The Instigator
GarretKadeDupre
Pro (for)
Winning
40 Points
The Contender
theta_pinch
Con (against)
Losing
37 Points

Evolution Is Not Proven

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 20 votes the winner is...
GarretKadeDupre
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/19/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,813 times Debate No: 44250
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (144)
Votes (20)

 

GarretKadeDupre

Pro

"Evolution" is defined, for the purposes of this debate, as "the idea that all extant life descended from a common organism via mutations and Natural Selection."

First round is acceptance only. Neither I nor my opponent may not use the comment section while the debate is in progress, which is from the time my opponent accepts the debate until the voting period begins.
theta_pinch

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
GarretKadeDupre

Pro

Thanks for accepting. On to my opening arguments.

1. Gaps in the fossil record

Were all life to have descended from a common ancestor via mutations and natural selection, the fossil record would consistenly show gradual transitions from simple organisms to far more complex organisms. However, this is not the case.

The fossil record tells us that for billions of years, only single-celled life and colonial algae existed. Then, within a relatively tiny period of 15 millions years in the Ediacaran period, sponges, worms, and mollusks appeared. No gradual transitions between these and their (supposed) single-celled ancestors have ever been found.

There are significant differences between a single-celled bacterium and a sponge.

A sponge doesn't just have multiple cells, it has multiple types of cells. Also, while a bacteria can only reproduce asexually, sponges reproduce sexually.

No fossils of expected transitionals between bacteria and sponges have been found. There should be some organism to bridge the gap between single-cellularity and multi-cellularity, like a 2-celled one. There also needs to be an organism to bridge the gap between having only 1 type of cell, to having upwards of 5 and 10.

But there isn't. According to the fossil record, intepreting it under the assumption that all life shares a common ancestor, bacteria suddenly developed multi-cellularity, multiple types of cells, and sexual reproduction all at once!

But it gets better. Both mollusks and worms appeared alongside sponges, with no gradual transition between them and their supposed single-celled ancestors. Mollusks have not 1, and not 5, or 12, but dozens of different tissues and organs, which require dozens of various cell types!


One may object that the reason we find no transitions is because the transitional organisms were too small and too soft to survive the fossilation process. This assumption has been proven wrong. Cyanobacteria, which are both tiny and soft, have been preserved for over 3 billions years. (1) So one cannot excuse the fact that expected transitionals have not been found by claiming that they were too small or too soft, when bacteria, algae, jellyfish and sponges have been fossilized just fine.

So far, I've only covered the Ediacaran Period. That was just an introduction of sorts; now, I want to blow this idea of Evolution out of the water. Let's talk Cambrian.

In this period, completely new body plans appear, with alterations in the number of eyes, legs and segments, as well novel, mythological-appearing features. For example, Marrella spendens, that looks like a creature out of an Alien Vs. Predator movie:

There's also Hallucigenia sparsa, whose name reflects its bizzare appearance:

And last, but not least, Opabinia:

Oh and of course, how could I forget about the Trilobites?

These all generally represent completely new morphological forms than those found earlier in the fossil record.

In this period (the Cambrian) about 20 new phyla suddenly appear. To put that number into perspective, only about 25 phyla exist in the fossil record, and a phyla is the broadest classification in the Animal Kingdom! All phylum (plural of “phyla”) represent massive morphological disparities between animals. Let's put some more perspective on the substantial differences that a phyla represents. Here are some familiar members of the Animal Kingdom:

Phyla Vertebrata

All of those animals belong to the phyla Vertebrata. That's right, the differences between a pet Goldfish and an attractive woman are not significant enough to warrant separate phylum! But over 10 brand new phylum suddenly appear in the Cambrian, with absolutely no gradual transition!

Evolution, as defined in the first round, is far from being proven. Let us see if my opponent can solve the following puzzle:


I now hand over the debate to my opponent, and wish him luck.

(1) Schopf and Packer, “Early Archean (3.3-Billion to 3.5-Billion-Year-Old) Microfossils from Warrawoona Group, Australia,” 70; Schopf, “Microfossils of the Early Archean Apex Cher

theta_pinch

Con


1. Gaps in the fossil record


Were all life to have descended from a common ancestor via mutations and natural selection, the fossil record would consistenly show gradual transitions from simple organisms to far more complex organisms. However, this is not the case.


The conditions required to form fossils are incredibly rare; we're luck the fossil record is as good as it is. Also we do have transitional fossils like archaeopteryx.


