The question of evolution has been so confused by bad theory that it can help to forget theory and look only at evolutionary sequences. It will become obvious that natural selection theory is a crutch used to avoid those observations.
In fact, really observing evolution is very hard, perhaps almost impossible. We can see enough to conclude that evolution occurred, but not always, or ever, enough to figure out how it really happened and why.
Here the study of history can be a reality check: it is the only real chronicle/record we have.
What does it tell us about evolution?
History and Evolution