Hey guys, I need some debating advice. I'm being emailed by a Creationists from another website. I basically tried my best to explain to him why evolution is the best explanation for the origin of the species on Earth, explained to him that it is a gradual process.

He is now claiming that the only reason scientists claim that is gradual just so they can back it up. I don't accept that.

How do I put in simple words exposing the evidence that it is indeed a gradual process.

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Thank you Greg, that is very awesome. And I did email it to him.  I've yet to hear a response from him. 

It's hard to put simply, but I'll give it a shot:  a variety of reliable and proven methods of dating rocks and fossils clearly show life forms gradually changing over millions of years through the natural selection process.  Absolutely NO evidence has ever been uncovered that show observable, permanent, major changes in an organism over fewer than thousands of generations.  While it is true that changes in very simple organisms can be seen in a matter of years, months, or even days, that is because these life forms cycle through many generations in a very short span of time, compared to the relatively sluggish gestative processes of large animals like ourselves.

A major exception to this rule is when we look at artificial selection, or "induced evolution," most notably in the breeding of domestic animals; but also in scientific experiments where relatively complex animals like fish of the same species are placed in segregated ponds and subjected to very deliberately specific environments devoid of extraneous influences.

Bottom line: evolution can be gradual or rapid. However, evolution occurring exclusively in response to selective pressures in exclusively natural environments, which is what we're talking about, here, must always be gradual, because the overwhelming majority of mutation-driven changes are non-adaptive; and environments change constantly, randomly, and capriciously.  Only one out of every thousand or a million changes in the genetic make-up of an organism will adventitiously confer a survival advantage within the extant environment, and that, consequently, requires a lot of time - many, many generations - to play out into observable changes in the morphology of an organism.  

Look, is it really plausible that, instead of natural selection resulting in a slow evolution of species, that some magician did overnight? That is really what their view of creation amounts to: common sense vs. magic.

Use the peppered spotted moth example: http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/tis2/index.php/component/content/a...

Ask if they have ever received a vaccine. Then ask if they have received more than one. If both answers are yes then ask them, if evolution is not true why don't you just get one and done? The answer is because the virus evolves to become resistant to the vaccine. 

What does he mean by the only reason scientists claim that it is gradual is so they can back it up? That sentence in and of itself doesn't make sense. Demand proof for that claim. They won't have any real proof. 

Also, read 'On The Origin Of Species'. It will give you a lot of good information, and if you download kindle on your computer you'll be able to get it for free :) If you have an iPod/iPad/iPhone/Any smartphone/tablet you can download kindle on that (or use the built in books app on iDevices) to get it for free. It is a good read.

http://theburdenofevidence.wordpress.com/good-reads-2/ This is my page of good books to read.

Could you post the convo thus far? It may help people formulate ideas. 

Ah I can't actually post the conversation, it was sent via the messaging service on Yahoo Answers and I don't have his messages anymore

What does he mean by the only reason scientists claim that it is gradual is so they can back it up? That sentence in and of itself doesn't make sense. Demand proof for that claim. They won't have any real proof. 

If they are serious about learning about evolution, they should look at how the theory was arrived at. They will see that the evidence came first THEN the theory. 

Much of what the guy says makes very little sense.  He claims to have read a selection of evolution texts however including: The Selfish Gene, The Origin of Species and a few others. 

Whether he's actually read them or not I would suspect he simply won't accept what is written down as he puts his faith on a much higher regard, no matter it contradicting with science. 

A tactic that may be interesting to try someday if you run into the sort of people who say they never saw their dog have kittens so evolution isn't true, or if we came from monkeys why are there still monkeys, is to say something like this.  "You're right.  If evolution said this, I'd disagree with it too.  But it doesn't say that."  You are agreeing with them (some) in that you agree that it WOULD be silly to expect a dog to have kittens--so you've established a common ground.  But then you tell them ...but that's not what evolution says.  Well they are probably a bit better disposed to listen to you now that you've actually agreed with them about something, so you MIGHT have a chance to educate them.

That's really good advice, and I will definatly try that approach in the future.

However with this person it's more of a matter of refusing to accept the facts regardless of being aware of them. He certainly does have many falacies to his arguments. Another example of one of his falacies is that he thinks that evolution would produce entirely new species but neglects to acknowledge that evolution is a modification of what is already there to begin with.

He seems to use the "it's only by chance" argument a lot. I pointed these falacies out to him but he more or less changed the subject by telling me what he has read.

But very good advice nonetheless

A creationist once challenged me to name one good thing evolution did.

Expecting him to play his version of the Why don't you...? Yes, but.... game and not wanting to play it, I told him that without evolution we would not have chocolate.

No time wasted.

Lol well played

Actually, maturity doesn't happen "in a moment." Rather it's like going from twilight to morning in a city. "Light dawns gradually over the whole," an expression used by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein to describe the process of gaining understanding of something..


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