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The Contender
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Evolutionary theory is the best explanation for biodiversity according to the current evidence

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,441 times Debate No: 17482
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (17)
Votes (1)




Burden of proof is on me to show that the theory of evolution is the best scientific explanation for biodiversity according to the current evidence.

1st round for accepting challenge and settling definitions. Besides, Con has to present and explain his alternative scientific explanation for the observed biodiversity and current evidence.

2-5th round is for arguments and rebuttals.


I accept this challenge and look forward to an interesting debate. I would define the term "best explanation" as the one with the most explanatory power, and is in agreement with the scientific model, as well as is in accord with rational thought and does not require on to accept possibilities so small as to be near impossible.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting the challenge and I look forward to hear his thoughts. I'm sure they will be interesting :)

I will note though, that my did not provide an alternative scientific explanation for the observed biodiversity and the current evidence, which I asked for, but I'll still argue the case for evolution.

The case for Evolution: Endogenous retrovirus
Retrovirus' are virus' whom enters into a host cell and then uses reverse transcribtase enzymes to get itself implemented into the host cell's DNA, where it can then get copied by using the host cells resources and mechanisms. Sometimes though, these can enter germ cells in which they get implimented into the very foundation of the DNA, which could potentially become offspring. Another thing that can happen to vira, which also happens to all life, is mutations. If both of these things happens, and succesful offspring comes out of it, then we can track all the subsequent descendants of that parent, because every offspring in that line will most likely contain this particular retrovirus in that exact position.

An Endogenous retrovirus are what these fixed ancient virus are called. There is no reason, why two different lineages, like chimps and humans, should share the same ERV in the exact same position in their genome, besides common ancestry or extreme chance. The reason why it has to be extreme chance is because of following:

Your genome contains around 3,2 billion nucleotides. That is 3200000000 letters which codes for you. A retrovirus insertion can enter in between all these nucleotides, so the chance of it ending where ever it ends, it had a 1 in 3,2b chance for that.

For it to land in the exact same position for both you and chimps, by chance, meaning, without common descent and biological relatedness, the chance would be 1/3,2b^2 which gives=9.765625 � 10^-20 or to put it another way, around 1 in 980000000000000000000 (rounded)

However, the fact is that we share more than 1 ERV with chimps. In a paper[1] they mention 16 ERV sites that both chimps and humans have in common, the chance of this would be something along the lines of this: (1 / 3 200 000 000)^16 = 8.27180613 � 10^-153

In fact, we share far more ERV's than that, but I might get into that later.

I've heard claims that ERV's aren't so random, and tends to select its insertion site in a higher rate in active coding sites, rather than in non-coding areas. However even if we redo the calculations and narrow ourselves to 0,1% of the genome, which is far less than the active part of the genome, but just to help the critics, we go with this number. This would leave only 3,2 million insertion sites, and with 16 ERV's in the exact same place, that would be left to chance, the chance would be (1 / 3 200 000)^16 = 8.27180613 � 10^-105.

So that woulds till render it so immensely unlikely, that common descent is the only rational explanation.

[1]C. M. Romano, R. F. Ramalho, and P. M. de A. Zanotto; Tempo and mode of ERV-K evolution in human and chimpanzee genomes. Arch Virol (2006) 151: 22152228


I apologize for misreading the stipulations of this debate; I was under the incorrect understanding that round 1 was only for acceptence, but that was my error. Anyways, on to the debate. The "best" scientific explanation is one that is (1) is more in agreement with the currently known "facts" (not theories) of science; (2) has the greatest explanatory scope in terms of expalining all the data; (3) is testable and (or) observable; and (4) requires the least amount of acceptance of extremely slim probabilities. As I will demonstrate, my scientific explanation for biodiversity meets all these criteria more adequately than evolution. My argument is that all the biodiversity on this planet can be better accounted for by an intelligent being (or beings) creating live on the earth.

