The Instigator
Iamthejuan
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
2-D
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points

Last Universal Ancestor/Common Descent of ALL species.

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
2-D
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/30/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,727 times Debate No: 43119
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

Iamthejuan

Con

This is meant to be a casual debate over the course of several days. The idea is to have time to research your arguments and find supporting evidence (not to mention, having a life). You can use as much of the 3 days as you want-- I work and go to school, so my schedule requires this flexibility.

What we have here are five rounds: The first round is for introductions and presenting main points, the second and third rounds are for counter-arguments and substantiation or refutation of main points. The fourth round will be final counter arguments and any additional supporting evidence you wish to share. The fifth round is for summarizing your argument and counterargument (if you so desire), and any closing remarks.

I do not disagree that species evolve, or that certain species likely share common ancestry. I am challenging the notion that all species evolved from one common ancestor, commonly called the "Last Universal Ancestor". This is not a debate on origins or creationism; it is a debate specifically about the idea that all life on Earth descended from one life form.

The points I will be arguing are as follow:

Literally billions of years are required for this type of evolutionary branching to reach such diversity. I will be challenging the notion that the earth has existed for billions of years, as well as the dating methods and genetic "discoveries" which are often cited as evidence of common descent and old-earth theory.

Species evolve through adaptation, but they don't evolve into entirely separate species. I will be supporting this argument using research from biology and also using inductive reasoning.

Many species are comprised of irreducible complexities. We can debate this I am sure, because it poses a serious problem for evolutionary theory that often provokes dismissiveness and some rather absurd hypothesizing as far as counter-arguments go.

If species have been evolving for billions of years from a common ancestor, why are we the only one amongst MILLIONS of species to develop advanced civilization, communication, and engineering.

If our species evolved from a primitive monkey/man hybrid (which in turn descended from the LCA), why are there still monkeys, and why is humanity pretty much the most self-destructive species on this planet? Why are we the only species that has both instinct and the free will to choose against our own best interests?

If all species shared one ancestor, there would be many different chains and stages of evolution, and the fossil record would reflect this. The truth it, it does not. Furthermore, between our last ice age, the global flood, and whatever cataclysms caused the gulf of Mexico and the breaking up of the continents, our entire geological record is skewed by variables which scientists willfully ignore.
2-D

Pro

This round, per the rules, I will simply present main points under broad categories since the evidence for evolution is so varied and there are so many different avenues that demonstrate evolution and the common decent of all life. As Con indicated in the comments, I also included the basic direction that my rebuttals will likely take.

Molecular Evidence

This is some of the strongest evidence for evolution and a link for all life to a common single ancestor is seen at the molecular level. This area includes our common DNA and protein functional redundancy where many basic structures are shared and support the most basic functions of life. We can also trace ‘fossilized’ DNA no longer useful and junk DNA strands to link different species and to demonstrate where different forms of life branched off from their ancestors and all future species in the line share these characteristics.

Historical Phylogenetic Tree

This area is often demonstrated with broad branching trees that originate at a common ancestor branching from a common root culminating in modern species or extinct branches. These start with bacteria and eukaryotes and end with all modern forms of life. Here common decent was largely established based on observable characteristics of species often in the geological fossil records and confirmed, when possible, by genetic evidence.

Macro/molecular vestigial characteristics from the past in adults and embryology

There are many examples of animals with anatomical vestiges from the past such as whales with hind limbs. There is also a lot of embryological evidence where different developing structures form different features depending on the species.

Observed speciation events and key transitional forms

There are several observed examples of ‘speciation’ where one species experiences a minor changed that stops interbreeding. From the observed evidence we know that these new species continue to change and develop new features as supported by the fossil record. There are prime examples from the fossil record to demonstrate many of the major lines of evolution and speciation events.

Observed changes in animals over time

For now, Con has conceded this but then suggested that this stops for some unknown reason within a species. This is akin to saying that you can see how a person could count to 1 thousand but it would not be possible to count to 1 million. There is no reason to suspect that this gradual change stops preventing major changes as observed in the fossil record.

“Opportunism and Evolutionary Restraint”

This area reveals that new structures form from old structures making rapid changes difficult and certain changes nearly impossible. This is often demonstrated in the lengthy path of certain arteries in a giraffe’s neck that travel through a long loop from the head down to near the chest rather than a straight path of a few inches mimicking previous forms of life with much shorter necks.

-


Billions of years are required

Depending on how the arguments go I will address this issue and establish that the earth is in fact closer to ~ 4.5 billion years then 10,000 and establish the credibility of the many dating methods as this becomes an issue.

