The Instigator
thingwhatkicks
Con (against)
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The Contender
incredulous1972
Pro (for)
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Macroevolution and the distinction between microevolution/macroevolution are creationist fantasies

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/30/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,793 times Debate No: 38314
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thingwhatkicks

Con

The concept of macroevolution is not a creationist fiction, nor is the distinction between microevolution and macroevolution a creationist fiction. To dispel the opposing view, perhaps it is sufficient to represent a few biology textbooks, as well as some writings of non-creationists.
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"[M]acroevolution: Evolutionary change on a grand scale, encompassing the origin of novel designs, evolutionary trends, adaptive radiation, and mass extinction." "Microevolution: a change in the gene pool of a population over a succession of generations" (1)

"MACROEVOLUTION, that is, the origin and diversification of higher taxa." "Microevolution: slight, short-term evolutionary changes within species." (2)

From a book entitled Macroevolutionary Dynamics:
"Most families, orders, classes, and phyla appear rather suddenly in the fossil record, often without anatomically intermediate forms smoothly interlinking evolutionarily derived descendant taxa with their presumed ancestors." (3)

From a book entitled Macroevolution: Pattern and Process:
"The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphological transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid." (4)

"The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No." (5)

From an article entitled, "Paleontologists confronting macroevolution":
"The punctuated equilibrium model has been widely accepted, not because it has a compelling theoretical basis but because it appears to resolve a dilemma. ...apart from its intrinsic circularity (one could argue that speciation can occur only when phyletic change is rapid, not vice versa), the model is more ad hoc explanation than theory, and it rests on shaky ground." (6)

"In evolutionary debates one is apt to hear evolution roughly parceled between the terms "microevolution" and "macroevolution". Microevolution, or change beneath the species level, may be thought of as relatively small scale change in the functional and genetic constituencies of populations of organisms. That this occurs and has been observed is generally undisputed by critics of evolution. What is vigorously challenged, however, is macroevolution. Macroevolution is evolution on the "grand scale" resulting in the origin of higher taxa. In evolutionary theory, macroevolution involves common ancestry, descent with modification, speciation, the genealogical relatedness of all life, transformation of species, and large scale functional and structural changes of populations through time, all at or above the species level (Freeman and Herron 2004; Futuyma 1998, Ridley 1993)." (7)

"From what I can see, microevolution is a fact; we see it all around us regarding small changes within a species, and biologists demonstrate this procedure in their labs on a daily basis. Hence, there is no argument regarding microevolution. The core of the debate for me, therefore, is the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution." (8)

“One of the oldest problems in evolutionary biology remains largely unsolved; Historically, the neo-Darwinian synthesizers stressed the predominance of micromutations in evolution, whereas others noted the similarities between some dramatic mutations and evolutionary transitions to argue for macromutationism.” (9)

"A persistent debate in evolutionary biology is one over the continuity of microevolution and macroevolution — whether macroevolutionary trends are governed by the principles of microevolution." (10)
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It is worth pointing out that (3), (4) and (6) are works promoting the concept of punctuated equilibrium over and above the classical gradualistic view; the quote may be less relevant than the title. Also, all bolding is done by me.


(1) Campbell, Biology, 4th ed.
(2) Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, pg. 447
(3) Eldredge, Macroevolutionary Dynamics, pg. 22
(4) Stanley, Macroevolution: Pattern and Process, pg. 39
(5) Lewin, "Evolutionary Theory Under Fire," Science, Vol. 210:883-887, Nov. 1980
(6) Ricklefs, "Paleontologists confronting macroevolution," Science, Vol. 199:58-60, Jan. 6, 1978
(7) Theobald, "29+ Evidences for Macroevolution," http://www.talkorigins.org...
(8) Tour, "Layman's Reflections on Evolution and Creation. An Insider's View of the Academy," http://www.jmtour.com...
(9) Stern, “Perspective: Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Problem of Variation,” Evolution 2000, 54, 1079-1091
(10) Simons, “The Continuity of Microevolution and Macroevolution,” Journal of Evolutionary Biology 2002, 15, 688-701
incredulous1972

Pro


My position (PRO) is that the entire concept of micro-evolution vs. macro-evolution is simply nothing more than feeble attempts by creationists to obfuscate the bigger picture of evolution. Biologists, for decades now, have had competing views on the differences between the two until collectively the entire concept has been thrown out. The fact that we all still know the words from our High School Biology classes is more an attestation to the lousiness of our education system, the terrible news sources that prefer to show us police chases every night rather than more relevant discoveries (there were TWO NEW TRANSITIONAL FOSSILS ANNOUNCED IN THE LAST 8 DAYS ALONE) and how backwards our grasp of current science really is. In the scientific community, as I will clearly expose, the arguments ended a long time ago. My opponent is still stuck in his creationist vision of the world where micro-macro exist and yet simultaneously macro is not viable. Make no mistake, readers: He is a creationist openly ridiculing the entire concept of evolution here.



First of all, let's all reread CON's arguments:



From a book entitled Macroevolution: Pattern and Process:


"The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphological transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid." (4)



"The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolutioncan be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No." (5)



These statements are lifted word for word from a CREATIONIST website which is clearly making statements that favor creationist concepts and attempt to debunk the very existence of evolution, and especially the entire concept of Macroevolution. It appears to me that my opponent has done nothing more than searched for the word "macroevolution" and then blindly posted several links and quotes without ever reading his own choices. There are several more passages in his self-deprecating diatribe which do absolutely nothing to help his cause, but in fact openly seem to not only further my side of the argument by an order of magnitude simply by going completely around the entire concept of negating the difference between microevolution and macroevolution (which is my position), but by going straight to the sublimely ridiculous nether region known as "creation science" where evolution in its entirety is a MYTH and macroevolution is nonexistent?!



AaronRa to the rescue:








You can frequently hear creationists argue how they accept microevolution but not macroevolution — one common way to put it is to say that dogs may change to become bigger or smaller, but they never become cats. Therefore, microevolution may occur within the dog species, but macroevolution never will.



There are a few problems with these terms, especially in the manner that creationists use them. The first is quite simply that when scientists do use the terms microevolution and macroevolution, they don’t use them in the same way as creationists. The terms were first used in 1927 by the Russian entomologist Iurii Filipchenko in his book on evolution “Variabilität und Variation”. However, they remain in relatively limited use today. You can find them in some texts, including biology texts, but in general most biologists simply don’t pay attention to them.



Why? Because for biologists, there is no relevant difference between microevolution and macroevolution. Both happen in the same way and for the same reasons, so there is no real reason to differentiate them. The “common sense” difference between the two, and I’m sure we all remember our High School Biology class when I say this, is the amount of time between the two. The problem with using “time” as the differentiator is that there is no clear definition between the amount of time for micro or the amount of time for macro, and even if it were defined, it would vary greatly from example to example, from species to species, and would continuously have to be edited and changed in light of more and more fossils being uncovered, which could wedge themselves between any two examples (for example, when going from archaeopteryx to the first birds, and finding 23 more transitional fossils between and before archaeopteryx just a few decades later). When biologists do use different terms, it is simply for descriptive reasons.



