The Instigator
smoothpoints
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
truthseeker613
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

Creationism should not be taught in schools

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Post Voting Period
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after 6 votes the winner is...
smoothpoints
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,823 times Debate No: 27388
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (6)

 

smoothpoints

Pro

My argument is that in a science class in secondary and high school education Darwin's natural selection should be taught in schools across the world without any religious argument being in opposition to it.
It is proven through sound scientific study that over millions of years species' have slowly evolved to their surroundings and have diversified. This is backed up by a huge fossil record and gene studies of current species'.
In my argument I focus primarily on the United States but also as a broader principle. In the states of Texas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Missouri, South Carolina, and Alabama require in their science standards
"students critically analyze key aspects of evolutionary theory."
I believe this is fundamentally wrong as it teaches children to doubt scientific fact and also to take spiritual beliefs AS scientific fact. This is unhealthy for society and seems very backward to revert to primitive human beliefs. I compare it to teaching flat earth as opposition to round earth 'theory'.
I argue that any reference to 'Intelligent Design' or 'Critical Analysis of Evolution' should be removed from education guidelines and that natural selection should be unopposed as scientific fact.
truthseeker613

Con

Thank you for initiating the debate. It is an interesting topic, & I look forward to an enlightening debate.

I want to make it clear from the out set. I am not arguing that 'Intelligent Design' or 'Critical Analysis of Evolution' should/ought be taught, but rather disagreeing with pro's statement that "any reference to 'Intelligent Design' or 'Critical Analysis of Evolution' should be removed from education guidelines and that natural selection should be unopposed as scientific fact."

I am in favor of the right of a school to decide that it will teach a balanced approach to science in general, and specifically Darwin's theory of evolution. This can best be summed up in the words, "Teach the controversy".

If we do not criticize science, we are doomed to repeat it.

It is quite prevalent for scientific ideas to be found wrong.[1]

Even in recent history, even the great Albert Einstein, held scientific beliefs which he swore by, that are now rejected by science, some of them even he was forced to reject due to new discoveries within his life time.[2]

I personally believe that most "scientific" beliefs held by science today, will be obsolete within the next few hundred/thousand years.
Today's science books will be tomorrows history books, today's science fiction will be tomorrows patents"
History does repeat itself, and if the past is any indication of the future, there's no reason to expect scientific turn-over to stop.
&, apparently I'm not the only one that thinks this way.
Paul Lutus - "As just one example, Newton's "Law of Gravity" has been replaced by Einstein's "Law of Gravity" and, because of some theoretical problems, Einstein's "Law of Gravity" will eventually be replaced by a new "Law of Gravity" that is unknown at present."[3] ( He wasn't actually making this point here, he was just illustrating that there is no such thing as a "law" in science, but that rather everything is a theory. However his last line indicates quite strongly that he would agree.)

Pro states that Darwin's theory of natural selection is "backed up by a huge fossil record..."

This is in fact one of the weakest points in Darwin's theory of evolution, leading to wild theories such as punctuated equilibrium. In fact Darwin himself said:
"Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record."
-Origin of Species (292)[4]
Well the record is pretty complete now & there are still missing links.

Many evolutionists rejected Darwin's theory of evolution over 20 years ago. Stephen Jay Gould, a professor at Harvard University and one of the foremost authorities on evolution in the world said, "The extreme rarity of transitional forms (missing links) in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontologists,...we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study". Natural History, Vol. 86. Gould is still an evolutionist, he just rejects much of Darwin's theory.

Mark Ridley, another evolutionist from Oxford University said in The New Scientist magazine in June 1981 p 831, "a lot of people just do not know what evidence the theory of evolution stands upon. They think that the main evidence is the gradual descent of one species from another in the fossil record. ...In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationalist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation." Because the fossils simply do not support many small changes between kinds over a long period of time, many evolutionists have at least been honest enough to admit this and have come up with a new theory called, "punctuated equilibrium" or the "hopeful monster theory". From the fossil record, they know that change didn't take place in small gradual steps, so they assume that the change took place in quick "quantum leaps" over long periods of time. In Darwin's theory, the changes were so slow and gradual that science cannot observe the evolution. The new theory says the change takes place so quickly it that too cannot be observed.

