The Instigator
Burncastle
Pro (for)
Winning
39 Points
The Contender
daley
Con (against)
Losing
25 Points

Given the available data, denying the theory of evolution is completely unreasonable

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 16 votes the winner is...
Burncastle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,136 times Debate No: 58967
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (142)
Votes (16)

 

Burncastle

Pro

This debate should be impossible to accept, comment if you want to debate.

Some clarifications:

- I will have most (if not all) of the BoP, but my opponent should feel free to present any arguments he/she deems useful, either against evolution or in favor of an alternate theory.

- The first round is for acceptance and I would like my opponent to present his/her position very quickly.

- My first argument will be mostly copy pasted from one of my earlier debate, so don't be surprised if you find it somewhere else.

- I am arguing that evolution is EXTREMELY well supported by science (to a point where denying it is unreasonable), not that science PROVES evolution (science does not PROVE anything).

(EDIT) By proof I mean 100% certainty, like in mathematics. "EXTREMELY well supported by science" can be understood as "demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt". And I am referring to the biological theory of evolution via natural selection (descent with modifications and all those things).

Looking forward to an interesting debate!
daley

Con

I will shows why evolution is unscientific, and very, very unreasonable, and based solely upon wild speculation and lack of imagination.
Debate Round No. 1
Burncastle

Pro

Based on my opponent's response, it would seem that he wants some of the BoP, which is fine.

Let's start with a quick definition of science. Science is a method we use to acquire knowledge; it is a process by which we analyze what we observe and draw conclusions based on these observations. Here is a quick summary of the scientific method, as it is generally used:

1- We start by observing a phenomenon that occurs in nature for which an explanation is required (which means basically everything). This phenomenon must be observable by everyone (given the right tool) in order to be qualified as 'natural'.
2- Based on these observations, we make conjectures (hypotheses) in order to have a starting point. We should try to apply Occam's razor as much as possible when making conjectures.
3- We then test these conjectures in order to make sure that they are as accurate as possible and if they are not, we modify them to conform to reality. It is important to modify the conjecture to fit with the data and NOT the other way around.
4- Step 3 must be repeated over and over again and by more than one person in order to validate its accuracy.
5- In order for an hypothesis to become a theory (which is the highest it can get), it must be able to produce accurate predictions. It is important to note that a theory can never be 'proved', it can only be disproved. We usually apply the label 'proved' to a theory when it has been known to survive the most rigorous tests and provided plenty of accurate predictions, but it is technically not the right word.

While this method is not infallible, it is the most reliable that has ever been constructed to date.
(taken from: http://www.debate.org...)

Now on to the evidence for evolution.



1) Evidence from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA):

Since I am not a geneticist, this will be pretty basic (and pretty much a bunch of paraphrases from sources I will list below). I believe it will also help everyone understand it better. Let's start with an introduction to DNA.

Our DNA is what defines us. It uses four basic building blocks (named A, T, C and G) in order to code our entire body. Humans have approximately 25000 genes in their DNA, each of which controls a specific aspect of our body (eye color, diseases, height, etc.). We share about 99,9% of our DNA with each other, leaving our differences in the remaining 0,1%. http://eveloce.scienceblog.com...

A couple of years back, scientists started the Human Genome Project, with which they wanted to sequence all of our DNA (this has now been completed). With the sequence now well known, scientists began to sequence the DNA of other mammals such as lions, elephants and pigs and they realized that not only do they also have 25000 genes, but most of these genes are identical to ours. Many primates are extremely similar to us, genetically speaking.
http://humanorigins.si.edu...;
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Another impressive fact is the ability for human genes to be passed to other animals. Fruit flies, for example, can accept some human genes in order to create weird (though viable) mutations. While this may not be a direct proof of evolution, it is exactly what you would expect if every life form shared a common ancestor.

Since DNA is an extremely complicated subject, I will leave at that for now.

2) Evidence from the fossil record:

This is much easier to grasp then DNA so I will spend more time on it. Let's begin with the evolution of humans:

        • Australopithecus afarensis lived around 3 million years ago. It's anatomy suggests that it is ancestral to modern humans http://humanorigins.si.edu...

        • Homo ergaster (which is sometimes considered part of homo erectus) is the next species in our evolutionary chain. It lived less than 2 million years ago and shared many feature with us http://australianmuseum.net.au...

        • Homo heidelbergensis lived less than 1 million years ago and was very similar to homo erectus except for the fact that he had a larger brain http://anthro.palomar.edu...

        • Homo sapiens is virtually identical to us and therefore is considered part of the same species (basically, we are homo sapiens). They have been around for about 200 000 years http://humanorigins.si.edu...

Let's explore the evolution from sea to land:
This aspect of evolution is extremely important; not only does it contain one of the most convincing “transitional fossil”, but it also allowed us to make an accurate prediction. Given what we knew about evolution back in 2000, scientists began to search for the fossil of an animal, around 350 million years old, which would indicate the transition from sea to land. After many failed attempt, they finally found what they were looking for in 2004 (in Canada); Tiktaalik. This animal is a perfect transitional fossil; it retains many characteristics of fish AND has many features that are specific to tetrapods.
http://www.sciencedaily.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
https://www.youtube.com...

If my opponent wishes, I can present the evolution of birds in the next round, or perhaps the evolution of cats and dogs, or maybe he would prefer the evolution of mammals. Take your pick.

Personally, the aspect of the fossil record that I find the most convincing (and the primary reason why I accept evolution as true) is the absence of currently living species in old layers; for example, we never found the fossil of a dog that was 100 million years nor have we ever found “rabbits in the Precambrian”. http://en.wikipedia.org...;
In other words, the fact that evolution is so easily falsifiable and yet has NOT been falsified is pretty convincing to me (although it obviously is not sufficient on its own to be considered scientific).

3) Evidence from phylogenetics.

https://www.youtube.com...

What is phylogenetics? Well phylogenetics is the study of the history of evolution, it is basically the family tree of all life. Now, how does this count as evidence for evolution? There are many ways to construct an evolutionary tree, we can use morphology (the structure of living things), DNA, geology and many other. The great thing about this is that the tree produced by each of these methods is practically IDENTICAL; they each predict (approximately) the same pattern of evolution (although DNA has the last word because it is less prone to interpretation than morphology).

Here is an example of a phylogenetic tree focused on humans: http://www.globalchange.umich.edu...

The phylogenetic tree of life demonstrates that every single living thing on this planet came from a common ancestor. There is a video on youtube called 'Phylogeny challenge" where the narrator (Aronra) explains how it would be easy to falsify evolution using phylogenetics. https://www.youtube.com...;


I eagerly await your response!
daley

Con

The very first part in Pro"s definition of science was, "1- We start by observing a phenomenon that occurs in nature."

Now no one has ever observed evolution happening. In fact, evolutionists tell us that it occurs too slowly for anyone to actually notice it"s going on. Now if I were to say that fairies existed, but they move so fast you can"t see them, you"d know I was merely qualifying my theory as an excuse for why evidence for them is not be observable. The same is true for evolution. At this junction, however, you may object that we do see small changes occur in various organisms, but this isn"t evidence that these creatures are becoming some new species. This is always just a case of variation within the kind. We have humans with blonde hair, red hair, brown and black hair; others with blue eyes, green eyes, brown and black eyes, still some people are tall like Michael Jordan and others are short like pygmies, but these are all recognized as variations within the human species. When two short parents with black hair give birth to a child who grows tall with brown hair, we don"t predict the child is becoming some new species. Its just variation within the kind; and there are boundaries of variation that are never ever crossed. We always run into these boundaries even when breeding animals. No amount of breeding has ever caused dogs to produce anything other than dogs, or cause fish to become frogs.

