The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

The scientific evidence for Natural Selection is overwhelming.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/26/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,861 times Debate No: 37051
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (21)
Votes (2)




This is simply a debate regarding The theory of Evolution and its natural biological mechanism which is called Natural Selection. I believe the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of this theory.

Natural Selection is a combination of random mutations on the genetic level which is found in organisms which if even slightly beneficial to the animals survival in its natural habitat, are preserved. This gives the animal a higher probability of survival in its environment and an edge over its opponents.

That is a extremely basic but non controversial definition which I will expand on more in my posts which will follow.

My opponent will argue there is no valid evidence, and has to attempt to refute my evidence which I will present. My opponent does not need to present an alternative hypothesis, if he/she does I will try to argue that the evidence does not favour his/her hypothesis but the focus must largely remain in the title of the debate.

First round acceptance.

Second round openings.

Third rebuttals.

Fourth further rebuttals.

Fifth closing.

Use sources and proper layouts please, I want this to be an enjoyable debate, but I wouldn't make my opponent shift through nonsense to find my points, so I would appreciate clarity.

I will respond to any questions in the comment boxes. Thanks


I will be arguing that natural selection is not a sufficient explanation for the diversity of life on our planet, and that evolution via natural selection not well supported by the evidence. I look forward to Pro's opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


I will just highlight a few definitions before we start, thanks for accepting the debate. Considering many who oppose evolution tend not to fully understand the theory as a whole, I will explain the mechanism as well as I can and give repeatable, testable and observable evidence for what I state.

Natural selection



A process in nature in which organisms possessing certain genotype characteristics that make them better adjusted to an environment tend to survive, reproduce, increase in number or frequency, and therefore, are able to transmit and perpetuate their essential genotype qualities to succeeding generations.

I would add to the above, that the 'certain genotype characteristics' are the result of mutations on the genetic level which occur during reproduction. My analogy is usually the following. We have 4 rabbits, two couples and they both have 1 bunny rabbit each. I pick rabbits because they are cute, but my point can be anything organism. Now one rabbit has a genetic mutation which causes a 1cm ear growth on both sides. This almost unnoticeable adaptation, allows the rabbit to hear just slightly better than his counterpart who has no obvious or beneficial mutations which we can see. In the process of looking for food, the longer eared rabbit hears a fox approaching towards the area that both rabbits inhabit. It naturally darts away and avoids harm, while his unfortunate shorter eared rabbit is eaten instead. The longer eared rabbit progresses and spreads its genes as it survives and has a higher probability of survival. It spreads throughout the population till small eared rabbits are non existent. This is natural selection as simply as I can put it. It is all hypothetical of course and I would not expect you to accept this as evidence. My evidence for this process is the Richard Lenski experiment in which we observe-

. Beneficial mutations

. Adaption to the environment and progressive efficiency due to mutations.

. A struggle and passing on of these mutations to others.

. Struggle for survival among the organisms.

. Natural selection being the driving force of adaptation and progression.

. Accumulated evolutionary traits being preserved.

The beneficial mutations as seen in the Dr. Richard Lenski experiments.

Dr. Richard Lenski, is a Distinguished Professor from Michigan University, who has conducted a 25 year experiment on E. Coli. The LTEE experiments as I believe they are called. For me these experiments are a beautiful example of the power of natural selection and evolution in action. While men and women like Lenski spend their lives producing evidence for evolution as I shall show, creationists ignore their work and tend to attempt to refute their evidence in broad sweeping claims, which do not stand up to empirical criticism especially when most of these refutations are ad hoc remarks. The experiment of Dr. Lenski is an example of mutations which proved beneficial to the E. Coli. 2013 is the anniversary of the experiments marking 25 years of research.
With the life span and amount of bacteria, as Lenski states ' There is a lot of opportunity for evolution'. Dr. Lenski conducted an experiment in which he got 12 flasks of E. Coli all identical and infected each one with a glucose-rich broth. As expected the E. Coli would feed off the broth and then skyrocket in populations and then level off. Each day Lenski and his highly trained team would take a small sample from each flask and then infect a brand new flask with a small portion of the previous E. Coli. Basically moving the 12 tribes from 12 old flasks to 12 new flasks, with care not to infect any of them by an outside source. He would then repeat the process and give them the glucose rich-broth. As you can see the generations of E. Coli would live and die, a lot faster than humans or other animals, making them perfect for observing whether beneficial mutations are kept and preserved over time. As natural selection would predict.

As predicted over 20 years of experimenting, 7,000 flasks and 45,000 generations had passed. For human equivalent it would roughly be a million years to the time of Homo erectus. Obviously Dr. Lenski could check if any of the flasks had contaminated any other flask, by use of ARA- and ARA+, but that is not important right now. Now as Darwinian evolution would predict, if a single mutation arose which would exploit the broth and perhaps take more nutrients in, then natural selection would obviously select the individual mutation and spread it throughout the population. Word for word natural selection in process if observed. What did the scientists observe? Exactly that, in fact each tribe had harnessed a mutation and were able to better live off the broth but in separate ways. By Freezing 'fossil' forms of the earlier generations Lenski was literally able to preserve remnants of the older E. Coli. By unfreezing and mixing the E. Coli from past and present they could calculate and observe the effectiveness of the two lineages. As predicted the modern E. Coli had been able to take in far more broth than the older one.

In looking at their 12 tribes they noticed something amazing, all tribes had been able to produce and preserve mutations which helped them in taking in the broth. Not to mention each tribe in a hyperbola expression on a mathematical graph increased in size and productivity. Now as any scientist could tell you, there are many different mutations to make the body of the E. Coli bigger. More impressively the odds of two separate flasks following the exact path of each other to increase in size is far more improbable. In ARA+1 and ARA-1 each in 20,000 generations had followed the exact same evolutionary path and 59 genes had changed their expression. Now if this was by change then it would be so improbable, but as natural selection is not chance but specific picking of mutations then this is just an improbable event not an event so improbable it could never happen. On the creationist view this cannot happen. This is gradual culmination natural selection.

The most impressive event of all though, I have left for last. In ARA-3 in the 33,000 generation the population went absolutely berserk, and skyrocketed. The OD which is optical density went from a standard 0.04 to about 0.25. The ARA-3 was in broth of glucose, but not just glucose. also citrate. As found in lemons. This substance cannot be used by the E. Coli if there is oxygen in the water, which there was in each flask unless a mutation came along which could take in citrate and use it as food. That is exactly what happened. As I am only touching the surface of this experiment I can give you a little more information. As Lenski states the idea one mutation arose is improbable because why has it not occurred in all the other flasks and generations. So another hypothesis was also presented, what if 2 or 3 mutations culminated and then upon reaching the second or third the ability was made available for the E. Coli. This is irreducible complexity refuted if found true. If E. Coli managed to preserve 1 or 2 mutations which served no purpose as known, until the third or second came along then it would be an amazing example of the precision of natural selection. Blount one of Lenski's students underwent the experiment by unfreezing the 'fossil' generations and tested them to see if they were primed for evolving the ability to take in citrate. At generation 20,000 ARA-3 evolved the mutation known in the experiment as ' mutation A ' . This mutation primed the E. Coli for increasing its likelihood of acquiring the ability to take in citrate. As observed all the tribes had this mutation A but only ARA-3 had been able to acquire mutation B and with that it was able to take in citrate.

The experiments show evolution by natural selection; adaptation to the same environment by separate routes independently: the way successive mutations build on their predecessors to produce evolutionary changes; the way some genes rely, for their effects, on the presence of other of other genes.

I can cite more examples of natural selection and even provide evidence from almost every scientific field in biology. I am not going to discuss the titles given to the theory or the controversies, I simply provide a single piece of evidence for natural selection but give it in extreme detail. I can cite other sources but I think this is effective enough.



Mutation and natural selection are woefully inadequate to have evolved all the life on earth because:

(1) They don"t create anything new. Natural selection can only select from preexisting information that is already there. No new information is being added, no new biological machines are being made. This is why all we get from natural selection is variation within a kind, but such variations always run into the limits of variations, and that"s what we have with Lenski"s E-coli and all other bacteria experiments. They never become a new species. After thousands of generations we haven"t produced anything else but more bacteria " some bigger, smaller, or more adapted to their environments, but they don"t stop being bacteria. After "over 20 years of [mutation], 7,000 flasks and 45,000 generations," all Lenski produced was more bacteria. This in itself shows that macroevolution isn"t happening. Not only were they bacteria still bacteria, but they were still the same kind of bacteria, they didn"t stop being E-coli not even after what Pro calls the equivalent of "a million years to the time of Homo erectus." If they fail to become anything new under the ideal conditions of the lab, they certainly won"t fare better in the confusion of the wild. It"s unscientific and unreasonable to use the small changes that are observable, to ASSUME that much larger changes which are NOT observable actually happen.