When creationists use the terms, however, it is for ontological reasons — this means that they are trying to describe two fundamentally different processes. The essence of what constitutes microevolution is, for creationists, different from the essence of what constitutes macroevolution. Creationists act as if there is some magic line between microevolution and macroevolution, but no such line exists as far as science is concerned. Macroevolution is merely the result of a lot of microevolution over a long period of time.



To put this in perspective, let’s imagine the “evolution” of the car. Throughout the process, from the very first horse carriage to the latest Ferrari, there were small improvements (sometimes relatively large ones) from one model to the next one, and clearly from one model to the next a great deal of similarity exists. If we were to look at an Egyptian carriage vs. a Daimler motorcar from the early 20th Century, with a time difference of several thousand years, one could easily be forgiven for believing that they are completely different objects with completely different jobs, different design methodologies, etc. The fact is that they were all engineered in a similar manner, using “design – test – improve” methods (i.e. six-sigma) over many manufacturing cycles, and for reasons that are essentially similar (moving people and material).



In other words, creationists are appropriating scientific terminology which has specific and limited meaning, but they are using it in a broader and incorrect manner. This is a serious but unsurprising error — creationists misuse scientific terminology on a regular basis.



A second problem with the creationist use of the terms microevolution and macroevolution is the fact that the definition of what constitutes a species is not consistently defined. This can complicate the boundaries which creationists claim exist between microevolution and macroevolution. After all, if one is going to claim that microevolution can never become macroevolution, it would be necessary to specify where the boundary is which supposedly cannot be crossed.



"Creationists' view of microevolution is similar to that of evolutionary biologists, but the two groups understand macroevolution very differently. Creationists accept micro evolutionary processes affecting genetic variation of populations, and most also accept speciation, or the branching of a lineage into reproductively isolated groups. After all, both have been observed within the last few hundred years, and at least the speciation issue is NECESSARY for the whole “Noah’s Ark” story to even be partially palatable.



But creationists take literally the evolutionary biologists' definition of macroevolution as "evolution above the species level," and infer that major groups of living things such as phyla and classes — the upper taxonomic levels characterized by body plan differences — have a qualitatively different history than lower levels such as populations and species. Yes folks, this is where we get to hear CON tell us all about what a “KIND” is, just like all his other creationist brothers have attempted for eons now.





They view the distinguishing features of phyla and classes as appearing suddenly, denying that such structures as segments, appendages, exoskeletons and the like could evolve through micro evolutionary processes. Their definition of macroevolution thus overlaps only slightly with that of evolutionary biologists because they concentrate only on the emergence of new body plans or major features which distinguish "major kinds" of living things.



Effectively, macroevolution to creationists equates to the inference of common ancestry, which they reject. Their view is that because God created living things as separate "kinds," major groups and the features distinguishing them could not have come about through natural processes, micro evolutionary or otherwise. Their position is "micro yes, macro no.""



The problem is that creationists give no criterion for identifying "kinds" (do they correspond to the biological genus? The family? Are all flies members of one kind, or of different kinds?), so we cannot judge what they see as the limits to evolutionary change.



But creationists all agree on one thing: Homo sapiens is a "kind" by itself, and therefore must have been created. Yet there is nothing in either the theory or data from evolution implying that evolutionary change could be limited: as far as we can see, macroevolution is simply microevolution extended over a long period of time.



Why Evolution Is True, Jerry A. Coyne


Evolution vs. Creationism An Introduction, Eugenie C. Scott






In conclusion:



Micro and macro evolution are the same thing. They are a shortcut method employed by our “wonderful” staff of educators to explain the infinite variety of evolution, and how all things still remain interconnected. The concept is not science, it has become nothing more than a folk-tale reiterated by creationists in order to be able to get to step #2, which is to then attempt to dispel macroevolution (aka: Evolution) altogether. There are no chemical, machanical, or even logical differences between the two EXCEPT their use by creationists.


Debate Round No. 1
thingwhatkicks

Con

The thesis is that macroevolution is a creationist fiction, and the distinction between micro and macroevolution is also a creationist fiction.


If the thesis were true, then we shouldn’t find non-creationist persons or non-creationist institutions writing in terms of macroevolution and microevolution.


In fact we find the opposite. They do write in terms of macroevolution and microevolution. Even a single example would be enough to demonstrate that the thesis is false, but a variety of examples have nevertheless been given.


Campbell’s Biology is a current textbook. So is Futuyma’s Evolutionary Biology. Both offer separate and distinct definitions of “microevolution” and “macroevolution”. This by itself is sufficient to disprove the thesis.


Eldredge, Stanley, Ricklefs, and Simons all author works that include “macroevolution” in the title. Simons’ peer-reviewed journal paper is entitled, “The Continuity of Microevolution and Macroevolution”. Any one of these is sufficient to disprove the thesis.


James Tour asserts a distinction between microevolution and macroevolution. David Stern and Andrew Simons do the same--both in peer-reviewed journal papers.


Most damningly, Douglas Theobald has compiled a series of evidences of macroevolution. It is located on Talk Origins. In his introductory paragraph, he distinguishes between microevolution and macroevolution.


If microevolution and macroevolution are precisely the same thing (except in the fantasies of creationists), what else would one call all this, but rank deception?


PRO does not even attempt to address or refute any of these data points, beyond blandly asserting that “there are several more passages which do absolutely nothing to help his cause.” One wonders what possible evidence could help my cause, if these do not.


To pose that question to PRO directly: is there any evidence of any sort that could, even in principle, cause you to reject the thesis?


That question is of course academic. It is overwhelmingly clear that the scientific community does recognize macroevolution as distinct from microevolution. The thesis is falsified.


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PRO quotes several paragraphs from the character AronRa, who is apparently the author of zero peer-reviewed journal papers and the holder of zero technical degrees--let alone degrees or journal papers relevant to evolution.


This poses an obvious question: in the face of real scientists, who cares what AronRa thinks?


It poses a much more troubling question as well. If PRO considers a non-scientist like AronRa to neutralize the legitimacy of a James Tour, what possible objection could he have to citing a genuine creationist like Steven Meyer--let alone some random creationist apologizer? I think readers can imagine what sort of reaction that would provoke.


It remains, of course, that scientists are the ones who get to decide these things. Not professional debaters who happen to make agreeable claims. The scientists have spoken, and PRO has ignored them. I feel safe in dismissing his first round contribution as essentially irrelevant.


