The Instigator
SuburbiaSurvivor
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points
The Contender
tkubok
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points

Is There A Large Body Of Evidence To Support Evolution?

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Post Voting Period
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after 7 votes the winner is...
SuburbiaSurvivor
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/4/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,640 times Debate No: 20216
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (31)
Votes (7)

 

SuburbiaSurvivor

Con

Intro:

While scrolling about the wonderful world of DDO forums, I came upon a comment by tkubok stating that there is a "large body" of evidence to support evolution. [1] This being a claim I have often heard amongst evolutionists, I was immediately overcome with the irresistable desire to debate tkubok on such a subject.

[1] http://www.debate.org...

Judging by his forum posts, tkubok seems to be an individual confident in the theory of evolution and I judge him to be a competant opponent, thus I challenge him to civil debate, the gentlemen's duel:

The Debate:

This debate will be about whether or not there is a large body of evidence to support evolution. However, seeing as how evolution is a broad term, let me be specific:

We will be discussing "molecules-to-man" evolution, this is, evolution that results in an increase in genetic material, or evolution that results in new functions. While debating about macro evolution is tempting, Pro could easily give an example of a species of fish that has lost their eyes, or beetle that has lost its wings as proof of "macro evolution". The problem though, is this sort of evolution would not result in the "tree of life" that we see today.

Side Note: "Molecules-to-man" evolution includes both micro or macro evolution, as long as it involves an increase of genetic information and/or results in a new function.

So what is the burden of proof?

Pro must show that there really is a large body of evidence to support evolution that results or resulted in an increase in genetic information and new functions.

Con must show how Pro's evidence is either faulty, or actually evidence against such evolution.

Rules: No semantics, no ad hominem, and no new evidence can be given in the final round.

If Pro accepts, and has an issue with my definition, we can resolve it in the comments so as to give room in the debate for analyzation of the evidence.

Pro can make his opening arguments in round one.
tkubok

Pro

First of all, i would like to thank my opponent for creating this debate.

Before i get started, however, i would like to address a specific argument my opponent made in the first round. That is, the distinction between information loss and evolution. Any change in genetic information, including one that would produce a loss in characteristics, morphology, etc, is evolution, and is in fact required for the diversity of life. Case and point, humans and chimps. One easy distinction between these two is the lack of thick body hair on humans, present on chimps. This sort of evolution is necessary to result in the tree of life we see today.

I will be presenting the evidences for evolution to which i am the most knowledgeable with, specifically Genetics and Morphology/fossil evidence, and touch up on some additional evidences.

Let me start with Genetics.
I believe the mechanism of genetic mutations is possibly the most fundamental and important evidence for evolution. Almost all forms of mutation increase information, and there is not a single mechanism or reason that prevents these mutations from stacking. All we keep coming up with, is more and more methods of how the mutations occur, from exon shuffling to chromosome rearrangement that change and increase the information of a Genome.(1)

I would like to use this as a leeway into another evidence for evolution, Variation. All variations are a result from genetic mutations. A great example is the nylon-digesting bacteria, Flavobacterium. This specific strain of bacteria, produced the enzyme Nylonase, specifically able to digest Nylon which has not existed until after the 1900s. This is a clear example of new information and new attributes, arising.(2)

Another evidence for evolution, is chromosome #2 found in humans. This is one of the most important evidences that link human lineage with other apes. All apes have 24 pairs of chromosomes, whereas humans have only 23. This used to be a problem, until we found that the 2nd chromosome in humans is near-identical to 2 other chromosomes found in chimps. The existence of residual telomeres and centromeres, which are usually only found at the ends of the chromosome and the middle, respectively, are found within chromosome #2 in humans.(3)

More evidence for evolution, Junk DNA, or non-coding DNA. The existence of Non-coding DNA is not only expected, it is more or less necessary considering that Mutations are random and the length of time organisms have existed. Although some parts of non-coding DNA are used for gene regulation, this only accounts for a small, small fraction, and more than 90% of human DNA has no function, and is collectively referred to as "Junk DNA". Many experiments in removing this non-coding DNA from other animals such as Mice, have produced no discernible difference.(4)

Some smaller evidences for evolution, but not necessarily less important, is the genetic diversity proportional to common descent. Cytochrome C, for example, is found in almost all living organisms but the protein sequence differs from organism to organism. Chimps and humans share identical cytochrome C sequences, which is nearly impossible to have occurred by chance, and could only have occurred if they were closely related.(5)

Now let me go on to morphology and fossils.
Firstly, similar morphology and physiology. When we look within the mammal species, we find that all of them have similar traits. Bats and whales, especially, have similar bone structures to humans despite their vast difference in environments. Most of these morphological attributes only span within their class, with those similarities increasing as we get closer to genus and species, which is what we would expect to see within evolution.

Next, vestigial structures. Vestigial structures are morphological and molecular structures that have lost its initial function. What we see within animals such as Whales, for example, are vestigial hips. Sometimes even within dolphins, these hind legs produce protrusions and bumps that appear like fins but rarely symmetrical. Boa constrictors produce small hind legs despite not requiring any. Blind crayfish, produce no eyes, yet they produce eye-stalks. In humans, this range from earlobes, to the Appendix, tail bone, facial and body hair, etc. All of these support a common ancestor, and are evidence for evolution.

Now, onto Fossils. We have the many lineages of fossils that show clear transition from one animal to another, such as the Equus or Horse line, from the hyracotherium to the modern horse.

We have many transitional fossils such as the Archeopteryx or the Tiktaalik.

We have the fossil record itself, which never seems to place fossils in a strange or impossible location, such as fossil bunnies in the Cambrian, or humans with dinosaurs.

I think that about does it for me. I don't want to post too much or else we will run out of space when we discuss these evidences.

Sources:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.nmsr.org...
3. http://www.evolutionpages.com...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
SuburbiaSurvivor

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting!

What Is Genetic Information?

For starters, we're going to need to understand what information is. Information is not equivalent to additional binary or nucleotidal digits. Information is, as [http://www.merriam-webster.com...] puts it:

"b : the attribute inherent in and communicated by one of two or more alternative sequences or arrangements of something (as nucleotides in DNA or binary digits in a computer program) that produce specific effects"


This is important to note. DNA is composed entirely of three "letter" codons [http://learn.genetics.utah.edu...], so what happens if we mutate a gene? The answer is: we get a bunch of nonsense. To illustrate, let's say we have the phrase:


"The sun was hot."


Then suppose we mutate the entire gene with a frameshift mutation? [http://www.genetichealth.com...]. Well, we'd get something like this:

"The unw ash ot."


That's no good. Perhaps a point mutation?

"The wun was hot"


That's not information either. What's a wun? Ah! But perhaps a deletion mutation!

"The was hot"


Wait, where did the subject go? How about we try an insertion mutation!

"The hsu nwa sho t."



Thus we see that virtually all mutations result in a loss of information.
Loss of information and evolution.

Loss Of Information And Evolution

For one, I never made a distinction between a loss of information and evolution. I simply said that a loss of information could never result in the "tree of life" that we see today. Loss of genetic information never results in new functions, (though, I'd like to add, it can result in a particular function being increased, or amplified, due to an inhibitor or regulator gene being rendered useless). For example, though a loss of hair is theoretically a part of the evolution of apes to man, a gain in information would be required for apes to evolve superior brain function, different bone structure, etc.

