Why Should a Theory with No Solid Empirical Proof Be Promoted as Science in Our Classrooms?
On the other hand, evolution makes the claim promoted initially by Charles Darwin that species arose from common ancestors through innumerable, slight, successive modifications over time. Evolution also claims that naturalism or empirical materialism is the only acceptable science. Therefore, only tangible, material proof can serve to validate a claim since according to their model life arose through undirected means through the supposed mechanisms of mutation and natural selection.
However, after searching for fossils for over 150 years, evolution has uncovered no path of actual fossils that demonstrates the transitional path of one species to another through the claimed pattern of innumerable, slight, successive modifications over long periods of time. Therefore, it really cannot back its claim of common, undirected ancestry with corroborating empirical evidence.
In actual fact, the fossil record does not show the slight innumerable steps that Darwin claimed were necessary to create living forms. Instead, as the Cambrian period demonstrates, fossils appear in the record fully formed with complex features that did not arise in steps but instead arose whole and intact already formed.
Dinosaurs for example, appear fully formed in the fossil record with no transitional forms. There are no transitional fossils to show how dinosaurs "evolved" through slight innumerable changes? All that has been found are fully formed dinosaurs with complex mechanisms fully formed like eyes, digestive systems, limbs, skeletal systems, nervous systems etc.
This is consistent across the board for all fossils. We find fully formed complex fossils (or fragments thereof which most of the so-called family of man fossils are comprised of) instead of slight, innumerable successive variations leading to a life form.
If evolutions claim were true, we should find thousands or millions of fossils demonstrating slight changes over time leading up to fully formed kind of species. Bats, for example, should produce a series of fossils demonstrating slight changes leading up to fully formed bat complete with echolocation. Instead, the fossil record reveals only fully formed bats, not successive steps to bats or giraffes, apes, dinosaurs, chickens, etc. etc.
Therefore, why should we accept evolution as science when as itself emphasizes that science requires evidence to support its claims? Evolution in place of actual evidence really has primarily claims rather than evidence to support one of its foundational assertions which is that of a common ancestor? Is this not more faith based than evidential?
Students should not be taught a science that, in fact, cannot support its primary claims with actual evidence. A science that is more faith based and philosophical in nature is more akin to a religion, rather than science isn't it? I am under the impression that religion was not permitted in our government run school systems. So why is something based on faith being promoted as science then?
If ID or Creationism can provide evidence to prove its points, why is it not permitted in the educational systems rather than students being presented with a faith based philosophy and expected to call it science? Seems like an injustice to the minds of the students to me.
After all, isn't education about providing all of the major options and then promoting clear thinking to produce better thinking people? Creationism is clearly a primary option to the evolutionary point of view. Or has educational system become more like indoctrination whereby you are only given one choice and must accept it or fail?
I was under the impression that science is about promoting views that have the best evidence? However, as heretofore pointed out evolution really isn't supported by good fossil evidence. In fact, if anything, the fossil evidence points more towards creation than evolution since living things appear fully formed and complex rather than through discrete material steps. This would point to creation not the claimed innumerable, slight, successive steps of the evolution model.
After all, a science focusing on origins is one that is historical in bearing since no one would have been present at the actual origins of life itself. Therefore, one must rely upon whatever evidence is actually present and then extrapolate that evidence to give rise to historical speculations and conclusions.
We must examine the existing evidence and make best guess assumptions as to where that evidence would lead. However, one must first have the evidence to be able to make a claim. Evolution lacks the evidence to support its claim of innumerable, slight, successive modifications over time to produce a path to common ancestry through the fossil record.
Thus, it is an injustice to the minds of students that they should be forced to adopt a point of view based on faith rather than empirical science and claim that it is, in fact, empirical science as evolution does.
Competing models, specifically Creationism at the very least, should be considered side by side with the existing evidence and the pros and cons clearly demonstrated so that students could then choose whichever model makes the most sense to them.
To do so would promote clearer thinking about science and life. Not doing so prohibits thinking and promotes a narrow, dogmatic claim that appears to be avoiding debate because of its vulnerabilities not its proof. Doing so, permits reflection requiring a student to exercise his thinking faculties as well as his ability to make clear choices for themselves which are obviously valuable skills for real life aren't they? Don't we want our students to develop their most valuable skills instead of feeding them dogma and permitting no contrasting points of view? I would hope that to be the case which is why I favor at the very least a competing Creator based view in the classroom and not just the faith based dogma of evolution posed as empirical science.
I would like to begin by thanking CON for setting up this debate. I have been interested in evolution ever since I learned that what my parent’s church told me about it was false. Ever since then, I have become fascinated by the scientific study of the diversity of life. CON has offered many disparate points, with no single, overarching resolution to debate; I will do my best with what I have.
The sheer volume of CON’s unsupported claims is astounding; I will only address those that seem close to the core of the discussion.
CON has claimed the evolution is not backed with empirical evidence since it lacks the appropriate fossil evidence. First I would like to simply point out that this is a bald assertion running contrary to the prevailing scientific consensus . Secondly, I would like to point out that there is an enormous amount of fossil evidence in support of evolution . Also, even if there wasn’t, support for the Theory of Evolution comes from many other fields, such as geology, paleontology, comparative anatomy, genetics, and molecular biology .
CON has also suggested that that creationism be considered “side by side” with evolution in the classroom. Since evolution is taught in science class, this would mean that CON is suggesting that we teach creationism in science class. One major problem with this suggestion is the creationism is not science . We shouldn’t teach calculus in English class, we should reserve the History classroom for History, and the Science classroom for science.
Wrapping it Up
As I noted above, CON has not elucidated a clear resolution to be debated, but instead, has made many unsupported claims regarding accepted facts about our world. I have shown why CON’s claim that evolution is not supported by evidence is incorrect, and I have also demonstrated why creationism should not be taught in science class. I look forward to CON’s comments in the next round.
First of all, consensus is NOT empirical proof. The fact that there is agreement by a group is NOT an establishment of empirical proof. I can cite for example a significant list of scientists most of whom have earned PhD's in their respective fields or have earned a great degree of respect in their fields alive today who accept the biblical account of creation and therefore reject evolution. http://creation.com...
I can also cite a long list of scientists alive today but also historical in nature that formed the very foundations of science both before and after Darwin and some still alive who would be considered Creationists. http://creation.com...
I can also produce a list of highly degreed scientists alive today (many of who are PhD's) who have publicly put their name online to a document that states: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” which can be downloaded at http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org...
Now, would you accept that as proof against evolution? Let me provide the expected answer here: NO! You would find some way to reject those claims regardless of the level of accomplishment of those scientists even though you would historically find names like the Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel who created the foundations for the science of genetics that evolutionists mistakenly claim is a primary driver for evolutionary change, i.e. mutation.
