The Instigator
Pro (for)
11 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Evolution is more probable than Intelligent Design

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Post Voting Period
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after 4 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/6/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,948 times Debate No: 23422
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (28)
Votes (4)




For this debate, I am accepting "Only a member who is ranked as good as or better than me" because I want a good science oriented debate.

Resolution: The Theory of Evolution is more probable than Intelligent Design


What do I mean by the above resolution? What I mean is that the Theory of Evolution has better scientific support via evidence than creationism does.

This debate will analyze the evidence for evolution and creationism and you (the voters) will determine which has the stronger support.


Please no semantics. These are the definitions that I will be talking about in the debate:
  1. ID: The view that the universe was created/designed by God.
  2. Theory: A well-supported conceptual framework that encompasses a large body of scientific facts, inferences, observations, and experiments, and explains them in a coherent way.[2]
  3. Evolution: Two types
    1. Microevolution: Microevolution is defined as the change in the alleles of a species over a period of time. [3]
    2. Macroevolution: Any evolutionary change at or above the level of species. It means at least the splitting of a species into two or the change of a species over time into another (anageneticspeciation, not nowadays generally accepted. Any changes that occur at higher levels, such as the evolution of new families, phyla or genera, are also therefore macroevolution, but the term is not restricted to those higher levels. It often also means long-term trends or biases in evolution of higher taxonomic levels.[4]

Rules and clarifications

  1. Scientific evidence must be presented
  2. First round acceptance and clarifications only
  3. Second round for opening arguments only.
  4. There are 5 rounds because you really cannot get a good scientific debate in only 3 rounds.
  5. 8000 characters
  6. 72 hour argument time
  7. 1 month voting period

1-4. For definitions, please see my previous debate on a similar topic;


I accept, but I would like a point of clarification.

Pro must give scientific evidence that life arose via natural means of evolution, correct?
Debate Round No. 1


I'm sorry it took a while. Lots of information to cover. Please view my opening argument on;(note, still under construction; notification in comments when finished).


I wish to thank my partner for accepting this debate and I wish you the very best of luck. I


We have defined microevolution as the change in the alleles of a species over a period of time. There are several proofs for microevolution that I want to prove in this section of the debate. However, before I dive into the proofs, I wish to explain what microevolution is and how it is done.


First, take a look at the image below.s://; alt="" width="388px;" height="208px;" />

This is an example of microevolution. imagine that we are studying two groups of beetles that are the same species and determine that 80% of these are green coloration and 20% of them are brown coloration. In the following year, you repeat the procedure and find the new ratio of 60:40. This is microevolution. The frequency of the alleles changed and so we determine the change is microevolution.#

This is how microevolution is detected.


Now that we know how microevolution is detected and what it is, let’s find out how it actually works. Microevolutionary changes happen via mutation, migration, genetic drift, and natural selection.

Microevolution via Mutation

Let's say that we have a beetle population that has a green color configuration; however, a mutation occurs that causes the green to become brown. The demo of this is below:

image courtesy of Berkeley University

This is microevolution as it is a change in the allele pool of the population over a period of time.


Migration plays a key role in microevolution. Let’s say that the above beetles with brown genes immigrated from another population. We can then say that microevolution is at play. Let’s look at an image demo

Image ibid

Again, we see the alleles increase in the frequency of brown genes. By definition, this is a change in the alleles of a gene pool of a population; hence, by definition, this is microevolution.

Natural Selection

What if the beetles with brown genes were stronger and more able to adapt than the green beetles? Then the brown beetles will be able to reproduce and survive off and the brown genes will move into the next generation. As Charles Darwin puts it in the “Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”:

“It is not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent that is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

So, let’s introduce a predator in the equation. What will happen if the brown beetles are able to hide themselves better via camouflage? You guessed it, the green beetles will be eaten because the predators eat the more easily seen beetles lacking the brown gene which results in an increase in brown gene frequency.

Image courtesy of Berkeley University.


