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Evolution's Mechanism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/27/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,604 times Debate No: 59611
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (120)
Votes (6)




Please hash out definitions in the comments section if you have any quarrel with the resolution as stated before you accept the debate.

Resolution: There is no verifiable mechanism which can demonstrably support the hypothesis of macro-evolutionary changes (I.e. reptile to bird, fish to mammal, etc.) in the framework of any model of biological evolution.

Round 1 - Acceptance
Round 2 - Opening Arguments (No Rebuttals)
Round 3 - Rebuttals/Defence of Arguments
Round 4 - Closing Statements (No New Arguments/Rebuttals)


I accept, good luck.
Debate Round No. 1


Many times evolutionists will point to evidence of micro-evolution as evidence for macro-evolution since it seems to make sense, on the surface, that little changes can equate to big changes given enough time. The reality is that the situation is much more complicated than that. Micro changes occur due to known, demonstrable mechanisms such as genetic drift, natural selection, and mutations. While these changes may be chalked up as evolution in the sense that an organism has changed, the reason we call them micro changes is that these changes rarely affect an organisms ability to reproduce with members of its own species. The reason this issue becomes complicated is that we must ask the question, where do we draw the line on micro to macro changes and at what point do we prove that macro changes are possible? Surely speciation is a fact, but can this type of micro change result in macro changes? My goal is not to answer these questions definitively, but to affirm that there is no mechanism which supports the hypothesis of macro-evolution giving rise to all organisms from a single common ancestor.

A key point to consider is the limitations of these micro changes. Dogs have gone through a lot of change due to man-made selection. We have everything from large Great Danes to miniature Chihuahuas but they are still dogs. Size, color, fur length etc. are all observed changes, but there are limitations to the changes possible. A dog can never be selected for wings or gills because the genetic information is not there to produce such features. And I guess this is the crux of my argument: where is the coded information going to come from to change a reptile into a bird, a fish into a mammal, etc? When a breeder wants a bigger dog, he must use either the largest specimens of successive generations or he must introduce large dog genes from another breed. In either case, selection is doing just that: selecting from what's already there. The only hope for an evolutionist, and correct me if I'm wrong, is for mutations to add new information which can turn, say, a scale into a feather. I don't find any demonstrable evidence for these types of mutations and I am therefore left to conclude that macro-evolution is not possible.

I realize so far I have not gone into any technical detail nor have I rigorously attempted to define my terms. You may attempt to do so if you wish. I am simply presenting a perceived problem for macro-evolution and wanting to see if there is real demonstrable support for this hypothesis. I do not believe there is and I look forward to your opening arguement.


Thanks Pro.

I. Preface & Definitions

The working definition of macro-evolution I am using is "Evolution above the species level". I will set my ambitions a little higher to show that the mechanistic evidences to provide support for virtually all the diversity of biology we observe.

II. Predictions of Macro Evolution

To support a hypothesis you must test its predictions, preferably its more unexpected and surprising predictions. It is important to note that evolution predicts a 'tree' rather than a 'ladder' i.e. it does not predict dogs becoming cats, or birds becoming mammals etc. Either way similarly large changes are expected to be possible via. natural processes. Therefore we can make the following predictions:

1. There must be a mechanism which allows for large changes to occur
2. There must be a mechanism for changes to be 'remembered'

The complete absence of either of these would make evolution impossible, absent these we would either have nothing but clones, or changes that do not persist beyond a single generation.

Furthermore, we can say a few more things about a process that would allow large changes to occur (such as those required for macro-evolution).

3. There must be a mechanism for the ‘progression’ of these changes

It’s no good having a change and that being the end of it, we need multiple changes to occur for macro evolution to work, as such we need a mechanism which results in the accumulation of these changes. Further we need a source of these changes.

4. There must be a mechanism which sources these changes

Lastly, it is extremely unlikely for large changes that we see to occur via. random chance, hence there must be a directing mechanism which ‘guides’ the changes that occur. Or else we would end up with mammals with useless whale fins, birds with gills, etc, which clearly we do not observe. Hence the fifth prediction.

