Evolution: Gaps + Gaps
Debate Rounds (5)
(a) oppose my argument
(b) no copying/pasting or trolling
(c) provide reasons/evidence to the table
I suppose round one is for acceptance but pro has not said anything about rules concerning the rounds themselves. Thus I will accept and say my opening statement, saving my big broad information for later.
So, normally, a theory is a conclusion based on little evidence. However, the scientific theory is quite different-- It refers to an understandable explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. There are some theories that are so supported by facts, they most likely cannot be turned over by any new evidence. The theory of evolution is one of them. It is because it is supported by so many observations and confirming experiments that it is a theory. An incredible one, too. However, many parts of the theory are still subject to change, although in very small ways, it can still change, as new technologies are invented to enable observations and experiments that were not possible before. It is because of its ever-changing nature that it is a theory, not some never-to-be-changed statement.
In conclusion evolution is a theory and a fact.
There are two types of evolution: micro-evolution & macro-evolution. Micro-evolution involves genetic changes within the species inheritance spectrum whereas macro-evolution involves genetic changes outside the inheritance spectrum. The former and the latter can best be described as the 'apple-orange' analogy. When an apple is red or green, we call that micro-evolution because the apple is still an apple: just similar appearances. This is quite equivalent with the horse fossil record. They're both big/small and different in appearance, but still considered to be in the horse inheritance.
On the other hand, macro-evolution involves increases of genetic information outside the species inheritance spectrum. Just like the apple-orange analogy: the apple would evolve into an orange after millions of years. The principle of the apple evolving into an orange is known as macro-evolution.
In this argument I will be focusing on macro-evolution (not micro) because that's what Darwin's theory predicts. Darwin predicted that there should be many modifications of species gradually evolving into an entirely new class of species (like fish turning into mammal) after millions and millions of years.
Con claims that macro-evolution is a theory and a fact. However, what Con fails to realize is that evolution is not supported by the fossil record given that there are links missing and that genetics oppose it. For example, different species to >missing links< to horse. This problem is accepted by atheist such as Richard Dawkins and paleontologists. Here are their response:
"We find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolution history" (The Blind Watchmaker, p. 229).
Prof. Richard Dawkins of Oxford University,
"This regular absence of transitional forms is not confined to mammals, but is an almost universal phenomenon, as has long been noted by paleontologists. It is true of almost all orders of all classes of animals...and it is apparently also true of analogous categories of plants" (Tempo and Mode in Evolution, p. 105).
"It is thus possible to claim that such transitions are not recorded because they did not exist" (The Meaning of Evolution, p. 231).
- The world famous evolutionist and paleontologist Dr. Gaylord Simpson A279;
As you can see, macro or Darwinian evolution is really not supported by scientific evidence and therefore, not a fact. The concept that a mammal can evolve into a fish or bird has yet to be identified.
I will let my opponent Con refute my arguments.
Yes, what you say is true. Darwinian evolution isn't supported. However, the new evolution theory by Patrick Matthes is more supported, as seen in the source above. Matthew stresses that mass extinctions were crucial to the process of evolution: "...all living things must have reduced existence so much, that an unoccupied field would be formed for new diverging ramifications of life... these remnants, in the course of time moulding and accommodating ... to the change in circumstances." This makes sense, because natural selection cuts down the beings who cannot live because they are unable to live through a disaster, and the ones that do live are eventually stronger.
If evolution really happens through a catashrophic event, how can they be recorded? It is incredibly painstaking and nearly impossible to record something so dangerous that wipes out an entire species that doesn't wipe out the recorder.
Furthermore, the last quote is a logical fallacy. My opponent is hinting that "if transitions aren't recorded, then they didn't exist" (because if the transitions didn't exist, they can't be recorded). The converse is not necessarily true for reasons stated above.
In addition, I will give evidence of evolution/transition. Please see this wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org.... Is that not enough evidence availible to support the theory of evolution? Even human evolution alone has many many fossils that support the theory that animals become generally, more and more powerful and adaptable as natural selection goes on. This wikipedia page clearly shows that humans have went through evolution, supporting the theory: http://en.wikipedia.org....
Onto you, pro.
