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Resolved: The Theory of Evolution is a sound theory of how life developed on Earth.

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This debate is for Lazarous only. Please do not accept unless you are him. If you are not Lazarous and accept this debate, this debate will be deleted and reset.
Resolved: The Theory of Evolution is a sound theory of how life developed on Earth.
Rounds:
1. Opening Statements
2. Rebuttal and Questions
3. Defense
4. Closing Arguments and Summary
Rules:
1. No round forfeits
2. It should go without saying, but keep it respectful
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. The BoP is evenly shared.
Round 1
Published:
Thank you, Lazarous, for accepting this debate. I am looking forward to an exciting exchange!

========

I. Intro 


The Theory of Evolution is one of the most misunderstood theories in science, yet it is also the backbone of modern biology. Indeed, as Theodosius Dobzhansky stated "Nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution." Not only does evolution explain the biodiversity of life, but it also has hugely important impacts in other fields like medicine and ecology.

A. Definitions

  1. Theory: In science, a theory is "an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that has been substantiated through repeated experiments or testing" [1] 
  2. Evolution: At the most basic level, evolution is defined as “the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next.”[2] Consequently, “genetic changes over many generations ultimately result in the emergence of new and different species from a single ancestral species” [3] As a result, “all known living, terrestrial organisms are genealogically related. All existing species originated gradually by biological, reproductive processes on a geological timescale” [4] 
  3. Sound: Based in strong scientific evidence 
B. Misconceptions 

1. Evolution is not true because it cannot explain the origins of life or the universe

Evolution is a theory on the biodiversity of life. Just because we do not know yet how life got started or how the universe got here does not mean that evolution is false. This is like saying that the atomic theory of matter is false because we don't know the origins of the atom. These are two completely different fields of science that are independent of one another.

2. Evolution means atheism 

Again, this is false. The vast majority of Christians accept evolution and many great evolutionary biologists like Theodosius Dobzhansky and Francis Collins accepts evolution. Evolution is accepted by the Catholic Church and many prominent evangelicals like William Lane Craig and the BioLogos organization. I myself am a Theist and have no problem accepting evolution. 

========

Let's now get into the meat of my arguments. 

II. Speciation

If evolution were true, then we should observe new species forming from ancestral species. Indeed, if we cannot find examples of speciation events, then evolution is in serious trouble. Speciation is the process by which populations evolve to become distinct species. Not only have we observed many cases of speciation in real time [5], but it is so well understood that even creationist organizations like Answers in Genesis admit that it is real [6], they just refuse to admit that it fits the literal definition of evolution.

III. Anatomy  

A. Atavisms 

An atavism is "the reappearance of a lost character specific to a remote evolutionary ancestor and not observed in the parents or recent ancestors of the organism displaying the atavistic character. Atavisms have several essential features: (1) presence in adult stages of life, (2) absence in parents or recent ancestors, and (3) extreme rarity in a population" [7] A great example of this are chickens that sometimes mutate to have teeth. If evolution was true and chickens evolved from dinosaur-like reptiles, then we should see a genes that, if turned on, would produce a bird with teeth. In 2006, we observed just that. Researchers noted a chicken embryo with alligator-like teeth [8]. The obvious question is why. Why would an intelligent designer make birds with the potential to make teeth if the wrong gene was turned on? This only makes since if evolution were true. 

Another great example of this are the reappearance of hind-limbs in whales and dolphins. We have observed these atavisms in baleen whales, humpback whales, and in some specimens of sperm whales [9]. Here is a great photo of one. Once again, we must ask why. Why would an intelligent designer create oceanic mammals with a gene to make hind-limbs? This only makes sense in the light of evolution. 

IV. Fossil Evidence 

Where are all the transitional fossils? I'm glad you asked! We have found hundreds of them and they all provide compelling proof of evolution. Here are just a few strong examples. 

A. Archaeopteryx 

Archaeopteryx is probably the first transitional fossil found. It was found only a few years after Darwin published The Origins of the Species. As noted by TalkOrigins, it has both bird and dinosaur like features that are hard to explain away [10]. 

