The Instigator
skizzils
Con (against)
Losing
22 Points
The Contender
Kleptin
Pro (for)
Winning
67 Points

Evolution should be taught in public schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/10/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,943 times Debate No: 2530
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (23)
Votes (24)

 

skizzils

Con

Many question whether evolution is appropriate to teach in public schools. I believe it not to be. Evolution may be a well-tested theory, but thats all it is. When the theory of evolution is taught in schools, it causes kids to question what they believe in, and know is true(their religion). If evolution is okay to be taught, shouldn't religion be appropriate to be taught as well? As well, many kids sit out(or don't sing) when singing a Christmas song at Christmas because they don't believe in what is sung in that particular song, so shouldn't kids who believe in other religions get a chance to choose if they'd like to learn about evolution? Evolution is a theory and a belief by many, but not all. Why should kids get a belief forced upon them to learn as if it is truth?
Kleptin

Pro

"Many question whether evolution is appropriate to teach in public schools."

Many more do not. In fact, the people who have problems with evolution are few, but very outspoken and politically powerful. That's why it *seems* as if though there is a controversy. In reality, teachers, college professors, scientists, and members of academia are quite against the intentions of the religious-minded to oust evolutionary theory from schools purely because it threatens their religion.

"I believe it not to be. Evolution may be a well-tested theory, but thats all it is."

That's all it needs to be. Gravity is also a well-tested theory and nothing but. If something has to be more than a well tested theory before it can be taught in public schools, we should, according to you, ban the Theory of Gravity from our public schools.

"When the theory of evolution is taught in schools, it causes kids to question what they believe in, and know is true(their religion). "

Knowing is the combination of believing something, and the fact that something is valid. Setting aside the fact that evolution and religion CAN go hand in hand, if a person's unfounded beliefs are challenged by scientific concepts that are readily visible and supported by scientific evidence, should we then abandon that in favor of the belief?

"If evolution is okay to be taught, shouldn't religion be appropriate to be taught as well?"

That's assuming that one is equal to the other. I'm all for religion being taught in public school, and religion is taught in public school. Both subjects are where they belong. We learn about Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. in history class, where we examine global culture. We learn about evolution in Biology class because mounds of scientific evidence point towards evolution as one of the most key concepts in life on earth.

"As well, many kids sit out(or don't sing) when singing a Christmas song at Christmas because they don't believe in what is sung in that particular song, so shouldn't kids who believe in other religions get a chance to choose if they'd like to learn about evolution?"

First, Christmas is part of the Christian religion and people who choose not to sing Christmas songs tend to be of a different religion, most likely Judaism. Few educated atheists would have problems singing Christmas songs.

In addition, Christmas songs are not quite key to becoming a professional singer, but Evolution is key to becoming a successful biologist. Name anyone with a doctorate or teaching position who argues against evolution, and I, being an undergraduate student, can probably point out objective reasons why he is unfit to teach.

"Evolution is a theory and a belief by many, but not all. Why should kids get a belief forced upon them to learn as if it is truth?"

Evolution is a theory, and that's really enough. As is typical, laypersons in terms of evolutionary theory, biology, and science in general confuse the terms "hypothesis" and "theory". A hypothesis is an educated guess as to the explanation of observed phenomena. After experimentation, testing, and collection of evidence, a hypothesis is validated, disproved, or modified and a theory is formed.

Religion is neither a hypothesis nor a theory. On the ladder of scientific truth, it ranks even below "hypothesis" because it is a guess that has little to no scientific basis, is not tested, and is automatically presumed to be true.

Furthermore, evolution is a concept that arose without bias, whereas those contesting it are extremely biased. Darwin did not develop his theory of natural selection in order to explain how mankind got here. He observed trends in animal life and formed the concept. The scientific community as a whole began exploring evolution and eventually put 2 and 2 together after a lot of research and time.

Religious fanatics who live their lives based on faith find it difficult to reconcile their beliefs with evolutionary theory because of how strongly they assume what they believe to be fact. The more open minded learn to combine the two whereas the more narrow minded are willing to sacrifice intellectual and academic growth for their unfounded personal needs.

