Evolution is an undeniable fact!
Debate Rounds (4)
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening statements
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals and closing statements
(Own opinions are welcome)
Rule no. 1: No bad words
...that's about it.
I wish good luck to the con!
I will mainly focus on discrediting macroevolution (the evolutionary process of speciation), since microevolution is an observed fact embraced by the most embattled creationists. In asserting that evolution is responsible for the development of life from a common ancestor billions of years ago, scientists must mainly extrapolate limited data to a scale at which most other claims would not be taken seriously. The inference that because, say, a cat is white all cats are therefore white is dismissed as absurd, but a comparable claim regarding genetic mutation and natural selection is routinely made by evolution's proponents. Just because allelic frequencies shift in a population as a result of environmental changes does little to justify the grand themes of macroevolutionary thought, including that a single-celled organism generated, with time, modern humans. In fact, research has revealed that their seems to be a species-specific limit on the number of mutations an organism can sustain; beyond this limit, the creature's genetic infrastructure collapses and the animal dies.The fact that macroevolution has never been observed outside of extremely controlled laboratory environments reveals the process's fragility. Secondly, given the significant and foundational questions left unanswered about our earth's past, it seems dubious to apply familiar environmental conditions to the distant past. Finally, the fossil record -- though frequently used to bolster the evolutionary theory -- is able to provide clear lineages for very few zoological groups (reptile to mammal transition, supposedly, is well documented). However, countless holes remain in the fossil data which should not be expected if truly every single extinct creature who ever lived is lying somewhere in the earth.
Thank you for debating and I look forward to your response.
doing a rebuttal in this round too.
First of all i want everyone to understand the definition for microevolution:
Microevolution is any change in the heritable traits within a population across generations. What does it mean? It means that the parents pass on their own traits to their offspring,but they do so imperfectly. When the egg cell is fertilized by the sperm cell,half of the father's genome and the mother's genome combine to form a zygote. When the two combine there,they combine their half of genome (23 chromosomes from the father and 23 from the mother). The offspring gets some traits from the mother,and some from the father (no wonder why they tell you that you have your mother's eyes and your father's nose).However if the fertilization was done perfectly then the offspring would be very identical to one of the parents or both. However we all know that this is not the case,and the offspring comes out quite different from both parents (although it keeps some traits),for example both parents have brown eyes,the child comes out with blue eyes. This was the result of the MUTATION during the fertilization. This means that some genes get their code for a very slight percentage.
If we continue this throughout the generations of the population,we would notice that offspring will look even more different than before (in circle of one family of the species). So,any change in the heritable traits within a population across generations has occurred.
It is true that many more people accept microevolution over macroevolution,but what those people fail to see is that microevolution and macroevolution are the exact same process! So when my opponent stated that he will be refuting macroevolution,but said that microevolution is an observable fact. By that it means that he will be trying to refute microevolution too? Macroevolution is microevolution on a much bigger time scale.Let me give you an example.
So let's look it like macroevolution was incorrect. If it was incorrect, then mutations would never happen.Why? Well because if the species is going to stay the same forever,then the genes would never change (mutate).We can observe the fact that we share part of our genomes with plants (around 25%),fungi (around 40-50%),and other animals (from 60-98%) and from our parents we share up to 99.9%.So if our genome is getting more and more different from our ancestors,it means that the species do not stay the same. Example:
I'll give you an example through our genetic codes,and i will represent those as numbers. Let's say that your parent's genetic code was 1111111111. (and way more,because our genes are way longer than this,but i will only use the small part.) After the fertilization the mutation has happened and now your genetic code is 1112111111 (and repeating 1's). Then you have a child and that child's genetic code is now 1123111112 (and repeating 1's).You see what's going on here? The genetic codes are becoming more and more different from those of their ancestors. After millions of generations the code will be for exmp. 1564911193 (and repeating some different sequences because of random mutations),for now this would not be considered the same species as you were,because the code is so different. Remember i am just giving you an example.