Mutations and information

Here my opponent claims:

"Almost all forms of mutation increase information"

Unfortunately, this is an overstatement that doesn't properly represent reality. If the audience will see my above paragraph for an explanation. A better form of the above statement would read:

"Almost all (some) forms of mutations (could theoretically) increase information"

On Flavobacterium

The process by which flavobacterium gained the ability to digest nylon is rather complex. Essentially, no "new" enzymes were created due to an actual mutation. According to Dr. Don Batten "There are five transposable elements on the pOAD2 plasmid. When activated, transposase enzymes coded therein cause genetic recombination." [http://creation.com...]. These enzymes would have accounted for the genetic change. This would be possible, since flavobacterium already had opp genes in their plasmid pOAD2 which allowed them to transport oligopeptides which are very similar to in chemical nature to nylons. As Kevin L. Anderson, PhD puts it: "further molecular analysis of the bacterial transformation reveals mutations resulting in degeneration of pre-existing systems." [http://www.answersingenesis.org...]

Thus we see that no new information was added, the information that did exist was simply degraded to allow less specifity, and all of this was the result of plasmids designed to allow the bacteria to adapt.

Chromosome #2 in humans and apes.

Human beings and apes are similar in anatomy, thus it would make sense that our genetic code would have coding similarities. However, keep in mind that over 98% of our DNA code is non-coding DNA. Meaning that any large similarity in our DNA would be irrelevant to how similar our coding DNA is. All in all, this is nothing other then circumstantial evidence.

Junk DNA?

Researchers are finding that this "Junk DNA" does, in actuality, have a function. The factors of the experiment Con cites are not described, thus we can not ascertain the validity of Con's statement. All animals have two sets of genes, one from each parents. "Bad genes", that is, mutated and either dysfunctional or useless genes are often covered up by the better genes of the other parent. Thus certain genes being removed is really irrelevant unless the genes are specified. Furthermore, there are other genes that are used in embryo development. These genes can be removed once a fetus has been developed. Here are articles discussing the discovery of how Junk DNA has a function:

(a) http://www.sciencedaily.com...
(b) http://www.physorg.com...
(c) http://www.icr.org...
(d) http://cnpublications.net...

Morphology

What similar structures to bats have to whales? Are these structures literally similar? Or do they simply appear to be similar? Without a source or further explanation morphology can only be concluded to be circumstantial evidence.

Vestigial structures

Vestigial structures often do have a function [http://www.answersingenesis.org...], [http://www.angelfire.com...], and [http://creation.com...]. Often this function is not as "necessary" or as "useful" as its theoretical predecessor. But it is a function nonetheless. The "hip" bone in whales is a poor example, since these "hip" bones are used for sexual reproduction [http://www.darwinisdead.com...], [http://www.creationstudies.org...]. Same goes for snake legs. Blind crayfish could have lost their eyes via mutation, which supports creationism (mutations result in a loss of function) and contradict molecules-to-man evolution (gain of function).

Fossils

I'd like to give a longer rebuttal to this. But first I'd like to point out that Con hasn't cited any sources that show a clear transition between the hyracotherium and the modern horse. Thus I can't give an honest rebuttal. In addition, are there any clear anatomical differences between the hyracotherium and the modern horse? Are they not of the same species? Where is the clear transition. Jonathan Sarfati, PhD., seems to disagree:

(a) http://www.equest4truth.com...

Fossil Record and the lack of transitional fossils

I'd like to cite this has evidence against evolution. The fossil record clearly shows an embarrassing lack of transitional fossils. For example, where are all the thousands of fossils between a fish to an amphibian? An amphibian to a reptile? A reptile to a dinosaur? A dinosaur to a bird? In the fossil record, we find that there are virtually no transitional forms from one inherently different type to another.

http://www.answersingenesis.org...
tkubok

Pro

"Thus we see that virtually all mutations result in a loss of information."

This is the problem that my opponent makes, with this argument.

There are three types of results that come from mutations. Harmful, beneficial, and Neutral.

The first question that should be asked here, is whether or not a harmful mutation, is a loss, or increase of information. Let us refer back to the initial description, or definition, of what constitutes as information(1).

In many instances, these nonsense and missense mutations produce genetic diseases, but in all instances, a mutation that results in harmful effect produces a different protein. For example, sickle cell anaemia is the result of a point mutation in the haemoglobin gene. Clearly this genetic mutation has caused a specific effect, that is, a defective protein leading to a sickling effect in the blood cells.(2) So, is this an increase in information? According to the definition, yes. The definition makes no differentiation between what those specific effects entail. Harmful mutations are an increase in information.

The second question that must be asked, is whether virtually all mutations result in a loss of information.

What we understand about many protein sequences, is that even with mutations that cause a different protein sequence to be produced, the protein itself is not harmful, and infact produces the same effect as a normal protein sequence(3). This is what we call Redundancy in the genetic code(4), and in many instances, for example, Cytochrome C, over half of the protein sequence is unnecessary for it to function normally. These are collectively known as neutral mutations.

These neutral mutations can be considered as an increase in information. The reason being, an increase in genetic material is an increase in genetic information, and since the previous protein sequence differs from the altered protein sequence that produces the same effect, we have an increase in the number of different protein sequences that can produce the same effect, and therefore an increase in information.

"The process by which flavobacterium gained the ability to digest nylon is rather complex. Essentially, no "new" enzymes were created due to an actual mutation "

The article that my opponent produced(5), is referencing the claim that these traits were formed via random mutation AND natural selection. Indeed, the article admits that this is in fact a new enzyme(Claiming "Indeed no homology has been found with known enzymes "), but argues that these changes were not the result of simple random mutations but rather an adaption to its environment.

The point in my argument was to show that variation, adaption, produces new information. This article does not disprove this, and in fact, confirms that the enzyme is new, but the method that the enzyme arose, was not due to random mutation and natural selection.

"As Kevin L. Anderson, PhD puts it: "further molecular analysis of the bacterial transformation reveals mutations resulting in degeneration of pre-existing systems.""

No. Nylonase is specific, only acting upon the nylon beta amide bond, and no other amide bond. The "Degeneration" and subsequent losing of its substrate specificity, discussed by Kevin, fails, because, if true, this would mean that Nylonase would break down a wide array of amide bonds, not just one(Which is why we call it Nylonase, to refer to its specific ability to break down nylon). That, coupled with the fact that this enzyme is not similar to any other enzyme/peptidase shows that this is not simply a degeneration of other enzymes.

"However, keep in mind that over 98% of our DNA code is non-coding DNA... All in all, this is nothing other then circumstantial evidence. "

Actually, within my argument, it is utterly irrelevant to keep in mind as to the difference between non-coding/coding DNA sequences, or the similarities within Coding DNA between humans and chimps.

As I stated before, both the Coding, AND non-coding sections of DNA are similar in both human chromosome #2, and 2 ape chromosomes, with the telomeres and centromeres providing us with markers as to where the chromosome is split.

What this shows us, is that Human chromosome #2 was, in the past, 2 separate chromosomes, which means that humans once had 24 pairs of chromosomes, the same number as chimps. This is the only explanation as to how Chromosome Number 2, has 4 Telomeres and 2 Centromeres, and how those centromeres and telomeres are located at the same location as two of the chromosomes found in chimps.

Humans having 24 chromosomes in the past, is not merely circumstantial evidence that humans and apes shared a common ancestor.

"Researchers are finding that this "Junk DNA" does, in actuality, have a function. The factors of the experiment Con cites are not described, thus we can not ascertain the validity of Con's statement."