Irreducible complexity

This argument typically amounts to a suggestion that we do not know how some features evolved and are unable to prove this is impossible or improbable. Historically many of these claims have been resolved only to be replaced by new ‘examples’. Some times there is not enough research or interest in these issues since creationists can always find examples for structures that scientists have no clear idea how they evolved. This is often used as a ‘God of the Gaps’ argument for a creator.


We are the one species with a particularly high intelligence/civilization

Intelligence or civilization is not the goal of evolution and evolution is not a ladder culminating in us. All bacteria, plants and animals have evolved to survive in their niche environments. Intelligence and civilization is one unique adaptation to survive. As Con indicates, intelligence and the ability to make choices has also caused problems such as self destruction.

Why are there still monkeys?

Humans are still monkeys. We are also eukaryotes, vertebrates and mammals (animals do, in a way, ‘produce after their own kind.’) Some species have remained the same for many millions of years since it takes selection pressure to change a species but monkeys are not one of them. The majority, if not all, monkeys like ourselves have changed dramatically from our ancestors ~ 6 million years ago.

“If all species shared one ancestor, there would be many different chains and stages of evolution”

I think this is fairly accurate and evolution phylogenetic tree looks like a bush with many evolving pathways leading to dead ends and roughly 99%+ species that have existed are estimated to be extinct. As to the suggestion that there was a global flood I would save that for another debate. If you can tie it to the resolution I will respond.

That should do it for now. Thanks to Con for setting up the debate, I’m looking forward to it!

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

Debate Round No. 1
Iamthejuan

Con

Very good Contender! This is going to be a good one I can tell. I will begin this round with my counter-arguments.

Molecular Evidence:

"This area includes our common DNA and protein functional redundancy where many basic structures are shared and support the most basic functions of life."

If these areas are supporting the basic functions of life, it only makes sense that all species alive would have common DNA. I admit this creates a plausible argument for common descent when variances go as low as 1.2% when talking about chimpanzees, but you are talking about a it is still a logical gap that you are trying to bridge with your conclusion that we must have the same ancestors. We have a 1.2% difference, but you are talking about something absurd like 300 billion lines of "coding", so 1.2% is a lot. Not to mention that scientists don't really understand 98% of our DNA anyways (which you have already led me into).

"We can also trace "fossilized" DNA no longer useful and junk DNA strands to link different species..."

Fascinating stuff DNA. is! I am glad you brought this up, because I had recently been reading up on this particular topic. Turns out that junk 98% isn't really junk, and actually affects how the other 2% acts. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com...

"...and to demonstrate where different forms of life branched off from their ancestors and all future species in the line share these characteristics."

This is kind-of like playing connect the dots with an unfathomable amount of dots, but in this case the dots are something much more complex that we do not fully understand.

http://www.nbcnews.com...

Notice how these guys always talk:

"...genetic variants that seem to overlap"
"We think this is..."
"This finding could suggest..."

They are still figuring it out. They are far from writing the book.

Historical Phylogenetic Tree:

"These start with bacteria and eukaryotes and end with all modern forms of life. Here common decent was largely established based on observable characteristics of species often in the geological fossil records."

All of the fossils show variances within a species, not species becoming other species in any way shape or form. They explain the tree as connecting all species, but when you look at the fossils, they have something that looked kind-of like an octopus and say "aha! Must be the ancestor of the octopus (instead of perhaps a deformed or runt octopus). Ok, well maybe it is, but at some point you have to take all our ancestors and explain how they all evolved separately from bacteria. Furthermore, the bacteria is only ever seen mutating into bacteria; viruses into viruses. We have no fossilized bacterias from the earliest stages in the so called "tree of life", so it is pure speculation to begin with.

"There are many examples of animals with anatomical vestiges from the past such as whales with hind limbs."

There is also a despised fish called a "snakehead" which eats everything in a river and then grow leg-like fins which allow them to travel for up to four days. Whether forwards or in reverse, its a variation within species, not a transition to another species. The snakeheads do not become mammals. We could assume that much older cases are legitimate transitions, but how would a whale walk about on land? Whales don't come right before bipedal animals in the evolutionary tree, so what kind of weird stuff is going on here?

"There is also a lot of embryological evidence where different developing structures form different features depending on the species."

I am interested to see you expand upon this point, as this is something I have never heard before and do not fully understand what you mean yet.