So, let's dispense with the consensus argument right off the bat. Consensus is not empirical proof! And empirical proof is what I am asking for since evolution claims to be that only valid science on origins and insists that it is proven by empirical material proof which is the foundation of the evidence of naturalism.
However, despite the hype and the evolutionists non-believers in control positions in science, there are a good many qualified scientists who reject or seriously question evolutionist claims in the light of current and past scientific evidence.
After all at one point in time there was a general consensus by physicians that bleeding folks cured disease and that washing ones hands to perform an operation was foolish. We now know how foolish those beliefs were. Yet at the time there was an accepted consensus among the professionals in the respective fields that they were absolute truth.
Now Charles Darwin stated in the first sentences of Chapter VI- Difficulties of the Theory in The Origin of Species Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life as follows:
"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case."
In fact, Darwin expected the same pattern in the fossil record but expressed doubts about in Origins:
“Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms.”
Darwin also noted that:
"If numerous species, belonging to the same genera or families, have really started into life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory to descent with slow modification though natural selection."
Darwin also expressed doubt about the fossils which appeared in the Cambrian strata (referred to by Geologists as the Silurian strata during his time):
So, it was made clear by Sir Charles that there were problems with empirical evidence to support the theory of evolution from the very beginning. (A recent book, was published in 2014 written by Cambrian PhD. Steven C. Meyer comprehensively covering the Cambrian issue entitled "Darwin's Doubt" may be found at this site: http://www.darwinsdoubt.com...)
Unfortunately, to date there is still a dearth of empirical evidence that eliminates that doubts that Darwin expressed.
In the Cambrian strata, all of the major phyla (genus) which is a major biological classification of kinds of animals appeared with fully formed complex organs and functions with no precursor transitional fossils that demonstrate the Darwinian claim of innumerable, slight successive modifications over time. This was the very thing that caused Darwin to have doubts about its claims and to date it has still not been satisfactorily resolved.
You also stated that I did not advance a clear resolution to be debated. This a false claim since I clearly stated:
"Therefore, why should we accept evolution as science when as itself emphasizes that science requires evidence to support its claims? Evolution in place of actual evidence really has primarily claims rather than evidence to support one of its foundational assertions which is that of a common ancestor? Is this not more faith based than evidential?"
I also stated in my title:
"Why Should a Theory with No Solid Empirical Proof Be Promoted as Science in Our Classrooms?"
I further stated:
"However, after searching for fossils for over 150 years, evolution has uncovered no path of actual fossils that demonstrates the transitional path of one species to another through the claimed pattern of innumerable, slight, successive modifications over long periods of time. Therefore, it really cannot back its claim of common, undirected ancestry with corroborating empirical evidence."
The quite obvious clear resolution to above question and statments would be to produce examples of the empirical evidence that establish the claim that species arose through innumerable, slight, successive modifications over time from a common ancestor as the theory claims and Sir Charles expressed doubts about.
I did not ask for consensus opinions for as pointed out above that can work on either side of the fence and does nothing to establish empirical proof. I am sure you are familiar with the phrase about what opinions are like because everyone has one. Not a very valid scientific means of establishing empirical proof to say the least.
So, what empirical proof can you produce that establishes definitively that species "evolved" through innumerable, slight, successive modifications over time as the theory claims? For in reality, what the fossil record has actually established is that animals arose with fully formed complex organs and fully functioning anatomies without established precursor steps being demonstrated nor apparently necessary as well.
If your theory is scientific, it should be able to produce definitive empirical proof to substantiate its claims particularly in light of the claim that naturalism or empirical materialism is required to qualify as science. So then where's the tangible evidence, NOT consensus, NOT belief, but empirical material belief?
If the theory has none then it is based on speculative belief, NOT empirical evidence. After all, fully, formed, complex animals don't point to gradual changes over long periods of time but rather sudden development which is far more evidence for the Creation model than it is for the millions of years evolutionary model now isn't it?
Additional, problem areas which may be discussed as well:
The presence of red blood cells and soft tissue in supposedly 65 million year old dinosaur bones as discovered by evolutionist Dr. Mary Shweitzer in the 1990's and again in 2005 in TRex bones. Altogether, 17 finds thus far. How, does a dino supposedly 65 million years old retain red blood cells, DNA, and soft cartiginous tissue I wonder? http://creation.com...
Creatures alive today which are identical to fossilised forms, believed to have lived ‘millions of years ago.’ Examples include the coelacanth fish (fossil coelacanths are believed by evolutionists to be 340 million years old2), Gingko trees (125 million years), crocodiles (140 million years), horseshoe crabs (200 million years), the Lingula lamp shell (450 million years), Neopilina molluscs (500 million years), and the tuatara lizard (200 million years) as pointed out by PhD Dr. Werner in his book Evolution: The Grand Experiment- Volume 2.
I would like to begin by thanking CON for his comments this round. I will address the points brought up presently.
First, CON makes big deal to discuss how scientific consensus is not empirical proof. Of course it isn’t; I never said it was. My point in bringing up the scientific consensus was simply to firmly establish who has the burden of proof. As CON is making a claim against the scientific consensus, he has the burden of proof. I carry no such burden.
A Fallacious Argument
Con is also correct in that I would not accept the word of his handful of creationist scientists, as that would be accepting a fallacious Argument from Authority . However, if CON would like to provide the arguments these PhD level creationists use, along with evidence, I would be happy to debunk them with my baccalaureate level education.
CON dedicated a great deal of space in his arguments to show that Darwin was aware of weaknesses in his theory. I freely admit that he wrote these things; like any good scientist, you should make the weaknesses in your arguments known. However, CON has not shown that any of these problems exist, so the point is dropped.
Not Understanding the Burden of Proof
CON’s next point is the bald assertion that there is no empirical evidence for evolution. He re-asserts his claim that the fossils do not show “slight, successive modifications over long periods of time.” This is where my above discussion of the scientific consensus comes into play. CON is making claims against the scientific consensus, so, whether he likes it or not, he has the burden to prove his point. I do not have to provide evidence for the Theory of Evolution, which is the most well supported scientific theory of all time .
A Good Faith Gesture
However, in the interest a good nurtured discussion, I will provide a bit of evidence, even though I have no burden to do so.
When geologists dig, they find different fossils at different levels. As you go deeper, you find older, less complex organisms. Also, you never find a recently evolved animal deep in the Earth. A rabbit fossil in the pre-Cambrian Era would falsify evolution, but this has never happened .
If have ever been on antibiotics, your doctor will tell you to make sure you complete the full course of the medication, even if you feel better. If you do not, there may be a relatively small number of bacteria remaining, the strongest, which will then reproduce stronger versions of the bacteria. This is because of evolution .