The fossil record tells us that for billions of years, only single-celled life and colonial algae existed. Then, within a relatively tiny period of 15 millions years in the Ediacaran period, sponges, worms, and mollusks appeared. No gradual transitions between these and their (supposed) single-celled ancestors have ever been found.


Again the conditions for the formation of fossils are incredibly rare; also we do have fossils of soft bodied creatures from the Edicaran for example:
File:DickinsoniaCostata.jpg



Also the cambrian explosion isn't quite as impressive as it sounded in Darwin's time; recent evidence suggest that the diversification was no more rapid than other evolutionary radiations. In addition to that the cambrian explosion is marked largely by the sudden appearance of skeletons and shells which fossilize much easier than the remains of soft bodied animals so it's likely that the cambrian explosion was actually the "sudden" appearance of shells and exoskeletons causing us to find more fossils at the beginning of th cambrian. The phyla that supposedly appeared probably were formed sometime before the cambrian before shells became abundant.


There are significant differences between a single-celled bacterium and a sponge.


A sponge doesn't just have multiple cells, it has multiple types of cells. Also, while a bacteria can only reproduce asexually, sponges reproduce sexually.


No fossils of expected transitionals between bacteria and sponges have been found. There should be some organism to bridge the gap between single-cellularity and multi-cellularity, like a 2-celled one. There also needs to be an organism to bridge the gap between having only 1 type of cell, to having upwards of 5 and 10.


But there isn't. According to the fossil record, intepreting it under the assumption that all life shares a common ancestor, bacteria suddenly developed multi-cellularity, multiple types of cells, and sexual reproduction all at once!


Bacteria are not made of things that fossilize easily and virtually nothing before the cambrian has shells. So while bacteria CAN fossilize it's not very common. Also molecular clocks and bio-markers suggest that sponges existed well before the cambrian during the edicaran


But it gets better. Both mollusks and worms appeared alongside sponges, with no gradual transition between them and their supposed single-celled ancestors. Mollusks have not 1, and not 5, or 12, but dozens of different tissues and organs, which require dozens of various cell types!


Gaps in the fossil record are to be expected; also the ancestors of mollusks and worms were likely around during the edicaran but shells started to be seen in the cambrian.


OVERALL


All of pro's above arguments are based on the absence of transitional fossils between single cells and multi cellular organisms and the rapid appearance of several major phyla in the cambrian. The main problem is that the conditions for the formation of fossils are rare and the fossilization of soft bodied organisms even rarer. The other problem with the cambrian explosion is that recent evidence shows that the diversification of life during the cambrian wasn't any ore rapid than other evolutionary radiations.



In this period, completely new body plans appear, with alterations in the number of eyes, legs and segments, as well novel, mythological-appearing features. These all generally represent completely new morphological forms than those found earlier in the fossil record. That's right, the differences between a pet Goldfish and an attractive woman are not significant enough to warrant separate phylum! But over 10 brand new phylum suddenly appear in the Cambrian, with absolutely no gradual transition!


That; my friend is what we call punctuated equilibrium-basically in periods of environmental stability animals stay mostly the same in a phase called stasis, but when a large environmental disruption evolution occurs rapidly(within the amount of time the cambrian explosion occured) in a process called Cladogenesis which creates a large variety of sister species over a short period of time(geologically speaking.)


Also that comment about the differences between a goldfish and a woman not being enough to warrant different phyla is an argument from personal incredulity; a logical fallacy.


I don't have room to fully explain the evidence for evolution so here are two links:


Experimental evidence of evolution:


http://en.wikipedia.org...


Evidence of common descent:


http://en.wikipedia.org...




SOURCES


http://en.wikipedia.org...


http://en.wikipedia.org...



NOTE TO PRO: your source is outdated; since the 1980s we have found a lot more evidence for evolution, edicaran fossil, and also have disproved several earlier ideas about evolution.

Debate Round No. 2
GarretKadeDupre

Pro


Thanks to my opponent for a punctual response. Before I continue, I'd like to remind readers that I am not trying to prove that Evolution is false. What I am doing is showing how the following claim is not proven:


All extant life descended from a common organism via mutations and Natural Selection.


I ask that you please keep that in mind as you judge my arguments.


In the last round, I said that if all animals evolved from a common ancestor via mutations and Natural Selection, there should be transitional fossils documenting the gradual changes. As examples of the glaring lack of expected fossils, I showed how there are no transitionals between bacteria and the Kimberella mollusk, to which my opponent has effectively conceded.



To excuse the lack of expected transitions, Con assumes that “conditions required to form fossils are incredibly rare; were [sic] luck [sic] the fossil record is as good as it is.


