The Instigator
devout_skeptic
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Ragnar
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Evolution is the best and only explanation for the diversity of life we see on our planet today.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Ragnar
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/7/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,591 times Debate No: 36459
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

devout_skeptic

Pro

Evolution is the best and only explanation for the diversity of life we see on our planet today. Creationism and ID don't qualify as explanations because they don't offer any explanatory or predictive capability and are unfalsifiable. They are instead solely concerned with trying to poke holes in evolution mostly by criticizing old outdated science i.e. instead of examining the current evidence for evolution they try to poke holes in Darwins 150 year old first formulation. I predict that anyone who takes me up on this debate will not offer any alternate thorough explanation for the diversity and development of life on this planet thus proving my point.
Ragnar

Con

And the answer is... Human Beings Killed Off Too Many Other Species:
The resolution deals not with how life originated, but merely "Evolution is the best and only explanation for the diversity of life we see on our planet today."
Fossil records clearly reveal that there used to be a greater number of species, there's currently fear that we're driving things toward a sixth great extinction event
"...naturalists now think that extinction rates are at least 100 times greater than the natural 'background' rate because of pollution, habitat destruction, hunting, agriculture, global warming and population growth" [1].

Evolution does not explain this:
According to the theory of evolution, what life was once singular, slowly became more. Thus why every species of mammal has the same bones; even whales and dolphins have hips.
Creatures evolving would actually expand the number of species on the planet. Yet the WWF estimates run somewhere between 2,000 and 10,000 species are wiped out every year [2].
The problem is so vast, that there's at least one movement in favor of voluntary human extinction to save the planet [3]!

The United Nations supports this:
"Almost a quarter of the world's mammals face extinction within 30 years, according to a United Nations report on the state of the global environment" [4].
The dinosaurs:
We all agree they existed, yet evolution does not adequately explain them dying out. It's almost as if something fell from the sky; thus from outside their evolution, to kill them. Had they continued uninterrupted, the diversity of life today would be different than what we see.
Not killed by evolution.

Sources:
[1] http://www.theguardian.com...
[2] http://wwf.panda.org...
[3] http://www.vhemt.org...
[4] http://news.bbc.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
devout_skeptic

Pro

Thank you for accepting the debate. I look forward to an interesting and informative debate. I am going to need to work on formulating debate topics better but I am new at this. Also I thought you would just accept the debate for the first round but that is no matter there is plenty of room for me to provide my case and offer a rebuttal.Evolution is the best explanation for the development and diversity of life on this planet. There is no other theory that even comes close to the explanatory & predictive insights that evolution offers. This is well supported by an overwhelming consensus of biologists. This is not to say that majority rules science and makes right. But I am arguing that evolution is the best explanation and a massive consensus of biologists is evidence of it's bestness. In support I will offer a couple of quotes from prominent biologists.

"Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms."- Theodosius Dobzhansky
http://www.talkorigins.org...

"Life on Earth evolved gradually beginning with one primitive species--perhaps a self-replicating molecule--that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago; it then branched out over time, throwing off many new and diverse species; and the mechanism for most (but not all) of evolutionary change is natural selection."- Jerry Coyne
http://en.wikipedia.org...

So not only is evolution the best theory of life we have ever had it is the only accepted one today. There is no other extant theory of life today. Lamarc had a alternate theory of evolution but it turned out to be false. There is no theory that is even considered or being developed today. A quick search in Google Scholar of several scientific biology journals for evolution turned up 13,100 published papers. http://scholar.google.com.mx...

A google scholar search of those same journals for intelligent & design turned up 50 and they were all for bioengineering papers where we would expect intelligent design in biology. http://scholar.google.com.mx...

So there really is no other viable, robust, accepted, pursued theory of life other than evolution.

So to address my opponents argument.

Human Beings Killed Off Too Many Other Species:
Certainly humans are responsible for the current decline in diversity and may eventually cause a mass die off of even more species including ourselves. There have been numerous mass extinction events in the history of this planet. http://en.wikipedia.org... So the number of different species has risen and fallen. However the resolution isn't "evolution is the best explanation for the decline of diversity in species we see today or in the past.". Regardless of the current decline in diversity of species the species of life on this planet are still many and diverse and evolution is the explanation for that.

