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Saru

Evolution Vs Creationism

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Saru

This is a formal debate for 2 people, Saucy has expressed a lot of interest in debating this topic, so it's going to be him vs someone else. Saucy will be debating in favour of creationism, while his oponent will be arguing in favour of evolution.

If you would like to try your hand at participating in this debate, please register your interest by short message as a reply to this thread. Note that I am looking for only one participant to debate this with Saucy, so it will have to be first come first serve i'm afraid.

A second debate covering this subject may however be organised for a later date, depending on how this one goes.

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aquatus1

I am willing to debate this issue against Saucy.

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Saru

Right then, looks like we have our two participants.

This debate will be between Saucy and Aquatus. Saucy will be arguing in favour of Creationism, while Aquatus will be arguing in favour of Evolution.

You may each make up to 5 body posts, as well as an introduction and conclusion.

Good luck to you both. thumbsup.gif

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aquatus1

As stated in the title, this debate is about Evolution versus Creationism. However, as is so often the case in these matters, there is a hidden meaning. While I will do my utmost to post the most relevent, verifiable, and scientific basis behind the Theory of Evolution, and at the same time rebut the inevitable attacks by my opponent, there is an underlying argument that, since I will not be addressing it in my posts, I will do so in my introduction, and not mention it again.

Any debate about the Theory of Evolution versus The Theory of Creationism is not about origins, or speciation. It is about science versus religion; more specifically, about judeochristian fundamentalist believers attempting to equate the stories written in their bible with the theories produced through scientific methodology. Let us not be coy about this. To date, the only creationists who have legally attempted to block and discredit evolution in the public eye are those of the Judeochristian faith. Despite the literally hundreds of such stories that abound in the mythology of humankind, Judeochristian fundamentalists have chosen to focus all their attention on disproving evolution, and because of that, from this point on, when I refer to creationists, I will be speaking specifically about those associated with the judeochristian faith, unless stated otherwise.

Mankind, since the moment it first began drawing crude stick figures on walls, to the day it lay back on scafolding and painted the ceilings of a church, to our modern time when it prints books by the thousands, has always told stories. All sorts of stories, from successful hunts, to battles against armies or monsters, to ancient children of gods, or gods themselves walking among men, to today's super-heroes, with the same powers of the ancients, yet granted to them through the power of science. In and of themselves, using only the stories themselves as references, there is absolutely no way to verify their factual truth. The bible can no more prove it's own credibility than can the epic of Gilgamesh, or the latest issue of The Amazing Spider-man. Because of this, all stories must be considered fiction, unless corroborating evidence is found outside the stories themselves. This type of methodology, this stripping away of the subjective and focusing on the objective, on the non-biased third party, this is the basis for scientific methodology.

Scientific Methodology has an authority, a credibility beyond anything that has been seen in the world to date. Even the mightiest bastions of subjective thought have had to concede that science has brought forth more answers to the working of nature in the mere five hundred years of its existance than religious thought has gathered in the millenia that it ruled. Because of the stringent guidelines, the many systems of verification and standardization, science can present a final decision that is all but guaranteed to be as correct as the data that was used to derive it. This allows us to do something that was never possible before. Using scientific methodology, we are now capable of verifying fact without referring to a final decision from an authority figure, but from the evidence that is presented. We longer have to take somebody else's word for it that something is true; we can do it ourselves.

Why is this such an important point? It is important because it represents the entire mindset with which the creationist arguments are formed. As I noted before, there are hundreds of creation stories from all over the world. Each one of them has the exact same properties as the other, chiefly that they are an account of how higher powers created the Earth, all life, and often times, all of existence. There is, unfortunately, nothing among the stories of creation that would allow any particular one to be held up as more credible than another. Science, however, has created its own creation story. And, unlike the other stories of the world, this one was created using the very method that gave science its credibility in the first place. In other words, unlike Creationism, Evolution was not a story that was written, and then verified. Evolution was the result of objective data; evolution was a story that was verified and re-verified to be as truthful as possible prior to being presented as a creation story. The Theory of Evolution is the logical end result of all the imperical data that we have been able to gather from the natural world.

Yet while evolution is the eldest child of science, creationism remains a story. And its origins betray the arguments used to defend it. Creationist arguments are as old as they are predictable, and can be divided into three groups:

Argument 1: Science is unreliable and does not deserve the credibility that it has.

This argument is usually the first one brought out. What the creationists are attempting to do is show that the method used to validate evolution has no more credibility than a creation story. What they fail to grasp, however, is that even if science fails in that respect, that does not mean that creationism is a better explanation than evolution, but rather that it is on the exact same unreliable footing as creation stories. At that point, all creation stories are as likely as the next.

Argument 2: Science is reliable, but does not support evolution.

This argument is used when the creationists are attempting to support their position through science, i.e through the historical accuracy argument. This argument, however, usually fails from lack of logic rather than fact. I will cover this in future posts.

Argument 3: It is only fair to equate creationism with evolution.

With this argument, creationists have acknowledged that science has a credibility they cannot match, and seek to equate their stories with science's credibility by demanding equal time. This is mostly a legal ploy used in an attempt to gain credibility through osmosis, much as a timid teenager wishing for popularity will hang around more popular people.

Allow me to make a prediction, based on the past behaviour of creationist arguments:

1) My opponent will not define what the Theory of Creationism is.

2) He will not present evidence that backs up his theory.

3) He will not have a decent grasp of scientific terminology.

4) It is entirely likely that he will attempt to disprove scientific studies, however he will

also show a limited understanding both of what the studies concluded and how they were carried out.

5) He will be of the belief that, should his efforts in discrediting evolution succeed, that will automatically show that judeochristian creationism is superior to all other forms of creationism.

I will do all I can to avoid these errors.

Please keep my predictions in mind as the debate goes on.

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saucy

"In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1)

For thousands of years, the Genesis account of creation has been widely accepted until the emergence of Charles Darwin and his book, "The Origin of Species." For the better part of 150 years, Darwin's idea of evolution has taken the world by storm.

Many feel that since we now have science and technology to decide for us the begging question of where we came from, God is no longer needed. To put it quite bluntly, Darwin killed God.

Now it's widely accepted that science has solved the age-old mystery of where we came from and God has been put on the back burner. Many now feel that since science can now explain these things, the whole creation account along with the bible and God are all one big fairy-tale. Evolutionists have the opinion that religious folk need to get their heads out of the sand and admit the obvious: science had put their God out of a job. White-coated scientists of the modern world had trumped the black-robed priests of medieval times. Darwin's theory of evolution-no, the absolute fact of evolution-meant that there is no universal morality decreed by a deity. If Darwin is right, then there are five inescapable conclusions:

1) there's no evidence for a God

2)there's no life after death

3) there's no absolute foundation for right and wrong

4)there's no ultimate meaning for life

5) people don't really have free will

In this debate, I'm going to prove that evolution is just a theory and even 150 years after Darwin's time, there still is no proof that evolution happened. I'm also going to prove that in this new day in age, scientists have unlocked the DNA and gene codes and find they are more complex than Darwin could've ever imagined and because of it, more and more scientists are turning Christian because all the things of the world are obviously created and for some sort of purpose.

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aquatus1

Evolution concerns itself with the variation and speciation of living creatures. It does not, as a matter of course, theorize on the origins of life. That is a separate field known as Abiogenesis. Creationism, on the other hand, includes the origins of life with the explanation of variation and speciation, and expects the same of evolutionary theory. Because disproving the source of creation of life would render the Theory of Creationism void, creationist expect that disproving the scientific origins of life on earth will render the Theory of Evolution void as well. This is not the case. No matter where life first originated, wether by God, by accident, by comets, or by a great cosmic bird laying an egg atop a stack of heavenly turtles, evolution will still be as scientificaly valid as before, since the source of its credibility (imperical evidence) will be unaffected.

Still, since a debate including creationism implies discussion of origins, please forgive my slight deviation from supporting evolution, to supporting Abiogenesis, also known as the study of the origins of life through natural means.

Now, Abiogenesis, much like Evolution, is not a theory in and of itself. Rather, these are words which encompass a multitude of explanations all tied together with one base in mind. Like the word Erosion, it isn't about a single process, but rather about many different processes which produce the effect of erosion. Abiogenesis, therefore, concerns a group of theories which attempt to explain how organic life rose from inorganic origins.

Organic life does not refer to life as we know it, i.e. humans, monkeys, lizards, bacteria, lawyers, etc.. . Organic life refers to the chemistry of Carbon. There are many theories attempting to explain the exact path that events took, too many to attempt to explain each one individually here. I will, however, explain the underlying format that most follow. It begins with non-living, yet replicating carbon structures.

