The Instigator
jh1234l
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
Founder
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Evolution is true

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
jh1234l
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,017 times Debate No: 32011
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

jh1234l

Pro


Welcome, whoever accepts this debate.


Definition:


Evolution= a gradual change in the characteristics of a population of animals or plants over successive generations: accounts for the origin of existing species from ancestors unlike them.[1]


I have the burden of proof and will start this round.


For this debate, I will use this format:


P1. If evolution is true, then X.


P2. X.


C. Evolution is supported by X.


1. Mutations


One of the ways evolution works are mutations. There are beneficial, neutral and harmful. [2]


An example of beneficial mutations is found in E.coli, which adapted to the thermal environment and became more fit. [3] Plus, beneficial mutations are not rare. E.coli in a controlled environment of maltose at 37 C, 12% of the mutations increased fitness. [4]


With the high rate of mutations in certain environments, it is not unlikely for evolution to happen in a long time.


P1. If evolution is true, then mutations, including beneficial ones, should be observed.


P2. Mutations, including beneficial ones, have been observed.


C. Evolution is supported by mutations.


2. Transitional Fossils


Transitional fossils, such as ones between dinosaurs and birds, have been discovered. [5] [6]


P1. If evolution is true, then transitional fossils exist.


P2. Transitional fossils exist.


C. Evolution is supported by transitional fossils.



3. Observed Evolution


Macro evolution, or evolution on a speciation level, has been observed. [7][8] Examples include the Faeroe Island house mouse [8]and Rhagoletis pomonella, a fruit fly, which has evidence of speciation.[9]


P1. If evolution is true, it will be observed.


P2. Evolution is observed.


C. Evolution is true.


Sources:


[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...


[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[3] Bennett, A.F., Lenski, R.E., & Mittler, J.E. (1992). Evolutionary adaptation to temperature I. Fitness responses of Escherichia coli to changes in its thermal environment. Evolution, 46:16-30.


[4] http://www.gate.net...


[5] http://www.talkorigins.org...


[6] http://pandasthumb.org...


[7] http://www.talkorigins.org...


[8] http://www.talkorigins.org...


[9] page 22 of the February, 1989 issue of Scientific American


Founder

Con

For this debate we will refer to the 'General Theory of Evolution' as defined by Kerkut, "all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form."[1]

1. Mutations

There are many types of mutations. In essence, mutations are any change in the DNA sequence. Let's take a look at the different kinds of mutations, and see how much they really help molecules-to-man evolution (dinosaur to a bird, ape to a man). I will by referencing chapter 7, Are Mutations Part of the “Engine” of Evolution?, from the New Answers Book 2. Written by Bodie Hodge.
[2]

Genetic Mutations

All mutations have been observed to cause a loss of information. A mutation causing a loss of information is different from a loss or gain of function, they are two separate things. Mutations can cause an organism to lose genetic information and yet gain some type of function. This does not happen often, but it has happened. So when a mutation loses information but gains a function, this is beneficial.

"For example, if a beetle loses the information to make a wing on a windy island, the mutation is beneficial because the beetle doesn’t get blown out to sea and killed. Genetically, the mutation caused a loss of information but was helpful to the beetle. Thus, it was a beneficial outcome." (BH)

Hypothetically, there could also be mutations that cause a gain of of new information. There are only a few alleged cases of such mutations. However, if a mutated DNA strand were built up with a group of base pairs that didn’t do anything, this strand wouldn’t be useful. Therefore, to be useful to an organism, a mutation that has a gain of new information must also cause a gain of new function.

Types of Genetic Mutations

Point Mutations

Point mutations are mutations where one letter changes on the DNA sequence. The overall result of point mutations is a loss in genetic information. Biophysicist Lee Spetner says, “All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not to increase it.”
[3]

Inversion Mutations

An inversion mutation is a segment of DNA in a particular strand that reverses itself. This type of mutation causes a quite big loss of information. The bleeding disorder hemophilia A is caused by an inversion in the Factor VIII (F8) gene.
[4]

Insertion Mutations

An insertion mutation is a segment of DNA, whether a single base pair or an extensive length, that is inserted into the DNA strand.

Insertions usually result in a protein that loses function.[5]

Deletion Mutations

A deletion mutation is a segment of DNA, whether a single base pair or an extensive length, that is deleted from the strand. A few disorders that are caused by deletion mutations are facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and spinal muscular atrophy.[6]

Frame Shift Mutations

There are two basic types of frame shift mutations: frame shift due to an insertion and frame shift due to a deletion. By causing the resulting protein to be nonfunctional, frame shift mutations are in most cases harmful or injurious to the organism.