Actually, i already specified the genes, that is, Non-coding areas of the genome, cut out of Mice(6).

Furthermore, I have already discussed that Non-coding DNA with function, only account for a very, very small portion of Junk DNA. What we see within Junk DNA, is corrupted coding sequences of proteins and other genes that people sometimes refer to as "Selfish DNA"(7). Most of the Transposons, which make up about 45% of all DNA, is also largely Selfish/Junk DNA.

"What similar structures to bats have to whales? Are these structures literally similar? "

They are literally similar. Take a look at the wings of a bat and the fin of a whale(8)(9). What we have here, are literal similarities with both the structure and number of bones, similar.

"Vestigial structures often do have a function."

There are functionless vestigial structures, such as earlobes or Facial/body hair in humans. These clearly have no function, yet we see that in apes, for example, body hair and earlobes have useful functions.

However, vestigial does not mean useless. As i said before, Vestigial structures only need to lose their initial function in order to be seen as vestigial. Just because you can use a broken computer as a paper weight, doesnt mean its lost its initial function.

"The "hip" bone in whales is a poor example, since these "hip" bones are used for sexual reproduction "

The problem isnt the existance of a bone on the hip, it is the shape of the bone. Ask yourself this question of why the pelvic bone in Whales which arent used to move, is so homologously similar to human pelvic bones which are required to move?

"Blind crayfish could have lost their eyes via mutation, which supports creationism (mutations result in a loss of function) and contradict molecules-to-man evolution (gain of function). "

We are talking about Evolution, not Creation.

Also, no. Losing function can be benefitial,(No need to spend any energy producing useless eyes, or body hair that would otherwise increase your body heat when in hot, dry locations) and therefore there is no contradiction to molecules-to-man evolution.

"But first I'd like to point out that Con hasn't cited any sources that show a clear transition between the hyracotherium and the modern horse.In addition, are there any clear anatomical differences between the hyracotherium and the modern horse? Are they not of the same species?""

Here.(10) I really hate doing this, but im running out of space. If i have more space in the next round, i will write in more detail.

As for the website, if possible, could you write the specific arguments down? I understnad if you ran out of space or something, but it would be easier for me to respond if you could write the arguments and use the website as a refference.

"The fossil record clearly shows an embarrassing lack of transitional fossils. "

Again, i cannot go into depth because i ran out of space. I will address this at the next round.

Sources are in the comments section, i do not have enough space to post.
Debate Round No. 2
SuburbiaSurvivor

Con

A. "Thus we see that virtually all mutations result in a loss of information"

Here Pro claims that because a mutated gene produces a different protein, it has experienced a gain in information. This is clearly false. A loss of genetic information would also create a different protein, since the "new" protein would lack key amino acids that result in specific functions. Con's example only furthers my case. Sickle-cell anaemia is the result of a point mutation that changed a particular codon from GAG to GTG. The result was that glutamic acid is replaced by valine. In normal oxygen concentrations, there is no change in protein structure or function, thus most of the time this mutation results in no change in information at all. Since there is no change in effect. However, in a low oxygen environment, the valine collapses on itself, resulting in the cell losing structural formation, which is why the cell looks like a sickle. Thus we see that the sickle cell's formation is due only to a loss of structural formation. [http://en.wikipedia.org...]

So, is the loss of structural formation a specific effect communicated by two or more alternative sequences? Well, yes and no. The loss of structural formation was a consequence of the amino acid substitution, so in essence, it was an effect of the effect. But is a loss of structural formation an example of a gain in effect? Before the mutation, the protein was structurally sound. After the mutation, the protein was structurally unstable. The original effect was corrupted. Thus we see that no "new" effect was added. Rather, part of the original specific effect was deleted.

Sidenote: Benign mutations that result in no effect can not be considered an increase in information by the definition of information. They do not change the effect, produce a new effect, or even result in a loss of an efect.


B. "but the method that the enzyme arose, was not due to random mutation and natural selection"

Exactly. The enzyme arose via adaptive mechanisms already in place in the organism, furthermore, the enzyme was created by degrading current systems to accompany nylon. This is an example of a loss of information.


This also begs the question: How did the plasmids specifically designed to allow adaption evolve?

C. "Nylonase is specific, only acting upon the nylon beta amide bond, and no other amide bond."

I can find no source, and you have offered no source that says nylonase can not act upon any other amide bond. Furthermore, even if your claim were true, it would not refute Doctor Kevin L. Anderson's quote nor add to your case. The original enzyme EII was capable of acting upon small proteins similar in nature to nylon (since the creator of nylon used the structure of proteins as a model to create nylon [http://en.wikipedia.org...]). Once the enzyme was degraded to form around nylon, it would make sense if the enzyme could no longer act on the proteins it previously acted upon.

D. "As I stated before, both the Coding, AND non-coding sections of DNA are similar in both human chromosome #2"

Con has failed to cite a source that explains specifically how similar our coding and non-coding DNA is in comparison to apes.


E. "Humans having 24 chromosomes in the past, is not merely circumstantial evidence that humans and apes shared a common ancestor"

This "evidence" relies on believing that humans had a common ancestor amongst apes and that humans once had only 24 chromosomes. This is circular reasoning. The claim is supported by the evidence, but the evidence relies on the claim. Con must provide actual evidence that humans once had 24 chromosomes and that we have a common ancestor with apes.


F. "Actually, i already specified the genes, that is, Non-coding areas of the genome, cut out of Mice"

Con's source for this claims only 3% of the non-coding DNA was removed from mice. Con seems to not understand that animals have two sets of genes: One from each parent. If genes from one parent are removed, the animal can still rely on the others. This does not mean these non-coding areas of DNA are functionless.


G. "Most of the Transposons, which make up about 45% of all DNA, is also largely Selfish/Junk DNA."

Con has failed to cite a source for this claim. Not only that, but all four of the websites I listed contradict that claim. Here is another:

http://www.wired.com...

H. "They are literally similar. Take a look at the wings of a bat and the fin of a whale"

I don't see any similarities. Not only that, but "they are literally similar" is arbitrary. What do you mean by literally similar? Do you mean they look similar to you? Or you can imagine how they would evolve? Imaginative thinking does not constitute evidence.


I. "There are functionless vestigial structures, such as earlobes or Facial/body hair in humans"

Actually, body hair has a function. It increases sensitivity and can help provide insulation:


(a) http://science.howstuffworks.com...
(b) http://boingboing.net...


J. "Ask yourself this question of why the pelvic bone in Whales which arent used to move, is so homologously similar to human pelvic bones which are required to move?"

These "hip" bones have a clear function. The fact that they appear homologous is not evidence that they are homologous. If evidence requires that you fill in the blanks with your imagination, it is not evidence.

K. "Losing function can be beneficial"

I never said it couldn't. If I did, quote me.

L. On horses

There are many different types of horse breeds. We have large Clydesdale horses, and dwarf horses. (I would know, my mother is obsessed with them). There are different breeds that have 17, 18 or 19 pairs of ribs. As well as breeds that have three-toes. These are all variations within the species. It is very likely that the fossils cited as intermediate steps in "horse evolution" are really just different breeds of horses. From the dwarf horse to the Clydesdale.

M. On Lack Of Transitional Species.

I await Con's arguments in regards to this. Keep in mind that due to the thousands of hypothetical "information-increasing" mutations theoretically required for one species to evolve to another species, there must be thousands, or at least hundreds of fossils that show transition from one species to another. Each with another information-increasing mutation that increased functions.
tkubok

Pro

“A loss of genetic information would also create a different protein, since the "new" protein would lack key amino acids that result in specific functions.”

