The Instigator
Actionsspeak
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
subgenius
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Evolution is proven to occur

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Actionsspeak
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/24/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,537 times Debate No: 49784
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

Actionsspeak

Pro

First round is acceptance, looking forward to a great debate.

Evolution: the process by which changes in plants and animals happen over time. [1]

Source:
[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Actionsspeak

Pro

Opening Arguments

1. Microevolution

The idea is simple, every indivdiual has certain traits and these traits will determine whether or the individual is able to survive and reproduce so that these individual's genes are pass on to the next generation.

Example: a black bat is more likely to survive than a white bat, because white bats are easily visible to predators, therefore can't pass on traits to the next generation such as being white

Note: this example may not be accurate, it's just a basic example I made off of the top of my head to show how Microevolution may occur. If you still don't understand than please view my source real world applications. [1]

2. Macroevolution

This idea is simple yet many refuse to accept it or simply mosunderstand it, speciation exists and creates different species.

Allopatric speciation: species form from psychical separation. [2] [3]

Sympatric speciation: species that are reproductively isolated. [4] [5]

Example: The Kaibab and the Abert's squirrel have many differences but were once the same species, you may ask how this happened to I will explain in-depth. The population lived together (In fact, the Kaibab squirrel didn't even exist yet but rather ancestors) and bred together often however the grand canyon began forming. With the forming of the Grand Canyon the Abert's population could no longer meet each other and share genes so their differences increased, in addition they now lived in different environments the north rim is a boreal forest, and the south rim is the ponderosa pine forest. The pine forest receives massive amounts of snowfall, experiences heavy rain and common thunderstorms meanwhile the boreal forest is colder but receives much less precipitation. They had to adapt to survive in their environments, and nowadays lab breeding attempts fail, due to evolutionary differences they can no longer breed and are literally a different species. [6] [7] [8] [9]

Note: This is one of millions of real-world examples

Sources:
[1] http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
[2] http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
[3] http://www.britannica.com...
[4] http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
[5] https://www.boundless.com...
[6] http://www.nps.gov...
[7] http://www.sbs.utexas.edu...
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[9] http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_squirrel
subgenius

Con

((A))
Whereas evolution being a natural science theory is unable to be proven, its occurrence is also unproveable. The statement "Evolution is proven to occur" is grammatically and scientifically unsupported and is false.

"Proven", and proof, is a binary position and cannot honestly be applied to any scientific theory. This is because scientific theories can never be "absolute" in their condition - such as absolutely true or absolutely false. Real scientists are wary of anyone who proposes any scientific theory as being "proven" - because the scientific method insists that 'everything' in science is just a theory and is, nor can be, proven.[1]

"Proofs exist only in mathematics and logic, not in science. Mathematics and logic are both closed, self-contained systems of propositions, whereas science is empirical and deals with nature as it exists. The primary criterion and standard of evaluation of scientific theory is evidence, not proof. All else equal (such as internal logical consistency and parsimony), scientists prefer theories for which there is more and better evidence to theories for which there is less and worse evidence. Proofs are not the currency of science.
...
Proofs have two features that do not exist in science: They are final, and they are binary.

In contrast, all scientific knowledge is tentative and provisional, and nothing is final. There is no such thing as final proven knowledge in science."[2]

"Strict proof is possible only in formal sciences such as logic and mathematics, not natural sciences"[3]

((B))
The notion that a black bat is not as appetizing as a white bat does not prove that evolution has "occurred". What it may prove is that many observations are consistently concluding that white bats are preyed upon with more frequency than black bats. While this may be attributed to their color it does not suddenly support the given definition of evolution. First, there is nothing in that example which deduces "differences due to changes from natural processes over a long time"[4]
Otherwise, it is not my burden to deduce, discern, or discover your argument in whatever references you provide. Your argument should be presented here.
Speciation as a sub-process for evolution is also bound to the natural sciences and lacks the associated ability to be "proven".

Evolutionary biology is unproven as a scientific theory due to the dictates of the scientific method. Alternately, if one considers Evolutionary biology as not being a scientific but rather as a metaphysical research program[5] then it is not testable at all and fails to be proven within any paradigm (i.e. is in the realm of the supernatural[6]).

