Evolution contains enough evidence to override religion
First round is acceptance.
Evolution shall be defined as "change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift." http://dictionary.reference.com...
Override shall be defined as "to prevail or have dominance over" http://dictionary.reference.com...
Religion shall be defined as "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs." http://dictionary.reference.com...
For Religion I will be using Christian beliefs that God created the world in its entirety.
Pro will cave burden of proof.
...Please keep an open mind and lets have fun :)
I. Opening statement
As pro I will be attempting to show that the Scientific Theory of Evolution contains a more substantial base of support than that of the Christian creationist explanation of how life came to be in its current state. I will do so by providing observable evidence supported with reliable sources that supports the bases of the Theory of Evolution and proving beyond a reasonable doubt that this is how modern organisms changed into their current forms.
II. Affirmative construct
a. Brief Background
The Theory of Evolution ("Evolution") was a concept coined in the early 1800s by a man named Charles Darwin and a few other scientists. It was based on the idea that through the processes of natural selection, descent with modification, and genetic mutation, all organisms evolved from a common ancestor. This ancestor was a primitive cell that multiplied and changed over thousands of years to eventually have the genetic makeup of all modern organisms.
While at the time, there was little observable evidence to support the theory. Modern science has been successful show many times over that Evolution left behind many signs it took place. I will be presenting these pieces of evidence and providing the website where they can be read in more depth.
b. Modern Natural Selection
Natural selection is a vital part of Evolution. It is what explains the how organisms developed features without the need for a deity. How natural selection works is simple, every organism goes through minor genetic changes through life. These genetic changes can either have a positive or negative impact on the organism base on the pressures exerted by its environment. Changes that increase survival will allow the organism to reproduce and pass on the trait. Organisms with a negative mutation will likely die before they can reproduce. Therefore, the species will continue reproducing with the beneficial trait. This process has been observed by scientists on multiple occasions. Mostly on organisms where its lifespan is short enough genetic changes can be observed in a reasonable amount of time. Here are some documented cases of natural selection taking place in the modern era.
This article contains an instance of natural selection being affected by human interaction.
Soot and industrial waste caused the trees to darken. Before this happened, a sample showed that there was an abundance of white colored moths compared to dark colored moths. After the darkening of the trees, another sample was taken that showed that darker colored moths were thriving, even after being quite rare prior to the soot. The population of white moths was dwindling. It was theorized that this change in population had to do with how well each moth camouflaged with its environment, in this case the trees. Dark moths would be harder to spot in a dark tree while a white moth would stick out like a sore thumb. Predators in the area would have an easier time spotting and eating the white moths, therefore allowing the dark moths to replicate and pass down their new found ability.
This article is mainly focused on the problems relating to insects developing immunities to pesticides.
There is however a blurb in the beginning confirming that insect got this resistance due to the process of natural selection. Insects with the resistance to the pesticide don't die. They have offspring also don't die to the pesticide, and viola. Evolution.
This article is less based on natural selection actively taking place but rather its long term effects. The article speaks of a common ancestor of the modern Galapagos tortoises. This ancestor is thought to have arrived in the Galapagos islands a few million years back. Some of the offspring arrived at different islands. The most recent relatives of this ancestor appear to be much different than the ancestor. The reason being that they each had enough time over generations and generations to change. This change can be attributed to descent with modification. Each line of tortoises had different mutations and therefore changed their appearance. They changed so much that the different Galapagos tortoises could no longer be considered the same species! This would show that, given enough time, descent with modification along with natural selection can cause a change in species of the same ancestor.
c. Fossil Evidence
While I have shown natural selection has occurred and still occurs, there is some room for doubt. After all, natural selection could have just not worked back then. To show that mutations have occurred in the past, we must delve into the fossil record to see how species have changed through time.
First off, it is important to note that were Evolution true then there would be a specific time period and place where fossilized species would be found. The time period can be determined by what layer the fossil is found and the area by, well the area it was found.
This source confirms that fossils are in fact found where Evolution would suggest they'd be. It also states the the progression of the fossils complies with how Evolution would have a species evolve. That progression being common descent, a vital point in Evolution. It must be noted, if even a single fossil was found out of place, one specimen not being where it should be, Evolution would fall apart right then and there. Evolution can only account for the fossils if they are in the right period and bio geographical area. An unexplained outlier would show there must have been another factor that wasn't naturally explained.
There remain many fossils contained in the fossil record. As such, there are many examples of transitional fossils the hold as the intermediate species between one and another. One such specimen is the Archaeopteryx fossil. This fossil was shown to be a median between modern birds and prehistoric dinosaurs. It contained qualities of both, teeth like dinosaurs and feathers like a bird. Its form suggested it could have flown, though not as well as current birds, suggesting that this specimen was a link where flying was developing as an evolutionary trait. Source is contained below.
III. First Argument Conclusion
With the two forms of evidence shown in my first argument, 4 things can be concluded.
1. Natural selection and descent with modification are possible and are still observable in modern life.
2. Natural selection played a role in changing a current species, allowing it to change over time and adapt to its environment
3. The fossil record suggests Evolution has taken place based on the position and time period where the fossils were found
4.There are transition fossils that show how a species has evolved to fit its environment in the past.
This evidence shows a very plausible way that organisms could have gotten to their current forms.
I. Opening Statement
First off I'd like to say welcome to all who read this debate I hope you enjoy your time spent with us. I would also like to thank thank my opponent, AlexanderOC, for his intelligence on this matter and commend him on his first round.