Speaking of Matthes's theory, Gould created the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium to explain away why the fossils showed no links. The theory predicts that all living groups go into what is called stasis for long periods of time when suddenly they evolve very quickly and go back to stasis again for a very long time. This theory is accepted by some scientists, but highly controversial to gradual evolutionists including the famous atheist Richard Dawkins. Having two theories in this debate will clearly take us nowhere.
My opponent claims that I call transitional fossils non-existent:
Actually, I never called them non-existent. I was just pointing out that the evidence to justify Darwinian evolution is very lacking and should therefore, not be considered a fact.
Transitional fossils in wikipedia:
The problem with the transitional fossils you cited is that they are ambiguous and therefore, easily deceptive. Our minds are great at detecting patterns, even if they're not related. The problem with human judgement is that it tends to see things that are there even if they're not really there. It is a psychological process called confirmation bias. The fact that those fossils supposedly contain very few traits and that life is extremely complex shows just how easy it can be to mistake something. There are even paleontologists that disagree with the transitional fossils really being transitional. So to answer your question, no it can't be considered evidence for evolution. It can be considered evidence of its existence but definitely not evolution.
Your turn, con.
I'm sorry. Last round I said Darwinian evolution isn't supported. I forgot an important word in there. I meant to say, "Darwinian evolution isn't fully supported". But this does not mean it isn't true. While there may be some types of wacky exclusion of his theory, his theory is generally proved correct by the intriguing fossils of the "cross-bread" of one species to another, creating our current species. What can further prove this is the fact that there are more than one hundred transitional fossils in the human species itself! And plus, many traits are shared by the common ancestor of a few species. For example, only mammals have hair, only sea species have gills, and these common traits make it possible for scientists to categorize all living things into genus, family, species, etc.
Evolutionists maintain that the claws and teeth of such fossils such as Archaeopteryx suggest that it had been a reptile in the past. Actually, however, such characteristics of Archaeopteryx do not prove that it was the missing link between reptiles and birds. Consider that some modern birds have claws on their wings, and yet no one thinks of them as being missing links. The African bird known as Touraco has claws on its wings, as does the hoatzin of South America when it is young. Both of these birds use their fully functional claws to grasp branches and climb trees. If you have ever seen an ostrich close up, you might have noticed that it, too, has claws on each wing and can use them if attacked. Obviously, simply because a bird in the fossil record is discovered with claws on its wings does not mean that it is a transitional fossil.
In 1993, Science News reported that an odd fossil bird had been unearthed in Mongolia. It supposedly is millions of years younger than Archaeopteryx and, interestingly, had teeth in its beak (Monasterky, 1993, 143:245). As with the claws on the wings of Archaeopteryx, evolutionists cannot prove that the presence of teeth make the animal something more than a bird.
Interestingly, evolutionists seem to ignore the fact that "teeth & hair" can apply to various class of species. Con claims that only mammals have hair and fishes have gills to determine its nature. However, Con does not realize that birds can have hair too aside with the amphibians such as Salamanders (gills).
My opponent has to provide good reasons as to why traits in the fossil record should be considered evidence for evolution given the fact that those traits are not as unique as he thought it would be and can be especially ambiguous/misleading.
2) Con claims that I do not know the difference between micro and macro evolution. He is actually quite wrong for a few reasons and his explanation was just a rephrase for my apple-orange analogy.
"Throughout most of the 20th century, researchers developing the synthetic theory of evolution primarily focused on microevolution, which is slight genetic change over a few generations in a population. Until the 1970's, it was generally thought that these changes from generation to generation indicated that past species evolved gradually into other species over millions of years. This model of long term gradual change is usually referred to as gradualism or phyletic gradualism click this icon to hear the preceding term pronounced. It is essentially the 19th century Darwinian idea that species evolve slowly at a more or less steady rate. A natural consequence of this sort of macroevolution would be the slow progressive change of one species into the next line."
2) Con is confusing gradualism (slight genetic changes within a population) that processes every millions of years with macroevolution (slow progressive change of one species to the next) exactly as Darwinian Evolution predicts. Con needs to explain how exactly his misleading definition violates my definition of micro & macro or Darwinian Evolution.
3) Con claims that the supposed evolution of human species is evidence of ancestry. However, what opponent fails to realize is that such macro changes (if it was true) predicts (according to Charles Darwin himself) of in between transitions with many numerous modifications for every formation.
