The Instigator
Romanii
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
Lupricona
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

The Correlation/Causation argument does not disprove the theory of Evolution

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Romanii
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,945 times Debate No: 43505
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (40)
Votes (4)

 

Romanii

Pro

This issue came up a few weeks ago when I challenged someone to a standard evolution debate (http://www.debate.org...), but my opponent brought up the correlation/causation argument (i.e. since correlation doesn't imply causation, the evidence behind the theory of evolution doesn't actually support it),

I had no idea how to tackle the argument, since I had never heard of it before, and as a result I didn't really end up disproving his argument, even though I did end up winning the debate.
Since then, I have talked to some people and figured out how to debunk it:

--Just because the correlation MIGHT NOT imply causation doesn't mean that it CAN'T imply causation. All that argument does is cast DOUBT upon the theory; not invalidate it. It doesn't actually disprove the theory.

--In addition, we have observed Evolution in bacteria (1) as well as some species of insects (2). And since all living creatures have the same type of DNA, it is logical to conclude, in conjunction with all the correlating-but-supposedly-not-causal evidence, that all organisms evolved via the same evolutionary mechanism.

--It is not logical to believe in only micro-evolution but not macro-evolution because they both operate via the same mechanism, just that one takes much longer to directly observe than the other.

--In conclusion, all that the correlation/causation argument does is give a cause for doubt. The undeniable correlation of evidence to the theory, along with already-observed micro-evolution and very sound logic, turns that doubt into nothing more than the tiny margin of possible error that ALL scientific theories have.

--Evolution is FACT

I eagerly await my future opponent's argument.

SOURCES
(1) http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com...
(2) http://www.millerandlevine.com...
Lupricona

Con

FORMAT/ACCEPTANCE

You have not specified on how you want this debate to go. I am assuming that with your last statement, "I eagerly await my future opponent's argument", that you will allow me accept and start debating in this round. Also, I will follow suit with your previous debate on this subject and promise to not add any new arguments in Round 5. On assuming these are acceptable, I shall begin my argument. I wish luck to my opponent and hope for a challenging and thought-provoking debate.


ARGUMENT

Pro: -Just because the correlation MIGHT NOT imply causation doesn't mean that it CAN'T imply causation. All that argument does is cast DOUBT upon the theory; not invalidate it. It doesn't actually disprove the theory.

I disagree with the first claim. Correlation does not imply causation. The statement "correlation might not imply causation" is false. Correlation and causation are separate issues. Two events can be correlated and one can cause the other. So, this debate focuses on Causation arguments to prove evolution. Any Correlation argument is irrelevant. Allow me to give an example:

People who wear helmets generally prevent damage to their head.

These events are correlated. Imagine a scenario where nothing else correlates with preventing damage to the head besides a helmet. This does not prove that helmets are the cause of damage prevention. Instead, one must explain that the cause of damage prevention is that helmets are a hard covering that protect the head from collision. I hope this shows how correlation and causation are two separate ideas.

Pro cannot argue that since there is correlation between the General Theory of Evolution and the fossil record, and that since he doesn't consider any other theory that might explain the fossil record as accurate (i.e. there are no other theories/ Evolution is the only theory) that this proves causation. He must show how the fossil record proves evolution. In order to show causation, Pro would need observable evidence of past events. This is impossible.

My opponent also gave two sources- one of bacteria producing an extra tail, and moths being produces with darker colors. He then makes the conclusion that this proves the General Theory of Evolution. I disagree.

The bacteria producing an extra tail is a mutation. This is known as duplication mutation (1). This is not new information, which is what the General Theory of Evolution requires, but this is a duplication of the same information. I don't see how this proves his point.

The moths being produced with darker colors is natural selection (2) at work. However, natural selection can only pick from information that is already there; it does not create new information. In the case of the moths, certain moths arrived at the point to where they could only produce dark colors (as opposed to before to where they could produce a variation of different colors). This is actually a loss of information. Eventually, these dark moths became extinct. Still, a loss of information and a species. I don't see how this proves his point.

Now, even if my opponent could find an example of species producing new information, which is what the General Theory of Evolution requires, this would still not prove his case. If he could prove that species in the present are adding new information, he cannot prove that this has always happened. It is merely an unproven assumption that things that occur in the present occured in the same way in the past. So, still, my opponent has no valid reason to assume that there is any direct causation between the fossil record proving the cause of the General Theory of Evolution.

Actually, as previously stated, Evolution requires the proof of new information produced in species. As there is no proof that new information is created (as Natural Selection can only select from information that is already there), then it becomes an argument from ignorance to suppose the Theory of Evolution. (I assume that my opponent will bring in an argument to how mutations can add new information. This is also false, and should he try this argument, I will show how it can be refuted.)

CONCLUSIONS

My opponent assumes that new information has been added, which has not been observed, and then supposes that this unproven assertion correlates to the Theory of Evolution, and then since he only accepts this theory, by process of elimination he than assumes that this correlation must imply causation, without showing any proof as to the cause.

I hope my arguments were easy to follow, and I look forward to seeing how my opponent will respond. Cheers!

REFERENCES

(1) http://www.biology-online.org...
(2) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Romanii

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate.
You were correct in assuming you should go ahead with your argument. Sorry for not clarifying that.
Also, thank you for reinstating the round 5 rule which I forgot the mention.
I look forward to a challenging debate.

PART 1: DOUBT DOES NOT DISPROVE

Con: "I disagree with the first claim. Correlation does not imply causation. The statement "correlation might not imply causation" is false."
My opponent has not addressed the fact that the argument only casts doubt on the theory. There is no such thing as definitive proof in science. All theories must be falsifiable, so it is natural for there to be some room for error in any theory (1), and all that the correlation/causation argument does is point to that room for error and say "See? It MIGHT not be true!"
Doubt does not disprove.

Con: "Pro cannot argue that since there is correlation between the General Theory of Evolution and the fossil record... that this proves causation. He must show how the fossil record proves evolution. In order to show causation, Pro would need observable evidence of past events. This is impossible."
Correct. Undeniable evidence of causation does not exist. However, since doubt doesn't disprove, such causal evidence is not needed because the lack of it does not disprove evolution.

PART 2: REDUCTION OF DOUBT

In addition, by proving that the evolutionary mechanism works and exists, we can reduce the doubt substantially because causation can be reasonably inferred from such evidence.