"Breeders usually find that after a few generations, an optimum is reached beyond which further improvement is impossible, and there has been no new species formed . . . Breeding procedures, therefore, would seem to refute, rather than support evolution." (On Call, July 3, 1972, pp. 8, 9)

"Species do indeed have a capacity to undergo minor modifications in their physical and other characteristics, but this is limited and with a longer perspective it is reflected in an oscillation about a mean [average]." (Science, "Evolutionary Theory Under Fire," by Roger Lewin, November 21, 1980, p. 884) So there is a limited range of variation.

"Living things are enormously diverse in form, but form is remarkably constant within any given line of descent: pigs remain pigs and oak trees remain oak trees generation after generation." (Scientific American, "The Genetic Control of the Shape of a Virus," by Edouard Kellenberger, December 1966, p. 32)

For example, consider bacteria. Bacteria are the most adaptable living things on the planet. They are found living in every environment known to man, from the extremely hot to the extremely cold. Most of them live only a few hours, and this is why its easier to observe successive generations of bacteria in the lab to see if they will ever evolve into anything else such as an amoeba, a cell, or some other organism. Yet, after thousands of independent studies observing countless generations of bacteria, they all still remained bacteria. Like humans, some grew bigger, some developed the ability to perform new functions, but they always remained bacteria. Richard Lenski"s experiment, after breeding over 60, 000 generations of e-coli bacteria, produced nothing more than bacteria. http://en.wikipedia.org... They were bigger, they learnt a new trick (ingesting citrate), but they still remained bacteria. Now I ask, if bacteria which are more adaptable to changing environments than animals don"t evolve into anything else given so many generations, how do we expect even much larges physical changes to have occurred to transform australopithecines into Neanderthals? If bacteria needs more than 60, 000 generations, mammals must need many times that, and I challenge Pro to show us that they had enough time. So we have observable evidence that evolution isn"t happening, and we don"t have enough time for the changes to occur, plus we don"t even observe evolution occurring which is one of the elements needed for it to be scientific. It must be observable. It isn"t.

Take the example of the fruit-fly experiments. After breeding fruit flies %20 faster than normal, a team of scientists concluded: "Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles." "The probability of fixation in wild populations should be even lower than its likelihood in these experiments." --Burke, Molly K., Joseph P. Dunham, Parvin Shahrestani, Kevin R. Thornton, Michael R. Rose, Anthony D. Long. 30 September 2010. Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila. Nature, Vol. 467, pp. 587-590.

Further, I don"t think Pro can sustain the dates he is arguing for. He merely mentions them, but gives no argument to show these dates are correct. This is important in establishing a timeline from one transitional form to the next. All carbon dating techniques, weather we use the potassium-argon clock or the rate of decay from carbon to lead, all involve half-lives of thousands of years. And my objection here goes back to Pro"s first point in what constitutes science. It begins with an observation. No one has ever observed any of these elements for thousands of years in a lab to prove that it actually took these amounts of time to decay into a daughter product. Its all based on speculation. I challenge Pro to tell us how anyone knows that it takes C-14 over 2000 years for half of it to decay into lead. That"s not science, its science fiction.

Pro"s fifth point in establishing science is that "it must be able to produce accurate predictions." If it were true that creatures change to adapt to different environments, we should expect to find Eskimos growing fur just like all the mammals in the cold to keep them warm from the snow. At least they should be hairier than humans in the tropics but they aren"t. They are just as hairless as I am. Pro says humans have been here for 200 000 years now, so why is it in 200 000 years we see no evolution in humans? Why do animals in Africa where it is hot have thick fur coats when humans in the cold countries have none? Evolution seems to predict stuff scientists will find in the fossil record, most of which they already knew was there. But what about predicting what changes should be occurring right now? Ironic that evolutionists never predict what mutations or evolutionary pathways they expect to see in their experiments breeding fruit flies or bacteria. They never predict what will develop according to the environments they create. But claim they can predict what they will find in the fossil record. I find this suspicious. The only reason they could predict the discovery of a so-called sea to land transitional like tiktaalik is because we already have similar animals, such as the catfish and seals that both have fins for the water and walk around on the ground. So evolution isn"t predicting anything that we don"t already know exists. The platypus has characteristics of many species but isn"t a link to any of them. So to conclude evolution from such similarities is wishful thinking, not science. Let me see Pro tell us of a scientist who ever predicted a new feature developing among some species in modern times and show us that this prediction was fulfilled.

Pro sees similar DNA as evidence of evolution, I see it as evidence of a common designer, just as many cars have similar styles because the same person designed them, and many books have similar styles because they have the same author. If every species and plant were completely different biochemically, how could we eat? We would not be able to digest and metabolize organisms whose biochemical structure was completely alien to us. But even similar DNA is insufficient to prove common ancestry, because "The amount of information in the 3 billion base pairs in the DNA in every human cell has been estimated to be equivalent to that in 1,000 books of encyclopaedia size. If humans were "only" 4% different this still amounts to 120 million base pairs, equivalent to approximately 12 million words, or 40 large books of information. This is surely an impossible barrier for mutations (random changes) to cross." http://www.google.com...

Only %48.6 of the human genome matches nucleotide sequences for chimpanzees, and only %5 of human Y chromosomes can be matched to chimpanzee sequencing, so the similarities are not even as good as evolutionists would like. (Fujiyama, Asao, Hidemi Watanabe, et al., (2002), "Construction and Analysis of a Human-Chimpanzee Comparative Clone Map," Science, 295:131-134, January 4)

The phylogeny of apes runs from the gibbon, to orangutans, to gorillas, to chimpanzees, to humans, according to evolutionary biology. http://www.google.com... Humans are much closer to chimps on this evolutionary scale than to gibbons, and yet, the difference between humans and chimps is far greater than the difference between a chimp and a gibbon. Even if we grant skeletal similarity to the evolutionists, humans are far more separated from chimps than gibbons in memory capacity, reasoning ability, brain complexity, and way of life. This should not be the case if evolution were true.

If indeed we evolved from chimpanzees, its odd that the so-called intermediate forms such as australopithecus, homo erectus, and homo habilis are extinct but the inferior apes survived. How did lower lifeforms outlive their evolved successors? These are my opening arguments. I will respond to Pro's arguments next round.
Debate Round No. 2
Burncastle

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response.

There is a joke in the scientific community that goes "There are two kinds of people, those who accept evolution and those who do not understand it" and I believe that my opponent's last round is an excellent demonstration of the fact that this joke is grounded in reality. I will rebut my opponent's points paragraph per paragraph.

One of the famous complain that people have against evolution is that is has never been observed. The easy response to that is that it HAS INDEED been observed countless times, including by me. It is actually not a very difficult experiment, all you have to do is gather a population of, say, a species of drosophila and separate the population in order to create what is called "isolated reproduction". After many generations, the two separated populations can NOT interbreed with each other and you therefore have, by definition, two different species. Con then commits the ultimate "sin" when discussing the subject of evolution; he brings up the concept of kind. Why is this a problem? Because kind has NO scientific definition and is therefore often use as an equivocation fallacy. I would really like my opponent to define the word kind and give me an example of what he considers to be a kind. Con then proceeds to give examples of minor mutations in the human, but I fail to see how this is an argument against evolution. He says: "No amount of breeding has ever caused dogs to produce anything other than dogs" which is another example of how people misunderstand evolution. The theory of evolution would NOT allow for a dog to produce anything other than a dog.

Actually, breeding procedures are ENTIRELY based on the assumption that the theory of evolution is accurate. Although I can not assess the reliability of my opponent's sources, I can understand why a species that is very well adapted to its environment would only change very slightly; this is completely in accordance with evolution and the idea of survival of the fittest.

I would start by pointing to the title of the book from which this quote is taken, which seems to indicate that there is a bias from the part of the other. That being said, there is indeed a limited amount of mutations that can occur from one generation to another, but why would anyone believe that these minor changes can NOT add up over time? That seems to be a failure of their imagination.

