The Instigator
radz
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ArcTImes
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Macro-evolution is a Myth

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
ArcTImes
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 811 times Debate No: 53332
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

radz

Pro

RULES:

"Logical and scientific evidences are totally welcome to be used"

Round 1: Argument of Pro/ Rebuttal of Con
Round 2: Rebuttal of Pro/ Argument of Con
Round 3:Rebuttal of Pro/Rebuttal of Con
Round 4: Conclusion. ( No more arguments nor rebuttals).

Argument of Pro:

Macro-evolution is a scientific hypothesis (i.e educated guess) and it is a myth (i.e. widely held but false belief or idea) because it wasn't proven.

The fact of its veracity lies on the mechanisms of macro-evolution which is none except long time.

Notice the difference between the mathematical formula of both biological evolution phases:

Micro-evolution:

Natural Selection + Genetic Mutation = Diversification and Speciation.

Macro-evolution:

Natural Selection + Genetic Mutation + very long time = Diversification and Speciation.

NOTES:

http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
ArcTImes

Con

Thanks for the debate.

I will start giving "Myth" a complete meaning, using the same site you used as a source.

Myth: "a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon" [1]

Why is important to describe this complete meaning? Because the resolution is more than just evolution not being true. And Pro is positive about this. Therefore he has the burden of proof.

I will still provide arguments in favor of evolution in the next round.

Rebuttal

Pro only gave some "formula" of the same phenomenon which is evolution. Natural selection + Genetic Mutation creates diversity. Pro accepts this in this implying Micro evolution is true.

Now the reason he differentiates those is that he doesn't believe there are transitions between species thanks to evolution.

Because Pro doesn't give an argument about this, I will rebut the most common argument against it. That there are no intermediate species.
This argument is fallacious because it considers every species already found is a finished species and not an intermediate species.
And it will consider every species that will be found a finished species too.

Some memorable examples are the Ambulocetus[2], Archeopteryx[3], Tiktaalik[4]. All those are considered transitional species between species we know and knew very well when those were found.

Now, why does this confusion occur? Why does this fallacy is so popular? Because of the meaning of species.

Species:
"Biology . the major subdivision of a genus or subgenus, regarded as the basic category of biological classification, composed of related individuals that resemble one another, are able to breed among themselves, but are not able to breed with members of another species."

When does a species change to another species? Is there a point where is in the middle of transition?
It is similar to what happen with languages.

Evolution of the languages

Latin languages like Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French have a "common ancestor", Latin. [5] What is the intermediate language? Those intermediate languages are considered or Latin, or any of the early versions of the other languages. That's a problem with classification and how it can't evolve with what it is classifying.

Some day Spanish will change too much that a person who speaks Spanish like it is now would not be able to speak with a person with the future Spanish, then it is not considered the same language anymore in the same way 2 animals are not considered from the same species if they can't breed with each other.

It is important to note that this analogy works because reproduction, natural selection and mutations have analogous processes in language evolution. And because we can't notice the transition between one language to another, it doesn't mean they don't exist. They have been proved just like transitional species have been proved.

It is simple, it is logical. Thanks.


Sources

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://dinosaurs.about.com...
3. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu...
4. http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com...
5. http://webspace.ship.edu...

Debate Round No. 1
radz

Pro

I did not ask for the argument of intermediate species.

What Con needs to give are the mechanisms of macro-evolution.

In order for Con to win this debate, he must show how could a new gene be added into a genome. Where did this gene came from in order to cause speciation.
ArcTImes

Con

Argument of Con

I will start my argument explaining how evolution works. Here are some facts that are important and necessary for evolution to work:
  • Living organisms reproduce.
  • Reproduction makes populations grow exponentially. The growth would be infinite without a limit.
  • Life needs resources.
  • Earth has a finite space and finite amount of resources.
  • Mutations happen. We can be sure about this because of radiation and imperfect DNA replication.
  • Most of an organism traits are coded in its DNA.

Then:
Exponential growth + Limited resources = Competition. [1]
DNA + mutation = Variation. [2]
Variation + Competition = Natural Selection. [3]
Natural Selection + Time = Evolution.


Everything in this explanation is accepted by Pro except that he doesn't believe that with enough time speciation is possible.
"In order for Con to win this debate, he must show how could a new gene be added into a genome. Where did this gene came from in order to cause speciation."


Duplication of genome


For variation to happen genes only need to change, it should be considered new genes but adding genes is possible.


