The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Evolution (Con) vs. Creationism (Pro)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/9/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,412 times Debate No: 77401
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (34)
Votes (1)




Hello, I'm reinstating this debate as my previous opponent has conceded.

Full Resolution: Which model creation or evolution can better account for the variety in species we see today.

Now that I have the time to do this debate I'll reinstate it. Notice that this debate is impossible to accept and if you find a way to accept then you forfeit. Comment below if you are interested.

Arguments must be kept biological. If not, then the side must justify using the argument by explaining why it is relevant to the resolution.

Creationism - the biblical belief that the universe and all kinds of animals came into being over the course of seven days

Round 1: Acceptance + Definitions
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3-5: Rebuttals



Hello, I will take the Con side of this debate, meaning I will argue that evolution theory is better suited to explain how nowadays species came to be than creationism.


The theory of evolution states that the diversity of species we see today originated from single cell organisms through mutations and natural selection.
It often comes akin with the belief that the first single cell organisms developed by chance from non living matter under the right conditions. This is not directly part of evolution and there are other beliefs (the first life came with an asteroid, was created by God who didn't meddle afterwards, etc.)
However, I support that belief, so feel free to argue against it, if you want to.

Creationism is based on the bible. The hypothesis consists of the following aspects:

- Life, earth and the universe were created by God roughly 6000 years ago over the course of a week. (Since evolutions has no statement about the later two, I agree with you that we should stick to biology as the subject of our debate.)

- Evolution does exist in the form of micro-evolution, where for example the species of cats that were originally created split up into the diversion of cats we see today. However, Creationists reject what they call macro-evolution (evolution from one species to another), because they believe that evolution cannot create entirely new organs such as wings that weren't present before.

- Most fossils we find today were created during Noah's flood. Animals we don't observe today, such as dinosaurs died out during that flood.

Since creationist views tend to vary from one another please let me know if you disagree with any of these points.
Debate Round No. 1


Note: Before I begin, a couple of corrections in what Con defines as the creation model. In the 2nd aspect, I would change the word species to created kinds. I go into more detail in my argument below.

Also in the 3rd aspect, while I can't speak for all creationists, but the Bible's account claims that two of every kind of animal was onboard the Ark so we believe that dinosaurs were indeed on board the Ark. Although there is nothing wrong in saying that maybe dinosaurs died not too longer after the events of Noah's flood.

Let me begin by first introducing the two models. If Con has problems with the way I introduce the evolution model, he/she may correct me when he/she post his/her argument without penalty.
First off is the evolutionary tree of life:

Evolution claims that all species stem from a single-celled organism [1].
On the other hand, we have the creation orchard.

Which states that all species stem from the original kinds created during God’s seven days of creation. We creationists define kinds as a term that is a larger grouping than species. The origin of kinds comes from Genesis 1:11-12 “And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds” and further more in Genesis 1:21 and 1:24-25. For example, dogs would be defined as a biblical kind. [3] [4]

It might seem “out there” that all species stemmed from these created kinds, however, species can arise rather quickly. For example, most dog breeds have arisen in the last couple of centuries. [5]
I believe my opponent and I can agree that natural selection occurs and can create new species. Both in the evolution and the creation model, natural selection plays a huge part. We will probably disagree however, how much change natural selection can create. Natural selection cannot create species outside a created kind. Dogs will remain dogs, cats will remain cats.

The underlying problem is the issue of genetic information. For evolution to work, new genetic information must be introduced to the population. Natural selection is a destructive process that selects the traits that are best suited for environment. Whereas the traits not suited for the environment get eliminated, therefore information is lost.
Evolutionists have looked to mutations to fix this problem, but the problem is that mutations do not create new information in the genome. Mutations or copying mistakes of DNA destroy functional genes not creating them. For example, a mutation in the p53 gene disables the production of a protein responsible for regulation cell growth. And when cells uncontrollably grow and reproduce, you get cancer [6]. Even beneficial mutations such as lactose intolerance are due to the destruction of functional genes. Lactose intolerance is caused when there is a mutation in the LCT gene that is responsible for producing the lactase enzyme which breaks down lactose [7]. Therefore mutations and natural selection do not produce the type of change necessary for evolution. In fact, because it is observed that only genetic information can be lost, two things can be implied.

1. Because genetic info can’t arise naturally, it can be assumed that all genetic information was created in the beginning
2. A more recent origin of all living things.To refute my claim is simple; provide an example where a mutation has increased the amount of information in the genome.