This is just an excuse made without evidence, and does nothing to prove the certainty of Evolution (as defined previously).


Analogy time! What if I were a Creationist, and I got into an argument with an atheist. I claimed that God can perform miracles and defy the laws of nature. My opponent calmly responds by pointing out the glaring lack of miracles to substantiate my claim. Cornered, I reply, “Well, conditions required to observe miracles are incredibly rare; we're lucky the biblical record of miracles is as good as it is.


That wouldn't be very convincing, would it? Nope, and it hardly proves that miracles exist.


Con mentions archaeopteryx. I doubt he was trying to argue that this is a convincing transitional between bacteria and mollusks, so I'm just going to leave it be.


Con also posted a photo of an Ediacaran fossil. It wasn't labeled, but I think it's Dickinsonia. Anyways, I'm not sure why he felt he needed to demonstrate that “we do have fossils of soft bodied creatures from the Edicaran”, since I never argued we didn't. In fact, that's a major point in my own arguments: soft-bodied creatures do get fossilized!


Con says the “cambrian explosion” isn't “quite as impressive as it sounded in Darwin's time”. I don't think I ever argued about how impressive it sounds. I will admit, though, when you add the word “explosion” to the end of anything, it does add a nice bit of emphasis =D


Con claims that “recent evidence suggest that the diversification [of the Cambrian Explosion] was no more rapid than other evolutionary radiations.” I have to thank Con here for using the word “suggest” instead of “prove”; since I'm not arguing that Evolution is false, only that that it is not proven, his statement has no bearing on my case.


Con goes on:


[T]he cambrian explosion is marked largely by the sudden appearance of skeletons and shells which fossilize much easier than the remains of soft bodied animals so it's likely that the cambrian explosion was actually the "sudden" appearance of shells and exoskeletons causing us to find more fossils at the beginning of th cambrian. The phyla that supposedly appeared probably were formed sometime before the cambrian before shells became abundant.(emphasis mine)


Thanks again to Con's generous use of qualifiers such as “likely”, “supposedly”, and “probably”, his argument has done nothing to refute my case. Remember, I'm not arguing that Evolution is false, or even unlikely. I'm just arguing that it isn't proven.


Con again:


Bacteria are not made of things that fossilize easily and virtually nothing before the cambrian has shells.


I know right! And that is the problem right there: virtually nothing before the cambrian has shells. Unless you want to argue that mutations and Natural Selection can produce complex creatures with intricate shells in a single generation from bacteria, this lack of plausible, shelled ancestors poses a huge problem. This problem needs to be overcome if Evolution (as previously defined) is going to be proven.


Just to be clear, you aren't arguing that this mollusk:



...was born of a one-celled bacterium, are you?


Con continues:


[W]hile bacteria CAN fossilize it's not very common.


As I already demonstrated, this is not a valid argument for excusing the fact that not a single transitional between bacteria and that mollusk has been found. A bacterium did not suddenly give birth to a fully shelled mollusk. That's not how mutation and Natural Selection work. Neither did a sponge, nor a tiny worm give birth to a mollusk. Millions of transitional organisms should have existed to bridge the evolutionary chasm between bacteria and mollusks (were Evolution, as previously defined, true) but not even one has been found.


Saying that bacteria are too small and soft to be commonly fossilized is not a sufficient argument. Not all transitionals between bacteria (no shell) and mollusks (big, intricate shell) would have been soft, or even small. In fact, there would have been millions of transitionals with large, hard parts.


Con: [M]olecular clocks and bio-markers SUGGEST that sponges existed well before the cambrian edicaran [sic]”(emphasis mine)


Many thanks again for using the word “suggest.” Again, suggesting is not proving, so this claim does not damage my case.


Con: Gaps in the fossil record are to be expected; also the ancestors of mollusks and worms were likely around during the edicaran but shells started to be seen in the cambrian.


I agree, gaps in the fossil record are to be expected, but not chasms. Are you telling me that the absence of any transitionals between bacteria and mollusks is to be expected, even though mutation and Natural Selection require millions of generations to accomplish such a feat?


And that's just the gap between bacteria and mollusks. You seem to imply that the lack of transitionals between this (relatively) simple mollusk,



...and this majestic creature,



...is to be expected. If you want to prove Evolution, you'll have to do better than that. Further, any argument based on the idea that “animals without shells rarely fossilize” is useless when trying to explain the lack of transitions between the shelled mollusk and other complex, shelled life.


