The Instigator
Con (against)
2 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

Biological Evolution across family, order, class...kingdom, etc.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/17/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,850 times Debate No: 63438
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)




This debate originally started as ID vs. Evolution. ChristianPunk has contended that Evolution does not really include the Origin of Life (in this case, Abiogenesis) but only the Origin of Species after life began. He wants to exclusively debate Evolution, because he believes his strength is biology rather than chemistry. I understand this, but it makes it difficult to directly engage the two stances of Creation and Evolution because in Creation, both the Origin of Life and Origin of Species occur at the same time. If we leave out Origin of Life, Creation is not even allowed into the ring since all species originated at the origin of life.

But I think I can make this work. This debate will be about Evolution across a higher taxonomic rank than just family or order, me Con, he Pro.

Pro also requests that I go first, which is unusual since he will necessarily have Burden of Proof as to why Evolution is true. Since I don't exactly know the arguments he will use to defend his position, I risk attacking my own straw man version of him. Please excuse me for this in R1.

I don't believe there is sufficient evidence for major evolutionary changes in lifeforms that result in viable results. Change over time by environmental pressure does occur, (cannids splitting off into wolves, coyotes, etc.) but the changes are almost exclusively the result of genetic information loss. That loss of recessive genetic traits leaves the next generation perhaps more adapted to the current environment, but less equipped to adapt again to a new environment.

For example: If you have a small population of wolves, you have a very diverse genetic pool to draw from. They have been bred into all sorts of domestic dog breeds. The common ancestors of wolves would have had even greater genetic diversity, since they split off into Eastern Wolves, Grey Wolves, Eurasian Wolves, Coyotes, the extinct Dire Wolf, and probably others I'm not listing. However, you couldn't breed two Grey Wolves together and eventually get the genes of a Dire Wolf. They just aren't present. The same goes for Great Danes or Collies. You cannot breed exclusively Collies and end up with a Wolf. The information is lost. You could conceivably breed a Collie back out of a population of Wolves, though.

So prove it:
Ok. Let's use a simple Punnet Square to demonstrate.
Let's say a Wolf pair mate. They both have a diverse genetic pool, so they both carry genes for grey fur and brown fur. Grey is dominant, brown recessive.


When they mate, they have a 50% chance of producing an identically diverse offspring that are grey, but carry a recessive gene for brown fur.

They have a 25% chance of producing a grey offspring that does not carry the gene for brown fur. This could be an advantage where there is more grey backround or direct sunlight. None of this pup's offspring would produce pups that stood out in a greyish environment unless the gene was bred back in.

They have a 25% chance of producing a brown offspring that only carries the recessive gene, and cannot produce a grey offspring unless the gene is bred back in.

Half the offspring would be somewhat more survivable in certain environments, but at a disadvantage away from that environment.

Over even a very long time, the wolf population would only change to the extent that it had good genes available. It would never develop useful complex structures like wings or become bipedal unless the genes for such traits were already present.

Thanks. Pro, please state your position.


I would like to thank my opponent for starting this debate and will remind him that if he can put an argument in here, then he can provide why Creationism could offer a better explanation for certain things.

Now my view is that Biological Evolution that Charles Darwin proposed is true and has been scientifically proven. Not only that, but I believe it is good science and on a personal note, believe it is compatible with my Christian religion. However, religion is not the topic, rather science.

I believe evolution doesn't explain how life got here, but rather how we have so many different diversities of life. Now I will rebuttal the Punnet Square example to a degree. Now you can go and say what child will be born with what, but there are dominant and recessive traits. If a child is born with a recessive trait that doesn't show up in the chat child as dominant, then the child (though he may not show it physically) will most likely have that trait in his genes and will be able to pass it down to the next generation. So when it is proposed we are in a primate family with chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans, the point is that you can look at that these primates have no tails like us, but there are other monkeys who do. Here's a problem we might face from the evolution to being non tail having primates. There is a mutation or defect that some people have that gives them a tail. I haven't fully looked into the science of this, but my best guess is that it is a vestigial organ we are trying to slowly get rid of, but it may as well be a recessive trait that is still being passed on, but we are trying to weed it out. When the people who have this trait eventually die out, the tail trait will die out unless another mutation occurs to give us a tail.