There is a wonderful property about Carbon that makes it ideal as a basis for complex construction. Carbon likes to bond. Anywhere, anytime, no descrimination or hesitation; if it has space, you are welcome to join in. It is the ultimate party atom. This social promiscuity allows it to react in certain ways in the environment; it can naturally form specific structures. Some of these structures are buckyballs, which are essentially hollow spheres that can serves as a protective shell, carbon tubes (not to be confused with the currently popular nanotubes), and other such constructions. These structures share the same property of carbon in that they replicate themselves as whole structures, yet are not considered truly alive (which is a word with a somewhat fuzzy definition at this, or most any other, level).

Another type of organic structure is a lipid, which has the characteristic of repelling water on one end and attracting it on the other. It also has a weak, yet effective bond with others of its kind. This allows it to form semi-permeable spheres, with the hydrophilic ends all pointing outward and the hydrophobic ends all pointing inwards (perhaps, at this stage, some of you are remembering that infernally unforgetable definition that you had to chant throughout all your years of high school science: "A membrane is a phospolipid bilayer with imbedded proteins").

There were other systems in existance as well, but these, however, were classified as living, in that their replication, unlike that of the carbon constructs and the lipid spheres, were not perfect. In other words, they had the ability to mutate. Not a great deal, at first, but gradually, more and more as time went on, till there was a sudden logarithmic explosion in diversity of life on the planet. These first reactions were known as the first self-repeating catalytic cycles, and depending on which theory you follow, they consisted of proteins, amino acids, hexanucleotides, RNA polymerase, or various other organic molecules which existed in the pre-life Earth environment.

Now, the popular creationist argument here is to bring up the infamous "black box". The term is meant to refer to Urey-Miller's experiments a half a century ago. The argument is that, considering how we have discovered how enormously complex cells are, as opposed to the simple design that Urey-Miller spoke about, that the entire experiment is void because it couldn't possibly explain the complexity of a modern cell (in point of fact, it is void, but for an entirely different reason altogether). This is another example of creationism expecting from science what it dictates itself. Since creationism posits that everything was created at one time, it makes perfect sense to them to demand a complex cell from the very beginning. Science, however, has found no evidence of that. What the evidence has led science to conclude is that the first cells were not complex structures, but rather that they were composed of the simple, self-replicating structures that already existed, and which I described above, in a combination which allowed the whole to become a simple organism composed of a simple protective shell, a permeable membrane, and a self-perpetuating catalytic cycle within that replicated the components ad infinitum until a viable population of living organisms was born.

In short, (those who are familiar with my posting style are probably laughing at that ), abiogenesis explain that the origin of life came about through natural, not supernatural means. The various theories range from puddles, to clay, to primordial soup, to deep sea vents to comets. All of them agree on one thing. Organic life, that is to say, organic lifeforms, evolved from simple living organic cells than came together from previously existing, yet non-living structures. The first life was not a cell as we know it, but rather a small fatty globule that could barely replicate fast enough to keep up with itself. Gradually, over millions of years, and with the aid of natural selection, the stronger cells grew and multiplied, eventually weeding out the competitio. Don't forget, every single one of these theories could have conceivably happened somewhere on the planet; this is hardly a case of only one explanation being possible. Indeed, even today remnants of this first world war lie in the deep sea smoke funnels, in the boiling cauldrons of Yellowstone park, and in the frozen depths of the Antartic oceans, all examples of the many different ways that life can arise in hostile environments.

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saucy

The way I see it, nothing in that whole novel written by Aquatus1 gives any information on how non-living matter can suddenly come alive by any means. You can't just pass electricity through a non-living substance and it come alive like it's Frankenstein. Over the past twenty years or so, scientists have tried to replicate Miller's experiment, but using the "true" atmospheric conditions of early earth and no matter what they do, they cannot replicate the same results. Carbon bonding itself to anything doesn't make it come alive by any means. So, the questions remains: if evolution happened, then where did the first cell come from? They say it's illogical to believe a God created everything, but it's more illogical to assume you get something out of nothing.

When Darwin created his theory of evolution, he made on HUGE mistake. He thought that cells were simple. They knew nothing of biochemisty and imagined the cell to be something simple that could just ooze itself out of some chemical broth. It's much more difficult than that. Without knowledge of molecular biology, bodily functions such as vision and blood clotting are, yes, black boxes. We know they work, but don't know how they work. Without that information, a biologists notion of how vision evolved is as valueless as my speculations on how to build a computer. You need to understand that molecular mechanisms are tremendously complex. What this means is that you are made up of many parts that interact in complex ways and all the parts need to work together. Any single part has no function unless all the other parts are also present. There is therefore no pathway of functional intermediate stages by which a Darwinian process could build such a system step by tiny step. Molecular mechanisms are as obviously designed as a spaceship or computer. You can't explain the origin of any biological capability (like vision) unless you can explain the origin of the molecular mechanisms that make it work. Evolutionary biologists have been able to pretend to know how complex biological systems originated only because they treated them as black boxes. Now that scientists have opened the black boxes and seen what is inside, they know the Darwinian theory is just a story, not a scientific explanation.

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aquatus1

The Theory of Evolution

You can just hear the sarcasm dripping from the mouths of creationists.

“It’s just a theory!”

With that simple utterance, with those four simple words, creationists set the tone for the argument to come. A mistake such as this, a basic error so easily corrected, yet never acted on, it is almost as if it was done intentionally for the sole purpose of aggravating the scientific mind. Before I begin, please allow me to define the terminology that I will use.

From the William-Webster Online Dictionary

Theory: 5: a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena <wave theory of light>

While the dictionary has many definitions for this word, we can tell that this is the one that pertains specifically to science for the simple reason that it offers, as an example, a formal scientific theory. In other words, the word Theory refers to a formal statement which explains the process through which a specific phenomena occurs. With this explanation is the implication that all the prerequisites of scientific terminology have been met, as well as the verification protocols, such as appropriate references, peer review, and publication in an accredited scientific journal.

Creationists would have you believe that the word is used in the civilian sense of being a casual ad hoc explanation thought up around the water cooler at work, possibly to explain the bewildering antics of the opposite gender.

In order for a theory to be considered scientific, it must be able to do certain things. For starters, it must follow the scientific method. It must also meet the prerequisites of scientific methodology. And it must have met the standards for reference, annotation, and accreditation (so that it allows for verification).

The Scientific Method is as follows:

1: Observation

2: Hypothesis

3: Testing

4: Confirmation (regrettably, an important step too often left out of books)

5: Theory

The prerequisites for scientific methodology are as follows:

1) The first would be that it needs to explain the currently existing data.

2) The second is that it would have to be able to predict future events based on that data, in order to encompass data discovered in the future.

3) The conclusion would have to be logical enough so that an unbiased third party would naturally arrive at the same results.

4) The theory must be falsifiable.

5) The explanation offered must be a verifiable event i.e. a logical path must lead from the data to the result.

Standards for verification vary depending on your field and method, but at a minimum they require a peer review of your entire set of data, as well as the calculations, evidence, and logical progression from which your results were derived.

So, let’s talk about the Theory of Evolution.

First off, it isn’t any single theory, but I already explained that in my previous post. Moving on…

The very essence of the Theory of Evolution is that diversification and speciation of living creatures on the planet came about due to random genetic mutations in the genome.

Now, does this meet the prerequisites? Is it, in fact, a valid scientific theory?

1) Currently existing data indicates the genome structure does naturally mutate in an unpredictable manner, and that these mutations, either as a whole or individually, can have significant consequences in both the behavior and abilities of a creature, thus leading to diversification.

2) Given that random mutations, by definition, are not going to be repeated by two separate groups of creatures, and that random mutations are responsible for significant behavioral and physical characteristics of a creature, then it can be predicted that two separate groups will eventually change sufficiently as to no longer be capable of reliable reproduction, thus leading to speciation.

3) The evidence that I will lay out in a future post will not rely on any previous mindset or doctrine, and will be support itself purely on the basis of empirical evidence.

4) The Theory of Evolution could be falsified by the discovery of a universal agent that prevents the accumulated genetic changes within a creature from preventing reproductive isolation. In other words, if a process was found that negated the results of the mutations which would lead to unreliable reproduction (for instance, a difference in chromosome count), a species would not be able to change into another species.

5) The evidence that I will lay out will show the logical path from one species of animal, to two sets of incipient species, to two completely separate species.

