Is there any viable, provable evidence for evolution
Debate Rounds (5)
A: My opponent must advocate a viable counter-theory. If they cannot do so, they are free to attack evolution without any ground to stand upon.
B: Evidence must be used in the round as "Consistent with Scientific Principle", meaning it must be both derived from verifiable observation and make an accurate prediction that is not only valid in pre-existing circumstances.
Evolution is Viable and Provable for 3 reasons:
First: Without evolution, there are no verifiable scientific phenomenon that can explain the gaps in the fossil layers.
In the absence of Macro evolution, there is no valid theory that can explain in any more certainty the existence of these gaps. while admittedly very geographically diverse, this diversity in the Fossil layers serves as evidence that micro-evolution is valid.
As I have shown that Evolution is both viable and provided one of many examples of proof fro macro evolution, and my opponent is not advocating a counter-position, it is clear that the Con will carry the round.
Second: The theory of evolution is consistent with scientific principles, and is thus viable.
The theory has not been around long enough to prove macro-evolution, yet one key aspect of the scientific method is the application of principles from a controlled small-scale to a large scale. The application of the concept of Micro-evolution to Macro-Evolution is one that is not only consistent with scientific thought
Third: Existing evidence is consistent with the application of micro-evolution.
The existence of Atavisms in both humans and animals is proof of a shared genetic heritage. Mutations in gene sequences can result in previously unused DNA being replicated. Some prominent examples include dolphins and whales born with leg-like apparatuses near their tails and human newborns growing a natural tail as a result of prematurely limited regression of genes. This shared genetic evidence confirms that adaptation from an original organism can result in significantly different species.
For your second point, I have two words for you: Fruit flies. Yes, I am going to debunk your second point with fruit flies. If evolution happens, it is not measured in years but in generations. Now, this is an important point. If one creature had a time gap between generations of 10 years, and it took 2.7 billion years for it change to a new species, then it would not take another creature with a time gap of only one year between generations the same amount of times, because the micro-evolutions would happen quicker by having more generations, and would speed up the process of changing from one generation to another. Now, it just so happens that we have a creature that has one of the shortest time gaps between generations: fruit flies. Evolutionist scientists have been working on mutating fruit flies for over half a century in order to induce macro evolution. Now, there have been extraordinary mutations, most of them harmful and few of them helpful. However, there is not the slightest indication of a change from a fruit fly to some other species entirely. Now, given that the time gap between generations for the fruit fly is about 7, and the scientists enormously speed up the micro-evolution part by inducing mutations by numerous ways, like catalyzing them with x-rays, this result is not very good for evolutionists. Because Macro evolution is supposed to be a gradual process, the flies being worked on should have some sort of species change. However, this is not the case. They have remained fruit flies. So, although there might not have been much change, there should have been some species change, and there was none.
For your third point, the existence of atavisms do not prove shared genetic heritage. The example of dolphins and whales born with leg-like apparatuses is explainable. Some whales have a pair of bones that serve as a organ anchor. Sometimes, a defect will cause extra bone to be attached to them. Kinda like extra fingers or nipples on humans. And around these bones will form flesh. These are nowhere near a functioning leg, and to get that it proves that whales originally came from land takes pretty good imagination. Also, the account of human newborns having a natural tail is false. There has been one newborn that had a tail, but it was all fat, and a defect. Some embryos have what look like tails, but are not. They are reabsorbed into the body, and are used in the development of the baby
You make assumptions about the flood based on the deposition of fossils throughout the fossil layer, however you ignore the fact that a single flood event would create at most a few layers of deposition, not the millions of years worth of deposition in thousands of layers observable. Yes, small organisms are on the bottom, with larger at the top, but this is not because they could swim, but because they are separated by millions of years worth of geological events and biological evolution. In fact, if the individual species of fossils represented in the fossil layers are analyzed it can be found that they span multiple layers. So, in short, there is no evidence of a worldwide flood.
Not only that, but fish such as the titalic fish have been shown to conclusively prove that sea creatures developed legs to walk on land. In addition, it has been empirically proven that humans share a common ancestry with primates, one that dates back millions of years.
As far as the individual examples of trees within coal deposits, it is important to understand that Coal is organic. It formed by the degradation of plant matter and their eventual degradation. Moreover, trees that died towards the beginning of a geologic period have ample time to petrify before being subsumed into a geologic layer, explaining the presence of petrified wood in organic substrate (Coal).
