The Instigator
Wylted
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
Raistlin
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

100 Debate Challenge 11:THB Tennessee is correct to protect teachers who teach creationism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Wylted
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/25/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 992 times Debate No: 63951
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)

 

Wylted

Pro

full resolution: Tennessee is correct to protect teachers who wish to explore the merits of creationism

First round acceptance

No trolling or semantics.
Raistlin

Con

I accept the challenge. Good luck to my opponent!
Debate Round No. 1
Wylted

Pro

Freedom of Speech- Freedom of speech applies to teachers as well as students and everyone else[1] If a teacher believes that evolution is bunk and creationism is in fact the way to go the teacher should be allowed to state his or her opinion. This in no way takes away from the curriculum and actually helps students to learn critical thinking skills by examining several different scientific theories.

Doesn't exclude Evolution- The Tennessee bill doesn't exclude evolution and as a matter of fact still requires it as part of the curriculum. The students aren't losing anything by granting teachers their freedom of speech. [2]

Critical Thinking- Students can't possibly learn critical thinking skills when only presented with one type of argument or theory. In order to learn how to think for themselves they should be exposed to several different competing scientific theories.

sources


Raistlin

Con

Firstly, you claim that teachers, along with students, have "freedom of speech," protected under the Bill of Rights. While this is true, freedom of speech applies in an extremely limited context to public schooling, because government may not do anything "respecting an establishment of religion" under the 1st amendment. [1] Creationism is not scientific; it is purely religious. [2]. Therefore, it is unconstitutional to teach creationism in public schools, as has been well established in cases such as McLean vs Arkansas Board of Education [3] and Kitzmiller vs Dover Board of Education [4]. By supporting creationism in a professional setting, teachers violate the Constitution. Also, you state that "if a teacher believes that evolution is bunk and creationism is in fact the way to go the teacher should be allowed to state his or her opinion," then that teacher is no more qualified to teach science than someone who is a member of the Flat Earth Society, an organization supported by just as much evidence as any creationist organization.

Secondly, students do lose out by having a pseudoscientific "theory" be treated as real science such as physics and evolution. For example, the teaching of alchemy alongside chemistry may not exclude the learning of chemistry, but being exposed to superstitious nonsense unsupported by evidence in a science class would undermine the empirical foundations of the scientific method.

Finally, creationism is NOT a scientific theory. According to live science, a scientific theory is "an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena." Creationism makes no accurate predictions and does not explain natural phenomena, and is therefore not a theory under the scientific definition. However, in some areas, such as the destruction or preservation of information in black holes and the firewall hypothesis, where there is not sufficient evidence to develop a solid theory, I more than happy to have students use critical thinking skills in debating the evidence.

To summarize, creationism is not scientific and is not a theory. It is religious in nature and does not belong in a science classroom. If my opponent believes that evolution is false and creationism is true, substantial evidence is needed. Otherwise, it is indefensible to teach creationism in schools.

As always, thanks to pro for agreeing to debate this topic.

Sources

1- http://www.law.cornell.edu...

2- http://ncse.com...

3- http://www.talkorigins.org...

4- https://www.bu.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
Wylted

Pro

Religion- This isn't a freedom of religion thing. There is plenty of evidence for ceationism, but that extends beyond the scope of the debate. Being a believer in creationism doesn't neccessitate being apart of any religion, just as being a believerin Evolution doesn't mean you're automatically an atheist. For that purpose alone it isn't a seperation of church and state thing.

It should also be noted that the government according to the first amendment shouldn't make anylaws prohibiting the free exercise of religion. If you're religion says that creationism is what happened and lying is against the moral tenants of your religion than ofcourse teaching evolution as fact and being unable to give any competing views restricts your freedom of religion.

Science- There is absolutely no harm and a ton of benefit to teaching several different scientific theories. Kids need to learn critical thinking skills to function in society. A school that doesn't teach conflicting schools of tought is just programming a kid to accept whatever authority figures tell hi asfact. The advandscience, dictates that we don't just accept the modern understandingof the world as fact, that is to be holy and unquestioned.

" being exposed to superstitious nonsense unsupported by evidence in a science class would undermine the empirical foundations of the scientific method."

NO it wouldn't . Not only is this statement making bare assertions unsupported by any eidence that creationism is superstitious it is also just blatently false. If creationism didn't have legs to stand on, surely kids exposed to all the facts can come to that conclusion and be more experienced lter on at etecting quackery.

The fact is kids are taught lies in school all the time and they o on as adults believing these absurdities, because they were never taught critical thinking skills. Kids to this day are bein taught that Betsy Ross created the American flag, that the guy who discovered Ameica is named Christopher Columbus and they are being taught Newtonian physics, despite the fact that it has been proven inaccurate and inferior to Einstein's laws of relativity.

