The Instigator
Con (against)
7 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
41 Points

Scientific Evidence Supports the Theory of Evolution

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,030 times Debate No: 27710
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (137)
Votes (8)




This is in response to "Wnope"s Evolution Corner", where he has made the claim that creationists wet their pants when presented with the "actual math."

As such, I want to see what Wnope is really made of and sent this challenge. The last debate he had was made solely to gain voting rights.

For this debate,
Scientific evidence : Data gained through the scientific method, which can be summarized as "testable, repeatable, falsifiable."
The Theory of Evolution: Change in the genome allowing for the formation of a new species. For this debate, this change must be capable, ie. have the driving force, to mutate, or otherwise, bacterium to homo sapiens.
Supports: Bear all or part of the weight of; hold up. (Google dictionary)

Debate rules:
D.R.1. No trolling
D.R.2. No vulgarities
D.R.3. No plagiarism
D.R.4. Forfeit=autoloss

Debate Format:
D.F.1. R1 for acceptance only
D.F.2. R5 for closing arguments only
D.F.3. Con will begin, Pro may begin refuting in R2, but he may not refute in R5. This is to allow an equal number of refutations.

Final notes:
The BoP will be shared.
8000 character limit.
72 hours to argue.
2 weeks voting period.
Voters will be required to comment on the debate content and performance. Outside preconceptions is allowed in an RFD for this debate.

I do not expect Wnope to run from this.


I accept this challenge.

My burden will be to show that The Theory of Evolution is testable, repeatable, falsifiable, and fits known empirical evidence. I will do this first by refuting the claims made by my opponent, and then by presenting the core concept of the very thread the opponent has cited: the twin nested hierarchy.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank Wnope for accepting. I will present several lines of evidence, all of which were mentioned in that thread. I will not present any evidence from outside of those, even though I have not a few. As my esteemed opponent was rather sparse on specific information or examples, I will only be taking on nested hierarchy and the fossil record, for now.

I. Nested Hierarchy is no evidence for Evolution because it is unfalsifiable.
As the source my opponent has used in the forum thread, TalkOrigins(TO), speaks of nested hierarchy(NH), I will address nested hierarchy, and in doing so, address twin nested hierarchy (tNH).

Firstly, nested hierarchy was never a prediction of Evolution. It is rather a retrospective prediction. [1]

Nested Hierarchy is the common explanation for similarities between supposedly related creatures. Homoplasy (otherwise known as convergent evolution) is the explanation for similarities in creatures not supposed to be related. Notice how this leads to an unfalsifiability of evolution. Both contradictory notions are combined under the all-powerful guidance of evolution.

As my opponent has not yet begun, I am unable to refute him. (I won’t refute the hypothetical example contained in the thread here) However, before we continue to the next argument, I will state a few things.

As noted above, anything that cannot fit into a nested hierarchy but appear similar are rationalized as convergent evolution. There is, however, no constraint on convergent evolution, aka. It can be used to rationalize any similarities. This makes it unfalsifiable and as such, not scientific.

Another interesting point can be made here. Man-made machines can be arranged into nested hierarchies, even though such a hierarchy would be patently false.

“Let us, for instance, assign all of the petroleum-burning machines into a kingdom. Of this, the gasoline-burning ones form a subkingdom. The rubber-wheeled vehicles form a phylum. Of this, conventional automobiles are a class. Each type of car (2-door hatchback, 4-door hatchback, 2-door sunroof, etc.) forms a family. Finally, the manufacturer’s designations make up the genus (e.g. Toyota) and species (e.g. Toyota Tercel). Using selected mechanical components, a nested hierarchy can also be inferred from the structures of wheeled vehicles, whether expressed as a character matrix (Table 1), or cladogram (Figure 3).” [2] (This can be edited to twin nested hierarchy)

That being said, it is now obvious that the idea that nested hierarchy is evidence for evolution is non-existent, to put it mildly. If my opponent’s examples of nested hierarchy has withstood falsification, then so has my “example” of machines.

II. The fossil record neither disproves nor proves evolution.
Now I move on to this second interesting point. My opponent has provided no information on how the fossil record supports evolution in detail in the thread, hence I will be attacking the idea that there is such a thing as fossil succession all through the fossil record generally.

Before we go into that, however, we must note the same problem that plagues the nested hierarchy also plagues the geologic column. How so? Well, quite simply, fossils are frequently, to this day, found in all sorts of unexpected stratas. How is this explained? Well, the range for that organism is simply revised. There is no sort of falsification possible. This means that the interpretation of the fossil record is unscientific.

If a fossil thought the descendant of an ancestor was found in an older strata, the ancestor is deemed to have been a “ghost organism” throughout the previous millions of years.

Fossil ranges are regularly expanded upward and downward the geologic timescale. [3] For example, all fossils in the “Lazarus Taxa” have been expanded to the present, while vertebrae have been pushed into the Cambrian (Which is evidence against evolution, but I will not go into it, not in this round.). Pollen has also been found 1.3 billion years before pollen-making plants supposedly evolved. This contradicts the progression supposedly found in the fossil record. [4] What happens now? Is this an answer to the chicken and egg problem?

What I have just shown is that the evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record is the product of circular reasoning and unfalsifiable.

I will now address the issue of increasing complexity, or of evolution as defined for this debate and how it relates to the fossil record.

To do so, I will quote from [4].
“Did natural selection drive organisms onward and steadily upward, toward ever greater complexity, because being more complex improved their chances of survival? Researchers have always assumed the answer was yes.”
“...the data tell a different story: evolution does not necessarily drive life toward greater complexity. As organisms evolve, they are just as likely to shed complexity as to gain it--at least insofar as biologists can measure it...”
As the study described after in the article showed, complexity actually decreased in fossil organisms.

So now we have reached a paradox of sorts. Even should we discard the data about pollen and changes in fossil age ranges, we cannot discard the data about complexity. It is too complete and compelling.

This situation forces us to conclude that complexity could not even have begun in the first place! That is, the amount of complexity would remain in equilibrium, which would defeat any support for evolution in the fossil record. As such, we see clearly that the sort of change desired to turn bacterium to homo sapiens is non-existent.

I have much more to add, but I’ll let my opponent at least voice his opinions first...

(I have decided for this debate to reference things in a more proper way, meaning I’m not posting links.)

1. ReMine J., The Biotic Message p.350.
2. Woodmorappe J., Walking whales, nested hierarchy, and Chimaeras: Do they exist? Journal of Creation 16(1):111–119 April 2002 (ref 6).
3. Oard M. Are fossils ever found in the wrong place? Creation 32(3):14–15 June 2010
4. Stainforth, R.M. Occurrence of pollen and spores in the Roraima Formation of Venezuela and British Guiana, Nature 210(5033):292–294, 16 April 1966.
5. Oliwenstein L. Onward and Upward? Discover Magazine, Tuesday, June 01, 1993.


