The Instigator
NothingSpecial99
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MagicAintReal
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Creationism(Pro) vs Evolution (Con)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MagicAintReal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,180 times Debate No: 84413
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (198)
Votes (1)

 

NothingSpecial99

Pro

As you can see I made this debate impossible to accept. Anyone who manages to accepts forfeits this debate. Comment below if you are interested.

Full Resolution: Which model, evolution or creation provides a more plausible explaination for the variety of species we see today.

Round 1: Acceptance + Both sides define their models
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttal
Round 4: Each side defends his/her original case

Creationism: The biblical belief that the universe and all kinds of animals came into being over the course of seven days.

BOP will be shared as both sides argue why their model works and why the other doesn't.
MagicAintReal

Con

Thanks Pro for this debate, I accept.

I affirm that evolution provides not only a more plausible explanation for the biodiversity of life on earth than does creationism, but that evolution by way of natural selection is a demonstrable fact.

natural selection - the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring; this is the main process that brings about evolution.
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

evolution - the process by which different kinds of living organisms developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

life - the condition that distinguishes animals, plants, bacteria, and archaea from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth and reproduction.
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

creationism - the belief that the universe and living organisms originate from specific acts of divine creation.
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 1
NothingSpecial99

Pro

Definitions: Con provided a definition for creationism even though I already provided one. However, I like his definition better so we can just go along with it.

The Two Models:

Both creationism and evolution have models that predict how all the species we see today have arisen. Below is the evolutionary tree of life [1]:



And below is the creation model which more resembles an orchard [2]:



Creationism states that all species stem from the original kinds created during God’s seven days of creation. We creationists define kinds as a term that is a larger grouping than species. The origin of kinds comes from Genesis 1:11-12 “And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.”And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds” and further more in Genesis 1:21 and 1:24-25. For example, dogs would be defined as a biblical kind. [3]

It might seem “out there” that all species stemmed from these created kinds, however, species can arise rather quickly. For example, most dog breeds have arisen in the last couple of centuries [4]. I believe my opponent and I can agree that natural selection occurs and can create new species. Both in the evolution and the creation model, natural selection plays a huge part. We will probably disagree however, how much change natural selection can create. Natural selection cannot create species outside a created kind. Dogs will remain dogs and cats will remain cats whereas evolutionists believe that such changes between kinds have occurred through natural selection.

However, natural selection alone cannot drive dinosaurs-to-birds evolution or ape-like creatures to human evolution. The reason behind this simple: Nature selects certain phenotypes or traits in a species and the ones that are not selected die off with the organism lost forever to the species. However, there comes a point where nature can only select so much genetic information before there is none left. Therefore there must be a second mechanism to increase the amount of genetic information in the genome so that nature can continue to select. Evolutionists look to mutations as the mechanism but I will show in my next argument why this isn’t the case.

Genetics:

Genetic Entropy, an idea put forward by Cornell geneticist, Dr. John C Sanford, I believe provides the most compelling evidence that genetics don’t support evolution but rather the opposite. To begin with, I’ll present the mutation rate for humans.

The current consensus among the genetic community is that point mutations per generation is around 75-175 point mutations added per generation of humans [5]. However, there are more types of mutations than substitutions. It is estimated that for every substitution mutation there is at least one micro-satellite mutation doubling the rate to around 150-350 mutations [6]. There are plenty more types of mutations that get passed down through every generation but to save space, I will not dive into those numbers.
Now how many bad or deleterious mutations are there compared to the beneficial ones. Below is a diagram adapted from population geneticist, Dr. Motoo Kimura which shows the distribution of mutations [7]:



As seen here, Dr. Kimura shows that the vast majority of mutations are deleterious and more importantly, cannot be selected out of the population which I will get to later on. One might ask, beneficial mutations exist, why aren’t they included in the distribution? That is because deleterious mutations greatly outnumber beneficial mutations to a point where they cannot realistically be shown in the distribution. In a study conducted by Dr. Bergman where he did a simple literature search on Biological Abstracts and Medline with the key word, “mutation”, he found that out of the 453,732 results found, 186 only mentioned the word “beneficial” [8]. There are other estimates that go as low as 1 in a million mutations being beneficial [9]. The proportion becomes even lower if you remove mutations that are only beneficial in context due to a malfunction in the genome (ex. Human lactose intolerance as the result of a malfunctioning LCT gene ) [10]. In fact, I have yet to see a mutation that increases the amount of functional genetic information by creating functional genes. However, even if I were to draw a line on the diagram as seen below to acknowledge beneficial mutations exist blowing the distribution out of proportion, there is an obvious problem.



With the distribution, it can be deducted that most, if not all mutations that are passed to the next generation are deleterious. Therefore the human genome is losing functionality over time. Natural selection cannot eliminate all the deleterious mutations because as seen in the distribution, most mutations fall within the shaded “no-selection zone” meaning that most mutations are not deleterious or beneficial enough to give an organism a disadvantage or advantage that nature can select. Geneticists are in agreement that the human genome is degrading. The decline of fitness of the human species is calculated to be around 1-2% per generation [11].

How does this disprove evolution and prove creation? If genetic information cannot be increased, much less even maintained, it is ridiculous to even say that entire functional genomes of organisms were created through natural selection and mutations making the whole theory moot. Several conclusions from this information can be made to support creation.