And these are just the basics of mutations.
[7]

Dr. Bodie Hodge sums it up in this way,

"Pond-scum-to-people evolution teaches that, over time, by natural causes, nonliving chemicals gave rise to a living cell. Then, this single celled life form gave rise to more advanced life forms. In essence, over millions of years, increases in information caused by mutations plus natural selection developed all the life forms we see on earth today. For molecules-to-man evolution to happen there needs to be a gain in new information within the organism’s genetic material. For instance, for a single-celled organism, such as an amoeba, to evolve into something like a cow, new information (not random base pairs, but complex and ordered DNA) would need to develop over time that would code for ears, lungs, brain, legs, etc. If an amoeba were to make a change like this, the DNA would need to mutate new information. (Currently, an amoeba has limited genetic information, such as the information for protoplasm.) This increase of new information would need to continue in order for a heart, kidneys, etc., to develop. If a DNA strand gets larger due to a mutation, but the sequence doesn’t code for anything (e.g., it doesn’t contain information for working lungs, heart, etc.), then the amount of DNA added is useless and would be more of a hindrance than a help. There have been a few arguable cases of information-gaining mutations, but for evolution to be true, there would need to be billions of them. The fact is, we don’t observe this in nature, but rather we see the opposite—organisms losing information. Organisms are changing, but the change is in the wrong direction! How can losses of information add up to a gain?"

P1. If evolution is true, then mutations, including genetic information gaining ones, should be observed.
P2. Genetic information gaining mutations are not observed.
C. Evolution is not supported by mutations.

2. Transitional Fossils

While Darwin predicted that the fossil record would show numerous transitional fossils, even 140 years later, all we have are a handful of disputable examples. This 'handful' is refuted here
[8], here[9], and here[10].

National Geographic also notices this.

Stephen Gould,

"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils."[11]

Mark Ridley,

“However, the gradual change of fossil species has never been part of the evidence for evolution. In the chapters on the fossil record in the Origin of Species Darwin showed that the record was useless for testing between evolution and special creation because it has great gaps in it. The same argument still applies. . . . In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation.[12]

P1. If evolution is true, then transitional fossils exist.

P2. Darwin predicted numerous transitional fossils, we have a handful of disputable examples.

C. Evolution is not supported by ‘transitional fossils’.

3. Observed Evolution

"Speciation, the process by which different populations of the same species split into separate species, is central to evolution.” That’s true; Darwinian evolution requires a mechanism to create diverse species from a single common ancestor. But creationists believe observed speciation fits much better within the creation model for several reasons:

Type of Change -- The effect of natural selection and mutations over time may increase diversity around the globe, but at the cost of reducing the genetic information in each individual—the opposite of what Darwinian evolution would require.[13]

Speed of Change -- Such examples of “rapid” speciation show that the diversity of life we see today is possible given the original created kinds (with representatives on board the Ark) and the elapsed time since the Flood.[14]

Role of Kinds -- The speciation we observe never transforms a fish into a lizard, for example, or a lizard into a bird; fish remain fish, lizards remain lizards, and birds remain birds. We see a fixity and separation of kinds even though there are minor, information-reducing changes within kinds. Also, successful hybridization (between two different “species”) reminds us of the existence of underlying kinds.[15]

P1. If evolution is true, it will be observed

P2. We observe natural selection and mutations reducing genetic information, and variations within kinds.

P3. Evolution, in the particles-to-people sense, is not observed.



The citations will be in the comments.

Debate Round No. 1
jh1234l

Pro

Mutations

Con claims that mutations can only cause a loss of information, not a gain. That is blatantly false. Increase of genetic material has been observed. Increase of genetic variety has been observed. Novel genetic material has been observed. Novel genetically-regulated abilities has been observed.[1] Increase of genetical material increases information because genetic material conveys information.

Con also claims that if an amoeba has to evolve into humans, it will have to increase genetic information. False again. The amoeba genome has 670,000,000,000 base pairs,while the human genome has 2,900,000,000. [2]

Amoebas do not have to increase genetic information to evolve.

Transitional fossils

Con says that there are only a handful of transitional fossils and they are all refuted. But it is not just a handful. Transitional fossils between different Phacops ? Transitional fossils of coiled oysters changing shape? [3] Tons of transitional fossils between dinosaurs and birds? [4] Transitional fossils documenting the evolution from a kind of mammal to whales? [5] 6 examples of transitional fossils that document the evolution between fish and tetrapods? [6]The very common fossils of Rhizosolenia , which shows a speciation event? [3]

You can't call all this, discovered by tons of people around the world, just a handful of lies, right?

