The Theory of Evolution is not Scientifically Tenable
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Resolved: Science contradicts the theory of evolution at vital points, rendering evolution indefensible.
1. Opening Statements
2. Rebuttal and Questions
4. Closing Arguments and Summary
The burden of proof is shared. It is my burden of proof to show how the theory of evolution fails to be scientifically tenable, and it is Con’s burden of proof to demonstrate how evolution retains scientific integrity.
1. No round forfeits
2. It should go without saying, but keep it respectful
3. No new arguments in the final round
The origin of life on Earth is still a mystery, one of the greatest mysteries in science today … . Our ignorance about the origin of life is profound – not just some simple missing mechanistic detail … . This ignorance stems not only from our experimental difficulties with prebiotic chemistry but is also conceptual, as we are not yet able to conceive on paper how all these things came about.
Protein Formation Problem: In water, hydrolysis breaks the amino acids
down. In the peer reviewed journal, Journal of Creation, Alex Williams notes
that, “the thermal properties of liquid water are so destructive on the molecular
scale (briefly violating the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics) that life
could never have originated merely from organic chemicals, water, and energy” . It is
clear that, abiogenesis could not happen in water. Since the amino acid joining
process actually creates water, the very same problem persists when joining
amino acids in an initially dry environment. As explained by Michael Behe, “The
major problem in hooking amino acids together is that, chemically, it involves
the removal of a molecule of water from each amino acid joined to the growing
protein chain. Conversely, the presence of water strongly inhibits amino acids
from forming proteins” . Essentially the amino
acid joining process creates water which subsequently stops the joining process,
ending all possibility of getting even one complete protein.
Even Less Likely RNA Theory:The alternate theory that RNA is responsible
for the formation of the first proteins is rough with even deeper problems. As
explained by Michael Behe, “Although a chemist can make nucleotides [the
building blocks for RNA] with ease in a laboratory by synthesizing the components
separately, purifying them, and then recombining the components to react with
each other, undirected chemical reactions overwhelmingly produce undesired
products and shapeless goop in the bottom of the test tube. Gerald Joyce and
Leslie Orgel—two scientists who have worked long and hard on the origin of life
problem—call RNA ‘the prebiotic chemist’s nightmare’” .
Oxygen Problem:Experiments like the Miller experiment exclude
free oxygen because amino acids are broken down by oxygen through the oxidation
process. As explained by Mike Riddle, this presents a new problem, “If we were
to grant evolutionists’ assumption of no oxygen in the original atmosphere
another fatal problem arises. Since the ozone is made of oxygen it would not
exist; and the ultraviolet rays from the sun would destroy any biological
molecules. This presents a no-win situation for the evolution model. If there
was oxygen, life could not start. If there was no oxygen life could not start” .
The plot thickens when it is noted that oxygen must have been present in the earth’s
atmosphere. As John Morris explains, “It has become abundantly clear that
earth’s atmosphere has always had free oxygen. Water vapor readily breaks down
into hydrogen and oxygen. Furthermore, we find oxidized minerals in rocks of
every supposed age” . This creates a catch 22, since the Miller experiment,
and subsequent similar experiments, would not even begin to work if oxygen was present
in the atmosphere, or if water (the origin of atmospheric oxygen) was not
III. The Perpetual Decay of the Genome:The scientific study of mutations can only draw one conclusion; the rate at which deleterious mutations are accumulating in the genome will drive all living things to extinction. As Alex Williams explains in the peer reviewed journal, Journal of Creation :
“We are unable to reproduce ourselves without making multiple genome copying errors every generation. As a result our genomes are decaying towards extinction from copy errors alone. However, they make up only 0.1% of the total mutation burden, so 99.9% of the burden must have come from other causes. When decay in copy fidelity is projected backwards in time it reaches perfection around 4,000 BC, and when projected forwards, extinction from copy errors alone occurs in thousands, not millions, of years.”
