The Instigator
Cliff.Stamp
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
Sensei
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Evolution is a scientific theory not a fallacy

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,730 times Debate No: 14672
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

Cliff.Stamp

Pro

Burden of proof is equal. Pro will argue for Evolution as a scientific theory, Con will contest and argue it is a fallacy.

For clarity, definitions :

1) Fallacy : a false idea, plausible however uses invalid inferences [1]

2) Evolution : Descent with modification. [2]

3) Theory : A scientific theory or law represents an hypothesis, or a group of related hypotheses, which has been confirmed through repeated experimental tests. [3]

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com......

[2] http://evolution.berkeley.edu......

[3] http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu......
Sensei

Con


First of all, calling evolution the scientific theory and saying that I am con to it is saying that I am against science. I am not against science, I am for truth and against error. First I would like to discuss how evolution defines the above definitions.

1) Fallacy : a false idea, plausible however uses invalid inferences

We both already know my stance on this issue. I am against evolution because I do not believe that science proves the universe to be billions of years old but rather only a few thousand, namely 6000 as far as I can tell.

2) Evolution : Descent with modification.

This is possibly the most divisive issue as far as I can tell. There are several different types of evolution: elemental, the evolution of elements; stellar, the evolution of the stars; planetary, the evolution of the plantes; macro-evolution, the evoluion of species from one to another; and micro-evolution, the modification inside a species. The only observed evolution is the last, changes within a species. This happens all the time, but all the others are believed to be true. We have never observed a star or planet form; we have never seen elements change above iron, event though there are many elements above it; and we have never seen any animal inside a species become an animal outside that species.

3) Theory : A scientific theory or law represents an hypothesis, or a group of related hypotheses, which has been confirmed through repeated experimental tests.


"Which has been confirmed through repeated experimental tests." This has never been observed as far as evolution goes. Never has anyone experimented with any form of this except in modificaiton inside a kind. This is micro-evolution which I believe whole heartedly.
Debate Round No. 1
Cliff.Stamp

Pro

"First of all, calling evolution the scientific theory and saying that I am con to it is saying that I am against science."

To be clear, con is against evolution being a scientific theory, not that there is no such thing as a scientific theory or science.

"I am against evolution because I do not believe that science proves the universe to be billions of years old but rather only a few thousand, namely 6000 as far as I can tell."

Note the theory of evolution as defined in the above does not imply the age of the universe, the current evolutionary synthesis, descent with modification even holds if the universe was created 6000 years ago with a number of unique kinds in fully developed complex forms. Note the well known bacterial experiments of Lenski, which while only taking place over 20 years, readily demonstrate and support the theory of evolution as defined in the above[1].

Of course if it was true that the earth was only 6000 years old it would contradict universal common descent (there is a unique anscestor to all life on earth), which is derived from the theory of evolution when applied to the current understanding of the age of the earth. Universal common descent (UCD) is well established in the literature, with the most recent modeling article by Theobald providing new evidence as well as an excellent review article on the history and evidence for UCD. [2]

"There are several different types of evolution: elemental, the evolution of elements; stellar, the evolution of the stars; planetary, the evolution of the plantes; macro-evolution, the evoluion of species from one to another; and micro-evolution, the modification inside a species. The only observed evolution is the last, changes within a species. This happens all the time, but all the others are believed to be true. We have never observed a star or planet form; we have never seen elements change above iron, event though there are many elements above it; and we have never seen any animal inside a species become an animal outside that species."

Note the above definition of evolution was very clearly biological, additional debates can be held concerning the other uses of the term popularized by Hovind a popular creationist apologist.

Specific to this debate the claim "we have never seen any animal inside a species become an animal outside that species" is false. In fact it is so well known to be false and the evidence so strong against it that even Hovind has stopped using this as an argument.

The most well documented list of speciation is given on talk.origins [3]. This collection and commentary on speciation events notes hundreds of peer reviewed articles which report speciation again and again for the last 100 years. Again, over a hundred years of papers all supporting the theory of evolution as defined in the above.

"Never has anyone experimented with any form of this except in modificaiton inside a kind."

In order to contest this, it would need to be defined as to the nature of a kind in a way of course which can be demonstrated and falsified as if one animal is the same kind as another.

