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Joe_Cavalry All Day Every Day


Debate Info

39
89
I've always thought that Wait...., What? No!
Debate Score:128
Arguments:55
Total Votes:176
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 I've always thought that (25)
 
 Wait...., What? No! (30)

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Much of Darwinism doesn’t square with observation or even make sense.

I've always thought that

Side Score: 39
VS.

Wait...., What? No!

Side Score: 89
0 points

Why is it more reasonable to conclude common descent rather than common design from the similarity we see among species. I would argue that common design is far more reasonable. Here is why. This is a quote from the article and the full article can be found at the link below.

Conclusion

The methodology for inferring common descent has broken down. Proponents of neo-Darwinian evolution are forced into reasoning that similarity implies common ancestry, except for when it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, they appeal to all sorts of ad hoc rationalizations to save common ancestry. Tellingly, the one assumption and view that they are not willing to jettison is the overall assumption of common ancestry itself. This shows that evolutionists treat common descent in an unfalsifiable, and therefore unscientific and ideological, fashion.

Meanwhile, as far as the data is concerned, the New Scientist article admits, “Ever since Darwin the tree has been the unifying principle for understanding the history of life on Earth,” but because “different genes told contradictory evolutionary stories,” the notion of a tree of life is now quickly becoming a vision of the past — as the article stated, it’s being “annihilated.” Perhaps the reason why different genes are telling “different evolutionary stories” is because the genes have wholly different stories to tell, namely stories that indicate that all organisms are not genetically related. For those open-minded enough to consider it, common design is a viable alternative to common descent.

Supporting Evidence: A Primer on the Tree of Life (www.ideacenter.org)
Side: I've always thought that
4 points

The methodology for inferring common descent has broken down. Proponents of neo-Darwinian evolution are forced into reasoning that similarity implies common ancestry...

You misunderstand the evidence. Similarities are important hints, but they aren't the whole of it. Consider ERVs. ERVs are dormant retroviruses that, like HIV, essentially locks itself in the DNA of its host. The difference with HIV is that ERVs by definition don't do anything. They're duds. However, once an animal gets an ERV the "marker" on its DNA will, along with the rest of its genes, get passed onto its offspring.

For example, suppose our common ancestor with chimps had, from its forebears, had within it 6 ERVs randomly placed along its DNA. ERVs can be removed by mutations but in general they don't because if they don't harm the species, removing it would not be favored or unfavored by natural selection. So after this ancestor splits off in its evolution, one branch becoming modern chimps, the other becoming modern humans, in theory both the chimps and the humans should retain these genetic markers, "ERVs" in the same spots along their DNA. Could it be a coincidence? Well, as we've all heard from our enthusiastic biology teachers, our genetic code is such that it could fill bookshelves with all the necessary volumes. There is, for anyone ERV, 3,000,000,000 (3 billion) bases it could integrate with -- and it does so randomly. The chances that there would even be ONE match up is extremely improbably, let alone a handful, let alone dozens, let alone hundreds.

This isn't just theory, nor is this just a potential. ERVs are very real, and humans and chimps share many more than 6. So do all related species, and it is just one irrefutable proof of common ancestry. There are many, some even more profound. Scientists aren't stupid.

Must Watch: ERVs
Side: Wait...., What? No!
jstantall(178) Disputed
2 points

So what does this prove?

Also. you start with the assumption that neo-Darwinian evolution is true and then set out to prove it. How does your argument not commit the fallacy of circular reasoning?

About "Common Ancestry"?

“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and notes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.” Stephen Jay Gould

“With few exceptions, radically new kinds of organisms appear for the first time in the fossil record already fully evolved. … It is not at all what might have been expected.” T. S. Kemp, Fossils and Evolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 253

“No one has found any such in-between creatures … and there is a growing conviction among many scientists that these transitional forms never existed.” George Alexander, “Alternative Theory of Evolution Considered,” Los Angeles Times, November 19, 1978

“If numerous species, belonging to the same … families, have really started into life at once, that fact would be fatal to the theory of evolution through natural selection.” Darwin, 344

It seems to me that the Cambrian Explosion, well, blows the theory of common ancestry apart.

So why is it more reasonable to conclude that the similarities are because of a theory that is least likely (common ancestry) than one that is more likely (common design)

Side: I've always thought that
-1 points

We need to be clear about what kind of evolution is in question. If we are speaking of micro-evolution (small changes within a species) then there is no question; every breeder will tell you that it happens and everyone has seen it happen. But if you are talking about Macro Evolution (one species becoming another) it simply doesn't happen, never, without exception. Ask any breeder; cat's remain cats and dogs remain dogs. Darwin was wrong in his extrapolation when he concluded that small variations over time could lead to a whole new species; it doesn't happen. There is no evidence any where that shows it. All you have in the fossil record are fully formed and fully functional creatures; there are no transitional forms, none. When the anomalies of a scientific theory grow to large the theory should be abandoned.

