Creationism (Pro) v.s. Darwinism (Con).
Hello! This debate, as the name implies will be about Creationism and Darwinism. I will be arguing that Creationism is a valid belief, and Khaz will argue that Darwinism is a valid belief. Both must cite sources supporting their side. Some ground rules:
Round 1: Acceptance and definitions only.
Round 2: Openings. Brief overview of what you will be arguing.
Round 3-4: Constructives. New evidence can be brought in at this point in the debate.
Round 5: Closings and rebuttals. No new evidence can be brought in on this round.
1) No vulgarities, rude language, trolling, etc.
2) Make sure to stick to the topic.
3) Keep arguments from turning into ad hominem attacks or bulverism arguments.
4) BoP is shared by both Pro and Con.
Creationism: The belief that an inteligent designer created all life.
Darwinism: The belief that, through mutation and natural selection, all living orgainsims evolved from a common ansestor.
Micro-evolution: comparatively minor evolutionary change involving the accumulation of variations in populations below the species level.
Macro-evolution: change at or above the level of species, wherein two isolated gene pools are created
Species - a group of living organisms containing individuals which can all mutually interbreed and produce mostly fertile offspring
Valid: (of an argument or point) having a sound basis in logic or fact; reasonable or cogent.
I reserve the right to define any other terms that may arise during this debate.
Con, do you agree to these rules?
I accept the terms and the definitions. I look forward to an enjoyable discussion.
Openings. Remember, no evidence yet, just a road map for future arguments.
Creationism explains things that Darwinism cannot.
Simply put, Darwinism's attempts to explain all life on earth are highly illogical, extremely unlikely, and shown to be false by modern science Darwin didn't have access to in the past. In other words, his view is outdated and unsupported by the very thing it depends upon: science. I will argue these following points in my round 3 argument, showing how :
1) Darwinism's reliance upon abiogensis is faulty.
Recognising that this is a new term, I will define it now.
Abiogenesis: the original evolution of life or living organisms from inorganic or inanimate substances
We can see it is quite similar to another idea of how life came about, but the wording is changed.
Spontaneous Generation: the supposed production of living organisms from nonliving matter.
Darwinism relies upon life coming into existence without someone to assemble it together. Darwinists (and anyone who disbelieves in a creator) must believe in some form of life spontaneously generating. This theory of spontaneous generation asks us to believe that if we are to place all of the elements necessary for life into a box, then after a period of time, be it eons or years, we will find life has "generated" inside the box. I will show how not only is this not only extremely unlikely, but cannot be reproduced by intelligent beings such as us humans in a lab, much less by accident.
2) Darwinism's explanation of mutation and natural selection has limits, and the science the belief relies upon shows this contradiction.
Darwin thought that mutation and natural selection could continue forever, and his belief relies on it. It relies on mutation being able to continue to refine and evolve into new organisms. In other words, it relies on macro-evolution. However, modern science contradicts this claim. I'll show the limits of natural selection and mutation in my round 3 argument.
3) Darwinism's attempt at showing history of macro-evolution (the fossil record, structural homology, etc.) are unreliable.
After Darwin published his study, "The Origin of Species," scientists discovered ways to prove that macro-evolution had occurred. Some looked for intermediate links in the fossil record, and some looked for animals that were designed similarly. However, all of these "proofs" for macro-evolution are unreliable, as scientists have found too many contradictions to these theories. I'll go in more depth in my next arguments.
Then, the question becomes, "What should we believe in, if not Darwinism? How did life arise?" The answer is obvious: someone must have created life.
Let's say I see a flower bed. Something as rudimentary as 15 or so of the same flower together, no weeds or other flowers around. Would you say it is more likely than not that someone planted those flowers? Of course, it could happen this way by accident, but the chances of that are low. Now, let's say I see a flower bed, except it forms a letter. What are the chances of this producing randomly? What if it spelled out a name? What if it spelled out the name of a president? And remember, once the seeds of the flowers fall, they can't move and spell out a name through mutation and natural selection.
This is a simple analogy, but it explains my point. You don't have to see a creator to look at creation and believe in one. To fulfill my burden, I will show three things to be true:
1) Some things in biology are irreducibly complex, meaning that they will not operate if it is missing a part, and therefore does not give any survival advantage to the organism with the incomplete structure. They must be created in "one fell swoop."
2) We see laws that govern the universe all around us. Gravity, electricity, atomic bonds, and so many more laws must have an instigator.
