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The usual arguments #1: Evolution has not been proven

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,846 times Debate No: 51194
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (38)
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Hello! This is the first debate is a series called "The usual arguments" where I take the most common arguments against atheism and try to debunk them.
In this debate, I will chose a common theist argument and show why it's wrong. I would like a serious debate with an opponent that believes evolution has not been proven.

If you would like to accept, leave a comment.
evolution - A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.[1]

proof - The evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true;[2]

We should debate macro-evolution, since that is commonly rejected by Christians.

Round 1: acceptance
Round 2: arguments
Round 3: rebuttals
Round 4: conclusion
Debate Round No. 1


1) Micro evolution proves macro evolution
Micro evolution is proven and the proof can't be denied. The best example is the flu virus[1] Macro evolution is nothing more than micro evolution on a larger scale. Micro evolution proves change does occur and organism change over time. Macro evolution is fundamentally the same as micro evolution. The only difference is macro evolution takes more time to occur and results in bigger changes. One aspect people usually leave out when debating evolution is natural selection. Macro evolution could never occur without natural selection. So, in order to prove macro evolution, you have to prove 2 concepts: micro evolution and natural selection
Since both micro evolution and natural selection are proven, macro evolution can be proven. Micro evolution needs natural selection to exist, so proof of micro evolution also proves natural selection. Here are a few examples that prove micro evolution as well as natural selection : the peppered moth, house sparrows and the italian wall lizard[2, 3, 4]
So, we know as a fact change occurs and we know changes that allow organism to live longer and reproduce more will pass their genes to the next generation and in time totally change the characteristics of a species.

2) The time scale
The most important aspect of macro evolution is the time it takes for it to happen. While micro evolution can change a virus in less than a year, macro evolution needs a lot of time to occur.
Basically, if you have micro evolution, natural selection, genetic drift and thousands of years, you will get new species. Micro evolution is a lot faster than macro evolution, so in order for macro evolution to happen (a new species to appear) micro evolution also has to happen (characteristic of the first species change). Macro evolution is nothing more than micro evolution that needs more time to happen and has a more impressive result.

3) Examples
Micro evolution occurs in viruses as well as humans. Macro evolution is the same. A new virus, evolved from another one but different from it, appeared through macro evolution.

The HIV virus mutated from the SIV virus, that couldn't infect humans, just other primates. These viruses are related, so we are talking about evolution and they are also different "kinds" of viruses, so we are talking about macro evolution. [5, 6]



Micro evolution is true, everybody should know that, it makes sense and, like you said, it has proof. Macro evolution, however, does not. Macro evolution is almost entirely inference.

Darwinian evolution cannot stand on it's own two feet. In fact, it can't even stand up. There is no proof of life coming from non-life, and in order for Darwinian evolution to be possible, the creation of life from non-life must be possible as well. A very commonly cited experiment is the Miller-Urey Experiment taken place in 1953, people always forget, however, that this experiment was designed- Miller and Urey had to create the flasks, the structure of the glass, the correct atmosphere etc.- Their "life" (amino acids are not life) was a result of intelligence, thus providing further evidence for the need of a Creator.

Putting the whole "origin of life" away, let's take a look at macro evolution together. You talked a little about how viruses can change in less than a year from micro evolution, but you neglected the fact that they are still viruses. You then go on to talk about the genetic drift over thousands of years and how that- along with micro evolution- is what brings about "a more impressive result." This, however, is incoherent with micro evolution. Micro evolution has shown itself to be a very cyclical change. Darwinian finches and bacteria alike show change over time, but they always have cycles. The finches' beaks: The finches with the larger beaks prospered while the islands were in a drought season, and the trees produced seeds with thicker shells, therefore encouraging a population dominantly of large beaked finches. Then as the wetter season came about, the birds with the smaller beaks prospered encouraging the population to be in favor of the smaller beaked finches. So the population of large beaks to small beaks changed, but it had a cycle. Micro evolution shows the survival of species, not the arrival of species.

Macro evolution is also not possible because of genetic limits.

Darwinists claim that micro evolution within types proves that macro evolution has occurred- after all, if micro evolution can do that in a small amount of time, just think of what it can do over a long period of time! This is, like I said before, incoherent with life. Dog breeders, for example, have had a tremendous time trying to create new breeds of dogs. They may range in from a Chihuahua to a Great Dane, but they are still dogs nonetheless. Scientist have also conducted many studies on fruit flies. Fruit flies have a miniscule life span and an astronomical breeding rate, making it possible to study generations and generations of them in a short amount of time. Scientists have only found, however, that they are still fruit flies (and usually crippled ones too). Not only have they never seen something other than a fruit fly created, their research is invalid when comparing it to natural selection. Let's take a look- Artificial v.s Natural selection.

