The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Science and evolution is an oxymoron

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Debate Round Forfeited
Thiest_1998 has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/7/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 293 times Debate No: 95248
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
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Hi I'm Thiest and I believe that evolution and science is an oymoron because science by definition is a study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. and since evolution does none of those things I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

By evolution I am talking about:
Cosmic evolution: the origin of time, space, and matter from nothing in the "big bang"
Chemical evolution: all elements "evolved" from hydrogen
Stellar evolution: stars and planets formed from gas clouds
Organic evolution: life begins from inanimate matter
Macro-evolution: animals and plants change from one type into another

with the exception of micro evolution which happens.


Since it was not specified whether R1 was acceptance only or whether we were allowed to also make arguments, I will assume it is acceptance only and allow prop the first words of actual debate, as the burden of proof is always on prop.

Before we begin, though, I would like to get some housekeeping issues out of the way:

Firstly, the different types of "evolution" my opponent referred to are not necessarily what scientists mean when they refer "evolution". When scientists talk about "evolution", they are referring to what prop called "macro evolution". They are also all vastly different ideas. Some of the wording prop used was grammatically-incorrect or misleading. It is for this reason that I would like to propose the following amended definitions:

Cosmic evolution: the origin of time, space, and matter from the "big bang".
Nuclear Fusion: all elements were produced from hydrogen by nuclear fusion.
Stellar evolution: stars and planets formed from gas clouds.
Abiogenesis: life began from inanimate matter.
Biological macro-evolution: animals and plants change from one type into another.

I am happy to defend any or all of these ideas as scientific claims. It is for this reason that I would request my opponent picks any number of these definitions and argues that they are not scientific claims; if, in round 2, my opponent chooses to drop any of these definitions, and to only argue that one or more of the others is not scientific, then I feel it would be mutually-beneficial for us to amend the motion to read "THB: [whatever prop argued is not scientific] is not a scientific claim", and would, if accepted by prop, ask any voters to accept this as the new wording of the motion.

That way, we would allow the debate to be more focused on a single matter, or fewer matters, rather than jumping around between many different matters. I feel it would be beneficial to the debate for this to happen. However, should prop decide to argue that all of the above ideas are not scientific, I would of course be happy to counter argue that they all, in fact, are scientific.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you PsychicPhysicist for accepting the debate.

I would firstly like to start of by reminding everyone what science is;
"The systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment"

And since evolution 1-5 has never been observed or experimented the fact that it is considered a form of science makes evolution and science an oxymoron and more of a religion.


My opponent has baselessly asserted that none of the scientific ideas defined in the previous text have been observed. In fact, all but abiogenesis have been observed through secondary evidence, and are well-established as scientific fact. As he has merely asserted that they have not been, it would be no better for me to reply simply with assertion. I will therefore go through the evidence regarding all of them but abiogenesis. It is worth noting that my opponent continued to maintain that none of the five ideas are scientific claims, and therefore my previous offer from Round 1 is withdrawn: Prop must now argue that ALL of the things he referred to as "evolution" are not scientific claims.

The evidence that the big bang occurred is extremely strong. Examples of phenomena which can be observed in modern times that point to the big bang are: Hubble's law, redshift and cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBM).

Firstly, Hubble's law:

Hubble's law states that V=Hd. In words, that means that the velocity with which a galaxy moves relative to our own is equal to some number (H. H's value is known) multiplied by the distance between the two galaxies. In short, the further away a galaxy is, the faster it is travelling away from is. The only reasonable explanation for this (pro would claim a Nobel prize if he could propose another) is that all of the galaxies were once in the same place (a singularity) and that those which moved fastest since are hence further away.

Redshift is evidence which demonstrates that Hubble's law holds.

Redshift is the process where the faster a source of electromagnetic radiation is moving, the higher the wavelength (and lower the frequency) of the radiation it emits. This can be demonstrated in a lab. The redshift from far away galaxies points exactly to Hubble's law,

CMBR is a lot more complicated, and I have not reached a point in my undergraduate study where I can do it justice in explaining it. The simplified version of it is that it's an energy field produced in the big bang which can still be observed today, and is consistent only with the universe originating in a singularity.

Nuclear fusion not only can be observed in nature, but we can even do it ourselves.

In a star, large amounts of Hydrogen-1 are present. Since they are in plasma form, they are essentially free protons. Occasionally, some crash into each other with the exact right amount of energy to stick together. However, a nucleus of two protons and no neutrons would not have enough of the strong nuclear force to prevent the charge the protons have from repelling each other and ripping the nucleus apart. The nucleus therefore undergoes positron decay and becomes a nucleus composed of a proton and a neutron called Hydrogen-2 or deuterium. The same process results in the production of Hydrogen-3 or tritium.