Speciation. This is also one of those arguments that sounds good at face value, but the conclusion does not necessarily result from the premises (a fish can adapt to become different but very similar fish, therefore a fish can also become a mammal). Now might be a good time to mention that I do accept adaptation and natural selection, if that helps you with my perspective a little bit. I am not saying that species stopped adapting, I am saying species adapt to their environment and not into other species. If that were the case, we would still have transitionals all over the place. Where are the whale-mammals? A whale fossil that appears to have hind legs (which might very well be something els hybrid does not impress; I have already conceded common ancestry from species to species.

"(Opportunism and evolutionary restraint) reveal that new structures form from old structures making rapid changes difficult and certain changes nearly impossible."

Opportunism is a theory that explains away the non-variances that remain after a "transition". This is comparable to saying "dogs still have tails, but they're for wagging now instead of swatting flies". In biology, it is simply a description of one organisms capability to adapt to different environments. Strong evidence for adaptation, not special transition.

Evolutionary restraint poses issues for common descent in some circumstances. Sterile hybrids leave the question of how transitional organisms are able to stick around long enough to evolve into anything else, or why such a useless trait would even evolve to begin with. Also, if nature is "selecting things", then adaptation may not be its only option. Restraint doesn't lend anything to the idea that species become other species.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How many years?

First let me say, I am not a fundamentalist. 10,000 years is a ridiculous idea as well as 4.5 billion. It is not simply a fear of big numbers, but a number of factors which go into my problems with the accepted timeline:

Dating Methods- I have already explained my overarching point here, so now I will expand upon this idea. We know that c14 dating fails around 15,000 years, while other radiometric dating methods are assumed to be accurate beyond this because we can't know otherwise. This again reflects a general desire within the scientific community to conduct research within a Darwinian envelope. Matter is neither created nor destroyed; it only changes forms. Therefore, no new matter is entering the universe. These isotopes, again, should be long gone, and the half-life is more of a speculation than a certainty. There are other problems as well-- for instance, in many published cases, radiometric dating of rocks or fossils did not line up with the geological or evolutionary timelines. In other cases, different samples were taken of the same fossil, and produced drastically different guesses. We also have no way of knowing whether the decay from isotope to half-life to decay rate remains constant, since we can't do experiments that are millions of years long.

Moon Landing-- Apollo 11 found an average of a half inch of space dust on the moons surface. If it had been there for as long as they say, their should be about 54 feet, being that the moon has no atmosphere.

Skewed geological record. Scientists now accept the global flood which is related in many ancient cultures, or some variation on it, but place it millions of years back. This completely ignores the effect it would have had on our geological record, especially if such an event broke up Pangea. It also doesn't explain why there are written accounts of what probably was a surviving oral tradition passed down by survivors. There would have been mass and in some cases instantaneous fossilizations, even more so if a super-volcanic eruption preceded the event (which has been suggested).

Lack of evidence for civilizations predating 20,000 years ago (at maximum estimate). There is simply no reason to believe that other creatures predate man, if you do not accept the dating methods which place them further back. Early stories such as Job feature the Leviathan and Behemoth, while other cultures spoke of the Hydra and Dragons. This makes it hard to believe that early man did not encounter dinosaurs before they went extinct.

I don't think you're description of Irreducible complexity is accurate. The idea behind it is that most organisms are comprised of complex systems-- each comprised of their own characteristics, and interdependent upon one another. For instance, there are many different types of eyes that creatures may have, such as Spherical or Refractive. Each is comprised of several parts, all of which are required for the eye to work. This can't evolve, unless you are evolving several different working components simultaneously, like a clock built in one step.

"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."
--Charles Darwin

My point on the uniqueness of man is that there should be other species with the same capabilities, and this should be evident if we have been here 4.5 billion years. Also, humanity is inherently self-destructive-- the only species with both instinct and the free will to defy it against our own best interests. We most certainly are not products of natural selection, if you think about it, or we wouldn't be building nuclear weapons.

"Humans are still monkeys" -- This is a hard argument to understand. I will

"The majority, if not all, monkeys like ourselves have changed dramatically from our ancestors ~ 6 million years ago." - This is an assumption. Why are there still monkeys? Didn't they all evolve to the point there were no more transitionals left? How are there monkeys left?

"I think this is fairly accurate and evolution phylogenetic tree looks like a bush with many evolving pathways leading to dead ends and roughly 99%+ species that have existed are estimated to be extinct."

It is a cool l
2-D

Pro

Molecular Evidence


Shared basic building blocks

There are three basic building blocks for every cell, DNA, RNA and proteins, and they are found in all forms of life [2]. This links all forms of life (and was predicted by evolutionary biologists [5]) as there could just as easily have been different building blocks for all forms of life. RNA and DNA are built with four specific complex monomers while Proteins are built with 22. RNA monomers in all life share a right handed chirality further linking all life. All cells share a variety of complex features such as a plasma membrane, cytoplasm and ribosome’s.