This one is exactly the same thing as the "dogs stay dogs" quote from the first paragraph. Once again, evolution does not permit them to be anything else than what there ancestors were; they simply become a SUBSET of their ancestors. Those subsets may (and often do) vary from one another, but NOWHERE in the transition from the ancestor to its currently living descendant did a parent give birth to a completely different child.

The segment of this paragraph that focuses on bacteria may seem like a rehash of the "dogs stay dogs and pigs stay pigs" argument, but it is actually far worse. The previous argument had at least the merit of talking about species, which is the lowest taxonomical rank, but this one is referring to a domain (bacteria), which is the highest taxonomical rank. For those who do not know what a domain is, it is the first division of life which divides it between bacteria, archaea and eukaryota (which includes animals, plants and fungi) (1). The argument that evolving bacteria are "still bacteria" is therefore even more silly then "this animal evolved, but it is still an animal". As I said earlier, everything is going to be a subset of its ancestors. Con challenges me to prove that there is enough time for evolution to occur in human, but since this challenge is based on the bacteria argument which I have now refuted, I believe that the timeline of the fossils I provided is demonstration enough.

This paragraph shows a study of fruit flies in which the conclusion that was drawn was that favorable mutations happen rarely, which is true. That is precisely why evolution happens over millions of years and why 99,9% of every species that have ever lived are now extinct (2). That being said, favorable mutations DO happen, and this video shows a few example in humans : https://www.youtube.com...

My opponent then complains about the fact that fossil dating is inaccurate. My response is: yes it is (3). My opponent's precise complaint is that the half-lives are impossible to determine. It is actually a rather simple process by which we use mathematical models in order to calculate with amazing precisions the half life on an element without having to "wait" for the actual half life to pass. Here is how you calculate the half life of an element: http://www.calculator.net...

Con quotes me as saying that a theory must produce accurate predictions, which is something I stand by. Then he proceeds to give his own predictions and faults evolution for not actual behaving like he predicted, which is a bit unfair, to say the least. He starts with the prediction that Eskimos should have grown fur since they live in a cold environment, but the fact that they wear furs to protect them from the cold allows them to stall the process of natural selection and therefore explains why they did not "grow fur". It is important to point out that the environment in which you live does not PROMPT the mutations in your body (which is what my opponent seems to be alluding to); you have to be lucky enough to develop a mutation that helps you survive (which will then be passed down), which is why, as I said earlier, 99,9% of species are extinct. That being said, Africans have a skin that is more resistant to sunray than north American and Scandinavians DO in fact have more body hair than most. Con then faults scientists for being unable to predict what mutations will occur, but this is a ridiculous accusations since mutations are random (but natural selection is not). My opponent says "The only reason they could predict the discovery of a so-called sea to land transitional like tiktaalik is because we already have similar animals", but that is incorrect. The way scientists predicted the existence (and location) of this animal is very well described in the sources I provided. Scientists did NOT already know that tiktaalik was there; they made the prediction that it was and it turned out to be correct.

The fact that DNA is similar from one species to another is not the only (or the best) reason why DNA is evidence for evolution, it has to do with the precision and accuracy of the phylogenetic trees that it produces and their concordance with predictions made using morphology and geology. The idea of a "common designer" is a post-hoc rationalization which has no value in science. DNA is in fact sufficient to confirm common ancestry, according to Francis Collins (Head of the Human Genome Project) (4). And by the way, creation.com is not a scientific source.

Since neither me nor my opponent have actually looked at chimp DNA, I can only put forth my own sources against his own to challenge the numbers he provides. I will also add the following:
http://news.sciencemag.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.genome.gov...

Con points to differences between humans and chimps and then goes on to say that gibbons are more similar to human than chimps DESPITE being further away in the phylogenetic tree. This, once again, betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution. The fact that a distant "cousin" of humans has evolved similar psychological properties does not necessarily mean that they are more closely related, it simply means that they evolved similar psychological characteristics, which does NOT go against evolution. Furthermore, the only scientific source that I found regarding this topic rejects my opponent's implications (5).

"If indeed we evolved from chimpanzees, its odd that the so-called intermediate forms such as australopithecus, homo erectus, and homo habilis are extinct but the inferior apes survived. How did lower lifeforms outlive their evolved successors?" This is, yet again, a misunderstanding of evolution. The concept of inferiority is a meaningless concept when we are talking about evolution, there is only well adapted and not well adapted.

I would like to give my opponent an analogy in order to help him understand evolution: language. For this analogy, take the concept of speciation as being the ability to understand one another. We know that french, spanish and italian are all derivative of latin, which is now extinct. The way these three languages evolved was by dividing the latin-speaking population in many isolated area and overtime, latin became french in one of these areas, spanish in another and italian in the last. Nowhere in the evolution of these languages did a latin-speaking mother give birth to a french-speaking child and yet, french and latin are radically different languages. French, spanish and italian also are radically different languages and yet, they are all descendant of the same language. This is a direct analogy to biological evolution.

Finally, I would like to remind my opponent to give me his definition of kind and an example of a kind. If my opponent uses the term Macro-evolution in his next round, I would also like a definition.

I await Con's responses.

(1) http://biology.about.com...;
(2) http://paleobiology.si.edu...;
(3) http://www.agiweb.org...;
(4) http://www.cnn.com...;
(5) http://genome.cshlp.org...;
daley

Con

Let me begin my rebuttal by dealing with the fossil record. Regarding Australopithecus afarensis, we read:

"Prevailing views of Lucy's posture are almost impossible to reconcile. When one looks at the reconstruction proposed by Lovejoy (1998) and by Weaver et al. (1985), one gets the impression that her fleshed reconstruction would be the body of a perfectly modern human biped. ... But when one looks at the preliminary reconstruction recently shown at the Smithsonian, one gets the impression of a chimpanzee awkwardly attempting to stand on its hindlimbs and about to fall on its frontlimbs (Lewin, 1988). In the latter, the implication is a "primitive" form of bipedality in the Hadar hominids. To resolve such differences, more anatomical (fossil) evidence is needed. The available data at present are open to widely different interpretations." (Abitbol, M.M., "Lateral view of Australopithecus afarensis: primitive aspects of bipedal positional behavior in the earliest hominids", J. Human Evolution 28:228, 1995)

With such widely differing interpretations available, what makes Pro so sure this creature was transitional to humans? Why should we accept this as proof of evolution when the experts themselves don"t know for sure what this creature was like? Being able to walk upright doesn"t prove this thing was related to humans, for even apes today, which are 100% apes, do walk upright from time to time. In fact, its been documented some apes walk upright 10% of the time. (Lubenow, M.L., Paleoanthropology in review, TJ 10(1):13, 1996) So being bipedal is no proof of evolution.

Pro"s source says: "members of this species had apelike face proportions (a flat nose, a strongly projecting lower jaw) and braincase ("about 1/3 the size of a modern human brain), and long, strong arms with curved fingers adapted for climbing trees." http://humanorigins.si.edu...... It apelike features are beyond question. (Tattersall, I. and Schwartz, J.H., Extinct Humans, Westview Press, New York, p. 88, 2001) That sounds like an ape to me. Evolutionists only assume that afarensis had the musculature to maintain "habitual" bipedalism, but these fossils didn"t come with the flesh on them to prove this. This is just the wishful thinking of over zealous evolutionists. Commenting on a biomechanical analysis of Lucy"s pelvis, lower limb bones, and reconstruction of the gluteal musculature, Christine Berge said that "an ape-like gluteal organization would offer better ability than a human-like one." (Berge, C., How did australopithecines walk? A biomechanical study of the hip and thigh of Australopithecus afarensis, J. Human Evolution 26:270, 1994) Stern and Susman "discovered a substantial body of evidence indicating that arboreal activities were so important to A. afarensis that morphologic adaptations permitting adept movement in trees were maintained." (Stern, J.T. and Susman, R.L., The locomotor anatomy of Australopithecus afarensis, American J. Physical Anthropology, ref. 57, p. 313,1983) This evidence weighs heavily against the notion that Lucy was a habitual bipedal walker.