Agrees with Facts of Science
Creation agrees with the facts of the natural world againt evolution. A, evolution models hold that life evolved from nonlife by chance chemical reactions. This has never been repeated in laboratory experiments or observed as naturally occuring in the world. Creation holds life only comes from previous life, which we do see in nature daily as living things only come from former living things. Evolution holds that complex life forms came from simple ones, with millions transitional forms linking previous ones. Creation holds exactly what we see in the fossil record, that complex lifeforms appear suddenlyingreat variety, each kind separat from previous ones with no links in between. In fact, there has never been found a simple beginning. Evolution says new kinds arise gradually with incomplete bones and organs in various transitional stages, but what we do find in the fossil record is that all the kinds are fully forms with no incomplete parts. Evolution claims mutation resulted in beneficial attributes that enabled he species to survive as it evolved, but reality is that small mutations are harmful, large ones deadly; never results in anything new. Evolution claims language evolved from the gruts of simple animal sounds, but modern language studies show modern languages came from more complex ancient ones like Hebrew, Aramic, etc. These examples show that creation agrees with proven facts better than evolution.

Explantory Scope
Pro made the point that "Your genome contains around 3,2 billion nucleotides. That is 3200000000 letters which codes for you." The mere fact that scientists use words like "letters" and "codes" to describe the information packed in the genes shows that is meaninful and complex. Nature can produce patterns, but when we see "letters" and "codes" we know that rationally, there must be intelligence behind it. Evolution does not explain how the information got there to begin with. DNA is a long, helical structure found inside the nucleus and mitochondria of the cell. It is made of a four-molecule alphabet arranged in a very specific order. This sequence is like an instruction book telling the cell what parts to use to build a protein. But this instruction book needs to be de-coded with other proteins. The difficult thing is that proteins are needed to make more DNA, but DNA is needed to make proteins. And the cell cannot function without proteins. Deliberate creation could give us both DNA and protein simultaneously but "chance" cannot. DNA is a very complex information processing system. In fact, Bill Gates has compared it to a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created. (Bill Gates, The Road Ahead (Viking, 1995), 188) DNA is more than just an improbable sequence of bases; it is functional. It tells the cells what to do. So the question we really need to answer is, how can this kind of information arise in the first place? Minds produce information, blind natural forces do not.

Chance is not a good explanation for the origin of DNA, because the probability of getting something as specified and complex as DNA is well beyond the accepted probability of zero.

The other option is DNA might have come about because of necessity or natural law. Maybe there is some chemical or natural reason that forced the DNA molecules to form. Two examples of this type of origin of life theory are self-organization and biochemical predestination. The idea behind both of these is that the molecular alphabet in DNA arranged itself because of chemical properties or environmental factors. Unfortunately, scientists have found that the molecules in DNA do not chemically interact with each other because they are stuck to a phosphate backbone, not to each other.(The only time the nucleotides in DNA interact with each other is when they are paired, A-T, C-G, and they do this through hydrogen bonding. However, this pairing is with nucleotides across from each other and serves to protect the DNA molecule. The coding has to do with the sequence of bases next to each other, and there is no chemical reason for one nucleotide to "prefer" being next to another.) On top of that, there isn't even a chemical attraction between these DNA sequences and the protein parts they code for (known as a codon). Since there is not a self-organizing motivation for this, and there is not an environmental factor that would favor certain combinations over others, necessity seems to fall short of explaining the functional information of DNA.

Observable, Testable
We observe intelligent beings creating complex machines, so too, the more complex brain, the most complex "machine" should have adesigner. We observe life coming from life. Evolution though has no such backing. Animal only produce "according to their kinds," and even where a horse and donkey mate to get a mule, the offspring is sterile, not resulting in a new species that can resproduce on its own.

The Least acceptance to Impossible Odds.
As I said to an opponent in a former debate, " there are over 100 amino acids, but only 20 are needed for life's proteins. Moreover, they come in two shapes: Some of the molecules are "right-handed" and others are "left-handed." Should they be formed at random, as in a theoretical organic soup, it is most likely that half would be right-handed and half left-handed. And there is no known reason why either shape should be preferred in living things. Yet, of the 20 amino acids used in producing life's proteins, all are left-handed! How is it that, at random, only the specifically required kinds would be united in the soup? What chance is there that the correct amino acids would come together to form a protein molecule? It could be likened to having a big, thoroughly mixed pile containing equal numbers of red beans and white beans. There are also over 100 different varieties of beans. Now, if you plunged a scoop into this pile, what do you think you would get? To get the beans that represent the basic components of a protein, you would have to scoop up only red ones—no white ones at all! Also, your scoop must contain only 20 varieties of the red beans, and each one must be in a specific, preassigned place in the scoop. In the world of protein, a single mistake in any one of these requirements would cause the protein that is produced to fail to function properly. Would any amount of stirring and scooping in our hypothetical bean pile have given the right combination? No. Then how would it have been possible in the hypothetical organic soup? The proteins needed for life have very complex molecules. What is the chance of even a simple protein molecule forming at random in an organic soup? Evolutionists acknowledge it to be only one in 10 to the 113th power (1 followed by 113 zeros). But any event that has one chance in just 10 to the 50th power is dismissed by mathematicians as never happening." So evolution stands no chance of passine even the stage of abiogenisis. As a painter uses similar styles in his works, all similarities in species can be accounted for by creation the same being(s). I'll reply in detail to Pro's points in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2