5. There must be a mechanism which ‘guides’ changes that occur

The failure of any of these five predictions would falsify macro-evolution, hence finding them will positively “support the hypothesis of macro-evolutionary changes”, as required of the debate resolution.

III. Verification of Predictions of Macro-Evolution

#1 & 2 are addressed immediately with the discovery of the genome, which is a molecule which controls virtually all the macroscopic features that appear in an animal. Furthermore, any changes in this molecule has substantial consequences on what an animal born with it would look like. This is clearly affirmed by cloning science, where the genetic material of one animal into an egg cell will yield an identical clone of the original source animal, with the same macroscopic features.[1,2] Cross-species cloning using the somatic cells of an egg of one species, and a nucleus of another yields the same results, with the genetic material entirely dictating the macroscopic features that develop. Genetic modification etc. are clear examples of changes within the genome causing manifest changes. [1]

Also, the genome replicates by copying itself which provides a mechanism for the progression of any changes in the genome, a spliced genome will progress itself with those changes in tact, much like editing a word document and saving it allows for the progression of the story you are writing. You do not need to re-write a new story every time you open the document, you continue where you left off. This affirms #3 as required.[3]

#4 is also affirmed by the discovery of natural mechanisms which introduce changes, which unsurprisingly are of the category of mutations, although there are others (such as retroviruses etc.). There are several types of mutations, the most significant ones I have listed below.[4,5]

1. Deletion
2. Insertion
3. Copying
4. Frameshift
5. Duplication

All these changes can add or remove genetic material to the genome, and can cause small or large effects due to transcription effects. Dramatic effects can occur from frame shift mutations, for example.[6] One dramatic example of this may have occurred in the evolution of nylonase, where a fraeeshift rendered a new sequence of >100 amino acids (!) which yielded essentially a completely different protein. [7]

So we have an entity which if changed, would potentially give the changes required for evolution to occur. However for changes to actively occur we would need a mechanism which generates changes within the genome, sans any mechanism for changes to occur the hypothesis of macroevolution would be impossible. Therefore the presence of such a mechanism would support it.

We of course have such a mechanism, several in fact, which are various forms of mutations in the genome. There are many sources of mutations, which are as listed:

To affirm #5, something more dramatic is required, which is of course affirmed by natural selection. All life reproduces, which is by far the single most important feature of life, and there are very few processes that come close to mimicking it. One process known is called autocatalysis, which is a special type of chemical reaction which generates increasing quantities of the catalyst with each cycle, which is comparable to life reproducing.[7]

Both these systems exhibit exponential growth mechanics, where 4 units would reproduce faster than 2 units, and 8 units would reproduce faster than 4 units and so on if each unit has an intrinsic replication rate. By this reasoning, any population would exponentially grow until the entire Earth was flooded with life.

… This of course does not happen in reality, as there are limitation factors which prevents the growth from continuing. But there are excellent reasons to believe this is the case. Tale human growth for instance, which upon industrialization (which lead to increased food availability) gave an exponential growth. Or take the growth of bacteria, which begins with 1 cell, and divides successively into 2,4,8 cells and so on.[8] Eventually limitations which curb the runaway replication such as:

1. Food
2. Nutrients
3. Water
4. Environmental Changes
5. Competition

Life-form examples which cope better with these limitations will ‘run-away’ for longer, and give more reproduction examples. Two species with all things equal except one can survive off of minimal water will reproduce at exactly the same rates, however when a hydration limitation occurs the species that requires less water is going to continue reproducing at a higher rate than the species that requires more water. This ‘replication bias’ give what we call natural selection (below).

There are many examples in the literature of such adaptions at play. The Lenski experiment for example produced bacteria which could feed off of citrate (copes better with #1), and quickly the new bacteria took over the entire culture, outcompeting the bacteria that could not feed off of citrate.[10,11] The environment essentially biases which species reproduce, and therefore which species form the population in general.

What we have here is a mechanism which causes the gene pool to become ‘plastic to the environment’, where species with well-adapted traits being biased by natural selection, and species with poorly-adapted traits being out-competed and eventually eliminated. This fulfils #5, in proving the directing and ‘guiding force’ for macro-evolution to occur.