Now another vestigial organ is wisdom teeth. Some say this was used by ancestors to grind plant food back then. Now sounds good, but why would we be losing them? Our jaws are getting smaller due to natural selection. A mutation occurred where our jaws became smaller and nature favored the small jaws over the bigger jaws. Another example was explained on the Cosmos show. A brown bear civilization lived in the north pole where the modern polar bears are now. Brown bears where the only kind of bears we known (unless black bears came before the polar and brown.) Anyways, The brown bear doesn't necessarily lose or add information to it's genome, but a mutation causes a mistake in the genome which gets fixed by replacing the codon pair or base with an already existing one. Even the smallest change or replacement can cause a change of good or bad proportions. In the case, the bear would receive a trait where it is an albino due to it's loss of pigment in it's fur color. They adapted to the winter snow environment and their camouflage allowed them to survive when it came to hunting for food. The brown bears did not get as much luck for hunting due to their brown fur which didn't blend in their environment. So the brown bears die out in the North Pole while their new polar bears carry out the new species.

Now of course, this can eventually go out from one small step to change, but eventually when small mutations occur at a time, they will lead to noticeable changes to possibly newer creatures. This is like taking one step to work your way up to that mile your heading.

So to answer your wolves part, if two grey wolves have children, mutations can occur and some of these mutations can make the dog deformed, look strong and fierce, or look cute and adorable. This was when the animals would breed with others to pass on the traits. So like mentioned with the bears, fur color pigmentation could be different. Size and looks will slowly be different. This is all part of an evolutionary process. When it comes to domesticated animals that we would own, that is evolution we control called, Artificial Selection. Natural Selection is letting nature run it's course and do the evolving process for you.
Debate Round No. 1


[Pro] will remind [Con] that if he can put an argument in here, then he can provide why Creationism could offer a better explanation for certain things.”

I'll do that when I can to support my position, but is this a way of saying I have BOP, too? Please explain.

If a child is born with a recessive trait that doesn't show up in the chat child as dominant, then the child (though he may not show it physically) will most likely have that trait in his genes and will be able to pass it down to the next generation.”

I would agree except for the “most likely.” If a child is born with a recessive and domiant gene, in most situations, the recessive gene will be covered by the dominant, but there will still be a chance the recessive gene can be passed on. The chance is based upon the mate's genes. It is entirely possible for the recessive gene to be eliminated in offspring who are the result of mixed/mixed (Gb x Gb) trait or mixed/dominant (Gb x GG) only trait parents. 25% of the wolves in my example would be that way(GG). The recessive trait is elimanted from the population until bred back in.

There is a mutation or defect that some people have that gives them a tail. I haven't fully looked into the science of this, but my best guess is that it is a vestigial organ we are trying to slowly get rid of, but it may as well be a recessive trait that is still being passed on, but we are trying to weed it out. When the people who have this trait eventually die out, the tail trait will die out unless another mutation occurs to give us a tail.”

There are people born with “tails.” Some are psuedo tails (fatty tissue with no true tail structure).

Some have been SAID to contain extra vertebra and muscle.

Let's assume that we have a baby born with a true, vertebra/nerve chord/muscle tail, like Tanooki Mario.

Now let's determine, for real, if this is a throwback beyond tailless apes back to monkeys.

If it is vestigal, that means it has been genetically with us all along, millions of years, waiting for the right people to get together and combine the right traits to bring out the recessive tail in their offspring.

If it is merely a mutation, that means it is a freak accident produced by enviornmental factors effecting genetics that were NOT present in monkeys to produce a tail.

To figure out which one, you must know which monkey group our ape ancestor came from, then map that monkey group's genetics to see if they have the same gene for a tail that caused the human to have a tail.