[1] Bacteria make major evolutionary shift in the lab [http://www.newscientist.com...]

[2] Theobald, Douglas L. (13 May 2010). "A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry.". Nature 465 (7295): 219–222

[3] http://www.talkorigins.org...
Sensei

Con

"Note the well known bacterial experiments of Lenski, which while only taking place over 20 years, readily demonstrate and support the theory of evolution as defined in the above."
This is a sign of tolerance not evolution. The African American people have darker skin to grow accustomed to their environment. These bacterium grew accustomed to citrus, not changing species. It is still the same bacterium, it can just stand something it couldn't before. Jerry Coine in the article says,
"The thing I like most is it says you can get these complex traits evolving by a combination of unlikely events," he says. "That's just what creationists say can't happen."
Creationists never have said that bacterium can't gain tolerance. Creationists say the bacterium cannot turn into horses or fish. That is a huge difference.

"Specific to this debate the claim "we have never seen any animal inside a species become an animal outside that species" is false. In fact it is so well known to be false and the evidence so strong against it that even Hovind has stopped using this as an argument."

Show me one time when an animal inside a kind became an animal outside that kind. Hovind is not a final authority on this. Just because he stopped using it does not make it false. Maybe it is just such a blatent fact that he felt it not even worth mentioning.

"The literature contains many instances where a speciation event has been inferred. The number and quality of these cases may be evidence enough to convince most workers that speciation does occur." http://www.talkorigins.org...


This is the website that pro cited as
"The most well documented list of speciation is given on talk.origins [3]. This collection and commentary on speciation events notes hundreds of peer reviewed articles which report speciation again and again for the last 100 years."

Yet this website says the "LITERATURE contains many instances where a speciation event has been INFERRED." I'm sorry, but I thought that science was supposed to be about observed facts, not inferrences. Also, through out the entire website I noticed the following phrases used profusely:

Observed Instances of Speciation(this is the title these are under)

Plants

Despite the fact that the plants were in different genera, he got a sterile hybrid. (sterile, cannot have offspring. This is where we came from?)

Artificially doubling the chromosome number using colchecine produced a hexaploid hybrid which closely resembled M. citrigracilis and was fertile. (if it is artificial, how did evolution naturally do it?)

When grown in the lab, the tetraploid sporophytes appear to be less vigorous than the normal diploid sporophytes. (less vigorous sounds like a loss of traits, not a gain.)

Animals

The basis of this was changes in the courtship behaviors of both sexes.(so a change in courtship is a sign of progress? Why haven't we mastered it yet?)

They concluded that sexual isolation was produced as a byproduct of selection.(Male and female separation is not a way to mate and evolve.)

All of these show problems that came up. Now sure some stuff did go right, but it never resulted in a change of species. About the best thing that came about was a better mating life (which humans do just by being flirts). This is not anything to show evolution where a fruit fly changes into a whale or even into a bee. It was still just a fruit fly afterwards.


"In order to contest this, it would need to be defined as to the nature of a kind in a way of course which can be demonstrated and falsified as if one animal is the same kind as another."

This is something that any kid could tell. Kinds are able to produce offspring together. Dogs and wolves can produce offspring. Dogs and fish cannot. Is it really that hard to figure out?
Debate Round No. 2
Cliff.Stamp

Pro

In summary, not in this round, nor in the previous did Con actually attempt to refute the resolution as stated, instead ignored the definitions and argued against contentions created simply for the purpose of denying them.

Note the definition of evolution has never been directly contended to be a fallacy, nor has any of the evidence for it been refuted.

In closing, some remarks will be made about comments on the references provided.

"These bacterium grew accustomed to citrus, not changing species. It is still the same bacterium, it can just stand something it couldn't before."

Using lay terms in a scientific discussion is not going to be productive, what is the meaning of "accustomed" and what does it say exactly about the inherited traits of the population, this is the topic at hand.

If the population passes on this being "accustomed" in successive generations (which it did) then by the above definition it is an example of evolution.

"Creationists say the bacterium cannot turn into horses or fish. That is a huge difference."

Indeed, and UCD deals with this assertion as noted in the above. This point stands uncontested.

"I'm sorry, but I thought that science was supposed to be about observed facts, not inferrences. "

An inference is the act of drawing a reasoned conclusion from observed facts.