Artificial- End view in mind Natural- No end view in mind
Artificial- Intelligently guided process Natural- Blind Process
Artificial- Intelligent choice of breeds Natural- No intelligent choice of breeds
Artificial- Breeds guarded from destructive processes Natural- Breeds not guarded from destructive processes
Artificial- Preserves desired freaks Natural- Eliminates most freaks
Artificial- Preferential survival Natural- Non-preferential survival

There are also a slew of irreducibly complex organisms and systems in life that are impossible to have come about by numerous, successive, slight modifications. One of my favorite examples is the Bombardier Beetle, it has 2 chemicals in its body, each in a separate compartment in its abdomen, and when threatened, it simultaneously secrets both liquids into another compartment where the chemicals mix. When mixed, the chemicals create an very large exothermic reaction and produces a liquid almost the same temperature as boiling water. The bug then propels the liquid at the animal that's attacking it. This beetle is irreducibly complex. It would be eaten if it only had one chemical, it would be dead if it had both in one compartment, it would be dead if the compartment where it mixes the chemicals didn't have a heat resistant layer coating it, it would be dead if it didn't have the muscles to propel the liquid etc. Darwinists have had terrible luck trying to discredit this argument against them. This objection, along with many others, has the potential to debunk the whole belief of macro evolution.
"I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist"- Norman G. Geisler and Frank Turek
Debate Round No. 2


1) The appearance of life
Abiogenesis explains the appearance of life from non-life pretty well. There is still not hard evidence to support it, but that's because it's very difficult to provide such evidence and the idea of abiogenesis is still relatively new.
Even if it wasn't proven yet, everything we know suggests abiogenesis does occur, but the way in which in does is still unknown. There are many theories on how abiogenesis could take place, but there's no debate on whether or not it can take place.
The Miller-Urey experiment works for my argument, not against it. Amino acids are not life, but they are present in all living organism, so in order for life to appear, amino acids were necessary. Their experiment doesn't prove the need of a Creator. They recreated the early conditions of Earth. Just because something can be recreated it doesn't mean it requires a creator. If a painter recreates a tree in a painting, the tree doesn't demand a creator. However, the experiment proves that the Earth had the proper conditions for amino acids to develop.
Now, keep in mind that the first form of life were unicellular organism, without a nucleus, called prokaryotes. Because they are so simple, they are very likely to form in an environment that allows amino acids to form.
Now, let's take a look at the evolution timeline.
It took 1.6 billion years for prokaryotes to turn into eukaryotes. 1.6 billion years were needed for cells to develop a nucleus.
I think the infinite monkey theorem is perfect for what I am trying to prove. A monkey with a typewriter and an infinite amount of time will write the complete works of Shakespeare. If given enough time, species will mutate into more complex species. In 1.6 billion years, cells developed a nucleus. The reason why macro evolution seems unreasonable is because people usually think macro evolution takes place in 100 or 1000 years. The time periods it take macro evolution to take place are huge, and that makes it more reasonable.
Even after complex cells, it took 1 billion years for this cells to form multicellular organism.
After multicellular organism things speed up, but it still take a few hundred million years for every new class of animals to appear.
Also, note after that amphibians appeared, fish didn't stop evolving. The appearance of a new species doesn't stop the constant mutations of the old one, that's why 10 species could have evolved from a single, older species. This also explains biodiversity.

2)Macro evolution proof
When talking about the flu virus, that is micro evolution. HIV mutated from SIV, that is macro evolution, The flu virus changes every year, but it still infect humans in the same way every year. HIV is a different "kind" of virus, it isn't just a change in characteristics, it infect a different species, so it proves macro evolution.
" but you neglected the fact that they are still viruses. " - Yes, but they are different "kinds" of viruses. If there was conclusive evidence that humans evolved from apes, would you say it doesn't prove anything, because we are still mammals? Macro evolution happens at the level of species, not just classes. Birds evolved from reptiles, but some birds also evolved from other birds. HIV is a virus that evolved from another virus. Because it's a different virus rather than a variation of the first, we are talking about macro evolution.

"Dog breeders, for example, have had a tremendous time trying to create new breeds of dogs"
This prove micro evolution and has no relevance in this debate, Dog breeders never tried to make a new species of dogs. In addition, this would be impossible. Dogs have been domesticated for only 33.000 years. This is not nearly enough time for macro evolution to occur.
The main reason why we don't witness macro evolution is because we haven't been here long enough. 200.000 years is not enough for it to occur.

