The Instigator
Common_Sense_Please
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points
The Contender
resolutionsmasher
Con (against)
Losing
17 Points

Creationism and Intelligent design should not be taught in science lessons

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/23/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,901 times Debate No: 7523
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (115)
Votes (9)

 

Common_Sense_Please

Pro

Today in Biology we were told that we have to mention Creationism briefly as an alternative theory to Evolution. The whole class, including the teacher laughed at the idea but humoured it non the less, evaluating it scientifically as a theory. We have found a general consensus that it shouldn't even be a theory, because for it to be a theory, there actually needs to be evidence for it. However, I know that some people seem to believe that Creationism should be taught anyway. I challenge anyone to persuade me that that is the correct teaching method.
resolutionsmasher

Con

First of all I would like to point out that the theories of evolution and the big bang are the only plausible alternative to creationism so I will attack them first. These ideas are exactly what I called them, theories. There is no definite proof to show that they are true. Any solid evidence that has been found to support these is either compromised and/or questionable and the proccesses of carbon dating are also questionable. I'm not saying that Creationism has more proof to its case than the other ideas, but simply that evolution requires as much faith to accept as creationism. So the only real option is to either allow both to be taught or both to be excluded.

A last thought to mull over. Couldn't God have made the Earth with age already on it? Thus making it seem as if it has been there for a much longer period of time.
Debate Round No. 1
Common_Sense_Please

Pro

Thank you for excepting the debate, even if it was just the result of Zippo's baiting :)

I noticed a classic assumption of creationists. "First of all I would like to point out that the theories of evolution and the big bang are the only plausible alternative to creationism so I will attack them first." Just by attacking other theories, it does not strengthen the notion of creationism or support it's teaching.

"These ideas are exactly what I called them, theories. There is no definite proof to show that they are true." Definition of theory: An explanation of concept/idea that is supported by evidence and/or many experiments/trials and is widely accepted by the scientific community. You are correct, there is no definite proof for these theories, but then again, there is no definite proof for ANY theory; this is a basic principle of science. If there was definite proof, it would be a scientific law. There are very few things that there is definite proof for in this world, everything is questionable, but science is in constant evolution. The most likely theory is mostly accepted until it is proved wrong and a new theory that is supported by the evidence takes it's place. It is the theory that is supported by the EVIDENCE that is used. My point is, there is no plausible or truly scientific evidence for creationism but there is a mountain of evidence for evolution and natural selection.

"The processes of carbon dating are also questionable". How so? please give some evidence for this. Creationism says that the Earth is 6000 years old. However, Carbon Dating is reliable up to 60,000 years, and only then is it not able to provide accurate evidence.

"evolution requires as much faith to accept as creationism." Science is not based on faith. Anything that requires faith is not science. 'Faith' is simply believing in it with no evidence or other merit of proof. Anything that is accepted into the scientific world needs evidence, and that is what it is based on, unlike creationism.

"Couldn't God have made the Earth with age already on it? Thus making it seem as if it has been there for a much longer period of time." On that logic, God can do anything, so that is the answer for any question on creationism. It's not that simple I'm afraid. There needs to be evidence for this for a start, not even the primary source of 'evidence' for creationism, The Bible (which I do not think is evidence at all) supports this. The point I'm making is that you can make up anything to fit the evidence if you say God can do anything, so it is not a valid scientific argument.

Creationism has so much evidence against it (which I am sure will be highlighted later on), but if it should be taught at all, it should be taught in Religious Education classes, not science. How would creationists like it if evolution was taught in RE as an alternative? Religion does not belong in science lessons because it has no scientific merit, and any other theory with that amount of evidence against it would be thrown out of any kind of education, but this is religion and somehow it escapes those rules.

If you have any evidence for Creationism, and not just attacks on evolution, please tell.

Thank you.
resolutionsmasher

Con

First of all here's some examples proving creationism and disproving evolution at the same time.
In 1987 an excavation at a riverbed in Mexico showed dinosaur foot prints along the bottom. What was so peculiar then? When the layer of dino foot prints was removed for testing they found even older human foot prints.
All of the strangly human like monkey bones found in the past 50 years turned out to be either deformed humans or monkeys. There was no actual connection. This information has been stifled by the institutions that provided these studies and can only be confirmed in new studies done by less bias scientists.
While we have observed microevolution (changes withing a species to adapt) we haven't actually seen an example of full blown evolution (actual change in species). This is because it didn't happen and cannot happen.
Radioactive decay measurements taken of our atmosphere show that our atmosphere is only about 6000 to 10000 years old. It couldn't have supported any kind of life before that time.