If we're going to go through all the time and expense to do this, we don't want to be sloppy. We must be scientific and eliminate variables. Assuming you could determine the genetics of the monkey we came from, you'd have to make sure those actually did get passed on to us through our ape ancestor, too. So you must determine which ape group we came from and map that genome, too, to see if the trait persisted through the ape stage of our evolution. Finally, you have to determine if the gene was actually lying in wait in the human genome, or if it merely reappeared here due to a chance mutation that reproduced a tail gene(s).

Now another vestigial organ is wisdom teeth. Some say this was used by ancestors to grind plant food back then. Now sounds good, but why would we be losing them? Our jaws are getting smaller due to natural selection. A mutation occurred where our jaws became smaller and nature favored the small jaws over the bigger jaws.”

Wisdom teeth are a little different. They serve a definite purpose in humans, especially those with jaws to accommodate them.

“Sometimes these teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but more often, they are misaligned and require removal.”

Why is the smaller jaw favored? A strong jaw can be attractive in men and women, it is not a detriment in finding a mate,

and those who have jaw space don't have to be concerned about expensive removal and are less prone to infection due to impacting or surgery. Also, mutation does not equal natural selection. Natural selection requires no new information to be added, only less advantagous information to be eliminated. Could natural selection favor a mutation? Yes. Does is have to? No.

Now bear mutation: I think this is what Pro was talking about.

(three slides starting with this one. If Pro has a link to the actual video, that would be great.)

Polar bears are much more than albino brown bears. In fact there are already white brown bears that aren't polar bears.

(See coloration)

Polar bears have webbed feet, not just white hair, but transparent filiment hair that act as optical fibers to direct sunlight to jet black skin for optimal heat absorbsion, as well as many other adaptations specifically for their enviornment.

The reason I bring all this up is because NDT's information gives short shrift to the differences between brown and polar bears: Explaining the origin of polar bears by a simple hair pigment mutation is inadequate. Also, no evidence is provided to back up the assertion the two species became distinct because of mutation. All the genes could have been present in a common ancestor, but the common ancestor was bred out of existance, and only the two cousins were left. Knowing what exactly happened, or even if there was a common ancestor, would require detailed observational knowledge of bears quite far back in history, or at least genetic code from a viable common ancestor to both bears.

It seems far more logical that a pool of useful information was distilled to produce sub-species, rather than a pool of useful genetic information arose from chaos and natural pressures. To demonstrate me wrong, please show useful information for a functioning system arising from natural pressure.



We all have burden of proof of we make a claim.

Correct. The tail would have been with us as a left over from the common ancestor and shows a distant relation to the monkey family or anything else. I do agree radiation could be a result, but so far, I haven't seen a case involving non radiation tails.

The tail would most likely have come from a recessive trait from the common ancestor, or grandma of chimps and humans. The monkeys would use the tail and were more adapt for it, but the humans wouldn't. Size would possibly play a role in this since Orangutans and Gorillas and chimpanzees are equal in size of humans, they have no tails. The chimpanzees may be closely related, but the one distinct feature of the four monkeys in the family compared to others, is that we have no tails. But somewhere along the line, we could've been keeping a recessive allele. Now if the trait was completly killed off, then radiation mutations would be the only result of our tails.

What may I ask is the purpose of wisdom teeth since people want them removed? They also happen to push people's teetg around so they are messed up and out of place. My source for this is my teeth doctor who recommended the surgery. And if only some people have it aligned, then this is natural selection. Only the fit for the teeth can keep it. And it can attract the male and female species with a big jaw, but that alone shouldn't serve its purpose.

I only wish I could find the actual video. If you can find a way to watch it, this was from episode 2 or 3. Cosmos did explain this perfectly.

A grizzly can develop white fur, but the polar bears did more than that. Their necks are longer, which allows an advantage in reaching for their food. They have differences than the brown bear, but have similarities that put them in the same family.

Neil explained the hair color pigment because that was discussing one of the key features of its survival of the fittest. Camouflage. You can easily see a brown bear a mile away compared to the polar bears.

