The Instigator
Yvette
Pro (for)
Winning
145 Points
The Contender
GodSands
Con (against)
Losing
16 Points

It is reasonable to accept the theory of evolution

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 27 votes the winner is...
Yvette
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/14/2010 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 13,135 times Debate No: 12752
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (133)
Votes (27)

 

Yvette

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate. If you accept this debate, you agree to the rules and formats of the debate. Breaking the rules and formats of the debate is considered forfeiture. This is in response to my opponent challenging Debate.org's atheists.

I carry most of the burden of proof, however, my opponent must defend his position that evolution is untrue.

Rules:
1. No insults or ad hominem.
2. The scientific position that no thing can be proved 100% and can only be shown to be closer to the truth and/or more likely to be true is the basis of our discussion.
3. The purpose of our debate is to determine whether or not it is reasonable to accept the theory of evolution. There may be evidence both ways showing reasons why it is reasonable and unreasonable. It must, on the whole, be more reasonable than unreasonable.
4. Evolution is not abiogenesis, nor the theory of Earth's origins.
5. No arguments will be presented in Round 1. As the burden of proof is on me, I must make the first argument. My opponent must simply agree to the rules in Round 1.

I thank my opponent again for accepting this debate, and wish him luck.
GodSands

Con

Yeah, make an agument, the rules seem sound.

Shall we begin, and now I see why there are four rounds.

Evolution doesn't exist, but can you convince me?
Debate Round No. 1
Yvette

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. As an anthropology student, interested in human evolution, I have some education in this subject. I will attempt to show that any reasonable person should accept the theory of evolution. I will note that my opponent's challenge to convince him of evolution will not be attempted. It is irrelevant to the debate, and likely impossible considering my opponent's positions. As per the resolution, I will simply show that a reasonable person should accept the theory of evolution.

INTRODUCTION
What should a reasonable person look for when they decide whether to accept something? I propose four criteria:

1. Large amount of supporting evidence.

2. Subjected to investigation through three channels: time, quality, and quantity. Meaning: it should be investigated for a reasonable amount of time, deeply by experts, and finally by a large number of people. This does not need to be one group, in fact it should not be. Investigation of weak areas should reveal either no real harm to the theory or confirm the theory. If evidence against the theory exists, it should be well-investigated and weak in comparison to supporting evidence.

3. The theory matches up well with what it should be expected to fit. If the theory is true, you should be able to use it to make predictions about evidence and results. This is a major way in which scientists test theories.

4. Lack of a better theory. The theory itself might not be 100% true, but if it holds up fairly well, it is the best theory to accept until there arises a better one.

In addition, it helps if relevant experts support the theory in addition to the above. This alone does not make a theory more or less true, but can support a theory which has met the four criteria or which an individual does not have enough knowledge about. And that brings me to a fifth (or sixth, if you count expert approval) criteria: If the issue is complex and the individual does not understand it fully, the reasonable thing to do would be to trust the judgment of those who understand it. So, if a theory were to be tested by the four basic requirements, it should get about a "B" at the least.

WHAT IS EVOLUTION?
Evolution is "descent with modification". This includes "changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next" and "the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations". [1] Note that the starting point from which evolution begins changing gene frequency and splitting species can be anything. Evolution could have begun after godless abiogenesis, or after supernatural creation. For example, scientists could be wrong about when evolution began, but that would not affect the credibility of evolution itself happening.

Note: my opponent accepts "microevolution", ie changes in gene frequency over generations, just not evolution to the point of speciation. Unless he chooses to challenge microevolution (which would be a pointless endeavor) I will focus on "macroevolution", and consider half of my resolution pre-proven. It is up to me to prove the other half.

We must also distinguish between the broad concept of evolution and the mechanisms of it. Evolution happens. How it happens is always under study. Disproving a mechanism does not disprove evolution itself.

FIRST CRITERIA - EVIDENCE
Evolution is well supported by evidence gathered from multiple fields of study: fossils, comparative anatomy, time and space distribution, computer simulations, and observation. [2][3][4][5][6][7]

"Evolutionary biology is a strong and vigorous field of science. A theoretical framework that encompasses several basic mechanisms is consistent with the patterns seen in nature; and there is abundant evidence demonstrating the action of these mechanisms as well as their contributions to nature. Hence, evolution is both a theory and a set of established facts that the theory explains."

CRITERIA TWO - INVESTIGATION
The scientific community considers something a "theory" when it has, you guessed it, met the four above criteria. The scientific community, with a vast many years of experience and education that no layperson can match, has compiled the evidence, peer-reviewed it, tested it, tested it's predictions, and tried to come up with better theories. [11][12]

CRITERIA THREE - FITS PREDICTIONS
The mark of a good theory is that, if the theory is true, it can be used to correctly predict results. The theory of evolution has met this test time and time again. It successfully predicts results in everything from fossils to psychology. [9][10][13]

CRITERIA FOUR - NOTHING BETTER
Can my opponent name a better theory?

