The Instigator
bsh1
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
mishapqueen
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

Evolution is more scientifically substantiated than strict, biblical Creationism

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/16/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,563 times Debate No: 59069
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

bsh1

Pro

Preface

This was a topic that happened to come up in a discussion Mishap and I were having. I think this has the potential to be an informative and fun debate for us both; I would just ask that Mishap wait at least 3 days prior to accepting. Thanks to her, and I look forward to the debate.

Topic

Evolution is more scientifically substantiated than strict, biblical Creationism

Definitions

Evolution - "a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations."
Science - "knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method "
Scientific Method - "principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses"
Substantiate - "to establish by proof or competent evidence: verify"
Creationism - "a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis."

All definitions were excerpted from Merriam Webster. [1] For the purposes of this debate, "strict, biblical Creationism" denotes a literal interpretation of the bible's creation story.

Structure

R1: Acceptance
R2: Constructive Cases
R3: Rebuttals
R4: Rebuttals, Final Focus

Rules

1. No forfeits
2. All citations must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. BOP is thus: Pro must show evolution more scientifically substantiated that creationism, whereas Con must show that creationism is at least as equally substantiated as evolution.
6. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss

Thanks...

...again to Mishap; it should be fun! :)

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

Con

I accept this challenge and will adhere to the rules set in place. I realize my opponent excels me in experience, but I hope it will be a fun round for all!
Debate Round No. 1
bsh1

Pro

I thank Con for this debate. I shall now present my case. I apologize for the brevity of my response and my overreliance on quotes; I am a bit rushed.

THE TOPIC

Please note that this topic specifically asks what is more substantiated by science. Therefore, science should be used to justify all arguments.

Also note that this is not necessarily a debate about Young Earth Creationism itself, but rather about the explanation for the development of life. Creationism holds that the Earth is just 10,000 years old, and that all life came into being when God created each organism. I will specifically be challenging the notion that life did note evolve, but rather was created in its present state by an act of God.

COMMON DESCENT

"In evolutionary biology, a group of organisms share common descent if they have a common ancestor. There is strong evidence that all living organisms on Earth are descended from a common ancestor." [1]

Similar Biochemistry

"All known forms of life are based on the same fundamental biochemical organisation: genetic information encoded in DNA, transcribed into RNA, through the effect of protein- and RNA-enzymes, then translated into proteins by (highly similar) ribosomes, with ATP, NADPH and others as energy sources, etc. Furthermore, the genetic code (the "translation table" according to which DNA information is translated into proteins) is nearly identical for all known lifeforms, from bacteria and archaea to animals and plants. The universality of this code is generally regarded by biologists as definitive evidence in favor of the theory of universal common descent. Analysis of the small differences in the genetic code has also provided support for universal common descent. An example would be Cytochrome c which most organisms actually share. A statistical comparison of various alternative hypotheses has shown that universal common ancestry is significantly more probable than models involving multiple origins." [1]

Vestigial Structures

"Some organisms have structures or organs that seem to serve no useful function. For example, humans have a tailbone at the end of the spine that is of no apparent use. Some snakes have tiny pelvic bones and limb bones, and some cave-dwelling salamanders have eyes even though members of the species are completely blind. Such seemingly functionless parts are called vestigial organs or structures. Vestigial organs are often homologous to organs that are useful in other species. The vestigial tailbone in humans is homologous to the functional tail of other primates. Thus vestigial structures can be viewed as evidence for evolution: organisms having vestigial structures probably share a common ancestry with organisms in with organisms in which the homologous structure is functional." [2, 3]

Homologous Structures

"If a bat, a human, an alligator, and a penguin all evolved from a common ancestor, then they should share common anatomical traits. In fact, they do. Compare the forelimbs of the human, the bat, the penguin, and the alligator. Find the humerus, radius, ulna, and carpals in each forelimb. Though the limbs look strikingly different on the outside and though they vary in function, they are very similar in skeletal structure. More significantly, they are derived from the same structures in the embryo. Structures that are embryologically similar, but have different functions, are called homologous structures. Though these animals look different, a comparison of homologous structures indicates that they are quite similar. This suggests that these animals evolved from a common ancestor." [2]

