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

Humans Share a Common Ancestory with other Primates

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,374 times Debate No: 56829
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




First round for acceptance.


I look forward to seeing how you play this, my friend.

I'm assuming the BoP is on you to affirm the resolution. Am I correct?

If not, we'll debate that too. ;)
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you Con for accepting the challenge. As I am taking the Pro position I will assume the BOP. Though you are more than welcome and encouraged to present arguments for the Con position if you wish.

The first piece of evidence that supports Humans share a common ancestor with other primates is mitochondrial DNA (mDNA). The mitochondria within our cells have an entirely different DNA sequence than the DNA that carries the genetic information for our development (nuclear DNA). Another unique factor of mDNA is it can only be inherited from the mother and not from the father. This allows for testing the mitochondrial genome of two individuals to see if they are related through maternal lines from a common ancestor. If they share mDNA they are of common descent. If they don't share mDNA they don't have common decent. When human mDNA is compared with other mammals we find a match. Our closest non-human relatives are Chimpanzees - followed by Gorillas and then Orangutans.

To test common ancestry on the fathers side we can look at the Y-chromosome as it, conversely, is only passed on by the father. When human Y-chromosomes are compared with other mammals we once again find a match. The Y-chromosome shows that our closest non-human relatives are once again Chimpanzees - followed by Gorillas and Orangutans.

A third piece of evidence that supports humans share a common ancestry with other primates are endogenous retrovirus'. A normal retrovirus' is a virus that attaches itself to a cell and rewrites a specific portion of the nuclear DNA of a cell. After the retrovirus completes this task every cell that comes from that initial cell will carry that rewritten section of DNA. If the retrovirus rewrites the DNA of a sperm cell or a woman's egg then it becomes an "endogenous" retrovirus - as that creature grows every single cell in its body will have that rewritten section encoded in its DNA. And every single one of its offspring will have that rewritten section in their DNA. And it turns out we share endogenous retrovirus with every species on our planet. But the animal with which humans share the most endogenous retrovirus' are the Chimpanzee - followed by Gorillas and then Orangutans.

The genetic evidence that humans share a common ancestor with other primates is overwhelming. We have parallel lines of evidence that are all pointing to the exact same conclusion: mDNA, Y-chromosomes and endogenous retrovirus' all show that Chimpanzees are our closest ancestor followed by Gorillas and then Orangutans. And while there is a great deal more evidence I could provide I think this is more than enough to get the discussion going along. I eagerly await your reply Con.

(All sources cited are peer reviewed scientific papers published in academic journals)

The Evolution of Mammalian Gene Families

Genomic Divergences between Humans and Other Hominoids

Comparative Nuclear and Mitochondrial Genome Diversity in Humans and Chimpanzees

Dynamics of DNA Methylation in Recent Human and Great Ape Evolution


Excellent! I'm glad we agree. The Burden of Proof is on Pro to show, beyond reasonable doubt, that humans do share a common ancestry with primates. This means that I do not have to provide contentions of my own, but merely must show that my opponent's are false.

Thus far, he has presented three arguments to support his case. I will now rebut each.

P1. mDNA
I'm afraid Pro's science is outdated by over 10 years. The once popular theory of mDNA showing us a common ancestor has, in fact, been long debunked.

That may be why his source is from 1996...

But what's wrong with this theory?

The validity of this assertion, is dependent upon a critically important assumption: that mtDNA is, in fact, derived exclusively from the mother. However, we now know that this assumption is wrong

Just as women thought they were getting their fair shake in science, the tables turned. As one study noted:

Women have struggled to gain equality in society, but biologists have long thought that females wield absolute power in a sphere far from the public eye: in the mitochondria, cellular organelles whose DNA is thought to pass intact from mother to child with no paternal influence. On page 2524 however, a study by Philip Awadalla of the University of Edinburgh and Adam Eyre-Walker and John Maynard Smith of the University of Sussex in Brighton, U.K. finds signs of mixing between maternal and paternal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in humans and chimpanzees. Because biologists have used mtDNA as a tool to trace human ancestry and relationships, the finding has implications for everything from the identification of bodies to the existence of a “mitochondrial Eve” 200,000 years ago.[1]

One year later, researchers made this startling admission:

