The Instigator
CRSdave
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
GreenTeas
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

The Theory of Evolution Cannot Explain All Organisms.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+7
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
GreenTeas
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/26/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,661 times Debate No: 26608
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (43)
Votes (9)

 

CRSdave

Pro

The Theory of Evolution is an ineffective method of explaining life on this earth. Through the careful examination of specific organisms and their structures, we see evident the insufficiency of the theory.

Evolution, which explains life in small, gradual steps, does not provide the answers we seek. While Microevolution occurs within the gene code and is evident all around us, Macroevolution is a scientific impossibility. The idea that all forms of life derive from a common ancestor is absurd.

Needless to say, I affirm the resolved.

I will disprove evolution in this debate. I will provide examples of problems that evolution cannot solve, and thus arrive at the Conclusion that all life cannot evolve from one common ancestor.

GreenTeas

Con


As the CON position, I will argue that evolution – the process by which living organisms have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth – is validated and supported to an extremely high degree by a vast array of scientific data.


My opponent will be arguing that (1) the theory of evolution does not adequately explain life on earth and (2) that macroevolution is a scientific impossibility. These are interrelated issues but I will most likely address them separately.


Thanks to my opponent and good luck!


Debate Round No. 1
CRSdave

Pro


Thank you Con!



I will now make my Opening Statements/Arguments Briefly as to Initiate the Topic.




Irreducible Complexity



Irreducible Complex is a termed coined to describe a biological system consisting of several unique, interlocking parts all working in correlation to serve a greater function. Upon the removal of such parts, the system effectively ceases usefulness.



There are several, typical structures used to support this idea.



The Bacterial Flagellum


The Flagellum, a structure found on many bacteria, is a common example of irreducible complexity. Evolution, which explains life through small, gradual steps, is based around the premise that small changes allow for the eventual culmination of beneficial genetic mutations to form an exponentially increasing variety of species.


Gradual, minimal changes do not explain the flagellum. This subsystem cannot develop piece by piece. Remove a single part, and the system ceases to function. A useless system is a prime target for elimination by natural selection.


The Evolutionist counter-measure is the hypothesis that the components of irreducibly complex systems performed various other functions before finally acting in correlation. The “previous functions” are not known or highly hypothetical. The more and more irreducibly complex systems we stumble upon, the more explanations for previous functions are required.


Another Example of Irreducible Complexity are the ATP synthase molecule, a vital increment of life, without which no cell could survive.




The Odds of Evolution



Borel’s Law of Probability states that if an event has worse than a 1 in 10^50 power, than that event will NEVER happen.


A biophysics professor, Dr. Harold Morowitz, hypothesized that the odds of even the simplest organism forming by chance is 1 in 10^340,000,000. Dr. Carl Sagan of Cornell University calculated that the odds were in fact 1 in 10^2,000,000,000. Picture a 1 with 2 billion zeroes and you get the basic picture. That’s far worse than the impossible 1 in 10^50.



Just based on this, Evolution is a mathematical impossibility.



But Lets take a look at the probability of the connections of the Human Brain forming by chance, shall we?


An analogy: The odds of a 52 card deck forming a random coincidence of cards.


3 cards yields 6 different outcomes. The probability for a specific one? 1 in 6.


For Four Cards the math is 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 = 24. 24 different ways four cards can be arranged. The odds? 1 in 24.


By the 20th card, there are more combinations than seconds in 2 Billion years. And that’s just 20 cards.


Consider the 1,000,000,000,000,000 connections in the human brain. Figure that number out. 1 Quintillion Cards? The numbers would far exceed the Myrillions.




Closure of the Opening Statement:


Irreducible complexity provides a logical method to discredit Evolution, while Standardized arithmetic provides a mathematical method to disprove Darwin’s theory.


Evolution is both Mathematically, and therefore logically, impossible. And if not logically impossible by sheer odds alone, it is also do doubt logically impossible in and of itself.


Even though the Odds of evolution are well below the statistical limit for a possible event, Evolution is taught as fact to millions of children.


I will present more examples of Irreducible Complexity and Mathematical Impossibility in future rounds, as well as rebuttals to my opponent’s assertions.


Sources:


http://creationdesign.org...


http://www.answersingenesis.org...