"The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graded organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory."
- Charles Darwin
The fact that there are many missing links missing in human should be enough to cast doubt in evolution. I'm afraid my opponent would need to provide a really good reason to justify those ape fossils as evidence for evolution.
4) Opponent changed the subject from Darwinian evolution to general evolution. I'm not sure if he's red-herring, but it won't take him anywhere if he persists.
P.S. I knew you lied. I just added more power sauce to my argument, hehe.
Your turn, Con, if you can.
Well, I just noticed another straw-man my opponent made! Two individuals are not considered the same species if they cannot mate and reproduce. Pro correctly stated the definition,but then presented a straw man when mentioning "oranges into apples" since oranges and apples belong to a different order. Furthermore, pro is using only fossil gaps to prove his point, and fossils are just one evidence for evolution. I will give more evidence in my second paragraph below.
Evolutionists claim that a dinosaur can evolve into a bird or chicken. This is synonymous to an apple gradually evolving into an orange over millions of years and cannot mate because they are entirely different species. The biggest flaw Con committed was when he criticized my definition over two species that cannot mate and reproduce. If you actually pay close attention to my definition, it says that microevolution involves genetic changes within the inheritance/population spectrum whereas macroevolution involves genetic changes outside the spectrum (which result in a new species). I stand my case with the definition.
"Furthermore, pro is using only fossil gaps to prove his point, and fossils are just one evidence for evolution."
Con fails to refute my counter-arguments regarding the ambiguity and subjective interpretations when it comes to interpreting fossils. I provided sources for why fossils that appear to have similar traits can be deceiving and problematic for establishing vivid, straight forward evidence. He also claims that I'm using fossils to prove my case. Actually, I have more to bring in the table.
"However, we are not arguing concerning evolution itself, we are talking about whether it is a scientific theory or not. "
In order for evolution to be considered a scientific theory, it must have independent, replicable evidence. The fact that the fossil record (including others that I'll show in a minute) shows ambiguous and controversial interpretations, Con has to provide reasons as to why they should really be considered evidence in order to call it a scientific theory.
"Because specific beings have similar traits, there are also genetic "extra baggage" from our ancestry (atavism)."
What Con does not realize is that macroevolution requires new additional genetic information in the DNA in order to create a new species. Microevolution, despite the changes being within the population, only involves change or damage information. Natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, etc. either change or damage (damage is usually for mutation) in the DNA. There is no evidence that microevolution can lead to additional genetic information for macroevolution. Even Richard Dawkins himself couldn't conceive such thing
"The "common ancestor" argument--If we came from a common ancestor with other great apes,when we examine our and their DNA,their DNA should reflect that...and it does."
The concept that DNA from the non-functioning or pseudogenes is evidence from ancestors is only an assumption created by evolutionists themselves. Nowhere in the scientific literature did it objectively say what the junk DNA was for and whether or not it was really useless. Despite the junk DNA claims by evolutionists, there are peer-reviewed journals suggesting that junk DNA isn't really junk. Even science promoters in YouTube accept that junk DNA isn't really junk:
As for the Chromosome 2 argument: that has actually been debunked. There is no evidence to even support the idea that Chromosome 2 was evidence for evolution. It's hard to explain why, so I'll just let the video down below do the work:
Good luck refuting those counter-arguments I gave you, Con!
It's the final round, but note pro never said "no new arguments" or anything, so here I go....
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro presents far too many Fallacies, Argument from Ignorance Fallacy, Straw man Fallacy as indicated by Con, who was correct there, Pro separates microevolution from macroevolution, when in fact they are the same evolution, only macroevolution, or visibly noticeable and functional changes in organs all stem from many microeolutionary changes built up over time, such as those small bones which were part of our jaw, now giving us hearing. Pro did not demonstrate that they are completely separate processes, just stated so. If pro could demonstrate them as separate processes, I'd have to go along with it. A debater must give a strong enough argument to convince an audience above their pre-existing knowledge, that they may possibly right, otherwise the voters will rely on their own knowledge when making a voting decision. Voter knowledge and biases must be considered when trying to seduce votes from them. So any argument against general knowledge of the average voter, must be Strong!
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