The Instigator
gruntel
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
mrpilotgamer
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Natural Selection method cannot build a design of moderate sophistication

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
mrpilotgamer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 613 times Debate No: 68407
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

gruntel

Pro

This is not a debate about evolution but rather about the design method of small incremental changes which are then selected due to being advantageous.

As an engineer, I would like to assert that this kind of method of design cannot produce any kind of mechanical design of moderate sophistication FROM SCRATCH.

By moderate sophistication, I mean something like a motor, which has many interdependent parts. Another example would be a mechanical watch which also has many moving parts.

I would like to see something of similar sophistication being designed in TINY incremental steps such that each step adds useful functionality.
mrpilotgamer

Con

So, you state:

"As an engineer, I would like to assert that this kind of method of design cannot produce any kind of mechanical design of moderate sophistication FROM SCRATCH."

you are comparing machines, non-living things that have to be moved by forces or living things, to living things, things that can move on there own accord, and can reproduce. when you find a car, or a watch, or a building that can reproduce and move on its own accord, we can compare the two in this instance. but non have been found.

Now, the human body is not perfect. far from it, in fact. here are ten body imperfections: http://guardianlv.com...

Imperfection #1: The wrist. The human wrist is great for catching footballs, swinging baseball bats, driving cars, among other daily activities. The ability to rotate our wrist is achieved by the interchangeability of the two arm bones. Alternatively, the wrist bones are thin and fracture easily. Given that human ancestors have been falling on their wrists for quite some time, why did natural selection not make those bones thicker? If the bones that constitute the wrist were any thicker, then it would lose its ability to efficiently rotate. So it is a tradeoff between two competing evolutionary advantages. Yet when scientists design a robotic arm, rather than using two thin rods, they simply use a single thick rod that can rotate 360 degrees. So the human wrist is an imperfection in design, which is exactly what one would expect if the wrist had evolved, and not what would one expect if it had been created.

Imperfection #2: The back. As people age, many begin to experience back pains. Chiropractors abound, back pain is an unfortunate corollary of human evolution that is here to stay. Humans are bipedal creatures, meaning they pedal themselves with two legs. In contrast, ancient ancestors were quadrupedal creatures, meaning they peddled themselves with four legs. So the back was originally like a bridge that supported everything. The organs dangled from the back through a connection of nerves. When the vertebrate column inclined vertically, the organs became tangled. In addition, the lower back now has to support the weight of the shoulders and has not taken kindly to this readjustment.

Imperfection #3: Sinus cavities. Another natural consequence of shifting from quadrupedal to bipedal is the displacement of the sinus cavities. In bipedal animals, the maxillary sinus cavity is located behind the cheeks on each side of the face. The placement of the drainage hole causes a great deal of grief for anyone who has ever suffered a sinus infection. The drainage hole leads to the top of the nose. As a result, the fluid fights an uphill battle against gravity. In quadrupedal creatures, however, the drainage hole is located at the front rather than the top, which allows the fluid to drain much more smoothly.

Imperfection #4: The jaw. In addition to poor sinuses, the human jaw contains more teeth than it can chew. Wisdom teeth are a superfluous set of molars located at the back of the mouth that grow-in around the age of eighteen. The wisdom teeth push into the surrounding vicinity and cause some of the neighboring teeth to grow-in sides ways. Wisdom teeth used to help our ancestors grind plant food. As the human diet changed, the human jaw bone decreased in volume. Despite serving no practical purpose, wisdom teeth continue to manifest themselves in young adult life. Wisdom teeth tend to be removed because they trap food in the back of the mouth and cause infections.

Imperfection #5: Goose bumps. Many wonder what purpose goose bumps actually serve. The answer is, they don"t have a purpose. However, goose bumps served a practical purpose for distant and extinct ancestors. In particular, animals with feathers and hair would use goose bumps for thermal regulation and to fluff up their hair to appear larger to prey. This is why goose bumps appear when people are either cold or frightened. Although humans have shred most of the ancestral hair, the trait continues to circulate within the species. Goose bumps are, like molars, a superfluous vestige of long, forgotten ancestors that continue to manifest themselves today.