Now that we know how microevolution works and how one detects microevolution, this section deals with certain types of examples of microevolution. I do not know of any creationist that rejects microevolution for the evidence for microevolution is very strong.

Bacterial Resistance

Because microevolution is a fact, we often have to change the medicine as it becomes ineffective. There are many examples of resistance to substances such as pesticides, weeds, herbicides, and medicines - all of which is the case is micro evolution via natural selection.

A photographic example is this:

image courtesy of Berkeley University

PBS notes:#

“Whenever antibiotics wage war on microorganisms, a few of the enemy are able to survive the drug because microbes are always mutating, some random mutations will eventually protect against the drug. Antibiotics used only when needed and as directed usually overwhelm the bugs. Too much antibiotic use selects the more resistant mutants. When patients cut short of the full course of the drug, the resistant strains have a chance to multiply and spread.”

Although creationists have attempted to refute the above evidence# they completely miss the point and haven’t truly responded to the question at hand. Moreover, bacterial resistance shows an example of how natural selection works to select the bacterium that is resistant to the medication over those that are not.

Darwin’s Finches

Darwin observed the finches, a type of bird on the galapagos island which shows natural selection at work.

Here is a good diagram of how it works:#

Darwin’s Finches are an example of the way in which species’ gene pool adapt in order for long term survival.



I'd again like to thank my opponent for framing this debate, as well as explaining for everyone evolution via natural selection. While I am not arguing populations do change over time via natural selection, I would like to point out this fact is a voter for Con.

First let's take a look at the resolution. It states evolution is more likely than divine creation. This resolution is obviously talking about macro-evolution, as the presence of microevolution does not disprove divine creation. Macroevolution is the idea that life arose naturally, without divine intervention.

My first contention.
There is no evidence of life arising from non-living matter. All evidence points towards the fact that in nature, life must arise from more life. Because a divine creation is outside the "natural world", this fact of nature does not apply.

My second contention.
Natural selection is the removal or variation and biodiversity. We can see this in Pro's beetle example. We have a population of green and brown beetles. The green beetles are removed from the population because they are eaten at a faster rate. Eventually we reach a population of only brown beetles. We see through this example, provided by Pro might I add, that the variation in color is reduced by 50% through natural selection. We must then conclude that a growing level of diversity is not possible via natural selection. This brings me to my third contention.

My third contention.
Natural selection requires genetic variation.
You'll see in this link that variation is the number one requirement for natural selection. Natural selection cannot occur without variation. Thus we know natural selection cannot happen in a population that arose from one organism, ie natural origin. This evidence shows that variable population with high levels of biodiversity, such as a divine creation, is required for a population to undergo natural selection.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for your reply. My partner has conceded microevolution. Therefore, once I finish rebuttals, I may go into macroevolution.

Con's First Contention

This is a strawman argument. Evolution does not explain how life got on earth; rather it explains the diversity of life on earth. [1]

Con's second contention.

Wrong understanding of natural selection. Rather, natural selection is the process by which organisms in a population that are best adapted to the environment increase in frequency relative to less well-adapted forms, over a number of generations. Consequently, through time species develop characteristics that make them increasingly well-adapted to their environment.

There are four conditions neccessary for NS to occur:
  1. More organisms are born than can survive
  2. Organisms vary in their characteristics, even within a species,
  3. Variation is inherited
  4. Differences in reproduction and survival are due to variations among organisms.

Con states that it is impossible for natural selection to account for variations in species. This is wrong. Let's say that the green beetle migrates and is better adapted than the brown beetle in that environment. Consequently, they will each converge to make a variation within their species. Within time, specietation may occur.

Con's third contention.

Wrong. Mutations do occur in organizms that reproduce asexually such as bacteria.[2]

S. E. Lurias and M. Delebrock from the Indiana University, Bloomingion, Indiana note: [2]

When a pure bacterial culture is. attacked by a bacterial virus, the cul- 
ture will clear a f t e r a few hours due to destruction of the sensitive ceIls
by the virus. However, after further incubation for a few hours, or sometimes
days, the culture will often become turbid again, due t o the growth of a bac-
terial variant which is resistant to the action of the virus. This variant can be
isolated and freed from the virus and will in many cases retain i t s resistance
to the action of the virus even if subcultured through many generations in the
absence of the virus. While the sensitive strain adsorbed the virus readily, the
resistant variant will generally not show any affinity to it.
The resistant bacterial variants appear readily in cultur


My partner begins by straw-manning the ToE and Natural selection; he also is wrong in all 3 contentions.