It is unfortunate that my opponent has failed to actually address my argument. His attack is limited to a single nested hierarchy. I am talking about the TWIN nested hierarchy.

I will post what would have been my opening statement on the twin nested hierarchy. You will find that, in this post, I dispose of the following arguments my opponents puts forward.

A. Nested hierarchies are subjective, not objective.
B. Nested hierarchies are unfalsifiable because any trait similarity which is not due to a nested hierarchy can be simply attributed to convergent evolution.
C. Fossils are found in multiple strata, and any divergence can be explained after the fact by expanding or contracting what is defined as a geological strata. Thus, fossils appearing in a particular strata is not falsifiable evidence.
D. Evolution does not necessarily drive life towards greater complexity.

Because assigning fossils to a strata is not part of the evidence implied by the twin nested hierarchy, I will not appeal to this methodology. As to D, my opponent unfortunately failed to cite the full article. If he had, he would have come across this passage:

"Then why are the most complex ammonoid sutures also the later ones? The two results, says Boyajian, are not contradictory. Even if the evolution of ammonoid sutures is random, as the ancestor-descendant comparisons suggest-- meaning that at any given time an ammonoid is just as likely to become simpler as it is to become more complex--the maximum complexity to be found among all ammonoids will increase over time."

The article cited concludes that complexity DOES increase, but only when it is selected to increase.

Phylogenetic Nested Hierarchy

The first nested hierarchy is based on phylogeny. The immediate reaction is that this is nothing other than placing animals together that look alike. What this ignores is that a nested hierarchy based on Evolutionary Theory MUST conform the relevant mathematics known as Markov processes and chains. This is because evolutionary gradualism is "stochastic and memoryless" instead of directed by some higher being (i.e. Intelligent Design) or arranged by some random ordering of animals that look alike (subjective hierarchies). (2) By measuring the degree of cladistic hierarchy structure in a phylogeny, it has been determined multiple times that the nested hierarchy is not subjective (like categorizing cars) but instead objective (like categorizing languages). (3,4,5)

Because of this, potential falsification occurs every time you pick out some traits and see whether it occurs in a nested hierarchy. For instance, nested within vascular plants will be seed and non-seed plants. Nested within seed plants are angiosperms and gymnosperms. You can even take small samples from the phylogenetic tree, and they will all show statistically significant hierarchical restructure (6, 7).

Molecular Nested Hierarchy

The redundancy of genetics is highly unappreciated. Proteins are strings of AMINO ACIDS. Amino acids are determined genetically by the relevant CODON. A Codon is made of three NUCLEOTIDES. Multiple combinations of nucleotides lead to the same codon. Multiple codons lead to the same amino acid. DNA sequences like certain introns or third-base position of DNA codons can be added or subtracted without effecting the amino acid sequence (8). These DNA changes are not correlated to morphological similarity. Using these "silent" markers, we can establish a "genetic tree" of organisms based on the nucleotide similarities independent of morphological ones.

Twin Nested Hierarchy

The thirty taxa generally used for classification can be arranged in 10 ^ 38th (ten with 38 zeros after it) different ways. The burden on the Evolution is to show NOT ONLY that around 10 ^ 38 possibilities are incorrect, but that both trees INDEPENDENTLY come to the same statistically significant conclusions. If both trees do not have the same answer, common descent is falsified. Even more daunting, EVERY POSSIBLE SUB-SET of taxa must have a consistent twin nested hierarchy or Evolutionary Theory is falsified.

Evolution is a stochastic (random) process. Because of this, there will be incongruities between the two trees. The question is how the incongruity effects statistical significance. By determining the maximum p-value, we can find this. For instance, if you wish to test a set of twelve taxa, but you find three incongruities, the p-value is still 0.00011. Statistical significance is assumed at a P-value of 0.01. However, if you take eight taxa and find four incongruities, the trees do not match with statistical significance (9). By using a combination of Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood, and parsimony, we know the p-value is not the result of any one statistical method failing (10). This is buttressed by the ability to check for Anomalous Gene Trees, when the stochastic nature of Evolution leads what appears to be a gene discordance in the trees (11, 12).

A failure of the markov process on a genetic level would be evident within a few generations. You don't need thousands of generations or a heap of fossils. It can be done with bacteria, rabbits, apricots, flies, whatever you like. The experiments showing what Creationists deridingly call "microevolution" are such confirmations of the markov process.

I have shown how, out of 10 ^ 38 possible combinations of 30 taxa, two independent methods (genetic tree and phylogenetic) achieve the same result with statistical significance far beyond what scientists require in terms of a p value. Not only this, but any sub-set of either tree must end up in the predicted mathematically determined nested hierarchy. This allows for constant possible falsification or confirmation. All empirical evidence has confirmed the twin nested hierarchy.

Thus, I appropriately make the analogy that, in terms of argumentation, the twin nested hierarchy is devastating to the point of Creationists [as the opponent has already quoted me saying] "wetting their pants."

3. Huelsenbeck, J. P., Ronquist, F., Nielsen, R., and Bollback, J. P. (2001) "Bayesian inference of phylogeny and its impact on evolutionary biology." Science 294: 2310-2314.
4. Faith, D. P., and Cranston, P. S. (1991) "Could a cladogram this short have arisen by chance alone?: on permutation tests for cladistic structure." Cladistics 7: 1-28.
5. Hillis, D. M., and Huelsenbeck, J. P. (1992) "Signal, noise, and reliability in molecular phylogenetic analyses." Journal of Heredity 83: 189-195.
6. Baldauf, S. L., Roger, A. J., Wenk-Siefert, I., and Doolittle, W. F. (2000) "A kingdom-level phylogeny of eukaryotes based on combined protein data." Science 290: 972-7.
7. Brown, J. R., Douady, C. J., Italia, M. J., Marshall, W. E., and Stanhope, M. J. (2001) "Universal trees based on large combined protein sequence data sets." Nature Genetics 28: 281-285
10. Penny, D., and Hendy, M. D. (1986) "Estimating the reliability of phylogenetic trees." Mol. Biol. Evol. 3: 403-417
11. NA Rosenberg,"R Tao"(2008) Discordance of species trees with their most likely gene trees: the case of five taxa."Systematic Biology"57: 131-140
Debate Round No. 2


My esteemed opponent has wasted characters while laboring under the false assumption that I know not certain observable scientific fact. I am fully aware of all of the facts that he has presented. I am also fully aware of the interpretation and how it is absurdly false.