The main bird traits are: 

  • long external nostrils.
  • quadrate and quadratojugal (two jaw bones) not sutured together.
  • palatine bones that have three extensions.
  • all teeth lacking serrations.
  • large lateral furrows in top rear body of the vertebrae
The dinosaur traits being:

  • no bill
  • teeth on premaxilla and maxilla bones
  • nasal opening far forward, separated from the eye by a large preorbital fenestra (hole)
  • neck attached to skull from the rear
  • center of cervical vertebrae that have simple concave articular facets
  • long bony tail; no pygostyle
  • ribs slender, without joints or uncinate processes, and not articulated with the sternum
  • sacrum that occupies six vertebrae
  • small thoracic girdle
  • metacarpals free (except third metacarpal), wrist hand joint flexible
  • claws on three unfused digits
  • pelvic girdle and femur joint shaped like those of archosaurs in many details
  • bones of pelvis unfused
and over 100 other differences from birds
B. Whale evolution

As I noted in my section on atavism, whales and dolphins have been found to have hind-legs. This gives us an interesting prediction: If evolution were true, then we should see fossil evidence of such a transition taking place. Not only have we found it, the whale record is so complete that we almost have a perfect understanding on how they evolved. We not only have a record of their limbs, but also their inner ear [11, 12] .

V. Genetic Evidence

In my opinion, genetics are by far the strongest proof of evolution. Since evolution predicts we all share a common ancestor and that lineages diverge, we ought to see evidence of this in our genome. By comparing the genome with various species, we can tell which species are closely related and what species are further related. Indeed, it would be highly problematic if we share 99.99% of genetics with the banana and only 1% with other great apes. Let's do some comparisons and see which is right. 

1. Whale - Hippos 

We know that whales sometimes are born with atavistic hind-limbs that come from their past ancestry and we also clearly see this evidence in the fossil record as well. What about the genome? By comparing the genome, they found that hippos were the closest related organisms to whales [13]. This means that they shared a common ancestor sometime in the past. But can we find it? Fossil evidence shows just that. Scientists found an ancient four-legged whale with hooves [14]. It's certainly an incredible find. 

So we have 3 multiple independent lines of evidence that shows how whales evolved. We have atavistic hind-limbs, fossil record showing that whales once had legs, genetic evidence that shows a close match between hippos and humans. This only makes sense in light of evolution and makes no sense if an intelligent designer created them distinctly. 

2. Humans - Apes 

Evolution predicts that humans shares a common ancestor with the other great apes. There's just one problem. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes and the other great apes have 24. Is this the end for evolution? There are only two possibilities: either one pair of the human chromosomes fused together or one of the great apes split.  Let's think logically for a moment. It's far more likely that the human chromosome fused as it would require independent splits between the other great apes, which is highly unlikely. While we were mapping out human genomes, we found that it was human chromosome 2 that fused! Just like evolution would predict [15]

Genetic evidence also shows that the Denisovans, an extinct species of humans, also had this fused chromosome [16]. This means that the fusion most likely happened after the emergence of the Homo genus. 

B. Endogenous Retroviruses 

Endogenous retrovirus are viruses that incorporate themselves into our DNA. Humans share about 98-99% genetic similarity with the bonobo and chimps [17]. This strongly suggests that we are closely related and share a recent common ancestor. ERVs are about 8% of the entire human genome [18]. It is highly unlikely that an ERV would insert itself in the same location in different species unless they share a common ancestor. Therefore, evolution would predict that humans and chimps probably share ERVs that are in the same exact location. As it turns out, humans and chimps have thousands of ERVs in the exact same location [19]. We only have two options. Either the same ERV inserted itself in the same location thousands of times, or it is because we share a common ancestor that had these ERVs. The latter is far more likely. 

VI. Conclusion 

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. There are overwhelming independent lines of evidence that confirms this.

I look forward to your reply. 

