The Instigator
Ls4baseball
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ViatorVerum
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

Macro Evolution is a scientific fact, not a belief

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/1/2010 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,540 times Debate No: 13528
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
Votes (3)

 

Ls4baseball

Con

Macro evolution - Evolution happening on a large scale, e.g. at or above the level of species, over geologic time resulting in the formation of new taxonomic groups.

is defined on biology-online.org.- http://www.biology-online.org...

Belief - 2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof

is defined on dictionary.reference.com - http://dictionary.reference.com...

Scientific fact - any observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and accepted as true; any scientific observation that has not been refuted

is defined on dictionary.reference.com - http://dictionary.reference.com...

I as con will be arguing against Macro Evolution as a scientific fact, and also attempt to show it to be a belief. both my opponent and myself should hold the burden of proving which is a more plausible, Macro evolution as a scientific fact or as a belief.

The first round should be reserved to any definitions my opponent might want to add as well as a short explanation of your view and or anything else you might want to make as an opening statement(if you choose)

I look forward to the debate and would like to thank whoever accepts the challenge and all that view and vote.
ViatorVerum

Pro

As per my opponent's directions I will be providing some definitions, brief points of clarification, and some small opening arguments. I wish my opponent good luck.

Macro evolution is defined by my opponent's source as evolution on a large scale. This is fairly obvious, but he fails to define evolution. Merriam Webster [1] defines evolution as the process of change in a certain direction. It also defines it as a change from a lesser form to a greater form. I will be rejecting the latter definition on the grounds that the terms 'lesser' and 'greater' are words that can be judged only by people's values. No value is more justified than any other, therefore basing this debate of some such element would be irresponsible and inaccurate.

The direction the change occurs in is also based on preference of the observer which means any direction is just as justified as any other. So I simply have to show there is 'change' on a large scale.

My argument now hinges on the idea that the universe and the vast majority of its elements are indeed changing. We can see this as cars move along the streets, as planets move around larger suns, and even as entire systems are destroyed in black holes. To claim that there is no change on a large scale would be to say our entire universe and all of its elements are static, something that is obviously flawed. After all, if we were static entities how would we be having this debate? I leave interpretation to my opponent. These are my arguments. Thank you.

1 - [http://www.merriam-webster.com...]
Debate Round No. 1
Ls4baseball

Con

I would like to begin by thanking pro for accepting my challenge and wishing him good luck.

To begin I would like to reiterate my first definition I posted.

"Macro evolution - Evolution happening on a large scale, e.g. at or above the level of species, over geologic time resulting in the formation of new taxonomic groups.

is defined on biology-online.org.- http://www.biology-online.org...;

I would like to emphasize that in the definition it says "at or above the level of species, over geologic time resulting in the formation of new taxonomic groups". That is to say that there should be proof that there are formation of new species for it to be scientific fact.

First i would like to start with mutations.

1.)Mutations are the driving force to macro evolution, evolutionary theory believes genetic mutations over time have resulted in all of the species being created dating back millions of years to the first organism. I propose two issues with this theory.

A. The mutations must be positive and allow the organism to procreate and pass them on.
B. The mutations must add information to the genome of the organism.

I know of no basis for this occurring in history and believe this one of the most significant factors in qualifying or dismissing macro evolution.

Next i would like to take statistics and probability into consideration. While agreeably in no way can statistics and probability prove or disprove macro evolution as a possibility, i believe it is significant in the discussion from a logical point to consider the chances and probability of Macro evolution being plausible.

2.)While there is a finite chance of the universe being created the statistics show its extreme unlikelihood.

"Dr. Frank Salisbury of Utah State University concluded that the chances of just this one tiny DNA molecule coming into existence over four billion years, with conditions just right, on just one of these extremely large number of hospitable planets, including the earth, as one chance in 10415.36 But this figure is also exceedingly beyond Borel's law, which says that beyond a certain point, improbable events never happen, regardless of the time span involved. "
(http://www.ankerberg.com...)

Fred Hoyle stated this- "Two thousand different and very complex enzymes are required for a living organism to exist. And random shuffling processes could not form a single one of these even in 20 billion years. I don't know how long it is going to be before astronomers generally recognize that the arrangement of not even one of the many thousand of biopolymers (Life molecules) on which life depends could have been arrived at by natural processes here on earth. "

3.)second law of thermodynamics

Macro evolution is contradictory of the second law of thermodynamics. Essentially the second law of thermodynamics says(and feel free to correct me if im wrong or you disagree) that the universe as a whole gets more disordered and random as time goes on. Pretty self explanatory how that contradicts macro evolution.

