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Theory of Evolution

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,224 times Debate No: 27412
Debate Rounds (5)
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This debate is about the theory of evolution or the idea that all life is related by a common ancestor and evolved over billions of years mainly with mutations, and natural selection over billions of years.

The burden of proof is divided between pro and con. Pro must show that theory of evolution is true, con must show that the theory of evolution is false.


I am also defending young earth creation -- this is what the Bible teaches. The earth and the universe were specially created 6,000 years ago over 6 literal 24 hour days.

There are many types of evolution. We are debating the evolution of one kind of animal changing into another (or 'molecules-to-man'). The 'general theory of evolution' as defined by evolutionist Kerkut is: the belief that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.


Before we debate we need to agree that all people operate with a set of starting assumptions. Nothing can be proven in the end. It is either faith in naturalistic science or faith in the science God created. All facts must be interpreted inside a framework of beliefs. Let’s take for example, the Grand Canyon. We all agree it's a fact it exists. This fact although has to be interpreted. Evolutionists will say it formed with a little water over a lot of time. Creationists will say it formed in a short amount of time with a lot of water. There may be evidence to support both claims, but neither can be proven. This is where the valid distinction of observational science and historical science comes in. Observational science is the science that gives us planes, medicine, cures, etc. Experiments in the here and the now, that can be repeated and proven. "Historical by its very nature is based on a worldview i.e., religion.

  • Either the universe started out as a singularity, which billions of years ago exploded and has caused an expanding universe ever since, or God created it ex nihilo.

  • Either life evolved out of non-living chemicals, or aliens seeded the universe (but this only raises the question of how the aliens became alive), or God created life as described in Genesis 1–2.

Neither theory is provable (testable, repeatable, etc.)." [1]

Think of it this way -- we all have the same facts, the same fossils, the same rocks and the same universe. We arrive at different conclusions though. This is because of our starting beliefs. We don't pull out rocks from the ground with a label saying how old they are. I wish it was that easy, but the rocks have to be interpreted. You have to have assumptions (unprovable beliefs) to make since of the facts. With that being said, the worldview that is true, should be the one that makes most since of the evidence. So the creation/evolution debate is not a debate of evidence, but it is a debate of two very different worldviews.

For a great video and better understanding of this then watch this video --


Also take a look at

Definitions for debate -

Operational (Observational) Science: a systematic approach to understanding that uses observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable experimentation to understand how nature commonly behaves.

Historical (Origins) Science: interpreting evidence from past events based on a presupposed philosophical point of view. (Both creation and evolution are this -- The past is not directly observable, testable, repeatable, or falsifiable; so interpretations of past events present greater challenges than interpretations involving operational science. Neither creation nor evolution is directly observable, testable, repeatable, or falsifiable. Each is based on certain philosophical assumptions about how the earth began.

General theory of evolution: the belief that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.

Assumptions (presuppositions): To believe or suppose in advance, before interpreting the fact.

Debate Round No. 1


My favorite source of evidence for evolution is from the fossil record.

The best examples of evolution are Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, homo habilis, homo erectus, and Neanderthals. Chimpanzee cranial capacity, is 270 - 500 cc [3], afarensis (3.9-3.0 mya) cranial capacity stands at 375 - 550 cc, afarensis (3-2 mya) stands at 440 - 500 cc, habilis (2.4 - 1.5 mya) cranial capacity stands at 500-800 cc, erectus (1.8 - .3 mya) stands at 750 - 1250 cc [1], Neanderthal (.23 - .03 mya) cranial capacity stands at 1200-1900 cc [3] , and human(.2 - present mya) is 950 to 1800 cc [4].

I listed these fossils by dated age so we see greater cranial capacity with younger fossils.
The image here shows the correlation between cranial capacity found in hominids and age:
The image shows some sample skulls compared:
Notice how over time the jaw becomes less and less projected, the brain is larger compared with the rest of the head, and the eyebrows are less and less projected. Hominids have facial traits transitional between humans and apes.

At the bottom of the skull is a hole (foramen magnum) that connects to the spine. For bipedal animals like us, this hole is in the middle of the skull for proper balance of the head. For non-bipedal animals, it is more at the back of the skull. This image shows the foramen magnum for 1 chimpanzees, 2 africanus, 3 erectus, and 4 humans [4].
Notice how it travels from the back to the center of the skull as we go to more and more modern specimens.