1. If functional genomes cannot arise, then the only alternative is that they were designed by an intelligent creator.

2. The rates at which genomes degrade imply a rather recent origin of species.


[17]

Fossils:

Another issue with the evolutionary model is living fossils. For example, the horseshoe crab which still exists today remains completely identical to the fossils 445 million years old [12]. The fact that such organisms don’t change in these huge timescales proves a problem for evolution. Dr. Stephan Jay Gould, a Harvard paleontologist and an evolutionists recognizes this as a problem when he wrote, “the maintenance of stability within species must be considered as a major evolutionary problem.” [13] The fact that modern creatures have coexisted with “ancient” species affirms the creation account that all kinds of animals were created at the same time which brings me to my next point.

Dinosaurs have been used to ridicule creationists as it is seemingly absurd that humans and dinosaurs lived together. However, there is evidence that seems to point otherwise. For example, evidence that humans and dinosaurs coexisted lies in soft tissue found in dinosaur bones [14]. The tissue that was found was still able to stretch and retain its shape. However, the structures found like blood vessels, muscle, and skin decay rapidly to decomposers. In addition, proteins have been found in dinosaur bones such as collagen, hemoglobin, and osteocalcin [15]. A report by The Biochemist states that proteins such as these even under the perfect conditions at 0 degrees Celsius the proteins would not last three million years [16]. However, it is believed that dinosaurs lived in warm moist environments that would quickly degrade such proteins.



Arguments from Design

I'll be brief with this as I'm running very low on characters. Within organisms exist complex features that can't arise through the gradual process of evolution. Some of these features are really complex but they provide no distinct advantage for nature to favoribly select such traits. A prime example of this can be seen with human facial muscles.



On top of performing tasks necessary for survival such as eating and speaking, almost half of those muscles are solely dedicated to creating facial expressions. The problem is that having the ability to smile, frown, or smirk does not aid in the survival of humans. Such traits aren’t features that nature would necessarily select. Yet we see examples of overdesign often when it comes to engineering [18]. This implies that there is an intelligent designer behind such features.



Sources:
[1]https://en.wikipedia.org......
[2]http://creation.com......
[3] The Holy Bible
[4]http://www.livescience.com......
[5] Kondrashov, A.S. 2002. Direct Estimate of human per nucleotide mutation rates at 20 loci causing Mendelian diseases. Human Mutation 21:12-27
[6] Ellegren, H. 2000. Microsatellite mutations in the germline: implications for evolutionary interference. TIG 16:551-558
[7] Kimura, M. 1979. Model of effective neutral mutations in which selective constraint is incorporated. PNAS 76:3440-3444
[8] Bergman, J. 2004. Research on the deterioration of the genome and Darwinism: why mutations result in degeneration of the genome. Intelligent design Conference, Biola University. April 22-23
[9] Gerrish, P.J. and R. Lenski. 1998. The fate of competing beneficial mutations in an asexual population. Genetica 102/103: 127-144.
[10] http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov......
[11] Crow, J.F. 1997. The high spontaneous mutation rate: is it a health risk? PNAS 94:8380-8386
[12] http://news.discovery.com......
[13] http://www.nature.com...;(Must have subscription to view)
[14] http://www.smithsonianmag.com......
[15] https://news.ncsu.edu......
[16] http://www.biochemist.org......
[17] Sanford, John C. Genetic Entropy. N.p.: FMS Publications, n.d. Print.
[18] http://creation.com...

MagicAintReal

Con

I affirm that evolution provides a more plausible explanation for the variety of species we see today than does creationism because:

1. genetic characteristics that allow an organism to live long enough to reproduce are more likely to be passed on than genetic characteristics that don't allow an organism to live long enough to reproduce.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

2. polyploidy is the process by which mutations increase the amount of functional genetic information.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

3. human chromosome 2 is a fusion of two ape chromosomes, which is definitive evidence that humans descended from apes.
http://genome.cshlp.org...

4. homologous structures between organisms indicate taxonomic classification without using the indiscriminate term "kind."
http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

5. speciation by way of natural selection is a fact, and Pro concedes this point.
http://www.debate.org...


1. What's evolution?
Parents pass on their genes to their offspring, but organisms that don't make it long enough to reproduce or can't reproduce never become parents, and their genes do not get passed on.

The characteristics that lead to more reproductive success and survival begin to genetically dominate, because a major part of genetically dominating is being alive and reproducing.

So, as environmental constraints dictate, different genetic characteristics become more or less helpful in living long enough and having the ability and opportunity to reproduce.
As the earth's environmental constraints change, so do its inhabitants.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu...


2. What is polyploidy?
So, think back to biology class when they mentioned that humans have 23 chromosomes from each parent.
This means that we have a total of 46 chromosomes. We, like most animals are diploid, because we have TWO sets of chromosomes, one from mom, and one from dad.

Anytime you have an organism with MORE than one set from each parent, these organisms are called polyploids.
Beyond the two normal sets, an organism can have three (triploid), four (tetraploid), five (pentaploid), or all the way up to even 12 sets.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

Polyploidy happens when there is a mutation DURING THE REPLICATION process, such that more gene sets are copied. That is to say, from the parents'genetic information, mutations can occur that INCREASE the gene sets in the offspring; this is the fact of polyploidy.

This increase in DNA is functional, it explains great genetic divergence in one generation, and happens in bacteria, plants (most common), and animals; new functional DNA is a fact of polyploidy.

a. polyploidy in bacteria
http://m.pnas.org...

b. polyploidy in plants
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

c. polyploidy in animals
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...


3. What is Human chromosome 2?
Human chromosome 2 is a fusion of two ancestral ape chromosomes.

Humans have 46 chromosomes, while the other great apes have 48 chromosomes.
Chromosomes, made of two identical chromatids, carry our genes, and give us all of our genetic, molecular, cellular, and skeletal structures.
A typical chromatid, one identical part of the chromosome, has two ends and a center.