That concludes my first argument and rebuttal. I again thank my opponent for taking the time to engage in this debate.
Ragnar

Con

To be clear, I like evolution. My case against the resolution, rests firmly on it not being the only explanation.
To use a humorous analogy: Professionals are the best at sex, yet sex with professionals is not the only sex.

Rebuttals:
"I thought you would just accept the debate for the first round"
Based on you making arguments in the first round, I assumed such was not in place.
In future debates, please set that as a rule.

"There is no other theory that even comes close to the explanatory & predictive insights that evolution offers."
Please note, Round2 was when pro backed down from it being the "only explanation" as the resolution insists. He even alluded to there being other theories.

"By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification." -Theodosius Dobzhansky
A quote like this, probably leads people to wonder about Intelligent Design as a simplified explanation for evolution. As included in such mechanisms that are not fully understood, are things like background radiation (also known as invisible forces that shape our lives, and even kill unsuspecting people by giving them cancers).

"Life on Earth evolved gradually beginning with one primitive species..." -Jerry Coyne
Thank you for giving a respectable quote and source, to what I already explained in Round1. "Life was once singular, slowly became more. Thus why every species of mammal has the same bones; even whales and dolphins have hips."

"Lamarc had a alternate theory of evolution"
For the sake of sportsmanship, I'm willing to let Lamarc's theory (or hypothesis?) be grouped in with Evolution; to avoid a Round2 concession by pro.

"A google scholar search of those same journals for intelligent & design turned up 50"
Pro do I really have to include Intelligent Design as a part of the theory of evolution? If not you just provided a listing of 50 links, each of which would likely prove the the resolution false.

Defense:
"However the resolution isn't "evolution is the best explanation for the decline of diversity in species we see today or in the past.""
Quite astute, the resolution remains centered on the "diversity of life we see on our planet today."
Humans (much like the asteroid in the dropped dinosaur argument) acted as a force outside of those species evolution, leaving massively decreased diversity of life for us to see today.
Also for future reference, please avoid double quotation marks unless actually quoting someone. For starters, it tends to look highly fallacious [5].

New Arguments:
I attempted to honor Pro's request to use neither ID nor Creationism, however as he then included them in his arguments, I consider that door wide open. I will however not argue in favor of the ones he suggested, that are "solely concerned with trying to poke holes in evolution mostly by criticizing old outdated..." I'll instead use explanations that were founded on something other than attacking evolution; thus while easily confused by name, they are not to be mistaken for the ones pro argued against in Round1.

YEC (Young Earth Creationism)
Strange as it sounds YEC passes the benchmarks set of evolution ("So there really is no other viable, robust, accepted, pursued theory of life other than evolution").
It's highly visible, there's even a 70,000 square foot museum dedicated to it [6].
It's so robust, it even attacks the 700 Club's Pat Robertson for lack of faith (okay so by this standard rabies would also be robust, however the infected animal needs to be robust to live so many years with it). "Not only do we have to work hard to not let our kids be led astray by the anti-God teaching of the secularists, we have to work hard to not let them be led astray by compromising church leaders like Pat Robertson" -Ken Ham [7].
Accepted by lots of people.
It's so pursued that it's outright hunted! Even a church leader like Pat Robertson has joined the chase [7]. Plus plenty of people trying to find science that backs it up.
Granted it is a hypothesis not a theory, but the resolution of this debate is about any explanations.

Young Earth Creationists (as opposed to sensible creationists) have perhaps the most complete explanation of all. They bravely ignore the mounds of evidence that would counter them [8], and stick to a single non-expanding old book for answers. By making the world only 6000 years, they have a very complete explanation for not just life, but the very universe. They never need to retract statements, because they admit to no errors. The 6000 years they've set, is less than the margin of error on how long ago the Big Bang was (a theory made by a priest, and dogmatically denied by atheists... However the origin of the universe is outside the realms of this debate). All life on this planet could fit on a single boat, and if questioned too intently they can answer 'It was a big boat.'

