The Instigator
andymcstab
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Evolution is not well supported

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,526 times Debate No: 49256
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (30)
Votes (5)

 

andymcstab

Pro

Good evening,

In this debate I will be arguing that the general theory of evolution - molecules to man, is too poorly supported to warrant the amount of faith in it as an explanation for complex life.

Con will be arguing the evidence does warrant the faith in evolution.

There is equal BOP and whoever makes the best case should win

5 Rounds
8000 Char
72 Hours to respond

Forfeiture of any round will be an instant loss.

Frivolous sources such as for definitions of words should not be awarded points.


I welcome my opponent...

iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con

I have taken this debate challenge to clarify a few points with my opponent and I should surely win this debate after this round. I would gladly accept my opponent conceding the debate in round 2. However, if this is not the case I will try entertain further arguments. However let me point out to potential voters that I have already won the debate.

My opponents proposition is that "Evolution is not well supported". However, then my opponent goes on to say "In this debate I will be arguing that the general theory of evolution - molecules to man, is too poorly supported to warrant the amount of faith in it as an explanation for complex life."

Here, my opponent has shown that they have no idea what evolution is, as evolution has nothing to do with the origins of life.

Here is a far more correct definition of evolution as accepted by scientists "Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations). Evolution helps us to understand the history of life."(1)

As you can see from the above definition, there is no mention of the change from molecules (non-living) to man (living). as such my opponents argument is nullified. In fact, I am not aware of any definition of evolution that incorporates abiogenesis.(2)

I hand the debate back to my opponent for the concession.

(1) http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
(2) http://rationalwiki.org...
Debate Round No. 1
andymcstab

Pro

Needless to say my opponents claims to auto-victory are unfounded.

If he were in any doubt about whether i was speaking of 'evolution', ie the word used in the debate title, or 'abiogenesis', he should have asked for clarification in the comments.

Molecular evolution
http://biomed.brown.edu...
Abiogenesis
https://wiki.umn.edu...

Molecular evolution studies the mutation of basic cellular molecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins. Abiogenesis pertains to how life arose from non-living material. This debate , then, pertains to the idea that basic cellular molecules vertically evolved over billions of years, explaining creatures like man.

Amiss of 1050 characters, i hope now we can start the debate, rather than debate the definition, which i find bad manners.



The high priests of evolution stand at their pulpit above the congregation, preaching with inspired ferocity eternal wisdom from 'The Origins of Species..' To be a member of the congregation; full of dignified, esteemed and well-funded scientists, one must subscribe to the beliefs of the inspiring orator speaking aloft.

These wise men are not just mystics for the rich and powerful. They are determined that their message should enlighten the lives of us all. Whether prince or pauper, you need to hear their gospel and experience the divine light of reason. As it has been said; only the light of reason can be both saviour and redeemer of mankind.

--

We are at a point where it has become taboo to dare question evolution. Richard Dawkins, one of the most powerful high priests, immediately deduces that questioning evolution means a lack of education or a lack of intelligence. I find this oppressive kind of reasoning dangerous. I don't think that children should be taught this theory as hard fact during their 12-16 years of applied sociatal indoctrination (otherwise known as 'education'), and i don't think it is right to apply a stigma to those who dare to question the theory.

You cannot be both sane and well educated and disbelieve in evolution. The evidence is so strong that any sane, educated person has got to believe in evolution.
-- Richard Dawkins, in Lanny Swerdlow, "My Sort Interview with Richard Dawkins" (Portland, Oregon, 1996)


The theory that man developed from something only a fraction the complexity of yeast, it seems to me, is not supported well enough to substantiate the afformentioned stigma and compulsory indoctrination.


No one has ever witnessed one kind of creature turning into another, only variations within kinds of creatures. Yet we should. We should find the fossil record replete with examples of intermediary life forms, yet we don't. We find cats and dogs, but no cogs.

We find fossils of lions. We don't find fossils of proto-lions. We don't find fossils which show, as they should, as steady development over time, morphing one kind of creature into another more complex one. Consider this: We are just on the pin-head of time. If creatures have been evolving for 13 billion years, we should find infinitely more fossils of intermediary species than fossils of creatures in their form we recognise today. But we don't. We find lions.

Dr Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History, wrote a book, Evolution. In reply to a questioner who asked why he had not included any pictures of transitional forms, he wrote:

"I fully agree with your comments about the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them … . I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument."



Evolutionary geneticists have experimented on various rapidly reproducing species, from fruit flies to yeast, aiming to induce changes which would lead to different species, but these have all failed. No truly new species has ever been produced, let alone a new "kind."

A current leading evolutionist, Jeffrey Schwartz, from the University of Pittsburgh has recently acknowledged:

" the formation of a new species, by any mechanism, has never been observed."
Sudden Origins (New York, John Wiley), p. 300.

In addition, we know of good reasons which suggest that it would be impossible for a lesser creature to develop into a more complex one. For an ape (~18000 genes) to turn into a human (~24000 genes), we need more genes. Evolutionary theory contains only very limited mechanisms by which new information can be acquired and none of these mechanisms can possibly explain the development which evolution assumes must have occured, within the given time frame.

For instance, Barrow and Tipler list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth.

