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Topic

Evolution is False

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Debating

Waiting for the contender's third argument.

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Science
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Two weeks
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By observing the current rate of evolution in modern organisms, and extrapolating backwards into the past, it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that evolution is not efficient enough to have evolved microbes into humans within a few billion years. Mutation and Natural Selection alone are not sufficient mechanisms to explain the diversity of life we see today, and there must be some other factor equally important and fundamental. The Intelligent Design movement identifies this unknown factor as an intelligent being which manually directed evolution. Perhaps it is instead some inanimate, unidentified property of the universe. In any case, this debate is not about what this factor is, only that it must exist for microbes to have evolved into humans, because mutation and natural selection are insufficient explanations.

Round 1
Pro
After 31,500 generations, the only significant beneficial feature that E. coli evolved was the ability to eat citrate in the presence of oxygen (a1).  This was caused by a random duplication of their cit gene (a2).  They remained E. coli, without evolving into a new species (b1), even though the experiment exceeded 73,500 generations (c1).  Experimenters acknowledge that E. coli can't evolve as much as they expected (b2).

After approximately 10¹² multiplications, P. falciparum (which causes malaria) can evolve resistance to the medications atovaquone or pyrimethamine (d2). After 10²⁰ multiplications, it can barely accomplish the necessary mutations for resistance to chloroquine (d1).

This same number 10²⁰ happens to be a generous estimate for how many mammals have ever lived on Earth (e1), with the first being something similar to a mouse.  Evolution is supposed to have evolved this mouse-like creature into all the various mammals we see today, including:

  • Whales
  • Bats
  • Armadillos
  • Elephants
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Platypuses
  • Moose
  • Orangutans
  • President Trump
Within 10²⁰ descendants, a couple of prehistoric mice evolved into all of these animals.  Yet after 10²⁰ descendants, P. falciparum is still P. falciparum.

Neo-Darwinism is not efficient enough to accomplish this mouse-to-human evolution.  There is something fundamental missing from its explanation.

  1. "Cit+ variant had emerged by 31,500 generations"
  2. "These early Cit+ genomes also show increases in cit copy number. The earliest one had a tandem duplication"
  1. "this is not speciation"
  2. "E. coli's capacity to evolve is more limited than currently assumed."
  1. "more than 73,000 generations."
  1. "Resistance to chloroquine in P. falciparum has arisen spontaneously less than ten times in the past fifty years. This suggests that the per-parasite probability of developing resistance de novo is on the order of 1 in 10²⁰ parasite multiplications."
  2. "The single point mutations in the gene encoding cytochrome b (cytB), which confer atovaquone resistance, or in the gene encoding dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr), which confer pyrimethamine resistance, have a per-parasite probability of arising de novo of approximately 1 in 10¹² parasite multiplications."
  1. "So it is probably something like 10^20 total mammals ever existed."

Con
  Thank you for this debate. This is from my phone, so forgive my brevity.

  My opponent fundamentally claims personal incredulity as his biggest reason for not accepting evolution. and in an attempt to disprove evolution he gives two instances of evolution occurring. Evolution isn't a ladder and a species can stay the same for a billion years. Also, saying that all living things came from a "couple of prehistoric mice" is a horribly misleading mischaracterization and oversimplification. With that being said, we have observed evolution occurring.

  First, we have observered single-celled algae becoming multicellular organisms. This behavior was in response to a predator being introduced to its environment and in only 750 generations they became multicellular[1]. 

  Second, we are observing some lizard species evolving placental birth[2]. They still lay eggs but they are in the process of developing placental births. So they both lay eggs and have live births instead of just laying eggs.

  Thirdly, australopithecus afarensis [3] is the origin of our current genus homo, and was the "missing link" that scientist's were challenged to find. A. Afarensis was a bipedal ape that had features that were all perfectly transitional between the previous ape ancestors and modern humans.

  In conclusion, evolution is true because we observe it happening. I've presented only three pieces from the vast body of evidence supporting the theory, and my opponent has presented two, thus rendering his own argument that "evolution is false" as patently wrong.

[1] https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-witnessed-in-real-time-a-single-celled-algae-evolve-into-a-multicellular-organism/amp
[2] https://www.google.com/amp/s/api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/news/2010/9/100901-science-animals-evolution-australia-lizard-skink-live-birth-eggs
[3] 
https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C11&q=australopithecus+afarensis&oq=australopithecus#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DgZ2a24bEreMJ
Round 2
Pro
The point of the E. coli and P. falciparum examples were to demonstrate that Natural Selection and Mutation, as we observe them today, are too inefficient to accomplish the evolution of microbes to mankind. I am not arguing that evolution is false. I am arguing that the mechanisms claimed to be behind evolution are not capable of doing what evolution actually did. These mechanisms are primarily Random Mutation and Natural Selection, but my opponent is free to reference any others.

