Evolution vs. Young Earth Creationism
I am debating triangle.128k on this topic.
I will be arguing that the Earth's age is thousands of years old and that creationism is a more plausible explaination for the variety in species we see today whereas,
Triangle.128k will be arguing that the Earth is billions of years old and a more plausible explaination for the variety in species we see today.
Round 1: Acceptance + Definitions
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3-4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Final Rebuttals and explain why we did better than our opponent
Young Earth Creation: A literal interpretation of genesis that the Earth and heavens were created in 7 days by God, combined with the belief of the Earth being 6-10K years old.
Dawinism: the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.
The Two Models:
Both creationism and evolution have models that predict how all the species we see today have arisen. Below is the evolutionary tree of life :
And below is the creation model which more resembles an orchard :
Creationism states that all species stem from the original kinds created during God’s seven days of creation. We creationists define kinds as a term that is a larger grouping than species. The origin of kinds comes from Genesis 1:11-12 “And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds” and further more in Genesis 1:21 and 1:24-25. For example, dogs would be defined as a biblical kind. 
It might seem “out there” that all species stemmed from these created kinds, however, species can arise rather quickly. For example, most dog breeds have arisen in the last couple of centuries . I believe my opponent and I can agree that natural selection occurs and can create new species. Both in the evolution and the creation model, natural selection plays a huge part. We will probably disagree however, how much change natural selection can create. Natural selection cannot create species outside a created kind. Dogs will remain dogs and cats will remain cats whereas evolutionists believe that such changes between kinds have occurred through natural selection.
However, natural selection alone cannot drive dinosaurs-to-birds evolution or ape-like creatures to human evolution. The reason behind this simple: Nature selects certain phenotypes or traits in a species and the ones that are not selected die off with the organism lost forever to the species. However, there comes a point where nature can only select so much genetic information before there is none left. Therefore there must be a second mechanism to increase the amount of genetic information in the genome so that nature can continue to select. Evolutionists look to mutations as the mechanism but I will show in my next argument why this isn’t the case.
Genetic Entropy, an idea put forward by Cornell geneticist, Dr. John C Sanford, I believe provides the most compelling evidence that genetics don’t support evolution but rather the opposite. To begin with, I’ll present the mutation rate for humans.
The current consensus among the genetic community is that point mutations per generation is around 75-175 point mutations added per generation of humans . However, there are more types of mutations than substitutions. It is estimated that for every substitution mutation there is at least one micro-satellite mutation doubling the rate to around 150-350 mutations . There are plenty more types of mutations that get passed down through every generation but to save space, I will not dive into those numbers.
Now how many bad or deleterious mutations are there compared to the beneficial ones. Below is a diagram adapted from population geneticist, Dr. Motoo Kimura which shows the distribution of mutations :
As seen here, Dr. Kimura shows that the vast majority of mutations are deleterious and more importantly, cannot be selected out of the population which I will get to later on. One might ask, beneficial mutations exist, why aren’t they included in the distribution? That is because deleterious mutations greatly outnumber beneficial mutations to a point where they cannot realistically be shown in the distribution. In a study conducted by Dr. Bergman where he did a simple literature search on Biological Abstracts and Medline with the key word, “mutation”, he found that out of the 453,732 results found, 186 only mentioned the word “beneficial” . There are other estimates that go as low as 1 in a million mutations being beneficial . The proportion becomes even lower if you remove mutations that are only beneficial in context due to a malfunction in the genome (ex. Human lactose intolerance as the result of a malfunctioning LCT gene ) . In fact, I have yet to see a mutation that increases the amount of functional genetic information by creating functional genes. However, even if I were to draw a line on the diagram as seen below to acknowledge beneficial mutations exist blowing the distribution out of proportion, there is an obvious problem.
With the distribution, it can be deducted that most, if not all mutations that are passed to the next generation are deleterious. Therefore the human genome is losing functionality over time. Natural selection cannot eliminate all the deleterious mutations because as seen in the distribution, most mutations fall within the shaded “no-selection zone” meaning that most mutations are not deleterious or beneficial enough to give an organism a disadvantage or advantage that nature can select. Geneticists are in agreement that the human genome is degrading. The decline of fitness of the human species is calculated to be around 1-2% per generation .
How does this disprove evolution and prove creation? If genetic information cannot be increased, much less even maintained, it is ridiculous to even say that entire functional genomes of organisms were created through natural selection and mutations making the whole theory moot. Several conclusions from this information can be made to support creation.
1. If functional genomes cannot arise, then the only alternative is that they were designed by an intelligent creator.
2. The rates at which genomes degrade imply a rather recent origin of species.
Another issue with the evolutionary model is living fossils. For example, the horseshoe crab which still exists today remains completely identical to the fossils 445 million years old . The fact that such organisms don’t change in these huge timescales proves a problem for evolution. Dr. Stephan Jay Gould, a Harvard paleontologist and an evolutionists recognizes this as a problem when he wrote, “the maintenance of stability within species must be considered as a major evolutionary problem.”  The fact that modern creatures have coexisted with “ancient” species affirms the creation account that all kinds of animals were created at the same time which brings me to my next point.