VII. Sources 
3. Fairbanks, Daniel J. Evolving: The Human Effect and Why it Matters.
12. Nummela, S., Thewissen, J., Bajpai, S. et al. Eocene evolution of whale hearing. Nature 430, 776–778 (2004) doi:10.1038/nature02720


Published:
First of all, I would like to thank Virtuoso for challenging me to this debate. I expect this will be quite interesting. I will lay out some key concepts before diving into my opening argument:

Definitions:

  • Evolution:The development of the genome through mutations.
  • Genetic Entropy:The deterioration of the genome through mutations (antonym of evolution).
  • Natural Selection:A process by which the most fit or least damaged organisms are more likely to reproduce. Natural selection is a conservative force. It is not a creative force.
Introduction:Darwinian evolution is an attempt to explain the origin of information through naturalistic causes. At its beginning, Darwinian evolution used ignorance of science to make predictions. Great waste was anticipated under evolution; therefore, that which science didn’t understand was pompously labeled as ‘vestigial’ or ‘junk’. This prediction was not only convenient, but indispensible to the viability of Darwinian evolution. Science is now unraveling many of these mysteries and finding that nature has greater purpose and complexity than we had ever imagined. This demonstrates the inability of Darwinian evolution to make accurate predictions, and reveals crucial information into why evolution is impossible.

I. Vestigial Organs– Evolution has historically feasted upon scientific ignorance. As Dr Jerry Bergman explains in the peer reviewed journal, Journal of Creation, “The list of vestigial organs in humans has shrunk from 180 in 1890 to 0 in 1999” [1]. A strong sign of a false theory is one that yields false predictions. This once crucial support for evolution is now a powerful argument against evolution.