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saucy

There were one hundred of them-biologists, chemists, zoologists, psysicists, anthropologists, molecular and cell biologists, bioengineers, organic chemists, geologists, astrophysicists, and other scientists. Their doctorates came from such prestigious universities as Cambridge, Stanford, Cornell, Yale, Rutgers, Chicago, Princeton, Purdue, Duke, Michigan, Syrucuse, Temple and Berkeley. They included professors from Yale Graduate School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tulane, Rice, Emory, George Mason, Lehigh and the Universities of California, Washington, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Georgia, New Mexico, Utah, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. Among them was the director of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry and scientists at the Plasma Physics Lab at Princeton, the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institute, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories. They all wanted the world to know one thing: They are all skeptical.

After spokespersons for PBS seven-part series EVOLUTION asserted that "all known scientific evidence supports [Darwinian] evolution" as does "virtually every reputable scientist in the world," these professors, laboratory researchers, and other scientists published a two-page advertisement in a national magazine under the banner: "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism."

There statement was direct and defiant. "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life," they said. These professors are not narrow-minded fundamentalists, backwoods West Virginia protesters, or rabid relgious fanatics-just respected, world class scientists like Nobel nominee Henry F. Schaefer, the third most cited chemist in the world; James Tour of Rice University's Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology; and Fred Figworth, professor of cellular and molecular physiology at Yale. Most students studying evolution are never told that there were credible scientists who harbored significant skepticism toward the Darwin theory. They are taught that it was only the know-nothing pastors who objected to evolution on the grounds that it contradicted the bible

The fact is, everything in college and high school is viewed through evolutionary lenses. Darwin's claims are that ALL living creatures are modified descendants of a common ancestor that lived long ago. We, for example, are descendants of ape-like ancestors. Neo-Darwinism claims these modifications are the result of natural selection acting on random genetic mutations. Most of the time, most of the facts presented in science classes across the world are either false or misleading. Many icons of evolution have been taught for years, even after many of them have been proven false. Once such item being taught is indeed the Miller experiment where he shot electricity through what was presumed to be the early atmosphere of the earth. The fact is, nobody knows for sure what the early atmosphere of the earth was, but the consensus is that the atmosphere used is not like it really was. Miller chose a hydrogen-rich mixture of methane, ammonia and water vapor. Scientists say there is no evidence for that kind of atmosphere, but much against it.

You would wonder why all these scientists are backing away from the Darwin theory if it's a "fact" that evolution happened. They are much more credited in their fields than me or my opponent in this debate and they obviously have found no proof to continue thinking along the same lines.

"It's just a theory!" That's right. It is just a theory, one that cannot be proven and hasn't in over 150 years since Darwin came up with it.

Genetic mutations? It's the mutations that lead the evolution? No. I'm going to use a quick example to make my point. Let's say humans are beings naturally without arms. The first two humans are created without arms and they mate and have a kid. That kid will be born without arms because their parents didn't have the genes to pass on to the kid. That kid grows up, finds a mate and they have a kid. That kid also will not be born with arms because that gene just doesn't exist. What Darwin is trying to say is that over a period of a million years, eventually a kid will be born with arms because it is needed in order to survive. That can't be possible. The kid only gets his or her genes from the parents and the parents got their genes from their parents and so on. If the gene isn't there, it cannot be passed on. A genetic mutation would be that a certain gene isn't passed on and the kid is also born without legs and arms or an extra leg. No mutation will enable the kid to be born with arms. Let me use the same example in "real-life terms". Evolutionists say life evolved from the oceans. Some fish learned how to walk and breath on land. How is that possible? In order for that to happen, the fish would have to evolve lungs to be able to breath on land and if it was born with those lungs, it wouldn't make it in the water without drowning. How would it evolve? Did it just flop onto the beach and start to evolve from there? No. It would suffocate and die before having a chance at anything. A fish is naturally suited and obviously well created to be able to live in the water. Why would it grow legs or even need to? If it didn't grow legs, it would just die on land. See my point?

My opponent keeps repeating himself, trying to assume what the creationists are gonna say and saying all we do is whine that evolution is just a theory and that's all we got. Instead, I have provided substantal evidence to support evolution never happened and can't happen while he has yet to show us how a non-living organism can suddenly come alive and evolve from there.

Next I'm going to show how creation is a more accurate description on how life began and answer any theories my opponent throws on the table.

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aquatus1

There were one hundred of them-biologists, chemists, zoologists, physicists, anthropologists, molecular and cell biologists, bioengineers, organic chemists, geologists, astrophysicists, and other scientists. Their doctorates came from such prestigious universities as Cambridge, Stanford, Cornell, Yale, Rutgers, Chicago, Princeton, Purdue, Duke, Michigan, Syracuse, Temple and Berkeley. They included professors from Yale Graduate School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tulane, Rice, Emory, George Mason, Lehigh and the Universities of California, Washington, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Georgia, New Mexico, Utah, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. They all wanted the world to know one thing: They are all Steve.

And they all support evolution, but that isn't important (Really, it isn’t! I'll explain why in a second.) According to data from the U.S. Census, approximately 1.6% of males and approximately 0.4% of females -- so approximately 1% of U.S. residents -- have first names that would qualify them to sign the statement. As of June 27, 2004, there were 441 signatories, so it is reasonable to infer that at least 44,100 scientists would agree with the statement. ("At least" because the statement was quietly circulated to a limited number of people.)

So, if a hundred scientists claim that evolution is unreliable, and over 44,000 claim that it is reliable, that means that evolution absolutely, positively, has to be true, right?

Bull Puckey.

Science is not done by polls. Science is not done by popularity. Science is not done by compromise.

Science is proven or disproven one way and one way only, and that is through scientific methodology.

Project Steve

Enough about that, back to evolution.

Diversification

As I explained in a previous post, the first life on the planet was an extraordinarily simple cell. Unlike the modern complex cell (let’s peek into the “Black Box”, shall we?), which can boast to upwards of several dozen chromosomes, consisting of several thousands of genes, consisting of several billion amino acid subunits, the original life cell quite likely had around 30-40 subunits, if that. The question, then, is how did these 30-40 subunits replicate and mutate in such a way as to allow for the incredible variety and complexity that we see today?

Now, let me point out that, for that sake of clarity, I am using amino acids as an example. There are multiple abiogenesis theories that also advocated the use of other self-replicating, catalytic cycles, such as hexonuclaic acids. The format will be the same for all.

In whichever primordial environment you wish, either a carbon buckyball or a semi-permeable lipid sphere absorbed into itself a self-replicating chain of about 30-40 amino acids. Nothing miraculous or even noticeably “living” so far. The lipids and ball are the organic molecules of carbon, the amino acids are composed of the 30 HCNO that define them, all these elements were abundantly available (without any sort of lighting spark being necessary). This “first cell”, quite probably nothing more than a fatty, microscopic globule, held inside itself nothing more complex than a series of amino acids with the peculiar property of being able to self-replicate. And so they did.

Through sheer mechanical force, that first cell divided. How all the first colonies of life struggled towards some sort of stability, we will never know, but eventually, one proved the most stable, the most capable of reproducing itself, and this one eventually became the basis of the majority of life on this planet. Through a very primitive version of replicational error, this small chain of amino acids gradually grew longer and longer from mistaken doubling and combining of acid chains, till over thousands of generations, it consisted of several highly specialized strands of amino acids all in a single strand that would eventually be known as the first RNA sequence.

Several other things had been happening at this time as well. The amino acid chains, tired of staying home and replicating all day, enacted a sort of genetic suffrage movement and began joining the work force. They now started coding for proteins. Some of these proteins found use in the lipid membrane as portals for useful elements needed within the cell. Others became portals for toxic elements and rapidly found themselves no longer being replicated.

Of the many different systems that advance Evolution (we have already referred to Replication, which is basically a duplication, and Recombination, which is a genetic mixture of sequences, caused by accidental movement in location of specific sequences), possibly the single most effective phenomena is Natural Selection. Natural Selection posits that a genetic mutation which confers an environmental advantage to a creature will allow it to replicate at a greater rate than others and therefore pass on the mutation to a greater number of offspring, giving it greater gene pool stability.

In other words, let us say our cells, now a few million years older, are starting to make proteins that have the ability to effect the cells in much more dramatic ways than before (science ruthlessly compressed; please forgive, those who understand the in-depth workings of biology). One, purely by chance, makes a protein that screens the passing of Sodium (Na) and Potassium (K). Another, again, purely by chance, makes a protein that only screens the passing of Na. Both proteins migrate and become stuck in the lipid wall, as proteins are wont to do. The cell with the Na only protein is now in trouble. The increasing amount of Na within the cell is rapidly creating a toxic atmosphere. Unfortunately, there is no way to recall the protein. Before the RNA sequence within it can replicate and form a new cell, the cell system collapses. The sequence that created the fatal protein dies with it. But the other cell isn’t doing so badly. In fact, it is cycling Na and K efficiently, not really affecting the cell system in any way, but at least keeping itself busy. But wait…the exchange of Na and K ions within the cell are having a completely unexpected effect after all. This micro voltaic energy is suddenly giving the cell membrane a stability that it never had before. This new fortified membrane can now withstand environments that would have previously killed it. As the cell system, supremely indifferent to this new fortification, continues replicating itself, it passes the sequence for this Na/K protein to its offspring, and now even more cells with this trait appear. Eventually, as cells without this advantage die off faster than cells with this advantage, this genetic trait becomes the predominant one.

