Is "evolution" a proven fact or a theory? What other ideas compete with evolution to explain changes in populations? What are the differences between these competing ideas?
Contrary to what is consistently taught as dogma in schools and in biology classes, evolution is not a fact, but a theory. It has not been proven at all, although you will probably be taught that it has been proven. The confusion lies in the difference between "macroevolution" (which has not been proven) and "microevolution" (which is a scientific fact). Most of the evidence for "evolution" shown in biology classes concerns "microevolution" -- small evolutionary changes due to adaptations to local environments, etc. These changes do occur in small populations and have been observed. These adaptations can be explained through an understanding of genetics, particularly with respect to the existence of multiple alleles, mutations, etc.
Macroevolution (which is what most ...
Evolution as a theory is the focal topic.