Shared common genes

There are many genes that are a part of all living organisms and are used for basic cell functions called ubiquitous genes [2]. There are a variety of functionally equivalent forms that these genes can take provided the coded protein has a similar shape and can perform the same function.

When these genes are exactly the same there is no reason other than an ancestral relationship and this is used to trace relationships among similar animals. For instance, since humans and apes are very similar we would expect them to share many genes of the same category but when ubiquitous genes are exactly the same this indicates an ancestral relationship.

Scientists have identified 2.3 x 1093 functionally redundant versions of Cytochrome C and it is found in all organisms on earth. Over time, mutations can change how the gene is expressed so only closely related animals share similar versions.

Our version of Cytocrome C is exactly the same as the version in a Chimpanzee establishing a common descent. This is one method scientists use to trace different forms of life from a common ancestor.


Transposition errors and Pseudogenes

Transposition errors (‘junk’) cause a discrete section of DNA to be copied and placed at some random point in the genome during replication. These errors are recreated in exactly the same way in subsequent generations and this is used to establish common descent, for DNA forensic evidence and for paternity tests. All subsequent generations should share a version (random mutations will very slowly alter the sequence over time but it will be in the same location) of this error since they are often completely benign and are not removed by natural selection.

Three specific transposition errors have been found in the same locations to link whales, hippos and ruminants which were previously linked using the phylogenetic methods based purely on bone and physical characteristics.

Pseudogenes I referenced as ‘fossilized’ genes and are also referred to as ‘junk’ since the proteins they code for are no longer produced due to random mutations. Primates (including humans) all share a redundant pseudogene for hemoglobin where a 8 monomer mutation that destroys the function of the gene are exactly the same and at the same locations linking the common descent of all primates.


Historical Phylogenetic Tree, the fossil record and transitional forms

Before genetics could confirm common descent, scientists easily grouped species based on common characteristics building the Phylogenetic Tree [8]. Evolution is gradual and when a new feature is formed, such as a spine, it is passed on to all future ancestors branching into various species. So all vertebrates are predicted to have a common ancestor and this is confirmed by the fossil record. Other major characteristics used to link species by a common ancestor are feathers, placenta, digits jaws etc:


Organisms matched primarily by physical characteristics are confirmed by genetic evidence with a high degree of statistical accuracy. Out of thirty major classifications there are 1038 possible combinations but the branching tree determined by standard methods were confirmed independently with genetic evidence using Cytochrome C molecular studies. Remember there are 2.3 x 1093 functionally redundant identified versions of the molecule shared by all life. When versions are very close they indicate common descent.

The branching tree is confirmed by the fossil record and links transitional forms to a common point. There is a complete set of transitional fossils linking dinosaurs with birds and reptiles to the earliest mammals. Phylogenic comparisons have linked chimpanzees to humans. This is again confirmed by the fossil record with a collection of homonid fossils linking humans to primitive chimpanzees.

Analysis of physical characteristics has also linked whales, cows and hippos. This is confirmed by the fossil record with many transitional forms such as legged sea cows. There is also an excellent record linking vertebrates from fish all the way to mammals all predicted by grouping animals based on common characteristics.


Macro/molecular vestigial characteristics from the past in adults and embryology

There are many vestigial characteristics predicted by evolution [9]. Since whales are ancestors of land animals it is predicted that they previously had legs. Snakes are predicted to be decedents of four legged reptiles based on common characteristics.

Some whales have vestigial legs and pelvises. Snakes often have vestigial pelvises. Snakes and whales often have leg buds that form and are reabsorbed. Modern whales, dolphins and porpois embryos grow legs with developing bones, blood vessels and nerves that degenerate before birth.

There are examples of whales born with legs and humans born with tails. Where most mammals have tails humans have four fused vertebrae and embryonic humans develop a tail that extends beyond the anus and legs around 10% of the embryo length.

Humans cannot synthesize vitamin C and we get all of the nutrients from our diet. Our predicted ancestors can, with the exception of primates and guinea pigs. Sure enough a pseudogene used to synthesize Vitamin C was discovered in many primates (yep including humans) and in guinea pigs. Remember pseudogene is a gene that has mutated so that it can no longer produce the coded protein, in this case previously used to create Vitamin C.

Other mammals have a much better sense of smell that is no longer necessary for us. Sure enough we have more than 99 oderant detector genes and 70% have been reduced to pseudogenes and are useless.