Because of the compete lack of missing links, evolutionists now accept as fact what creationists predicted from the creation model all along; namely, that no transitional fossils would be found. Evolutionists that still use Darwin or the fossil record as evidence of their theory in the '90's, are like stubborn and closed minded old country doctors who have not kept up with the latest developments of science. Then there are those who cannot even consider the possibility that there is a creator God. These scientists are so biased that they cannot not see how much better all the scientific data fits the creation model of origins as opposed to the evolution model.

Archaeopteryx, a star attraction "link" between reptile and bird has been refuted . Nature Magazine, Vol. 322, p677, "Fossil Bird Shakes evolutionary Hypotheses", reported this in 1986, "Fossil remains claimed to be of two crow-sized birds 75 million years older than Archaeopteryx have been found...a paleontologist at Texas Tech University, who found the fossils, says they have advanced avian features. ...tend to confirm what many paleontologists have long suspected, that Archaeopteryx is not on the direct line to modern birds."

Australopithecus or "Lucy", another big star to the evolutionists' stage show, has also been discarded by many evolutionists. Even the Leakey's never believed it had anything to do with the evolution of man. With good reason, they considered it simply and extinct ape. It stood three feet tall, had arms that hung down to the ankles and had a brain one third the size of humans. Adrienne Zihlman, U.C. Santa Cruze, said, "Zihlman compares the pigmy chimpanzee to 'Lucy', one of the oldest hominid fossils known, and finds the similarities striking. They are almost identical in body size, in stature and in brain size...indicates that pygmy chimps use their limbs much the same way Lucy did..." Science News, Vol. 123, Feb. 5, 1983, p89 [5]

Pro goes on to write: "I believe this is fundamentally wrong as it teaches children to doubt scientific fact."
In my opinion that's a good thing, we should doubt "Scientific fact". Doubt, not deny,disregard, degrade or, disrespect.
A healthy dose of doubt is what science needs. Science is becoming over rated and over confident. Science needs to slow down, and admit that, they don't know certain things for sure. Science can speculate, observe, and theorize, but the term "scientific fact" gets thrown around way to much, and leads to embarrassing mistakes. Evolution is called a theory for a reason, I don't mean to say it's baseless, but there are many problems, & tons of different opinions.

Pro continues by saying, "This is unhealthy for society".

I presume in the next round he will elaborate on why exactly this is "unhealthy for society"

[1]
http://www.toptenz.net...
http://blog.chron.com...
http://listverse.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://superseded-scientific-theories.redconceptual.com...
http://answers.google.com...

[2] http://www.slate.com...

[3] http://arachnoid.com...

[4] http://www.seekthetruth.org...

[5] http://www.bible.ca...
Debate Round No. 1
smoothpoints

Pro

Thank you to Con for taking up my challenge and debating this topic with me.

I understand your argument to be for a debate in science classrooms about Darwin's natural selection and a level of criticism being put against it.

Con begins his argument with:

'It is quite prevalent for scientific ideas to be found wrong.'

I agree with this point that it is common for scientific theories to be superseded by better ones and the example of the development of the laws of gravity is valid. I would also like to remind him that the theory of evolution is not a new idea. The earliest form of evolution is over 2000 years old with Aristotle"s 'Spontaneous Generation'. Evolution is the refined descendant of many similar theories.(1)However this is a theory within the realms of Physics which is generally much more theoretical than Biology. Within Biology and focusing specifically on evolution, solid evidence has cemented the theory over the last hundred years and it is of high importance that Evolution has the full support modern scientific circles and academia alike(2). Evolution is a theory which has sound evidence supporting it(3); more than many scientific theories taught in the classroom.