- Beneficial mutations? Royal Truman says, “Within
any physical linkage unit, on average, thousands of deleterious mutations would
accumulate before a beneficial mutation would arise” . It is evident that beneficial
mutations are quite rare and are crushed under the weight of numerous
- Mutation increasing the Genome? Dr. Lee
Spencer said, "In all the reading I’ve done in the life-science
literature, I’ve never found a mutation that added information. All point
mutations that have been studied in the molecular level turn out to reduce the
genetic information and not to increase it" . Without the common
occurrence of mutations that increase the genome, evolution is dead on arrival.
P.L. and Ruiz-Mirazo, K., Open questions on the origins of life: introduction
to the special issue, Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres
- Williams, Alex, “What life isn’t”The In-depth Journal of Creation 29:1 (2015): 108.
- Behe, Michael. Darwin’s Black Box. Free Press,
New York, 2006, p169.
- Behe, ref. 5, p171.
- Riddle, Mike. “The New Answers Book 2.” Master
Books, Green Forest, 2016, p66.
- Morris, John. Is the Big Bang Biblical? Master
Books, Green Forest, 2003, p77.
- E. Borel, Probabilities and Life, [New York:
Dover Publications, 1962, p28.
and C. Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (New York: Simon and Schuster,
- Williams, Alex, “Human
genome decay and the origin of life”The In-depth Journal of Creation 28:1 (2014): p91.
Royal, “From ape to man via genetic meltdown: a theory in crisis” The In-depth
Journal of Creation 18:2 (2002): p30.
- L. Spencer,
Not by chance, The Judaica Press, Brooklyn, New York, 1997, p131-132, 138.
- The rules of the debate state that round 1 is
reserved for opening statements. Since Con launched straight into rebuttal, this
is a violation of the debate rules. Voters please keep this in mind when voting
- Con completely dropped my first two arguments.
Indeed, if only one of the three arguments presented in my opening statement
hold true, evolution could not have happened, so Con must address all three
points or he yields by default.
- Con presented no citations supporting his rebuttal.
He did cite his definition of tenable, and I accept his definition.
- Bergman, J. 2004. Research on the deterioration of the genome
and Darwinism: why mutations result in degeneration of the genome. Intelligent
design Conference, Biola University. April 22-23.
The mitochondria typical of mammalian cells respire O2 during the process of pyruvate breakdown and ATP synthesis, generating water and carbon dioxide as end products. The Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain in the inner mitochondrial membrane enable the cell to generate about 36 moles (mol) of ATP per mole of glucose, with the help of O2–respiring mitochondria. Such typical mitochondria also occur in plants and various groups of unicellular eukaryotes (protists) that, like mammals, are dependent on oxygen and specialized to life in oxic environments.In contrast, the mitochondria of many invertebrates (worms like Fasciola hepatica and mollusks like Mytilus edulis being well–studied cases) do not use O2 as the terminal acceptor during prolonged phases of the life cycle. These mitochondria allow the anaerobically growing cell to glean about 5 mol of ATP per mole of glucose, as opposed to about 36 with O2. The typical excreted end products are carbon dioxide, acetate, propionate, and succinate, which are generated mostly through the rearrangement of Krebs cycle reactions and the help of the mitochondrial electron transport chain. These organelles are commonly called anaerobic mitochondria.
Mitochondria of yet another kind yield even less ATP per molecule of glucose. These are mitochondria of several distantly related unicellular eukaryotes (protists) that lack an electron transport chain altogether. They synthesize ATP from pyruvate breakdown via simple fermentations that typically involve the production of molecular hydrogen as a major metabolic end product. These mitochondria are called hydrogenosomes and allow the cell to gain about 4 mol of ATP per mole of glucose. Hydrogenosomes were discovered in 1973 in trichomonads, a group of unicellular eukaryotes. They were later found in chytridiomycete fungi that inhabit the rumen of cattle, as well as some ciliates, and they continue to be found in other groups. The enzymes of hydrogenosomes are not unique to these anaerobes. They are found also in the mitochondria, the cytosol, or even the plastids of other eukaryotes (Figure 1).
pool of exclusively ‘right-handed’ ribose molecules could be produced,
separated from a jumble of other sugars, and remain stable long enough;
the bases could be produced in large quantities; and a high concentration
of phosphate (PO43-) would be in solution rather than precipitated out.
could combine with the bases and phosphate to produce β-D-ribonucleotides.