The two ends are Telomeres (T).
The center is a Centromere (C).

T-C-T




However, the chromatids on human's 2nd chromosome each have four ends and two centers.

T-C-T-T-C-T




This shows fusion.
Since the telomeres are fused in the middle, we call this a telomere-telomere, or end to end fusion.
http://genome.cshlp.org...

How do we know what fused?

Base pairs on the ends of each chromosome are unique to that chromosome; if you find these unique base pairs, you then know which chromosome you have, similar to how a fingerprint identifies a human.

We found the base pairs that match ancestral ape chromosomes on our 2nd chromosome.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

So, when you look at our 2nd chromosome, you see that our genetics have uniquely identifying remnants from our ape ancestors; we're genetically made from two fused ape chromosomes.


4. How do we classify animals?
In biology, we classify animals based on their evolutionary history and common ancestry.
So, most creationists ask, "How do you know their common ancestry?"
The answer is homologous anatomic structures...inherited structures that are similar between organisms.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

The best examples of this are the four-legged vertebrates.
"The ancestor of tetrapods evolved four limbs, and its descendents have inherited that feature — so the presence of four limbs is a homology."
http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

So based on homology, we can classify organisms; genetics confirm homology as well.

While I admit, we currently use a more updated version than the classic taxonomic rank system, these names are still used in most phylogenetic classification; notice there is no term "kind."


https://en.wikipedia.org...


Could Pro, explain what "kind" means in terms of species, genus, family, order, class, phylum, kingdom, or domain?
Or if Pro likes, Pro could choose a color that best fits the idea of "kind."
Then if Pro feels like it, could Pro explain how "kind" fits into that particular taxonomic rank?


5. Speciation by way of natural selection is a fact, and Pro agrees.
From the 2nd round, Pro clearly states:
"I believe my opponent and I can agree that natural selection occurs and can create new species."
http://www.debate.org...

My response:
Yes, I agree, and this seems like a concession to me, because this is the MOST crucial mechanism by which evolution occurs; I was going to provide evidence for speciation, but since Pro has conceded, I need not.

I must stress that this is a very crucial concession from Pro, and it should heavily be considered when voting; speciation points to evolution being very plausible.
Debate Round No. 2
NothingSpecial99

Pro

What is evolution? :


What you have defined here is natural selection which neither of us contest. I have said this in my argument that although speciation occurs, the genetic changes that causes such changes are degenerative. Natural selection over long periods of time does not equal evolution that changes dinosaurs to birds or vice versa because the changes are heading in the wrong direction as all species as a whole need new genetic information introduced for this process to continue. You claim that polyploidy provides the necessary mechanism to add such information, however I will prove that such is not the case.


Why polyploidy does not provide new genetic information:


Regarding polyploidy, one can make an analogy that disproves it as a mechanism that adds functional genetic information.


If If I repeat words in in my my my sentence, does it improve improve it?


Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence? Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence? Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence? Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence? Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence? Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence? Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence? Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence? Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence? Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence? Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence? Do I tell you more if I repeat this sentence?


As seen in these cases, repetition degrades the information I typed as they disrupt the communication of that information. (To be fair, the repetition does sort of improve the argument because of the emphasis but only in the context of the argument. If I used such tactics in a different debate, I would most assuredly be penalized for spelling & grammar)


If a student submits two copies of a paper to a professor, does it give him/her higher marks on the paper. It most certainly does not and could even cause lower grades. For example, if the minimum page requirement is four and the student submitted two copies of a two page essay to meet the requirement, he/she will most likely be marked down for not presenting four pages of unique information.


There is a reason why humans are not polyploid is because duplicating all of our chromosomes would be fatal to us. There are humans with additional copies of certain chromosomes but these are seen to result in several genetic abnormalities like Down Syndrome. [1]


Consider the problem I have pointed out with genetic entropy and the fact that most if not all mutations are deleterious. Now picture a genome that has been accumulating such mutations. Does making two, three, or even thousands of copies of the genome make things better. With each copy of the genome you are also carrying over the bad mutations that have accumulated.



Human Chromosome Two:


Con’s argument for the fusion of the chromosomes are based on flawed logic that by looking at the supposed beginning and the end result as definite proof of the fusion process therefore definite proof that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors. Let me make an analogy with a marathon.


Premise 1: A runner has been observed at the beginning of the marathon

Premise 2: The runner has been observed at the end of the marathon

Conclusion: The runner definitely ran the course of the marathon to get to the finish line.


As seen here there are definitely other ways the runner could have ended up at the finishing line and whether the person ran at all or not can be questioned.


However, Con’s argument falls apart for other reasons too. The chromosome fusion model makes predictions about the state of human chromosome two that are not consistent with observations today.


If you look at Con’s diagram, if the two chromosomes have fused, then there should be evidence of remnants of a once-functioning centromere on the chromosome. However, there is little to no evidence that such centromere ever existed. The only sort of evidence that a centromere used to be there is the presence of alphoid sequences which every ape and human centromere possess however is not definite evidence as alphoid sequences are highly variable and are not exclusive to centromeres. [2]


Another prediction that the fusion model makes but fails is that where the site of the fusion is, there should be no functional genes as you can imagine mashing human and ape genes together would make them non-functional. However, an analysis of the fusion site shows that multiple functional genes exist at the proposed fusion site [3]. Also take into consideration that mutations cannot create function information in the form of functional genes for reasons I have pointed out in my previous argument (See Genetics). Even if Con is right that polyploidy is a mechanism to create functional information (Which in this rebuttal I have proven isn’t the case), polyploidy won’t work here as you can’t duplicate a specific piece of a chromosome without duplicating the entire chromosome.


