The Instigator
maninorange
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
guitargod
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Evolution is a fact of science, deducible with logic, confirmed with evidence.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
maninorange
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,844 times Debate No: 14822
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (2)

 

maninorange

Pro

It is my intent to argue that not only is evolution occurring, but that it is the only intelligent explanation for the variety of species that we see upon this planet. This will happen in the presence of adequate evidence for evolution and the absence of any viable alternative.


Some definitions and explanations thereof that we should agree upon:

Fact - a statement or assertion of verified information about something that is the case or has happened. If evidence has been observed and and a conclusion can be inferred with a high degree of probability, (We don't know for certain that JFK was a Catholic; he might have been lying for some reason or another. We can be relatively sure nonetheless.) it is a fact.

Observable - able to be verified through observation. Observations need not strictly consist of watching it as it happens; analyzing the evidence after the fact is a form of observation. Similar to the way conclusions can be drawn in a crime scene even though there were no witnesses, we can draw conclusions about evolution based on the evidence it leaves behind.

Evolution - the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generations. I will not subscribe to the "many kinds of evolution" idea popularized by Kent Hovind. As far as scientists and this debate are concerned, evolution will refer strictly to biological evolution.

This debate was initiated the in the comments section of this debate: http://www.debate.org...

My first post will consist entirely of the evidence I wish to present FOR evolution. Guitargod will attempt to reduce my evidence in any number of logically valid ways, present his evidence against evolution, and/or present evidence that something other than evolution occurred. My second post will consist of evidence for evolution as a history of life, defenses against criticism, and responses to the opposing evidence. Subsequent posts will consist entirely of defenses of my evidence and responses to opposing evidence. I would ask that his (as will my) final post consist of nothing but rebuttals, as I will not have the chance to respond to new arguments/criticisms. In the case that he does so, I urge viewers to pay attention to the comments section for my replies.


THE EVIDENCE:


(1) The logic behind evolution.

Evolution is based upon the following observations:

A - All life reproduces.
B - Not only does it reproduce, but it does so imperfectly. Mutations may provide various effects, beneficial, deleterious, or neutral, defined below.

C – Thee exist entities in nature which cause some organisms to be more or less likely to pass on their genes.

D – From generation to generation, organisms within a species will change in such a way that they are more likely to pass on their genes.

A beneficial mutation is defined as a mutation in a gene that makes it more likely for that gene to be passed on to the next generation.

A deleterious mutation is a mutation in a gene that makes it less likely for that gene to be passed on to the next generation.

A neutral mutation is a mutation that does not affect the likelihood of a gene being passed on to the next generation. Most mutations are neutral.

Assume a gene is subject to a deleterious mutation. The probability that this organism will pass this gene on to the next generation is less than normal. With multiple generations – if there are any – these probabilities are compounded. Not only is it unlikely for the first generation of the gene to pass on, it is equally unlikely for it to pass on from there. After many generations, the deleterious gene is simply removed from the gene pool.

Assume a gene is subject to a beneficial mutation. The probability that this organism will pass this gene on to the next generation is higher than normal. With multiple generations, these probabilities compound. After many generations, the beneficial gene will dominate the gene pool.

Assume a gene is subject to a neutral mutation. This organism is just as likely to survive in the world as any other, so the mutation may or may not persist.

This is what many creationists refer to as microevolution. What most of them claim to have a problem with is macroevolution, more scientifically known as speciation. This is where two groups within a species become so different that they can no longer interbreed. Here is the logic:

E - Species inhabit regions as opposed to points.

F – The entities that determine what is more or less likely to be passed on are variable depending on where the organism is.

G – Two geographically different groups of the same species are subjected to different environments.

H - What is beneficial for one group within a species may not be beneficial or may even be deleterious to another geographically separated group within that species.

D - (from above)

I – Different groups of organisms belonging to the same species acquire mutations with different effects

J – This process can be repeated with other beneficial mutations.

K – This occurs not only with beneficial mutations, but with neutral mutations.

L – in the passage of time, two different groups will become more genetically different.

