The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Evolution is a fact.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/16/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 972 times Debate No: 19322
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




I will allow my opponent to either present his/her arguments first or to accept the challenge and allow me to present my arguments first.


Thank You for letting me accept this Debate and Good Debating to you!

By Evolution I am going to assume you mean the Theory of Evolution's definition of evolution or the Biological definition.

The Theory of Evolution is in the Scientific Field. I am going to assume when you say fact you mean Scientific Fact.

Scientific Fact:
an observation that has been confirmed repeatedly and is accepted as true (although its truth is never final)

(Biology) change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.[4][5]

I would also like to ask if natural selection will be part of your definition of Evolution as Charles Darwin expected it to be?

You may start the debate but I would like to start with saying.... it is still a THEORY for a reason.

Once again....Thank you for the chance to debate.

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you Kethen for posting some definitions however I would like to add some things and clarifications.
First I accept the definition you supplied for the word "fact" (scientific).
Second I'd like to add to the definition of evolution to make it, "change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift, that results in specification.

The theory of evolution explains the fact that evolution occurs. The fact is that species over time can change into different species.

In order to prove that evolution is a fact I have to prove that over time species can change into different species. I'm going to skips the usual arguments to support this such as using the fossil records, and the similarity between life's structures, and development.

The reason evolution is a fact is because of endogenous retroviral genetic material that is in human, and other animals own genetic material. So now I'll explain the best I can.
Viruses are entities that enter living organisms and inject their own DNA/RNA into the hosts own genetic material and it then hijacks that cells functions to produce more viruses. Certain viruses can only infect certain organisms for example some viruses can only infect humans and can't infect fish. An endogenous retrovirus is where the viral genetic material is left in the host's cell genetic material but is unable to hijack the host cells functions to produce more viruses. Now the only way a retrovirus can be in every member of every cell of a population is if that retrovirus infected that populations parents sexual cells that spawned the rest of that population; and the only way for humans to share a retroviruses with a fish, rat, or primate is if we all descended from the same ancestor.
Humans share around 7 endogenous retroviruses with other primates, 1 with fish, and 1 with rats, and 1 with all other tested animals.
This means that it is physically impossible for evolution to not be a fact.


Thanks for the timely reply! Sorry for it being so long!

Now that I start thinking about it a little more BOP (burden of proof) is on my shoulders. According to Scientific method in order for a hypothesis to become fact it has to be proved in all the cases by scientific peers. It can not be proved wrong on any occasion. So all Pro really needs to do is refute all my proofs that it can't happen. He can prove that it works 1 million times but if I prove once or twice it is false then it is a Theory not Scientific Fact." The words "except for..." are not in this universal law." [4] (sorry it took me awhile to find this)

Lets speculate that your endogenous retrovirus infected say a monkey 10 million years ago. By your reasoning that monkey had to evolve from something else that was infected by the virus. So we get this loop. What was the first thing infected by it? By your reasoning there is no way for it to start the circle. In order for the circle to start it had to find a weakness in an animal and infect it. We cannot assume it can find a weakness in everything but we also cannot assume it can only find a weakness in one thing.
I agree we have similar traits to many things on Earth. We also have to remember that we all grew in the same condition....Earth. If a massive virus spread it is going to infect everything it can. It isn't going to go up to a fish and go "eww... I'm not going to infect you!" so we must speculate that when it started its circle it had the ability to infect anything with a weakness: fish, pigs, human, primates and even flying Norwegian pigs!

Counter Argument:
1)This is truly my own idea. There are probably other people who came up with this first.
If evolution was true then the best traits would survive. Agreed?
Whales do not walk on land nor do they agree to stay on land for a long period of time. How would a water born animal evolve lungs? You would have to conclude that it happened slowly and over time. If a whale developed lungs slowly at some point of time it had to have both gills and lungs to transition between breathing air and water. It would also have to evolve a blow hole at about the same time or it would drown. How would this slowly happen without the animal dying? How would it increase it's likely hood to survive?

Lets say it did evolve both lungs and gills to transition. Why don't I enjoy gills. I would enjoy swimming underwater and breathing air as well. This would not only greatly increase my chance at survival because I would have an extra place to run too but also it would aid in my ability to reproduce because I could survive. Why doesn't any fish enjoy the ability to easily transition from breathing air to water and back. Why isn't there any fish with legs that live in the water and will walk to other water sources when they feel it necessary. That fish would dominate. Yet, it doesn't exit. The lungfish is the closest in existence and it doesn't come close to this (it's lungs are not even lungs they are air sacks).[1] Yet, by the definition of evolution there should be thousand of fish walking on land and swimming in water. I agree that there are many fish that can breath air. None can do so efficiently enough to live there nor can they move on land. If this was such a great trait we would all have lungs and we would all have gills. In fact all mammals would have gills because there is no downfall of having both (You might be ugly).