Classifying animals:


Animals aren’t classified by their evolutionary origins as the modern system for classifying animals was created by Carl von Linnaeus (1707-1778) long before Darwin conceptualized evolution. [4]


Con brings up homologous structures as definite evidence of common ancestry between animals. However, such scientific reasoning falls under historical science as opposed to observational science. With observational science, you use repeatable and observable experiments to come to conclusions using the scientific method that we are all familiar with. However, with historical science, repeatable experiments don’t apply when making conclusions but rather looking at evidence today and interpret them to try to recreate the past. As famous Harvard paleontologist and evolutionist Dr. Stephen Jay Gould once said,


Facts do not "speak for themselves"; they are read in the light of theory”. [5]


The evolutionists that look at such structures interpret them as the result of common ancestry under the preconceived notion that evolution is true beyond doubt. On the other hand, creationists would look at such structures and see them as similar designs from an intelligent Creator. Unless you or someone else was there observing such organisms for the painstaking millions of years, there is no way to truly tell who is right.


Just to be clear, it is not just creationists that make this distinction between observation and historical science as there are also evolutionists who are willing to make this distinction. Atheistic evolutionist Harvard Professor, Dr E.O. Wilson said:


"If a moving automobile were an organism, functional biology would explain how it is constructed and operates, while evolutionary biology would reconstruct its origin and history"how it came to be made and its journey thus far." [6]


He is not alone as prominent biologist Ernst Mayr wrote:


"Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science"the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain." [7]


Pertaining to your question as to how the created “kinds” fall under the taxonomic rank system, I provide you with the following definition:


Groups of living organisms belong in the same created kind if they have descended from the same ancestral gene pool.


Now I realize that such definition isn’t one that fits the taxonomic system and I can see understandably why Con wants a line drawn as to where created kinds fall therefore falsifiable if say such line was placed in Genus then if Con finds an example contrary disproves such. However, the important issue at hand is not how much change natural selection can do in the grand scheme of the taxonomic system but that such change is heading the wrong way for evolution.

[8]

Speciation:


This is not necessarily a concession as I’m arguing that such mechanisms actually work against evolution for reasons highlighted in Round 2 (Genetics). Here is an analogy that I think better illustrates what is going on:

We are at the Chicago stop on a New York ---- San Francisco train line. We both agree that the train is working, only that you argue that because the train is working, it is heading towards New York, whereas I’m arguing that the train is going in the wrong direction to San Francisco.

Sources:

[1] https://www.nichd.nih.gov...

[2] http://creation.com...

[3] Fan, Y. et al., Gene content and function of the ancestral chromosome fusion site in human chromosome 2q13-2q14.1 and paralogous regions, Genome Research 12:1663–1672, 2002.

[4] http://earthguide.ucsd.edu...

[5]. Gould, S.J. (1941-2002), Ever Since Darwin, W.W. Norton, New York, NY, pp. 161-162, 1977

[6] Wilson, E. O., From so Simply a Beginning, Norton, 2006, pg. 12

[7] Mayr, Ernst (1904"2005), Darwin"s Influence on Modern Thought, based on a lecture that Mayr delivered in Stockholm on receiving the Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, 23 September 1999; published on ScientificAmerican.com, 24 November 2009.

[8] http://creation.com...
MagicAintReal

Con

Yay rebuttals!

*The "orchard" of life*

I laughed pretty hard when I saw the "orchard" of life, from Pro's round 2 post, and that the morphology was a straight horizontal line, in time, so I have some questions for Pro.

1. Pro, if you believe that speciation by way of natural selection occurs, then why hasn't speciation occurred prior to the orchard?
2. Why are the original "kinds" exempt from speciation, but their later kinds are not?
3. How do we know that the beginning of your orchard isn't just the branch of another "tree?"
4. Is the second "tree" of the orchard similar to or different from the first "tree" of the orchard, and to what degree?
5. Like are trees on the left side of the orchard vastly different than those on the right side of the orchard, and how so?

Please elaborate on the placement of the trees in your orchard from left to right.

6. Why should we consider what the bible says to be authoritative on matters of the origins and the diversification of species?
7. Why should we accept this orchard, other than the reason "because the bible tells us so?"
Pro it seems like you are just placing an arbitrary limit to speciation without any explanation as to why.
8. Why does speciation start where you have indicated?

Pro's orchard has many branches and shows no signs of stopping from branching out even more. The orchard doesn't indicate any limit to diversifying species, which means that Pro's following claim that "natural selection alone cannot drive dinosaurs-to-birds evolution or ape-like creatures to human evolution" isn't demonstrated by the orchard, in fact, we could extrapolate the orchard and create immense diversity.

Pro asserts:
"there comes a point where nature can only select so much genetic information before there is none left."

My response:
Nope.
As long as nature's environmental constraints are fluctuating and changing, new environmental constraints put different kinds of pressures on species, and as the constraints dictate, genetic characteristics are either beneficial for surviving long enough to successfully reproduce or they are not.

*Genetics*

I reject all of Pro's deleterious mutation effect diagrams for humans, because the term deleterious is undefined and humans are not the only organism.

Deleterious just means harmful, and in evolution, as long as a mutation doesn't impede an organism from surviving and reproducing viable offspring, it's not deleterious. This silly graph is therefore overstating the harmfulness of mutations by including mutations that are regarded as undesirable, rather than actually being deleterious to surviving and successfully reproducing.