ETC
DNA mutations can produce new information. [14] Scientists overwhelmingly agree with evolution, including even religious scientists. Scientific support for evolution is "essentially universal". U.S. courts have consistently ruled that evolution should be taught. [8] In order to make a case against evolution, intelligent design/creationism proponents have to redefine science, trick the public, and team up with Islamic fundamentalists. [15] The eye, a common argument against evolution, has a simple evolution. [16][17][19] Even a clock could theoretically evolve. [18]

SOURCES
If the sources do not display correctly, I will place a copy in the Comments section of this debate.
1. http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
2. http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
3. http://www.talkorigins.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://goo.gl...
6. http://www.actionbioscience.org...
7. http://www.talkorigins.org...
8. http://en.wikipedia.org...
9. http://www.talkorigins.org...
10. http://chem.tufts.edu...
11. http://www.religioustolerance.org...
12. http://humanorigins.si.edu...
13. The Moral Animal
14. http://www.newscientist.com...
15. http://en.wikipedia.org...
16. http://www.pbs.org...
17. http://en.wikipedia.org...
18. (http://www.youtube.com...)
19. http://video.google.com...#
GodSands

Con

Thank you Yvette for providing the debate.

My introduction:
Before I begin there is an important lesson that we must understand. And it is this, having evidence for something is different from convincing someone of something. Many people are convinced of things without evidence, yet people are also not convinced of things even with evidence because; for one, they might not like what they are hearing and two, they might lack an understanding.

So lets see, when we apply this rule if it were to this so called 'evidence for evolution'. Firstly Yvette has given no evidence for evolution so far, all she has done is said where the evidence (if any) may lie.

"Large amount of supporting evidence." - So where is this evidence? I would like to know in the next round.
"If the issue is complex and the individual does not understand it fully, the reasonable thing to do would be to trust the judgment of those who understand it." - This is a fallacy, if the individual does not understand evolution then they are mentally troubled because evolution is very easy to understand. And if someone does not understand evolution, why then would they trust someone who does? The fact that someone can trust another would mean they can trust themselves, hence they would trust their own understanding of evolution, despite if it is wrong.

The Evidence:
Now like I said above, there is a difference between providing evidence to someone and convincing someone something is true, fact's do not count as evidence for evolution, this is clearly understood because if facts did count for evidence then we would all believe in evolution. Yvette has given a list of 'evidence' which aren't at all evident for evolution.

Fossils - fossils are facts, and they are down for interpretation like all facts are. We observe fossils and evolutionists pose their pre-interpretation mind (which has been already decided that the earth is 4.5 billion years old) on top of the fossils, when really they are looking through a veil which has 'Evolution' written across it. The fossils are not evident for evolution.

Comparative anatomy - By saying that the anatomy of each creature can be compared, does not given any evidence for evolution, all it says is that each similar 'looking' creature compared with the bone structure perhaps can be compared with other creatures with a bone structure. There is no evidence for millions of years of evolution. Given that you take-away that veil covering your thinking. Evidence is universal, not subjective.

Time and space distribution - (quoting from http://evolution.berkeley.edu...) "We must keep in mind that the time involved is vast compared to a human lifetime..." If we are told what to do, how to think in a certain way, then we are being tuned a certain way. Evidence is universal, so if we must understand to think in a certain way to understand the evidence, it is not evidence at all. But instead psychological manipulation.

Computer simulations - now if I thinking what you are thinking, this is just laughable. Art does not count for evidence, and the better the simulation or art work the more convincing evolution is, remember the difference between convincing someone something is true and giving evidence for something?

Observation - observation is empirical, and like before, facts derived from observation which gives room for interpretation, it is simply this, if you remove the veil of an evolutionist, you will put on the veil of someone who believes in the Bible. For example; God cannot deny Himself the Bible says, so this is why contradicts are fallacies. Why are contradictions wrong in your world view?

"Evolution is well supported by evidence" - I don't think so.

I am am to attend everything Yvette has said, I would need more characters. But she has given no evidence so far, all she has said is what people think is evidence and where evidence (if any) would be found.

"Can my opponent name a better theory?" - Creationism. Derived from the Word of God. Everything is absolute and nothing is self refuting which secular beliefs are.

Here is a link to an evolutionary tree of life: - http://warforscience.wordpress.com... If you scroll down on the link you will find a diagram of dinosaur evolution, the inflated areas which are white show the dinosaur through the ages. They are the facts, the fossils. The black lines joining up the white inflated parts is the story, the fiction or in your understanding, logical connections. A story can be logical to reality, like Lord of the Rings for example, J.R.R Tolkien said the the Lord of the Rings universe is a lost world to our actual reality. It has just been forgotten about. Did Lord of the Rings actually happen? No it did not.

Why is evolution incoherent with reality?
Morality, lying for instance is morally wrong, but why is it?