Con: "This is known as duplication mutation (1). This is not new information, which is what the General Theory of Evolution requires... However, natural selection can only pick from information that is already there; it does not create new information."
This is absolutely false.
Evolution does NOT require new information. There are SEVERAL types of mutations (2), including substitution, insertion, deletion, duplication, and frame shift. All of those types of mutations are capable of producing beneficial adaptations (whether or not an adaptation is "beneficial" is based on the environment).
Also mutations CAN produce new information (3)(4).

Con: "Now, even if my opponent could find an example of species producing new information, which is what the General Theory of Evolution requires, this would still not prove his case. If he could prove that species in the present are adding new information, he cannot prove that this has always happened. It is merely an unproven assumption that things that occur in the present occurred in the same way in the past. So, still, my opponent has no valid reason to assume that there is any direct causation between the fossil record proving the cause of the General Theory of Evolution."

First of all, as I have already proved, Evolution does NOT require new information to function.
Second of all, as I mentioned in the intro to part 2, I don't NEED to provide evidence of direct causation because doubt does not disprove. I can however, prove that the evolutionary mechanism exists, since there have been so many observed examples of it (5)(6)
Since all organisms have the same DNA as the organisms in observed examples, and all lines of evidence (e.g. fossil record, genetics) point to Evolution, we can INFER that all organisms evolved via the same evolutionary mechanism.
I realize this isn't irrefutable proof of causation, but using this logic, we can reasonably infer causation, which is sufficient to substantially reduce the doubt caused by this argument.

PART 3: SUMMARY (In the form of rebuttals to my opponent's conclusions)

"My opponent assumes that new information has been added, which has not been observed,"
Mutations comes in many different forms. Not just addition of new information.

"...and then supposes that this unproven assertion correlates to the Theory of Evolution..."
The Evolutionary Mechanism has been observed repeatedly...

"... he than assumes that this correlation must imply causation, without showing any proof as to the cause."
Undeniable proof of causation is not needed since the argument merely casts doubt upon the theory. All that is needed to reduce that doubt is show that causation can reasonably be inferred by logic along with observed evidence.

Honestly, Part 2 and 3 aren't really even necessary because Part 1 already achieves the resolution of the debate: the correlation/causation argument does not DISPROVE evolution. I'm just doing part 2 and 3 to show that Evolution is extremely well-supported and that the doubt caused by the argument is very minimal.

I look forward to hearing my opponents next argument. Cheers!

SOURCES:
(1) http://www.rationalskepticism.org...
(2) http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
(3) http://www.newscientist.com...
(4) http://tinyfrog.wordpress.com...
(5) http://listverse.com...
(6) http://www.pbs.org...

Source 1 was provided by the DDO user etherealvoyager
Source 3 & 4 were provided by the DDO user Sagey
Lupricona

Con

INTRO

Thank you for you rebuttals, Pro.

Pro says that all theories must be falsifiable. I agree. I would like to ask Pro to give me one example of what would falsify the Theory of Evolution.

ANALOGIES

Pro and I are arguing from different paradigms, so I think that some analogies should be made to help show what we are saying, else we may be arguing past each other.


Analogy 1: Every time I walk under a ladder, bad occurrences happen to me for the rest of the day. This happens every time I walk under a ladder, so I conclude that walking under a ladder is the reason for my bad day. Someone may tell me, "Correlation does not imply causation" to prove me wrong. If I were to say, "But, there are no other possibilities for my bad days besides my walking under the ladder. So it must be because of the ladder. You are only casting doubt on my claim, not disproving it."

I think we can see from this analogy that, if someone does not have a justifiable argument for his claim for causation, then the correlation/causation argument is a sound way to refute it, not just cast doubt on the theory.

Now, I have received a couple of comments in the comments section, plus my opponent has also brought this point to light, over the argument on whether there exists methods that produce new information in organisms that would infer evidence for Evolution. I must apologize for my initial vague use of the term "new information" and I will clarify by what I mean:

Analogy 2: Information is not matter or energy. If I show the letters "niforoitman" this should mean nothing to the reader. However, if I rearrange the letters to say "information" the reader will be able to use these symbols to recocgnize meaning. Information uses matter to convey a message. DNA contains information; it does not create it nor does it add to it. Natural selection picks from existing information, and mutations can change the genetic sequence. But neither mutations nor natural selections create the genetic code, rather, they need a genetic code first before they can select from and rearrange that information.

Analogy 3: Imagine a video game, let's say the original Super Mario Bros. Now, within that computer code, we can tweak information to add a few functions into the game, say alter the physics and allow Mario to jump higher, or even copy one of the levels in the game and tweak it to make a new level. What the evolutions would have to argue, is that given enough variations within the original Super Mario Bros computer code, over time that code could change into Super Mario Galaxy. The problem is, these two video games have codes developed for completely different systems with entirely different structures. This same is true between organisms and their genetic sequences.

There is evidence that mutations can add new functions. So what? This is not causal evidence of radically changing one genetic code of an organism to become another one over any period of time. We see fully formed creatures within the fossil record. We see living fossils (1), or animals that have changed very little or not at all for millions of years. If the observational evidence we have shows that animals do not change their genetic sequence into becoming another animal, then why should we assume that animals in the past that we cannot observe have morphed into other animals? This is not consistent thinking, and goes against the evidence.

REBUTTAL

Pro: "The Evolutionary Mechanism has been observed repeatedly.."

The General Theory of Evolution requires abiogenesis, or, that life came from non-living materials. This has never been observed. It is an arbitrary assumption to say that abiogenesis is possible. And without any proof of the starting point of evolution, one has no valid reason to accept the rest of evolution.

CONCLUSION

If one person makes an argument for a scientific theory, and another rebuts with the argument that without any causal evidence, there is no reason to accept this theory, and then the person is unable to show causal evidence, then the Correlation/Causation Argument does disprove a theory.

My opponent can only show that organisms now have mutations that alter the genetic code. However, the genetic sequence is readable information. A blind process of change can alter the established information and chane it. A process of chance, though, cannot account for establishing new sequences that morph one organism into another. My opponent has no causal proof for his claim.


(1) http://www.mnn.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Romanii

Pro

Thank you for your argument.
It is evident that you have thought it out quite thoroughly.

You started by asking me to provide an example of something which would falsify evolution, so I will just get that out of the way first.
The best example I can think of is if scientists started to find fossils demonstrating a sustained regression rather than the sustained progression that natural selection would favor.