John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986)., pp. 561-565.
They estimate the odds of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4-360 (110,000), -an unimaginably huge number.

We witness genetic switches turn on, and switches turn off. We witness this when an animal changes environment and makes adaptations, but we never see new switches just suddenly appear. The evidence we have only shows that creatures have space to adapt within some pre-set parameters.

Demonstrated by the case of Italian wall lizards.
It was observed that mainland lizards moved to a remote island and studied for 30 years, developed new physical characteristics.

"Lizards Undergo Rapid Evolution"
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

"Italian wall lizards introduced to a tiny island off the coast of Croatia are evolving in ways that would normally take millions of years to play out, new research shows. "
"the lizards developed cecal valves—muscles between the large and small intestine—that slowed down food digestion in fermenting chambers,"

http://news.nationalgeographic.com...



Evolution in 30 years? No, read the smallprint.

"Tail clips taken for DNA analysis confirmed that the Pod Mrcaru lizards were genetically identical to the source population on Pod Kopiste."
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Not evolution at all. Natural variation.


Evolutionists, unsupported by the fossil record and observable data, increasingly try to cite genetic similarities as case for evolution. But as Roger Lewin, editor of Science Magazine points out, this is often inconsistent with the fossil record and morphology:

"The elephant shrew, consigned by traditional analysis to the order insectivores . . . is in fact more closely related to . . . the true elephant. Cows are more closely related to dolphins than they are to horses. The duckbilled platypus . . . is on equal evolutionary footing with . . . kangaroos and koalas."
http://www.daylightorigins.com...



I have to stop. I look forward to discussing these points in Rd2, and introducing more arguments.

Until then:

"Scientists should refuse formal debates because they do more harm than good, but scientists still need to counter the creationist message."
Scott, Eugenie, "Fighting Talk," New Scientist (vol. 166, April 22, 2000), p.47


"We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, . . . in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated commitment to materialism. . . . we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."
Richard Lewontin, Evolutionary Biologist, Geneticist.

iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con

Thanks to my opponent.

I feel it is necessary to adress the critical facts in this fallicious opening statement and not address any other arguments that you have made. I have to do this, as it is no use blindly leading people to read something that does not support the proposition of the debate.

My opponent has said that this debate is not dealing with abiogenesis, but in fact is dealing with molecular evolution.

Then my opponent goes on to define Molecular evolution as: Molecular evolution studies the mutation of basic cellular molecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins.

I will agree with this definition completely. However, this does not mean as my opponent pointed out that "This debate , then, pertains to the idea that basic cellular molecules vertically evolved over billions of years, explaining creatures like man." As molecules (non living) changing into humans (living) is in fact not evolution, but the concept of abiogenesis. This I explained in my first round statement, and in fact disagrees with my opponents source given for molecular evolution.(1) Maybe my opponent would like to clarify why his definitions are so far removed from the scientific sources cited?

In fact my opponent acknowledges this when he says the following "Abiogenesis pertains to how life arose from non-living material." So I am not sure how this confusion is arising.

Definitions are extremely important when you are debating scientific concepts. Let me elaborate with an analogy on definitions to drive my point home.

Christianity: the religion that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.(2)
However, if I want to make this definition fit an argument for Allah and Buddha. I could redefine the definition to suit my needs as follows.
Christianity: the religion that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ otherwise known as Buddha, who was the son of the almighty Allah.
I am sure everyone will agree this does not make sense, however it fits my needs. Should this definition be accepted? The answer is no. You cannot make up definitions to suit your needs.

Again as stated in my opening argument, I will accept my opponents concession.

I hand the debate back to my opponent.

(1) http://biomed.brown.edu...
(2) http://www.merriam-webster.com...

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
NB: Everything below is not for inclusion in voting decisions but rather to educate.

My opponents initial statement, while interesting doe not address any issue about molecular evolution, except trying to point out that there is some kind of conspiracy theory among scientists. This is not how the scientific method works,(1) I would think it best my opponent tries to understand the scientific method before making such fallacious statement such as "to be a member of the congregation; full of dignified, esteemed and well-funded scientists, one must subscribe to the beliefs of the inspiring orator speaking aloft.". Utter rubbish.

My opponent points out that we are at a time in science where it is taboo to question evolution. This is not taboo, its illogical as the evidence supporting evolution is enormous.(2) Additionally, there is no other scientific theory that explains how humans came about other than evolution. Creationism for example has no scientific foundation or scientific facts supporting it, in fact Creationism (Intelligent Design) is not even a scientific theory.

My opponent says that it seems to him that "The theory that man developed from something only a fraction the complexity of yeast, it seems to me, is not supported well enough to substantiate the afformentioned stigma and compulsory indoctrination." However, the evidence is there as can be seen in reference (2). Additionally, there is evidence to show that multicellular life can indeed come from unicellular life. (3,4) As such my opponents assertion that something complex (multicellular) cannot evolve from something less complex (single cellular) is demonstrably false.

My opponent then goes on to say that "No one has ever witnessed one kind of creature turning into another, only variations within kinds of creatures. Yet we should. We should find the fossil record replete with examples of intermediary life forms, yet we don't". Again a demonstrably false claim, as the fossil record shows hundreds of transition fossils for multiple species. This can be seen in the image below showing the evolution of the Gray Whale.