First you need to know that duplication of genome is not only possible, but we know about cases that survived and were able to reproduce. [4][5]


Duplication of genome is "exactly what it sounds like: an event which creates an organism with additional copies of the entire genome of a species." [6]


Adding new genes is really simple and important, but variation of the genome of populations is way more important.


Now I already showed that speciation is possible in my rebuttal. Now I will show that it is inevitable.


Evolution of the languages, again


I will continue with the analogy of the evolution of languages. But now I will talk also about genes. Genes have an analogous counterpart in the evolution of languages: Words.


They are similar because both are transmitted imperfectly by generations and their meaning depend on the environment.


We know that both change over time. Here is a simple example with Latin languages:


Spanish: non -> no
Portuguese: non -> nao


People can still comprehend each other. But there are some changes that make the communication impossible or difficult:


Spanish -> ovum -> ovo -> uevo -> huevo
French -> ovum -> ov -> of -> oeuf

This means that with enough time the variations are so big that communication is impossible. Now the logic of this is very simple and it works on evolution. Genes are the minimal unit of information in the genome while words are analogous in languages so the variations work the same way.

But how do we see speciation? As I stated in my rebuttal the problem comes from the definition of species.

Languages are defined in a similar way. But let's see how different languages can be:

Spanish can understand approximately: [7]

85% of Portuguese

80% of Italian

80% of French

So we can be sure that we can't know exactly where a language start and where it ends related to it's changes. The same things happens with species.

The reproduction is only possible when there is a high similarity between the individuals just like communication is only possible when there is a high similarity between the languages of the speakers.

For example:

Lions and tigers can reproduce but males are going to be sterile. [8]

Donkeys and horses can reproduce too but the offspring is sterile.

Sheep and goats can reproduce but most offspring die very early.

Cows and buffalo are able to reproduce in lab, but usually offspring die at 8 months.


So where does a specie start and where does it end? Those are considered different species because offspring are sterile, reproduction is not considered a "success".

Speciation is inevitable.

Evidence

The fossil record

"Fossils provide a unique view into the history of life by showing the forms and features of life in the past. Fossils tell us how species have changed across long periods of the Earth’s history. For instance, in 1998, scientists found a fossil showing an animal at the transition from sea creature to land creature. This tetrapod had a hand-like fin, confirming a prediction of evolutionary biology. Though the ffossil record does not include every plant and animal that ever lived, it provides substantial evidence for the common descent of life via evolution. The fossil record is a remarkable gift for the study of nature." [9]

We were able to build a record of fossils that match the predictions of evolution.

Fossil: any remains, impression, or trace of a living thing of a former geologic age, as a skeleton, footprint, etc.

Thanks to this we can show an evolutionary sequence:

  • Estromatolitos
  • Grypania
  • Vernanimalcula
  • Pikaia
  • Haikouchthys
  • Psarolepis
  • Eusthenopteron
  • Panderichthys
  • Tiktaalik [10]
  • Acanthostega
  • Ichthyostega
  • Hynerpeton [11]
  • Casineria
  • Archaeothyris [12]
  • Procynosuchus
  • Morganucodon
  • Fruitafossor
  • Heomaia
  • Purgatorius
  • Plesiadapis
  • Teilhardina
  • Aegyptopithecus [13]
  • Proconsul
  • Pierolapithecus catalaunicus
  • Sahelanthropus tchadensis
  • Ardipithecus
  • Australopithecus anamensis [14]
  • Australopithecus afarensis [15]
  • Australopithecus africanus [16]
  • Homo habilis [17]
  • Homo ergaster [18]
  • Homo antecessor [19]
  • Homo heidelbergensis [20]
  • Homo Sapiens Idaltu [21]
  • Homo Sapiens Sapiens [21]

Now, all of them are ordered chronologically and show that differences and similarities are related to the time those species were alive.

Genetic evidence

"Darwin developed his theory of evolution by looking at scientific evidence available in the mid-1800s. Since then, the whole field of genetics has developed, adding a powerful independent line of evidence in support of evolution. Genes show how the physical traits of living things are handed down and modified from one generation to the next. By comparing the DNA of many organisms, scientists can map the relationships between species. This map is in remarkable agreement with Darwin’s predictions. The structure of chromosomes and particular genetic sequences point to the conclusion not just of common design, but common descent as well." [22]

Just like with the fossil record, the study of DNA, genes and the genome helps us build a record with the variation and evolution of living organisms.

