The Instigator
rugbypro5
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
numberwang
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Macro evolution isn't a good explanation for the diversity of life

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
numberwang
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 831 times Debate No: 54494
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

rugbypro5

Pro

I am going to hold my position that macro-evolution isn't a reasonable theory and that because it doesn't exist, it doesn't explain the diversity of life.

First round can be argument or just acceptance, but if you do post an argument, I get the final round (you don't post anything except for a 'thank you' or something for the final round).

Hope to have a fun debate!
numberwang

Con

I will accept this debate and wish my opponent good luck. I will use this first phase for acceptance only. I will be responsible for and will enthusiastically execute the task of demonstration that macroevolution (basically evolution in general) exists and therefore is a good explanation for the diversity of life. I look forward to a fantastic debate.

But first I would like to agree to define marcoevolution just to avoid any confusion. I would like to use the definition of macroevolution that biologists use (which seems the only logical definition to use): a change at or above the species level (1).

(1) http://www.biology-online.org...

Cheers
Debate Round No. 1
rugbypro5

Pro

rugbypro5 forfeited this round.
numberwang

Con

My opponent has so eloquently stated and defend his position that I hardly know what to say (I kid!). I suppose Ill just state my case and be on my way and hope he comes back, this is my first time seeing a forfeiture so I do not know exactly what to do.

An all encompassing definition of evolution is basically descent with modification. As a species reproduces from generation to generation adaptations may occur and may become permanent if they are beneficial to the species (basically natural selection), creating different varieties of the same species (some define this as micro-evolution). When enough of these changes happen over large periods of time the product may be significantly different than what you started with and a new species has been born (which some call macro-evolution). Add some more time, a lot more time, and you get different taxonomic groups and families and kingdoms, basically everything living. That's a pretty basic definition but it should suffice for the purposes of this debate.

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

So I will now go about proving evolution from the bottom up, starting with the smallest observances and ending up with the biggest, working my way back in time to the beginning of life. Hopefully along the way I prove evolution to be a sound and plausible theory and the evidence should pretty decisively indicate that macroevolution is a thing and it happened.

So let's start small. Have humans seen genetic change and modification anywhere? Have we witnessed changes within species that could possibly accumulate in speciation? The answer is yes, and I will list a few examples.

Micro examples

Sparrows
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com...
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com...

The European house sparrow was introduced to North America in 1852. Since then it has changed dramatically in size and in color to adapt to the new environment. In the North they are larger than the south, and in warmer places (Death Valley for instance) the sparrows were more reflective to cool themselves. In this case, the adaptations to the new environment caused the North American sparrows to genetically change but not enough to make a new species. This is clear evidence of microevolution.


Dogs
http://creationdesign.org... (a creationist website no less!)
http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

Dogs were domesticated from wolves. There are thousands of varieties of dogs, they all are different sizes and shapes (genetically changed) but they're all dogs. They can all interbreed. Another good example of genetic variation not changing the species.

Kettlemore Moths

http://darwin200.christs.cam.ac.uk...
http://animals.about.com...

In 1895, as factories were polluting British forests, J.W. Tutt hypothesized that the peppered moth (Biston betularia) which appeared in 2 forms in Britain, would change forms. Initially the unpolluted forest was dominated by the brighter typicall form. When pollution increased, the dominance shifted from the brighter typicall to the black carbonaria which was more conducive to the environment. The genetic change from light to dark occurred through natural selection because a trait was beneficial to the species. Later in the 50's and 60's when the forests were cleaned of pollution the typicall returned in greater numbers.

Algae
http://bit.ly...

Now I don't have to prove anything about how life began, and this is a better example of that than it is for diversity of life but it is still pretty cool. A single celled variety of algae, when a predator was introduced, became a multicellular version of the same algae, and remained multicellular when the predator left.

Macro examples

So those are a couple of examples of genetic changes within species. However, macroevolution as previously defined is a change at or above the species level. Have we ever seen speciation, one thing change into another different thing? This is the most important question to the debate, and the answer is yes. The following are instances of observed speciation. Let us keep in mind that a species is a basic taxonomic unit and must be able to interbreed and have fertile offspring. The test for a new species is whether or not it can reproduce with its descendants.

