Formal Debate Asimov vs. Razor
Posted 13 October 2005 - 02:46 PM
Asomiv opens - 1500 word limit
Razor refutes - 1500 word limit
Asimov refutes above - 1000 word limit
Razor refutes above - 1000 word limit
Asimov cross-examines - 3 questions only.
Razor answers - 250 words each question.
Razor cross-examines - 3 questions only.
Asimov answers - 250 words each question.
Proponent concludes - 500 word limit
Opponent concludes - 500 word limit
Member questions - 3 questions to each participant. 1 question only per member. A total of 6 questions asked. Questions must be subitted to a Forum Moderator. The moderation team will determine which questions to post to the thread.
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Evidence - ONLY use evidence that is accurate and thoroughly referenced in your presentation. Evidence will be accurately and directly quoted. (ALL EVIDENCE MUST BE FROM A PUBLISHED SOURCE, AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC, AND VERIFIABLE.) The first time a source is presented, the debater must state the full source when introducing the evidence. A “full source” is assumed to include author’s name, author’s qualifications (when apparent in the original), full date, and title of source with page numbers. Once a source has been cited, evidence subsequently cited from the source need only include the author and/or publication name as well as a phrase along the lines of “previously cited.”
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Asimov may now begin. Remember there is a 3 day max time limit between posts.
Posted 15 October 2005 - 01:50 AM
Biology: The science of life and of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution. It includes botany and zoology and all their subdivisions.
Paleontology: The study of the forms of life existing in prehistoric or geologic times, as represented by the fossils of plants, animals, and other organisms.
Anthropology: The scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans.
Evolution is the unifying theory in Biology. Without Evolutionary Theory, not much in biology would make sense. While many tend to have the idea that Evolution represents a ladder-like step from simple cells to bacteria to humans (goo to you), this is completely false and must be corrected. Evolutionary Theory posits that all life descended from a single common ancestor, and that life branches out into a bush-like family tree. For the biological evidences, I will present genetics (particularly ERV’s and Pseudogenes) as the forefront. For Paleontological evidence, I will present the fossil record and present fossils which are transitional and fossil lineages. For the anthropological evidence, I will present the compendium of hominid fossils the field of science has found that sheds all doubt as to where we came from and who we, as humans, are.
The Biological evidence is particularly strong when one looks at genetics, which shows beyond a reasonable doubt that Evolutionary Theory is the more tenable position. Endogenous Retroviruses being the first piece of evidence in this debate is something that cannot be explained away without ad hoc reasoning. A retrovirus is defined as
"...an RNA virus (like HIV) that produces reverse transcriptase by means of which DNA is produced using their RNA as a template and incorporated into the genome of infected cells."
If the retrovirus were to infect a sperm or egg cell, then the infection becomes hereditary and is passed on to the subsequent offspring of the original host. Because the RNA virus copies its own viral genome into the host genome, the virus becomes a part of the offsprings own DNA structure. If Evolutionary Theory were true, then it would only be logical that related species (chimps, humans, gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, etc.) would contain these insertions in the exact same place of their DNA. Scientists who study genetics have found these ERV's in a number of primates, including the ones listed above and Old world monkeys . The only reasonable explanation is that we and other primates descended from a common ancestor.
Pseudogenes, the next piece of evidence in regards to Evolutionary Theory provides another example that, much like ERV's, shows that Evolutionary Theory is more reasonable than Creationism. Pseudogenes are
"...genomic DNA sequences similar to normal genes but are not expressed into functional proteins; they are regarded as defunct relatives of functional genes."
Because the pseudogene is the result of a mutation and all mutations are hereditary, what would follow would be that any offspring from the original mutation that survived would contain this mutation; including new branching species. Some recent evidence of this would be the studies that show that Cats (family) cannot taste sweet foods. All mammals contain a gene that allows the taste buds on tongues to send information to our brain regarding the taste of a certain food. Certain areas of human tongues can taste certain things. In Cats, the gene is still there, but it doesn't work.  Pseudogene.org provides a compendium of pseudogenes found in a number of animals, and there are hundreds per species .