((C))
The theory of evolution being valid or invalid is not the question for this debate, but rather the ability for such a theory to be "proven", by which case it is intrinsically impossible for that to occur. While one may increase its probability and predictability through observation, the scientific community does not consider this theory to be proven and a reasonable exploration into the matter concludes likewise.
Simply put, the statement "Evolution is proven to occur" is inaccurate and false.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.psychologytoday.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[5] http://www.creationism.org...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Actionsspeak

Pro

I'm looking forward to round 3, but first I must start with an important definition.

Proven: to show the existence, truth, or correctness of (something) by using evidence, logic, etc. [1]

Notice that all the previous evidence and logic I listed went unrefuted, and Con himself even said:

"The theory of evolution being valid or invalid is not the question for this debate"

Con simply refused to debate any of my evidence or logic he went far off-topic. In addition he also failed to understand what a scientific theory is.

1. A scientific theory

You said: " 'everything' in science is just a theory and is, nor can be proven "

This is innacurate, in fact just so you can fully understand the definition of a scientific theory is I will list a source that attempts to explain it to the public, and use some quotes. [2]

This is coming from live science

"A theory must include statements that have observational consequences. A good theory, like Newton"s theory of gravity, has unity, which means it consists of a limited number of problem-solving strategies that can be applied to a wide range of scientific circumstances. Another feature of a good theory is that it formed from a number of hypotheses that can be tested independently.

A scientific theory is not the end result of the scientific method; theories can be proven or rejected, just like hypotheses. Theories can be improved or modified as more information is gathered so that the accuracy of the prediction becomes greater over time."

Here's more info

"When used in non-scientific context, the word "theory" implies that something is unproven or speculative. As used in science, however, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena.

Any scientific theory must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts. In the scientific method, there is a clear distinction between facts, which can be observed and/or measured, and theories, which are scientists" explanations and interpretations of the facts. Scientists can have various interpretations of the outcomes of experiments and observations, but the facts, which are the cornerstone of the scientific method, do not change."

From chemistry.com

"A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it." [3]

From ncse.com

"Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses." [4]

I'm willing to admit a scientific theory has some room in it's definition for change in all deifnitions I listed, and the wikipedia definition you listed. I'll also allow the voters to decide which side they think is most appropaite for this debate instead of just saying your data is wrong/innacurate.

2. About the bats/microevolution

You said: "What it may prove is that many observations are consistently concluding that white bats are preyed upon with more frequency than black bats. "

Yes this would simply be more evidence/proof for evolution, since the black bats would more sucsessfully pass their traits on the next generation. Also, the scientists/biologists would observe and record evidence for evolution, honestly it seems as though you're aiding my argument.

3. The idea of the supernatural/a god causing changes has no proof to back it up, while evolution does. It was funny seeing your source with multiple 1970's quotes from Karl Popper but they have little to do with this debate.

I read your source and it said:

"neither Darwin nor any Darwinian has so far given an actual causal explanation of the adaptive evolution of any single organism"

You using this to support your argument shows shows just how out of date that argument is, I listed alot of evidence for macroevolution in round 2 and you even said:

"The theory of evolution being valid or invalid is not the question for this debate"

4. Closing Statement:

The statement "Evolution is proven to occur" is accurate, and proven via vast amounts of evidence, logic, etc.

Sources:
[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://www.livescience.com...
[3] http://chemistry.about.com...
[4] http://ncse.com...
subgenius

Con

1.
Offering a definition after having an inadequacy noticed in your original proposition is called "moving the goal posts"

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...

However, your proposed definition of "proven" does not alter the inappropriate aplication of its use as you originally stated. This inappropriate use of the term "proven" is confirmed by several credible sources in the scientific community and by proper use of the scientific method.


2.
Your previous evidence and logic was refuted - all of it does not qualify as being actual "proof". You are committing another logical fallacy whereas you confuse correlation with causation.

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...




3.
According to the original position "Evolution is proven to occur", it is correct to state that the validity of the theory of evolution is not the purpose of the debate - just whether or not it has been proven at this time. Common and practical scientific teachings and practice insist that "proven" is a condition which the theory of evolution cannot achieve.