Thank you.





A quick road map. Before jumping into my argument. First I would like to address my opponents argument as a whole, then address each contention. I will also give evidence for ID.

I would like to point out that Pro's argument is a moving target, which is poor conduct and a sign of a flawed argument.
1. The resolution is Intelligent Design vs. Evolution. If life arose via Intelligent Design, Evolution can still happen. But if life arose via Evolution, Intelligent Design cannot be true. Because the resolution is ID vs. Evolution, we must assume a scenario in which the two are conflicting. Thus in the context of the resolution this debate is about the origin of life. Pro now states it is not, thus his argument is a moving target.

2. I asked for clarification in my opening statement, specifically saying ,
"Pro must give scientific evidence that life arose via natural means of evolution"
Clarification was never given, also poor conduct. Because my statement was never corrected, I was left to assume it was correct. Pro stated two rounds later that
"Evolution does not explain how life got on earth"
This is a blatant and obvious moving target.

Unfortunately Pro has given no evidence for the origin of life via Evolution, so he has already lost the debate. At any rate, I will also show that his new argument about the diversity of life is incorrect.

1.Pro states "Con states that it is impossible for natural selection to account for variations in species. This is wrong. Let's say that the green beetle migrates and is better adapted than the brown beetle in that environment. Consequently, they will each converge to make a variation within their species. Within time, specietation may occur."
Unfortunately, no variation is created. At the beginning of the scenario, we have both green and brown beetles. At the end of the scenario, we still have green and brown beetles. The amount of diversity has not changed. I'm afraid Pro is confusing diversity with some other term.

2. I already demonstrated in round two that variation is required for natural selection. Here is a refresher of my source which states variation is the first pre-requisite for natural selection.
If variation (diversity), is required for natural selection, it must exist before natural selection can occur. If variation exists before evolution, evolution CANNOT be responsible for variation.

I think we can plainly see life cannot arise by natural means. Therefore we must conclude life must arise from super-natural means. We also know order cannot arise from random naturally. Therefore such exquisite order exhibited in nature must be a product of intelligent design.

So in conclusion, evolution requires diversity and therefore cannot be responsible for diversity. Also, Pro's argument is a huge moving target. Thus the logical vote is for Con.
Debate Round No. 3


Once again, thank you for your swift reply. I apologize for the delayed response and wish you the best of luck.


Please forgive me, but I was not sure what you were arguing when I typed up the argument in the previous round. This is a good question, how did life arose by means of evolution? Well, it didn't. The fact is evolution explains the diversity of life. So, how did life arose on earth? There is another theory to explain that which I will explain.


What are amino acids?

Amino acids are the building blocks of life. Without the amino acids, life as we know it couldn't have arrived.

How are amino acids made?

There is evidence that amino acids, which are the building blocks of life, can be produced via natural selection and by nature. How? Well, in the 1950's Stanely Miller and urey did an experiment to see what would have happened with amino acids in the early blocks of life on earth. What he did was, Miller took molecules which were believed to represent the major components of the early Earth's atompshere and put them into a closed system. The test confirmed that organic compounds can evolve from inorganic compounds. Moreover, it also produced amino acids, the building blocks of life. [1] [2]

How likely is abiogenesis?