CURRENT EVOLUTION

Evolution is happening before our very eyes. Bacteria and viruses are some great examples of this. "Lenski’s team thawed E. coli taken from the LTEE at 41 different time points during the past 25 years and cultured the samples from different generations together in varied combinations with the most current generations. They evaluated fitness based on how fast the bacteria grew and found that even between 40,000 and 50,000 generations, there was a 3 percent increase in mean fitness. The scientists generated a model, which predicted that even if the experiment continued for 2.5 billion years, there would not be an upper bound to fitness." [4]

"To show that the mussel has evolved, Freeman and Byers needed evidence that the mussel's response had changed over time--but unfortunately, no one was measuring the blue mussel's predator response 15 years ago, before the arrival of the Asian shore crab. Freeman and Byers, however, were able to take advantage of a quirk in the ranges of these two animals: the blue mussel lives up and down the coast of New England (including all of Maine), but the Asian shore crab has not yet ventured into Northern Maine. That means that Northern Maine mussels have never been exposed to the Asian shore crab--and have not experienced any natural selection that might cause them to respond to this predator in particular. Those northern mussels, then, serve as an indication of what all blue mussels were probably like 15 years ago, before the invasion...only southern mussels built thicker shells in response to the Asian shore crab! As predicted, the northern mussels (the "pre-invader" population) developed no defenses against the exotic predator." [5]

PREEMPTIVE ARGUMENTS

Evolution Violates Thermodynamics

"This shows more a misconception about thermodynamics than about evolution. The second law of thermodynamics says, "No process is possible in which the sole result is the transfer of energy from a cooler to a hotter body." [Atkins, 1984, The Second Law, pg. 25] Now you may be scratching your head wondering what this has to do with evolution. The confusion arises when the 2nd law is phrased in another equivalent way, "The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease." Entropy is an indication of unusable energy and often (but not always!) corresponds to intuitive notions of disorder or randomness. Creationists thus misinterpret the 2nd law to say that things invariably progress from order to disorder." [6]

No Transitional Fossils

"A transitional fossil is one that looks like it's from an organism intermediate between two lineages, meaning it has some characteristics of lineage A, some characteristics of lineage B, and probably some characteristics part way between the two. Transitional fossils can occur between groups of any taxonomic level, such as between species, between orders, etc. Ideally, the transitional fossil should be found stratigraphically between the first occurrence of the ancestral lineage and the first occurrence of the descendent lineage, but evolution also predicts the occurrence of some fossils with transitional morphology that occur after both lineages. There's nothing in the theory of evolution which says an intermediate form (or any organism, for that matter) can have only one line of descendents, or that the intermediate form itself has to go extinct when a line of descendents evolves. To say there are no transitional fossils is simply false." [6] In fact, there are myriad examples of such fossils in existence. [7]

Evolution = Random Chance

"There is probably no other statement which is a better indication that the arguer doesn't understand evolution. Chance certainly plays a large part in evolution, but this argument completely ignores the fundamental role of natural selection, and selection is the very opposite of chance. Chance, in the form of mutations, provides genetic variation, which is the raw material that natural selection has to work with. From there, natural selection sorts out certain variations. Those variations which give greater reproductive success to their possessors (and chance ensures that such beneficial mutations will be inevitable) are retained, and less successful variations are weeded out. When the environment changes, or when organisms move to a different environment, different variations are selected, leading eventually to different species. Harmful mutations usually die out quickly, so they don't interfere with the process of beneficial mutations accumulating." [6]

SOURCES

1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - http://bioweb.cs.earlham.edu...
3 - https://www.boundless.com...
4 - http://www.the-scientist.com...
5 - http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
6 - http://www.talkorigins.org...
7 - http://www.talkorigins.org...
mishapqueen

Con

I will follow a similar format to my opponent. I will be bringing up evidence that combats his point of view and supports mine.

First I would like to point out that both Creationists and Evolutionists are looking at the exact same pieces of evidence. The only difference is our interpretation of the evidence.

Here is some different interpretations of the same evidence my opponent showed you.

Common Descent

It is my contention that we do not have a common descent.