If evolution is correct all what is happening in the brain is two chemicals reacting with each other creating emotion, I believe this too, but if evolution is true, instead of keeping to an authority such as God's Word, why do you keep yourself from yourself? If you are in charge of your self and you decide the rules, why is lying wrong? If all we are is re-arranged cells which are led by chemical reaction in the brain, lying shouldn't be wrong. And if lying helps you, then why not lie?

Let me give a better example; a girl is shot on the street and she dies. That is evil in my view because God says it is. But in an evolutionists view it isn't evil, since according to evolution we evolved due to death and suffering. So you say, "Oh no, why would that man do such an evil thing?" when really all that is happening is two chemical reactions occurring in the brain. So why arrest and punish someone when all what happened was two chemicals were reacting, you wouldn't punish vinegar and baking soda if they react together, why then do we, according to an evolutionist punish a man for murder if all it is, is two chemicals?

You wouldn't arrest a lion for attacking an zebra, why arrest a man for attacking another human?

If you say, "Well we want a society which gets along and which is happy.". Yes you can say that, but there is no way of telling what 'getting along' is and what 'happiness' is from an evolutionary world view, since all what is occurring is chemicals in the brain reacting once more. There is no meter on us which tells how happy we are, and how much we are getting along with each other. So what is happiness, what does getting along mean? And if not being happy or not getting along helps your survival, why not get along with each other, because why should you care about a chemical reaction in the brain of another individual? You don't care if baking soda and vinegar mix, right? Same thing is occurring within our minds, and these chemical reactions create emotion. And if you belong to yourself, why do you conform to other authority? If all we are is evolved reorganised chemicals and cells. Why should we love? It just makes things more the complicated. If there was no love, wouldn't things be more simple? No fall outs, no arguing, no fighting, no giving etc... The fact that these things do exist reflect our image of God.

When you talk about evidence, you are relating to a universal need. God is universal, and yes you might say the same about evolution, if it does exist, it can exist everywhere, that is true. But if evolution is true there is no standard for what evidence should be and therefore if one person thinks this is evident for something and another person thinks otherwise, who is right? The fact that you are saying there is evidence for evolution says that there is a standard, yet evolution does not have one, so by simply saying there is evidence, calls out that God exists, and that evolution does not either.
Debate Round No. 2
Yvette

Pro

I'll begin by responding. Note that he repeatedly states that I haven't convinced him, I contend it is impossible to. My job is to make the case that it is reasonable to accept evolution. And, as stated earlier, a theory which has strong evidence, has been investigated, can make predictions, has expert acceptance, and exists beside no stronger theory, should be accepted.

"Having evidence for something is different from convincing someone of something. Many people are convinced of things without evidence, yet people are also not convinced of things even with evidence because; for one, they might not like what they are hearing and two, they might lack an understanding."

Con's statement is irrelevant. People may believe something without evidence, or refuse to believe something with evidence, and they may happen to be right, but: (a) this is argument ad populum. Simply because people do it does not matter to our debate. (b) Believing without evidence and disbelieving despite evidence are, generally, not reasonable or rational things to do.

"When we apply this rule if it were to this so called 'evidence for evolution'."

What rule? That when evidence exists it should be ignored, and when it doesn't exist we should believe anyway? That people do it does not make it a rule, and as it is not a reasonable course of action it should not determine whether accepting evolution is reasonable.

"Firstly Yvette has given no evidence for evolution so far, all she has done is said where the evidence (if any) may lie."

Con misrepresents my sources. The information was not that "the evidence is in the fossil record" or "in homologies". Fossil records, homologies, etc, ARE the evidence. You cannot look at the fossil record without seeing descent. You cannot look at anatomy without seeing vestigial structures from the creatures in the fossil record. Since the fossil record has been studied scientists have interpreted the fossils as supporting evolution. Perhaps Con can tell us how to determine diet/age/gender/movement type by just looking at a skull, what the significance of a forehead is, what the angle and placement of the foramen magnum and the scapula mean, or maybe even recognize an atlas. I have viewed fossil replicas for human origins myself and studied them in detail. They aren't made up. I'm guessing Con doesn't want to take any classes on evolution, so I urge him to visit a museum, university, or the Smithsonian HumanOrigins site to view the fossils. I also encourage him to open up a few whales and compare them to the fossils. He could, of course, trust that the vast amount of people making peer-reviewed reports on the evidence and it's subsequent interpretation weren't, in fact, *all* making it up. But, Con wants specifics. We have observed speciation, ie evolution, occurring. [1][2] Not once, but many times. We've seen bacteria and viruses evolve so much that the fact that they're evolving isn't news, what they're evolving *into* is. Note that my source is old, there have undoubtably been years of observed speciation between now and then. Documented "ring" species exist, where the transitional forms between two species are still alive and can interbreed with each other, but the two end species cannot breed with each other. [3] We have observed beneficial mutations occur. [4] As DNA studies begin to come to fruition we are uncovering not just evidence of evolution but of how it worked, straight from the genes. [5]Finally, what Darwin is famous for is NOT for discovering evolution--evolution was already thought to occur but nobody knew what the mechanism was. Darwin simply provided the evidence that natural selection was the main mechanism.

