The Instigator
pakicetus
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
GrittyWorm
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Is evolutionary theory scientifically sound?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/26/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 361 times Debate No: 81562
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

pakicetus

Pro

First round is acceptance.

Round 3 - 5 are arguments, counter-arguments and rebuttals. Round 5 includes conclusions from Pro and Con.

Pro will take a defensive stance towards evolution, while Con will attempt to dispute/attack it.
GrittyWorm

Con

Every time Evolution is mentioned, it is called "The Theory of Evolution", which is generous to be called even that.

It has not been proven.
Look at the claims made in Evolution as in relation to the origin of species. There are three claims in the theory.

Life occurred by the chance coming together of the substances needed to create it.

Random mutations caused by cosmic radiation subsequently made the changes which made the many different species.

At the same time, Natural Selection determined which species survived and which species died out.
The Evolutionists then proceeded to prove the third claim, and with that, claim a proof to all of Evolution.
Natural Selection has been clearly demonstrated, both in experiments and through observations made in the wild. Nobody seriously disputes that natural selection is a scientific fact. It has been observed many times. The problem now is that environmentalist preservationists are trying to prevent natural selection from occurring, by "saving" species from becoming extinct due to natural selection. Natural selection is a consuming fire of death and destruction and not helpful to the theory.

But having proven some thought of Natural Selection, the Evolutionists then claimed that the entire theory of Evolution was proven, but that is not even almost resembling of being close to the actual reality of common sense or basic, fundamental 1st grade level logic. The other two claims remain unproven. The Evolutionists assumed that the other two cases are true, because they refused to believe that they could be false. If either one were shown to be false, it would mean that life was posdibly created by a supreme being or some other process we don't know about. So they left them untested. This is not only bad science. It isn't actually science or even sciencelike in any way, shape, or form.

This means that the theory of Evolution has not yet been proven. A theory of Natural Selection has been proven, but the theory of Evolution remains unproved. Natural selection and the theory of evolution are not the same thing or even close to being the same thing. In fact, natural selection is pretty good at well...killing things off and that is about it.

The second claim states that random mutations caused all of the different species to appear on the earth. But there is a problem with that claim. It can't be part of a theory. There is a difference between a hypothesis and a theory.

A theory is a proposal inferred from scientific data that explains an observation. A working hypothesis is a theory which can be tested scientifically to determine its veracity. At this point, way more definitions and facts are needed.

The null hypothesis states that nothing which is not known has been observed. While the null hypothesis can never be proven true, it can be refuted by proving that the observations do not support it.
We have no proof that random events actually happen. We assume they are random only because we have no evidence that they are not.
Thus, any random event must always be part of the null hypothesis. The null hypothesis can't be part of a theory. The problem with the second claim is that it is a claim of the occurrence of many random events. But random events are always part of the null hypothesis. So the second claim is the null hypothesis. This means that the second claim can't be part of a theory. So Evolution is the null hypothesis, in reality, and not a theory at all.

Now we look at the first claim. It says that life originated by the chance coming together of all the substances needed to create life. But, as can be seen, it takes more than a random collection of chemicals to form life that reproduces itself. It requires a minimum number of components. Let's look at what is needed to produce the first living cell in the first place.

The blueprint for copying the cell is needed. This would be DNA or RNA.
Something is needed to read the blueprint and follow the instructions. This would be the ribosome.
The raw materials must be in such a form that the ribosome can assemble them. But... even if all of these elements by chance came together to produce one cell, there is still something that needs to be explained...replication of the ribosome.

Let's just assume that all three of the necessary ingredients listed above came together and produced one cell. Fine, now we have life. Or do we? Where did we get that second cell again?

One of the following must be true in addition to some possible theoretical idea that nobody has thought of as of yet.

Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion", reknowned Atheist and Biologist, is asked about the "Theory of Evolution" in respect to the "first self replicating molecule". When asked, "How did that happen?" His response was, "Nobody knows." He doesn't seem to have the answer to much of well...anything.

http://youtu.be...

Perhaps I should write a book: "The Dawkin's Delusion".
Debate Round No. 1
pakicetus

Pro

pakicetus forfeited this round.
GrittyWorm

Con

Minimum Requirements for Self-Reproducing Cell

In the days when the theory of evolution was first proposed, it was assumed that there were certain molecules that had the characteristics necessary for reproducing themselves. The belief was that, over millions of years, chance combinations of atoms finally reached a point where one of these molecules could suddenly reproduce itself. Then began the simplest forms of "life." Gradually, more atoms were added, the molecules got more complex, multi-celled organisms developed, and so on.

It is now known that there is no molecule that can reproduce itself without the involvement of many other critical molecules. Many have mistakenly believed that DNA molecules in isolation can somehow replicate themselves. They cannot. A biochemist named Harold Morowitz has tried to make an intelligent guess at how simple a cell could be, and still be able to reproduce itself. He has hypothesized that it might be conceivable for a cell to be able to reproduce itself with as few as one hundred protein molecules, all doing their respective functions (e.g. providing a cell membrane, synthesizing fats, providing energy, synthesizing the building blocks of DNA, the nucleotides, and synthesizing proteins). The cell would need a few messenger RNA molecules, ribosomes, enzymes, and, of course, a DNA molecule.