My opponent says species can stay the same.  But there are 6,495 known mammal species (a1). These all had to evolve from a couple prehistoric mice (I can use whatever term my opponent prefers).  Is it by pure chance that P. falciparum evolved into zero new species within the same timeframe that all the thousands of mammals evolved from mice?  Am I just very unlucky that I chose a bad example, or am I cherry-picking a species known to not be evolving?

If the modern evolution rate of P. falciparum evolution is not representative of evolution in general, I ask my opponent to claim this explicitly or provide a counter-example of a faster-evolving organism who has been observed both before and after evolving.  Otherwise, they should concede that the evolutionary mechanisms observed today are too inefficient to do what is claimed to have happened in the past.

With all due respect to the claim that single-celled algae evolved into a multi-cellular organism, that's like saying people evolve into a new organism everytime they group into crowds.  Because that's all the algae cells did.  Every cell remained the same, the amorphous blob did not gain any organs as a result of this clumping, and the cells could survive alone afterwards once separated just as before.

To be clear, I fully agree that microbes are our ancestors.  But I challenge the claim that the sort of evolution we see today could have accomplish that by itself.

The example of a single lizard species either laying eggs or having live births, depending on their environment, has nothing to do with evolution.  The egg-layers and live-birthers have the same DNA.  If this is evolution then I evolve everytime my body reacts to its environment, like getting a tan from staying in the sun.

My opponent's point about an archeological missing link suggests that he has mistaken my position.  I am not challenging the claim that we are descended from apes.  I am instead claiming that the mechanisms we are aware of today, like mutation and selection, cannot have accomplished that.  They are too inefficient.  I refer once again to E. coli, which after 73,500 generations, remained E. coli, even though that's equivalent to over a million human years (b1).  Humans and chimps are supposed to have descended from the same ancestor 7 million years ago, but at the rate E. coli is evolving, one beneficial mutation every 73,500 generations, that would imply humans and chimps are only separated by 7 mutations.  Does my opponent concede this?

Something had to be responsible for helping random mutations and natural selection evolve everything from a common ancestral microbe long ago, but whatever that something is, it's missing in the case of my E. coli bacteria and malaria parasites, and my opponent has not identified it.

  1. "We found 6,495 species of currently recognized mammals"
(B) Myself
  1. 73,500 generations is equivalent to 1,102,500 human years, if humans have a generation every 15 years, because 73,500 x 15 = 1,102,500.


Con
  Thank you for your response.

WHAT ARE WE EVEN ARGUING ABOUT?

  My opponent cannot seem to clearly state his resolve in this debate. The Resolve is "Evolution is False." When this is refuted, my opponent then claims:
" I am not arguing that evolution is false. I am arguing that the mechanisms claimed to be behind evolution are not capable of doing what evolution actually did."
  This is either a concession of the resolution, a shifting of the goalposts, or both. My opponent also refutes himself by claiming that evolution didn't do what it did do, but I'm sure he simply misspoke. But now the resolution has shifted from, "evolution is false," to "evolution didn't do what it did." This second "resolve" doesn't even make any sense, and doesn't clearly lay out the burden of proof my opponent is trying to achieve, or what he is trying to convince us of. Furthermore, he hints that he is actually here to argue that "Intelligent design directed evolution" when he says:
"The Intelligent Design movement identifies this unknown factor as an intelligent being which manually directed evolution. "
  But he makes no case for Intelligent Design anywhere in his arguments. In addition, the resolution could just as easily be "Any or all the mechanisms of Neo-Darwinism are not sufficient to evolve microbes into humans" based on the comments section.

  So I ask my opponent to please either stick to the resolution, or say plainly what you mean. This constant shifting makes it impossible to know what I'm arguing against anymore. According to the Topic and the Description, you are here to argue that "Evolution is False and Intelligent Design Directed Evolution." So please clarify.