The fly experiment:
There have been numerous experiments involving fruit flies, so I'm not sure which one you are talking about. However, there is an experiment that proves macro evolution through sexual isolation. Two species can be nearly identical, for example the Asian Elephant and the African Elephant, but as long as they can't mate, they are considered different species.

species = the major subdivision of a genus or subgenus, regarded as the basic category of biological classification, composed of related individuals that resemble one another, are able to breed among themselves, but are not able to breed with members of another species.

"Kilias, et al. (1980) exposed D. melanogaster populations to different temperature and humidity regimes for several years. They performed mating tests to check for reproductive isolation. They found some sterility in crosses among populations raised under different conditions. They also showed some positive assortative mating. These things were not observed in populations which were separated but raised under the same conditions. "

The individuals that couldn't mate with individuals raised in different conditions were, by definition, members of another species. They might look almost the same and still be flies, if they can't mate, they are different species and therefore prove macro evolution.

The beetle:
Your argument here is that some organism are too complex to have evolved. This is one of the most common arguments against evolution and usually the human eye is the example. First of all, when talking about certain characteristics, like the chemicals and the heat resisting layer, we are talking about micro evolution. Micro evolution and natural selection( both proven ) can do the job. Slight variation after slight variation, the chemicals slowly became part of every beetle. Since most of them died because of the reaction, the ones with thicker layers survived, passed their genes. This is very easy to prove and also doesn't help your case against macro evolution.
If there is a creator that take so much time to perfectly engineer something as insignificant as a beetle, then why wouldn't he give humans better hearing or smell? Why would a creator give dogs better hearing and smell? These can all be easily explained by natural selection and micro evolution: humans don't need better hearing or smell in order to survive, so they never developed it. Dogs need good hearing and smell to survive, so they developed it. Everything in nature works just fine, but as long as it can be explained by simple science, a creator is not at all necessary.




First let's make an assumption: The Miller-Urey experiment, which had to be designed in order to create a sufficient atmosphere to promote the creation of amino acids (which is what Darwinists claim the earth, in fact was), didn't have to be designed; that our earth could have appeared on our planet in a smaller form that we could've used as the experiment.

You are correct in saying, "Amino acids are not life, but they are present in all living organism, so in order for life to appear, amino acids were necessary." If life were to appear, you'd have to have amino acids, yes, but then you'd need about 100 more to create the first protein. Atheists and creationists alike have calculated the probability, Michael Behe says this: ... getting one protein molecule (which has about 100 amino acids_ by chance would be the same as a blindfolded man finding one marked grain of sand in the Sahara Desert three times in a row." This is for one protein, not life. For life, you need about 200 of those proteins.

You said, " Because they are so simple (prokaryotes), they are very likely to form in an environment that allows amino acids to form." Please now take your assertion and try to support it with the facts stated in the previous paragraph. Even with all the time there can be, this will never happen. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics also bolsters my argument. Yes, atheists claim that you can't apply the 2nd law to life, and while that may be true, you cannot yet state that amino acids and proteins are life. It logically follows then, that non-living chemicals will never form living (organized) beings. (I put 'organized' in parenthesis because the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics basically says that all things, left to themselves, will go towards disorder.) This then means your monkey analogy is not applicable to the situation you're trying to apply it to.

Next, your "Macro evolution proof" is not proof at all, rather, you are taking non-living organisms that can't reproduce on their own. Viruses and macro evolution are incomparable.

Man, your next example isn't at all what you're drumming it up to be. This was the experiment: Take a species of animals (D. melanogaster) put a group in their normal habitat and the other group we'll put in a hotter and more humid climate. Then, they realized that the heat was making them infertile. That's in that happened. You're saying that because they couldn't mate, they were a different species. That means that every infertile woman is not a human! So no, that was not anything to bolster the argument for macro evolution.

Lastly, your rebuttal of the beetle is not logically sound in the least. Slight variation to slight variation will still have gotten the beetle killed. Having one chemical present still allows predators to eat it, it would need then two variations (neither of which are slight) in order to have an effective deterrent. Then, you need each to be produced in separate chambers (that makes 3) then muscles to release the right amount of chemicals into another chamber (5), the chamber then needs to be suited for insulating liquid at 100 degrees celsius from the animal (6), and lastly it needs an opening for which the liquid can be expelled (7). All of these had to come about AT THE EXACT SAME TIME in order for the bug to have a defense against the predator. That will not come about by time and chance- it cannot come by chance.