Relax forfeited this round.


My opponent forfeited, and now I'm told that his account is no longer active, so I guess this debate is over.
Debate Round No. 3


Relax forfeited this round.


Pro forfeits, vote Con
Debate Round No. 4


Relax forfeited this round.


vote for me
Debate Round No. 5
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
Even most ID theorists (who represent a tiny proportion of the whole biological community - most reputable scientific organisations have publicly stated that ID is either pseudoscience or not corroborated by the evidence, including Kenyon's own university) accept the basic tenants of evolution - natural selection, common descent etc. The only thing most of them claim is that there are certain organisms that display irreducible complexity and thus require intelligent intervention.

And, the evidence for evolution is so extensive that there's no way I could even summarise it here. I could suggest some reading material on the web if you want.
Posted by jc496 7 years ago
@kinesis I find it ironic how most atheists talk about how there's a lot of evidence for evolution but a lot of them don't use factual evidence; they refer to the words of people higher up in the scientific community. And i know a biologist who is in fact in favor of intelligent design, and against evolution. Intelligent design was created by many learned scientists such as Dean Kenyon. In fact there are thousands of scientists who are against evolution.
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
You've actually discussed the topic of evidence for evolution with a qualified biologist? As in, someone with at least a degree in biology (the very fact that one has a degree in a hard science disqualifies one from being an idiot, but I digress)? I really, really hope you aren't taking this position from some random internet atheist or the just media appearances of, for example, Richard Dawkins.

The evidence in favour of evolution is overwhelmingly strong. There would literally have to be an extremely powerful being manipulating a huge quantity of evidence to deceive us for it to turn out to be false. That isn't a statement of dogmatism - any more than stating the same about the molten core of the earth, the germ theory of disease or photosynthetic theory is dogmatic. Evolution is simply factually true. It describes reality correctly. That's all there is to it.
Posted by baggins 7 years ago
"If you want to call 99.9% of biological scientists dogmatic idiots, I guess that's your prerogative..."

I want to call most of the 'biological scientist' with whom I have discussed evolution as dogmatic idiots on this issue. Even theoretically I can't give a figure of 99.9% until I discuss it with at least 1000 people!
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
Relax daily.
Posted by Man-is-good 7 years ago
The first reason is I have never seen complete proof that evolution is true."

Evolution is a theory, and therefore can always be changed or revised in light of new research. But, nevertheless, the proof of evolution appears satisfactory for most scientists.
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
"I find most evolutionist to be dogmatic idiots - who focus on discrediting creationism rather than proving evolution"

If you want to call 99.9% of biological scientists dogmatic idiots, I guess that's your prerogative...
Posted by Relax 7 years ago
I've challenged you to another debate, so we can get it done there.
Posted by baggins 7 years ago
I do not accept evolution. Personally I am not qualified to comment on truth of evolution. Yet I reject evolution because of two reasons. The first reason is I have never seen complete proof that evolution is true. The second reason is that I find most evolutionist to be dogmatic idiots - who focus on discrediting creationism rather than proving evolution.

Please confirm if you want me to accept this debate.
Posted by Relax 7 years ago
I prefer debating with people whom I have to actually show something new. Not people who already accept evolution and just does it for the sake of debate. So be it creationist or just an "agnostic" on the subject doesn't really do a difference.

I'd like you to look here and see what you think of some of my information for starters, to get the most out of the debate:
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Meatros 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeit right when it was getting good. Points to Con.