Besides, the mutation diagram only shows point mutations for humans, not for plants, bacteria, or other animals, so Pro has given us no reason to believe in the harmfulness for mutations of other non-human organisms, thus mutations can produce beneficial, new genetic information.

This doesn't seem to bother Pro at all as he says:
"If genetic information cannot be increased, much less even maintained, it is ridiculous to even say that entire functional genomes of organisms were created through natural selection and mutations making the whole theory moot."

My response:
By showing a nonspecific diagram ONLY for humans, Pro can conclude the same for ALL GENOMES, like plants and bacteria? Come on Pro.
Remember Pro, you agree with speciation by natural selection, and functional genetic mutations drive that process.

*Fossils*
Pro states the problem with evolution is living fossils like:
"the horseshoe crab which still exists today remains completely identical to the fossils 445 million years old"

My response:
If environmental constraints don't change that much or become extremely selective of characteristics, characteristics that allow an organism to live long enough to successfully reproduce viable offspring may not change that much.
Regardless, Pro's sources from round 2 for [12], [13], [14], and [15] are either dead, link to the wrong thing, or are inaccessible, so I have no way of verifying the truth of any of Pro's fossil claims...oh well.

*Facial muscles*
Pro claims:
"Within organisms exist complex features that can't arise through the gradual process of evolution...a prime example of this can be seen with human facial muscles."

My response:
Human facial muscles can be seen in other hominids and primates.
Here's a list of all of the facial muscles found in humans and primates, indicating a step-by-step evolution from our primate ancestors.

"depressor anguli oris; DES, depressor supercilii; DLI, depressor labii inferioris; FRO, frontalis; LELS, levator labii superioris; LELSA, levator labii superioris alaeque nasi; OROC, orbicularis occuli; OROR, orbicularis oris; PLAM, platysma myoides; ZYMA, zygomaticus major; ZYMI, zygomaticus minor."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

To translate, the forehead, high cheek, middle cheek, jaw, nose, chin, and lip muscles are all shared among the primates, and the diagram at that link shows that.

The article attached to that diagram mentions:
"...the phylogenetic data available strongly support the idea that [facial] muscles A and B were the result of convergent evolution..."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

So, there were some facial muscles that were inherited from ancestors and some that arose by convergent evolution...either way it all points to the evolution of our facial muscles from our primate ancestors.

*3rd round rebuttals.*

Pro says:
"If If I repeat words in in my my my sentence, does it improve improve it?"

My response:
It's not about improving it Pro. Your claim is, "I have yet to see a mutation that increases the amount of functional genetic information by creating functional genes."

You didn't mention improvement, you mentioned an INCREASE in functional genetic information, and had you bothered to take a quick look at any of my evidence I've shown you on polyploidy, you would have seen:

"A linear relationship between cell size and copy number was observed in the two populations"

Yeah there were cells that INCREASED in size, which was caused by an INCREASE in FUNCTIONAL GENETIC INFORMATION, because having more information produced in gene sets raises the probability of new characteristics beneficial for certain constraints that otherwise would have doomed the species.

Pro makes a marathon analogy:
"Premise 1: A runner has been observed at the beginning of the marathon

Premise 2: The runner has been observed at the end of the marathon

Conclusion: The runner definitely ran the course of the marathon to get to the finish line."

My response:
Premise 1: Two ape telomeres have been observed on only on ape chromosomes.
Premise 2: These same two ape telomeres have been observed fused together on our 2nd chromosome.
Conclusion: The two ape telomeres definitely were fused, which matches with evolution, and proves ape-->human.

Pro, If your runner had a camera on them the whole time they were running, we could verify if they ran the marathon; that's uniquely indicative evidence.
Well, the two ape chromosomes are unique to apes...of billions and billions of gene sequences, these two are only ape, and human...we're modern apes.
The two chromosomes are the camera that would have remained on the runner in Pro's example.

Pro, animals are classified phylogenetically, and every single fossil, genome, and geological sample we find matches the phylogeny you would expect if evolution were true.

Pro, please pick a color from my 2nd round taxonomic diagram...where does "kind" fall in that taxonomic colorful triangle?

Pro, please listen to this particular member of the scientific community...don't just listen to scientists, look at the data. The scientists may have preconceived notions, but look at my evidence from round 2..it's objectively verifiable, please take a look at it.

Homology has been confirmed by genetic similarities.
The chromosomes dictate your characteristics, these characteristics change over time.
Similar structures would be remnant in the fossil record, in the order they should be given evolution were true, and THAT'S THE CASE. Not only do fossils show homology, but the genetics confirm homology with chromosomal base pair uniqueness.

On to Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
NothingSpecial99

Pro

The Orchard of Life:

Concerning your questions:

1. This shouldn't really be a question of Con is familiar with the Genesis account. The kinds were created during the seven days of creation according to biblical doctorine.

2. I believe you misunderstand me. The speciation within the original kinds is consistant with the bibical account. However you can't have the kinds intermingling with each other.

3. Because there is no objective evidence that supports the theory that all organisms stem from a single-celled organism.

4. They are different in the aspect that you can't have the kinds undergo sexual intercourse and produce viable offspring.

5. I'm not necessarily sure as to what you are trying to ask or convey with this question.

6. The Bible was written by someone who was there at the very beginning God himself. However, a debating about the existance of God isn't the direction of this debate.

7. It is because the biblical orchard is more consistant with what is observed today as you don't see dogs and cats having sex and producing viable offspring or elephants doing it with birds.