If you want a mechanism that arises from natural processes, there is an example creationists have used to destroy evolution and failed doing so. Michael Behe has offered a term known as Irreducible Complexity, stating that complex systems are the result of an intelligent designer to design accordingly. He says that like a mouse trap, if any part is missing, it ceases to serve a purpose. He's correct that it wouldn't serve its original purpose, but it finds another. Kenneth Miller easily destroys this notion twice by showing that natural selection and adaption is what causes parts to continue.
Debate Round No. 2


If we have shared BOP, I guess my BOP is to show that the Origin of Species from say, single cell organisms to fish, is not likely.

Last things first. Bears. I don't mean this to be rude, but it is not up to your opponent to find your sources for you. I already found a brief description of the Cosmos bear thing. If you can find the video, it may help clarify your position. However, to contradict what I just said, here's a Wiki article on the divergence of brown and polar bears.

This debate is about the Origin of Species. Neither of us disagree that subspecies split off from common ancestors. What we disagree on is how far the divergence can go, and the mechanism that allows it to happen. It is entirely plausible that brown and polar bears split off from a common ancestor because they are known to crossbreed in the wild and produce fertile, viable offspring, and a small percentage of polar bear DNA is present in most brown bears. (see link above)

I hold the position that most differences between divergent sub species, or however you want to classify them, arise from selective breeding due to elimination of unadvantagous traits, and breeding back in of lost traits. This elimination of traits to bring out others can be demonstrated through Punnet squares, as I showed earlier.

If I understand Pro's position (please correct me if I am wrong), species diverge into subspecies, and even farther over time, different taxonomic families, even different kingdoms, through small steps of evolution driven by accumulation of small mutations.

My position does not go beyond what is observable and repeatable in a controlled experiment. Selective breeding through the elimination of undesirable or unadvantagous traits is done in the lab, the stable, and observed in nature without human intervention. Outcrossing is the term for introducing genes back into a line to increase genetic diversity to reduce the harmful effects of inbreeding.

Pro's position, so far, does go beyond that which is observable and tested. He argues that mutations are a primary driver behind speciation (not an observed event, but hypothesized), and polar bears would have diverged not because of genetic selection of existing traits in a common ancestor, but because of numerous far reaching advantageous mutations. If a polar bear were merely an albino or albinoid mutant, how could they end up with jet black skin?

“Albinism results from inheritance of recessive gene alleles and is known to affect all vertebrates, including humans. While an organism with complete absence of melanin is called an albino (UK /ælG2;biH0;noA0;/,[1] or US /ælG2;ba=8;noA0;/)[2] an organism with only a diminished amount of melanin is described as albinoid.”

...and light conducting hairs, that are also hollow to always maintain insulation, even while submerged, and webbed paws? This doesn't sound like a slightly more camouflaged brown bear through accident, this sounds more like a genetic package assembled for survival in a specific environment.

Did this creature's genetic code assemble itself over time and chance, or were the genes already present in a common ancestor? Which method of such radical change has been demonstrated in nature and the lab?

Irreducible Complexity, Kenneth Miller, and complex mechanisms arising by chance:

I don't know quite enough about chemistry to make the argument for irreducible complexity, that's why I haven't done so in this debate, nor do I plan on doing so. But, I can say that even if his description of biochemistry is correct, there are flaws in his argument. First, Miller does not demonstrate how these individual components come together. All he shows is how smaller components in a complex system can be utilized for other tasks. In his model, they start off as individual components that just happen to converge. But how? Colored hexagons converging? Can this process of simple useful mechanisms self-assembling to make more complex useful mechanisms be observed? It's quite a jump in logic to say that because a watch's components can be put to other uses when disassembled, that the watch components were assembled into a functional watch by chance.

Our tails:

Correct. The tail would have been with us as a left over from the common ancestor and shows a distant relation to the monkey family or anything else.”

If this is the case, there should be a known gene that can be demonstrated to have been carried from monkeys, through apes, and into man. That same gene would cause tails in a small number of humans. If so, what is this gene, and where are the genetic tests to show this came from monkeys, persisted through apes, and is still in some of us?

Toofs, also known as Teef, or in Mankind, the Grill:

What may I ask is the purpose of wisdom teeth since people want them removed?”