II. Chimpanzee to Man Evolution Debunked by Science:

  • The Demise of ‘Junk DNA’: The evolutionary agenda has had profound effects on the assumptions made regarding DNA. John Mattrick claims, “the presence of non-protein-coding or so-called ‘junk DNA’ that comprises >90% of the human genome is evidence for the accumulation of evolutionary debris by blind Darwinian evolution, and argues against intelligent design, as an intelligent designer would presumably not fill the human genetic instruction set with meaningless information” [2]. Twenty-six years later the ENCODE Project Consortium analyzed the genome and concluded that, “These data enabled us to assign biochemical functions for 80% of the genome, in particular outside of the well-studied protein-coding regions” [3]. ENCODE Lead Analysis Coordinator Ewan Birney followed this release by claiming that, “It’s likely that 80 percent will go to 100 percent” [4]. Most if not all of the genome is functional; therefore, evolutionists were terribly wrong in predicting that most of the genome is ‘junk’.
  • DNA Similarities Debunked: The ENCODE project found that approximately 50% of the functional non-coding (junk) DNA compared in the 23 different mammals studied was not conserved (not similar between species) [5]. It is now clear that a comprehensive DNA comparison between apes and humans is in order. Evolutionists typically claim that ape and human genetics are 96-98% similar; however, these stats only compare 2% of the genome. Conveniently, this 2% of the genome happens to be the most similar 2%. When the entire genome is compared the result is profoundly different. A study published by Dr. Jeffrey Tomkins in the peer reviewed journal, Answers Research Journal revealed that, “Genome-wide, only 70% of the chimpanzee DNA was similar to human under the most optimal sequence-slice conditions” [6]. This really should come as no surprise since in 2002 evolutionist Roy Britten indicated a genome-wide similarity of about 70% between chimpanzees and humans [7]. Human DNA is profoundly different from chimpanzee DNA; therefore, Darwinian evolution proves to be terribly wrong in its predictions once again.
  • An Outrageous Number of Mutations: Considering that chimpanzee and human DNA is about 30% different and that there are about 3.2 billion base pairs in the human genome [8], there are approximately 960 million base pair differences between chimps and humans. Dr David Dewitt examined a sample size of 125 million of these base pair differences and found that, “there are about 40 million total separate mutation events that would separate the two species in the evolutionary view” [9]. Therefore, in order to account for the entire 30% of genetic disparity between chimps and humans roughly 307 million mutations would have to occur with the estimated 300,000 generations [9] between humans and their chimp like ancestors. This would require an average of 1,023 mutations to be locked in with each generation. This staggeringly large number of mutations being ‘locked in’ in such a small number of generations creates a problem known as “Haldane’s dilemma.”
  • Haldan’s Dilemma explained: After extensively studying the rate at which mutations can be locked into a population Dr John Sanford explains, “Haldane realized that even if there was an abundant and continuous supply of beneficial mutations, natural selection must be very limited in its ability to amplify such mutations to the point of where they are ‘fixed’ within a sizeable population. He calculated that for a mammalian population such as man, given an evolutionary population size of 10,000, only about 1,000 beneficial mutations could be selectively fixed within 6 million years (this happens to be the current estimated time it took for apes to evolve into man)…. That scenario would require roughly 1,000 independent beneficial fixations per generation. Haldane said this was impossible: he estimated that at best there should be only about 1 fixation every 300 generations. This problem has been extensively investigated by Walter ReMine, who has used an entirely independent mathematical formulation of the problem and has reached exactly the same conclusions [10]…. Our experiments strongly validate the work of Haldane and ReMine. We see that, depending on the specific settings, only a few hundred to a few thousand selective fixations can realistically occur during 300,000 human generations (about 6 million years)… [11]. We are very confident that our numerical simulation experiments are the best way to understand this problem, Between Haldane, ReMine, and our own work, the matter is clearly settled. This means the ape-to-man story is not even remotely feasible” [12].
III. Dual Coding Genes: It has been found that some genes code for multiple unrelated proteins. Evolutionist Sen-Yu Chung examined the implications of dual coding and found that, “Dual coding is a costly arrangement because it limits the flexibility of amino acid composition. A silent change in one frame [coding sequence for one protein] is almost always guaranteed to be amino acid changing in the other…. Here we show that although dual coding is nearly impossible by chance, a number of human transcripts contain overlapping coding regions” [13]. Since dual coding both (a) “limits the flexibility of amino acid composition”, and is (b) “nearly impossible by chance”, dual coding genes should not be created or favored for selection under evolution; therefore, why is dual coding abundant in nature?