Evolution is an established fact. It has made predictions which have been confirmed , and it has been observed both in the lab , and in the wild . If CON is going to argue against evolution, he needs to provide evidence against it, not simply assert that there is not sufficient evidence for it.
Also, here are some primary sources which support evolution .
CON’s Counter Examples
CON has provided two examples which he feels falsifies evolution. I will address both of them here.
Red Blood Cells
First off, I find it necessary to point out that Dr. Shweitzer did not find red blood cells, she found “evidence of heme” . Heme is one of the components that make up hemoglobin, which is one of the components that makes up red blood cells . I could not find Dr. Shweitzer’s published article (perhaps CON can send me a link), but the article I did find said that she found EVIDENCE for part of a thing that is part of a red blood cell. This is not the same as finding a red blood cell.
However, to look at this in the best light possible, we have something that we assume should have degraded long ago. Why didn’t it? We don’t know. At best, this is another question to be answered. The article CON linked to suggested that it was proof of a young earth. However, what it is is a single, unexplained data point. This single question that humbly requests an answer is not proof that the mountains of evidence in support of evolution are false.
CON’s second point is that there are creatures alive today that are identical to creatures fossilized millions of years ago. So what? This means that those individuals are well suited for their environments, so they didn’t have any need to evolve. Crocodiles are another example . Animals evolve in response to selection pressures . If the animals are extremely well suited to their niche in the environment, they will not change much at all . Another example could be some species of shark. They are well suited for the ocean, and they are exceptionally well suited for their niche at the top of the food chain, therefore, they have changed very little over the aeon's . I would like to thank CON for this excellent example of how natural selection operates.
Finally, I would like to address CON’s resolution. The title of this debate is “Why Should a Theory with No Solid Empirical Proof Be Promoted as Science in Our Classrooms?” This is not a resolution; it is a “why” question. When debating, the resolution needs to be a position which one party is arguing for it, and the other against it. As this alleged resolution is worded as a “why” question, one can neither be for or against it.
Judging by CON’s comments this round, it is clear that his resolution does not have to do with whether or not something should be taught, but rather, that evolution does not have empirical evidence. As I explained earlier, this is a resolution CON needs to demonstrate. So far, he has failed to do so, while I, having no burden to support the contrary claim, have done exactly that.
A Fallacious Claim of Proof
As stated in the question to this debate evolution is a theory with no solid empirical proof. This title was selected to make it crystal clear that this argument centers on the fact of empirical proof. In the event that PRO does not understand what the word empirical means, Merriam-Webster online defines it as such: "capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment".
Since this argument is focused primarily on the fossil record, common sense dictates that observation is the emphasis here. Since evolution claims that it is grounded in empirical materialism and denies any reference to the immaterial then by necessity the focus on material fossils would require material proof that can be observed. In other words, actual fossil proof.
Therefore, to advance consensus to establish a burden of proof provides nothing empirical in the way of fossils whatsoever. There is nothing material in any opinion that validates the request for the material fossils that proves one of the primary claims of evolution which is that of change over time in species from a common ancestor through innumerable, slight, successive modifications.
Yet, PRO has not yet advanced material proof to address the issue. Opinion and claimed consensus is NOT, I repeat, NOT empirical (observable) material proof of transitional fossils. When is this issue which has had repeated requests and been clearly delineated going to be addressed. Or is PRO simply dodging the issue because in fact PRO CANNOT produce the requested empirical material proof?
Since PRO has not responded directly to this issue, it appears that, in fact, PRO lacks tangible evidence and therefore must resort to opinion (i.e., immaterial proof) to secure his position. This, in actual fact, places evolution in the same camp as any other unproven theory and demonstrates that it is nothing more than a philosophical speculation rather than a "proven" fact as many evolutionists claim.
This, in fact, reinforces my title question and position that evolution is a theory with no solid empirical proof and therefore should not be promoted as a science in our classrooms. Where's the beef PRO? Empirical material proof or what? I'm still waiting.
A Dodge by Dismissal as a Means of Avoidance
PRO also does nothing to address the lists of Creationist scientists such as Gregor Mendel (genetics), Francis Bacon, Johann Kepler, Mercator (cartography), Blase Pascal, Galileo, Isaac Newton (physics), John Woodward (palaeontology) Carolus Linnaeus (taxonomy system of classification), Georges Curvier (comparative anatomy and palaeontology), Adam Sedgwick (geology), Louis Agassiz (glaciology and ichthyology), Lord Kelvin, Louis Pasteur and Rudolph Virchow and many others who were accomplished scientists all of whom while forming many of the foundations of modern science also believed the universe was the product of a Creator (primarily the Christian God of the bible).
I wonder why? (Not really. I know why and so does PRO. which is why he chose to ignore these lists.)
Additionally, if PRO would like to begin to address the arguments of the Creationist PhD's he may begin by first addressing the primary request of this debate- provide empirical material evidence that firmly establishes the premise that species evolved through innumerable, slight successive modifications over time. If CON would like to move on to other evidences after that, I would be happy to.
Meanwhile, a request for empirical, material proof has been made and I still await an answer.
The Cambrian Explosion Doubt of Darwin- STILL a Big Problem for Evolution
The point is not dropped about Darwin's doubts. PRO has done NOTHING to address any of these doubts. I repeat NOTHING! PRO simply dismisses these arguments with absolutely no empirical response to disprove them. The Cambrian explosion has never been adequately addressed by evolutionists and in fact has become even more doubtful since Darwin's day when he expressed doubts about it with finds like the Burgess Shale find of British Columbia, Canada and the Chengjiang find in Kunming in Southern China ( http://www.fossilmuseum.net... ) Both of which were dated in the Cambrian period. Both of which demonstrated a wide variety of well preserved and detailed complex fossils appearing quite suddenly in the fossil record with no pre-cursor, transitional fossils. (Both of these finds are covered in some detail in the previously cited book by Cambrian PhD Steven C. Meyer, Darwin's Doubt http://www.darwinsdoubt.com...
The fact is PRO would like this argument to disappear as it represents a huge, unexplained hole in the evolutionary claim of common ancestry and gradual successive transitional evolution to produce the variety of species. The fact is all of the known phyla of today have their roots in the Cambrian period which in the time scale of evolutionists amounts to about 2 minutes if time were compressed into one 24 hour day.
It was a doubt Darwin admitted to and is a doubt that has grown in proportion NOT been addressed with empirical evidence to the contrary. PRO would like it dropped because PRO has no good answer to the issue and knows it.