GreenTeas

Con

<<< REBUTTAL AGAINST PRO >>>

1. Rebuttal to :: Irreducibly complex systems could not have evolved

Using my opponent’s definition, an irreducibly complex system is a “biological system consisting of several unique, interlocking parts working in correlation to serve a greater function. Upon removal of such parts, the system effectively ceases usefulness.”

This brings us to the first question – can irreducibly complex systems evolve? There are several logical ways that an irreducibly complex system could evolve. I will explain by using a hypothetical example that employs evolutionary principles.

Imagine that we have a complex system within a cell that is made of three parts [part ONE, part TWO, and part THREE], that has evolved to perform function ‘X.’ Also, imagine that parts ONE, TWO, and THREE can perform separate, individual functions by themselves. This is a reducible system because we can remove parts and the remaining parts will still perform other functions.

Now, let us imagine that performing function ‘X’ becomes essential to survival. The cells that perform this function better than others are more likely to survive. Random mutation and natural selection will select for variations of this system, made of parts ONE, TWO and THREE, that are more efficient at performing function ‘X’. As these individual parts gradually change to become better at performing ‘X’ together, they may begin to lose their ability to perform their separate, individual functions. After some period of evolution, we will have a highly specialized system of parts ONE, TWO, and THREE that are more efficient at performing function ‘X’, but in changing to become more efficient at function ‘X’, these parts have lost their ability to perform their separate, individual functions. We have now evolved an irreducibly complex system. If we remove one part from this system, none of the remaining parts will perform any useful functions.

This is not the only way that an irreducibly complex system could evolve, but it is enough to illustrate that an irreducible system could evolve. Thus, even if the flagella were irreducible, that irreducibility is still consistent with evolutionary theory.

2. Rebuttal to :: The flagella is an irreducibly complex system

The next question before us is whether the flagella is an irreducibly complex system. I demonstrated in the previous section that, even if it were, that would still be consistent with evolutionary theory, but I will also present an argument that the flagellum is not irreducible.

So, what parts make up the bacterial flagellum? There are thousands of flagellar variants documented throughout the bacterial world. This should be suggestive that considerable evolutionary changes to a flagellum can be made without destroying the function.

The most researched flagellum comes from the bacteria E. coli. It’s composed of over 40 different proteins.[1] Half of these proteins share a strong structural and sequence similarity to other proteins that carry out cellular functions outside of the flagellum. And, several of these flagellar proteins are capable of performing functions even when removed from the flagella. This alone demonstrates that the flagella is not irreducibly complex, as individual parts of the flagella can still perform important functions after the flagellar structure is taken apart.

While the flagellum is not technically irreducibly complex, there is still considerable debate as to exact evolutionary process that led to its development. Some researchers have suggested that it is an evolutionary modification of a protein export system called the Type III secretion system [though others speculate it may be the other way around].[2][3] Alternatively, others have provided evidence suggesting that “the core components of the bacterial flagellum originated through successive duplication and modification of a few … precursor gene[s].”[4]

In any case, the fact that researchers do not know exactly how the flagella evolved is not evidence against evolution. Molecular research is, in many regards, still in its infancy. To say that we don’t yet know the specific evolutionary pathway of the flagellum does not demonstrate that evolution is false. We may know in 10 years, or we may never know how this process actually occurred. The fact that we cannot yet discern what evolutionary events took place billions of years ago does not mean that they did not occur.

3. Rebuttal to :: Evolution is mathematically impossible

My opponent argues that odds of evolution occurring are so low that it is a mathematical impossibility. In support of his assertion, he states that Dr. Harold Morowitz hypothesized that “the odds of even the simplest organism forming by chance is 1 in 10^340,000,000” and that Dr. Carl Sagan “calculated that the odds were in fact 1 in 10^2,000,000,000.”

The creation of life – also known as abiogenesis – is not evolution and so is not relevant to whether evolution is correct. But, let’s look at the source of these claims anyway. Some quick research leads us to Dr. Morowitz book Energy Flow in Biology, in which Morowitz makes some interesting calculations. However, the specific probability calculation that my opponent refers to is not the probability “of even the simplest organism forming by chance.” Instead, it is the probability that chemical bond formation would occur in the absence thermal input, an equilibrium state in chemistry that has NEVER existed in the history of the earth. My opponent has taken a quirky calculation and used it to mislead the audience.