Observed speciation events

All that is needed to create a speciation event is isolation. There are several examples of, “ring speciation.” An interbreeding species navigates around a geological feature and by the time they migrate all the way around they can no longer interbreed. Two species of salamander Ensatina are a good example located around the edge of Central Valley in California. Two gull species identified in England, Larus. L. argentatus and L. fuscus, cannot reproduce. Hybrids live all around the North poll but are incapable of interbreeding only in England.

Many species can interbreed but produce stillborn embryos such as frog species Rana pipiens and R. sylvatica. Others can interbreed but only produce sterile offspring such as one frog species of the Rana genus effectively creating a speciation event.

Several fruit fly speciation events have been observed in labs. Other fly speciation events have been observed such as house flies, mosquitoes and many other insects.

-

“Now might be a good time to mention that I do accept adaptation and natural selection”

You have no reason to think that this adaptation would stop. After speciation events animals would continue to diverge and change. Minor changes necessarily lead to large changes over time.

“Dating Methods-

I’ll concede that carbon dating is only useful for short term dating but there are many dating methods [11]. They are used often together to converge on one result. I’ll elaborate on the age of the earth next round.

“Moon Landing--… dust on the moons surface.”

A prominent Creationist website has recommended that you not use this argument since 1993. The idea that there would be a lot of moon dust was discredited before the first moon landings [13].


“Skewed geological record.”

You have in no way established the likelihood of a global flood or how this is relevant.

“Lack of evidence for civilizations predating 20,000 years ago

That civilization culture and a written language took a long time to evolve does not discredit evolution. There are many creatures that have survived in various forms since the time of dinosaurs [12] so even if you could demonstrate their recent existence it wouldn’t really matter.


“I don't think you're description of Irreducible complexity is accurate.”

The eye is an excellent example of how complex features arose over time from simpler versions. If you can create a case that the eye is irreducibly complex I will respond.

“My point on the uniqueness of man is that there should be other species with the same capabilities”

You misunderstand evolution. Giraffes have the longest necks and birds fly the best. All animals have unique methods of survival. Self destruction is an example of random failure not design.

“Why are there still monkeys? Didn't they all evolve to the point there were no more transitionals left?”

No. Humans, other Apes and all modern primates share a common ancestor. Each species has evolved in different ways responding to different selection pressures. Ancient monkeys were very different from modern primates.

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[3] http://www.talkorigins.org...

[4] http://www.talkorigins.org...

[5] http://www.talkorigins.org...

[7] http://www.talkorigins.org...

[8] http://www.talkorigins.org...

[9] http://www.talkorigins.org...

[10] http://www.talkorigins.org...

[11] http://www.tim-thompson.com...

[12] http://science.howstuffworks.com...

[13] http://www.answersingenesis.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Iamthejuan

Con

We"re gonna need more words!

Since I have assumed the burden of showing that all species do NOT share a single common ancestor, I will focus primarily on your rebuttals to my main points. You are trying very hard to prove LCA, and It is creating a much bigger debate than we have room for.

Speciation: In short, a salt-water fish adapting to become a fresh-water fish does not in any way suggest that a fish can become a mammal. I understand this is a matter of perspective and interpretation, and leave this one to the readers to decide. Truthfully, many of the speciation events we"vie observed were harmful, not helpful to the species (natural selection?). Also, most organisms seek healthy mates that are of their own species, naturally. This is counterproductive to evolutionary theory based in speciation.

"You have no reason to think that this adaptation would stop. After speciation events animals would continue to diverge and change. Minor changes necessarily lead to large changes over time."

So how many times does a fish have to become another type of fish before they become a mammal, because those are the types of changes you propose in favor of evolution, and have yet to substantiate an actual special transition. The truth is, scientists started renaming creatures every time they changed colors or something.

"The Gal"pagos islands are particularly famous for their influence on Charles Darwin. During his five weeks there he heard that Gal"pagos tortoises could be identified by island, and noticed that Finches differed from one island to another, but it was only nine months later that he reflected that such facts could show that species were changeable. When he returned to England, his speculation on evolution deepened after experts informed him that these were separate species, not just varieties, and famously that other differing Gal"pagos birds were all species of finches." -- http://en.wikipedia.org...

"Oh look, the finches are all pretty now like a bowl of fruit loops." --Whether or not there was justification for reclassifying the other finches as a different "species" is one thing we could debate, but they are still finches and not anything else. Does not explain at all how one species can become an entirely different species, which is what has to have happened to go from bacteria to our LCA to the world we live in now. The finches can change colors over and over and won"t change into hawks even, let alone a reptile or fish or human. Call me when you see a finch grow teeth and opposable thumbs"

"I"ll concede that carbon dating is only useful for short term dating but there are many dating methods. They are used often together to converge on one result. I"ll elaborate on the age of the earth next round."