In his summary, Con says “All of pro's above arguments are based on the absence of transitional fossils between single cells and multi cellular organisms and the rapid appearance of several major phyla in the cambrian.


That's misleading. It wasn't “several” major phyla that appeared in the cambrian; it was at least 20.


Con's last major argument:


Con: That; my friend is what we call punctuated equilibrium-basically in periods of environmental stability animals stay mostly the same in a phase called stasis, but when a large environmental disruption evolution occurs rapidly(within the amount of time the cambrian explosion occured) in a process called Cladogenesis which creates a large variety of sister species over a short period of time(geologically speaking.)


That was in response to:


over 10 brand new phylumsuddenly appear in the Cambrian, with absolutely no gradual transition!


Con's extremely simplistic rebuttal is not sufficient. It doesn't even make sense. Punctuated Equilibrium doesn'texplain the sudden emergence of 10 major phylum, and has no relevance. Blaming some vague “large environmental disruption” hardly counts as trying. Also, labeling the Cambrian Explosion (as Con calls it) as “Cladogenesis” does not explain anything. Cladogenesis is just another way of describing the divergence of clades from a common ancestor. It's no more an explanation for the lack of transitionals than the phrase “God works in mysterious ways” is an excuse for life's difficulties.


Con: Also that comment about the differences between a goldfish and a woman not being enough to warrant different phyla is an argument from personal incredulity; a logical fallacy.


I'm sorry, but informing my opponent that a pet goldfish and an attractive woman are in the same phyla is not a fallacy; it's a simple statement of fact.


Over to you again, Con.


theta_pinch

Con

Many of pro's rebuttals were semantics so I will focus only on the ones that aren't semantics.

To excuse the lack of expected transitions, Con assumes that “conditions required to form fossils are incredibly rare; were [sic] luck [sic] the fossil record is as good as it is.


This is just an excuse made without evidence, and does nothing to prove the certainty of Evolution (as defined previously).

Actually the conditions for fossils to form are rare and there is evidence of this. The reason is because for a fossil to form the dead animal has to be:
1. in an environment that has no oxygen.
2. The environment has to be free from scavengers.

Most animals when they died weren't in an oxygen free environment or an environment free of scavengers.
Even the Smithsonian says that: "Although well-preserved soft-bodied fossils have been found throughout the fossil record, they are rare occurrences and are preserved only under very unusual environmental conditions."
That also gives reason for the "underepresented" precambrian life.


I know right! And that is the problem right there: virtually nothing before the cambrian has shells. Unless you want to argue that mutations and Natural Selection can produce complex creatures with intricate shells in a single generation from bacteria, this lack of plausible, shelled ancestors poses a huge problem. This problem needs to be overcome if Evolution (as previously defined) is going to be proven.

There's a reason for that; a geochemical change in ocean compostion. There's evidence that around the time of "cambrian explosion" the chemistry of the ocean changed; as in there was A LOT more calcium. The genes were already there but the raw materials weren't. Also that single generation from bacteria comment is completely misleading; there WERE multicellular organisms before the cambrian.


As I already demonstrated, this is not a valid argument for excusing the fact that not a single transitional between bacteria and that mollusk has been found. A bacterium did not suddenly give birth to a fully shelled mollusk. That's not how mutation and Natural Selection work. Neither did a sponge, nor a tiny worm give birth to a mollusk. Millions of transitional organisms should have existed to bridge the evolutionary chasm between bacteria and mollusks (were Evolution, as previously defined, true) but not even one has been found.

My reason is perfectly valid; as the smithsonian said in the quote above; soft bodied creatures only fossilize in extremely unusual environmental conditions as in VERY RARE.

Saying that bacteria are too small and soft to be commonly fossilized is not a sufficient argument. Not all transitionals between bacteria (no shell) and mollusks (big, intricate shell) would have been soft, or even small. In fact, there would have been millions of transitionals with large, hard parts.

Nope THAT'S an proven and completely false assumption. As I stated above there's evidence that the ocean chemistry wasn't right for the formation of shells UNTIL the cambrian.


I agree, gaps in the fossil record are to be expected, but not chasms. Are you telling me that the absence of any transitionals between bacteria and mollusks is to be expected, even though mutation and Natural Selection require millions of generations to accomplish such a feat?

Yes that is exactly what I'm saying. Have you ever heard of the long term E. Coli evolution experiment? Well that's been going on for 26 years and evolution has already been observed; the E. Coli went from being unable to metabolize citric acid and dying in that environment to being able to metabolize citric acid and thrive in the environment.