Similar Biochemistry.
"Of course, God is the ultimate programmer, and the genetic code He developed will produce the best possible protein needed for the system in which it works. If another organism has a similar physiology, one can expect many of the same genes to be present in its genome. There are a finite number of ways to accomplish the same task in cells. Thus, the genes that are used to accomplish that task will usually be quite similar, with minor key variations. These slight differences exist because the Creator has optimized the genes for that particular kind of creature and its biochemistry."
(http://www.icr.org...)

Vestigial Structures
This whole article explains how these vestigial structure do not prove evolution, but at one point he says
"When I sought to gain a broader perspective about these vestigial organs, I discovered at one time as many as 180 vestigial organs were claimed to exist (Wiedersheim 1895). Dr. Jerry Bergman offers some insight concerning the original 180 specimens. Dr. Bergman has two earned PhD’s. One in human biology, from Columbia Pacific University 1992 and one in measurement and evaluation, minor in psychology, Wayne State University 1976. He has a M.A. in Social Psychology from Bowling Green State University and another M.Ed. from Wayne State University. In his paper entitled “Do Vestigial Organs Exist in Humans,” Dr. Bergman claims that the original list published in 1890 had shrunk down to 0 by 1999 (Bergman 2000)." (http://www.creationstudies.org...)

Problems with the idea of vestigial organs.
"1. It is not possible, theoretically, for us to prove the uselessness of a given organ
2. Some organs, although apparently functionless, are clearly not derived from evolutionary ancestors in which the structures had a function.
3. Organs exhibiting reduced function or no function provide poor evidence for a process supposed to generate organs with new functions
4. Functions have been discovered for most, if not all, of the allegedly "useless" structures suggested by Darwin and other evolutionists."
(http://www.creationbc.org...)

Homologous Structures

"That some similarity exists when certain aspects of life forms are compared is obvious. The question is: ‘Does the similarity that exists prove that one structure evolved into another and, ultimately, that the complex evolved from the simple?’ The simplest and most obvious explanation for the fact that morphological similarities between bones, sensory organs, lungs, or gills exist among most higher animals is that the requirements of life are similar for similar living things, and some designs are preferred in constructing animals because these designs are superior to competing designs."
(https://answersingenesis.org...)

Current evolution.

First, an observation. The evolution that is going on in the current system given by pro is only micro evolution, or small changes to adapt to surroundings. However, we have so far seen no proof of macro evolution. An example of macro evolution is a dinosaur changing into a bird.

"The scientific method traditionally has required experimental observation and replication. The fact that macroevolution (as distinct from microevolution) has never been observed would seem to exclude it from the domain of true science. Even Ernst Mayr, the dean of living evolutionists, longtime professor of biology at Harvard, who has alleged that evolution is a "simple fact," nevertheless agrees that it is an "historical science" for which "laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques"2 by which to explain it. One can never actually see evolution in action. " (http://www.icr.org...)

Thermodynamics.

"Naturalistic Evolutionism requires that physical laws and atoms organize themselves into increasingly complex and beneficial, ordered arrangements. Thus, over eons of time, billions of things are supposed to have developed upward, becoming more orderly and complex. However, this basic law of science (2nd Law of Thermodynamics) reveals the exact opposite. In the long run, complex, ordered arrangements actually tend to become simpler and more disorderly with time. There is an irreversible downward trend ultimately at work throughout the universe. Evolution, with its ever increasing order and complexity, appears impossible in the natural world. " (http://www.christiananswers.net...)

I invite my opponent to explain how Creationists misunderstand this.

Transitional fossils.

"In the entire fossil record, there is not a single unequivocal transition form proving a causal relationship between any two species. From the billions of fossils we have discovered, there should be thousands of clear examples if they existed. "
(http://www.icr.org...)

Where is the myriad of fossils that Pro was talking about?

Archaeopteryx, a popular poster-board transitional fossil, is actually not genuine.

"Is Archaeopteryx a forgery? Honest disagreements were possible until 1986, when a definitive test was performed. An x-ray resonance spectrograph of the British Museum fossil showed that the finer-grained material containing the feather impressions differed significantly from the rest of the coarser-grained fossil slab. The chemistry of this “amorphous paste” also differed from the crystalline rock in the famous fossil quarry in Bavaria, Germany, where Archaeopteryx supposedly was found. Few responses have been made to this latest, and probably conclusive, evidence." (http://www.creationscience.com...)