The only other similarity to humans besides walking upright mentioned by Pro"s source was the small canine teeth. Now granted, in this way Lucy is different from apes living today, does that prove it was not just an ape? Well, just imagine if 10 years ago all the pygmies were rounded up and killed. Would that prove the pygmies were not fully human because humans now living are not so short? It would be true that today"s humans are not so short, but all that would mean is that variation within the human species included a group of short humans, just as it also includes tall, fat, blondes, brunettes, Chinese and Africans. It doesn"t make the pygmies more or less human; neither does the fact that there was a group of apes with smaller canines who also passed away prove they were any more or less than apes. If Lucy was alive today she"d be in the zoo with the other apes, not walking around with us.

Pro merely claimed afarensis was transitional, but gave no arguments why we should think so. He let the links make his arguments for him. He did this with all 5 examples from Australopithecus to Homo sapiens, but I took the time to present my arguments. It took so much word space explaining why Pro's case for afarensis being transitional is bogus, that I"ll skip the others and move on to his land to sea example.

Scientists have discovered footprints and trail marks of a four-footed, lizard-like creature dated 397 million years old by evolutionary standards, making them 18 million years older than Tiktaalik. These are the dates Pro's camp accepts. If four-legged animals existed 18 million years earlier, Tiktaalik cannot possibly be the transitional between fish and amphibians as evolutionists claim. (Bryne, J., Four-legged creature"s footprints force evolution rethink, LiveScience.com, www.livescience.com/animals/100106-tetrapod-footprints.html, 6 January 2010) What now becomes of Pro"s argument that tiktaalik was found in just the right place and had just the right age according to evolutionary assumptions? What then becomes of its place in the phylogenic tree of life? Into the dumpster and back to the drawing board. Regarding this new evidence, evolutionists admit:

"They force a radical reassessment of the timing, ecology and environmental setting of the fish-tetrapod transition, as well as the completeness of the body fossil record." (Niedzwiedzki, G., Szrek, P., Narkiewicz, K., Narkiewicz, M. and Ahlberg, P., Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland, Nature 463(7227):43"48, 2010; http://www.google.com...)

"[It] will cause a significant reappraisal of our understanding of tetrapod origins." http://www.google.com...)

"[They] could lead to significant shifts in our knowledge of the timing and ecological setting of early tetrapod evolution." (Roach, J., Oldest land-walker tracks found"pushes back evolution, National Geographic News,
http://www.google.com...)

"We thought we"d pinned down the origin of limbed tetrapods. We have to rethink the whole thing." (Palaeontologist Jenifer Clack, University of Cambridge, http://www.google.com...)

"That"s surprising, but this is what the fossil evidence tells us." (Palaentologist Philippe Janvier from the National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France; in: Amos, J., Fossil tracks record "oldest land-walkers", BBC News, 6 January 2010)

"These results force us to reconsider our whole picture of the transition from fish to land animals." (Palaentologist Per Ahlberg of Uppsala University, Sweden; in: Fossil Footprints Give Land Vertebrates a Much Longer History, ScienceDaily, 8 January 2010)

These comments show that evolutionists are not as sure about these so-called transitional fossils as they claim to be, and people like my opponent ought to take serious not of the language they use here: "radical reassessment", "reappraisal", "surprising", "reconsider " whole picture" and "rethink." Yet, based on this discovery of tiktaalik, Pro wants to claim its completely unreasonable to deny evolution when the very evidence he proposes is in doubt? Tiktaalik was supposedly found in the right place, with the right age, with the right morphology, DNA, and all the stuff that evolutionists claim are their proofs that this is a transitional, and yet we have good evidence that it isn't transitional because tetrapods existed before tiktaalik. What this demonstrates is that just because fossil evidence like tiktaalik fits in well with evolutionary assumptions, they don't prove evolution to be true. I could say the existence of human beings fits in with theological assumptions about creation, but that doesn't prove creation is true. This also addresses Pro point about phylogenetics.

We also have birds in existence before archaeopteryx which evolutionists claim is the transitional link between dinosaurs and birds. Aurornis xui was an ancient bird who lived in northeastern China 10 million years before Archaeopteryx. therefore, evolutionists such as those on the TalkOrigins website are wrong to cliam archae was a transitional. http://www.google.com...) Also notice that Aurornis has fully formed feathers. It isn't showing a state of transition towards developing feathers, it has them already. So neither do we have transitional fossils for fish to tetrapod, nor reptile to bird.

I will explain to Pro what a kind is and reply to his rebuttals in the next round. Interestingly, most of what he said further proves my point that there is no evidence for evolution, as you will see.
Debate Round No. 3
Burncastle

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response and I will once again address his points one paragraph at a time. It is interesting to note that, in this round, my opponent simply objected to certain details WITHIN the theory of evolution, pointing out some details where the experts disagree. I hope that my opponent is not trying to say that since there is disagreement, the whole theory falls. That is not how science works. Moreover, the majority of sources that my opponent provides are books. Although this not a bad thing in itself, it prevents me from confirming them and I suspect that my opponent did not actually read any of these books which means that he may have fallen prey to quote mining from anti-evolutionist (and most likely creationist/ID) websites.

The first disagreement that my opponent addresses is the bipedality of Lucy, one of the most famous specimen of Australopithecus afarensis ever found. While there are SOME disagreements regarding whether Lucy was really entirely bipedal, the VAST majority of scientists do believe that Lucy was bipedal. The evidence for bipedality exceeds far beyond the "one gets the impression" that my opponents points to; footprints (1) and bone structure (2) provide more than enough evidence. Also, Lucy is far from being the only specimen that points to bipedality (5).

As I said, there are no "widely different interpretations" of Australopithecus' fossils. Pointing to minor disagreements on a specimen's bipedality hardly counts as "the experts themselves don"t know for sure what this creature was like". But Con is right, bipedality is not a PROOF of evolution, it is simply evidence.

This paragraph betrays a misunderstanding of the scientific vocabulary, specifically regarding biological classifications. Regarding this quote: "It apelike features are beyond question", he comments "That sounds like an ape to me". The definition of the word ape, much like the word kind, tends to vary (it has no actual scientific definition). The most common use of the word refers to primate, which is an order. In this context, humans are, by definition, apes and the quote from Christine Berge becomes meaningless. The fact that A. afarensis climbed trees is not in any way a refutation of its bipedality OR of its role as a human ancestor (for example, the common ancestor to cats and dogs was arboreal (3) and yet cats and dogs are not).

The beggining of this paragraph is once again based on a misunderstanding of the word ape. The argument that my opponent brings up regarding pygmies is difficult to understand; he claims that if they were all to die suddenly then scientists would probably mistake them as not humans because they are shorter than most humans(or at least that is my understanding of the argument). The problem is that height is not a very decisive factor in biological classification; for example, the height of homo erectus varied greatly (4). "If Lucy was alive today she"d be in the zoo with the other apes, not walking around with us." actually, given the fact that she would be millions of years old, she would most likely be in a lab.

Con faults me for supporting my list of fossils with websites instead of making my own arguments. Well I'm sorry but in a debate about science, one's arguments are practically worthless if there is no scientific evidence to back it up. He claims that he took the time to make his own arguments, but most of his previous paragraphs are quotes. He also claims that he explained why Lucy was not a transitional fossil, but all he did was quote some people who disagree on the current interpretation of the evidence regarding her bipedality, not her value as a transitional fossil.