To put that into perspective the change in the bacteria is like a human evolving the ability to eat sulphuric acid and even thrive in it. That's 50,000 generations; unless you're getting a sample of the bacteria every few years you're not going to be finding transitional fossils of them.

Con's extremely simplistic rebuttal is not sufficient. It doesn't even make sense. Punctuated Equilibrium doesn'texplain the sudden emergence of 10 major phylum, and has no relevance.

Punctuated equilibrium is actually a sufficient explanation; however I will go into more detail.

1. a period of frequent volcanic eruptions increases calcium concentrations in ocean water.

2. some animals are able to use that calcium to form shells.

3. Those organisms with shells were better protected from predators.

4. A kind of evolutionary "arms race" took place between predators and prey causing the rapid diversification of life.

This explanation is supported by evidence and can explain the emergence of 10 major phylum of 70-80 million years.

Now for the evidence for evolution:

experimental evidence including the long term E. Coli experiment mentioned aboved. Another evolution experiment as done in the 1800s. Here's a description: "One of the first to carry out a controlled evolution experiment was William Dallinger. In the late 19th century, he cultivated small unicellular organisms in a custom-built incubator over a time period of seven years (1880–1886). Dallinger slowly increased the temperature of the incubator from an initial 60 °F up to 158 °F. The early cultures had shown clear signs of distress at a temperature of 73 °F, and were certainly not capable of surviving at 158 °F. The organisms Dallinger had in his incubator at the end of the experiment, on the other hand, were perfectly fine at 158 °F. However, these organisms would no longer grow at the initial 60 °F. Dallinger concluded that he had found evidence for Darwinian adaptation in his incubator, and that the organisms had adapted to live in a high-temperature environment. Unfortunately, Dallinger's incubator was accidentally destroyed in 1886, and Dallinger could not continue this line of research"--wikipedia

Since many people claim those are not valid evidence because of the difference between a single cell and a multicellular organism here's an example with mice:

"In 1998, Theodore Garland, Jr. and colleagues started a long-term experiment that involves selective breeding for high voluntary activity levels on running wheels.[7] This experiment also continues to this day (> 65 generations). Mice from the four replicate "High Runner" lines evolved to run almost 3 times as many running-wheel revolutions per day as compared with the four unselected control lines of mice, mainly by running faster than the control mice rather than running for more minutes/day. The HR mice exhibit an elevated maximal aerobic capacity when tested on a motorized treadmill and a variety of other traits that appear to be adaptations that facilitate high levels of sustained endurance running (e.g., larger hearts, more symmetrical hindlimb bones). They also exhibit alterations in motivation and the reward system of the brain. Pharmacological studies point to alterations in dopamine function and the endocannabinoid system.[8] The High Runner lines have been proposed as a model to study human attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and administration of Ritalin reduces their wheel running approximately to the levels of Control mice."--wikipedia

So there is experimental evidence for evolution contrary to what deniers will tell you.












Debate Round No. 3
GarretKadeDupre

Pro


As it's the last round, I'll request that Con only provide rebuttals with his final turn and no new arguments.


Con argues that since fossilization is a rare occurrence, that “gives reason for the "underepresented" Precambrian life.” This does not refute my argument. In making this statement, Con has to assume that the supposed “underpresented [sic]” Precambrian life actually existed! The problem is the lack of evidence of transitionals between creatures like the mollusk and bacteria. Con has thus far only provided excuses for why they aren't found, instead of proving that they actually existed.


It's one thing to excuse the lack of fossil evidence for these creatures, but to successfully refute my case, he's going to have to use a different type of evidence to prove that millions of transitionals between bacteria and mollusks actually existed.


Let's make another analogy! I'm a prosecutor, and I think this guy murdered this woman. The suspect looks like an evil person, that's for sure. It's also well-known that he had a huge grudge against that lady. The only problem is, there are no fingerprints, or any other physical evidence, at the crime scene that conclusively tie him to the crime. However, I'm determined to get this guy convicted, so I tell the jury, “Look, we shouldn't expect to find his fingerprints at the scene. It was like, a long time from the actual murder until the date we discovered her body, so the weather and stuff erased the evidence.”


Do you think the jury will be convinced? Absolutely not! It may well be the case that the suspect actually is guilty, but explaining away the lack of fingerprints and other hard evidence is not sufficient to make the case. Similarly, it may be true that the mollusks descended from bacteria, but excusing the lack of fossil evidence is not sufficient to prove it!


