The Instigator
Bodhivaka
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
wrichcirw
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

Macroevolution is most likely true

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Bodhivaka
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,583 times Debate No: 27692
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (42)
Votes (4)

 

Bodhivaka

Pro

In this debate, I will be making the positive claim that macroevolution is most likely true; as such, the burden of proof will rest on me.
________________________________________________________________________________________________

The debate will be structured as follows:

(1) Acceptance
(2) Pro arguments, Con rebuttals
(3) Pro counter-arguments, Con rebuttals
(4) Closing statements

Moreover, for the purposes of this debate, both participants must agree to the following definitions:*

Theory: The scientific terminology for a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. [1]

Evolution:
The change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations, which may be caused by natural selection, genetic drift, migration, inbreeding, hybridization, or mutation. [2]

Macroevolution:
Major evolutionary transition from one type of organism to another occurring at the level of the species and higher taxa. [3]

Species: 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. [4]

Furthermore, in addition to accepting the above definitions, both participants in this debate must agree to the following rules:

(1) No semantics
(2) No plagiarism
(3) No new arguments in the last round
(4) No arguments in the comment section
(5) Any desired changes to the debate must be agreed upon by both participants before acceptance from Con.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.biology-online.org...
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[4] http://dictionary.reference.com...

*The definitions seen here may vary slightly from their original state as presented by the sources listed. Such modifications were made to accommodate the purposes of this debate, or to otherwise improve the original written meanings as I saw fit.
wrichcirw

Con

Thank you Bodhivaka for hosting this debate. As the burden of proof is on you, I feel more comfortable debating a topic about which I have little to no knowledge.

Accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Bodhivaka

Pro

First and foremost, I would like to thank Wrrichcirw for accepting my challenge. Hopefully we can make this out to be an interesting and intellectually stimulating debate.

Considering Wrrichcirw's own admission that he knows very little concerning evolution, I shall do as best I can to present my information in a simple, non-technical manner.

Unfortunately, an 8,000 character limit is not nearly sufficient enough to cover the overwhelming amount of evidence in support of macroevolution; however, I shall nevertheless do my best to present what I believe are some of the most convincing pieces of evidence available.

Protein Functional Redundancy:

There are some proteins that all living organisms require in order to survive, such as cytochrome c; such universal genes are called ubiquitous genes. Something interesting about ubiquitous genes is that there are a countless amount of sequences that can allow a gene to perform the same function. To illustrate this simply, imagine that the sequence 1234 can perform the same essential function as 2431, as can a nearly infinite number of alternate sequences; therefore, there is no particular reason for two different species to share the same sequence to perform the same function (this has been proven by taking cytochrome c sequences from other species and putting them in yeast. Although yeast possesses a very different cytochrome c sequence, it still operates perfectly when its native sequence is deleted and replaced with a foreign sequence [1]).

Moreover, ubiquitous genes, such as cytochrome c, have no correlation to an organism's physical makeup (phenotype); therefore, even though humans and apes, for example, look very much alike physically, such similarities would have no affect on each species' cytochrome c sequence [2].

To reiterate, 1) there are certain genes which all living organisms on earth share, 2) these ubiquitous genes share no correlation to an organism's physical makeup, 3) there are essentially an infinite amount of sequences that can perform the same function, 4) therefore, there is no reason for two different species to have the same sequence to perform the same function unless they have both inherited that particular combination from a common ancestor [3].

Therefore, it is interesting to learn that humans and chimpanzees share the exact same cytochrome c sequence. The chances of this happening randomly are 1 out of 10^93 [4]. The only logical explanation is that apes and humans share a common ancestor, and therefore have inherited the same cytochrome c sequence. In fact, it has been observed that the most distantly related a particular species is, the more it gradually differs in the sequences which comprise its genes [5].

Endogenous Retroviruses:

An endogenous retrovirus, simply put, is a molecular remnant from a past parasitic viral infection; for example, in humans, particular sequences of DNA code are found within our genome that are unmistakable leftovers from past viral infections. These viruses remain in the human genome as they are passed down and inherited from one descendant to the next [6].