Thing is, the evolutionary opportunities for humans would be far less because of the smaller population sizes limiting the number of possible mutations, as well as the larger, more complex genome, with built in error protection systems against mutations. Bacteria are far better equipped than humans to survive in more diverse environments, so if they don"t evolve into anything new, how could we have done so from a common ancestor? What Lenski attempted to do was tried with a 35-year experiment breeding fruit flies, and in the end, all they had at the end was more fruit flies. The scientists admitted: "Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles." "The probability of fixation in wild populations should be even lower than its likelihood in these experiments." --Burke, Molly K., Joseph P. Dunham, Parvin Shahrestani, Kevin R. Thornton, Michael R. Rose, Anthony D. Long. 30 September 2010. Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila. Nature, Vol. 467, pp. 587-590.

In regard to Lenski"s experiment, I"d like to ask how they know that that the genes for consuming citrate were not already recessive traits in the bacteria? Scientific evidence suggests that E-coli was already capable of utilizing citrate under anaerobic conditions, so did Lenski produce anything new? (Pos, K.M., Dimroth, P. and Bott, M., The Escherichia coli Citrate Carrier CitT: a Member of a Novel Eubacterial Transporter Family Related to the 2-Oxoglutarate/Malate Translocator from Spinach Chloroplasts, J. Bacteriol. 180(16):4160"4165, 1998;

(2) DNA has the ability to repair damage to itself which preserves the kind of organism it is coded for. (Scientific American, "Inducible Repair of DNA," by Paul Howard-Flanders, November 1981, p. 72) Even cells have repair mechanisms which minimize the accumulation of mutations in order to maintain the form of the organism within strict boundaries of variation. These mechanisms include: (1) a proofreading system that catches almost all errors. In the case of DNA, the error that isn"t caught turns out to be one in every 10 billion. Not even the world"s best typist can do 10 billion letters without more than one mistake. (2) base excision repair, (3) a mismatch repair system to back up the proofreading system, (4) recombination repair, (5) photoreactivation, (6) removal of methyl or ethyl groups by O6 - methylguanine methyltransferase, (7) nucleotide excision repair, (8) double-strand DNA break repair. (Robert F. Weaver, 2008. Molecular Biology, Fourth Edition. McGraw-Hill, New York. pp. 660-680) This is one of the reasons why attempts at evolving bacteria, fruit flies and so forth always run into the limits of variation.

The Encyclopedia Americana says: "The fact that most mutations are damaging to the organism seems hard to reconcile with the view that mutation is the source of raw materials for evolution. Indeed, mutants illustrated in biology textbooks are a collection of freaks and monstrosities and mutation seems to be a destructive rather than a constructive process." (1977, Vol. 10, p. 742) Mutations are harmful, leading to disease and death, so if it were not for these repair mechanisms life would be very short or wouldn"t get started at all. This means that the original simple forms of life would still have a complex repair system, but the same system that removes the harmful mutations also removes the ones evolutionists claim are needed to build new parts.

"Consider a step-by-step list of [genetic] instructions. A mutation is a change in one of the lines of instructions. So instead of saying, "Take a 1/4-inch nut," a mutation might say, "Take a 3/8-inch nut." Or instead of "Place the round peg in the round hole," we might get "Place the round peg in the square hole" . . . What a mutation cannot do is change all the instructions in one step"say, [providing instructions] to build a fax machine instead of a radio" (Darwin's Black Box, 1996, p. 41).

(3) Science makes predictions and carries out tests and experiments to observe those predictions coming true. But no one has ever observed any of the drastic changes macroevolution claims. Macroevolution is therefore just an unproven hypothesis, not an observable fact.

I suggest creation by an intelligent designer as a better model because:

(1) Intelligent minds are the only known source of meaningful information. DNA stores information in the form of a 4-letter digital code, so much information it would fill 384 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The data contained in DNA isn"t disorganized, nor simply orderly like salt crystals, but complex and specific for building molecular machines which outstrip even human inventions in their precision and capability. The information content of a single cell, "if written out, would fill a thousand 600-page books." (National Geographic, September 1976, p. 357) Since each cell has the information to produce all kinds of cells, when it came time, say, to make heart cells, how were the instructions to make all the other cells suppressed? Seemingly, acting like a contractor with a complete cabinet of blueprints for making a baby, a cell picked from its file cabinet a blueprint for making heart cells. Another cell picked out a different blueprint with instructions for producing nerve cells, yet another took a blueprint for making liver cells, and so on. Where did the instructions, the blueprints, come from if not from an intelligent mind?

Many migratory animals are born with internal maps in order to travel to places they"ve never been before. They need not just a compass, but knowledge of the geography of their route and destination, as well as information on where they actually are. Why and how would nature program this information into them? This looks like intelligent intervention. "The pigeons' ability to fly home from a totally strange and distant location indicates that somehow the birds have both an internal compass and an internal map. A compass by itself would not be helpful, since the bird would not know if it were north, south, east or west of its home. The question of how a bird has a map of a location to which it has never been before (and was transferred to under such isolated conditions in the above test) and the sense of the direction it must take to return home remains a puzzle." (

Language also only comes from intelligent minds, and DNA does have a language.

(2) Scientific experiments that attempt to reproduce aspects of evolution require sophisticated equipment, and intervention from highly trained experts to make these things work. These scientists are in effect playing God, playing the role of the intelligent agent, without whom the desired results would be impossible. Even in Lenski"s experiment, he was "Basically moving the 12 tribes from 12 old flasks to 12 new flasks, with care not to infect any of them by an outside source," but says who that blind, mindless forces of nature would have taken such care?

(3) Evolution teaches that life evolved from simple beginnings, but a simple beginning has never been found. "Going back in time to the age of the oldest rocks," says Evolution From Space, "fossil residues of ancient life-forms discovered in the rocks do not reveal a simple beginning. Although we may care to think of fossil bacteria and fossil algae and microfungi as being simple compared to a dog or horse, the information standard remains enormously high. Most of the biochemical complexity of life was present already at the time the oldest surface rocks of the Earth were formed." (Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, 1981, p. 8) This is more consistent with intelligent design.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent uses an ill-informed argument which has been refuted by documented experiments time and time again. This is central to arguments against creation and instead of being supported by biology research papers, it is asserted. The concept 'they don't create anything new' or 'they don't add information' is weak for two reasons.

"It ignores what mutations exactly do. The every fibre of natural selection

" No one who proposes this argument every defines information for a coherent understanding.

What I take information is be is 'adding genetic coding which performs an action which otherwise was not present in the organism'. The Lenski experiment is a perfect example of a mutation on a genetic level 'adding information' or to use actual biology terminology, the added mutation is a random variable which gives the organism a beneficial edge in survival by allowing it to perform a new action. This new action is being able to absorb citrate, which previously it was unable to do. The mutation arises in the population randomly. It is selected due to it allowing better survival over others and it is preserved. As we know with the Shannon-Weaver information theory random noise maximises information. This citrate mutation is not even a single mutation, it had been observed by Lenski and Zackary Blount that almost 3 other secondary mutations had risen to set the scene for this major evolutionary mutation. This is otherwise known as Epistatis. This is powerful evidence for the extreme precision of natural selection and its ability to evolve organisms better suited to their environments. Here is a second example one which I will only briefly mention. 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) Regardless this argument is tired and shows a serious lack of knowledge in contemporary fields of evolutionary biology.

'They never become a new species.'

My opponent clearly does not understand what this experiment actually conveys, to expect a new species you would need far longer and things like geographical isolation and various other things which you do not get in a controlled experiment like this one. His argument is very basic, he wishes to see species evolve before his eyes, if that does not occur then evolution cannot be true. He fails to see the exact and detailed observations of natural selection with huge mutations like the E. Coli ones show. These are the blocks for evolutionary development. His interchanging use of 'species, kinds and even entire organism groups like bacteria show another misplaced objection to our experiment. Not to mention my experiment deals with genetic mutations specifically, he did not ask me to present any evidence for large scale changes over long lengths of time, which I will do now. As I have already stated evolution is supported from many fields in biology.

'they certainly won"t fare better in the confusion of the wild' and 'It"s unscientific and unreasonable to use the small changes that are observable'.