4.
Pro has quoted - "Theories can be improved or modified as more information is gathered so that the accuracy of the prediction becomes greater over time." - what precitions are being referred to with respect to his understanding of the theory of evolution?
While i appreciate Pro's efforts to distinguish between scientific theory and method, none of Pro's citations explicitly consider a theory to be "proven" - they intentionally utilize words like "valid" and conditions like "as long as there is no evidence to dispute it". These are intentional distinctions from the idea of "proven".

5.
There is no evidence provided by Pro that black bats are more successful at passing on their trait of being black than white bats. Furthermore, Pro has offered no evidence that the passing on of the color trait has anything to do with predators, population density, or color. Speculation, by Pro's own admission and quotation, is not tantamount to evidence or proof.

6.
No one has proposed that supernatural/god(s) are responsible for anything, this debate is about whether evolution has been "proven" to occur.

7.
Pro does not understand the term "causal explanation". While there is evidence that has been observed which supports the theory of evolution, there has not yet been any "causal explanation" discovered for evolution.


One merely has to access the evidence that counters the theory of evolution to agree that while the theory of evolution may have valid aspects it has not been "proven":
for example -

A current leading evolutionist, Jeffrey Schwartz, professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, has recently acknowledged that:

". . . it was and still is the case that, with the exception of Dobzhansky's claim about a new species of fruit fly, the formation of a new species, by any mechanism, has never been observed."
(Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Sudden Origins (New York, John Wiley, 1999), p. 300)

Or the "fact" that the fossil record has yet to confirm the theory of evolution - while the absence of this proof does not invalidate the theory, the theory cannot be "proven" without it.
The 2nd law of Thermodynamics is contrary to the theory of evolution, yet evolution is a theory and the former is a law. This contradiction is one example of why the theory of evolution, in its current condition, is not proven.

Darwin said: "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."
(The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin, J.M. Dent & Sons ltd, London, 1971, page 167.)

So once again, Pro has not established an argument that evolution is proven to occur. In fact, current scientific practice and common knowledge recognizes that the the theory of evolution has not been proven but has merely had evidence observed which supports its concepts in a general sense.


Debate Round No. 3
Actionsspeak

Pro

Rebutals:

Fake Fallacies

1. My opponent fails to understand what moving the goalpost is. I have in no way/shape/form changed the debate topic by providing the defintion of proven.

2. The other fallacy my opponent stated is false, as by the definition of proven.

3. I'm dissapointed that my opponent has showed severe desperation to try to make my claims appear uncredible, however expect him to continue this desperation.

Yes, it has been proven and my evidence indeed ties in well with this debate

4. This is self-explanatory, my evidence and reasoning was definetely valid and my macroevolution/microevolution statements faced little to no opposition from my very opponent

5. My opponent has said:

" While i appreciate Pro's efforts to distinguish between scientific theory and method, none of Pro's citations explicitly consider a theory to be "proven" "

Yes, a theory isn't automatically proven however it can be proven by holding massive amounts of evidence, especially if their is little or no evidence that opposes it. (Examples: Evolution shown in round 2, Gravity, Big Bang[1])

6. My opponent has said:

"Pro has offered no evidence that the passing on of the color trait has anything to do with predators, population density, or color."

Yes, I clearly said it's just an example then listed a source that explained some real world examples.

The basis is simple, certain traits determine if an individual can survive until the point in which the individual passes down his genes to the next generation. The is the basis of microevolution, the passing of a color may decide whether or not an animal is visible to predators or even more sexually desirable to the opposite gender. [2] Remember in addition an individual doesn't have to evolve specifically to increase the odds of survival until you reproduce possibly like the chameleon (this is still in debate), they may evolve to assure they can reproduce. This is because even if you sucsessfully survive, when no genes are passed down no following generation can occur which evolution requires change by generations. [3]

7. My opponent has said:

"No one has proposed that supernatural/god(s) are responsible for anything, this debate is about whether evolution has been "proven" to occur."

Indeed, I was simply clarifying that it has literally no evidence/proof, meanwhile the evidence/proof for evolution is vast.

8. My opponent has said:

"While there is evidence that has been observed which supports the theory of evolution, there has not yet been any "causal explanation" discovered for evolution"

This statement made by my opponent is definetely incorrect, as we have evidence provided by fossil records.