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is generally assumed to be inherited exclusively from the mother…. Several recent papers, however, have suggested that elements of mtDNA may sometimes be inherited from the father. This hypothesis is based on evidence that mtDNA may undergo recombination. If this does occur, maternal mtDNA in the egg must cross over with homologous sequences in a differentDNA molecule; paternal mtDNA seems the most likely candidate…. If mtDNA can recombine, irrespective of the mechanism, there are important implications for mtDNA evolution and for phylogenetic studies that use mtDNA.[2]

In 2002, a study was conducted that concluded:

Nevertheless, even a single validated example of paternal mtDNA transmission suggests that the interpretation of inheritance patterns in other kindreds thought to have mitochondrial disease should not be based on the dogmatic assumption of absolute maternal inheritance of mtDNA…. The unusual case described by Schwartz and Vissing is more than a mere curiosity.[3]

And now we know that these are more than small “fractional” amounts of mtDNA coming from fathers. The August 2002 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine contained the results of one study, which concluded:

Mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is thought to be strictly maternally inherited…. Very small amounts of paternally inherited mtDNA have been detected by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in mice after several generations of interspecific backcrosses…. We report the case of a 28-year-old man with mitochondrial myopathy due to a novel 2-bp mtDNA deletion…. We determined that the mtDNA harboring the mutation was paternal in origin and accounted for 90 percent of the patient’s muscle mtDNA.[4]

Ninety percent! And all this time, evolutionists have been selectively shaping our family tree using what was alleged to be only maternal mtDNA! This recombination ability in mtDNA makes the entire discussion a moot point. As Strauss noted:

Such recombination could be a blow for researchers who have used mtDNA to trace human evolutionary history and migrations. They have assumed that the mtDNA descends only through the mother, so they could draw a single evolutionary tree of maternal descent—all the way back to an African “mitochondrial Eve,” for example. But “with recombination there is no single tree,” notes Harpending. Instead, different parts of the molecule have different histories. Thus, “there’s not one woman to whom we can trace our mitochondria,” says Eyre-Walker.[5]

Science is fickle, ain't it?

P2. Y-Chromosomes
Again, my opponent's science is out of date.

On Wednesday, January 13, 2010, Associated Press staff writer Seth Borenstein reported:

A new study comparing the Y chromosomes from humans and chimpanzees, our nearest living relatives, show that they are about 30 percent different. That is far greater than the 2 percent difference between the rest of the human genetic code and that of the chimp’s”. Jennifer Hughes, the lead author of the research, explained that entire sections of the Y chromosome were “dramatically different” between humans and chimpanzees. In fact, “[t]here were even entire genes on the human Y chromosome that weren’t on the chimp”.[6]

Looking closely at this study, one finds several glaring things that are amiss. Human evolution must be assumed in order for the study to make any sense. It must be assumed that humans evolved from lower mammals and that chimpanzees are our closest relatives. Assumptions make for bad science.

Furthermore, one of the reasons that supposedly shows humans and chimpanzees are closely related is their DNA resemblance... an idea which has also been refuted.[7]

In addition, Borenstein noted that Hughes and Page said: “There is a bit of a proviso to the comparison to other chromosomes. While all human and chimp chromosomes have been mapped, only two chimp chromosomes have been examined in great detail: Y and chromosome 21. Yet, there’s still enough known to make the claim that the Y is the speediest evolver”. So, out of the 48 chimpanzee chromosomes, researchers have studied only two in any depth. In one of the two that they have studied, there was a 30% difference between it an its alleged human counterpart. Yet these same researchers feel certain that such profound differences do not exist in the other 46 chimp chromosomes.

... right.

P3. Retrovirus
ERVs (Endogenous RetroViruses) are widely used as proof that we evolved from apes. Evolutionists say that retroviruses inserted genetic materian (an ERV) into our ape ancestors. Because we and chimps are closely related, we should have ERVs in similar positions. We do.

There are two main problems with this theory, however.

ERVs are functional.

If ERVs are found to have function, then it is highly unlikely that they were inserted by retroviruses. Why? Functional ERVs would depend heavily on where they were positioned and/or what sequence they were in. Any slight adjustment would mean they were no longer functional.