My opponent, has rather unfortunately, mixed up nested hierarchy, single nested hierarchy, and twin nested hierarchy. In his attempt to answer my arguments, he has proffered three subtypes of nested hierarchy. As I will show following, they not only are red herrings in that they give the illusion of knowledge, they also do not address my arguments in the slightest.

Wnope has accused me somewhat tediously of having only four major points within a single argument. His attack on my arguments regarding the fossil record is centered around the ludicrous notion that “assigning fossils to a strata is not part of the evidence implied by the twin nested hierarchy...”

If the reader is observant, not only will he note that my arguments amount to the number of two, which indicates that my respected opponent knows not the “actual math,” but that although similar, my arguments are actually separate. It is beyond my knowledge to place this lack of rudimentary knowledge on my opponent’s part to lack of experience in debating or sheer ignorance.

My opponent has, somewhat preposterously, claimed that I have not cited the full article! This article in question I am assuming is my ref. 5 from the previous round. Well, my worthy opponent seems to ignore the very later part of the paragraph, which I will now quote for greater clarity and to show that, No! My statements are not contradicted by the article. Not one bit. It is also unfortunate that my opponent has omitted very contradictory portions of the article to what he has quoted. The very paragraph and following the quote goes like this:

“...But the real issue is not whether complexity can increase by pure chance during evolution; it is whether natural selection is driving organisms toward greater complexity. In other words, the issue is whether a complex animal is a more successful animal.
Boyajian and Lutz tested that issue directly. If the hypotheses out there were right, there should be a correlation between how long something lived and its complexity, Boyajian says. In ammonoids a more complex septum might improve the animal’s survival odds by strengthening the shell (just as corrugations strengthen cardboard). If so, then all other things being equal, a more complex ammonoid ought to have survived longer in the fossil record than a simple one.
Yet when Boyajian and Lutz examined how long each of their 615 ammonoids had lasted, they found no benefit in complexity. Complex or simple, very few ammonoid genera lasted more than 15 million years, says Boyajian. And those that did weren’t necessarily the most complex ones. So complexity didn’t help them, but it didn’t hurt them either. The complexity of ammonoid sutures, it seems, is the result of random variation rather than natural selection...” (Ibid) (Emphasis mine)

It seems that my esteemed opponent, in a rush to discredit my arguments, has committed a suicidal argument.

Now that I have sufficiently defended my arguments, showing that my reputed opponent has not at all addressed them, I will address all of his arguments.

A-C. Phylogenetic, Molecular, and Twin Nested Hierarchy
In my opponent’s desire to make me wet my pants, he has unfortunately and unprofessionally thrown sources at me. To prove my point, I need only quote one portion, “...By measuring the degree of cladistic hierarchy structure in a phylogeny, it has been determined multiple times that the nested hierarchy is not subjective (like categorizing cars) but instead objective (like categorizing languages). (3,4,5)...” See there? Now he can say with confidence, Oh! I win on sources, you creationist!

Going on to the main argument, my opponent has contrasted this with my cars argument from the previous round. Now my opponent, in his eagerness, has left himself open. The observant reader will be aware that I have already given an “objective hierarchy” of cars. Hence, if my patently absurd argument about cars is false, then it logically follows that his is as well. My opponent does not do well to try to hide from this obvious point.

He has also not given any idea to the reader of how categorizing languages and cars are any different! Perhaps he means to say something else?

My opponent, even worse, has not provided one instance by which nested hierarchies can be falsified. Perhaps this is his falsification criteria: “Even more daunting, EVERY POSSIBLE SUB-SET of taxa must have a consistent twin nested hierarchy.” What my opponent has failed to note, and I believe wants readers to remain ignorant of the following.

My obviously false car example is such a strong example of the failure twin nested hierarchy that my opponent continues to ignore the point. He has absolutely no evidence by which molecular changes can lead bacterium to homo sapiens.

Wnope has, rather sadly, given himself over to the technical without being technical enough. He has, in his desire to prove his point, not provided one factual biological twin nested hierarchy. All his technical bluster is purely that! I would encourage readers not to be dismayed by his seeming great knowledge, as it is purely hypothetical.

He has, moreover, contradicted himself very efficiently. In retrospect, I should have just concentrated on this contradiction and show how his arguments are suicidal, but I have already typed out the previous.

What is this contradiction in Wnope’s argument?
Let us look at his arguments, “This is because evolutionary gradualism is "stochastic and memoryless" instead of directed by some higher being (i.e. Intelligent Design) or arranged by some random ordering of animals that look alike (subjective hierarchies).”
So, he himself admitted randomness not requiring greater complexity. However, he has urged that humans evolved from lesser complex creatures. Combine this with the second portion of the article paragraph he was partially quoting and viola, we have a contradiction! Note that creationists have something called the "Orchard of Life," which contradicts the "Tree of Life." What my worthy opponent has described can be explained easily by means of the OoL.

My opponent has, it seems, unwittingly failed to answer any of my arguments. He claims that they are irrelevant to the debate, but cannot substantiate that claim! He has thrown sources and numbers at me in the hope that I wet my pants. This strategy is not even failing!

My opponent has somewhat glaringly not given any factual biological instances whereby we can know for sure that twin nested hierarchy can prove that bacterium evolved into homo sapiens. Since he’s all so sure about the evidence being on his side, why is there not even one example? One example? Hmm?

I find no need of sources because my opponent has thrown all I need at me. Besides, I’m logically tearing his arguments to shreds.

I would advise my opponent to actually respond to my arguments, either to show how they are irrelevant, or actually address them. As of now, his round amounts to nothing.


My opponent wished to make the point that his article shows that "complexity could not even have begun in the first place" and that "the sort of change desired to turn bacterium into homo sapiens is non-existent."

However, the article he cited ends by saying that complexity DOES increase, but only when selected for. This is precisely how Evolution works. If complexity does nothing for selection, then, as the article says "complexity didn't help or hurt them." But, as the article concludes, when selected for, complexity does arise. This article makes the point that complexity is not a goal unto itself, it must have a selective benefit. That is why in this case complexity did not help or hurt, and thus was not selected into fixation.

My opponent fails to recognize that hierarchies can be arranged either subjectively or objectively. While cars may be arranged under various criterion, does my opponent really wish to argue that it is subjective whether French is more similar to German or Chinese? For decades, languages have been classified under objective hierarchies, a fact I assumed would be known by my opponent before talking about cladistics (1, 2, 3).