Science is a process. The methods of science are much more important than any particular result. Indeed, the self-correcting process of science has on rare occasions resulted in big shifts in thinking. Within living memory, geologists dismissed the idea that the crust of the planet could move as crazy. Now we know that plate tectonics has radically reshaped our planet. However the work of scientists in accredited institutes and universities is of a very different importance to the teaching of science in the classroom. The role of scientists is of course, to come up with new theories and improve ones we already have. The role of science in the classroom is to build the foundations of a solid understanding of modern scientific processes and to give students the ideas of the most important new scientific theories and principles of modern day science.

Why then is Evolution, a well established theory, deserving of such profuse criticism and among all scientific theories the most scrutinised?

The answer is the modern creationist movement that has gained pace over the last twenty years. Institutions like the Discovery institute and American Freedom Alliance among many others have masked creationist principles as legitimate scientific opposition to Evolution(4). The most prominent among these is the 'Intelligent Design' movement put forward by the discovery institute. In 2005 Intelligent Design found to be unsuitable to be taught in Pennsylvania schools.

'Judge John Jones of the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that requiring intelligent design in public school science lessons amounts to promotion of religion, and is therefore unconstitutional. In doing so, he sided with mainstream science organisations and rebutted almost every argument made in favour of intelligent design, calling it the "progeny of creationism" '(5)

Con argues that there should be a general scientific principle to "Teach the controversy". This very phrase is the brainchild of the Discovery Institute and although I could not agree more that scientific theory should be closely scrutinised at the academic level and this is paramount to improvement in science this is not the place of secondary and high-school education as although there could be a lively debate about evolution there could be no alternative or improvement put forward at that level because the students have not received PhD. Level scientific training. This kind of criticism in the classroom even if it originated with good intent would undoubtedly be high jacked by creationists. And although con puts forward a convincing case showing where various scientific principles have been superseded by better theories creationism I think we can both agree is not a valid principle to take the place of evolution nor ever will be. No matter how much creationists cover up their principles, for example their attendance at many scientific conferences(6) at its core it is pseudo-science based on religion.

Religion has no place in the science class. Religion is not science and never will be, it is a dangerous game to begin to try and prove faith with science and one that is causing enough damage to worldwide science already without it being injected into the classroom as a wolf in sheep"s clothing; Creationism dressed up as Intelligent Design or anything similar.

In his final paragraph Con makes the point that Evolution is 'only a theory'. I would like to remind him that in the scientific use 'Theory' takes on a different meaning to its use in the everyday(7). In science 'Theory' is A supposition of a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained: 'Darwin's Theory of Evolution'. In the everyday sense we use it to describe what is supposed to happen, especially in a negative context: e.g. 'In theory the hovercraft with fly'.

In his closing words Con asks me to elaborate on what I meant by 'unhealthy for society'. In the context I was using (the criticism of science from a religious base) I meant that well established scientific fact should not be doubted because it is in conflict with literal interpretations of religious scripture. Cons position is that of a doubt of science, which as I have made clear I support at the level of science that could come up with a better theory but not in the classroom. A student in this context could be easily pushed into doubting science and further fuelling the neo-creationist(8) movement. In my opinion any modern attempt in the U.S to fuel a debate against Evolution is a cover for a much less wholesome idea of trying to teach students creationism in the science class.

Again I thanks Con for joining me in this interesting debate. In the next round I hope Con to elaborate on this phrase:
'If we do not criticize science, we are doomed to repeat it.'

Sources:
(1) http://assets.cambridge.org...
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
'Evidence and Evolution: The Logic Behind the Science' Elliott Sober
http://assets.cambridge.org...
(3) 'The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution' Richard Dawkins
(4) http://www.newscientist.com...
(5) http://www.newscientist.com...
(6) http://www.newscientist.com...
(7) Oxford English Dictionary: Theory
(8) http://www.icr.org...
truthseeker613

Con

Thank you pro for a good debate so far.