All explanations are incomplete.
Most fall to educated guesses of smart people, based on the information available at the time.

Evolution: it's got at least seven competing ideas for how life began [9]. Not even factoring in how many times it died off.

YEC: keeps begging the question, by saying 'God Did It,' and 'It's All In The Bible.'

ID: is pretty much based on simplifying other explanations, into understandable and agreeable terms.

Pastafarianism: never answers why the noodly appendage reaches out to falsify each and every carbon dating test, he just does [10]. Granted no other explanation has answered why global warming (which decreases the variety of life we see), is connected to the number of pirates.
Pirates are so cool, they actually lower the global temperature.

Sources:
[5] http://www.fallacyfiles.org...
[6] http://creationmuseum.org...
[7] http://www.christianpost.com...
[8] http://rationalwiki.org...
[9] http://www.livescience.com...
[10] http://www.venganza.org...
Debate Round No. 2
devout_skeptic

Pro

devout_skeptic forfeited this round.
Ragnar

Con

Given the three day period to post an argument, and pro having logged in one day ago [11]; this debate is likely over.
Extend all arguments.

Final New Arguments:
As an extension/alternative of my "Human Beings Killed Off Too Many Other Species" theory, I propose Chuck Norris.
Chuck Norris may not at first seem like an explanation for the variety of life we see today, but he is a simple explanation for it; as "If you want a list of Chuck Norris’ enemies, just check the extinct species list" [12]. We have skeletons from so many dead species, and Chuck Norris killed them all is certainly one answer.

Can evolution even explain Chuck Norris' roundhouse kick?
This explains so much...

Heck the history channel claims all but claims aliens did it [too stupid to cite]. There's plenty of explanations, even if some are lacking (I believe in previous rounds I proved all to be lacking, in one way or another).

Sources:
[11] http://www.debate.org...
[12] http://www.thechucknorrisfacts.com...
Debate Round No. 3
devout_skeptic

Pro

devout_skeptic forfeited this round.
Ragnar

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for not going into a semantic argument, of evolution explaining the limitations of human eye sight.

Thank you all for reading this (or due to FF likely skimming).
Three common explanations.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
LOL ragnar, looks like Pro has been falling through those imaginary holes.
BTW: Smart dog!
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
@Sagey: Utterly true, yet the resolution was not about scientific theories, it was about explanations. I believe I wholly conceded that evolution is the best one, but fought over if it's the "only" one.

Of course I did have to draw a few imaginary holes on it, to keep pro on the defensive instead of letting him put all his efforts into proving any other explanation do be too incomplete to be of relevance.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
LOL, Strange debate indeed.
Though I might add that Young Earth Does not go anywhere near being a challenge to Evolution.

For starters: Evolution is a Scientific Theory, which must at least explain one verified scientific Fact or proven phenomenon. Just as the Theory of Gravity, must explain how things fall to the ground, which was Newton's only Fact, thus making the Theory of Gravity a very weak Theory, because it only explained a single Fact/phenomenon.
Biology has Thousands of Scientific Facts, which The Theory of Evolution explains admirably.
Making The Theory of Evolution, the strongest Theory known to Science.
Young Earth Creationism cannot explain any of those Biological Facts rationally/scientifically.
Thus it cannot be considered as a Theory at all and thus cannot challenge a super Strong Theory like Evolution.
:-D~
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
devout_skepticRagnarTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: FF and in all honesty pro received quite a proper thrashing.
Vote Placed by Dragonfang 3 years ago
Dragonfang
devout_skepticRagnarTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: FF. Con have also dismantled Pro's claim by which remains undefended and unsupported by Pro. Pro conceded multiple times in the second round before becoming missing in action.
Vote Placed by rajun 3 years ago
rajun
devout_skepticRagnarTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: ff and also if you see the pics as sources...con has done it! effective rebuttal..con has done it again!