The Instigator
kylet357
Pro (for)
The Contender
Mike_10-4
Con (against)

Evolution

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Debate Round Forfeited
kylet357 has forfeited round #4.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 541 times Debate No: 98192
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

kylet357

Pro

I'm opening this debate for matters not only of debate but of discussion as well. This is also to make up for my last debate, as I was unable to finish it due to me transitioning into my big move for college.

First round will just be me listing out the necessary terms required for one to understand the science behind evolution as well as clear up any possible misconceptions that may arise during the debate, and then con will accept and produce any arguments or objections he may want to make. Proceeding rounds will just be rebuttals of arguments made. Please stay on topic; this debate is solely on Evolution, not other fields of science, religion, or politics.

Evolution - the process through which organisms change over time

Evolution is a biological science and has nothing to do with the Big Bang and is not an explanation of the *origin of life* either (that is abiogenesis) but the diversity of life.

Species - a group of organisms that can reproduce fertile offspring (the fertile offspring part is important).

Organisms are classified in a binomial system called Taxonomy, where organisms are named in the format of [Genus] [species] [subspecies] (e.g. Homo is the genus name that comprises of all humans, sapiens is the species name that comprises of a human species that arose around 200 kya, and sapiens is the subspecies name that specifically refers to anatomically modern humans). Cladistics is also used to look at direct common ancestry within groups called 'clades'.

For dating ranges, for the sake of simplicity and saving space, I will be using the xya format. Kya means 'thousands years ago', mya means 'million years ago', bya means 'billion years ago'.

Vestigial trait - a trait of an organism from an ancestor that has either lost its use or has a different/reduced use (e.g. the legs found in snakes and whales, the fingernails of a manatee, the arm/wing of an emu, etc.).

Theory - a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of nature
Hypothesis - a proposed explanation that is required to be testable (in terms of the scientific method)

Natural selection - differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype

One must understand when debating this topic that this theory is as much "Darwin's theory", as the Big Bang is Georges Lemaitre's or Edwin Hubble's theory. It has, pardon the pun, evolved since Darwin's time. While he and his publications are not a bad reference for the debate, I do not suggest using him as a main source. My suggestion is to refer to more updated/modern sources of information regarding Evolution (such as the Tree of Life project, an online searchable phylogenetic tree). Also, be careful with how you quote your sources. I will not respect quote mining to purposely remove context or add context that isn't there, and, depending on the source cited, I will not hesitate to contact the source of the quote directly if need be (I had to do this for my last debate).

Good luck to my opponent, whoever they may be.
Mike_10-4

Con

Thank you Pro (kylet357) for bringing an important subject to the debating floor. I'm looking forward for a good and constructive “discussion” on said subject. Also, congratulations on the transitioning into your “big move for college.”

Your definition of “Evolution” is lacking a relatively new scientific discovery known as the physical constructal law. This law includes your narrow focus on evolution, but to have a discussion on evolution we must include the physics of this design in nature, a fundamental foundation for evolution both animate and inanimate.

We are a product of the physical laws of nature and stuck within the matrix of these laws there are no exceptions. We are a way for nature to see and experience itself. The subject of this debate is “Evolution” and therefore, my focus or contribution to this discussion is, as I will debate, no conversation about evolution is complete unless it starts with the foundation of evolution.

And on that note, please allow me to introduce Adrian Bejan, the scientist who discovered the constructal law. What Einstein did to Newton, Bejan has done to Darwin; the evolution of understanding evolution. The following journal article illustrates the simplicity of flow resulting in the evolution of configuration:
http://www.tandfonline.com...
Debate Round No. 1
kylet357

Pro

Thank you, I have completed my first semester of college thus far and enjoyed it a lot. It's strange being in a much more culturally diverse place than even I'm from but it only makes the environment ever more exciting. Anyway, on with the show then.

I should mention I had never heard of Constructal Law before now but at the same time it seems as if I'd been learning about it all along. The concepts are familiar and it seems to be a build on Thermodynamics itself (in how it describes flow from systems and such) as well as tying into inheritance somewhat. I would contend, however, that it does not seem to be as significant as you say it is after reading up on it and watching videos of Bejan explain the law as well as impressions from students learning it. It definitely reinforces ideas in terms of the application of Thermodynamics to Evolution. I can also see it being applied to a new mathematical concept by Jeremy England that may explain the origin of life, which is actually quite exciting itself.

https://youtu.be... - 'Constructal Law Explained'
https://youtu.be... - 'Constructal Law Examples'

Both videos have Bejan presenting his law.

https://youtu.be... - 'Constructal Law Student Impressions'

And, in case it peaked your interest, this is the link to Jeremy England's Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org...