8. (Answer to Question 1)

As I am emphasizing in this debate, the main issue is not how much change speciation can do but rather that speciation is producing the wrong kind of change on the genetic level for evolution to happen.

My response to your response:

Natural selection isn't a creative process, but rather a destructive one. Let me illustrate. You have two variations of dogs living in the same environment, one short-fur and one long-fur. The Ice Age comes along and the short-fur variation dies off due to hypothermia. The long-fur variation lives however the genotype for short-hair would be forever lost. Given enough time, this process will eventually eliminate all genotypes to the point where you can't have a viable species anymore.

Genetics:

Deleterious is defined as:
"damaging or harmful" [1]

Mutations are deleterious due to the fact that they damage or harm functional genes in the genome. There is plenty reason to believe that the destructive trend in the human genome to other organisms. Allow me again to illustrate with a simple analogy:

You have two students that have the task of copying and transcribing two different essays (analogous to reproduction). Both papers are in English (All organisms genomes are composed of the same or similar nucleotides) One is tasked with a simple five-paragraph essay and one is tasked with a peer-reviewed scientific paper (to illustrate varying complexities of different organisms). As the two students are imperfect human beings they are bound to make mistakes (much like how mutations happen during reproduction). Even though both students are working on different papers regarding different topics, it does not take a rocket scientist to see that over an indefinite amount of time, the spelling and grammar mistakes are going to accumulate in both papers distorting and damaging the orgininal information.

As seen in this analogy, although the magnitude of the changes in the genome may vary, there is reason to believe the overall trend between humans and non-organisms are similar or the same.

"mutations can produce beneficial, new genetic information."
Other than polyploidy which I have proven is deleterous to the overall genome, Con has not provided any specific mutations that back this claim.

Living Fossils:
Despite environmental conditions, mutations still happen. If beneficial, information-gaining mutations exist as Con asserts, then there is no reason why they should remain the same. Meanwhile, within the horseshoe crab's time on Earth, dinosaurs became birds and wolf-like creatures became whales which means that its predators and prey would also be evolving. Tell any believer in old-age Earth that the environment hadn't changed much at all and he/she would call you crazy.

Let’s take a look at a few mass extinctions that happened during the horseshoe crab's existance. The most well-known one that killed the dinosaurs was a giant meteor that smashed the Earth, spilling large amounts of dust that blocks the sun sending the Earth into a deep-freeze. Living fossils that lived during that time, such as crocodiles and the Cycad plants would have had to evolve drastically to survive or face extinction. Then evolve again when the dust settled and the green house gases trapped heat, skyrocketing temperatures even past what was normal during the time of the dinosaurs.

In addition, oceanic ecosystems can be heavily affected by mass extinctions. For example, the Cambrian–Ordovician extinction events consisted of a rapid depletion in oxygen in the ocean. Or even look at today where human pollution of the oceans has resulted in many species going extinct, enough to technically count as part of a mass extinciton. How would the coral reef dwelling Nautilus mollusk survive without evolving? [12] [2]

Sources:
I apoligize for the broken links as I will post alternative working links below. However, Con seems dishonest to claim that with the broken links it is impossible to verify the my claims as a simple Google search could do it.

[12] http://news.discovery.com...
[13] I'm going to discard the source as it is just for a quote from Dr. Stephan Jay Gould and doesn't really contribute much to the argument.

[14] http://www.smithsonianmag.com...
[15] http://news.sciencemag.org...


Human facial muscles:

However, there are many facial muscles that humans have and primates don't: [3]


The main problem with the conclusion made in the study is the what I've pointed out in my rebuttal, the difference between observation and historical science. Have such facial muscles been observed evolving in a lab?

Con also ignores the othe problem that in order to use these muscles in a coordinated fashion, the organism would also need to have a brain hard-wired to use them on top of interpreting facial expressions. Con also ignores the problem that the ability to smile or frown even with the imbeded brain functions do not provide a distinct advantage that nature will select.

Polyploidy:
In that example it is clear that the extra copies of the words distort the information instead of add new information. Do you claim that duplicating the phrase "The cat" would add information versus if I add "jumps over the dog." to the phrase?

I don't usually look at sources other than to check to make sure it's reliable and that he/she takes the information within context. The reason is because anyone can take a link and use it as an argument. However, more effort and thought is required to take information from the source and use it and strengthen their arguments. If you thought that the link makes a good point about a topic, you should have explained and summerized it in the debate.

A larger cell doesn't necessarily mean that it is more functional than its smaller counterparts. And a larger cell isn't necessarily due to the increase of information in the genome. You haven't explained how the the # of chromosomes is the cause of the larger cell size.

Human Chromosome 2:

I don't see how Con's response is any different. You have the supposed start, the supposed end result, and somehow that proves that the specific process between them happened.

If the runner had a camara on the entire time, then it is objective certification that he/she ran the marathon. However, was there anybody constantly documenting the state of ape/human chromosomes over the supposed millions of years the process supposedly took place? The answer is no.

Con also failed to address the fact that the idea of the two chromosomes fusing together makes predictions about the current human chromosome 2 which contradicts with current empirical data which I stated in Round 3.

Take the marathon runner for instance. Anyone who runs a marathon are expected to be fatigued and sweaty. However, the marathon runner at the finsih line seems fresh and dry.

Genetic and Physical Similarities:

Here is a challenge to Con:

How was the scientific method used to make the conclusion that these structures and genes came from a common ancestor?