Science and religion need not be at odds, actually. And few scientists really care about what the religious think. It's just the religious intolerants who keep ramming their heads into the giant stone wall of evolution, and the scientists just speak out for fear that the religious nuts will injure themselves.
Debate Round No. 1
skizzils

Con

Thank you for your reply. I respect your opinions and your debate, but I have a few disagreements.

"Many more do not. In fact, the people who have problems with evolution are few, but very outspoken and politically powerful."

And you know this how? I know many people who do have problems with evolution being taught that are not well known or powerful. I would like to know who is it that is so powerful and outspoken that speaks about evolution.

"Evolution is a theory, and that's really enough"

If schools taught every theory in the scientific world that was well-tested, wouldn't things be a bit confusing for children?

"Name Name anyone with a doctorate or teaching position who argues against evolution, and I, being an undergraduate student, can probably point out objective reasons why he is unfit to teach."

So by saying this, you mean that someone with a higher level education than you(as is someone with a doctorate) is unfit to teach because they do not support evolution? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is a silly prejudice remark about someone.

"We learn about Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. in history class, where we examine global culture. We learn about evolution in Biology class because mounds of scientific evidence point towards evolution as one of the most key concepts in life on earth."

But while we learn about other religions in history class, we are not taught to believe in them as we are with the theory of evolution. Nobody can say evolution is a fact, as it isn't comfermed that it is positively true, while the fact that people PRACTICE religion is true, and therefore, a fact that should be taught. Teaching that there are other religions is not identical to teaching as if it is truth, the theory of evolution.

"Furthermore, evolution is a concept that arose without bias, whereas those contesting it are extremely biased."

"…the scientists just speak out for fear that the religious nuts will injure themselves."

Is this to say that I, and anyone else that strongly believes in God and is against the theory of evolution is a ‘religious nut'? If so, I'm proud to be one, but I don't see how placing labels like these are relevant to the topic at hand, and I do not see how they are appropriate.

As for those questioning things, to clear things up:

Theory-
1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.
2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

Evolution is merely a proposed explanation. Sure, religion may not be based on scientific facts, but why does everything in this world have to be proven with science? Science is something made up by man-kind, and life is not made by man-kind, so why do we attempt to explain it with our systems when we are only ones to wonder at the amazing living things in the world we live, taking no part in creation? How can you define something that is beyond your own definitions?
Kleptin

Pro

"And you know this how? I know many people who do have problems with evolution being taught that are not well known or powerful."

The people who have problems with evolution that you can name are probably people who have absolutely no scientific background whatsoever. Laymen to science who only know tha evolution "contradicts" their religion and thus, they must fight against it ignorantly and whole-heartedly.

I don't really count those people.

The people I count are the ones actively using science and scientific thought to generate anti-evolution propaganda, and these are the people who are powerful.

In short, I'm talking about the shepherds, not the sheep.

"I would like to know who is it that is so powerful and outspoken that speaks about evolution."

Strawman fallacy. I never indicated that there were powerful and outspoken people who speak about evolution. Evolution is a scientific principle that scientists use in order to advance science. Whether or not laypersons accept it is of no significance, so the scientific community has no need to promulgate evolution as if though they were rpesidential candidates campaigning for a platform. So no, those who support evolution are neither politically active nor outspoken, because they don't need to be.

"If schools taught every theory in the scientific world that was well-tested, wouldn't things be a bit confusing for children?"

They only teach the really important ones, and evolution is key to Biology. And eys, currently, schools/universities only teach well-tested theories in science classes.

"So by saying this, you mean that someone with a higher level education than you(as is someone with a doctorate) is unfit to teach because they do not support evolution? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is a silly prejudice remark about someone."

You asked me to correct you if you were wrong. I'm correcting you now. You're wrong. Another strawman fallacy. If you have to ask what I meant, chances are, there's a misunderstanding, and you should ask me to clarify. I shall now clarify. I am saying that Biologists who do not believe in evolution are not fit to teach Biology, because it shows that they cannot grasp the concepts necessary to do so. Evolution is so key to Bio9logy that rejecting it is akin to rejecting the entire field.

"But while we learn about other religions in history class, we are not taught to believe in them as we are with the theory of evolution."

That's the way it should be. That's because no religion is more accurate or "better" than another. In history, we go over them as what they were, parts of culture. Evolution is not even remotely similar to a religious belief, because it is an accurate description and explanation for the workings of Biology.