Another issue with the evolutionary model is living fossils. For example, the horseshoe crab which still exists today remains completely identical to the fossils 445 million years old [8]. The fact that such organisms don’t change in these huge timescales proves a problem for evolution. Dr. Stephan Jay Gould, a Harvard paleontologist and an evolutionists recognizes this as a problem when he wrote, “the maintenance of stability within species must be considered as a major evolutionary problem.” [9] The fact that modern creatures have coexisted with “ancient” species affirms the creation account that all kinds of animals were created at the same time which brings me to my next point.
Because the creation model claims that all “kinds” have coexisted together, it is often ridiculed because it was thought of as preposterous that ancient creatures such as dinosaurs coexisted with modern humans. However, a strong case can be built that the two coexist together. I’ll be mainly talking about dinosaurs since they are a popular example to ridicule creationists.

Archeological evidence exists implies that ancient civilizations knew about dinosaurs long before the term was coined. As I’ll be taking an archeological argument, I must relate it to the resolution. The creation model claims that all “kinds” were made at the same time and that all species stem from these animals. Archeological evidence is like a fossil record that can affirm that both humans and dinosaurs were created at the same time.
For example, Incan burial stones contain what appear to be specific dinosaurs. For example, the one below depicts a Triceratops

And this one appears to be a Stegosaurus.

Another piece of evidence that humans and dinosaurs coexisted lies in soft tissue found in dinosaur bones [10]. The tissue that was found was still able to stretch and retain its shape. However, the structures found like blood vessels, muscle, and skin decay rapidly to decomposers. In addition, proteins have been found in dinosaur bones such as collagen, hemoglobin, and osteocalcin [11]. A report by The Biochemist states that proteins such as these even under the perfect conditions at 0 degrees Celsius the proteins would not last three million years [12]. However, it is believed that dinosaurs lived in warm moist environments that would quickly degrade such proteins.
While we are on the topic of fossils, they also prove another problem for evolution. Darwin has predicted that we would find numerous transitional forms that transcend the biblical kinds. However, in the millions of fossils uncovered since then, there is rather a lack of transitional forms. Evolution claims that many modern species today can be linked to a common ancestor that would link the two together (ex. Amphibians and tetrapods), however what we have are a few, disputed examples of transitional fossils.

[3] The Holy Bible



Alright, let's get started.

The first issue you raised is that evolution is not able create enough diversity to create two different kinds out of a single one, because it cannot create new genetic information. It will get to that reasoning later on.
First however I would like to point out that the example of cats and dogs you gave for this is unfitting. While cats and dogs are certainly different, the changes between them are almost all gradual. None of the differences actually need the introduction of new genetic information, but could easily happen through what you call microevolution over a long enough time. Shouldn't they be treated as a single kind because of that?
The diversion between microevolution and macroevolution has almost no scientific backup.

However, all of this doesn't matter if evolution is not able to create new genetic information. You claim that mutations will always result in genetic degradation and never in a beneficial result.
This argument is flawed in several ways.

First off, beneficial mutations are not just needed to create new information, but are also necessary for evolution in general. [1]
Without beneficial mutations even your microevolution would not be possible.

Secondly the statement is illogical in itself. Mutations are completely random. When the DNA multiplies some of the original information in it is lost and replaced by a random structure of molecules.
I completely agree with you that the result is negative in most cases. The human body (or the body of any other animal) is a bit like a well-oiled machine. Almost everything has a specific function and if you randomly change something you will most likely mess it up. However, since the mutations are random there is always a small chance that the result might be positive.
Based on the development of the Drosophila simulan fly scientists estimated that about 70% of all mutations are outright harmful. The rest is either ambivalent or beneficial.[2]
The whole idea behind evolution is that the many negative mutations get rooted out through natural selection, while the very few animals with benefical mutations survive better. Therefore beneficial mutations will slowly spread over the colony even if they rarely happen in first place.

Thirdly the creation of new beneficial genetic information has been observed and verified. In 2008 Professor Richard Lenski published the results of a 20 year experiment during which he observed the development of an E.coli strain.

The idea behind the experiment was that the bacteria would be kept conditions not very well suited for them. They could survive, but not very well, and thus would be prompted to develop.The scientists estimated that over the course of the experiment more than 100,000,000 mutations occurred. Most of them couldn’t establish themselves and quickly disappeared again. However, less than 100 mutations per population established themselves with 10-20 of those being beneficial.[3] For example four of the twelve bacteria populations achieved the ability to repair small damage to their DNA, drastically increasing the rate of other non-harmful mutation happening in those stains.

One population displayed something way more drastic though. The E.coli stain used for the experiment was generally not able to feed on citrate under oxygen rich conditions. While it was able to metabolize it, it could only get it through the cell wall under anaerobic conditions as the transport mechanism required a protein that is not produced in aerobic metabolism. When the scientists found traces of metabolized citrate in one of the colonies they first assumed it to be contaminated by other bacteria. However, it turned out that the E.coli had developed a new transport mechanism to survive better in the citrate rich surroundings. [4]

This is a direct contradiction to your claims as:

- The E.coli have a new ability that was not there before.

- This ability is fundamentally different and requires the introduction of new genetic information.