PART 1: DOUBT DOES NOT DISPROVE (Reinforcement)

My opponent has provided an analogy to demonstrate why the correlation/causation argument DOES completely disprove Evolution:

"Every time I walk under a ladder, bad occurrences happen to me for the rest of the day. This happens every time I walk under a ladder, so I conclude that walking under a ladder is the reason for my bad day. Someone may tell me, 'Correlation does not imply causation' to prove me wrong. If I were to say, 'But, there are no other possibilities for my bad days besides my walking under the ladder. So it must be because of the ladder. You are only casting doubt on my claim, not disproving it.'"

However, there are a number of problems with this analogy:

1) There is a much stronger correlation between the evidence and the theory of Evolution than is represented in the analogy. To make the analogy more accurate, Con would have to add that not just him, but millions people around the world have been experiencing the same ladder phenomenon.

2) The analogy fails to represent the fact that there has been some evidence found from which causation could possibly be implied (observed micro-evolution). In order to represent this, Con would have to add that SOME ladders have been found to have magical properties associated with bad luck. While this does not ensure that ALL ladders have the same magical properties, it can possibly be inferred that all ladders do, since all ladders have been causing bad luck (i.e. while micro-evolution does not prove that all life evolved through that evolutionary mechanism, we can possibly infer that, since all life has the same DNA and all the correlating evidence supports it.)

3) Even without the corrections noted in points 1 and 2, the correlation/causation argument STILL doesn't completely disprove the ladder/bad luck hypothesis. Walking under a ladder COULD still be what is causing the bad luck, although it is unlikely. WITH the corrections noted in points 1 and 2, it becomes highly likely that the ladders are what cause the bad luck, and the correlation/causation argument merely casts doubt upon that theory.

4) The walking-under-ladder hypothesis has been falsified and is a well-known superstition, causing all of this to sound much more ridiculous then it is in reality. What we call "magic" in this analogy represents scientific evidence in the real world.

On the surface, the analogy proves my opponent's point, however, when edited to properly represent the situation, we see that the correlation/causation argument does nothing more than cast doubt on a theory that is almost surely true.

I could feasibly end my argument here, since I have already achieved the resolution of the debate, but for the sake of proving how minimal the doubt caused by the correlation/causation argument is, I will address all of my opponent's contentions against the theory


PART 2: EVOLUTION HAS NO HOLES IN IT

(Analogy) "What the evolutions would have to argue, is that given enough variations within the original Super Mario Bros computer code, over time that code could change into Super Mario Galaxy. The problem is, these two video games have codes developed for completely different systems with entirely different structures"

This analogy contains a false comparison. The video games in question are NOT designed for different game systems. All organisms have the same type of DNA. Their genomes are all made of the same stuff, so it is perfectly feasible for an organism to gradually mutate into a much more complex one over time.

"There is evidence that mutations can add new functions. So what? This is not causal evidence of radically changing one genetic code of an organism to become another one over any period of time."

That is correct. There is no absolute evidence of causation (I stress the "absolute" because there is evidence of possible causation). However, like I have said before, it is not necessary, since lack of it does not disprove. All that is necessary to be proven is that such a change is POSSIBLE. And that already has been proven by the Human Genome Project.
We share 98% of our DNA with Pigs (1), This means that all it takes for such a radical change between organisms is a change in 2% of the DNA. That is perfectly feasible, especially over a period as long as tens of millions of years. And it isn't just pigs. Such a close similarity in genomes has been detected with many species which are extremely different from humans (2).

"We see living fossils (1), or animals that have changed very little or not at all for millions of years. "

A mutation can only be considered "beneficial" when it provides the individual and ADVANTAGE in its respective environment. Therefore, if a species is already ideally fit to the environment, then mutated individuals will not have any advantage over other individuals, and thus the population will not evolve. Such is the case with "living fossils"

"The General Theory of Evolution requires abiogenesis, or, that life came from non-living materials. This has never been observed. It is an arbitrary assumption to say that abiogenesis is possible."

This is a very tired argument. I don't wish to be condescending in any way, but my opponent seriously needs to read up on biochemistry. This was debunked in 1951 when the Miller-Urey experiment proved that simple organic compounds could be formed from inorganic substances. Modern day scientists have figured out the chemical compositions of all of the most complex organic compounds (including Amino acids and DNA). There are tons of books detailing exactly how those complex compounds turned the first primitive cells, and how those primitive cells "teamed up" into more complex ones (Endosymbiosis), which in turn evolved into the first micro and macro organisms. (3)(4)(5)(6)
If I had enough characters remaining I would write it all out, but I don't. It would take at least 1000 characters for just a basic overview.


PART 3: SUMMARY (More conclusion-rebuttals)

"If one person makes an argument for a scientific theory, and another rebuts with the argument that without any causal evidence, there is no reason to accept this theory, and then the person is unable to show causal evidence, then the Correlation/Causation Argument does disprove a theory"

As I showed through the criticism of your analogy, this is simply untrue.

"A blind process of change can alter the established information and chane it. A process of chance, though, cannot account for establishing new sequences that morph one organism into another. "

The mutations are random. Natural selection, however, is not. The environment only favors the most beneficial mutations, causing all other mutations to fade into non-existence. Over time, beneficial mutations collect in a population until it is a totally new species (7) (it is a bit more complicated than that, but speciation is a complex topic and I have roughly 100 characters left),

"My opponent has no [absolute] causal proof for his claim"
And absence of it does not disprove Evolution.

I look forward to the next round.

SOURCES:
(1) http://www.abc.net.au...
(2) http://genecuisine.blogspot.com...
(3) http://people.chem.duke.edu...
(4) http://www.britannica.com...
(5) http://chemed.chem.purdue.edu...
(6) http://biology.kenyon.edu...
(7) http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

Lupricona

Con

REFUTATIONS

Claim: Falsifiability of Evolution

Pro: "I don't wish to be condescending in any way, but my opponent seriously needs to read up on biochemistry."


I am certain that my opponent did not mean to be condescending, but I feel that I can use this to stress a point, mostly for the readers and voters. When people doubt the General Theory of Evolution, a common claim is that those people either do not know enough of the evidence for evolution, or they do know the evidence but reject it in favor of faith. (I am not saying this is what my opponent is inferring- I am merely exploiting this issue because this may be the view by many people.) Now, this is certainly not true. A person can be well aware of the arguments for evolution, and may not be convinced and have alternative explanations that are equally valid. Also, (as most doubters of evolutionists are theists), theists have no problems with evolutionary theory. Theists believe a deity created the universe- but the how is subject to debate. So, certain theists do not deny evolutionary theory because of religion- they do so because of the scientific reasons.