This inevitably leads us to ask the question of how a virus can become an inheritable part of the human genome; the answer is relatively simple -- a retrovirus must infect a living organism, make a DNA copy of its own viral genome and insert it specifically into the organism's germ cell line (which produces sperm and eggs); if this is accomplished, the retrovirus will become an inheritable part of an organism's DNA. Note that this process as a whole is extremely rare and relatively random [7].

Considering this information, we can assume that if two organisms share the same endogenous retroviruses in the same chromosomal locations, there is an immensely large probability that they are both biologically related, as the only alternative explanation is that each organism obtained the same kinds of retroviruses in the same chromosomal locations independently (a highly unlikely possibility).

Therefore, it is interesting to know that 16 endogenous retroviruses have hitherto been discovered which are shared between apes and humans in the same chromosomal locations. The chances of humans and apes obtaining these sixteen endogenous retroviruses independently are 1 in 2,057,400 followed by 135 zeros (so unlikely that it can't even be reasonably considered); hence, the only logical alternative is a common ancestor between apes and humans which passed down the virus to both species. If one accepts the common ancestor explanation as true, the chance of humans and apes sharing said 16 endogenous retroviruses becomes 1 [Video provided on top].

Atavisms:

"An atavism is the reappearance of a lost character specific to a remote evolutionary ancestor and not observed in the parents or recent ancestors of the organism displaying the atavistic character [8]."

In other words, human tails and dolphin hind limbs are examples of atavisms.

There are many examples of atavisms. For example, consider the following figure:

Figure 1.0

Provided by http://www.talkorigins.org...

As can be seen from the above photograph, dolphins have been found with hind limbs. This is perfectly consistent with the evolutionary teaching that dolphins and whales descend from land-dwelling mammals.

There have also been documented reports of humans growing tails and whales with legs [9]. This provides strong evidence for macroevolution.

Ontogeny:

We also see evidence of macroevolution from embryology. Continuing with the subject of dolphins, consider the following photograph of a dolphin embryo:

Figure 1.1

Provided by http://www.talkorigins.org...

The letter 'f' in the photograph points to the well-developed forelimb of the dolphin embryo, while the letter 'h' points to the well-developed hind limb. This happens in all dolphin embryos, providing strong evidence that dolphins descended from land-dwelling mammals which possessed hind limbs.

There is much more evidence for macroevolution found in the field of embryology; for example, snake embryos also grow hind limbs, and human embryos develop tails which eventually regress, leaving only our tailbone behind [10].

Phenotype Comparison:

Lastly, yet another piece of evidence for macroevolution comes from comparing the phenotypes of various organisms. Again, continuing with dolphins, consider their flipper bones:

Figure 1.2

Provided by http://www.dolphincommunicationproject.org...

As you can see, the flipper bones of dolphins very much resemble the skeletal makeup of a hand. This strongly suggests that dolphins did not always have flippers, but rather evolved from land-dwelling mammals. Indeed, other water-dwelling animals with flippers that are not believed to have evolved from land-dwellers, such as sharks, do not share such physical similarities with land-dwelling mammals.

Therefore, considering that evolution teaches that dolphins descended from land-dwelling mammals, it's easy to understand why the bones of dolphin flippers would look more like hands, while the bones of shark flippers would not.

Bear in mind that the evidences I've provided are only brief over-glances of the topics discusssed. Much more can be said on these particular subjects alone; however, I do not have enough room remaining to continue; therefore, if possible, I will provide more evidence in my next argument, such as the the fossil record, vestigial structures, and observed instances of speciation.

Therefore, considering all of the above mentioned evidence, I assert that macroevolution is most likely true.
________________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] http://www.talkorigins.org...
[2] ibid.
[3] ibid.
[4] ibid.
[5] ibid.
[6] http://www.talkorigins.org...
[7] ibid.
[8] http://www.talkorigins.org...
[9] ibid.
[10] http://www.talkorigins.org...

wrichcirw

Con

I will take this debate along a different line of thinking.

