The Instigator
Microsuck
Pro (for)
Winning
22 Points
The Contender
Anti-atheist
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Scientific Evidence Supports the Theory of Evolution

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Microsuck
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/30/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,449 times Debate No: 25921
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (5)

 

Microsuck

Pro

Anti-Atheist has sent me this challenge; however, I am re-sending the challenge for several reasons:

1. In the comment section, Anti-atheist requested that I post my arguments in round 1. However, I did not see that until after I posted my acceptance
2. I would like to revise the arguments from the debates I have done in order to clarify a few things and to add new arguments
3. I would like pro to be the instigator of the debate

As such, I request that you accept this debate and we will begin arguing in the second round.


Resolved
: Scientific evidence strongly supports the Theory of Evolution by common descent.
Definitions:

No semantics please. These are the definitions that will be used throughout this debate.

Theory - A well supported, conceptual framework that encompasses a large body of scientific facts, inferences, data, and observations and explains them in a coherent way (Fairbans, 2012)


Evolution - At the most basic level, evolution is defined as “the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next.” (Moran, 1993) Consequently, “genetic changes over many generations ultimately result in the emergence of new and different species from a single ancestral species”. (Fairbanks, 2012) As a result, “all known living, terrestrial organisms are genealogically related. All existing species originated gradually by biological, reproductive processes on a geological timescale”. (Douglas Theobald, 2012) Consequently, all modern organisms are the genetic descendants of one original species. All life on earth shares a common ancestor from the Phylogenetic Tree of Life.

Scientific evidence - "Scientific theories are validated by empirical testing against physical observations. Theories are not judged simply by their logical compatibility with the available data. Independent empirical testability is the hallmark of science—in science, an explanation must not only be compatible with the observed data, it must also be testable. By "testable" we mean that the hypothesis makes predictions about what observable evidence would be consistent and what would be incompatible with the hypothesis. Simple compatibility, in itself, is insufficient as scientific evidence, because all physical observations are consistent with an infinite number of unscientific conjectures. Furthermore, a scientific explanation must make risky predictions— the predictions should be necessary if the theory is correct, and few other theories should make the same necessary predictions." (Douglas Theobald, 2012)

Supports - The supporting evidence (see above) is consistent with the Theory of Evolution and makes evolution more probable than not.

Creationism - The view that God created life in its present form on earth within the passed 10,000 years.

Rules:

Structure

(1) Acceptance;

(2) Opening statements;
(3) Rebuttals;
(4) Rebuttals/Closing

Conduct

(1) Place your arguments and sources inside the debate

(2) Structure the debate in a readable, coherent fashion.
(3) No semantics,or trolling.
(4) Burden of proof is mine. My burden is to prove that scientific evidence supports the Theory of Evolution.

Additional information:

(1) This is not a debate on God's existence;
(2) This is not a debate on whether the Bible is God's word;
(3) This is not a debate on the age of the earth; and
(4) Please do not strawman the Theory of Evolution.


Bibliography

Douglas Theobald, P. (2012, April 16). 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution, 2.89. Retrieved July 18, 2012, from Talk.Origin Archive: http://www.talkorigins.org...

Fairbanks, Daniel J. Evolving: The Human Effect and Why it Matters. Ahmester: Prometheus Books, 2012. Print.

Moran, L. (1993, January 22). What is Evolution? . Retrieved July 17, 2012, from Talk.Origin Archive: http://www.talkorigins.org...

Anti-atheist

Con

Ok we'll get it this time
Debate Round No. 1
Microsuck

Pro

Thank you for your willingness to debate this subject. In this round, I am going to defend evolution and bring forth evidence for its theory.

I. Evidence from our bodies

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” -- Theodosius Dobzhansky.

A. Remnants of the past

Our bodies yield much evidence for evolution. I will explore several key points from our body that presents evidence for common descent: 1) Vestigial structures; 2) Atavisms; 3) HERVs; and 4) Pseudogenes.

A-1. Vestigial structures

Contrary to Creationists claims, scientists do not claim that a vestigial structure is a structure that is functionless. Indeed, a vestigial structure is a reduced and rudimentary structure compared to the same complex structure in other organisms. Vestigial characters, if functional, perform relatively simple, minor, or inessential functions using structures that were clearly designed (or evolved) for another complex purpose (Theobald, 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution - Part 2: Past History).

Example 1: Goosebumps

Goosebumps are vestiges of a time when our ancestors had hair covering their entire body. The function of the goosebump is to raise hairs to make better insulating the animal when the air is cold, or to make the animal look larger and more menacing when frightened (Fairbanks).