The quotes that I used wasn't exactly an appeal to authority as I just used them to illustrate that creationists aren't the only one making the distinction between historical and observational science.

The taxonomic system is irrelevant to my arguments as I have been arguing that speciation on the genetic level produces the wrong kind of change for evolution to happen.

Sources

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...

[3] See Round 2, Source 18
MagicAintReal

Con

Wow, so there are some interesting things that have been discussed and ignored in this debate.

1. Negating is not affirming.

Someone reading this debate may remember our discussion of natural selection, speciation, mutations, polyploidy, evolutionary fossils, and genetic divergence; these are all concepts of evolution which were addressed by both Pro and Con.

What would someone reading this debate remember about Creationsim?
Nothing.
What creationism concepts have been clearly explained?
None.
Not because there isn't any existing information on creationism, but ALL of Pro's characters are spent on refuting evolution RATHER than proving or explaining creationism.

For example, anyone who read this debate could tell you that natural selection, mutation, and speciation are three of the mechanisms of evolution (how evolution works), and that homologous fossils and homologous genetics are strong evidence for evolution.

What about the mechanisms of creationism? Seriously, try to name one from this debate.
What about the evidence for creationism? Go ahead, find the evidence FOR creationism in this debate.

Pro squandered all of his rounds simply refuting evolution, and neglected his central burden...the burden of demonstrating creationism's plausibility.

Simply refuting evolution does not affirm creationism's plausibility.

Like if I were to be Pro in a debate about Black Magic (Pro) VS Chemotherapy (Con), with the full resolution being that Black Magic is a more valid treatment of cancer than Chemotherapy is, simply refuting chemotherapy does not default to an affirmation of black magic's plausibility...in fact I would need to provide a mechanism and supporting evidence for Black Magic's role in cancer treatment in order to demonstrate the plausibility of black magic treating cancer..

This is the case with this debate, as Pro has only attacked evolution and has NOT ONCE provided or explained any mechanism of or evidence for creationism...not once.

This debate's resolution is NOT "Is evolution plausible?"
This debate's resolution is inherently a comparison between two specific explanations of the biodiversity of life on earth, and only one explanation was discussed...this is a major neglect by Pro.

2. What is a kind?

For the life of me, I still can't figure out what the term "kind" refers to, and, when I asked, in the 2nd round, if Pro could explain what "kind" means in terms of species, genus, family, order, class, phylum, kingdom, or domain, Pro responded with:
"Groups of living organisms belong in the same created kind if they have descended from the same ancestral gene pool."

My response:
Well, given that ALL organisms descended from a common ancestor, according to Pro, all organisms are the same kind.
This definition provides no reference point to discern ancestral gene pools, leaving it unclear as to where we draw the line for "kind." Without a demonstration or example of different gene pools beyond assertions, this definition is useless.

Also, without choosing species, genus, family, etc., we are largely left in the dark on any real world application of such a term as "kind."

Are whales and bears the same kind?
Because they both come from the same ancestral gene pool.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

3. Polyploidy = mutations that increase the amount of functional genetic information.

Pro clearly stated, "I have yet to see a mutation that increases the amount of functional genetic information by creating functional genes."

So, when I showed polyploidy (a literal increase in genetic information by way of duplicated gene sets) in bacteria, plants, and animals, Pro refutes with an annoying example where they simply repeat words of a statement and a question.
Remember, the claim was that mutations cannot INCREASE genetic information, and Pro's repetition, though annoying, is still an INCREASE in information because there are literally more words than if Pro had not annoyingly repeated everything.

Pro concedes this point:
"To be fair, the repetition does sort of improve the argument."

My response:
Yep, just like polyploidy can improve a species.

4. Speciation by way of natural selection is a fact and a crucial mechanism of evolution; speciation in and of itself is an example of biodiversity and an example of biological evolution.

Pro conceded this point, in round 2, "I can agree that natural selection occurs and can create new species," which affirms that evolution by way of natural selection is a fact and that natural selection does not "work against evolution,' because Pro agrees that viable species are a result of speciation; by creating new successful reproductive communities (species), natural selection actually works FOR evolution and the diversification of organisms and Pro agrees.

I will entertain Pro's analogy for how he can affirm speciation, but not evolution:
"We are at the Chicago stop on a New York ---- San Francisco train line. We both agree that the train is working, only that you argue that because the train is working, it is heading towards New York, whereas I"m arguing that the train is going in the wrong direction to San Francisco."

My response:
Agreeing that species themselves can create new species is agreeing that the train is working and has already reached New York on this particular train line.
To me, arriving in New York would be the successful creation of a new species (biodiversity), and Pro claims this happens under evolution's most crucial mechanism, natural selection.

I think most voters can just vote Con here, because Pro says that diverse species can arise by natural selection and this gives us no reason to think it's headed in the wrong direction given the reproductive success of new diverse species.

5. Why should we consider what the bible says to be authoritative on matters of the origins and the diversification of species?

I asked pro this question and here's his response:
"The Bible was written by someone who was there at the very beginning God himself."
That's it.

My response:
This is a bare assertion that does not address why the bible should be considered authoritative on matters of biodiversity; this offers no proof that god wrote the book, was there at "the beginning," and shows no link to biodiversity.

6. Why hasn't speciation occurred prior to the orchard of life?

I asked Pro this question and he responded:
"The kinds were created during the seven days of creation according to biblical doctorine."

My response:
Yet another bare assertion, for which Pro provided no source, that fails to address Pro's arbitrary limit on speciation, and again assumes the bible's authoritativeness on matters of biodiversity without explanation.