The Red Herring Burden of Proof Claim
As far as the claim to have eliminated the burden of proof PRO has once again NOT advanced empirical material proof. The reference 2 leads to a page of opinions NOT ACTUAL PROOF. As previously stated opinions are NOT acceptable material proof. Court decisions by secular, non-scientist judges can hardly serve as empirical proof. However, when the reality is that you have no real material proof, I guess you have to hang your hat on a secular court decision. Again, this is NOT ACTUAL PROOF but simply more claims.
Yes, in fact, you DO have to provide the evidence to back up the evolutionist claim. You accepted this debate and that request as I clearly delineated once again in my second post requires the provision of the empirical material evidence to back up the evolutionist claim that their theory is real science since it is based on material proof. NOT opinion ACTUAL MATERIAL PROOF.
If you were incapable of providing the empirical material evidence to confirm and prove the claim of innumerable, slight, successive modifications over time, then you should NOT have accepted the PRO argument side.
Pony up the empirical, material proof for your side or concede the argument!
Another False Claim
Dr. Werner, author of Living Fossils (Evolution: the Grand Experiment vol. 2) who with his wife Debbie travelled over 100,000 miles (160,000 km) and took 60,000 photographs as they filmed the television series Evolution: The Grand Experiment found:
“Cartilaginous fish (sharks and rays), bony fish (such as sturgeon, paddlefish, salmon, herring, flounder and bowfin) and jawless fish (hagfish and lamprey) have been found in the dinosaur layers and they look the same as modern forms.
“Modern-looking frogs and salamanders have been found in dinosaur dig sites."
“All of today’s reptile groups have been found in the dinosaur layers and they look the same or similar to modern forms: Snakes (boa constrictor), lizards (ground lizards and gliding lizards), turtles (box turtles, soft-shelled turtles), and crocodilians (alligators, crocodiles and gavials).”
Why are these living fossils found mixed with dinosaur fossils if the layers are over 65 million years old and more?
Dr. Werner further points to creatures alive today which are identical to fossilised forms, believed to have lived ‘millions of years ago examples of which include: the coelacanth fish (fossil coelacanths are believed by evolutionists to be 340 million years old), Gingko trees (125 million years), crocodiles (140 million years), horseshoe crabs (200 million years), the Lingula lamp shell (450 million years), Neopilina molluscs (500 million years), and the tuatara lizard (200 million years).
So, your claim that there is have been NO fossils found mixed in the layers with the millions of year old claimed fossils is patently FALSE.
In fact, Dr. Werner found a great many living fossils and it is detailed with photographs in his books. A presentation on this issue may be viewed on You tube: https://www.youtube.com...
Dr. Mary Schweitzer and TRex Red Blood Cells and Soft Tissue
This is a link to a an article on the Dr. Mary Schweitzer's find with details and photograph's of the find from Smithsonian Magazine-May 2006: http://www.smithsonianmag.com...
This is another one on the find from Discover Magazine- April 2006: http://discovermagazine.com...
This is from Creation.com on the find with links to additional articles and photographs as well: http://creation.com...
Yet another Another Apologetic Dodge
The claim that animals evolve to perfection and then stop is patently absurd! First of all, demonstrate the empirical evidence to show the evolution of the shark through innumerable slight, successive modifications. Where is it? That is simply assumed but ABSOLUTELY NO EMPIRICAL PROOF IS ADVANCED TO CONFIRM THE CLAIM!
Where is the proof that sharks, in fact, even "evolved"? So you first assume the claim which is in actuality proof of creation NOT evolution. Then, you create the apologetic conclusion that this assumed evolution then reached perfection and suddenly the mechanisms that caused it to evolve suddenly stopped. Uh, don't look now but that is proof of creation NOT evolution. No empirical proof of evolution was ever advanced simply an assumed claim.
Like all of PRO's claims, thus far it carries NO empirical evidence. The title question was followed with clear reasons as to why evolution should not qualify as science. The theory claims to have material proof to substantiate its claims but evolution has still NOT provided acceptable empirical proof of the claim, nor has PRO. I'm still waiting PRO. Pony it up already please. Thank you.
Thank you CON for another round of comments.
I would first like to address CON’s use of the term “empirical proof.” In some discussions, the term, “proof” us used to denote absolute certainty . The concept of absolute certainty is one which I reject. However, if CON would like to argue for it, I suggest he begin with a discussion of solipsism . Therefore, I presume that CON is using the word “proof” in a more colloquial way that is synonymous with “evidence.”
Next, I would like to revisit a concept that I thought I had put to bed, but CON seems adamant to keep discussing: the burden of proof. It is well established that the one positing a claim holds this burden . I encourage anyone reading this, including CON, to go back and read CON’s first round arguments. There are several claims, including:
“…the fossil record does not show the slight innumerable steps that Darwin claimed were necessary…”
“Dinosaurs for example, appear fully formed in the fossil record with no transitional forms.”
These are claims for which CON needs to provide evidence. I DO NOT have to disprove his claims . CON is attempting to employ a fallacious debate tactic known as Shifting the Burden of Proof . CON has not demonstrated that there is insufficient fossil evidence, and that there are no transitional forms; I have no burden to rebut these until CON provides empirical evidence that he thinks suggests that they are correct.
CON claimed that I dropped his point about the fact that there were and are many intelligent, highly educated scientists who also believe(d) in God and/or creationism. CON is incorrect. As I pointed out in the previous round, if CON is claiming that something is true because all of these smart people say so, he is committing the fallacy of an Appeal to Authority .
Again, CON is claiming that I have dropped his point. However, CON seems not to realize that he has never made a point to begin with. In the first round, CON asserted that “…the Cambrian period demonstrates, fossils appear in the record fully formed with complex features...” I stand by my initial point that CON has not provided evidence in support of this claim, and that I, therefore, have no burden to rebut it. What CON has provided is a popular, NON-PEER REVIEWED book by Steven Meyer, who has a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science . This alleged evidence is a non-peer-reviewed book, written for a non-technical audience, written by an Intelligent Design advocate whose specialty is not the subject of the book. However, I will address the Cambrian Explosion anyway.
The Cambrian Explosion
The basic claim creationists make regarding the Cambrian Explosion is that the fossil record shows a great deal of novelty in a short period of time. CON has quoted Darwin as writing, “apparently sudden appearance of a whole group of species.” What CON does not say is that “apparently sudden” means 10-20 million years .”
While it is clear that evolution happened more quickly during this 10-20 million year period, it is not inconsistent with evolution . As I mentioned earlier, living things evolve due to selection pressures . As there were great ecological changes during this period , faster evolution would be expected. Also, the Cambrian Period occurred immediately after an ice age, during which there were many extinctions , leaving a great many ecological niches open for new types of life to evolve into. After the Cambrian Period, there was another ice age, which explains one reason why the explosion couldn’t continue . The rapid evolution during the Cambrian Period is not a problem for evolution.