"Fossils are facts, and they are down for interpretation like all facts are. We observe fossils and evolutionists pose their pre-interpretation mind (which has been already decided that the earth is 4.5 billion years old) on top of the fossils, when really they are looking through a veil which has 'Evolution' written across it. The fossils are not evident for evolution."

Con fails to back up his statement that all scientists are biased, indeed, every scientist for a century would have to be biased for his statement to have any merit. Evolutionists did not decide the age of the earth. Geological scientists have calculated it based on dating of rocks and the age of the solar system. [6]

Re: Anatomy. I reference Con to the large paragraph above, the one with lots of source marks.

"Time and space distribution - (quoting from http://evolution.berkeley.edu......) "We must keep in mind that the time involved is vast compared to a human lifetime..." If we are told what to do, how to think in a certain way, then we are being tuned a certain way. Evidence is universal, so if we must understand to think in a certain way to understand the evidence, it is not evidence at all. But instead psychological manipulation."

Con doesn't seem to have made any argument against time and space distribution in the fossil record, instead making an incredible claim, that evolutionary scientists rely on psychological manipulation. I urge him to back this up. Or does he dispute that 4.5 million years, or even 1, 000 years, is vast compared to a human lifetime? Can he explain how noting that the timelines involved are vast tricks people and makes the time and space distribution evidence untrue either way?

"Computer simulations - now if I thinking what you are thinking, this is just laughable. Art does not count for evidence, and the better the simulation or art work the more convincing evolution is..."

I fail to see how computer simulations are simply, or even at all, "art". Perhaps Con does not know what a simulation is. A programmer creates a situation "simulating" the real world, and, using conservative figures, shows how something would have happened. They are widely used for their accuracy.

"Observation is empirical, and like before, facts derived from observation which gives room for interpretation, it is simply this, if you remove the veil of an evolutionist, you will put on the veil of someone who believes in the Bible."

I continue to encourage Con to provide evidence that all biologists are too biased to see reality.

Con's ‘better theory' is: "Creationism. Derived from the Word of God. Everything is absolute and nothing is self refuting which secular beliefs are." I encourage Con to prove creationism is a better theory. It must account for the evidence in favor of evolution, explain what evolution explains, make predictions, gain expert acceptance, and have more supporting evidence (genetic studies, fossils, anatomy, etc) than evolution. Good luck!

"Here is a link..." I fail to see what point Con is making by attacking some 16-year-old's blog. How about he focus on the scientific organizations?

"And if lying helps you, then why not lie?" This is easily explained in The Moral Animal. Reputation is important within a community, according to the evolutionary morality model modified from TIT FOR TAT [7], because individuals engage in mutually beneficial cooperation with those they think will cooperate and not "cheat" them. We keep track of "cooperators" using reputation. So we have evolved to care deeply for reputation, honesty, fairness, etc, but only when it suits us. Studies have shown that guilt disappears when reputation is not a factor.

Next, Con attempts a series of accusations against evolutionists and moralistic arguments. I will not waste space on these irrelevant and false accusations, the readers can see for themselves how irrelevant his last paragraphs are.

Con has provided no evidence that evolution is unreasonable. He has provided no evidence for many of his claims, indeed, he attempted to argue that evidence is irrelevant in order to discredit the evidence I have offered. He left several points essentially unchallenged. Resolution affirmed.

SOURCES: See Comments.
GodSands

Con

Ok I will not waste time.

"Con's statement is irrelevant." - Not really, you are trying to convince people that it is reasonable to believe in evolution, but you don't just want to convince them, you want to give reason why they are convinced right? Isn't this whole debate about that?

Before I go further, I will claim that the fact that she is able to argue at all proves evolution wrong. Since if we belong to ourselves due to millions of years of evolution and there is no higher authority (God) then evidence is not universal, so Yvette can only convince you but not give evidence. Because according to evolution, we belong to ourselves, there cannot be an absolute definition for evidence but only our own personalised scheme which decides what evidence is. It is a form of relativism which is self refuting.

So if Yvette gives any evidence at all she is contradicting herself, because creationism and evolution cannot both be true. But if she gives no evidence, Yvette has not given reason to believe in evolution. So I will ask Yvette, is evidence universal and why if there is no God? (Vital question).

Ok, that wasn't part of the debate so much but by saying that, she willcontradict herself if she gives any evidence at all.

"What rule?" - The rule that we must not only convince but also give reason why they are convinced, and that reason would be a show of evidence. It is a rule of logic that if not followed leads to self contradiction.