First, as per the previous definition provided, we can see that information is consistent of Alternative sequences(DNA or protein sequence), that produce a specific effect(Sickling of blood cells.)

The specific effect(Structurally normal blood cell) has been replaced by another specific effect(Sickled blood cell)

Since this specific effect did not exist before, this is the very definition of what constitutes as new information.

Now let me explain how the loss in genetic materials does not necessarily constitute the same as loss in information.

Each Codon transcribes into a single amino acid, which in turn makes up a protein sequence, DNA and its Codons can be considered a Cipher, with the protein sequences making up a word, and the effect that those proteins have in a specific system, the meaning that the word is supposed to describe.

The word “Carrot” and its meaning has existed for over 500 years. The word “Car” and its meaning has only existed for 250 years. No one would argue that the word “Car” is new information. The lack of these 3 letters(Amino acids), has caused this word to lose its specific meaning(Effect), yet it is still considered new information, because it has a different meaning.

“But is a loss of structural formation an example of a gain in effect?”

A gain in effect is not necessary, only a change. As per my example above, “Car” has not gained a meaning, gaining would imply that “Car” still meant “Carrot”. The meaning has been changed, replaced. Sickled Cells have lost their previous structure, but gained another structure. Its not as if the structure disappeared, it has been replaced.

“I can find no source, and you have offered no source that says nylonase can not act upon any other amide bond.”

I did. (1) I understand its near the bottom, so i don’t blame you for missing it.
“Kinoshita et al. (1981) tested enzyme 2 against 50 possible substrates and found no activity “

Its also on the wiki page.(2)
“and not effective on any material other than the manmade nylon byproducts. “



“Once the enzyme was degraded to form around nylon, it would make sense if the enzyme could no longer act on the proteins it previously acted upon. “

You forget the argument you are using. You are claiming that the previous enzyme lost its substrate specificity, and therefore was able to break down a wider range of proteins. The key word being, “Wider range”. It would be counter-intuitive to believe that increasing the range would result in narrowing the range.
What you are proposing is:
-Less specificity, wider range of protein digestion based off previous enzymes

What we see is:
-Increased specificity with enzymes substantially different than previous enzymes.

“Con has failed to cite a source that explains specifically how similar our coding and non-coding DNA is in comparison to apes. “

I did not(3).
“The analogous chromosomes (2p and 2q) in the non-human great apes can be shown, when laid end to end, to create an identical banding structure to the human chromosome 2. “

And of course the centromeres/telomeres.

“The claim is supported by the evidence, but the evidence relies on the claim”

Not a claim, but a hypothesis.

Hypothesis: If chimps and humans share a common ancestor, the 24th chromosome in chimps must have undergone change in order to become only 23 in humans.

Evidence: Chromosome #2 shows fusion.

That's how science works. We did not assume that Chimps and Humans shared a common ancestor. The evidence leads us to believe our hypothesis is true(Notice the “IF”) What part of that is circular?

“If genes from one parent are removed, the animal can still rely on the others.”

At first i didnt really understand what you meant. Now i believe you are talking about the diploid nature of the chromosome, which is fine. The deletion was homozygous.(4)

“Con has failed to cite a source for this claim. Not only that, but all four of the websites I listed contradict that claim”

Again, i did provide a source.(5)

“as part of the over 42% fraction that is recognizably derived of retrotransposons, while another 3% can be identified to be the remains of DNA transposons. “

Also, the site you provided, didnt disprove my claim.

“What do you mean by literally similar?“

Both the structure and location are similar. Whales have Humerus bones, Ulna, 3 phalanges to each of its 5 fingers, and one metacarpals to each finger.

“Actually, body hair has a function. It increases sensitivity and can help provide insulation: “

First off, human body hair is not thick enough to provide protection, except for the head. And the reason goosebumps are useful in other animals is because it causes the hair to stand, making the animal appear larger and intimidating, yet this utterly fails in humans due to lack of length of hair.(6)

Secondly, what about earlobes?

“The fact that they appear homologous is not evidence that they are homologous. “

Actually, it is. Grouping animals up due to similar traits is something that Linnaeus first started, and this is the reason why we can recognize Tigers and Housecats as the same Family. By your argument, it was wrong to group together cats and tigers based on homologous structures, something that Creationists agree are the same “Kind” and therefore necessarily sharing a common ancestor.

“I never said it couldn't. If I did, quote me.”

I never claimed you said it either, i stated it as a fact.

“It is very likely that the fossils cited as intermediate steps in "horse evolution" are really just different breeds of horses.“

For something to be considered a breed, it must be within the same species. The hyracotherium and modern horse are not, since Hyracotherium has significant differences, which are not as simple as rib count. It would be the same magnitude of difference from Humans and monkeys, that is, four digit legs instead of 1, flexible legs that are unfused.

Even within humans, rib counts differ, with about 1 in 500 people having an extra rib.(7) This is an extremely small difference, and nothing compared to the difference between the Hyracotherium and modern horse.

Now, i will discuss Transitional Fossils.

“The fossil record clearly shows an embarrassing lack of transitional fossils.”

Not so. Firstly, heres a very large list of transitional fossils that contain specific traits from two distinct taxonomic groups.(8)

However, I have never understood this argument.
-Fossilization is a rare event. The animal must have died without being scavenged or decayed, which only occur near specific environments such as Bogs, marshes, rivers, or places with frequent landslides.
-Animal fossils are fragile and do not preserve well.
-We have only dug up less than 1% of the dry landmass of the earth, and even less of the entire earth.
-Animals migrate and move frequently, so finding a clear lineage of transitional fossils is nearly impossible.
-Even then, animals have a relatively short range, therefore decreasing the chance of fossilization.
-Erosion often destroys fossils, which, sadly, is very common.

Considering all of the above, why would my opponent think that we would be finding thousands upon thousands of transitional fossils showing clear lineages between different animals?

I wanted to discuss a bit more about transitional fossils, but im out of space again. Maybe next round i will be able to.


Source:
1. http://www.nmsr.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://www.evolutionpages.com...
4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
6. http://en.wikipedia.org...
7. http://en.wikipedia.org...

8. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
SuburbiaSurvivor

Con

"we can see that information is consistent of Alternative sequences(DNA or protein sequence), that produce a specific effect(Sickling of blood cells.)"

First of all, Con has only shown that his examples constitute one effect being replaced by another. Thus no change in amount of information has taken place.

But we see that "effect" can mean nearly anything. So let's further define "effect". Keep in mind this is about molecules-to-man evolution. So what's the difference between molecules and man? Structural complexity. Molecules are structurally simple. Homo Sapiens are structurally complex. It's like the difference between a brick and a sky scraper. Pro is essentially trying to argue that by taking bricks out of a house you could get a sky scraper.

"Since this specific effect did not exist before, this is the very definition of what constitutes as new information."

Yet no there was no gain in structural complexity. Merely the opposite.

"No one would argue that the word “Car” is new information. The lack of these 3 letters(Amino acids), has caused this word to lose its specific meaning(Effect), yet it is still considered new information, because it has a different meaning."

First of all, DNA is far more like computer code [http://www.discovery.org...] then the English language. The English language is flexible, and often illogical. Computer code is rigid, and logical. For example, let's say you type in the phrase "Grow me a carrot", into a computer program that can do whatever you command it. The computer would go, plant a seed, and grow you a carrot. But suppose you make a mistake and type in the phrase "Grow me a car". The computer program would either A) cease to work because your command did not make logical sense or B) go put metal into the ground, and water it.