Side: I've always thought that
3 points

The only difference between "micro" and "macro" evolution is time scale. Many small mutations over long periods of time accumulate to the point where the final species is distinct from the original. To help you understand this, imagine the process of human aging:

A baby never transforms into an old man through miraculous transformation. Instead it goes through a number of small, virtually undetectable changes, until the final result is something that is completely different from the original. If you looked at any two consecutive days, there would appear to be no difference, and in fact you would probably have difficulty determining which day came after the other. However, when these changes accumulate over time we get an old man.

In addition, I'm guessing that you are unaware that we have actually seen speciation occur both in nature and in controlled experiments... so here you're just wrong... it does happen.

And speaking of things you're wrong about:

All you have in the fossil record are fully formed and fully functional creatures; there are no transitional forms, none.

Actually, what we have in the fossil record are examples of more generalized forms from later periods of time changing into more complex organisms.... but don't take my word for it:

Transitional Fossils
Side: Wait...., What? No!
jstantall(178) Disputed
2 points

What you fail to realize is what every breeder knows. All breeding spikes and then plateaus, there is a line that can't be crossed no matter how much breeding you do; dogs remain dogs and cats remain cats.

But the two biggest questions for Darwinism is where did life come from and where does genetic information come from. Since life and information are abstract realities there can be no naturalistic explanation for them. And if naturalism were true these abstract realities and all others wouldn't exist. Their very existence disproves Darwinism and naturalism because these theories can't account for them, yet there they are.

Side: I've always thought that
-1 points

Wow THANK YOU! That's what I always try to tell people. -------------

Side: I've always thought that
3 points

And that's why people criticize you.... when you try to tell people things like this they will laugh at you because you would be so wrong that it hurts.

Side: Wait...., What? No!
-2 points
4 points

This is dumb even for you, and you know it Joe.

I understand you just want to put up controversial debates, but come on... evolution? How about we debate gravity next?

Side: Wait...., What? No!
1 point

By the way, add-up the total of your argument points and compare them to the tally.

I down-voted all of my arguments!

THE PLOT THICKENS

Side: I've always thought that
jessald(1915) Disputed
3 points

Downvotes don't count toward the total score, only upvotes. See the faq.

The reason the score for the right column went up when you upvoted JC's comment on the right was because in that argument, he is "supporting" hamandcheese's argument.

Anyway, points are very close to meaningless.

Side: Wait...., What? No!
-1 points

Pardon my anger!

I up-voted all of your arguments and guess what? Lo and behold, my up-vote added points to the opposing side! What the fuck is goin on? The over-all tally is accruing up-votes on both sides of the argument when your side is up-voted. But, the up-votes are added only to your opponents when your opponents are up-voted! This bullshit has been going on for a long time and I'm now pissed!!! What a fucking joke!!! I hope you take the time to confirm the facts.

Side: I've always thought that

I never worry about points. I got more than I know what to do with ;)

But thanks for the up votes ;)

Side: I've always thought that
15 points

The guy who wrote this article is falling prey to one of the most common misconceptions about Darwinian evolution: That it's optimizing.

Evolution is NOT optimizing. The examples about antler size are a text book illustration of this. In game theory it's called a "race to the bottom" and it is the cause of all the diversity you see around us. Take the example of trees. Have you ever wondered why trees are so damn large? It must be a huge drain on the system, and an incredibly tall order to fill. Why in the world would evolution make them so cumbersome?

The answer is the race to the bottom. Imagine a tree's hypothetical short ancestors in a field. They are all competing for sunlight. Suppose they are all 3 feet tall. If a mutant tree is born that makes it 4 feet tall it will tend to have more success than its cousins and eventually its 4 foot gene will proliferate and now all the trees are 4 feet tall. But look -- they're all on an even playing field again, and any advantage is lost. The years go by and another outlier emerges, pushing 5 feet tall. Once again that gene proliferates and now all the trees are 5 feet tall. This will continue until the species settles into what is known as an Evolutionary Stable Strategy. In the trees case it is when its current environment simply won't permit it to get any bigger. Now you have a field of 100 foot trees that are enormously inefficient, and no individual tree is better for it. Even if it is most economical for all the trees to be the same height, unfortunately evolution doesn't work this way. It isn't optimizing. Put simply, what is rational for the individual tree is collectively self defeating for the species. This is actually a fulfillment of Darwinian theory because it contradicts "group evolution". If the tree wanted to optimize as a species it would just be a thin organic ooze on the surface of the earth.