"...Fossil records, homologies, etc, ARE the evidence." - Ok I see what you mean now. So your saying the facts are evidence for evolution? But again you are contradicting your own world view that evolution is true. If we have evolved over millions of years, then who decides what evidence is? I know what evidence is because I as do you, reflect the image of God and God cannot deny Himself false. Therefore the Word of God cannot contradict it's self. But in this case you are saying the evidence is the fossils, the fact that they exist is evidence of evolution. No, if that is so then we must be able to empirically see evolution (macro evolution) take form. In fact I watched the movie Evolution (2001) today, and the movie is about a rock that crash lands of earth, and evolution happens at a exceedingly high rate. In one day you have 200 million years worth of evolution in the movie. In that scenario fossils would be evident for evolution. If fossils are evident, we would not need fossils because we could see macro evolution happening around us, when really all we see and observe is micro evolution. The only difference between a fossil and a living organism is that the fossil was once alive and moving as a living organism. However the age of the fossil is not fact but it is down to interpretation. This argument is relevant for her other 'evidences'.

"You cannot look at the fossil record without seeing descent." - Oh no? Of course I can see that, I understand what you are saying, but in the same way, you can also not look at the fossil record and not see design. There is no scientific method of discovering how one species which belongs to one family can evolve into another species belonging to another family. In other words, there is no evidence showing how a cat can become a non cat over time or due to mutation. The evidence and the facts say that cats have always been cats, and whales have always been whales.

I would love to take a class on evolution and I cannot wait to visit a museum next. I do not believe in evolution myself so why would I trust the words of someone else saying evolution is true?

"We've seen bacteria and viruses evolve so much that the fact that they're evolving isn't news, what they're evolving *into* isn't news..." - Bacteria is a singled celled organism, is it simple? Not at all. Is the bacteria still bacteria after it has 'evolved'? Yes. The bacteria may develop new techniques but like with larger organisms (cats, mice, bears) there is nothing new adding to bacteria. In the next round would you mind telling me how bacteria evolve, because according to this site (http://www.physorg.com...) they don't know. And if you cannot tell me how, there is no evidence for bacteria evolving into non bacteria.

"Evolutionists did not decide the age of the earth. Geological scientists have calculated it based on dating of rocks and the age of the solar system." - But evolutionists agree with these geologists who say the earth is 4.5 billion years old? So they have that veil on which says the earth is 4.5 billion years old and evolution written across it.

Evolutionary scientists do not rely on psychological manipulation, but they are psychologically manipulated. There is a difference there. For an example there is the a video above, which shows million of years of evolution, with cool effects it seems to be very convincing, but where is the 'beef', where is the evidence? All it is, is a story based on facts, which people who believe in evolution have created a fictional video clip to show how evolution might look like. Not even that, it is as if a creature has the ability to adapt quickly and the numbers have been placed beside the creature to make it look like it is taking millions of years.

"Con doesn't seem to have made any argument against time and space distribution..." - My point was this, before you claim to have evidence why must I or anyone else adjust their mind in to an evolutionary world view if it is evidence? We shouldn't, we should just be able to see it as evidence and have no queries. For example; why is there no erosion between rock layers? If rock layers take millions of years to form, why are they flat without erosion?

"I fail to see how computer simulations are simply, or even at all, "art"." - Art work or simulation is not evidence for evolution, despite if they reflect nature that doesn't matter. Like I said with J.R.R Tolkien, Lord of the Rings wasn't real, yet it is said that Middle Earth once existed as a nation but has been long forgotten in reality. Just because something includes realism, doesn't mean it is real.

The Moral Animal? Why then do people say to misbehaving people, "Stop acting like an animal."?

We are the only beings which have a moral code, in the animal kingdom there is no way not to behave or act. If two lions fight and one kills the other, the other lions won't react in a way showing that it was a wrong thing to do, rather they will see the winning lion as more dominant, living alongside with that lion, they will have more of a chance of survival. Knowing they do not think that, but it is instinct. When we kill other humans, we are punished. Why is that fair if all what is happening is two chemical reacting within the brain? An accident does an accident, and the accident is punished because it did an accident?

Yvette says the reason we have societies is because we benefit from them, yes that is true, we do indeed. But she isn't understanding that the reason why we have societies in the first place does not support the evolutionary world view. If each of us belong to ourselves why then would one of us begin to help the other? It makes no sense. It is self contradicting because if we are our own masters why would we serve someone else. Because the best is for ourselves, since it is all about survival for us and the fittest.

"I will not waste space on these irrelevant and false accusations..." - I wonder why?

Extra thoughts:

"Richard Dawkins has convinced himself that his purpose in life is to say there is no purpose in life." - I thought that was pretty funny.

"If evolution is true, the words 'ought' and 'should' should not make sense." - Should they not? (Self refuting).

"If evolution is true, we can do what we want to do, so don't tell others not what to do." Self refuting once again.
Debate Round No. 3
Yvette

Pro

Despite my opponent's beginning promise, he has done everything to waste time. Aside from one major contradiction, he has also made a great deal of totally irrelevant and mostly incoherent statements. I will address what I can. Let me summarize what my opponent has and hasn't done.

CONTRADICTION
My opponent has spent the better part of two rounds stating that I haven't provided evidence, that I couldn't possibly (for reasons I will address later). Yet he has also spent this time arguing that evidence is irrelevant due to his redefined version.