Fair enough. Don"t forget my rebuttals from last round!

It is a bit humerous to see you quoting AIG, but it is a relevant article so I won"t hound you. However, from the same people that take Genesis literally, I generally do not rely upon my information. That said, I guess I should respond to them too:

"The amount of dust coming annually on to the earth/moon is much smaller than the amount estimated by (noncreationists) Pettersson, on which the argument is usually based."

First of all, they (the "non-creationists") would need to have been WAY off to go from 50" to "". Secondly, if they started doing these tests in"1980, then that means they have only observed for 34 years --not exactly a definitive examination with regards to the timespan of the universe by any account.

"You have in no way established the likelihood of a global flood or how this is relevant."

Sorry, I didn"t think I had to at this point.

"The stories go on and on, and scholars have noted similarities among accounts. While studying more than 200 flood myths, Creationist author James Perloff observed that a global flood was mentioned in 95 percent of the stories, people were saved in a boat in 70 percent and in 57 percent, the survivors found respite on a mountain" -- http://science.howstuffworks.com...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Many evolutionists fight this idea, because it creates issues for them if accepted. Rapid burial leading to mass fossilizations and even extinctions in some cases. This explains many questions geologists are trying to answer right now, with regards to the breaking up of the continents and fossils being found on top of a mountain or half-way around the world from where they should be. Otherwise, the fossil record makes little sense, because creatures die and decompose or are eaten under normal circumstances.

"According to the traditional evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record, man appears late ('late' is defined as in the upper strata of the geologic column) while trilobites and dinosaurs, appearing lower in the geologic column, died out many millions of years ago. Yet the coelacanth obviously still alive and well-appears nowhere in the fossil record for the last 70 million years.

Fossil "men" have been discovered in strata in which nothing close to human is supposed to have existed. Other species thought to have been long-ago ancestors of the human race have been dated to quite recent years, much to the perplexity of scientists. For example, remains of Homo erectus-supposedly an evolutionary ancestor of modern man that lived 1.6 to .4 million years ago-have been found in Australia that have been dated to only a few hundred to a few thousand years ago. Although according to the evolutionary timetable the species is said to have died out several hundred thousand years ago, the remains of at least 62 individuals have been dated as less than 12,000 years old." -- http://www.ucgpdx.org...

"That civilization culture and a written language took a long time to evolve does not discredit evolution."

We base much of what we know about history on written record. Here you are telling me we can accurately guess things that happened 150 million years ago, but ignoring that recorded history ends about 10,000 years ago, and human civilization probably only existed for 10-20 thousand years prior to that, (using mathematical principles and the rate at which we multiply and consume).

"There are many creatures that have survived in various forms since the time of dinosaurs so even if you could demonstrate their recent existence it wouldn"t really matter."

"Again, I don"t think you fully read my statement. My point was not that dinosaurs may still be alive,
my point was they were supposed to go extinct before we got here, and all signs show that we actually lived amongst them."

"The eye is an excellent example of how complex features arose over time from simpler versions. If you can create a case that the eye is irreducibly complex I will respond."

I did, and now it seems as if you are being dismissive, as I predicted.

"You misunderstand evolution. Giraffes have the longest necks and birds fly the best. All animals have unique methods of survival. "

Unique indeed, thanks for making my point.

"Self destruction is an example of random failure not design."

Free will distinguishes us from all other species, so my point was against common descent. This is not a debate on creationism.

"No. Humans, other Apes and all modern primates share a common ancestor. Each species has evolved in different ways responding to different selection pressures. Ancient monkeys were very different from modern primates."

Now you are just repeating yourself.

I can tell you are smart, but at least fully read my arguments and think about them before you reply. It seems like you are used to having this debate in a certain fashion using certain lines of reasoning.
I have already addressed your other points, except:

"There are three basic building blocks for every cell, DNA, RNA and proteins, and they are found in all forms of life. This links all forms of life""

--I do not deny this, but rather our claimed understanding of how DNA and genetics fully work. To say all life shares DNA is like saying all life is alive. In Nascar, most of the cars are one of four models, with mostly the same engines under the hood. The customizations they are allowed are very minimal, but combined with the driver make a world of difference, even if it"s only a 1.2% difference in lap times.