IV. Genetic Entropy – The Strongest Argument Yet:I began my debate by bringing a frequently ignored but all two crucial distinction to light. Darwinian evolution claims that mutations must result in a net increase in information over time. Only through an increase in information can a single celled organism ever hope to become a human. Evolution and Genetic Entropy are mutually exclusive. If the genome decays over time then Darwinian evolution is the product of wishful thinking.
  • Something for Nothing – The Darwinian Dream:Dr. Jerry Bergman studied a sample size of 453,732 mutations in search for a mutation possessing the ability to increase the genome. He found that a mere 4 in 10,000 of these mutations were “beneficial”, and after a review of these “beneficial” mutations it was found that these mutations were only beneficial in a very narrow sense, since they all involved a loss of function (loss of information). [14]. Dr Bergman did not find a single mutation possessing the ability to increase the genome as required by evolution. One of the largest studies by Adam Boyko PhD et al, found that 27-29% of amino-acid-changing mutations are neutral or nearly neutral, 30-42% are moderately deleterious, and nearly all the remainder (~36%) are highly deleterious or lethal [15]. This study was also unable to identify any mutations possessing the characteristics required for evolution. It is now clear that mutations capable of increasing the genome are quite rare (perhaps nonexistent), but, assuming they do exist, let’s see if natural selection is capable of weeding out all the garbage and stacking these quite rare mutations (possessing the ability to add genetic information to the genome) on each other from generation to generation.
Hail Natural Selection Our Savior?:Natural selection is not an all powerful force. It is now known that natural selection possesses multiple limitations that severely hamper its abilities to produce the results claimed by evolution:
  • Cost of Selection Limitation:Natural selection is highly limited on how many of a population it can kill off, since perpetual mass homicide will inevitably lead to extinction. John Sanford explains that, “For the human population, it becomes clear that that the maximum part of our population which can be ‘spent’ for all selection purposes is much less than 33%, and, according to Haldane, might realistically be in the range of 10%” [16]. Since 66-78% of all mutations are deleterious, natural selection can only hope to remove a maximum of half of these damaging mutations created each generation. The rare occurrences of mutations that add genetic information (as required by evolution) would be crushed under the massive load of deleterious mutations accumulating in the population each generation. Natural selection simply can’t remove the deleterious mutations fast enough to give evolution a chance.
  • Sensitivity Limitation: Motoo Kimura recognized that there is a “No Selection Zone” for the vast majority of mutations [17]. This “No Selection Zone” encompasses a vast number of slightly deleterious mutations and the vast majority of the very few ‘beneficial’ mutations. Due to their subtlety of effect, these mutations cannot be effectively filtered by natural selection. Alex Williams explains that, “The vast majority of mutations are only mildly deleterious… so they are passed on from one generation to the next and accumulate continuously” [18].Kimura calculated that only about 0.4% of mutations would fall outside of the “No Selection Zone”, meaning that natural selection can’t effectively chose between 99.6% of all mutations [19]. Therefore, genetic entropy is completely unchecked by natural selection in 99.6% of all mutations.
  • The Package Deal Limitation:Mutations can’t be selected individually by natural selection; rather, each organism is an inseparable package deal. John Stanford studied this issue in depth and concluded that, “the number of all types of new mutations, including conversions, must be much more than 100 per person per generation. These mutations, which include many macro-mutations, must clearly change thousands of nucleotides per person per generation” [20]. Since 66-78% of mutations are deleterious, even if a human were to receive a beneficial information-increasing mutation, this mutation would have 66 to 78 deleterious mutations stacked on top of it before being passed on to the next generation. Indeed, any increase to the genome one mutation can hope to achieve would be easily overwhelmed by the vast number of deleterious mutations, even within a single generation.
Indeed, any one of these three limitations, in combination with the well established rate of occurrence of beneficial and deleterious mutations, establishes solid ground for concluding that evolution is impossible. The combination of all three limitations turns evolution into nothing more than wishful thinking.

Conclusion:Through the use of multiple independent lines of reasoning I have demonstrated the complete inadequacy of Darwinian evolution to account for the creation of information. Evolution, from its origin, feasted on scientific ignorance. Now scientific discoveries are coming to light that crumble the very foundation of evolution. Mutations have and always will be the cause of massive destruction, and natural selection is impotent to stop the process of genetic entropy.

  1. Bergman, Jerry, “Do any vestigial organs exist in humans?” The In-depth Journal of Creation 14:2 (2000): p95-98.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4685169/
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature11247
  4. https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/encode-the-rough-guide-to-the-human-genome
  5. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature05874.pdf
  6. Tomkins, Jeffrey, “Comprehensive Analysis of Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes Reveals Average DNA Similarity of 70%” Answers Research Journal 6:1 (2013): p63.
  7. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292215627_Divergence_between_samples_of_chimpanzee_and_human_DNA_sequences_is_5_counting_indels
  8. https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/dna-sequencing-technologies-key-to-the-human-828/
  9. Dewitt, David, “What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA.” The New Answers Book 3, Master Books, Green Forest, (2016): p102.
  10. ReMine, Walter, “Cost theory and the cost of substitution – a clarification” The In-depth Journal of Creation 19:1 (2005): p113-125.
  11. https://76e3cb33-ff6d-43c4-be79-59e4727fae6c.filesusr.com/ugd/9d0974_b0a742f447ed479790e70515d9d94eb7.pdf
  12. Dr. Sanford, John, Genetic Entropy. FMS Publications, (2014) p175-176.
  13. https://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030091
  14. Bergman, Jerry, “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, 2001).
  15. https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1000083
  16. Dr. Sanford ref. 12, p64.
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16592684
  18. William, Alex, “Human genome decay and the origin of life” The In-depth Journal of Creation 28:1 (2014): p91.
  19. Kimura, Motoo, “Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution” Cambridge Univ. Press, NY, NY. (1983) p26, 30-31.
  20. Dr. Sanford ref. 12, p38.