β-D-ribonucleotides could spontaneously produce RNA polymers of the proper
if such polymers form, they could replicate themselves.
such self-replicating RNA molecules would have all the functions needed to
sustain an organism.
such an RNA organism could give rise to a modern organism with protein
catalysts, coded on the reproducing material, and the means to decode
This is a Scientific Debate Not a Philosophical Debate: The debate is over “The theory of evolution is not scientifically tenable.” Rebuking claims against your position is, after all, what debating is all about. Thus far Con has presented a great deal of speculation and very little science. Con persists with his ‘reasonable to think’ argument, and yet, this argument is purely speculative. I clearly demonstrated how a scientifically informed position on mutations crushes the ‘reasonable to think’ philosophy. I understand and recognize evolution as a philosophy; therefore Con’s explanations on how it is theorized evolution should work, if it were true, have no bearing in this debate.
- Con was in clear
violation of the rules in round one. The rules clearly stated that round one
was reserved for opening statements, not rebuttals. Please vote Pro on conduct.
- Con failed to
present even one relevant scientific source in support of his position. I ask
you to vote Pro on sources.
- Con dropped my
first two arguments. If any one of my three opening arguments proves true then
the theory of evolution is not scientifically tenable. Con handed this debate
over to me from round one by failing to address two of my three arguments.
Please vote Pro on arguments.
- Beneficial Mutations:I offered evidence supporting that beneficial
mutations are extremely uncommon. Dr. Jerry Bergman’s study found that out of 453,732
mutations only 186 were ‘beneficial’ (less than 4 in 10,000) .
- Mutations that Increase the Genome:It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that, for
organisms to evolve from a single cell into a human, a very great deal of
genetic information must be added to the genome. Therefore, we can easily
realize that beneficial mutations that replace or reduce the genome will not
provide the sort of mutations required for evolution. Dr. Jerry Bergman’s study
revealed that out of 453,732 mutations 0 mutations caused an increase to the
genome as required for evolution . I never claimed that the sort of mutation
required for evolution to occur was nonexistent; however, it is clearly
extraordinarily rare at best.
- Survival of the Least Damaged:To be generous, let’s assume that 1 in every 500,000
mutations possess the characteristics required for evolution to occur. Can
natural selection filter out the 499,999 deleterious mutations? The answer is a
resounding no. As Royal
Truman explained, “Within any physical linkage unit, on average, thousands of
deleterious mutations would accumulate before a beneficial mutation would
arise” . If natural selection were to select for the 1 beneficial mutation
it would have to kill off the remaining 99.9998% (this would eliminate the
499,999 non evolutionary mutations) of each generation, extinction would occur
within a very few generations in any population size. A certain population size
must be maintained in order to avoid extinction; therefore, if extinction is to
be avoided, numerous deleterious mutations must be passed on to the next
generation for every one beneficial mutation. This will result in a perpetual
genetic meltdown. Evolution’s miraculous (1 in 500,000) mutation can only hope
to offer a very slight slow in the perpetual genetic melt down of the genome.
As Dr. John Stanford put it, “Based upon numerous independent lines of
evidence, we are forced to conclude that the problem of human genomic
degeneration is real. While selection is essential for slowing down
degeneration, no form of selection can actually halt it…. The extinction of the
human genome appears to be just as certain and deterministic as the death of
organisms, the extinction of stars, and the heat death of the universe” .
- Bergman, J. 2004.
Research on the deterioration of the genome and Darwinism: why mutations result
in degeneration of the genome. Intelligent design Conference, Biola University.
- Truman, Royal,
“From ape to man via genetic meltdown: a theory in crisis” The In-depth Journal
of Creation 18:2 (2002): p30
- Dr. Sanford,
John, Genetic Entropy. FMS Publications, 2014, P 89.