Mutations

"As has been said many times on this site, duplications and mutations do not add new information to the genome. Duplications are the result of duplicating existing genetic information, and mutations alter existing genetic information (whether original or duplicated). Neither of them adds new information." And then, in the same context,

"That is not to say that sometimes mutations can’t have beneficial outcomes, such as antibiotic resistance in bacteria, but this is not an example of new information being added. Mutations alter a current functional system (i.e., nutrient transport) in the bacteria that is the target of the antibiotic such that the bacteria are no longer affected by the antibiotic. It has come at the cost of that functional system performing its original function inefficiently or not at all. To get from bacteria to man, there must be a mechanism to add genetic information such as genes to make arms, legs, and brains. Thus, in reality “tweaking” the genome of a bacterium through duplication and mutation will not result in a human genome." (https://answersingenesis.org...)

As you can see, there are arguments for Creation that are also supported by evidence. Creation has just as much evidence as Evolution to back it up.

Debate Round No. 2
bsh1

Pro

I thank Con for her replies.

OVERVIEW

Con uses non-credible sources, particularly the ICR and CSI.

ICR

1. The ICR is overly biased. "The ICR adopts the Bible as an inerrant and literal documentary of scientific and historical fact as well as religious and moral truths, and espouses a Young Earth creationist worldview. It rejects evolutionary biology, which it views as a corrupting moral and social influence and threat to religious belief." [1] The ICR has a reputation for asserting the Bible's accuracy, and then finding a way to interpret the facts to support that claim. Instead, what true scientific organizations do, is look at the facts, and then draw the conclusions. It is logically fallacious to come up with the conclusion first, as the ICR does, and then work backward to find support for their conclusion.

2. The ICR's researchers have a lack of reliable scholarship and academic freedom, making their credentials seem sketchy. "In a 1995 review of work published by ICR researchers, Douglas J. Futuyma writes, 'Neither in the creationist literature nor in the scientific literature have I found any reference to professional research by these individuals in genetics, paleontology, taxonomy, anatomy, or any of the other fields most relevant to the study of evolution.' He found their work most often published instead by an overtly religious publishing house, Creation-Life Publishers." [1] "Professor Massimo Pigliucci, a professor of ecology and evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, has criticized ICR for professing to present the same science as that taught in secular universities while at the same time requiring students and faculty to sign a statement of faith to ICR's fundamentalist religious mission, most notably in affirming conformity in all its work to Biblical doctrine." [1]

CSI

The Creation Studies Institute has its own looney-tunes. It claims that "like the Nazis, gay-rights activists are using public schools to indoctrinate students...the Creationist Studies Institute claims that the 'gay agenda' has taken over schools because schools have 'fully embraced Darwinian Evolution.'" [2] I think the patent ridiculousness of this claim speaks for itself, underscoring both the bias and the tunnel-visioned blindness of the CSI.

COMMON DESCENT

Similar Biochemistry

Con offers an alternative explanation for the similarity of life's biochemistry, claiming that anything God developed would naturally be similar. Yet, the presupposes the existence of a God, and then works to interpret all arguments to support that presupposition. What instead should be done is too look at all the evidence and then derive conclusions, not the other way around as Con's ICR source does.

The similarity in biochemistry strongly suggested that all life is genetically related. As I shall endeavor to show, in context with other evidence, the weight of the data would lead most rational people to the conclusion that there was a universal common ancestor, not that a single being created all life in 6 days.

Vestigial Structures

Here Con cites a CSI source, which is inaccurate on several levels. Before I get into that, I would point out that Con only quoted a portion of the article in the debate, and ONLY that portion should be considered in this round. Anything else would constitute an attempt by Con to circumvent the character limit.

Dr. Bergman, who is cited here, "has a doctorate in human biology from Columbia Pacific University, a nonaccredited correspondence school that was ordered to cease operations in California in 1999 by the Marin County Superior Court. Bergman is a prolific writer with, according to Answers in Genesis, over 600 articles (none in peer-refereed scientific journals)." [3] Bergman's qualifications, particularly in that his school was nonaccredited and forced to close, as well as the lack of peer review in his articles, undermine his reliability as a source. His psychology credential certainly have no bearing on the science of evolution.