We are left with Carl Sagan’s calculation. This calculation comes from a book edited by Dr. Sagan entitled Communication with Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. In this book is a paper presented by Dr. Sagan at a SETI conference in which Sagan states that the odds of a specific human genome being assembled by chance is 1 in 10^2,000,000,000. This calculation has nothing to do with whether simple life could have evolved. Further, evolution does not claim that a human genome could have assembled by chance. This calculation is wholly irrelevant to the probability of life and was used by Dr. Sagan to illustrate the power of the non-random selective process of natural selection.

4. Rebuttal to :: The human brain is too complex to have evolved

My opponent argues that the human brain is too complex to have evolved. In support of his contention, he states that the brain has 1,000,000,000,000,000 connections, too many to have formed by random coincidence – per his playing card analogy. There are multiple levels on which this misunderstands evolution and probability.

Evolution does not claim the brain formed by randomly arranging neurons like playing cards. The brain, like every other biological aspect of a living creature, has formed and changed gradually over millions of years through non-random natural selection. The human brain did not materialize into existence through the arrangement of neurons, as my opponent claims, and is therefore not subject to any of the probability issues that he presented.

<<< CON ARGUMENTS >>>

Addressing my opponent’s arguments has unfortunately left me with little remaining space, so I will hope that I sufficiently prevented him from achieving his burden of proof for this round.

<<< CONCLUSION >>>

I have shown that evolution predicts the existence of irreducibly complex systems and thus, even if the flagellum was irreducibly complex, it is still within the purview of evolution; I have also provided evidence that the flagellum is not irreducibly complex. My opponent's probabilistic arguments are wholly irrelevant, and I have said as much.

[1] http://www.newscientist.com...

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

[3] http://www.plosgenetics.org...

[4] http://www.pnas.org...

Debate Round No. 2
CRSdave

Pro

Thank You Con,

I will now present my rebuttals:

Irreducibly Complex Systems:

Evolutionists, in an attempt to dodge the compelling objections of irreducible complexity, have presented the idea that while the evolution of irreducibly complex systems was still in progress, the biological parts required in the process performed functions in and of themselves before later committing themselves to the idea of a single, corporate function. This notion is very unlikely for several reasons:

The functions that evolutionists claimed these parts performed in the past are very speculative. We constantly find more and more irreducible systems, and as we do, the proposed functions of these parts becomes increasingly vague and requires more explanation.
With every new discovery the theory of Evolution is subject to further objections.

These parts are not so variable as my opponent seems to think. Each protein is like a key that fits into a lock, irreplaceable. Now in order for an irreducibly complex system do evolve, such as the flagella, these dozens of proteins must be the perfectly fit together for some unseen purpose in the future. But there can be no mind, there can be no plan. So this has to be a complete coincidence. The parts cannot have been previously designed to fit together, the fact that dozens of proteins that are, say protein transport systems, are all present in the same cell, and each one fits into another one in an endless chain of perfect fits until they all form together into a perfect propeller type engine! Remember, there is no design, there is no blueprint, and there can be no greater purpose. This is all chance. Imagine finding enough pieces of metal in a post office to make a car engine. It's not a car factory, its not supposed to have the parts to make cars, there just sitting around the shop performing other uses. You can use one of the cylinders as coffee cups. The only way that the pieces required to make the car engine could be there is if someone, aka a MIND, put them there, in knowledge of their inherent future combined use.

That is the horribly impossible chance of location.

Now lets look at assembly. Let's just say that all the parts are present, and, miraculously, they all are capable of forming together, and, miraculously, these extra parts, which are obviously not needed by the cell, (because it does quite alright without them), have not yet been eliminated by natural selection because of their uselessness.

So lets just bypass those problems so we can examine assembly for the moment. These parts are as I said, like keys and locks. Lets say that there are 40 of these parts (flagellum.) In order for the irreducibly complex system to form, they would all just have to randomly coalesce. Do me a favor, take a key and lock. Throw them into the air together. Toss them up ten feet. Tell me how many times it takes for the key to luckily float in midair into the lock. You are not allowed to put the key into the lock, because there can be no mind in evolution.

And its not just two parts, its 40 parts. And they all have to be assembled, together, in the right way. Perfect. Not even a hair out of place. Do me another favor, take a 40 piece Lego set and toss all the parts 10 feet into the air. You can do it as many times as you like. Record your toss number, and when the Lego's finally come down in a fully completely Lego model, tell me how many times it took. Every piece has to be right.