Picture Source.(5)

Or maybe my opponent may want to look at all the fossils demonstrating the human transitional fossils.(6) As such my opponents argument claiming their are no transitional fossils is a fallacious one.

Next my opponent says then that humans cannot develop from apes, as the genes differ between apes and humans. Again in this argument my opponent is showing a complete lack of understanding of evolution, as evolution is vertical (i.e. humans and apes share a common ancestor) and not lateral (i.e. humans evolved from current day apes).(6) Is the next argument why are there still monkeys?

Then my opponent talks about he fact that the chance of evolution happen is impossible as it is too improbable. "For instance, Barrow and Tipler list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth." This line of reasoning is illogical, as it dismisses the fact that small genetic changes can cause a large phenotypic change.(7) Additionally, mutation most commonly can work in tandem with other mutations.(8) So while a single mutation could do nothing, when three factors combine at the same time we would see a phenomenal change. Additionally, maybe my opponent would like to explain how this is improbable when the mutation rate in a single chimpanzee diploid genome can be around 175 mutation per generation.(9) This means over 20 generations there have been 3500 mutations in a direct one child offspring path, if we start factoring in more children this number grow exponentially i.e. each offspring has two children results in 17500 mutations. On a cellular level this mutation rate is even faster considering a generation takes only one day.

I also want to clarify something. What does my opponent mean by genetically identical? I (a male) am genetically identical to a female, as we are humans. So when you say Italian wall lizards are genetically identical, what are you referring too?

Again, I want to reiterate all these arguments presented by my opponent have nothing to do with the proposition. The fact I am replying at all is I feel the need to educate. As such I await the concession.

(1) http://teacher.nsrl.rochester.edu...
(2) http://www.talkorigins.org...
(3) http://www.nature.com...
(4) http://www.pnas.org...
(5) http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
(6) http://www.talkorigins.org...
(7) http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
(8) https://www.genome.gov...
(9) http://www.genetics.org...

Debate Round No. 2
andymcstab

Pro

My opponent wants to ignore the topic of the debate, and debate a phrase instead, and then if he is successful in winning the debate of the phrase, he believes he wins the debate about evolution.

I will just affirm my opponent is talking utter nonsense

"Replicating molecules evolved and began to undergo natural selection."
http://evolution.berkeley.edu...



Out of respect for the audience I refuse to be led down this path my opponent would like. I am going to focus on the topic of the debate: Evolution is not well enough supported to warrant the certainty and the stigma.

I will deal with my opponents "proof", for evolution, which according to him substantiates stigmatizing skeptics, then I will introduce new information and arguments to solidify my case.

First though, I must address:

"there is no other scientific theory that explains how humans came about other than evolution. Creationism for example has no scientific foundation or scientific facts supporting it, in fact Creationism (Intelligent Design) is not even a scientific theory."

Breakdown of my opponents reasoning:
1: Im an atheist
2: Nothing exists outside of science
3: Science is the ultimate eternal truth
4: The only way therefore to describe complex life, is through pigeon steps over billions of years
5: Evolution must be true

I refer to you Will Provine, American historian of science and of evolutionary biology and population genetics;

"As the creationists claim, belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism."

This isn't scientific, its dogma. Its fundamentalism. My opponents reasoning is inherently bigoted. Needless to say he cannot show step 1 to be true.

My opening speech was clearly appropriate.



Cons first relevent argument is:

"its illogical as the evidence supporting evolution is enormous.(2) "

And he cites TalkOrigins as a source.

"Talk.origins is a Usenet newsgroup devoted to the discussion and debate of biological and physical origins from a mainstream scientific perspective".
http://www.talkorigins.org...

Nobody doubts what the mainstream scientific perspective is. This debate concerns whether that perspective is certain enough to teach as fact and stigmatise those who don't accept it. This source offers nothing we don't already know. It assumes evolution must be correct because science is naturalism and naturalism excludes supernaturalism, and there is no other way to naturalistically explain complex life.

"[we take the side of science] in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated commitment to materialism." - Lewontin.



Cons second argument is.....
..three pictures of different creatures which lived millions of years apart, with nostrils in different positions.

This is not evidence.

The following is a mirror of my opponents argument:

"I believe a unicycle must have developed into a car.
My evidence for this, is a unicycle has one wheel, and a car has 4. Clearly the unicycle turned into a bike, then maybe a motorbike, then a 3 wheeled car, and finnally the family hatchback"

This reasoning can only be founded on the assumption that no creator of transportation could possibily exist. Then you must believe a unicycle evolved into a car, there is no other explanation.



Proof Arial washing liquid comes from Fairy (it must, because there is no such thing as a factory)

This isn't science, its dogma. My opponent hasn't provided any reason at all to justify excluding a creator.

Even if my opponent argues that science necessarily has to exclude a creator, it still doesn't justify why we should teach children the necessarily biased conclusions of science as absolutely true, and ridicule anyone daring to question them.

The evidence for human development is exactly the same. Its conclusions are only relevent IF the premise is true that there cannot be a creator.

