My opponent has specified in the additional rules for the debate that he will be taking the side of creation. In this debate, we are discussing the development of life on Earth. I expect my opponent will posit that life was "created" by a "creator;" I will posit today's lifeforms are most likely the product of millions of years of adaptations. It is entirely possible that the first ever lifeform was "created," somehow, and from this evolved all life on earth - if this is what the debate convinces you of, then I win this debate, since the only burden I have to prove to win is that evolution is true - my opponent will otherwise need to convince you that creation and evolution are fundamentally incompatible ideas. However, should my opponent wish to do so, I am happy to show how life arose on earth without a creator. For my part, I will stop pre-empting my opponent's case and focus on showing you exactly why evolution is true.
Whenever a bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics, it is because some random bacteria developed a mutation that allowed it to survive when an antibiotic was applied. These mutations have been tracked by researchers repeatedly to find new drugs to treat infections. In fact, Clepto sea slugs evolve in less than one generation, having the ability to mutate their DNA based on whatever they're eating.
Normally, when I point this out to people, the objection is that it can be hard to generalise phenomena that may be apparent in small bacteria to things like cats or penguins, because they're fundamentally different types of living organisms. I agree that without the assumption that all creatures share a common ancestor, this is true. This assumption is rendered less likely by the abundance of DNA shared by all living organisms. We are, in our genetic code, close to 50% similar to a bacterium.
But supposing this was by chance, are there visible examples of evolution in animals? The answer is yes, and there is a very long history to prove it. Most famously, peppered moths were found in the industrial revolution to develop a mutation changing their colour to something more like soot when factories took over the cities. It might be objected that scientific rigor was less established in the 1850s, but there are many recent examples too, like the crickets on Kauai (an island of Hawaii) which evolved different wings in 2006 when a new predator appeared on the island, to help them survive. In bigger animals this works too. In 2006, scientists observed people in Pune, India, developing a mutation allowing them to better process certain fatty acids from food easier.
I'll grant that these are small changes. Can these really lead to the level of speciation we see today? Computer models have repeatedly shown that over the billions of years life has been around on this planet, the answer is yes. Moreover, we have fossil records that this has in fact occurred. For almost every species of animal do we find numerous examples of ancestors among the remains they left behind. But these changes have occurred over a very long time.
Scientifically speaking, there is no debate that evolution happened. Against this preponderance of evidence, we have skepticism of science.
I'll leave it to my opponent to make that case. The resolution is affirmed.
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2020-03-07 09:03:37| Speak Round
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