- The ability is beneficial.

- It happened without the intervention of an intelligent designer.

Another good example for beneficial evolution are multi-drug-resistant (MDR) germs. Those are bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites that have become resistant to common antibiotics and cures and thus create a huge risk.[5] There are multiple documented cases where a new stain from a known kind of germ suddenly has the ability to survive despite being exposed to substances normally lethal to them.

Evolution gives a good answer as to why this happens. The only explanation in a creationistic world view would be that God is punishing innocents for the use of antibiotics by actively creating these stains. Are you sure this is what you want to say?

The next argument you make is that living fossils pose a problem for evolution. This however is not the case. Evolution only works in a changed environment. If you leave an animal population in its established biome there will be next to no evolution, as it is already adapted to those surroundings. A different kind (next to) only emerges when the population is placed in a different environment that requires a different way of living.

To support your argument you gave a quote from a paleontologist. You wrote:

Dr. Stephan Jay Gould, a Harvard paleontologist and an evolutionists recognizes this as a problem when he wrote, “the maintenance of stability within species must be considered as a major evolutionary problem.” [9]

The link you provided under that reference is:


However, that link never mentions a Dr. Stephan Jay Gould, does not contain the quote in question and is about a different topic.

I suspect that you just missed out one reference there, as you have a second reference marked with [9] later on in the text. Please provide the real link in your next argument.

Your next argument is based on supposed artifacts with images of dinosaurs. While this looks very convincing at first glance, it does much less so in proper context. The two stones on your photos are actually part of a bigger collection dubbed the ica stones.[6]

The images on the stones don’t just contain dinosaurs, but also technical procedures and contraptions far ahead of their time.

“On the stones are elaborate scenes depicting highly complex medical procedures, the use of telescopes and even vessels for flight.”[7]

Even if the images on the stones were true, it would not prove dinosaurs coexisting with humans, as a society capable of performing heart transplantations and building flight apertures can also be assumed to know enough about archeology to reconstruct the images of dinosaurs without seeing a life exemplary. However, the stones are widely regarded as fake by the scientific community. The supposed finder of them even claimed to have faked them several times only to then refute that claim later on each time.[8]

The soft tissue argument is a bit more controversial. Regarding the issue there are three statements, all made by qualified scientists:

1: Dinosaur bones with intact soft tissue can be found

2: Soft tissue cannot survive longer than 1.1 million years at 0°C and way less at higher temperatures.

2: Dinosaurs lived more than 65 million years ago (The tyrannosaur in question is dated at 68 million years)

You are completely right when you say that there is a contradiction here. At least one of these statements must be false. The first one is out of question as it has been repeatedly verified.

This does by no means mean that it's the third statement that is false. After all the idea that dinosaurs lived roughly between 235 and 65 million years ago is supported by lots of evidence, while the second statement is a single exapolation based on what is mostly speculation. However there is no scientific consensus regarding that topic yet. I hope that future research might shed some light on how organic material might survive that long.

Now to your last argument regarding the lack of transitional forms. This is explained pretty easily. They are very rare because they are just that: transitional.

After some time a specie’s evolution will always reach a somewhat stable state with little development: the species has found its niche. As you noticed yourself there are species that can live for millions of years with very little development. However, if you take the species out of their niece they will develop relatively fast to adapt to the new surroundings. Because of this the fossils from stable states will outnumber the ones from the transitionary phases by a few magnitudes.

This does however not mean that fossils of transitionary forms do not exist. During my research for this round I have found a neat little list.[9] It has over 100 entries.

The only problem with those is that when a new one is found, creationists either will try to explain it away, or say something akin to: "You say that this is the missing link between species 1 and 2, but in fact now we have two gaps: One between species 1 and 1.5, and one between 1.5 and 2. Go and find transitional forms for them."

Since those arguments are almost impossible to defuse, people continue to claim that transitional species do not exist, even when objectively seen that is clearly not the case.







[7] at 0:54



Debate Round No. 2


You have violated the debate structure I’ve set out in the first round. I’ve made it clear that round 2 was for arguments where each side presents his/her case on why their model works and why the other doesn’t. While I could have been clearer on that, it is explicitly stated in the debate structure that rebuttals aren’t until at least round 3. Reading your argument, it is obvious that it was written as a direct rebuttal to what I’ve said. We will continue this debate but you may be penalized in the voting.

With the example of dogs and cats, I don’t deny that the loss or rearrangement of current genetic information can result in a new species. What I am stating is that for macroevolution to work (ex. From wolves to whales), new genetic information that creates new functional genes must be introduced to the population. I agree with the statement that mutations are random but all have been observed to destroy information as you dispute in the next part of your argument.