"In fact, research has revealed that their seems to be a species-specific limit on the number of mutations an organism can sustain; beyond this limit, the creature's genetic infrastructure collapses and the animal dies"
Yes but this does not prove anything against macroevolution because it is based in a circle of only 1 generation.If that would happen,then the process of fertilization would fail to succeed.
"The fact that macroevolution has never been observed outside of extremely controlled laboratory environments reveals the process's fragility."
I am assuming that my opponent wanted to say that process was not directly observable. And when my opponent stated that,i got an impression that he actually admits it is true,because it has been observed.But probably not. However,yes,the process is not directly observable because of the lifetime of the living being. Bacteria have one of the shortest lifespan of all the living beings,and it is easy to observe their changes,and also they reproduce every few hours. The time it takes for an individual to have offspring is very long to be observed,and consider the fact that more than 50000 generations to "come and go" for us to notice the changes.
"Finally, the fossil record -- though frequently used to bolster the evolutionary theory -- is able to provide clear lineages for very few zoological groups (reptile to mammal transition, supposedly, is well documented). However, countless holes remain in the fossil data which should not be expected if truly every single extinct creature who ever lived is lying somewhere in the earth."
Those holes or gaps in the fossil records are necessarily there because the bodies (remains) of most of those extinct creatures could not be fossilized due to carbonizing the dead remains (that's where fossil fuels come from). There were no perfect conditions always for storing the remains which would become fossilized. This is the reason why fossil record is incomplete,but also there are many places on this planet that weren't searched.
I would wish to thank my opponent also for accepting the debate and i am awaiting for the response.
You claim that microevolution and macroevolution are based on the same process, and that macroevolution is just microevolution occurring many, many times. That is a nice conceptual idea, but how do you know? Without having observed macroevolution and studied its genetic repercussions, such a statement is silly.
Regarding the species-specific genetic limit, I apologize for not making myself more clear. I did not mean that individual organisms have limited capacity for genetic mutation (if they did, your point about infertility would be an excellent rebuttal). Rather, I meant that the species as a whole cannot vary much from its wild type genetic structure without becoming extinct; that of course includes mutations handed down from parents to offspring. If mutations accumulate too much (typically long before any prospect of speciation), the animal dies. I think this is compelling evidence to illustrate the dubious claims of macroevolution.
When I said that "macroevolution has never been observed outside of extremely controlled laboratory environments," that is exactly what I meant. In certain populations of bacteria, speciation is feasible given complex environmental regulation and genetic manipulation. However, nature does not provide such carefully crafted environments, and so these experiments do little to establish that speciation is feasible in the wild.
In your rebuttal, you addressed the issue of fossilization and suggested that the improbability of preserving a fossil for millions of years explains why the fossil record is incomplete. That seems reasonable (though I am no expert in paleontology), but that presents a problem. You are claiming that evidence exists, we just don't have access to it. Insofar as fossils do not reflect a smooth zoological lineage, they are not evidence for evolution. That would be like saying that a huge dinosaur exists, but has never been seen because he only roams about at night; that explanation is plausible, but woefully insufficient to establish the existence of such a dinosaur.
Thanks for debating!
How do i know that macroevolution and microevolution are the same processes? First of all,the statement is not silly, it is supported with mountains of evidence. And you mention that without observing macroevolution we cannot prove it. I explained that in my previous answer. You do not always need a direct proof for something if you have a lot of evidence to support it. The genetics are well studied and observed,and Darwin's theory was just verified by the scientists that dissected the idea of genetics.Observing macroevolution in a lifespan of a human being is quite impossible,however the history tells us about selection.
