DNA, to understand the genealogical relationships of various species, (3) developmental biology ("Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny"), showing how the development of organisms seems to hint at their evolutionary past, (4) pseudogenes, non-functional remnants of formerly functional genes, (5) transitional fossils, and (6) groups of organisms that appear to have disappeared off the face of the earth ("Where did they go?"). All six of these categories, and the rationale for including them in the blog ("Why it matters"), can be viewed individually by selecting them on the right panel of the home page. It is not a goal of this blog to criticize or mock creationism or religious beliefs as a whole, but simply provide data for you, the skeptic, to consider in the context of both worldviews. For religious/faith-oriented individuals that think evolution and faith are mutually exclusive, and therefore are concerned that accepting evolution means abandoning your religion, there are various resources that can help you with reconciling these seemingly contradictory ideas, e.g. BioLogos (http://biologos.org), the book "Finding Darwin's God" by Catholic biologist Kenneth Miller (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finding_Darwin's_God) and Answering Islamic Skeptics' article on evolution (http://www.answeringislamicskeptics.com/evolution-in-islam-overview.html). For further discussion of creationist concepts and their compatibility with scientific research, I recommend Presbyterian biologist Joel Duff's blog (https://thenaturalhistorian.com). The author of Evolution for Skeptics is a Christian and an evolutionary biologist in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, studying genomic adaptations in vertebrates over long time scales.

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