My opponent believes he has Cladistics by the short-hairs, yet even the opening page of "Basics of Cladistics" begins with what he considers his silver bullet: the fact that similarity may be due to convergence or homologous structures. The other 74 pages are devoted to explaining how statistical tests can be used to get rid of this possibility (4). If my opponent is interested in an introductory course to how subjective and objective hierarchies are different, this would provide an excellent resource. The very fact that he believes cars can be arranged in an objective hierarchy suggests it would benefit him.

I have been challenged as to whether Evolution is falsifiable. In response, I provided an entire methodology allowing for nearly infinite ways to falsify Evolution. Since my opponent would prefer me to be more specific, I shall oblige by showing several examples. In 2001, Brown et. al. mapped 23 proteins across 45 species and found it matched an analysis of the same samples but for specific rRNA sequences (5). In 2010 Parfrey et al made a major taxonomic sampling of 451 species and did gene sequencing and confirmed the twin nested hierarchy (6). In 2000, Baldauf et. al. sampled four highly conserved proteins across eukaryotes and found they matched the small ribosomal subunit RNA (7). In 2003, Sanderson et. al. compared a multigene analysis in plants to over 100,000 protein sequences and found the twin nested hierarchy confirmed (8). In 2000, Hansmann et all created a phylogenetic tree of 39 proteins across 18 prokaryotic genomes and found it matched highly conserved genetic clusters (9). Finally, in 2007, Swingley et. Al compared 24 cyanobacterial genomes in a wide variety of niches and integrated the data for around 1,000 protein-encoding genes and found the predicted Markov clustering (10).

I ask that all readers very carefully read my opponents section "What is this contradiction in Wnope's Argument." It reveals major misconceptions about biology in general. "Randomness" refers only to the fact that genetic recombination and differential selection are not directed. Natural selection does not stand on a mountain with a sniper rifle looking for creatures with the wrong alleles. Genes do not ponder how they should recombine before doing so. Save for genes which immediately kill the creature, whether or not alleles are passed on is a probability weighted by selection pressures. No matter how "fit" an animal is, if it's randomly struck by lightning or crushed by a rampaging elephant, the genes will not pass to the next generation. No matter how "unfit" an animal is, if every other animal except one of the opposite sex is wiped out in a fire, those genes will pass on.

Complexity results from stochastic variations. If complexity does nothing other than "be complex" then it will not be selected for under differential reproduction. However, if an increase in complexity also leads some benefit in fitness, then stochastic evolutionary processes will lead to fixation of increased complexity through differential reproduction.

An "orchard of life" would lead to complete falsification mathematically. There is no possible way to model an eukaryotic tree, as shown above, without identifying a lack of common ancestry. To invoke an "orchard" does nothing to help explain away the Twin Nested Hierarchy. It could only explain things if my claim was that only sub-sets of taxa match. I am claiming the total data sets involving all living organisms will match.

In my opening, I showed how you can falsify Evolutionary Theory in nearly infinite number of ways, and how Evolutionary Theory has achieved absurdly exact results when it comes to determining which of the 10 with 38 zeros behind it possibilities are in fact representative of the tree of life. I have shown that the ability of the two trees to independently come to the same conclusion occurs with statistical significance far beyond what is needed for scientists to claim they have succeeded. Now, I have provided multiple examples of possible falsification which lead to confirmations.

Above, my opponent says he could make an "objective hierarchy" out of cars. I have shown this is not only a misguided venture, it is entirely nonsensical. Cars are a subjective hierarchy. But not all hierarchies are subjective.

Does the scientific evidence support Evolution? When the p value of a hypothesis is below 0.01, it is considered significant and we must reject the null hypothesis. The methodologies described above achieve a p value FAR below 0.01. Evolution is falsifiable, empirically confirmed, and its results are statistically significant.

1. Ringe, D. (1999) "Language classification: scientific and unscientific methods." in"The Human Inheritance, ed. B. Sykes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 45-74

2. Robinson, Peter M.W., & Robert J. O"Hara. 1996.
Cladistic analysis of an Old Norse manuscript tradition."Research in Humanities Computing, 4:115"137.

3. Colin Renfrew. At the Edge of Knowability. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 10:1 (2000), 7"34
Towards a Prehistory of Languages


5.Brown, J. R., Douady, C. J., Italia, M. J., Marshall, W. E., and Stanhope, M. J. (2001) "Universal trees based on large combined protein sequence data sets." Nature Genetics 28: 281-285

6. Parfrey, Laura. "Broadly Sampled Multigene Analyses Yield a Well-Resolved Eurkaryotic Tree of Life." System Biology. 2010 Oct, 59(5): 518-533

7. Baldauf, SL. A kingdom-level phylogeny of eukaryotes based on combined protein data. 2000. Science 290: 972-977

8. Sanderson MJ, Driskell AC, Ree RH, Eulenstein O, Langley S:"Obtaining maximal concatenated phylogenetic data sets from large sequence databases. Mol Biol Evol"2003,"20(7):1036-1042.

9. Phylogeny of 33 ribosomal and six other proteins encoded in an ancient gene cluster that is conserved across prokaryotic genomes: influence of excluding poorly alignable sites from analysis. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 50, 1655-1663.

10. Swingley, Wesley. Integrating Markov Clustering and Molecular Phylogenetics to Reconstruct the Cyanobacterial Species Tree from Conserved Protein Families. Mol Biol Evol"(2008)"25"(4):"643-654.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent, in his attempt to destroy my arguments, ignores several things.

While there is good in statistics, and I trust it pretty much, it does not in any way allow for a falsification. Here’s why. If no nested hierarchy patterns are discovered, the “tree” is simply discarded, but evolution is not doubted. The null hypothesis is . On the other hand, if it is discovered, then clearly it is proof of evolution. Notice that my opponent has ignored one of the most fundamental principles of science.

This principle is widely recognized and used in the sciences. It is known as the Falsification Principle. In case my opponent lacks knowledge in this, it goes somewhat like this.
1. Theory T predicts observation O will not be observed.
2. Observation O is observed.
Therefore, Theory T is false.

In his attempt to provide examples against this, my once honored opponent has resorted to arguing with sources. I will not respond to those “examples.”

My opponent has said that complexity increases if it is selected for, but the article clearly states that complexity is not always an advantage. Now, my opponent has not, and still refuses to, provide a simple and clear criteria for how this supposed complexity can be selected for.

My opponent, unfortunately, has provided no criteria, again, for discriminating between subjective and objective hierarchies! Note that he expresses disbelief at my supposed lack of knowledge. However, he has yet to provide even a shred of a criteria by which we can determine the difference.

My opponent uses a whole paragraph parading his supposed knowledge of cladistics, little realizing that what he says in that has no bearing at all on the debate. Once again, he has proceeded to argue with a source, which explains his enormous sources.