There are 2 types of selection: Natural selection and artificial selection. I would like to talk a little bit about artificial selection. We know that dogs have come from wolves. Throughout the history,when man domesticated the first wolves,he learned how to get the traits he wanted. By eliminating aggressive wolves from the picture and letting the more calm ones to breed,man began the domestication of wolves (by artificial selection). Man,again,selected pups with most desirable traits,letting them breed. I have to state that never in history a wolf gave birth to a dog. That is just the thing that would disprove evolution,however it happened over a long time period. Now we have over 100 different breeds of dogs that were created by man for different needs. For example the farmers needed strong dogs and herding dogs for help with the cattle,so they were selected just for that. The other branch led to the small dogs that were more suitable for cuddling and indoor life etc. Now,the wolves and dogs are in the same genus (canis),but NOT the same species,they are different species! So my conclusion is that artificial selection is evolution under much faster rate,because it has been clearly guided,and there were no instability in the whole process. Or how about the cauliflower,broccoli and cabbage? These are all cousin-vegetables.They are still considered same species,but they are very different,and it has been proven that these vegetables have common ancestor that was a plant growing along side the English channel.
If we have tons of evidence for artificial selection for changing species (from wolves to dogs) or different plants from the same species,then we have concluded that changing "kinds" is really possible.
As for natural selection,it is more unstable process guided by nature itself.I have an example.When Darwin traveled around the world and went to the Galapagos islands,he saw the giant tortoises,but there was a twist. There are many islands that differ from one another in,say,the food source. Simply the bigger islands were filled with vegetation allowing tortoises there to grow rounder shells.As for the smaller islands where there was barely any vegetation,there tortoises adapted to have smaller shell,extra long neck and legs so they can stretch up to bite a cactus. After that, Darwin discovered another species of tortoise that was much smaller,but lived in South America,yet the two species looked very alike.
Or how about the modern day science that proves common descent? Scientists have looked at the human genome and discovered an inactive gene for growing tails (for when our ancestors had tails). Also they managed to activate the gene in chicken for growing teeth,and at about 18th day of the incubation the chick grew teeth! These mutants cannot live so much so the chick died,but the light was shed on the evolution of life from a common ancestor. The fossil evidence prove that bird-like dinos grew teeth,and that the gene got deactivated because birds stopped using them.
Basically,i can go on like this for days. There are mountains of evidence that prove evolution by natural selection.
As for the fossils,the atoms of every living thing is here on earth,and in space also.I am saying that fossil record will forever be incomplete,but fossil record is just another factor in favor of evolution,complete or not. We will probably never have the exact picture of all the creatures that lived on earth since the life began,but we can prove that macroevolution is indeed a fact,just like microevolution. I will add the Richard Dawkins's quote: "Today the theory of evolution is as much open to doubt as the fact that Earth goes around the Sun."
Even if we did not have fossils,evolution would still be proven by genetics,which Richard Dawkins also quoted.
I know this will be a very immature statement,but it will make you think: The fossils prove that back then there were giant dinosaurs and terrifying lizards,but now there is no sign of them,and back then there was no sign of humans,but here we are now.
Of course we can determine approximate age of the fossil using radiometric dating or carbon dating,but that only proves that there had to be some change during all those millions of years, so that we, as a species, can walk the Earth.
I know that micro and macro evolution are the same process because of the supporting evidence from genetics that is indestructible.
I would recommend everyone to watch this documentary i posted if you haven't already,it is amazing
I hand the debate back to my opponent...good luck!
You provide an interesting description of artificial selection, though I think it does little to demonstrate the feasibility of macroevolution. Artificial selection can generate many different types of animals, but the two examples you mentioned (dogs and cabbage) represent microevolution, not macroevolution. Dogs and wolves can interbreed (despite their taxonomical categorization as different species), and a cabbage and a cauliflower can generate offspring. A impressive finding would be artificially selecting a breed of dogs into cats, but of course that has never happened. (Now you will say, as you have said, that a human lifetime is not long enough to observe such a transition. But until we observe it (given the limits of theoretical biology and conceptual genetics), how do we know it is possible?)
The evidence you offer from molecular genetics is intriguing. However, as a geneticist myself, I can tell you that no single gene is responsible for growing tails or growing teeth. The human gene that you claim codes for a tail may in fact contribute to the formation of the tailbone, or tissue associated with it. It is extremely difficult to dissociate all the genetic interactions that go on in the human body and establish the function of a single gene. Instead of being vestigial, it may once have served to form a more robust tailbone and, through a microevolutionary change, has become inactive. As for the chicken, again the gene may once have contributed to the formation of the chicks mouth and has become inactive due to microevolution.