You have brought up Lenski’s 20 year experiment with E. coli bacteria developing the ability to use citrate as an energy source where glucose is scarce. I’ll have to give Lenski credit for his persistence in maintaining a 20 year experiment. The logic behind the experiment also makes sense. If evolution is to be observed, it would be seen in bacteria because of the rate they reproduce. Although, it is unknown how the mutation specifically affected how the E.coli bacteria utilizes citrate, the possible explanations proposed by Lenski and his colleagues are still consistent with the loss of information. In the article you have put up, the authors claim,

“One possibility is that the Cit lineage activated a ‘‘cryptic’’ transporter (41), that is, some once-functional gene that has been silenced by mutation accumulation.”

This is still is a loss of genetic information because the E.coli loses a functional gene to process citrate. Another possibility that they also claim could have happened is,

“A more likely possibility, in our view, is that an existing transporter has been co-opted for citrate transport under oxic conditions. This transporter may previously have transported citrate under anoxic conditions (43) or, alternatively, it may have transported another substrate in the presence of oxygen.” [1]

The first part where the existing transporter now transports citrate regardless of the oxidative state is a loss of specificity which would count as a loss of information. Evolution would require an increase of specificity. For example, in order for single-celled organisms to evolve to multicelluar organisms, different cells would have to cooperate and take on specific roles.

The second part is also a loss of specificity as a transporter that transported a different substance under the presence of oxygen no longer only transports that specific substance.

You also bring up multi-drug-resistant (MDR) germs as evidence that new genetic information can arise naturally. It is important to note that MDR germs have been around long before humans were able to mass produce antibiotics as it was already being produced by various bacteria and fungi. For example, antibiotic resistant bacteria have been discovered in the frozen bodies of Arctic explorers in 1845 [2]. They are becoming more prevalent due to natural selection. You have a population of bacteria, some of them already resistant to bacteria. The population is treated with antibiotics and the non-resistant bacteria die out. The remaining bacteria are allowed to reproduce to the point that you have a large population of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Even the MDR germs that result from mutations are still due to the loss of genetic information. For example, streptomycin-resistance is due to mutations altering the ribosome so the specific sites where streptomycin usually attaches to and kill the bacteria are gone [3] [4]. This is another example of a loss of specificity. In addition, because the ribosomes are altered, this makes the process where bacteria creates proteins vital to its life becomes less effective. In a streptomycin-free environment, the bacteria would be outcompeted by normal bacteria [6].
Another example of a mutation-caused resistance is found in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This bacteria normally produces an enzyme that would interact with antibiotics to turn it into its lethal form. However, a mutation where the gene responsible for the enzyme is damaged results in little to no enzyme to interact with the antibiotic. Therefore, the antibiotic will remain in its harmless form. [5]

Your explanation for living fossils is inadequate. Many of these living fossils have been living for hundreds of millions of years. Tell any believer in an old Earth that Earth’s climate has been consistent for that amount of time and they would tell you that you are crazy. Such living fossils have survived numerous mass extinctions that have altered the environment so much that it has nearly wiped out all species. They would have had to evolve to survive. For example, the horseshoe crab, supposedly 425 million years old has survived 16 mass extinctions. In addition, all the other organisms around them would be evolving including their predators, parasites, prey, and competition. Regardless of the environment around them, mutations still occur. [7]

(Note: About the Gould quote, I keep my arguments in various word documents and it appears I had some mixed up when putting together that argument. Here is the source: (You need a subscription to Nature to access the article. I apologize))

What I said about the Incan stones, I take that back. I admit that these stones are not authentic after doing more research on them. However, there is still ample evidence that humans and dinosaurs have coexisted together. For instance, if you look at many cultures around the world, all of them have stories about dragons that can resemble dinosaurs. In fact, dragon stories can be found on every continent except for Antartica (for obvious reasons) [8]. The late evolutionist Carl Sagan recognizes the fact that ancient peoples knew about dinosaurs and tries to explain it in his book The Dragons of Eden. [9]

The report on the Biochemist about how soft tissue and proteins can survive such a long time is based on experimental evidence, that even under the best conditions, such things do not last that long. However, because the environment that dinosaurs lived in is the opposite of ideal it can be safe to assume that soft tissues and proteins won’t come close to lasting that long. Under your third statement, I understand that you may be limited by # of characters so in the next round I suggest you provide evidence that dinosaurs died out around 65 million years ago.

Regarding transitional forms, you seem to be using circular reasoning to justify why transitional forms are rare in the millions of fossils we find. Transitional fossils are rare because they are transitional? As shown in the living fossils argument, the environment will not stay constant for millions of years. In fact, it takes just one catastrophe to completely change the environment. Furthermore, it would be unfair for me to go through that complete list of “transitional forms” and refute every single one. What I suggest next round is that you select a few that you believe are the best examples, and then we can go from there.