Viruses do not randomly insert tens of thousands ERVs in exactly the right location to provide us with invaluable function. But that's exactly the case with ERVs. ERVs shouldn't have function according to this theory, but they do have function. In fact, they aid transcription in a fifth of the genome![8]

This is strong evidence that ERVs actually weren't the product of retroviruses!

So why, when we compare our "ERVs" with, say, a chimp's... do we find so many similarities?

Largely, it's because we and chimps are similar. We require similar functions, and have similar chracteristics. Thus, we both require the assistance of said "ERVs". They provide a function.

Out of space. Looking forward to your response, Pro.


[1] Strauss, 286:2436, emp. added

[2] Morris and Mightowlers, 2000, 355:1290, emp. added
[3] Williams, 2002, 347:611, emp. added
[4] Schwartz and Vissing, 2002, 347:576, emp. added
[5] Strauss, 286:2436, emp. added
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you Con for your response. Though I was hoping to debate someone who would actually formulate arguements and not just cut and paste from a christian apologetics website. You could have saved us all the trouble by providing the link to; instead of the charade of listing your supposed sources numbers 1-5.

I find it incredibly frustrating and tedious that the anthropologist "you" quoted, Henry Harpending, has no expertise and has conducted no research whatsoever in genetics. In fact, he hasn't published a single scientific paper on anything. He is not a scientist. He doesn't do scientific research. Why you would site him as an "expert" in the field of genetics is beyond me. Even worse, the quotes that you provided in no way impact the validity of mDNA being used to support common ancestory. The concern that Henry Harpending was addressing was that if mDNA was cross contaminated by the fathers genome we would not be able to determine an exact date for Mitochondrial Eve. He did not, nor did any of your other references, makes the claim that mDNA cannot be used to show common ancestry. You are trying to add things that none of your sources said.

You make the statement, "The validity of this assertion, is dependent upon a critically important assumption: that mtDNA is, in fact, derived exclusively from the mother." This is entirely false. Even if you could show that mDNA can be transferred via the father it would in no way impact the conclusion. mDNA would still be passed through paternal inheritance. It would still show that humans and apes share a common ancestry.

It's also a shame that you didn't bother to read the paper you cited by Schwartz and Vissing. In the case of the 28 year old man the paper states, "Sequencing of blood mtDNA from the patient's healthy parents and from his paternal uncle demonstrated that the haplotype of the patient's muscles mtDNA was identical to that of his father's and uncle's blood. The haplotype of the patient's blood was identical to that of his mother."

The man had chimeric mitochondrial myopathy. It is an incredibly rare disease. So rare, in fact, that there have only been 30 documented cases worldwide. And it is not clear which mDNA the man would pass along to his offspring. Either way, to try and debunk the maternity (paternity still withstanding) of mDNA by using a disease that affects only one in two-hundred-million people is completely absurd.

As for the mice, the scientest were able to trace fractions of the fathers mDNA by a specialized process. The mice mDNA was none the less still maternal.

I wasn't kidding when I said the research showing that mDNA proves common ancestory is lock solid. And it has only gotten better over time. Within recent years we have been able to completely map mitochondrial genomes from ten different ancient modern humans for which reliable radiocarbon dates are available. And this has given us the ability calculate the human mtDNA mutation rates directly. But don't take my word for it, here's a peer reviewed scientific paper (more recent per your request) from 2013 that you can read for youself:

Your assertion that,"The once popular theory of mDNA showing us a common ancestor has, in fact, been long debunked." Is completely false. Had you actually done the research for youself instead of just parroting Apologetics Press you might have known this line of attack would be a complete waste of time.

Mitochondrial DNA used to determine common ancestory stands. And debunking it would require more than just showing it isn't neccissarly passed through maternal lines. You would have to show that it isn't passed by either of the parents at all.

