The Instigator
JustAnAtheist
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
headphonegut
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Evolution is a scientific fact that every decent thinker should accept

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
headphonegut
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 12/18/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 611 times Debate No: 67286
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)

 

JustAnAtheist

Pro

Evolution is a scientific fact, that has been proved by lots of fossil records, DNA evidence, cross breeding and even observation (for example in bacteria).
headphonegut

Con

Hello my esteemed opponent. Thank you for this most engaging debate. I am using this round to accept.

Feel free to define terms you deem relevant for clarity. I look forward to this discourse.
Debate Round No. 1
JustAnAtheist

Pro

Evolution is the scientific theory of changing of species from a common ancestor through random mutations in the genetic code and not random natural selection.

"A scientific theory 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."
An repeatedly tested and through observation and experimentation confirmed explanation is like a fact, don't you agree? For there is evidence to support the scientific theory of evolution, be it through genetics or observation or the huge fossil record.
For example nobody questions gravity, which is also a theory.
headphonegut

Con

I accept my opponents definition of evolution that it is a scientific theory, and further accept his defense of that definition.

My opponent poses a question: "An repeatedly tested and through observation and experimentation confirmed explanation is like a fact". I do not agree, but it is important to note that my colleague offers no reason to accept this assertion; instead poses a question asking your opinion. I ask my opponent that they profer a reason for us to accept their assertion. I further inquire as to the resolution: Why do decent thinkers need to/should accept it (evolution) as fact.

I will be putting forth a simple argument.
If we are all going to die eventually, then it would be reasonable to seek pleasure in the form of: Affirmation, physical, emotional, or avoid pain be it physical or emotional.
So if a drug addict finds pleasure in numbing himself out that is fine. It is also fine if those around the addict want to make the drug addict stop using drugs.

Simply because they are imposing on the addict it does not violate or negate my argument. They seek out pleasure in the form of making the addict conform to their view of society. I am essentially saying no action is good or evil.

Which brings me to my conclusion: My opponent has not provided any compelling reason that: Decent thinkers should/need to take evolution as fact. I have zero interest in making this debate about religion vs evolution or one about definition.

They are essentially saying it is of moral consequence or imperative that decent thinkers accept evolution as fact. The underlying implication being for the betterment of society or advancement of science or something, but why is it necessary?
Debate Round No. 2
JustAnAtheist

Pro

My opponent poses a question: "An repeatedly tested and through observation and experimentation confirmed explanation is like a fact". I do not agree, but it is important to note that my colleague offers no reason to accept this assertion."

I can give you an example of what I mean with "is like a fact".
For example you see a plant in the sun grow, and you see another plant in a shadow die.
You ask yourself, why does the plant in the shadow die? Does it need sun to survive?
Now you test through observation and experimentation if sunlight does affect the growth of the plant.
You see that all plants that are in the dark die, and all plants in the sun grow.
Now you can conclude that the plant that you just experimented and observed, in fact need sunlight to grow.
Now that you have your conclusion, you test, rather or not that conclusion is true or not.
If it is, you can consider it a fact, since it is proved to be true.
The same goes for evolution. Scientists asked themselves why there is such a variety of species. They asked, too, since fossils show a slow change of species over time, rather is has to do with random changes or not and rather or not there is a non random component, that leads to this changes.
They observed and experimented and came to the conclusion that there are random mutations within the species and that some of these mutations were more likely to be successful in the natural world than others. They saw that the individuals with negative mutations were more likely to die off. Those with mutations that helped them reproduce and survive were more likely to live and carry on their genes.
All this can be seen in the fossil record and furthermore in the DNA, in which one can even see the mutations.
Since it's a theory that is tested to be a 100% accurate, it can be considered a fact.
A decent thinker would consider this argumentation logical, therefore accept it. If you are a decent thinker and come to another conclusion, test it, prove it, and receive your Nobel Prize.

"The underlying implication being for the betterment of society or advancement of science or something, but why is it necessary?"
I honestly do not either want to make this debate about religion vs evolution. So I'm going to show you another point.
It simply shows us where we come from. And isn't that an important thing for us to know?
You make decisions on where you come from, what you are now and where you want to go (in a metaphorical sense).
If you don't know where our species comes from, you may make the wrong decisions on where we as a species want to go to.
Which could lead to the annihilation of our species.