3) Cause and effect. One of science's basic laws is that everything is an effect, and each effect has a cause. Then, what caused the universe? I'll argue this point based on Con's answer.
In short, Darwinism is faulty because
1) Belief in abiogenesis is faulty,
2) Belief that mutation and natural selection have no limits is faulty, and
3) The evidence for these beliefs are faulty.
Creationism is more likely because of:
1) Irreducible complexity in biology,
2) Laws that govern the universe, and
3) Cause and effect asks for the cause of the universe, which is something that only creationism can explain.
I await Con's opening statement.
I guess we're doing this debate in a format I'm not used to, so I'll post my opening arguments now without responding to all of his.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We have agreed not to pursue a discussion on the origin of life, as it falls outside of the purview of evolutionary theory. Because it is therefore inconsequential to the topic (and quite honestly much too complex and new as a field to be discussed intelligently by two laymen), I have not taken issue with his claims regarding it.
Evolution - change in the heritable traits (or allele frequencies) of biological populations over successive generations.
*also included are parts that are important to the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory, such as common descent .
1) My first argument will be based on the evidence found for the evolution of birds from among (although not necessarily from) the theropod dinosaurs. I will discuss the various degrees of intermediate fossils, as well as the wealth of evidence we have the confirms the feathered status of many, even non-avian, dinosaurs.
I will also discuss the evidence that many of these dinosaurs were different than is thought by the popular view of them as basically giant lizards, including how some of these differences hint at a link with modern birds.
2) My second argument will concern the predictions that can be drawn directly from evolutionary theory. I will bring up the many ways that evolution could be falsified, which is a key part of any scientific theory, and the observations we see that are directly predicted by evolution. In this way, I will touch both predictions that could be disproven to hurt evolution as well as the predictions that have been confirmed and help evolution.
3) Although my third argument could technically fit within the previous one, I'm going to give it its own section so I can attempt to explain it thoroughly enough to make it easy to understand not only what it is, but why it's predicted and why it hints at evolutionary processes over intelligent design.
The topic of my third argument will be nested hierarchies in the taxonomy of life. Organisms can easily be organized into nested hierachies without violation, which is an observation that seems to be wholly unnecessary under any creationist theory, but it absolutely crucial to evolution's modern synthesis.
4) Finally, I will try to spend some time discussing some of the flaws in the belief of Biblical-literalism. Assuming my opponent is a believer in literal young Earth creationism, I do not believe it's difficult at all to give plenty of reasons that such a belief is not only unscientific, directly violates many scientific principles.
I will be arguing that belief in Biblical literalism and/or young-earth creationism (henceforth referred to as YEC) often implies a deity who is hell-bent on convincing us that life evolved. I won't be arguing that these necessarily disprove YEC, but that such facts make it significantly more based on blind faith than any alternatives.
If Pro is not a YEC, then I will ask here for him to present some of his beliefs about how literal the Bible is to be taken, and the specific events therein that he believes in. The most important two stories to this topic are Noah's Ark and the story of Adam and Eve.
Note: Since I will be focusing on the scientifically-testable claims of the Bible, with a focus on claims that go against evolutionary principles, and not simply theological issues (so-called contradictions or the problem of evil, for example), I believe that an analysis of the Bible is relevant to the discussion. If Pro wants to take issue with this, I will be willing to let go of my fourth argument and either replace it or do away with a fourth argument altogether depending on what the character count decides.
I look forward to an enjoyable debate.
1) Darwinism's reliance upon abiogenesis is faulty.
Seeing how Con has not taken issue with this statement, I have meet my burden of proof on this issue. The only other explanation other than abiogenesis is Creationism (someone assembling life, rather than it combining on it's own).
2) Darwinism's explanation of mutation and natural selection has it's limits, and the science the belief relies upon shows this contradiction.
Since Darwinism concludes for all life to have originated from a single common ancestor, it relies on mutation and natural selection to continue infinitely. This theory, however, is shown to be invalid by both modern genetics and by irreducible complexity.
First, we should look to modern advances in the study of genetics to see if it allows for this infinite mutation cycle, as the belief in macro-evolution relies upon. The answer is clear: instead of mutation giving certain organisms an advantage, it does the opposite. "The reason for this is very simple: DNA has a very complex structure, and random effects can only damage it. Biologist B. G. Ranganathan states: 'First, genuine mutations are very rare in nature. Secondly, most mutations are harmful since they are random, rather than orderly changes in the structure of genes;any random change in a highly ordered system will be for the worse, not for the better. For example, if an earthquake were to shake a highly ordered structure such as a building, there would be a random change in the framework of the building, which, in all probability, would not be an improvement (1).'"