Take another classic example: Peacocks. Picture the following contest between two peacocks, one with a short tail and one with a longer one. If they both have the same tale they both end up having 2 offspring and living the same length of time. However, if one grows a tale that is slightly longer and more impressive, the balance shifts. Long Tail now has 4 offspring, but because he's slower he ends up dying younger than short tale. Evolution only cares about offspring, though, so Short Tale ends up going extinct and Long Tail takes over. Once long tail is the norm any advantage it gave the original long tail is lost, because they're all the same again. So it goes back to the 2 offspring each arrangement, only now they live much shorter lives. Woops! If only evolution had foresight.

His other arguments are a little stupider. First, no one serious these days thinks Africans are less intelligent. 99.999% of our brains evolution happened before anyone even left the continent, and modern genome research has shown that racial difference are superficial.

Furthermore, a common misconception is that all visible differences amongst people or other animals must have an adaptive use. This is false. Random mutation is, well, random, and variation that occurs which is neither useful nor bad will stay. It might proliferate simply because it coincided with an actually useful mutation, or it might just be white noise. Why do Native Americans have dark, straight hair? Because they do. There isn't necessarily a reason. This doesn't in anyway refute Darwinism, and in fact is perfectly consistent with it.

It might be more convincing if the arguments he was disputing weren't being made by a biology-illiterate "racial-realist".

Side: Wait...., What? No!
4 points

I wish I could up vote you twice. I've mentioned in several debates that all people, even if you take the Shaq and a female midget, have no more than 0.01 genetic difference, and the differences we see from one human to another are all superficial, and behavioral and intelligence differences are all social or short-term genetic (parent to child, not thousands of years of parents to children.)

You said it much better. Good job.

Side: Wait...., What? No!
1 point

I also agree! But, short term genetic? I'm confused by this term. genetics are, by definition, long term. Explain, please?

Side: Wait...., What? No!

I know another example of a "race to the bottom." Our forefathers were smart, hard working individuals.... I guess you know where this is going ;)

Side: I've always thought that
jstantall(178) Disputed
-1 points

The trouble with this theory is genetics. There is not a one to one ratio between trait and gene; it's more like a hundred to one. A hundred genes determine one trait. Please note that I'm simplifying for the sake of clarity. You would have to get a hundred beneficial mutations to get one beneficial trait. The odds are simply against this happening.

Besides we have names for mutations; leukemia, cancer etc etc. Take for example mental retardation; one flaw renders the creature dysfunctional. Mutations cripple and destroy; not improve. And this makes Neo-Darwinian Evolution self defeating since any mutation would be eliminated through natural selection.

However, the greater problem is that there is no natural means by which genetic information is created. Which means a mutation would be a loss of information, not the creation of it. Therefore there is no way for a creature to change it's self. That requires an intelligent outside agent acting upon it to write the code.

And finally you have the problem of entropy; things work towards a state of simplicity; not complexity. In short, the world is falling apart not getting better.

Side: I've always thought that
lawnman(1106) Disputed
-2 points

I know nothing of either topic. I just know how to get people fired up ;)

Side: I've always thought that
2 points

who are you talking to? If it's me I'd love to debate you on virtually anything.

Side: Wait...., What? No!
2 points

When people use the term "Darwinism" it usually means (but not always) that they don't really understand the science of evolution. While it is true that Darwin did propose the basic concept of evolution (small mutations, selected by their ability to help an organism to have offspring, accumulate over time causing speciation) there are a number of other factors that contribute to evolution that Darwin didn't know about. This is not because he was dumb, but because there was no way to know at the time. Lucky for us, science advances our knowledge of the world, and we have now been able to fill in the gaps thanks to discoveries in genetics, archeology, and biology as a whole.

Darwin for example couldn't explain how traits were passed from generation to generation. We now know that this is from genetics, and with the study of genetics we have actually found certain ways in which organisms evolve which are not, in fact "Darwinian." Horizontal gene transfer is one example. I don't want to go into any great detail here, but essentially what happens is, genetic information is passed between two different species, as opposed to being passed from generation to generation. If you want a more detailed explanation here is the wiki article.

So in a sense, yes, evolution is not completely Darwinian... only predominately Darwinian in that:

1. Genetic mutations occur in species.

2. These mutations are sometimes beneficial to the survival of that species.

3. Those mutations which are beneficial allow members of the species that carry that mutation to pass the mutation onto their young.

4. These mutations can accumulate over time.

5. Eventually the accumulation of mutations will lead to more complex organisms.

This process has been observed over shorter time periods by scientists in both controlled experiments and nature, and observed over much longer periods of time in the fossil record.

All of these finds have been validated by the fact that we now have the ability to sequence DNA, proving (beyond any reasonable doubt) the fact that evolution is the absolute best explanation for the evidence, and, despite over 100 years of study, has not been shown to be invalid in even one instance.

So now I would like to ask you a question. How do you account for the evidence (fossils, DNA, morphology, embryology, observed instances of evolution etc...)? It sounds like you either don't understand the evidence, don't understand the theory or (most likely) both.

Side: Wait...., What? No!