The Instigator
Con (against)
1 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

Humans DID evolve via evolution as science currently teaches

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 403 times Debate No: 83981
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




*No round rules
*No acceptance round; just start debating 1st round.

Humans DID evolve via evolution as science currently teaches.

Has the Burden of Proof and 4 sets of 10,000 characters to demonstrate that what science currently teaches about human evolution is CORRECT and refute Con.

Has only 3 sets of 10,000 characters to refute Pro and make any counter claims.

*Definitions can be changed, in the comments section, before posting your first argument, as long as both Pro and Con agree.


*Definitions below are agreed on by posting your first argument.


human - A man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance.

evolved - developed over successive generations, especially as a result of natural selection.

via - by way of; through

evolution - the process by which different kinds of living organisms have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.

science - the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

currently - at the present time

teaches - shows or explains to (someone) how to do something.


Thanks for accepting/recreating the debate Con, it should be fun.

I affirm that humans did evolve by way of natural selection from a common ape ancestor.

Here's why:

1. GENETICS - Human's 2nd chromosome is a fusion of two ape chromosomes.

2. FOSSILS - Radiometrically dated fossils of apes and humans are homologous structures; they are similar, because humans evolved from a common ape ancestor.

My burden:
Normally, evolution debates require me to show that evolution as a whole is correctly taught by science however, in this particular debate, I only have to show that the way that science currently teaches the evolution of humans in particular is a reality.


1. Genetics - Human's 2nd chromosome.

Humans have 46 chromosomes, while the other great apes have 48 chromosomes.
Chromosomes, made of two identical chromatids, carry our genes, and give us all of our genetic, molecular, cellular, and skeletal structures.
A typical chromatid, one identical part of the chromosome, has two ends and a center.

The two ends are Telomeres (T).
The center is a Centromere (C).


However, the chromatids on human's 2nd chromosome each have four ends and two centers.


This shows fusion.
Since the telomeres are fused in the middle, we call this a telomere-telomere, or end to end fusion.

How do we know what fused?

Base pairs on the ends of each chromosome are unique to that chromosome; if you find these unique base pairs, you then know which chromosome you have, similar to how a fingerprint identifies a human.

We found the base pairs that match ancestral ape chromosomes on our 2nd chromosome.

So, when you look at our 2nd chromosome, you see that our genetics have uniquely identifying remnants from our ape ancestors; we're genetically made from two fused ape chromosomes.

2. Fossils - Radiometrically-dated, homologous (similar structure) ape and human fossils.

Let me first explain how radiometric dating works:

Think back to chemistry...there are protons that make an atom a particular atom...hydrogen (1 proton), carbon (6 protons), nitrogen (7 protons), etc.
To have a stable nucleus in the atom, the protons and the neutrons need to match in number.

When there are more neutrons than protons, the atom is called an unstable isotope.
These unstable isotopes decay at fixed atomic half lives into different elements/isotopes.

Potassium 40's half-life is 1.25 billion years, which means that in that time, half of the potassium 40 in a geological sample will become argon 40, which is a new isotope.

Since the fixed rate of decay NEVER changes, we can measure how much time has passed given the amounts of argon 40 in a geological sample. From the amounts of argon 40, we can count the half-life of potassium 40 back to the original amounts of potassium 40 in the geological sample; this gives us a date of the geological sample.

The reason I discuss this, is that we've found ape and human fossils in geological samples that have been dated using potassium argon dating; the dating method is extremely accurate.

So, what do these dated fossils show?

According to a PNAS published study, "using the hominin fossil evidence...we show that the most parsimonious model for the evolution of hominin shoulder shape starts with an African ape-like ancestral state."

Yeah, the shoulders of a common ape ancestor fossil show how, through evolution, a human-like configuration in the genus "homo" lost its tree-dwelling attributes while maintaining a similar structure to those of the other great apes.

The dates of the compared fossils match the time evolution has predicted, and has allowed us to determine when these evolutionary changes likely took place.

The fossil and radiometric evidence indicate humans evolved from a common ape ancestor, and our shoulders are excellent examples of such.

Even without the shoulder homology, other bone structures between apes and humans, like skulls, teeth, hands, and legs show great homology; humans are the bones in the green outlined boxes.
Fig. 1.

I affirm the resolution, which I think is quite specific; I only need to show human's evolution to affirm, but if questions about other organisms' evolution arise, I shall not dodge them.

On to Con.
Debate Round No. 1


Hats off to magicaintreal. That was such an impressive post. Clearly the depth of knowledge on the Pro side is vast.

I will say that the evidence, though extensive, does not show enough information to prove the link. With the burdon of proof on Pro, it can't just be said that evolution is likely to have happened or may hand happened. I will grant you that the absence of connecting those dots (filling in very key fossil gaps) does not disprove evolution. But without evidence of those large transition moments, evolution cannot be proven either. Science fills in the gaps with their best guesses.

There is a huge flaw with science filling in those gaps because they are operating in a bias way. They are taking point A and point D and then saying point B and C must have taken place. The flaw is that they are already starting with their conclusion. Had science hypothesized points B and C prior to discovering A and D we would have a different subject, but it did not take place in that order.

Here is some information to offer:

"Gaps remain, of course, in the fossil records of many species, although a lot of them shrink each year as new fossils are discovered. These gaps do not indicate weakness in the theory of evolution itself. Rather, they point out uncertainties in our understanding of exactly how some species evolved." (Miller, Kenneth, Levine, Joseph, Prentice Hall Biology, 2008, p. 383.)

"Given the fact of evolution, one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from ancestral forms to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series." (Ernst Mayr-Professor Emeritus, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, What Evolution Is, 2001, p.14.)