NO SUPPORT
I asked my opponent to back up several of his assertions, and he hasn't attempted to back up any of them. If he finally backs them up in the final round, when I will be unable respond, this will have been a cheap tactic indeed. I am waiting for evidence of psychological manipulation (my opponent changed it last round from ‘evolutionists psychologically manipulate us' to ‘they are manipulated'), support for creationism, why geologists are wrong about the age of the earth, that scientists are all biased, or why moralistic arguments have anything to do with what is true.

UNEDUCATED
My opponent appears to be uneducated on this subject. He claims he can look at the fossil record and see design. Yet he did not give any indication after being asked to that he knows anything about bones. Indeed, he admitted he hasn't taken a class or seen a significant part of the fossil record. Yet he thinks he is more qualified to interpret fossils than experts?

REGARDING EVIDENCE
My opponent makes an almost totally incoherent argument that evidence cannot possibly support evolution. He even makes the absurd statement that "facts do not count as evidence". He has provided no reason for why: a.) evolution demands that there be no god b.) objective reality would not exist without a god c.) objective facts would be "universal", ie undeniable.

My opponent admits in the Comments that even with "universal evidence" (a meaningless term he has made up), people would still either be ignorant of it's meaning or deny it's meaning. Yet he claims evidence is only evidence if it convinces everyone and is thus "universal"! This is a clear contradiction in my opponent's already incoherent argument.

Someone educated in the features and types of bones and how they relate to the organism's life can look at a bone and learn about the creature it belonged to. Someone ignorant of this knowledge would see something different. Someone in denial would see something different.

The only reasonable course of action (which is what this debate is about) is to rely on the least biased and most relevantly educated individuals to interpret the evidence. Evidence is physical information which can support a conclusion, despite my opponent's attempts at redefining it.

SPECIATION
My opponent asks why we can't see speciation occurring. I pre-empted this, he can refer to the end of my second round argument for observed instances of speciation, or "macroevolution". He also misunderstands how evolution works: evolution happens with each generation, not between them. Because each change is small, we ARE seeing evolution occuring with each generation, we may just not be paying attention or seeing the small differences. This is why we observe it in the lab short-generation species.

BACTERIA EVOLUTION
My opponent links a news article, claiming that it says scientists don't know how bacteria evolve. Even if scientists didn't know HOW, it would prove nothing. Unfortunately, my opponent misrepresented the link. It says nothing of the sort. In fact, evolution of bacteria is probably the best understood type of evolution. [1] Bacteria reproduce asexually, however, so no line can be easily drawn between species. The link I provided in Round 2 of observed speciation lists examples of what should be considered speciation: bacteria completely changing genetic form in response to new environmental pressures, even obtaining multicellularity.

SPECIFIC RESPONSES
"But in this case you are saying the evidence is the fossils, the fact that they exist is evidence of evolution."

My opponent either misunderstands or misrepresents. I am saying the evidence is the fossils, experts who look at them can trace changes from one type of creature to another. They can trace, for example, the changes in fossils through the years up until one that is identical to a modern type, in the horse for example. [2][3] While we cannot tell exactly where speciation occurred in the fossil record, the transitions are between ends that are obviously different species. We can get a good idea of when speciation occurred, however, based on how closely related modern organisms in the process of speciation are able to interbreed. For example, you would expect that organisms as different from each other as the horse and donkey would be almost completely speciated.

SOCIETY & MORALITY
My opponent's arguments that morality and society disprove evolution are meaningless. His statement that humans are the only creatures with morals and societies is false. Love for family, allegiance to friends, punishment of cheaters, etc, is a normal aspect of primate societies. Many primate species innately form social groups, a trait which defends from predators and provides mutual non-zero-sum benefits. Within these societies, individuals will work together and share. [4] Indeed, scientists have observed monkeys forming interspecies alliances to watch for predators. The bonobo is an example of an exemplary moral animal, one being observed nursing a bird back to health. [5] According to The Moral Animal, emotions have likely evolved (and this seems to be the case based on the evidence) to lead people to take advantage of the TIT FOR TAT system.

CONCLUSION
My opponent makes a series of totally irrelevant statements, like the absurdity of a science fiction movie. I have not bothered with these. He has made contradictions, failed to back up statement, and has not attacked the bulk of my argument. Resolution affirmed: it is reasonable to accept evolution.

SOURCES
1. http://goo.gl...
2. http://goo.gl...
3. http://goo.gl...
4. http://goo.gl...
5. http://goo.gl...
GodSands

Con

Ok, firstly I am not trying to prove creationism through fossils or rock layer or anything like that. I am trying to prove creationism by showing Yvette that if she tries to prove or give reason to believe in evolution she will contradict herself.

Now this is how she will; if we have evolved over millions of years as Yvette is trying to give prove, we belong to ourselves (despite if God exists). Therefore we decide our own truth, (this maybe true for you, but not for me). In that case, if I choose not to believe in evolution that is my own truth according to her. Not me because I don't believe in evolution. Simple as. If there are no absolutes as a result that we decide what truth is, then evidence is also not absolute. For it would not make sense if evidence is absolute and truth isn't, visa versa. So if truth is absolute, so is evidence.