It is important to note, if there were a creator, he could have made creatures to evolve and had it all planned out deterministically. The theist doesn't need to refute evolution but for the atheist, evolution must be true.

For this reason, theists are more open to the evidence than atheists.




My opponent then...
...goes about completely misrepresenting my argument

" my opponent says then that humans cannot develop from apes, as the genes differ between apes and humans"

No, I argued that for a lesser complex creature to develop into a complex one, more genes are needed. But the mechanisms by which our genome can acquire new information is completely insufficiant .

"Then my opponent talks about he fact that the chance of evolution happen is impossible as it is too improbable."

No, I have never talked in terms of certainty. I don't need to show that evolution is impossible, stop trying to build a straw-man.
I merely have to show that evolution is not substantiated enough to warrant the compulsory indoctrination and ridicule.

He says in response to the information from Barrow and Tipler
"This line of reasoning is illogical, as it dismisses the fact that small genetic changes can cause a large phenotypic change.(7) "

The source he lists, if you check it, does not mention Barrow and Tipler dismissing any facts at all. Con is just claiming it does and then giving an arbitrary definition. This is not an argument.

He says " Additionally, maybe my opponent would like to explain how this is improbable when the mutation rate in a single chimpanzee diploid genome can be around 175 mutation per generation.(9) "

Red Herring. This is only mutation, only lateral, only natural variation. Mutations aren't NEW genes, and NEW genes are needed for a fish to evolve into a human. This is the entire concept of evolution. We know that natural variation exists, it is reasonable, but natural variation is completely different from evolution. It is not as though evolution is an extrapolation of natural variation, variation occurs with mutation, existing switches turn on or off. Evolution requires new switches.



With all of my original arguments intact and having refuted my opponents evidences for evolution, I have space to offer one more:

The Cambrian Explosion:

Suddenly, about 538 million years ago, there was an explosion of life known as the Cambrian explosion. During this very short amount of time. This explosion "define[d] the major branches of the tree of life to which later life forms belong."
http://biologos.org...

How do evolutionists explain the sudden arrival of all the major branches of the tree of life appearing all at once in their complete form? In short, they cannot. It is completely at odds with the concept that things evolve over billions of years.

"The Cambrian explosion was the most remarkable and puzzling event in the history of life."
Stephen Jay Gould, "The Evolution of Life," chapter 1 in Evolution: Facts and Fallacies, ed. by J. William Schopf , p. 9.

A paper published in the peer reviewed journal; Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington DC, in 2004 concluded that intelligent design was the "best explanation", for the Cambrian explosion.

Ofcourse, there was uproar from the congregation, known as the "Sternberg peer review controversy", with accusations claiming that proper editorial procedues had not been followed and the paper had not been peer reviewed properly.
The editor of Proceedings.. was forced to resign but continues to maintain the paper was properly peer reviewed by three biologists who "concluded that [the paper] warranted publication".
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The scientific gatekeepers will reject any evidence against evolution. "Evolution must be true, because God isn't true"


I look forward to round 4..











iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con

Thanks to my opponent and lets get right to the point.

Finally, my opponent has clarified what he means by molecular evolution to the following."Replicating molecules evolved and began to undergo natural selection."

This means we are only talking about replicating molecules, as such anything beyond molecules is beyond the debate.

These molecules replicate inside a cell which is part of an animal, however molecular evolution is only molecules. As such, we are only discussing molecular evolution. However, even this has changed multiple times in the debate while my opponent has sought various avenues to try remain in a debate that should have been conceded on an initial faulty premise in R1 "In this debate I will be arguing that the general theory of evolution - molecules to man". Which changed in R2 to "this debate , then, pertains to the idea that basic cellular molecules vertically evolved over billions of years, explaining creatures like man." and now n R3 to "Replicating molecules evolved and began to undergo natural selection."

To deny molecular evolution (i.e. mutations in DNA) is absurd. If molecular evolution does not occur, then the idea that my opponent puts forward when he says "We know that natural variation exists, it is reasonable" cannot occur.

So by denying molecular evolution my opponent denies not only evolution, but natural selection as well. However, my opponent has said already that natural variation exists as it is reasonable. As such my opponent has in effect conceded the debate again, by agreeing that molecular evolution is possible.

I hand the debate back to my opponent and again, I await my concession.

xxxxxxxxxx

IMPORTANT: All the following information, is for education purposes and not for voting purposes.

Regarding creationism: I will gladly discuss creationism (intelligent design) based on its scientific merits when an actual hypothesis that makes predictions exists. At this moment nothing of that source exists so we can say creationism is not a scientific theory, or even a hypothesis.

Regarding Talkorigins:Talkorigins, may be a newsgroup. However its a source of information (with links to reputable journals) that is moderated by scientists .

How my opponent denies a fossil record for a gray whale placed in front of him is remarkable. Then to goes on to use analogies of cars for evolution, however maybe my opponent does not realize that cars (and Ariel Washing liquid) do not contain molecules that evolve (i.e. DNA mutations). As such the analogy is absurd.

Further, my opponent also seems to be wanting to debate scientific theory, existence of god and multiple other topics which fall outside the scope of this debate. Let me add the following definitions of what molecules are to help my opponent.