Pro wrote:
"I understand your argument to be for a debate in science classrooms about Darwin's natural selection and a level of criticism being put against it."

Let me repeat what I wrote:

"I want to make it clear from the outset. I am not arguing that 'Intelligent Design' or 'Critical Analysis of Evolution' should/ought be taught, but rather disagreeing with pro's statement that "any reference to 'Intelligent Design' or 'Critical Analysis of Evolution' should be removed from education guidelines and that natural selection should be unopposed as scientific fact."

I am in favor of the right of a school to decide that it will teach a balanced approach to science in general, and specifically Darwin's theory of evolution. This can best be summed up in the words, "Teach the controversy"."

Pro makes a very interesting point that biology is less speculative than physics.
This is somewhat of a straw man as my examples were not primarily fro, physics. For example:

http://blog.chron.com...:

Miasmatic theory of disease

Stress theory of ulcers

Immovable continents

The four humors" theory of human physiology

(Static universe)

A young Earth: In the mid-1800s many scientists, including Lord Kelvin, believed the Earth to be just 20 million to 40 million years old.

All scientific thinking up to a point (long before Darwin/Lamarck) held that all species of life were immutable and had all existed in their current form since they came into being.

Lamarckian Theory of Evolution

The theory that proteins were the heritable molecules and not DNA (which was thought to be structural).

It was taught from antiquity until the 1600s that the arteries circulated air as part of respiration. The true role of the heart in circulation was discovered by William Harvey on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals

DDT is safe.

Tobacco is good for your health.

Original abiogenists theories- certain complex, living organisms are generated by decaying organic substances. According to Aristotle, it was a readily observable truth that aphids arise from the dew which falls on plants, flies from putrid matter, mice from dirty hay, crocodiles from rotting logs at the bottom of bodies of water, and so on.

The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology, that genetic information flows from DNA to RNA to protein with no reversals. Then, of course, retroviruses were discovered, among other exceptions.

Using leeches and bleeding as a form of cure.

Phrenology

Panspermia

Phlogiston

Eugenics

Pro accuses me of saying "that Evolution is 'only a theory' "

I was afraid of being misunderstood in this way; I therefore worded my statement very clearly.
My point was not to say "it's only a theory", I was coming in opposition to pros calling evolution "scientific fact".
I will past here my exact words so you don't need to go back:

"Pro goes on to write: "I believe this is fundamentally wrong as it teaches children to doubt scientific fact."
In my opinion that's a good thing, we should doubt "Scientific fact". Doubt, not deny, disregard, degrade or, disrespect.
A healthy dose of doubt is what science needs. Science is becoming over rated and over confident. Science needs to slow down, and admit that, they don't know certain things for sure. Science can speculate, observe, and theorize, but the term "scientific fact" gets thrown around way too much, and leads to embarrassing mistakes. Evolution is called a theory for a reason, I don't mean to say it's baseless, but there are many problems, & tons of different opinions."

I hope it is now clear what I said.

I thank pro for elaborating on his statement that doubting science is "unhealthy for society".
But I fail to see what the big deal is.

1st of all, they don"t doubt science as a whole, they are hearing what they consider to be a scientific alternative to Darwin"s theory of evolution, which fits their religious beliefs. Science at large is not in question.

2ndly, practically speaking, what"s the difference? Why is it unhealthy for society?

My opponent wrote: "I compare it to teaching flat earth as opposition to round earth 'theory'."

Well, that"s a very interesting point, why is there no controversy any more over round earth even though it contradicts church doctrine, but there is regarding evolution? The reason is round earth is vastly superior to the theory of evolution.

Four grades of scientific speculation:
A. description of repeatable, observable phenomena - science has maximum credibility, though fallible
B. interpolation
C. extrapolation - beyond tested boundaries
D. deep theory - postulating unobservable entities on the sole ground that they would explain observations.