In regards to your overall explanation of coal deposits, I call your attention once again to time frame. How can coal deposits exist in different geologic layers separated by millions of years if they were all formed by a single flood? Coal deposits can be far more consistently explained by the presence of bogs and swamps, which are also high concentrations of biomass which do not rely upon a flood for which no evidence exists.
Not only that, there are several regions and faiths which do not tell of a great flood. Notable examples include much of Asia, especially the example of Buddhism, in which there is no flood or creation story, practitioners are encouraged to use reason and contemplation to determine the truth.
To take into account the fruit flies point, it is important to explain how evolution is measured. Evolutionary scientists use a unit called the Darwin, which is essentially change in an organisms character by a factor of "e" over time. The average rate of change in the fossil layer is .6 darwins, whereas in certain situations, called "Colonization Events", something called the founders effect can introduce rates of change as high as 342 darwins. This is due to genetic separation from the main population causing regressive alleles to emerge. This proves that rate of evolution is highly dependent on genetic isolation, and thus that rate may change wildly. However, to respond more directly, fruit flies are the result of a long term evolutionary span, and as they have adapted fully to their existing environment they fall into one of these evolutionary gaps, it would take a colonization event or a near extinction to trigger an enhanced rate of evolutionary change. Meaningless mutations have no effect on overall Darwinian change.
In response to your criticism of Atavisms, you fail to realize that atavisms are not purely physical, they are facilitated by regressive gene sequences that fail to be eliminated. The evidence that they resulted from DNA regression comes not from theories as to why atavisms emerge, but as directly verified DNA observation, regressions were detected in organisms with atavisms that are not present in regular species.
You, as the instigator of the debate, have the burden of a viable counter-theory. Without a counter interpretation, any criticisms of evolution are invalid as they do not rest upon any alternative. However, as you mentioned the biblical flood, I will be assuming that you base your criticisms upon a Biblical frame of reference.
Now that I have effectively defended evolution, I will present arguments to debase the underlying theory behind your claims.
Ultimately, this debate rests upon 2 theories of origin, that of macro-evolution and that of intelligent design, at least of initial members of the animal gene pool, which still takes into account the observable effect of micro-evolution. In order to evaluate these two theories it is important to recognize that an essential aspect of proof is the existence of Scientific evidence. Scientific evidence is not merely a conclusion drawn from a fact,it is the creation of a hypothesis that can be extrapolated beyond it's original context to understand that which cannot be empirically tested.
Macro-evolution draws it's roots from the original observations of micro-evolution by scientists such as Charles Darwin. This short-term and empirically verifiable concept was then condensed into a scientific theory that could be applied to the overall question of origins.
Creationism on the other hand, does not have this same scientific consistency. It accepts the empirical concept of micro-evolution yet denies it's logical and scientific conclusion.
Thus, as macro-evolution is not only verifiable empirically through the Fossil layer, colonization events, the common ancestor, the titalic and atavisms but also holds up to fundamental scientific principles, upon which we base the MEANING of scientific proof itself.
For your point of the titalic fish, it does not prove anything, but that a fish micro-evolved to the point where it was walking on its fins on the ocean floor. While there could have been many reasons as why it was best for them to micro-evolve to that point, it does not conclusively prove that sea creatures developed legs. If you look at them, they do not have legs, but merely fins. Also, you have to give me the empirical proof. I am unaware of such proof, and until you actually bring it and prove that it proves what you claim, you still have not done any more than make empty claims.
No, you are ignoring that there were trees, lots of them that were not found in coal deposits, but in multiple layers of the fossil record. Therefore, it must have stood for millions of years while it slowly was covered and petrified as it was covered, which obviously could have worked, or it must have been covered and petrified, then unearthed and stood for those millions of years while layers were formed around you.
When I said most cultures, I meant early ones. Buddhism is a relatively newer culture (formed around Christianity) and thus would not have a flood story. I apologize, I assumed you would have realized that. I'm also interested how you seem to approve how Buddhism encourages its practitioners to use reason and contemplation to determine truth, but you obviously think that religions are false, which seems to me that you should think that Buddhists don't use reason and contemplation very well, as they are following (what you believe) a completely false religion, and mindset.
For your dismissal of the fruit flies point, you are using a completely evolutionist theory to prove evolution. That is arguing in a circle. That would be comparable to me using bible verses to prove the bible is real. You can't do that. Also, your statement that meaningless mutations have no effect on overall Darwinian change contradicts itself. You say later that macro-evolution logically and scientifically follows from micro-evolution. However, mutations are a key point in how micro-evolution works. Therefore, mutations must have an effect on Darwinian change.
