Evolution is LIKELY to be true

December 4, 2015, 9:50 pm

Agree59 Disagree24


The debate "Evolution is LIKELY to be true" was started by Sosocratese on December 4, 2015, 9:50 pm. 59 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 24 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

Sosocratese posted 11 arguments, PsychDave posted 2 arguments to the agreers part.
Alex posted 6 arguments to the disagreers part.

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replied to...

I think the best evidence for evolution is the fact that it can be used to predict things. That's the test of any good scientific theory.
Evolution predicts that you would find fossils of increasing complexity in order of geological time and this is true. You don't find a more complex eye earlier in the fossil record than a less complex one. You don't find a spine before you find a bone. You find limited lungs before you find fully formed lungs etc... And this remains true throughout the fossil record.

You can predict where you might find transitional fossils. This was done with the case of the amphibians and lung fish. We found the transitional fossils in, what used to be a swamp, in the geological layer which matched the age at which we would expect to find that same fossil.

We predicted that we would find genetic markers that would tie us to apes. In fact we found the remains of a simian virus that infected apes before we split from our closest living relative, the chimp, in our DNA. This virus has been extinct for millions of years, yet chimps and humans still have the genome that was injected by this virus in our DNA.

It's this ability to predict and be usable which is probably the greatest evidence that evolution is likely to be true.

4 years, 2 months ago
replied to...

Think of each system evolving due to pressures. Neck starts to get longer to the point where a slightly larger heart is beneficial in maintaining pressures, so now stronger hearts become selected for. Hearts get a bit stronger, so now necks can grow slightly longer. Increasing neck length leads to a pressure to have more valves to regulate pooling. Now necks can get slightly longer. Necks get slightly longer, and so more pressure is required, this puts pressure on the population to select animals with yet stronger hearts. And so on.
Interdependent systems are stressed and thus selectively breed for in successive generations. Now, can you clarify your criticism and tell me how this line of questioning is relevant to whether or not evolution is likely to be true.

4 years, 2 months ago

Obese people have higher blood pressure than skinny people. That doesn't mean their system knows that blood pressure should go up, it is a physical response. Beyond that, giraffes with stronger hearts would do better than those with weak ones, meaning they are more likely to reproduce, again resulting in a population with stronger hearts.

You are still phrasing things as though it is a directed process, even though you say you understand that it is not one. Nature didn't see a need for a long neck and make one. Giraffes with longer necks outperformed those with shorter necks, so they passed on their genes. We don't say that a weight saw that it should be closer to the ground so it fell. Gravity pulls on weight, it is a natural process, not an intentional action.

4 years, 2 months ago

I know evolution can't think so it does not know about valves and things. the nature only saw a need for a long neck and made a long neck, but then how does a heart grow from a neck growing.

4 years, 2 months ago
replied to...

You are still misunderstanding how evolution works. It is not a guided, intelligent process. It doesn't say "giraffes would be better with long necks" and then make it happen. Until you stop thinking in those terms it will be very hard for you to understand it. I'll break down the process a bit and relate it to humans so that it is more logical and you can see it step by step.

At first giraffes didn't look like they do today. Taller giraffes were more successful since they could reach food that shorter ones could not, and there were varying heights in the population. This shouldn't be a logical stretch since there are tall people and short people.

Since the tall giraffes were more successful, they were more likely to reproduce, resulting in tall offspring. Again this should be common sense since tall parents generally have tall children.

Of these tall offspring, there would still be an advantage to being taller than the norm, so again the tallest ones would likely reproduce, resulting in taller and taller children as generations went by. This does not have a human equivalent, but we have intentionally done this when we selectively believed livestock for milk production, amount of meat or other desirable traits.

As they develop longer and longer necks, those who were not able to regulate blood flow would not be successful, since they would die, meaning only those who could would reproduce.

There is also the "necks for sex" theory which speculates that part of the increase in neck length was for sexual selection rather than feeding.

For a look at some of the evidence, supporting evolution in this example, you could look at this paper


That looks at transition fossils of various hoofed mammals.

4 years, 2 months ago
replied to...

I don't know how many more ways I can explain this.... The blood pressure regulatory mechanisms were already in place by the time we have the earliest ancestor of the giraffe. Baroreceptors, valves, the ability to vasoconstrict, etc.... are already in place. There is no need to the giraffe to evolve these from scratch. You also have to remember that the changes are miniscule from generation to generation. So miniscule that you wouldn't really be able to tell much of a difference from generation to generation. It's not like a giraffe like animal with a 12 inch neck gives birth to a generation with a 24 inch neck. It's more like 12 inches turns to 12.05 inches, etc... So the next generation would only have to adapt to a miniscule difference.

Not only do the changes happen in incredibly small increments, they can become stagnant for a while and then resume. So neck length may not change for a few generations as valve locations, frequency, and Baroreceptors become more frequent and specialized.