For one speciation is the wild is far more probable than in the lab, this is easily displayed with things like predation, intricate struggles for survival, geological distribution and geographical isolation. There is actually a far higher chance of speciation in the wild than in a lab condition, which was testing for mutations primarily not speciation. Not only did the experiment prove natural selection but my opponent is maintaining objections which don't even challenge the core premise. E. Coli evolving the ability to absorb a new nutrient which is could not previously do is not a 'small' change either. It is quite a big evolutionary trait which has occurred. My opponent creates a false dilemma argument, making me defend an experiment I did not choose to defend, in doing so he ignores my experiment which I presented and prefers to target another one which I did not. This is a red herring fallacy which is not convincing.
The beautiful geological record of human ancestry is evidence of human evolution, to use that as an argument against mutations makes very little sense. To cite just one paper regarding a minute aspect of human evolution displays my opponents lack of knowledge on this area, and instead of detailing his objections he makes wild stabs and hopes to place them together in some coherent argument. Here is a second paper detailing human evolution on a genetic level also. These are not rare nor are they refuted. These are the collectives workings of scientists in their field, which get a complete oversight in this argument.

Human evolution

Even the fossil record of human evolution is coherent and has been examined by men and women with years of training in their respective fields. We have fossils of homo georgicus , AL 444-2, Mrs Ples, Twiggy, KNM ER 1813 and KNM ER 1470. From Australopithecus habilis, homo habilis, Australopithecus rudofensis and Homo Erectus. A beautiful chain of evolutionary forms, transitioning from one to another. What is the link we observe? An almost identical chain of advancing evolutionary forms, just like our advancing evolutionary bacteria, becoming more suited to their environments. Developing more complex structures over vast amounts of time. In humans brain development and bi-pedal movement, and precision grip. In the bacteria they grew larger in size, became more efficient in obtaining nutrients and even in one example evolved the ability to absorb a completely new nutrient. What is the driving force for both these? Natural selection. Where is the detailed evidence for mutations occurring? In Lenski's experiment and in plenty others, I even mentioned a second but the evidence is plentiful in the first experiment. Also where is the speciation that he requests? In our chain of evolutionary forms in humans.

Misunderstanding of Lenski's experiment

In regard to Lenski"s experiment, I"d like to ask how they know that that the genes for consuming citrate were not already recessive traits in the bacteria?

No they were not recessive traits. Recessive traits would have been observed on a genetic level is they were pre-existing in the bacteria. The recessive trait is only suppressed if a dominant allele is present. There was no recessive trait and there was no genetic code for the absorption of Citrate. My opponent I am afraid did not take time to research the experiment, he stated E. Coli is able to utilize citrate under anaerobic conditions. Well if he had taken the time to research the experiment one of the things mentioned is that the E. Coli are in water the entire time they are in the flasks. Meaning his objection is just a failure to read the details.

Beneficial mutations

'base excision repair, (3) a mismatch repair system to back up the proofreading system,

Not a single one of these refutes or contradicts Lenski's observations that the bacteria consistently evolved traits and morphological and genetic abilities due to mutations. The concept mutations occur is one which almost no one disagrees with, the second objection that most mutation that bad, does not refute the claim some are good. For the claim some are good, I have given plenty of examples of good mutations. This is simply me having to re state my point again.

Just to list even two quick examples of random beneficial mutations arising again, here is two.
(1) Adaptation to Growth in the Dark by Chlamydomonas and Selection for Large Size in Chlamydomomas.
(2) Adaptation to a Low Phosphate Chemostat Environment by a Clonal Line of Yeast I have also added the peer reviewed assessment of this claim. Francis, J.E., & Hansche, P.E. (1972) Directed evolution of metabolic pathways in microbial populations. I. Modification of the acid phosphatase pH optimum in Saccharaomyces cervisiae. Genetics, 70: 59-73.

Misconception about what evolution is

Behe's book has been reviewed as being ignorant of scientific facts and basic evolutionary concepts. No one is arguing that giant leaps are happening before our eyes. Like I stated at the very beginning of our debate. These are minor, adaptive and accumulated genetic mutations which benefit the organism. Your belief that evolutionary theory thinks 'fax machines become radios' in genetic leaps of that size in organisms is just plain false.

Science makes predictions and carries out tests and experiments to observe those predictions coming true.

Evolutionary theory has made plenty of predictions, including the geological record which cannot be accounted for on any other model, or geographical distribution which has no other alternative theory of explanation. There is not a single plausible explanation for why see simpler organisms lower down in the different strata's, while we see more complex beings further to the top. Secondly no other explanation can explain why we see animals distributed in the order we see them now, with our evolutionary model, the evidence is exactly how the theory predicts. My opponent compares intelligence with or 'complexity' with an intelligent mind. Why does he/she feel that connection is needed? he has provided no evidence that

(1) Minds are the only source of information.

Unfortunately I have run out of space. In my third rebuttal I will focus on the last of my opponents objections My opponent challenged me on speciation and ID hypothesis which I will also talk about. In my third rebuttal I will discuss in length human evolution and whale evolution, I will also cite my sources for this round.


Was the mutation that allowed E.coli to ingest citrate a new set of information as my opponent claims? Well, E.coli"s DNA already had the citrate transporter gene citT. This gene encodes a protein which transports citrate into the cell. The mutation merely duplicated the part of the DNA which contains this citT gene. The duplicated citT gene was not hemmed in by the same regulatory control of the original citT gene, and this allowed it to code the protein to transport citrate under normal oxygen levels. (Zachary Blount, et al., "Genomic analysis of a key innovation in an experimental Escherichia coli population," Nature 489 (2012): 513-518) So instead of creating new information, this experiment merely duplicated already existing information and used this information outside the restrictions of the normal regulatory system. Duplicating AB doesn"t give you new information, it just gives you AB all over again. Using old information for a new purpose doesn"t make it new information, so again, these mutations created nothing new. In fact, I can"t even say for a new purpose, because E.coli already had the ability to ingest citrate, merely under different circumstances. So we don"t have new information, nor do we even have a new function! In fact, the fact that the original citT gene was only expressed under low oxygen levels suggests that it may have suffered a loss of regulation, which brings us back again to recessive traits in the gene.

Pro says that "No one who proposes this argument ever defines information for a coherent understanding." Michael Behe gives a nice explanation in his book, Signature in the Cell: "When scientists during the late 1940s began to define information, they did not make reference to physical parameters such as mass, charge, or watts. Instead, they defined information by reference to a psychological state"the reduction of uncertainty"which they proposed to measure using the mathematical concept of probability. The more improbable a sequence of characters or signals, the more uncertainty it reduces, and thus the more information it conveys.10 Not surprisingly, some writers have come close to equating information with thought itself. The information technology guru George Gilder, for example, notes that developments in fiber optics have allowed more and more information to travel down smaller and smaller (and lighter and lighter) wires. Thus, he notes that as technology advances, we convey ever more thought across ever less matter"where the numerator in that ratio, namely, thought, corresponds precisely to information.11 So should we think of information as thought"as a kind of mental chimera etched in stone or burned onto compact discs? Or can we define information less abstractly as, perhaps, just an improbable arrangement of matter? Whatever information is"whether thought or an elaborate arrangement of matter"one thing seems clear. What humans recognize as information certainly originates from thought"from conscious or intelligent activity. A message received via fax by one person first arose as an idea in the mind of another. The software stored and sold on a compact disc resulted from the design of a software engineer. The great works of literature began first as ideas in the minds of writers... Our experience of the world shows that what we recognize as information invariably reflects the prior activity of conscious and intelligent persons."

Information is thought being transmitted. When you fax a letter from New York to Washington, the information you sent isn"t the paper and ink that comes out. Those are the medium, not the message. Something traveled between New York and Washington which is entirely separate from the mediums used to carry it. Similarly, "The DNA molecule carries the genetic language, but the language itself is independent of its carrier. The same genetic information can be written in a book, stored in a compact disk or sent over the Internet, and yet the quality or content of the message has not changed by changing the means of conveying it." (DNA: The Tiny Code That's Toppling Evolution, by Mario Seiglie) Since information is the product of a mind, there must be an intelligence which programs this information into bacteria, cells, and DNA.