My esteemed opponent, in trying to show the readers that there is no contradiction in his arguments, actually create a straw man of my own! Notice that this “misconception” he speaks of is not manifested by me in my arguments anywhere. As such, my arguments not only stand, but a stronger for the fact that my opponent has to straw man them.

He also contradicts himself, again! Let me quote two of his sentences side by side so that the not so observant reader will be able to see it.

“...No matter how "fit" an animal is, if it's randomly struck by lightning or crushed by a rampaging elephant, the genes will not pass to the next generation....”
“...No matter how "fit" an animal is, if it's randomly struck by lightning or crushed by a rampaging elephant, the genes will not pass to the next generation....”

See right there? My opponent, I am sure, will be hard pressed to explain this conundrum. I challenge him to do so. He has said it within a paragraph of each other, hence it must have been linked by more than “randomness.” (Forgive the pun, but my opponent is really entertaining me with all of his straw man)

My opponent has implicitly said that evolution has been proven because of statistics. Notice the falsity of this whole idea. In his statistics, not only is the null hypothesis not that evolution is falsified, it also fails to take into account the Falsification Principle. All that my opponent has succeeded in showing is that the supposed false discovery rate (FDR) is very low.

To prove my point, however, I must show how the cars example is objective. As my opponent has rather irrationally not provided any criteria, I will take the first hypothetical example from the thread. (Note that all of his current examples are not arguments in the least bit.)

I will assume here that my opponent gave a hypothetical objective hierarchy.
“(i.e. if species A and B has retrovirus C, and species D is related but lacks the retrovirus, A and B had a closer evolutionary path (all other things equal) than A and D.)”

So now that my opponent’s example is clearly given, we can continue to how cars are absolutely objective.

If cars A and B had music player C, and car D lacks the music player, then A and B had a closer evolutionary path!

Notice the absurd falsity of this. It has become blatantly clear that A and B need not have to have a common ancestor. In fact, it is far more likely that they had a common designer!

In his attempt to show me wrong, my opponent has not at all guarded from this. He has merely dogmatically assumed the truth of his statements. This is known as circular reasoning. He is not arguing objectively, not even subjectively. He is arguing with a fixed position that has no foundation as I just demonstrated.


My opponent, although very great in the forums, is unable to provide simple answers to simple questions. In fact, he prefers to hide behind statistics and refuse to face the music. He argues with an incredible amount of sources, most of which have little significance to the debate. He claims to know the difference between “subjective” and “objective” hierarchy, yet he has provided no answer as to how they are distinguished, only shocked disbelief.

Notice that in my opponent’s bluster, he has dropped my argument about the fossils. That would have been pardonable if he hadn’t gone on to make a straw man of my arguments! Notice that his glaring lack of formal debating experiences is costing him. He may straw man and otherwise commit fallacies in forum debates, where posts are not as seriously scrutinized, but the fact that he is incapable of even simple answers here is telling!

Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about my opponent is his desire to show that I have misused my sources. (The article from Discover) Notice that in the attempt to do so, he clearly quote mined the source, but refuses to acknowledge it.

I will end with this: My opponent has failed catastrophically in trying to make me wet my pants. Not only are his accusations baseless, his arguments are also intelligent sounding bluster. He fails to prove evolution at every turn. Isn’t it frustrating?


My opponent has demonstrated an alarming ignorance of the scientific method. The entire point of discussing the p-value of a claim (what my opponent calls "statistics") is that the p-value determines whether the null hypothesis should be discarded. It is not possible to confirm or disconfirm a theory using evidence if you are unable to say whether or not the results occurred by chance. This is the essence of falsification. Yet my opponent acts as though I haven't even touched on the subject.

The twin nested hierarchy makes a series of predictions about what should happen when we analyze a nested tree based on morphology versus genetics for any set of species. If you are analyzing eight different taxa, and the twin nested hierarchies shows four incongruities, Evolutionary Theory has been falsified. There's no getting around this. Choose any eight taxa, do the math, and you can personally falsify Evolutionary Theory.

My opponent asked for examples of times when the twin nested hierarchy was confirmed. I provided six examples as well as their citations. Each citation refers to an empirical experiment which confirmed the twin nested hierarchy in some way. It is hard to imagine what else my opponent wishes other than a step-by-step explanation of each document.

My opponent began by quoting an article in order to demonstrate that complexity cannot arise in the first place. When I pointed out that the article's conclusion is that complexity can increase over time, but complexity itself is not inherently beneficial, my opponent suddenly became indignant that I have not provided criteria for selecting complexity.

This ignores the whole point of the article. Complexity can enter the gene pool through variation, but unless that complexity leads to an increase in fitness, the complexity will vanish. For instance, a gene duplication leading to a new ability to survive sub-arctic temperatures increases complexity and will survive because it enables new niche exploitation (1). There is no "criteria" for selecting complexity, complexity is an aspect of what may be selected for.

Had my opponent taken the time to peruse the Introduction to Cladistics, we might have saved quite a few characters. The difference between objective and subjective hierarchies involves the difference between comparisons of synapomorphies (shared derived characteristics not present in ancestors) as opposed to just shared characteristics. Given a starfish, a human, and a jellyfish, they can be arranged under subjective criteria like "lives in water" or "radial symmetry" or other such criteria and have multiple trees. However, when the criteria is based on synapomorphy, we see that the starfish and human are actually more closely related the starfish and jellyfish or human and jellyfish.

Comparing cars is an act of comparing shared characteristics. Comparing languages is an act of comparing shared derived characteristics, synapomorophy. Biological cladistics is based on synapomorphy (2). It is not possible to create an objective hierarchy of cars because the hierarchy cannot be based on shared-derived characteristics. Any attempt to do so establishes only that my opponent does not understand basic cladistics.

One can only hope that the utter ridiculousness of my opponents car music player argument is blatantly apparent. It assumes, nonsensically, that cars can be classified based on synapomorphy.

""...No matter how "fit" an animal is, if it's randomly struck by lightning or crushed by a rampaging elephant, the genes will not pass to the next generation...."
"...No matter how "fit" an animal is, if it's randomly struck by lightning or crushed by a rampaging elephant, the genes will not pass to the next generation...." "

I would be interested to know exactly how these two sentences contradict each other.

My opponent began this debate by claiming nested hierarchies are unfalsifiable. I have provided six examples which could have lead to falsification but instead lead to confirmation.

My opponent began by refusing to distinguish between subjective and objective nested hierarchies and proceeded to then say that subjective hierarchies can be made objective. His current stance is that cars can be arranged according to shared-derived characteristics. This should be an utterly ridiculous notion to even the most dogmatic Creationist.