There is one additional point that the citing of AronRa raises: namely, the deep confusion that the creation/evolution “controversy” has generated amongst laymen. After creationists latched onto macroevolution as an apparent weak-point in evolutionary theory, some evolutionists realized it would be rhetorically expedient to pretend as if macroevolution were, after all, some specious concept ginned up by the anti-science league. I submit AronRa and PRO as the unintended consequences of this unfortunate tactic.
incredulous1972

Pro

Clearly, CON did not bother to actually view the entire argument I posted. I did not quote a single word from AaronRa. AaronRa is the author of 3 of the 4 videos which I've posted, but the majority of the texts which I quoted came from the 2 VERY REAL SCIENTISTS (both of them at the very top of their profession) which I mentioned near the bottom of my argument.

In any case, I have (completely randomly) actually bothered to LOOK UP one of my opponent's supposed quoted arguments (following is a summary of the BOOK - he called it a paper - which was published in 2002, as written by the author himself):

"A persistent debate in evolutionary biology is one over the continuity of microevolution and macroevolution – whether macroevolutionary trends are governed by the principles of microevolution. The opposition of evolutionary trends over different time scales is taken as evidence that selection is uncoupled over these scales. I argue that the paradox inferred by trend opposition is eliminated by a hierarchical application of the ‘geometric-mean fitness’ principle, a principle that has been invoked only within the limited context of microevolution in response to environmental variance. This principle implies the elimination of well adapted genotypes – even those with the highest arithmetic mean fitness over a shorter time scale. Contingent on premises concerning the temporal structure of environmental variance, selectivity of extinction, and clade-level heritability, the evolutionary outcome of major environmental change may be viewed as identical in principle to the outcome of minor environmental fluctuations over the short-term. Trend reversals are thus recognized as a fundamental property of selection operating at any phylogenetic level that occur in response to event severities of any magnitude over all time scales. This ‘bet-hedging’ perspective differs from others in that a specified, single hierarchical selective process is proposed to explain observed hierarchical patterns of extinction."

I have emphasized the very statement which the author of CON's chosen example himself stated. I think it clearly shows two things:

(1) The author believes the same things I have stated - namely, that there is no difference between micro evolution and macro evolution.

(2) That CON is lazily doing nothing more than selecting a few titles from the internet, posting them because they have the word "micro evolution" and "macro evolution" in them, and assuming that I would not spend a few minutes FACT CHECKING HIS WORK.

I have to admit, that I was being lazy and attempted to view what I hoped would be the easiest work to digest - what he reported to be a paper - in the vain hope of only having to read a few pages. Unfortunately, I found that this was not a paper at all, but instead an ENTIRE BOOK. Lucky for me, the publisher provided a summary article which anyone here can check himself (the summary is provided VERBATIM above, with my emphasis added to the relevant section in bold).

CON, do yourself a favor and actually watch the videos. It's a lot to ask - after all, you'll have to get through more than 40 minutes of some "unscholarly" guy like AaronRa. But after watching any of that, I *really* have to wonder just what kind of world we live in when someone like you (a creationist) deliberately chooses to believe assertions made by the likes of Hovind, Kirk Cameron, Ken Ham, and Ray Comfort - all charlatans of the WORST KIND - over the words of someone like AaronRa who spends his spare time carefully summarizing the cutting edge of science for us? Aaron at least will make every single one of his assertions searchable - you can contact him and he will have no trouble at all giving you his exact sources; and believe me, they are not just "one source here or there" - he will provide you a list that will make your heart stop. There are literally thousands of articles that he has sifted through for the past decade!

Anyone can look up my assertions: Here is the link for the BOOK (by Simons)-

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...



-------------------------

CON makes some pretty silly assertions: If we find just ONE mention somewhere on the internet, then the whole concept of creationists using micro-macro must be false. Well, if that's all it takes, should I post all those creationist links of how they misappropriate micro-macro every single day? Should I list a few more youtube videos where Kirk, Ken, Kent, and Ray make fools of themselves?

I believe we have the work of Eugenie Scott already (which I did quote and CON apparantly didn't notice), for example, where she clearly outlines how the two are the same thing and NOT used in her work.

How many more "errors" is CON going to make before we can all agree that his argument is based on nothing more than that special, witless place called "creation-science" where people are misquoted and we are openly lied to?

Shame on CON for picking a "paper" which turned out to be a BOOK, and a subject for his argument which clearly is an argument for my side. Just imagine how many more of his arguments are full of falsehoods...should I check the rest of them as well?
Debate Round No. 2
thingwhatkicks

Con

Point 1. After remarking that his arguments haven’t been read, PRO copies and pastes from Simons. Remarkably, he seems not to have read the first sentence.


“A persistent debate in evolutionary biology is one over the continuity of microevolution and macroevolution – whether macroevolutionary trends are governed by the principles of microevolution.”


Recall PRO’s thesis: “Macroevolution and the distinction between microevolution/macroevolution are creationist fantasies.” Simons’ opening statement goes far beyond simply contradicting PRO’s thesis, but it is sufficient for our purposes that it contradicts it absolutely.


Point 2. PRO asserts that Simons “believes the same things I have stated.” And which things are these? Does Simons agree that microevolution and macroevolution are creationist fictions? One can hardly ask the question with a straight face! Now, of course, Simons’ paper argues that there is no fundamental difference between micro and macroevolution. But who does Simons consider his adversaries? Why, scientists of the caliber of Steven J. Gould--that is, not creationists. Yet in PRO’s unsupported view, Simons is disproving a creationist fiction! Really? Perhaps PRO will enlighten us as to how many creationist papers are cited, disagreeably, in “The continuity of microevolution and macroevolution.” The answer, of course, is zero. This is because Simons’ paper completely ignores the existence of creationists.


It follows inescapably that Simons does not believe the distinction between macroevolution and microevolution to be a “creationist fantasy.” To the contrary, he believes that the distinction is a “persistent debate” within evolutionary biology. PRO’s thesis remains falsified. And thus in what sense is it meaningful to say that PRO and Simons are in agreement, as PRO claims? They are not.


Point 3. PRO accuses me of deliberately choosing to believe assertions made by creationists such as Hovind, et al. I don’t know why PRO continues to interject these irrelevant characters. First AronRa, now Ken Ham. Who cares? Can you tell us, PRO, which of the 10 sources I used was one of your usual suspects?


Point 3.1. I hate to answer a loaded question in kind, but would you kindly tell us, PRO, why you “deliberately disbelieve” the assertions of Tour, Simons, Theobald, et al.?


Point 4. PRO ascribes to me this assertion, “If we find just ONE mention somewhere on the internet, then the whole concept of creationists using micro-macro must be false.” Firstly, it is evident that scholarly journal papers are accessible on the internet. It is also evident that the writings of accomplished scientists, not necessarily in journal papers, are accessible on the internet. So yes, if we find just one mention somewhere on the internet, as long as that “somewhere” is in the writings of a credible scientist, that falsifies your thesis.


Something else that seems evident is PRO’s fixation on what creationists are doing. I ask again, who cares? If creationists think talking about macroevolution will help them, God bless. But why should I care, why should PRO care, why should the reader care? What’s the relevance to this debate? The only thing that’s actually relevant is what credible scientists have to say, especially what they have to say in peer-reviewed publications.