"Sickled Cells have lost their previous structure, but gained another structure. Its not as if the structure disappeared, it has been replaced."

This is a biologically false statement. Sickled cells have only lost structure, due to hydrophobic amino acids being disintegrated. The entire structure of course did not literally disappeared, but the complexity and formation of the structure was lost.

1. “Kinoshita et al. (1981) tested enzyme 2 against 50 possible substrates and found no activity"

This is rather ambiguous, and Con's source is outdated. "50 possible substrates" could mean literally anything.

The enzyme is capable of degrading a wider range of oligomers then before. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov... 370:142–156]. Thus this constitutes a loss of specifity.

“The analogous chromosomes (2p and 2q) in the non-human great apes can be shown, when laid end to end, to create an identical banding structure to the human chromosome 2."

Con's source has not specified what sort of DNA this is. This could very well be non-coding DNA, such as regulator or inhibitor genes. Furthermore, a recent study by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the DNA gap between humans and chimps is about 86.7% [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov... 100(13):7708–7713]. Similarities in human DNA and Ape DNA are largely created based on isolated sections of DNA, without taking into account the entire genome and taking an average [http://creation.com...]. Furthermore, the differences in Ape and Human DNA are also almost completely in the coding section of the genome [http://www.sciencedaily.com...].

Lastly, this biologist calls into question the significance of gene similarity:

"There are two species of flies (Drosophila) that look alike but have only 25 percent of their DNA sequences in common. Yet the DNA of humans and chimpanzees share 97.5 percent. This means the DNA of two virtually identical flies is 30 times more different than that between humans and chimpanzees."-The Biotic Message, page 449

"We did not assume that Chimps and Humans shared a common ancestor"

Actually, Darwin did. [http://en.wikipedia.org...].

"The deletion was homozygous."

Upon further investigation, this true. However, from Con's source, "Further detailed analysis of the expression of multiple genes bracketing the deletions revealed only minor expression differences in homozygous deletion and wild-type mice"-[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...]

Yet we see in the example of sickle-cell anemia, where one simple amino acid was replaced with another, these expression changes can have devastating effects in certain circumstances.

For example, I have induced asthma. It sucks. But I can survive with it, and if I don't run too far or get too crazy, I don't experience it. I'm just like every other guy out there, except for this one problem. I can thrive with it and one will see little difference in the way I interact with others, but my induced asthma is most definitely a disadvantage.

"as part of the over 42% fraction that is recognizably derived of retrotransposons, while another 3% can be identified to be the remains of DNA transposons."

Retrotransposons and transposons are mobile RNA strands that can copy themselves and insert themselves into chromosomes [http://www.biology-online.org...], [http://www.biology-online.org...]

Your source says nothing of the functions of these transposons and retrotransposons.

"Both the structure and location are similar"

Here is a picture of a bat wing [http://courses.washington.edu...]

Here is a picture of a whale flipper [http://www.google.com...]

Evidence should not require one's imagination.

"Human body hair is not thick enough to provide protection"

I never claimed it was. It is however, capable of provided insulation, and most importantly: a reaction to emotional responses. What would your favorite song be without the goosebumps that came with listening to it? Furthermore, body hair increases sensitivity:

"...the cluster of nerve fibers at the base of each human hair enables it to serve as a nerve amplifier or nerve extender. When the hair is moved, it physically transmits that information to the nerve." -Vestigial Organs Are Fully Functional, Page 65, Dr. Jerry Bergman.

And earlobes? Keeps your ears warm and provides balance. http://en.wikipedia.org...

"The hyracotherium and modern horse are not, since Hyracotherium has significant differences, which are not as simple as rib count."

Yet none of these differences are mentioned by Con, and he further argues against his own case in the next paragraph:

"Even within humans, rib counts differ, with about 1 in 500 people having an extra rib."

On Transitional Fossils


Due to the character limit, I ask that Con pick a few examples of transitional forms instead of relying on the list of another website. I obviously don't have room to refute all alleged examples of transitional forms.

"Considering all of the above, why would my opponent think that we would be finding thousands upon thousands of transitional fossils showing clear lineages between different animals?"

According to evolutionary theory, life has existed on the planet for something like 2.7 billion years. Now, let's say that on a whole, the average reproductive abilities of all organisms are to reproduce 4 offspring per year (this is being conservative). Five million years later you have one species that has produced 20 million skeletons. Now, of course, many of these skeletons would have deteriorated due to the factors that Con described. Yet somehow, for all transitional forms, none of their 20 million skeletons were fossilized?
tkubok

Pro

"Con has only shown that his examples constitute one effect being replaced by another"

As with my Car and Carrot example, it doesn't matter. It is still considered new information.

Con has still failed to argue why this is not new information, instead, claiming that this is one effect being replaced by another. Hes right, but its still new information.

Also, i am Pro, not Con.

"It's like the difference between a brick and a sky scraper"

First off, as the old saying goes, Rome was not built in a day. Did Con think that a Brick turned into a skyscraper overnight, or even over a weekend? No, in fact, it took hundreds of years of human innovation and technological advancement in order to go from bricks, to a skyscraper. So why is my opponent asking for a single, or even a couple mutations that would take us from a molecule to a multi-cellular organism?

Secondly, evolution, much like technology and human knowledge, is a bottom-up process. Nylonase, is an increase in complexity of the structure of enzymes. My opponents argument of how this is simply built on previous enzymes, is correct. This is how evolution, and human knowledge, works. We required knowledge of flint-lock rifles before we built machine guns. We started out with mud houses, to brick houses, to skyscrapers. Nylonase is more structurally complex, adding new information.

"DNA is far more like computer code then the English language"

No, DNA is closer to a cipher than a code(1). Also, you were the first one who used the English language as an argument.

"But suppose you make a mistake and type in the phrase "Grow me a car""

If your computer is coded to recognize or search similar meanings, it will build you a car instead of growing you one. It is up to the computer programmer to determine if his computer code will be capable of interpreting similar words. The computer code is only as rigid as its programmer wants it to be.

Conversely, someone who does not understand English very well, would look up the words in order to know what the phrase means, and will be confused, ceasing his work because he does not understand what the phrase wants him to do, asking "Is he asking me to build a car?"

"The entire structure of course did not literally disappeared, but the complexity and formation of the structure was lost."

Original formation was lost, yes, and replaced by another formation. But i would like my opponent to show that the original structure of the Cell was necessarily more complex than the structure caused by sickle cell anaemia.

"This is rather ambiguous, and Con's source is outdated. "50 possible substrates" could mean literally anything"

First off, this is not outdated, anymore than the original double-slit experiment is outdated. Con has failed to understand that an experiment is not outdated simply because of its age. It is only outdated if a new experiment either discredits or better represents the previous experiment.

Secondly, if by "literally anything", Con means substrates that are potentially degraded by the Nylonase enzyme, then yes, it could mean literally anything. However, i suppose i could provide a link to a more recent experiment that only confirms the previous statement(2).

"The enzyme is capable of degrading a wider range of oligomers then before. Thus this constitutes a loss of specifity"

Again, Con has failed to address the substrate specificity of Nylonase and its inability to break down any amide bond other than the nylon-beta amide bond.