Round 2
Published:
Thank you, Lazarous. I will now rebut my opponent's case. I want to note that I won't be able to respond to everything this round. I just got out of the hospital as I needed to get my appendix removed. 

====

I. Introduction

In my opponent's introduction, he repeats one of the common misconceptions about evolution. First, evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life nor does it have to do with the origin of "information." Rather, as I noted, evolution explains the biodiversity of life and how life developed. Indeed, Darwin wrote The Origin of the Species and not The Origin of Life. Darwin literally defined evolution as "descent with modification." Biological evolution works a lot like language. Over time, changes accumulate and they eventually become completely unrecognizable. As an example of this, let's look at how The Lord's Prayer looked in Old English:

Fæder ure
þu þe eart on heofonum,
si þin nama gehalgod.
Tobecume þin rice.
Gewurþe ðin willa on eorðan swa swa on heofonum.
Urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg.
And forgyf us ure gyltas swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum.
And ne gelæd þu us on costnunge,
ac alys us of yfele.  Soþlice.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that old English and modern English were completely different languages, in many retrospects, there are. As language adds new words, changes pronunciation, and changes meaning, old languages die and new languages appear. There was never a "first Italian speaker" speaking Italian while everyone around them was speaking Latin and there was never a first modern English who couldn't understand everyone around them.

The point I'm trying to illustrate is that biological evolution works in the same manner. Populations evolve and eventually diversify, and over time, they will become distinct species or sub-species. 

Darwin did not make his prediction based on ignorance, but rather well-founded assumptions. He noticed similarities between the Finches on the Galapagos islands and deduced that they all stemmed from a common ancestor.

II. Vestigial structure

First, calling The Journal of Creation a peer-reviewed journal is a front to science. On their guidelines, they note that the journal is "dedicated to upholding the authority of the 66 books of the Bible, especially in the area of origins. All our editors adhere to the Creation Ministries International (CMI) Statement of Faith and most papers will be designed to support this." [2] Their statement of faith states, "Facts are always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information. By definition, therefore, no interpretation of facts in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record." [3] This is why creation science is not science and why these journals are utterly useless. In no scientific journal will you find anything that closely resembles this. This is akin to the Flat Earth society creating their own "journal." If they're so certain that their ideas overturn 150 years of science, then they should be published in journals like Nature and Science - not their own made-up "journal." Second, I have found absolutely no evidence in any of the scientific literature that says there were 180 vestigial structures and now there are none. I would like to see a list from a reputable source. Please tell me where I can get such a list. 

That being said, my opponent wrongly defines what a vestigial structure is. As defined by Berkeley in their website Understanding Evolution, a vestigial structure is "A feature that an organism inherited from its ancestor but that is now less elaborate and functional than in the ancestor. Usually, vestigial structures are formed when a lineage experiences a different set of selective pressures than its ancestors, and selection to maintain the elaboration and function of the feature ends or is greatly reduced." [4] Moreover, it has long been known that vestigial structures can have some functions. The National Center for Science Education writes [5]: 