When a H-2 and H-3 nucleus collide, they produce an alpha particle, which is a Helium-4 nucleus, and a single neutron.

In most stars, this is where it ends, but the bigger the star, the more gravity it has and therefore the more pressure there is to produce bigger and bigger atoms through nuclear fusion. Most of the elements on the periodic table are produced only through supernova explosions.

Evidence that stars are powered from nuclear fusion comes from astronomical electromagnetic spectroscopy, other observation of stars and nuclear fusion in reactors on Earth.

Evidence of stellar evolution comes, once again, from directly observing stars through telescopes, including the Hubble telescope. The following is an image of stars forming in the tadpole nebula This is direct observation of stars forming in a nebula.

Biological evolution, and what scientists mean when they refer simply to "evolution" has overwhelming mountains of evidence in favour of it. I would run out of characters were I to list it all, so for simplicity sake I'll look at two examples:

Firstly, MRSA. MRSA is a bacteria which has become immune to almost all of the antibiotics humans commonly use. This has happened because the genetic variation of staphylococcus aureus was enough that there were some organisms which were immune to individual antibiotics, for instance, one which is immune to penicillin. Someone enters a GP surgery with an SA infection, and the GP prescribes them penicillin to treat it. Penicillin kills all of the SA individuals which are not immune to penicillin, so those which are left are all immune to penicillin. The same process occurs several times, this time starting with the penicillin-immune SA bacteria and treating them with a different antibiotic. Eventually, we end up with MRSA: a species of bacteria which is immune to all of the antibiotics commonly used to treat it. SA evolved into MRSA.

Secondly, Galapagos tortoises. Galapagos tortoises exist on a number of islands, called the Galapagos Islands. On some islands, the tortoises do not have a ridge on their neck. This is because the lack of a ridge provides better defensive cover against predators, and on these islands, the tortoises have no need for a ridge. On other islands, the tortoises do have a ridge on their neck: this is to allow the tortoise to reach higher in order to chew the leaves of the plants, which, on that island, are higher up. Evolutionary pressures selected for the ridge tortoises on the islands with high plants, and selected for the ridgeless tortoises on the islands with low plants or more predators. Similar examples exist of finches with various beaks, the domestication of wolves to become dogs, the breeding of pigeons and so on. I will go into those in round 3 if required.

Abiogenesis is not established by science as fact, but it is still very much a scientific claim. As prop said, science is "The systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment". Abiogenesis is something which we may well be able to observe through direct observation and experiment, as the definition requires, in the near future.

I have a few more characters left, and with them I would like to condense my opponent's argument, as I understand it, to make it more systematic and easier to address. As I interpret it, my opponent's argument is as follows:

P1: For something to be a scientific claim, it must be observable or testable by experiment.
P2: The 5 things originally defined as "evolution" are not observable or testable by experiment.
C1: Therefore, the 5 things originally defined as "evolution" are not scientific claims.

The logic is completely consistent there: If you grant P1 and P2, C1 necessarily follows logically. The argument falls, however, when it is pointed out that P2 is false- four of the five things originally defined as "evolution" have been observed and tested by experiment, and the fifth soon will be- and that defining five very different ideas all as "evolution" is a classic example of squirrelling

I feel this is an appropriate end to my comments for round 2. I wish my opponent luck in round 3, as I feel that he will have to say something very remarkable in order to recover the motion.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Thiest_1998 3 days ago
Ran out of time like I always do
Posted by BackCommander 1 month ago
Pro isn't going to respond. All they had was a false assertion. They have nothing to back their argument up with.
Posted by PsychicPhysicist 1 month ago
Pro has less than 24hrs to respond... I really hope he does; I enjoy this kind of debate.
Posted by malalo75 1 month ago
The "different evolution definitions" provided by Pro are actually based on red herrings done by Kent Hovind in his "evolution is stupid" video.
As Con stated, they are all flawed definitions and I think Con's corrections are apt.

Can't wait to see if Pro will accept the corrections (I highly doubt it).
Posted by PsychicPhysicist 1 month ago
@Phenenas: I have had plenty of debates with creationists, and while it usually results in an overwhelming desire to bang my head against a wall repeatedly, I'm going into this debate with an open mind and hoping for a genuinely interesting discussion.
Posted by Phenenas 1 month ago
I'm hoping you won't be as irrational as the other five million creationists on this site, Pro. Good luck to you, Con.
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