Speciation

"The effect of natural selection and mutations over time may increase diversity around the globe, but at the cost of reducing the genetic information in each individual—the opposite of what Darwinian evolution would require."

See my refutation on mutations.

"Such examples of “rapid” speciation show that the diversity of life we see today is possible given the original created kinds (with representatives on board the Ark) and the elapsed time since the Flood."

The Bible said that animals were created in their present form.

"The speciation we observe never transforms a fish into a lizard, for example, or a lizard into a bird; fish remain fish, lizards remain lizards, and birds remain birds. We see a fixity and separation of kinds even though there are minor, information-reducing changes within kinds. Also, successful hybridization (between two different “species”) reminds us of the existence of underlying kinds."

Evolution never said that fish can suddenly turn into lizards. That is a complete strawman: Evolution is gradual, unlike the creationist interpretation of cats turning into dogs. As for the reduction of information, see my rebuttal on mutations.

"Evolution, in the particles-to-people sense, is not observed."

Another invalid point. Amoeba-to-people is entirely possible, even with only the decrease of information. (see my arguments on mutations) , while particles-to-people is abiogenesis, the creation of organisms from non living material. It is another topic.

It is not observed=/= not true. I have provided scientific evidence and observed speciation,such as ones that have enough evidence to say that it is speciation. (Rhagoletis pomonella)[7] As speciation, or macro evolution, has been observed and information adding mutations and beneficial mutations are confirmed, evolution is true.

[1]http://www.talkorigins.org...
[2]www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmUGJ3Jh7fc
[3]http://www.talkorigins.org...
[4]http://www.talkorigins.org...
[5]http://www.talkorigins.org...
[6]http://www.talkorigins.org...
[7]http://www.talkorigins.org...
Founder

Con

Thank you for keeping it short. I appreciate that!

1. Mutations

"Con claims that mutations can only cause a loss of information, not a gain. That is blatantly false."


Can mutations create new information? Yes, depending on what you mean by‘information’. It seems we need to define some terms.

A ‘mutation’ is a change in the sequence of DNA. However, a distinction needs to be made between a mutation and ‘designed variation’. There are a huge number of single letter differences between people, and these are mostly shared among all people groups.[1]This indicates that much of the diversity found among people was designed.

Technically, a ‘gene’ is a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, but modern genetics has revealed that different parts of different genes are used in different combinations to produce proteins, so the definition is a bit up in the air at the moment. Most people, including scientists, use ‘gene’ to mean two different things: either 1) a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, or 2) a trait. This is an important distinction to keep in mind.

A definition of ‘biological information’ is not easy to come by, and this complicates the discussion of the power of mutation to create information. However, pioneers in this field, including Gitt and others, have discussed this issue at great length so it is not necessary to reproduce all the arguments here. I will follow Gitt and define information as, “ … an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose”, and state that, “Information is always present when all the following five hierarchical levels are observed in a system: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics”[2]

Now that we’ve defined some key terms, we can address the question, “Can mutations create new genetic information?”

“Increase of genetic variety [in a population] has been observed.”

You’re talking about Richard Lenski’s research. However, “it has no relevance to the origin of enzymes and catalytic pathways that evolution is supposed to explain.”[3]

“Increase of genetic material has been observed. Novel genetic material has been observed. Novel genetically-regulated abilities has been observed.”

As evidenced through the link you provided, they seem to think gene duplication accounts for the ‘new’ (however they define new) ‘information’. Invariably, the people who use this as an argument never tell us the rate of duplication necessary, nor how many duplicated but silenced genes we would expect to see in a given genome, nor the needed rate of turning on and off, nor the likelihood of a new function arising in the silenced gene, nor how this new function will be integrated into the already complex genome of the organism, nor the rate at which the silenced ‘junk’ DNA would be expected to be lost at random (genetic drift) or through natural selection. These numbers are not friendly to evolutionary theory, and mathematical studies that have attempted to study the issue have run into a wall of improbability, even when attempting to model simple changes. This is akin to the mathematical difficulties Michael Behe discusses in his book, The Edge of Evolution. In fact, gene deletionsand loss-of-function mutations for useful genes are surprisingly common.Why would anyone expect a deactivated gene to stick around for a million years or more while an unlikely new function develops?