"I see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious views of anyone." - Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
"The mysteries of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain agnostic." -Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the man who changed how people think about like on this earth was an agnostic; he never denied the existence of God. He only believed that his findings on evolution were the means of how organisms evolved over time. As he says in my first quote, evolution should not changes anyones religious views, it is not meant to disprove anyones religions only merely to demonstrate how things change. This too is my belief, I am a Christian but that does not mean I deny evolution, I am a Theistic Evolutionist, believing God made the earth and everything in it and has guided the changes. As con I will not be disproving evolution, merely the fact that evolution does not in fact override religion. I hope to show you that they can go hand in hand.
II. Religion is not prevailed by Evolution
i. Where did the information come from?
In order for evolution to work there needs to be initial DNA to evolve, where did this DNA come from? God. God created the earth and animals of the earth. Even though animals have changed as time went on they were put there by God. Just as many things change over time we still credit the creator for the initial invention. Take the telephone for example. Invented by Alexander Graham Bell, in the beginning you needed wires and circuit boards and you had to be at home to be on the phone. Now it has evolved to something that better suits the needs of modern life, it goes where we go, we can wirelessly call text and access the internet. Still we credit the invention to Alexander Graham Bell. Just as God should be credited with creation and setting evolution in motion.
ii. Cambrian explosion
Even Darwin had doubts about one thing, commonly referred to the Cambrian Explosion. The deepest layer of rock categorized as Precambrian rock. In this layer of rock has little to no fossil evidence in it, then in the layer above it (Cambrian layer) there was an abundance of diverse fossils. This was a mystery to Darwin, if all life had evolved from one living ancestor how could there be nothing and then diverse life without any noticeable relatives linking them. This is probably the reason he remained an agnostic. That one fact meant God could not be disproved.
a. Brief Background
I really have nothing to say about this part except to point out that Darwin and other scientists believe evolution happened over millions of years not thousands.
b. Modern Natural Selection
While I agree with natural selection I do not believe it has the influence to change the entire genetics of a species. We will use Pros moth example, there is nothing beneficial about being a moth, you are at the bottom of the food chain. If a moth were to evolve, like pro said its ancestors did why would it not have evolved into a bird? Simple, because natural selection allows for change, change in color, shape, size, wing patters, and all other character traits. Natural selection does not however allow for a change of species, never mind changing its genus, order, class, phylum or kingdom, as evolution suggests. Even if natural selection were to work like that it still needs the initial DNA to work with where did that DNA come from? God. Also there is the issue of Pros first lines of "c. Fossil Evidence" to address. My opponent writes "While I have shown natural selection has occurred and still occurs, there is some room for doubt." After all, natural selection could have just not worked back then." He admit there are doubts in natural selections ability to make monumental jumps. Then Pro continues on to say "After all, natural selection could have just not worked back then." This raises the question of, if natural selection was not at work in the time when we saw a dramatic diversification in living beings, what was at play? Perhaps it was God?
c. Fossil Evidence
Firstly fossils are proof of past life not evolution. If you dig up a grave you are going to find a body. Second Pro made a point " It must be noted, if even a single fossil was found out of place, one specimen not being where it should be, Evolution would fall apart right then and there." There are many times where fossils are found out of place in both time and location. Instead of taking it as proof that evolution is wrong they just extend their time tables and say the earths plates must have shifted. They are constantly changing the story of evolution to make outliers fit in with their beliefs.
I would also like to point to 2 cases:
Case 1- The Wollemi Pine. 
The Wollemi Pine's fossils are dated 65 million years old and there is no known record of any since. Then in 1994 a grove of the previously extinct plant cropped up in Australia's Blue Mountains. This plant is now called a "living fossil" and has been found a long way from its home in the Jurassic era.
Case 2- Hurdia Victoria 
Hurdia was a one-and-a-half foot anomalocarid found in the Burgess Shale. [2a] This fossil is considered Cambrian, because of the layer of rock it is found in. Recently though it has been discovered in the Ordovician rocks above its supposed time period. This creature also proves the fact that fossils cant directly prove evolution. at one point it time scientists thought this creature to be the ancestor of shrimp and other sea creatures, not they say its living relatives are actually insects.
To address Pros point of the Archaeopteryx Fossil, "this fossil is shown to be a median between modern birds and prehistoric dinosaurs." Pro then continues on to say it had teeth like dinosaurs but feathers like birds. To me the Archaeopteryx sounds like the platypus of the prehistoric times. I would like to point out that just because it has shared characteristics does not mean it will morph or evolve into one or the other thing. If so what was/is the platypus was it a beaver that grew a bill, a duck that decided flying was not fun and wanted to feed its baby milk? How has that adaptation helped it compared to both ducks or beavers, both of which are currently thriving. Or is the platypus simply a platypus like the Creator intended and the Archaeopteryx just a Archaeopteryx?
In conclusion there is no evidence to deny God the title of creator of the universe and everything in it. While you may choose to agree with evolution, even one of the largest contributors to the theory could neither confirm or deny the existence of God. There are things out there that evolution can not explain, not with the help of natural selection and ffossil evidence is unreliable at best. I like to think these "gaps" in information the confirmation of God. Thank you to my opponent, I look forward to the next round.
 Wollemi Pine links
http://creation.com... (and since this is a creation site and could be viewed as bias , like the atheist site used by pro, I will include more links corroborating this evidence)
 Hurdia Victoria
[2a] Direct quote from this site http://www.lifebeforethedinosaurs.com...
AlexanderOc forfeited this round.
I concede this debate to con. My apologies for being so over ambitious. I was not properly prepared and cannot provide a complete rebuttal.
Again, I apologize.
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