Your additional comments on the fossil record seem to concede that it is very incomplete; I would repeat that no reliable inference regarding broad biological lineages can be made from such minute evidence. Any statistician would conclude that, given the population size, the sample size is inadequate.
In conclusion, I don't think your examples demonstrate macroevolution since all can be explained more simply through microevolutionary processes.
My opponent still says that until we observe it,we cannot know if it is possible. I will say once again that you are asking for example of macroevolution,the one thing is example,the other is evidence. We already have enough answers from genetics to prove that macroevolution is happening,but to ask for an example is something else. Of course,the example would prove macroevolution,but right now, there are no clear examples. Wolves and dogs indeed can interbreed and produce fertile offspring,but are both adapted to live in different environments,for example dog would never survive in the forest because it has been bred to be dependent on humans,and it is also inexperienced in hunting. It's true that the artificial selection dog to wolf can be explained through microevolution,but the time scale is about 10000 years.They are considered by taxonomy as different species,but for a reason. Wolves today have been exposed mainly to natural selection and are not bred by humans,but dogs were. The cauliflower and broccoli are considered the same species because humans interfered with both of those "species". Both species have been exposed to artificial selection at the same rate,and now you can say that they are quite different despite the fact they are the same species. Wolves have been exposed to natural selection mostly,but dogs to artificial selection. We can see as fact that dogs have been changing rapidly throughout these 10000 years to many different breeds. Wolves have been changing very slowly because they mostly kept the same type of habitat,and we can see that wolves today look similar to wolves 10000 years ago. We can see it as fact that wolves and dogs are going in very different directions,and we can logically conclude that for a few 100's of thousands of years dogs and wolves probably will not be able to produce viable offspring with eachother,and it is true that wolves and dogs have common ancestor from which they started diverting into many different kinds.
I would like for us to look at a possible example of macroevolution that is probably already known to us: the common ancestor of humans and other great apes. The transitional fossil evidence proves that there was progressive change in ancestor to human transition and also in ancestor to chimp. I would like to address right now that no monkey evolved into human (which is a straw man fallacy that many people bring up). There was australopithecus afarensis (Lucy), that dated 3.7 mya,then australopithecus africanus from 3 mya,then homo habilis,then homo erectus,then homo neanderthal,and then finally homo sapiens. It is known that our own species,homo sapiens and the neanderthal were relatives,not descendant of each other. Each of these species at one point had common ancestor which was also the ancestor with chimps. Transitional fossils show the progressive change of these extinct species. Genetics also prove that we and chimps share 97-98% of our genetic code,which makes us and chimps closest relatives.
Also i want to say that humans have 46 chromosomes,but all other great apes have 48. This was studied and it has been proven that chromosome 2 in humans is actually fused chromosome from 2 chimp chromosomes.
Finally i will say that many people do not know that there are tons of evidence for (macro)evolution,and still demand that they see the example of it,which is quite ironic. I said it before and i will say it again. Genetics already prove enough that evolution (both micro and macro) is happening.I will finish this round and this debate with Carl Sagan's quote from one debate which is exactly what i was talking about:
"The Darwinian concept of evolution and natural selection is profoundly verified, not just by the fossil record, not just by the clear experience of artificial selection, but by the record in the nucleic acids, which is obtained by DNA sequencing, in which we can see the similarities and differences of organisms, and trace their evolutionary past"their history."
I want to thank my opponent for participating in this debate and everyone who read this debate. I wish good luck to my opponent and i am anxiously awaiting the last response.
LiamKNOW forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by codemeister13 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Both sides had equally convincing arguments, in my mind, and successfully did what I felt they needed to do. I was going to take conduct points from Con for giving opening statements in an acceptance round but by FF the final round, in a way, he set that right. Grammar goes to Con for capitalizing "I" (a rather sizable pet peeve of mine). Sources go to Pro for providing source links in which we may see their research. Overall, a very good debate. This is the first time where I can say that one side's arguments have not shined over the other's. Well done, gentlemen.
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