And what they have to say is easy to grasp: macroevolution is real, microevolution is real, and the scientific community does distinguish between the two.


Point 5. I have no idea which parts of PRO’s posts are referenceable to Eugenie Scott, so I think it is too much to say that that he “quoted” her. But if she agrees substantively with PRO’s thesis, fine. Others, whom I have cited, substantively disagree. And their disagreement is what falsifies the thesis. If the thesis were true, then no credible scientists would distinguish between micro and macro. Only creationists would.


Point 5.1. Note that if Scott really does affirm PRO’s thesis, the implication is that she considers Simons, et al. to be either liars or creationist liars. However, since Scott is less a laboratory researcher and more a professional anti-creationist, I think she can be forgiven for being unaware of and/or excessively generalizing her colleagues’ views.


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What follows are a few observations that, while not especially relevant to the debate, seem appropriate to address.


Comment 1. PRO asserts that he hasn’t quoted a single word from AronRa. (Note that PRO keeps, inexplicably, referring to him as “AaronRa”.) PRO’s first contribution looks something like this:


“AaronRa (sic) to the rescue:


[insert copious whitespace]


You can frequently hear creationists argue how they accept microevolution but not macroevolution…”


So it is hard to tell if PRO is being serious or not. To whom else are we supposed to attribute the following? However, near the end, he writes:


“Why Evolution Is True, Jerry A. Coyne


Evolution vs. Creationism An Introduction, Eugenie C. Scott”


But it is impossible to tell what connection, if any, these sources have to his list of paragraphs. Perhaps he should put more effort into formatting and less effort into complaining about being misunderstood.


Comment 2. PRO makes some very bizarre claims about Simons’ paper. Allow me to correct them. “The continuity of microevolution and macroevolution” is paper by Andrew Simons, published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. It is only 13 pages long. It is not a book, let alone an “ENTIRE BOOK”. The whole paper is available online. What PRO refers to as a “summary” is an abstract. The reader can verify all this very easily. Meanwhile, what is PRO thinking? I have no idea. I leave it to the reader as an exercise.


Comment 3. PRO appeals to me to watch AronRa’s videos. Why, again, are they relevant? Admittedly I am not going to watch them. Perhaps they contain arguments that overturn my position? I confess I will just have to take that risk.


Comment 4. PRO threatens to post videos of his favorite creationists...for what reason? It is hardly in dispute that creationists distinguish between microevolution and macroevolution. I call his bluff.


Comment 5. PRO spends too many words (or perhaps too few, who knows?) informing the reader that I am a creationist, silly, error-prone, etc. Spare us the ad hominems, they are childish.


Comment 6. Another sad consequence of the creation/evolution “controversy” is that many evolutionist proponents have been all too eager to not merely paper over the real disagreements in the scientific community (punctuated equilibrium and neutral evolution are perhaps the prime examples), but actually slap them down. So today we have people, like PRO, who have no respect for the work of men like Gould and Kimura, because any disagreement among scholars is seen as a chink for creationists to exploit. This forcing of researchers into false lockstep is a much overlooked tragedy.

incredulous1972

Pro

My apologies if CON was misled by the formatting of my prior arguments; I did inject the video links in all the correct locations, but debate.org appears to reposition them near the top of the argument. However, and I must stress this: None of this excuses CON from his fiduciary duty of reading my post and watching the videos. In the end, that error is his own fault, and there is nothing I can do to fix that for him.

As to his failure to check factual information laid before his feet, let me quote my esteemed opponent with his own words:

PRO appeals to me to watch AronRa’s videos. Why, again, are they relevant? Admittedly I am not going to watch them. Perhaps they contain arguments that overturn my position? I confess I will just have to take that risk.

I believe the phrase is called "playing ostrich". And yes, the videos contain quite convincing evidence which is completely contrary to your position. It is so painful to watch a creationist in "action" (inaction) - adamantly denying the existence of something that is damaging to their own view.

My beliefs change all the time. Until a few years ago, for example, I sided with the "people didn't cause climate change" crowd. Now I do, based on new evidence, new technology, and a better understanding of the situation. I pulled my head out of the sand to take a look. Will you?

----------------------------------------------

Prior to 1861, most scientists had the prevailing view of spontaneous generation, whereby it was proposed that all life instantly poofed into existence if the right conditions were met. Believe it or not, this included the idea that mice would poof into existence if cheese was left in a darkened corner in a house, or if a field was plowed correctly flowers would bloom. Louis Pasteur, one of the key proponents to Germ Theory, convincingly disproved spontaneous generation, and today (and for over 125 years now) we don't follow, teach, or learn that theory anymore.

Why do I mention this? I mention this because this is exactly the tact which CON is using to argue. He is injecting the long-held, outdated views of micro-macro instead of issuing arguments from current science. Current science is very clear on this:

(1) There are no process differences between micro/macro.
(2) There is no well-defined time/dna/etc difference between the two.
(3) Micro and macro are both evolution.
(4) The only difference between the two would be the amount of time time involved (do peek at #2 again, folks).

In particular, the reason why micro-macro is no longer in use in any of science, is because of the problem with #2. Some micro-mutations are actually more than a single mutation, i.e. more than a single individual making a change, more than a single mutation, more than a single gene, and even more than a single genome group being changed.

The same is true for macro-mutations. Some are less than an entire species, less than a large change from one to another, and sometimes they even involve animals and plants that can still mate and produce viable offspring.

Evolution, after all, isn't a step. It isn't an entire species jumping from TYPE A to TYPE B. It is individuals combining their mutated traits with non-mutated traits over many generations, against environmental pressures and natural selection, to possibly survive long enough to pass on advantages and die soon enough to weed out disadvantages.

And on top of that, depending on when or how long the steps take, or even where the data points are revealed (i.e. the fossil record is a discrete record, or in other words not a continuous record of every individual and every variation of every species), the differences between the two end up being nearly impossible to express and certainly impossible to describe from one group to the next with any kind of consistency. Some animals might change over a few thousand years, others take millions or billions of years. The scale alone would make your head spin.

I realize that for many of us the idea that science has moved on and didn't bother to send us an email (micro-macro died a sad death) may be shocking. However, this happens all the time in all kinds of other fields - how many of us still have an 8-bit computer at home, for example?

To conclude my new arguments for this round, let me say this: CON proposes that we go back to 1860 and live with the idea of spontaneous generation. Micro-macro is no longer a scientific idea - it has been logically reduced to the absurd notion that it once was, and is discarded from current scientific discussion.

------------------------------------

My rebuttal to some of CON's rebuttals:

"A persistent debate in evolutionary biology is one over the continuity of microevolution and macroevolution – whether macroevolutionary trends are governed by the principles of microevolution."

Just like every other "good" creationist that I've ever encountered, CON continuous to misquote his own references. Now, he finds the introductory sentence of a summary article which I clearly pointed out as favoring my view. He is still doing nothing more than finding "micro this" and "macro that" in titles and sentences as if this were all that is required to make his assertions true.