Natural selection, then, is a force that does not actually cause mutation, but rather that takes advantage of the mutations that happen (once again) randomly. My opponent made a statement to the effect of “What Darwin is trying to say is that over a period of a million years, eventually a kid will be born with arms because it is needed in order to survive.” That is incorrect. There is no known natural force that can predict how a mutation will occur or the effect it will have on the bearer. Again, creationism imposes on science what it expects from itself: Since the end product is an arm, then the process must have intended to make an arm. The creationist idea of everything existing for a purpose doesn’t apply here, however. All genetic mutations are random in nature. The great majority of them are completely neutral. They do not effect a creature in any way shape or form in their current environment. A few more are fatal, usually leading to a catastrophic failure before the creature reaches any significant milestone in its life. And a very rare few, a small percentage of all the random mutations, actually offer a property that gives the bearer an advantage over other creatures.

Perhaps the fortified membrane helped this hypothetical cell survive more than other cells. Perhaps the environment that it was in didn’t need a stronger membrane, and the fortified wall had absolutely no effect. Mutations do not arise from an external need (There are some theories today that contest this), but rather they simply arise on a random basis, and in an equally random way, they are sometimes a positive, sometimes a negative, but usually a neutral property. It is this random cropping up of traits that cause the diversification of animals. To borrow a creationist term, this is why so many “types” of different animals exist which share a majority of characteristics, yet have a single or specific trait that separates them from the rest, such as Darwin’s finches, identical in almost everyway but beak shape.

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saucy

Hmmm, that's funny because I thought natural selection happened because of "survival of the fittest", not just because it happened. If you look at EVERY SINGLE ANIMAL ALIVE they each have their own personal characteristics and are well suited to live in their environment. They have their own amazing ways to attract food and have all the instincts and means for catching their food, to survive, to reproduce and no creature is alike. If evolution is the cause, then it would seem that indeed these features where evolved because they were needed or else the creature would die off. If it's not the case like my opponent described, then it certainly seems like each creature was individually created with a special cause and purpose by intelligent design.

So, this little fatty glob you described just one day, not being alive, decided to reproduce itself? Also, how were there amino acids around? According to scientists the early earth didn't support the right conditions as expressed in Miller's experiment for amino acids to just arise by themselves. No experiment to this date has been able to produce the same results. Oh, and your little Steve thingy had nothing to do with evolution. Evolutionists like to bring up that there is nobody in the scientific community that disregards evolution as if it's a proven fact, but obviously quite a few scientists got tired of this theory being toted as true and stood up against it and said they weren't on the same page. This isn't no survey that was passed around. They actually came out and protested against evolution. Just because only a hundred of them stood up against evolution doesn't mean at all that there are another 44,000 for it.

The FACT (yes, I said it, fact) is that nobody has been able to ever prove evolution happened. You said that cell just out of the blue just started to reproduce. Huh? Something that's non-living cannot just up and start to reproduce one day. There's nothing, no force on the face of the planet that can make that happen. Just looking at all of life and its diversity, I don't think of evolution. I think design. One cell is not responsible for every plant that uses photosynthesis to survive, every animal that lives in the water, every mammal that walks the land and swims in the ocean, every bird and insect that flies in the air, every egg-laying vs. pouch-carrying vs. human-type birth, every type of reproduction, including sexual, the means to reproduce without a mother, males being able give birth and animals that can change their sex at will just to reproduce. All of this was evolved? I don't think so.

Oh and don't say there's no evidence that supports the bible because I can assure you there's more evidence that supports the bible than there is of evolution. Can I prove it to ya? The bible boldly proclaims specific historical events to come. No other ancient sacred book dares to deal with prophecy in this way with unmatched results. No uncondtional prophecy of the bible about events to present day has gone unfulfilled...other books claim divine inspiration, such as the Koran, the book of Mormon and parts of the Hindu Veda, but none of these books contains predictive prophecy. As a result, fulfilled prophecy is a strong indication of the unique, diving authority of the bible. One incredible example of prophecy comes from the book of Isaiah, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, the kings of Judah. Through history and archaelology, the dates of these kings during the days of Isaiah are well-known-from 767 B.C. to 686 B.C., a span of 81 years. Again, that's the time in which Isaiah lived. During Isaiah's time, God revealed to him a coming conqueror who would permit Jerusalem to be rebuilt after its destruction and his name would be Cyrus-althrough in Isaiah's day, Jerusalem was still standing! Jerusalem was in fact destroyed in 586 B.C. by the Babylonians some 100 years after Isaiah's day. Work was not begun to reconstruct it until 539 B.C. when the prophesied king conquered Babylon and decreed that the captive Jews be freed and allowed to go back and rebuild the city. The kings name was Cyrus, known in history as Cyrus the great. Don't believe me? Look it up. It's true. The prophecy was right down to even the exact name of the man who would come and win Jerusalem back and it was prophesied 100 years after the man who said it would happen died! This is only one of hundreds of bible prophecies that have been confirmed. You can say that all the prophecies are vague, but you wouldn't know what you were talking about. Jesus himself fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies written about him. The Old Testament was written hundreds of years Jesus was even born. It's the book that the Jews used as their bible over the years. Yes, they really weren't books, but rather scrolls that were carefully maintained. If you want me to name a few of the prophecies dealing with Jesus, PM me and I'll tell you about them or I'll start another thread or whatever. The point has been made. The bible claims divine authority and proves it with prophecy over any other book out there.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away." Matthew chapter 24 verse 35. One thing the bible also has over any other text in the history of the world is indeed history. I'm not just talking about the bible has a lot of history in it. I mean that over 40 authors have written the books of the bible over a span of 1500 years. Would you believe that these authors would be able to maintain an essential unity of thought and principals through all that time? If there is anything in the world's history of literature has proven is that values and principals do change over time. Even within his own lifetime, an author ungoes notable changes in his system of values. His writings reflect his ideas and thoughts according to his stage in life. Yet, when the bible is analyzed in this way, we find it is strikingly different. They all maintain an amazing consistancy. Not only that, but of all ancient works, only the bible comes to us completely intact, which is against all odds and expectations. In comparison, William Shakespeare's plays, written only about 400 years ago and after the invention of the printing press, are in worse shape. Shakepeare's original words have been lost in numerous sections and scholars are left to fill in the blanks the best they can. When it comes to the bible, its uncanny preservation has permitted it weather thousands of years of wars, persecutions, fires and invasions and still remain intact. If this doesn't seem a bit odd or creepy to you, then maybe you're absolutely refusing to look outside of the box and see what's on the other side. There's just something about the bible that proves the existance of God and the book of Genesis in the bible. If anyone at all tells you that the bible is fake or mythology, they really don't know what it's about. They just don't understand it or don't care to. thumbsup.gif

P.S. you say there's proof of evolution. Where? Definately not in the fossil record. In over 150 years since Darwin said we would find the proof of evolution the the ground, we have yet to find a single shed of that kind of evidence. There isn't a single fossil that shows any kind of transitional form or proves evolution occured and scientists say we have recovered nearly 80% of the fossils. Certainly we would've found something that proved evolution, but not yet. Just thought you would like to know that.

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aquatus1

Oh, why thank you, I wasn’t aware of that. I would ask the audience to please ignore this post, as it does not exist.

There is, perhaps, nothing that causes more ire in a creationist than Speciation. To deny this phenomenon, they rely on several arguments consisting of delightfully undefined terminology and outright denial of the “Simple to Complex” basis of evolution, insisting rather that science claims (as creationism does) that complex creatures arise from nowhere. In this post, I will define what a species is, outline how a new species comes to be, and explain how to tell the two apart.

Speciation

As with any other definition, there are multiple ones for species, but for living animals (at least, the ones we have a genetic record of), the one that matters is the following:

Species are sets of organisms that share sufficient genetic traits to sustain reliable reproduction.

There are two main processes within which speciation occurs. The first is the evolution of one species into another species. The second is the splitting of one species to two separate species.