Now Pro was the one who argued that "over 20 years of experimenting, 7,000 flasks and 45,000 generations had passed. For human equivalent it would roughly be a million years to the time of Homo erectus." What do evolutionists believe happened in the last million years? Well, that we made massive strides in evolution from homo erectus, to Neanderthals, to homo sapiens. That we changed in cranial capacity, skeletal anatomy, muscular strength, and way of life, all within a million years, so one would expect that after the equivalent of a million years, bacteria must have made far more evolutionary change. After all, bacteria are more adaptable to their environments than humans and animals; they can survive almost anywhere: "Bacteria were among the first life forms to appear on Earth, and are present in most habitats on the planet. Bacteria inhabit soil, water, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste, and the deep portions of Earth's crust. Bacteria also live in plants, animals", and have flourished in manned space vehicles." (Wikipedia: Bacteria) Yet, after 45, 000 generations, the equivalent to almost a million years of human evolution, all Lenski"s E.coli bacteria were able to do was learn how to eat a new food? No, not even that, because they already had the ability to ingest citrate. They merely developed the ability to ingest it under different conditions? If bacteria does so little after so long and after so many generations, how much less human beings? It goes to show that the real world is far different from the vivid imagination of evolutionists!

What"s more, who is to say that blind, unthinking nature would have fed E.coli with a glucose-rich broth? Says who mother earth would have fed them this broth for the right amount of time? Says who mother nature would have protected her specimens from outside contaminants? The real world of nature is quite different from the controlled confines of a lab. Is the intervention of these scientists to guide the process towards the desired result really an example of natural selection, or intelligent selection?

Pro then argues that speciation in the wild is more probable than in the lab, and one of the reasons he lists is "intricate struggles for survival," but that is the very reason why speciation is less probable in the wild, because in the wild there would be many more predators available to wipe out creatures before they could even evolve. Take his rabbit illustration to begin with. There definitely won"t be any foxes in the lab, but sooner or later he will catch that rabbit in the wild. At least he has a better chance of doing so if the rabbit isn"t protected in a lab. In the wild, his E.coli would most likely have other chemical elements surrounding it which could contaminate the specimen and prevent the mutations which would lead to its ability to ingest citrate. The lab had a scientist to feed it regular, specific amounts of glucose rich broth every day, but it most likely wouldn"t have access to such in the wild, or at least not on a consistent basis. We could go on and on; so to claim the wild is a more favorable environment for speciation than the lab is nonsense. Even the scientists I quoted in the fruit fly experiment admitted that "the probability of fixation in wild populations should be even lower than its likelihood in these experiments."

Pro makes an argument from authority, that people with years of experience in their fields agree that the fossil record shows evolution, but first of all, many in their respective fields with equal years experience disagree with them. Evolutionist Loren Eiseley acknowledged: "After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort, could not be proved to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past." (The Immense Journey, New York, 1957, p. 199) According to New Scientist: "An increasing number of scientists, most particularly a growing number of evolutionists . . . argue that Darwinian evolutionary theory is no genuine scientific theory at all. . . . Many of the critics have the highest intellectual credentials." (June 25, 1981, p. 828) Physicist H. S. Lipson said: "The only acceptable explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject a theory that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it." (Physics Bulletin, 1980, Vol. 31, p. 138)

Pro gives a list from homo georgicus to ER 1470 as examples of human evolution, but are these two any more different from each other than Michael Jordan is to a pygmy? Yet, we don"t consider pygmies to be less human than Jordan, you or me; it"s just an example of variation within the kind. If georgicus and ER 1470 were alive today, the general public wouldn"t consider them any less human than the rest of us. It"s only the desperate minds of evolutionist that demean the human race by creating these distinctions to dehumanize our ancestors into some kind of inferior species. Pro goes on to claim that: "There is not a single plausible explanation for why see simpler organisms lower down in the different strata's, while we see more complex beings further to the top." Well, it"s because God created the so-called "simpler" organisms first. In the end, none of the organisms are "simple" at all, because the information content is just too high. There was no simple beginning, only in the minds of evolutionists. Pro didn"t explain how mutation could bypass the repair mechanisms of cells and DNA to evolve us in the first place, more later. Thanks
Debate Round No. 3


1. Minds are the only source of information. For his argument to be plausible he must have evidence of this. If he claims 'only known' then that is like stating cars don't exist because you see none of your road. This argument is basically lacking in comprehensive evidence about the nature of intelligence in our universe. Embryology and anatomy work well with chemistry in order to give detailed accounts of the biological process of cell mitosis/repair/function and along with various other organelles found in our bodies a comprehensive list of facts can be deduced from this hard work. Our bodies are functions of chemical and biological laws which are part of our universe. No suspension of critical thinking is needed like our opponent perhaps wants us to indulge. His argument falls into two categories. An argument from ignorance and an argument from incredulity. While the majority of qualified scientists reject these argument ID believers push them as 'compelling objections to the theory of evolution'. In the Dover trail Michael Behe presented many organisms which were as he called them to be 'irreducibly complex'. Upon examination every single example Behe gave, was proven to have completely plausible and likely natural explanations according the current theory of evolution. It was again another example of a lack of knowledge on contemporary biology.
Instinct is not an objection to evolution.

Scientific experiments that attempt to reproduce aspects of evolution require sophisticated equipment, and intervention from highly trained experts to make these things work
The experiments were actually simple experiments done with extreme care, as objection as poor as 'it was too well done' and a more serious claim ' intervention from highly trained experts to make these things work'. This a grave objection one which Lenski is not uncommon to hearing from people who object to his findings. The equipment included. Clean flasks. A cooling fridge to store samples. Plenty of time. A few pieces of small equipment nothing which stands out as being 'sophisticated equipment'.

The highly trained men documented the actual 'blind forces' which produced beneficial genetic mutation after another. All that was required was an organism, food and time. I can't say much more about this as all it states is that this wouldn't happen in the wild. That is merely conjecture on the experiment. If that is his argument and he cannot refute the findings he must except evolution via natural selection can occur.


This is a conclusion to my opponents first objections.
Now I will detail my objections to Intelligent design. I will assume two basic tenants of intelligent design.
(1) Organisms are designed for function.
(2) The designer was intelligent and had foresight.
If he did not then he would deserve the title of intelligent. As pro's arguments of intelligent design follow that intelligent functions e.g. DNA can only be created by an intelligent designer then this argument relies on the principle that animals are perfectly designed in their environments. If I can cite a single piece of evidence where we see wasteful or poor design then this is strong evidence against the case of an intelligent designer behind the process. This will be especially damning if I produce a more plausible naturalistic hypothesis which lies in the accepted theory that almost all scientific organisations support.
Failures in the design.
A giraffe has a laryngeal nerve. So do humans. The nerve function is to connect to the larynx, very simply the nerve should connect to the larynx as it is located literally a few centimetres away from the nerve. Instead the nerve detours downwards to the heart where it loops around the heart and then travels back up towards the larynx, this nerve is called the vagus nerve. Now in a human the detour is a minor couple of extra centimetres. In an adult male giraffe it is 15 feet in length. In 2009 the day after Darwin's day, Richard Dawkins and a group of comparative anatomists and veterinary pathologists dissected a male giraffe which had died at the zoo. In doing so they discovered the nerve, the video can be viewed on YouTube. From the views of these highly trained specialists, the nerve is not only unnecessary but completely wasteful and gives strong evidence to support evolution from water based life forms to mammals. In this view the larynx nerve complies with the evolution and extension of the sixth arterial arch and fourth branchial branch of vagus nerve. This is compelling evidence for the theory of evolution and just one example of the history of evolutionary development. Not only is this good evidence for evolution, it completely refutes the idea of an intelligent designer. Unless the argument is now that an incompetent designer crudely put together animals and had no foresight in the matter. This is just one example of poor design.

My opponent clearly has muddled his argument completely. From first arguing that mutations are almost always bad and that built in mechanisms stop mutations from arising, to now stating that the mutation is simple a duplication, while admitting the mutation occurred. He clearly has no formal argument and instead is picking up and dropping arguments as he pleases. He claims the duplication of the gene is not adding new information or even a new function while barely scrapping past his acknowledgement of the new function I.E The long-delayed and unique evolution of this function might indicate the involvement of some extremely rare mutation. Alternately, it may involve an ordinary mutation, but one whose physical occurrence or phenotypic expression is contingent on prior mutations in that population.
This is quoted from the study conducted by the Biologists in charge of the experiments. So what we observe is evidence of gene-duplication with sequence divergence with added mutations which caused the 'refinement' phase of evolution. With a complete lineage of mutations adding to the complexity of an existing function, we managed to observe evolutionary divergence and even a newly formed coding for a brand new function. I.E absorption of citrate in an environment that previously would not let the E. Coli absorb citrate.
With citations from

We have 'Spontaneous citrate-using (Cit+) mutants are extraordinarily rare, but a Cit+variant evolved in one population (designated Ara"3)' . This is good evidence for not only Natural Selection but Epitasis also, which is far harder to observe. My opponent believes duplication cannot add information, but this clearly shows a lack of knowledge regarding the above papers which I mentioned, he also leaves out obvious facts including the progressive size and adaptability of the E. Coli and the random mutations which led to the major genetic mutation arising, to give E. Coli a new novel trait. I can even cite a second source for my evidence. In experiments with bacteria, variation (including beneficial mutations) arises in populations that are grown from a single individual (Lederberg and Lederberg 1952). Since the population started with just one chromosome, there was no variation in the original population; all variation must have come from mutations.