What he needs to do to prove his assertions, is a peer reviewed paper by a current scientist that basically says the following: "The difference between micro evolution and macro evoution is....blablabla".

Instead, he's is finding "spontaneous generation" from years past, barely with a mention in the titles of his sources about his theory, and where the very body of his sources clearly points to my assertion.

In addition, he keeps raising the authors of his sources as if they were micro-macro proponents. They are not. They are evolutionary biologists whose least concern on the planet is whether or not micro-macro is a viable theory anymore. For most of them, the consensus is clear: It is not science anymore.

I will ask my opponent one more time, for sake of civility: Do you want me to expose the rest of your sources with what they factually did say?

I have given you two unimpeachable sources, and clearly exposed things which they have said many times over the last decade or so. I did not quote mine either of them but can point to many recorded places where they both have stated how micro-macro is nonsense. Both are near the top of their profession. They are leaders in their field. Anyone can check my assertions about them with nothing more than a quick google search. They both have email addresses and phone numbers. We can contact them and ask them directly, and yes, I've done this in the past with several others. Usually they are quite eager to talk about their work.

Compare this to what you have offered: Quote-mined titles! In addition, I would ask our readers to read them carefully: Several state that macroevolution DOES NOT EXIST!

Meanwhile, what is PRO thinking? I have no idea. I leave it to the reader as an exercise.

Well, I won't leave it as an exercise. From the same book, this time the LAST SENTENCE OF THE CONCLUSION:

"Claims of qualitative differences in the process of natural selection depending on the severity of selection events become unnecessary and therefore should bid a tierful goodbye."

And yes folks, that is CON's source basically telling all of us that the idea of micro-macro should be bid a "tierful goodbye". Check it out yourself, the link is here:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...


-------------------

If there is a pattern emerging in my opponent's arguments, then it is this:

(1) He doesn't check his own sources and nilly-willy picks them based on titles alone.
(2) He doesn't check my sources and doesn't bother to watch evidence placed before him.
(3) He goes back to redefend his own sources on more titles and introductory sentences.
Debate Round No. 3
thingwhatkicks

Con


I am not going to waste my time or the reader’s time by responding directly to any of PRO’s irrelevant comments. Instead, with a little bit of analysis, we can summarize PRO’s actual argument as follows: Current science is clear that there is no distinction between micro/macro except the time involved. Also, long ago, science recognized additional distinctions between micro and macro, and so CON is guilty of dredging up outdated views.


What PRO is doing here is moving the goal posts. (That besides all the ad hominems, obnoxious cajoling, and false accusations that I and you readers are expected to endure--sorry, I had to get that out of my system.) If he were being serious and honest, for example, he might explain the point at which science switched views, and how the resolution was achieved. But we are not going to see anything like that from him, because no resolution has been achieved--the debate is still, in the words of Simons, “persistent”. Instead, after having been presented with current non-creationists who recognize a distinction between macro and microevolution (and a distinction that goes beyond simple timescales, at that), he has decided--apparently by fiat--that they are not current after all.


First. I really encourage the reader peruse Simons’ 2002 paper (which in PRO’s mind is somehow not “current”) in greater detail. Maybe PRO thinks that bluffing on how it favors his view will keep the reader from bothering to examine it. Ignore him. Simons describes, at length, how some of the problems with PRO’s view (shared apparently by Eugenie Scott and Jerry Coyne): namely, that a “pattern of self-similarity of extinction at different temporal scales has been observed (Raup, 1986; Soléet al., 1997; McKinney & Frederick, 1999; Plotnick & Sepkoski, 2001), fuelling further discussion of evolutionary mechanisms – beyond principles of microevolution – driving trends at different time scales (Soléet al., 1999; Plotnick & Sepkoski, 2001). This is a debate, then, about the relevance of the process of natural selection operating at the ‘ecological moment’ (Gould, 1985) to the production of phenotypic trends over the long-term.”


Simons devotes 11 citation-rich paragraphs to explaining how Scott, Coyne, PRO, (and while we’re at it, AronRA) are full of it. If you read the sections entitled “Introduction” and “Views of the discontinuity”, you will come away plainly realizing that the only people ‘playing ostrich’ are PRO and his cohorts.


“But wait!” cries PRO, “Simons’ paper solves the micro/macro problem.” So is PRO admitting there is a problem, or not? He cannot have his cake and eat it too, much as he tries. At any rate, PRO needs to prove that the scientific community has clearly accepted Simons’ proposed solution before he can make such a bold claim. I won’t hold my breath.


Second, PRO continues to disregard the concerns of James Tour, highly-cited and acclaimed organic chemist. Again, from Tour: “There is no argument regarding microevolution. The core of the debate for me, therefore, is the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution.”


Tour exposes and demolishes PRO’s lie in the linked video. It’s a lecture from 2012. Is that “current” enough for you, PRO? Or will you bore us by moving the goal line again. Start at 52:15, it runs about 5 minutes--the most interesting part starts at 54:47. Tour confirms what everybody knows, but nobody is willing to admit: the scientists who work most closely with actual molecular mechanics have no idea how macroevolution works or is supposed to work, and are deeply skeptical about whether it is in fact exactly the same as microevolution. Why is nobody willing to say it?


We already have three posts from PRO proving why--and we’re about to be introduced to two more. Certain atheists have decided that to concede the existence of real distinction between micro and macro is to magically lose the creation/evolution battle. What a joke! Does Simons share this view? Does Tour? Did Gould, or any of the supporters of punctuated equilibrium? None of these are creationists. More importantly, what they are also not is rampant atheists who see a creationist behind every curtain and are desperate to maintain hegemony at any cost.
incredulous1972

Pro

It would appear that my opponent is still marching on to his own beat regarding my assertions. He is still fervently believing in his own sources. So let's take a few minutes and discuss those very sources (as I have threatened to do for several rounds now):

James Tour, just like my opponent supposes, is a bio chemist of the highest caliber. Unfortunately, my opponent chose to obfuscate his full credentials. He is not an evolutionist, a biologist, a paleontologist, or anything else to do with this debate.

He is a SYNTHETIC bio chemist, who specializes in nano-tubes and nano-carbon compounds. In other words, if you place a seed from a sun flower in front of this man, he is already out of his professional sphere.

But let's go on and talk a little more about Prof. Tour:

The video that CON has posted starts out as a litany of his achievements in nano technology, but then quickly deteriorates into a sermon. "That if I confess with my mouth, Jesus the Lord...." (25:04 of Con's video) and so on. At no point does he make the statement that micro and macro evolution exist, by the way.

Furthermore, he is a known Intelligent Design advocate who signed several petitions created by the Creationist "Discovery Institute".