2. McGuire, R., Eerie: human arctic fossils yield resistant bacteria, Medical Tribune, 29 December, 1988, pp. 1, 23.
3. Davies, L, Brzezinska, M. and Benveniste, R., R factors: biochemical mechanisms of resistance to amino glycoside antibiotics, Annals of the New York Academy of Science 182:226–233, 1971.
4. Davies, J. and Nomura, M., The genetics of bacterial ribosomes, Annual Review of Genetics 6:203–234, 1972.
5. Wieland, C., Antibiotic resistance in bacteria, Journal of Creation 8(l):5–6, 1994; p. 5.
6. Gartner, T. and Orias, E., Effects of mutations to streptomycin resistance on the rate of translation of mutant genetic information, J. Bacteriology 91:1021–1028, 1966.


First of I would like to apologize for violating the debate structure. It was mostly a translation error on my part. I am not a native English speaker and while I am experienced in both English writing and debating, I haven't done much formalized debate in English yet. To me the word "argument" was always a word to describe any statement made in a debate. Because of that I was unaware that your structure required an explicit opening without reaction to your opponent. Again, sorry.

Now to your points.

Introduction of new information

I have to admit that you gave an explanation for the Lenski experiment and the MDR germs that I had previously not considered, namely that the genes to make the change in question possible have always been there, but were limited to too few individuals in the population, or were put dormant by other mutations.
I don't think that that is actually the case, however I haven't found the time to properly overthink my reasoning why, due to recent family issues that kept my time. Therefore I' like to postpone my answer to that to my next argument.

This however doesn't change the fact that there is still no reason for beneficial mutations not to happen.
If mutations are random (which you yourself said they are) and there is room for improvement in an animal's DNA (since no animal is perfect that is always the case),then there will always be cases of beneficial mutations. True chance means that there is always a small chance for something unexpectedly positive to arise.

You repeated several times that you think beneficial mutations are impossible. You never really gave a reason why you think so, except that you didn't observe any, which can very well also be explained by he fact that they are unlikely and therefore rare.

Living fossils

Climate over last millions of years has of course not been consistent. However, if you take a look at the list of living fossils, you will notice that most of them have a lot in common.
First of all, over half of them are deep sea animals. Of all the bioms on earth the deep sea is the one least affected by climate changes and has thus remained relatively unchanged over the course of history.
Secondly they are well rounded and little specialized species. I would not expect animals such as the anteater or the brachiosaurus to ever become living fossils, as they are heavily dependent on their primary food source and thus are very bad at adapting to a different environment.
By comparison alligators and crocodiles are highly versatile. They can hunt almost any animal smaller than them and if they catch it they can eat and disgest almost animal smaller than them. You can nowadays find them on most continents in a number of different surroundings. [1] Their living conditions 200 million years ago where relatively similar to the ones today. Why should they be affected by mass extinctions?
If you think that the existence of crocodiles today poses a problem to evolution, please give my a reason why they should have needed to evolve majorly at over the last 320 million years.

Early human descriptions/paintings of Dinosaurs

The existence of dragon mythology in different parts of the world is no real evidence for a human-dinosaur coexistence, as the descriptions of what a dragon is and looks like differ quite a lot and are not exactly accurate.
Are you seriously trying to tell me that a Chinese dragon (for example here: might be an interpretation of someone who has seen a living dinosaur?
A far more likely interpretation is that the dragon myths originated from unearthed dinosaur bones. There are documented cases where such a thing has happened. [2]
The book "The Dragons of Eden" is also not about dragon myths, but about the evolution of the human intelligence. I haven't read the book and thus don't know whether or not her ever speculates that dinosaurs are the origin of dragon stories, but if it is, it is just one speculation among others, as, to quote Wikipedia:"The title "The Dragons of Eden" is borrowed from the notion that man's early struggle for survival in the face of predators, and in particular a fear of reptiles, may have led to cultural beliefs and myths about dragons and snakes." [3]

Soft tissue found in Dinosaur bones

I didn't say that the scientists didn't do their job during the study, but as it is completely impossible to test all affecting outside influences. Perhaps the reason the tissue survived is the high pressure it was put under. Perhaps there are surrounding chemicals that prevented the degeneration. I don't know. All I know is that the scientific debate following the discovery of those bones has not yet come to a conclusion. As such the results of studies regarding the subject have to be seen with caution.
I also find it a bit ironic that you are willing to trust lab results regarding the degeneration of matter over millions of years, but not for example carbon dating, which is based on similar lab results (except that it's way more secure as carbon decay unlike chemical degeneration is almost unaffected by outside factors.)
Now you said you wanted evidence for the idea that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago?
Well, for example there is the carbon dating I just mentioned. [4] While carbon dating doesn't go back far enough to correctly date dinosaurs, it does show that they are way older than 6000 years. Other dating methods provide more useful results. While yes, sometimes the results of those methods can diverge from one another not, a single one has ever dated a dinosaur to be younger than 6000 (or even 60000) years.
Another piece of evidence is the placement of fossils. If history happened as described by the bible one would expect to find all kinds of fossils in the deeper layers. Upwards from that point you'd find less and less kinds of fossils until only nowadays animals are left in the top layers. This is clearly not the case. Instead the fossils are layered on top of each other with newer species only going down to a certain level, where they disappear.