According to one of my sources in R2, it can be an asset for grinding food. With pliers or snips, the most force can be applied to the material closest to the fulcrum. A tooth at the very back of the jaw would be better for chewing tough food because of the leverage advantage. Now, why were wisdom teeth brought into this in the first place? How do they demonstrate origin of new species? We both agree mutations exist. Not all mutations are advantageous. The most notorious in humans are fatal. And not all mutations would lead to a new species. Just because we have this mutation for smaller jaws (if it is a mutation), doesn't mean we got our teeth and jaws from apes. It just means we had a certain number of teeth, and now many people don't have room. And having a trait that requires surgical extraction is certainly not an evolutionary advantage. People would have an advantage if they DIDN'T have a jaw too small for their teeth.



I couldn't find the video, but wasn't asking you to. I was merely recommending you to watch that episode if you haven't on your own free time. Not for this debate, but because it should be interesting.

To answer your questions on the genetic code, the genetic code's assembling happens during reproduction. At some point during reproduction, it makes mistakes with copying the genetic code. We already observe this change and have even did it artificially to create the Belgian Blue cow.

The flagellum is involving a biological mechanism. The pieces can if they find out what they can do to fix problems. Like recently, new anti bodies were produced in the two nurses who had Ebola. They no longer have it because of the anti bodies that their bodies managed to produce. This is evolution at it's core. (Source btw, was from Fox News a few seconds ago.) This process has and can still be observed if we look in certain cases like medicine and genetics.

Then why would some people just magically lose the ability to have those teeth. We may have lost an advantage, but we gain one since big jaws are not the rage for some people's attractions. Sometimes you need to lose something, to gain another.
Debate Round No. 3


The debate was over large scale evolution. Pro provided evidence for small changes within a species, but no significant evidence for changes large enough to create a definitively new organism, as would be required for traditional Evolution. He did not back his claims very thoroughly, and did not make a complete argument for how small changes due to mutation rather than selection of existing genes could result in major evolutionary changes. He did not provide a complete argument as to why polar bears and brown bears MUST have diverged due to mutation, rather than natural selection of a existing genes. He only argued that it is possible, but did not demonstrate exactly how. The vestigial human tail argument was based on speculation about what might happen, without solid evidence.

I made an argument that it is more likely that organisms change into different versions of their common ancestors, but how far they can change is limited by useful genetic information latent within a genome. The proven method for tracking this is Punnett Squares. It is reasonable that major changes in organisms are more likely to lead to viable offspring if the major changes are already part of an existing useful genetic code.

I would be interested to hear how Evolution squares with Pro's Christian faith.


The theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been proven because of the small observable changes we can observe today. The small changes like immunity to pesticides in bugs and bacterial immunity from certain vaccines is something called micro evolution. This is basically the first step to evolution. If you notice the year span, it takes millions of years for a species to diversify the way your demanding evidence for. Which means Ken Ham is right when we say we do need millions of years for evolution because that's how long the change takes.

The polar bear got it's white fur from the fact that they have no melanin, which is what gives color pigment. So it's not necessarily that they are white, but that they are transparent.