Here's a little quote I found regarding this very petition:

In their 2010 book Biology and Ideology from Descartes to Dawkins, science and religion scholar Denis Alexander and historian of science Ronald L. Numbers tied the fate of the Dissent to that of the wider intelligent design movement:

After more than a decade of effort the Discovery Institute proudly announced in 2007 that it had got some 700 doctoral-level scientists and engineers to sign "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism." Though the number may strike some observers as rather large, it represented less than 0.023 percent of the world's scientists. On the scientific front of the much ballyhooed "Evolution Wars", the Darwinists were winning handily. The ideological struggle between (methodological) naturalism and supernaturalism continued largely in the fantasies of the faithful and the hyperbole of the press.

None of this is surprising. Creationists routinely will pull laymen in a particular field out of the ether, sometimes bedecked with several degrees in unrelated disciplines - but mostly with nothing more than mail-order religious degrees, and then have them make the same debunked statements that have already been addressed by real science over the past two centuries over and over again.

Somewhere in the video, Tour makes a statement regarding the human fallacies of scientists. I wholeheartedly agree with him. In particular, I agree when this is mentioned in a creationist debate, such as this one. Tour CLEARLY is not an evolution expert. Even by legal definition - other than write a couple of religious books he has never had anything to do with biology.

How could he possibly know about micro-macro? Check CON's earlier statements which he lifted from Tour - he made them ca. a decade ago. Folks, this is exactly what I had warned about several rounds ago:

Science is a moving target. It constantly evolves, it constantly changes. Thirty years ago we thought that pollution may cause a global freeze, but now the facts are much more developed, the science is much stronger. We KNOW that gobal temperatures are rising. Using CON's method of quotemining from years ago from people that are not in the science of this debate is the equivalent of quoting the Ayatolah (i.e. the previous one) when he stated that global warming was non-existent and the jews were never in concentration camps in the same speech.

If we all continued to act and believe the way that CON is trying to inject his obsolete views into this debate, we would still be shopping for 8-bit computers and the existence of black holes would still be questioned.

Science is a moving target. New discoveries lead to new beliefs all the time. When I was a child, one of the biggest questions about dinosaurs was whether or not they were warm blooded. This isn't news anymore - the question has been substantially answered now: They were warm blooded the same way that birds are warm blooded. There were questions as to what would make a good example of a transitional fossil. We have so many now that the question has become completely irrelevant. We have over 20 transitional species just between monkeys and man, for example, not to mention about two dozen between birds and dinosaurs. And every single day, they are finding more fossils, of which some will be "transitional" and some will just be regular fossils.

In this same way that these arguments between evolutionary and biological scientists are being addressed, has the question of micro-macro been addressed.

I have absolutely no idea why CON would go and pick out a bunch of creationists that essentially don't believe in ANY PART OF EVOLUTION, including any part of macro evolution, to be his list of "experts". In order for them to even be mildly useful for his side of the debate, clearly, they would at LEAST have to agree with the idea that MACRO EXISTS! But they don't. Not even his hero Prof. Tour. In fact, go down the list- they're all creationists that don't believe in macro at all, and CON is using them to make YOU ALL BELIEVE that micro-macro is still a part of current biological science. It is not. None of his sources are worth a damn. None of his sources support his thesis. None of his statement make any sense in light of the two expert opinions which I have offered before from people that ARE experts in this very field or in light of his own useless sources.

So thank you CON, again, for using sources that continuously support my thesis.

Debate Round No. 4
thingwhatkicks

Con

Concerning James Tour:


First, PRO declares that because Tour is a synthetic biochemist he has no relevance to the debate. Huh, according to Tour at 52:14: “If anybody should be able to understand evolution, it is me.” PRO’s claim is as silly as saying that mathematics has no bearing on physics, or that physics has no bearing on chemistry. Has PRO heard of methodological reductionism? Chemistry is just the mechanics of biology. This is the sort of claim that PRO would never make in any other context, he is just throwing mud hoping something will stick. And besides being wrong, it is also made hypocritical by his citation of AronRa, who naturally has no academic credentials whatsoever. In other words, PRO doesn’t really believe credentials matter. They serve no purpose other than to discredit people he doesn’t like.


Secondly, PRO commits his baldest lie to date, “At no point does [Tour] state that micro and macroevolution exist, by the way.” Tour states this in the video at 55:46. Perhaps PRO doesn’t understand the difference between “something existing and being understood” and “something existing but not being understood”.


Third, PRO accuses Tour of advocating Intelligent Design. This is another lie. Tour: “I have been labeled as an Intelligent Design (ID) proponent. I am not. I do not know how to use science to prove intelligent design although some others might. I am sympathetic to the arguments on the matter and I find some of them intriguing, but the scientific proof is not there, in my opinion. So I prefer to be free of that ID label.” http://en.wikipedia.org...


Fourth, PRO declares, “Tour CLEARLY is not an evolution expect.” This a very broad claim. Of course Tour is clearly not an expert on all things evolution-related. Instead, what he is an expert on is the fundamental mechanics of the things that are evolving, a fact PRO is “CLEARLY” trying to obfuscate. That’s why Tour asserts, “If anybody should be able to understand evolution, it is me.”


Finally, I suppose it needs mentioning that there are quite a few Christian scientists in fields significantly related to biology (Tour being one example) who are not creationists.


Concerning Andrew Simons. After extensive back-and-forth, PRO has finally abandoned his attempt to demonstrate that Simons recognizes no distinction between micro and macroevolution. (As well as his claim that “The continuity of microevolution and macroevolution” is a “book”.)


Concerning the harmonization of macro/micro. In Round 3, PRO spent a whole bunch of time admitting that there used to be a legitimate distinction between microevolution and macroevolution. I called his bluff in Round 4:


‘If he were being serious and honest, for example, he might explain the point at which science switched views, and how the resolution was achieved. But we are not going to see anything like that from him, because no resolution has been achieved--the debate is still, in the words of Simons, “persistent”.’


As I predicted, PRO has absolutely nothing in the way of proof that the admitted distinction between micro/macro has been solved, explained, or harmonized in the last decade. Instead he wastes three paragraphs on examples of how science has evolved with time, citing global warming, 8-bit computers, black holes, warm-blooded dinosaurs, and transitional fossils. Then he makes his deadpan conclusion,


“In this same way that these arguments between evolutionary and biological scientists are being addressed, has the question of micro-macro been addressed.”


Oh really, PRO? I am sure you can cite an unlimited number of credentialed biologists, credentialed scientists, and interested laypersons who will make that exact same unsupported claim. Please spare us. Because you know what you can’t cite a single instance of? A peer-reviewed journal paper that explains, in mechanical detail, just how the allegedly “outdated” distinction between macroevolution and microevolution has been resolved. You know, the way that Einstein resolved the problems of Newtonian physics.


If such a paper existed, it would have been the first thing you posted in the debate. Indeed, there wouldn’t have been a debate at all, because I would be on your side. As would James Tour and all his chemistry friends.


Look, nobody is questioning that science hasn’t made advances in its understanding of microevolution and macroevolution, or that the overall viewpoint hasn’t shifted in the direction that PRO describes, or that creationists misunderstand the distinction. PRO brings all this up to muddy the waters. The question is whether there is still legitimate scientific dissent on the issue. PRO claims there is not. He is obviously wrong.