Remember, you aren't allowed to build the Lego set. That would take a mind. You are only allowed to utilize chance. The Lego set has to build itself.

This will never happen.

Finally, lets say that all the pieces were there, and all the pieces miraculously formed together. Now what? Its still just a bunch of extra protein transports, extra ATP storage vacuoles, and whatever else. It may be in the form of the tail, but that doesn't mean it is a tail! Now all the pieces have to change function! And not only that, they have to change just to do part of a bigger function. One has to grip, one has to spin, one has to twist, one has to pull! So that they all work together to form a flagellum. Remember, there is no mind. This is all chance. The parts can't know that what they are doing is for a greater purpose. There are lots of "machines" out there, consisting of moving parts forming together. None of them formed themselves, they were all created by a mind. What caused them to change? What cause them to switch from their old function, to a new, foreign, un-explained function? An evolutionist would say random chance. I say the whole system was a design.

Irreducibly complex systems could not have evolved.

Miscellaneous:

My opponent makes reference to my brain argument. Yes, I realize it did not "materialize out of thin air." But every addition to it from the single-celled organism it originated from had to be the result of a random mutation. No, natural selection is not random, but what my opponent leaves out is that the what is selected by selection is random.

My Opponent also makes reference to the numbers I presented from Carl Sagan and Dr. Harold Morowitz. The numbers and explanations of their meaning came directly from one of my sources. If they are misleading than I apologize. I will look into it and make future reference.

Conclusion:

Irreducibly complex systems could not have evolved. There are too many lego sets, and to many car engines on our planet. Take the ATP synthase molecule, which is an energy convertor. It has no evolutionary explanation.

If "chance" was replaced by: "mind", it would make a lot more sense. A mind put the parts there, a mind assembled them, and the mind caused them to change function. And if it did all that, than why wouldn't the mind simply design the system right off the bat? I will discuss abiogenisis in a future round, as I am short on time here.


GreenTeas

Con

<<< REBUTTAL AGAINST PRO >>>

In the previous round, I provided an explanation of how evolution could lead to the development of an irreducibly complex system. The process I described – using accepted evolutionary principles – involved a system with three components that gradually evolved and co-adapted, thereby becoming better at performing one particular function together, while losing their ability to perform their previous individual functions. This evolved system was irreducibly complex, because when one component was removed, none of the remaining parts could function. The purpose of this exercise was to demonstrate that irreducibility is not a challenge to evolutionary theory.

In response, my opponent has provided no arguments against the principles of evolution that I employed in my discussion.

Instead, my opponent claims this process – as it relates to structures we observe in nature – is unlikely because: (1) the functions performed by the individual parts of the system in the past are speculative; (2) the parts “fit together” too well to have evolved to work together; and (3) the assembly of complex systems is too complicated to have evolved. Only the second objection actually relates to the principles of evolution, and that objection fails to address why evolution could not lead to parts that “fit together” well. Instead, my opponent’s objections express a general disbelief that these systems could have been the result of evolution and must therefore have been designed – which, unfortunately, is not a tenable argument.

For clarification, I will rebut each of my opponent’s objections in more detail.

1. Rebuttal to :: The previous functions of the individual parts of the system are speculative and therefore evolution is not a sufficient explanation for these systems

My opponent’s first objection is that the previous functions performed by the individual parts of a complex system are speculative, and therefore how can we know they evolved? Unfortunately, my opponent is applying a misleading bait-and-switch. He is attempting to shift the burden of proof from providing plausible evolutionary pathways to requiring the actual evolutionary story. My opponent is appealing to ignorance – essentially saying, we don’t “this,” therefore it must have been “this other thing.”

The process of evolutionary change of individual proteins within systems is well documented.[1][2] The fact that we have not yet described the evolutionary history of every single system is not an argument against evolution. There was a time, for example, when scientists did not know the evolutionary history of the vertebrate blood clotting system, a complex system composed of more than two dozen separate proteins. Today, the evolutionary development of this complex clotting system is well known.[3][4] The absence of factual knowledge is not an argument against evolution or its well-documented validity.

2. Rebuttal to :: Evolution of complex systems could not occur because the parts of these systems fit together too well

Second, my opponent claims that the evolution of complex systems could not occur because the individual components of these systems “fit together” too well to have evolved. He states “each protein is like a key that fits into a lock.”