ASSUMPTIONS

First of all, I concede all of the evidence that Bodhivaka has brought thus far and will accept it as true given the following assumptions:

Given reality,
Life is a subset of reality,
Evolution seeks to explain life.

Under this framework, I will concede that PRO's points thus far are a subset of evolution. Evolution (as defined in round #1) is a given, and macroevolution is a subset of evolution, thus PRO's assertions in round #2 to the extent that they define macroevolution MUST be true. I have a feeling that his future posts will also fall under a subset of evolution by offering more defining evidence of macroevolution. If he continues down this line of evidence, I will concede such evidence to also be true, given the stipulations above.

To reiterate, as agreed in round #1, Evolution is "The change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations, which may be caused by natural selection, genetic drift, migration, inbreeding, hybridization, or mutation." These are all characteristics of living creatures, and given the scope of evolutionary theory, life must also be defined:

a. The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

I believe both PRO and I can also agree that evolution is a subset of [scientific] theory as defined in round #1, i.e. "The scientific terminology for a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world".



Now onto my argument:

As stated before,

Given evolution as defined in round #1,
Macroevolution is most likely true.

I completely agree that given evolution (as defined in round #1), macroevolution is most likely true. This is the same as saying "Given the set of real numbers and the mathematical operations "+" and "=", it is most likely that 1+1=2". Of course it's true. Macroevolution is a subset of evolution, and the validity of its definition is contingent upon the validity of evolution as a [scientific] theory, i.e. "The scientific terminology for a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world". Again, evolution is true in the limited scope of evolution as defined in round #1. I do not contest this, unless I seek to lose this debate.

In this sense, I take all of PRO's arguments as not meaningful to a central question - Can evolution explain life? After rereading the sourced definition of life, especially this portion: "The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as...[etc]," I notice that LIFE IS UNDEFINED. It is a distinguishing "property" that has "manifestations", but what exactly this property is is a total mystery, and this mystery is what we call "life".

I have some more fundamental questions:

Given Reality
Life is a subset of Reality,
Non-Life is a subset of Reality.

Can science explain life? Where did life come from? Did life come from non-life, or did non-life come from life? What is life? What is non-life? Evolution does not explain any of this, and [scientific] theory ATTEMPTS to explain this by asserting that life came from non-life. Within the confines of many of the world's religions, many of these religions AUTHORITATIVELY explain this, as for example in the Bible where God (a living being) creates everything, including non-life. If it comes to relative truth, of judging which competing theory of life is "most likely true", I believe the argument can get extremely messy, so I will not argue for or against this point and gun straight for what science thinks life is.

It is a given that evolution is a theory that explains one "manifestation" of life through the process of incremental change, and I do not challenge this aspect of evolution. What I do challenge is whether or not life itself can be explained through [scientific] theory. If science does not have a plausible theory on life, then all the dominoes fall:

Given [scientific] theory, and
Evolution seeks to explain life, and
Given Evolution is a subset of [scientific] Theory, and
Given Macroevolution is a subset of evolution,

Life cannot be defined,
Evolution seeks to explain something it cannot understand,
Macroevolution seeks to explain something it cannot understand.

My question then becomes very simple. If Macroevolution seeks to explain something it cannot understand, how can it possibly be true?