Yvette claims to have evidence of evolution, she says it is absolute and that it is the same for everyone. She is trying to convince you that evolution is reasonable to believe in. You are convinced then that is ok, but she cannot give you evidence since evidence is subjective if evolution is true because we belong to ourselves and decide what truth is.

People can be convinced without evidence. And some people do not accept evidence because either they are indeinal or they are ignorant of the subject matter.

"My opponent makes an almost totally incoherent argument that evidence cannot possibly support evolution." - Untrue this is not what I meant. I am saying if evidence does support evolution is does only according to people who believe in evolution. Therefore evidence is subjective because evolution says we belong to ourselves and thus we decide what truth is and therefore evidence will follow through with our own subjective truth.

I believe in creationism, the Word of God is my foundational belief and therefore there are absolutes. Truth is absolute and therefore so is evidence.

"My opponent admits in the Comments that even with "universal evidence" (...), people would still either be ignorant of it's meaning or deny it's meaning." - True.

From here on, Yvette attempts to prove evolution even though if she does, it would mean there is a universal truth and therefore universal evidence, however that would mean she is contradicting herself since evolution determines that we make our own truth.

Therefore Yvette hasn't give reason to believe in evolution, however she may still convince you that evolution is true without evidence.

For the argument's sake I will continue.

We can observe micro evolution, but not macro evolution. Since evolution is exceedingly slow in our life time we don't see macro evolution occurring, but only micro evolution, therefore as Yvette called it, speciation, we don't observe it.

"we ARE seeing evolution occuring with each generation..." - She only believes this because of the fossil record. With her pre-decided mind that evolution is true, she therefore interprets the fossils to show that there is a pattern of evolution occurring with each generation. When in reality it is just interpretation.

Bacteria evolution, bacteria are singled cells, if they remain singled celled organisms after they have 'evolved' they are still bacteria and therefore have not evolved. That's it as far I am concerned.

"My opponent either misunderstands or misrepresents. I am saying the evidence is the fossils..." I said that you said fossils are the evidence is the fossils, but you said also I misunderstood. Contradiction much!

Yvette said that the experts can trace the changes of fossils back from the modern animal. She uses the horse as an example. I understand that scientists can match up fossils by their similarities, I am not denying that, but it isn't evidence, it is a interpretation.

Society and morality; if evolution is true then society has come together by chance that we each agree that certain things are true, such as murdering is wrong and chocolate causes cancer. Get me explain.

If we decide our own truth via evidence. But if truth is our own, so is the evidence our own. Cancer is caused by chocolate, I do not know that is true, but let say it is. If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that. Most things are discovered by accident, plastic for example was, and maybe the fact that chocolate causing cancer was also? If so then evidence for the truth that chocolate causes cancer was found at the time time as the truth claim that chocolate causes cancer. By accepting that you agree with others who accept it. However if evolution is true was make our own truths. So someone could say, "My truth is that chocolate does not cause cancer." And if society tries to prove to him that it does then there is a universal truth that says chocolate causes cancer when really we decide what truth is our selves. And thus the evidence will follow through with what we know is subjectively true.

It is self refuting because it is relative.

Is murder wrong? I know it is because God says it is, rather it is apart of God's character to reject murder as good because God is righteous and good and murder is not righteous nor good. But if someone's moral code says murder is good then it is good for them because we made our own truth. To say that scientists have observed monkeys getting along with each other is true, they have. But I am not saying that we cannot get along if evolution is true, I am saying that if evolution is true there is no right and wrong objectively only subjectively. So it is an opinion that murder is good, it is not a fact that murder is good. Therefore if it is only opinionated then there is no reason why people can say murder is good. Even if someone wants to kill 10 people for no reason, for that person it could be a good think to kill 10 people once a month.

Conclusion; Yvette has given no reason to believe in evolution because her reason for believing in evolution is subjective (her reason to believe in evolution is right for her, but not for me), if she were to give a reason it would have to be absolute which would contradict evolution, in that we decide what truth is. If she proves evolution or gives evidence she is being self refuting.