Pro claims that no examples of vestigial organs exists. On the contrary, baline whales have hind leg bones that they no longer use, blind mole rats have eyes they no longer use, and, even in humans, the caecum is vestigial. [4]

Clearly, a baline whale who is unable to use or control the bones that had formed its hind legs has not use for this structure. It is clearly derived from evolutionary ancestors (e.g. animals that used to walk on land), and provides evidence for evolution that, in conjunction with other clues, points more toward evolution than creationism.

I would be interested to see if Con can proffer some evidence as to how a baline whale might use hind legs.

Homologous Structures

Con offers a competing interpretation of the evidence without denying that homologous structures exist. Cons arguments are essentially that the "explanation for the fact that morphological similarities...exist among most higher animals is that the requirements of life are similar for similar living things, and some designs are preferred in constructing animals because these designs are superior to competing designs." But let's now take a look at my example.

I evidenced last round that, "If a bat, a human, an alligator, and a penguin all evolved from a common ancestor, then they should share common anatomical traits. In fact, they do. Compare the forelimbs of the human, the bat, the penguin, and the alligator. Find the humerus, radius, ulna, and carpals in each forelimb. Though the limbs look strikingly different on the outside and though they vary in function, they are very similar in skeletal structure." I would call your attention to two things: (1) a bat, a human, an alligator, and a penguin do NOT have the same requirements of life, esp. as regards the homologous structures. A human hand is used for far different purposes than a bat's wing, and a penguin's wing is certainly used for different reasons than that of a bat's or of a human hand. Moreover, why would a penguin have wings when it might be better served by fish-like fins, unless of course the penguin evolved? So, the idea that some designs are preferred because they are superior to competing designs or because they serve like requirements is silly. (2) Note that my evidence shows that these homologous structures are used for different purposes, so not similar requirements of life.

CURRENT EVOLUTION

Con says my examples are of mirco, not macro, evolution. The logical extension of my argument however is that micro evolution leads to macro evolution. Consider, if an organism, to use Con's words, undergoes a series of "small changes to adapt to surroundings" then it will eventually turn into a new species. If a mussel adapts a larger shell, then a better feeding mechanism, and then a way to taste bad to crabs, and so forth--all of these changes occurring on the micro level--it will eventually become a new species of mussel due to its dissimilarity with it's forbears. So, micro evolution, by logical extensions, affirms macro evolution.

As for macro evolution, since it occurs over hundreds, if not thousands, of years, it cannot be observed in one lifetime...however, it can be observed in the sense that we can take remnants of dead animals and compare them to living ones, and draw conclusions from that analysis.

PREEMPTS

Thermodynamics

It is misinterpreted because the law has little to do with complexity, but rather with heat transference.

Transitional Fossils

Biased sources were used here as well; the ICR is not a credible academic institution, and so should not be treated as such. As for the claims about Transitional Fossils, as I explained re: micro evolution, we see fossils changing gradually over time. Some examples include [5]:

- Tristychius - Proto-shark with broad-based fins
- Paleospinax - More advanced features such as detached upper jaw, but retains primitive ctenacanthid features such as two dorsal spines,
- Protospinax - A very early shark/skat

As for Archaeopteryx, "Scientists who have since inspected the London Archaeopteryx and other specimens have concluded these fossils are not forgeries...The evidence that Archaeopteryx is not a fraud is so strong that creationist site Answers in Genesis suggests creationists don't use this argument." [6] I can expand on this evidence if need be.

Mutations

Due to character limits, I will address this next round. I don't consider this a new argument, but rather a new response. However, if Con objects, I shall withhold my replies. I would just say not it's less about new information as it is variation.

SOURCES

1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - http://www.rightwingwatch.org...
3 - http://rationalwiki.org...
4 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
5 - Source 7, R2
6 - http://www.conservapedia.com...

Thanks! Over to Con!
mishapqueen

Con

My time is limited, so I will have to be sparse in my rebuttals.

ICR.

1. Bias. It is impossible to find a truly non-biased source. In fact, Pro has use a biased source himself. Talk origins. This source is devoted to answering creationist claims and spreading evolutionary worldviews. ICR does the same for creation. My "biased" source is balanced by his biased source.