All these processes, predicted & necessitated by macro-evolution have been discovered and verified to exist and as such provide support the hypothesis as required by the resolution.

IV. Conclusion

I have presented nothing surprising, or new, but I do hope I have presented the evidence in a manner which positively supports the hypothesis of macro-evolution.

V. References

Debate Round No. 2


I agree you have presented nothing surprising or new, and in fact, I agree with most of what you said regarding mutational observations. What of course I do not agree with is using this as evidence for macro-changes. What I was taught in college biology is that mutations guided by natural selection equates to macro-evolutionary changes. And while we indeed see this for micro-changes, I do not see any evidence for macro-changes. Let me address the issue given your response in two parts, problems with the absence of demonstrable evidence, and problems with extrapolation based on microevolution.

Problems With Macro-Evolution

I. Lack of Evidence

While you indeed provided a seemingly viable mechanism(s), you did not demonstrate how these mechanisms have given rise to "all the diversity of biology we observe." I do not believe you have addressed the resolution. If the resolution were: There is no viable mechanism which can support the hypothesis of macro-evolutionary changes," then you would have fulfilled the resolution. But the key word is "demonstrably." I hope this was clear. You have not demonstrably shown how these mechanisms can give rise to macro-changes, neither in your predictions nor in your examples.

Your first prediction, "There must be a mechanism which allows for large changes to occur," was not demonstrably supported. I do not agree that without this mechanism for "large changes, we would have nothing but clones." We do have a mechanism for small changes which we both agree on which provides plenty of variation within groups of organisms. This variation however has limitations. Genetics is no where near the point of providing definitive evidence for the case of macro-evolutionary changes by means of mutations guided by natural selection (

The sum of you argument is: changes are possible via mutations guided by natural selection, therefore macro-evolution has occurred. Without demonstrating your first prediction, you have failed to address the resolution. What evidence suggests that indeed mutations guided by natural selection supports the hypothesis of macro-evolutionary changes. Your first physical example is the adaptation of bacteria to eating nylon waste. While early-on in its discovery, this adaptation was explained by frame-shift mutations, "it is highly unlikely that any of these genes arose through a frame shift mutation, because such mutations (forward or reverse) would have generated lots of stop codons" ( While you may dismiss the source I provided, indeed, the source contains cited references for their claims. In either case, this poor example is a far cry away from demonstrably showing that mutations guided by natural selection supports the hypothesis of macro-evolution.

Your example of Lenski's experiment with E. coli also does not address the resolution. Besides this, ". . .the popularist treatments of this research (e.g. in New Scientist) give the impression that the E. coli developed the ability to metabolize citrate, whereas it supposedly could not do so before. However, this is clearly not the case, because the citric acid, tricarboxcylic acid (TCA), or Krebs cycle (all names for the same thing) generates and utilizes citrate in its normal oxidative metabolism of glucose and other carbohydrates. Furthermore, E. coli is normally capable of utilizing citrate as an energy source under anaerobic conditions, with a whole suite of genes involved in its fermentation. This includes a citrate transporter gene that codes for a transporter protein embedded in the cell wall that takes citrate into the cell" (

Other than your two poor examples of bacteria, I have no quarrel with most of the rest of your statements. The problem is, you never provide demonstrable evidence which shows how these valid mechanisms for micro-changes can lead to macro-changes. I can imagine an evolutionist who might be reading this get very frustrated with what I'm saying because he/she might be thinking, "IT'S LITTLE CHANGES OVER TIME THAT LEAD TO BIG CHANGES!" To that person I would simply say, where's the evidence? If they haven't already blown a gasket, might they consider the following:

What we know from demonstrable research is that micro-changes do occur and these changes are never shown to lead to macro-changes. Dogs which have been bred and selected for thousands of years are yet only 0.2% genetically different than grey wolves. Dogs are the greatest example of variation within a species today, and while the wolf to dog change might be categorized as macro-evolution, this change actually involves a loss of information. Dogs are degenerate wolves whose various traits have been selected for, but never can you select for wings or gills. This may sound silly and of course is not what evolution proposes, but at what point does an organism show signs of evolving into another. I posit that taxonomic designations are man-made and arbitrary, but even using this system, never do we see organisms traverse the last few ranks, namely order, family, genus, and species. Dogs are a good example. We can breed for a large Mastiff or a miniature Chihuahua, but they always remain within certain Canid parameters. We have one of the greatest examples of variation with dogs, ". . .no other species of animal displays the range of phenotypic diversity seen in purebred dogs" (, yet with all this variation they do not even traverse the species level, let alone the genus or family level.