In other words, Yvette has tried to disprove air while breathing air to make her argument that air does not exist.
Debate Round No. 4
133 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jmac42 6 years ago
jmac42
Sorry for the abrupt ending, I ran out of words, oh well those ten asumptions are a start,
also Godsands I think you commited several other logical fallacies including; bait and switch with the whole god=truth thing, straw man, appeal to authority (appeal to the "word of god"), appeal to consequences and maybe even slippery slope.
Your a bright guy, coming from someone who spent the first 23 yrs. of his life as a Christian and has also read the brilliant C.S. Lewis I think you would win more votes in these debates if you left the faulty logic behind and went with a more traditional "causality" or "watchmaker" type arugment.
Posted by jmac42 6 years ago
jmac42
@GODSANDS
You are obviousley a very inteligent person but simply asserting that someone is commiting a logical fallacy does not make it so just like you asserting that god=truth (therefore no god = no truth) does not make it so. I would submit that you and not Yvette are the one committing the logical fallacy by begging the question e.g. I'm am going to disprove evolution by proving god. To prove god, let's assume he exist and that he is truth, if you argue against him you are arguing against truth and nothing you say can be true becuase god=truth.
Not only is this definition of truth invalid but you have not offered any evidence for god and you did not attempt to disprove any evidence Yvette put foward.
Also, if you are going to acuse some one of contradicting themselves you really should not use a self contradictory being ( conscienceness without matter, all knowing AND all powerful) and a self contradictory book (the bible) as your evidence.
If your premise is that god exist and the bible is valid then you will need to do the following:

1. Use an accurate definition of existence without using the word exsit ( I think that object, location, measurement or concept does this well but am open to suggestions).

2. Prove that conscienceness can exist without matter

3. That it's possible to be all knowing and all powerful (if I know what I am going to do how could I change it? If I change it then I didn't really know what I was going to do.)

4. That only one of these exist

5. That you have chosen to follow the right one

6. That this all knowing thing communicated with certain people

7. That this all knowing thing would choose the least accurate and least effiecent way to communicate his message i.e. Tell one person and have him pass it down the line.

8. That his message has been accurately communicated and translated over thousands of years.

9. That it is morally good

10. That it doesn't break it's own moral code
Posted by Mr_Poet 6 years ago
Mr_Poet
If I recall correctly, the tail bone is an anchor for several important muscles.
There are no vestigial organs. If you define a "vestigial organ" as an organ you don't need to live. You can live without arms and legs, does that make them vestigial?
Posted by jcutie81096 6 years ago
jcutie81096
I will have to say that this debate has cought my attention. And I too have myself wondering about whether evolution is true or adam and eve is true. But I have come to belive in both. But i wont get into that because thats not what i came to comment about. I came to comment that this is a stupid debate. Face it... no matter how much you guys give your points the con is always going to believe in Adam and Eve becaue it is his religion and the pro is always going to believe in evolution. So dont waste your time... people have a stubborn nature and it is very hard to change peoples mind.
Posted by Ste93 6 years ago
Ste93
theory
Posted by Ste93 6 years ago
Ste93
I find it difficult to understand how people can reject evolution because of evidence. I mean, seriously, do people think there is more evidence that creationism is true? For a theory to be considered valid, it must meet the following criteria (according to Ph.D physicist Lee Smolin):

1. A valid theory must not contradict demonstrable facts. Creationists believe the universe is 6000 years old, which incidentally is out by a factor of over 2 million! Which, in the words of Richard Dawkins, 'is not a trivial error!' Scientists base their scientific views not on whims or ancient scribblings, but on the evidence that is available. There are many different, independent sciences that verify the age of the Earth, including Physics, Biology, Geology, Cosmology etc. Creationism clearly does not meet this criteria.

2. A valid theory must explain something that is not understood by prior theories. We have appendixes and vestigial tails, both of which are no use to us whatsoever. Why would god make us with these? Creationism does not tell us. Studying evolution shows us that our ancestors had tails and utilised their appendixes. These caused no harm to us and so were not rejected by natural selection. There is evidence for this; I strongly recommend Richard Dawkins' latest book 'The Greatest Show On Earth - The Evidence For Evolution.'

3. Most crucially, a valid theory must predict something new that no-one would have thought about prior to it. The new prediction must then be demonstrated to be true. If a theory does not predict anything, then it isn't showing us anything new. For example, before General Relativity, no-one would have though about black holes, which have been shown to exist. Evolution predicts what kind of fossils we should expect to find in certain places; it predicts what the genetic codes of various animals should be. All of this has been demonstrated. Creationism does not make a single prediction that can be tested.

Ergo, Creationism isn't even a
Posted by GodSands 6 years ago
GodSands
Arrrr I lost, lol.
Posted by Freeman 6 years ago
Freeman
Here is my RFD:

Obviously, Pro had better arguments and sources. Her opponent was very incoherent and hard to follow at times. Additionally, Godsands' spelling and grammar was rather poor, so I had to take that into consideration.

At any rate, I did have one issue with Pro. I think she could have done a slightly better job with integrating her evidence into the debate. Any good argument must, at some level, contain an element of persuasion.

It's one thing to give 5 consecutive sources that support a certain claim; it is something different to be sensitive to other people's views and explain to them why some piece of evidence is important.

Tyson made this point with Dawkins:
Posted by guesswho 6 years ago
guesswho
Another pointless debate over a matter with no definite answer.
Posted by Marauder 6 years ago
Marauder
"if it were true that means adam and eves children would have to mate with some one that is at least 50 % related to them. If that was true humans would have birth defects very easily"

Well that shouldn't bother you too much gogenhwang, as you the result of a birth defect in either theory
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