4.) the fossil record

The fossil record would probably be the most significant evidence for Macro evolution....... if there was any evidence in the fossil record for evolution, over billions and billions of years you would think there would be some kind of transitional fossils found somewhere, sadly enough for Macro evolutionist, there are none.

5.) radio carbon dating

Radio Carbon Dating is sketchy to say the least because of its presumptions of consistency (which i will go into more later if need be)

In conclusion I believe there is no basis of empirical evidence to support Macro Evolution outside of mere speculation, AKA faith based, AKA a belief.
ViatorVerum

Pro

I thank my opponent for his quick response. I'll hit on my provided arguments and then continue onto my opponent's points.

Starting off with my arguments, they seemed to be completely ignored. Nowhere did my opponent mention or directly refute my argument. This is so vastly important to the debate that it should allow me the win, simply because the argument I made went unmentioned. My argument provided a different interpretation of the term 'macro evolution'. From my opponent's source, the definition refers to either a change at OR above the level of species. Notice the 'or' allows for two sides of the definition. My opponent did not prefer one in the first round, therefore left the choice up to me. I chose the 'above' species level, referring to the universe, rather than any species. My opponent failed to show why we should be debating the 'at' species level as opposed to the 'above' level I'm arguing, and therefore we should go with my points for doing it. Until my opponent shows that we should be debating the 'at species level', then the points he presents on that level are irrelevant to the debate and the win flows to me. But, for completeness, I'll still refute his points.

1) Mutations

My opponent proposes two situations he believes rarely occur, and therefore uses them to try and show macro evolution more of a belief than a fact. The two presented points show a serious lack of understanding by my opponent, and a classical selfish view often standing in the way of science. I'll present my opponent's points and clarify his error.

A) Mutations must be positive to allow the organism to procreate and survive.

Macro evolution is simply evolution as observed across a long period. Evolution is simply natural selection occurring again and again many times. Suppose there is a black lizard that lives in a sand desert. If the lizard was to mutate into a brown lizard, it would likely be able to hide from predators more easily. This is a beneficial mutation. Now suppose that lizard had mutated hot pink. Then, the lizard would attract all sorts of predators. The difference between the brown lizard and the hot pink lizard is that the brown lizard would have time to safely procreate and multiply by remaining hidden from predators while the hot pink lizard would likely be eaten right away, leaving no time for procreation. Mutations can be beneficial and certainly can be hazardous, but the hazardous mutations kill out an individual organism whilst the beneficial mutations evolve species.

B) Mutations must add information to the genome.

This is actually also a false premise. An animal can be greatly changed by mutations that don't add information, and ones that simply change the existing information. Ie, substitution. This can change the number of appendages, color, diet, size, behavior, and shape altogether. This type of mutation alone can easily account for macro evolution, but alas this is not all. My opponent states that information can't be added to the genome, but this has been falsified. A process called insertion is when bases are added the the genome. These new bases can completely change the array of DNA creating DRASTICALLY different results. Some beneficial mutations will occur, and some hazardous.

My opponent states this is not likely, but he fails to realize simple life has had 14 billion years to evolve whilst complex life (on our planet) has had over 4 billion years to evolve. This means that a mutation once every 5000 years will still result in over 800,000 different mutations. This can account for the many different types of life we observe today.

2) Chance of Life Developing

The research that Dr. Salisbury conducted was just another example of our close-minded point of view. Suppose this universe went on and collapsed upon itself, obliterating matter as Quantum Physics shows happens.[http://en.wikipedia.org...] Would we be able to record this span of time? No. If we existed in the universe created thus after would we be able to measure the time before the existence of that particular universe? No. Quantum physics shows that the nothingness in which universes create and destroy themselves has existed an infinite amount of time. This means that the time in which life could come to exist is an infinite span. Any contingency (possibility of an event) in an infinite span, given appropriate conditions, will continually get more and more likely to happen. This means that we our observing our own existence for the reason that this HAD to happen eventually, and that we can ONLY observe our existence (as opposed to our non existence.)