Another False Claim?
CON has asserted that I made the claim that there are not fossils mixed in the strata. He specifically notes that many snakes, lizards, and others have been found in dinosaur dig sites. Here, CON has constructed a strawman argument; he has misrepresented my point so that he can easily defeat it . My exact quite is, “…you never find a recently evolved animal deep in the Earth.” I did not say that you will not find modern animals, such as the “living fossils” we have discussed, buried in deep layers. The example I gave is finding a rabbit fossil in the pre-Cambrian Era. Since rabbits evolved no earlier than 65 million years ago, finding one in rocks laid down 542 million years ago would certainly present a problem for evolution. As I noted above, this has not happened.
I would like to thank CON for providing me with three links to information regarding this discovery. Unfortunately, what I was hoping for was her peer-reviewed paper, not additional organizations giving commentary. However, after looking through these two sources, we are left in the same place: without answers. Does this disprove evolution? Of course not. The article from Discover Magazine that CON cited states that a blood sample left “on a shelf” for a week will be worthless. So, there is no difference if the T-Rex died millions of years ago, or last month. We are left with an unexplained finding.
An Apologetic Dodge?
I would like to thank CON for pointing out an error in my wording. I did indeed write that animals well suited for their environments “didn’t have any need to evolve.” I can see how this can be interpreted as suggesting that they stopped evolving. What I meant is that since they were well suited for their environments, and their environments changed little, they did not need to change much. This point is backed up with what I wrote a few sentences later: “They are well suited for the ocean, and they are exceptionally well suited for their niche at the top of the food chain, therefore, they have changed very little over the aeon's…”
There are a few odd points I would like to address. First of all, CON objects to my source  in the previous round, stating that it is not “ACTUAL PROOF.” I have no problem dropping this point, as I included it as a matter of interest, not as direct support for my argument. The point remains that CON own the burden to provide evidence for his own claims.
Secondly, after re-reading part of CON’s first round, I did find a point that I missed. My apologies. CON noted that we never find fossils with partially formed eyes, limbs, etc. This is, of course, true, and it is exactly what you would expect if life diversified via evolution. Since everything that has ever lived is a transitional species , you will always find everything “complete.” Evolution takes a thing, and slightly changes it into something else. Sometimes, a structure is adapted to a totally different purpose, such as the bacterial flagellum, which seems on the surface to be irreducibly complex, but is likely the result of an adaptation of a protein export system . If CON is suggesting that the fact that all evidence shows fully formed eyes, limbs, etc, disproves evolution, he is again making a claim that is against the scientific consensus, and it requires additional evidence.
Wrapping it Up
I would like to thank CON for his thoughts this round; I look forward to the next round.
Apparently Definitions from Public Sources Now Qualify as Egocentric to Evolutionists
My oh My, How Amusingly Convenient a Way to Dodge a Direct Answer!
I find it quite entertaining that a person who provides absolutely no answers with any substance is so egocentrically convinced in his own mind that his ideas are so correct that he has to provide NO evidence to substantiate them. Even after accepting to debate the PRO stance of an issue that requires material evidence to prove itself.
Instead, PRO dodges the fact that he has NO evidence by throwing out yet another red herring that has nothing to do with the issue at hand at all.
Additionally, it is quite fascinating that despite the fact that I have provided clear and objective definitions of my terms, they are continuously ignored as though no statements were made at all.
Either PRO is exceptionally limited in his ability to understand the English language, is not very bright or simply glossing over that which he has no ability to respond to because he, in fact. completely lacks the evidence that I have repeatedly and clearly requested. Perhaps all 3 with an emphasis towards the last reason.
I suspect the complete lack of actual material evidence is likely the latter of the three possibilities. Which is to say PRO lacks the ability to produce the requested empirical evidence.
This despite the fact that the term empirical was clearly defined from Webster's dictionary, not your silly solipsism reference which is a red herring that has no bearing in this debate whatsoever.
The term empirical was clearly defined and drawn from Webster's, a common public reference source, as evidence that is acquired through observation. Obviously, observation in reference to fossils would be evidence that is materially observable.
I have yet to see any clear reference to the materially observable proof requested.
If Dinosaurs Have Transitional Fossils, Produce References to Them
This was clearly defined and referenced. PRO has yet to provide a single shred of evidence to dispute that statement. Instead, PRO simply skitters away from the issue and falls back on his consistent claim to authority as proof.
I think it is becoming quite clear that the only defense PRO has for his beliefs is in fact not empirical (observable) evidence but non-material reference to authority in the form of opinions. Clearly opinions from the very title to the debate do not quality as evidence which would tell me that PRO simply has nothing to produce.
As stated in the title of this debate. why should a theory that lacks empirical (observable if you like as defined by Webster's and many other authoritative sources) proof (evidence if you may) be promoted as "science" in our classrooms?
PRO with his lack of empirical evidence is reinforcing my title challenge with each response. Thank you PRO.
Totally Silly and Illogically Meaningless Statements
PRO says my references to lack of evidence require evidence. Uh, excuse me but do you actually understand our shared language? If there is a reference to a lack of evidence and request for proof, how can I produce something that does not exist?
Is there something faulty with your ability to apply logic and meaning to the language PRO? If something is said to not exist the proof lies in the fact that it is not physically empirical (observable) evidence. How can I produce evidence for something that, in fact, DOES NOT EXIST!?
The fact is, as the title clearly stated how is something claimed to be science because of its empirically (observable) material proof yet lacks that proof be considered science? That is nothing more than a fraud or deception, not a science.
When you entered this debate as clearly delineated in the title of the debate, your responsibility was to provide the empirically (materially observable) reference to the evidence that would substantiate the evolutionist claims that species evolved through discrete, innumerable, steps over time from common ancestors.
Thus far, all you have done is made reference to authority and claims. You have yet to back those claims with actual evidence.
Yet Another False Claim
No, I am not claiming that because all these smart people, yada, yada, yada.... I simply used the reference to those lists to point out that reference to authority has no bearing whatsoever on the tenor of this debate. PRO was the one who first and continues to use reference to authority as his standard of proof.
I have repeatedly from the title of this debate to the present noted that this is not a contest of my belief has better opinion bearers than your beliefs.
It was a clear statement that we should not treat a theory as scientific unless it can actually produce empirical (observable) evidence to substantiate its claims.
A reference to authority has no place in this debate.
All that counts is a reference to empirical (observable) evidence that disproves the title statement.
Where are the transitional fossils that demonstrate discrete, innumerable steps leading up to a species that proves the evolutionist claim of common ancestry? Any species will do for starters. That should have been done at the beginning of this debate.
