The Instigator
GarretKadeDupre
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
baus
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Evolution May Be Goal-Oriented

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
baus
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,119 times Debate No: 55791
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (6)

 

GarretKadeDupre

Pro

Evolution is defined as here: http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

First round is acceptance.
Debate Round No. 1
GarretKadeDupre

Pro

From http://www.biofortified.org...

"Thanks to Medfly research, we now have new tools. One of these new tools, the RIDL genes explained in part two, is what is currently being tested in the Cayman Islands. Genetically modified Aedes aegypti have been released in an effort to bring the mosquito populations down past the number where they can spread disease. They’re only releasing male mosquitoes which don’t feed on blood, so they can’t transmit the disease to humans.

There’s an even cooler ecological quirk to this technique, though. The lethal protein takes awhile to build up in the mosquito larvae, which means the mosquito larvae take a while to die. Before they die, they actually compete with wild type larvae for resources which should help to keep populations from quickly rebounding."

This is an example of Evolution having a goal. Or, put another way, this is an example of descent with modification with the goal of reducing a mosquito population.

This proves that Evolution may have a goal, such as in this instance.

Your turn, Con.
baus

Con

The resolution specifically states that the goal-orientation must pertain to evolution, not to some humans carrying out an experiment on it.

For something to be goal-oriented, the thing itself must have a goal. Evolution, cannot possibly have a goal of any kind because having a goal necessitates sentience in the thing obtaining it.

Let's define goal:

The object of a person"s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result [http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...].

This means that you must be able to think to have a goal. In fact this means even a cat cannot have a 'goal'. They can have an objective drinking milk, which may be why they drink it, but they have no end-game goal other than the involuntary outcome of survival (the lack of intention destroys its possibility of being a goal).

Evolution is merely a foundational theory on which many fields of biological research are based [http://www.newscientist.com...]. Without it, genetics, microbiology and palaeontology would not be fields of research and wouldn't have any justification.

Evolution itself cannot have any goals, nor be headed towards them. Some humans may subjectively channel evolution's power towards goals of their own orientation but that would make humans goal-oriented, not evolution.

According to 's logic, if a gangster uses a gun to shoot an opposing gangster, guns are gang-oriented. This is simply not the case. An inanimate, non-sentient entity cannot have goals, it can only facilitate the goals of goal-oriented human beings.

The goal of evolution is not even natural selection or "survival of the fittest", these are merely the processed that enable the grand scheme, named 'evolution' to continue.
Debate Round No. 2
GarretKadeDupre

Pro

Con says that "For something to be goal-oriented, the thing itself must have a goal" and I agree. In my example, I demonstrated an instance of Evolution with a goal. Just because the goal was imposed on the instance of Evolution among the population of mosquitoes does not negate the fact the Evolution had a goal.

Using Con's logic, one could argue that the things coming out of President Obama's mouth at the podium have no purpose, no goal, no point. So, if I asked Obama what was the point of his big speech, then, if Obama used Con's logic, Obama would reply, "There is no point of my speech, for my speech is not sentient. For my speech to have a goal or purpose, it must be sentient."

And then there's an uncomfortable silence and then I reply, "Thank you Mr. President", and go sit back down with the other journalists.

You see, goals can be imposed on innate things. In my example, an instance of Evolution-in-action had a goal imposed on it by humans.

Thanks for this short debate. Next time you do something and someone asks you, "What was the point of saying that!?" you will have to reply, "No point at all!" if Con's logic is correct, because the action of speaking is not a human.
baus

Con

Pro did not demonstrate an example of evolution with a goal. He demonstrated an example of human beings with a goal using natural selection to get to their goal (evolution is cross-species so his example doesn't qualify).

Genetic modification isn't even evolution to begin with but that's besides the point.

The things coming out of Obama's mouth are not goal-oriented, they are tools used by Obama to achieve his own goals, needs and desires. They, themselves, however, have absolutely no goals for they are incapable of the sentience that is required to wanting to achieve any.

Obama probably wouldn't reply that, and you'd probably be speaking to his double. The example you provided is irrelevant as to the validity of my arguments and thus does nor suffice as a rebuttal to them.

A goal cannot be imposed on something. A goal is defined as the object if a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. Thus, for someone to have a desired result, or even to have ambition or to be capable of putting in effort, they must have sentience featured in their being that is capable of thought to the level of a 'person'.

The end example provided by Pro is incorrect because saying something can have a point to the goal-oriented human being saying it.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Envisage 3 years ago
Envisage
GarretKadeDuprebausTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate broke down into a battle of semantics, but I think Pro's analogy that non-sentient processes can have goals is a sustainable one. I'm giving sources to counter Sagey's retarded source award to Pro (I see absolutely no reason why it was justified, a new scientist journal is comparably reliable to Pro's source, and each only gave 1). Also con accepted Pro's definition of evolution being decent with modification, hence his semantic arguments of what evolution is towards the end are all for nothing.
Vote Placed by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
GarretKadeDuprebausTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro clearly did not demonstrate actual goal-orientation in Evolution, we could take need as a goal and evolution may gear development towards that goal of say fish needing to reach food in shallower water thus their fins become stronger and eventually more like limbs to reach the food in shallower water. which can be considered as goal oriented evolution. Con's argument and rebuttals were stronger and so were Con's sources. Pro's mosquito example is human (artificial selection) assisted evolution, not evolution by itself having any goal as my example, just as developing the different breeds of domestic animals has nothing to do with natural selection, it is artificial selection. Even Darwin noted this difference and did not consider artificial selection as a genuine part of natural evolution.
Vote Placed by Khana 3 years ago
Khana
GarretKadeDuprebausTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate seemed to have devolved (har har) into semantics, even from round one, really. I think Pro could have made a more compelling argument, but it's tough to have a good, rich debate when it's quibbling over semantics.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
GarretKadeDuprebausTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con I was going to give you points i this vote as your argument was logical. However, you said that genetic modification is not evolution. This goes against the definition given by Pro which you agreed with in the begging of the debate. For this reason you have to lose, as Pro showed that this (genetic modification) was a goal even if the goal is not sentient as you said.
Vote Placed by creedhunt 3 years ago
creedhunt
GarretKadeDuprebausTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not sufficiently produce BOP for there being any sort of sentience neccecary for a goal. Con may have faled to produce any arguments as to why such a situation couldn't be the case, but still presented better arguments.
Vote Placed by Enji 3 years ago
Enji
GarretKadeDuprebausTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con argues that being goal-oriented entails intent, or that in order to have a goal one must be able to think. Con presents an example of murder to evidence his case; the killer was goal-oriented, however the gun was merely a tool used to fulfil the killer's goal. This argument makes more sense intuitively than Pro's counterargument that if non-thinking entities cannot be goal-oriented then there can be no goal behind actions (for example speeches); there is a difference between "no point of my speech," and "no point to my speech." Pro should have elaborated more on imposing goals on innate things and whether this makes them goal-oriented. Arguments to Con.