M – If two groups of organisms have sufficiently different genetic codes, they cannot interbreed.

N – After many generations, two groups, formerly part of the same species, will not be able to interbreed.

You see, macroevolution is no different from microevolution applied to a population spanning a variable environment.


(2) Observation.

I should first be mentioned that all of the premises in the above argument have been observed. However, for this section I will instead present observations of the evolutionary process as a whole.

Ring species:

There exist in the world several examples of species in which adjacent populations can interbreed, with a single exception. The Wikipedia article gives an adequate description. [2] The way this comes about is by the migration of one species into two separate areas. This path of migration will continue, and populations adjacent to each other will exchange genetic information often enough to remain genetically similar enough remain the same species. However, there is no direct gene flow between population on opposite ends of this chain. The only flow occurs through a long chain of populations, and this is slow even by evolutionary standards. The result is that the populations at either end cannot interbreed. What might happen if, say, a flood were to wipe out the intermediate forms: speciation.


(3) Experimentation.
On February 15, 1988, Richard Lenski began an experiment on E. Coli bacteria in which he subjected 12 nearly identical populations to the same environment.[1, page 232, paragraph 2] This means that the only separation that occured was geographical. Over the course of 20000 generations, the populations each acquired between 10 and 20 beneficial mutations.[1, page 236, paragraph 2] This seems insignificant only until considering that the only environmental factors available for the bacteria to adapt to were the limited amount of glucose, the presence of citrate, the buffer chemicals, the 'minimal-salts,' and the temperature, which the bacteria were already perfectly adapted to.

This experiment shows that circumstances can be provided that will cause species to evolve.

REFERENCES:

[1]

http://myxo.css.msu.edu...

[2]

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

As I know copy and paste arguments are quite popular with this topic, if Guitargod decides to do this, I ask that he respect the 8000 character limit.


Thank you, and I await your rebuttal.

guitargod

Con

First I would like to thank my opponent for this debate-
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ok so first, there is a theory, and there is a law. facts are the little things that can prove/disprove. We need to now define what a Law, and a theory is.

LAW: A law generalizes a body of observations. At the time it is made, no exceptions have been found to a law. Scientific laws explain things, but they do not describe them. One way to tell a law and a theory apart is to ask if the description gives you a means to explain 'why'.

THEORY: A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it.
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problems with evolution-
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1- evolution conflicts with 2nd law of thermal dynamics
the second law of thermal dynamics states that as every system is created, its level of entropy is increased. or in Latin terms, any process created is going to have an increased amount of disorder from the process it derived from, saying that you can not get a more complicated process out of a less complicated one, witch is directly contradicting to evolution witch says that we evolved from dust into a single cell and eventually evolved into what we are today, saying that things get more complicated over time, because im pretty sure that we are more complicated as humans than single celled amibas. so this disproves evolution because the natural process of nature is de-evolution.

2- laws of variation with in species debunks evolution
"Evolution" mixes two things together, one real, one imaginary. Variation (microevolution) is the real part. The types of bird beaks, the colors of moths, leg sizes, etc. are variation. Each type and length of beak a finch can have is already in the gene pool for finches. Creationists have always agreed that there is variation within species. What evolutionists do not want you to know is that there are strict limits to variation that are never crossed, something every breeder of animals or plants is aware of. Whenever variation is pushed to extremes by selective breeding (to get the most milk from cows, sugar from beets, bristles on fruit flies, or any other characteristic), the line becomes sterile and dies out. And as one characteristic increases, others diminish. But evolutionists want you to believe that changes continue, merging gradually into new kinds of creatures. This is where the imaginary part of the theory of evolution comes in. It says that new information is added to the gene pool by mutation and natural selection to create frogs from fish, reptiles from frogs, and mammals from reptiles, to name a few.