This paragraph, particularly the link provided, is extremely strange. He is basically saying that since we found evidence that a four-legged animal existed prior to tiktaalik, the latter can no longer be considered a transitional fossil. He says that "Tiktaalik cannot possibly be THE transitional between fish and amphibians as evolutionists claim", as if there was a single transitional species between sea creatures and land creatures. The link he provided clearly says: "The discovery helps to refine the timing of the transition from our fishy ancestors to land creatures"; his own source disagrees with him. This also goes for all the majority of his quotes. What does this say about my argument regarding the accurate prediction? How does the discovery of another transitional species invalidate the discovery of tiktaalik? "Tiktaalik was supposedly found in the right place, with the right age, with the right morphology, DNA, and all the stuff that evolutionists claim are their proofs that this is a transitional, and yet we have good evidence that it isn't transitional because tetrapods existed before tiktaalik." First of all, its not "supposedly", its fact that scientists predicted the existence of such a creature. They simply evaluated the age of the oldest known tetrapod and then conjectured that, slightly prior to its existence, there must have been a animal that was "half-land creature and half-sea creatures". So they searched northern Canada (where the rocks are just the right age) and they found precisely what they were looking for. And how does this address my point regarding phylogenetics? "I could say the existence of human beings fits in with theological assumptions about creation, but that doesn't prove creation is true." Again, post-hoc rationalization. The difference between the creation example and tiktaalik is that humans were already there when the "creation hypothesis" was invented; the observations that lead to the hypothesis can not be used as predictions to support said hypothesis, that is circular reasoning.

My opponent brings up archaeopteryx and the fact that we found a fossil of an ancient bird (Aurornis xui) that is older than archaeopteryx. Just like in the previous example, my opponent wrongly assumes that finding an older fossil somehow refutes the existence of the currently existing ones, as if evolution states that a dinosaur gave birth to a halfbird-halfdinosaur which in turn gave birth to a bird. That is not how evolution works; the transition involves A LOT of transitional forms. Aurornis is not evidence against evolution, it is evidence FOR evolution.
http://www.bbc.com...

I find it amusing that, in these two lasts paragraphs, my opponent decided to point to potential transitionnal species in order to argue AGAINST evolution.

In his next round, I would like my opponent to give the website on which he finds his quotes, even if they were initially written in a book. I would also remind him to give me his definition of kind AND an example. Finally, I would like him to give a quick respnse regarding my language analogy; I know that it is only an analogy, but I believe that it is good enough to deserve some attention.

(1) http://efossils.org...
(2) https://iho.asu.edu...
(3) http://www.gather.com...
(4) http://humanorigins.si.edu...
(5) http://australianmuseum.net.au...



daley

Con

Mirriam-Webster"s Dictionary defines a "kind" as: "a group of people or things that belong together or have some shared quality: a particular type or variety of person or thing." http://www.google.com...
The average person can usually look at four things and tell which one doesn"t belong in the group. Scientists have gone overboard, splitting hairs to place things that are almost identical into different groups just because they can"t breed together as with Pro"s example of drosophilia. But we even have some couples today who can"t have children; it doesn"t make them a separate species just because they can"t breed with the rest of us. Humans are a kind, that's the example you asked for. If some disease or mutation unique to Africans were to occur in the next few years which prevented them from having offspring with whites, I"m sure the average person would still consider them human. It"s only over zealous evolutionists who would begin to class them as a separate species and seize upon it as proof of evolution. The fact is, after all these generations, the drosophilia in Pro"s example didn"t evolve into anything radically new.

I never argued that a dog should give birth to something radically different from a dog as Pro alleges. My point is that since evolutionists claim the changes happen to slowly in large mammals to be observed, we should be able to observe the gradual changes into a radically different from of life with things such as bacteria, and fruit flies, because of their extremely short life span. Yet, despite all the thousands of generations, no such radical changes have developed. We have not observed the small changes eventually accumulate into any massive change as evolution predicts. All the changes run into the limits of variation.

Because evolutionists lack imagination to see how a Creator could have made the giraffe, they speculate that during droughts, short animals had to reach higher and higher for food and over millions of years inherited longer necks. Darwin said "that an ordinary hoofed quadruped might be converted into a giraffe." (On the origin of species, P 227-8) Look at how dumb this is. First, female giraffes are two feet shorter than the males, so in this scenario the males would survive and the females die out. How then did they reproduce? And if height were the key to survival for this species during a drought, how did the baby giraffes survive? Second, how did the other shorter animals such as gazelles, elands and impalas which roamed Africa along with the giraffe survive the same droughts without evolving long necks? Third, Pro said the mutations are random, but a mutation giving an antelope-like creature a longer neck wouldn"t increase the length of the legs. Fourth, it would be a sever health hazard to dramatically increase neck length without all the physiological and anatomical mechanisms simultaneously being in place to facilitate the skeletal changes. Without special valves in the neck and head to protect against severe fluctuations in blood pressure when raising or lowing their heads, giraffes would rupture blood vessels in the brain when lowing their heads for a drink. Evolutionists thus expect us to believe that a whole set of beneficial mutations occurred simultaneously in the neck, head and legs of the giraffe at random. The odds of this happening are so small that if it did happen, it would be proof of divine intervention. Fifth, the low height of most plants common in the giraffe"s diet argues strongly against the notion that they evolved longer necks to reach food. Sixth, the idea that use of a body part can pass on a physical characteristic to the young is biologically untenable. If you are an athlete it won"t mean your child will be born with natural speed. When Chinese made women wear tight shoes to achieve small feet it didn"t make their offspring born with smaller feet.

The Laetoli Footprints feature giraffe prints with human footprints 3.5 million years old, showing humans in the wrong period of history on Pro"s phylogenetic tree. I know he will claim these were not fully human but some kind of bipedal creature on its way to becoming human. I would simply ask him to point out the difference between these and modern human footprints. Don"t tell me the toes were longer, because we only have shorter toes because we wear shoes. People who don"t wear shoes are characterized by longer toes.

Pro thinks my argument against bacteria evolving into something else is silly, but its people like him who claim that e-coli bacteria developing the ability to ingest citrate is proof of evolution. They don"t say "oh no, this is just a domain, this is silly," when trumping these mutations, but now all of a sudden its silly to bring in a domain? Why shouldn"t we see a bacteria evolve multicellular algae or fungi?

Pro also gave me a link to a site which calculates the half-life, which says that to find out the half life, one has to at least know the mean lifetime of the particle or decay constant. Since the decay constant is the inverse of the mean lifetime, one would have to know the mean lifetime to find out the decay constant. So how do you establish the mean lifetime? The mean life-time is how long the particle will live before it begins to decay. Has anyone observed an atom of C-14 from its creation till the point at which it begins to decay? Who? And how long did this take? I bet Pro won't tell us, but we'll see. Scientists have an equation, yes, but they have not looked at C-14 for 2,570 years to see if this calculation is correct that it takes that long for half of it to decay. For calculations to accurately represent real life situations, one must begin, not with the equation, but with the facts of the situation that will form the basis of the equation.

How big is an atom of C-14? Typical size of an atom is 0.000000001 inches. Divide this by 1285 years and you get the amount that will decay into Nitrogen in year, an amount so small that nobody could measure it. So how could they know the amount that decays over time? If Pro claims that even one Carbon-14 atom completely decays on a regular basis, he can't maintain it takes 2570 years as a constant rate of decay. It would then vary according to the amount of C-14 present.

Atheistic evolutionists usually say what they'd expect to see if God existed, like he would make his existence more evident, and if the Bible were true they'd find scientific evidence of Noah's flood, etc, so why is it unfair for me to state what I'd expect to see if evolution were true? My opponent says that "the environment in which you live does not PROMPT the mutations in your body (which is what my opponent seems to be alluding to); you have to be lucky enough to develop a mutation that helps you survive (which will then be passed down)," but in saying this he implies the even more improbable scenario in which animals simultaneously developed plenty of beneficial mutations to sustain their physiological changes. To get from fish to amphibians like frogs and toads, the entire backbone would have had to change beyond recognition. Fish gills must change into lungs, fins had to become jointed limbs with wrists and toes, accompanied by major alterations in muscles, nerves and tendons; a two-chambered heart had to become a three-chambered heart. Fish receive sound through their bodies, but most toads and frogs have eardrums. No fish had to develop an extendable tongue and ability to blink. Its just not enough to compare fossils and say the bones are similar. And many beneficial mutations would be necessary to accommodate the new features. Trying to bridge the gap between amphibian and reptile poses other serious problems. Creatures prior to reptiles fertilized their eggs externally. Reptiles practice internal fertilization, before the egg is surrounded by a shell. To evolve this would reqire new sexual organs, new mating procedures and new instincts"all of which constitute a vast gulf between amphibian and reptile. So even if some random mutations every once in while made fish and amphibians change in their size and shape, a whole lot more is still needed. Natural selection and mutation seem woefully inadequate to produce this.