Next I bring up the point that my opponent made that since creationism is only a theory it shouldn't be taught. Every physics student in high school around the world is taught all of the theories of metaphysics and it is generally agreed upon by scientists that they are only theories. Why then do we still teach them? Because it is justified that we give students all of the possibilities.

A belief is anything that you are convinced of. For example: I believe in gravity. Thus it is my belief. If you believe in science to answer you questions then it is you belief. A faith is a conviction of an individual to BELIEVE certain things and thus science is a faith. (I used dictionary definitions and thus this is undebateable)

As seen in the comments page, evolution is taught on a fairness doctrine in most religious schools. Thus the reverse can be accepted.

I gave a small amount of evidence that creationism is true at the beginning of my case so there.

thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Common_Sense_Please

Pro

First of all here's some examples proving creationism and disproving evolution at the same time." I am interested in this 'finding' and will pursue it further. However, I'm afraid it is not valid for this debate. I believe that there is a lot of ambiguity in the case of the dinosaurs, like how long they lived and what killed them off, but Humans evolved from the mammals that lived before the dinosaurs, through their existence and carried on afterwards. Even if the finding is valid and a human like creature lived around the same time (I very much doubt it was homo sapien) it doesn't interrupt the theory of evolution because dinosaurs are not our ancestors, the mammals are. I'm not saying that the theory that we coexisted is true, (that is another debate all together) but if it is possible, it just shows that the timeline we predicted is inaccurate, not that humans could not have evolved from a common ancestor.

"While we have observed micro evolution." You are correct in saying that we have witnessed this type of evolution, so evolution is possible. We have seen it on a small scale because that is the only thing we can observe in such a small time scale. Total evolution to another species can take hundreds of thousands to millions of years to achieve.

"Radioactive decay measurements taken of our atmosphere show that our atmosphere is only about 6000 to 10000 years old. It couldn't have supported any kind of life before that time." Radio active decay of what? Carbon 14 dating is not possible in the atmosphere. Argon dating is possible. Please elaborate this point so I have enough information to debate it with the correct knowledge. Also, the atmosphere is younger than the Earth and has evolved greatly. The atmosphere might have not been able to sustain life as we know it now, but other organisms exist that had adapted to a younger atmosphere that would kill all other life these days (EG. Methanogens).

"Next I bring up the point that my opponent made that since creationism is only a theory it shouldn't be taught." I did not say that. Creationism is not a theory at all, that was my point. I believe that the theories with the most evidence supporting them should be taught, and even if you take Creationism as a theory, it just doesn't have enough evidence for it, and the evidence against it is staggering.

Having a belief and having faith in that belief are different things. You may have a belief like gravity, but the reason for that belief could be due to scientific reasons or faith, for example. You may believe in God because of faith, and I don't believe in God because of scientific evidence. They are both beliefs but only one is a faith. As I said before, 'Faith' is simply a belief with no evidence or other merit of proof. And just because it comes from a dictionary, it doesn't make it the only definition; there are loads of definitions on the Internet and different dictionaries ect, therefore it is very debatable indeed.

"As seen in the comments page, evolution is taught on a fairness doctrine in most religious schools. Thus the reverse can be accepted." In the UK, it is taught in religious schools because it is in the national curriculum and they don't have a choice, and it is in the national curriculum because it is the most widely accepted theory in science at the moment.

Also, I ask you, where does the idea of creationism come from? The Bible. And where did the bible come from? Men who lived thousands of years ago with extremely little scientific knowledge. There is no basis for Creationism except for that book, which is one of the poorest examples of 'evidence' ever presented in science. Creationism is an extremely old idea from the era where the earth was flat ( Daniel 4:7-8 ). So why believe in creationism and not the fact that the Earth is flat? Evolution comes from scientific observation of the real world.

Still, I can see no true evidence FOR creationism. Evolution can be seen everywhere. Moths can evolve their colour to match their habitat. We can see bacteria evolve antibiotic resistance extremely quickly in hospitals.