Some facts that need to be considered:

The majority of the American public:
More Americans believe in intelligent design than evolution. [1]
It is presumable that those people want do not want I.T. to be banned from science class.
The tax payers of America have a right to choose how their tax money is used and what their children learn.

Separation of Church & state:

Separation of Church & state works both ways, evolution is considered by many to be against their religion.
They should have the right to hear alternatives as well.

There are a significant # of scientists that don't accept evolution:

A 2009 poll by Pew Research Center 13% of scientists say evolution is not due to natural processes, such as natural selection.

20 page list of scientists that reject evolution. [3]

Scientific Problems with the evidence for evolution:
A. originally adopted against both the best current age of the earth and the conception of inheritance as blending, and missing its own crucial fossil evidence - this shows the bias of the scientific community in favor of the theory [better any naturalistic explanation than scientific bankruptcy!]

B. the theory asserts that life is the result of unguided, accidental, "random," processes without providing an estimate of the probability of success - the theory is not precise enough to be evaluated for credibility

C. misuse of data - black/white moths - no new forms implies no support for evolution; persistence of white form implies (extremely weak) evidence against evolution.

D. misuse of data - "evolution" of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, insects resistant to insecticides- can be explained without evolution if a subpopulation were already resistant

E. misuse of data - the gap between micro-evolution and macro-evolution

F. homology [def. limbs or organs with similar structure serving different purposes]
- the claim: evolution (common descent) and nothing else can explain homology - both parts of the claim are false: (1) evolution cannot explain homology since homologous structures have dissimilar genetic coding (due to pleiotropy) and embryological development; (2) usefulness and "parallel evolution" are alternative explanations

G. fossil record lacks intermediary forms - theory of "punctuated equilibrium" explains why we will not find evidence of its truth [!] - does nothing for big gaps
(Fox-like mammal to whale; insects; flowering plants; etc.)

H. most extinctions due to catastrophes - no evidence of any extinctions due to competition

I. no credible (even hypothetical) account of the origin of the first self-replicator,
DNA/proteins, the cell, human intelligence [4]

[1]
http://www.gallup.com...
http://www.gallup.com...
[2] http://www.people-press.org...
[3] http://www.discovery.org...
[4] http://www.dovidgottlieb.com... See there for individual primary sources.
Debate Round No. 2
smoothpoints

Pro

Point: Pro creation polls.

'More Americans believe in intelligent design than evolution. '

On further inspection of the source I find this claim to be false.

Although not a majority, though these statistics do point to a staggering proportion of Americans, 46% who hold 'that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years. ' Most Americans are not scientists, of course, and cannot be expected to understand all of the latest evidence and competing viewpoints on the development of the human species. Still, it would be hard to dispute that most scientists who study humans agree that the species evolved over millions of years, and that relatively few scientists believe that humans began in their current form only 10,000 years ago without the benefit of evolution. Thus, almost half of Americans today hold a belief, at least as measured by this question wording, that is at odds with the preponderance of the scientific literature.

The belief that humans are 10,000 years old is totally wrong and can be easily proved so. There are cave paintings that come from 40,000 years ago(1) and tools have been found 1.4 million years old(2).

Point 4: Support of Scientific Community

'A 2009 poll by Pew Research Center 13% of scientists say evolution is not due to natural processes, such as natural selection. '

This first statement is seemingly false. Looking at the source by the Pew Research Centre, I found that the actual fact was that 'Nearly all scientists (97%) say humans and other living things have evolved over time'.(3) Con's other source, the discovery institutes collection of signatures 'against Darwinism' under close analysis was proved to have only 0.01% of signatures listed being in relevant field(4).