"This could very well be non-coding DNA, such as regulator or inhibitor genes"

Apparently my opponent does not understand the significance of G banding. G banding shows the karyotypes of organisms(3). With DNA comparison of Chimps and humans in Chromosome #2, the heterochromatin/euchromatin locations are identical, where Heterochromatin is responsible for gene regulation and expression(4), and Euchromatin consist largely of coding sequences(5). Since the Karyotype is often vastly different in different organisms(3), the fact that the karyotype is not only similar, but identical, is evidence that the human chromosome #2 used to be two chromosomes. G-banding compares the pattern coding and non-coding genes.

"Similarities in human DNA and Ape DNA are largely created based on isolated sections of DNA, without taking into account the entire genome and taking an average "

This is irrelevant to the fact that the Banding patterns and telomere/centromeres are identical in human chromosome #2. The similarity in Karyotype is important, not the specific genes.

"Furthermore, the differences in Ape and Human DNA are also almost completely in the coding section of the genome"

My opponent is mistaken. The article he points to talks about the non-coding regions having the most differences.

"There are two species of flies (Drosophila) that look alike but have only 25 percent of their DNA sequences in common"

Without a source regarding the Flies, I cannot reply to this.

"Actually, Darwin did"

Darwin proposed his hypothesis and collected evidence to support his hypothesis, which is how the scientific method works. This disproves your previous argument of how the Evidence relies on the claim.

"I can thrive with it and one will see little difference in the way I interact with others, but my induced asthma is most definitely a disadvantage"

Whether something is an advantage or a disadvantage is largely based on the environment. The sickle cell trait makes you highly resistant to Malaria(6), which makes it an advantage.

The question we are discussing isn't whether it is an advantage or disadvantage, its whether it produces new information.

"Your source says nothing of the functions of these transposons and retrotransposons"

Here(7). Transposons account for only 2% while Retrotransposons take up 45%. The parts that are active in Retrotransposons, LINEs and SINEs, are few, with only about 50 of the 800,000 LINEs, and very few of the Alu elements in SINEs being active. These two alone consist of about 25% of our DNA.

"Evidence should not require one's imagination"

I provided a list of bones found within Whales that are similar to human hand bones. How does that require imagination.

"It is however, capable of provided insulation"

Body hair, is not capable of providing insulation.

"a reaction to emotional responses"

I already responded to the goosebumps argument.

"Yet none of these differences are mentioned by Con"

These are the major differences:
-Flexible, rotatable legs with no major bones fused
-4 and 3 toes on the front/back of the Hyracotherium, with each toe having a pad like a dog

These are much different than a rib count. How is this an argument against me?

"I ask that Con pick a few examples of transitional forms instead of relying on the list "

The list was in response to your claim of how there is an embarrassing lack of transitional fossils. The list shows how there is an abundance of transitional fossils.

"Yet somehow, for all transitional forms, none of their 20 million skeletons were fossilized?"

Again, only less than .01% of the earths dry landmass has been excavated. The .01% that we have, has shown quite a large list of transitional fossils. This can be mirrored with human remains. Half a billion people have lived between the years of 10,000 BC to 0 AD(8), yet we only see a handful of human remains dated between those ages, let alone complete human remains. Yes, if we go around digging, we may find more. But it doesn't discount the ones we have found.

Source:
1 http://www.sciencemag.org...
2 http://www.springerlink.com...
3 http://en.wikipedia.org...
4 http://en.wikipedia.org...
5 http://en.wikipedia.org...
6 http://en.wikipedia.org...
7 http://users.rcn.com...
8 http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 4
SuburbiaSurvivor

Con

First of all, I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate and being a compelling opponent!

Secondly, I usually never read the final round. However, if as a reader you've gotten this far, congratulations! I compliment you on your ability to stay focused.

New Information=Gain in Information?

It has not been my position to argue that mutations are incapable of creating new information relative to the literal definition that I offered. Were I to change the word "information" to "inverninasdf", that could be considered new information. However, the effect would be a loss of meaning. At best, one could argue that functional information was replaced with dysfunctional information. This is what we see with mutations. They corrupt information such that certain sections of biological structures are malformed or completely deleted. While this may not be inherently harmful to the organism in all cases, the result is never an increase in structural complexity.

The two examples Pro gave further my case. Sickle-cell anemia is a harmful disease in blood cells in which the blood cell has lost it's structure due to the hydrolyzation (destruction by water) of one amino acid. Because of it's collapsed structure, the sickle cell is very likely to clog arteries, and cause very major medical problems [http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov...].

Of course, this trait also grants one a moderate immunity to malaria, which is a plus. However, many people die from full blown anemia because of it, or develop serious medical conditions [http://www.ornl.gov...]. Those who only have only inherited one of the genes from their parents, are generally able to avoid the effects, unless they become oxygen deprived.

Nylonase actually argues for intelligent design, since the mutation that created nylonase was actually caused by an enzyme in a plasmid specifically suited for adaption. Furthermore, nylonase was simply the result of degrading already existing enzymes. Previous enzymes, such as EII in flavobacterium, are degraded to allow the enzyme to hydrolyze (destroy with water) a greater variety of oligomers (A polymer with only 1-4 monomers). No structural complexity was added.

"Again, Con has failed to address the substrate specificity of Nylonase and its inability to break down any amide bond other than the nylon-beta amide bond."

Perhaps Pro did not read my entire argument. Nylonase is capable of hydrolyzing a wider range of oligomers (a.k.a amide bonds etc.) [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...]

Pro argues that Rome was not built in a day, thus evolution is a long process. This is, of course, correct. However, removing bricks from a house will never result in a skyscraper, much less the entire country of rome. Cities, and organisms, are complex. You can't decrease complexity to increase complexity. It's logically impossible.

Human/Ape Chromosome

In regards to karyotype, my opponent's reply is irrelevant to the quote he was replying to. The significance of these karyotype similarities are called into question. The similarities are in non-coding DNA of the human and ape genome. Thus the chrosome similarity lies almost completely in how genes are expressed, not in coding genes themselves. Since apes and humans are built very similar, it makes sense from an intelligent design standpoint that there would be similarities.
As the old saying goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!".

In regards to my quote about Drosophila. It is from the book The Biotic Messsage [http://www.amazon.com...]. Since it was simply a quote from a book, all I need to do is cite the book.

"Whether something is an advantage or a disadvantage is largely based on the environment. The sickle cell trait makes you highly resistant to Malaria(6), which makes it an advantage."

Pro is not responding relevantly. The point is that the "functionless DNA" actually had a function. Whether it is seemingly minor or not.


Retrotransposons and Transposons, functional or no?

"The parts that are active in Retrotransposons, LINEs and SINEs, are few, with only about 50 of the 800,000 LINEs"

Here's the actual quote from Pro's source in regards to the "activity" of these retrotransposons:


"Only about 50 L1 elements are functional "genes"; that is, can be transcribed and translated."

Pro's source is not saying that these genes are functionless in the sense that they do not control gene expression, but that they can not be transcribed or translated by other transposons or retrotransposons.

Thus Pro has taken the word "function" and "active" out of context of his source. His claim that most non-coding DNA is functionless no longer holds air.

Bat-Whale bones similar?

The bat wing is completely different then both a human hand and a whale flipper.

Vestigial Organs

"Body hair, is not capable of providing insulation."

Human body hair and goosebumps are capable of providing moderate insulation and thermoregulation [http://science.howstuffworks.com...]. But it also provides sensitivity and a strong reaction to emotional stimuli.