Instead, it has been one false lead after another and now references to solipsism which has about as much bearing in this discussion as the current price of corn in Iowa at the end of last years harvest.
When does the requested proof occur PRO? Or is my title statement in this debate actually being answered through your inability to provide the obvious and repeatedly requested observable (empirical, a solipsistic slip and reversal there I guess) evidence? Proof please?
Evolution? What Evolution?
PRO clearly admits animals perfectly adapted to their environments changed very little over the eons. Uh, excuse me PRO, but this is a direct reference to the Creationist paradigm. The bat appears according to evolutionists in the fossil record apparently perfectly adapted to their environments 65 million years ago and then changed very little from the original form.
The only problem here PRO is that there is NO EMPIRICAL (OBSERVABLE) EVIDENCE that bats evolved in the first place!
They appear in the fossil record whole, intact and perfectly adapted to their environments and then changed very little.
Uh, this is what you call evolution? What evolution?
And the same can be said of every other species. Demonstrate otherwise. Bring up your examples of a species that has a proven empirical (observable, gotta keep defining that term for the intellectually challenged) path of innumerable slight, successive modifications. I await your reference(s).
Your dismissal of the finds demonstrates your blind belief and narrow mindedness. Please provide a convincing explanation of how something can remain flexible and soft after 65 million years! To claim that blood in bone could remain intact for 65 million years without being fossilized (mineralized) stretches credibility.
To say that red blood cells on the shelf for a week would be worthless explains absolutely nothing! It is YET ANOTHER evolutionist dodge of the obvious. Entire civilizations such as Babylonia, the Medes-Persians, Assyrian empires disappeared from the face of the earth over the course of hundreds of years never to be seen again. Yet we are expected to believe that red blood cells and soft cartilage could remain intact and still soft after 65 million years!
Uh, I thought evolutionists didn't believe in miracles! Guess that proves that assumption wrong while providing a clear scientific reference to substantiate the parting of the seas as described in Exodus. Therefore, there is empirical (observable) scientific references for the miracles in the bible after all! Why thank you for the validation PRO. Guess it's time for you to crack up that bible once again huh?
Yes, in fact you did miss the point! Please re-read my statement above. If something does not exist, one cannot provide proof that it does not exist. Either it exists or it does not. I clearly stated that evolution has no empirical (observable) proof of its claim that species evolved through discrete (slight) innumerable, successive steps over long periods of time from a common ancestor.
If you cannot then evolution is simply another just so story and NOT the empirically material science that it claims to be.
The absence of the transitional fossils to support the claim is the proof.
So let me get this clear, you want me to provide proof of something that, in fact, DOES NOT EXIST? And evolutionists have the arrogant audacity to make such a claim and in the next breath claim there is no God?
Excuse me, but this is utterly laughable. Either you are being purposely obtuse or attempting to turn this debate into a farce.
Let Me Remind You
My CON position clearly stated that something that claims to have solid empirical proof but does not is not a science and should not be promoted as one in our classrooms.
You took the PRO position in this debate.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to prove me wrong! I made the positive statement about the topic which pointed out the lack of evidence.
Your role as PRO is to provide the evidence that overturns this statement.
If you did not intend to provide evidence to over turn the statement, then why did you take the PRO position?
At this point in time you are wasting time and space.
Now, please provide the evidence (empirical which is to say materially observable) that proves that species "evolved" through innumerable slight (discrete) modifications over time, or concede the debate.
Evolutionists are the ones who make the claim of naturalism and insist on materialism as the only acceptable evidence.
I am simply holding you to YOUR OWN STANDARDS! Now, according to your requirements of what constitutes real science, where are the transitional fossils that prove common ancestry through slight, innumerable successive modifications over time?
Empirically observable proof ONLY please! Thank you.
Normally I thank my opponent for his comments, but I will not do so at this point as they contained ad hominem attacks. I find this distasteful. I will address CON’s points presently. I apologize that I may not be a clear as I try be when making my arguments, because CON is all over the map; I will do my best to be concise.
As I have pointed out more than once, CON’s resolution is not clear. In this round, CON is trying to say that the PRO position necessarily needs to prove the CON position wrong. This is once again a misunderstanding of the burden of proof. Unless it is clearly stated, the party making a claim must satisfy this burden, especially if this claim is “new or remarkable” . One practice here on DDO that many instigators utilize is to assign a burden; however CON did not do that. By not assigning the burden, and then making claims, CON has agreed to fully shoulder it himself.
The Absence of Evidence
It is often said that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence; however, this is not actually true. If I say there is an elephant in the backyard and we don’t see one from the window, the absence of observational evidence is indeed evidence against the proposition. It isn’t conclusive evidence, but it is evidence. However, if I say there is a gnat in the backyard, our inability to see if from the window is not evidence (or at least nowhere nearly as strong evidence), as you wouldn’t expect to be able to see a gnat from the window. So how does this concept apply?
CON has challenged me to provide transitional fossils for dinosaurs, bats, and possibly more. We know that it is (was) very unlikely that a dying creature will (would) be fossilized. Specifically speaking of dinosaurs, only a small percentage of the genera have been found as fossils, because most animals simply didn’t fossilize . We shouldn’t expect to find fossils from every species that ever lived; therefore, my inability to produce the requested fossils is not evidence (or at least not strong evidence) against evolution.
Silly, Illogical, and Meaningless
CON is correct that I asked for evidence in support of his claims that there is no evidence. If CON is unable to support this claim, it is not my problem. He does not get to shift his burden to me simply because he made a claim that he does not know how to support.
Arguments from Authority
Perhaps I misunderstood CON’s point as an argument from authority. He accused me not addressing the fact that all of these smart people were creationists. If, indeed, CON is not saying that it is so simply because these individuals say so, I conceded the point. Then the point remains, why did they believe? As I did not know any of these people, I cannot say. However, if CON would provide their arguments, along with evidence, I would be happy to tell him why these very intelligent individuals were wrong.
Disproving the Title Statement
As I noted at least once before in this debate, the title of this debate is a question, it is not a statement. This goes back to my complaint that the resolution is unclear. Also, referencing the point I have been required to make ad nauseam, I don’t have to argue against something CON has never demonstrated in the first place.
To be fair, CON has repeatedly asked for evidence. However, the PRO position was not assigned any burden (so far as I can see in the fuzzy resolution). If I claim that the sky is pink, and then request from CON an ice cream sundae, his failure to provide me ice cream does not absolve me of my burden to demonstrate my claim.
Evolution? What Evolution?