On to your next point about the Y chromosone. Your offer up a quote about how human and chimpanzee Y Chomozones differ by thirty percent. This is a red herring. It is not the percentage of shared genetic material that shows common ancestory. It's the shared genetic material occuring in the exact same sequences and in the exact same locations that shows common ancestory. For more on that check out this peer reviewed scientific paper:

You also claim that "only two chimp chromosomes have been examined in great detail." This statement is demonstrably and painfully false. Please, do your reasearch instead of just parroting wild assertions. I really don't know where you come up with this stuff. All 48 chimpansee chromosomes have been studied and poored over extensivley. There are litterally hundreds of peer reviewed articals that have been written on this. Here's just a couple for you:

Next you try to argue that ERV aren't the prodcut of retrovirus' because they serve a function. Firstly, this is a non-sequitor (it does not follow). Just because ERVs are functional does NOT mean that they aren't the product of retrovirus'. You're statement . . . "Viruses do not randomly insert tens of thousands ERVs in exactly the right location to provide us with invaluable function." . . . is exactly correct. Retrovirus' do not insert tens of thousands of ERVs at a time. They insert one at a time. And the vast majority of ERVs in our DNA are non-functional. They serve no purpose. Of the nearly 100,000 ERVs in our genome only 97 of them are active. Less than one in ten-thousand are being utilized by our DNA. And I'm really kind of surprised you made this arguement because the only peer reviewed artical that you did site clearly spells this out. But if you would like further reading on the number of ERVs and their functions here's another good one:

In closing, the evidence provided by mDNA, the Y chromosome, and endogenous retrovirus' all stand. If Con wishes to debunk them he is going to have to do far better than Apologetics Press.



Of Note:

My use of has been addressed in the comments.

It would be much appreciated if Pro would follow the layout I've provided for each of his points. It makes it more difficult to follow, otherwise.

Finally, I would like to state that I've now had time to do more research on the subject, and have decided to switch my approach to Pro's contentions.

With that said, let's get back to it!

P1. mDNA
I agree that all human mDNA can be traced to a common ancestor. The date of that ancestor's existence aside, it is overwhlemingly obvious that there is one common ancestor. But is that ancestor shared with primates? I would encourage Pro to show some hard evidence that would actually give us something to go on. Just because there are similarities between chimp and human mDNA does not mean that we share the ancestor with apes.

Another note: I would request that Pro actually cut out the paragrpahs/sentences from the material he is referring to (or at least source the information) after each claim, rather than making a lot of different statements and providing us with a few blue hyperlinks at the end.

Sadly, this will have to conclude my rebuttal on the first point, since I concede that matters such as the age of the ancestor (and thus paternal influence on mDNA, as well as Dr. Harpending's credibility) are moot.

P2. Y-Chromosome
Once again, I would encourage Pro to actually show the links between his arguments. What he originally said was, basically...
a) Y-Chromosome's are strictly paternally transferred
b) We match chimps pretty closely
c) We're related to chimps

Then in R2 he comes back by saying "It is not the percentage of shared genetic material that shows common ancestory. It's the shared genetic material occuring in the exact same sequences and in the exact same locations that shows common ancestory"

But again, how? And where is he getting this from? He offers up a paper shortly afterwards that supposedly verifies this... but the paper says nothing on this subject. At least, if it does, I'm certainly not seeing the connection. I would love for Pro to enlighten us on this, though.

Until then, there is no "proof" that Y-Chromosomes are evidence for us sharing an ancestor with primates. Since Pro has the BOP, he must prove this beyond doubt.

P3. Retroviruses
I will respond to what my opponent said first, then (since I definitely have space) I will talk about a few other flaws with using ERVs as "evidence" for human evolution from primates.

P3a. Random = No purpose
Let's address each of my opponent's major statements here.

I) "Just because ERVs are functional does NOT mean that they aren't the product of retrovirus'."
True enough. Of course this doesn't 100% prove my statement. But it is certainly unlikely that a viruses would randomly insert ERVs into us in the exact location needed for genome transcription. If these ERVs were an accident, then why would they be so vital to us?

II) "Of the nearly 100,000 ERVs in our genome only 97 of them are active."
.... Would you like to source that, Pro? You said that information came from my own paper... but the only thing I can think you might be referring to is the sentence, "114 of the ERV-derived transcription start sites can be demonstrated to drive transcription of 97 human genes..." But nowhere does it say that there are only 97 of them active...

So we see that ERVs are extremely unlikely to be planted randomly by viruses. But that's not the only thing suggesting ERVs are not evidence for evolution.

P3b. Similar ERVs in other organisms
If we came from apes, and apes descended from some other creature, and that creature from another... then it would make sense that all creatures would share some ERVs, with most ancient ones having the fewest, and their descendents having more as you progressively go down the evolutionary tree. However, this is not quite the case.