Your attack on intelligent design, the fact that God didn't give humans better hearing, is another inadequate charge not holding any weight for your side. For you to know that God has given us a bad design, you must first know the intention of the design. If this earth was created for human survival, it would most likely be made up of human sized caves, a lot of land to live on, and other such things. But maybe, if this world was created for human ENJOYMENT, the creator would have made completely inhabitable land, far too high and cold for us to want to live, but something we could look at and see beauty. We might call that thing a mountain. He might create the world to be 70% water, so that we could have something to explore, and something to wonder what is on the other side. So you can't bash a design if you don't know what it's designed for.

"Everything in nature works just fine, but as long as it can be explained by simple science, a creator is not at all necessary." Does this mean that if not everything can be explained by science, a creator is necessary? If so, you'll want to retract that statement. This is why: There are many rational beliefs that cannot be proven by science; therefore, using your logic, a creator is necessary.
1. Math and logic. Science cannot prove math and logic because science needs math and logic to prove and disprove things.
2. Metaphysical truths. Science cannot prove that there are other minds other than my own or your own, we can only believe it to be true.
3. Science. Yep, the belief that the scientific method proves what is true, cannot in fact be proven using the scientific method. This then means that the belief is a logical fallacy and that it cannot be considered true.

So the fact that not everything can be proven by science according to your own logic, proves the need for a creator.

In conclusion, even having one example that does not line up with the belief of macro evolution means that macro evolution cannot be true. I have given that example (though there are many more, I assure you). I have also provided strong evidence for the lack of convincing data and evidence for the first and simplest form of life, and without this, the whole belief of macro evolution is shut down. I then conclude that the most logical, reasonable, and scientifically sound judgement is that there is a transient, supernatural being that has started the first life, and all life that is.

Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong by: Jonathan Wells
"I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist"- Norman G. Geisler and Frank Turek
Debate Round No. 3


In your first argument you claimed life cannot come from non-life. "For life, you need about 200 of those proteins."- So life can in fact come from non-life(proteins).
"getting one protein molecule (which has about 100 amino acids_ by chance would be the same as a blindfolded man finding one marked grain of sand in the Sahara Desert three times in a row."
Why by chance? This is the biggest misconception regarding evolution. Evolution doesn't happen by change and it is not a random process. Evolution consists of mutation, that is indeed random, and selection, that is non-random. To avoid further confusion, evolution doesn't have a goal, selection is simply survival of the fittest and varies from ecosystem to ecosystem, but a species isn't selected "by chance".
Imagine Earth is his early days. Everything recreated in the Miller-Urey experiment exists at a larger scale. The whole Earth had the conditions recreated by Miller and Urey, so amino acids formed everywhere.
Life appeared 3.6 billion years ago, but amino acids started forming long before that. Amino acids didn't just form once. The Earth had the proper conditions for them to form for millions of years, so they continued to form for millions of years. Eventually, you have an incredible number of animo acids that start to form proteins(not by chance, amino acids are bonded by peptide bonds forming proteins). Once you have proteins, you have life, so there you go: life from non-life
Also, the 2nd law of thermodynamics has no place in this debate. The 2nd law of thermodynamics is only valid in closed systems. The Earth receives energy (from the sun) as well as matter (especially in his early days, from meteors) making it an opened system.

"non-living organisms that can't reproduce on their own." - Viruses don't reproduce, they replicate. You can't just consider all viruses as part of the same species. They don't reproduce, but they can be grouped into "species" by the type of cell they need to infect in order to replicate. Viruses still mutate and evolve. You can't consider the HIV and SIV virus the same, as their structure as well as host-cells are different.

You completely misunderstood the fly experiment. They weren't infertile, they were unable to mate with individuals from different populations.
"They found some sterility in crosses among populations raised under different conditions"

The beetle doesn't disprove macro evolution. It might seem complex now, but it's just the result of years of micro evolution and natural selection.
"All of these had to come about AT THE EXACT SAME TIME"- Beetles reproduce at a very fast rate, so before dying they had great chances to pass their genes.
"A single female may lay from several dozen to several thousand eggs during her lifetime. "
Why do you assume they got the chemicals before the muscle and the chambers? Your whole argument is based on the assumption that if they had evolve, they would have evolve in a certain pattern, decided by you.

"Your attack on intelligent design, the fact that God didn't give humans better hearing,"
Nope, I said that with intelligent design certain limitations don't make sense, while with evolution, they make perfect sense. Humans are supposed to be God's ultimate creation, yet a beetles seems a lot more "intelligently designed" than a human.