I have fully explained why some animals will go aeons with little or no observable evolution. It is the result of stable selection pressures, and is fully explainable and predicted by evolution. CON is now claiming that it is a “direct reference to the Creationist paradigm.” If this evidence can point both to evolution and creationism, perhaps CON can provide evidence as to why it is more likely to point toward his conclusion.
Dino Blood, Revisited
I freely admitted in a previous round that the findings of Dr. Schweitzer were a mystery; an unexplained data point. My point that CON’s own source says that the blood being “worthless” after a week was to illustrate that it doesn’t matter if the time period was short, such as a few months to a year, or long, such as millions of years, the point is that we don’t know how it happened. I’m not sure what Con is suggesting, but what I see is an excellent research opportunity to expand our knowledge. If CON is going to claim that these findings could not have been the result of natural processes in agreement with known science is to commit an Argument from Incredulity Fallacy . He is basically saying, “I can’t see how this could have happened, therefore, evolution is false.”
I have already addressed this point, but I want to touch on it again. CON is clearly claiming that, “evolution has no empirical (observable) proof.” In the next section, CON complains that I have requested he provide evidence for his claim. He even goes so far as to say, “If you cannot [provide evidence] then evolution is simply another just so story and NOT the empirically material science that it claims to be.” CON is saying that his claim is true if I cannot prove it false; this is the very definition of an Argument from Ignorance Fallacy .
I feel I have made it very clear in this debate that it is not my responsibility to provide evidence for evolution, but rather, since CON is making claims, it is his responsibility to support those claims. I stand by this point. However, partially in the interest of a friendly exchange of ideas, and also in case I misunderstood a point in the first round, I will happily provide evidence for evolution.
But wait, I already have. In round 2, I explained how the different layers at which palaeontologists find various fossils is evidence for evolution. I also explained how the need to complete a full round of antibiotics is because of the fact of evolution. I will be happy to provide one more bit of evidence before this final round.
Our species, Homo sapiens shares a common ancestor with other modern apes based on an obvious fusion of our second chromosome from two “parent” chromosomes . Source  has a good illustration. Telomeres are markers on the end of chromosomes . In the illustration, you see not only that there are telomeres in the middle of human chromosome #2, but you will also see the same pattern of centromeres. Here are a few additional illustrations, which are a little harder to see . This is evidence that our species is the result of a slight modification of the chromosomes of one of our ape-like ancestors.
Wrapping it Up
I have endured CON’s personal attacks, and I have answered all of his points. I have also provided a third bit of evidence in support of evolution. I will patiently wait for CON to support his claim that there is, “no solid empirical proof” for evolution.
So, what have we actually arrived at so far? Semantics about burden of proofs etc. with semantic emphasis of how I haven't made the resolution clear. Really now?
It was made clear from the very first title sentence of this debate and re- emphasized repeatedly what evolution is missing and why it should not be considered a "science". (And I do mean repeatedly.) Beginning, in the title:
Should a theory with no solid empirical (observable) proof be promoted as a science in our classrooms?
From paragraph 2 of Round 1:
"evolution makes the claim promoted initially by Charles Darwin that species arose from common ancestors through innumerable, slight, successive modifications over time. Evolution also claims that naturalism or empirical materialism is the only acceptable science. Therefore, only tangible, material proof can serve to validate a claim since according to their model life arose through undirected means through the supposed mechanisms of mutation and natural selection."
"Students should not be taught a science that, in fact, cannot support its primary claims with actual evidence. A science that is more faith based and philosophical in nature is more akin to a religion, rather than science isn't it?"
PRO claims not to have gotten it. Is PRO being conveniently obtuse perhaps?
PRO's first response claimed: That my claim was a "bald assertion running contrary to the prevailing scientific consensus" and that there is "enormous fossil evidence in support of evolution"
For someone who claims to have the consensus of science there certainly does not seem to be much in the way of actual evidence
If so, where? I still await this claimed enormous evidential support PRO. It is still nowhere to be seen.
As I made crystal clear in my opening title, paragraphs cited above and further in the debate, consensus is nothing more than opinion and of no value in this debate.
What I made abundantly transparent is that I am looking for clear, empirical (observable) material evidence to support the evolutionary claim that animal life descended from a common ancestor through innumerable, slight (discrete), successive steps.
I really don't know how much clearer I can present it. Frankly, what's not to get?
However, what am I getting in return? Links to discussions on logic?
Uh, excuse me but the requested material "missing links" to back the theory? Where are they?
How Fossils Are Formed (Yeah, Like I Didn't Already Know This)
So now I am supplied links about how fossils were formed. 1. A "quick burial in mud, sand etc. that encases the body in sediment" So since dinosaur fossils are found globally, the ages are dated similarly by evolutionists (using their time frame), they are often located in bunches, where does this evidence lead I wonder?
I mean, what could possibly have been able to bury dinosaurs in mud or sand by moving amounts of water large enough to globally group and bury animals and fossilize them due to encasement. Certainly an unusual amount of water would be needed to do that right? A worldwide deluge perchance, like a big flood? Naaaah.....couldn't be. Not real "consensus" science right? Although I saw something suggesting that possibility in the movies with Russell Crowe in it as I recall. Hmmm...
Anyway, Back to the Fossils
It should be quite clear that despite all the references to logic and burdens of proof and yada, yada, yada my original claim against evolution being taught as a science has not been substantiated by empirical, material proof.
So despite all the window dressing and red herrings and my horribly damaging Ad Hominem attacks (how vicious of me) I have seen no evidence produced that would counter my original claim.
Thus, it would seem that evolution really does not have the material proof that it claims to have to substantiate its so-called science.
Apparently, it is really nothing more than a faith-based, philosophical speculation on how life arose and NOT the empirical materialist science it claims to be.
So, if in fact, it is NOT the empirical materialist science it poses as, then one must ask how can evolutionists demand that others have to demonstrate material proof to be qualified as real science? Seems a bit disingenuous to say the least one might think.
Quite frankly, despite all of the links and rhetoric PRO has produced nothing to demonstrate that evolution can justify its common ancestor claims (a key principle of the theory) with tangible, meaningful evidence.
Support for My Claim
My claim was that since evolution lacks the empirical evidence it should not be taught as science in the classroom. If you would like me to support my claim for Creation. Fine. Challenge me to a debate. Think I can't support my position as a Creationist, try me. Ready anytime you are. The ball is in your court.
This debate was focused on why I think evolution does not really qualify as the empirical material science (i.e., fossil based proof) that it claims to be. It therefore falsifies itself and certainly should not be taught as hard science in the classroom.
Rather, it is speculative and philosophical in nature and not scientific. In fact, I would think it could be dropped entirely from the sciences and little of real value would depart.