"there could just as easily have been different building blocks for all forms of life"
An interesting theory I would be interested in studying, but this isn"t the case and it is speculative at best.
2-D

Pro

Age of the Earth

Age of the Universe

The predictions of the age of the earth should come as no surprise since we are aware of stars that are 13 billion light years away visible to the Hubble telescope giving conclusive evidence of a universe at least 13 billion years old [14]. After all it takes 13 billion years for the light to reach earth. The cooling rate since the big bang compared with cosmic background radiation along with extrapolating from what we know about the expansion rate of the universe have all confirmed a universe around 13.8 billion years old [15].

Radiometric Dating

The simplest Radiometric dating methods of the earth depends on two conclusions: the radioactive decay rate of elements is constant and that there was no contamination of the sample at the formation of the rock analyzed or since [16]. The first is demonstrable, no extreme variation in the relative decay rates have been observed and the principles that govern decay are firmly understood. The second is not assumed and there are a variety of methods to determine that the starting amount of radioactive material and product can be verified. Ages are cross-checked with thousands of other samples along with geological and stratification techniques to confirm accuracy.

Tens of thousand of rocks have been tested to determine the age of the earth yielding wide agreement (of course there are outliers and errors occasionally). Most notably, intense heat and pressure on the deepest rocks can remove all products of decay dramatically reducing the age of a sample. The oldest rocks on earth date around 3.8 billion years but testing of meteorites, that formed in the same time period as the earth, confirm an age of 4.5 billion years.

There are many lead isochron dating methods that are self-checking and do not require any assumptions about the initial proportion of elements. They compare various concentrations to verify the amount of both the parent and daughter product of radioactive decay and have reliably estimated the age of the earth at 4.55 +/- 0.02 billion years.

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“So how many times does a fish have to become another type of fish before they become a mammal”

It’s an important point to make the every generation looks nearly identical to the last. The changes are so small and subtle that you wouldn’t notice them.

The morphological changes are measured in darwins, or change in an organisms character by a factor of e (mathematical constant ~2.71) per million years [10]. This value can range anywhere from 0.6 to 32 based on the fossil record. Modern observed values needed to be at least the same rate to confirm and in fact they range from 370-80,000 so changes in appearance can happen rather fast [10]. It’s a well-known fact that all modern dog, even pug chiwawas, were bred from the grey wolf (this was determined genetically).

Genetic mutation rates in humans have been well documented and have been studied extensively especially in areas like cancer research. The average DNA mutation rate is from1-5 x 10-8 base substitutions (a change in one of the four nucleotides chat build DNA) per site, per generation. Based on the fossil record we diverged from apes around six million years ago which corresponds with a rate of 2 x 10-8 substitutions per generation.

With 500 million years since the first fish and assuming a generation of 10 years (many fish live only around 3 years or less) it takes in the range of 50 million fish generations to make a human but this could vary by quite a bit. If we could rewind the tape there would be no guarantee that we would arrive at any form of life like a human.


“Truthfully, many of the speciation events we"vie observed were harmful, not helpful”

You have not demonstrated this. The speciation events we have observed are a result of minor changes that do not have a large impact at all, as I mentioned.

I’m not very concerned with Darwin. He’s not very relevant to evolution today although he did first discover and popularize the theory, which was a remarkable achievement.

“It is a bit humerous to see you quoting AIG,” ‘The moon dust should be deeper after 4.5 billion years’

My point was even hard-core creationists have distanced themselves from this argument. There is no evidence to support that moon dust should be deeper than it is.

This was not an expectation for our landing and there is no credible evidence that this is true. If you can present any evidence I’ll add to this topic.


Yes, there are many stories of floods and even large floods

I’ll concede this. I wasn’t challenging you to establish a Noah’s Ark type scenario. I’m not surprised that there are many flood stories or that survivors escaped on a boat or by getting to high ground. As your article indicates, it’s likely a meteor strike may have caused massive tsunamis and hurricanes inspiring these stories.

You will have to provide further evidence that a worldwide flood is a credible explanation for geological phenomena but I still don’t see how this is relevant to the debate. There are many events that could lead to a rapid burial of an animal and this rarely happens. We generally do not have fossils of anything other than bone or other very hard structures so rapid burial most often did not occur. Major geological changes can obviously be explained by earthquakes, meteor strikes, localized floods etc.

As an explanation for fossils this does nothing to explain why the simplest organisms are contained in the lowest, oldest rocks. Why does the complexity increase and age of the rock decrease reliably as you go up in sedimentary layers?

"According to the traditional evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record, man appears late”

That we not discovered a fossil of every ancient animal in each time period is no surprise. That there are mistakes or errors in identifying and dating examples of human ancestors is also no surprise.