Have a good day, and I hope your holiday is going good too.
Mike_10-4

Con

Thank you for the holiday greetings and the best to you and your Family.

You stated, “I would contend, however, that it [constructal law] does not seem to be as significant as you say it is after reading up on it and watching videos of Bejan explain the law as well as impressions from students learning it.”

That is the debate, I simply take issue with your “not significant” position on the constructal law (aka the law of evolution). The constructal law is part of Thermodynamics, a “first principle” law, simple and profound. The constructal law transcends the classical narrow view of biological “Natural selection” etc., presenting a unification principle of evolution throughout the universe both animate and inanimate.

Thank you for the YouTube Duke University overviews (“Explain”, “Examples” and “Student Impressions”) of the constructal law. I find university video productions a bit boring, the following presentation adds depth with a bit of Hollywood spin to the subject: https://www.youtube.com...

This law is new (1996) and generating a lot of excitement today over the entire range of science—from geophysics and biology to social dynamics and engineering. The interest is fueled by two trends:

1) A voluminous body of knowledge has accumulated, and it shows that features our minds perceive as design (configurations, rhythms, scaling rules) are present in “ALL” flow systems in nature represented by the empirical repeatable vascularized, treelike patterns found throughout the living universe; similar to the hierarchical branching patterns found in the flow of traffic, social organization, communication, markets, and other human activities.

2) Design phenomena are not covered by the existing known laws of physics.

The empirical knowledge has far outpaced the theoretical framework that is needed to support it. This kind of mismatch is the ammunition and trigger for scientific revolution.

Many scientists have offered their own insights into the riddle of design in nature. To varying degrees these include fractal geometry, complexity theory, Fibonacci's patterns, network theories, chaos theory, power laws (allometric scaling rules), and other “general social and economic models” and optimality statements (minimum, maximum, optimum), as well as Charles Darwin's seminal work and D'Arcy Thompson's magisterial volume “On Growth and Form,” etc.

To have a discussion about evolution advoiding this profound design relation in the symmetry of vascularized, treelike patterns throughout the universe is like jumping in the middle of a movie clueless of the characters. Then, you start the story by saying, “Evolution - the process through which organisms change over time.” What's up with this change? Is this change reversible? If not, why?

When you start with the laws of thermodynamics you immediately establish the “arrow of time,” geometric irreversibility, etc., during the morphing of configuration found in all flow systems. Such morphing defines life in physics terms, and includes all living-system phenomena. It also reframes the view that life on Earth began with the rise of primitive “organisms” some 3.5 billion years ago. Life began much earlier, when the first inanimate systems, such as currents of solar heat and wind, the flow of fluid dynamics, acquiring the vascular evolving designs needed for life.

You don't need advanced mathematics to grasp this simple and profound relationship. The simplicity is there as my Friend Pro stated, “…but at the same time it seems as if I'd been learning about it [constructal law] all along.” And on that note, you too, as I did; experienced a moment of discovery.
Debate Round No. 2
kylet357

Pro

This definitely is a subject I'll have to look into more before I could ever continue to debate the topic honestly. As of right now, my position is still the same: that constructal law isn't necessarily as important as it's hyped up to be, though maybe to a lesser degree after reading your argument. This is just my position after seeing the three videos as well as some criticism of his book on Amazon and the only places I see it being shown as a foundation shaking law is in popular media (Huffington Post and Forbes) but not any science media. However, I have seen some responses from Bejan to people who are misunderstanding his law (and maybe I am among that group as well), and what he's saying when he explains himself and corrects the other party does make sense.

I apologize for the extremely late and brief reply, I'm not well-versed enough in the topic of constructal law to make any rebuttals. This was still a very intriguing discussion, and I would like to continue it. Feel free to message me after this debate is over and we can trade some contact info and talk about all of this sometime. Have a happy holiday!
Mike_10-4

Con

Thank you for the holiday greetings, and the same to you and your Family.

A side benefit from a debate is sharing in a learning experience. A debate in philosophy is a function of one's skill in a dialectic, as for science, a debate is over some issue within the scientific community. The issue being, as Bejan stated, “Life and evolution is the most researched and least agreed upon topic in science today” (http://www.tandfonline.com...). In science we can't overlook the human factor in the chemistry between scholarly elites and the conservative inertia imbedded in established knowledge. It took Einstein nearly forty years to get the scientific community to evolve from classical Newtonian. It's not that Newtonian was wrong, Einstein just added an evolutionary step in the fidelity of understanding.

