Math prof Granville Sewell suggests how to respond when you don’t have time to offer a 30-minute answer on all the meanings of the term and, chance are, the yob who is asking is just trying to get you anyway:
Like automobiles, life evolved step-by-step, but not really gradually. The video points out how similar the fossil record is to the history of human technology, with obvious similarities between each new invention and previous designs but with large gaps where major new features appeared. That is for the same reasons: gradual development of the new organs that gave rise to new orders, classes, and phyla would require the development of new but not yet useful features. “Gaps among known orders, classes, and phyla are systematic and almost always large,” wrote Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson. So Darwinism could not explain the development of these new features even if they did occur gradually — and they don’t.
The video highlights further similarities between the evolution of life and the evolution of human technology. With automobiles, if you try to to sketch an evolutionary “tree” showing which models evolved from which, you may be able to produce a tree that is generally reasonable. But closer inspection shows that car species do not really fit so nicely into a tree structure: often even the designers might have a hard time identifying the “ancestor” of a particular model because it inherited ideas from several different automobile lineages. Contrary to Darwinian expectations, the evolutionary “tree” of life is equally confused. There are many indications that humans might have evolved from earlier primates, or that birds might have evolved from reptiles (though this “evolution” was not gradual). But here convergence also confuses things greatly. Similar new features (e.g., the echolocation abilities of bats and dolphins) and similar new genes often appear independently in distant branches of the supposed tree of life, suggesting common design rather than common descent. In fact, Winston Ewert has shown in a 2018 BIO-Complexity article that instead of a tree, the history of life is much better modeled by a dependency graph like we see in the evolution of software development!Granville Sewell, “Do you believe in evolution? ” at Evolution News and Science Today (September 3, 2021)
Here’s the vid:
Be warned: For the yob, “evolution” explains why he has the right to beat up on people. That’s all he thinks he needs to know. Best to note the quick escape routes before you get accused of violating his rights.
You may also wish to read: More on the Tree of Life and why there seem to be gaps where there should be branches — which is the whole point of a tree.