In short, even now with the debate having hardly begun, I have already provided two inexplicable evidences not only for what is known as macroevolution (speciation), but for common descent.
The fossil record contains an amazing amount of corroborative information regarding the history of life. From it, we can see the amazing transition of whales from land-roving creatures to the aquatic specimens we see today. There is also the early horse fossils to consider, not to mention transitions from reptile to bird, and reptile to mammals. Talkorigins states
"...we have found a quite complete set of dinosaur-to-bird transitional fossils with no morphological "gaps" (Sereno 1999), represented by Eoraptor, Herrerasaurus, Ceratosaurus, Allosaurus, Compsognathus, Sinosauropteryx, Protarchaeopteryx, Caudipteryx, Velociraptor, Sinovenator, Beipiaosaurus, Sinornithosaurus, Microraptor, Archaeopteryx, Rahonavis, Confuciusornis, Sinornis, Patagopteryx, Hesperornis, Apsaravis, Ichthyornis, and Columba...." 
In regards to horse evolution, we have an entire 55 million years of fossils rangin from hyracotherium , the oldest known horse fossil, to the Equus , each having a multitude of transitional fossils in between. Each of these fossils have been found in different layers of the geologic column and not, as would be predicted by a single creation event, all together at once.
The fossil record is reliable, is observable and factual. While the evidence is indirect, it certainly is empirical and does coincide with the other evidence.
For the last part of my 3-piece evidence, I will present one of the most complete fossil lineages available; humans. Anthropology has uncovered a 7 million year history of over 20 different hominid fossils . This alone shows that humans are not a special creation. If one were to doubt the veracity of my claims, all they would have to do is look at the sequence of skulls provided by the Smithsonian Institute (Skull A is a Chimpanzee, Skull N is a modern human) . Since the Chimpanzee shares 98.8 percent of our DNA , it is not that difficult to comprehend how our ancestors looked so similar to Chimpanzees 6 or 7 million years ago. If the genetic evidence corroborates the fossil evidence, it would require deception of the extreme type in order to have the truth be a 6 day creation event that happened only 6,000 years ago.
In order for my opponent to refute my claims not only would he have to be able to explain how it is possible all this evidence contradicts his worldview but he would have to provide evidence for it. It is apparent from genetics, from fossils, and even from our own history that the Earth has been around a lot longer than 6,000 years. It is apparent that common descent is a more reasonable idea than separate creations. It is also apparent that Creationism is a failed idea not only in science but in philosophy. I would be very surprised if Razor is able to provide an argument that wasn't concocted before 1985, and that is not the fault of my opponent. Creationism simply has nothing to provide and unless Razor can provide something of substance that contradicts my claims, the debate will have already been lost to him. Thanks for reading everyone, thanks again to my opponent. I look forward to reading your rebuttal, Razor.
 - www.dictionary.com
 - http://www.counterba...ndret-body.html
 - http://www.talkorigi...ml#retroviruses
 - http://www.pseudogene.org/main.php
 - http://www.cnn.com/2....sweet.gene.ap/
 - http://www.pseudogen...t=1&output=html
 - http://www.talkorigi...termediates_ex1
 - http://www.flmnh.ufl...fhc/hyraco1.htm
 - http://www.flmnh.ufl.../fhc/equus1.htm
 - http://www.talkorigi...html#tchadensis
 - http://www.talkorigi...c/hominids.html
 - http://seattletimes....1_chimp01m.html
*edit: to add bold and fix a grammar mistake.
Edited by Asimov, 15 October 2005 - 02:15 AM.
The left is retarded, and the right is insane.
So which is worse?
The moderates. They're half-retarded and half-insane. "
Posted 18 October 2005 - 12:33 PM
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