As for macro evolution, here is an example:
"In 1988, scientists at Michigan State University created twelve population lines of E. Coli so that they could watch them evolve. Since then, the bacteria have been growing under carefully controlled conditions in a culture containing low concentrations of glucose and high concentrations of citrate. Under oxic conditions (that is, when oxygen is present), E. coli cannot grow on citrate and that inability has long been viewed as a defining characteristic of this important, diverse, and widespread species. Many traits were observed changing over time. Creationists dismissed these changes as micro-evolution. For over 30,000 generations, the E. coli in the experiment did not evolve the ability to grow on citrate. Finally, one of the populations evolved, and gained this ability."

This E coli has evolved into a species that can grow on citrate.

Also, how can you explain the DNA evidence and the relation of different animals' DNA? Chimpanzees and Humans share around 98% of DNA suggesting a common ancestor as Evolution predicted.

Homologous features also pose a problem for Creationism. Why is it that some animals have features of organisms that are suggested to be their ancestors. (EG. Digit bones in hooves of animals and claw bones in bird's wings.)
resolutionsmasher

Con

*sigh*

I hate to do this to you guys but I'm not done with this round and need more time. I'm gonna have to forfeight this round. It's ok though. There's five rounds. Plenty of time to get the lead out, even if we have to miss a round.
Debate Round No. 3
Common_Sense_Please

Pro

Thats fine. I would rather have a decent thought out reply than a rushed one.
resolutionsmasher

Con

resolutionsmasher forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Common_Sense_Please

Pro

Another forfeit? Well, I guess I will conclude my arguments in this round.

I'v realised I haven't used sources. Sorry, I'm new to this so I will put some down now.

Theories can't be proved - http://thebigbangtonow.wordpress.com...

Carbon dating and it's validity- http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...

Faith and whether science is a religion- http://www.thehumanist.org...

This shows some interesting evidence that mammals living with dinosaurs were bigger than expected. http://news.nationalgeographic.com...

E. Coli experiment- http://en.wikipedia.org...

Also, I have found some interesting information about the dinosaur footprints you mentioned, or at least a similar case.

"The color of the elongate dinosaur tracks often differs from that of the surrounding limestone. This color spreads out not only where the imprints can be clearly seen but also out into the less visible digit marks. According to Kuban, this shows that the tracks appear to be of human origin because of secondary sediment that has filled in the tracks. Now that the color of the new material is beginning to change, the original shape of the tracks is becoming more obvious. This, combined with features in the tracks that do not agree with human footprints, such as anterior splaying visible even when the tracks were first discovered, proves that the tracks in the Paluxy River are completely of dinosaurian origin (Kuban 1992).
The resounding evidence against the human footprints has caused even most creationists to admit that the tracks are of dinosaurs, not humans. John Morris investigated the "human" tracks in the Paluxy River during 1970's and published a book arguing that the tracks were indeed humanoid. Morris, who is now the leader of the Institute for Creation Research, later recanted his assertion after visiting the Paluxy sights with Glen Kuban. The Institute for Creation Research admitted, in its Impact article #151, "In view of these developments, none of the four trails at the Taylor site can today be regarded as unquestionably of human origin. The Taylor Trail appears, obviously, dinosaurian, as do two prints thought to be in the Turnage Trail. The Giant Trail has what appears to be dinosaur prints leading toward it, and some of the Ryals tracks seem to be developing claw features, also" (Morris). The group Films for Christ, who released a movie entitled Footprints in Stone which toted the "human" tracks as valid, had a representative present for the meeting with Kuban, and shortly after they took this film out of circulation (Kuban 1992)."

http://www.usd.edu...

I still have not been presented with a single piece of valid, scientific evidence for Creation theory; not only on this debate, but from any resource I have access to. How can something be taught in a science class with no evidence for it, and the only reason being that it is a popular belief? If that is a good enough argument for teaching something in science, there is no reason why other 'beliefs' can be taught. How about Scientology? Most people would laugh at the idea, but it is quite a popular belief in the western world, so surely, their version of creation is also a theory, and must be taught as an alternative.