"If we are all going to die eventually, then it would be reasonable to seek pleasure in the form of: Affirmation, physical, emotional, or avoid pain be it physical or emotional.
So if a drug addict finds pleasure in numbing himself out that is fine"

The problem with drug addiction is, that is tricks you into thinking that it is good for you, when in reality,
you lose your social life, you have physical and emotional stress if you can't get the drug, you may rob other people to get the money for the drug. Furthermore it may destroy your body and brain, which in most definitions is not such a positive thing.

I hope I could clear the questions that you had and make a clear point.
headphonegut

Con

Thank you for your timely response.

I will start off first defending my position: Seeing both sides of the same coin. My opponent says a bad action(s) will eventually lead to your death. We must beg the question will a good action(s) lead to transcendence? He outlined a progressively grim scenario that implies alternative self improvement will lead to a good life. My opponent assumes the only actions relevant to your life are your own, so seeking the good everything will be better and better. It is a trap easy to fall into. A "dualistic" way of thinking i.e. their are only two options in life.

My opponent ascribed consequences of doing drugs, but we must note a drug has no ulterior motive; the ascribed actions show how my opponent feels about drug use. That it is bad, and illustrates why so. An addict would most likely feel that it is good, and I'm sure they could detail just how good it is. They are both making an error in thought; however one is seeking pleasure, and that is fine. My point being: What will be should be.

Moving to his argument:
We are not talking about "A" decent thinker. We are discussing every decent thinker. Although we have not defined "decent thinker," I am assuming it's self explanatory. There are many scientists who are creationists, and probably some who are scientologists.
Whatever their profession there are many decent thinkers who do not accept evolution as fact.
My opponent proposes that 1) Decent thinkers find his argument logical and 2) they accept it.
Why? For what purpose *should* they accept it.

Pertaining to his example given:
The example is fallacious because
1 we can test the plant a living thing.
2 We cannot test assumptions made on observations i.e. the slow change of species over time.
Furthermore his argument is unsubstantiated and we have no reason to take it as truth.

Moving to his assertion:
"It simply shows us where we come from". I now pose a question: why is it an important thing for us to know? My opponent then engages in reductio ad absurdum i.e. if we don't know where we come from all of us will die.

Conclusion: My opponent has not given a reason why decent thinkers *should* accept evolution as fact. My position remains if doing drugs makes someone happy that is fine. If they end up robbing someone that too is fine. If they end up dying that is also fine. Saying they imposed on someone or aggressed against them is correct, but ultimately irrelevant. You are imagining their actions in a place where the addict and the robbed are not eachothers entire reality (for a short time), and that the action is a bad one. If the man or woman find affirmation or avoid pain in defending themselves that is also fine.
Debate Round No. 3
JustAnAtheist

Pro

Thank you too for your response.

There are several things that you said, that I think are to be corrected.
First of all, you said "My opponent says a bad action(s) will eventually lead to your death. We must beg the question will a good action(s) lead to transcendence?"
I did not say that bad actions will definitely lead to your death. I said they could lead to that. They don't necessarily have to.
There can be other negative effects of bad actions than death.

"There are many scientists who are creationists, and probably some who are scientologists."
There are some scientists who are creationists. I agree with your there, but still "mong members of the National Academy of Sciences, only 7.0% expressed personal belief, while 72.2% expressed disbelief and another 20.8% were agnostic concerning the existence of a personal god who answers prayer." (- wikipedia)
This shows, that it is totally irrelevant, if scientists believe in a god or not. Besides, we're debating if evolution should be accepted as a fact or not.

You said that "we cannot test assumptions made on observations i.e. the slow change of species over time.
Furthermore his argument is unsubstantiated and we have no reason to take it as truth."
We can test the slow change of species over time. There have been tests of the changing of species within bacteria over time. The results show that, bacteria can get immune to anti-biotics, which is a change of species over time.

"My opponent then engages in reductio ad absurdum i.e. if we don't know where we come from all of us will die."
That is just not true. What I said is, that "if you don't know where our species comes from, you may make the wrong decisions on where we as a species want to go to." I did not say that we are all going to die, which we technically will, because immortality does not exist among humans, yet. What I meant was, that we could make the wrong decisions.

"My opponent has not given a reason why decent thinkers *should* accept evolution as fact."
Yes I did. It is a proved, well observed, well tested scientific theory, which is, why one should accept it as a fact.
If it helps us with decision making or not is not the important thing, on which one decides, whether or not it is a fact.
It is the huge amount of evidence, that lets us accept it as a fact.
headphonegut

Con

Thank you for this debate. It was very engaging.