Some Scottish flowers
https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com...

It's easier to see speciation in plants than in more complex organisms because they can reproduce independently, making it much easier to pass on mutations to offspring. In Scotland, mimulus has two forms, guttatus and luteus with 14 and 30 pairs of chromosomes respectively. A new strain peregrinus has appeared and is different than the hybrids of guttatus and luteus. When it self reproduces enough to have a large population it will be a new species.

Fruit Flies (5.3.1 of above link)
http://www.talkorigins.org...

Two biologists, Dobzhansky and Pavlovsky, made a new strain of fruit fly by breeding Drosophila paulistorum flies in a lab. A new strain was born of a female of the old strain and after reproducing with hybrids the new Llanos strain was unable to have fertile offspring with the original Orinocan strain.

London Mosquito
http://phylointelligence.com...
http://knowledgenuts.com...

A new species of mosquito evolved when isolated in the London underground system. After becoming isolated in the underground the mosquito adapted to the new environment, which was much different than above ground. It was first reported in 1999 but may have existed much earlier without being documented.

I'm running low on characters and I still have not hit the fossil record! If you wish to see more examples of observed instances of species developing ask the Google and you will find many, or ask me and I can show you some. The point is that by the definition used in this debate and by biologists we have seen macroevolution. I think now we can say that there have been examples of microevolution observed as well as examples of macroevolution observed, but it wouldn't really work if we couldn't work as well if we couldn't see everything in between from all of recorded history. Evolution has been observed by the prediction of transitional fossils in the fossil record. Transitional fossils are fossils that are in between forms of their ancestors and descendants, linking species as they evolve. The question a skeptic may ask is do we have any?

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.transitionalfossils.com...
3. http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
4. http://www.transitionalfossils.com...
5. http://rationalwiki.org...

The answer is yes, we do. I don't know how better to explain transitional fossils besides to say examples that are present and link the sources, so I guess that For Gray whales (3) we have a transitional fossil which shows the nostril moving up the skull. We also have extensive fossils of fish in transition land (2), and more than a few fossils of our ape ancestors transitioning to humans. There are also examples of transitions of dinosaurs into birds (2,4) and reptiles to mammals (2,5).

Based upon the evidence presented and by the definition of macroevolution which we failed to disagree upon , it is safe to say that evolution is a "good" explanation for the diversity of life. The evidence shows that organisms genetically change through natural selection. The evidence shows that we have seen these changes result in speciation. The evidence shows that these changes have happened throughout history. We know it has happened and is happening, that's about as good as a theory gets for explaining the diversity of life.
Debate Round No. 2
rugbypro5

Pro

rugbypro5 forfeited this round.
numberwang

Con

I'll go ahead and carry my arguments forward.
Debate Round No. 3
rugbypro5

Pro

rugbypro5 forfeited this round.
numberwang

Con

Pro forefits, vote Con please!
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by numberwang 3 years ago
numberwang
nice votebomb wolf24
Posted by numberwang 3 years ago
numberwang
Go for it! Im glad theyre worth taking.
Posted by Mrlowe 3 years ago
Mrlowe
Con, if you don't mind, I'm gonna steal your macro evolution examples for a creationist I'm talking to on a different website.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Pro has forfeited his right to disagree with your definition (normally those should be requested in the comment section prior to beginning). As pro has completed a number of debates, he is very likely to return; therefore proceed with an argument.
Posted by numberwang 3 years ago
numberwang
I seriously doubt that this debate is going to happen at this point (what happens if one side fails to post?), but I have done my best to familiarize myself with the evidence that the scientists have found to support evolution. I think I can speak reasonably well on this topic, well enough anyway.

And hey man, if he wants to pick a losing side to a debate don't tell him not to, I could use a win lol.
Posted by Mrlowe 3 years ago
Mrlowe
An argument like this needs to be left to people who actually know what they're doing, aka scientists. And if the instigator was a scientist, I seriously doubt he'd agree with his current opinion.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
rugbypro5numberwangTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
rugbypro5numberwangTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Geogeer 3 years ago
Geogeer
rugbypro5numberwangTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeits, conduct and argument to Con.