2. Credentials. The first article from ICR was on DNA sequences (http://www.icr.org...) and the author has a PhD in genetics. (http://www.icr.org...) The second is a critique of evolution, and that author, while having a PhD in hydraulic engineering, has studied the subject extensively and quoted other more credible sources. The next one was not written by a specific author, but I would assume it was by the ICR staff. They cite credible sources to back up their data.

CSI

I only used this source once, so this is not really important. This is also just as biased as talk origins. It is balanced because it is biased the other way.

Biochemistry.
Similarity does not necessarily mean common descent. If you have a plastic plate and a plastic cup, would you assume that the cup came from the plate because they are both made of plastic? No. The evidence I provided earlier explains how that is not the case.

Whale's legs.
"Fossils of a whale with tiny "feet" have been found in an Egyptian lake bed. But the scientist who found them says the "feet" could never have been used for walking or even as rudders to stabilize swimming. Philip Gingerich, from the University of Michigan"s museum of palaeontology, made the find in the Zeuglodon Valley southwest of Cairo. He believes the limb bones are a vestige of a time when the whale"s ancestors walked on land. But he doesn"t know what they were used for on this whale. "It seems to me that they could only be some kind of sexual or reproductive clasper", he says. "But even that may be too strong a word because the bones are so small."" (http://creation.com...)

Homologous structures.

We cannot necessarily know what purposes are best. We have been wrong before. We use to think that the appendix was useless, but, actually, it isn't.

Also some arguments by evolutionists are inconsistent under this point.
"There are many problems with the homology argument as used by evolutionists. For example, the rudimentary male mammary gland and nipple are clearly homologous to those of the female, but they are not taken as evidence that males once nursed their young." (https://answersingenesis.org...)

Macro evolution.

Notice that Pro brought up no evidence to support his conclusion about micro leading into macro. It was simply asserted. We have never directly seen a fish turn into another animal. We only see adaptation within kinds.

Thermodynamics.
This was also simply asserted.

Transitional Fossils.
Pro's source says "Note that these first, very very old traces of shark-like animals are so fragmentary that we can't get much detailed information. So, we don't know which jawless fish was the actual ancestor of early sharks. " It discredits itself. There is so little fossil there that the descriptions are just based on conjecture, not good science.

Mutations.
Pro is more than welcome to address this argument if he so desires. I'd like to add an analogy to keep in mind though. "Think about it this way: if I give someone a copy of a book they already own, then they don"t have any new information, just a copy of information they already had. If I subsequently take a marker and mark out some of the letters or words in the copy of the book I gave them, they still don"t have any new information"just a messed up copy of one of the books." (https://answersingenesis.org...) This is how genetic mutations work.

Unfortunately, for reasons beyond my control, I will have to forfeit the next round. I apologize for this behavior. I realize that it is unfair to everyone involved, and I'm sorry. Thank you, Pro, for your understanding and for discussing this with me.

And thank you, voter, for taking time to read this. We appreciate it.
Debate Round No. 3
bsh1

Pro

Thanks to Mishap!

ICR

1. Bias

While it's true no source is fully devoid of bias, it is possible to exclude those sources most heavily skewed by bias so that only the most reasonable sources remain. In this debate, the sources that are the least reasonable are Con's. Con does not deny that the ICR is heavily influenced by ideology. That dropped point, emphasized by my earlier evidence about their lack of credibility, underscores the point that any evidence by the ICR cannot be trusted, and--possibly--should be summarily dismissed as un-scientific.

I should also note than Con's source, Answers in Genesis (AIG), is also highly biased. It is a Christian apologetics organization [1]--it's whole mission is to support the literal interpretation of the Bible, NOT to engage in scientific inquiry.

Con then attempts to impeach my source, Talk Origins, as being unacceptably biased. However, I would argue that it is significantly less biased than Con's sources. On the website, "there is an expectation that any claim is to be backed up by actual evidence, preferably in the form of a peer-reviewed publication in a reputable journal." [2] About Talk Origins: "The sheer quantity of quality scientific information has led to the Talk.Origins archives being considered the Net's most significant clearinghouse of origins information out there, even being cited from time to time in science textbooks for further reading purposes. The TO archive also makes a point to link back to pages with opposing viewpoints, something not as common among creationist pages." [3] If it is cited in government textbooks, it, or its content, is likely to have been vetted by not only the authors of those textbooks, but also by the State's purchasing those textbooks. This website therefore seems vastly more credible than the three sources of Con's (ICR, AIG, CSI) that I have identified as being biased. Also note that Con has not offered any evidence to indict Talk Origins' credibility; if she does, it will most likely be from a biased Creationist website. Therefore, my source should be preferred to Con's.