Now, I asked my opponent to show how evolutionary theory could be falsified. He said, "The best example I can think of is if scientists started to find fossils demonstrating a sustained regression rather than the sustained progression that natural selection would favor. " I must say, I think there are some issues with this being a way to falsify evolution. First, there is no proof of sustained progression in the first place.
"A large number of well trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology and paleontology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably comes from the oversimplification inevitable in secondary sources: lowlevel textbooks, semipopular articles, and so on. Also, there is probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general, these have not been found -- yet the optimism has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks." (1)

As no proof can sustain the claim for sustained progression, I fail to see how it is fair to alledge that this is the way to falsify evolution. This itself shows how evolution does not survive on evidence- it strives on wishful thinking, and no matter what new evidence comes up, it is just used to support evolution in some new way.

I want to take some more space stressing out this point as well. Darwin had no scientific degrees. He did not come up with his theory based on evidence- He came up with a theory that he realized at the time went against the evidence of his day, but he was certain that in time his theory would be proved. (Darwin: "Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record." (2)) However, as already shown, this is not the case. (1) Since that time, many scientists have adopted his philosophy on the origins of the world, and have used that philosophy to interpret the way that they see the world. However, this does not prove evolution, nor does this show that since so many scientists accept it, this means that it is more likely to be true. Modern day science is naturalistic, that is, it does not allow any explanations to include God. This is fine, as God is not needed to explain the processes of the universe. I would argue, though, that the origins of the universe is the one instance where a God is needed.

Also, if we look at evolutionary thought, we see it keeps changing. First, Darwin only proposed natural selection as the mechanism for evolution. Later, this was debunked, and Neo-Darwinism came into play (3), adding mutations into the mix. However, modern day evolutionists are realizing that this still is not enough to explain evolution: "
In the post-genomic era, all the major tenets of the modern synthesis have been, if not outright overturned, replaced by a new and incomparably more complex vision of the key aspects of evolution." (4)

Claim: Doubt does not disprove.

My point with the ladder analogy was that, no matter how much correlation there is between two subjects, it still does not prove causation. Causation is another issue, one that must be explained how it is caused. Only relying on correlation will never prove causation.

Claim: The Mario analogy is a bad analogy.

I am glad my opponent immediately argues that this is not a fair analogy. This shows that my opponent realizes that the NES Mario Bros. computer code could never be tweaked and changed into the Wii Super Mario Galaxy code. His reasons for bad analogy are easily refuted.

The NES Mario Bros cannot contain any code that allows for the controller to have motion, as the NES system has no motion controller, but the Wii does. This is akin to an animal without wings vs an animal with wings- no genetic code for wings can be written in an organism without wings. All mutations play on the possible mutations (i.e. mutations have a limit) for that organism. This analogy is consistent with my reference (4).

Claim: Abiogenesis

I argued that we never see life come from non-life, then my opponent attempts to rebut this by using the Miller-Urey experiment. There are a few problems here:

First, the Miller-Urey experiment did not simulate the real conditions of life on planet earth, because no oxygen was used in the experiment, even though earth had an oxygen-rich environment. (Evolutionists realize that life could not have evolved on earth, which is why origin on Mars is the new theory (5). I am not promoting this theory, just showing the earth origins is unlikely.)

Second, the Miller-Urey experiment did not produce life. It produced some building blocks for life. This is akin to saying extreme weathering built some raw materials for a building. If the weathering keeps occuring, the materials will form into a building.

I am sorry for my opponent, but the Miller-Urey experiment was far, far away from proving abiogenesis.

Claim: Living Fossils

Pro: "if a species is already ideally fit to the environment, then mutated individuals will not have any advantage over other individuals, and thus the population will not evolve. "

I am sorry, but you have just completely refuted evolution. Let me explain why.

With living fossils, they have undergone no change for millions of years. This leaves you two possibilities: 1- You are claiming that environments have not changed for millions of years, which is why the living fossils did not change. If this is true, then no other organisms should have evolved, as the environments did not change. 2- the environments did change, however the living fossils did not change. However, if these living fossils didn't change even when the environments did, then why should we conclude that other organisms did change?

Also, the living fossils were absent from the fossil record for many layers, but we know that they existed during those times. This means that there are organisms that did exist during geological periods in the past that are unnacounted for. This shows that we cannot assume that only the organisms we do find in the fossil record are all that existed during those times, just that those were all that were fossilized.

Conclusion

My opponent still has no absolute causal proof of Evolution.


(1) Science July 17 1981 p.289, David Raup
(2) The Origin of Species, 1859, p 280, Charles Darwin
(3) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
(4)
Eugene Koonin, The Origin at 150: Is a new evolutionary synthesis in sight?" Trends in Genetics, 25(11), November 2009, pp. 473-475
(5) http://news.nationalgeographic.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Romanii

Pro

I would just like to point out that this debate seems to be drifting from the original purpose of the resolution to a standard evolution debate.


THE PART OF THE DEBATE ACTUALLY RELATING TO THE RESOLUTION

"My point with the ladder analogy was that, no matter how much correlation there is between two subjects, it still does not prove causation. Causation is another issue, one that must be explained how it is caused. Only relying on correlation will never prove causation."

My opponent seems to have completely ignored my analysis of his analogy. This leads me to believe that he doesn't understand it. My opponent may correct me if I'm wrong, but either way, I'm going to go ahead and re-phrase my rebuttal to the correlation/causation argument:

-- The fossil record completely supports Evolution through the display of gradual change in species over time (i.e. correlation). From the average person's perspective, this is definite proof that Evolution must be responsible for the development of all life on Earth.

-- However, according to the correlation/causation argument, there is no reason to believe that such a fossil record must be a product of evolution (i.e. no reason to believe that Evolution is responsible for the development of all life on Earth), unless evidence of causation is shown (i.e. evidence that Evolution definitely caused the development of all life on Earth).

-- But, even if no causal evidence exists, there is still a CHANCE that Evolution IS responsible for the fossil record, although it is not a sure chance.

-- Thus, the correlation/causation only casts DOUBT upon the theory, although, admittedly, at that point, it would be quite a substantial amount of doubt.