Straigth from berkeley [4]

"The fossil record provides snapshots of the past that, when assembled, illustrate a panorama of evolutionary change over the past four billion years."

Their are age old arguments stating that their are too many gaps in fossil records, however fossils have been uncovered, dated, studied, and closed the gap[9] in the infamous "Fossil Fallacy"[7] more and more as time has passed. Nowadays that arguement is out of date.

Here are multiple additional sources (the hard part was only chosing a few sources out of literal dozens.) [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Sources:
[1] http://www.space.com...
[2] http://news.nationalgeographic.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
[5] http://www.carnegiemuseums.org...
[6] http://www.agiweb.org...
[7] http://www.scientificamerican.com...
[8] http://humanorigins.si.edu...
[9] http://www.sciencedaily.com...
subgenius

Con

(emphasis in below quotations are Con's).

"A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproven."

http://chemistry.about.com...


"Using strictly scientific definitions, no, a theory cannot be proven true."
http://wiki.answers.com...

"Theories are never proven to be true but they can be falsified"
http://www.personal.psu.edu...


But what does the Journal of Scoience teaching say about the matter?

"A Gentle Reminder that a Hypothesis is Never Proven Correct, nor is a Theory Ever Proven to Be True"
http://chance.psu.edu...


"To take the first case, if a prediction agrees with the results of an experiment, does that mean that the underlying theory is true? It is not that simple. The logic of science does not permit us to make that kind of strong inference. After all, any reasonably sophisticated theory allows for a large (and usually infinite) number of predictions. Only a few of those may be amenable to direct comparison with experiment. The fact that those few agree does not give us the luxury of inferring that any future experiments will also agree, a well known difficulty known as the problem of induction. So at best, those successful predictions will serve as evidence in support of our theory and suggest that it is not obviously wrong, but that is about it. The greater the preponderance of evidence in support of a theory, the more confident we are about its validity, but we never reach a stage where we can unequivocally assert that a theory has been proven true."
http://freethoughtblogs.com...


"The burden of proof lies with someone who is making a claim, and is not upon anyone else to disprove."
https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...

While I appreciate the variety of hyperlinks provided by Pro with the hope and desire that Con should take on the burden to browse through and complete an argument for Pro - Con cannot oblige Pro's desire for someone else to make Pro's argument for Pro. Pro's reluctance to post factual evidence being supported by reference merely underscores Pro's inadequate understanding of the topic. To merely regurgitate the original claim over and over while only providing numerous and tedious hyperlinks does not satisfy the burden of proof for Pro's position.
Pro's postings have been tantamount to merely exclaiming "yes it is!" over and over.

Pro has provided very few statements and provided very little evidence of various portions of the theory of evolution being observed, Pro has failed to establish any argument that the Theory of Evolution has been proven. Because, in fact, science really does not allow for any theory to ever be "proven".
Debate Round No. 4
Actionsspeak

Pro

Rebuttals continued:

My opponent's desperate argument

A. Source Vs. Source desperation

It appears Con wishes for for me to enter into a what I believe argument with him over the definition of a theory, as I previously stated:

"I'm willing to admit a scientific theory has some room in it's definition for change in all deifnitions I listed, and the wikipedia definition you listed. I'll also allow the voters to decide which side they think is most appropaite for this debate instead of just saying your data is wrong/innacurate."

I was hoping Con would accept this so we could move onto actual debate, but for whatever reason he believe his sources should dictate the outcome of the debate over mine, he clearly used the texas sharpshooter fallacy[1] by cherrypicking his definition of a theory.

B. Fake Fallacies desperation

1. My opponent claims that I have shifted the burden of proof onto him this is false I have proven that evolution occurs during this debate, summarized my argument, and list sources (simply to simplify data, using your logic I presume all definitions are a part of this supposed "fallacy" also.) I would only like for him to give a refutation.

2. My opponent listed 3 supposed fallacies that were also misused and didn't apply to me, I haven't commited any of the 3 fallacies he accused me of commiting.