Even if you don't buy that Talk Origins is reliable, we can dismiss the three arguments I made using it (my preempts). If we also dismiss the arguments Con makes using her biased sources, she is left with 3 arguments. Her three arguments are from three other Creation websites that are also likely biased, but I have not had time to confirm that. So, she has three arguments (vestigiality, homologous structures, and fossils) vs. my 4 arguments (current evolution, homologous structures, vestigiality, and biochemistry). Given this match-up, I believe I am still winning this debate.

2. Credentials

Tomson's ideas are incorrect for reasons I'm fully prepared to go into, but I've already refuted much of the arguments on the flow already. Really, insofar as he is biased in favor of creationism--a belief he is well known for (a simple google search illustrates this, as does his affiliation with the ICR)--is findings are to be heavily doubted. As for the other author, a PhD in hydraulic engineering does NOT qualify him to speak on the topic of genetics, however much it might be sugarcoated. I would no more trust an art Professor to teach my math class as I would an engineer to teach biology. They are wholly different fields and require vastly different skillsets and knowledge bases. As for the piece where the author is unknown, this really does undermine its credibility because we simple don't know who wrote it.

CSI

Con basically admits that this is a biased source.

Biochemistry

Con's analogy is bad. A more accurate analogy would be this: I have a fork and a spoon. On both, there is a logo. I assume that because both share they same logo, they come from the same company. Similar biochemistry can be seen as the logo of the common ancestor--what it has left in all of us. Certainly, biochemistry alone does not prove evolution on balance, but when taken in consideration with other factors, it points towards a common descent. Consider that scientists have, after much research, dismissed arguments regarding multiple origins (I stated this earlier, and it was never contested.) If multiple origins are improbable, we have two possibilities: (a) a common ancestor, and (b) God creating all organisms similarly. If I can show that (b) is unlikely, then, logically, we must assume (a) is the best explanation.

Vestigiality

My opponent seems to misunderstand my point here. I am not talking about fossils, but rather whales that are alive and well today. They have hind legs and even pelvic bones that the scientific community have determined are useless to the whales. In fact, the whales hind legs don't even connect to muscle tissue in a way that would allow them to be used; the legs are, moreover, not outwardly visible on the whale, but rather are located in side them. It's difficult to use legs as rudders or as sexual claspers as Con suggests when the legs are inside the whale's body. They are truly vestigial structures and evidence for evolution. [4]

As if more evidence were needed: "The picture below on the left shows the central ankle bones...of three artiodactyls, and you can see they have double pulley joints and hooked processes pointing up toward the leg-bones. Below on the right is a photo of the hind foot of a basilosaurid. You can see that it has a complete ankle and several toe bones, even though it can't walk. The basilosaurid astragalus still has a pulley and a hooked knob pointing up towards the leg bones as in artiodactyls, while other bones in the ankle and foot are fused. From the ear bones to the ankle bones, whales belong with...other artiodactyls." [5]

Con drops that her source is unreliable.

Homologous Structures

The appendix example falls flat. We learned more about the appendix as our scientific knowledge grew. In theory, as our knowledge grows, we should become more accurate, if Con's example is any indicator. So, as our knowledge of animals grows, we should be getting more accurate (not less accurate) in our understanding of our origins. We've moved farther and farther away from creationism; thus, as we know more and as we get more accurate, we more often affirm evolution. Also, one cherry-picked example does not defeat the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community. [6]

As for the gland example, Con misconstrues the issue. In a species, genders may be similar, but have organs that function differently (a male gland operates differently than a female gland.) Yet, both males and females have the same gland, indicating a genetic and evolutionary closeness. As obvious as it seems, male humans are related to female humans, and our genotypical and phenotypical similarities affirm this.