-- However, we have more than simple correlation to show. We have OBSERVED Evolution happen in many different species (1)

-- Since all organisms have the same genetic code (DNA), we know that it is POSSIBLE for Evolution to have been the cause of development of all life on Earth (i.e. proof of POSSIBLE causation)

-- That, in conjunction with the fact that the fossil record supports Evolution as the cause of development of all life on Earth, and that there are zero alternative scientific theories, it becomes extremely likely that Evolution is the c. o. d. o. a. l. o. e.

-- Of course, there is still a tiny margin of error, since there is no ABSOLUTE proof of causation. So all the correlation/causation argument does is point to the tiny margin of error and say, "Look! it MIGHT be wrong!". But any qualified scientist already knows that, like any other scientific theory, the theory Evolution has some room for error.

-- In conclusion, the correlation/causation argument does NOT disprove the theory of evolution.

I ask that my opponent concentrate the majority of his effort on this portion of the debate next round.



THE REST OF THE DEBATE

That being said, I will still proceed to answer all of my opponents other contentions because I cannot resist the temptation to dismantle anti-evolution arguments, no matter what the time and place :)

"When people doubt the General Theory of Evolution, a common claim is that those people either do not know enough of the evidence for evolution... Now, this is certainly not true. A person can be well aware of the arguments for evolution... certain theists do not deny evolutionary theory because of religion- they do so because of the scientific reasons."

It was nice of my opponent to not make rude assumptions about my beliefs.
However, I will be honest: I have never heard a valid scientific argument against evolution. The correlation/causation argument was the first one to ever stump me, and it turns out that even that doesn't disprove evolution in the end.

"I must say, I think there are some issues with this being a way to falsify evolution. First, there is no proof of sustained progression in the first place"

There actually HAS been proof of sustained progression (2), so the sustained regression example WOULD still work to falsify the theory of Evolution.
Also, since Con has decided to use the appeal to authority fallacy, I shall respond with some of my own! (3)(4)(5)

"Darwin had no scientific degrees. He did not come up with his theory based on evidence- He came up with a theory that he realized at the time went against the evidence of his day, but he was certain that in time his theory would be proved. "

When Darwin first came up with this theory it really was nothing much more than a very logical hypothesis. However, this is common knowledge. I don't see how this serves to prove my opponent's point at all. Since Darwin's time, we have gotten so much more evidence, and we have even witnessed it happening, which is why we can now consider it a scientific theory.

"...the origins of the universe is the one instance where a God is needed."

Here, my opponent has made the mistake of grouping cosmology into the theory of evolution. I personally believe in God and that no scientific theory provides an ample explanation of the beginning of the Universe on its own, but that has nothing to do with my belief/disbelief in evolution. I believe in theistic evolution.

"Also, if we look at evolutionary thought, we see it keeps changing."

Yes, that is the nature of science... it keeps improving upon itself as new evidence is found, in a quest to understand the workings of the universe. This does not invalidate science. It just shows that scientific theories are always up to date on the latest evidence. All evidence found thus far has been in favor of Evolution.

"The NES Mario Bros cannot contain any code that allows for the controller to have motion, as the NES system has no motion controller, but the Wii does. This is akin to an animal without wings vs an animal with wings- no genetic code for wings can be written in an organism without wings."

My opponent is missing the point of why this analogy doesn't work at all. Video games are written in computer codes. The two games are written two totally different languages of code. Thus is is obvious that one game's code cannot be altered into the other game's code.
However, when it comes to organisms, they all have the same genetic code: DNA. And thus a species CAN gradually evolve to become one that is totally different, yet still uses the same genetic code.

"First, the Miller-Urey experiment did not simulate the real conditions of life on planet earth"

I am aware of the limitations of their experiment. However, the point IS, that inorganic elements CAN bond into organic compounds.

"I am sorry for my opponent, but the Miller-Urey experiment was far, far away from proving abiogenesis."

I did not claim that. I simply cited the Miller-Urey experiment as a starting point. I then recommended to my opponent that he go read up on the rest of the story as to how those organic compounds led to the first life.

"With living fossils, they have undergone no change for millions of years."

My opponent seems to have the impression that living fossils do not change at all. However, this is false, as they do still change slightly and subtly (6).
The reason living fossils don't have to change AS MUCH as other organisms is because they're phenotypes are so adaptable that very minimal change is needed to adapt to changes in the environment.

"My opponent still has no absolute causal proof of Evolution."

Correct. And his opponent probably WON'T have any within his lifetime either, but fortunately, it is not needed because we have evidence of LIKELY causation, and doubt does NOT disprove.

I look forward to the final round of our debate!


SOURCES
(1) http://listverse.com...
(2) http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
(3) http://www.richarddawkins.net...
(4) http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au...
(5) http://www.amazon.com...
(6) http://www.lucasbrouwers.nl...


Lupricona

Con

Romanii, I hope that you had a great weekend, and I also hope that by my submitting my arguments very close to the deadline, you will have ample time to conclude this debate with intelligent arguments.

Before getting into the arguments, my opponent accused me of the fallacy of authority. I did not say, a smart person said this, so it must be true, which would be fallacious. In stark contrast, I quoted a scientist speaking in field who gave a testimony. My opponent may not like the quote, as seen from how it was completely ignored and refutes many of my opponents claims. Quoting scholars on this subject is not a fallacy- they are the ones who have the testimonies of the evidence, so it is to them we must go to when understanding this issue. My opponent must attack the evidence that the scholars give, not me quoting scholars.

Now, I do apologize for not giving a detailed rebuttal to the analogy analysis- I had reached my character limits and did not deem this as the most important topic.

We both agree and understand that correlation does not imply causation. Therefore, in order for the Theory of Evolution to have causual evidence of its accuracy, we should be able to see evidence of this happening today. This present day causal evidence is where the bulk of the argument rests, which is why I'm comitting most of my characters to refuting his "proof" for Evolution. If I can refute evert claim of causal evience, leaving no causal evidence to show that Evolution is true, then the correlation/causation argument does not only cast doubt on Evolution, it disproves the theory.

My opponent has argued that since we have seen mutations and natural selection occur in different species, this proves Evolution. I have already argued why this is not the case. And still, this is only correlation to the Theory of Evolution, as other models can account for mutations and natural selection.

My opponent argues that different organisms have the same genetic code, so this gives no problem to adding to it to get new organisms. However, I refuted this with the video game analogy. He does not like me using the NES to WII analogy as he can plainly see the implications of this analogy. Fine. I'll change the analogy to one he won't refute. Two NES games: Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong. Both for the same system, both have the same code, but both have different functions. If one were to just manipulate the levels of Mario Bros, they will never be able to change it into Donkey Kong. This is my point. Two organisms are also written with the same genetic code (i.e. a fish and a human). The same is true with one video game for a NES and another video game for the NES. Genetic code is information, and I have already argued how mutations and natural selection cannot add information.