One of the first mammals a Glyptodont looks a lot like an armadillo; why don't all mammals have a very hard back. This has no downfall. You can't bite my behind! If my back would always be protected I would be better off for survival. [2]

Woolly Mammoths are SUPER hairy. Eskimos are not. Chimpanzees are SUPER hairy. Eskimos are not. Eskimos are in below freezing weather yet they are just as bald as those that live near the equator. This makes no sense. Why would they loose their warm hair.

Any trait you can deem reasonably able to increase the chance at survival should be considered a trait that would be carried on. Why have we lost so many great traits but kept useless ones like vestigial organs.

2)The Law of Biogenesis
(1) The principle stating that life arises from pre-existing life, not from nonliving material[3]

This is not only a stated fact but is still accepted as a Law. Until this law is disproved then evolution is false.

3)Probably the biggest thing alone was Quotes from people we all (should) know....

"Ernst Chain (1906-1979) was awarded the 1945 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Chain identified the structure of penicillin, and isolated the active substance. He is considered to be one of the founders of the field of antibiotics. Concerning Darwin's theory of evolution, Chain found it to be "a very feeble attempt" to explain the origin of species based on assumptions so flimsy that "it can hardly be called a theory."A He saw the reliance on chance mutations as a "hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts." He wrote:"These classic evolutionary theories are a gross oversimplification of an immensely complex and intricate mass of facts, and it amazes me that they were swallowed so uncritically and readily, and for such a long time, by so many scientists without a murmur of protest." Chain concluded that he "would rather believe in fairies than in such wild speculation" as Darwinism. He was born in Berlin, Germany, and obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry and physiology there. He worked as a research scientist at Cambridge (also studying for a Ph.D. there), at Oxford University until 1948, and then as a professor and researcher at several other universities. In 1938, Chain came across Alexander Fleming's 1929 paper on penicillin, and showed it to his colleague Howard Florey. In their research, Chain isolated and purified penicillin. --Jerry Bergman, Ph.D. April 2008. [5]

"Richard C. Strohman, professor emeritus of molecular and cell biology at Berkeley, and an evolutionist, wrote in the March 1997 edition of Nature Biotechnology:" that "We currently have no adequate explanation for stasis or for punctuated equilibrium in evolution, or for higher order regulation in cells." "We seem to lack any scientific basis with which to explain, for example, evolution." [5]

As humans we seem crazy advanced compared to say A dog seems crazy advanced to say a.....blade of grass. A blade of grass seems crazy advanced to say a.... blood cell. So humans are SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER advanced compared to a blood cell. I mean really can you see red blood cells building a Hoover dam? Well guess what you should be able to. Every cell is made up of proteins. These proteins that make up every microscopic cell are so advanced they "may only be described as transcalculational, a mathematical term for mind boggling." [5] In order for a virus to grow it needs these proteins. These proteins are just way to complicated to explain off by saying they originated from chaos.

Evolution is definitely possible but there are way to means holes, bridges and jumps to conclude that it is fact. Whether I want to believe it is fact or not is irrelevant. Whether it is true or not is irrelevant. If it can't be proved to be fact in all cases then it isn't fact. Do I care if evolution it a fact or Is there too many holes for it to be PROVED a fact. Yes.

Debate Round No. 2


Don't be sorry for having a long post. I'd much rather have a long post then a short one gives me more to read and think about.

I will call my original argument 0) for better organization.
0)There are around 3 billion base pairs in human and other primates DNA; rats have slightly less at around 2.75 billion base pairs, fish also have a few billion base pairs. Most retroviruses are made up of a few base pairs but can make up a few hundred plus.
The odds of humans and, chimps sharing 3, endogenous retroviruses in the exact same locations, 2 with gorillas 2 with orangutans, 3 with gibbons 2 with old world monkeys and 2 with new world monkeys and also sharing 1 with rats and 1 with fish are ridiculously high. So the odds are 1 in 1,805,420,000,000,000,000,000billion that evolution is not a fact.
1/3billion x (add x 1/3billion by 42 times) x 1/2.75b x 1/2b
These odds also don't take into account that the retroviruses did not inject their full genome into humans, primates etc., they were only able to inject part of it. This also doesn't include the fact that several of the retroviruses are viruses that we are familiar with and to our knowledge they only infect new world monkeys not humans yet we share this endogenous retrovirus with new world monkeys in the exact same place in our genome.
1)Whales were first land dwelling animals that then evolved into sea dwelling animals. So whales breathed originally with lungs but then moved to the oceans and evolved better swimming appendages.
Also there are some fish that don't have lungs but can still live on land.
Also there are fish that have legs.
There is a downfall to having both gills and lungs it takes up food resources and would require two types of processes to distribute oxygen.
All animals don't have all the same traits because there are different environments; animals living in a desert needs different traits then one living in the ocean. Stick an armadillo in water and all a sudden its hard back causes it to fall to the bottom of the ocean were it drowns.