REBUTTALS

1.
"...am I cherry-picking a species known to not be evolving?"
  Yes, you are cherry-picking data and drawing a bullseye around it. But you yourself admitted that the strain DID evolve in your opening sentence of your first argument:
"After 31,500 generations, the only significant beneficial feature that E. coli evolved was the ability to eat citrate in the presence of oxygen"
  However, you clarify that you're comparing the "timeframe":
Is it by pure chance that P. falciparum evolved into zero new species within the same timeframe that all the thousands of mammals evolved from mice?
  Well first of all, literally every aspect of the environment that P. falciparum was being bred in is different than the conditions of the early Earth. Also, evolution isn't a ladder as I stated previously. Secondly, a far less misleading term than "prehistoric mice" would be "common ancestor(s)." Finally, generational change in large multicellular organisms are going to carry different impacts with different environmental pressures. So these "timeframes" aren't even comparable.

2.
" ...I ask my opponent to claim this explicitly or provide a counter-example of a faster-evolving organism who has been observed both before and after evolving."
  Initially, evolution is a process in constant motion, not a before-after on human time scales. And there is no end product. However, my first example of the algae serves the purposes of an example here. The algae, in response to a predator, formed multicellularity, and in a super short time for evolution.

"With all due respect to the claim that single-celled algae evolved into a multi-cellular organism, that's like saying people evolve into a new organism everytime they group into crowds."
  This is false. This was not a colony of single-celled algae, these were new organisms, designating specialized cellular function. They had evolved multicellular organisms that were acting as independent organisms, not simply a clump of algae. To quote the actual paper," Considerable variation exists in the evolved multicellular life cycles, with both cell number and propagule size varying among isolates.[1]" My opponent has committed a fallacy of false equivalence.

3.
"The example of a single lizard species either laying eggs or having live births, depending on their environment, has nothing to do with evolution."
  Except that it does. The lizards (skinks) are in a state of transitioning from egg births to placental births. There are lizards that strictly lay eggs, and lizards that strictly have live births, but on this rare occasion, we have a lizard that is transitioning between the two. This is as good an example of evolution as one can ask for. To quote the article, "Now we can see that the uterus secretes calcium that becomes incorporated into the embryo—it's basically the early stages of the evolution of a placenta in reptiles..." This is an evolved response to the thinning shells of the young skinks that would normally be getting their calcium from the egg shells. So no, it's not like a sun tan, this is another fallacy of false equivalence.

4.
"Humans and chimps are supposed to have descended from the same ancestor 7 million years ago, but at the rate E. coli is evolving, one beneficial mutation every 73,500 generations, that would imply humans and chimps are only separated by 7 mutations."
  My opponent does not clearly establish why E. Coli mutation rates should necessarily reflect Human and Ape mutation rates. 

"Something had to be responsible for helping random mutations and natural selection evolve everything..."
  This has not been established at all and is just a baseless assertion.

__________

CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, Evolution is True. In regards to the resolution that Evolution is False, I have provided three examples of evolution occurring. In response to the claim that microbes could not evolve into man quickly, I gave an example of how quickly multicellularity can evolve in response to predation as a selective pressure. My examples were chosen specifically to weave a brief timeline and make clearer the picture, of human evolution from single-celled organisms, by showing pivotal points in our timeline, represented by examples: the transition from single-celled to multicellularity, the evolution of placental births, and the transition from walking on all fours to standing upright. On every front, my opponent's case fails.

Round 3
Pro
I did not know this website supported quotes!

the resolution could just as easily be "Any or all the mechanisms of Neo-Darwinism are not sufficient to evolve microbes into humans" based on the comments section.
That is indeed the resolution.  Apologies.  The comment section began with:

Undefeatable
define "evolution".
Puachu
We are debating whether "mutation and natural selection alone evolved microbes into humans."
I did not expect any confusion because shortly afterwards I had this brief exchange with my soon-to-be opponent:

Puachu
I will concede this debate if you are able to demonstrate that any or all the mechanisms of Neo-Darwinism are sufficient to evolve microbes into humans, as long as "evolving microbes into humans" isn't assumed to be in the definition of Neo-Darwinism.
Sum1hugme
I'm not worried about you conceding this debate. I may address human evolution specifically or I may not to demonstrate that evolution is true.
Let's continue!

he is actually here to argue that "Intelligent design directed evolution"
I have already explained that Intelligent Design is one of a couple possibilities I'm aware of.  Perhaps similar to how the arrangement and motion of the atoms that compose our brains is not sufficient to explain consciousness, mutation and selection are not sufficient to explain microbes-to-man evolution.

you are cherry-picking data
If malaria and E. coli are cherry-picking, that implies you're aware of examples of organisms that have been observed to accumulate beneficial mutations more rapidly.  Please cite these examples, or retract the accusation of cherry-picking.

literally every aspect of the environment that P. falciparum was being bred in is different than the conditions of the early Earth.
This must be hyperbole because I could go on forever listing shared aspects of both environments, such as the presence of water necessary for life (malaria lives in blood).  You might have a point if you identified a specific, relevant difference between the two environments, but that would still fail to address why it seems you're acknowledging evolution has come to a grinding halt today, relative to its speed in the past.  Which would be a concession on your part of the entire debate, unless you can demonstrate why the slow rate of evolution of malaria and E. coli is not representive of the rate of evolution of other organisms.