Dinosaurs have been used to ridicule creationists as it is seemingly absurd that humans and dinosaurs lived together. However, there is evidence that seems to point otherwise. For example, evidence that humans and dinosaurs coexisted lies in soft tissue found in dinosaur bones . The tissue that was found was still able to stretch and retain its shape. However, the structures found like blood vessels, muscle, and skin decay rapidly to decomposers. In addition, proteins have been found in dinosaur bones such as collagen, hemoglobin, and osteocalcin . A report by The Biochemist states that proteins such as these even under the perfect conditions at 0 degrees Celsius the proteins would not last three million years . However, it is believed that dinosaurs lived in warm moist environments that would quickly degrade such proteins.
 The Holy Bible
 Kondrashov, A.S. 2002. Direct Estimate of human per nucleotide mutation rates at 20 loci causing Mendelian diseases. Human Mutation 21:12-27
 Ellegren, H. 2000. Microsatellite mutations in the germline: implications for evolutionary interference. TIG 16:551-558
 Kimura, M. 1979. Model of effective neutral mutations in which selective constraint is incorporated. PNAS 76:3440-3444
 Bergman, J. 2004. Research on the deterioration of the genome and Darwinism: why mutations result in degeneration of the genome. Intelligent design Conference, Biola University. April 22-23
 Gerrish, P.J. and R. Lenski. 1998. The fate of competing beneficial mutations in an asexual population. Genetica 102/103: 127-144.
 Crow, J.F. 1997. The high spontaneous mutation rate: is it a health risk? PNAS 94:8380-8386
 http://www.nature.com... (Must have subscription to view)
 Sanford, John C. Genetic Entropy. N.p.: FMS Publications, n.d. Print.
Creationism states that one species can not over time form into another species. However, there are transitionary fossils which say otherwise.
In this picture (1), skull A (Pan troglodytes) is dated to be 2.7 million years old. Skull M (post-modern Homo Sapiens) is dated to be 30,000 years old, with skull N representing modern day homo sapiens (humans). As you start from A, the fossils start getting younger as you progress and more human-like. Even without scientific dating, one can see that the older skulls look older and more 'broken down' to the contrary of newer skulls.Creation implies that humans existed since the beginning of creation. This however is false, the oldest known fossils of Homo Sapiens have not been older han 200,000 years (2). To the contrary, a Homo Rudolfensis skull (a human private) has been found dating back to 1.9 million years old. Not to note that human primates even older than that exist and have been found. (3)
This is not true for humans, but is also true for other species. (4+5)
The Panderichthys is believed to be a transitionary species from aquatic fish to modern-day reptiles/amphibians.
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There is a correlation with transitionary species, as you progress the fossils slowly happen to start looking more and more different, until a new species comes. This is very strong evidence for Evolution, as Creationary theory implies that one species can't slowly transition to another.
Radiometric dating is a commonly used dating methods used by scientists to determine the age of fossils and/or rocks (6 7). Radiometric dating involves a parent and daughter element to be used. The parent atom has a half life; this half life is defined as the amount of time it takes for 50% of the current parent element to decay into the daughter element.
Nitrogen (N14) and Carbon (C14) are examples of parent and daughter elements.
C14 has a half life of 5730 years. This would be "one half life." After another 5730 years or half life, the carbon 14 would half again making the overall percentage to 25% of the original C14 content, making the N14 content three times as high.
Carbon dating would be highly inefficient for rocks as old as 100,000 years. To calculate really old rocks, other isotopes are used.
This chart shows several other elements and their half life in billions of years. Uranium-235 to Lead-207 has a half life long enough to measure rocks in which are billions of years old. If a young earth were true, Pro must disprove radiometric dating since it's been used to find rocks and fossils older than the age of the Earth.
True age of the Earth
The oldest rock on Earth is a piece of zircon that is 4.4 billion years old. (8) This is rougly close to the estimate of Earth being 4.6 billion years old. While one may suspect that there may be interference from a rock this old; the findings have shown the dating used was accurate enough:
"The key finding, that lead atoms stick close to home inside this primeval zircon, means age estimates based on uranium-lead dating techniques are accurate, the researchers report. The lead hasn't wiggled around enough to throw off the ages. A typical age measurement, made with a machine called an ion probe, zaps zircon segments that are thousands of times larger than the damage clusters.
"This careful piece of work should settle the debate because it shows that indeed there is some mobility of lead, which was hypothesized to result in dates that were too old, but the scale of mobility is nanometers," said Samuel Bowring, a geochemist at MIT, who was not involved in the study. "Even the smallest volumes analyzed with the ion probe average out the heterogeneities," or variations within the zircon.
The new atom-probe technique, while extremely laborious, can also be used to address questions of reliability at other sites where extremely old rocks have been found, the researchers said. [Have There Always Been Continents?]
"Good zircons are forever, and what this does is help us separate the wheat from the chaff in a way we could never do before," Valley said."
Young Earth Creation theory implies the Earth was created at the same time as the Universe.
However, Starlight has been found that is way older than the supposed 6000 years age of the Earth. A light year is the distance light travels in one year.