2)This law only applies to complex life. Humans have already been able to show how non-living organic material can replicate and eventually evolve into something that has all of life's traits. (this is sourced down below in a different section)
3)Your first quotation doesn't even include any arguments against evolution all it is, is some guy ranting and throwing attacks, he doesn't even say which part of evolution he disagrees with. Also Ill mention that this quote and all quotes afterwards are using the bandwagon logical fallacy, but even if you use the bandwagon fallacy I'd still win given that 99% of all scientists living today in the 21 century agree with me.
Second quotation. Considering that punctuated equilibrium has an explanation I'd say this quote is completely irrelevant and incorrect.
4)Evolution has nothing to do with the origins of life, it has to do with how life changes and evolves over time; meaning this section of yours is completely irrelevant. However you're incorrect humans have already created these proteins and other molecules that are key to life just by dumping compounds in with other compounds (meaning humans didn't directly create these proteins they showed how they would be created in nature all on their own).


I will start with my Rebuttal

"Evolution proves nothing at all unless you can produce the common ancestor"[1]

"Since this is the concept of "shared errors" applied to endogenous retroviruses (and since retroviruses are a type of transposon), much of the two preceding responses is applicable. It is not a prediction of the hypothesis of universal common ancestry or the more specific hypothesis of Neo-Darwinism that the same ERVs will exist in the same chromosomal location in two or more species. Evolution does not even predict the existence of ERVs, much less that they will be found at the same location in two or more species. After all, evolutionary theory was considered robust prior to the discovery of ERVs. This is but another example of taking an observation, claiming it as a prediction of evolution, and then using the fact the observation fits the prediction as evidence for the truth of evolution"[2]

"Not all ERVs are nonfunctional. Some are transcriptionally active, and studies have revealed ERV protein expression in humans. We simply do not know all that ERVs (or other transposons) may be doing in an organism or what roles they may have played in the past."[1]

As you can see from my source ERV's without a bridge or link to other species means practically nothing. ERV's are not just infecting new apes they must also have the ability to interact with humans and are not dormant like thought.

You decided to bring up mathamatical odds. So I checked your souce and I couldn't find that number anywhere. Plus you stated "So the odds are 1 in 1,805,420,000,000,000,000,000billion that evolution is NOT a fact" so you must be on my side. Ill show some math though:

"What are the mathematical odds against one real protein forming by chance? According to the Swiss mathematician, Dr. Charles E. Guye: If we could imagine unlimited material shaking itself together over vast time so that this material fully interacts, the odds against one protein molecule forming would be 100160 (100 multiplied by itself 160 times) to one. That means no chance at all. In fact, to meet those unimaginable odds, there would not be enough material in the whole universe to shake together. We would need more universes of material; and not just 3 or 4 more universes; but sextillion, sextillion, sextillion more universes to provide the material."[3]

"Borel's law of probability states that if the odds of an event happening are worse than 1 in 1*10^50, then that event will NEVER HAPPEN. Dr. Harold Morowitz, former professor of biophysics at Yale University, estimated that
the probability of the chance formation of the smallest, simplest form of living organism
known is 1 out of 10^340,000,000. One out of ten to the 340 millionth power is
unimaginable odds. This large figure is a "1" followed by 340,000,000 zeroes. As you can
see, Morowitz' odds against even the simplest life evolving were infinitely more than
1*10^50, making them impossible."[4]

So if you want to talk about math think about this:
"The probability of your existing at all: 1 in 10^2,685,000"[5]