Hyrocathium and the Horse

The Hyrocathium has been reclassified as five different animals belonging to five different groups yet only one of them belonged to the horse [MacFadden, B.J., Fossil Horses, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 92–103, 1992.]. The single animal that still retains the name Hyrocatherium is now considered part of the Palaeotheriidae family, which closer resembles tapirs and rhinos.

Many of the other horse "intermediates" could very well simply be different breeds of horses. In addition, many of these horse "intermediates" show up in the same strata as each other. Hyracotherium and Orohippus appear in the fossil record at the same time as Epihippus. Also, Mesohippus and Miohippusappear together with Merychippus and Parahippus. [http://creation.com...]

Transitional Species

I question the validity and relevancy of Pro's source. For example, the wiki page [ shows transitions between frog species, showing differences in tail length, etc. But any frog-loving eight year old could tell you that frogs undergo drastic changes between being a tadpole and an adult frog. As tadpoles grow older they gradually grow arms and legs while losing their tails. These "transitional forms" could very well just be different species of frog in different stages of development.

Since Pro has not used specific examples of transitional species, we can only consider this list void.

Furthermore, Pro fails to satisfy the question. How is it that over millions of years, there is such an gaping lack of transitional fossils? There are the alleged few, of course. But the validity of these transitional species is in question.

The audience should also remember that two billion years isn't short amount of time. Why is it that for these millions of years, there are no fossils? There should be thousands, millions even. Yet the only fossils we find are those of fully formed species.

So is there a large body of evidence?

Clearly not. There are no examples of mutations that increase information or even structural complexity. Vestigial organs themselves often have clear purposes. In addition, Pro himself admits there is a huge lack of transitional species.

Pro has not fullfilled his burden of proof.

I CAN HAZ UR VOTES, PLZ?
tkubok

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

“They corrupt information such that certain sections of biological structures are malformed or completely deleted.”

I specifically mentioned to examples, Nylonase and Sickle-cell anaemia. The reason for this is simple. Nylonase is to show that a mutation can increase information with a new function, and Sickel-cell anaemia is to show that a mutation can increase information with a loss of a function.

The importance of this, is shown with how nylonase is beneficial in a nylon-rich environment, but actually detrimental if there is no nylon due to its substrate specificity.

What does this mean? This means that an environment can change the benefits, even the function of a mutation. So, Nylonase in a nylon-rich environment is a new function, and Sickle-cell trait in a malaria-ridden environment is a new function. Does this discount the fact that either Nylonase or Sickle-cell would be harmful in specific environments? Of course not. But the function is new, the information is new.

“Nylonase actually argues for intelligent design, since the mutation that created nylonase was actually caused by an enzyme in a plasmid specifically suited for adaption.”

This not what Intelligent design is advocating, nor is it contrary to what occurs within evolution. The problem here is that the adaption process random and not selective, which makes it contrary to what Intelligent Design is proposing. The transposons responsible for rapid variation are not targeted anywhere, and are purely based on chance and selection.(1) The fact that only two bacterium are capable of this mutation further destroys the ID claim.(2)

“Perhaps Pro did not read my entire argument. Nylonase is capable of hydrolyzing a wider range of oligomers”

Perhaps Con did not read the source he cited, carefully. His source only discusses the mechanism proposed to which Nylonase breaks down 6-aminohexanoate-linear dimer(i.e. Nylon).

Here is more to support this and to contradict the claims that Con is making(3).

“The enzyme could not hydrolyze other linear amides, cyclic amides, dipeptides, tripeptides or casein [ Kinoshita81 ]. “

“The similarities are in non-coding DNA of the human and ape genome. “

Wrong. The Karyotype represents both Coding and Non-coding DNA via Heterochromatin/Euchromatin. Con has ignored my argument.

“Thus the chrosome similarity lies almost completely in how genes are expressed, not in coding genes themselves.”

Wrong. Both coding and Non-coding DNA undergo Gene expression(4). Con has a fundemental misunderstanding about DNA.

“Since apes and humans are built very similar, it makes sense from an intelligent design standpoint that there would be similarities.”

Wrong. The reason why from an intelligent design standpoint, there would be similarities, is because Intelligent Design does not directly contradict Evolution. Both Intelligent Design and Evolution claim that we share a common ancestor. So the reason why from an ID standpoint there would be similarities, is the same reason why from an evolutionary standpoint, there would be similarities. Cons argument has backfired on him.

“Since it was simply a quote from a book, all I need to do is cite the book.”

Walter Remine, the author of the book, is not a biologist. He has a degree in electrical engineering, and his research has to do with pattern recognition.(5) It is fair that i ask for a source, especially since i have provided a source time and again even after Con has failed to carefully read my sources.

“The point is that the "functionless DNA" actually had a function.”

Wrong. As stated before, slight changes in gene expression with, for example, Proteins, produce a protein strand that is functional and indistinguishable from its non-altered form. Does this mean the changed genes have a function? No.

“Thus Pro has taken the word "function" and "active" out of context of his source.“

False. LINEs are only useful in transcription to RNA. They are not used in gene expression(6).

“The bat wing is completely different then both a human hand and a whale flipper.”

So now my opponent has conceded that Whale flippers and human hands are similar, and therefore evidence of common ancestry and evolution. Thank you.

“Human body hair and goosebumps are capable of providing moderate insulation and thermoregulation”

I have already replied to this. Furthermore, Cons source agrees that the lack of hair is what is responsible for our capability to withstand heat.

“The single animal that still retains the name Hyrocatherium is now considered part of the Palaeotheriidae family, which closer resembles tapirs and rhinos. “

I fail to see what part of this is a rejection of the Hyracotherium being an ancestor to the modern horse. An ancestor to a species does not need to be in the same family if the ancestor existed long before the species even existed.

“Many of the other horse "intermediates" could very well simply be different breeds of horses.”

False. Mesohippus, Parahippus and the likes had 3 toes, and only when we reached Hipparion, did the 2 other toes not reach the ground, whereas todays horses have only 1 toe. This is, as i said before, quite a large difference between the current breeds of horses where the only major difference in bone structure is an extra rib.

“many of these horse "intermediates" show up in the same strata as each other. “

Since the Eocene Epoc which the Hyracotherium and epihippus are in, lasted for about 50 million years, this means little. This has even less meaning considering the fact that one species does not need to completely go extinct in order to evolve into another species.

“These "transitional forms" could very well just be different species of frog in different stages of development.”

Wrong. Tadpoles lack the bones necessary to mineralize, nor are there any bones in the tail, so we know that this isnt a stage of developement. The fossil of Gerobatrachus for example, has a long boney tail.

“Since Pro has not used specific examples of transitional species, we can only consider this list void.“

False. At the very beginning, I specifically mentioned Archaeopteryx and Tiktaalik as examples of transitional fossils, wanting to discuss them at length. Cons response was to argue that there should be thousands of transitional fossils, not just 2, therefore i presented a list of transitional fossils. Now Con is arguing that i only talk about specific examples, and is using that as an excuse to ignore the list of transitional fossils that Con specifically asked for.

I feel that Con has failed in his argument, miserably, by failing to stick to one argument.

“How is it that over millions of years, there is such an gaping lack of transitional fossils? “

I have presented a small list of transitional species, and the explanation of how rare fossil formation is. Not only has my opponent failed to address the problem of the rarity of fossil formation, and preservation, but also failed to discuss the fact that human remains are scarce, the farther back you go.

Again, finding human remains older than 5000 years, is scarce, let alone complete human remains. This is only in a span of 5000-10,000 years, relatively recent in terms of 2 billion. I suggest Con asks himself why this is so.