The first scenario is really nothing too different than what I talked about in my last post. Essentially, the random mutational errors simply gather to the point that the animal is no longer classified as the same species. Take, for instance, the coelacanth. This odd fish was first heard about from the fossil record of approximately 50 million years ago. Now, when we are using the fossil record, obviously we are not going to be able to carry out genetic testing. We have to use a system of species interpretation known as morphology. This is the least preferred method of identification, due to the massive amounts of detective work involved. Basically, morphology classifies species through physical characteristics. This can get tricky, due to the variety of different forms that any particular species can assume. For instance, if you were to compare the skeletal structure of a Masai warrior to that of the beefy Spaniard mountain man, you would be hard-pressed to claim them outright as belonging to the same species. You would have to do a massive investigation of the skeletal, dental, and other physical traits before making that determination. Likewise, recently it was discovered that a large prehistoric Brazilian bird, previously though to be three species of radically different sizes, was in fact one species consisting of a 15 foot tall momma, an 8 foot tall papa, and a four foot tall kid.

Back to the coelacanth. Several decades ago, this fish was found to be a regular item at a local African fish market (Not for its meat, though. Apparently the scales make great sandpaper.) Upon dissection, the fish was found to be a definite relative of its fossil ancestor. Not the exact same, however. The scientist investigating it (after getting kicked out of the marker for vandalizing the fish) found several changes to its fishionomy. Mostly, it was changes in the rear dorsal patterns, which seems to be how the coelacanth conducts mating rituals. This is an example of speciation at its simplest, basically through replicational error and chromosomal transference. The environment the fish lives in has not changed a great deal in the time the fish has lived there, so natural selection hasn’t come into play. If it had, we would see much more radical changes. The reason we do not, however, is because, lacking the natural selection to isolate and emphasize a given trait, the mutation simply blended into the rest of the gene pool. In other words, there was no competition between fish with mutations and fish without.

Creationists like to refer to this random mutational effect as micro-evolution. They are basically acknowledging that mutational changes do happen and that they do change “Types” of animals (there’s that slippery definition), into other “types” of animals. They do not, however, believe that a type of animal can ever become a different species of animal. The question then, is this: By what process does creationism explain that no new species will form, when the natural circumstances show that they will? How does creationism limit mutations beyond the level of genetic incompatibility, but not before?

The second process is the splitting of a single species into two separate species. Again, there are many different methods, but by far the most common one is through reproductive isolation. What this means, essentially, is that two groups of the same species become isolated from one another. This can be geographically (by mountains or such), socially (with changes in mating rituals), and even through diet (such as choosing fruit that matures at different times). The basic theory is simple. Two species, with the same chromosome, are in two separate groups. By definition, random mutational changes to the chromosome are not going to be repeated in exactly the same way in both isolated groups; rather, both groups will experience different changes that stabilize in their particular gene pools. As these changes accumulate over time, the two groups become more and more chromosomally distinct, until the chromosome is no longer capable of sustaining reliable reproduction. This can, of course, take years. It can also take a relatively short amount of time. Ultimately, it depends on the situation. In all cases, here is an example:

The apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, and the hawthorn maggot fly, Rhagoletis Crataegus, are physically identical in all respects save that they each have a distinct food source. We have preserved amber specimens of the hawthorn fly, as well as fossilized samples of the Hawthorn tree, in Northern America, dating back several thousands of years. The earliest records of apple trees in North America go back less than 300 years, when they were introduced from Europe. The apple fly was first observed parasitizing apples in the mid-1800's. Neither the apple maggot fly nor the hawthorn fly has been observed in any other country besides North America. The sudden appearance of a separate species of rhagoletis can be explained through the theory of divergent evolution, in which some sort of reproductive isolation allows two separate groups of the same species to diverge into two separate species. Rhagoletis mating occurs on the fruits of their respective trees. Females lay eggs in the fruit while it is still on the tree; the eggs hatch within two days; then develop through three larval stages in the same fruit. This takes about a month. After the fruit falls to the ground, the larvae burrow into the soil and diapause through the winter. Hawthorn fruits ripen 3-4 weeks after apples do.

Due to the different ripening times, the hawthorn fly larvae experiences cool temperatures before pupating, while the apple fly larvae experiences warm temperatures prior to pupating. It is known that certain alleles are favored in cool prewinter temperatures versus warm prewinter temperatures. The temperature differences experienced by different larvae will cause a change in allele identity (possible great enough to trigger speciation). Researchers (Filchak et al. 2000) collected a large number of pupae from the hawthorn fly, split them into groups, and exposed them to simulated warm periods and freezing periods. Genetic testing on the adults showed no less than six allozymes that differ between hawthorn and apple races. In a single generation, the researchers succeeded in replicating the selection events that produced divergence between the apple race and the hawthorn race of flies over the past 150 years. Separate testing (Feder et al 1988, 1990), confirmed that there are significant differences in the frequencies for alleles for six different enzymes.

The Rhagoletis example of sympatric speciation is an incredibly rapid (biologically speaking) 150 years evolution which created what is referred to as an incipient species. What this means is that the populations have clearly diverged and are largely, but not completely, isolated in terms of gene flow. For all intents and purposes, they are considered separate species by the scientific community, enough to warrant them their own species name.

Now, at this point, the creationists will complain that this isn’t truly a new species; after all, a fly is still a fly. The simple fact of the matter is that the two groups of flies are no longer capable of carrying out reliable reproduction. They still can, on rare occasions, breed offspring, but it is not in any way considered reliable. Another example of a well-known incipient species is the horse and the donkey. They are so far down the evolutionary trail that hardly anyone considers them the same species anymore, and like the flies, they can reproduce, but not reliably. There is still, though, the occasional fertile mule, despite the fact that the chromosome count for the horse, the donkey, and the mule are completely different!

I believe that I still have one more post left, and a closing argument. My next post will be about that great heartburn in the creationist chest, Evolutionary Novelty.

I apologize for the edit, but I found some errors that radically changed the purpose of my statements and had to correct them.

Edited by aquatus1

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saucy

Okay, I'm really glad he talked about flies. I thought he was actually going to dispute that there are bones that support human evolution or that non-living things can suddenly come alive. He knows what I've been saying is true and thus he hasn't come up with a single counter arguement for anything I've said. He gets desperate and starts to talk about flies.

Genetic mutations. Has that ever been recorded to happen amongst an ENTIRE SPECIES!? I think not. Maybe one person or animal, but never an entire race. I wonder why some fish are mutating when we dump tons of chemicals in every single body of water we can find. What are the odds of a fly being contained on a ship or plane that travels from the United States to Europe and mates with their flies? It can happen. Flies can mate with flies. It doesn't matter what kind of name you give them, it's still a fly. That's why killer bees can mate with African bees and get a different breed. It's still bees breeding with bees. That's like saying a white person can't breed with a black person. Nothing he has said thus yet has proven evolution.

Wow, is that all I have to say already? tongue.gif

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aquatus1

Wow, is that all I have to say already? 

Indeed… dontgetit.gif

Due to my continuing desperation, I will now talk about Evolutionary Novelty.

As my opponent has previously mentioned, there is a creationist belief that it is impossible to create “New Information” within the genetic code. New Information is another one of those terms used mostly due to its ability to present an argument that sounds scientific, yet is so devoid of specifics that it can easily be shifted to counter any explanations that a scientist may pose. Whatever creationists may choose it to mean, however, to a scientist new information is simply this: Genetic sequence modifications that code for actions or results not previously present within the creature.

Now, evolutionary novelty follows the same Simple-to-Complex sequence that every other evolutionary process follows. In the previously mentioned human species with no arms, one will never see the sudden appearance of a complex arm, such as we have. Indeed, if we had evidence of that, that would be far greater proof for creationism than anything they have now. But this has never been seen because this is not how evolution works. Evolution works through slow gradual steps. My opponent previously asked how a fish could evolve to live on land. The explanation is the same. Before the fish moved onto land, it first had to develop the ability to breathe air. This was accomplished through the use of modified (or mutated) gills, which developed a membrane capable of filtering oxygen from the air. It still worked as a gill, much better than it did as a lung, but over generations, the lungfish appeared and heralded the beginning of the land creatures.

Now, evolutionary novelties are rare, but they do happen. Quite possibly the most dramatic one was the evolution of the feather. The evolutionary novelty in this case came about from a mutation in two important pattern forming genes, namely the Bmp2 (bone morphogenetic protein 2) and the Shh (sonic hedgehog—I kid you not). Simply put (very simply put), these genes regulate cell proliferation and differentiation. Normally, they help create standard skin cells. For some reason, that we will likely never know, however, millions of years ago that pattern changed.

The Compsognathus was the first fossil to be discovered with the peculiar and never before seen follicle collar. This follicle collar, basically a well with a long hollow cylinder projecting from it, was a radical departure from regular skin. The first feather was, basically, nothing more than a hollow cylinder. Other dinosaurs with this trait were found soon after, such as the ceratosauroids, and the allosauroids, leading people to believe that the cause of the mutations was environmental, since it affected *ahem* three separate species, much like the cold weather *ahem* affected the Rhagolettis in my previous post.