Then if you know the Punnett Squares, I hope you know how the DNA (Genes) are made. DNA is in a strand ladder with the following letters. A, T, C, G. These codon base pairs are arranged into different strands. One small mix up when copying the information to an offspring can cause a change or mutation. Which is why new information in the genome is essentially a new pattern among the line of heritage. And if we keep allowing the good mutations to pass on, then eventually, the human race will advance or evolve into another species. Same for other animals.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
Well, I've sort of distanced myself from evolution debates, but let me know when you want to do it and I'll see if I'm down.
Posted by Skynet 2 years ago
I would disagree with your conclusion that I made a contradiction in detailing how sub-speciation can occur, and also how genetic information can be lost. I'm readying my house for sale and trying to stay afloat at work, but I think I'll try a similar, but clearer debate sometime in the near future. Would you be interested?
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
Yeah, I can see there's a lot behind this debate. I actually agree with you that separations based on species are often misguided and arbitrary, and saying that in the debate would probably have been enough to make me focus on larger classification groups. Trouble is that I didn't see it. I can understand where you're coming from with your argument, and on the whole, I think you were the better debater here. Nonetheless, the example of a speciation event in your first round stood as contradictory to your case, and even if it's not enough necessarily to fulfill Pro's burden, I needed to see why not. Perhaps this had come up previously and, as a result, you'd thought you'd already said it, but it didn't appear in the debate.
Posted by Skynet 2 years ago
2. Species is not a well defined term. The modern taxonomic system is constantly debated and reorganized pending new discoveries, theories, and misunderstandings. (if there were no mistakes, why would it need to be re-organized?) Not to shame the people or the system, but it is an ARBITRARY system created to help organize with roots back to the Renaissance when only outward morphology was observed, and it certainly isn't written in stone. For instance, camels and llamas can interbreed and make fertile offspring. Should they be in the same species? Depends on who you talk to. Should grey wolves and Eurasian wolves be in the same species? Depends on the school of thought. With genome decoding of entire kingdoms underway, (plants were done a few years ago, and insects are a more recent one) reorganization is even more drastic. So when we use the term "speciation" there's a lot of misunderstandings. That's why I went out to kingdom, class, etc. "Everyone" agrees a doberman can be bred from a wolf. So can a tree shrew turn into a lemur, and can that lemur turn into a monkey? That's the kind of speciation I was talking about.
Posted by Skynet 2 years ago
whiteflame: Thanks for the detailed criticism. I agree with you that the debate lacked well defined direction. The problems that led to that go farther back than can be observed without seeing the PM's between myself and my opponent. This was the third or fourth attempt at getting a debate going with him, mostly due to misunderstandings. He put up a forum thread challenging a Young-Earth Creationist to a debate, but he didn't want to debate origin of life, because he says there's better equipped people to debate abiogenesis. Also, he was frustrated that whenever he wanted to talk Evolution, Creationists would dog him on abiogenesis, which he views as a related but separate subject from actual Evolution. So we ended up talking speciation. There are two main problems with directly comparing speciation in Evolution and Creation without considering origin of life:

1.In Evolution, the universe appeared and a long time later life formed from non-life, and speciated from that point out, gradually. In Creation, God created life from non-life, already speciated, in a few events over 6 days. So where did the species come from? God made them with life. How do I know that? The Bible says so. How do I know it's right? We're back to a "Is the Bible correct" debate, which I don't mind doing, but Pro already mostly believes that, and we're discussing that in PM right now.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
RFD (Pt. 1):

It's a sign of just how many tangents this debate took that I had to keep looking back at the topic as I read through it to keep myself grounded on what the burdens in this debate were and, specifically, what Pro had to prove. Both sides end up taking liberties with their cases that distance themselves from the actual topic, and while I get back to it a little in the later rounds, I think both debaters really needed that focus from the outset.

The topic, as I see it, is with regards to discussing the proof surrounding speciation through evolution " at least, that's what I'm being told by the end, though the topic is nebulous on where it starts (I don't see genus or species there " probably would have been best to just post the topic as "Biological evolution and speciation"). Con isn't required to provide an alternate means by which speciation could occur, though in failing to do so, he puts himself at great risk, as any proof on Pro's part would have sufficed for him to win this debate.

Con's R1 is where we start to go off track, and I think it's partially because Con didn't understand where he was going with his argument. Right off the bat, he concedes that "change over time by environmental pressure does occur," even pointing to an actual speciation event where cannids and wolves split off. Am I missing something, or is this granting that the resolution is true? Whether it's due to the loss of genetic information or not makes little difference " that's a newer species coming from an older one. I'll go through the rest of the debate, but this is easily the most problematic thing for Con that comes up in the debate, and he gave it himself.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
(Pt. 2)

Generally, the explanation using Punnet Squares is a huge red herring, and the accompanying explanation of what it means makes no sense. Even if I bought this entire thing, it really does nothing to prove Con's point. The inability of one species to "revert" to another doesn't do anything to prove that the initial conversion didn't happen.