Imperfection #6: The birth canal. The shortage of the birth canal is one of the most tragic imperfections of the human body. The birth canal serves as a passageway for childbirth. The narrowness of the birth canal makes it difficult to deliver babies and can be detrimental to the life of both the mother and child. If the baby"s head is larger than the pelvic opening, then the baby cannot be born naturally. Prior to medical surgery, this complication would lead to the death of the mother, child or both. Evolutionary history reveals that the human brain rapidly swelled like a balloon within the last few million years. So much so that the birth canal has not had enough time to adapt to the expansion of the cranial cavity.

Imperfection #7: The throat. Reports indicate that approximately one person in a hundred thousand chokes to death each year. While this rate might seem small, it has been a persistent cause of death for hundreds of millions of years not only in human history, but throughout the course of vertebrate evolution. Vertebrates share the same underlying flaw"namely, the food- consuming esophagus intersects with the oxygen-consuming trachea. Although the body has a reflex that causes the trachea to close while swallowing, it is not, forgive the pun, air tight. Yet this automatic reflex is a superfluous undertaking for the human body. A safer and more efficient design would be to place the esophagus and trachea onto two separate routes. This is not an unreasonable demand. For example, dolphins eat and drink through separate holes in their bodies.

Imperfection #8: Arteries: Arteries are a double edge sword between brilliance and idiocy. On the one hand, arteries posses the remarkable ability to carry the perfect amount of blood to each region of the body. On the other hand, the material that comprises arteries is flimsy. For many people, cholesterol deposits conglomerates inside the arterial walls. This thwarts blood circulation and triggers a host of health problems that plagues modern culture, such as heart attacks and strokes. As the late George Williams once wrote, " It is as if a Mercedes Benz designer specified a plastic soda straw for the fuel line!"

Imperfection #9: The eye. The human eye tends to be upheld as the pinnacle of creation and is a notorious example of "irreducible complexity." It is therefore rather ironic that the eye is also an excellent illustration of stupid design. In particular, the eye"s photocells point away from the scene that is actually being looked at. As a result, light rays have to surpass a dense, concentration of cellular wiring in order to stimulate the photocells. This is like putting the wires that comprise a video camera in front of the lens. To make matters worse, the wires that connect the photocells to the brain have to figure out a way to surpass the retina. Therefore, the nerves dive through a hole on the eye"s surface which in turn, causes a blind spot.

Imperfection #10: The Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve. The recurrent laryngeal nerve is a nerve that begins at the back of the brain and ends at the larynx (the voice box in mammals). Rather than taking an expeditious route from the back of the neck to the larynx, the laryngeal nerve takes the circuitous route by diving into the chest, loops around one of the main arteries, and then stems its way back up to the voice box. The most extreme case occurs in giraffes, where the nerve makes an unnecessary twelve-foot dive down into the chest. The reason the nerve makes this unnecessary route is that it originally developed in fish that had no neck. However, with the emergence of mammals came the elongation of the neck which caused the heart to be displaced lower.

Back to you, pro.
Debate Round No. 1
gruntel

Pro

thank you for accepting the challenge.

However, you have not shown me an example of designing something of moderate complexity using the design method of small incremental changes which is what this debate is about.

This debate is NOT about whether the human body could be designed in a better way.

It is solely about the power of the designing something from scratch using this method.

Please pick a mechanical design of moderate sophistication such as a watch or motor, etc with any range of bolts, nuts, screw, metal plates, springs, etc. and show me how to build your contraption in tiny incremental steps such that it adds advantageous usefullness at each step or two
mrpilotgamer

Con

I explained:

"you are comparing machines, non-living things that have to be moved by forces or living things, to living things, things that can move on there own accord, and can reproduce. when you find a car, or a watch, or a building that can reproduce and move on its own accord, we can compare the two in this instance. but none have been found."

as I said, you simply cannot compare machines to living things, as they are fundamentally different.

also, your position as an engineer should not give you authority over what biologists study, just because you can make a false comparison. the reasoning behind it is fine, but false in context.
Debate Round No. 2
gruntel

Pro

Once again, I am not talking about human beings, or living things for that matter. only the power of the design method of small incremental changes.