Example 2: The ostrich wing

"The wing of the ostrich resembles those of the gyrfalcon and the hawk. Who does not know how the speed of the gyrfalcon and hawk in flight exceeds that of other birds? The ostrich certainly has wings like theirs but not their speed of flight. Truly, it has not the capacity to be lifted from the ground and gives only the impression of spreading its wings as if to fly; however, it never supports itself above the earth in flight.

It is exactly the same with all those hypocrites who pretend to live a life of piety, giving the impression of holiness without the reality of holy behaviour."

The Aberdeen Bestiary
Folio 41v , c. AD 1200
— on the ostrich, its vestiges a symbol of hypocrisy since the 2nd century A.D.

The ostrich wing is a vestigial structure as the wing is useless for flight.

No organism can have a vestigial structure that was not previously functional in one of its ancestors. Thus, for each species, the standard Phylogenetic tree (listed above) prohibits what types of structures we cannot see. For example, we will never see a man with vestigial wings used to fly.

A-2. Atavisms

Atavisms are a slam dunk for common descent. Atavisms offer powerful evidence of how anatomy evolves. Unlike a vestigial structure, an atavism is a lost ancestral structure that occasionally reappears in a few individuals (Fairbanks). I will list below two common forms of atavisms.

Example 1: Humans with tails

The most striking (at least to me) atavism is the formation of humans with a true tail. Occasionally, human infants are born with a small tail that persists into adulthood if it is not surgically removed. More than 100 cases of human tails have been reported. Less than 1/3 of these are “pseudo-tails” [1] (Dao and Netsky)

Atavism

This picture above shows an x-ray of a human tail (Theobald, 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution - Part 2: Past History).

II. Evidence from the genome

A pseudoegene is a gene that is disabled. It is one that has lost its entire function via a disabling mutation. There are numerous such pseudogenes in humans and I am going to explore a couple of them in this debate.

A. PseudogenesA-1. CMAH

Malaria is one of the most horrific human diseases. However, at one point in our evolutionary history, humans enjoyed immunity to malaria. What happened for humans to gain and lose resistance to malaria?

Malaria is caused by a microorganism known as Plasmodium falciparum. It cannot be transmitted from person to person but must be carried via a mosquitoes and acquired and transmitted when a mosquito bites a person.

Chimpanzees suffer from a less severe form of malaria caused by a microorganism called Plasmodium reichenowi. What happened is the following: The human parasite evolved from the chimp parasite by jumping hosts from humans to chimpanzees.

Plasmodium reichenowi recognizes a substance on a gene called CMAH. Our genome carries this gene and we have it in the same strand of DNA as chimpanzees do. However, the only difference is it is disabled – a pseudogene if you will. No-one has the original non-mutated version.

The mutation that disabled the CMAH gene had a distinct advantage of those that did not – they became resistant to malaria. [2]

So, what happened? Why did we lose our resistance to malaria? The answer lies in the evolution of malaria itself. Mutations in a gene called EBA-175 allowed those parasites that carried the same mutation to recognize another substance which is abundant on human red blood cells about five to ten thousand years ago. The results: Plasmodium falciparum evolved as a new species. We are highly susceptible to this new form of malaria and the new version of malaria is much worse than the old one. (Fairbanks)

III. Evolution in Action


I have presented a case for evolution based upon the evidence for it. However, why does all of this matter? A criticism to evolution is that it doesn't really matter for us to understand evolution. Indeed, with disease, poverty, and drought plaguing our world today, why are we wasting our time understanding evolution instead of fixing those problems? This criticism is not necessarily an attack on evolution itself, rather it is arguing that teaching it is a waste of time. I am going to demonstrate how we can use evolution in different fiels.

A. Evolution and our Health

Our understanding of evolution is used in our medicine. As researchers from the University of Colordo note:

The interface between evolutionary biology and the biomedical sciences promises to advance understanding of the origins of genetic and infectious diseases in humans, potentially leading to improved medical diagnostics, therapies, and public health practices. The biomedical sciences also provide unparalleled examples for evolutionary biologists to explore. (Antolin MF, et al 2012)

Evolution is also used to combat resistant bacteria. In fact, decades ago, evolutionary biologists warned that widespread use of antibiotics will result in new strains of bacteria and anti-bacteria resistance. This warning has proved true.


Conclusion

The evidence that I have given you in this debate is not even the tip of the iceberg. Many books have been written on the evidence for evolution and I can easily write hundreds of pages on evolution.

Yes we evolved, yes we are evolving; along with the rest of life—how we use our knowledge of evolution directly impacts the future of life on earth.