Concerning PRO’s last paragraph. Is this a joke? Did PRO even write this? Did he write it before the debate began and accidentally paste it into his reply? Who knows.


PRO declares, “I have absolutely no idea why CON would go and pick out a bunch of creationists that essentially don't believe in ANY PART OF EVOLUTION, including any part of macro evolution, to be his list of "experts".”


Every single claim being made/implied is a transparent lie. I cited zero creationists. The only person that PRO has even tried to argue is creationist is James Tour. Yet in PRO’s crazed smear attack, Campbell, Futuyma, Eldredge, Stanley, Lewin, et al. magically become creationists--creationists who don’t believe “ANY PART” of evolution. Sorry, PRO, but every single person I cited believes in evolution. Also, yes: all of these people are in fact “experts”.


I really have no choice but to point out what PRO declares in paragraph 1 of Round 4, “So let's take a few minutes and discuss those very sources (as I have threatened to do for several rounds now).” So, after having finally conducted his inquiry into my sources, PRO proceeds to tell gigantic lies about them. Classy.


Let’s go on. PRO states, “In order for them to even be mildly useful for his side of the debate, clearly, they would at LEAST have to agree with the idea that MACRO EXISTS! But they don't. Not even his hero Prof. Tour.”


This is just a continuation of the earlier nonsense. Get a grip, PRO. Every single person I have cited believes that macroevolution exists. So does James Tour, he’s merely skeptical of how it works. That you could dispute this is too insane to be believed.


PRO continues, “In fact, go down the list- they're all creationists that don't believe in macro at all, and CON is using them to make YOU ALL BELIEVE that micro-macro is still a part of current biological science.”


Uh-huh. Name one creationist in my list, PRO. Cite a single piece of evidence to back up this delusional rambling. I know you won’t. Your only chance was with Tour, who has openly repudiated the label.


On the other hand, yes, of course I am using these credentialed non-creationists who recognize a real live distinction between microevolution and macroevolution to convince everyone that micro/macro is still a part of current science. What else would I be doing?


PRO isn’t done yet, “None of his sources are worth a damn.”


You heard it from PRO first: peer-reviewed journal papers and standard biology textbooks aren’t “worth a damn”. The views of highly-cited, highly-credentialed scientists? Not “worth a damn”. Punctuated equilibrium? Damnably worthless. Why not come out and say it, PRO: anybody who disagrees with you just isn’t worth a damn. Insightful.


Finally, “None of his sources support his thesis. None of his statement make any sense in light of the two expert opinions which I have offered before from people that ARE experts in this very field or in light of his own useless sources.”


Nobody is surprised that lots of biologists and other scientists would assert that no distinction between microevolution and macroevolution exists. That’s the whole point, PRO, the distinction between macroevolution and microevolution is a scientific controversy, as evidenced by my sources (who you are unfortunately eager to tell lies about). Anyway, what is my thesis, again? Let’s conclude this tiresome exchange.


Closing Remarks


My thesis: the distinction between microevolution and macroevolution is not a creationist fantasy.


I’ll recap the most interesting points.


James Tour, acclaimed synthetic biochemist, sharply distinguishes between microevolution and macroevolution. PRO tries to discredit him by saying that chemistry has nothing to do with biology and evolution. It is tedious to point out that all the processes which occur within an organism are chemical; PRO is just saying this because he has to. He also tries to say that Tour is a creationist, but Tour explicitly rejects the term. (Does it need to be pointed out that Intelligent Design equals creationism?)


In Round 3, PRO openly acknowledges that science has understood a distinction between microevolution and macroevolution. “I realize that for many of us the idea that science has moved on and didn't bother to send us an email (micro-macro died a sad death) may be shocking.” He then fails to provide the slightest proof of how and when science “moved on”. He will continue to fail, because science hasn’t moved on. And James Tour is evidence of that.


Andrew Simons, author of “The continuity of microevolution and macroevolution”. His paper details the widely-understood distinction between microevolution and macroevolution. PRO told some astonishing lies about Simons and then suddenly clammed up in Round 4--except to smear Simons as a creationist who doesn’t believe in microevolution or macroevolution! You cannot make this stuff up.


PRO cites Scott and Coyne as saying that micro equals macro, and he thinks this proves that Simons and Tour, et al. are lying. No, PRO, it proves my thesis precisely.


Namely, that the distinction between microevolution and macroevolution is real. And it is a current scientific controversy.

incredulous1972

Pro

Irony: The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Hypocrisy: The practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc., contrary to one's real character or actual behavior, esp. the pretense of virtue and piety.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I present you with an act of hypocrisy. Namely, my opponent, who is a self-confessed creationist up and down the halls of YouTube, who apparently favors a world-view in which macroevolution not only exists, but where it is actual, current science, only to be torn down by creationism. “Hypocrisy” because my opponent will (and has in this debate even) just as quickly turn around and proclaim any such part of evolution as non-existent, incompatible with the truth, and impossible to reconcile with his religious beliefs.

As many of you may know, if there is one particular part of evolution which is openly opposed in the creationist movement, then it is macro-evolution. Even my opponent has pointed this out in his own sources: James Tour is one such creationist who openly challenges (see the video and the papers laid before you by my opponent) the very notion of macro-evolution. He discusses the issues of macro-evolution in terms of chemistry. Unlike what my opponent eludes to, Tour is NOT, NOR HAS HE EVER BEEN, involved in bio-chemistry. He works and is known for working with nano-structures and non-bio science. And unlike Tour’s own assertions, we do know that Tour signed an Intelligent Design proposition (“A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism”, he’s near the BOTTOM RIGHT of the page) in 2001, and added his name to the list of less than 0.05% of scientists that take issue with evolution. (BTW: That number is actually 0.032%, i.e. eventually 700 “scientists and engineers”). My opponent’s own video has entire sections devoted to Tour rambling on about scripture. When was the last time your own High School science teacher told you biblical phrases to illustrate a point in evolution? How can anyone believe that Tour is not a creationist? I literally had to laugh when I read my opponents assertion that Tour doesn't consider himself one. Did Hitler consider himself a mass-murdering dictator? Facts are facts - Tour is a creationist!

The other sources that my opponent has so “carefully” chosen do nothing more than illustrate my points in the earlier rounds:

(1) Micro-macro is not accepted by the scientific community anymore. Just read some of the passages that my opponent has chosen, including Simons. Simons, in particular, CLEARLY makes that case. I have shown you two highly regarded, current scientists who differentiate between evolution and micro-macro concepts. They are not the same thing, and according to their statements (and they are not quote mined in onezie-twozie fashion as my opponent continues to) “micro-macro is bid a tierful goodbye”.