Definition molecule:a molecule refers to two or more atoms which have chemically combined to form a single species.(1)

As such when the molecule no longer bears resemblance to the parent molecule it is no longer the same molecule. Here are some pictures to help. Each DNA helix in the diagram below is different in 3D shape yet they are also the same in basic structure. This is molecular evolution, as each 3D shape can have a different function.

The complex DNA inside mitochondria also appeared as a result of constant evolution

Picture Source (2)
Additionally, here is an article on the molecular evolution of affinity and flexibility in the immune system.(3)

Here are the arguments presented that are incorrect according to the proposition of the debate. I highlighted the relevant problems.
"No, I argued that for a lesser complex creature to develop into a complex one, more genes are needed. But the mechanisms by which our genome can acquire new information is completely insufficient "

"Red Herring. This is only mutation, only lateral, only natural variation. Mutations aren't NEW genes, and NEW genes are needed for a fish to evolve into a human. This is the entire concept of evolution. We know that natural variation exists, it is reasonable, but natural variation is completely different from evolution. It is not as though evolution is an extrapolation of natural variation, variation occurs with mutation, existing switches turn on or off. Evolution requires new switches."

"The Cambrian Explosion:" The Cambrian Explosion is not molecular evolution.

BTW regarding the work of Barow and Tipler, I am not sure why you said I was misleading people when all I am showing is that small changes in genotype can lead to massive changes in phenotype. That is less mutations needed.

I have shown here again, that my opponent is not debating the topic. All my opponent has done is mislead and change the definition every round in a game of words. Then when I point this out, my opponent gets defensive and accuses me of been dishonest.

(1) http://chemistry.about.com...
(2) http://news.softpedia.com...
(3) http://www.pnas.org...
Debate Round No. 3
andymcstab

Pro

Well, sadly my opponent seems to recognise his arguments against the motion are weak, so he tries to 'hedge his bets' by debating the phrase.

This is disrespectful to the audience, who came expecting a debate about evolution.
I'm not going to validate my opponents claim by responding, because it is patently fraudulent. So fraudulent it would insult the intelligence of the audience to assume I need to explain it.


I will continue debating the topic, and more fool my opponent who chose to provide no evidence at all in his previous post

First I will deal with my opponents "arguments", then I will introduce yet more information which shows that evolution is poorly substantiated.

"Regarding creationism: I will gladly discuss creationism (intelligent design) based on its scientific merits when an actual hypothesis that makes predictions exists. At this moment nothing of that source exists so we can say creationism is not a scientific theory, or even a hypothesis."

Seeing as you've provided no argument substantiating evolution, we have room to talk about this.

You have a bad case of Scientism. That is, you are stuck in an irrational scientific paradigm whereby you think science is the ultimate and exclusive explanatory mechanism. Natural science is only the study of one phenomena after another through a causal chain of events, ad infinitum. The assumption of ad infinitum, is its inherent flaw and bias.

Consider a character in a computer game...
This character can look around, and realise that his world is governed by law. But if he synthetically limits his explanatory scope to the study of observable causes, he can ultimately only infer that the universe which he lives somehow exists necessarily. He can never get to the source code on the hard drive or enter the world which it exists. This is the position of the science paradigm and subscribing atheist.

But, released of this synthetic explanatory parameter, a critical thinking character might ask "how the power of the laws were set?" , "why are the power of these laws contingent, all working together to produce a coherent, stable, productive universe?, "why should it be that this experience is always fresh and challenging and beautiful and sad and happy and testing?". Released of the synthetic dogma, this critical thinking character has the means to arrive closer to the truth.

The lack of positive naturalistic "evidence", is irrelevant because science is inherently incapable of providing such evidence.


"How my opponent denies a fossil record for a gray whale placed in front of him is remarkable. Then to goes on to use analogies of cars for evolution, however maybe my opponent does not realize that cars (and Ariel Washing liquid) do not contain molecules that evolve (i.e. DNA mutations). As such the analogy is absurd."


Because this "evidence" is deduced only from the faulty premise. You have limited your explanatory scope to naturalistic causes, necessarily arrived at evolution, and then line up skulls to try and prove it. Then, after you line them up, you consider this "evidence", for evolution, because your premise directly stipulates that it must have happened. This isn't positive evidence, it is deduced as evidence purely on a faulty premise.

Then he says cars "do not contain molecules that evolve", well, "evolution" is what you are trying to substnatiate here. You are assuming evolution without substantiation, to defend evolution. Patently circular logic.

"Contrary to what most scientists write, the fossil record does not support the Darwinian theory of evolution because it is this theory (there are several) which we use to interpret the fossil record. By doing so we are guilty of circular reasoning if we then say the fossil record supports this theory."
Ronald R. West, PhD (paleoecology and geology) (Assistant Professor of Paleobiology at Kansas State University), "Paleoecology and uniformitarianism". Compass, vol. 45, p. 216

Then my opponent says that evolution is "DNA mutations", funny. No, as i have already pointed out, new genes need to be created for evolution to happen. It doesn't matter how many times an 1000 gene creature mutates its 1000 genes. Its never going to become a 25000 gene creature. My opponent has not described any mechanism at all to explain how this would be done.