Evolutionary Theory is exact enough so that two independent methodologies were able to distinguish between 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possibilities and both land on the same answer. I have demonstrated six independent times how the twin nested hierarchy can be used on sub-sets of taxa ranging throughout the eukaryotes and prokaryotes to create trees with statistically significant relationships. Each time could have lead to falsification, but it did not.

Debate Round No. 4


In regards to the contradictory statements. My apologies. The copy pasting was not working.

I will do so again.

“...No matter how "fit" an animal is, if it's randomly struck by lightning or crushed by a rampaging elephant, the genes will not pass to the next generation...”
“...However, if an increase in complexity also leads some benefit in fitness, then stochastic evolutionary processes will lead to fixation of increased complexity through differential reproduction...”

Notice that my opponent has contradicted himself. In one sentence, he states that fitness is not the issue, but in the very next, he says that greater fitness will lead to greater survival. Don’t you see the absurdity?

Observant readers will be aware that contrary to my opponent’s assertive opinion that I have displayed a lack of understanding of the scientific method, I have actually provided a condensed version of it! How my opponent can ignore that fact while asserting this dubious opinion I know not.

In regards to his defence of his statistics, notice that my opponent has not at all responded to my arguments regarding the null hypothesis. My opponent blusters his way through “answering” my arguments, but as shown earlier, his arguments contradict themselves at least twice without him at all remedying anything.

My opponent’s challenge for me to “falsify” nested hierarchy has already been achieved. Critical readers will be aware that my example of the cars has absolutely falsified nested hierarchy. My opponent has baselessly thrown words such as “nonsensical,” “utter ridiculousness.” Notice that unlike me, my opponent is unable to substantiate his claims more than just through assertive opinion.

My opponent is absolutely unable to falsify the example of cars. He is unable to show in the least bit how the car hierarchy is not “objective.” Instead, he has begun to throw weightless accusations. He keeps asserting that my example of cars is not objective. What does this tell us? Well, it is simple confirmation of the bluster from my opponent.

Once again, my opponent has not shown how cars are not indeed capable of fitting into a twin nested hierarchy. What is utterly ridiculous about my opponent’s assertion that my argument is utterly ridiculous is that he presents no argument whereby the cars analogy is falsified.

My opponent, in my request for one detailed example, gave six sparse example and asked me to read up on it. Even if I did not know about those examples, which I did, I would not present a rebuttal to something not present.

My opponent has admitted, implicitly, that he has argued with sources! “...I provided six examples as well as their citations. Each citation refers to an empirical experiment which confirmed the twin nested hierarchy in some way...”
Notice that he has failed to argue intelligently in this debate by using sources and
facetiously asking me to read them up!

My opponent deems me indignant in that I have refuted his points and have conclusively shown that he quote-mined. The observant reader will notice that he does not defend himself on this point. Furthermore, my opponent has made a straw man of my arguments. The second time in this debate.

In no way was I indignant at anyone’s failure to provide criteria for complexity. I have challenged him to provide a criteria by which complexity can be selected for, not for how to determine complexity. Notice the subtle way in which my opponent has made this straw man.

My opponent, fascinatingly, has given an example of an animal which can “survive sub-arctic” temperature. Notice that surviving in sub-arctic temperature need not be complex. My opponent has shown a gross lack of knowledge of simple biology on this point. Surviving sub-arctic temperatures need not require greater complexity. In fact, greater complexity can lead to “unfitness,” as the article cited has shown clearly.

By the way, if the reader cared to download the article, they will find no bearing of the article (Con’s 1) on the debate. Proteins =/= living. My opponent, possibly in desperation, has not provided a link to a study about an organism that gets more complex to survive!

My opponent has claimed that he has provided six falsifiable examples of nested hierarchies. Notice that he does not at all address my objection to his null hypothesis, he also has been arguing with sources, as I pointed out.

Readers should be aware of the fact that my opponent has not provided any falsification against the common designer argument or the car analogy. In both of his “refutations,” my opponent has used big numbers and technical words to try to trip me up. I have shown myself capable of replying. What is most appalling in my opponent’s case is that he gives no evidence, nor does he link his arguments to, evidence for changes in living organisms that will change bacterium to homo sapiens.

As my opponent has presented little to none of his own arguments, I will allow him to “refute” in the next round. The next round was originally for him to solidify his own arguments.

As such, the resolution is strongly negated. In bullet points, here are the problems within my opponents arguments.

    • My opponent has contradicted himself on at least two occasions.

    • My opponent has, at least six times, used the fallacy of arguing with a source, even going as far as to ask me to look it up.

    • My opponent, rather tediously, has not provided any coherent refutation of my cars analogy, my fossil argument, or my argument regarding the unfalsifiability of nested hierarchies. At most, he has ridiculed without falsifying the former, ignored the middle, and superficially answered the latter by means of saying that it is “irrelevant.”

    • My opponent has quote-mined my sources, destroying his credibility.

    • On at least two occasions, my opponent has responded to caricatures of my arguments. This is called “Straw Man.” I thought my opponent was aware of that, but it appears that he is not.

    • My opponent has, multiple times throughout the debate, asserted his opinion that I am scientifically illiterate. This is blatantly false, as I showed.

With that, I leave it to him to finish the debate and then to the voters. I strongly urge a vote Con due to what I listed above.


I would first like to thank my opponent for giving me the chance to talk about the Twin Nested Hierarchy in a structured manner.

The Twin Nested hierarchy was challenged on the grounds that it is unfalsifiable, that no such thing as an objective hierarchy exists, that cladistics does not account for convergence and homologous structures, and that, according to a citation, complexity in evolution "could not have begun in the first place place!"

First, I showed how any individual with access to already sequenced genomes and proteins can single-handedly falsify the Theory of Evolution. I provided a chart showing how for every size twin nested hierarchy, there is some number of incongruities where if they are found, Evolution has been falsified.

Then, I explained how, unlike the case in cars, objective hierarchies are only possible when the analysis is on the basis of shared-derived characters, and for the rather obvious fact that cars don't actually reproduce each other, this is not possible for cars. Languages and family trees, animal or otherwise, can be classified by shared-derived characteristics, and an objective hierarchy can be arrived at with statistical significance (p value lower than 0.01).

Half of con's argument was based on the assumption that cars can be classified based on shared-derived characteristics or that shared characteristics could be used to determine an objective hierarchy. THIS IS WRONG BY DEFINITION. Unless my opponent retracts this argument in his last round, he should lose just on those grounds.