This is stage 1 of the development of the feather, and the most significant in terms of evolutionary novelty. Never before this time has such a structure been found in any species. After this time, however, the feather falls into the same patter of other evolutionary traits, going to stage 2, which involved a differentiation of the follicle collar, creating the tufted feather on species such as the Alvaresaurids and the shvuuia, leading to stage 3, a double mutation of both the rachis ridge, which is needed for helical growth and formation of the rachis, as well as the barbule plates, which creates the barbs on the modern day feathers, to stage 4, a differentiation of the barbule plates, leading to the pennaceous vane, and finally to the modern day stage 5, the bias of barb ridges on one side of the follicle, leading to the closed asymmetrical vane, much like the modern flight feather.

Pardon for the vicious compression of that; it is, frankly, a bit dull. After all, the creation of a new feather isn’t novel at all, it is simply a really weird skin condition, isn’t it? No, an evolutionary novelty would have to be something fairly spectacular, something that could not, in any way shape or form, be considered information that has existed or been modified.

Well, I have one for you.

A certain bacterium by the name of Flavobacterium sp.K172, was found to have undergone a Frame Shift mutation. This basically means that the entire genetic sequence was moved over by a single amino acid. The consequences of this are dramatic, so dramatic that it usually leads to a catastrophic collapse of the system. In the case of this bacterium, however, that didn’t happen. What happened was the creation of a new enzyme, and enzyme that had never before existed in the history of world. An enzyme that was all about new information being able to create evolutionary novelty. Through the simple mutation of a single Thyamine acid into the sequence, an enzyme was formed with the power to digest…NYLON!

For those who are wondering, nylon was invented in 1935. It did not exist in any way shape or form before that. It would be physically impossible for this enzyme to exist prior to 1935, as the bacteria harboring it would have starved to death before being able to reproduce. This is a unique quality that appeared quite literally out of nowhere.

**********************************************************************

In the last five posts, I have done my best to illustrate how evolution is conceived and explained by science. Now obviously, there are entire libraries full of information, and even a basic evolutionary science course takes over three months to attend, so it would be impossible to cover every point needed for a proper discussion in merely five posts. Instead, I kept it at the simplest explanatory level that I could.

Now, there remains only the conclusion. In my final post, I will present the many counters to the “arguments” my opponent proposed, as well as evaluate how well my predictions came about, and of course, I will give proper cite and references to the claims that I have made.

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saucy

This debate reminds me of a joke I heard. I know I've said it on this site before, but it makes a lot of sense:

There was this kid who was a devout Christian. He walked into school one day with a model of the solar system for his science class. He turned the corner into his class and his teacher was amazed by the quality of his project. "That's an excellent model Jimmy. Who made it for you?" The kid just looked at his teacher and said, "Nobody made it. It just formed itself that way."

As impossible as it sounds for that model to have created itself, it's exactly what all the evolutionists and big bang theorists claim. They expect everyone to believe that the universe created itself and formed out of nothing. They expect us to believe that the earth formed perfectly suitable for life and at the perfect distance from the sun. They claim that life itself suddenly appeared; that something non-living can make itself a living organizm. It sounds bogus to me, especially since evolutionists have tried to prove it numerous times, failing every single time. They can't find any bones, they can't prove it genetically, they can't make a sane arguement. Once they make a theory, creationists dis-prove their theory but instead of agreeing that the theory doesn't make sense, they just try to discredit the creationist. I for one want an explanation that makes sense concerning evolution. What I find is that they can't explain it and most of theories being taught in science classes and universities are false and have been disproven, BUT THEY ARE STILL TAUGHT! The theory about the embryos of every species looking alike once they are embryos, science and biology books still teach it and have the graph, but that theory has been proven false more than twenty years ago! Why show a chart of the stages man took during evolution when you don't have the bones to back it up. Why still teach Miller's abiogenesis project when it's been debunked and proven false? I don't know why they do. Now there's generations of evolutionts who believe that evolution is a proven fact when there's just so much evidence against it. The evidence against evolution is what they like to call "typical creationist arguments" but they make sense. They are despised by the evolution camp because they can't be proven against. Here are a few of the "typical creationist arguments':

The only real evidence for a billions of years old earth model is the fact that the philosophy of evolution requires it. That's why radiometric dating "discovers" the ages they do: they triangulate based on a few "knowns", none of which really are known at all:

1) they "know" that the solar system is about 4 billion years old--based on the philosophy of evolution, which means they don't really know that.

2) they "know" that potassium, Carbon-14 or whatever element they're testing decays at a certain invariable rate--except they don't know that at all. Decay rates can change, and they don't know if the rate changed or not. Also, they don't know if the amount of daughter material was originally zero.

Based on these "facts", which are really assumptions, they measure the ratio of uranium to lead present in the artifact--the only fact in this whole equation--plug in their assumption, and voila! Dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago! Right? Well, what about human skulls and gold chains found in seams of coal? Oops. What about tree trunks running vertically through "millions of years" of sedimentation?

Here are a few other uncomfortable facts:

The age of the universe outside the solar system is calculated based on the distance and speed of star and galaxy recession--but this method presupposes a "Big Bang", which is far from being scientifically established. Not to mention the fact that the distances and speeds are hotly contested.

NASA expected 54 feet of dust on the moon, assuming a 5-billion year ago. Oops, they found only 13 feet at the Apollo 11 landing site.

The Poynting-Robertson effect slows down small particles in orbit and makes them fall into the sun. In only 2 billion years, all particles less than three inches across clear out to Jupiter's orbit should have been eliminated. Oops, there are huge quantities still out there (they show up every year in the Perseid meteor shower every August)

All short-term comets in the solar system should have been evaporated in 10,000 years or less. Oops! They haven't.

Living snails have been radiometrically dated by carbon-14 to be 2,300 years old. A Hawaiian lava flow known to be less that 200 years old was dated at 3 billion years. New wood in growing trees has been dated at 10,000 years.

Sediment on the ocean floor is an average of 1/2 mile deep or about 8.2 x 10/17th tons. Rate of deposition is 2.75 x 10/10th tons a year. Works out oceans can't be more than 33 million years old, even if we stick with a uniform deposition rate. And a non-uniform deposition (caused by something such as a world-wide flood) could greatly reduce the time involved by speeding up deposition.

Oil and gas deposits are still under lots of pressure, even in porous rock. That pressure is known to bleed off and it shouldn't be there anymore if oil fields are more than a few thousand years old.

The only way fossilization occurs is if living tissue is suddenly cut off from air and subjected to great pressure. Scientists studying the topography surrounding Mount St. Helens therefore found fossilized layers of flora and fauna created by mudslides that they know are only 15 years old! yet they almost exactly reproduce the "millions of years" of fossilization found elsewhere on earth.

The earth's magnetic field decays exponentially, with a half-life of 1,400 years. Projecting in reverse, the earth's age comes out as--surprise!--10,000 years or less.

There's a lot more of evidence and the reality is that very little evidence points to an old earth, but a lot of evidence points to a young earth, with a fossil layer caused by some sort of world-wide catastrophe. Evolution started with the philospophy of "uniformitarianism," which says that all changes happened very, very slowly. No such thing as a world-wide catastrophe; can't be. Except they have since needed to explain why the dinosaurs went extinct so suddenly. So now we have a worldwide nuclear winter caused by an asteroid hitting the earth. Worldwide changes in geography, topography, climate--the works. So, why not a flood, which would do all the same things? Actually, there is massive evidence that supports a world-wide flood, but scientists call it the ice age that happened immediately after the "asteroid" hit. So, doesn't it make sense that it was indeed the massive flood that happened?

There's more, but learning about creationism is a life-long course and I couldn't get everything.

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aquatus1

I have to apologize for the amount of time this conclusion has taken for me to post. It is Finals week, and the precious little time I had was indeed devoted to this subject, unfortunately, on two separate occasions, I somehow managed to completely and utterly erase the entire post I had just spent an hour and a half putting together. Please forgive if this ending is a bit abrupt, but, as I said, I am still under time constraints, and still somewhat irrationally annoyed at my computer for not saving me from my own actions.

As I posted in my opening statement, this debate was not so much about evolution vs. creationism, but rather about science vs. creationists. Why is this an important point, and why am I bringing it up now? It is important, because we are talking about two fundamentals mindsets which color the world they view. Everything that is taken into the mind is taken in through the specific method that each camp has trained itself in. Now, science has made it an essential part of its training to have objective, critical, and replicable analysis of all data prior to coming to a conclusion. Creationism, on the other hand has come to a conclusion (God created everything), and holds all data to that base. That which supports it is deemed acceptable, that which does not is rejected as falsehood and lies. This mindset, unfortunately, does not allow for falsifiability, one of the prerequisites of scientific methodology. Because of this, there will always be an upper limit to creationist knowledge. New data will never be allowed to alter the conclusion, and if the conclusion cannot be altered, then research becomes meaningless and progress is halted.