Similarly, Newtonian physics seeks to explain something it cannot understand (Reality, of which life is a subset), as does Albert Einstein's theories. Here's what Einstein had to say about the pursuit of truth:

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science."
[2]

The theoretical models of science all work with variables and assumptions. Unlike mathematics, Newtonian physics, or other theoretical models, life is not a theoretical model. Life is undefined, and science cannot explain it. Science does not even know what the core assumption should be. This is similarly true for Newtonian physics and etc., that attempt to explain reality - Reality is also beyond our grasp to define. Evolution seeks to explain life in its limited fashion, and in its limited fashion it succeeds. However, the greater questions remain undefinable by science, and in that sense, Evolution, and thus Macroevolution, seeks to explain something it cannot understand. How can anyone possibly take such study of a complete unknown to be authoritatively true? It is categorically false, until proven otherwise. The proof will come in the form of working definitions of "life" and "reality", i.e. setting up base assumptions for these two words on which both PRO and CON can agree. The burden of proof is on PRO. (thank god)

If I were to emulate Einstein above, then I will not agree to any working definitions of these two words, and will assert that PRO will never in his lifetime be able to find acceptable working definitions of "life" and "reality". Therefore, he will not be able to ascertain "truth".

This, in my opinion, is the real challenge that science faces. This is why it is so important that science "makes falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry..." [1] Why? Because it works from an understanding that we do NOT know who we are, nor what we are doing. Given this state of affairs, it is foolhardy to assert we command "truth" to any significant degree.

I move to end this debate and ask for PRO's forfeiture.


P.S. - I can go even further and state that since life is undefined, evolution does not know what in the world it is studying. If life is undefined, then life could be a lump of coal for all we know, and evolution is not studying how a lump of coal adapts to its environment. If evolution is "the change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations" of lumps of coal, well, I think we all will have a problem with that. Evolution then becomes false, as does macroevolution.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://rescomp.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
Bodhivaka

Pro

Ultimately, I believe my opponent's argument can be summarized as follows:

1) Evolution seeks to explain life
2) We do not know what the correct definition of life is
3) Therefore, evolution cannot explain life and is thereby false

In my opinion, this argument should be completely disregarded, as it ultimately boils down to nothing more than a semantic dispute concerning the word "life", which directly contradicts the first rule of this debate -- no semantics. Obviously an acceptance of evolution necessitates the presupposition that we exist, that life is real, and that we possess a general undestanding of what life is.

In any case, seeing as how evolution is a matter of science, I believe the scientific description of life is sufficient for the purposes of this debate. According to science, organisms exhibiting all or most of the following characteristics may be considered alive [1]:

1. Growth
2. Adaption
3. Metabolism
4. Homeostasis
5. Reproduction
6. Response to stimuli
7. Cellular composition

Let it not be forgotten that the question being considered in this debate is not one of science's ability to explain life (despite the apparent effort my opponent to make it such); rather the question being considered in this debate simply concerns the probability of macroevolution being true.

We could enter into endless philosophical discussions concerning life, reality, and knowledge; however, this is a scientific discussion, not a philosophical one; therefore, I urge the voters to ignore the semantics, consider the scientific evidence, and to vote PRO.
________________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
wrichcirw

Con

My opponent states "Obviously an acceptance of evolution necessitates the presupposition that we exist, that life is real, and that we possess a general understanding of what life is." Then he states "According to science, organisms exhibiting all or most of the following characteristics may be considered alive:..."

Again, PRO does not define life, he only gives general characteristics of what may be considered alive. Life cannot be defined.

PRO's OWN SOURCE CANNOT DEFINE LIFE:


"It is a challenge for scientists and philosophers to define life in unequivocal terms. This is difficult partly because life is a process, not a pure substance."[1]

A process of what? Good question. We do NOT have a general understanding of what life is. Science makes no claim to define life, only to study it. Science seeks objective truth, but is itself NOT TRUTH.

If Macroevolution was to be true, then the Theory of Evolution would become the new Bible, and Darwin the chief Prophet. Macroevolution would become as true as any of today's religions. I believe the world's religions to be true only within the confines of their religions, for example:

Given the Bible,
God is the Way, Truth, and Light.

Without the Bible as a core assumption, such a bold statement would have nothing to stand upon.

For science, there is NO CORE ASSUMPTION. Therefore, there is no statement regarding "truth" for those like PRO that so desperately seek it in science.


PRO later states that "the question being considered in this debate simply concerns the probability of macroevolution being true."