But not only that. It allow us to have experimentation in labs and work with vaccines.

The study of the genome also shows us direct similarities between species. [23]

This and the fossil record represent a strong evince for the theory of evolution.

Predictions

  • Darwin predicted, based on homologies with African apes, that human ancestors arose in Africa. That prediction has been supported by fossil and genetic evidence (Ingman et al. 2000).
  • Theory predicted that organisms in heterogeneous and rapidly changing environments should have higher mutation rates. This has been found in the case of bacteria infecting the lungs of chronic cystic fibrosis patients (Oliver et al. 2000).
  • Predator-prey dynamics are altered in predictable ways by evolution of the prey (Yoshida et al. 2003).
  • Ernst Mayr predicted in 1954 that speciation should be accompanied with faster genetic evolution. A phylogenetic analysis has supported this prediction (Webster et al. 2003).
  • Several authors predicted characteristics of the ancestor of craniates. On the basis of a detailed study, they found the fossil Haikouella "fit these predictions closely" (Mallatt and Chen 2003).
  • Evolution predicts that different sets of character data should still give the same phylogenetic trees. This has been confirmed informally myriad times and quantitatively, with different protein sequences, by Penny et al. (1982).
  • Insect wings evolved from gills, with an intermediate stage of skimming on the water surface. Since the primitive surface-skimming condition is widespread among stoneflies, J. H. Marden predicted that stoneflies would likely retain other primitive traits, too. This prediction led to the discovery in stoneflies of functional hemocyanin, used for oxygen transport in other arthropods but never before found in insects (Hagner-Holler et al. 2004; Marden 2005). [24]

Another way to test a scientific theory is using predictions.

The power of predictions come from being able to know things that we would not know otherwise. After this predidctions were tested and verified it was clear than reality works as evolution predicted. Therefore predictions are more evidence that support the theory.

End of argument of con

I just showed the logic and the evidence for the theory of evolution. I proved it is a fact and it is real. And there are no arguments for Pro's claims.

I showed how predictions match with reality and how it is a very complete model that is simple and logical.

Thanks for the debate. Vote for CON.

Sources

1. http://www.biologyreference.com...

2. http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

3. http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

4. http://www.nature.com...

5. http://www.genetics.org...

6. http://genomevolution.org...

7. http://how-to-learn-any-language.com...

8. http://ligerliger.com...

9. http://biologos.org...

10. http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com...

11. http://fossil.wikia.com...

12. http://reptileevolution.com...

13. http://archaeologyinfo.com...

14. http://archaeologyinfo.com...

15. http://archaeologyinfo.com...

16. http://archaeologyinfo.com...

17. http://archaeologyinfo.com...

18. http://archaeologyinfo.com...

19. http://www.modernhumanorigins.net...

20. humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homo-heidelbergensis

21. http://www.ecotao.com...

22. http://biologos.org...

23. http://news.nationalgeographic.com...

24. http://www.talkorigins.org...

Debate Round No. 2
radz

Pro

On the New Genes

Up-to-date, scientific research offered only two macro-evolution mechanisms:

Transposons- able to move or copy itself from one chromosome to another. By this, a new gene may exists in a genome.

Polyploidy - genome duplicates itself. By this, a new gene may exists in a genome.

SOURCE: http://science.howstuffworks.com...

Response:

Even though a transposon is able to move or copy itself from one chromosome to another and polyploidy duplicates its genes , both still do not show speciation above the species level (i.e. Genus) but rather, both affirm micro-evolution.


In fact, Charles Darwin's contribution to the scientific hypothesis of biological evolution is none other than micro-evolution. The proof of this is that he did not even know modern genetics. Gregor Mendel, the founder of modern science of genetics,has his works accepted as a scientific fact not until the early 20th century ( ca. 1900).

It must be noted also that common structures does not automatically mean common ancestry because genes are inherited, not structures. Hence, we, again, need to know how is information added into a pre-existing genome?

This question entails another one, how do the first cells came into existence? This is the same as how did the new genes in a gemone came into existence?

Up-t0-date, this is what we have:

? --> First Replicators --> RNA --> DNA


Fossils does not show macro-evolution. In order for a fossil to reveal a macro-evolution kind of speciation, it needs to be seen as a transitional fossil because "biological evolution isn't like a ladder but a tree, that is, evolution is descent with modification"[1].