"A mutation doesn't produce major new raw material. You don't make a new species by mutating the species,. That's a common idea people have, that evolution is due to random mutations. A mutation is <not> the cause of evolutionary change." -Gould, evolutionary biologist (1)

My opponent argues that the fossil record supports evolution, when I have already given the testimony of a scientist who had studied the fossil record and said otherwise.

Pro: However, I will be honest: I have never heard a valid scientific argument against evolution.

Pro, I feel as though you ignore my arguments, and then re-iterate your original statements saying how evolution isn't proven false. It seems as though you don't take any argument against evolution seriously. I would like to ask you to please carefully re-read my arguments, as I feel that I have refuted your claims countless times.


I made the claim that the origin of the universe is the one instance where God is needed as an explanation. I did not make a mistake of grouping cosmology with the theory of evolution, as 1, The General Theory of Evolution includes (and requires) Big Bang cosmology, and 2, in the Young Earth Creation paradigm, the origin of the universe and life would all have come through at roughly the same time, so it is fair to group them together in either case.

I made the claim that evolutionary thought keeps changing. Yes, the nature of science is to keep building upon new discoveries everyday. But when a theory keeps getting proven wrong, so new interpretations have to be created to fit the new evidence, this shows that the theory is wrong, and a new theory is needed. The nature of science is to change our theories when new evidence comes in, not keep old theories and change them every time new evidence comes in.

My opponent seems stuck on the Miller-Urey experiment being the proof for life by inorganic materials. This is a dead end; these results did not produce life, nor do they even imply that life could have been started this way. I already have shown why scientists are looking at Mars, and some are even looking at transpermia as different ways that life could have come to earth, because they realize the impossibility of it happening on earth.

My opponent shows how some living fossils have had some change. This is irrelevant; when I first brought up living fossils, I said that some had changed a little and some had changed not at all. First, the main point is that the living fossils did not evolve into other animals, and some living fossils didn't even change at all. Second, my opponent says that I seem to think that living fossils do not change at all, which is blatantly dishonest, as I stated this in my initial argument for them. My opponent then argues that these living fossils have the capability of adapting to changes in the environments. In round 3 he argued that the environments did not change, and now he is arguing that the environments did change but these organisms were not affected. Okay, so then why would we conclude the changes in environments is what evovled all of the other organisms (which we cannot prove were not as adaptable to the living fossils, and it is logical to assume that if the living fossils did not evolve into other organisms through changed environments, then no organism will change). Pro, you again have successfuly disproven evolution.

My opponent does not have any support for any evidence of causation for the Theory of Evolution. He ignored all of my refutations against it, and even admitted that evolution does not morph one ogranism into another even with the change of environments.

I look forward to the conclusion round. Good luck; cheers!

(1) MUTATIONS ARE NON-PRODUCTIVE , STEPHEN J. GOULD, HarvardLecture, Hobart & William Smith College, 14/2/1980
Debate Round No. 4
Romanii

Pro

Firstly, I would like to give my thanks to my opponent for obliging my request to post his argument as late as possible. Him doing so has indeed given me the time I need.



RESOLUTION

"We both agree and understand that correlation does not imply causation. Therefore, in order for the Theory of Evolution to have causual evidence of its accuracy, we should be able to see evidence of this happening today.

We HAVE seen evidence of this happening today (1).

"If I can refute evert claim of causal evience, leaving no causal evidence to show that Evolution is true, then the correlation/causation argument does not only cast doubt on Evolution, it disproves the theory."

However, I have said many times now that the chance of Evolution still being true is STILL there EVEN if there is no causal evidence.
I feel that this is becoming a bit repetitive now.

"My opponent has argued that since we have seen mutations and natural selection occur in different species, this proves Evolution. I have already argued why this is not the case. And still, this is only correlation to the Theory of Evolution"

That is false. Observed micro-evolution IS evidence of possible causation. It is not just correlation. The examples of Evolution that we have observed have happened EXACTLY like the theory has held. The correlation/causation argument basically says that nothing links the fossil record to the theory of Evolution, and these observed examples show that the link's existence is not only possible, but also highly likely.

"This present day causal evidence is where the bulk of the argument rests, which is why I'm comitting most of my characters to refuting his "proof" for Evolution"

I don't mean to burst Con's bubble, but the only reason I'm responding to his other arguments against Evolution is because I feel like it. It is not really central to the resolution at all. I simply want to show that the likelihood of Evolution being true is very high.



REFUTATIONS

My opponent has come up with a new video game analogy to better represent the situation. However, even this one is not acceptable.
I pointed out before that the difference between genomes of even some of the most radically different organisms is actually very limited (4). No analogy concerning video games truly works for this because the difference between the codes of video games is far more than the difference between the genomes of organisms.

"A mutation doesn't produce major new raw material. You don't make a new species by mutating the species,. That's a common idea people have, that evolution is due to random mutations."

Here, my opponent has quoted the revered evolutionary biologist, Stephen Jay Gould. I know that saying this will probably displease my opponent, but he has misinterpreted this quote.
Allow me to explain:
It is true that mutations do not produce major new changes. They produce very limited changes in genotype, and most of the time, those changes do not result in a beneficial adaptation for natural selection to favor. That is why evolution is such a slow process.
It is also true that Evolution is not due to just random mutations. It is due to certain genetic traits being favored by the environment.
This quote simply re-affirms known facts about Evolution. It does not disprove it at all...

Next, my opponent quoted an Evolutionist making an anti-evolution statement about the fossil record.
I agree that it isn't technically an appeal to authority fallacy, so I apologize for calling it that.
However, quoting individual evolutionists who point out flaws in the current theory of Evolution is a standard Creationist tactic, and I will respond to it with an extensive list of scientists who have studied the fossil record and concluded that it DOES support Evolution (2). The list is part of a movement called "Project Steve" which specifically aims to bring and end to that tactic (3).

Then, my opponent claims that the Big Bang is, indeed, part of the theory of Evolution.
I strongly disagree, but even if that were true, it really doesn't matter because God and the Big Bang aren't mutually exclusive at all (i.e. God creates universe via Big Bang)
Not to mention that many atheistic scientists would completely disagree that God is a necessary factor in cosmology...