The argument from homology isn't that the organs have to work the same way (Con's misunderstanding), it's that the organs have to be so similar in structure as to imply a common relation. A bat's wing isn't used like my hand, yet their structure is so strikingly similar that we can assume so distant relation exists. It's almost like how a child resembles their parents. Please look to my previous arguments for more on this topic. Ultimately, Con essentially drops my points.

CURRENT EVOLUTION

Just because I didn't cite a source does not make my conclusion any less valid, as long as it was logically support. Con never rebuts my logic at any point in her rebuttals. She drops the content of my argument.

Yes, we have never seen a fish turn into another animal because that's not how evolution works. It's a series of small changes leading overtime (see R3) that produce the macro differences. It would take thousands of years to witness such a change.

PREEMPTS

Thermodynamics

No, it wasn't simply asserted. See my R2. The law isn't about complexity. It's about heat. It says: "No natural process has as its sole result the transfer of heat from a cooler to a warmer object." [7]

Fossils

The quote that Con cites does not refer to the specific fossils I cited, but rather to other fossils my sources discussed from the Silurian and Devonian periods. The quote does not undermine the validity or worthiness of the fossils I mentioned in R3.

Con drops my rebuttal to her claims re: Archaeopteryx.

Mutations

Mutations provide variance. Con's sources agree that they can give organisms new properties that help them survive. Over time, a series of changes like this (e.g. gradually increasing mental capacity) can produce new things (e.g. complex brains.) I'm sorry I couldn't cover this more.

SOURCES

1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
3 - http://rationalwiki.org...
4 - http://thinkingscifi.files.wordpress.com...
5 - http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
6 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
7 - http://www.calpoly.edu...
mishapqueen

Con

Unfortunately I have to forfeit this round because I have an activity going on all day every day this week and do not have enough time to respond appropriately. I apologize sincerely.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
@Vox - I defended my sources in-round. It was not my job to show that they were perfect, but merely better than Con's.
Posted by Vox_Veritas 2 years ago
Vox_Veritas
TalkOrigins and Wikipedia are not unbiased and objective sources when it comes to the Creation-Evolution debate.
Posted by patrick967 2 years ago
patrick967
Does it not make sense that lots of "micro-evolution" would add up over time as needed to create something new?
Posted by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
ChosenWolff
Aren't you a christian? I've always been excellent at scientific theory, but I'm not interested in it like Subutai is. I would of liked to have taken this debate.
Posted by mrPrime 2 years ago
mrPrime
this doesn't seem debate worthy, most theist accept adaptation and some points from evolution. particularly for animals. as long as you aren't adding information (wolf to Chihuahua never reverse) it seems viable if not probable. for humans on the other hand...i can see merit in both views... i'd like to see this.
Posted by Gwydion777 2 years ago
Gwydion777
Before any of the debaters begin, I would like to throw this out and hope that the Pro would mention their opinion. If evolution occurred so many years ago, why is it not happening any more? Also, If we evolved from monkeys (or whatever we "evolved" from) then why are their still monkeys in the world? Shouldn't have they evolved into us?

Thank you for reading
Gwydion777
Posted by Protrusion_of_Confusion 2 years ago
Protrusion_of_Confusion
I would just like to note the Bible has posed one definitely good argument about the Sphinx. It's famous for missing a nose and its lips, but no one is sure why. Many have speculated water damage. Also, Atheism became an accepted way of thinking after Pompeii.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by SamStevens 2 years ago
SamStevens
bsh1mishapqueenTied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Grammar goes to mishapqueen, which was calculated by using Word 2013( bsh1: 18 grammatical errors mishap: 13). Some errors picked up were dismissed but spelling and conjunctions were in this calculation. I agreed with bsh1 before and after the debate. Bsh1's arugments were more solid, logical, and backed up with credible sources. Bsh1 full filled his BOP. Con did not fully full fill this and dropped arguments. Bsh1 had the most reliable, peer reviewed, non-biased sources.
Vote Placed by patrick967 2 years ago
patrick967
bsh1mishapqueenTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con repeatedly dropped arguments and truly had more biased sources than Pro. Pro had rebuttals, logic, and fantastic arguments, left with okay rebuttals from Con. There were lots of good points made by both debaters, but I feel that Con's sources failed to make her arguments very credible.