The Milky Way Galaxy alone is suspected to be approximately 100,000 light years in diameter. (9) Scientists can map out what the Milky Way is suspected to look like. If the Earth were 6000 years old, one could only examine stars within a 6000 light year distance. This is not true to any extent. The Crab nebula is over 6200 light years from Earth as one example.
Another example is the Andromeda Galaxy (11) (over 2 million lightyears) which can be seen outside at a clear sky with one's own eye.
Young Earth Creation can not account for objects in space seen this far, hence proving the old age of the Earth at billions of years.
Before I finish my arguments, I would like to present one last piece of evidence proving Evolution.
Fossils are arranged in a near-perfect chronological order. Creationary theory can not account for this as the order of organisims is in line with Evolution. Human fossils can not be found as deep as fossils of dinosaurs or ancient invertebrates.
Young Earth Creation goes against many recent scientific findings and distorts what we know as Science in many fields. Evolution on the other hand is far more consistent with modern scientific findings.
I now look forward to the next round.
Let me first state that no well-informed creationist would state that speciation cannot occur as it is phenomenon observed today.
Note when looking at the skulls, I have a few legitimate concerns. You assert that the skulls look older and more broken down as you go up to fossil A, however there are plenty of outside factors besides time that could give the skulls their look. What environment was the skull retrieved for instance? Another thing I would like to bring up is what conclusions can be made from these skulls is subjective and up to interpretation. As Harvard paleontologist Dr. Stephan Jay Gould states, "Facts do not "speak for themselves"; they are read in the light of theory" . The paleontologists that unearth these skulls already with the belief that ape-like creatures evolved to modern man will see these skulls as transitional.
However, I can disprove the assertion that man has evolved from ape-like creatures using genetics. If you look at the human genome of around 3 billion base pairs and if let’s say that our genomes were 95% similar to that of chimpanzees you would have a 45,000,000 pair difference. Not to mention that the Y chromosome between humans and chimps are extremely different. A Chimp’s Y chromosome has only two-thirds as many distinct genes or gene families as the human Y chromosome and only 47% as many protein-coding elements as humans. Also, more than 30% of the chimp Y chromosome lacks an alignable counterpart on the human Y chromosome and vice versa . Calculations from population geneticist Haldane prove that it is mathematically impossible for this many mutations accumulating in the supposed millions of years we had to diverge from each other .
As with the transitional fossil that is the missing link between fish and amphibious tetropods can be proven to be wrong. Tetrapod footprints have been found that are older than the supposed age of tiktaalik, one of the transition fossils in Con’s diagram. It can’t be a transitional form if its descendants are older than the transitional form itself .
The main problem with radioactive dating is that it lies on a bunch of untested assumptions:
There has been evidence that radioactive decay is not always constant as seen with Beryllium . Radioactive decay has also been shown to fail on objects with known dates. Potassium-argon dating of mineral concentrates from the lava dome formed by Mount St. Helens returned ages of millions of years and yet the age of the lava dome is known as the eruption happened just decades ago .
There are also instances where radioactive elements are found in objects assumed way too old to be found in. For instance, Carbon 14 has been found in diamonds assumed to be billions of years old when there should be no Carbon 14 left .
Part of the answer to Con’s starlight objection can be found in Einstein’s theory of General Relatively which predicts the phenomenon of gravitational time dilation which states that time can altered with gravity. Take for example the satellites in orbit that travels through time faster than Earth by hundreds of microseconds a day which can add up if the clocks up there don’t adjust themselves. Time dilation also occurs as the fabric of space expands in the universe. The fact that the outermost reaches of the universe travels through time faster than on Earth can help explain stars thousands of light years away.
Since the creation of the sun and the stars, the bible has stated the God has continued to “stretch out the heavens” and if the universe was smaller at the beginning of creation, then starlight isn’t a problem. 
The Fossil Record:
Con portrayal of the fossil record is over simplistic claiming that it is perfect and there is no mixed up fossils. However, there are fossils that don’t belong. For instance, there was a dog-sized mammal fossil found with a small dinosaur in its stomach. Yet during the time of the dinosaurs, there aren’t supposed to be mammals large enough to eat dinosaurs .
Not to mention, there are mechanisms that can explain the general order of the fossil record that are consistent with the idea of Noah’s flood:
I would go into more detail into these mechanisms but as I am low on time I cannot but I will in later rounds along with my other rebuttals.
On to you Con………………
 Gould, S.J. (1941-2002), Ever Since Darwin, W.W. Norton, New York, NY, pp. 161-162, 1977
 Hughes, J., and 16 others (including David Page), Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content, Nature 463(7280):536–539, 28 January 2010.
 Huh, C.-A., Dependence of the decay rate of 7Be on chemical forms, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 171:325–328, 1999.
 Hu, Y., Meng, J., Wang, Y. & Li, C. “Large Mesozoic mammals fed on young dinosaurs,” Nature 433:149–152, January 13, 2005
As agreed by my opponent, this debate will be restarted later due to me having insufficient time for debating at the moment. Please do not vote on this debate.