The obvious evolutionary objection to the above would be to point out that we do not see macro-changes because they require lots of time. But this then rules it as unscientific as we cannot see or test it. All we can do is observe micro-changes and extrapolate backwards in time, which brings me to my next problem for macro-evolution.

II. Extrapolation is Not Testable

To observe micro-changes and extrapolate backwards in time is an entirely hypothetical endeavor based on no demonstrable evidence. To extrapolate without demonstrable evidence is simply imaginative speculation. The resolution I gave is actually quite simple. Provide evidence of a viable mechanism which demonstrably supports the hypothesis of macro-evolutionary changes and you win! Well, you at least will have adequately addressed the solution. Whether or not your evidence stands up to scientific scrutiny is another story. I actually did expect examples to be given, as even I can think of many (which don't ultimately turn out to be very good), which I was prepared to address.


You have yet to prove your case, as already discussed, and are left with a burden of proof. It is my responsibility to address your evidence and demonstrate why it is inadequate, but I have not yet been able to do this because you have not provided any. I realize this debate is setup in such a way where you are left with the burden of proof and I only have to address what you provide, but surely you can provide something? I do not mean to be condescending in any way. Here is what I hope you will do. I hope you will provide some evidence I can address. I hope you will understand my response and realize that you indeed have not addressed the resolution. I hope you do not dismiss this round's response as lazy or unlearned. I didn't have much to work with. You provided a mechanism, now show me how this mechanism can provide support for macro-evolution. Feel free to point out any misunderstanding on my part. I may have missed a crucial point or your entire argument (its possible). If you feel I have understood your case, then great! I gladly await your response.


Thanks Pro.

I. Evidence for ‘micro-evolution’

It doesn’t matter which way you look at it, evidence of the mechanisms of ‘micro-evolution’ (although I presented the evidence as general change) IS supportive of ‘macro-evolution’. Me demonstrating the mechanisms by which an atom decays, and showing that a portion of a sample will decay if you look at it over certain time scales gives good support to the hypothesis that the entire sample will decay.[1]

Similarly me presenting evidence of the mechanisms of planetary orbits, and demonstrating it applies to ‘micro-orbits’ such as those for the moon and the Earth IS supportive of the hypothesis that Pluto orbits with a period of ~248 years, despite the fact we have only known about the planet for 84 years.

So far I have presented:

  1. 1. Molecular mechanisms by which changes occur, and their capacity to accumulate to large changes
  2. 2. Naturalistic processes by which these large changes will be positively ‘driven’ to occur over time

Pro conceded that these mechanisms exist so far, so I will spend this round presenting mechanisms with evidence of population mechanics and how they lead to exaggerated rates of evolution which again can drive towards the changes required for macro evolution. Just like I don’t need to show one species turning into another (and in fact that is not something ‘macro-evolution’ predicts), I don’t need to show an entire Pluto orbit to support that it will go around the Sun.

II. Artificial Selection:

Pro concedes that artificial selection can introduce enormous variety and changes within species, a single wolf species is the ancestor of every single dog we have today.[2,3] See the schematic below:

Here we can clearly see the first ‘ticks of the clock’ which indicate the clock will go full circle, we have enormous morphological changes. Moreover we see how these family trees sub-divide, with some breeds of dog being the ancestor of several over sub-breeds. This level of physical variation significantly exceeds the prima facie differences between species of apes, different species of cats (domestic, wild, large). We see the same effects with vegetable cultivation:

In both cases we see enormous morphological changes are possible via. selective breeding, *indicating that 4 of the 5 mechanisms I gave are evidentially supported as capable of producing these changes.[4]

III. Natural selection ‘at work’

Natural selection has been demonstrated in both an artificial setting and natural settings. The most commonly known artificial setting are in fruit fly experiments, which by introducing two diametrically different food sources, yielded fruit flies that were no longer capable of interbreeding.