As I said before, I do not have the burden of a viable counter-theory. Scientific theories are not supposed to be kept after they are proven false. The validity of a criticism of evolution is not dependent on if they are from another alternative. The validity of a criticism is determined on whether it grounded on fact that shows an error in the theory. You base the theories off of the facts, instead of interpreting facts off of theories.
Finally, macro-evolution does not logically or scientifically follow from micro-evolution. It seems to, I will give you that. However, it seemed that if one object was heavier than another, it would fall faster. It seemed to logically follow. But it didn't. Just because you want it to follow does not mean it does. (By the way, Galileo did not have any counter-theory in mind when he disproved that objects fall at different speeds, yet he still was able to disprove it, and we would think that anyone who still held to that theory after it was proven was an idiot even though there was no other theory). Also, you have still failed to show any scientific evidence, so it does not scientifically follow.
DJhegemony forfeited this round.
Insofar as the Tree argument, your point makes no sense. the trees could easily have stood until petrified and then have layers formed around them. Also, your argument seems to support the my argument, and doesn't serve as evidence for a flood.
Ultimately, all of the evidence you suggest in support of a flood falls apart when you take into account the fact that the evidence you cite does not exist in one geologic time period, but is all across the board. A SINGLE flood event could not have distributed the evidence across millions of years of geological periods.
You ignore common ancestry, DNA evidence that all species are caused by very small variations of a shared DNA code. For example, there is irrefutable shared ancestry between humans and primates, as well as the homologous structures in species that are geographically separate. Purely mathematical models also cite common ancestry as 10^2860 times more probable than multi-ancestor models.
I am not using macro-evolution to prove evolution, the darwin is a micro-evolutionary unit, a theory that you claim to subscribe to. Mutations need to be relevant to environment and neccessity. Also, in the fruit flies study, all of the mutations they introduced had already emerged in the wild, White eyes being the most prominent mutation. Regardless, you were using evolution to disprove evolution, bringing me to my theoretical analysis:
Without proposing a counter theory, you cannot disprove evolution as viable. as you express in the topic. With no counter theory, evolution remains the only viable explanation. You need to provide another viable theory in order to prove that something is not. When Galileo proved that objects fall at different speeds he created an experiment to test a hypothesis, the hypothesis being a counter theory upon which he based his experimentation.
Galileo is also a perfect example of scientific extrapolation, using his results to prove aerodynamics. Micro-evolution provides empirically confirmed evidence for adaptation, which can then be extrapolated to the ideas of a common ancestor and macro evolution. Additional evidence, such as shared genetic background, atavisms, the titalic, and homogenous structures add additional credence to this theory. You MUST provide a counter-theory drawn from an equally valid chain of evidence and reason to prove evolution not viable.
WesleyBucher1 forfeited this round.
First off, in order to understand what my opponent and I are arguing, it is essential to understand that in order to prove that evolution is not viable, my opponent needed to provide a counter-theory that was equally if not more viable. While he failed to do so explicitly, throughout the debate I operated under the assumption he was advocating a Christian/Biblical Creation theory. Even if you regard all of the other evidence and counter-evidence specifically in regards to evolution, it remains the only viable alternative, as any other explanation was not provided.
Beyond this, in order for evolution to be Provable, it must align with scientific principles. Proof, as it is used in science, is not necessarily empirically proven, it can be extrapolated from empirically confirmed evidence. As macro-evolution applies the empirical evidence of macro-evolution into a larger context, it is scientifically provable.
Moving past the theory of the debate, it can be plainly seen that enough evidence exists for macro-evolution. I have proven evolution is viable through Atavisms, The Common Ancestor, Genetic Regression, The Fossil record, and species such as the Titalic fish. Not only that, but I have effectively disproved any counter-theories my opponent has provided, especially Noah's flood.
So in the end, you must support the pro side of the debate, not only due to empirical evidence but also due to my consistency with the very way the question is framed.
When evaluating this debate, I ask that you, as voters, disregard all of your prior beliefs, be they for or against evolution, and evaluate the debate based solely on the arguments presented within.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Social-twitterfly 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I voted pro for a few reasons. With the lack of evidence that BOTH sides presented, Pro's claims seemed more logical. Pro refuted con while it seemed the con was making unorganized confusing claims.
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