3)Second Law of Thermodynamics

I'm running out of space, so I'll keep the remaining refutations short, sweet, and to the point. The second law refers to the transfer of heat [http://en.wikipedia.org...] and that, basically, the transfer of heat energy from one place to the other will result in a loss of heat. Attempting to apply this law to a system as complex as life is an insult to the second law and life themselves. A system such as life has many variables that affect the movement of energy within it. One example is life's need for energy from some type of food. This is taking in energy, which allows for the life to mutate, procreate, move, etc. The second law simply shows why life needs food, and fails to falsify macro evolution in any way.

4) Fossil Record

Another example of close - mindedness. Every species you look at is a 'transitional' species. Transitional species, by definition, is a species that is in the process of evolving from one species to another. A bear has a species it evolved from, and a species it will evolve in to, making is a transition species. You can't expect to see a 'croco-duck' because the two species are not related, and are both currently existed. To refer to the most personal example of transition species, we can see ourselves as transition species. The monkey-like humans of the past were the before, we are the now, and it's not yet known the after. 'transition' is a point of view, not a falsification of macro evolution.

5) Radio Carbon Dating

This is irrelevant to the debate. I don't know why it was brought up.

CONCLUSION

Even though I've refuted my opponent's points, it's quite irrelevant as I chose the open ended route this debate was to take ---The macro evolution involving the universe itself. All that I had to prove, by that interpretation, was that the universe did in fact change. Movement is a change, things in the universe obviously move, therefore I have proven my side and until my opponent shows why this is a bad interpretation or why his is better he has lost this debate. I thank my opponent thus far, good night.
Debate Round No. 2
Ls4baseball

Con

Macro Evolution is a complete concept, he cannot just pick one part of the definition and say thats all that the entire concept means.

"Macro evolution - Evolution happening on a large scale, e.g. at or above the level of species, over geologic time resulting in the formation of new taxonomic groups."

Pro left out the context of the quote to make it look as if he can argue one small portion of the entire concept. That is the "e.g. at or above the level of species, over geologic time resulting in the formation of new taxonomic groups" the formation of new taxonomic groups part is not an optional part of this belief, its the basis of the belief and therefor cannot be taken out of the definition.

1.)

A.there is no showing of lizards "mutating" into different colors, certainly some certain lizards can change colors, but all of those lizards have always showed that those types could change colors there entire life and every other lizard of that species could do it therefore there is no evidence to say they mutated to have this ability, they could have always had that ability, which is most logical because we have never seen a positive mutation like this happen.

B. substitution mutations just means that there is only a single nucleotide is exchanged with another single nucleotide therefor it loses and adds information. as to insertions i would ask pro to show links an examples to show the beneficial mutations that have occured from this before i refute. finally as to the unlikelihood of it occurring as i show later that is not a sufficient amount of time when you look at the statistical chance of it happening.

2.) did you you say "suppose .....", im pretty seething to be a fact we cant just be supposing things, we have to know them, hmmmm sounds like a belief.

3.) Id say we should stay away from wiki as it is not a reliable source. (http://www.allaboutscience.org...) shows that "The Second Law of Thermodynamics is commonly known as the Law of Increased Entropy. While quantity remains the same (First Law), the quality of matter/energy deteriorates gradually over time. How so? Usable energy is inevitably used for productivity, growth and repair. In the process, usable energy is converted into unusable energy. Thus, usable energy is irretrievably lost in the form of unusable energy."

4) Your for transitional species being in every species alive and for humans to be an example is an obvious case of circular reasoning, therefor argument is fallacious, because it relies upon its own proposition (macro evolution being a fact) - in order to support its central premise. Essentially, the argument assumes that its central point is already proven, and uses this in support of itself. Therefor it is something you can BELIEVE but not a fact.

5) If radio carbon dating and other methods of dating the earth are inconclusive this would show presumptions of evolutions plausibility in it having time to occur.
ViatorVerum

Pro

My opponent states I chose a small portion of the defined 'macro evolution', when in fact I didn't. My opponent's definition includes two separate aspects: one of an evolution [change] on the species level and also an aspect of an evolution [change] on a greater level (ie, the universe). A taxonomic group is simply a classification of science. Greek �„�������‚, taxis (meaning 'order', 'arrangement') and ���Œ�����‚, nomos ('law' or 'science'.) Seeing as my opponent provided 2 aspects, he has to uphold both of them. Should one drop, the round flows to me. So, once again, I reiterate. I've shown that change does occur on a universal level (ie stars explode, atoms react), and these changes will often cause new scientific classifications for these things (taxonomic groups.) I have shown that macro evolution does occur as applied to the universe and, therefore, the round flows to me should he not refute this.