My opponent is correct that many proteins have a lock-and-key relationship with other proteins and molecules – this is well documented in the scientific literature.[5] But, this relationship can and has been explained by evolutionary theory.

Imagine that you have two proteins that loosely interact. Now, imagine that cells that have tighter interactions between these two proteins will survive better – for example, perhaps these proteins are cooperative enzymes and a tighter interaction allows for more efficient use of necessary nutrients. Suddenly, evolution is selecting for variations of these two proteins that will have tighter interactions. Eventually, what was once a loose interaction becomes a tight interaction.

This is not hypothetical, the evolutionary history of many such relationships is known, including how they came into existence through evolutionary change. One prominent example is the integrated molecular system of aldosterone and its receptor protein.[5] My opponent’s argument is not a challenge to evolutionary theory and has been predicted, observed, and explained within evolutionary frameworks.

3. Rebuttal to :: Complex systems are too complicated to have evolved

Finally, my opponent asserts that the assembly of complex systems is too complicated to have evolved. He points to the flagella and its many parts, and appeals to that complexity as though it refutes evolution. He provides no evidence that evolution could not lead to complex systems, other than his personal disbelief. This is an argument from incredulity. The fact that the flagellum and other systems are complex and difficult to understand does not indicate it was designed and provides no evidence to believe it was designed.

Moreover, evolution predicts that complex systems will evolve over time. Scientists have already demonstrated that huge varieties of complex systems can be created by evolutionary forces.[6] And, by way of example, I already noted two complex system that have been explained in great detail by evolution – for example, the vertebrate clotting system, composed of over two dozen different proteins, is highly complex and yet has been explained in evolutionary terms. Complexity is not an argument against evolution.

<<< CONCLUSION >>>

My opponent points to the complexity of molecular systems and essentially argues that it is improbable that these systems could have evolved. He does not provide actual evidence of improbability, only that he does not believe so many pieces could have evolved to work together in this way – despite that current scientific understanding provides the evolutionary principles necessary to understand how these systems can and do develop.

My opponent also misleadingly points to the complex systems that science has not yet fully described. In essence, he says “science has not yet explained the evolution of this system, therefore it must be design.” He ignores, however, the many other systems that science has described in evolutionary terms. This is a “god in the gaps” appeal, an attempt to support intelligent design simply by pointing to areas in which science has not yet provided a detailed understanding. There is no reason to accept this argument, because it is not an argument at all.

I have shown that evolutionary theory explains and predicts the development and existence of complex, irreducible systems. My opponent has not, in any way, rebuffed these claims. Moreover, I remind you that it is my opponent’s burden to disprove the adequacy of evolution theory, which he has failed to do.

SOURCES

[1] http://www.plosbiology.org...

[2] http://www.plosgenetics.org...

[3] Russell Doolittle, The Evolution of Vertebrate Blood Clotting (2012).

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

[6] http://www.nature.com...

Debate Round No. 3
CRSdave

Pro

Thank You, Con, for that round. And for this debate.

Closing Statements

Brief Closing Rebuttals:

1.
First off- I made the point regarding the unconfirmed nature of these "previous functions", coupled with the increasing number of these irreducibly complex systems, to show that not only are these ideas speculative, but the increasing number of these required speculations is constantly making Evolution a more forlorn and unlikely theory.


2.
An interesting point my opponent does make concerning the "loose lock" argument. I cannot say that I disagree with natural selection's choice of a better adapted cell. If the stronger bond between those proteins is preferable, than according to natural selection, that bond will become the dominant gene in the species. What this idea fails to explain is the point I made in the first place- How the bond was initiated in the first place. Once the bond has formed, than natural selection may tighten it. But the bond first has to form, even if it is a loose one. My opponent will need to provide an explanation for this.


3.
The point I made from this regard is the fact that the assembly of a complex, interlocking system is unlikely due to the meticulous requirements of such formations. It is the machinery involved in such a system such as a flagella that make random assembly illogical. Not simply the complexity and number of parts. Complexity is not the same as irreducible complexity.



Final Pro Argument: DNA

DNA is a code. There is no code that has been created by random chance. Every Code ever to exist was created by a mind. Its the practical definition of code. There has to be a mind to give it meaning!

567123
34erd3

What do those stand for? Unless I told you the first one codes for an elephant, and the second codes for an apple, you would have no idea. The first one may just as well stand for a Volkswagen passat and the second a Mercedes-Benz SLK. Until I, a mind, give a code meaning, it is meaningless. A code cannot code itself.