3- the Cambrian explosion
Cambrian explosion" refers to the great quantity and diversity of life found in what is called the Cambrian layer of the geologic column. The Cambrian age in the geologic time scale is dated by scientists as being about 530 million years old. What is really interesting is not just what is found in this layer, but what is found in the layers above it, and what is not found in layers under it. The Cambrian layer has virtually every phyla known to man. Yes, all major body plans and enormous varieties of each all coexist in this layer. No evolutionary sequence here, they are all coexistent simultaneously. so basically every species that ever existed was found in this time period and before this period, this debunks evolution because all these species co-existed in the same time period, but if evolution existed they would not be found in the same time period

4- The "Tree of Life" is falling
New discoveries are bringing down the whole notion of a "tree of life", as passages from an article in the mainstream magazine New Scientist show:20 "The tree-of-life concept was absolutely central to Darwin's thinking, equal in importance to natural selection, according to biologist W. Ford Doolittle of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Without it the theory of evolution would never have happened." "For much of the past 150 years, biology has largely concerned itself with filling in the details of the tree. 'For a long time the holy grail was to build a tree of life,' says Eric Bapteste, an evolutionary biologist at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France. A few years ago it looked as though the grail was within reach.", "But today the project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence. Many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded. 'We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality,' says Bapteste. That bombshell has even persuaded some that our fundamental view of biology needs to change." "The problems began in the early 1990s when it became possible to sequence actual bacterial and archaeal genes". "As more and more genes were sequenced, it became clear that the patterns of relatedness could only be explained if bacteria and archaea were routinely swapping genetic material with other species - often across huge taxonomic distances". " 'There's promiscuous exchange of genetic information across diverse groups,' says Michael Rose, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Irvine." "As early as 1993, some were proposing that for bacteria and archaea the tree of life was more like a web. In 1999, Doolittle made the provocative claim that 'the history of life cannot properly be represented as a tree'.12 'The tree of life is not something that exists in nature, it's a way that humans classify nature,' he says."
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The entirety of my opponents evidence can easily be summed up in 1 key point.
basically he is saying that:
A) species can have lateral and horizontal changes in their gene pool as opposed to only horizontal
LATTERAL: changes causing a new species(new genes being introduced via gene mutation)
VIRTICAL: Changes within a species (via micro-evolution)

Now these to points are the foundation for evolution, and without foundation, there can be no theory, at most, only a hypothesis (and a weak one at that).
This Base has been now taken out by my 4 points.
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The resolution is currently negated.---|
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Debate Round No. 1
maninorange

Pro

Thank you for posting definitions; I have no issues with those definitions of law or theory. However, I will state that I find both terms irrelevant to whether or not evolution is a fact.



THE COUNTERARGUMENTS:

"1- evolution conflicts with 2nd law of thermal dynamics"
First, the 2nd law of thermodynamics applies to closed systems. The Earth's biosphere is not a closed system; it is constantly bombarded with energy from the Sun.

Does embryology also conflict with the 2nd law of thermodynamics? (Not a red herring) Think about this... a host mother has an egg in her ovaries which is fertilized via a sperm. Over the course of 9 months, this host mother will take in food from her environment causing this single cell to multiply, grow, transform into other cells, and contort into hundreds of structures that we find in a human body. This all comes from a highly disorganized soup coursing through the veins of the host mother.

How is it that such a disorganized mess can turn into something as complex and structured as a human being? An input of energy, The mother takes in chemical energy from her environment to fuel this process. This energy was likely taken from some living organism which may have taken it from some other organism, ending in plants, which took the energy from the Sun.

One might think of a mutation as a form of disorganization. Whether the mutation has a negative or positive consequence (or neither), it is an imperfection nonetheless. This shows that although accumulated mutations may look like very organized forms to us, it is very accidental organization and does not violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics.



"2- laws of variation with in species debunks evolution... Whenever variation is pushed to extremes by selective breeding... the line becomes sterile and dies out."
We first see selective breeding in history a little more than 2000 years ago. I suspect that long-term selective breeding experiments have never lasted more than a few hundred years at an absolute maximum. This is not long enough for most multicellular organisms to accumulate the mutations needed for a much further increase in their own natural capabilities. If we were to lead the process on for a couple thousand years to no avail, THEN we might have a little problem. However, the timescale allowed in my argument is no obstacle.