Looking further into the issue and evaluating sources on the internet I find that the vast majority of sources point to a near unanimous support of scientists of evolution. One source by Brian Alters, an expert in the evolution-creationism controversy states that '99.9% of scientists accept evolution'(5). In October 2005, a coalition representing more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science teachers issued a statement saying "intelligent design is not science" and calling on "all schools not to teach Intelligent Design (ID) as science, because it fails to qualify on every count as a scientific theory"(6). I found an extensive list of prominent scientific organisations that have issued statements in support of evolution.(7)

Evidence for Evolution

The evidence for evolution has primarily come from four sources:

  1. The fossil record of change in earlier species.

  2. The chemical and anatomical similarities of related life forms.

  3. The geographic distribution of related species.

  4. The recorded genetic changes in loving organisms over many generations.

Con states that mutations are 'not precise enough to be evaluated for credibility'. All I can say to this is that as with the case with natural processes, the precise figures you are looking for are hard to find if possible to find at all. And how do you measure something that's happening on a cellular level in a living thing, you can't put cells under a microscope and watch them mutate as it's a very subtle process.

The persistence of the white moth con argues is evidence against evolution. The persistence of the white moth is due to a reversal of environmental conditions so that darker moths adaption is no longer as useful(9). I fail to see how this is evidence against evolution, could Con elaborate?

Con uses the gap between micro and macro evolution as evidence against. Contrary to this belief among the anti-evolution movement proponents, evolution of life forms beyond the species level ("macroevolution", i.e. speciationin a specific case) has indeed been observed multiple times under both controlled laboratory conditions and in nature.

Con claims 'most extinctions due to catastrophes - no evidence of any extinctions due to competition'. This statement is totally false. Can I use the example of the grey squirrels pushing the red squirrels to the edge of extinction in the UK due to their larger size and competition over food. The dodo was made extinct due to introduction of new species and competition to its native island.

Con's final point was:

'no credible (even hypothetical) account of the origin of the first self-replicator, DNA/proteins, the cell, human intelligence'

I found this to be a very interesting point and leads to a great question, what was the first life form? This is one of the main reasons people have faith in God. How can something come out of nothing? The answer of course to them is God. Science hasn't found the answer to this question, yet. But a recent study found that oil Oil droplets, under the right conditions creep purposefully through their watery environment, metabolize fuel, sense their surroundings and perhaps even replicate. These could be clues to early life.

Closing arguments

A point which I have so far failed to mention is the legality of teaching creation in schools. The 'Establishment Clause' in the Constitution states that congress “Shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion. The prevalence of Christianity in the U.S makes it inescapable that any form of creationism would undoubtedly be coming from a Christian perspective. Therefore this would be illegal. This is why Intelligent Design is not openly creationism as it comes from a heavily Christian perspective(10) and this is why it chooses particular legally chosen language. Any implementation of Creationism in the US would be unconstitutional.

I would like to finish my arguments highlighting that I have a respect for religious people and people are free to think whatever they like. The issue with me is that the three fields of science, biology, chemistry and physics should remain pure in their science. I think that religion and evolution do not have to be in contention. I quote Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury on creationism:

"I think creationism is ... a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories ... if creationism is presented as a stark alternative theory alongside other theories I think there's just been a jarring of categories ... My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it,"

It's not as if when the biblical scholars of the old testament sat down and thought, “right, how am I going to explain this”. The religious texts should be taken on a spiritual level, metaphorical for a divine creators true intent if you believe in that. The modern creationist movement is based on misguided interpretations of religious texts and any effort to have their misguided interpretations put into teaching syllabuses is a grave mistake which will affect a students understanding of evolution, and more widely, science.

Many thanks to my opponent for an enlightening debate. I ended up very squeezed for space and have posted an extra quote in comments.

  1. http://news.nationalgeographic.com...

  2. http://www.wired.com...

  3. http://www.people-press.org...( same as con)

  4. http://www.nsf.gov...

  5. http://nihrecord.od.nih.gov...

  6. http://www.science.unsw.edu.au...

  7. http://ncse.com...;

  8. http://anthro.palomar.edu...

  9. http://www.millerandlevine.com...

  10. http://www.bbc.co.uk...

  11. http://www.nap.edu...

truthseeker613

Con

What I wrote got erased so I just have this. It should be enough though.