"We have sequenced and characterized an endogenous type D retrovirus, which we have named TvERV(D), from the genome of an Australian marsupial, the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Intact TvERV(D) gag, pro, pol, and env open reading frames were detected in the possum genome. TvERV(D) was classified as a type D retrovirus, most closely related to those of Old World monkeys, New World monkeys, and mice, based on phylogenetic analyses and genetic organization."[2]


"For instance gamma-retrovirus was isolated from trophoblastic cells of the baboon placenta. This virus was found to be very closely related antigenically and by sequence homology to the endogenous RD114 virus in cats (which is itself unrelated to endogenous FeLV). Benveniste and Todaro observed, like we did for jungle fowl, that only certain species of the cat genus, Felis, possessed this endogenous genome related to the baboon ERV. In contrast, all species of baboons carry this virus so it would appear to have been present in the germ line of primates much longer than in cats. Thus it seems evident that a horizontal, infectious event occurred to transfer the virus from baboons to cats, whereupon it became endogenous in the new species."[3]

While it seems like, at first glance, the match between our ERVs and primates' might signify something... ultimately, it does not.

But finally, we have

P3c. Apoptosis
Basically, apoptosis is your body's process for killing infected cells. If ERVs truly did come from viruses, and weren't planted with purpose, then your body would react in the same way that it does to any foreign infection. It would destroy the virus and all affected cells through apoptosis.

The very fact that there are so many ERVs in our system shows us that apoptosis is not occuring. Thus, these cells are not infected. These cells are performing how they were designed to function.

I look forward to Pro's response, and seeing if he can find linking evidence to support his first two points, as well as rebut my arguments on his third.

For now, the resolution is negated. Back to you, Pro.

Debate Round No. 3


Thank you Pro, I am glad that you have done the research and now acknowledge that mDNA can be used to trace common ancestry. I know those apologetic sites try to sound scientific. However, when you do the research for yourself, you see their arguments are anything but.

As for your first question, "
But is that ancestor shared with primates?" The answer is absolutely yes.

mDNA proves humans and primates share a common ancestry:

"Based on the evidence from mtDNA sequences, chimpanzees and humans were determined to be each other's closest relatives. These studies further suggest that humans and chimpanzees separated almost five million years ago, and the human-chimp clade separated from gorillas almost eight million years ago . . . Subsequent analyses from even more genes have corroborated this conclusion reached by Ruvolo and the earlier mitochondrial DNA studies."

- Rediscoverying Biology: A Molecular and Global Perspective (2013) [Unit 9: Human Evolution]

I will also provide a link for the peer reviewed scientific paper that supports this conclusion as well:

(The reason I haven't directly quoted from peer reviewed material is because, as anyone can see clicking on the link, they are highly technichal writings filled with graphs, charts, statistics, and complex modeling that does not have cookie cutter statements or catch phrases. That is why I instead paraphrase and provide a link that others can check for themselves. However, if you're more comfortable having a Biology textbook paraphrase, I am happy to provide the above quote.)

Concerning the Y Chromosome I showed proof of this in the Paper I cited in my opening arguments. This paper conclusively proves the link between humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas. I apologize once again as there is no cookie cutter statement so I will instead quote what the Paper said about our primate lineage in regards to the Y chromosome:

"As the molecular-clock hypothesis seems to hold well for the 53 intergenic regions and for the synonymous sites used in this study, these regions are suitable for estimating the divergence dates among the human, chimpanzee, and gorilla lineages. Our estimates are similar to those of Goodman et al. (1998) of 7 million and 6 million years ago for the gorilla branching node and the human-chimpanzee divergence, respectively. In any event, our data suggest that the internodal time span between the human-chimpanzee divergence and the gorilla speciation event is about one-third of the divergence time between the human and chimpanzee lineages."

Albeit a bit technical, it clearly spells out the common ancestory of humans and primates. Though, to really understand why that is the case, you'll have to read the paper yourself which I'll once again cite:

Also there was some confusion on the paper I cited, "He offers up a paper shortly afterwards that supposedly verifies this... but the paper says nothing on this subject." I cited it in my second round as you had challenged (in the first round) that the Y Chromosome could not be used to determine common ancestry. The paper in question was on the methodology and legitimacy of using the Y Chromosome to determine lineage. It was not meant to address human/primate evolution. For that, see the link I posted above.