Second, one should look to irreducible complexity. To be clear, I am not arguing for infinite complexity, but irreducible complexity. The difference is key, while one claims that it is impossible to know everything about an organism, the other makes a more rational claim, that is, the organism must have had all their parts created (or evolved) all at once. "Darwin's Theory of Evolution is a slow gradual process. Darwin wrote, "…Natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, though slow steps." Thus, Darwin conceded that, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." Such a complex organ would be known as an "irreducibly complex system". An irreducibly complex system is one composed of multiple parts, all of which are necessary for the system to function. If even one part is missing, the entire system will fail to function. Every individual part is integral. Thus, such a system could not have evolved slowly, piece by piece. The common mousetrap is an everyday non-biological example of irreducible complexity. It is composed of five basic parts: a catch (to hold the bait), a powerful spring, a thin rod called "the hammer," a holding bar to secure the hammer in place, and a platform to mount the trap. If any one of these parts is missing, the mechanism will not work. Each individual part is integral. The mousetrap is irreducibly complex (2)."
Based on this information, it is clear that
1) Mutation cannot continue forever, and
2) Mutation cannot create irreducibly complex mechanics gradually.
3) Darwinism's attempt at showing history of macro-evolution are unreliable.
I will focus on two areas which are heralded to be proof of macro-evolution occurring:
a) the fossil record, and
b) structural homology (similar structures in different organisms).
First, I will rebut the "evidence" for Darwinism found in the fossil record. Specifically, that there is none! For those unfamiliar, Darwin claimed that there would be evidence of "intermediate links" in the fossil record. This would show how an organism would slowly evolve into a different organism altogether. For example, an intermediate link between a monkey and a human would show that macro-evolution transformed a monkey into a human. However, through scrutinous search, none of these supposed intermediate links were found! Dr. David Raup, the curation of the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History and an expert on the fossil record stated, "Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded.... ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as the result of more detailed information (3)." If Con has what he believes to be an intermediate link, I'd ask that he post the scientific name of it and which two organisms it "links," so that I may refute it being an intermediate link at all.
Secondly, many macro-evolutionists have claimed that structural homology, or similalar structures found in different organisms, shows that they evolved from a common ancestor. After all, it makes sense to assume that if you find similar structures in different organisms those organisms are related, right? Wrong. Once again, evidence that Darwin didn't have refutes this theory. Genetics show that related organisms have portions of related DNA that gives them these structural similarities, however, we don't see these related genes. Dr. Michael Denton states, "The evolutionary basis of homology is perhaps even more severely damaged by the discovery that apparently homologous structures are specified by quite different genes in different species... With the demise of any sort of straightforward explanation for homology on of the major pillars of evolution theory has become so weakened that its value as evidence for evolution is greatly diminished (4)."
I am willing to rebut any other evidence that Con offers as proof for Darwinism.
1) Irreducible Complexity
See above argument.
2) Universal laws
In the universe, there are specific laws that govern everything. Gravity doesn't disappear once you leave the earth, it affects every celestial body. Electricity, motion, and magnetism's relationship don't go away once you leave the earth, it is still in affect everywhere in the universe. These scientific laws are evident everywhere. However, it is improbable to state that an undirected, random explosion created all of these logical, scientific laws. I would recommend to read an article on the subject (5), it does a better job at explaining these phenomena than I do.
3) Cause and Effect
It is well known that every effect has a cause. "The law of cause and effect states that every cause has an effect and every effect becomes the cause of something else. This law suggests that the universe is always in motion and progressed from a chain of events (6)." Then, we are to ask ourselves one question: what caused the universe? Some say the Big Bang caused the universe, but then we must ask what caused that much energy to be stored in such a small area? The Centre for Intelligent Design writes, "William Lane Craig, the philosopher, has in the past few years revived an old argument known as ‘The Kalam Cosmological Argument’. Kalamis in fact an Arabic word meaning ‘speech’. It is an argument about the possibility of infinite causes which was developed by medieval Islamic and Jewish theologians. Craig sets out 3 premises as follows:
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause (7)."
(3) David Raup, Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, 1979
(4) Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 1985
Khaz forfeited this round.
David_Debates forfeited this round.
Khaz forfeited this round.
Sad to see Con has not responded to my Round 3 argument. I will extend to allow for perhaps a two round debate.
Khaz forfeited this round.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||4||0|