Green text is direct quotations from pro

Pro writes:

'More Americans believe in intelligent design than evolution. '

On further inspection of the source I find this claim to be false.

Although not a majority, though these statistics do point to a staggering proportion of Americans, 46% who hold 'that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.

I chose my words very carefully; I did not say “the majority”. What I said was: More Americans believe in intelligent design than evolution”.

“Most Americans are not scientists”

My point is not that since so many Americans believe it, it must be true.

The point I am making is that what schools teach should take into account the public / tax payers / citizen’s opinion. We are a democracy. If there are more Americans who support teaching I.T. / not teaching evolution, that must be taken into account in some way. They should not be ignored.

My opponent brings up separation of church & state.

I agree. But it works both ways. The government cannot force people to learn things that contradict their religious beliefs. (Unless there is a very compelling reason such as harm to other citizens.) Therefor, I believe that schools should be able to teach both. There are a # of ways of doing this; everyone learns both, School get to choose, 2 parallel classes & parents get to choose etc. But to say everyone must learn Darwinian evolution, & no school may even supplement it with alternatives / criticism is to discriminate against some religious beliefs. A compromise should be worked out to allow schools the option of not discriminating against these religious beliefs.”

“'A 2009 poll by Pew Research Center 13% of scientists says evolution is not due to natural processes, such as natural selection.’

This first statement is seemingly false. Looking at the source by the Pew Research Centre, I found that the actual fact was that 'Nearly all scientists (97%) say humans and other living things have evolved over time'”

Again I choose my words very carefully, there is no contradiction between what I said, & what pro said, they are simply different parts of the same study. (I do appreciate pro writing “This first statement is seemingly false” giving me the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming that it was false. This makes it a true pleasure to debate with him, & I think he deserves the point for conduct).

The reason they are not contradictory is this:

I wrote:

13% of scientists say evolution is not due to natural processes, such as natural selection. “

Pro wrote:

97% of scientists say humans and other living things have evolved over time.

These are both from the same study. All it means is that 3% reject any sort of evolution over time, (& 97% accept it). Another 10% believe in evolution, but believe that it is not due to “natural processes, such as natural selection”.

Evidence for Evolution

The evidence for evolution has primarily come from four sources:

  1. 1. The fossil record of change in earlier species.”

As stated earlier, the fossil record is one of the biggest problems for evolution, and has been so ever since its inception. Darwin recognized the problem but attributed it to the incomplete fossil record. Now the fossil record is complete and there are still gaps. This problem has lead scientists to say ridiculous things like punctuated equilibrium, which is taught in biology classes makes no sense is a disgrace to science. Science really should say “we don’t know” instead of stupidity like punctuated equilibrium. Punctuated equilibrium makes even less sense than I.T.


All the evidence for evolution does not show evolution to be correct. Rather they are details which fit with evolution. I.T. can also be correct.

Pro seems to have misunderstood my final section entitled “Scientific Problems with the evidence for evolution:”

He understood it to be evidence against evolution, & thus had a # of problems with what was written.

All evidence was contained in the link.

Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
devient.genie
Agnosticism is putting the probability of god on par with the improbability of god. Its as bogus a label as atheist is a bogus label.

Bigotry 11:14--Atheist is a bogus word. There is No word for someone who does Not believe in astrology or horoscopes, there is Not a name for someone who doesnt believe leprechauns are at the end of rainbows, there is Not a name for a person who does not believe there is a tea pot orbiting the andromeda galaxy. Why is there a name for someone who does Not believe the reason for everything is a homophobe :)

GrowUp 16:1--The best words for "nonbelievers" in leprechauns at the end of rainbows, are sane and logical, the same words should be used for those who are nonbelievers that the reason for everything rested on the 7th day and can convict you of thought crimes :)

You cant prove or disporve leprechauns at the end of rainbows, are we agnostic to leprechauns?

How about the tooth fairy? Flying horses called unicorns? Thor? The golden calf?

Hobgoblins? The list could go forever.