In his debate, RoyLantham notes: Forty of the top scientists studying abiogenesis have collaborated on a book, Origins, Abiogenesis and the Search for Life in the Universe, Michael Russell, et al.. They conclude that abiogenesis is not merely likely, but inevitable,

Be it on Earth or some other world, life had to begin via processes known as abiogenesis Obviously, there must have been an evolutionary progression beginning with simple chemical compounds to proto-life, then to DNA-equipped life capable of replicating itself. As detailed in this text, those prebiological evolutionary steps may have taken place in submarine alkaline hydrothermal vents and required various chemical interactions and divisions involving amino acids, polyphosphate-peptide synergy, the creating of biosynthetic pathways and the emergence of sparse metabolic network, and the assembly of pre-genetic information by primordial cells, with some championing compartmentalizaton, others, vesicles, and all this leading to an RNA world in which viruses and retroviruses played an important part. The origin of life and evolution of prokaryotes was not a matter of chance, but deterministic, probable and necessary and that these bioenergetic principles are likely to apply throughout the universe …”;[3]

"Unfortunately, Pro has given no evidence for the origin of life via evolution, so he has already lost the debate."

Once more, I have given it above. Moreover, evolution=/=the origin of life. What you are doing is shifting the BoP and giving me a false burden. Therefore, you have lost the debate already.


Con keeps saying that variation is needed for natural selection. I have already given how variation can occur natural via mutations. So, how do mutations work in asexual reproductions [4]?

Second, the definition for Natural Selection is the non-random process by which biological traits become either more or less common in a opulation as the function of different reproduction of their bearers.


This has been dropped.




1. For more on the experiment, see;
2. See also
3. See the debate on Abiogenesis:;
4. Most of the early life on Earth reproduced asexually. Therefore, asexual reproduction is relavent in this situation.


Pro states, "The fact is evolution explains the diversity of life."
This is a circular cause and consequence fallacy, where the consequence of the phenomenon is claimed to be its root cause. Pro states in round 3 that one of the condition required for natural selection is, "Organisms vary in their characteristics, even within a species". Because Pro himself accepts this statement, it flows to Con.

Pro also states that because we can create amino acids, therefore we can create life. This is a hasty generalization.
a)amino acids are not living matter.
b)we have never observe the creation of life from non-living matter
If it's never been observed and cannot be replicated then it cannot be considered scientific evidence. A vote for Con.

Pro failed his burden of properly framing a debate clarifying terms properly when asked to do so(a dropped point). A voter for Con

Pro's argument is a moving target (a dropped argument), which is also a voter for Con.

I urge a strong Con vote.
Debate Round No. 4



My partner has failed to meet his BoP to prove intellegent design. He hasn't given an iota of evidence in support for his proposition and has botched what evolution actually states versus what he thinks it states.

As for my partner's argument that we have observed no cases of life from non life:

Organic molecules
  1. were synthesized from inorganic compounds in the atmosphere — the "primeval soup" theory;
  2. rained down on earth from outer space;
  3. were synthesized at hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor.

Amino acids are the building blocks of life.

Likewise, to argue that "we don't know how life got here therefore god" is an appeal to ignorance - or as I like to call it - the God of the gaps.



First I would like to address the BOP statement made by Pro. Unless otherwise specified BOP lies on Pro. If Pro wishes to share BOP or place it on CON, he/she should have specified from the beginning. This is once again poor conduct by Pro for not properly framing the debate. I hate to bring this up in the conclusion, but it is in response to a point of his final argument.

Pro failed to show evidence that life has been created from non-living matter.

Pro failed to show that show how natural selection creates variation. This point was dropped in the conclusion and has been accepted by Pro. Pro also failed to address the circular cause and consequence fallacy.

Pro's argument is a moving target. Since this point was dropped it has been accepted by Pro.

Pro failed his burden to properly frame the debate. This point was dropped and has been accepted by Pro.

The resolution states that evolution is more likely than intelligent design. BOP lies on Pro who failed to show any evidence that evolution is more likely than intelligent design. His argument had no solvency and he dropped all but one point. Therefore Pro has lost the debate.
Debate Round No. 5
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by fishinbub 6 years ago
I can't carry on an intelligent debate with a moving target.
Posted by Apollo.11 6 years ago
Darn. I was hoping for a good debate.