". ...Mutants are present within every population, from bacteria to man. There can be no doubt about it. But for the evolutionist, the essential lies elsewhere: in the fact that mutations do not coincide with evolution."Pierre-Paul Grassé (University of Paris and past-President, French Academie des Sciences) in Evolution of Living Organisms, Academic Press, New York



My opponent then returns to argue the definition of a molecule! Incredible!

As for the Cambrian Explosion, he says "The Cambrian Explosion is not molecular evolution." So offers no argument at all!

*This debate has never been about molecular evolution. It has always, obviously, distinctly and succinctly been about the general theory of evolution which argues that basic molecular forms of life evolved into complex creatures like man, through means of natural selection acting on mutation.*

"BTW regarding the work of Barow and Tipler, I am not sure why you said I was misleading people when all I am showing is that small changes in genotype can lead to massive changes in phenotype. That is less mutations needed."

We all know this, but your source http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
doesn't even mention Barrow and Tipler, much less provide any refutation of their work. Anyone can see with ctrl-f. You have just posted an arbitrary definition and claimed its a refutation.

"I also want to clarify something. What does my opponent mean by genetically identical? I (a male) am genetically identical to a female, as we are humans. So when you say Italian wall lizards are genetically identical, what are you referring too?"

He is referring to the source I posted which said that they are "genetically identical". I would think this refers to the Lizards being genetically identical. Not sure if my opponent is trying to angle an arguement. If he does, it will be very lonely.

My opponent then tries to manufacture a charge suggesting I am trying to change the debate topic as I said both "I argued that for a lesser complex creature to develop into a complex one,"(1), and later "Mutations aren't NEW genes, and NEW genes are needed for a fish to evolve into a human".(2)

This is just obviously desperation. In (2) I am merely giving an example of (1). I don't know why i am even validating this charge with a response.


Having addressed my opponents "arguments" and all of my arguments still untouched, I offer an additional interesting fact!

"..over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all." - Marc Kirschner, Chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School

Rationalwiki responds to this quote:
"Evolution is an extraordinary breakthrough in its own right."
http://rationalwiki.org...

Evolutionary biology is just a stagnant black hole. All other disciplines of Biology work perfectly fine without it. You would have thought it would be useful for something, if it were true.














iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con

You are horribly dishonest.

You have changed the proposition of this debate multiple times and anyone that reads this debate will know that.

Every time, I point out how you are wrong you accuse me of been dishonest. I will, not be replying to your false claims on evolution as we are dealing with molecular evolution which you have disregarded again now that you have been shown to be wrong. In the previous rounds I have attempted to educate, yet you disregard all this information.

Please answer this and only this from the previous round.

To deny molecular evolution (i.e. mutations in DNA) is absurd. If molecular evolution does not occur, then the idea that my opponent puts forward when he says "We know that natural variation exists, it is reasonable" cannot occur.

So by denying molecular evolution my opponent denies not only evolution, but natural selection as well. However, my opponent has said already that natural variation exists as it is reasonable. As such my opponent has in effect conceded the debate again, by agreeing that molecular evolution is possible.

I will now illustrate my opponents dishonesty.

My opponent has said in the last round *This debate has never been about molecular evolution. It has always, obviously, distinctly and succinctly been about the general theory of evolution which argues that basic molecular forms of life evolved into complex creatures like man, through means of natural selection acting on mutation.*

In round 1 my opponent stated "in this debate I will be arguing that the general theory of evolution - molecules to man", however, I showed this is not evolution but abiogenesis. My opponent agrees and conceded as much in the second round.

My opponent then changed the definition and said in round 2 "Molecular evolution studies the mutation of basic cellular molecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins. Abiogenesis pertains to how life arose from non-living material. This debate , then, pertains to the idea that basic cellular molecules vertically evolved over billions of years, explaining creatures like man." The second part of this phrase (italics) is a contradiction, as the first two (underlined and bold) show they are incompatible. I demonstrated this to my opponent.

Then after getting shown this is not evolution but abiogenesis which is not the debate topic my opponent
then changed the definition again. Here is what my opponent said in rounds 3 "Replicating molecules evolved and began to undergo natural selection."

So it is obvious my opponent is lying, as is demonstrated above.

I ask that my opponent stick true to integrity which has been lacking so far and stick on topic. There is no need to conflate your case with fallacious arguments on subjects which HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DEBATE.

I await your concession.
Debate Round No. 4
andymcstab

Pro

Thankyou,

I will take the time now to summarise the debate.

The debate was about Evolution. I think everybody can agree so far.. No matter what you think evolution is or is not, the title of the debate clearly tells its subject matter - "Evolution is not well supported".

Evolution requires the most simple life forms to have developed into complex ones, i summarised this in the term "molecules to man". Which, admitted by my opponent, is the only contention he has decided to argue in this debate.

My opponents arguments then, have exclusively pertained to Phraseology

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

1
: a manner of organizing words and phrases into longer elements : style
2
: choice of words


Thus, even if my opponents critique of phraseology were substantiated, he still could never win the debate because he has came debating his own topic.

If my opponent had any queries as to the subject of the debate, he should have asked in the comments. By accepting the debate and then only debating the phraseology of "molecules to man", he has insulted everyone who clicked - expecting a debate on evolution.