I would like to take this moment to make note that my opponent corrected what he deemed false/misinterpreted statements, but does not make an effort to rebut my arguments against his assertions.

He concedes that creationists do exist, and some are in the scientific community qualifying them as decent thinkers, I would submit. My opponent does not make an effort to explain why a creationist - A person who believes the world was created by God and is only several thousand years old - Should
1.) Deem his argument logical
2.) Accept it

I would like to remind everyone that this debate is about why every decent thinker should accept evolution as fact. Continuously stating a preponderance of evidence in favor of evolution is not an argument for why every decent thinkers including those who don't believe in evolution should accept it as fact.

My opponent in attempting to defend the theory of evolution only addressed and defended "Scientific Theory," But neglected to mention what aspect of the world this theory explained. It is essentially paradigm shifting, a new world view. My opponent does not explain why every decent thinker should accept this new world view as fact.

I would like to note that my opponent did not answer "Why it's important for us to know where we come from."
His answer could potentially be: "You may make the wrong decisions on where we as a species want to go."
We should discount this assertion as their is no backing/basis for it. We as a species have never decided which direction we want to go. And for the record it was reductio ad absurdum "lead to the annihilation of our species".

Conclusion:
My opponent has ultimately been stating there are many facts supporting a theory, but does not answer why the properties of the evidence should be given to the theory.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by UndeniableReality 2 years ago
UndeniableReality
Posted by ReformedPresbyterian72598:
"ReformedPresbyterian72598 If it is not an axiom, my dear boy, it is not a fact. Think a little harder."

What? I'm most familiar with the use of the word 'axiom' in mathematics, so maybe that's where my confusion is derived, but could you clarify this?
Posted by headphonegut 2 years ago
headphonegut
ew no thanks
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
Something that may benefit both of you... https://docs.google.com...
Posted by JustAnAtheist 2 years ago
JustAnAtheist
it is a fact. anything that is proved to be true, is a fact. How more often do I have to point that out?
Posted by ReformedPresbyterian72598 2 years ago
ReformedPresbyterian72598
If it is not an axiom, my dear boy, it is not a fact. Think a little harder.
Posted by headphonegut 2 years ago
headphonegut
i stayed up all night sorry if I didn't make sense.
Posted by DebateClub666 2 years ago
DebateClub666
If this hadn't already been accepted, I'd post Con. Why? Because Evolution of Humans is in itself a huge contradiction. 1) Human evolution doesn't suggest we came from monkeys, or chimps if you prefer. 2) According to biologists, we didn't necessarily evolve from any animals... most mammals came from the same common ancestor. 3) If you are referring to creationism vs evolutionism, please note that it has been a proven fact by theologians (scientists who study the bible) and several archeologists who have scientific proof that there is truth to biblical sayings.
Posted by JustAnAtheist 2 years ago
JustAnAtheist
I actually have researched the difference between fact and theory. The term theory in science is actually not the same term than theory in a normal way of using it.
"A scientific theory 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."
An repeatedly tested and through observation and experimentation confirmed explanation is a pretty factual thing, don't you agree?
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
@Ragnar

seconded
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
I suggest researching the difference between fact and theory when it comes to scientific terms. Unless you have a very good argument, your resolution is prime to be sniped.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 1 year ago
9spaceking
JustAnAtheistheadphonegut
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: unfortunately pro created technically two resolutions for himself to fulfill, which I think he failed to do.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
JustAnAtheistheadphonegut
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: To be clear this is a two part resolution, "Evolution is a scientific fact" and "every decent thinker should accept." If either is proven false, con wins. However if pro can even prove the first, the second becomes self evident. That in mind, fact and scientific fact are not the same. ... "I am essentially saying no action is good or evil." I call BS, but well reasoned BS. "...Which could lead to the annihilation of our species," pretty clearly a threat of death. "National Academy of Sciences, only 7.0% expressed personal belief," borderline concession. Sources would have gone a long way... Weighting the various arguments, it goes to con. Just on BoP it would still go to con, as "like a fact" and "scientific fact" are a world apart, I'll even quote pro on it, since evolution has been trapped as scientific theory (by any other standard a fact... unlike normal theories that are mere hypothesis's) instead of a scientific fact "prove it, and receive your Nobel Prize."