[1] “Pseudo-tails” are not true tails; they are simply lesions of various types coincidentally found in the caudal region of newborns.

[2] Neanderthals apparently had this same CMAH pseudogene meaning that the disabling mutation occurred before the splitting of the two lineages.

Bibliography

Antolin MF, et al. Evolution and medicine in undergraduate education: a prescription for all biology students. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...;

Dao, A. H. and M. G Netsky. "Human tails and pseudotails." Human Pathology (1984): 449-453. Pub Med. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...; >.

Fairbanks, Daniel J. Evolving: The Human Effect and Why it Matters. Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2012. Print.

Theobald, Douglas. 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution - Part 1: The Unique Universal Phylogenetic Tree. 16 April 2012. 16 August 2012. <http://www.talkorigins.org...; >.

—. 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution - Part 2: Past History. 16 April 2012. 17 August 2012. <http://www.talkorigins.org...; >.


Anti-atheist

Con

In evolution you always have a dog producing a dog. The dog never produces a cat! The dogs can get big small tall large,but it will never be a cat. This is what we observe and what we observe in the fossil record. The fossil record shows that creatures have a finite number of variations. All fossils are to its own kind.

Mutations cause a loss of information, rendering it mathematically impossible for mutations to advance the complexity of life.

Entropy increases over time, making it impossible for order to increase on its own. John C. Sanford said, not even the energy of the Sun, which might otherwise reduce entropy in a system not thermodynamically isolated such as the Earth, is capable of turning back the inexorable decline of our planet's collected genomes.

Arguments for evolution

Evidence from our bodies

Vestigial structures

Goosebumps

Goosebumps are not only used in cold. Animals actually raised their hair when they were angry and ready to attack. However humans don't do this. Goosebumps are needed in life of humans for the warming of the skin. Not vestigais

The ostrich wing

The wings are indeed "useless" and derived from birds that once could fly. This is possible in the creationist model. Loss of features is relatively easy by natural processes, whereas acquisition of new characters, requiring specific new DNA information, is impossible. Loss of wings most probably occurred in a beetle species that colonized a windy island. Again, this is loss of genetic information, so it is not evidence for microbe-to-man evolution, which requires masses of new genetic information.[1]

Atavisms

If someone was born with 2 heads you wouldn't claim its evidence of evolution. If a strip of a false tail grows you claim its proof and evidence of evolution,but if it was just something else or somewhere else it would just be a mutation.

Evidence from the genome

Pseudogenes

Junk DNA isn't actually junk. These genes have purposes. Many of the genes are explained because since the fall happened genes are getting weaker. Malaria becoming a threat is because of loss of genes which isn't evidence for evolution, since it doesn't show mutations increasing genetic information.

Evolution and our helth

This isn't proving any macro evolution. Antibiotic resistance is caused because of a lost of information[2]

[1]http://creation.com...
[2]http://creation.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Microsuck

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate. It is obvious my opponent has no understanding of evolution or what evolution teaches. I will try my best to defend my arguments while correcting his misconceptions.

My opponent begins by having a misconception of speciation. First, it should be noted that speciation has been observed. For example [1]:
  • Rhagoletis pomonella, the apple maggot fly, is undergoing sympatric speciation. Its native host in North America is Hawthorn (Crataegusspp.), but in the mid-1800s, a new population formed on introduced domestic apples (Malus pumila). The two races are kept partially isolated by natural selection (Filchak et al. 2000).
  • The mosquito Anopheles gambiae shows incipient speciation between its populations in northwestern and southeastern Africa (Fanello et al. 2003; Lehmann et al. 2003).
  • Silverside fish show incipient speciation between marine and estuarine populations (Beheregaray and Sunnucks 2001).
We can see how other artificial selection creates new variations by looking here http://whyevolutionistrue.files.wordpress.com...

I. Evidence from our Bodies

A. Vestigial structures

I do not understand what you are saying. You pretty much repeated my argument.

Goosebump on cat -- http://whyevolutionistrue.files.wordpress.com...

Goosebump on human -- http://whyevolutionistrue.files.wordpress.com...

But of course goosebumps aren’t of any use to us. They don’t keep us warm, nor do they make us look bigger and fearsome, like the kitteh above. They’re evolutionary leftovers, evidence of our common ancestry with other mammals.

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com...

A-2 The Ostritch Wing

My opponent admits that the wings are useless and derived from birds that once flew. However, he states it could possibly fit in the Creationist modle. He also straw mans evolution by stating that it is microbe-to-man -- misconception is abiogenesis=evolution.