I don't know if this is supposed to be a convoluted version of the watchmaker argument, or where your criticism of evolution lies here.... Evolution of systems is very well documented. There are plenty of papers on the correlation between the evolution of the eye and the evolution of larger visual cortex, etc... You can use Google scholar to find thousands of scholarly articles on the subject.

What exactly is your criticism here? Are you just saying you can't imagine evolution driving the evolution of multiple systems?

4 years, 2 months ago

right so the pre girraff creature had no need to regulate blood flow, but once it evolved a neck it did. at the time the neck started to evolve, the blood pressure was fine. once the neck got longer the blood pressure then would see the need to evolve. bit it would be too late.
since evolution doesn't happen without a need the blood pressure could not have started without a long neck, but with a long neck, the girraff would faint, because the blood pressure has not finished evolving.

this can apply to any evolution. there is a need for x, but y and z must also evolve. once there is a need for y and z it's too late, because the animal can't wait around years.

4 years, 2 months ago
replied to...

Just because you don't understand it, doesn't mean it didn't happen. You're basically saying "I can't imagine this happening, therefore it couldn't have happened" that is the definition for an argument of incredulity. Can you please make a better argument? This it's such a nonsense argument. No matter how much I explain this, you just dig your heels and claim you can't imagine it happening.

Again, evolution doesn't "decide" anything. The neck happened incrementally. So why wouldn't it be advantages to coevolve the ability to regulate blood flow demands? How would a giraffe without the ability to regulate it's blood flow be more fit and thus reproduce more? You would have to evolve blood regulatory mechanism in order to pass on the trait to the new generation.

4 years, 2 months ago

I know how they work I'm not stupid.

this is what happened according to evolutionists nature of the girraff says "I would be better of if my neck is long, so let's grow a long neck. wait but we also need to grow a bigger heart, and enlarge my neck valves, and adds more." unlikely that happened more likely "Let's grow a big neck to reach trees." heart and valves don't evolve, only the neck does and the girraff dies.

it's like enlarging anything. grow one thing the other parts don't grow automatically. you need to seperatly build them. for the girraff it is very unlikely that 2 seperate, but related(because everything is related) evolutions happened at the same time.

I don't get how a long neck evolution enlarges the heart.

4 years, 2 months ago

What are you talking about valves getting longer? Do you know how a valve works on the circulatory system?
It's just two flaps that make a one way valve by closing against pressure in one direction and open against pressure in another. They don't have to be longer just because the neck is longer. Their size is based on circumference of the vessel, not length. ....you should youtube venous valves and watch how they work and how simple they are.

For your side note.
That's where isolation comes into play. Isolation diminishes gene flow, increasing the likelihood of new traits to become dominant quicker. Also, not all members of a species need to evolve at the time when one population of it does. If members of a species are in an area where their ecological niche gets more competitive, then this will drive the evolution of advantages traits which allow them to compete better or occupy a new niche. If at the same time other members of that same species, at a different location, don't face the same amount of competition, then there is no natural pressure to drive advantages traits into the population.

4 years, 2 months ago

evolution if neck: got longer
evolution of blood pressure: got stronger/heart got bigger
evolution of valves: got bigger/stronger

not a good portionate relation if the neck got longer, the valves would only get longer, not bigger. and it's funny how evolution nature says "longer neck for reaching trees, but also you need bigger valves? I don't get how the valves got bigger. if what you said about increase in a makes a increase in b is true then the valves would have only gotten longer, and that would not have worked and the girraff would have died.

on a side note: why does natraul selection, and evolution take place in only a few animals? all animals could gain things that would help it gain an advantage. Is evolution random?

4 years, 2 months ago

I will get to the giraffe in just a second, but first, you have to understand that evolution is not a consciousness. You're treating it like it is and that is causing some errors in your thinking. Evolution isn't smart, it isn't dumb, it doesn't think of solutions, it's simply a process. The earth's crust doesn't have an agenda to form mountains, but it does because that is a natural result. Same goes for evolution.

Now, let's talk about the giraffe.

I think it's fairly easy to see how a higher blood press would coevolve with a longer neck. It's would be a lot more surprising if giraffes managed to grow their long necks without an increase in blood pressure. You also have to remember that this is not a quick process. We're talking about a slow adaptation over many generations, so each generation would only have a marginally longer neck requiring only marginally higher blood pressures to maintain homeostasis. So it only takes a marginally stronger heart muscle with each successive generation to keep the longer neck as an advantage.

Now, on to the valves. Valves are present in almost all circulatory systems in the animal kingdom. We have them in our veins because their pressure is lower and gravity would cause pooling between heart beats. Animals much younger on the evolutionary time scale already had valves in place. So again, it's simply a matter of the valves growing in size, strength, and number as the giraffe's neck evolves.

One of the principles of evolution is also that complex structures evolve from simpler ones. So that you're always adapting and not having to completely reinvent structures for each species.