Does Evolution have sufficient evidence?

I have shown that increased information and increased complexity exist. Con has failed to address almost half my arguments in the final round, and i have sufficiently refuted the rest. Clearly, there is enough evidence. Coupled with the frequent misspellings that Con has made(The most recent being "Fullfilled", "messsage" and "Chrosome"), I believe Pro has won.

Vote Pro.

Source:
1.http://en.wikipedia.org...
2.http://en.wikipedia.org...
3.http://biocyc.org...
4.http://en.wikipedia.org...
5.http://saintpaulscience.com...
6.http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 5
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Dirtboy345 2 years ago
Dirtboy345
Before and after I agreed with tkubok, there is a large body of evidence to support evolution
Posted by tkubok 2 years ago
tkubok
"Thank you for your clearly unbiased RFD. I can tell you put a lot of effort into giving a fair vote."

Well, all the people who voted for you are christians and im not surprised with that. I know for a fact that Gileandos would never vote pro-Evolution, seeing as how he fails to address any counter arguments against his objections to Evolution in the forums yet constantly keeps coming back as if he hoped we had forgotten our previous discussions. But i wouldnt call it unfair, its their freedom to vote whatever they want, even if its without reason.
Posted by tkubok 2 years ago
tkubok
By asking for source for the book, i was calling the source into question, which is permissible in a debate.

And yes, you did ask for thousands of examples. You specificlly said "where are all the thousands of fossils between a fish to an amphibian? An amphibian to a reptile? A reptile to a dinosaur? A dinosaur to a bird?" Sorry, but thats quite a broad question youre asking there, and the only way to sufficiently reply is to provide a list.

I dont cite a wikipedia page if it has no sources as a rule, but for the most part, Wiki already uses its own sources so i dont really mind.

I didnt really learn much from this debate to be honest, but still it was fun.
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 2 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
@tbukok Well, I was quoting a book. So in saying the title of the book, technically I was citing a source for the quote. You really didn't have to read the entire book.

Did I ask for thousands of examples? I think I made an argument that there is a lack of transitional species, but I don't remember asking for thousands of examples. Usually debates are about sounding convincing, so have just a few examples probable would have been good enough for you.

I see where you're coming from with Wikipedia. Personally, I wouldn't use wikipedia in controversial cases. I think it's fine if you cite wikipedia as a source to describe a theory, or perhaps some well-known and undisputed scientific process. But I wouldn't cite it as a source for more controversial subjects.

But that's just me, and how I vote. Obviously do what you consider to be best for your case, and take advice from other voters.

I learned a lot from this debate, and I hope you did you too. Keep well!
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 2 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
@RoyLatham, "Con is pushing utter nonsense, comparable to naive flat earth arguments."

Thank you for your clearly unbiased RFD. I can tell you put a lot of effort into giving a fair vote.

I'm not really interested in whether you consider creationism "utter nonsense" or not. If you found a flaw in my argument, or in the science behind my argument, then point it out. By all means, I'm here to learn.
Posted by tkubok 2 years ago
tkubok
Yes, i enjoyed our debate as well. The only thing i didnt like, was how you kept asking for sources, and then, when you brought up the book of "The biotic message", claimed that you didnt have to bring out a source. That, and the fact that half the time my sources did cover the material i was talking about. I mean, yeah, it was grueling to read through all of your sources, but i did.

Also, i wanted to discuss Archeopteryx and Tiktaalik in more detail, but then in the second round you asked for the thousands of lists of fossils, so i had to switch to that, and then the third round you switched back to the individual fossils again.

As for wikipedia, most of the stuff that i do is off the top of my head, and i go searching for sources after(i had to correct myself a couple times, yes, but most of it is accurate). Quite frankly, the reason i dont care if someone uses Wiki or some other page is because its not really much different if someone google it and take the first link off of the search results, or just uses Wikipedia, which already lists its sources at the very bottom of the page. For this reason, using Wikipedia and, say, the Creationist website, really doesnt differ much in that the main sources are always listed at the bottom.
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
Aren't we past debating "Is there a large body of evidence that the earth is round?" Apparently not. You have to really, really want to believe Con, plus not understand basic science to avoid the evidence. 99.86% of the relevant scientists consider evolution proved, and Pro cited the correct arguments.
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 2 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
I had 30 minutes to write my response. I was in a rush. I think you lost spelling because you almost never capitalized your "I"'s.

However, I'd like to say thank you for taking this debate. I've never officially debated evolution (abiogenesis, yes, but many atheists/evolutionists claim that abiogenesis is not a part of evolution) so this was a good experience. I think the information argument is great, but clearly it needs to be defined with clear definitions. That is, structural complexity. Instead of just "effect". Which can mean pretty much anything. Also, I'd never really debated about nylonase before, so it's good experience debating on that.

I was actually hoping you'd go into more depth in regards to transitional species.

Also, I suggest using more sources other then wikipedia. In Round three you cited it five times. I cited wikipedia too, so I'm not pretending I'm better then you or anything. But generally when I vote debates, I generally consider wikipedia a bad source.
Posted by tkubok 2 years ago
tkubok
BTW, i still do not understand why you misspelled Hyracotherium. You spelled it correctly before, but then in the last round you misspelled it, twice.
Posted by tkubok 2 years ago
tkubok
If you are talking about the fact that words like Transposons are highlighted in red, no, those are not misspelled. The program does not recognize these words because they are technical words.

The misspelled words i refer to are the ones i highlighted below.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by PeacefulChaos 2 years ago
PeacefulChaos
SuburbiaSurvivortkubokTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I didn't have time to fully read the debate, but I skimmed over it and got the major parts. I believe that Con had superior arguments throughout the debate, since he successfully debunked Pro's arguments (i.e. in the first argument Pro missed the whole point and kept insisting that following the literal definition, it is new information). Grammar also goes to Con, since Pro constantly refused to capitalize his I's. It was a close, good debate, though, and both sides did excellent.
Vote Placed by kyro90 2 years ago
kyro90
SuburbiaSurvivortkubokTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Wow, really impressed, Though I think that Con had Just a bit better arguments and sources...
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
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Reasons for voting decision: Con is pushing utter nonsense, comparable to naive flat earth arguments. Pro provided the correct science. The arguments from non-coding DNA and the fossil record are correct and compelling.
Vote Placed by imabench 2 years ago
imabench
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: pro saturated this debate with evidecne showing how evolution, even the very narrow version the con is referring to, is indeed substantial, and the Pro defended those arguments very well. Arguments to pro and spelling to the Con, my bad about accidentally not noticing you were quoting the pro....
Vote Placed by Wandile 2 years ago
Wandile
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Reasons for voting decision: Thoroughly entertaining debate guys! Really enjoyed reading through it. It must be said that despite Pro's efforts, Con clearly produced the better arguments and as such he gets my vote.
Vote Placed by Gileandos 2 years ago
Gileandos
SuburbiaSurvivortkubokTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con had better arguments against this specific idea of evolution and Pro did not refute Con's position. All in all a great read for a debate.
Vote Placed by Buckethead31594 2 years ago
Buckethead31594
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Overall, both sides effectively explained their views towards the resolution. Nonetheless, I believe Con adequately dismissed Pro's arguments. Sources goes to Con for Pro's redundant usage of Wikipedia; although it is a source, Con utilizes variety with his sources. Con claimed to have "corrected" Pro's spelling mistakes.