Life can come from non-life, evolution can explain the origin of life. Micro evolution proves change occurs, when you consider the timescale of macro evolution, it seems obvious that some major changes( new species ) will occur. The fly experiment and HIV mutation support my claims. I would like to thank my opponent for a very interesting debate.




You underestimate the extreme complexity of the structure of a protein and the needed structure of the proteins in order to create something that can be considered alive. And the need for it to happen by chance is axiomatic- in order for something to be not random, there must be some sort of intelligence behind it. Yes, evolution consists of mutations, but the mutations come by chance, and the selection is the chance that one mutation better fits the environment than the other random mutation. So the species that prevails, prevails by chance- no, it's not selected, there was a random mutation and that just so happened to give it an edge. That is what we call "chance".

"Once you have proteins, you have life" No you don't.

Your virus argument again doesn't work. No scientist says that viruses are alive, if they were alive, then you can talk about their evolution, but right now, they aren't. When you apply your evolution to these, you are creating a logical fallacy.

No I didn't misunderstand the experiment, it's perfectly clear that when they put the flies in a different climate, it sterilized some of the flies, rendering them incapable of reproducing- NOT making them a different species. If you stuck me in 125 degree weather, you would likely have the same results (my inability to reproduce), but I am still a human being. The flies became sterile due to their change in climate, it means they are fragile and need specific heat, not that they are now different flies.

My beetle argument still stands. I am not deciding the pattern in which the beetle was created, because it doesn't matter. You can twist it and rearrange it however you can, but there will be no way in which the beetle will survive until he has all those incredible mutations happen at one time.

Again, you are calling God's design poor without knowing the purpose for which it was designed. If you live in the water and all of a sudden see a monkey, of course you'll think, "Wow, who would have created that? It can't swim well, it needs to go to the surface every minute or two, and is not hydrodynamic at all. Bad design. But once you poke your head out of the water and see how well the monkeys swing from the trees, how useful their long arms are to stretch and grab and manipulate are, then you see that the design is perfect, and what you thought was made quite poor was in fact a specialized creation.

Conclusion: Life has never been seen to come from non-life (even with our INTELLIGENCE trying to create it). Micro evolution proves changes occur, but has a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon that it can't cross to explain for the other species. Neither the fly experiments or the HIV mutations support your argument. Thank you Dwint for creating the debate, I think we had a fun time, and I'd love to do this again with you.

And to the voters, please read our arguments, you're who we're after and who we rely on for accurate analysis of the debate. If you're too lazy to read, please don't vote.
Debate Round No. 4
38 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Dwint 7 years ago
The arguments most apologists use in their debates. In this case, the idea that evolution has not been proven.
Posted by Pulchritudinous 7 years ago
What arguments will you argue against?
Posted by rugbypro5 7 years ago
I'd like to debate- we'd have a good time
Posted by macaztec 7 years ago
@littleballof hate

If you think so then here is a suggestion, jump in and debate.
Posted by Dwint 7 years ago
Theories are by definition proven. Evolution is a fact, but people are simply not willing to accept it.
Posted by Valtin 7 years ago
Theories cannot be proven, especially Evolution.
Posted by LittleBallofHATE 7 years ago
It's been my experience that debating with an evolutionist is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how well you play, the pigeon just knocks over the pieces, craps on the board and struts around like it's victorious.
Posted by Actionsspeak 7 years ago
Be careful, you may face an awful semantic argument.
Posted by Loveshismom 7 years ago
I have some real arguments prepared and would like to debate this with you, Dwint.
Posted by TG2333 7 years ago
Don't you accept muslims ?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by sengejuri 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: A good effort by both sides. In the end I had to give argument strength to Pro. Con does not fully prove the link that if micro evolution and natural selection are true, then macro evolution must be true. Con hurt their case in round 3 by admitting there is no evidence to support abiogenesis, because the title of the whole debate is "evolution has not been proven." Finally, Con misunderstands Pro's point about irreducible complexity and therefore fails to successfully counter it.
Vote Placed by Benshapiro 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Macro evolution has not been proven but micro evolution has. The controversy rested on macro evolution in this debate. Therefore con had the BoP to show why it's been proven. It's largely inference and we don't have any scientific proof of macro evolution. Rugby gave good countering examples such as genetic limits and irreducible complexity of the bombardier beetle. I thought there arguments weren't properly countered by con and he had the BoP to prove them false in order to prove micro evolution occurs.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO doesn't seem to understand evolution, so he really didn't stand a chance at arguing against it.

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