The church of the flying spaghetti monster is a classic example. If you are not familiar with it, it was created after the Kansas school board ruled that creationism should be taught in science lessons because of their personal beliefs. A man called Bobby Henderson wrote a letter to the school board explaining his 'religion', where the God resembled spaghetti and meatballs and hold a so called 'pastafarian' theory of Creation that he argued must be taught in science classrooms on the same merit as 'Christian' creation.

Here is the open letter- http://www.venganza.org....

Another example of this nature called Russell's Teapot (By Bertrand Russell) shows that 'burden of proof lies upon the sceptic to disprove unfalsifiable claims of religions.' His example was as followed.

"If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."

This is not really about creation, but instead shows how potentially, any belief with no evidence cannot be disproved, giving the illusion of validity. However, It is simply not good enough to be taught in science. http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_teapot

My argument is that anything that does not have evidence and is not a scientifically recognised theory should not be taught in science lessons, as it is simply not science. Creationism can be taught in Religious Education classes because that is what it is; religion. My general conclusion is that science and creation are separate. It wouldn't be right to teach evolution in Sunday School or mention it in sermons would it? So why teach Creation in Science Lessons?

The only reason supporters want it taught is because it challenges their views, and they are worried their children will accept the theory and reject their baseless religious stories. The reality is, evolution is not taught as a fact, it is taught as a theory, and students know that. They are not told, 'this is what happened' they are told 'this is what we think happened at the moment due to the evidence that is available.' When you compare that to creation, where children are told 'This is what happened, it is certain. Evolution isn't definite so creation must be true', which one is better to be taught in science?
resolutionsmasher

Con

I am competing at the district tournament in my state and am thus not able to debate now. I will concede.
Debate Round No. 5
115 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jat93 7 years ago
jat93
just stumbled upon this one. question for pro - i want to learn specifically about the evidence against creationism. any suggestions as to where to start?
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Winner is obvious - CON forfeited two rounds.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
"Moreover, the only definition of prediction is a forecasting of a future event - it's in the very etymology of the word."

http://www.experiencefestival.com...

"In a scientific context, a prediction is a rigorous (often quantitative) statement about what will happen under specific conditions, typically expressed in the form If A is true, then B will also be true."

Notice there is nothing saying it is NECESSARY for a prediction to only apply to future events.

"Confirmed inferences doesn't come close to, say, Newtonian physics."

What exactly do you even mean by confirmed inferences?
Posted by Common_Sense_Please 8 years ago
Common_Sense_Please
I'm not debating the big bang. And we have evidence for evolution, but none for God controlling it. Or God for that matter. There is no valid proof for creation. None at all. And even by the stretch of the imagination someone finds some, it would be minuscule to the amount supporting the Theory of Evolution. I wish people would stop spouting 'facts' with no valid proof.
Posted by bombmaniac 8 years ago
bombmaniac
why do people debate this topic? the big bang theory is a joke. where did the material for the bang come from? why cant they work in tandem just to satisfy everyone? God made the material. it banged. stuff popped out. God controlled evolution, or whatever you get the idea, neither side can win because you can find valid proofs for both sides.
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
"In science, predictions do NOT have to take place in the future. Again, you confuse the colloquial definition of "prediction" and the scientific definition. A scientific prediction is basically saying that If A is true, then B will happen. In order words, it tells us what phenomena will happen under conditions X."

Then it is not the scientific method - hypothesis, observation and replication. Moreover, the only definition of prediction is a forecasting of a future event - it's in the very etymology of the word. You even say yourself that it tells us what WILL happen. Confirmed inferences doesn't come close to, say, Newtonian physics.
Posted by milly1234 8 years ago
milly1234
Both creationism and intelligent design should be taught in science and religious education lessons as Charles Darwin made a significant impact on the way we looked at human evolution and the human race. I simply believe that A single being would be able to create a whole world in just six 24 hour days. That is simply just my point, I accept the opinions of those who believe that God created the world, and the way it works. What about natural disasters? God is punishing those who are innocent, point in case Tsunami of 2004, the death of hundreds upon hundred's of innocent lives sacrificed.
Posted by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
A theory can be proven...
A postulate is something that is true just not explainable.
Posted by Wanted797 8 years ago
Wanted797
Hmmm
Posted by Wanted797 8 years ago
Wanted797
But evidence is something that furnishes proof and a theory cannot be proven.
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