1A) It was a hypothetical example of how natural selection works. My opponent completely disregarded the logic of my argument, which I would like the voters to note. While not specifically with my lizard example, there are plenty of scientifically accepted mutations that have been beneficial for the specific species. This page has several examples of such mutations ranging from temperature resistances in E. coli to completely new functions deriving from bacteria. [http://www.gate.net...].

1B) I have provided a link providing the link my opponent requested. Regarding my opponent's assertion that this is unlikely (despite my actual evidence showing otherwise) I would ask the voters to look at my argument involving the chance of any possibility over an infinite period of time.

2) My opponent completely disregarded my argument, likely because he didn't know how to refute it. The term 'suppose' did not imply belief, but a supposition of a factually possible situation. As per my link, I showed the events of quantum mechanics allow for an infinite amount of universes meaning the infinite possibility of life.

3) Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) has been shown to be nearly as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britanica. [http://www.suite101.com...] All sources are written by people, wikipedia being a source that the most educated of people have the ability to edit. It is a legitimate source. If, however, my opponent does not believe so, I'll provide some other links.

[http://library.thinkquest.org...]
[http://physics.about.com...]
[http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...]
[http://arxiv.org...]

On to the base of the argument, which my opponent once again has completely ignored. Life is a complex system that requires constant energy to survive. Trying to use the Second Law to apply to such a complex system so as to say more complex beings can't be formed is ridiculous. The second law applies to heat energy in its raw form --- not living beings.

4) My opponent claimed my refutation assumed the validity of macro evolution, but the original attack attacked the theory of macro evolution, and to defend it I would have to assume its existence. What my opponent just said basically amounted to "your point it irrelevant because you asserted the existence of something you are trying to prove". This is, of course, fallacious, and is, like the majority of my opponent's other refutations, a feeble attempt to ignore the actual content of my arguments.

5) According to [http://www.talkorigins.org...], Lead dating is the most effective way of determining the age of the earth (4.55 billion years) to within an accuracy of 99%. This is not radio carbon dating, which my opponent has said to be flawed.

CONCLUSION

I have shown that in BOTH areas of the concept of macro evolution that it is a fact. The first part of the concept was actually debated by my opponent, while on the second concept my opponent didn't even attempt to refute. I appologize for my brief response, but my opponent's petty attempts to circumvent my arguments took little space to reveal. I hope the next round provides a more educational debate, and I thank my voters and opponent for their time.
Debate Round No. 3
Ls4baseball

Con

Ls4baseball forfeited this round.
ViatorVerum

Pro

Please carry my arguments over. Seeing as my opponent has failed to refute my arguments, he must agree with them.
Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ViatorVerum 6 years ago
ViatorVerum
It seems that you wish to continue to talk. Perhaps we can debate on the existence of God. This would be a more effective means.
Posted by Ls4baseball 6 years ago
Ls4baseball
yea i didnt miss your point it is just not right, but yea i wasnt trying to add to the debate really, just talking.
Posted by ViatorVerum 6 years ago
ViatorVerum
You miss my point. However, a religion conversation in the comments section hardly adds to the value of the debate.
Posted by Ls4baseball 6 years ago
Ls4baseball
Im saying god by theory isn't bound to any laws of the natural world.
Posted by ViatorVerum 6 years ago
ViatorVerum
If he's not logical he's... illogical? Are you saying your God is illogical?
Posted by Ls4baseball 6 years ago
Ls4baseball
thats not true at all. we cant know if god exists for sure, but if he is he would be transcendent of all laws of nature because he would have created all of the laws of the natural world that he is not apart of.
Posted by ViatorVerum 6 years ago
ViatorVerum
I am talking about the laws of logic. God has to abide by those.
Posted by Ls4baseball 6 years ago
Ls4baseball
and its not about proving either one as they both take a measure of faith, it only has to be determined what is more plausible, and thats creationism.
Posted by Ls4baseball 6 years ago
Ls4baseball
God by definition is transcendent of the laws of physics and time because he created it. Hypothetically speaking if god exist then he wouldnt have to deal with those laws.
Posted by ViatorVerum 6 years ago
ViatorVerum
Christianity actually can be disproven logically. There are concepts within that conflict and are impossible. The Bible says these concepts are necessary and seeing as they can't exist together, Christianity is thus disproven. Though, as bipolarmoment stated, it's not an atheists job to disprove Christianity, it's Christians' job to prove it.
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Vote Placed by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
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