Again, to suppose that you or I or anyone voting on this matter has a grasp of "truth" is a fiction and fallacy. Science is built upon the destruction and fallibility of its theories. Theories are constantly readjusted based upon new input and discoveries. To think that Macroevolution will stand as some sort of tautological truth for all eternity is a complete and utter fallacy, as much if not more so than believing that the world was created in 6 days because the Bible said so.

Like what it studies, Macroevolutionary theory will evolve, implying that it will experience death and rebirth. Whatever it is today, will not be what it will become in the future. It may not even be called "Macroevolution". How can something that does not stand the test of time be held "true"?

All I need to prove is that Macroevolution is NOT MOST LIKELY TRUE. I have accomplished this task.


PS - Any debate topic that holds something to be TRUE with no base assumption will more than likely be proven false. Any debater advocating that their position is a source of truth will more than likely be proven wrong.

For instance, is 1+1=2 true? Given the set of real numbers, and given the mathematical terms + and =, yes, 1+1=2 is true.

But, without those base assumptions, 1+1=2 is just chicken scratch that has no meaning whatsoever.

What is the base assumption for my opponent's assertion that Macroevolution is true? My answer is that it will in some way involve a definition of life, because Macroevolution studies life. LIFE CANNOT BE DEFINED BY SCIENCE. Neither me nor my opponent has successfully proffered a scientific definition of life. I challenge any voters to do the same.


[1] - http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Bodhivaka

Pro

As we have reached the final round in this debate, I would like to again sincerely thank my opponent for putting in the time and effort to participate in this discussion.

In compliance with the rules of this debate, I shall not present any new arguments within this round; rather, I shall simply provide the reasons why I believe you should vote PRO.

I have presented herein observable, testable, and falsifiable scientific evidence which strongly supports the idea of macroevolution; my opponent has not debunked this evidence; rather, he has simply employed semantics to distract voters from the evidence (something which was expressly forbidden in the rule of this debate).

Furthermore, my opponent has attempted to shed doubt on the evidence I've provided by introducing the doctrine of fallibilism (the belief that no one can know anything for certain).

Although I myself subscribe to fallibilism, in a debate setting such as this, our goal is to reach a definitive resolution through the employment of convincing arguments and evidence; to that extent, I urge voters to decide the winner of this debate based on who you believe has presented the most logical and convincing case.

If all debates were subject to the semantics and strict adherence to fallibilism that my opponent presents here today, we would never make any meaningful progress. We must exercise our powers of reason and logic to the fullest extent humanly possible when deciding upon matters such as these.

The resolution sought to be achieved in this debate was "Macroevolution is most likely true." To the extent that humans are capable of determining truth through empirical evidence, I believe I have presented a stronger case than that of my opponent.

I encourage you to choose science over semantics. Vote PRO.
wrichcirw

Con

First of all, thank you Bodhivaka for hosting this debate. I too will end this debate with closing comments and no new arguments.


The argument at had is very simple:

Is Macroevolution true?


1) My opponent has accused me of arguing semantics, but knowing what Macroevolution studies is of primary importance. Remember that "Evolution is "The change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations, which may be caused by natural selection, genetic drift, migration, inbreeding, hybridization, or mutation." These are all characteristics of living creatures, and given the scope of evolutionary theory, life must also be defined..."

Macroevolution studies and seeks to explain life, but both PRO and CON agree that LIFE CANNOT BE DEFINED BY SCIENCE. This statement leads to one important conclusion:

"If Macroevolution seeks to explain something it cannot understand, how can it possibly be true?"

One very simple example of this:

Imagine that your algebra teacher sought to explain algebra when he or she didn't understand it. You can take comfort in knowing that your algebra teacher is doing his or her best in studying it, but would you trust this person to teach you algebra?

Of course not. Similarly, given that science cannot even define life let alone understand it, and evolution studies and seeks to explain life, how can you possibly consider that evolution could explain life to you? How could it be true? If evolution is not true, how can macroevolution be true?