Next, I showed that the article con cited does not show that "complexity could not arise in the first place" and that the authors specifically say that complexity can arise, but natural selection will not favor complexity JUST BECAUSE it's complex. The articles point is: just being complex does not necessarily count as increased fitness. The fact that the authors are both in favor of common descent and wrote their papers under the assumption of common descent should also indicate that my opponent has misused the source.

When asked for examples, I listed six experiments, which particular genes and proteins were sequenced in each experiment, the sample taxa or species involved, and the research goal. My opponent has refused to acknowledge the existence of these experiments because I did not outline, step for step, how each particular experiment worked.

Each experiment listed could have resulted in a falsification of Evolution the same way that finding a particular amount of incongruities in the twin nested hierarchy leads to falsification. However, every single set of data analyzed pertaining to the twin nested hierarchy has results in a confirmation.

There is no way to argue Evolutionary Theory is unfalsifiable without arguing that these six experiments are somehow fundamentally flawed. The only flaw my opponent could bring up was the strange argument that biological cladistics is based shared characteristics (like cars) and not shared-derived characteristics (like languages).

Even if you agreed with the person beforehead, would you let someone win a debate if their most powerful argument is wrong by definition? Would you let them win if, when it is pointed out that they are wrong by definition, the person refused to acknowledge his error?

You don't have to agree with Evolutionary Theory in order to vote Pro. Voting "Pro" says nothing other than the fact that in this case, someone has failed at an attempt at attacking the twin nested hierarchy. Voting "Pro" doesn't even have to mean you accept the twin nested hierarchy. All voting "pro" indicates is that, on a website about debates, you read a particular debate on biology, and one party handedly defeated the other. Likewise, you can believe Evolutionary Theory is true as the sun rising in the east, but if Con has truly shown the twin nested hierarchy to be unfalsifiable, you should vote con.

Thank you for reading this debate, and I hope I've clarified some of the issues regarding the Twin Nested Hierarchy. Vote as you see fit.
Debate Round No. 5
137 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by devient.genie 5 years ago
Muted, It is known as "universal", because it is used by all known organisms as a code for DNA, mRNA, and tRNA.

The universality of the genetic code is used in animals (including humans), plants, fungi, archaea, bacteria, and viruses. However, all rules have their exceptions, and such is the case with the Genetic Code; small variations in the code exist in mitochondria and certain microbes.

Nonetheless, it should be emphasised that these variances represent only a small fraction of known cases, and that the Genetic Code applies quite broadly, certainly to all known nuclear genes.
Posted by devient.genie 5 years ago
Some people think that in science, you have a theory, and once it's proven, it becomes a law. That's not how it works. In science, we collect facts, or observations, we use laws to describe them, and a theory to explain them. You don't promote a theory to a law by proving it. A theory never becomes a law.

If there was a hierarchy of science, theories would be higher than laws. There is nothing higher, or better, than a theory. Laws describe things, theories explain them. An example will help you to understand this. There's a law of gravity, which is the description of gravity. It basically says that if you let go of something it'll fall. It doesn't say why. Then there's the theory of gravity, which is an attempt to explain why. Actually, Newton's Theory of Gravity did a pretty good job, but Einstein's Theory of Relativity does a better job of explaining it. These explanations are called theories, and will always be theories. They can't be changed into laws, because laws are different things. Laws describe, and theories explain.

Just because it's called a theory of gravity, doesn't mean that it's just a guess. It's been tested. All our observations are supported by it, as well as its predictions that we've tested. Also, gravity is real! You can observe it for yourself. Just because it's real doesn't mean that the explanation is a law. The explanation, in scientific terms, is called a theory.

Evolution is the same. There's the fact of evolution. Cumulative genetic change over generations, happens, just like gravity does. 99.9% of Genius Level Intellect agrees with science, as do govt and universities. The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. It is our best explanation for the fact of evolution. It has been tested and scrutinised for over 150 years, and is supported by all the relevant observations.

Allowing the poison of religious text to atrophy intuition, intellect and instinct, is the ball and chain mankind drags on its way to a higher standard
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
(Part of the RFD) Con's failure to respond effectively to Pro's empirical evidence, having resorted to defend his own arguments, while assigning many nominal fallacies to Con's case without any exposition backing up his demands for a criteria for complexity, refusing to launch an attempt to disintegrate Con's dichotomy to demonstrate how the falsification of the twin nested hierarchy would uphold the foundations of a blatantly "false" analogy (by essentially affirming that the two are analogous, and therefore comparable in aspect)--did not bear the fruits that he fancied to be in his possession, for lack of a better articulation...
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
To further explain my vote, I should note that Con did not adequately use his source and indeed misinterpreted the conclusion of the authors in regards to the augmented or regressing complexity across the evolutionary line.
Posted by devient.genie 5 years ago
CaptainObvious 1:4--The planet earth is covered with 70% water. Of the remaining 30%, you have desert and mountains and other non livable areas, so about 15% of earths surface is actually livable. Why? Poor design or poor designer? Birth defects have been around since the beginning of time, but why, poor design or poor designer? The preceeding true scripture is brought to you by our faithful sponsors, CHECK and MATE :)

CaptainObvious 1:35--Genetics is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms, DNA is an informational molecule encoding the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses. Fractal Geometry is the geometry of fractals, Quantum Physics is a branch of physics dealing with physical phenomena at microscopic scales, where the action is on the order of the Planck constant. Quantum mechanics departs from classical mechanics primarily at the quantum realm of atomic and subatomic length scales. Quantum mechanics provides a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter, all these things were unknown to Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin and all ancient people. These discoveries make it painfully obvious that the reason for everything is NOT admittingly jealous and interested in your sex life and convicting you of thought crimes :)

GAMEOVER 10:26--The Theory of Evolution is just like the Theory of Gravity, testable, repeatable, falsifiable, and fits known empirical evidence. Advocating intellectual honesty, is the single most corrosive thing for religious dogma :)
Posted by Muted 5 years ago
i have thus shown that not only does evolution not have any mechanism by which to retain information, much less get nested hierarchies, but that evolution also cannot account for the lack of species extinction. This is a powerful argument against evolution as per falsification criteria.
Posted by Muted 5 years ago
Devient.genie, the genetic code is NOT universal, and bacterial resistance to antibiotics is not evolution. At least you got the percentages of similarities right.