Other examples of allopatric speciation are also observed in the wild, for example the grand canyon has numerous ‘micro environments’, such as different locations of food sources, different levels of sun and shade which gave changes large physical changes. [5,6]

One dramatic type of natural selection is in adaptive radiation. For example on the Galapagos Islands, several races of different finches are known to evolve from one original ground finch species.[7]

The islands themselves are remote and geologically young. Only a handful of species were ever capable of reaching these islands to populate.[8] These Finch’s beaks had changed and adapted to a variety of food sources, finches with large beaks are well adapted for feeding on large seeds, those with short beaks better adapted for fruits and smaller seeds, for example.[9]

Another dramatic example of adaptive radiation are the Hawaiian Honey creepers, with an even greater diversity in speciation. All are shown genetically to possess a common ancestor and their beaks have converged on roles performed by woodpeckers & hummingbirds, with a diverse range of food sources. Similarly to the Galapagos Islands, the Hawaiian Islands are remote, geologically young and only a handful of animals ever reached it to populate.

With these lines it should be quite apparent that these simple mechanisms I have provided are very much capable of producing cumulative changes which lead to dramatically different breeds and species, and very conceivably changes above the family level.[10]

IV. Rebuttals

For Pro to demonstrate the resolution (note the BoP is on him) he has to show how no mechanism can lead to the changes required for macro-evolution. To date there has been no demonstrable mechanism, or ‘road block’ which prevents cumulative change that will inevitably give super-species changes. If there is a ‘barrier’ then I would like Pro to actually provide evidence of these barriers and state what they actually are, and preferably allude to their mechanisms. Pro has only claimed as much.

Pro argues that the genetic information is not there to produce the elements characteristic of ‘macro-evolution’, yet I have already presented mechanisms by which the ‘genetic information’ would generate the material that would give such changes (genetic mutations). Note that Pro has not defined what ‘information’ means, which is puzzling since in information theory random noise is the state of maximum information, so life by that definition contains less ‘information’ than random noise. [11]

Note that Pro’s arguments appear to be looking at the end-point rather than the ‘start point’. Evolution will never inevitably generate a wing or a gill, it will give changes depending on its environment which may turn out to be functional as a gill or a wing, but there is no foresight in the process, nor does there need to be. If one deals a deck of 52 cards randomly, you will likely never in your life deal the same 52 card hand out ever again, yet having a hand (such as gills or wings are a ‘hand’) doesn’t mean that the evidence of the ‘dealing mechanism’ doesn’t support the generation of that specific hand.

Pro attacks my use of Nylonase (which admittedly is controversial almost not for the reasons Pro gives), yet misses the point, that frameshift mutations are just one example that can lead to dramatic changes in the amino acid sequences generated, and hence to numerous radical overall changes. Frame shift mutations are well documented in numerous examples, such as development of resistance in HIV and in cancers. [12,13]

Pro also misses the point on the Lenski experiment data, which I only presented to demonstrate that strains with favourable traits would out-compete and eliminate lesser well adapted strains. This not only applies to the citrate strains, but also the non-citrate strains which evolved larger, rounder cell shapes over time, and outcompetes the original stock of E Coli.

Pro misses the other point on experiment too, the cells could not metabolize citrate as an external source, and now could, which is an obvious phenotype change which did not exist before. While the exact genes that were changed are unclear, it is known that at least two potentiating mutations were involved, with samples of the second easily re-evolving the ability to digest citrate, a clear example of increasing complexity leading to (comparably) large changes.

Pro attacks the examples of dogs claiming only a 0.2% genetic diversity. I would like to remind Pro that Bonobos are only 1.3% genetically different to the Humans and 0.4% from Chimpanzees and thought to have occurred over periods of hundreds of thousands or millions of years. So these numbers are 1. supportive and 2. unsurprising. I would like to ask Pro are some breeds of dog as comparably different to each other as we would regard Chimps and Bonobos?