"Despite the fact that the plants were in different genera, he got a sterile hybrid. (sterile, cannot have offspring. This is where we came from?)"

What is the point of quote mining when it can be made clear it is a quote mine, the full text :

"This allowed for the production of seed. Plants grown from the seeds were interfertile with each other. They were not interfertile with either parental species. Unfortunately the new plant (genus Raphanobrassica) had the foliage of a radish and the root of a cabbage."

"(if it is artificial, how did evolution naturally do it?)"

Polyploidy, or the duplication of chromosomes is caused by many factors, in humans for example it can happen simply due to multiple sperm fertilizing the egg. They were simply trying to induce a rare event specifically to test a hypothesis.

"... it never resulted in a change of species."

Again, speciation was clearly observed and documented to fit the specific definitions noted, and the actual names of the new species were given in each instance.

"This is not anything to show evolution where a fruit fly changes into a whale or even into a bee."

Is it really being argued to demonstrate speciation, an experiment has to show a fruit fly population evolve into a whale population, that there is no taxonomic rank between those two other than species?

"Kinds are able to produce offspring together. Dogs and wolves can produce offspring. Dogs and fish cannot."

Are people the same kind as a chimp?

"When Nick Patterson of MIT and his colleagues at the Broad Institute compared the genes of humans and chimps, they found that one of the chromosomes -- the female sex chromosome X -- was 1.2 million years younger than the others. It appeared the two species shared a common ancestor who gave them both their X chromosomes, and did so more recently than the ancestors who gave them all the other chromosomes." [1]

The interesting there here is that there are two cladistic nodes, which points to at a point where humans and chimps first separated those populations diverged (human line and chimp line) but the population was able to produce a secondary node over a million years later, i.e., early human and chimps were interbreeding.

Note of course not only does evolution cause divergence above the species level, this can be traced backwards and end up with a universal common ancestor, a prediction which has been tested and is peer reviewed as noted in the above.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
Sensei

Con

I am not arguing the definitions; I believe the definitions are fine. What I am arguing is the fact that these terms are used incorrectly to describe the wrong things. I have already stated above how the actual terms cannot apply to the evolution belief. I do not even contend the "definition" of evolution; I just contend with the accuracy of this belief.

And, yes, I did refute the evidence you brought to this debate. The bacterium evidence I refuted already; I'm not saying it is false, I'm just saying that the wrong conclusions were inferred from the facts.

Your statement about evolution being "very clearly biological" shows only a small percent of the actual theory of evolution. Yes, the odds of biological evolution happening is nearly impossible, the odds of the stage being set for biological evolution to happen is an even smaller percent.

"If the population passes on this being "accustomed" in successive generations (which it did) then by the above definition it is an example of evolution."

The African Americans have darker skin than Caucasians or even Orientals, but that doesn't show any evolution or development of new species. This is one reason I hate the term "micro-evolution" so much: it is improperly connoted. It is simply variations, not evolution of a new kind.

"An inference is the act of drawing a reasoned conclusion from observed facts."


Sorry, I guess I improperly defined evolution's "inferences"; you say that it is a reasoned conclusion.

"They were simply trying to induce a rare event specifically to test a hypothesis."

The one problem I have is that these "rare event"s would have to happen in relatively close proximity of each other to carry on the genes. And if it was just to test a hypothesis, then it should not be shown as evidence for evolution.

"Are people the same kind as a chimp?"


No, they are not. But in pro's statement, he shows that the one DNA is 1.2 millions years older than that of the other. Since when have DNA chromosomes carried around dates!! It is amazing that anyone would argue this point. How can someone tell which is older. The questions from this are, "How did these species keep from intermingling when they were still fertile? How did they make sure that the correct traits are passed on? If we have chimps and we have humans, where did the intermediate species go? If we have been evolving for billions of years, where are the bones from these creatures?"

These are questions that evolutionists have never been able to answer. And this is just for human evolution: how did it happen for fish, dogs, frogs, and birds? Where are all of those fossils?

Also, the rest of the article that pro cited had some interesting features. There were countless "might have, probably, seems to have." This is not science. Science is made up of "did and does," not could, should, and would. My favorite is the statement "must have belonged". Well, of course it must have, to prove evolution correct. But the fact is that, it was never observed to have happened, and if the most they have is "If some of those hybrid females then bred with proto-chimp males, some of their male offspring would have received a working X from the chimp side of the family", I am sorry, but it will take a little more to convince me than IF.