Because of this, I had no difficulties making several predictions. I will repost them now, and we shall see how well they came to pass:

Argument 1: Science is unreliable and does not deserve the credibility that it has.

Argument 2: Science is reliable, but does not support evolution.

Argument 3: It is only fair to equate creationism with evolution.

1) My opponent will not define what the Theory of Creationism is.

2) He will not present evidence that backs up his theory.

3) He will not have a decent grasp of scientific terminology.

4) It is entirely likely that he will attempt to disprove scientific studies, however he will

also show a limited understanding both of what the studies concluded and how they were carried out.

5) He will be of the belief that, should his efforts in discrediting evolution succeed, that will automatically show that Judeo-Christian creationism is superior to all other forms of creationism.

A1) We actually do not need to go any further than my opponent’s opening statement to find evidence of the first argument:

In this debate, I'm going to prove that evolution is just a theory and even 150 years after Darwin's time, there still is no proof that evolution happened.

Right off the bat, the declaration is that there is no scientific support of the most basic foundation of the living sciences. Considering that this is an Evolution vs. Creationism debate, and not an Evolution: Fact or Fiction debate, this is as misdirecting as it is predictable.

A2) Without pausing to take a breath, the above quote from my opponent continues:

I'm also going to prove that in this new day in age, scientists have unlocked the DNA and gene codes and find they are more complex than Darwin could've ever imagined and because of it, more and more scientists are turning Christian because all the things of the world are obviously created and for some sort of purpose.

As I stated before, this is part of the Creationist mindset: selective analysis. Data that doesn’t support creationism (evolution) is discarded; data which does support creationism (or rather, which is used against evolution and incorrectly at that) is held up.

A3) Since this is not a legal argument, I did not expect this argument to be fulfilled, although I cannot say I would be overwhelmingly surprised to see a reference to it in my opponents concluding statement. It is, however, included here, because part of science is presenting all data, supportive or otherwise, of your conclusion.

1) Had I not known what creationism was before this debate, I would be at a loss to describe it. Not only did my opponent never define the Theory of Creationism, he avoided any explanation of it at all. I challenge any reader to describe the basis of creationism using nothing but my opponent’s posts.

2) Since no theory was posted, no evidence was produced to support it. My opponent did go out of his way, though, to declaim science, although, again, if one removes his personal opinion on the matter, logic and empirical evidence are in short supply. In all fairness, he did try and support biblical accuracy, but I will get to that later.

3) Even after posting definitions of scientific terminology, my opponent insisted on using the civilian, versus the professional versions. This is another Creationist idea; the notion that one can pick and choose which definition of a word applies to the context. This is, of course, false. Definitions do not exist to give us variety; they exist to define a word as it is used. When a word is used in a scientific context, you must use the scientific definition.

4) An excellent example of not understanding the conclusion of a study is in my Rhagolettis post. Despite specifically producing an example of a creature that had evolved because of a temperature differential in the environment, in other words, through a means other than procreation, which resulted in an entire species being produced en masse, I was somewhat dumbfounded to read, in the very next post:

“Has that ever been recorded to happen amongst an ENTIRE SPECIES!? I think not. Maybe one person or animal, but never an entire race.”. I actually had to go back and re-read my post, to make sure that I had included the study of an entire species suddenly showing an identical mutation.

5) As I previously mentioned, my opponent did make a single attempt to mark his version of Creationism as superior to others, but again, he failed to support it, focusing instead on debunking evolution (as opposed to providing a theory more capable of explaining the data, as science requires)

Now, my purpose in this debate was to show how evolution explains the variety of life on the planet. It was not to debunk creationism, no matter how tempting. However, part of our score is determined by our counters, so I will point out a few logical inconsistencies in my opponent’s posts.

Over the past twenty years or so, scientists have tried to replicate Miller's experiment, but using the "true" atmospheric conditions of early earth and no matter what they do, they cannot replicate the same results.

Notice the attempt at misdirection here. My opponent first tries to discredit the study by implying that it isn’t replicable. In fact, it is, and has been done in colleges for the past several decades. However, twenty years ago, ice core samples gave evidence that the Earth’s general atmosphere wasn’t “reducing”, as the Urey-Miller experiments claimed, but rather more neutral. Does this make the entire experiment null and void? Hardly. Hot springs and volcanic zones have always, and will always produce reducing conditions in their vicinity. In fact, this ties in rather elegantly with the new “primordial pizza” theory that long ago replaced the primordial soup theory. This postulates that first life originated in a more stable environment than the oceans, such as wet clay surrounding areas of high chemical activity, i.e. hot springs and volcanic zones. Regardless, even in the absence of any such reducing zones in primordial Earth, The Urey-Miller experiments do show the formation of organic molecules in neutral atmospheres, although nowhere near the quantity that appear in reducing atmosphere. This doesn’t really change the odds of life on Earth that much, however. After all, there was more than one place on the planet where this was happening at any given time.

Most of the time, most of the facts presented in science classes across the world are either false or misleading. Many icons of evolution have been taught for years, even after many of them have been proven false.

I sincerely hope my opponent doesn’t believe that scientists are in charge of funding public schools or approving their textbooks. It is no secret that scientific education in America’s educational system is lacking, and nowhere will you find a greater proponent of reform than in the scientific community.

If evolution is the cause, then it would seem that indeed these features where evolved because they were needed or else the creature would die off. If it's not the case like my opponent described, then it certainly seems like each creature was individually created with a special cause and purpose by intelligent design.

Again, the creationist mindset is to start at the conclusion. You have a creature that lives in a specific environment, evolution claims that features help animals adapt to their environments, therefore, the creature must have requested these mutations to occur so that it could live where it wishes. Nonsense. The reason why creatures seem so perfectly suited to their environments is because other creatures not suited to the environment have either left or died off! A polar bear does not develop a thick coat because it is cold outside. He develops it because a genetic mutation requires it, regardless of the weather. If this creature was indeed “created with a special cause and purpose” then why is the previously beneficial mutation of hair growth, which allowed the bear to survive temperatures that its counterparts could not, now suddenly more of a detriment. The biggest danger that a polar bear encounters is nothing other than heat stroke! His fur is too good.

Oh, and your little Steve thingy had nothing to do with evolution.

How so? You claimed that the 2-page dissertation against evolution which, incidentally, consisted of the statement:

I am skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.
followed by two pages of signatures, show that there is reason to doubt evolution. Project Steve claims
Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools.
and is signed by four times as many people, representing over 40,000 people (only people named Steve (1% of the population) were allowed to sign). Oh, and I would question your opinion that the James Tour of Rice University's Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology and Arnold James of Dell Computing Research know more of evolutionary theory than I.

Oh and don't say there's no evidence that supports the bible because I can assure you there's more evidence that supports the bible than there is of evolution. Can I prove it to ya? The bible boldly proclaims specific historical events to come. No other ancient sacred book dares to deal with prophecy in this way with unmatched results. No uncondtional prophecy of the bible about events to present day has gone unfulfilled...other books claim divine inspiration, such as the Koran, the book of Mormon and parts of the Hindu Veda, but none of these books contains predictive prophecy.

Hmm…the lack of research is breathtaking. Just off-hand…lets see, the Oracle of Delphi, the message for Gibraltar from God in the Koran, the coming of Shakambhari in the Vedas,…all these are claimed to have come true, and do seem to have some historical backing. (then again, I recall that Spiderman prophesied the defeat of the Hobgoblin way back in the day. That came true as well). But wait, all the prophecies in the bible have come true right? It is, after all, Inerrant, isn’t it? In Mark13: 23-31 Jesus himself says:

So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. 24"But in those days, following that distress, " 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' 26"At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. 28"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Despite Jesus’s reassurance that it would occur within the generation of the people he was talking to, the end-of days for man still hasn’t occurred. (if it has, pleases inform me so that I can skip my Physics Final).(And if I may be childish, its verse 31, not 35, that my opponent quoted in his post).

Okay, I'm really glad he talked about flies. I thought he was actually going to dispute that there are bones that support human evolution or that non-living things can suddenly come alive. He knows what I've been saying is true and thus he hasn't come up with a single counter arguement for anything I've said. He gets desperate and starts to talk about flies.

Oh, for heaven’s sake! Is this truly a formal debate? I would ask for something a little more substantial than a high-school version of nanny-nanny-boo-boo.