How then can: ATGCTGCAT code for long brown hair by chance? It may just as easily code for an elephant trunk, or excessive facial hair. It cannot give itself meaning!

I ask my opponent: Where does the meaning come from? How does DNA explain itself?


Conclusion:

I would like to start off by addressing a peculiar situation in which my opponent has tried to change my premise to his favor.

What was the Premise? The Title. The Theory of Evolution cannot explain all organisms. I also go on in the explanation to show that I mean organism's structures as well, although this is self-explanatory.

My Premise was NOT:
"The Theory of Evolution is False, and Intelligent Design is correct." On several occasions my opponent attempts to place a burden of proof on my shoulders to try and force me to prove Intelligent Design. He has made arguments out of the fact that my premises do not prove Intelligent design. I am not trying to prove or disprove either theory, I am merely supporting the resolved that evolution cannot explain all organisms.


My Premise was NOT:
"The Theory of Evolution Cannot explain all organisms, and never will." Although I do believe this, it was not on my "prove list" for this resolution. My opponent has, on several occasions, attempted to back evolution by basically saying "we will find out eventually." If you cannot explain it, than you have given the debate in my favor, hence the premise. My opponent has also called me out for using "God in the Gaps". Again, although I do believe God created the earth, that is not on my "prove list." On my "prove list" was merely to point out that there were in fact gaps, which my opponent has essentially admitted there are.

I believe I have won this debate based on the original Premise. Although I have not proven Intelligent design, I was not required to. I have shown the evolution of the flagellum to be logically impossible, even though my opponent claims it is technically possible.

I do not believe my opponent will be able to refute my "DNA argument" which he must in order to win the debate. That is the argument I feel most strongly about, and if I win this point, I effectively win the debate.

My opponent has sidestepped abiogenesis: Anytime a creationist brings up the creation of life, the evolutionist claims that that is not part of evolution. For once, I wish the evolutionists would quit dividing up their theories as if one has no relation to the other. Both random abiogenesis and evolution place their faith in random chance and the absence of any sort of mind. If random chance cannot explain abiogenesis, than a mind is the only other option. If a mind created life, than natural logic would assume that It created all life. These theories are not the same, but are tied together in such a way that I believe they should be represented in the same debate.

Thank You, and of course, Vote Pro

-CRSdave-

GreenTeas

Con

<<< PRO’s BURDEN OF PROOF >>>

At the beginning of my final round, I would like to remind readers that PRO bears the burden of proof in this debate. In his introductory round, he stated that “the theory of evolution is an ineffective method of explaining life on this earth” abd that he would “disprove evolution in this debate.”

My opponent claims he was not trying to “disprove evolution,” but it is clear from his opening round that he adopted that burden.

If, after reading the debate and my final round, it is clear to you that my opponent has not disproven evolution or shown that it is an ineffective method of explaining life, then he has not succeeded and you must vote for CON.

<<< REBUTTAL AGAINST PRO >>>

In this final rebuttal, we return to some previously addressed issues and encounter at least one new issue – the DNA code.

1. Rebuttal to :: The increasing number of recently discovered complex systems makes evolution unlikely

My opponent argues that the increasing discovery of new and complex systems makes evolution unlikely. He argues that scientists are constantly required to speculate as to the evolutionary history of these systems.

I am disappointed my opponent has continued this line of argument. It is a quintessential “god in the gaps” claim. It should be patently clear to everyone that as we discover new organisms and new biological systems, that we will not immediately have well-developed explanations for how they evolved. This gap in scientific understanding has nothing to do with the validity of evolutionary theory, and has everything to do with the fact that these systems have just been discovered and have not yet undergone extended, rigorous scientific study.

My opponent’s argument is a non-starter and should be unceremoniously dismissed.

2. Rebuttal to :: Evolution cannot explain how “lock-and-key” relationships between proteins evolved

My opponent previously argued that evolution could not explain lock-and-key relationships between proteins. Last round, I noted that my opponent was incorrect. I explained the process by which these relationships develop via evolution, and I pointed to several well-known studies that revealed how this process occurs with real proteins in real organisms.

My opponent has either modified or clarified his argument and stated that evolution cannot explain “how the bond was initiated in the first place.” Evolution, of course, can explain the initiation of “lock-and-key” relationships, but I apologize if I did not make clear in my previous rebuttal.