Oh, and I very much think Wnope is going to mock this user (myself) for stating that the genetic code is NOT universal, and I await it.
Posted by devient.genie 5 years ago
LEARNING 1:1--The universal genetic code--- All cells on Earth, from our white blood cells, to simple bacteria, to cells in the leaves of trees, are capable of reading any piece of DNA from any life form on Earth. This is very strong evidence for a common ancestor from which all life descended :)

LEARNING 1:2--The fossil record---The fossil record shows that the simplest fossils will be found in the oldest rocks, and it can also show a smooth and gradual transition from one form of life to another :)

LEARNING 1:3--Genetic commonalities--- Human beings have approximately 96% of genes in common with chimpanzees, about 90% of genes in common with cats, 80% with cows, 75% with mice, and so on, all the way to less than 1%. This does not prove that we evolved from chimpanzees or cats, though, only that we shared a common ancestor in the past. And the amount of difference between our genomes corresponds to how long ago our genetic lines diverged :)

LEARNING 1:4--Bacterial resistance to antibiotics---- Bacteria colonies can only build up a resistance to antibiotics through evolution. It is important to note that in every colony of bacteria, there are a tiny few individuals which are naturally resistant to certain antibiotics. This is because of the random nature of mutations. When an antibiotic is applied, it will kill most bacteria, leaving behind only those few cells which happen to have the mutations necessary to resist the antibiotics. In subsequent generations, the resistant bacteria reproduce, forming a new colony where every member is resistant to the antibiotic. This is natural selection in action. The antibiotic is "selecting" for organisms which are resistant, and killing any that are not :)

FRAUD 7:2--Lance Armstrong. He's like the main character in the holy binky, when first introduced, impressed us, now, science is the reason behind them both being a disappointment :)
Posted by Muted 5 years ago
I actually do not need to give you a lecture on genetics. It is absurd. You should know more about this than me, but your lack of understanding of this VERY basic principle of genetics is appalling!
Posted by Muted 5 years ago
I will only address your smear against Sanford. Firstly, he is a highly respected geneticist whose work include developing the biolistic process, pathogen-derived resistance, and genetic immunization. Secondly, his work is supported by peer-reviewed papers published in scientific journals, in which he himself has published. Thirdly, Sanford was a Professor at Cornell for over 25 years. No mean feat.

All you can come up with is a wordpress article supposedly refuting this fact based argument. Not enough, my friend. You have to actually present arguments supported by the data. Handwaving is not science. Blogs have no quality, and Sanford's book was peer-reviewed. Not to mention that he based his arguments on his wide ranging experience and on other leading geneticists.

Lastly, he corrected Kimura's graphs to show that beneficial mutations do exist, but only in the near-neutral section. Kimura did not feel a need to include those due to the overwhelmingly deleterious mutations. Furthermore, he is not the only geneticist that feels this way. Others such as Lowe, Haldane, Kondrashov, etc have concluded the same. Simply doing hand waving and citing non expert sources, not even a biologist, is rather absurd. On the other hand, I have cited some of the best geneticists to have ever lived, on this topic.

Once again, you have resorted to smearing the arguments that you cannot refute.

All beneficial mutations are in the near-neutral section, just like almost all the deleterious mutations are in the same box. Near-neutral means that natural selection can not select for these mutations. They just accumulate and are linked, plus what I just said before.
Note that if beneficial mutations (which are almost nonexistent, akin to spelling errors)were the more dominant, we would not age.

All of your arguments have been answered if you just bothered to scroll down to the very first time you began this absurd argumentum ad nauseam.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's initial argument not only neglected the possibility of the formulation of said mechanism to account, to attribute to-which he deems as part of "circular reasoning," for a discrepancy against set norms/anticipations, but relies on a blatantly false analogy wedded with his own ignorance of cladistics: Con is unable to surmount, for example, Pro's distinctions between subjective and objective hierarchies, the latter of which does not differentiate on the basis of mere appearances, aspects, or related characteristics that constitutes Con's "hierarchy." Con commits multiple other misapprehensions of--as Pro himself notes--basic concepts and principles that ultimately desist the formation of any true rebuttal, whether it is attributing a positive aspect to complexity (while a hypothetical regarding natural selection would eliminate any inherent benefit in favor of a conditional advantage, etc.
Vote Placed by iamnotwhoiam 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to engage with the cited sources and presented an argument from ignorance. Creationist sources are unreliable when it comes to evolution. Pro's sources were scientific ad on point.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: con's Nested Hierarchy example in a way proved it correct although it was applied to automobiles. Automobiles have "evolved" in a way, and his example is evidence for it. Although sources are equally as good, pro has better USE of sources, awarding pro the points. That being said, con makes some STRONG arguments, but pro simply has stronger arguments.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had the science in this debate. If n hypothesis is proved, especially repeatedly then it's accepted. Con would have to show a case of it being rejected, but he could not, and claimed without proof that any failure would be discarded. Falsification would come in principle from a case of rejection. The debate lacked structure. Headings ought to be statements, and should track through the rounds. The debate was full of insults. Pro was sucked into the insult contest, but I think Con really pushed it. Never characterize an opponent in any negative way. It's acceptable to characterize an argument, (e.g. "ridiculous") but it's pointless. Just give the reasoning why it fails.
Vote Placed by Oryus 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct points to Pro. From the third round on especially, Con?s entries were littered with various arrogant attacks on Pro and a snarky tone which was totally uncalled for. Points to Pro for more convincing arguments. Con was quite literally all talk in this debate. In a bewildering attempt to discredit Pro, Con continuously and wrongly said that Pro committed fallacies. In reality, Con was most guilty of using fallacies. His central argument (the car example) was a blatant false analogy which Pro explained. Con?s primary source to discredit evolution was a red herring, however this backfired anyway when Pro used it to make his own case even stronger. Con stated that the burden of proof was shared- Pro went above and beyond his burden of proof using multiple sources, including Con?s primary source. Not only did Con not meet his burden of proof, he also failed in successfully countering the arguments of Pro which he, ironically, strawmanned multiple times especially with use of his
Vote Placed by DakotaKrafick 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I wanted to vote on this myself, but now I must counter bergeneric's obvious votebomb.
Vote Placed by bergeneric63 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I believe the points even from the first round Con won. Pro made some valid points but he was not able to prove evolution nor the big bang theory as a reoccurring even so therefore it can not be correct. (his argument feel down around him.)
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro for Con's continuous and flagrant insults and attacks on Pro's knowledge and character. Sources to Pro for using Con's chief source to prove that biological complexity can increase in organisms and that such an increase can be selected for when beneficial. This alone largely answers Con's primary qualm concerning the development of comparatively advanced species like our own from lesser ones. Arguments to Pro for addressing each of Con's concerns, including the issue above and the falsifiability of both evolution and the TNH theory. Con's refusal to address the specific examples of such were inappropriate, as Pro explained each in detail, provided the appropriate sources, and Con later admits that he was familiar with the examples in the first place. Con's car argument is similarly inappropriate. Pro explains that there is a difference between shared characteristics and those derived from common ancestry.