And now most painfully, on to ERVs.

"Of course this doesn't 100% prove my statement." No, it doesn't prove your statement at all. If you are going to assert that ERVs being functional mean they are not transmitted than you are going to have to show proof of that. All retrovirsus insert genetic material into their host cell through the process of reverse transcription. Re-coding your DNA is how they are able to replicate. That's also why they're the choice tool of molecular biologists when they want to re-write a section of DNA. ERVs are simply a retrovirus that infected a somatic cell of one of our ancestors.

"So we see that ERVs are extremely unlikely to be planted randomly by viruses." This statement could not be more untrue. They're not planted randomly. They are following a very specific genetic sequence determined by their RNA. It would be like saying humans "randomly" grow two arms and two fee. It's a complete misrepresentation of how the genome works. There's nothing random about the transcription.

Would you like to source that, Pro?"

I sure would -

This approach identified 114 distinct retroviral TSS (Transcription Start Site) that promote transcription of human genes. 21 of these retroviral promoters have co-located ESTs, which independently support their ability to initiate transcription. These retroviral TSS correspond to 124 Refseq transcripts over 97 distinct gene loci."

Here's another paper that states it a little more succinctly -

Although HERVs have retained some similarity to their exogenous counterparts, they have acquired many mutations over the course of evolutionary time so that, with a few exceptions, they are now defective and incapable of producing protein."

And now here's where it gets tedious. First you you talk about TvERV(D) which is entirely consistent with the evolutionary model. Than you pivot to Cats and Baboons sharing what appears to be a somewhat similar ERV. However, the sience cited in this paper is from the 1970s. A lot has been learned about these two ERVs over the years and we now know they are not the same. Here's a much more up to date Paper on the topic:

"Phylogenetic analysis of FcEV and RD-114 fragments amplified from cat species and comparison with baboon endogenous virus (BaEV) fragments from monkeys suggested that RD-114 does not represent the cat strain of BaEV but is actually a new recombinant between FcEV type C genes and the env gene of BaEV."

Also, it's not just that we carry the same retrogenes as other primates. It's that the ERV's are in the exact same chromosomal locations which allow us to determine common ancestry.

Lastly, your Apoptosis argument. I don't know why you think I should rebut an argument for which you have provided no supporting evidence. However, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you brought it up because you feel it is important. The simple answer is because many ERVs contain Inhibitors of Apoptosis (Google it) and also because of Error Prone Reverse Transcription.

In closing, imagine a tree for which there was a placard before it which stated “This tree was planted in 1901.” And then when you counted its tree rings it dated back to the year 1901. And finally, when you sent a sample off to the lab for radiometric dating the results came back for the year 1901. A person could argue that one of the dating methods was wrong. They might even be able to argue that all three dating methods were wrong. However, what would be impossible to argue is that all three dating methods were wrong and they all got the exact same date.

The same goes for the genetic evidence that humans and primates share a common ancestry. mDNA proves it. The Y Chromosome proves it. ERVs prove it. And they all agree upon which apes are most closely related to us. Con has tried their hardest to try and poke holes in the science. But the science is solid. And all three forms of evidence are converging on the same answer - our closest mammalian cousins are the Chimpanzee - followed by the Gorilla and then the Orangutan. Our common ancestry is not just swinging in the trees around us it is also inscribed deep inside our DNA. It is a heritage that is written in the languege of life and encoded in every single cell of our body. Our fellow primates are the great grand children of our great grand fathers.


JustinAMoffatt forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by JustinAMoffatt 7 years ago
Sorry, CodeLogic. I'm on vacation and thought I had another day to respond.
Posted by JustinAMoffatt 7 years ago
Thanks! :)
Posted by Codedlogic 7 years ago
You can go to "google scholar" which is a special engine that only shows scholarly articles. Once there, simply type in the subject you're looking to research and it will only display peer reviewed material.

Or when googling just add the words "peer review" or "scholarly article" to your search. The first link will usually be google offering to show you only scholarly articles on the topic.