My opponent copies and pastes an entire paragraph from a source regarding information, when I clearly have spent the last two posts working under the definition of 'adding genetic coding which performs an action which otherwise was not present in the organism'. This I made very clear in my first rebuttal and have proven over and over again in my Lenski experiment and with other sources which con has failed to address. Con moves on to try and refute the evidence I have presented by arguing from analogy. I made one analogy in my first post in order to explain a concept, my opponent now believes that creating analogy style arguments is acceptable refutation against known facts and observable data. This is absurd in the highest regard. Apart from an obvious copy and paste, his analogies regarding biological structures are all replaced with human devices which obviously have a designer. He creates a false dichotomy, one which simply has no bearing on the evidence.
Now even more interesting is a very obvious concession of my original point. ' They merely developed the ability to ingest it under different conditions?' Con now admits they 'develop' traits. He Cleary tries to underemphasise this by saying this is 'little' progress but his concessions proves his arguments are semantics based and not factual. He also assumes that bacteria must follow a progressive lineage in his accepted time line otherwise all documented evidence is thrown out the window. He is arguing from incredulity here and as we know evolution does not contain a mind or a goal so the idea that you can compare progress of E. Coli and humans are being completely equal is just not convincing to anyone willing to look at the evidence. The random variations provided by the experiments cannot be intelligently selected, if you have no read the paper at this stage then the argument cannot be advanced. We have a clear concession of points progressively towards natural selection by my opponent.

In Situ Evolutionary Rate Measurements Show Ecological Success of Recently Emerged Bacterial Hybrids

Population Genomic Analysis of Strain Variation in Leptospirillum Group II Bacteria Involved in Acid Mine Drainage Formation

These are two papers which detail extensively bacterial evolution in the wild, you cannot get any more specific than these two papers on bacterial evolution and emergent traits.

I will make my closing and a few more points.


In this debate I made three arguments negating Pro"s position, and three positive arguments for creation by intelligent design. How does his rebuttals hold up?

(1) Against the argument that mutation and natural selection don"t create new biological machines or add new information he again claims duplicating information is adding new information? I"ll leave it up to the readers to decide if NEW information is different from what came before! He also say that E.coli got bigger, so what? We have big humans and small humans, its just variation within the kind. He talks about greater adaptability to ingest more glucose, duh, they were bigger! A bigger stomach holds more food. Are humans who eat more and live longer turning into anything other than human? Such speculation is unwarranted.

(2) In answer to how mutation got pass the repair mechanism of cells and DNA he says absolutely nothing.

(3) Regarding the lack of observation made regarding evolution in these experiments with bacteria, fruit flies, peppered moths and so forth, he claimed that "speciation is the wild is far more probable than in the lab," but when I confronted him on the predators and contaminants of the wild that are carefully avoided in the lab, all he could say was "That is merely conjecture on the experiment." It isn"t conjecture. The scientists I quoted admitted its less likely in the wild. There are more bacteria on this planet than any living animal or plant, and they exist in every conceivable condition. Man didn"t discover E.coli yesterday, we"ve known about this bacteria for a while. So if this bacteria mutating the ability to ingest citrate under normal oxygen levels is so probable in the wild as Pro claims, why can"t he show me one single example of E.coli taken from the wild which has evolved this ability on its own? Why didn"t Lenski do it? If it"s so "probable" in the wild, why hasn"t it happened in the wild? He then expects me to read two papers on bacterial evolution in the wild and respond to them. Pro, did these bacteria evolve into anything other than bacteria, or did they run into the limits of variation? Evolutionists claim evolution in humans moves to slowly to be seen why the naked eye, that"s why they used bacteria in the first place because they have such a short life span, they can literally witness thousands of generations to see if evolution will occur. Common sense dictates that we should see more change in bacteria than in humans over time because we are far more complex, have better and more repair mechanisms, more stable environments, and are not as adaptable as bacteria. All he could say to this was that biologists don"t agree, and I challenge him to give us a good reason why.

What about my positive case for design?

(1) In response to my argument that minds are the only source of information, he says I need to provide evidence for this. Lets remember that he himself defined information as "adding genetic CODING which performs an action which otherwise was not present in the organism." A CODE is "a word or phrase used to represent a message in order to keep its meaning a secret," or "a set of signs used in sending messages by machine." (Oxford School Dictionary) We know that only intelligent beings develop words, phrases, signs and machines. In fact, according to the same evolutionists, it took a long time before our ancestors developed language, which began as pictographs, hieroglyphics, signs " all signs of intelligence. So even his own definition implies intelligent design. Then he attacks irreducible complexity as if that were an argument I made in this debate, it wasn"t! He claims Dr. Behe was refuted on this topic, but even if he was, that doesn"t make everything else he believes wrong, does it? Charles Darwin was proven wrong about the cell being a simple blob when science found out how complex it was, does that make Darwin wrong about everything else he said? Further, I don"t see that Behe was refuted. Scientists presented hypothetical organisms they believed to be evolutionary steps leading towards Behe"s irreducibly complex structures, but since very few or maybe none of those imaginative organism exist, its all just speculation on the part of over optimistic evolutionists.

Pro knows that bacteria are not conscious to choose at will the mutations that would work, so he needs to argue that as they pass through all these random mutations they stumble upon the ones that work and these are preserved. But this argument is fatally flawed: The coding for biological machines is an extremely complex instruction manual. We could compare the instructions from DNA to assemble proteins to a long list of sentences with proper syntax, grammar, punctuation, the whole works. Now let"s take just a single word - deoxyribonucleic acid. What would be the chances of picking these letters in this exact sequence at random from the entire alphabet with your eyes closed? Impossible! "But natural selection isn"t random!" Pro argues, he says that that it only picks the letters that work. Problem is the letters D " E " O don"t work until the whole word is completed. Now if these first three letter are chosen by natural selection because they will work to spell deoxyribonucleic acid, it implies that natural selection already knows in advance what word it is attempting to spell, and thus we are back to an invisible intelligence again. So how could mutation A in Lenski"s experiment be chosen to prim E.coli to ingest citrate unless it was already known in advance what instructions it was planning to write out and that ingesting citrate was the aim? But only an intelligent agent could know this; bacteria don"t know anything. Unless this information was already programmed into the bacteria, we have no reason to think this particular mutation would be treated any different from the others. If the programming was already there, we are back to recessive traits in the gene all over again. Thing is, genetic coding for performing these kinds of tasks, especially with DNA and proteins, are vastly more complex than the 20-letter word "deoxyribonucleic acid." The smallest protein is 50 amino acids long, so am I to believe that each one of these 50 proteins was preserved one by one, by natural selection, because it primed the organism to become a protein? Where did the information come from to inform the original organism that it had to become a protein in the first place? What advantage did mutation A in Lenski"s experiment give E.coli before we even get to mutation B? The answer to this question will be telling, cause according to him natural selection only selects the ones that work.

(2) To the charge that intelligent intervention by scientists illustrates the need for an intelligence to guide the process of development of biological forms, he says that the equipment wasn"t sophisticated. That doesn"t prove that blind nature can exercise the kind of care these scientists do with their specimens.

(3) To the fact that evolutionists cannot identify a simple beginning, he says nothing, because he knows that the simplest form of life on earth is still mind-bogglingly complex.

Pro makes a case that poor design disproves intelligent design. First of all, poor design doesn"t prove the designer wasn"t intelligent. We humans design things that fail at times. Some of the first planes or rockets crashed or exploded before we got it right, did the errors in those designs prove they were not created by intelligent people and thus must have come about by blind forces of nature? So specialists claim the giraffe has a nerve that is badly designed. Well, in their opinion it could have been done better, and they are right; because God is omnipotent, no matter what he does, he could have done better, because he is limitless. Pro is imagining God would be required to optimize everything he makes, but such is an arbitrary claim without foundation. I"m sure the giraffe isn"t complaining about how he was made. Take animals on the whole, God never created them to live forever, "born only to be caught and destroyed." (2 Peter 2:12) A perfect designer is under no obligation to make super animals, anymore than a prince is require to have all his cups made of silver and gold just because he can. They would last longer, so what? It isn"t necessary. And it isn"t necessary to give us limbs that grow back when lopped off, or better nerves for a giraffe.

