Science determines that evolution has occurred by looking at how things evolve today, such as the mutations that lead to super virus, and super bacteria. They use the scope and scale of the geologic record. They see the difference among all living animals, but more importantly, they see our astonishing number of similarities.
They have hosts of varying disciplines, anthropologists, archeologists, botanists, epidemiologists, climatologists, and many, many more. One might say that a full view of evolution begins with the A in Astrophysics, and ends with the Z of Zoology. All provide pieces of data. Science determines evolution is occurring by looking deeply into how nature works.
Science views evolution in ways that all non-scientists see quite differently. Evolution has become an extremely controversial term, one that never fails to lead to conflict.
The age of the Universe, and the billions of years of how it all came to be, is not fought over so much. Why should this be? It is because humans can’t fathom all those billions of years, that is to say, more than 99.9 percent of ALL years as existing at all. So it is obvious to many, that whether or not God is the sole creator, God certainly has not been very involved with humanity for very long at all. In just an eye blink, it is difficult to imagine that somehow all of this was a great scheme toward human significance.
Yet, we are human and as human animals, we are hard wired to be extremely aware of our own importance to us. It is difficult to try to imagine then, that we are insignificant in any way. Nor, should we believe that we are insignificant, especially now that we have so much influence upon the fate of the planet.
The fossil record is confusing to most lay people because for over 100 years there has been created a fallacy that there is a missing link between the other apes, and the human apes. We know there are chimps in the world, and we see in their eyes show a sense of sentience, but we long to know, or believe, that there is an ancestor between those chimps and ourselves.
We do not seek for this in other animals, but tend to think such a discovery of a missing link would somehow settle the question once and for all that we and other apes had common ancestors. It is much more of an ever branching tree, than a direct descendency of any kind, however, and evolution is driven by changing environments, not a “movement” toward perfection.
Science looks at a much larger picture. Science sees that our very molecules, and our carbon based characteristics, are genetically common in many species upon the planet.
Scientists use the process of science, which should always be taught as a process, and not as a principal, which asks for solid evidence, that may be repeatedly tested.
Carbon dating, for example, allows anthropologists to determine ages of bones and what ancestors ate, how they lived, where they slept, when they had fire, and so on. It relies upon methodology that is tried and true, but never ceases to be tried, and is always sought to reveal, again and again, if any new true evidence will be found.