The Instigator
debater12332
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
SteelSoldier3
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

Is evolution true?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
SteelSoldier3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/2/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 532 times Debate No: 64394
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

debater12332

Con

Evolution can not be proven,and is not true.
SteelSoldier3

Pro

Hello There!

This is my first debate on this website (I'm procrastinating instead of doing work I should be doing)! I'd love to debate you on this topic. For my background, I have two degrees in Microbiology and Anthropology and can confidently claim that nothing I have learned over my 5 years in university would make sense if the theory of evolution was not correct.

What evidence leads you to dismiss this almost universally-accepted scientific theory?

Chris
Debate Round No. 1
debater12332

Con

To say evolution is true means that you believe that a living life form can come from a none living life form. The cell theory states...
1. All living organisms are composed of one or more cells
2. The cell is the most basic unit of life
3. All cells arise from pre-existing, living cells.
How could the first cell have been made?
The simplest protein in a cell is made up of 124 amino acids some have up to 10,000 amino acids. A single antibody is made up of about 1,500 proteins. A B-cell makes about 2,000 antibodies per second. The chance all this could evolve out of random chance is almost impossible. The first cell would have had to evolve perfectly in order to survive,multiply,and somehow evolve into something else.
SteelSoldier3

Pro

You are arguing against scientific hypotheses relating to abiogenesis (the origin of life), NOT the theory of evolution. There are several hypotheses that attempt to explain how the origin of life occurred, but the exact steps in the abiogenesis process are unknown. That is not what we are arguing in this debate.

A couple of corrections to some of the points you have made"

"The simplest protein in a cell is made up of 124 amino acids some have up to 10,000 amino acids." - There are many proteins that have less than 124 amino acids. The smallest known protein to appear in nature is 21 amino acids long, and synthetic proteins can get even smaller. The largest protein known is called "Titin" and contains around 33,000 amino acids.

"A single antibody is made up of about 1,500 proteins." " A single antibody is actually one protein. The amount of amino acids it contains depends on the class of antibody. IgM molecules will have always have significantly more amino acids that IgG, for example.

"A B-cell makes about 2,000 antibodies per second." So what? This is irrelevant. B-cells are a highly specialized type of cell that is part of the humoral immune system and they only exist in vertebrates. Obviously this would not be the "first cell" to be created. Only 4% of known animals contain B-cells and these cells are not present in primitive organisms, bacteria, or archaea.

But again, the question of this debate is not "Is abiogenesis true?", but rather "Is evolution true?". What we do know is that the first solid evidence we have of life on this planet is from approximately 3.5 billion years ago, and since then life has become increasingly more diverse and abundant. Evolution is simply the idea that biological populations experience a change in inherited characteristics over time.

We know this occurs based on a number of ideas and principles.

1.The principle of uniformitarianism. The earth is old and the earth changes with time. As the earth changes, this creates different environments for animals to live.

2.The sequence of fossil types in the fossil records demonstrates continuous change. Tremendous fossil data supports the idea that organisms can change over time and our genetic data supports our fossil data base.

3. The presence of vestigial organs in animals. For example, the presence of tiny hind limbs in snakes, or the presence of a pelvis and hind limbs in whales and dolphins.

4.The similarity and presence of vestigial sequences in our DNA. This can be regions of DNA, or plasmids in bacteria. A good example is that humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes and all great apes (which we are supposedly related to) have 24 pairs. Each chromosome contains one centromeric region and two telomeric regions. Humans cannot have lost an entire chromosome as that would be a loss of too much genetic data. What they found, is that human chromosome 2 contains two centromeric regions and four telomeric regions, suggesting at some point in the evolutionary past, it was fused together. The sequences on these chromosomes match exactly to those of great apes, further demonstrating that we are extremely closely related to them.

5.DNA sequencing. Species who we believe are closely related to us based on morphological characteristics are also closely related in our DNA sequences. The differences between our DNA and the further phylogenetic distance from other organisms we are comparing to one another lines up perfectly.

6.Comparative anatomy through the field of embryology and developmental biology.

7.The observation of natural selection occurring in the wild. To date, there have been over 200 documented cases of natural selection occurring in the wild. Bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics is one scary (for us) example of evolution in action.

8.Observed mutation rates of different genes.

9.Observed genetic drift in different populations.
Debate Round No. 2
debater12332

Con

(apologies for my incorrect or outdated facts)
But even if life can come from non life the chances of it happening are almost impossible even if given 100 billion years. Just look at a cell the simplest unit of life. Just imagine if after all those years say a cell somehow evolved, but it was missing the reproductive organelles needed than in a few hours/days/weeks all life on earth just went extinct. Even prokaryotic cells are amazingly complex. All it would take is a wrong something in the DNA and the cell does not live.