What"s more, his theory assumes as static theory of creation where God creates each creature individually and it cannot change, but that was never my claim in this debate. After God creates a kind, it is subject to micro-evolutionary change and the laws of thermodynamics, so these imperfections could be the result of micro-evolution. A good car that has eroded and damaged over the years is still designed. Further, it"s presumptuous to assume that one knows how God would create a giraffe"s neck, or anything else if he were to do so. We are in no position to know what higher off-setting reasons God may have for not doing something a certain way. Do you know the mind of God, Pro? Barrowand Tipler in their book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and burned up the earth before they would have occurred. They estimate the odds of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4-360 (110,000), a probability to small to be faced. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986)., pp. 561-565) No wonder Pro argues that natural selection isn't random, and yet, mutations must randomly hit upon the right combinations in the right order BEFORE natural selection can select them. So Pro's argument doesn't counter the problem of randomness vs probability. I await my opponent's final rebuttal, thank you.
Debate Round No. 4


Further Refutations
In response to the geological column, the detailed studies of evolutionary forms and transitions and the tedious work of geologists across the globe, Con replied God did it.

'Well, it's because God created the so-called "simpler" organisms first.'

That is it, that is the argument against the geological column and its accordance with evolutionary theory, that is not a convincing rebuttal and its ad-hoc statements display the shaky ground his objections lie on.

(1) As I have shown time and time again, The Lenski experiment displays random genetic mutations which allow for a new biological function which previously could not be achieved. Instead of actually refuting my sources Con takes a blanket statement and simply denies that it has happened. His response to the increase in mass of the E. Coli as progressive adaptability in environments due to genetic mutations it's a very asinine remark. ' ! He also say that E.coli got bigger, so what? ' . These remarks show a serious lack of professional courtesy in discussing a reputable biology paper, he also ignored my detailed explanation of the combined and multiple mutations. He also ignored two papers I posted regarding completely separate beneficial mutations in populations (Lang et al. 2000) and (Lederberg and Lederberg 1952).
Con seems to object to the idea mutation even occur, but admits adaptability can occur in populations. He offers literally no evidence for why adaptability even occurs if not by mutations even stating the giraffe neck is the result of 'microevolution' meaning variation within a kind. Does Con really believe a recessive gene can account for 15 feet of looping nerve? That is the only option he can try and defend. Con has now put himself into a position where he can either admit mutations occur and therefore his arguments against mutation occurring are invalid, as I have clearly shown or he can keep denying them and try and defend a completely unscientific claim.

Con has misunderstood the experiment in a separate way. I stated variation and speciation in the wild is far more probable due to different variables, I did not say that the E. Coli mutation specific to citrate digestion is more probable in the wild, nowhere did I say that, Con has simply made up that statement about what I wrote. Also his idea of nature and natural selection seems to imply a want or need or driving force towards set goals, this is a very common mistake. Con says 'All I said was that was conjecture' then admits I gave him two detailed studies on bacteria evolution in the wild, he then admits he didn't read them and then objects to them. If you did not read either one of the papers or even the abstracts then you have no warrant to criticise them. I gave scientific peer reviewed papers, Con didn't feel he needed to read them even though he has 74 hours to make his rebuttals.

Con's main arguments appear to fail into ad- hoc hypothesis and he has used at least four analogies in order to refute my evidence. Analogies work for explaining ideas, not as evidence against scientific papers. The primer mutations are primers because they increase probabilities for other mutations by collective and progressive adaptability. Con somehow is now arguing the mutations are the result of intelligent design, when just before he was rejecting the mutations results in the first place. These arguments are clearly extremely muddled. Con then proceeds to jump into the origins of life, and simply says evolutionists know the simplest organisms are too complex, he is simply throwing out every argument he can, with no elaboration in order to preoccupy my time, with having to refute them.
This is perhaps con's weakest refutation to my point since 'God did it' regarding fossils and the geological column. Con makes a comparison to humans and a intelligent being capable of creating a universe and life. He believes these two beings should be considered equally. Meaning a being capable of creating a universe shouldn't be expected to create a perfectly functioning animal. Con now resorts to saying how 'the giraffe is not complaining'. He also quotes biblical scripture in a discussion on scientific discoveries. Apart from failing to refute my claims Con now admits the what he calls God has created a universe with flaws. Hardly worthy of the title intelligent designer or God. What we get as a refutation is no scientific evidence and admitting that his intelligent designer is in fact a poor intelligent designer with flaws.

He then states that variables in the universe have lead to these flaws, considering God created the universe also, we have an even worse off situation. God created a universe and animals that don't even work in a perfectly functioning way. So God or this intelligent designer, has provided evidence for poor design. These refutations are clearly ad-hoc and stretch the imagination so far as to be simply absurd and in a discussion regarding science, they are clearly not even close to my sources.

Lastly Con makes a final attempt to refute evolution by mixing up accumulative probabilities and how it is related to evolutionary theory. Anyone who has a basic understanding of evolutionary theory knows of the basic idea of 'small accumulative steps towards a higher productivity rate in environments. If you fail to understand that basic principle arguments like a 'fax machine turning into a phone' or steps in evolution being impossible seem to be quite convincing. We know though that these arguments stem from a serious lack of understanding of evolutionary theory, this is also reinforced by believing that micro evolution is fundamentally different from macro evolution. When in fact natural selection is fully supported by evidence.

Human evolution

As I said I would talk about human evolution I will mentioned it now. As I cannot talk in detail about every single human fossil from now throughout our millions of years journey towards what we are now known as which is Homo sapiens. Here is a quick link just to give everyone an idea of the literally diversity and amount of fossils now discovered since Darwin's time.

Now the evidence that leads geologists to believe in these are human fossils are things like, the precise location and timescale of these fossils, with clear paths of migration and the progressive increase in brain capacity of each fossil, similar to the increase in size of our E. Coli experiment, we see an increase in Cranial capacity. This increase is signs of the driving force of evolution which is survival in the environments which the preservation of organisms which have beneficial mutations. Other aspects are the differences between humans and our closest relatives and we see this in all the fossils spanning back to the common ancestor of us and our closet relatives. These differences include small canines in humans and the location of the spinal cord where it enters the braincase. We have extremely convincing evidence of items like be-pedialism, use of tools and precision grip which have led to the ability to create tools and advance. With recent discoveries in fields like comparative anatomy, we see strong links to homogony and in light of this, the theory of evolution becomes much stronger, not merely because we see obvious signs of descent with modification, the underlying theory of evolution, but because this evidence only works in an evolutionary frame work. It is not explained by Con's belief in the creation hypothesis. Ad- hoc solutions to these obvious signs are presented but anyone with a respect for Biology will reject unfounded views in light of peer reviewed papers. Con's alternative hypothesis does not contain any of the important evidence that evolution has.

The evidence for natural selection is overwhelming, with Lenski's experiment being merely just one of literally thousands of experiments supporting the theory of evolution. With combined resources in fields like comparative anatomy, genetics embryology , geology and every field of biology, we have a theory which is constantly accumulating evidence, from Lenski's experiment to whale evolution and genetic lineages and the fossil record. Con failed to address many of my points and supporting data, but offered no substantial refutation of Lenski's experiment, with arguments that seemed to display a misunderstanding of the mutations observed. His proposed hypothesis clearly lacks any convincing data or observations and relied mainly on analogies and ad- hoc reasoning. His counters to my objections were extremely poor and in general his hypothesis does not stand up against the powerful evidence for the theory of evolution. In closing I would say that the presented evidence for evolution stands un refuted and with the evidence from all the different fields of Biology, the evidence for Natural Selection is overwhelming.