V. References:

  1. 1.
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
Debate Round No. 3


Closing Statements

So far Con has not provided evidence for macro-evolution via mutations or any other mechanism. What he has done is provide evidence for speciation, adaptation, and micro-evolution. Again, you cannot show these changes within an order or family group and hypothetically extrapolate backwards. Apes are apes, dogs are dogs, etc. To say one species can change into another within a different order or even class over millions of years is an statement based on no demonstrable evidence. Con says I have to show "how no mechanism can lead to the changes required for macro-evolution." This would require a whole new arguement, but the idea of a "barrier" is not based meer claims, it is based on what we actually observe. If you look at the Canidae family, and specifically the dogs, you will find that while they have varied and diversified, they actually have lost information. Consider a Chihuahua for example, it has lost infoormation and under no natural circumstance can it ever evolve into a wolf again without adding wolf genes back into its gene pool.

I guess the main question, which if solved, would provide the answer to who is "actually right," would be: can mutations actually provide the type of change necessary for macro-evolution or the idea that all animals have arisen from a common ancestor? The clear answer is no! Maybe we can have a more detailed debate specifically on the power of muations which might address this insue more rigorously. As for this debate, I think its clear that Con has lost. The only people I can see voting for him are those who already accept macro-evolutionary change as a scientific fact. But a careful read-through of this debate will reveal that Con has not addressed the resolution: There is no verifiable mechanism which can demonstrably support the hypothesis of macro-evolutionary changes (I.e. reptile to bird, fish to mammal, etc.) in the framework of any model of biological evolution.

Thanks for your time!


Thanks Pro.

  1. I. Preamble

It’s a shame that that this format was badly structured, as I have already alluded to with CT. I will follow suit and use this round for summaries & closing.

  1. II. Burden of Proof

Note that Pro took the affirmative position in this debate, and hence needed to provided reasons to accept the resolution as true. However this debate has been very much reverse-format, and Pro has given very little support for the positive position. I could have offered zero contentions, and win if Pro doesn’t fulfil his BoP, which he hasn’t.

So, even if the negative case of mine fails (and I don’t believe it has), it is irrelevant if Pro’s Positive case fails (which it clearly has).

  1. III. Pro’s Case

Pro has provided precious few arguments in favour of this resolution. His more significant argument, the argument from required information is lacking a coherent definition and evidential support. What is information, and why does a cell need it beforehand to produce macroevolutionary parts? At no point has Pro demonstrated that this type of information is required for evolution to occur, and my card-dealing analogy has dealt with this. Information about the hand you will deal yourself is not necessary to get the resulting card-hand. Pro might have a case if he could show that evolution had to aim at this target in the first place, and showed it was not an emergent property, yet has not.

I also gave a number of naturalistic processes which would result in parts changing and developing to be adapted to their environment, and this very conceivably includes every change required for ‘macroevolution’ to occur.

The other of Pro’s arguments is that only what is already in the gene pool is selected from, which is partially true, yet I showed that mutations are highly extant, and it’s known they occur in virtually every generation and can often be very substantial. Moreover Pro’s own numbers regarding the diversity of dogs (0.2%) defeats his own position given that only marginally smaller differences than this are needed for mammalian speciation, and given these differences occurred over relatively minute timescales (thousands vs. millions of years).

Pro’s only other significant point was that evidence for micro-changes are not evidence for macro-changes, hyet he ignores my planetary and clock analogies. The evidential mechanisms I presented ARE evidence of macro-changes, and we observe with these mechanisms abundant examples of ‘micro-changes’ with very convincing macroscopic changes, to which no physical barrier has been demonstrated to prevent them from continuing this trend.

Again if there is a barrier, I implore Pro to actually provide evidence for such a barrier, and what the mechanism is as a bonus. He has not done that in this debate, which would have beena triumphant fulfilment of his BoP in this debate if he did.

The fact that he hasn’t means we can safely assume for this debate that there isn’t one.