( Abiogenesis theory; life originated from non living material.)
First,evolution has never been observed.
The closest example to evolution is micro evolution.
Micro evolution just re scrambles the genetic coding it cannot produce a whole different species.
You would think that some kind of evolution would occur now, why would it just stop?
Second, you have to take in account the aging universe. The moon for example moves away from the earth every year. Calculating by the distance of the moon now the moon can only have been around about 2 billion years. Also take in consideration the gravitational pull. Or the magnetic fields around the planets that would be very weak in the universe was so old.
If God did exist wouldn't make sense that all his creation would have some common traits. (your point 5 and 6)
Just because scientist don't know why species have certain organs does not mean that they have no use or are from left over evolution.
SteelSoldier3

Pro

Evolution HAS been observed numerous times and IS continuing to happen today. Macroevolution has not been observed because humanity has not been around for long enough to observe significant changes because these changes take significant amounts of time. It also brings us to the fine line of what is actually considered a "new species". For example, looking at our own human fossil record, we know that we are derived from more primitive hominins such as Homo erectus. But when do enough of the changes (or differences) from us occur that we can actually call something a new species? It is a fine line and there isn"t a universally agreed upon criteria for it. In the world of looking at bacteria, they often analyze the DNA sequence of a gene that encodes for 16S rRNA and compare it to other bacteria. If there are enough differences, it is distinguished as a new species.

"Micro evolution just re scrambles the genetic coding it cannot produce a whole different species." I would argue that yes it can. Sure, over the past few hundred years we have been observing and studying in the field there have not been any new species to observe, but that is because it takes significant amounts of time for this to occur. If the environment of the earth is continually changing such as global warming, the last ice age, or whatever, life has to change to adapt with it. If we were able to watch the earth change over the next million years, do you really think life on earth would be the same as it is now? Of course not! With the changes in the environment, some species would likely have gone extinct, other species would have filled the gaps in the environment, and new species would be derived from current species that live and survived now.

"You would think that some kind of evolution would occur now, why would it just stop?" Again, I do not feel that evolution has stopped. It is very much alive and well. I"ll give you a few examples. The Galapagos Finches that Darwin initially observed. Scientists have re-visited the Galapagos Islands and taken measurements of the beak size and shape before and after a 2-year drought. After the drought, many of the Finches had died and the beak size of the population was 6% larger than before the drought. Sure this is only 6%, but this is over the course of only TWO years. Think of what can happen over the course of hundreds, thousands, or millions of years! Another example is the peppered moths during the industrial revolution. This has been criticized recently within the scientific community, but it still demonstrates that natural selection can cause major shifts in the distribution of a species. By far the best example of evolution in action is bacterial resistance to antibiotics as I alluded to before. The reason bacteria are such a good model for evolution is because of their short reproduction times. For most animals, reproduction time is measured in years. Because of the slow reproduction, it takes a long time before we observe and significant changes within the populations. With bacteria, their reproduction time is often measured in minutes and allows massive changes in their populations within relatively short periods of time. When I was in school I was learning about a new antibiotic (I don"t remember the name) that was put on the market that bacteria were able to adapt to after a few years. Within three years, the drug was rendered completely obsolete by Staphylococcus aureus. That is, the drug killed all the bacteria that were not able to cope with it, and the surviving bacteria that had favourable mutations were able to cope with it survived and multiplied. Now, ALL Staphylococcus aureus are able to cope with the drug because of the natural selection that we applied on them.

"Calculating by the distance of the moon now the moon can only have been around about 2 billion years. Also take in consideration the gravitational pull." This is not the best way to date the earth. Radiometic and isotopic dating is much more accurate. Although carbon dating can take some flak for being inaccurate, using isotopes found in rocks is extraordinarily accurate. Samples are taken from sites on the earth, meteorites, and lunar samples. The conclusion is that the earth is 4.54 plus or minus 0.05 billion years old. If you"d like a run-down on the techniques, there is a paper published in the Geological Society of London in 2001 by Brent Dalrymple called "The age of the Earth in the twentieth century: a problem solved."

"If God did exist wouldn't make sense that all his creation would have some common traits." Sure, this is a potential explanation. However, I would argue that a better explanation would be descent from a common ancestor with modification as this is supported by a mountain of evidence.
I"m not arguing for or against the existence of God. This has nothing to do with religion, it is just science. I am NOT an atheist, and I don"t understand why so many people feel that it is either "one or the other" when it comes to evolution and religion. Even Pope Francis finally understood this and made a statement earlier this week declaring that, "Evolution and the big bang theory are in fact real."
Debate Round No. 3
debater12332

Con

1. You were talking about the fossil record. The fossil record has to many gaps to be considered a good piece of evidence
2. changes within a species to survive can happen but it has to be within its original genetic code. And if you do not believe in evolution than you have to believe in a creator. If you believe in the bible then more than likely you believe the earth will not be around for even a thousand years. So animals don't need to evolve that dramatically to survive
3. Again those are all examples of micro evolution and in the case of bacteria,adaptation is not evolution.
Say the antibiotic attacked the bacteria because it had an extra eye spot and it worked for years until one time the antibiotic didn't work. Scientists checked and found it was because the bacteria only had one eye spot. The bacteria did not evolve it adapted, Organism can take information out of the gene pool or mix it around but can not add.
To the last paragraph,the bible clearly states that the earth was created in six days so you cannot believe in both God and evolution. And really their are only two explanations to life, evolution or a creator.