Secondly...
Every relevant point my opponent has made, has been prefixed with;

"All the following information, is for education purposes and not for voting purposes."

So even if the point that followed were compelling, it doesn't matter. I cannot lose because my opponent has specifically asked for his own points to be excluded from the voting process.

I am the winner by default. I could have replied "a purple rainbow" to any of the relevant statements my opponent made, and still clearly won.



Thus, I am the winner by default because
;

A: All of his statements about evolution, my opponent has asked to be excluded from the voting process.

B: My opponents only contention was on a critique of phraseology, not evolution. By his own admission he has never debated the topic.



As the host of the debate, I feel I should apologise on behalf of my opponent. He has wasted all of our time, tried to run in circles, and debate anything but the obvious topic.

Thankfully it is over. Next time I will choose my opponents better to make sure such a farce never happens again.


IF YOU WERE CRAZY ENOUGH TO EXPECT A DEBATE ABOUT EVOLUTION, NOT PHRASEOLOGY, YOU CAN ONLY VOTE PRO!


iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con

Again my opponent insults the audience, by implying knowledge on a subject that he knows nothing about and for which he cannot even get the definition right.

I will repaste my analogy here from the second round to explain again why everything my opponent has said in this debate is blatantly dishonest.

Definitions are extremely important when you are debating scientific concepts. Let me elaborate with an analogy on definitions to drive my point home.

Christianity: the religion that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.(2)
However, if I want to make this definition fit an argument for Allah and Buddha. I could redefine the definition to suit my needs as follows.
Christianity: the religion that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ otherwise known as Buddha, who was the son of the almighty Allah.
I am sure everyone will agree this does not make sense, however it fits my needs. Should this definition be accepted? The answer is no. You cannot make up definitions to suit your needs.


I agree with my opponent he should be more selective in choosing opponents, you need to choose someone who is not read and can get be mislead by your blatant lies.

You are dishonest. Concession should have been forthcoming, yet you played games by changing the definition to suit your needs. You changed these definitions to definitions that are not even accredited by any scientific body.(1,2)

Your are a liar and a cheat.

(1) http://www.nature.com...
(2) http://archives.aaas.org...
Debate Round No. 5
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Much of Pro's arguments were debating what Pro said Con claims instead of Con's actual claims. This is called a strawman argument or red herring--it simply serves as a distraction of Con's case. This tactic does not (in theory) succeed in formal debate, as much as it is accepted on television.
Posted by Fanath 3 years ago
Fanath
How do you consider dictionary websites frivolous? I looks like you just tried to put some "Big words" in there without think ing about it...
Posted by andymcstab 3 years ago
andymcstab
I apologize for using caps. If i could use bold, i would.
I am not bothered about this because its atheist vs theist or because i have some emotional association with evolution. I am bothered because what makes me more angry than anything else, is injustice.
Posted by andymcstab 3 years ago
andymcstab
"On the 3pts for arguments, you based your debate on a wrong premise, your false definition of the general theory of evolution, and he refuted that."

Where was this claimed as a definition?
Tell me, please.
Where is "molecules to man", claimed to be a definition?

Let me spell out the difference.

"I want to study the growth of "apples from seed""

"APPLES FROM SEED", IS NOT THE DEFINITION OF GROWTH. IT IS AN EXPLANATORY PHRASE WHICH DESCRIBES WHAT GROWTH IS PURPORTED TO DO.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. IF IT WAS A DEFINITION I'd HAVE SAID SO.

You should withdraw your vote, it is clearly made in error.
Posted by andymcstab 3 years ago
andymcstab
@ Niqash.

The debate is "Evolution is not well substantiated..".. (for the faith and placed in it and ridicule against people who ask questions). This is IMPORTANT. If you want to use a PHRASE against me because it was said in rd1, you have to ALSO look at the rest of my proposition. You are completely ignoring the subject of the debate.

It doesn't matter where it comes from. In no logical universe does two holes in different places, on different things, suggest one evolved from the other. This is only deduced on the basis that evolution is the only natural explanation, so it MUST be true, so this is evidence for it. Its PATENTLY circular. I even quoted the opinion of someone who should know::

"Contrary to what most scientists write, the fossil record does not support the Darwinian theory of evolution because it is this theory (there are several) which we use to interpret the fossil record. By doing so we are guilty of circular reasoning if we then say the fossil record supports this theory."Ronald R. West, PhD (paleoecology and geology) (Assistant Professor of Paleobiology at Kansas State University), "Paleoecology and uniformitarianism". Compass, vol. 45, p. 216" -- NO RESPONSE

My opponent first needs to establish an observed mechanism by which one life form grows more complex. Mutations don't provide this mechanism, as i pointed out

". ...Mutants are present within every population, from bacteria to man. There can be no doubt about it. But for the evolutionist, the essential lies elsewhere: in the fact that mutations do not coincide with evolution."Pierre-Paul Grass" (University of Paris and past-President, French Academie des Sciences) "in Evolution of Living Organisms, Academic Press, New York" -- ON RESPONSE

My opponent didn't even try to argue how one creature grows into a more complex one, he didn't even ADDRESS these sources. EVEN IF he were to, he specifically TOLD YOU not to include them in the voting process.
Posted by NiqashMotawadi3 3 years ago
NiqashMotawadi3
"How is three pictures with nostrils in different positions, evidence for evolution? Where is the freaking connection you are making? Do you have a viable process by which it can happen? Have you observed it happen? This would be evidence, the pictures alone, are not. "

LOL. You're saying that taking diagrams from scientific, academic textbooks is not empirical evidence. What the hell are you on about? You expect him to do what? This is a debate, he can only use citations and pictures as evidence. Do you think he can appear to the readers holding bones in his hands and showing us his evidence?