7. Contradiction!

Pro said:
"Speciation is producing the wrong kind of change on the genetic level for evolution to happen."

My response:
Speciation is evolution happening...this is a massive contradiction by Pro.
Pro is saying that they agree that viable species arise from other species by way of natural selection, but that this is the wrong kind of change.
To me, if it were the wrong kind of change, the successful reproductive community (new species) would not arise.
Either way, speciation is evolution and this is a crucial concession by Pro.

Pro expands his contradiction:
"Natural selection isn't a creative process..."

My response:
Except for when it creates new species, right, Pro?
Seriously, how is this not a contradiction to Pro accepting speciation by way of natural selection?

8. Mutations.

Pro:
"There is plenty reason to believe that the destructive trend in the human genome [happens] to other organisms."

Me:
Then provide those reasons instead of a poorly crafted analogy.
So, even though humans are multi-cellular and have membrane-bound nuclei, the exact same destructive genetic trend occurs in organisms with single cells, and membrane-less nuclei?

Pro never explains why human genome destruction is equivalent to organisms that are vastly different than humans other than claiming that errors between a five paragraph essay and a peer reviewed scientific paper are the same.
What's the problem?

Both a peer reviewed paper and a 5 paragraph essay are made of the same cells, so error similarity might make sense.
The difference between say a plant and a human is that they are made of vastly different cells, determined by their genes, so assuming genetic errors in a membrane-bound nucleus to be the same as errors in a cell without a membrane-bound nucleus is incongruous to two same-celled papers.

9. Living fossils.

Pro used the horseshoe crab as an example of evolution not occurring because one would expect many changes over that much time.
I responded by saying if there's not much change in environmental constraints, or a species has already been successful in adapting to said constraints, not much change may occur.

According to the NCBI, specifically on the horseshoe crab' living fossilness.
"A high effectiveness of adaptation significantly reduces the need for differentiated phenotypic variants in response to environmental changes and provides for long-term evolutionary success."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

10. Human chromosome 2.

Pro:
"Was there anybody constantly documenting the state of ape/human chromosomes over the supposed millions of years the process supposedly took place?"

Me:
Well, it wasn't someone, it was chromosomes.
Pro never addresses the uniqueness of ape chromosomes and their appearance on our 2nd chromosome. Like if you were to find a fingerprint on a gun that EXACTLY matches known fingerprints of a suspected criminal, you could conclude, plausibly that the gun was handled by that unique criminal.

Now, Pro's challenge.
"How was the scientific method used to make the conclusion that these structures and genes came from a common ancestor?"

Me:
http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

I already provided this, and I affirm evolution.
Debate Round No. 4
198 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 month ago
MagicAintReal
Fine.
The only hing you provided from creation.com was this:
"The only evolutionary research group to seriously analyze the actual fusion site DNA sequence data in detail were confounded by the results which showed a lack of evidence for fusion..." - creation.com

Ok, well I have the peer reviewed study below that literally shows the exact ape base pairs on our 2nd chromosome, so you can say creation.com used secular sources, but if they didn't address this source and made the claim "the only evolutionary research group...showed lack of evidence for fusion" they are wrong, and you are stupid for believing them.
Read the study below, and tell me what I'm missing.

http://genome.cshlp.org...
Posted by uniferous 1 month ago
uniferous
Avoid the question - classic debate fallacy. And the source is making the point. So your thoughts on me are irrelevant. The citations on the source are secular. So respond to the point.

And you clearly misunderstood Lanza'a research in that debate.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 month ago
MagicAintReal
I have two words for you, Robert Lanza.
You have proven to be as dishonest as a politician, and to this day, I cannot trust the things you puke out of your lie hole.
Posted by uniferous 1 month ago
uniferous
Attack the source not the content?

If you scroll down to the bottom of the article cited it has a list of sources. All of them are secular scientific publications.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 month ago
MagicAintReal
Yeah, you're right, creation.com knows more about fusion sites than do geneticists...shoulda known. Besides the fact that the telomere motif appears on both sides is agreeing that it was a telomere to telomere fusion...this is some crap you have provided sir.
Posted by uniferous 1 month ago
uniferous
"The only evolutionary research group to seriously analyze the actual fusion site DNA sequence data in detail were confounded by the results which showed a lack of evidence for fusion..." - creation.com
Posted by uniferous 1 month ago
uniferous
Your argument is false.

"Based on the predicted model, thousands of intact motifs in tandem should exist... For the TTAGGG repeat to the left of the fusion site, less than 35 motifs exist, a normal human telomere would typically have 1667 to 2500.6 For the CCCTAA reverse complement sequence, to the right of the fusion site, less than 150 telomere motifs can be found. Another problem with these two motifs, that we document in our companion research paper, is that their occurrences are found scattered throughout both sides of the fusion site where they would not be expected. In other words, both the forward and reverse complement of the telomere motif populate both sides of the fusion site." - creation.com
Posted by MagicAintReal 10 months ago
MagicAintReal
Oh yeah, thanks for the debate, it was fun.
Posted by whiteflame 10 months ago
whiteflame
Well, I appreciate that response. If there's something that's bothering you about the RFD, we can always discuss it.
Posted by NothingSpecial99 10 months ago
NothingSpecial99
Very much appreciate the vote whiteflame. Can't say I'm not disappointed in the RFD, but I respect your opinion and feedback. And MagicAintReal, I don't believe I formally thanked you for this quality debate so thank you for that.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 10 months ago
whiteflame
NothingSpecial99MagicAintRealTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments. This vote was cast on behalf of the Voter's Union.