Yes, Creation.com isn't a scientific source, the scientific sources for their comments are given at the bottom of the article on their website. Science has no monopoly on truth either. Science can't tell you when a woman truly loves you, or if you are in love. Science can tell you the result of rape, it can't tell you if rape is right or wrong. If you accept that rape would still be wrong even if all humans except one single female thought it was right, you'd be agreeing that right and wrong are not determined by majority vote, or mere human opinion, but some higher law. God's law?

I repeat, chimps are more similar to gibbons than humans, despite being further from gibbons on the evolutionary timeline. They are more claimed intermediates between chimps and gibbons over a longer time, than between humans and chimps. So we ought to be more like chimps than gibbons if evolution were true.

As for his illustration with language, Italian originated in he 12th century from a vernacular form of 960-963 CE. New words and expression are formed regularly, and we can trace the changes in written documents from Latin in 900 CE to Italian in 1200 CE, just 300 years under human observation. In 300 years we have not seen generations of ANY life form gradually produce any new species that was radicully different morphologically. I'll respond to the rest of Pro's argument next round. this will be very cramped as I also have his last round to respond to, but I'll do my best. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
Burncastle

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response.

Con starts by giving a definition of kind, as I requested, and later gives an example: humans. Since the term "human" corresponds to a species, I will assume that when my opponent refers to the word kind, he means species. The definition that he provided would be okay in a standard debate, but this is a debate about science and the definition provided has no meaning in science. My opponent complains about the usage of the word "species" in science, saying that it is akin to "splitting hair", but this is a vacuous complaint; the scientific vocabulary was not created to accommodate people who do not understand science, it was created to accommodate the scientists who use it. If Africans were to develop a mutation that would render them sexually incompatible with the rest of humans, then they would be considered as a separate species; the truth of scientific conclusions are in no way impacted by their moral implications. Although I agree that the average person would (and should) consider them human. He ends this paragraph by saying that drosophilia do not evolve into something radically new, which I already addressed.

This paragraph begins with a blatant contradiction which sincerely baffles me: my opponent denies having "argued that a dog should give birth to something radically different from a dog", but he ended his last paragraph with "The fact is, after all these generations, the drosophilia in Pro"s example didn"t evolve into anything radically new.". This is a direct contradiction. He then goes on to say that we should observe radical changes in bacteria and fruit flies because they have a shorter life span, but what my opponent fails to understand is that evolution has been occurring for billions of years and therefore we should NOT expect a RADICAL difference between generations separated by a couple of years. And what constitutes a radical change in fruit flies? Would the loss of their wings count, or change in eye color or body size? Because that has been observed many times (including by me). Con then says that the changes always occur within the "limits of variation", which he obviously does not deem necessary to define.

Con starts this paragraph with the ridiculous assertion that "evolutionists" use the theory of evolution as some sort of back up plan because they "lack imagination to see how a Creator could have made the giraffe". He then proceeds to analyse the evolution of giraffe, starting with the fact that males are taller than females. I fail to see how this would be a problem and completely reject the assertion that females would "die out" especially since... they don't; if that assertion were true, giraffe would be extinct. He then makes the same statement about baby giraffe, which is partly true (only half of them survive until adulthood), but mostly fails for the same reason. Con asks why other species did not evolve long neck as well and the answer is simple: they never developed the mutation. "Pro said the mutations are random, but a mutation giving an antelope-like creature a longer neck wouldn"t increase the length of the legs" I agree that it is not necessary (although it does help for stability), but why would the fact that it happen be an argument against evolution? My opponent says: "it would be a sever health hazard to dramatically increase neck length without all the physiological and anatomical mechanisms simultaneously being in place to facilitate the skeletal changes" which is the argument from irreducible complexity. This argument fails because it has been demonstrated that every proposed irreducibly complex system is actual reducible; the function of the organ simply changes (1). I would also add that there is a nerve in the giraffe's neck that goes all the way from the brain to the bottom of the neck and then back to brain for absolutely no reason, making this nerve more prone to damage then if it was a straight line across the neck. Why is this important? Because while this makes perfect sense under evolution (the nerve started out really small but grew longer along with the neck), it makes absolutely no sense under Intelligent Design. "the low height of most plants common in the giraffe"s diet argues strongly against the notion that they evolved longer necks to reach food" I would have to see the source of that assertion; from what I have read, giraffe do feed in trees (2). My opponent concludes this paragraph with a critic of the Lamarckian theory of evolution, which no one in the scientific community accepts, so I do not know why my opponent brings this up.

Regarding the Laetoli Footprints, a quick search allowed me learn that they are viewed as an enriching discovery concerning the evolution of humans; the apparent bipedality of those who made these footprints corresponds with our chronology of human bipedality (3). I do not see why my personal evaluation of these footprints would be relevant; I'm not an expert on this matter.

"Pro thinks my argument against bacteria evolving into something else is silly" Because it is. "its people like him who claim that e-coli bacteria developing the ability to ingest citrate is proof of evolution" Again, it is not proof but evidence; the fact that a population of living things developed a advantageous feature is 100% evolution. "Why shouldn"t we see a bacteria evolve multicellular algae or fungi?" Because that would not make sense in the light of evolution; if you manage to witness a living thing evolving to become part of an other domain, you will have cast some serious doubt on the theory of evolution.

My opponent brings up dating once again. I really do not know what to add on this subject; my opponent demonstrates a lack of understanding not only concerning atoms and decay rates, but also basic mathematics. Since this is not a debate about decay rates, I simply direct my opponent to this link for further information:
https://www.youtube.com...

Again, not the subject of this debate. But if my opponent really wants to know more about this, then we can have a debate focused on that particular subject.

"Atheistic evolutionists usually say what they'd expect to see if God existed, like he would make his existence more evident, and if the Bible were true they'd find scientific evidence of Noah's flood, etc, so why is it unfair for me to state what I'd expect to see if evolution were true?" The prediction that God would make his existence evident is indeed unfair and so are your predictions about evolution. That being said, floods leave a massive amount of evidence when they occur so we should be able to confirm it if it did happen. In response to one of my previous arguments, my opponent says: "but in saying this he implies the even more improbable scenario in which animals simultaneously developed plenty of beneficial mutations to sustain their physiological changes" which, yet again, demonstrates a lack of understanding. Evolution is all about population mechanics; if a single individual develops a beneficial mutation, he will pass it down to his children who will pass it down to theirs and so on until the slight edge that this mutation gives them makes them more numerous than those who do not have it. Evolution does NOT happen on an individual basis; the more people there are in a population, the faster it will evolve. My opponent then proceeds with a shotgun of unsupported assertions which I will ignore due to the lack of characters, although I will say that natural selection and mutations are fully adequate to produce everything we see.

This paragraph is completely off-topic but I will still address it. I agree that science does not have a monopoly on truth, but so far it has been the greatest (and arguably sole) tool to discover it. I disagree that science can not tell you about love (4) or about what is good or bad; I personally side Sam Harris on this issue.

"So we ought to be more like chimps than gibbons if evolution were true." Good news: we are (5).