In the previous round, I pointed out that Natural Selection and mutations cannot produce a shelled mollusk in a single generation from a non-shelled animal. This is what Con had to say:


There's a reason for that; a geochemical change in ocean compostion.[sic]There's evidence that around the time of "cambrian explosion" the chemistry of the ocean changed; as in there was A LOT more calcium. The genes were already there but the raw materials weren't. Also that single generation from bacteria comment is completely misleading; there WERE multicellular organisms before the cambrian.(emphasis mine)



Basically, he argues that “
there's evidence” that a geochemical change in ocean composition resulted in “A LOT” more calcium and mollusks had the genes for building a shell but until this geochemical change, they couldn't build a shell.


So my opponent is trying to convince everybody reading this debate that mollusks went from having a shell, to not having a shell in a single generation. However, since he is careful to say that “there's evidence” for his claim, instead of saying that “it's proven” or “there's conclusive evidence”, his argument does not damage my case and I'm going to drop it.


Con repeats an already-refuted argument, in an attempt to explain why no transitionals between mollusks, and sponges or worms or bacteria, have been found:


soft bodied creatures only fossilize in extremely unusual environmental conditions as in VERY RARE.


I've already pointed out how not only does this fail to explain why the millions of shelled transitionals haven't been found (if they ever existed), it's not sufficient to prove Evolution (as I defined it in the first round). Excusing the lack of evidence for something does not prove it, like I demonstrated with my little analogy.


Con uses the E. coli experiment to “prove” that mollusks descended from bacteria. Sorry, but single-celled creatures remaining single-celled, although they gained the ability to eat citrate, does not come close to proving that a mollusk descended from a bacterium. Also, he misrepresents the study: He says that bacteria went from dying on citrate, to surviving on it and eating it. This is incorrect, as all of the bacteria had citrate in their environment from the beginning of the experiment.


Con also uses false equivocation through his use of the word “evolution.” I made it very clear that Evolution is defined as the following:


the idea that all extant life descended from a common organism via mutations and Natural Selection.


When Con said that “Well [the E. coli experiment has] been going on for 26 years and evolution has already been observed”, he was falsely equivocating his own definition of Evolution with the definition that I provided. You see, had I defined “Evolution” as “the idea that bacteria can gain the ability to eat citrate”, Con would have won this debate right there. But that's not what Evolution means in the context of this debate.


Con again tries to explain the sudden appearance of 10 major phylum without plausible links to mollusks, sponges, and worms by mentioning Punctuated Equilibrium. As I said in the previous round, this is a dead-end argument. Punctuated Equilibrium does not explain the sudden emergence of new phyla. I don't think Con understands what the term even means.


Now that I get to Con's final argument, I'm beginning to suspect he may be parodying his position and not genuinely trying to argue for his side.


As “proof” that all life descended from a common ancestor, he mentions another experiment involving bacteria that remained bacteria throughout many generations, although they gained the ability to survive higher temperatures.


He seems to be aware that this isn't convincing:


Since many people claim those are not valid evidence because of the difference between a single cell and a multicellular organism here's an example with mice:


However, even his mouse experiment didn't “prove” that mollusks descended from bacteria, so this is another dead-end argument.


Back to you Con. Since this is my last turn, I'd like to remind the voters to keep in mind the definition of “Evolution” that was clarified in the first round. Thanks for reading!

theta_pinch

Con

Con argues that since fossilization is a rare occurrence, that “gives reason for the "underepresented" Precambrian life.” This does not refute my argument. In making this statement, Con has to assume that the supposed “underpresented [sic]” Precambrian life actually existed! The problem is the lack of evidence of transitionals between creatures like the mollusk and bacteria. Con has thus far only provided excuses for why they aren't found, instead of proving that they actually existed.


It's one thing to excuse the lack of fossil evidence for these creatures, but to successfully refute my case, he's going to have to use a different type of evidence to prove that millions of transitionals between bacteria and mollusks actually existed.

Pro is trying to use an argument from ignorance; assuming that the absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

Basically, he argues that “there's evidence” that a geochemical change in ocean composition resulted in “A LOT” more calcium and mollusks had the genes for building a shell but until this geochemical change, they couldn't build a shell.

So my opponent is trying to convince everybody reading this debate that mollusks went from having a shell, to not having a shell in a single generation. However, since he is careful to say that “there's evidence” for his claim, instead of saying that “it's proven” or “there's conclusive evidence”, his argument does not damage my case and I'm going to drop it.

This is again simply semantics not a rebuttal.

Con repeats an already-refuted argument, in an attempt to explain why no transitionals between mollusks, and sponges or worms or bacteria, have been found:


soft bodied creatures only fossilize in extremely unusual environmental conditions as in VERY RARE.