Micro, ask GenCreation if he'll take this debate.
Posted by thigner 6 years ago
I want to tell CON one very perfect evidence for proving the existence of GOD also for Intelligent design.

There is one species of fish which one can live in river and sea on both side.

As usal, fishes never live both side because the density of saltiness is one of important environment they can survive.

There is never possibility of probable expections or explanation from evolutionists because this species would die when diving into the sea from river or river to sea.

It's not about adaption. it's only possible to say that this fish is born with special system making this one able to live both side.

and this is great evidence to say the intelligent design. maybe this evidence designates the existence of God I think.
Posted by Blob 6 years ago
@ Shouri: Carbon and water will not be enough. A source of nitrogen is also required.
Posted by Shouri 6 years ago
There is evidence of life arising from non living matter actually, amino acids can be sysnthised from carbon and water naturally and given time in correct enviroment you will see that primitve life will come into being. Probability of macro evolution is ofcourse more than ID since ID isn't even a theory (that doesn't mean it is improbable it just means we can't comprehend anyhints given to it in a scientific manner, assuming there are any) Yet if we assume Evolution as the source of life and treat it as a fact then we would damage the image of science, science is the only method with 'objective approach without biases' when we start calling phenomnons as laws like gravity we start turning science into a dogma just like religions. Definitions like living and non-living are made by men let's never forget that, i can prove that plants can feel, i can prve that non living matter can reproduce in a way similar to primitive life forms. Whole purpose of universe is evolution perhaps but if we assume it as a fact we would be overestimating our cognitive capacity, even collectively we can't yet unravel the simplest facts of this existence(universe).
Posted by Microsuck 6 years ago
View link for images and the entire argument!
Posted by Microsuck 6 years ago
Arguments up tomorrow. I'm making it in google docs.
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 6 years ago
*Sigh* That's why I don't like debating Macro-Evolution, it's defined in such a way that speciation as a result of gene duplication can be cited as an example of Macro-Evolution, even though an increase in structural complexity is of absolutely paramount necessity to get the tree of life we see today.
Posted by Microsuck 6 years ago
Agreed. And a fallacy is a fallacy. Just like if you say, "You believe we came from apes, you're stupid if you believe that!"

Of course, that leaves room for semantics from the opposing position, "That's not enough evidence!" or 'That evidence doesn't convince me." or "How does one know what is enough evidence to determien if macro-evolution occured."
Posted by GenesisCreation 6 years ago
I would word it more like this:
It is highly probable that Macro-evolution has occurred.

That would allow you and the opposition to focus on a single subject, rather than diluting it with variable interpretations of evolution. It would also force the burden on the opposition to reason why it's not highly probable. At no point, however, would this resolution demand an alternative, which means, the debate stays focused on evolution alone.

It also allows the debate to be accepted by an atheist who disagrees with the Darwinian paradigm. I'd prefer this because it prevents the ad hominem:" You believe in magical Gods, so what good is your word?" attack.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Was interesting. I think Con presented a clearer case in his rebuttals.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: A rough debate. Pro cannot link external arguments, only sources supporting arguments in the debate. Pro has many annoying formatting errors. Abiogenisis v. creationism is a different debate, irrelevant to this one. Pro easily won the point that variations occur do to natural causes, and that was critical to the debate.
Vote Placed by mecap 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Didn't see much of an argument from Con... the ToE is different from Abiogenesis, yet Con kept insisting on shifting the argument to Abiogenesis when the resolution explicitly states Evolution. Pro didn't really provide an argument why Evolution is more probable than ID, he only provided evidence for Evolution. On the other hand, Con didn't provide any evidence for ID either and only offered common misunderstandings of ToE and Natural Selection.
Vote Placed by XimenBao 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: A debate made of fail. Attacks on abiogenesis instead of evolution, a complete lack of grasp on what the ToE actually proposes, a lack of grasp on how NS relates to evolution, and a lack of response to Pro's mutation response to the variation objection. That said, both sides failed to extend arguments and clearly address each others' points in R4-5. Still, given those mutual shortcomings, Pro's still ahead.