C. Deception

My opponent has said: "While I appreciate the variety of hyperlinks provided by Pro with the hope and desire that Con should take on the burden to browse through and complete an argument for Pro - Con cannot oblige Pro's desire for someone else to make Pro's argument for Pro. Pro's reluctance to post factual evidence being supported by reference merely underscores Pro's inadequate understanding of the topic."

He has said this not because their is a lack of evidence or because I have made a bad claim, but rather he desperately wishes to disprove my claim by any means necessary. I have written my claims, summarized them, and then given the reader resources to back them up. I expected Con to atleast write a decent refutation to my claims such as microevolution, macroevolution, and Fossil Proof. However through this debate he's prefered to participate in deception of the reader in a desperate effort to avoid actual debate.

D. Side Argument

My opponent said: "To take the first case, if a prediction agrees with the results of an experiment, does that mean that the underlying theory is true? "

Indeed, this is why science goes through repeated testing and is proven correct by vast amounts of evidence. (With little to no evidence against)

My opponent said: "The logic of science does not permit us to make that kind of strong inference."

It most definetely allows for inferences, if data shows evidence and logic then it may by all means be proven. For example gravity can be proven by the vast amounts of data available on it's existance meanwhile their is little to no data showing gravity doesn't exist.

E. Closing Statements

I feel this debate was a one-sided affair in which my opponent has based his entire argument off of the texas sharpshooter fallacy, and would like to note that I have indeed given proper evidence to show that evolution is proven to occur through this debate.

Proven: to show the existence, truth, or correctness of (something) by using evidence, logic, etc. [2] (this was also listed in round 3)

Sources:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
subgenius

Con

Perhaps Pro meant for this debate to be titled " Evolution is, to me, proven to occur".
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
Based on the definition of proven all I needed in this debate was strong evidence for my argument, meanwhile you had no strong rebuttal to that evidence (atleast that wasn't then refuted) This was an assymetric debate until the end and I hated every second of it in truth this was the only debate i've ever participated in that I didn't enjoy. (The voting definetely could have turned out different but in truth not posting an argument in round 5 ended any chance of your victory, I was also like to note that not nearly every scientist in fact as every voter pointed out it depend completely on basic definitions.) If you feel the need to post the final comment go ahead but this will be my last pertaining to this debate.
Posted by subgenius 3 years ago
subgenius
yes, good try indeed...a premise that insists something is "proven" which based upon a paradigm that every practitioner agrees can never "prove" anything...and you think its proven.
The irony is that every evolutionary scientist agrees with me.
Thanks but i'll keep the gun because guys like you and action insist upon it.
Posted by JamesChance 3 years ago
JamesChance
subgenius, good try, but I must admit you profile picture kinda says it all before you even begin to type.

Attaching a username with genius in it doesn't change your narrow-minded arrogance you projected in this debate. Well done Actionspeak for not grabbing that gun out of his hand and using it on yourself! lol
Posted by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
If that is how you define macroevolution then I'm willing to debate both macro/micro evolution or even just one.
Posted by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
Oh, and the change must occur through natural selection.
Posted by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
Just to clarify by macro you mean the change in whether or not 2 groups can produce offspring, right?
Posted by alexmiller887 3 years ago
alexmiller887
Which type of evolution, micro or macro?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Ozzyhead 3 years ago
Ozzyhead
ActionsspeaksubgeniusTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I hated this debate. It was honestly just stupid. It started out good, but after the second round, a lot of it was back and forth about how the opponent said this and falsely said this and blah blah blah. You were both not impressive, and very insulting to the debating community on here. It is true that con did not really argue though, so I must credit pro with the arguments. But this was a big disgrace. I hope you two never debate like this ever again
Vote Placed by Enji 3 years ago
Enji
ActionsspeaksubgeniusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: While, in the sense Con used proof, evolution is not proven, Pro did demonstrate evolution to be proven given the definition he later provided. A large portion of the remainder of the debate was centred on this semantic difference. Since Pro never established a definition for proof in the framing of the debate, whose definition of proof should be used? The content debate seems to be a disagreement and misunderstanding over the meaning of the resolution -- the debate should be tied.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 3 years ago
MrJosh
ActionsspeaksubgeniusTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: CON never really argued; he turned the debate into a semantic argument.