So, I already explained in the previous round how protein interactions can progressively become “tighter” and lead to “lock-and-key” relationships, and provided scientific evidence of this occuring.[1] But how do protein interactions begin in the first place? This is a complicated issue, but I will do my best to distill it into simple, comprehensible ideas.

All proteins, by their nature, will have what are called non-specific binding interactions with other proteins. This is because proteins within the cell are crowded and proteins, due to their composition of amino acids, have a variety of electrostatic charges and hydrophobic (water-hating) or hydrophilic (water-loving) regions. These regions, along with the three-dimensional structure of the protein, affect what the protein will interact with.

Now, imagine that we have two proteins. One protein with a negatively charged region might bump into a positively charged region of another protein, these regions could briefly stick together, and then separate apart. This happens all the time in the cell, but it’s not truly a protein interaction.

So how do we get specific protein interactions? Well, one of the previous proteins I discussed could get a mutation in its positively charged region. That mutation could have no effect, or it might increase the charge or change the structure to make it more likely to loosely bind with the other protein. If the binding between those two proteins has a survival benefit, that mutation will be passed on to the next generation, and further mutations may later occur and be passed on through natural selection – leading to the creation of a protein interaction.[2]

3. Rebuttal to :: The machinery involved in the assembly of complex systems like the flagella make evolution unlikely

My opponent states that “the assembly of a complex, interlocking system is unlikely due to the meticulous requirements of such formations. It is the machinery involved … that make random assembly illogical.”

First, I would like to point out that evolution does not claim assembly of these systems is random. It is not. In fact, it is highly regulated and controlled. The reason it is controlled is because evolutionary pressures have demanded that it be controlled.

Second, and more importantly, my opponent is continuing his complexity argument, even if he does not admit it. He says the evolution of a complex system “is unlikely due to the meticulous requirements of such formations.” In my mind, “the meticulous requirements of such formations” is simply an alternative way of restating the word “complexity.” For a system to be complex, it must have many pieces in the right places.

My opponent has merely defined complexity in longer terms and has provided no objection to why evolution could not create such systems. Moreover, in the previous round I explained that evolution could create complex systems and that numerous studies had demonstrated that fact.

4. Rebuttal to :: DNA is a code and every code was created by a mind, therefore evolution is false

My opponent argues that DNA is a code and it therefore could not have evolved because no code exists that wasn’t created by a mind. You should notice several problems with my opponent’s argument.

First, he claims that every code was created by a mind. He provides no proof for this premise or why we should believe it. He does not explain why evolution could not create a code. Instead, he makes a categorical assumption about the nature of reality without providing evidence.

I could just as easily say that every code was created by evolution, because evolution created DNA, evolution created humans, and humans make codes. Neither my statement, nor my opponent’s statement, proves whether codes must have been designed by minds or not. My opponent’s premise does not stand, and therefore, the whole argument fails.

Second, he claims no code has been created by random chance. But, evolution does not drive change by random chance; it drives change through non-random natural selection. My opponent is misrepresenting how evolution works.

There is simply no reason to accept his claim that every code is created by a designer.

As an ancillary issue, a code can code itself. Consider evolutionary algorithms, for example.

<<< CONCLUSION >>>

Thanks to my opponent for an interesting debate.

I would like to remind everyone that my opponent had the burden of disproving evolution, stating in his opening round that he would “disprove evolution in this debate” and show that evolution “is an ineffective method of explaining life on this earth.” My opponent now claims he was not trying to “disprove evolution,” but it is clear within his opening round that he adopted that burden.

My opponent has offered several arguments relating to (1) irreducible complexity; (2) the probability of life emerging; (3) brains; (4) scientific unknowns; (5) complexity, in general; (6) the nature of protein interactions; (7) and DNA. I have thoroughly rebuffed each of these arguments, and in every case, I have demonstrated that evolution can and does explain the issues presented by my opponent.

If you believe that my opponent has failed to disprove evolution, and you believe I have presented stronger arguments, you must for CON.

SOURCES

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

[2] http://www.biomedcentral.com...

Debate Round No. 4
43 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
Brainiacs 11:55--Questioning the theory of evolution is equivalent to questioning the moon landing, only nutjobs and whackos think we never landed on the moon :)
Posted by Strawerrymilk 4 years ago
Strawerrymilk
I'm new here, and haven't yet completed the 3 debates required to vote, so I have put what my reasons for my voting decision would be If I could here!