On the other hand, take out the sciences created by Creationists like Mendel (genetics), Linneaus (classification), and even a pioneer geologist like Nicolaus Steno (a biblical Creationist) http://bit.ly... and evolution would have little to provide its basis.
The question I ask is take evolution out of the curriculum and what do you really miss? I would suggest one would find that nothing of any appreciable value would be omitted that would limit ones scientific education in any meaningful manner. After all, with little observable evidence, what's to miss, a just-so story perchance?
Evolution? What Evolution?
Evolution makes the claim that species transformed through the mechanisms of mutation and natural selection over long periods of time. Now PRO makes the claim that once a species reaches a state of stable selection pressures, it changes very little. Patent nonsense and not a prediction at all. Rather a semantic cop out and more proof of creation than evolution.
Where is the evidence that demonstrates that the animal form reached its state through evolution in the first place? All you have is a speculation based on a pre-fixed concept. Proof? Not a shred.
Did Dinosaurs reach a stable selection pressure? Prove how.
Bats? Prove how.
Giraffes? Prove how.
Apes? Prove how
This is simply semantic nonsense. It is the kind of stuff evolutionists pass off as science. In actuality, it is nothing more than opinion based on assumptions that are firmly held by the evolutionist scientist. A point of view yes, but where is the actual evidence to prove the claim?
Additionally, both mutation and natural selection eliminate information. Mutations do not create new information. In order for something to "evolve" voluminous amounts of new information is needed.
Biophysicist Dr. Lee Spetner, author of Not By Chance! who taught at both Harvard and John Hopkins Universities, points out that the generation of novel information by some supposed process of nature which results in a completely new function has never been observed.
"In fact, there is no proven mechanism that can explain the formation of the large quantities of new genetic information required to produce major phenotypic changes such as the appearance of jointed limbs during the proposed evolution of, for example, arthropods, that is, crustaceans, insects, and spiders. Evolutionists have no known or proven explanation for these novelties."
What we do see in the fossil record from the most primitive periods on up are fully formed complex animal types with no pre-cursor fossils.
To claim that mutations, which produce no new novel information but rather eliminate information, is cause of evolutionary change which requires massive amounts of novel information is simply an unsubstantiated claim.
Mutations Destroy http://bit.ly...
"In medical circles, mutations are universally regarded as deleterious. They are a fundamental cause of ageing, cancer and infectious diseases. Even among evolutionary apologists who search for examples of mutations that are beneficial, the best they can do is to cite damaging mutations that have beneficial side effects. (e.g. sickle-cell trait, a 32-base-pair deletion in a human chromosome that confers HIV resistance to homozygotes and delays AIDS onset in heterozygotes, CCR5–delta32 mutation, animal melanism,and stickleback pelvic spine suppression). Such results are not at all surprising in the light of the discovery that DNA undergoes up to a million damage and repair events per cell per day."
Natural Selection Eliminates
A bear in the polar region adapts by selecting out the melanin that causes the pigmentation in its fur. Organisms, like bears, are composed of information- genes located on chromosomes. The collection of genes is a “genome.” Each individual gene in the genome has several variants called alleles.
Some alleles are dominant and some are recessive (generally meaning broken). Every organism’s genome contains a mixture of both dominant and recessive alleles, depending on the gene in question. An albino has 2 copies of the recessive allele for the gene that controls melanin production which determines the color of the bear fur. The recessive allele eliminates information.
Can the bear if taken out of the polar region then begin to create darker hair and recover the lost information selected out? It's never happened.
Briefly on the Human-ape Gene Comparison.
In short, it is NOT accurate. See: Genomic monkey business—estimates of nearly identical human–chimp DNA similarity re-evaluated using omitted data for details. http://bit.ly... Additionally, the genome is 4 dimensional in expression. A linear comparison with significant, omitted gaps is hardly comparable nor complete.
I would like to thank any prospective voters that are still reading this debate; I know pouring through five round debates where the debaters frequently ran into their character limit can be taxing. I will try to be concise.
CON made a lot of non-points, reasserting some of the unsupported claims from earlier that I chose not to address because they weren’t relevant to the apparent topic being debated. I don’t think PRO actually intended to do this, but his debate style ended up being a Gish Gallop . It is unfair in a debate to request that one’s opponent explain the personally held religious beliefs of a list of well known scientists, and to explain the details of evolution regarding bats, apes, giraffes, and dinosaurs, not to mention all the other myriads of points.
Such as that evolution was “promoted initially by Charles Darwin,” and that “Evolution also claims that naturalism or empirical materialism is the only acceptable science.” I will again ignore these claims as they are not relevant.
As I pointed out several times throughout this debate, CON’s resolution is not a statement one can take sides on, but rather a question. I do not accept attempt to reframe the debate to a challenge for someone to provide evidence for evolution, even though this is what we have spent the bulk of the debate discussion. I would like to return to my earlier example. If I make a claim that the sky is pink, and then constantly demand that my opponent bring my ice cream, the fact that my opponent does not bring me ice cream, does not satisfy my burden.
I do accept the slight rewording of CON’s resolution which he has forwarded several times throughout the debate: that there is no empirical evidence for evolution. I would like to point out that not only has CON not supported this claim with evidence of his own, but in the third round, he effectively conceded the point when he asked, “how can I produce something that does not exist?”
Fossil Evidence Only?
CON, for some reason, claims that fossil evidence is the only kind we are discussing, presumably so he can dismiss the three counts of evidence for evolution I provided. I reject this point, as nowhere was it stated that only fossil evidence was admissible.
Destruction of Information
I would like to address the two new points Con has brought up, regarding mutations and natural selection.
Con has claimed that mutations are always bad. This is incorrect. In fact, most genetic mutations are neutral . Also, study by Nachman and Crowell (2000) showed that about 10% of functional mutations were beneficial . Keeping in mind that natural selection will select against negative mutations, it is easy to see how beneficial mutations will have a cumulative positive effect.
Here CON tries to argue against natural selection by correctly describing that a polar bear does not get darker when removed from the Arctic. CON has demonstrated that he has no idea what natural selection is or how it works. Natural selection operates on individuals, but only the population evolves . To keep with CON’s polar bear example, if a population of polar bears were removed from their white environment, over many successive generations, they would most likely lose their white color in favor of a color that better camouflaged them in their new environment. This principle has been documented in moths .
Human/Ape Genetic Comparison
Here CON simply asserts that my claim is false, and leaves it up to a website to tell why. I do not have the facilities to take pictures of these chromosomes myself and post them, so I will have to leave it to those reading this debate to weigh CON’s source , against my sources .
A Final Wrap Up
I have answered CON’s points, and I have provided evidence in support of evolution. CON has utterly failed to support his claim that there is no evidence for evolution. I put this debate in the hands of the voters.
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