Please provide an example of a finished product of moderate complexity designed from scratch with this method.

The movement is done by the designer, i.e. you.
mrpilotgamer

Con

sigh* I have never met someone who cannot understand the point I am making.

you cannot compare two things, i.e. living things and nonliving things, without seeing fundamentally different properties making it very time wasting to compare the two. with life, they seek out energy to grow and reproduce, they have cells, and respond to stimuli. with non life, they cannot move on their own, they cannot grow and reproduce, they don't have cells, and they cannot respond to stimuli.

your reasoning is a waste. next time, ask for evidence of it not being done by a creator or a conscious force.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by mrpilotgamer 2 years ago
mrpilotgamer
biology isnt engineering. life is different from machines. machines are built. life develops naturally.
Posted by gruntel 2 years ago
gruntel
i take it as self-evident that the level of engineering complexity in life forms is very high.

hence if the design method of small incremental changes were used to produce this kind of complexity, then we should at least be able to build some moderate things from scratch with this method. this seems obvious to me.
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
selection isnt natural
Posted by mrpilotgamer 2 years ago
mrpilotgamer
@gruntel i also see the point you are trying to make. and i explained why that is a false dilemma when it comes to living things. that is the point i am making. it makes no sense to disprove living qualities by comparing it to non-living things, that we have observed being made. just because we see machines being made, does not mean that living things were made or guided at all.
Posted by gruntel 2 years ago
gruntel
@mrpilotgamer I understand full well the point you are saying. But I am the one who chose the topic. and the topic I chose has nothing to do with living things - only the power of the design method of small incremental changes.

I wanted a demonstration of its capabilities. I assert that it's capabilities of designing something from scratch are extremely limited and this is what you were supposed to disprove.
Posted by gruntel 2 years ago
gruntel
cannot edit the debate. but would like to add the condition of odds which are reasonable. there has only been around 10^40 total organisms on planet earth for full duration of 4 billion years
Posted by ColeTrain 2 years ago
ColeTrain
Best of luck. The human body is so intricately amazing and sophisticated that natural selection and evolution by themselves are not plausible methods as to how the human body came into existence. The more feasible (and correct) option is to understand that God was the creator.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
gruntelmrpilotgamerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro clearly stated in round one that the debate was not about living things. Also, Pro stated in round one that in order for his opponent to win, he/she must give an example of a complex machine that could be built through incremental changes. Con violated both those requirements. Con arguments were about living things, and Con never offered any design of a mechanism that could be built from scratch. Therefore, arguments to Pro.
Vote Placed by NoMagic 2 years ago
NoMagic
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Reasons for voting decision: Are you kidding me? Pro creates a debate, labels himself an engineer (I'm a bit skeptical of this), then makes no argument. I would think an engineer would have some educational background that would afford them the ability to at least make some arguments for the position they hold. Yet nearly nothing from Pro. Pro's argument is essentially his opinion stated in the proposition. Con's time was wasted. Lay up win for Con.
Vote Placed by Splenic_Warrior 2 years ago
Splenic_Warrior
gruntelmrpilotgamerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate is all about the following claim made by Pro: "I would like to assert that this kind of method of design cannot produce any kind of mechanical design of moderate sophistication FROM SCRATCH." Pro never even attempted to support this claim, so he loses arguments. Asserting something to be the case and then challenging people to disprove you does not prove your point. Con wins sources because he actually supported one of his points with a source.
Vote Placed by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
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Reasons for voting decision: Well... If Con has the burden of proof, then he would have lost, since his arguments were just attacks on design and now arguments in favor of natural selection. However the BoP was on Pro (since he is affirmative), and he provided no arguments for the resolution. Given this misunderstanding, I am drawing this debate.