I never said mutations don't happen. My argument was that humans are more complex than bacteria, and our cells and DNA have repair mechanisms (I listed 8 of them) which prevent mutations from changing the organism beyond the limits of variation. Pro never explained how mutation could bypass these mechanisms to the extent that they change us drastically from homo erectus to homo sapiens in a million years, when it couldn't do so with bacteria in the equivalent time. He also says I admitted to not reading his two papers on speciation in the wild, I did not. It was because I read them that I asked him if the subjects of those studies ever became a new species, and he refused to answer. I think you all know what the answer is. I never argued that speciation (variation within the kind) happens, I argued there are limits that are never crossed, and so far no one has observed the crossing of those boundaries. He also admits " did not say that the E. Coli mutation specific to citrate digestion is more probable in the wild, nowhere did I say that," so now we know from Pro's own mouth that what Lenski achieved is not more probable in the wild, and thus we can deduce that it was the guidance of intelligent agents that produced these results with E.coli. We cannot therefore apply Lenski's experiment to the natural world, and that refutes all my opponent's arguments based on that experiment.

As for the laryngeal nerve of the giraffe, to innervate the esophagus and trachea of the giraffe and also reach its heart, the recurrent laryngeal nerve needs to be, very long. Could an organ like the larynx develop properly if not innervated by a nerve at the right time? Evolutionists assume its too long just because they don't know why God made it so, which is the evolution-of-the-gaps argument; if we don't know why God made it this way, then evolution did it! Intelligent design predicts the discovery of functions for things like these, and its record in showing that junk DNA isn't really junk but has a purpose is very good. "Over 80 percent of the human genome is actively involved in at least one or more biochemical reactions associated with gene regulation in at least one type of cell. " Such is true with the giraffe's laryngeal nerve. It isn't a pointless detour as Pro claims, but gives several cardiac filaments to the deep part of the cardiac plexus. Wilhelm Ellenberger and Herrmann Baum sum up the multiple functions of that nerve in their Handbook of Comparative Anatomy of Domestic Animals.

Since he raised the giraffe's neck as an issue, let me state that evolutionists follow two camps: Lamark, who said that giraffes' necks became longer because they had to stretch their necks to reach food, and Darwin who said they had necks of different lengths but food shortages meant the ones with longer necks would reach food, survive, and pass on long necks to their offspring. Here is their desperate attempt at proving evolution via natural selection. But common sense alone refutes this because female giraffes' necks are 2 feet shorter than the males', so if survival depended on longer necks to reach above the forage line, then giraffes would have died out a long time ago with the death of the females and young giraffes. Giraffes live with impalas, gazelles, and other short tree grazers, all of whom have survived periods of drought unchanged for millions of years.

Wikipedia says that "information is "Knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance"." We know what knowledge is, and that its source is the mind. Only intelligent agents can "know" anything. English derives from Latin, and "Latin itself already contained the word informatio meaning concept or idea." Concepts and ideas are the product of intelligent thought. DNA stores more information than any CD-ROM disk ever invented by man, and while CDs only store on the surface, DNA stores information in three dimensions; it is the densest information storage package in the universe. This information is transmitted from generation to generation of living things, and we know that meaningful messages always point back to an intelligent message sender. The idea that dumb, blind, unintelligent forces on their own, could both create and send the most complicated, meaningful, specific, detailed set of instructions ever given was the most laughable and imaginative fiction of evolution. You could well believe that an ant could write Shakespeare!

If any scientist were to receive a message using Morse Code, he would know it came from an intelligent agent, yet, Morse Code is simply a system that represents letters by dashes and dots, or short sounds and long sounds. SOS in Morse Code is three dots, three dashes, and three dots; or, three short sounds, three long sounds, followed by three short sounds. Anyone receiving this message would know somebody was calling for help. But DNA is vastly more complex than Morse Code. First, it uses four letters G, A, T and C instead of dashes and dots to represent letters. Second, while Morse Code"s dashes and dots only represent the 26 letters of the English alphabet, the DNA alphabet is composed of some 3 billion genetic letters. If such a complex code were picked up in the form of sound, or written language, why should it not imply intelligence just as Morse Code does? The only reason why evolutionists refuse to see it in biology is because of their theological commitment to naturalism. Just imagine, of the over 100 amino acids, only 20 are needed for life"s proteins. Now amino acids are different, some are left-handed and others are right-handed. Yet, of the 20 needed for life"s proteins, all of them are left-handed. Now am I to believe that natural selection picked only left-handed molecules twenty times in a row, in just the right order? Just think about it: natural selection isn"t a living, intelligent agent that can literally "select" anything. So this particular combination of left-handed molecules must come about by pure chance before natural selection can work on it. Now if all you had was a sea of left-handed proteins, fine, but with an equal number of left and right-handed proteins floating about in the hypothetical organic soup supposed by evolution, we are bound to get a mixture of both right and left-handed molecules in every combination. Even if we could envision a few combinations that only had left-handed molecules, could it be chance that this specific group only attracted left-handed ones? There is no physical law applicable to amino acids to make left-handed proteins discriminate against right-handed ones, and cleave to its own kind. And what complicates it is the fact that many other molecules are floating about in this soup, so endless useless combinations are unavoidable. Not a single experiment has shown that a left-handed amino acid naturally cleaves to other left-handed one in distinction from right-handed molecules, and not a single experiment shows that they cleave together in the specific order necessary to make proteins all by themselves. It takes an intelligent designer to put the system in place to order these molecules.

Not a single component of an airplane by itself can fly " neither the wings, engine or pilot. It only flies because it was put together in an intelligent way to make the parts work together. "A Boeing 747, for example, is a collection of 41/2 million non-flying parts, but thanks to design and creation (and a continuous supply of energy and of repair services!), it flies. Similarly, "life" is a property of organization, not of substance. A living cell is a collection of several billion non-living molecules, and death results when a shortage of energy or a flaw in the operational or repair mechanisms allows inherent chemical processes to destroy its biological order." (The Origin of Life: DNA and Protein, Dr. Gary Parker, Jan 1, 1994) While Pro focuses on E.coli bacteria, the same could be said about bacteria as well: "Bacteria were once seen as simple bags of cytoplasm, but structures such as the prokaryotic cytoskeleton and the localization of proteins to specific locations within the cytoplasm that give bacteria some complexity have been discovered. These subcellular levels of ORGANIZATION have been called "bacterial hyperstructures"." (Wikipedia: Bacteria) Again, organization is a product of intelligence. The more of it we see, the more sure we are that a person was involved. "Most bacteria have a single circular chromosome that can range in size from only 160,000 " to 12,200,000 base pairs," talk about complexity. I told you there was no simple beginning. There isn"t really a simple form of life on this planet. Pro"s beloved E.coli is very complex: "The E-coli genome consists of 4.6 million nucleotide pairs..There are 4377 genes in the most common type and fully 98% of them encode for proteins and the other 88 genes code for RNA." Yet this bacteria"s genome is only "one tenth of one percent of the size of the human genome." If there ever was a simple beginning, then where are the unicellular microorganisms proposed by evolutionists as the ancestors of modern bacteria? Why don"t they magically appear in laboratory experiments simulating the organic soup of the early earth? Why don"t they evolve into anything new after thousands of generations? Because evolution via natural selection is mere bluff.

Pro claims that illustrations or comparisons don't prove anything. They prove evolution doesn't make sense. Is science the only avenue to knowledge? Can science prove that you love someone? Does a man need to see evidence of his love in a peer-reviewed science journal before he says "I DO" at the wedding? Truth isn't determined by science alone.
Debate Round No. 5
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by dannyc 3 years ago
The intelligent designer argument, leads to serious problems when you attempt to say 'biological mechanisms are so complex' they require a designer then attempting to argue that 'poor design' is not a good refutation of an intelligent designer. If the intelligent designer is able to create such diverse and complicated mechanisms as your argument may imply but is unable to make a giraffe's nerve the most beneficial and not wasteful, then it follows that the proposition has serious flaws. At the very least you can argue that the 'designer' had a bad day or concede the point and try to maintain an average designer exists. That would be a conceding point Con cannot make since his designer is in fact God. If he says his Designer is fairly average or even lazy then that hardly is worthy of being called God and is definitely not the Biblical God, since he looked over the earth and was happy with his creation. So either the designer is more unlikely because of the argument or he is lazy and wasteful.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
I stand corrected - In round 4, Con did invoke a scripture, 2 Peter 2:12, in a context which indicates he uses it as a source that can accurately inform us about intelligent design. Characteristics of the Biblical God are therefore vulnerable to refutation.

