Evolution V. Creationism
Debate Rounds (4)
Biological Evolution - The process by which organisms transform over eons of time through slight variations primarily brought about by natural selection acting upon genetic mutations which have led to the vast array of phenotypes displayed by all living and extinct organisms from a single common ancestor which existed approximately 3.5 billion years ago.
Biblical Creation - A model based on direct revelation from God which describes a six day creation event in which all things were created less than 10,000 years ago. All living organisms were created as groups referred to as "kinds" from which all modern creatures have speciated from while remaining within their biological kind. The same processes involved in evolution have changed creatures over time, however, mutations are not seen to be able to allow organisms to leave their kind's genetic boundaries (i.e. novel genetic information is unable to give rise to the type of change required for evolution).
I will support the biblical creation model of biological origins with three simple scientific lines of argumentation from genetics. I will respond to any of your challenges or claims in the next round.
ARGUMENT 1 - GENETIC INORFMATION
I posit that it can be demonstrated that genomes contain a type of universal information which only ever originates from an intelligent mind. If such can be vindicated, this would mean that genomes must have been created by an intelligent Creator(s) consistent with the biblical model of creation. While this would not disprove evolution per se, it is strikingly supportive of my case.
ARGUMENT 2 - GENETIC REDUNDANCY
With the discovery of the function of what was before referred to as "junk DNA" by many, we now understand genomes to contain an unusually high amount of redundancy of its informational content which is interpreted in both directions simultaneously. Not only does this redundancy demonstrate a supremely intelligent design, it ensures that creatures remain within a certain gene pool domain. If it can be shown that organisms are unable to deviate from these genetic constraints, my case will be supported and the evolution model will be refuted.
ARGUMENT 3 - GENETIC ENTROPY
While the power of mutations are seriously brought into question by modern population genetics, what is certain is that the time frame required for the evolution model is genetically infeasible. That is to say, given the nature of mutations, organisms could not have been around anywhere near as long as the evolution model requires. If it can be shown that mutations lead toward an extinction event via a net gain of detrimental mutations within a time frame much less than the purported 3.5Gy organisms are to have existed, the creation model will be amazingly supported while the evolution model will be refuted.
I ask that you respond to the following question before addressing my claims: do you agree that if the above three points could be shown to be true, that the creation model would be supported and the evolution model refuted? If not, why so?
Thank you for your time!
ARGUMENT 1 - GENETIC INFORMATION
The cells of all organic life forms contain information in the form of genetic code. The chain of genetic code known as DNA harbors the amino acids which themselves contain no semantic meaning, but when placed in a linguistic sequence, can be readily utilized in forming every phenotype known to biology.
The living cell demonstrates a system of communication, particularly between DNA and proteins. DNA codes for proteins which go on to form every part of a creature, including the very DNA from which it was coded. DNA is a macro-molecule in the shape of a double-helix with a sugar-phosphate backbone.
The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences, or even the way 1's and 0's appear in a certain order to form binary computer code.
DNA bases pair up with each other, A with T and C with G, to form units called base pairs. Each base is also attached to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule. Together, a base, sugar, and phosphate are called a nucleotide. Nucleotides are arranged in two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix. The structure of the double helix is somewhat like a ladder, with the base pairs forming the ladder"s rungs and the sugar and phosphate molecules forming the vertical sidepieces of the ladder.
An important property of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell.
DNA serves as the blueprint for every creature's phenotype. Since DNA is a language system in which communication occurs between a sender and receiver, it can rightfully be said to contain true information.
"To fully characterise the concept of information, five aspects must be considered: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics. Information is represented (that is, formulated, transmitted, stored) as a language. From a stipulated alphabet, the individual symbols are assembled into words (code). From these words (each word having been assigned a meaning), sentences are formed according to the firmly defined rules of grammar (syntax). These sentences are the bearers of semantic information. Furthermore, the action intended/carried out (pragmatics) and the desired/achieved goal (apobetics) belong of necessity to the concept of information. . . an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose. We term any entity meeting the requirements of this definition as 'universal information' (UI). "
In the function of the genome within living cells we find statistics in the form of four letters which are syntactically organized to give the semantic meaning for transcription and translation. The semantic meaning encoded in the genome is pragmatically utilized in the formation of proteins and thus integral to the process of replication which is a part of the apobetic, or intended goal of the digital code.
In the creation.com reference I provided, one will notice Dr. Werner Gitt's four scientific laws of information (SLI). I will assume for the moment that Con agrees with the first two laws, if not he can explain why. The contention certainly arises with the 3rd and 4th laws.
A material entity cannot generate a non-material entity.
Universal information is a non-material fundamental entity.
Universal information cannot be created by statistical processes.
Universal information can only be produced by an intelligent sender.
In order to refute SLI-3, one would need to demonstrate even one example of statistical processes producing UI which meets the criteria of the five levels of information. The primary reason such an example is infeasible is that statistical processes can never produce information containing semantic meaning, let alone pragmatic, purposeful code.
SLI-4 is substantiated by Gitt's SLI-4a-d:
Every code is based upon a mutual agreement between sender and receiver.
There is no new universal information without an intelligent sender.
Every information transmission chain can be traced back to an intelligent sender.
Attributing meaning to a set of symbols is an intellectual process requiring intelligence.
Information intrinsically depends upon an original act of intelligence to construct it, therefore the information seen in living cells testifies to having been originally created by an intelligent Creator. Note that this argument is not based upon the inability for naturalistic/statistical processes alone to account for the formation of genetic information, but rather my case is built upon what we DO know about genetic code and function. Therefore this is not a god-of-the-gaps argument, as the claim is based on observation. Note also that this is not an argument from complexity but from specified universal information. To refute my case is actually quite a simple task; one must only need demonstrate a single case where universal information, of the type seen in genetic code, is derived entirely from purely material sources.
ARGUMENT 2 - GENETIC REDUNDANCY
Quite simply genomes of living organisms contain a small percentage of coding DNA, the vast majority of it is what are known as redundant genes. These genes are unrelated to coding genes and are therefore not duplications of these genes, however they contribute to the robustness and preservation of phenotypes. More interestingly is that natural selection is unable to act upon these redundant genes due to the scale-free nature of genetic networks which allows many small errors to occur without detrimentaly affecting the organism itself. These redundant genes are able to substitute for damaged coding genes thus preserving the information.
"Extended networks composed of hundreds of interconnected proteins ensure that if one network becomes inactivated by a mutation, essential pathways will then not be shut down immediately. A network of cooperating proteins that can substitute for or bypass each other's functions makes a biological system robust."
This genetic redundancy ensures that, while natural selection may act upon the existing information giving rise to the great variation displayed amongst living organisms, they will yet remain within the genetically redundant constraints of their created kind. This explains why huge variations in Darwin's finches for example always remain genetically recognizable finches and not some new bird kind.
I will provide a defense of GE in the next round.
WJKosacs forfeited this round.
WJKosacs forfeited this round.
I wish I could have defended my claims against thoughtful rebuttals, oh well. To any prospective reader, thank you for your time and consideration of my arguments. :)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Grandzam 3 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con had great points and they were mostly unrefuted. FF
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