My opponents arguments fail. I'm very busy this weekend and I am out of time. Apologies and I will get to the arguments in the next round. Please withhold posting your arguments until Sunday.
References
1. Schilthuizen, Menno., 2001. Frogs, Flies, and Dandelions: the Making of Species, Oxford Univ. Press, esp. chap. 1.
Anti-atheist

Con

Pro says I misunderstand "Macroevolution"
and defines it as speciation. Yet say the "Rhagoletis pomonella" neat research,but its still a fly. And it came from a fly.

I. Evidence from our Bodies

A. Vestigial structures

Yeah, I wasn't too clear.

Goosebumps are used to warm the body slightly in cold. This is not the case in animals but humans.

A-2 The Ostritch Wing

How does it fit in the creationist modle? Easy,birds produce birds. If those birds get in an area where it doesn't need wings over generations it will lose its use. Nothing wrong there, doesn't mean these birds came from dinosaurs.

I thought abiogensis is was how life formed from non-life. I never said where the microbe came from
Debate Round No. 3
Microsuck

Pro

My opponent essentially forfeited the debate.

First, microevolution leads to macroevolution. Here is an analogy as to how this works:

An analogy of how microevolution leads to macroevolution.

Talk.Origins notes:

Microevolution and macroevolution are different things, but they involve mostly the same processes. Microevolution is defined as the change of allele frequencies (that is, genetic variation due to processes such as selection, mutation, genetic drift, or even migration) within a population. There is no argument that microevolution happens (although some creationists, such as Wallace, deny that mutations happen). Macroevolution is defined as evolutionary change at the species level or higher, that is, the formation of new species, new genera, and so forth.Speciation has also been observed. http://www.talkorigins.org...

I have provided speciation observed in the previous rounds which have been dropped. This can only be explained by evolution.

Vestigial structures provide evidence for evolution over Creation because "vestigial structures can be viewed as evidence for evolution: organisms having vestigial structures probably share a common ancestry with organisms in with organisms in which the homologous structure is functional." http://bioweb.cs.earlham.edu...

Conclusion


Throughout this debate, con has straw manned and mis-represented evolution (i.e., "Evolution teaches dogs give birth to cats!")

In the last round, con essentially forfeited the debate. I hereby declare a pro victory.
Anti-atheist

Con

LOL I would say Pro just forfeited round. He just said DO NOT WANT! He couldn't defend his arguments! Throw away half your arguments pro in the DUMPSTER! Micro evolution doesn't lead to macro I showed how in my opening statement. Because of the laws of thermodynamics and the principles of information theory, the variations within Created kinds only go downward, not upward.

Creationwiki rebutts talk.origins claims

1. "Microevolution and macroevolution are different things, but they involve mostly the same processes."

In all of our observations, there has not been a single large change that would show that it involves the same processes. Instead, what we simply observe is a change within kinds.

"There is no argument that microevolution happens (although some creationists, such as Wallace, deny that mutations happen)."

The reason that there is no dispute for microevolution is because it is observable and fits into the creationist model. What was Isaak reading? Wallace never denounced the occurrence of mutations.

Speciation has also been observed.

True, but no informed creationist would state that speciation has not been observed. In fact, speciation is an essential process for creationism but is done within limits. Speciation is not evidence for macroevolution in any shape or form.

Pro makes an argument that I rebutted in the second round.

Vote CON Pro has evaded and ran scared from the arguments!
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by debater321098 3 years ago
debater321098
Evolution is fake. There is no real evidence. They only teach that to you in school. We are not from apes. Anti-atheist is right; athiests just hate the truth.
Posted by Anti-atheist 3 years ago
Anti-atheist
That's because atheists hate truth
Posted by Microsuck 3 years ago
Microsuck
Yup indeed - hence the reason why I won 22 to 3.
Posted by Anti-atheist 4 years ago
Anti-atheist
wow i did wipe the floor with pro
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Guardian 4 years ago
Guardian
MicrosuckAnti-atheistTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: I think that Con's arguments were better, though Pro was more articulate. Pro's argument that macro-evolution and micro-evolution are the same is false.
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 4 years ago
emospongebob527
MicrosuckAnti-atheistTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Anti-atheist needs help......... Aye aye aye.
Vote Placed by annanicole 4 years ago
annanicole
MicrosuckAnti-atheistTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con, you should have never accepted a proposition worded as this one is.
Vote Placed by JorgeLucas 4 years ago
JorgeLucas
MicrosuckAnti-atheistTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: OMG IM SO SCARED OF SCIENCE!!!!11!!
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 4 years ago
Lordknukle
MicrosuckAnti-atheistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Anybody who actually read the debate will agree with me that a RFD is not needed.