As far as I can tell, my opponent does not dispute the fact that languages did evolve in a way that is extremely similar to living things. He points to new words and expression being formed regularly, which would constitute the mutations in biology. His biggest concern is that we have a record of language evolving, but no record of life evolving. While I deny that assertion, the purpose of this example was not to prove evolution; it was simply to illustrate how it is possible for something to evolve gradually without ever being completely different from its direct ancestor, and yet end up (after many generations) with something completely different. We could even go further with this analogy by comparing the remnants of Latin in the French language (French is my first language so I know) to vestigial organs in humans or other animals.

In conclusion, my opponent has presented many arguments, all of which I hope to have debunked to the audience's satisfaction. I hope I have also managed to explain to my opponent how evolution works so that he may refine his position in accordance with what the theory actually says.

I thank my opponent for participating in this debate.



(1) https://www.youtube.com...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://www.nature.com...
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(5) http://genome.cshlp.org...




daley

Con

When I quote from folks who don"t believe in evolution Pro claims I"m being biased and not using scientific sources, when I do quote from scientific sources he complains that I"ve fallen prey to quote mining from creationists websites. I"ll leave it up to voters to decide if this is fair.

I didn"t argue that Lucy wasn"t bipedal, I said that even apes today walk upright sometimes, so walking upright doesn"t prove Lucy was becoming human in any sense. I also argued that just as there are varieties of humans today that could die out and leave the rest of us, such as pygmies, there is no reason to think Lucy was not just a particular type of ape which died out. Pro assumes that because apes living now don"t have feet and teeth exactly like hers that she had to be evolving into something else. If all pygmies die out will evolutionists hang up a chart with pygmies as an intermediate leading to us and say, "humans are not so short today, it must be evolution?" Lucy was just an ape.

Yes, "ape" had no scientific definition in the world of evolutionists, but I"m sure the average person knows an ape when they see one, and they certainly don"t consider themselves apes. In fact, most people would feel sorry for anybody who thinks of himself and goes around calling himself an ape. I don"t care much for the definitions of some elite group of scientists. Everyone else knows what I mean when I say "an ape," its only evolutionists who act like they are too educated to get the point. My terminologies are not problematic for those not indoctrinated into the vocabulary of evolution.

Pro says: "The link he provided clearly says: "The discovery helps to refine the timing of the transition from our fishy ancestors to land creatures"; his own source disagrees with him." What Pro doesn"t seem to understand is that this is one of the very examples evolutionists claim would prove evolution false: "It would be highly inconsistent if the chronological order were reversed in the reptile-bird and reptile-mammal example" For example, we should never find mammalian or avian fossils in or before Devonian deposits, before reptiles had diverged from the amphibian tetrapod line." http://www.google.com... This example I gave reverses the fish-amphibian order. Evolutionist believe that "The first major groups of amphibians developed in the Devonian period, around 370 million years ago." http://www.google.com... But this amphibian was around 397 million years ago, a full 27 million years before amphibians are supposed to even exist! http://www.google.com...
This is the very kind of thing they admit would disprove evolution; but instead of holding true to what they say, they will twist and bend the phylogenetic tree to make it compensate the new discoveries. It matters not what one finds in the earth, evolutionists will find a way to make the theory flexible enough to accommodate it because they can"t teach divine creation in a science text book. Evolution is the only game in town, it"s what they are stuck with, like it or not.

Pro said "They simply evaluated the age of the OLDEST known tetrapod and then conjectured that, slightly prior to its existence, there must have been a animal that was "half-land creature and half-sea creatures". So they searched northern Canada (where the rocks are just the right age) and they found precisely what they were looking for." But that wasn"t the OLDEST tetrapod; we now know four footed lizards were walking about 397 million years ago, so you"ve got to look for transitionals between fish and tetrapods dating back more than 397 million years. You DON"T have any! Tiktaalik comes way to late to be transitional.

Aurornis shows that evolutionist are flat out wrong in their claim that birds evolved from dinosaurs because here we have a bird which predates all the so-called intermediates between dinosaurs and birds (thus it"s in the wrong place on the phylogenetic tree), and this bird has not a single intermediate before it. Pro would need to show intermediates leading up to Aurornis as evidence that the earliest birds were evolved from dinosaurs. This he hasn"t done or attempted to do. Aurornis Xui shows that birds like archaeopteryx have predecessors who were birds; it shows we don"t need the hypothesis that the birds we have today came from dinosaurs. It shows the oldest birds have no intermediate links to other species. Aurornis appears in the fossil record fully formed with fully developed feathers. No evidence that it was in a state of transition like some half-reptile half-bird as evolutionists envisioned the bird"s ancestors to be.

Pro says this debate is about science, no, it"s about truth, and science isn"t the only avenue to truth. I am free to use philosophy, history, and appeals to reason or common sense. This debate is about whether the available data makes it unreasonable to accept evolution, and it is. I didn"t contradict myself when I argued that fruit flies and bacteria don"t become anything radically new. My argument was that while they would not give birth to anything radically new in one generation, and I said as much as bout the dog, if evolution was true, we should see enough minor changes in bacteria and fruit flies over the course of many generations, like the 60 000 generations in Lenski"s experiment, to have observed massive change in our lifetime. But it seems we could live our whole life observing minor changes which don"t make the fly EVER become anything new. Pro wants to know what is a radical change in fruit flies, and mentions eye color and body size. Well, humans have a variety of eye colors and body size, does it prove we are evolving into anything other than human? No.

Pro couldn"t defend the dates he gives for the fossils he mentions because those dates are arrived at by speculative theories. Without these dates, he can"t know for sure it takes evolution millions of years to achieve the radical changes, and should seek another explanation besides evolution. Pro wants us to believe the giraffe developed a mutation giving it a longer neck, then that it also got another mutation giving it longer legs for stability, that it got a whole set of mutations to accommodate the morphological changes in its body along the way, but then claims these were all random. How lucky and convenient for the giraffe. What are the odds of all this happening by chance? Guess the giraffe won the lottery. Even more improbable is Pro"s claim every other species alive today also won this very improbable lottery. If some intelligent, guiding force were involved here, that would make it more probable, but at random? Chances are the giraffe would have perished.

Because Pro doesn"t know the reason for the long nerve in the giraffe"s neck he says its there for no reason. Hey, scientists don"t always know everything, and they take time to find out what they do know. Before they knew what was keeping us earth-bound didn"t mean gravity didn"t exist, and before we knew the earth was round didn"t mean it was flat, and before we knew about the Big Bang didn"t mean the universe was eternal in the past. Scientist may yet discover the reason for this nerve, but even if they don"t it doesn"t mean it has no purpose for the way it"s designed.

Pro says "if you manage to witness a living thing evolving to become part of an other domain, you will have cast some serious doubt on the theory of evolution." So when it happens in millions of years he cannot prove, its evolution, but if it happens in his lifetime, its not evolution? No one has observed C-14 for 2 570 years to see if half of it will decay. So how do they prove their formula correct? It needs to be tested by observation to be scientific, which is rule number one of the scientific method, you begin with an observation. In Pro"s equation, to get the half-life you need the mean lifetime, so has anyone observed C-14 long enough to tell its mean lifetime? No! If one could measure how much C-14 decays in a day, they could do simply multiplication to find out how much will decay in 2 570 years, but they can"t even measure that! So Pro can"t substantiate his dates anymore than appealing to, scientists say so. This isn"t evidence. It isn"t science. Its science fiction.

Pro claims we are more like chimpanzees, than gibbons are. I simply ask the readers of this debate to compare how similar gibbons are to chimps, and how vastly different humans are from chimps, and they will know this is sheer nonsense on Pro"s part. Gibbons are more like chimps than we are.

Pro even thinks evolution can tell us write from wrong, but there is no such thing in the animal kingdom. When a dog kills another dog its not murder, there is no moral dimension to it. If evolution was true, all our morality is the subjective spin-offs of cultural, social and biological evolution, based on random mutations. How could a random process create objective values and duties? When two human opinions differ how is it to be settled without reference to some higher law above human opinion? Rationality won't work, for its rational to sacrifice minority rights for the benefit of the whole - minority rights go out the window on the basis of rationality.