Transitional forms

The argument I made was in no way circular. I admit that I could formed the sentence a bit better to make this more obvious, but the second transitional was meant in the sense of temporary and passing. The point I was trying to make is, that the phases of development in evolution are way shorter than the relatively static phases. It often takes millions, if not milliards of years for a rudimentary form of for example a wing, lung or eye to develop. However, once that rudimentary form exists the development to a fully formed organ will happen way faster. Thus fossils from "transitional" forms are naturally way rarer than fossils of "semi-static" forms.

I agree that in order to properly discuss transitional fossils we need pick out some examples. I propose:

The class of Lungfish as a transition between fish and tetrapods

- The Tiktaalik as a specific example of fish-to-tetrapod development

- The Microraptor as an example of dinosaur-to-bird development

- The Morganucodon as part of the development from reptiles to mammals

- The Homo Erectus as part of the human development from apes

If you want to add anything, or focus on a particular item of the list, feel free to do so.


Debate Round No. 3


NothingSpecial99 forfeited this round.


My opponent forfeited, so I'll use this round solely to address the point regarding beneficial mutation I left open in my last argument, specifically concerning the Lenski experiment and MDR germs.

Regarding the MDR germs there is little I can do to prove you wrong.
While the source you mentioned to prove the existence of MDR bacteria in fossils is only semi-reliable (All links on the Internet I saw regarding the book or the find linked directly to non-scientific creationist sites, and I didn't come across any independent confirmation), I cannot disprove the possibility that MDR germs were always around in very small numbers.

That hypothesis does raise the question why God would create them, and how he knew what kind of medicine would be used millennia later, but trying to answer those kind philosophical questions would not benefit this debate.

Because of that I have to take back MDR germs as a solid proof for evolution. They still remain as evidence though since they behave exactly as predicted by evolution, which is a great confirmation for a scientific theory.

The Lenski experiment is a different matter though.

As you quoted, the most likely explanation the scientists came up with is "that an existing transporter has been co-opted for citrate transport under oxic conditions. This transporter may previously have transported citrate under anoxic conditions (43) or, alternatively, it may have transported another substrate in the presence of oxygen.”

You claim that this is a loss of specificy and therefore a loss of information. That claim is, forgive me to say this, kind of ridiculous.

Each aspect of an organism's metabolism is usually highly specialized to its role.
If a transponder cannot transport a certain matter under aerobic conditions, this is not because it has a switch installed that shuts it off if there is oxygen around, but because it for example works with the osmotic pressure of oxygen molecules, or is reliant on other substances that aren't around under aerobic conditions

As I mentioned in an earlier argument, in this specific case the reason is that a certain protein is necessary for the transport, which the metabolism only generates in anaerobic surroundings.

In order to make the transport process work in aerobic conditions, the metabolism needs to find a workaround by either making the protein redundant, or by producing it elsewise under oxic conditions. This obviously requires new genetic information.

What we are looking at is basically a less complex version of a fish learning to breathe air. While it does come with the loss of specificy between air and water, you wouldn't go ahead and say that it has become less complex in the process, would you?
In the end it doesn't matter, whether the species co-opted it's gill's to also work with air, developed lungs in addition to gills, or even replaced the gills with lungs, each time a fundamental change in the DNA is required that can definitely not be explained away as pure information loss.

You also said that evolution would have to explain how single-cell organisms evolved to multicellular organisms where different cells work together. This is an explanation I can happily provide. The answer is that the development didn't happen in a single step. In fact it is very likely that the first multicellular organisms were made up by simply two "normal" cells pepped together, which can happen through an unlikely, but possible mutation. The new population of two celled organisms would have no evolutional advantage over the single celled ones, as the change is ambivalent. However, they also have no evolutional disadvantages. Because of that the two populations develop in parallel for some time, until a second mutation makes the two cells work together and thus more efficient.

A very interesting video on how ambivalent mutations can lead to positive results in long run can be found here:
(It is actually about "evolving" clocks in a pc program, but it provides a very good example for how blind evolution can lead to complex organisms despite the unlikelihood of beneficial mutations.)

I also want to stress again, that even should you manage to disprove Lenski, MDR germs and every other example of observed beneficial mutations I throw at you, you won't manage disprove evolution that way.
Beneficial mutations are extremely rare. Evolutionary processes take millions of years and we have started to specifically look for beneficial mutations for less than 150 years. Even worse, even when we do come across a mutation never seen before, there is most of the time no way to disprove that it didn't already exist on some rouge island for eons, but never was found before.

