The Instigator
Finalfan
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
the_croftmeister
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Lets debate Evolution

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/8/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 903 times Debate No: 34595
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

Finalfan

Pro

I hardly think evolution is even debateable, but some people like to deny its reality because it conflicts with their creationist background! I picked this topic because it is an easy win for anyone with a brain!
the_croftmeister

Con

I gladly accept the challenge of debating the supposedly undebatable and thank my opponent for leaving the argument sufficiently vague to permit me at least some ground on which to challenge him.

I will assume that by debating evolution my opponent means debating whether evolution is a satisfactory explanation for the existence of life and humanity. He may expect that the position of Con would be filled by a creationist, this is not the case. I am not a creationist, I am not religious. Since my opponent did not present any guidelines as to the format of this particular debate I will assume that he would like to follow the standard format, opening statements for acceptance, no rebuttal in the second round, final round for closing statements with no new arguments. If he had something different in mind then he should feel free to put this in his opening argument.

I look forward to a lively debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Finalfan

Pro

Finalfan forfeited this round.
the_croftmeister

Con

Well unfortunately my opponent has forfeited his last round so I'm not going to waste my time with a detailed argument. Let's satisfy ourselves with the following straightforward one.

Evolution explains a mechanism by which self-replicating creatures can inject complexity into their genome. It is clearly satisfactory on this count and I've not seen any serious disputes of this face. It has even been demonstrated in artificially simulated creatures called A-Life. What evolution does not explain however, is how the first self-replicating life form was formed. Several hypotheses have been formulated most relying on the spontaneous generation principle. But to my knowledge there has been no successful experiment which has demonstrated that both the transcription and replication mechanisms can arise simultaneously in nature. In the face of overwhelming odds it seems to beg for a different explanation. Not necessarily a simpler one. Not even necessarily one involving a conscious creator. But the question is still there.

The only other argument commonly employed is the anthropic principle which states that if life had not arisen then we would not be here to observe life and so the astronomically large probabilities involved are influenced by a systematic observational bias, namely that life does in fact exists. Now while I do concede that the idea appears to have merit, consider how we arrive at it.

We imagine an infinitude of universes, each with slightly different laws of physics and initial conditions. Some of these universes contain life and some of them do not. The probability that life evolves in any one universe is the proportion of universes in which life evolves. The problem is that for any particular universe, if we exist in it, it has to have life in it. So the probability of life in our own universe is actually 1.

The problem of discussing probabilities across universes is well known. The Sleeping Beauty Problem concerns a person who is put to sleep on Friday and woken on Tuesday. On Monday, they are woken only if a coin flip lands heads and then put to sleep again with no memory of waking. Each time they are woken they are asked what they believe the coin flip was. There is a difficulty in that there is a single coin flip and so it would appear that the probability should be 0.5. However, since they get 2 opportunities if the coin lands heads they will actually get the answer right more often if they guess heads. We can imagine that the sleeping beauty is either two different people on each day, in which case we get the probability 1/3 for heads. In the case that they are the same, then the probability of 1/2. The lack of memory means we don't have a clear answer to the question of identity. Things get much worse when we consider a huge range of universes, how do we identify the ones in which the life forms can be truly called human?

What I take from this is that assigning probabilities across worlds is a matter that is up to interpretation, and should be treated with caution, the anthropic principle alone is not enough to satisfy the curious mind alone.

So in conclusion, I hope that my opponent will take the time to present the case for evolution in his next round.
Debate Round No. 2
Finalfan

Pro

I apologize to my opponent. This one got away from me. I would like to challenge you to reset the debate at a later time. This topic requires alot of complicated evidence and I have not had the time lately to mount a proper defence. I appreciate your patience and hope to be able to debate this with you soon!
the_croftmeister

Con

My regards to my opponent, another time.
Debate Round No. 3
Finalfan

Pro

Finalfan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Finalfan

Pro

Finalfan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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