I encourage readers to weigh these matters carefully and I thank my opponent for this debate.
Debate Round No. 5
142 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Years ago on MSN forums we used to get such trolls and what were called porn bots.
Who simply reply with seductive lines, to get men to look at their websites, which trap them and they end up paying for a phone call for trying to look, often on a long distance number to Romania or some Eastern Block country at $5 per minute.
But, you could pick them as they always responded with a set number of lines that repeated over and over like a advertising display.
So everybody ignored them, and eventually they would give up and move to another forum.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Yes, I'm always on the lookout for somebody to stir, as I know about trolling, since I did it for many years.
Though I'm a sort of reformed troll.
But, I hate to pass up on a chance for a good stir.
But some people are simply not worth the effort, as they are just being trolls and simply want to cop flack so they can keep trolling.
They are no fun to stir up, so I leave them alone as they are Boring, continually trotting out their same troll comments, regardless of what comments they get.
It is like trying to argue with a scrolling display that will always run through the same sentences.
In this case it is a trolling display.
Eventually everybody gets sick of them and they get no responses.
Then they get upset, as nobody takes any notice of them any more.
Posted by macaztec 2 years ago
macaztec
@sagey quite true. But sometimes I do have the urge to have fun with them. And it is also quite fun to defeat them on their own terms.....when they are not too frightened. ;)
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
@ macaztec: For such people, the only thing to do is completely iggy them.
Trying to convince them of anything or answering back to their nonsense is only feeding the troll.
Trolls only want an excuse to post more nonsense, so you should at least, deny them that.

If nobody responds to them or gives them an excuse to respond, they feel lost, ignored and unwanted.
That is the worst punishment for a troll.
They absolutely hate being ignored as it makes their own, severe insecurity unbearable.
Posted by macaztec 2 years ago
macaztec
@Sagey Quite funny and definitely hypocrisy. What is really funny is that after I challenge this pompous hypocrite to a debate he says that I don't know Biblical history. But then he is on here spewing this nonsense.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
@ macaztec, Isn't if funny how Creationists pick on isolated incidents of scientific fraud, which once discovered as fraudulent, science no longer uses them as evidence for everything, they get dumped.

Yet, everything Creationists point as evidence to support them is either Fallacious or Fraudulent and they never retract fraud, just keep publishing it as evidence for Creationism, long after it has been proven fraudulent.

Such Blatant Hypocrisy!
Aye M8!
Posted by macaztec 2 years ago
macaztec
"what are the prints from? and who are the people you say are creationists who have decided the prints are not human? "

Some are dinosaur tracks. Others are fakes. The family of George Adams (the man that made the "discovery") has since admitted this.

"single tooth later proven to be the tooth of a pig used to build a "link" in the chain of millions of years of unobserved gradual changes between species. All of the "links" in the progressive changes picturing (only by artwork based on fraudulently assembles compilations of bones) are still held up in textbooks"

Nope. The idea that the teeth were from a human link NEVER gained popularity in the scientific community. And was dismissed shortly after the teeth were found.

"Even "Lucy" is recognized to be an odd specimen of chimpanzee by most paleontologists, "

To put it quite simply this statement is completely false.
Posted by LifeMeansGodIsGood 2 years ago
LifeMeansGodIsGood
While many who believe the Biblical history of the world have caved to peer pressure to say none of the prints are genuinely human, I would have to side with the reputable scientists who still hold that some of the prints are human and proven to be genuine. If you flat out reject their testimonies without reading them, you are bigoted in your beliefs.

I generally do not side with evolutionists who uphold concoctions invented from a single tooth later proven to be the tooth of a pig used to build a "link" in the chain of millions of years of unobserved gradual changes between species. All of the "links" in the progressive changes picturing (only by artwork based on fraudulently assembles compilations of bones) are still held up in textbooks as true in spite of the fact that all have been shown to be outright fraud or constructions made and little more than a few bones and as little as even a single tooth which was later proven to be swine. Even "Lucy" is recognized to be an odd specimen of chimpanzee by most paleontologists, but it is still held up in textbooks as a "link" and pictured by artists renditions to support their beliefs in things they have never observed and cannot prove.
Posted by LifeMeansGodIsGood 2 years ago
LifeMeansGodIsGood
so mac,, what are the prints from? and who are the people you say are creationists who have decided the prints are not human? And when are you going to admit that you are lost and not saved? Never?
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
I still laugh at this one!
16 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
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Reasons for voting decision: Con brought up some good points. Although personally I believe evolution is a reality, Con's arguments show that it's not "completely" unreasonable to doubt the theory. So con wins.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 2 years ago
MrJosh
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Reasons for voting decision: CON might have had a chance if he had argued against PRO's resolution instead of taking on an absurdly large burden to which he was never challenged. While it is true that PRO did not "prove" evolution, that was not the resolution. PRO easily demonstrated his resolution with the mountains of sourced arguments he provided.
Vote Placed by Saska 2 years ago
Saska
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro presented solid arguments backed by good sources. While Con did a better job than most at attempting to refute the resolution, his arguments were still lacking and Pro showed why the resolution is true.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
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Reasons for voting decision: pro simply has too much evidence for evolution for it to be disproved. However con deserves effort points for trying his hardest. He had some good points but most of them were refuted, especially the doubt in transitional fossils. Good try, con, good try.
Vote Placed by LaL36 2 years ago
LaL36
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Reasons for voting decision: I think this was a very hard debate for Pro in my opinion and actually relatively easy for con. Pro gave evidence and all Con really needed to do was prove that this is not necessarily the work of evolution. That already negates the resolution of "denying evolution is completely unreasonable". But con did more than that. He was attempting to prove that is not scientific because you cannot observe it. Pro countered that pretty well so Con was kind of forced to give the argument I said above. Pro's argument may have been a little more credible but pro bares a much higher burden than Con as I have mentioned. With all arguments I came out of this debate thinking that evolution being scientific is not so simple black or white but grey which already makes denying evolution not completely unreasonable. Some might say that Con did accept a little extra burden but that was not how the debate was set up. Sources to Con because Pro used sources not to support but replace arguments a few times.
Vote Placed by Max.Wallace 2 years ago
Max.Wallace
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Reasons for voting decision: Con is just stating his own observations, which seem much more truthful to me then what a bunch of capitalist theorists espouse.
Vote Placed by GOP 2 years ago
GOP
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Reasons for voting decision: Burncastle used rich text, so he gets the conduct point for that. However, I noticed that a few of Pro's sources were specifically dedicated to evolution (like humanorigins, for example), so I feel that they were not so reliable.
Vote Placed by Daltonian 2 years ago
Daltonian
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Reasons for voting decision: Wow, one of the best debates for the con side of this topic I've seen in comparison to the usual for this topic. Conduct to Con because I feel Pro's insistency about his manipulation of sources verged on bad conduct. I was more convinced by Pro, overall, however, as he successfully fulfilled his BOP with or without his questioning of Con's sources
Vote Placed by badbob 2 years ago
badbob
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro loses on conduct because of his comment that only people who disgaree with evolution do not understand it. Not true and rude. Con repnded to pro such as evolution is not observable as well as fruit flies and bacteria. Both sides did a nice job and had one of the better debates. Do not get the 7 to 0 votes either way.
Vote Placed by Samreay 2 years ago
Samreay
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments more convincing to Pro. Daley had very high standard for arguments as a con position, however Pro counters them better an Daley countered Pro. Room for improvement on both sides - Pro could have been more concise and explicit with scientific predictions, Con should have done a bit more research on what evolutionary theory states before attempting to counter Pro. Con, please ensure your sources are not URL copied from inside googles results (seriously have a look at your sources, they are all URL redirects). Regardless, I found a few of Cons sources actually supported Pro, and the ones that helped him did not come from scientifically credible sites. Pro's sources more commonly did have greater scientific credibility, so sources to Pro.