"3- the Cambrian explosion... No evolutionary sequence here, they are all coexistent simultaneously. so basically every species that ever existed was found in this time period and before this period, this debunks evolution because all these species co-existed in the same time period, but if evolution existed they would not be found in the same time period"
First, it's false that every species that ever existed was found in this time period. We don't see rabbits in the Cambrian. We don't see dogs, turtles, chinchillas, dinosaurs, proto-whales, trees, vines, or flowers in the Cambrian. In fact, the only thing we see in the Cambrian is exactly what we would expect to see if evolution were an accurate story of life: very simple creatures with very simple body plans and other characteristics which some later, larger groups have in common.

Second... it appears that your conclusion is that the coexistence of these creatures falsifies evolution. You say that evolution asserts that these things cannot coexist. You're going to need to back this claim up.
Evolution can perfectly account for their coexistence. No one in their right mind would say that the Cambrian explosion was the first life. It just happens to be the first life that we have fossil evidence of. There were almost certainly other species before the Cambrian, but because of their soft bodies, they were not well-preserved.




"4- The "Tree of Life" is falling"
I don't understand at all how the fact that some bacteria can exchange information with other bacteria in any way falsifies evolution. Please explain further.



"The entirety of my opponents evidence can easily be summed up in 1 key point....The resolution is currently negated."
It sounds like these two statements and everything in between are a summary of you taking down my argument? I didn't really understand. Please clarify if important.


As a final statement, note that guitargod has not, at any point, shown my argument to be fallacious or my premises to be false. Therefore, my argument from the logic of evolution stands
.


guitargod

Con

guitargod forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
maninorange

Pro

Because of a lack of ability to explain his position more fully or other reasons, Guitargod has forfeited.
Extend all arguments.
guitargod

Con

guitargod forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
I see...the fallac(ies) in the syllogism you presented on the second law of thermodynamics explains why the argument is false.

Also note that guitargod merely copied and pasted his arguments from several creationist sites as well.
Posted by maninorange 5 years ago
maninorange
Here's the idea:
A - The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that things will decay and get worse over time.
B - Evolution says that organisms will adapt and improve over time.
∴ C - The Second Law of Thermodynamics and Evolution disagree.
D - Laws are proven whereas theories aren't.
∴ E - Evolution is false.

The main fallacy here is an equivocation with "decaying and getting worse" and "improving" over time. It's clear to anyone with scientific knowledge of any kind that better and worse don't mean the same thing in those two contexts.
An additional falsehood is that laws are proven and theories aren't. Laws are no more proven than theories are; theories are explanations, and laws are descriptions. They are both formed by collecting empirical data. Given that information, it's impossible to prove either one more than the other.

So, to ignorant people, the argument remains convincing.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
I don't understand how creationists refuse to believe that using the second law of ther. will help them disprove evolution....
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Guitargod, a quickscan of your round shows it is verbatim C&P.
Posted by maninorange 6 years ago
maninorange
"Not the 2nd Law of Ther. argument again. There are far better arguments."

Indeed. All of them faulty.
Posted by MrCarroll 6 years ago
MrCarroll
Not the 2nd Law of Ther. argument again. There are far better arguments.
Posted by MrCarroll 6 years ago
MrCarroll
Wow, I didn't even see this... and I just made a debate on evolution.
Posted by guitargod 6 years ago
guitargod
*challange. (sorry typing on an iphone is a bitch)
Posted by guitargod 6 years ago
guitargod
hey sorry, ive been in florida, cahallange with this again and ill accept :/ sory
Posted by maninorange 6 years ago
maninorange
This is why I alter my approach depending on the person I'm dealing with. Whichever method is most effective for convincing them that it is pretty much undeniable at this time... That's that I go with.

Also, I actually didn't even pay attention to my words on when I said theory... I probably meant fact, but I've now identified where your objection is.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
maninorangeguitargodTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Nicely argued by Pro, answering all of Con's objections. Con provided no references and lost Conduct by forfeiting. I can hardly believe that anyone is still using the bogus Second Law argument.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
maninorangeguitargodTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: No contest, C