But I don't really buy it. Punnet Squares demonstrate a principle of recessive and dominant alleles and how they're inherited. They don't showcase a loss of genetic information because information is not lost. If an individual has two alleles for a dominant gene, or one allele for a dominant gene and one allele for a recessive gene, they have the same amount of information. Only one of those two individuals can pass on the recessive gene and therefore breed more genetic diversity, but that doesn't mean they've lost genetic information. This happens very often within species, and sometimes there's an actual phenotypic difference between a homozygous dominant individual and a heterozygous individual, as is the case with things like Sickle Cell Anemia. In this case, there's pressure to keep heterozygosity in the population. So when I see your argument, I'm confused. You're essentially telling me that a population may have pressure to move towards homozygosity, but you're giving me no reasoning for why this happens, and no explanation for why newer species are more homozygous in general than older species. Even if that explanation was there, I'm still unsure what this point is trying to accomplish. Is the idea that loss of alleles is reducing genetic diversity, and that that reduced genetic diversity is indicative of a situation that is counter to that provided by evolutionary theory? I can't see that link being made anywhere.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
(Pt. 3)

Pro's R1 isn't any better. He essentially provides a list of examples that he explains, but doesn't contextualize within the debate. I'll go through each individually.

Human tails " this comes closest to having a point within the debate. If some humans have tails, and those tails are passed down to them through genetic information that is also found in their common ancestors who very often had tails, then this is supportive of the idea that tails were weeded out as speciation occurred. However, as Con rightly points out, you never show any genetic linkage here. You assert that one must exist because some humans have tails, but that's insufficient. You need to provide the detailed support here, as well as better reasoning. In fact, you give your opponent a better argument against this even than the one he uses by saying that "there is a mutation or defect that some people have that gives them a tail." That's a much simpler explanation, and it doesn't involve any recessive traits being passed on. It's easier to believe, and you gave it yourself. That's a problem.

Wisdom teeth " ...I have no idea where you're going with this. I don't see any proof that wisdom teeth existed in our common ancestors and are being weeded out, with difficulty, from the human population. Yet that is what this position assumes. If, as you say, "a mutation occurred where our jaws became smaller and nature favored the small jaws over the bigger jaws," then I have to see that those bigger-jawed individuals were a separate species. I'm not seeing that. Our "ancestors" with bigger jaws could have been human, could they not? Or did the change in jaw structure change their species as well? There's simply not enough explanation here.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
(Pt. 4)

Bears " Con actually makes more sense out of this point than Pro does, which is a bad sign. The incidence of abinism in brown bears and the benefit that ascribes to them doesn't prove anything with regards to the topic being debated. Yes, there is a benefit to brown bears having white hair. Unless that benefit engendered the beginning of a new species, it doesn't have a place in this debate. The thought appeared to be that this mutation created polar bears, but Pro answers this pretty thoroughly by showing that single mutation in brown bears can't have created polar bears due to the numerous differences between the two. I never see any response to that.

Generally, the point from Pro seems to be that mutations happen, engendering new and beneficial traits, ergo biological evolution can cause speciation. The problem is that there are multiple links missing here, and Con points this out. Proving that species can have mutations among them that lead to different traits doesn't also mean that those separate traits are making a brand new species. This is really something Pro never addressed, only to say that it's difficult to prove given the long periods of time required for such evolution to take place. Difficult as it may be, it's your burden.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
(Pt. 5)

So much of this debate doesn't end up factoring into a decision since it's almost all sidenotes. Pro never reaches his burden of proof... on his own... and now I'm left to determine if Con handed him analysis in R1, and I can't help but see that it does. Con straight up tells me that environmental pressure can result in genetic changes that lead to the inception of new species. I'm not sure what Con was trying to do with this argument, but by itself, it sunk him. Even if the idea was that Pro had to do more than just show that speciation occurs " perhaps he had to show that new families and orders can be created by evolution " you're giving him the means to do so, and without any alternative reasoning for why these species came to be, I'm forced to accept that evolution is the most likely culprit. Ergo, I'm forced to vote Pro.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments. Sources go to Con because I felt that, often, he was explaining Pro's points far better than Pro was, not to mention there was often a lack of support for Pro's case.