Sorry, I used whales as an example without properly doing my research. That is my bad. I will still use a see born mammal though: Whales and Dolphins.
"The following is a list of transitions evolutionists have to account for in the dolphin in its evolution from some unknown land dwelling pre-dolphin:
The nose would have to move to the back of the head.
Feet, claws or tail would be exchanged for fins and flippers.
It would have to develop a torpedo shaped body for efficient swimming in the water.
It would have to be able to drink sea water and desalinize it.
It's entire bone structure and metabolism would have to be rearranged.
It would need to develop a sophisticated sonar system to search for food.
Could the dolphin acquire these features gradually one at a time over a period of millions of years? What about the transitional stages? Would they have survived with just some of these features? Consider the whale and its enormous size in comparison with the plankton it feeds upon. The whale is a nautical vacuum cleaner, with a baleen filter. While it was "developing" this feature, what did it feed upon before? For me, it takes a great stretch of the imagination to picture the evolution of dolphins and whales." [6]

I agree there are fish that have legs, there are fish that can breath air, there are fish that can live on land for an extended period of time and can even dig down and survive a drought. My point is if a fish evolved onto land at some point in time it would have to have the ability to no only live a life on land but it woud also be able to live a life underwater. There are 0 fish than can live a prosperous live on either or.

Having 2 processes to distribute oxygen is not a downfall. It would literally require hardly any energy and the point is not energy. If a trait makes it easier for a species to survive and reproduce then it will be passed on. No one can deny that the ability to live on either land or water, aquire food or have a place of refuge on either land or water woud be a trait that would make it easier to survive. Also just saying armadillo's don't sink. They are actually pretty good swimmers.

2)You stated "This law only applies to complex life. Humans have already been able to show how non-living organic material can replicate and eventually evolve into something that has all of life's traits. (this is sourced down below in a different section"
That is a false statement. Biogenesis applies to all life by definition. Also life has never been created outside a lab.
"Scientists who try to make life from chemicals call what they do 'origin of life research'. Here is one, biochemist David Deamer, who thought what he had made in the lab might work in the real world. In 2005 he poured a concoction of organic chemicals into a pool of hot water. He was just trying to make the walls of a cell, like the plastic case of a phone without the electronics inside. Did it work? Another 'origin of life' researcher wrote about it: "The answer was a resounding no. The clays and metal ions present in the Siberian pool blocked the chemical interactions." "Deamer's demonstration that we cannot translate lab results to natural settings is valuable." "This provocative insight explains why the origin-of-life field has been short on progress over the past half-century"[6]

3)You stated "3)Your first quotation doesn't even include any arguments against evolution all it is, is some guy ranting and throwing attacks, he doesn't even say which part of evolution he disagrees with."
You do realise you are talking about Ernst Chain...the inventor of Penicillin. If you think you are smarter than this man and can just dismiss his views then I might as well stop arguing.

Also 99% of scientist agreeing with it doesn't mean it is true. 99% of scientist used to believe the Earth was flat and only Gay people got HIV/AIDS

4)So if evolution doesn't contain the origin of life then we are arguing about Creationism and Evolution as one?
You stated "meaning humans didn't directly create these proteins they showed how they would be created"
If humans didn't create them it is an idea not a fact.

Whether Evolution is true doesn't matter. If it can't be proven undoubtedly then it is not a FACT. Evolution is to spotty to be considered a fact...for now. Thanks! I ran out of room!

Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Kethen 4 years ago
I ALMOST broke demyers law? that law states that only if you bring up young earth creation in an argument that has nothing to do with it then you lose. Evolution has a lot to do with it. I still don't understand why DeMyer is so renowned but I do agree with the a few of his ideas. Like wise if we were arguing about creationism at some point in time young earth creation would be brought up. Evolution is the same....but whatever
Posted by Defensor-of-Apollo 4 years ago
Started reading and I just want to point out species to species evolution is possible, but only because species is a man made term. What is important to focus on is common descent and for common descent you must build information. All observed instances have been speciation by loss of information or corruption by mutations, which is still a loss.
Posted by Kethen 4 years ago
Now that it is over Pro. You should have set a rebuttal only and an Acceptance only for the last and the first period.
Posted by Liquidus 4 years ago
I have been wanting to debate this topic for a while but the website wont let me beings as i'm already engaged in a debate with you. But just as a note: specify what you mean by evolution. Do you mean the evolution of observed life (child to adult), in natural selection, or the beginning of time type of evolution?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Both arguments were adequate: Willoweed's start was very strong, but collapsed afterwards, and the opposite for Kethen. I'm torn between tie and win for con, seeing as both mathematics, if seen to be true, prove that it is both impossible for it to be possible or impossible for evolution to be true or false... It's just confusing. Kethen had more strong citations, but more weak ones and came dangerously close to breaking DeMyer's Law, so I give points to willoweed on conduct, and tie all else