It doesn't matter what kind of name you give them, it's still a fly. That's why killer bees can mate with African bees and get a different breed. It's still bees breeding with bees. That's like saying a white person can't breed with a black person. Nothing he has said thus yet has proven evolution.

Yet another Creationist idea emerges. A fly is a fly, regardless of what its genetics say. Likewise, a panda bear is a bear, and a donkey is nothing more than a horse. Lack of definition, lack of scientific understanding, and of course, lack of research. As for the black versus white comparison, I re-post a previous answer:

I'm beginning to feel that I am being intellectually insulted. Are you seriously comparing the genetic flexibility of a simple fly (with 5 pairs of chromosomes, 250 million base pairs, 13,601 genes, and 3 months between generations) to that of a human (23 pairs of chromosomes, 2.3 billion base pairs, up to 35,000 genes, and 20 years between generations)?

I am afraid that this has already taken far more time than I expected. I would ask the judges to re-read the entire debate, and note how many times my opponent uses the same erroneous arguments:

Complexity from Nothing: Science does not claim that anything formed from nothing (not even the Big Bang).

Argument from Ignorance: “I don’t believe it” or “I don’t understand it.”.

Old Research is Wrong: It is downright deceptive to talk about decade old experiments when new ones have since replaced the data they generated.

Denial “There is no proof”, “There are no fossils”, “There has never been observed”…all made after examples where presented.

Geology: “The Earth isn’t that old!” “The Great Flood happened” The age of the Earth isn’t dictated by evolution. Neither is Catastrophic Geology. These are irrelevant argument.

The simple fact of the matter is that my opponent is showing a very basic lack of educational knowledge in the field of Scientific methodology in general and Evolution specifically. You cannot use high school level knowledge (particularly that taught in public American high schools) in a debate concerning advanced scientific thought. Proper research must be done, intelligent and reasonable arguments must be made, and most importantly, you must support your position. If you have no support for your position, then regardless of what your opponent does or fails to do, you have not accomplished anything.

Again, I apologize if I sounded abrupt. I conclude my argument and await the judging. Thank you for your attention.

References:

Probability of Abiogenesis

Darwin and Evolution

Int. Society for Information, Complexity, and Design

Recent Abiogenesis Article

Project Steve

How Mutations Change Chromosome Numbers

The Nylon Bug

Synthetic Theory of Evolution

Primordial Life

Origin of Evolutionary Novelty

Brown University Evolution Resources

EvoWiki.org:Abiogenesis

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saucy

My opponant spent a lot of time telling you what I was going to say in my debates. Perhaps he knew what a lot of the creationist arguments were going to be, but the fact still remains that he has yet to disprove any of my arguements. He has no answer for my "questions". Yes, I'm going to call them questions because I feel I know as much about evolution as the smartest evolutionist and I find myself asking the same questions repeatedly. I've said there are no fossils. Instead of proving that there are fossils, he just simply states that I would use that arguement. Okay, then how about proving that they have found fossils supporting evolution. If he doesn't counter that argument, then that means I was right. I know he can't possibly have an answer for all of my arguements, but none of the basic, heavier questions got answered. Can non-living material suddenly turn into a living creature? The last I heard, Frankenstein was a fictional book and movie.

My opponent said I repeatedly refer to old experiments, but the Miller experiment was done in the 1950's I believe, way before many of the creationist ideas have come about, but the evolutionists still cling onto that Miller experiment as if it was their version of heaven. The fact is, nobody knows what the earth's early atmosphere was like. You can only guess. I've made a ton of statements that at least should be given careful thought before answering, but none of them got answered.

How do you know the earth is old? What have you tested that shows the earth is billions of years old? Rocks? Fossils? What? Did you know that when scientists turn something in to be tested for age, along with the object comes a report from the finder of the object and they have to guess how old the object is. Their guess is projected into the final figurings. What? Many things have been dated, things that are known to be young, even living snails, but have been given old dates. As an example, living snails have been dated as 1,200 years old. Dating is very inaccurate, but people still believe the earth is billions of years old because of these tests.

You said I lack any scientific knowledge past a high school education, but just like you, I got all my information from books and texts. Should scientists be blamed for what is printed in high school and college textbooks? To a point...yes. They aren't the ones writing the books, but all the information printed in the books is from the scientists. Thousands, maybe even millions of biology students are learning information that's false. They are using theories such as abiogenesis and the embryo graphs and that bird-dinosaur fossil thing as proof of evolution, but for many years now, they have all been proven false.

If you do go back and look at all my information, you'll see that I have proven many times that evolution is a bankrupt theory. They have nothing but the paper the book "Origin of Species" is written on. There is no evidence anywhere in the fossil record. As a matter of fact, what the fossil record does show is what is now being called the Cambrian explosion. There's a sudden explosion of complex life found in the fossil record. That shows that the bible has some truths to it, since life did suddenly appear. If you actually study deeper into cells, you'll see that they are encoded with information and are seemingly designed.

A lot of times, evolutionists try to get people by using microevolution. Otherwise known as adaption. Do animals adapt to their surroundings? Yes. Climates and weather patterns do change. It's only normal that we all adapt to our surroundings. When I moved from Texas to Michigan, it was a completely different climate and environment. I was suddenly thrown into new living conditions and I had to adapt from warm to cold. Did I change or mutate because of my surroundings? No. I got used to the cold. Adapting isn't changing into a completely different species. That's what evolution is. Evolutionists should know better. While species have been known to adapt, they have never been known to change completely. It's totally moronic to believe that after so many generations that a creature living on land, let's say frogs, will grow a set of wings and adapt to life flying around. If a condition needed the frog either die or develop wings for survival, the frog is gonna die. It won't be able to evolve fast enough.

In conclusion, my opponent didn't have any counter arguements for my creationist ideas, gave a lot of ideas to what I was going to say and in most cases was wrong about, gave some ideas of evolution himself, but when I questioned him about them, he didn't have an answer. He never challenged the divine authority of the bible, except for basically saying that all the other religious texts claim the same thing, but I specifically said that the bible is the only religious text that can back up its claims. The only prophecy not to have come true is the end time prophecy. The bible doesn't claim when it will happen. As a matter of fact, the bible says that no man will know when the end will happen and that it will come like a theif in the night. For many years, science has claimed that it is the truth and that anyone who questions science is an idiot or moron. I guess I'm a moron. I used to study evolution and believe it was true and I realize why evolutionists defend it so wholeheartedly. Who would trust science again if it was proven to be wrong? Well, I've proved with my arguments that there's at least reason to question science and see what proof is actually out there. Don't just believe what someone else tells you, not even me. What you read in the textbooks is wrong. What your science teacher teaches you is just what someone else told her was right and so forth. Go out with an open mind and do a little research of your own. I'm not saying you have to turn Christian or any other religion, but just make sure what you do believe in is accurate. This debate was fun, though I'm glad it's finally over. Hopefully, whomever is declared the winner, this is the last of the creation vs. evolution debates. I also hope that whoever judges this debates doesn't declare a winner by personal belief on who's right or who's wrong, but whomever had the better case. Thanks and God-bless!

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Saru

Thanks to both our participants for taking part in this debate.

Now it's over to the judges to find out how you've done. thumbsup.gif

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Fluffybunny

This was an incredible debate, and I can tell a lot of hard work went into it on both sides, thank you very much for all of that hard work. I learned something new from both sides of the debate.

Debater 1: aquatus1

Relevancy: 8

Countering: 9

Style: 8

Persuasiveness: 9

TOTAL: 34

Debater 2: Saucy

Relevancy: 6

Countering: 6

Style: 7

Persuasiveness: 7

TOTAL: 26

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Lottie

Wow! That was a really great debate. Well done to both of you! thumbsup.gif

Debater/ aquatus1

Relevancy: 8

Countering: 10

Style: 9

Persuasiveness: 9

TOTAL: 36

Debater/ Saucy

Relevancy: 8

Countering: 8

Style: 8

Persuasiveness: 8

TOTAL: 32

Edited by Lottie

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Falco Rex

Damn! That one should have been televised.. tongue.gif

Debator1: Aquatus1

Relevancy: 8

Countering: 10

Style: 8

Persuasiveness: 9

Total: 35

Debator2: Saucy

relavancy: 8

Countering: 9

Style: 8

Persuasiveness: 7

Total: 32

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BurnSide

Great Debate, thanks for that, both sides made excellent points and showed us many key issues on both cases.

The results are:

Saucy takes a slice of Pie with a tasty 30.

Aquatus1 finishes the Cake with a delicious 35.

Thanks again! thumbsup.gif

Now hopefully we can give EvC a rest.

original.gif

Edited by BurnSide

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