Because of that the (supposed) lack of observation does not count as an argument against the existence of beneficial mutations.

I would really like to see a biological or logical explanation, why beneficial mutations are supposed to be impossible. So far not a single creationist has ever been able to provide me with one.

Debate Round No. 4


I apologize as I was in a rush that I did not address everything to the extent that I wanted to. I did my best to address as much as I can.

Introduction of new genetic information:

As with MDR germs, my opponent seems to accept that they are not solid evidence for microbes-to-microbiologist evolution. Rather it seems at best as another example in an extremely long list of examples of natural selection.

I’m not sure if I said something in my previous argument that needs clarifying, but I have never said that beneficial mutations can happen. The premise of my argument is that all mutations, beneficial or not, at best adds no new genetic information. However, mutations aren’t capable of creating new genetic information (ex. New functional genes), therefore microbes-to-microbiologists which require the introduction of new genetic information, can’t happen.

Returning to Lenski’s experiment, first off, the reason why citrate isn’t transported under aerobic conditions is because during aerobic respiration, oxygen oxidizes glucose for energy. However, lack of oxygen would mean that glucose can’t be processed. Therefore the bacteria look to citrate for energy, which isn’t as good as a source because it yields less ATP (energy) and leaves some toxic leftovers when processed. In order to transport citrate, a certain protein is needed. Therefore, the gene responsible for that protein is activated, producing the protein.

To have that protein produced under aerobic conditions, the gene producing the protein could have simple mutated in a way that the regulation of the production of the protein has been messed up.

However, as I continue to write this, it has occurred to me that our arguments on whether this proves that genetic information can arise through mutation is based on pure speculation on what could have happened in Lenski’s experiment. For all we know, Lenski’s explanation for what could have happened may be completely false. Until more research is conducted on what exactly happened during Lenski’s experiment, I hope that my opponent can agree that this experiment is inconclusive.

The Youtube video seems irrelevant to me as the parts, or pieces of the clock are already present. Say that simple clock represents a simple bacterium. And the clock below which can also keep track of days, weeks, and months, even adjusting itself for leap years represents a human.

It is rather clear that in order for a simple clock to evolve to the clock above, it is clear that many functional pieces must be introduced, let alone put together properly.

Living Fossils:

Let’s take a look at a few mass extinctions. The most well-known one that killed the dinosaurs was a giant meteor that smashed the Earth, spilling large amounts of dust that blocks the sun sending the Earth into a deep-freeze. Living fossils that lived during that time, such as crocodiles and the Cycad plants would have had to evolve drastically to survive or face extinction. Then evolve again when the dust settled and the green house gases trapped heat, skyrocketing temperatures even past what was normal during the time of the dinosaurs.

In addition, oceanic ecosystems can be heavily affected by mass extinctions. For example, the Cambrian–Ordovician extinction events consisted of a rapid depletion in oxygen in the ocean. Or even look at today where human pollution of the oceans has resulted in many species going extinct, enough to technically count as a mass extinctions. How would the coral reef dwelling Nautilus mollusk survive without evolving?


I’m going to have to take back my archeological arguments. I know very little about archeology and I probably should have done more research in this field before making such arguments.

However, with the soft tissue in the dinosaur bones, you seem to appeal to the fact that nature has somehow preserved the tissue despite the overwhelming evidence that it can’t. We know currently that such proteins and soft tissue degrade rather quickly from experimental evidence. From what we know about how these biological materials degrade, it can be deduced that it can’t last for 65 million years. To insist that it survived for that long where the evidence contradicts that notion is in a way parallel to the god of the gaps fallacy.

The fact that dinosaur bones return a carbon date at all is evidence against millions of years. There is a reason why things supposedly older than 50,000 years old aren’t carbon dated.

As seen in the diagram, after 50,000 years, the Carbon-14 content would be basically zero, therefore undetectable. I don’t agree with the date per se. I won’t go into detail why I do not accept radiometric dating as I don’t want this debate turn into one about the validity of this dating method. Radiometric dating relies on unverifiable assumptions. They have to make an assumption on what was present at the beginning, parent/daughter isotope amounts haven’t been altered during the course of its existence, the half-life is constant.

Creationists do have explanations for the general order of the fossil record, however, with such explanations, I don’t have the knowledge to comprehend nor defend. Therefore I won’t use such arguments.

Transitional Forms:

Tiktaalik – tetrapod footprints have been found that are older than the supposed age of tiktaalik. It can’t be a transitional form if its descendants are older than the transitional form itself

Microraptor – One can be skeptical on whether this fossil is genuine or not. This fossil came from China where previously the Archaeoraptor, a “feathered” dinosaur was proven a hoax. And according to the leading paleo-ornithologist and evolutionary critic of dino-to-bird evolution, Dr Alan Feduccia, there are many fake fossils circulating around China. In addition, fossils found in China stay in China and are not authenticated by paleontologists.