GAMEOVER 4:6--What about transitional fossils to show a link from water to land evolution millions of years ago? Tiktaalik, the discovery, made by Edward B. Daeschler of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Neil H. Shubin from the University of Chicago, and Harvard University Professor Farish A. Jenkins, Jr, was published in the April 6, 2006 issue of 'Nature' and quickly recognized as a classic example of a transitional form. Jennifer A. Clack, a Cambridge University expert on tetrapod evolution, said of Tiktaalik, "It's one of those things you can point to and say, 'I told you this would exist,' and there it is." :)
Posted by truthseeker613 4 years ago
truthseeker613
You did say:
"I'm an atheist who is simply willing to admit that I don't know for sure and I don't think anyone truly does"

Which fits perfectly with:

Wikipedia:
Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims"especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims"are unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable.[1][2][3]...

However based on your statement: "...nor do I particularly care whether or not there is to be honest."

I would classify your beliefs as "Apathetic agnosticism".

But of course your free to classify yourself as you wish.

If you are an atheist I wouldn't mind debating agnosticism vs. Atheism.
Posted by CapitalistPig 4 years ago
CapitalistPig
@truthseeker the main difference between me and agnostics though is that they don't believe there is a god but they dont discount the idea. I however, think it's an outrageous idea - but considering there have been so many religions for so long who knows. But I personally don't think there is a god nor do I particularly care whether or not there is to be honest.. I do my best however not to state things that bluntly out of fear of insulting those with beliefs because I feel people have a right to believe whatever they'd like as long as their beliefs to negatively effect others.
Posted by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
I must state, though, that I agree with Pro, although on very different grounds.
Posted by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
Pros R3 arguments were really bad, but I'm not going to help out Con on it. Pro also wildly went over the 8000 character limit.
Posted by truthseeker613 4 years ago
truthseeker613
So your agnostic. (Like me)

Wikipedia:
Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims"especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims"are unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable.[1][2][3]...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by CapitalistPig 4 years ago
CapitalistPig
@truthseeker613 I classify myself as an atheist because I personally don't believe there is a god - but that's exactly my point I don't BELIEVE there is a god but I have no way of proving it. I'm an atheist who is simply willing to admit that I don't know for sure and I don't think anyone truly does - but I respect everyone's beliefs and their right to believe what they like.
Posted by smoothpoints 4 years ago
smoothpoints
'The recorded genetic changes in living organisms over many generations'
Posted by truthseeker613 4 years ago
truthseeker613
what was this supposed to say?

"4. The recorded genetic changes in loving organisms over many generations"
Posted by truthseeker613 4 years ago
truthseeker613
@ capitalisticpig:
Hi there. you seem to believe that "we simply don't know for sure." which is something that I believe as well.
But I don't understand why you call yourself an atheist, you should classify yourself as an agnostic.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
smoothpointstruthseeker613Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Not a fan of big text. CON's closing statement scared me off from reading this rather lengthy debate. One point for conduct goes to PRO.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
smoothpointstruthseeker613Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter badbob. EDIT: Counter LaL36.
Vote Placed by LaL36 4 years ago
LaL36
smoothpointstruthseeker613Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con slightly won in terms of his argument because he gave me an open mind. Good debate guys
Vote Placed by badbob 4 years ago
badbob
smoothpointstruthseeker613Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Better arguments by con.
Vote Placed by UltimateSkeptic 4 years ago
UltimateSkeptic
smoothpointstruthseeker613Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con fell victim to the science class debate. Beceause Creationism doesn't follow the scientific method, it cannot be taught in science class, a point well refined by Pro. Con attempted to counter by saying because more people believe in creationism or evolution, it is warranted. That claim doesn't warrant truth, so arguments go to Pro.
Vote Placed by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro because Con had an outrageous font in R3, arguments to Con for better debate structure and arguments, and replying to Pro's straw man of Con's arguments. I do not agree with either the Pro resolution or its Con. I will tie S/G and souces