There is no way for scientists to conceive of a cell reproducing itself with less complexity. These are bare minimum requirements. In fact, no known cell reaches this degree of simplicity, but this hypothetical cell represents the bare minimum of ingredients that could conceivably be self-reproducing.

However, even this bare minimum cell, the simplest conceivable unit capable of self-replication, would be incredibly and awesomely complex. It would not be a blob of simple protoplasm. It would be an exquisitely complicated living "machine." Each of the 100 or so protein molecules is an intricate combination of thousands of atoms. The DNA molecule is an intricate arrangement of literally billions of atoms.

Even in its simplicity, this cell would be made up of billions of atoms which would have to be arranged in an extremely complex organization. Michael Denton says it this way:

There is no continuum of functional forms through which the gradual evolution of the cell might have occurred, just a yawning gulf which can only be crossed in one vastly improbable leap. (p. 260)

He added this as well:

The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle. (p.264)
Debate Round No. 2
pakicetus

Pro

"Look at the claims made in Evolution as in relation to the origin of species. There are three claims in the theory.

Life occurred by the chance coming together of the substances needed to create it."

An abiogenic origin of life (or just the origin of life itself) is not foundational to evolution at all. In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" mentions the subject of the origin of life (not even spontaneous abiogenesis specifically) exactly once:

"It is no valid objection that science as yet throws no light on the far higher problem of the essence or origin of life."(1)

How, exactly, can spontaneous abiogenesis be one of evolution's central tenets, when it isn't even mentioned specifically as in "On the Origin of Species"? The obvious answer is that it doesn't. The only people who regularly claim that abiogenesis is central to evolution, are those who oppose it.

Directly after that, Darwin goes on to further explain the irrelevancy of the origin of life to evolution itself:

"No one now objects to following out the results consequent on this unknown element of attraction;"

One will find virtually no major, mainstream, respected scientific institution that makes mention of Darwinian evolution as being founded in an abiogenic origin of life. Even the definitions of evolution, found in major and well-established dictionaries, do not include any association between it and abiogenesis either. Take Oxford or Merriam-Webster for example - neither under "evolution" or "theory of evolution" will one find any reference to abiogenesis (or really, the origin of life in the first place).

This is such a common conflation, that it earned itself the top spot on the University of Berkeley, California's list of misconceptions about evolution on its website (8).

I would like to challenge Con to find at least one well-known and respected scientific institution which includes an abiogenic origin of life as being foundational to evolution (or really, a significant part of it at all).

"Random mutations caused by cosmic radiation subsequently made the changes which made the many different species."

To begin with, mutations are not exactly random(2). This common misconception, which might appear true at a glance, isn't the actually the case.

And secondly, mutations are not caused by "cosmic radiation"(3). As with the prior claim, no major proponents of evolution make this claim.

Mutations, however, do play an important role in Darwinian evolution - this role is well understood, documented, and demonstrated (4 - 7).

"The problem now is that environmentalist preservationists are trying to prevent natural selection from occurring, by "saving" species from becoming extinct due to natural selection."

This isn't a problem for evolutionary theory at all. The fact that preservationists are trying to counteract the effects of natural selection has nothing to do with the validity of Darwinian evolution. People placing value on species continuing to exist does absolutely nothing to disprove the fact that certain species tend to die out naturally - if anything, it only works to support evolution.

"Natural selection is a consuming fire of death and destruction and not helpful to the theory."

Completely incorrect - it is foundational to the theory. Why else is the full title of "On the Origin of Species" be "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life".

Most of Con's argumts regarding the feasibility of abiogenesis as a theory (in effect, almost the entirety of his arguments from his second response) were ignored, because (as demonstrated above), it has next-to-nothing to do with the topic at hand.

"Let's just assume that all three of the necessary ingredients listed above came together and produced one cell. Fine, now we have life. Or do we? Where did we get that second cell again?"

Asexual reproduction, most likely. Something similar to a primitive form of mitosis.

"There is no way for scientists to conceive of a cell reproducing itself with less complexity. These are bare minimum requirements."

This is completely unsubstantiated. Such a statement was never made by Morotiwz - by who, where, and why was these "minimum requirements" established to be absolute?

Sources:

1) http://www.gutenberg.org...
2) http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org...
3) http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov...
4) http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org...
5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
6) http://anthro.palomar.edu...
7) http://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu...
8) http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
GrittyWorm

Con

GrittyWorm forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
pakicetus

Pro

pakicetus forfeited this round.
GrittyWorm

Con

GrittyWorm forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
pakicetus

Pro

pakicetus forfeited this round.
GrittyWorm

Con

GrittyWorm forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by pakicetus 1 year ago
pakicetus
Didn't have time to respond, will return next round. Con can either make more arguments or just claim round.
Posted by GrittyWorm 1 year ago
GrittyWorm
Okay.
Posted by pakicetus 1 year ago
pakicetus
Forgot to specify - round 2 is for arguments as well. Meant to say "rounds 2 - 5", but apparently that slipped through.
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