Also, a lot of websites only let you read the Abstract. If you cut and paste the name of the paper into googles normal engine you can usually find a place where you can read the whole thing without needing to log in or pay for it.

Another good research tip is when you do find a paper on your desired subject you can look at the references and it will usually include a list of other peer reviewed papers that have conducted similar research.
Posted by Codedlogic 7 years ago
You can go to "google scholar" which is a special engine that only shows scholarly articles. Once there, simply type in the subject you're looking to research and it will only display peer reviewed material.

Or when googling just add the words "peer review" or "scholarly article" to your search. The first link will usually be google offering to show you only scholarly articles on the topic.

Also, a lot of websites only let you read the Abstract. If you cut and paste the name of the paper into googles normal engine you can usually find a place where you can read the whole thing without needing to log in or pay for it.

Another good research tip is when you do find a paper on your desired subject you can look at the references and it will usually include a list of other peer reviewed papers that have conducted similar research.
Posted by JustinAMoffatt 7 years ago
You deserved the truth. Thank you for understanding. I didn't mean to make that look so shady.

I understand that. It's a bit challenging trying to find evidence in a 3 day period, but I am trying. I'll post my response in the next few days. :)

One last thing. Could you point me to where I might find peer reviewed articles? Are they usually on a certain site? Some secret to googling them?

Thanks again!
Posted by Codedlogic 7 years ago
Thanks for your honesty, I appreciate that. Though the direction I would really like to point you in is to find peer reviewed scientific articles. These are written by actual scientist doing research in their respective fields who have followed the scientific method to draw their conclusions about the data.

In most debates quoting professors or Phds. is okay. However, for such in depth discussion on DNA it would be more appropriate to have something a little more substantial than just a quote. Especially if the person being quoted is taking a position that is contrary to established science. The off the cuff remarks of an anthropologist are not anywhere equivalent to the conclusions of the actual experts who have done the research and have had their ideas vetted by the intense scrutiny of peer review.
Peer review a brutal process in which every piece of evidence is double checked and every conclusion from that data is challenged by fellow scientist who work in the same or parallel fields. It's a process that can take a year or more and strict adherence to the scientific method is required.

You'll find a lot of that on creationist websites where they find a quote by one person (who often isn't a scientist) and pretend like that overturns decades of established scientific research. This is not how science is done. Real scientists actually have to show proof of their work.

Anyways, I hope that arms you intellectually. Anytime I hear a scientific, medical or historical claim that goes against the mainstream - or just rubs me the wrong way - I see if I can find a scientific or scholarly article about it. It's the best way to good informed information on such topics.
Posted by JustinAMoffatt 7 years ago
I would like to apologize for that.

Being unfamiliar with all these things, I knew I was going to have to do quite a bit of research once I accepted this debate. However, I got sick. With a throbbing headache the past few days, I realized that I had yet to respond and scrambled to get arguments together. While I do believe in the validity of the arguments, and fully comprehend them, I didn't have the time nor willpower to change all the wording.

Both of the first two responses are based off of articles on (and a lot of the wording was taken from those articles)

To be honest, I'm never quite sure what to do in that situation. In Policy (the style of debate I'm accustomed to) you're supposed to formulate arguments off of other people's arguments. It's more about how you use them than the actual formulation of them yourself. But apparently, that's not what you wanted from this debate.

Please accept my sincerest apologies, Codedlogic. If you want, I can ask them to give sources and conduct to you in my next round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 7 years ago
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Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: There are multiple problems with how this debate progresses. It seems like Con doesn't want to take up any BoP, which ends up biting him, since he has to now show that everything Pro has stated is wrong. It's actually much easier to present a competing theory and show that the evidence supports it instead. Another problem is just the dramatic shift between R2 and R3 from Con's side, which basically means that Con threw out most of his arguments from that round. They weren't all bad, and they could have been defended. Lastly, there's just some weird science coming from Con. He says that we're descended from current apes, but that's not true. He says that retroviruses always engender apoptosis, but that's not true. Admittedly, both debaters misunderstand how retroviruses work, but the majority of those misunderstandings are from Con. I buy Pro's analysis enough for him to win the majority of his points. I'm also giving conduct to Pro for the forfeit, and sources for the apologeticspress.

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