Comparative anatomy confirms evolution. There are many examples of this, but I will present only one: the laryngeal nerve that is found in ﬁsh, amphibians, deer, humans, and giraffes. In ﬁsh, this nerve travels from the brain to the gill after looping around the heart.
Now if the body of each animal was designed independently, and didn’t evolve from ﬁsh, this nerve would directly connect the brain to the upper part of the larynx since there is a just a short distance between them. However, in nature, this nerve follows the same route in animals as it does in ﬁsh. This means that it evolved from the nerve in ﬁsh, and that the elongation of the neck and the remote position of the heart in the animal’s body compelled it to stretch so that it could make a detour around the aorta, just as it does in ﬁsh. This nerve takes a long course in giraffes because it loops around the aorta, then it turns back almost an equal distance until it reaches the upper neck and connects to the upper part of the larynx. The long course this nerve takes is of no real beneﬁt according to biologists and comparative anatomists. It has made this detour in ﬁsh and has followed the same circuitous route in the rest of the animals due to evolution. So this detour is a historical inheritance.
Therefore, the laryngeal nerve has taken this unnecessary turn because it wasn’t originally designed for each animal independently. It traveled from the brain down to where the chest starts and returned to the upper larynx. This is proof of evolution and development because in each evolutionary step, the lengthening of the nerve by tiny increments was much easier than making a direct connection. Otherwise, if the body of each animal was designed and created independently, the nerve would be directly connected, and the economical waste resulting from designing a nerve of this length as in the giraffe, for example, would be unnecessary.
The fact mentioned above is also used to oppose intelligent design, since this defect in design that occurred during the process of evolution proves that this is not an intelligent design perfectly suited for all animals. The original design led to significant lengthening of the recurrent laryngeal nerve in animals, especially the ones with long necks such as the giraffe, without adding any beneﬁt. This invalidates intelligent design in evolution.
What has been mentioned above is a summary of how comparative anatomy is used to prove evolution, and it is also the atheist argument against intelligent design. I have tried to simplify the issue as much as possible. Illustrations may help simplify it further.
God willing, we will discuss this argument and show that the defect in body structuring that happened during the evolutionary process is not a viable argument against the law-abiding and purposeful nature of evolution. The first genetic plan is purposeful and law-abiding, and therefore indicates a lawmaker and designer who set it down in order to achieve a specific result. Indeed, the matter of the recurrent laryngeal nerve refutes the claims of those who believe that creation occurred in a single burst and who deny evolution, because all design and implementation occurring in a single burst requires negation of this defect that we see in the elongation of the recurrent laryngeal nerve. In fact, even if we were to say that the elongation of the recurrent laryngeal nerve is beneﬁcial, it wouldn’t change the fact that it is a historical evolutionary inheritance that opposes creation occurring in a single burst.
I have presented the example of the recurrent laryngeal nerve in particular because it is not only used to prove the theory of evolution, but also to deny that evolution is law-abiding and purposeful. I will demonstrate how this conclusion is invalid, and how imperfections in the products of evolution do not in any way mean that evolution doesn’t conform to laws, but merely indicates that creation didn’t occur in a single burst. Rather, it happened in stages, and through evolution