I enjoyed reading both sides of the debate, and felt that an impressive level of discourse and courtesy was evident throughout. Good job.

I agreed with the Con position before and after, through no fault of Pro's argument.

Both sides had good conduct, but I felt that since Con did quite a bit of criticism regarding Pro's argument itself that it would have been helpful to maintain the complimentary formalities throughout. definately nitpicking here

Grammar wise I felt it was easiar to read through con's arguments than pro's due to some small issues. not a biggie

I felt Pro did not represent his sources as accurately as Con did.

All in all I felt that Con was more convincing, primarily because he engaged more closely with Pros argument than Pro did with Con's. It seemed that Pro was at times arguing with a vague, projected argument of evolutionists in general, and not Con's specific argument. As a result I felt that Con did a better job explaining how his stance was not disproven by Pro's argument. Con's argument was more persuasive.
Posted by Felix06 4 years ago
Felix06
Go Con!
Posted by muzebreak 4 years ago
muzebreak
Sorry about that Green, its fixed now.
Posted by Magic8000 4 years ago
Magic8000
The bacterial flagellum can have 41 of 50 parts removed and it's still functional. Folding proteins disproves Pro's probability argument.
Posted by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
@Samyul, Looking at it from any perspective, CRS could never get the conduct point.
Posted by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
Ok wait. Not a votebomb, but a questionable vote.
Posted by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
Now GreenTeas, Samyul is what is known as a votebomb.
Posted by Samyul 4 years ago
Samyul
Never mind, it's recovered.
Posted by Samyul 4 years ago
Samyul
SORRY EVERYONE FOR THE VOTE. My page timed out and submitted the vote as i was typing.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by miketheman1200 4 years ago
miketheman1200
CRSdaveGreenTeasTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con uses more sources. Pro unnecessarily brings up intelligent design while the argument was that evolution cannot explain ALL organisms. Pro put forth way more effort and explanation.
Vote Placed by muzebreak 4 years ago
muzebreak
CRSdaveGreenTeasTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: CRSdave dropped several points, and the points he didn't were disproven adequately. He aslo continued calling evolution "chance" even after being corrected many times. Greenteas managed to respond to all of his critiques and pointed out that CRS had self bestowed BOP in disproving evolution, which he failed to meet. CRS also tried to argue against strawmen at certain points, for instance GreenTeas argument agains Irreduicible complexity. Finally CRS either lied about what the probability numbers were actually for, or he couldn't be bothered to fact check his information, either way it is a point against him.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 4 years ago
Magic8000
CRSdaveGreenTeasTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro couldn't back up his complexity arguments so he flips to the argument from design. Other arguments such as the probability argument fails since it's dependent on the laws of chemistry not chance.
Vote Placed by Samyul 4 years ago
Samyul
CRSdaveGreenTeasTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: It seems that GreenTeas has presented ideas that only evolutionists believe. If you look at this from another point of view, you would see that CRS has better arguments, yet is ruled out for who knows why. Most likely becuase an evolutionist supporter supports another one, and accepts their ideas.
Vote Placed by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
CRSdaveGreenTeasTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con explained why natural selection was not intrinsically random and how parts used for a specific purpose can be adapted for another, resulting in a system that appears impossible to have evolved if the selective pressures were as one-dimensional as creationists imagine them to be.
Vote Placed by yuiru 4 years ago
yuiru
CRSdaveGreenTeasTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were mostly unsound, insipid, and fallacious, for example, many arguments from ignorance, strawman arguments, and clearly false analogies. Pro's arguments where sound and valid and therefore superior. Pro tried to evade Cons points by saying the resolution was not about the theory being false, but whether it can explain organisms. Yet regardless, Con still demonstrated ways evolution CAN-has the ability to- explain organism, that were not refuted by the pro.
Vote Placed by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
CRSdaveGreenTeasTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Con has not properly answered the problem of irreducible complexity. Desregarding anything in the comments section, this was not a bad debate. Comments section for why this is not a votebomb.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
CRSdaveGreenTeasTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter-vote bomb Muted. Please elaborate. EDIT 1: Neutralizing my vote. Muted agreed to elaborate. I will vote on this myself tomorrow.
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
CRSdaveGreenTeasTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.