But the situation with gene duplication is even more complicated than this. The effect of a gene often depends on gene copy number. If an organism appears with extra copies of a certain gene, it may not be able to control the expression of that gene and an imbalance will occur in its physiology, decreasing its fitness (e.g. trisomy causes abnormalities such as Down syndrome because of such gene dosage effects). Since copy number is a type of information, and since copy number variations are known to occur (even among people), this is an example of a mutation that changes information. Notice I did not say‘adds’ information, but ‘changes’. Likewise, gene duplication is usually, though not always, bad. In the cases where it can occur without damaging the organism, one needs to ask if this is really an addition of information. Even better than that, is this the type of addition required by evolution? No, it is not.

Several creationists have written on this subject, including Lightner,[4]Liu and Moran.[5]Even if an example of a new function arising through gene duplication is discovered, the function of the new must necessarily be related to the function of the old, such as a new but similar catalysis end product of an enzyme. There is no reason to expect otherwise. New functions arising through duplication are not impossible, but they are vanishingly unlikely, and they become more unlikely with each degree of change required for the development of each new function.

2. Transitional Fossils

“Transitional fossils between different Phacops?”

You’re point? You cited an example of variations within a created kind. ‘Transitional fossils’between ‘different’ Phacops would be variations within the kind Phacops. There not changing into a different kind—like goo-to-you evolution requires. Ironically, Phacops are evidence for creation, not evolution—and testifies to the evidence of the global flood.[6][7]

“Transitional fossils of coiled oysters changing shape?”

The old Ostrea/Gryphaeastory, i.e., that a flat oyster evolved into more and more coiled forms till it coiled itself shut? Once this was regarded as a key proof of an evolutionary lineage in the fossil record. But now it seems that the coiling was the oyster’s built-in programming to respond to the environment, or ecophenotypic change[8]

“Tons of transitional fossils between dinosaurs and birds?”

The CMI website has documented that two famous alleged feathered dinosaurs are ‘dated’ younger than their supposed descendant, Archaeopteryx, and more likely to be flightless birds (Protarchaeopteryx and Caudipteryx). Another famous example, Archaeoraptor, was a fake.[9][10][11]

“Transitional fossils documenting the evolution from a kind of mammal to whales?”

http://www.answersingenesis.org...; http://creation.com...

“Examples of transitional fossils that document the evolution between fish and tetrapods?”

http://creation.com...; http://www.icr.org...

“The very common fossils of Rhizosolenia, which shows a speciation event?”

Must I really explain this? Oh no, two or more species of one kind! Isn't that evolution? You seem to think so. This is again variation within kind. And the Bible desribes living things multiplying after their kind. Of course, if someone insists on defining evolution as “a change in gene frequency,” then this example “proves evolution”—but it also “proves creation,” since varying the amounts of already-existing genes is what creation is all about.

3. Speciation

“See my refutation on mutations.”

You mentioned a few arguable cases of information-gaining mutations. The cases of which I admitted the existance of in the first round. For evolution to be true there would have to be billions of these cases. The fact is we only see mutations causing a loss of information. Mutations do produce novel genetic changes, but never has a mutation been known to add coded information to an already complex DNA system. On the contrary, it usually and easily causes a deterioration of the information present in the DNA. For random mutations to add the information for a leg where there is none is asking a lot, in fact, asking too much.

"The Bible said that animals were created in their present form."

Really? Can you find me the verse that says that?

"[Evolution is possible] even with only the decrease of information."

Explain this in the next round, please.

Citations in comments

Debate Round No. 2
jh1234l

Pro

As evidenced through the link you provided, they seem to think gene duplication accounts for the ‘new’ (however they define new) ‘information’. Gene duplication causes negative effects.

Gene duplication is a mechanism that generates new genetic material in evolution. [1]The duplicated copy accumulates mutations fater than normal.[1] Gene duplication caused the apparent mutation of a duplicated digestive gene in a family of ice fish into an antifreeze gene,[1] which was a positive effect.

You cited an example of variations within a created kind. ‘Transitional fossils’between ‘different’ Phacops would be variations within the kind Phacops.

There is no such thing as a created kind. It is nowhere in the biological classifications.[2] So I assume you mean different species, which it certainly is. My source said different SPECIES of Phacops. [3]

I will give you the oysters argument, con.

Con's dinosaur-to-bird argument is inadequate. He only said that three of them were false, while there are 10 (minus the Modern bird which does not count) in my source. [4] 30% is not convincing enough for me.

Must I really explain this? Oh no, two or more species of one kind! Isn't that evolution? You seem to think so. This is again variation within kind. And the Bible desribes living things multiplying after their kind. Of course, if someone insists on defining evolution as “a change in gene frequency,” then this example “proves evolution”—but it also “proves creation,” since varying the amounts of already-existing genes is what creation is all about.

By using the word "kind" to refute my arguments, con assumes that creation is true in the first place, because it is a concept of creationism. Circular reasoning.