Even so, I still advocate avoiding that line of conversation and staying close to the evidence. I think when you stayed focused on scientific topics and avoided theology or philosophy was where you had the most advantage over your opponent.
Posted by dannyc 3 years ago
Con quotes the bible as being a source of evidence for the designer's mind, so in fact Con did bring up God as the designer, and for that reason the characteristics of God followed, meaning I could refute it by displaying poor design in the universe.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
Round 1:
Definitions, structure, and acceptance.
Round 2:
PRO introduces his case with analogy using rabbits with slightly larger ears and thus slightly better hearing ability being able to pass on their genes. The analogy sounds hokey, but generally does get the idea across. He then builds his case for natural selection by listing 6 lines of evidence, some of which sounded more like assertions (particularly "natural selection being the driving force of adaptation and progression). He uses a detailed account of Dr. Lenski"s experiments to support at least beneficial mutation and adaptation to the environment" most impressively for his case being the ability of one tribe of E-Coli to now absorb citrate after 33,000 generations.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
Round 2 (continued):
CON challenges the use of Lenski to support natural selection by claiming that the E-Coli didn"t transform from bacteria into something else, or even into a different kind of bacteria, it is still E-Coli. This is an absurd counter since it misrepresents what evolutionary theory predicts should happen, but Con"s statements come off as sounding reasonable because of poor phrasing on Pro"s part, for example when he said "For human equivalent it would roughly be a million years to the time of Homo erectus." Pro could have avoided this by wording his statement as "it would take a million years for that many generations to occur in humans". This prevents the misleading and I think unintentional impression that millions of years" worth of evolution could take place in a mere 20 years. Sure, there may be variation in mutation rates from species to species, but still - 20 years remains 20 years, not a million. Con next raises the question of how it is known that the genes for processing citrate were not already present and dormant, and thus the information was already there rather than newly occurring. He goes on to describe the DNA coding repair systems that prevent mutations, points out most mutations are harmful, and thus doesn"t see how this improves a species" survivability or can account for the broad spectrum of differentiated life. This struck me as being an argument from ignorance.
Con concludes by suggesting creation by an intelligent designer for three reasons. 1) intelligent minds are the only known source of meaningful information. 2) Scientists (who have intelligent minds) doing it in a lab is different than in the wild. 3) no form of life has ever been found which could be thought of as "simple." Con"s claim relating to 3 - that most of the biochemical complexity is found in the oldest rock means that the evidence supports creation - does not seem apparent, and is not further justified; it is merely asserted.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
Round 3
PRO opens with the claim that documented experiments have refuted his opponent"s position, but misses an opportunity to immediately provide links or citations to those experiments. He does, however, go on to mention the fusion of a barrel shaped enzyme out of two half barrel ancestors and provide citation to (Lang et al. 2000) I couldn"t find a more useful or complete bibliography or link to accompany this citation, however. He also references Shannon-Weaver to support the idea that the noise of random mutation maximizes information.
Pro calls Con out for using species, kinds, and organism groups interchangeably. He also explains that the experiment was never designed to address large scale changes. It does address adaptation and genetic mutation on a small but observable scale.

Pro cites a number of studies, but unfortunately doesn"t provide links or even a complete works cited list. Additionally, this was probably his worst round for spelling and grammar. There were enough mistakes for it to become distracting, so I"m docking him for S&G. Pro acknowledged that he ran out of space to address the contention that minds are the only source of (it should say "meaningful" as the adjective) information. I won"t count this as a drop since he allowed an extra round to allow for all the rebuttals to be given.
CON clarifies the meaning of information by citing precedents dating back to the 1950"s that information is a reduction in uncertainty. He then goes on a long philosophical journey about what information means, but I"m afraid he didn"t quite take me with him. At the end of it, he reiterates that information is the product of a mind as if it followed logically from his laborious explanation, which it still did not.
He presses con again on why, with the equivalent of a million years of evolution, nothing has really changed for the E. Coli, then accuses Pro of argument from authority, and cites creationist propaganda from the 1950"s to the 1980"s.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
Round 4:
PRO addresses the argument that minds are the only source of information. He points out that the old arguments repeated by Con in this debate have all been defeated already in the professional literature. He references Michael Behe in particular and said that every example Behe gave for irreducible complexity ended up being proven to be plausible via natural selection (but he should have had a citation here). With respect to the difference between lab conditions and the wild, he got the point across that the scientist"s intelligence and rigor was necessary for measurement, not mutation. All they did was provide food and isolation in order to avoid cross contamination. The sources Pro provided made excellent points, more of which he might have wanted to use directly in the debate itself. Instead Pro spent the remainder of 4 discussing the blindness of the watchmaker proposed by Con. He accuses his opponent of muddling his argument, which has some merit, but I felt Pro also did some muddling of his own this round. An imperfect creator doesn"t necessarily disprove that there was a creator, and that technically was all Con was arguing for. An omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient creator was never claimed by Con in this debate.
CON summarized the debate thus far and argued forcefully and articulately that his rebuttals held up. He goes on to emphasize the improbability of sequences and codes to emerge randomly.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
Round 5:
PRO expresses his frustration with what he considers a lack of professional courtesy on the part of Con for ignoring Pro"s explanations and failing to read his articles. Pro also asks what could account for "microevolution" if not genetic mutation? He reiterates his view that if God created the universe with flaws that we evidently see, then he is unworthy of the title "intelligent designer" or "God". He concludes that there is overwhelming evidence for natural selection, that his opponent"s rebuttals were extremely poor, and were reliant on analogies and ad-hoc reasoning.
CON clarifies that his position is not that mutations don"t occur, but that DNA repair mechanisms prevent organisms from changing outside of boundaries established by a designer. He argues that the experimentation by Lenski could not happen in the wild, and thus anything relating to the experiment is automatically refuted and dismissed. He sells that confidently, but I don"t buy. He reminds us again of the giraffe"s neck, and that "junk DNA" has often turned out to serve a function. Con again draws on the giraffe to undermine Darwin"s idea of longer necks preserving giraffes through food shortages, and asks how females - with their 2 feet shorter neck reach " would have survived food scarcity where only the tallest can feed. He lambasts the idea of dumb, blind, unintelligent forces independently creating complex genetic sequences, and likens it to an ant writing Shakespeare. He gives more examples of the complexity of life and the unlikelihood of life occurring without design. Con finishes with an appeal to emotion with the idea of love and weddings (If we could see so easily and honestly see the truth of our own love, would there really be a 50% divorce rate??) and concludes that truth isn"t determined by science alone.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
"my vote in this debate, however, is. Con seemed to be the better writer, and the more experienced debater, but the volume of evidence and the credibility of evidence provided by Pro made his position the easier to defend. After careful review I"ve decided that he did do enough to defend it. He took some inadvisable turns and made some statements that may have hurt him more than helped him, such as 1. the confusion caused by saying 20 years of E. Coli evolution equating to a million years of evolution, 2. Attacking positions not claimed by Con, and failing to clearly attack positions that he did take. Rather than initiate the discussion of the giraffe"s neck, I would have rather heard how mutation could overcome DNA"s repair mechanisms, or why no matter how improbable an event might be it is not a problem for the TOE.
Con"s writing skill was more polished, and his arguments were forcefully made, but the ammunition just wasn"t there to make it convincing. He didn"t overcome Lenski, and sweeping it under the rug by saying it was done in a lab isn"t good enough. Moreover, I can"t give him sources in a science debate if what he"s using are debunked, and discredited creationist sites instead of current peer reviewed studies and papers (which Pro had aplenty).
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago

Con's arguments could have been better. He argued for a god, not against evolution. Someone could hold his case to be valid and accept evolution, since all he proves at best, is that some intelligence was behind life. This says nothing about the start of it. This makes a lot of Con's arguments irrelevant to the debate about evolution. Especially round 5, where Con kept making the argument from design ad nauseam. Pro used the famous Lenski experiment to show natural selection is properly evidenced. Con rebutted by saying mutations don't add information, we haven't seen the bacteria evolve into something else, DNA repair prevents mutations, and macroevolution is untested. Followed by an irrelevant case for a creator. Pro cited papers like Lang et al showing mutations can add information and also says the bacteria didn't have the ability to digest citrus. He also says in order for something to become another species, you must have geographical and time factors. Then he gives evidence of macroevolution via the fossil record. He refuted the DNA repair contention by showing mutations do occur. All that's needed is small mutations and Pro showed they happen. Con came back and said bacteria already had the genes to digest citrus and then goes off on an irrelevant tangent about how Information needs informers. He claims the fossil record evidence is an appeal to authority and claims the fossil record is the way it is because God did it like that. He also states since bacteria is equal to a million years of human evolution, bacteria should have a major change. Pro refuted the citrus claim and showed it was evidence of natural selection. He pointed out the fossil record response was an ad hoc. Evolution is still the best explanation. And pointed out you can"t just say X generations will necessarily equal a major change. Because evolution has no ultimate goal.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.