I've already pointed out how not only does this fail to explain why the millions of shelled transitionals haven't been found (if they ever existed), it's not sufficient to prove Evolution (as I defined it in the first round). Excusing the lack of evidence for something does not prove it, like I demonstrated with my little analogy.

Con again tries to explain the sudden appearance of 10 major phylum without plausible links to mollusks, sponges, and worms by mentioning Punctuated Equilibrium. As I said in the previous round, this is a dead-end argument. Punctuated Equilibrium does not explain the sudden emergence of new phyla. I don't think Con understands what the term even means.


Pro doesn't seem to understand punctuated equilibrium; punctuated equilibrium and although pro says he's refuted it, all pro has said about it is that it it doesn't explain the emergence of new phyla; pro has given no reason why it wouldn't work.

As “proof” that all life descended from a common ancestor, he mentions another experiment involving bacteria that remained bacteria throughout many generations, although they gained the ability to survive higher temperatures.


He seems to be aware that this isn't convincing:


Since many people claim those are not valid evidence because of the difference between a single cell and a multicellular organism here's an example with mice:


However, even his mouse experiment didn't “prove” that mollusks descended from bacteria, so this is another dead-end argument.

Actually the long term E.coli Experiment IS proof of common descent; here's a quote about that: Lenski chose an E. coli strain that reproduces only asexually, without bacterial conjugation; this limits the study to evolution based on new mutations and also allows genetic markers to persist without spreading except by common descent.

Pro's definition of evolution was common descent and the E. Coli experiment is proof of common descent. Therefore I have just proven my case.

Debate Round No. 4
144 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 3 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
xD
Posted by theta_pinch 3 years ago
theta_pinch
Ahh; I found it.
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 3 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
*theta_pinch
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 3 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
theta_pinc, I did provide a source in the first round.
Posted by theta_pinch 3 years ago
theta_pinch
Con has provided potential answers for the questions that Pro raised concerning Evolution...not evidence. Through the debate Con infers that suppositions, probabilities and the likely hood of something can stand as proof against logically sound reasoning that could discredit a theory unless properly refuted...which it wasn't.

Semantics is not a valid rebuttal. And it really was pro who had the burden of proof; solely.
Posted by theta_pinch 3 years ago
theta_pinch
Still I was the only one who provided sources.
Posted by cbcullen84 3 years ago
cbcullen84
Topic of Debate "Evolution is not Proven"

Pro's responsibility - provide sufficient evidence or proof that Evolution is not Proven

Con's responsibility - provide sufficient evidence or proof that Evolution is Proven

Pro has discredited the theory of evolution sufficiently in this matter to raise reasonable question to the theory's validity. Through logical deduction and reasoning he has opened holes throughout the idea of Evolution and provided that without evidence, the theory stands insufficient of proof. Logically speaking, Pro has made an effective case.

Con has provided potential answers for the questions that Pro raised concerning Evolution...not evidence. Through the debate Con infers that suppositions, probabilities and the likely hood of something can stand as proof against logically sound reasoning that could discredit a theory unless properly refuted...which it wasn't.