"Given that evolution, according to Darwin, was in a continual state of motion "it followed logically that the fossil record should be rife with examples of transitional forms leading from the less to more evolved. "Instead of filling the gaps in the fossil record with so-called missing links, most paleontologists found themselves facing a situation in which there were only gaps in the fossil record, with no evidence of transformational evolutionary intermediates between documented fossil species." (Schwartz, Jeffrey H., Sudden Origins, 1999, p. 89.)

"People and advertising copywriters tend to see human evolution as a line stretching from apes to man, into which one can fit new-found fossils as easily as links in a chain. Even modern anthropologists fall into this trap . . .[W]e tend to look at those few tips of the bush we know about, connect them with lines, and make them into a linear sequence of ancestors and descendants that never was. But it should now be quite plain that the very idea of the missing link, always shaky, is now completely untenable." (Gee, Henry, "Face of Yesterday," The Guardian, Thursday July 11, 2002.)

I think that's enough for now.
And with that I turn the debate back to Pro


Thank you Con for your response.

I must make a correction to my post from round 2.

Not all isotopes are radioactive, only the ones that are losing energy along with having an imbalance of protons and neutrons; potassium 40 is still a radioactive isotope, so the rest of my information is unaffected by this correction.
**End of Correction**

I maintain that the way science currently teaches human's evolution is correct, because of the fossil and genetic evidence that I provided 2nd round...with that said, on to Con's contentions.

Con claims:
"With the [burden] of proof on Pro, it can't just be said that evolution is likely to have happened or may [have] happened."

My response:
Evolution has happened, is currently happening, and, for the foreseeable future, will continue happening; genetics from the past are in our current DNA, current humans are in fact transitional forms, and we have no reason to believe that evolution is halting.

Con asserts:
"without evidence of those large transition moments, evolution cannot be proven either..."

My response:
I hope Con will respond to my next few questions honestly.

1. Con, do you believe that Spanish comes from Latin?
Yup, I'm making a linguistic argument to prove evolution.

Personally, I believe that Spanish is in fact a Latin language, because Latin pre-existed Spanish in history, and there are many homologous structures of Spanish, like grammar, root words, syntax, sentence structure, vocabulary and subject-verb agreement, that indicate Spanish descended from Latin.

2. So Con, I would then ask you, do you know of a major transitional language between Latin and Spanish?
Do you know of Splatin?
Perhaps you've come across Latinish?

Comparative linguistics has yet to find these transitional languages, and frankly they are unnecessary when attempting to determine if Spanish descends from Latin.
However, we have enough evidence through grammar, root words, syntax, structure, vocabulary and subject-verb agreement to indicate a descent of Spanish from Latin.

In case it wasn't clear, I'm making an analogy between Latin-->Spanish and Ape-->Human.
Like we have historical data, grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, and subject-verb agreement that indicate Spanish is a descendant of Latin, we have as much radiometrically-dated geological samples, chromosomes that show fusion, homologous anatomic structures, and genetic similarity that indicate Humans are descendants of Apes.

We don't need Splatin, the "large transition moment" between Latin and Spanish, to determine the evolution of Spanish...Spanish is a modern Latin language.

But here's the best part.
We don't need the intermediary fossils between humans and apes, but we have them.
1. Homo Florensis

2. Any of the Pleistocene Hominins

3. Theropithecus

These are all major intermediaries, and though I've argued they are unnecessary given the genetic evidence alone, we do have them and they confirm the genetic evidence and the predictions of evolution with respects to humans.

Con asserts:
"Science fills in the gaps with their best guesses..."

My response:
...and mountains of geologic, genetic, fossil, and historical evidence.

Con continues:
"There is a huge flaw with science filling in those gaps because they are operating in a bias way. They are taking point A and point D and then saying point B and C must have taken place. "

My response:
I'll run with the ABCD analogy.

We'v been able to make the connection between A and D because of the genetic and fossil evidence; this is simply not a guess at all.

Con also tries to "offer some information," which is merely the direct quoting of a biology text, a lecture, a book, and something from The Guardian; there wasn't much of Con's own words here.

But I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge Con's first quote, round 2.

Con was trying to demonstrate the gaps in the fossil record/science's knowledge of human evolution, so Con quotes:
"These gaps do not indicate weakness in the theory of evolution itself"

My response:
I agree. I feel like Con may have slipped up here, because this quote seems to contradict Con's claim of gaps that damn evolution's correctness, and it seems to affirm the resolution. Some might consider this a form of concession...I might be a part of that some.

Also, I'm aware that this may be one of Con's first few debates, so I'm going to throw out a hint here...

Con, what are your thoughts on Chromosome 2 and the fossil evidence that I provided 1st round?

On to Con...
Debate Round No. 2


I apologize to Pro.
My sister just had her baby and i won't be able to offer a post for this Debate based on the timetable.
I accept a loss but hope we can continue this again in the future as I don't believe Pro has demonstrated the needed arguments but the knowledge and science provided by Pro has fascinated me.


Ok, well congrats on your sister's new baby, and I understand completely.

Thanks for the debate Con, I extend all of my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3


Thank you for understanding.
And again, my apologies


It's all good.
Humans did evolve the way that science currently teaches it.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by MagicAintReal 10 months ago
I meant to say that having more neutrons than protons is an isotope, and it's not unstable unless it's losing electrons radioactively.
I said that merely having more neutrons made it unstable and this is not the case.
It's only unstable if it's radioactive.
My bad.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by famousdebater 10 months ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Con graciously conceded instead of waiting for the timer to run and out and forfeit, therefore as per the DDO rules conduct is awarded to Con. Pro gets arguments due to the concession.