My final statement is just simply this, the only arguments made are: variations in a kind, and if, could,would. There has not been any solid proof, just proof that can be interpreted different if someone is trying to proof a theory they are biased to.

I would like to say that I appreciate my opponent issuing me this debate. I wish him guidance and wisdom in any debate he has in the future and would like to clarify that there is no malice from me to him at all.



Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Sensei 3 years ago
Sensei
And make it five rounds so that we can cover more material. Set to maximum characters allowed so that we can say more and hence provide more facts.
Posted by Sensei 3 years ago
Sensei
So which one are you: young earth or old earth?
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"It sounds to me that you are debating just for the sake of debating."

What I actually hold to be true, and what I would debate are often not the same thing yes.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"The debate on uniform common descent (which is redundent term usage) would hinge on one thing: can an animal change its kind given millions of years. This debate would hinge on one thing: is the earth billions of years old."

There are a few lines of evidence for UCD, one of them is combining the age of the universe and extrapolating population divergence over that time period, however there are other lines of evidence which do not and for example use things such as ERV to link animals above the species level.

Yes we can debate the age of the earth, I can draft this up later today.
Posted by Sensei 3 years ago
Sensei
And, one question, why are you arguing against evolution in some debates, but in this one defending it? It sounds to me that you are debating just for the sake of debating. No hard feelings, but if you are arguing both sides, it sounds to me like you don't know what you believe.
Posted by Sensei 3 years ago
Sensei
The debate on uniform common descent (which is redundent term usage) would hinge on one thing: can an animal change its kind given millions of years. This debate would hinge on one thing: is the earth billions of years old. So the debate that would need to be approached first is this: is the earth billions of years old. If this debate proves the earth to be old, then we could debate common descent; but if this debate proves the earth to be young, then we wouldn't even need to debate the rest because they would not be possible. So, would you like to debate the age of the earth and save us both time?
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
If you are interested we should debate the idea of uniform common descent, this is an application of evolutionary theory which says two things (1) we are all related, (2) this relation can be traced back to a single point - a common ancestor.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
`Yes it was modified. But you can't say that we came from bacteria from this reference. `

Exactly right, you can`t (not from that evidence).

The theory of evolution only states what happens from one population to the next. Now the diversification of life and the origins of life are also asserted in Biology as various laws and theories and others still are in the hypothesis stage. But evolution theory itself is not so restricted that even if these were falsified evolution would still remain.

For example, evolution with a significant amount of other observations predicts ultimate common descent (we share a common ancestor with a banana), however and this is the critical part, these observations are not necessary - there is nothing says that they had to happen.

Life could have for example originated with two distinct lines, one for plants and one for animals, there is nothing in evolutionary theory which says they *had* to have a common ancestor.

We observe things such as ERV`s which when combined with evolutionary theory points to cladistic tree with one node (common ancestor), but again if we did not observe them, evolutionary theory on its own - would not compel it.
Posted by Sensei 3 years ago
Sensei
Okay, I agree with you then. Descent with modification is possible. I have never contested that at all. What I disagree with is whether or not this descent with modification could bring about new kinds of animals and plants.

"how does arguing that the bacteria stayed bacteria oppose "descent with modification"."

Yes it was modified. But you can't say that we came from bacteria from this reference. All you can say is that we can adapt to our environment. I have never contested that.

"To this date I have not seen one debate where the actual theory of evolution is actually contested, it was never even contested here and I specially defined it to see if it would."

Well, I can't argue with the definition you gave. It is to general a statement. Do I look exactly like my parents? Obviously, no. That is a modification. I believe, for future debates on this topic, a more exact definition of what evolution theory should be given. If you would like to redebate this with a knew definition, that would be fine by me. We might acturally get somewhere instead of just getting to "you didn't argue the point I gave." Let's try; this again, shall we?
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"Technically it's a "model" because it can't be repeated in a test"

Care to debate that?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by DeafAtheist14 3 years ago
DeafAtheist14
Cliff.StampSenseiTied
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 Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Altercator 3 years ago
Altercator
Cliff.StampSenseiTied
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 Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06