“Archaeoraptor is just the tip of the iceberg. There are scores of fake fossils out there, and they have cast a dark shadow over the whole field. When you go to these fossil shows, it's difficult to tell which ones are faked and which ones are not. I have heard that there is a fake-fossil factory in northeastern China, in Liaoning Province, near the deposits where many of these recent alleged feathered dinosaurs were found.

Journals like Nature don't require specimens to be authenticated, and the specimens immediately end up back in China, so nobody can examine them. They may be miraculous discoveries, they may be missing links as they are claimed, but there is no way to authenticate any of this stuff.”




Couchsessel forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cook123 3 years ago

The debate is on which model, Creation or evolution, can better account for the diversity of species in nature. Since Con misunderstood the debate structure and started refuting Pro's opening argument immediately (giving the conduct point to Pro), the debate turned into one where Pro defended his contentions and Con tried to debunk them. So in order to decide who won the debate, I will see if Pro defended his arguments well or if Con managed to refute them.

In Round 2, Pro first explains his Creation model with an orchard of created kinds as opposed to the evolutionary tree with all species stemming from a single common ancestor. Pro then makes 5 points, both attacking evolution and supporting Creation.
Posted by Cook123 3 years ago

1. Pro explains that new genetic information needs to be introduced to the genome in order for something to evolve. He then explains that mutations, even if they are beneficial, only destroy or disrupt pre-existing genes. He gives examples that support his argument.

2. Pro next mentions living fossils. He explains that animals found today are exactly the same as their fossils, which are dated at many millions of years ago. This means that this animal maintained the same and didn't evolve for millions of years.

3. Next, Pro shows ancient Incan stones as evidence of humans living alongside dinosaurs, which is expected from the Creation model.

4. Pro also shows that dinosaur bones with soft tissue have been found, indicating that dinosaurs can't have lived 65 million years ago.

5. Pro's last argument is that of fossil gaps. He argues that there should be many fossils showing evolutionary transition from one animal to another. He then states that there are only a few and they are still disputed.

Now, I shall examine how well Pro defended and how well Con refuted these 5 arguments throughout the rest of the debate.
Posted by Cook123 3 years ago

No new genetic information

Con has brought up Lenski"s E. coli experiments, as well as MDR germs to counter Pro"s claim that genetic information is never added. However, Pro has shown several other possibilities in which no genetic information is added for E. coli to process citrate. He has also mentioned that fighting over what could have happened in Lenski"s experiments won"t do much good for either side. Pro has also shown that MDR germs do not show addition of genetic information, but are instead either losses of information or selecting of information already in the gene pool, and Con has accepted this. Although Con argued well, Pro defended this point since it has not been proven that new genes can be added.
Posted by Cook123 3 years ago

Living Fossils

Con attempts to debunk the idea of living fossils posing a problem for evolution. He explains that evolution only occurs if the environment is changed. Pro, however, defends his argument by explaining that certain living fossils could not have survived the mass extinctions that took place during the millions of years when they were alive. Pro has defended this point.

Incan Stones

Pro concedes his argument concerning Incan stones proving human-dinosaur coexistence, realizing that they aren't authentic. Con has successfully refuted this point.
Posted by Cook123 3 years ago

Dinosaurs with soft tissue

For this argument, Con didn't really manage to put up a rebuttal other than there isn't scientific consensus on the topic yet. Since the only evidence Con provided for dinosaurs living millions of years ago was carbon-dating, which Pro refuted, I'll have to say Pro defended this point well.
Posted by Cook123 3 years ago

Transitional fossils

In Round 2, Con gave 4 examples of transitional fossils. Pro only managed to refute 2 of them and didn"t mention Morganucodon (reptiles to mammals) or Homo Erectus (apes to humans). These transitional fossils would not be expected from Creation and support evolution, so Pro"s point on transitional fossils can no longer be valid.
Posted by Cook123 3 years ago

Winner - Pro

This was a close debate. Con only managed to debunk 2 of Pro"s 5 claims. In the end, the only real support Con had for evolution were the two transitional fossils Pro didn"t address and speculation on what happened in Lenski"s experiments. Pro"s living fossils and dinosaurs-with-soft-tissue arguments stood strong. And although Pro was wrong about Incan stones proving the coexistence between humans and dinosaurs, the fact that it hasn"t been proven that genetic information can be added is strongly in Pro"s favor.
Posted by Cook123 3 years ago
OK good i can re-vote
Posted by Cook123 3 years ago
Oh man sorry i accidentally pressed vote while i was writing my RFD. That was really stupid of me. Idk if i can revote or anything now.
Posted by NothingSpecial99 3 years ago
I completely understand. If DDO needs six hours to do a server maintenence, they can atleast pause the timers
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cook123 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: In comments