2) Another simple argument against Macroevolution being true:

Ask yourself whether or not Macroevolution will be the same in 10, 50, 100, 500, or 1000 years as it is today:

"Like what it studies, Macroevolutionary theory will evolve, implying that it will experience death and rebirth. Whatever it is today, will not be what it will become in the future. It may not even be called "Macroevolution". How can something that does not stand the test of time be held "true"?"

Theories change all the time as new information is discovered; that is what makes the theory scientific. We discard what is proven false, and add new information that HAS YET TO BE PROVEN FALSE. Macroevolution is a scientific theory. If macroevolutionary theory was true, then why would it have to change?



3) My opponent attempted to pull out an encyclopedia and define macroevolution, hoping that by merely defining it then it "is most likely true". However, PRO failed to consider that "Science seeks objective truth, but is itself NOT TRUTH." Albert Einstein said this about the pursuit of truth:

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science."
[1]

Albert Einstein knew that science makes no claim about knowing the truth, but instead that science stands in awe of its mystery. Macroevolution is science. Macroevolution is not truth.


Again, I ask the voters, is macroevolution true? I vote resoundingly no.


[1] http://rescomp.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 4
42 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Bodhivaka 4 years ago
Bodhivaka
Haha, thanks, Wrichcirw :D
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
ITS NOT TRUE DAMMIT!!!

lol, good luck with your debate :D
Posted by Bodhivaka 4 years ago
Bodhivaka
Very well, I'll be eagerly awaiting your challenge.
Posted by mhigh763 4 years ago
mhigh763
I would be happy to debate you on the issue.
Posted by Bodhivaka 4 years ago
Bodhivaka
Presenting evidence-based arguments is fine; however, you should ideally present such arguments in a debate.

That's what this website is for. If you want to argue, set up a debate and let people vote. If you would like to challenge me to a debate on evolution, I would gladly accept.
Posted by mhigh763 4 years ago
mhigh763
I did not realize presenting evidence based arguments was considered spamming. I would have gladly answered you claims on your debate if it were not closed. Respectfully, what is your area of expertise?
Posted by Bodhivaka 4 years ago
Bodhivaka
Mhigh763, I recommend that instead of spamming the comment section, you actually go and set up a debate to let voters decide how well your claims stand up to scrutiny.
Posted by mhigh763 4 years ago
mhigh763
The article thus "analyzed genome sequence and high-throughput expression data to systematically evaluate the presence of retroviral promoters in the human genome."

The results were striking:

We report the existence of 51,197 ERV-derived promoter sequences that initiate transcription within the human genome, including 1743 cases where transcription is initiated from ERV sequences that are located in gene proximal promoter or 5' untranslated regions (UTRs).
[...]

Our analysis revealed that retroviral sequences in the human genome encode tens-of-thousands of active promoters; transcribed ERV sequences correspond to 1.16% of the human genome sequence and PET tags that capture transcripts initiated from ERVs cover 22.4% of the genome. These data suggest that ERVs may regulate human transcription on a large scale.

(Andrew B. Conley, Jittima Piriyapongsa and I. King Jordan, "Retroviral promoters in the human genome," Bioinformatics, Vol. 24(14):1563--1567 (2008).)

Darwinists who labeled ERVs as a form of "selfish" and "junk" DNA have been chasing explanations down a blind alley. It should be stated that the authors do not deviate from the neo-Darwinian paradigm, putting the obligatory evolutionary spin on the data. They claim that it's a possibility that some of the transcribed ERVs are "not functionally significantl," exposing that even in the face of this compelling contrary data, it is difficult for many Darwinists to let go of their seductive but science-stopping "junk-DNA" paradigm. It seems that Richard Sternberg was correct when he predicted 5 years ago that "the selfish DNA narrative and allied frameworks must join the other 'icons' of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory that, despite their variance with empirical evidence, nevertheless persist in the literature." (Richard Sternberg, "On the Roles of Repetitive DNA Elements in the Context of a Unified Genomic--Epigenetic System," Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 981: 154--88 (2002).)
Posted by mhigh763 4 years ago
mhigh763
Furthermore,