"...when a theory keeps getting proven wrong, so new interpretations have to be created to fit the new evidence, this shows that the theory is wrong, and a new theory is needed"

My opponent's choice of words here is fallacious. The theory does not keep getting "proven wrong". It simply gets updated as more information is found. That is what makes it so much more likely to be true!

"My opponent seems stuck on the Miller-Urey experiment being the proof for life by inorganic materials."

Actually I clarified this last round. I do not believe that at all. Just to make sure this doesn't come up again, I will drop the term "Miller-Urey experiment" completely and approach this differently.
I simply mean to say that Abiogenesis has been proven thoroughly. There is tons of scientific research material on the topic of how life evolved from elements to inorganic compounds, inorganic compounds to organic compounds, organic compounds to genetic material, genetic material to primitive cells, primitive cells to prokaryotes, prokaryotes to eukaryotes, eukaryotes to multi-cellular organisms, and so on.

Next my opponent goes off on a tangent about living fossils. He wrote a lot, but only part that matters is where he actually responded to my explanation of living fossils:

"why would we conclude the changes in environments is what evovled all of the other organisms (which we cannot prove were not as adaptable to the living fossils, and it is logical to assume that if the living fossils did not evolve into other organisms through changed environments, then no organism will change)."

Actually, we CAN prove that other, faster-evolving species were less adaptable than the living fossils by using logic to decide what sort of traits would be advantageous in a variety of different environments. Living fossils have often displayed such traits.

"Pro, I feel as though you ignore my arguments, and then re-iterate your original statements saying how evolution isn't proven false. It seems as though you don't take any argument against evolution seriously. I would like to ask you to please carefully re-read my arguments, as I feel that I have refuted your claims countless times."

I am sorry that my opponent feels this way. However, the only reason I am able to stick by such a bold claim is because I am sure that I successfully dismantled all of his arguments against Evolution. I really did take what was being said seriously, but it all consisted of arguments that I have seen before, none of which are valid.



CONCLUSION

"My opponent does not have any support for any evidence of causation for the Theory of Evolution."
Don't need any.

"He ignored all of my refutations against it,"
Correction: refuted

"... and even admitted that evolution does not morph one ogranism into another even with the change of environments."
Misconception about Living Fossils on Con's part.

Any ways, I just want finish up by thanking my opponent for debating this with me and giving a quick summary of my entire side of this debate in 4 points:

1) Even without causal evidence, the chance of Evolution being true is still there (i.e. Doubt does not Disprove)

2) We have observed Evolution. That, in conjunction with strong correlation of evidence, makes Evolution highly likely to be true

3) All scientific theories have some room for error, so pointing out room for error does not accomplish anything

4) The "holes"in the theory of Evolution which creationists try to point out can all easily be explained

Cheers!

SOURCES
(1) http://listverse.com...
(2) http://ncse.com...
(3) http://rationalwiki.org...
(4) http://www.thehumangenome.co.uk...
Lupricona

Con

Conclusion

If there is no causal evidence for any statement (i.e. unicorns exist), it is just an arbitrary assumption. As a society, thinks are innocent until proven guilty, that is, we do not assume that things exist until they are proven to exist. If the Theory of Evolution is only arbitrary assumptions, then yes, the Correlation/Causation argument dsproves the theory.

My opponent continually concluded the non-sequitor fallacy of saying that since we observe mutations and natural selection, then Darwinian Evolution must be true. As already shown, Evolutionary biologists do not account for mutations and natural selection for proof for Darwinian Evolution.

Pro: I don't mean to burst Con's bubble, but the only reason I'm responding to his other arguments against Evolution is because I feel like it. It is not really central to the resolution at all. I simply want to show that the likelihood of Evolution being true is very high.

My opponent needed to respond to my refutations against Darwinian Evolution. If he has no causal evidence for evolution, then all that is left is arbitrary assumptions, which allows the contention of the Causation argument to refute Evolution.

My opponent continued to dislike my video game analogy because he understands that the analogy shows how impossible Darwinian Evolution is. Actually, genomes between organisms is much more different than the coding for video games. A standard NES game can consist of a few Megabytes. DNA of a human body stores 1.5 Gbytes x 100 trillion cells = 150 trillion Gbytes or 150×10^12 x 10^9 bytes = 150 Zettabytes (10^21) (1). So, it's inconceivable to think that one simple NES game could evolve into another. Now, comapre that to the human DNA, which is, as shown, almost infinitely more complex, how could any rational human being think evolution could produce that much more information?

Gould was an evolutionary biologist. He realized that mutations and natural selection did not provide the mechanisms for evolution, and was concinved that, in the future, scientists would discover that mechanism. We still have not found it today, (which I contend is because it doesn't exist), so there is still no known mechanism for Evolution. Which makes Evolution an arbitrary assumption.

I did not say that scientists don't interpret the fossil record in a Darwinian mindset. I showed that there isn't much evidence to show that the fossil record is Darwinian. My opponent sited sources of people who still believe in Evolution, but that did not refute my argument.

My opponent never gave any evidence for abiogenesis, which Evolution needs for proof of causality.

My opponent never refuted my transitional fossils argument, which absoultely disproves Evolution, as we know that organisms do not evolve over millions of years, whether the environment changes or not.

Evolution is only an arbitrary assumption. I refuted all of the supposed causal evidence. The Causation argument refutes Evolution.




(1) http://bitesizebio.com...
Debate Round No. 5
40 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
Lupricona, I rebutted your arguments. You rejected mine.

I know, I shouldn't have continued the debate in comments, but I couldn't resist the urge to point out that your didn't even attempt to actually answer my contentions.

You can always ask people to vote...
Posted by Lupricona 3 years ago
Lupricona
Romanii, we could argue back and forth on who ignored the other's arguments and who did not refute and so forth. But it was not honorable of you to continue the debate in the comments. If you're sure that you made the better arguments, the votes will show that. You'll have the upper hand as no one ever votes for those against Evolution anyways.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
I know that debating in comments is generally looked down upon, but I must point out" that my opponent has "refuted" all of my claims by IGNORING EVERYTHING I said in previous rounds.

"If the Theory of Evolution is only arbitrary assumptions, then yes, the Correlation/Causation argument dsproves the theory."
"My opponent continually concluded the non-sequitor fallacy of saying that since we observe mutations and natural selection, then Darwinian Evolution must be true"

It is NOT just arbitrary assumptions, though. And I did NOT conclude that it "must be true".
Evolution is a scientific theory that is most LIKELY true because it"s been OBSERVED happening (possible causation) and because all the evidence supports it as the cause of development of all life on Earth.