Also, evolution isn't a ladder as I stated previously.
There's nothing wrong with describing helpful mutations as a step-up on a ladder and harmful mutations as a step-down, if it helps illustrate the problem of evolution today not climbing as fast as in the past, with zero explanation from yourself as to why this is the case. 

a far less misleading term than "prehistoric mice" would be "common ancestor(s)."
I know I offered to use whatever term you preferred, but this is ridiculous.  I thought you would suggest something like shrew, since Google calls them shrew-like.  If they were alive today they'd be colloquially known as mice.  Calling them common ancestors is uselessly vague, since I was talking specifically about the last mammalian common ancestor.

Finally, generational change in large multicellular organisms are going to carry different impacts with different environmental pressures. So these "timeframes" aren't even comparable.
Different things happen differently in different times and places?  This is a terrible argument against comparing per-generation evolution rates.  It would imply that no comparison anywhere, at anytime, between anything, is ever valid.  Your own algae article had no problem making a comparison between normal time and generational time:

Fifty weeks is a relative blink of an eye on the evolutionary scale. For the algae it was a little longer - 750 generations.
I would have been impressed had you raised the point that because the lifespan of single-celled life is shorter, they don't have time to accumulate as many mutations per generation, and that's why their evolution is so many thousands of times slower than larger organisms.  But you didn't raise this argument, which makes me wonder if you had already calculated the math didn't add up to support it.

evolution is a process in constant motion, not a before-after on human time scales
Why are my evidences of slow evolution invalid because of human time scales, but your link to a 14-second time-lapse of 50 weeks is okay? 

This was not a colony of single-celled algae, these were new organisms, designating specialized cellular function.
That's incorrect.  The cells didn't specialize.  They were all the same.  If a colony of single-celled creatures doesn't possess organs, it's not an organism.  It's a colony. 

Their natural life-cycle in the wild is already to form a cluster upon cell-division, because gelly holds them together.  This is noted in the article, so no evolution here.  They usually split up sometime afterwards, but in the experiment they tended not to, because that would be tantamout to becoming bite-sized snacks for the paramecia introduced as predators.

Variations in physical proximity do not mark evolutionary events.

To quote the actual paper, "Considerable variation exists in the evolved multicellular life cycles"
To further quote the actual paper:

Sorting observations of a complex trait such as a life cycle into categories unavoidably requires some subjectivity ... C is similar to B but forms much larger multicellular structures
The only reason for distinguishing the life-cycles of strain B from that of strain C was blob-size.  I'm not attacking the author's classification of life-cycles.  I'm saying it's invalid for my opponent to use these definitions of life-cycles as justification for calling these new organisms. If this is evolution of a new organism, then the storming of Capitol Hill was the evolution of humans into a new species, complete with new life-cycles, as they crowded together into an ever-larger mass, with some smaller clusters breaking away occasionally.

both cell number and propagule size varying among isolates
Varying cell numbers in the clusters don't mark the evolution of new organisms.  Neither does one cluster having larger cells than another; propagules are literally just newly produced and expelled cells.

The lizards (skinks) are in a state of transitioning from egg births to placental births.
This has literally nothing to do with evolution, since their DNA hasn't changed.  Unless you want to claim that no DNA was modified in the process of microbe to man evolution.  Do you think our DNA is identical to that out of our microbial ancestors?

There are lizards that strictly lay eggs, and lizards that strictly have live births
That's incorrect.  There are no lizards that strictly do one or the other.  All of them can do either.  It just depends on what sort of environment you put them in.  If they swapped environments, the egg-layers would have live-births, and vice-versa.  Just like anyone's skin will darken when put into a more sunny environment.

My opponent does not clearly establish why E. Coli mutation rates should necessarily reflect Human and Ape mutation rates.
This is a concession that it's not realistic to think a mere 7 beneficial mutations are the difference between humans and chimps.  We have found an agreement.  Where we disagree is whether E. coli and malaria mutation rates are relevant.  My opponent has shown no reason to think they aren't.  The default position is that they are, and that the comparison is fair, because how else are we going to measure the progress of evolution without rapidly-reproducing organisms like bacteria?  If it's not appropriate to extrapolate from these observations, my opponent must explain why.
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