The answer to whether evolution is a successful theory, a fact or mere hypthesis, lies deep in the undestanding and philosophy of science.
However, I wont expand on what this philosophy really is. All I want to point out is that evolution seems, if well understood and appreciated, as an indispensible hypothesis.
Why do we find only fossilized primitive bacteria in the rocks of Barnatan [the most primitive mineral deposits on earth] ?
Why do the fossil evidence suggests that Neanderthals were the first one ,due to some unknown philosphical or sacred reasons, to start burials in their communities of their own dead fellows ?
We , of course , havent witnessed the origin of species yet but why do we find extinct fossilized life forms so extensively in the exavacated regions of the earth ?
What explains the origin of Primates 5 to 8 miilion years ago and their evolution better than the theory of evolution itself ? Is it the theory of a Special Creation OR Catastrophism that is more easy to 'digest'?
Why cant the story of Adam and Eve be a mere collection of illusive idiomatic phrases ?
Ruskin- an 19th century philosopher quotes in 1851:
"IF ONLY THE GEOLOGISTS WOULD LET ME ALONE , I COULD DO VERY WELL, BUT THOSE DREADFUL HAMMERS!!
I HEAR THE CLINK OF THEM AT THE END OF EVERY CADENCE OF THE BIBLE VERSES."
Interesting information is available in the encyclopedia of Encarta on the origins of man with detailed explanation of the evolutionary chimp-man parallel. Hardy-Weinberg Law and light introduction on Neo-darwinism will also help.
At the end I would like to quote Wordsworth from the Excursion:
"HOW EXQUISITELY THE INDIVIDUAL MIND
[AND THE PROGRESSIVE POWERS NO LESS
OF THE WHOLE SPECIES]TO THE EXTERNAL WORLD
IS FITTED; AND HOW EXQUISITELY TOO-
THEME THIS BUT LITTLE HEARD AMOING MEN-
THE EXTERNAL WORLD IS FITTED TO THE MIND."