By far the most popular creationist argument against the existence of vestigial structures is that many biological structures that were once considered useless are now known to have a function. This argument is invalid, because it confuses vestigiality with uselessness. A rudimentary structure can have a recognizable function and still be considered vestigial if it is demonstrably a remnant of an ancestrally non-rudimentary structure. For example, if it is demonstrated that the rudimentary, spur-like hindlimbs of pythons are derived from non-rudimentary hindlimbs in the ancestors of pythons, then python spurs can be considered vestigial hindlimbs, despite the fact that they have a recognizable function: to spear opponents during dominance contests. By the same token, the rudimentary wings of the cassowary can be considered vestigial if it is demonstrated that they are derived from non-rudimentary wings in cassowary ancestors, despite the fact that cassowaries use their rudimentary wings in threat displays. While it is true that Darwin assumed that rudimentary structures are useless, modern biologists do not make this assumption and therefore do not employ uselessness as a criterion for recognizing a vestigial structure. Even so, vestigial structures can often be considered useless with respect to the usual function of their non-rudimentary counterparts. For example, python hindlimbs are useless as organs of locomotion, and cassowary wings are useless as organs of flight. This objection by creationists based on the functionality of these vestigial organs therefore arises from a misunderstanding of the concept of vestigiality.
That said, there are plenty of examples of true vestiges. For example, the Mexican blind cave fish still has rudimentary eyelids, despite the fact that they are completely blind. If evolution were true, it predicts that in the past, their ancestors were able to see and these eyelids were fully functioning. So why did they lose their eyesight? The most probable answer is that the use of eyesight is very energy consuming and in an environment with low oxygen and little food, natural selection favored the fishes that used less energy [6]  This leads us to another prediction. If evolution were true, then we should see evidence of a disabled gene in the cave fish's genome. In fact, we find just that. The mechanism happens through epigenetic silencing of eye-related genes. [7] 

II. Chimpanzee to Man Evolution Debunked by Science

Con's title of his contention is a straw man. Humans did not evolve from chimpanzees, but rather we share a common ancestor with them. Now, let's look at my opponent's arguments. 

A. Junk DNA 

First, my opponent misunderstands what is meant by "Junk DNA." The so-called "Junk DNA" is better described as non-coding DNA. It has long been known that some "Junk DNA" serves some purpose. In fact, this was known before the term was coined. As Talk.Origins noted way back in 2003 [8]:


  1. It has long been known that some noncoding DNA has important functions. (This was known even before the phrase "junk DNA" was coined.) However, there is good evidence that much DNA has no function:
    • Sections of DNA can be cut out or replaced with randomized sequences with no apparent effect on the organism (Nóbrega et al. 2004).
    • Some sections of DNA are corrupted copies of functional coding DNA, but mutations in them, such as stop codons early in the sequence, show that they cannot have retained the same function as the coding copy.
    • The fugu fish has a genome that is about one third as large as its close relatives.
    • Mutations in functional regions of DNA show evidence of selection -- nonsilent changes occur less often that one would expect by chance. In other sections of DNA, there is no evidence that any changes are selected against.
That said, there are dozens upon dozens of DNA that are true pseudogenes, genes that have been disabled. I will provide more examples and an explanation in the next round. 

As far as the rest of my opponent's claims in his contention, there is a lot of stuff to unpack and will do it more justice in the next round. I'm still in a lot of pain. One thing I do want to address is this claim: "This means the ape-to-man story is not even remotely feasible” This too is a strawman. Humans are apes. Just like we are mammals and vertebrates, we are also apes.  

III. Hail Natural Selection Our Savior

There is one more claim I wish to address. My opponent writes: "Natural selection is highly limited on how many of a population it can kill off since perpetual mass homicide will inevitably lead to extinction" 

Indeed, my opponent is correct. Natural selection can happen slowly, or if there is a major change to the environment, really rapidly. Species that cannot adapt will go extinct. For example, the dinosaurs were unable to withstand the change in the environment after the asteroid impact at the end of the cretaceous period and thus went extinct. In Earth's history, there have been 5 major mass extinction events and we are currently in the midst of a 6th mass extinction. It is estimated that 99.9 percent of all life that has ever existed on Earth is extinct, many of which leave no trace in the fossil record [9]. Natural selection and nature are cruel. This is not what we would expect from an intelligent designer. An intelligent designer certainly would not allow 99% of his creation to go extinct within 6,000 years. 

Conclusion

I apologize for not being able to finish my arguments. I was in the hospital with appendicitis and had to get my appendix removed. Whatever I did not address in this round, I will address in the next. 

Sources

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