4 years, 2 months ago

let's start with a simple example the girraff. the girraff is said by evolutionists to evolve from a animal like a girraff, just with a shorter neck. this animal saw the need for a long neck, to reach tall trees because food was scarce and it would gain an advantage. so this is natraul selection. seems simple, but it's not. to have a long neck the girraff also needs to have very strong blood pressure to get blood into its head. when bending down to ensure the blood does not rush to the girraff's head, the neck has valves that open and close.

if the girraff like animal evolved a long neck then the head would have no blood pressure and the girraff would die. you may claim that with a bigger neck comes bigger blood pressure, and that's borderline ok. but then when the girraff bends down to drink the blood would rush to its head, and the girraff would die. valves and blood pressure could not have evolved in the girraff's neck. ok maybe blood pressure, but not the valves. for 2 reasons
1. how did evolution know that when evolving a long neck you need high blood pressure and valves?
2. let's say evolution was smart and evolved the blood pressure and valves. the neck and blood pressure could have both evolved in a good proportion rate. but since evolution takes a long time the girraff would not have the valves ready when the neck needed them. like if the blood pressure and neck both increased 50%,and the valves became 50% completed the unfinished valves would be useless, and the 50% blood pressure increase would kill the girraff if it bend down.

I know you have a response to this, and I would love to hear it.

4 years, 2 months ago
replied to...

Sure thing. Do your research because taking con on this proposition is going to rough.

4 years, 2 months ago

thank you I will read up on it soon. going to be busy tomorrow, but Monday I'll read the link for sure.

4 years, 2 months ago
replied to...

Here is a pretty good source of the basics if you need to read up on it before debating. Reading this won't give you all the information, but it will provide a basic understanding of the theory of evolution. It doesn't go into specific sources of evidence, but does describe the processes fairly well. Let me know if you need further sources to get deeper into it.


4 years, 2 months ago
replied to...

The simplest definition of evolution is "descent with modification". This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations).

The modern theory of evolution has moved well beyond Darwinian evolution as would be expected with over 150 years of research since the publishing of "The Origins of Species".

The mechanisms of evolution are as follows:

Descent: traits must be able to be passed down to the next generation

Mutation: introduces new genetic information

Migration: gene flow

Genetic Drift: the change in the frequency of a gene variant (allele) in a population due to random sampling of organisms. The alleles in the offspring are a sample of those
in the parents, and chance has a role in determining whether a given individual survives and reproduces.

Natural Selection: the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring.

Non-Random Mating: The idea that mating is based on non-random factors in order to select for better fitness

Coevolution: the evolution of one species affecting the evolution of another

Temporal, mechanical, and reproductive isolation: ways to isolate populations from interbreeding.

On papers being misrepresented:
There is a new field in evolution called Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo for short) which has brought into question a lot of what we once knew about evolution. The D.I. has tried to use these papers to discredit evolution when in reality, the Evo-devo papers simply change how we look at evolution. It in no way discredits evolution. The D.I. overreached in the conclusions they drew.

4 years, 2 months ago

religious people are good at twisting the words of other people to suit themselves.

4 years, 2 months ago

in order to argue evolution with you, first we need to define what evolution is so there is no confusion.
evolution is
1. natraul selection- the process by which species adapt to their environment, and evolve to it. they evolve to become dominate and survive. ex. a fish growing legs, and a giraffe growing a long neck.

2. Mutation- a change in DNA. cam be caused at random, and changes many things including the color, structure, and look of the animal. ex. the English white/dark moth change during the industrial revolution.

any other evolution I should know about.

I find it strange how a paper ment to prove evolution was said to disprove it.

4 years, 2 months ago

I figured I'd turn the Burden of proof around and argue in the affirmative since all the "God exists", "God is real" debates tend to put the BOP on the theists. I don't really want this to be a "God" debate. I'd like to keep this to scientific evidence and refutation of evidence. I don't think we need to bring God into this in order to have a productive discussion.

4 years, 2 months ago

The claim here is that Evolution is likely to be true. It is obvious that it has not yet become scientific law. However, the body of evidence has become such that Evolution has reached the scientific theory status.

Scientific Theory:
1. is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation.
2. a coherent group of propositions formulated to explain a group of facts or phenomena in the natural world and repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation

As of 2012 (the most recent aggregate I could find) there are over 318,000 peer-reviewed, published papers and meta studies which affirm the theory of evolution.

On the Discovery institutes website (a pro Intelligent Design website) I was only able to find 86 peer-reviewed studies which the Discovery Institute claims are in contrast to the theory of evolution. However, upon further research, a number of the authors of the papers listed on the Discovery Institute's stated that the Discovery Institute misrepresented their papers and that their papers actually support the theory of Evolution. Now, I'm now able to go through all of the papers on the D.I.'s website and go through all the papers and see if they actually refute evolution or if the D.I. is misrepresenting the papers, etc... I would feel fairly confident in saying that the D.I.'s list of studies is slightly to grossly inflated.

4 years, 2 months ago
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