Evolution breaks the law of cause and effect. No effect can be bigger than the cause. What cause is big enough to have created the universe.
Second law of thermodynamics says that things go from order to disorder. Evolution goes from disorder to order.
Or the law of bio genesis that states life can only come from life.
The law of probability says that if the chances are beyond 1 and 1 followed by 50 zeros than it is impossible no matter how much time is given. Because of all the things that make up a cell the chances of life coming from nothing is impossible using the law of probability.
SteelSoldier3

Pro

"The fossil record has to many gaps to be considered a good piece of evidence" No... There are gaps in the fossil record for a multitude of reasons, but it is an EXTREMELY compelling piece of evidence. Please enlighten me on how there are too many gaps to consider the fossil record a compelling piece of evidence? Especially when combined with other fields.

"If you believe in the bible then more than likely you believe the earth will not be around for even a thousand years. So animals don't need to evolve that dramatically to survive" Why would you think this? Based on all the evidence we have and the laws of the universe, the earth is billions of years old (this is a FACT) and will likely be around for quite a while still.

"Again those are all examples of micro evolution and in the case of bacteria,adaptation is not evolution." No... That is evolution. Adaptation on a population-level IS evolution. This particular antibiotic's mechanism of action is by disrupting the cell wall of the bacteria. The bacteria is able to survive by synthesizing a NEW protein that disables the antibiotic before it has a chance to disrupt the bacterial cell wall. After the bacteria has become resistant, EVERY member of that species of bacteria is capable of synthesizing that new protein. That is evolution in action. Another example of evolution in action is cancer and why it is often so difficult to treat. Cancer cells, respond, adapt, and evolve to chemo and radiation therapy. Cells that are able to survive the chemotherapy survive while the ones who can't perish. The surviving cells then account for ALL cancerous cells in your body and you often need to switch chemotherapeutic agents to have an effect against them.

"To the last paragraph,the bible clearly states that the earth was created in six days so you cannot believe in both God and evolution." You're right. I don't LITERALLY believe everything the Bible says because I have also evolved (or God gave me) a brain. In Genesis, God didn't even make the sun to mark the days until the fourth day. If you literally believe the world was created in 7 days, please tell me, do you actually literally believe in these Bible verses too?

"I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man: she is to keep silent." 1 Timothy 2:12

"Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh." 1 Peter 2:18

Another question you should ask is that if evolution is so flawed, why does is dominate the world of science? In a study performed in 1987 which interviewed 480,000 scientists, it was found that 99.85% of them supports evolutionary theory. Scientists jobs are to be sceptical and critical of everything they come across in the natural world, so why is the belief in evolution so high? The OVERWHELMING amount of evidence.
Debate Round No. 4
debater12332

Con

In conclusion
1. evolution breaks many laws.
2. and as for taking the bible literally, why would God have men evolve. Did God make the big bang? The bible and evolution do not match at all.
3. As for scientists believing in the bible Albert Einstein,Isaac Newton and many others believed in God.
One survey says 51% of scientist believe in a deity 33% of those 51 believe in God. 83% of Americans say they believe in God.
SteelSoldier3

Pro

In conclusion,
1.Evolution does not break any laws
2.Evolution is supported by a tremendous amount of evidence
3.You have willfully ignored every line of evidence I have provided you with
4. You have avoided answering my questions

By the way, as you suggested earlier about the mechanism of action for antibiotics, bacteria do not have eyes... Eyes are complex organs formed of billions of cells arranged into different tissues, while bacteria consist of a single cell...
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by SteelSoldier3 2 years ago
SteelSoldier3
@cheyennebodie

The theory of evolution is as much a fact as gravity, and the evidence supporting it is overwhelming. Theories and laws are two different things in the field of science.

By the way, the theory of evolution has nothing to do with religion. I am not atheist, and personally I find a large number of them to be rather uneducated, despite what they seem to think.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
This is a tiresome debate. Theories are just that theories.Atheists like to skirt around the real question. Life, and how it came to be.So far all observable life came from life already living.

Everything living will reproduce from living.
Posted by JayConar 2 years ago
JayConar
Burden of proof is on Con, good luck!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by QTAY21 2 years ago
QTAY21
debater12332SteelSoldier3Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro gave plenty of reasonable arguments, while con's didn't hold much water. Con did not have very good rebuttals either.
Vote Placed by patrick967 2 years ago
patrick967
debater12332SteelSoldier3Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were poorly constructed, and show a complete lack of understanding in the subject. Contrary to Con, I felt that Pro did a terrific job refuting Con and presenting new arguments with plenty of evidence to back it up. I must recommend that Pro cites sources if he has any, it would give you another point and you get more credit for your arguments. Although Con was the Instigator, I felt that he wasted Pro's time, so conduct to Pro. Good job to Pro for being professional and thorough with his arguments, and Con needs to construct an understanding with a subject before attempting to debate it.