  1. IV. My negative case:

I have provided abundant evidence of these mechanisms, and Pro has literally conceded that these mechanisms existed from Round 3. Pro has dropped virtually all rights to this debate right there. Furthermore Pro in his closing made a startling assertion:

“Apes are apes, dogs are dogs, etc.”

This I feel highlight’s Pro’s misunderstanding on what macro-evolution is. Macro-evolution (or evolution, whatever) does not predict, or even postulate that one species ever becomes another, ir only predicts that species are related via. common ancestry, and that these resulting ‘baby-species’ can be significantly different from one another.

All mammals give birth to mammals, and they have since the first mammalian species existed, all primates give birth to primates, and they will continue to do so, what Pro misunderstands is that our notions of ‘families’ and ‘genus’ for example, just move up the hierarchy as the sub-species becomes more and more divergent. If all mammals except for dogs for example were exterminated, then every single descendent will in some sense always be a dog, just like every descendent of the first ‘mammal’ was always a mammal. These ‘dogs’ will most certainly evolve and develop an array of adaptions, body changes to the extent that they would appear as radically different to each other as every mammal today is from one another, but that is exactly what macro-evolution predicts.[1]

In some sense, we still are fish, and we still are reptilian, albeit a greatly changed variant of them. That’s exactly that evolution predicts, and that’s exactly that the mechanisms of macro-evolution I have provided so far are expected to generate. Large changes yes, species becoming genus’s, becoming families etc, yes.

V. Conclusion

Pro has not only failed to uphold his BoP, but he clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding on what evolution on large scales is, and what it predicts. Moreover he concedes most of my arguments. As such I strongly recommend voting Con.

VI. References

  1. 1.
Debate Round No. 4
120 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by creationtruth 7 years ago
@Bertie1987 - Yes I would consider it macroevolution because, although there are many similarities between dogs and cats, there are distinct differences in genetic code. That is why we can look at their genomes and tell the difference between the two. One has the gene expression to develop retractable claws the other doesn't (generally). One has the gene expression to be very flexible the other doesn't (generally), etc. etc. To go from, say a Dingo, to a Bobcat would require the introduction, among other things, of new specified genetic code in multiple parts of the genome. This is not naturally possible.
Posted by creationtruth 7 years ago
@ArcTimes - I have not changed what I have been saying at any time. Show an example of the evolution of a novel structure, new biochemical pathway, new specified code which was previously not there and you will have proved macroevolution to be possible. How am I being dishonest?
Posted by Bertie1987 7 years ago
@CT, I'm not sure which one of my questions you were answering. I'm not saying dogs will evolve into cats or that I know of a natural way to do that. Just asking if it would somehow happen if you would consider it 'macro' evolution and why or why not.
Posted by ArcTImes 7 years ago
"All evolution requires is demonstrable examples of new specified code, novel structures, or new biochemical pathways to be formed which were previously non-existent. E. coli digestion of lactose, for example, does not count because the ability to digest it remains in the E. coli."

I'm done, dude. You are so dishonest.
Incredibly dishonest.
You change what we are suppose to present each time we present something.
When we do, you just say "oh yeah, you don't understand, it's impossible, I already claimed that no information can be added... LIMITATIONS!!!".


I showed examples of macroevolution... but you don't care. You just close your eyes and ears and shout "You are wrong, you don't understand, god is so smart!!!". It's silly. Silly and dishonest ffs.
And don't tell me you didn't see them because Envisage also mentioned something about it. I bet others did.