I can't see where the other voters are getting their RFD from, some of the voters have gone as far as to say that Pro was supposed to provide proof that evolution is false...but that wasn't the debate topic. Pro simply had to prove that Evolution isn't proven...and it's not. A theory can NEVER be proven or final because what is true today can just as easily be completely false tomorrow. An explanation for something must be well substantiated, not proven, in order to be a scientific theory. So the debate topic was loaded to begin with, Cons still loses by rule over unrelenting ignorance of the topic and then again by default.
Posted by theta_pinch 3 years ago
theta_pinch
Can you clarify; I'm afraid what you said made no sense at all.
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
Because Jesus is risen and is God. Naturalism can't establish it's own worldview.
Posted by theta_pinch 3 years ago
theta_pinch
Are you just joking about that. If not then: How does evolution prove God exists, how does it disprove atheism, and how do you know atheism a lie?
20 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Enji 3 years ago
Enji
GarretKadeDupretheta_pinchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con: Quoting large chunks of your opponents case before providing rebuttals was a poor approach -- Pro's case doesn't support your side of the resolution and including it subtracts from the characters you have to respond with your own arguments. Using titles to summarise claims and organise rebuttals would have been a better approach. Both sides could have benefited from better use of sources. Pro's arguments don't appear to directly relate to the resolution. Are gaps in the fossil record evidence that evolution is not proven? I suppose yes, if you ignore all evidence independent of the completeness of the fossil record -- which this debate succeeds in doing. Arguments to Pro.
Vote Placed by amik10 3 years ago
amik10
GarretKadeDupretheta_pinchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct and S&G was good on both sides. Arguments were close but I give it to CON since PRO relied mainly on schematics, and did not bring up any thing about genetics, and CON was able to well defend fossils, so CON wins. Sources to PRO because CON used Wikipedia, which is not a credible source, especially for this topic, where there are tons of other more credible sources.
Vote Placed by cbcullen84 3 years ago
cbcullen84
GarretKadeDupretheta_pinchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro argued his side of the debate as outlined in the title while Con continuously ignored the burden of proof and not only did not argue his side but refused to acknowledge it throughout all four rounds, I'm shocked actually...the debate topic can be seen above very clearly but was never argued by Con - Conduct to Pro. Pro again argued his case while remaining aligned with the topic yet Con made no attempt at the burden of proof. Additionally Con made extremely weak rebuttals in all four rounds - Convincing arguments to Pro. Con made an acknowledgement of his responsibility to the burden of proof once during the debate...and then quickly excused himself from providing it citing a lack of space as his reason. Instead he provided wiki answers in lieu of logical argument...bad form, reliable sources to Pro.
Vote Placed by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
GarretKadeDupretheta_pinchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Hmm. Well, I'm going to give conduct to Con, due to Pro's sarcastic "Sorry" and "Thanks" that were both repeated. Spelling and grammar were fine, although Con's font size change was a little unsettling. Arguments go to Con due to the flaws in Pro's case, beyond anything else. Pro relied heavily on semantics and gave false analogies. Con did not give good counter-arguments, as they had potential, but were underdeveloped. Nevertheless, I feel he did pointed out the flaws in Pro's case, so I will give Con the arguments points. Both sides used sources, initially, but tended to drop them. I am keeping sources tied for this reason. But, good debate!
Vote Placed by CynicalDiogenes 3 years ago
CynicalDiogenes
GarretKadeDupretheta_pinchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: While I used to believe that evolution was proven, Pro's arguments have cast sufficient doubt in my mind.Pro did an excellent Job of showing how 'Macro evolution' is not proven, and that only minor changes have been observed.Con does an admirable Job, but did not adress the points raised by Pro sufficiently.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
GarretKadeDupretheta_pinchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Enjoyable debate to read, and after some careful thought I give Con argument points as the examples of evolution Con gave are examples from common descent. I think Pro would have done better to give a plausible explanation of another theory besides evolution to make his case work more effectively. I am giving source points to Pro as Con did not cite sources in round 3 while having them in the argument. I think both debaters could have done better with conduct, so conduct points are split. S&G is tied.
Vote Placed by DanT 3 years ago
DanT
GarretKadeDupretheta_pinchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Overall I felt con had better conduct, but con did a horrible job debating this subject, so arguments go to pro. Pro also gets sources, because con relied too heavily on wiki; which is not a reliable source. I felt spelling and grammar was pretty much tied, so neither will get that point. Overall I was highly disappointed with this debate.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 3 years ago
InVinoVeritas
GarretKadeDupretheta_pinchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Unavoidable gaps in the record don't disprove the general trends that have been observed. Both sides were lacking here... I was hoping Con would bring up genetics rather than just sticking to fossils. Con wins, nonetheless, because Pro did not effectively attack the theory with evidence that would actually disprove it.
Vote Placed by Cygnus 3 years ago
Cygnus
GarretKadeDupretheta_pinchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Nice debate. Both Pro and Con conducted themselves well and used good spelling and grammar. All, if not most of Pro's questions and rebuttals were adequately answered by Con. The thing that I'm still scratching my head over is Pro's insistence that Con drifted away from Pro's definition of evolution. Pro's definition of evolution is, ""the idea that all extant life descended from a common organism via mutations and Natural Selection." He goes on to say, "When Con said that ?Well [the E. coli experiment has] been going on for 26 years and evolution has already been observed?, he was falsely equivocating his own definition of Evolution with the definition that I provided." I don't see how he equivocated anything here, as the discovery of nylon-eating bacteria, was discovered long before the experiment was ever done in a lab. Shell-producing mollusks or not, nylon-eating bacteria is further proof of evolution.
Vote Placed by TheSquirrel 3 years ago
TheSquirrel
GarretKadeDupretheta_pinchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had no answer for the proof of experimental evidence for common descent. Arguments made by Pro were satisfactorily answered by Con.