The United Church of God website is a highly questionable source and certainly not one that should be used for any scientific information. Exceptions to the norm do not discredit evolution and outliers and errors are expected. Your source does not provide any information to verify that any scientist has identified these as issues or that there is a scientific consensus that these represent problems that must be addressed.


“We base much of what we know about history on written record.”

Much of what we know about human civilization we base on the written record. I still don’t see how this impacts evolution.

“my point was they were supposed to go extinct before we got here, and all signs show that we actually lived amongst them."

You will have to provide some credible evidence that dinosaurs lived amongst us to justify that claim. Dinosaur fossils and large crocodiles in Australia growing 5-7 meters long are much more plausible explanations for myths about dragons since we have no tangible evidence to believe that humans lived with dinosaurs [18].

‘The Eye is Irreducibly complex’

You have simply asserted this without a real explanation. That there are several interdependent parts that and you are not aware of how these could have developed is not surprising and is not an argument. Various stages of development of the eye are readily available in living animals that have eyes at various stages, each level being more useful than the last and increasing in complexity like everything else observed in evolution.

Here are the stages as seen in nature: light sensitive area, pigment cells, optic nerve surrounded by pigment cells covered by translucent skin, a small deepening impression to provide depth perception, skin covering taking lens shape to focus an image followed by muscles used for depth adjustments [20]. Each broad stage in the process is useful and can be broken down into even smaller increments leading to a gradual climb to complexity.

Although it looks like many eyes evolved independently they all share a common light sensing proteins suggesting a common origin for all species that have some form of sight [19].


“Now you are just repeating yourself.” (why are there still monkeys)

Let me phrase it another way. The common ancestor of modern chimpanzees and humans is extinct. There are no ancient monkeys anymore. The species split and evolved down many different tracks to respond to different environments.


“To say all life shares DNA is like saying all life is alive.”

No. There are 102 naturally occurring nucleotides and many more have been synthetically created [5]. Why is the basic information stored in all organisms using only four as in DNA? There are 390 naturally occurring amino acids, why are all proteins in all living organisms constructed using the same 22 all with right and not left handed chirality?

This is compelling evidence for common descent of all life.

[14] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

[15] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[16] http://www.talkorigins.org...

[17] http://www.talkorigins.org...

[18] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[19] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[20] http://www.talkorigins.org...

Debate Round No. 3
Iamthejuan

Con

Iamthejuan forfeited this round.
2-D

Pro

Well, that's too bad I thought this debate was going good. Hopefully I can hear Con's rebuttal next round. Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 4
Iamthejuan

Con

Iamthejuan forfeited this round.
2-D

Pro

It's better to fight a bit rather than avoid reality. When reality and tuth is threatening it's an automatic loss. I hope to see you on this site again, you were looking for sure. Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Iamthejuan 3 years ago
Iamthejuan
Of course, I meant whale/monkeys, since whales are obviously mammals :p

I look forward to your next argument!
Posted by Iamthejuan 3 years ago
Iamthejuan
Sorry about my grammar, I ran out of words and it started erasing stuff unbeknownst to me.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
No problem, take your time. I frequently post on the last day possible due to my work schedule.
Posted by Iamthejuan 3 years ago
Iamthejuan
Hey bud! Just got back from a long job. Gonna be replying soon. Wanted you to know i Did not forget. Thanks again!
Posted by Iamthejuan 3 years ago
Iamthejuan
That is correct. You may also address my overarching points if you desire, which would help ascertain which scientific points we can agree or disagree on. This should get the rounds debate going strong!
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
Thanks for the welcome! Just to clarify, first round I post key points that I intend to defend similar to your first round statements? Looking forward to the debate.
Posted by Iamthejuan 3 years ago
Iamthejuan
Welcome, 2-D!

I look forward to an insightful and respectful debate. Feel free to use the comments section as well if you need extra space or require clarification on one of my points.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by DudeStop 3 years ago
DudeStop
Iamthejuan2-DTied
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Reasons for voting decision: A double forfeit. Even without this forfeit, Pro had the superior arguments. However it was a great debate until this point, my congratulations to both!
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
Iamthejuan2-DTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Going into R3, I thought this was a really intriguing debate. It lost steam in that round, mainly because of Con's answers to Pro. The complete and utter lack of response to arguments about pseudogenes and cytochrome C are damning, since they provide the strong genetic evidence that Con denies. I think much of the remainder of Pro's rebuttal is valid, though Con makes some good points, but this is really all I need. Con created a large burden of proof for himself, and simply never met it. Pro does a very solid job in rebuttal, and just destroys his case on the molecular level. It's sad, really. I thought this would be interesting.