"[Evolution is possible] even with only the decrease of information."

Explain this in the next round, please.

I already explained it in the last round, but anyways...

My argument last round:"Con also claims that if an amoeba has to evolve into humans, it will have to increase genetic information. False again. The amoeba genome has 670,000,000,000 base pairs,while the human genome has 2,900,000,000.
......Amoeba-to-people is entirely possible, even with only the decrease of information. (see my arguments on mutations)"
The source for the above claim is www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmUGJ3Jh7fc.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3]http://www.talkorigins.org...
[4]http://www.talkorigins.org...

Founder

Con

Founder forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
jh1234l

Pro

Extend arguments.
Founder

Con

Founder forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
jh1234l

Pro

*facepalm*
Founder

Con

Founder forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Founder 3 years ago
Founder
And there was some claims I couldn't address, I will in the next round.
Posted by Founder 3 years ago
Founder
I admit my round 2 argument might not be to well. I had to sort of just throw it together.
Posted by Founder 3 years ago
Founder
________________________________________
[1]Gabriel, S.B. et al., The structure of haplotype blocks in the human genome, Science296:2225"2229, 2002.
[2]Gitt, W., Information, Science and Biology, Journal of Creation 10(2):181"187, 1996.
[3]http://creation.com...
[4]Lightner, J.K., Gene duplication, protein evolution, and the origin of shrew venom, Journal of Creation 24(2):3"5, 2010.
[5]Liu, Y. and Moran, D., Do functions arise by gene duplication? Journal of Creation 20(2):82"89, 2006.
[6]http://www.answersingenesis.org...
[7]http://creation.com...
[8]D. Ager, The Nature of the Fossil Record, Proceedings of the Geologists" Association 87(2):131"160, 1976; see also D. Catchpoole, Evolution"s oyster twist, Creation 24(2):55, March"May 2002.
[9]Refuting Evolution 2, Chapter 8, "Argument: The fossil record supports evolution". Jonathan Sarfati Ph.D.
[10]http://creation.com...
[11]http://www.answersingenesis.org...
Posted by SavedByChrist94 3 years ago
SavedByChrist94
I would like to add, if something gets more complex and gets more data/information there needs to be a HIGHER form of information, as lesser cannot produce the greater.

Law of Cause and Effect,

Cause must have more or equal properties to cause the effect, if cause has less properties than claimed effect it couldn't have caused it, for example, matter has no consciousness, in order for matter to create consciousness it must have equal or less properties, matter is mindless, therefore lacks a mind and doesn't have the tools to create the mind.

Likewise evolution cannot be true as all species and matter is downgrading apart from intelligence, and information ALREADY needs to be there in order to be built, for one to argue "macro-evolution" as true they must admit a higher form of data/information/intelligence exists, therefore agreeing that God exists.

Since God exists in either way (Creation at once or Evolution), Evolution therefore did not happen as YHWH(The Father, and The Son, and The Holy Spirit) would just create us at once, it serves no purpose to evolve from nothing, causing pointless death and changes for a desired effect when what YHWH desires as an effect can be created at once.

"macro-evolution" dimissed, Con Wins.
Posted by Founder 3 years ago
Founder
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1]Kerkut, G.A. (1927"2004), Implications of Evolution, Pergamon, Oxford, UK, p. 157, 1960

[2] http://www.answersingenesis.org...

[3]L. Spetner, Not by Chance (New York: Judaica Press, 1997), p. 138.

[4] http://www.genetichealth.com...

[5]DNA Direct website, www.dnadirect.com

[6]Athena Diagnostics website, www.athenadiagnostics.com/content/diagnostic-ed/genetics-primer

[7] http://creation.com...

[8]http://www.answersingenesis.org...

[9] http://www.icr.org...

[10] http://www.answersingenesis.org...

[11] http://creation.com...

[12] http://www.icr.org...

[13]Stephen J. Gould, Evolution"s Erratic Pace, Natural History

[14]Mark Ridley (zoologist, Oxford University), Who doubts evolution? New Scientist.

[15] http://www.answersingenesis.org...

[16] http://www.answersingenesis.org...

[17] http://www.answersingenesis.org...
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
lannan13
I would debate this...
Posted by jh1234l 3 years ago
jh1234l
@Gundun I changed the resolution to "evolution is true". Thanks for letting me know!
Posted by Gondun 3 years ago
Gondun
You have a lot of good information, but I don't think anyone would really want to debate this. "Evolution is supported by evidence" is more of an already proven fact than a debatable question.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
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Vote Placed by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
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