(2) Micro-macro is mentioned in high-school level text books. Folks, don’t kid yourself: This is not current science! High school texts are often put through a political process – just read about the Texas educational panel and how Creationists, Democrats, and Republicans are continuously attempting to rewrite history, science, and everything in between in an attempt to skew student’s learning to their own views. This is the stuff that makes it into the national headlines – how much more junk sneaks into our books that we don’t know about (or fails to make it, for that matter)?

(3) Most of my opponents quotes come from sources more than 10 years old. He is literally stuck in the world of Windows 2000 and the first version of Windows XP (before SP1 and SP2 came out). Guess what, science has “evolved”, and is "still evolving"!

My opponent makes the following factually false statements:

James Tour, acclaimed synthetic biochemist, sharply distinguishes between microevolution and macroevolution.”

Actually, CON, he doesn’t. He does the same thing that every creationist does – he sharply denies that macroevolution exists!

This is from a creationist website, quoting Tour:

I simply do not understand, chemically, how macroevolution could have happened. Hence, am I not free to join the ranks of the skeptical and to sign such a statement without reprisals from those that disagree with me? … Does anyone understand the chemical details behind macroevolution? If so, I would like to sit with that person and be taught, so I invite them to meet with me.”

I wish you could explain to me exactly, CON, how Tour would like to further your idea that micro-macro evolution exists, when he OPENLY challenges the very notion of macroevolution ever happening? It would be like someone trying to explain the difference between vanilla and chocolate ice cream, and the whole time they adamantly denied the existence of chocolate!? How can anyone back-paddle from that kind of willful ignorance (yours and Tours, for that matter)??? He even says this junk in the video you openly misreported as him stating some kind of advocacy for micro-macro!?

His paper [Simons] details the widely-understood distinction between microevolution and macroevolution.

CON, I realize that Simons paper might be a bit difficult to understand and follow - after all he uses difficult concepts and a type of language most of us never read. But in the end - in the conclusion paragraphs of his paper, he makes the difficult concepts easy for us to follow. Guess what, he says EXACTLY what I'm saying. You can keep lying about it all you want (and yes, at this point I'm calling you a liar), but let me show our readers exactly what he says:

This paper investigates the repercussions of a point that
has previously been acknowledged yet has been ignored:
that selection for a bet-hedging strategy is not a special
case of the way in which natural selection operates. I have
argued that the principles of bet-hedging theory should be
considered as relevant not only to a broad range of
microevolutionary studies, but may also be applied
hierarchically to macroevolutionary time scales and to
all phylogenetic levels. ...
Reddened selective extinction
that is nonrandom with respect to traits shared at any
phylogenetic level thus results in organisms composed of
structurally nested traits that have persisted through all
environmental events occurring over the time period
since the origin of the trait. The most recently evolved
traits are most likely – and ancient, deeply embedded
traits least likely – to be optimal over short time scales.
Gould (1980) predicts a new, unified theory that is
rooted in a hierarchical view of nature...
A depiction of evolution based
on environmental unpredictability and trend reversals
occurring concurrently at all levels of biotic organization
offers a self-consistent and parsimonious perspective on
short- and long-term evolution, one that should be
acceptable to both palaeobiologists and population
geneticists. ...Claims of qualitative differences in the
process of natural selection depending on the severity of
selection events become unnecessary and therefore
should bid a tierful goobye.


Remember - this was YOUR OWN SOURCE!

--------------------------------------------

I leave you with the following quote from WIKIPEDIA:

“Macroevolution”:

“Within the Modern Synthesis school of thought, macroevolution is thought of as the compounded effects of microevolution. Thus, the distinction between micro- and macroevolution is not a fundamental onethe only difference between them is of time and scale. As Ernst W. Mayr observes, "transspecific evolution is nothing but an extrapolation and magnification of the events that take place within populations and species...it is misleading to make a distinction between the causes of micro- and macroevolution”. However, time is not a necessary distinguishing factor – macroevolution can happen without gradual compounding of small changes; whole-genome duplication can result in speciation occurring over a single generation - this is especially common in plants.

Further down, it even has a section on how people like my opponent (creationists) like to kidnap the concept:


The term "macroevolution" frequently arises within the context of the evolution/creation debate
, usually used by creationists alleging a significant difference between the evolutionary changes observed in field and laboratory studies and the larger scale macroevolutionary changes that scientists believe to have taken thousands or millions of years to occur. They accept that evolutionary change is possible within what they call "kinds" ("microevolution"), but deny that one "kind" can evolve into another ("macroevolution").

Clearly, even WIKIPEDIA shows the problems with macroevolution. The standard High-school definition is good enough for high school kids, but it is not good enough for science. Eugenie Scott and others like her, real biologists working in the evolutionary field, have completely discarded the entire notion of micro-macro evolution. There’s no shame in not knowing that. There is shame in sticking your head in the sand, pretending that “this guy” said this and “that guy” said that when factually they didn’t, or their notions are superseded with new science, or their work is quote-mined with one sentence here or one title there. Shame on CON for doing this, and even still doing it after I’ve pointed it out for all to see.

Readers, check my sources. Check my statements. Check CON’s sources and his own statements. He’s stuck in a situation where he has to make “left” look “right”, “up” look “down”, and “lies” look like the “truth”. Or in other words: He’s being a hypocritical creationist (is there any other kind)?

The irony in all of this? Here is a creationist debating that macroevolution exists (completely against his own beliefs), and an evolutionist debating that a distinction between micro-macro doesn’t.

Vote for PRO, vote for current science, and vote against dishonest nonsense (CON).

Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by rock06r 3 years ago
rock06r
I am a degreed professor at a prestigious school in the Northwest who has worked in the biology department for over a decade. I rub shoulders with several scholars whom many of you may have seen on the Discovery Channel from time to time, some of whom are leaders in our field.

Pro is completely correct in his assertion that micro-macro is an old debate. The reason I'm posting this happens to be that one of my students recently, i.e. this summer, had a similar discussion with me regarding the nature of what the difference between micro and macro evolution are. In fact, there isn't one. There are several sources that I could cite, but I think this one makes a strong case:

"An ongoing debate in evolution is whether there is a distinction between macroevolution and microevolution, and if so, how to define that difference. Since the advent of molecular biology, with its insight into the molecular details of mutation, there has been a surge of thought that there is no fundamental distinction: evolution is evolution. Understanding what is usually meant by macroevolution and microevolution is important, if only to better follow the debate."

This is a quote from a book titled "AP BIOLOGY FOR DUMMIES".

The problem that persisted for decades was that micro and macro evolution were never well defined. In many respects they both have blurry lines as to where they begin and end. John Wilkins also wrote a good online wiki regarding this subject (http://www.talkorigins.org...). Read that page and come back and explain the difference between micro and macro, CON, if you can. Factually, the debate ended a long time ago - at this point any graduate student who attempts to inject a micro/macro issue into their dissertation will get it kicked back with a large red "REWRITE" plastered all over it by every committee member I know.

Also, James Tour? The man is a known hack! I can't help but laugh at PRO for waiting 3 rounds before exposing him!
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