I fail to see why teachers can teach knowigly wrong facts both historical and scientific, but when it comes to the evolution creationism debte they can't teach both theories.
Raistlin

Con

Thanks again to my opponent for bringing up some excellent points. Before we take a look at them, I would like to take a brief moment to summarize my argument from last round.

Firstly, creationism is not scientific and is therefore inappropriate for a science classroom. It is unsupported by evidence, whilst a massive amount of evidence supports evolution. Therefore, it is fallacious and false to claim that evolution and creationism are "competing theories" just as it is to claim alchemy and chemistry are "competing theories." Secondly, creationism is religious in nature because creation requires a creator by definition, and that creator is God. As many previously cited court cases have found, a combination of creationism's lack of evidence and its religious nature means it is unconstitutional to teach creationism in the classroom. Finally, teaching a profoundly unscientific position such as creationism alongside a well supported theory gives creationism unfair credence for being a scientific theory, and the last thing we want is for a public school to undermine real science. This is the equivalent to teaching Holocaust denialism along with real history. [1]

Now, let's examine our opponent's points. He claims that "this isn't a freedom of religion thing." However, it is. My opponent has provided no evidence at all that creationism is science and not religion, and the Supreme Court has declared that it is a 1st amendment issue. For my opponent to disprove my point, he would have to give clear and convincing evidence that creationism is true. My opponent's claim that "there is plenty of evidence for creationism, but this extends beyond the scope of this debate" is false firstly because it is absolutely necessary for his position to provide this evidence and secondly because the evidence supports evolution, as 99% of scientists in fields related to evolution agree. [2] Next, he claims that disallowing the teaching of creationism violates the first amendment rights of teachers. This issue has already been through the Supreme Court and, not surprisingly, they came out in support of evolution. Believing something false doesn't give a teacher the right to teach it to children.

Secondly, as I previously stated, I have absolutely no problem at all, and neither do public schools, with teaching competing scientific hypotheses. For example, there is a big debate within the scientific community over the nature of evolution, with the competing hypotheses of gradualism and punctuated equilibrium both being taught in public schools. [3] However, there is a big difference in this kind of debate, which has not yet been settled by the evidence, and the debate over evolution and creationism, which has already been resolved.

My opponent then quotes me as saying that superstitious nonsense is not beneficial to students, and then proceeds to claim that I believe creationism is superstitious nonsense without evidence. However, I was referring to alchemy in the quo
Debate Round No. 3
Wylted

Pro

My opponent drops my argument that learning competing scientific theories even if one is psuedo scientific, helps with critical thinking skills. He's failed to show any harm done by teaching creationism side by side with evolution would do.

Kids should be learning things but the current school system only focuses on memorization (outside of math). If kids are just taught to accept conventional wisdom then scientific progress will halt. Don't halt scientific progress. Vote pro.

Also my opponent's freedom o religion arguments suck because schools teach mythology
Raistlin

Con

Raistlin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by crushboy79 2 years ago
crushboy79
It is also a great idea to teach both sides of one of the worlds's biggest debates. The possibilities that are made possible by teaching both sides are extension
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by XLAV 2 years ago
XLAV
WyltedRaistlinTied
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Total points awarded:41 
Reasons for voting decision: Con didn't explain how Creationism is harmful. Pro did make a good point about teaching mythology too. Even if creationism shouldn't be allowed to be taught in school, Con didn't explain how it could be harmful, so Con didn't fulfill the resolution. Pro did fulfil it, by explaining how it encourages critical thinking. Arguments and conduct to pro. Spelling and grammar to Con. Sources, tie.
Vote Placed by RainbowDash52 2 years ago
RainbowDash52
WyltedRaistlinTied
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Total points awarded:41 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made case that teaching creationism can be beneficial even if it is pseudo-scientific. Con kept arguing that creationism is wrong and unscientific, but didn't make the case of how teaching creationism could be harmful.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
WyltedRaistlinTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: ff, but pro dropped crucial arguments concerning that supreme court ruling and evidence of creationism.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
WyltedRaistlinTied
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Total points awarded:14 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Pro. Con forfeited the final round which is rarely acceptable conduct in any debate setting. S&G - Con. Pro had several grammatical/spelling errors throughout the debate, which while all minor mistakes such as spacing or *your instead of *you're, were enough to cost points when compared to Con's near flawless S&G. Arguments - Con. While Con did drop the argument regarding psuedo-science, Pro dropped some major arguments regarding proof for creationism and a rebuttal against the outcomes of the supreme court rulings... those are two major holes left open by Pro which, in failing to respond, cost him the BOP of showing that teachers have a right to teach creationism. Sources - Tie. Both utilized sources throughout this debate and both were of equal quality.