[1]http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

Evidence:

Archaeopteryx

Macro-evolutionists taught us that birds evolved from reptiles.

Response: Archaeopteryx cannot have been the forerunner of birds since birds were already in existence.

http://books.google.com.ph...

I do agree with Predictions in science. It is based on logical premises of a future outcome of a,for example, natural phenomenon like biological evolution. Science works on induction and hence, scientific method is then used to see if this hypothesis works.

Conclusion:

The problem with macro-evolution is that it isn't observable because humans live ephemerally. Macro-evolution is the supposed result of continuous micro-evolution over a long period of time. I do believe that biological evolution is inevitable.


Micro-evolution is inevitable but can we say the same thing to Macro-evolution? No. Probably not yet. It is because there is no biological mechanism that point towards the hypothesis of Macro-evolution's sort of speciation.

Conclusion:

If the scientific consensus over the matter of biological evolution has yet to find out the mechanisms in macro-evolution, then, what could Con present as a mechanism for this macro-evolution? I like how HowStuffWorks of Discovery Company put it this way:


In answering the open questions that still remain unsolved, the theory of evolution will either become complete or it will be replaced by a new theory that better explains the phenomena we see in nature. That is how the scientific process works.

http://science.howstuffworks.com...
ArcTImes

Con

Rebuttal:

"Even though a transposon is able to move or copy itself from one chromosome to another and polyploidy duplicates its genes , both still do not show speciation above the species level (i.e. Genus) but rather, both affirm micro-evolution. "

I already showed an explanation of how speciation works. Speciation is basically macro evolution
I showed that it's logical and it's inevitable.

The only things you need to understand evolution is micro evolution (which Pro already accepts) and speciation (that I already explained).

Mutations are changes in the genome, those are the changes that affect the DNA, that add new genes. You could say that it's always the same number of genes but this is false, because duplication of genome is possible and it's actually common.

This explains the process and how it works. It also shows that it's logical and inevitable. Then with evidence we can show that it already happened.

"In fact, Charles Darwin's contribution to the scientific hypothesis of biological evolution is none other than micro-evolution. The proof of this is that he did not even know modern genetics. "

It doesn't matter what Charles Darwin didn't know that we know now. The new discoveries just supported the theory.

"It must be noted also that common structures does not automatically mean common ancestry because genes are inherited, not structures. "

We already know that common ancestors are the inevitable result of speciation. The fossil record is more than just some bones that look alike. It is a record of fossils that are chronologically aligned. Pro is trying to separate the logic from the evidence, but the evidence just shows that the predictions made from the logic is true.

The prediction is that because variation and competition, natural selection will "select" certain characteristics that will be preserved and reproduced. Just like what happen with words.

And then we can see the evidence that it happened (in both cases) from the round 2 argument.

"Hence, we, again, need to know how is information added into a pre-existing genome?"

I already explained this 2 times.

"This question entails another one, how do the first cells came into existence?"

No it doesn't. I don't see the connection between genes and mutations with the origin of cells.
And the origin of life, or the origin of cells are not part of the study field of the theory of evolution.
Remember that scientific theories explain specific group of facts.

If you want to know more about abiogenesis, and be updated with the discoveries I recommend you the work of Dr Jack W. Szostak. Read his research, it's really interesting.

"Fossils does not show macro-evolution. In order for a fossil to reveal a macro-evolution kind of speciation, it needs to be seen as a transitional fossil"

I already explained transitional fossils. I knew that was the argument of the first round and I already rebutted it. The question is fallacious. Every fossil is a transitional fossil. Every species is a transitional species and a finished one. This is what the theory of evolution predicts and this is what the fossil record shows.

"Archaeopteryx cannot have been the forerunner of birds since birds were already in existence."

Remember that the proof of the fossil record is in all the fossils, a huge group of fossils, not one.
And the argument of Pro is fallacious for the same reason the last question is fallacious. Pro needs to review the meaning of species or read my rebuttal of the first round where I explain it.

"The problem with macro-evolution is that it isn't observable because humans live ephemerally. "

This is irrelevant. This is another fallacy. There is a lot of things we can't see with our eyes. But evidence shows us what happened and help us to make predictions.

" I do believe that biological evolution is inevitable. "

My argument was about speciation being inevitable. Pro didn't rebut or even mention any of my arguments about speciation.

End of the rebuttal:

I used this round to rebut my opponent's "arguments". I'm not adding sources because sources of what I explain in this round were added in previous round.