This is great evidence for the evolution of humans but even better evidence for this is the fact that creationist authors cannot even decide whether they are human or ape as seen here [5].
Australopiecines for example afarensis, anamnesis, and africanus have brain sizes well in the ape range although their skulls while very similar to apes, are more human. The biggest difference is that they are bipedal. Being bipedal requires different hip functions as can be seen by the difference between human and ape hips. Their feet are also more bipedal-like. Like human, their feet are built for support of the entire body the body while walking as seen in the image here

Creationists contend that Neanderthals are actually just human. However we know some of their genes. As seen in the source and the image, their genes are far too different than human genes to be human [6]. Neanderthals have four times the genetic differences from humans than humans have with each other.

Some creationists think that there are only a few hominid fossils. However we have found over 6,000 of them [7].
We have not only found evidence for human evolution, we have found evidence for land animal evolution (390 - 365 mya), bird evolution (225- 125 mya), mammal evolution (300-180 mya), horse evolution (35 - 5 mya), and whale evolution (60-30 mya). The source here [8] gives a list of these transitional fossils but for your convenience, I will list them. Some land animal evolution species are Eusthenopteron (385 mya), Panderichthys (380 mya), and tiktaalik (375 mya). The image here gives a picture of them What is most interesting is how the hand has evolved.

This image show the transitional fossils for birds like coelophysis (210 mya), archaeopteryx (150 mya), and Iberomesornis (125 mya) We see these before we see modern birds. What is interesting is how the archaeopteryx wing is transitional between reptiles and birds. They have a three fingered claw which is shaped like a wing as seen in the image here

Mammal evolution includes specimens such as Tetraceratops insignis (290 mya), Procynosuchidae (251 mya), and Morganucodon (205 mya) as seen in the image . Notice how the jaw joint in reptiles is between the articular and quadrate bones, and mammals have these bones pushed in their ears, and have their jaw joint between the squamosal and dentary bones as seen in the image .

So if mammals evolved from reptiles, how did we switch jaw joints to a different pair of bones? Was there a time when the jaw was unhinged? The answer is that first there was the reptile jaw joint, then there was a period when we had both jaw joints, and then the reptilian jaw joint was unhinged. This prediction is confirmed in the image here as we see this evolution in transitionals step by step. Not only that but marsupial mammal (which are more related to reptiles) embryos start with a reptilian jaw and have the extra jaw bones pushed to the ear just as in their evolution as in [10].

Horse evolution includes mesohippus (35 mya), parahuppus (20 mya), merychippus (15 mya), pliohippus (5 mya) to modern horses as seen in the image What is interesting is to see the evolution of the horses hoof from a five toed foot and see how the toes disappear and the remaining become hoof-like as in the image .

Whale evolution involves animals like ambulocetus (50 million mya), rodhocetus (47 mya), and dorudon (40 mya) as in the image It is interesting to see how the whale hip and arms become reduced. Whales still have a transitional pelvis and legs buried deep within them like snakes which have transitional arms [11]. What is even more interesting is that whales have a ruminant (goats, sheep, cows) 4-chambered stomach meant for digesting grass and leaves while whales don"t eat these tough plants. Also some toothless whale embryos grow tooth buds that are then destroyed. Dolphin embroyos are born with leg buds not seen in adults. Some whales are mutated and born with full arms [12].

We not only do we see a gradual succession from primitive to advanced forms in each of these evolutions, but also in the general fossil record. Simple sea life are first seen 650 mya, the first fish are seen 525 mya, the first amphibians seen 350 mya,, the first reptiles 320 mya, dinosaurs 275 mya, the first mammals 300 mya, advanced mammals 50 mya, the first primates 70 mya, and the first humans .2 mya [13].



Levine forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Due to the fact that Con has dropped out of the debate without notifying me and the strength of my arguments in round 2, I urge you to vote Pro.


Levine forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Dan4reason forfeited this round.


Levine forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Dan4reason forfeited this round.


Levine forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Muted 5 years ago
tactical facepalm :D
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