The rest of my opponent's contentions were so ignorant of everything I've said, that I must question whether or not my opponent even READ my round 5 argument.

Video Game analogy. Gould's quote, Abiogenesis. Living Fossils.

I countered all of these contentions with logic and scientific evidence, and my opponent simply re-asserted them without responding to my rebuttals at all

It seems that my opponent ran out of valid arguments and resorted to logical fallacy to avoid having to concede.

Vote Pro.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
@Lupricona:
Thank you so much!
I'll have my argument written sometime on Tuesday.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
Lupricona, I have an urgent request to make of you.
I am going to be out of town this weekend and there is a very good chance that I will not have any internet access there.
In order to avoid me having to forfeit the last round of our debate, it would be extremely nice of you to post your argument as late as possible, preferably on the last day of the 3 day argument time limit.
That way, when I come back on Monday, I can still have time to write decent argument.
I trust that you will oblige my request, since I'm probably not going to get to see your reply to this.
Thanks!
Posted by MartinKauai 3 years ago
MartinKauai
Lupricona, I think you should take a harder look at Sagey's sources, including the references given. They indeed prove that information can be added. Your claim that "information is only destroyed" is a very vague and misguided claim, and virtually all geneticists would disagree with you.

"A mechanism that is likely to be particularly common for adding information is gene duplication, in which a long stretch of DNA is copied, followed by point mutations that change one or both of the copies. Genetic sequencing has revealed several instances in which this is likely the origin of some proteins. For example:
Two enzymes in the histidine biosynthesis pathway that are barrel-shaped, structural and sequence evidence suggests, were formed via gene duplication and fusion of two half-barrel ancestors (Lang et al. 2000).

RNASE1, a gene for a pancreatic enzyme, was duplicated, and in langur monkeys one of the copies mutated into RNASE1B, which works better in the more acidic small intestine of the langur. (Zhang et al. 2002)

Yeast was put in a medium with very little sugar. After 450 generations, hexose transport genes had duplicated several times, and some of the duplicated versions had mutated further. (Brown et al. 1998)

The biological literature is full of additional examples. A PubMed search (at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...) on "gene duplication" gives more than 3000 references."
Posted by Lupricona 3 years ago
Lupricona
Sagey, the debate is not going off topic. His argument is that there is causal evidence for Evolution. His causal evidence was arguing that evolution is seen happening today. It is completely relevant to the debate.

Now, you then try to help my opponent during a debate (which is fine; none of your links prove what they are even saying. Most of them show corrupted mutations, and the others just use ad hominem attacks against Creationists- hardly an a source of intelligent critque).

I don't want to turn this into a debate in the comments, though. Should my opponent use any of these sources, fine, I welcome his attempt to use them to prove his case. But if anyone wants to help give my opponent arguments, form a debate with me if you think you can do better.

Cheers!
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
A couple more:
The mottled mouse is one example of mutation adding information, though they are not totally sure that it is useful information. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Our brain development of additional structures from the ape Inferior Parietal Lobe to form the two associated gyri that are highly useful in human mathematical, space and language capabilities is an example of additional information through the mutation process of Chromosome Doubling.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
http://www.talkorigins.org...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov...
http://redwood.psych.cornell.edu...
http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk...

Chromosome doubling is useful for adding extra information into the genetics of vegetable crops, i.e. wheat. The evolution of wheat (natural and through human intervention) is a story of added genetic material. http://www.macroevolution.net...

Since Con is dragging the topic into an argument you may not have prepared for, I hope I've provided some enlightening Information.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Hey Romanii: Since the topic appears to be going off topic, there may be some useful stuff in these:
http://www.newscientist.com...
http://tinyfrog.wordpress.com...

:-D~
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
@dannyc:
English, please? I'm almost sure I mentioned that I'm only in tenth grade >.<
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by blaze8 3 years ago
blaze8
RomaniiLupriconaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Lack of causal evidence may not disprove, but it certainly means that Evolution is not proven to begin-with. A Scientific Theory is, by definition, falsifiable. One does not, therefore, need to disprove a theory that is not at all proven in the first place. All that is required is to cast doubt on it. And in this respect, Con casts enough doubt for Pro to admit that there is no causal proof. You both tie on reliable sources, as both were mixed between scholarly and otherwise. Conduct was tied, in my opinion. S/G also tied. Considering the Correlation/Causation argument arose in my debate with Romanii, which sparked this debate, my vote may be a little biased. That said, I do feel that if Con had pointed out the above fact, Pro's discussion would have been harder to conduct. Good job to both of you!
Vote Placed by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
RomaniiLupriconaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con made the mistake of stating Evolution is only an Assumption, I worked in Evolutionary fields and witnessed first hand evidence for Evolution, It is a Theory, Con's attempt to deny Evolution by claiming it relies on "Post Hoc" fallacy fall short of convincing to those of us who have worked in biological and fields of research involving Evolutionary principles. They might appear convincing to voters who have no contact with the subject. Con made the mistake of claiming that an Extra Tail on a bacterium is not new Information, when indeed it definitely is new Information that did not exist previously. That mistake cost him. A multitude of such additions and we have a completely different phenotype. A different phenotype = macroevolutionary change.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
RomaniiLupriconaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate, although 5 rounds was too long I think as after round three the debate was settled. Pro wins arguments, as I found some of Cons arguments and analogies not a true reflection of evolution and misleading. Additionally, the arguments at the end of Cons last round while uncontested were ridiculous. I am not awarding sources points to either debater for one reason which I will now get too. The DNA link between pigs at Humans sharing 98 % of their genome not correct, the link actually says as much and so I have deducted conducts points for Pro. I am sure its an honest mistake, but it made me double take and do some serious reading so I feel it was glaring enough of an error. S&G is tied.
Vote Placed by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
RomaniiLupriconaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I will start off by saying this was a very nice debate. I have read the bulk of it already (before voting period) and am pretty happy I was able to finish it up. The BoP on con was that a single argument disproves Evolution, which he did not meet. Pro did a much better job of fulfilling (and refuting) his BoP, so therefore he gets arguments. Conduct and grammar are tied, as they both showed great conduct and S@G throughout. Now, sources. I found it really hard to vote on this one. Pro used more, which further proves his argument reliable. Con used much less, but he used a variety of books and websites whereas pro did not. Therefore, it is my belief that sources are tied in this case. Great job to both debaters, and I hope to see you keep it up!