Adding an evolutionary step to the laws of thermodynamics is a monumental step. Since thermodynamics is a “first principle” law, means, it applies to everything in nature. Again, we are a product of the physical laws of nature. A law of physics is a concise statement that summarizes a phenomenon that occurs in nature. A phenomenon is a fact, circumstance or experience that is apparent to the human senses and can be described. The phenomenon throughout evolutionary organization facilitates access for everything that flows, evolves, spreads and is collected: river basins, atmospheric, ocean currents, animal life, the migration of technology, which includes the evolution of man and machine, wealth, economics and culture, etc. As Adrian Bejan stated in his book “Design in Nature” (https://www.amazon.com...):

“Good ideas travel and persist. They keep on traveling. This is why culture is a constructal design [the constructal law]—a tapestry of morphing linkages in our minds and on the globe—all superimposed on the same area (the globe) and in the same volume (the brain). As such, culture is the same kind of design as the tapestry of vascular architectures, animate and inanimate, all superimposed on the Earth's surface.”

Take for example, throughout the ages the flow of information seeking the path of least resistance, morphing into configuration resulting in a vascularized network known as the internet. And here we are on debate.org. What would our cave dwelling ancestors think about such evolution? Relative to information flow a new field is on the horizon known as Constructal Infonomics.
http://constructalinfonomics.org...

Perhaps, future generations of scholars in the political and social sciences may apply the constructal law in the evolution of governance, helping to make this world a better place to live, moving further from the Dark Ages summarized in the following article:
http://www.westernfreepress.com...

Take for example Leonard E. Read's 1958 essay in the following short YouTube presentation about a pencil's genealogy (note, 1958 is well before constructal law's discovery). The essay covers the “spontaneous order” (Friedrich Hayek) found in free market systems. Read's reference to Adam Smith's celebrated phrase of an “invisible hand” at the end, is the physical constructal law in action no longer a philosophy in economics but part of the laws of nature. Notice the treelike and vascularized patterns are also the footprint of the physical constructal law, while this law unequivocally anchors economics to the physical laws of nature; unbeknownst to many economist today.
https://www.youtube.com...

I could go on with examples, but I'll stop here.

I understand Pro is on a learning curve and I do appreciate his claim, “not well-versed enough in the topic.” But Pro cannot deny the activity in the scientific community over this relative new discovery of a fundamental law, an outgrowth of the laws of thermodynamics, describing a unified principle for all evolution. Pro continues to claim such a principle, “isn't necessarily as important as it's hyped up to be.” One would think one would be extremely excited about such a discovery that unifies evolution on a debate titled: “Evolution.”

As Pro claimed, “Evolution - the process through which organisms change over time.” In this debate, those “organisms change over time” includes the morphing linkages within the mind of Pro and perhaps, within the minds of those who critique this debate, forming new vascularize linkages of neurons in their brain in the evolution of understanding evolution. Understanding becomes the freedom from the resistance in the struggle to understand.

I realize this profound relationship is a hard pill to swallow, over a simple concept of flow seeking the path of least resistance morphed the universe into configuration from pure energy flow at the beginning of time.
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by kylet357 1 year ago
kylet357
It's the same on my last debate as well. I'm not sure what the reason is.
Posted by Mike_10-4 1 year ago
Mike_10-4
I don't know why the debate is stuck for over five days waiting for the system to "update this debate"? I sent a message every day to "Customer Support" and getting no response. What's up with this?
Posted by kylet357 1 year ago
kylet357
I definitely could have provided a much more in-depth definition of Evolution, and I should have mentioned speciation. When I provided my definition, I did it with the mindset that those who read the debate were laymen or just had no knowledge of the topic at hand. It's quite clear that my opponent is no such layman, which is good because it means it's unlikely for them to misinterpret anything within Evolution (e.g. certain laws and principles) and allows the debate to go through much more smoothly.

So, I apologize for not providing a more precise definition. I was well within my boundaries to do so, and it did cross my mind. I decided not to in the interest of being a bit more general to allow a less scientific audience to better comprehend what was being said and I did underestimate the expertise which my opponent does seem to have, which I apologize for as well.

Anyway, my reply for the debate should be up by the end of the day or tomorrow at the latest. Thank you to everyone that has commented thus far, I will note your criticism for future debates.
Posted by TheBenC 1 year ago
TheBenC
Plantes, solar systems, galaxies and universes all evolve. Your definition of evolution is highly flawed.
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
vi_spex
that is what evolution is
Posted by eyestosee 1 year ago
eyestosee
If you are simply arguing that 'organisms change over time,' I don't think you are going to find anybody who will oppose that.
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