Evolution is supported by the evidence, it makes sense compared to creationism, and your lame attempts of making your god fit on reality are not working. And yes, it's obvious with all the "Languages are created" thingy. rofl
Posted by creationtruth 7 years ago
@Bertie1987 - Yes, if you could demonstrate a natural way (not human genetic engineering) for dogs to evolve into cats, you would give credibility to the evolution model. But of course evolution does not predict or require this. All evolution requires is demonstrable examples of new specified code, novel structures, or new biochemical pathways to be formed which were previously non-existent. E. coli digestion of lactose, for example, does not count because the ability to digest it remains in the E. coli. What this example would require to be definitive proof of evolutionary change potential is for the experimenters to remove the E. coli's capacity to digest lactose and see if it evolves the ability anew. This is of course what they did but of course with negative results. There are no demonstrable examples of the type of change evolution requires.
Posted by creationtruth 7 years ago
@Bennett91 - Yes, but only as the result of designed, purposeful ingenuity. Mutations cannot produce specified coded information for flight no matter how much time you give it. Basically requiring miracles without a miracle-maker. Genomes are not a storehouse of limitless variation potential. They are organized, specified coded information like computer programs, which do not tolerate the introduction of randomness in the form of mutations. When randomness is introduced to a coded system, the result is corruption and degradation.
Posted by Bennett91 7 years ago
@CT Genes are capable of taking many diff forms in diff contexts. Birds and bats are very different genetically yet both have evolved the ability to fly.
Posted by Bertie1987 7 years ago
Creationtruth, I guess you consider the differences between cats and dogs to be of the 'micro' type?
Maybe you consider mouses and monkeys to have 'macro' type differences?
Or are mouses and monkeys also between the 'limits of evolution'?
Posted by creationtruth 7 years ago
@ArcTimes - Clearly you don't understand. Evolution has limitations which do not exceed the content of the information contained in the genome. Very simple indeed.
Posted by ArcTImes 7 years ago
@CT Stop being dishonest dude. Stop thinking that we don't understand what you say. We do understand, and you are wrong.
Macroevolution is one of the stupidest things to prove when you already have proved micro.
Why? Because 2 individuals from different species are not able to interbreed and produce fertile offspring. So if reproduction is the only thing that makes different species different, then even if you had tentacles, wings, or anything really awesome and stupidly improbable, if you have a human penis with a complete reproductive system that works, you would still be able to reproduce with humans. And yes, even if it was not only you with the weird stuff, it would not change anything. So micro and macro are not so different. It's oot only time. After time, may not call it micro just because the changes make it impossible to interbreed, but macroevolution can exist in short time too.

So "macroevolution" can be found in really simple and specific cases where changes in the reproductive system or what ever related to reproduction was good for survival or just... more reproduction.

Examples like the gull just show that you don't need huge changes to be macroevolution.
As Envisage said, ring species just show that you are wrong but don't want to hear or learn or just... try..
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Bennett91 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I was impressed with the thoroughness of Con's argument. The use of sources and pictures to show how micro progressions can lead into the larger picture of evolution etc.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: pro really didn't argue well, with his lack of evidence to support his arguments in contrast to con's massive use of sources
Vote Placed by ChristianPunk 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was not only more convincing, but provided even neat displays to show how evolution works from micro to macro
Vote Placed by Anonymous 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument is that microevolutionary mechanisms cannot account for larger scale evolutionary change; notably changes within a species are due to the selection of pre-existing traits rather than the generation of novel traits. Con points out that differences between organisms are exclusively derived from the organisms' genetic material (DNA) evidenced by sources and that there is a known and observed mechanism of change in DNA (mutations) which are subsequently passed on to offspring; therefore a mechanism allowing for larger scale changes exists. Pro merely asserts that this can only account for small changes and not changes in kind ("Apes are apes, dogs are dogs"); the problem with this argument is that Con previously established that an organisms' genome is solely responsible for observed differences rather than some transcendental "apeness" or "dogness" and Pro accepts that there exist mechanisms which can change this genetic information. Arguments and sources to Pro.
Vote Placed by Sagey 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were more of a denial position rather than demonstrating evidence against macroevolution, while Con demonstrated large morphological changes evident through assisted and natural selection. As con stated we are still fish in some ways, in that much of the structures still exist, in different forms, essentially we still have close to the same number of parts, they are just reassigned to perform different roles. Though there are greater morphological differences in some of those dog breeds from it's ancestral wolf, than there is between humans and some apes. Pro did not provide enough evidence to support BOP. Con provided a lot of supporting evidence for evolutionary changes, which could likely produce Macroevolutionary changes if given enough time, say 3.4 billion years as life has had so far to change.
Vote Placed by GOP 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con used A LOT OF SOURCES.

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