Thanks for the debate. Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
radz

Pro

radz forfeited this round.
ArcTImes

Con

Conclusions:

1. Pro was not able to show reasons why the theory of evolution is a myth.

2. Pro didn't obey his own rules. First he asked why I was not able to give any arguments for evolution in round 1. Then he posted more arguments in round 3. And then, after he forfeited round 4, he posted a comment about his last round, and his "final rebuttal".

I will remind everyone Pro's rules at the start of this debate:

Round 1: Argument of Pro/ Rebuttal of Con
Round 2: Rebuttal of Pro/ Argument of Con
Round 3: Rebuttal of Pro/Rebuttal of Con
Round 4: Conclusion. ( No more arguments nor rebuttals).

3. I rebutted every single of Pro's arguments and gave the appropriated sources. Then I gave arguments and sources that back up the theory of evolution.

4. I explained the logic behind the theory, explained the most common misconceptions as well as the reasons of this misconceptions and showed the evidence that back up evolution.

5. Pro didn't rebut most of my arguments. His arguments and responses were taken from this website: http://science.howstuffworks.com...
And he used the same website as his sources.

6. He even claimed things in round 3 that I already rebutted or explained in round 1 and 2.

7. I will quote and answer each of Pro's arguments and rebuttals of his last comment to remember everyone that I already answered most and where:

"Micro-evolution procures speciation but macro-evolution is speciation above the species level. This is a well-known fact in the hypothesis of macro-evolution."

This doesn't make any sense. Species has a definition and I detailed the problems about the definition and the common understanding of speciation in rounds 1 and 2.

"Mutations do occur but it is also a fact of science that they do more harm than good."

This is a source less claim that would not change the points given and accepted by Pro. Remember that mutations occur and are an explanation of "micro-evolution" too. This is accepted by Pro on his formula on round 1:

Micro-evolution:
Natural Selection + Genetic Mutation = Diversification and Speciation.

"Con did not consider the logic that what he calls transitional forms appear not as a transitional fossils but as a "fully formed" creatures of the past."

This is false. I already explained the fallacy of this claim. Every fossil is a transitional species and a finished one. Transitional species are fully functional creatures. If they were not, that would not be a prove of evolution, that would be against evolution. This are explanation from round 1 and 2.

"Science works on induction. The scientific predictions Con used as an argument is null and void because the mechanisms of macro-evolution remained unexplained."

Well, you can make your own conclusions.


Thanks for the debate. VOTE CON.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by radz 2 years ago
radz
I am busy with my family as it is vacation. I did not forfeit my round 4 in vain. Here is my final rebuttal:

Micro-evolution procures speciation but macro-evolution is speciation above the species level. This is a well-known fact in the hypothesis of macro-evolution.

Mutations do occur but it is also a fact of science that they do more harm than good.

Con did not consider the logic that what he calls transitional forms appear not as a transitional fossils but as a "fully formed" creatures of the past.

Science works on induction. The scientific predictions Con used as an argument is null and void because the mechanisms of macro-evolution remained unexplained.

Conclusion:

Up to date, scientists has yet to know the mechanisms of macro-evolution that is why Con's arguments holds no water.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
I ran out of space. >.<
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
Everything falsifiable is debatable my friend. And considering evolution is a scientific theory, it is Indeed debatable.
Posted by radz 2 years ago
radz
Awesome. Scientific debates only focuses on scientific hypotheses and never on scientific facts. ;)
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
Cool, i like scientific debates.
Posted by radz 2 years ago
radz
@ArcTimes, there you go. I changed it into "science."
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
Sorry, i made this from a phone. What i meant was "If that's true, then the Bop is on you. If you change it to science, maybe we can debate.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
I was going to accept the challenge until I saw the category was religion. It seems that you are making more claims than just "I don't believe in the theory of evolution".
If that is true, then you the bop is on you. If you change it to science, maybe we can debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
radzArcTImesTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff and failure to rebut those crucial final points
Vote Placed by philosurfer 2 years ago
philosurfer
radzArcTImesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The equation format was a little off-putting.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
radzArcTImesTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited the last round. This left the arguments and rebuttals made by Con unchallenged. Furthermore, forfeiting is never appropriate conduct for a debate. Sources and S&G were pretty equal throughout with both sides presenting strong evidence to support their claims and both sides failing to make any major spelling or grammatical errors.