You haven't argued over the citations, so I guess you admit that you lose the 2pts for citations for citing from non-academic, Catholic websites.

On the 3pts for arguments, you based your debate on a wrong premise, your false definition of the general theory of evolution, and he refuted that. This is a semantic victory right there. Next time start with solid definitions and a well-structured plan for the debate. You're the initiator of the debate for heaven's sake.
Posted by andymcstab 3 years ago
andymcstab
This voting is shameful.

I just can't respect any voter who can possibly believe con won that debate.

Look at the debate title "Evolution is not well substantiated",

What has con done to substantiate evolution?? Post a picture with blow holes in different places? GTFO.

"Evolution is the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.[1]"

EVERY ARGUMENT ive made has pertained to this. EVEN MY PHRASE (LEARN HOW A PHRASE IS DIFFERENT FROM A DEFINITION PLEASE!) "MOLECULES TO MAN", IS A VALID DESCRIPTION OF THIS PROCESS.

You have been brainwashed by my opponent, through his repetition you have come to believe his objection to "molecules to man" is warranted (because its been wrongly taken as a claimed definition), is SOMEHOW relevant, and SOMEHOW wins him a debate.

I have to detach. Clearly expecting FAIR VOTING is too much.
Posted by Finalfan 3 years ago
Finalfan
RFD. Honestly I thought Pro did do a good job. He at least show some insight and brings up good questions, however Con steamrolled Pro's arguments with cited credible sources! I ended up learning more about evolution (which is why I checked on this debate) Pro: This is a tough subject to debate on your side. You did put up a good fight!
Posted by andymcstab 3 years ago
andymcstab
My opponent says "thats not molecular evolution", pertaining to evidence sourced and quoted about the Cambrian explosion, in a debate titled "Evolution is not well supported", referring to the phrase "molecules TO MAN evolution", and he WINS ARGUMENT POINTS??!

He assumes evolution is true, so presents a picture of three skulls with eye sockets in different places and tells us it is evidence of evolution, because evolution is true, as it is the only naturalistic explanation. PATENTLY CIRCULAR. And he gets argument points from SOMEONE WITH AN EDUCATION??!!

Please, wtf.
Posted by andymcstab 3 years ago
andymcstab
Wow, my opponent actually convinced people that entering a debate, to debate a phrase (not a definition) wins a debate titled "evolution is not well supported". Even counts as an argument against the motion. Astonishing.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Sswdwm 3 years ago
Sswdwm
andymcstabiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:02 
Reasons for voting decision: Poor Conduct from both sides, became a bit of a 'Throwing Poo at each other fest'. And this impacted the ability to objectively read the arguments made. Of course I agree with Con on his points a priori, but Con ran too much between random points (probably more because of Pro's amusing & bizarre debating style) to make a compelling story/conclusion emerge. Final vote came down to who has the evidence, and the better sources, which was Con by a country mile, but then it almost always is. Not one of Con's better debates but he did what he needed to do. I look forward to reading more of Pro's debates, this one was quite a fun read.
Vote Placed by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
andymcstabiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 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 
Reasons for voting decision: Debating the definitions is not bad manners. They call this a "topicality argument," and it is quite common in formal debates. Although the challenger does have the right to provide definitions, the challenger also has the burden to ensure the definitions are appropriate. In this case, they obviously weren't, but Con actually used restraint. Technically, providing bad definitions in sport debate is considered almost cheating, and one can usually provide a good argument for why the violator loses the entire debate. In this case, Con was correct about the definition of "evolution." I love the poetic style of Pro, with the "high priests" etc. Con's private religious beliefs are not an argument against him--conduct. Pro's arguments tend to be contradictory--sometimes claiming that evolution is not supported scientifically, and other times saying scientific support is not evidence but opinion. Pro focus on quotes not content. I buy that science is valid and Con had more sci support.
Vote Placed by Finalfan 3 years ago
Finalfan
andymcstabiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:05 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
andymcstabiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct on both sides was rather bad, as they both, for some reason believed they were guaranteed to win... However, Pro does bring up a good point, that Con put "not for voting purposes" before each of the sections in which actual evidence for evolution was presented, so we shouldn't be basing our voting decisions off of them... However, Con was very correct in his objections to Pro's definitions, and Pro's "argument" was mostly just a critique of Con's sources... thus, I give arguments to Con. And none of Pro's source criticisms were valid, anyways, so no source point deductions shall be made. If nothing else, this debate was most certainly a humorous read.
Vote Placed by NiqashMotawadi3 3 years ago
NiqashMotawadi3
andymcstabiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:05 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.