"Endogenous retroviruses provide yet another example of molecular sequence evidence for universal common descent." The presumption behind his argument is that endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are functionless stretches of "junk" DNA that persist because they are "selfish"--but they have no function for the organism. If we find the same ERVs in the same genetic loci in different species of primates, Theobald concludes they document common ancestry. But what if ERVs do perform important genetic functions? Even theistic evolutionist Francis Collins acknowledges that genetic similarity "alone does not, of course, prove a common ancestor" because a designer could have "used successful design principles over and over again." (The Language of God, pg. 134.) The force of Theobald's argument thus depends upon the premise that ERVs are selfish genetic "junk" that do not necessarily perform any useful function for their host.

In contrast, ID proponents would predict function for ERVs. This isn't because ID has an inherent quarrel with common descent--it doesn't. Rather, ID predicts function because the basis for ID's predictions is observations of how intelligent agents design things, and intelligent agents tend to design objects that perform some kind of function. As William Dembski wrote in 1998, "If, on the other hand, organisms are designed, we expect DNA, as much as possible, to exhibit function." It seems that the expectations of ID are turning out to be right.

A recent 2008 paper, "Retroviral promoters in the human genome," in the journal Bioinformatics (Vol. 24(14):1563--1567 (2008)) discusses the fact that "Endogenous retrovirus (ERV) elements have been shown to contribute promoter sequences that can initiate transcription of adjacent human genes. However, the extent to which retroviral sequences initiate transcription within the human genome is currently unknown."
Posted by mhigh763 4 years ago
mhigh763
Furthermore I would like to address the evidence that Bodhivaka gave in support of macroevolution.

He is making some unstated assupmtions...

In his discussion he says there is only a 1 in 10^93 chance that chimps and humans RANDOMLY share the same sequences of genes and thus concludes that the must share a common ancestor. This is a conclusion that does not exclusively support his claim and thus he cannot use this as evidence. One could also conclude that there similarity of genes is not random because chimps and humans were created by the same designer. To illustrate this think of a car manufacturer, the engineers that design and build the cars use very similar parts from one model to the next, yet the models are still different. It makes since that they would do this...why create several different transmissions when you can use the same one in different models. The reason the transmissions are the same is because they were created by the same designer. The conclusion Bodhivaka makes does not CONCLUSIVELY support macroevolution over an intelligent designer!!! The evidence supports both ideas and therefore must be excluded from an argument for either case. Bodhivaka makes the same argumentative errors in his other statements as well.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by rross 4 years ago
rross
BodhivakawrichcirwTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did set this up as a scientific debate, and so he should know better than to use a word like "true". If it had been on a more general topic, I would have voted the other way because semantics weren't allowed. However, Con is right that the phrase "most likely true" is inappropriate in this context, and I think this goes beyond semantics.
Vote Placed by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
BodhivakawrichcirwTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument rests on the assumption that something has to be defined to be studied. This is not the case. Besides, Pro set out a positive scientific case with sources and Con really had nothing but a semantic point.
Vote Placed by UltimateSkeptic 4 years ago
UltimateSkeptic
BodhivakawrichcirwTied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Con gets the conduct point due to allegations made by pro and his disregard for con's case altogether. Sources to Pro, he provided the most reliable material. In this debate, it was con's position to provide evidence to the contrary of macro-evolution. Though fallibilism is the attempt to discredit information, it does not stop at Pro's case. The problem with this philosophy is that it encompasses both sides (pro's possibility of being wrong & con's possibility of being wrong about pro being wrong) and renders itself meaningless in a debate setting when proving and disproving a specific resolution. Because I was unconvinced of this tactic, I am urged to vote Pro in the category of arguments.
Vote Placed by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
BodhivakawrichcirwTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had such a great opening I am surprised that he actually dropped all his arguments and let Con lead the debate. Theis shows Con was the better debater. Pro gets the sources, because he had more.