"Nobody can say evolution is a fact, as it isn't comfermed that it is positively true, while the fact that people PRACTICE religion is true, and therefore, a fact that should be taught. Teaching that there are other religions is not identical to teaching as if it is truth, the theory of evolution."

Again, I must repeat, academia is not limited to just FACTS. They include theories, which are supported by a great number of facts. Evolutionary theory is supported by mounds of evidence, though not yet a fact. This is why it is labeled a "theory". And theories are valid to teach so that people can expand on them. Evolution, as I have said ebfore, is key in explaining many biological principles that would take me several debates to explain to you even if you *weren't* a fundamentalist theist.

"Is this to say that I, and anyone else that strongly believes in God and is against the theory of evolution is a ‘religious nut'? If so, I'm proud to be one, but I don't see how placing labels like these are relevant to the topic at hand, and I do not see how they are appropriate."

Again, you're wrong. If you have to ask about my point, it means there might be a misconception and you should ask me to clarify instead of assuming that I will answer in a particular way.

People who believe strongly in God are pious. People who speak out against valid scientific principles due only to their piety are ignorant (used as a neutral phrase meaning "at a lack of information, not as an insult). People who do so for a living in order to rally similarly ignorant support are religious nuts. Examples of religious nuts are Kent Hovind and the Discovery Institute.

"Theory-
1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.
2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

Evolution is merely a proposed explanation."

I very much appreciate how you deliberately chose the second definition, which happens to support your point over the first one, which is the valid one and happens to harm it. I find this to be a dishonest tactic that illustrates the inherent and unfounded bias that theists hold against evolution.

The fact remains that the first definiton is the valid one, and the Theory of Evolution fits it. Religious beliefs do not.

"Sure, religion may not be based on scientific facts, but why does everything in this world have to be proven with science? Science is something made up by man-kind, and life is not made by man-kind, so why do we attempt to explain it with our systems when we are only ones to wonder at the amazing living things in the world we live, taking no part in creation? How can you define something that is beyond your own definitions?"

I can debate this point from a philosophical perspective instead of a scientific one, but it is beyond the scope of this debate.

The debate is on whether Evolutionary theory is appropriate to teach in schools. Your concern in this final argument is whether science is a good measure of truth to begin with. If I were to concede the point and allow you to draw this argument to its valid conclusion, we would have to ban all science from all schools.

Hence, your final statement is completely irrelevant to this debate.

***

My opponent, although having responded to many of my points, did not respond to all of them. Thus, he concedes all the points which he did not address.

I have responded to all of his points, but have yet to see him make a valid argument as to why Evolution should NOT be taught.

The only argument my opponent had for not teaching evolution is schools, is that it is a theory and not a fact. I have dispelled this myth before and will do so to clarify. My nopponent, being a layperson to the scientific field, confuses the term "theory" with "scientific theory". Evolution is a valid scientific theory because it is an accurate depiction and explanation of observed phenomena, supported by evidence. Thus, it is valid to teach in the school setting.

***

If this is the only point you have, then there is nothing more to debate. Any other point you have made so far is irrelevant. Please state further explanations as to why you believe Evolution is not valid to teach in schools.
Debate Round No. 2
skizzils

Con

"The people who have problems with evolution that you can name are probably people who have absolutely no scientific background whatsoever. Laymen to science who only know the evolution "contradicts" their religion and thus, they must fight against it ignorantly and whole-heartedly.

I don't really count those people."

This is an assumption which was silly to make. You do not know these people, as they are intelligent and have gotten an excellent education. But this is off-subject, so I will return to the matter at hand.

"I am saying that Biologists who do not believe in evolution are not fit to teach Biology, because it shows that they cannot grasp the concepts necessary to do so. Evolution is so key to Biology that rejecting it is akin to rejecting the entire field."

Biologist who do not believe in evolution may ‘grasp the concepts' as you say. Because you don't believe something does not mean you cannot understand it. Evolution may be a big part of biology, but if someone feels compelled to teach biology, and completely understands the idea of evolution, but does not believe in it, are you to say they are not fit to teach it? It is the same as saying a Social Studies teacher is not fit to teach the religion part in Social Studies because he or she does not believe in the certain religion that is being taught.

‘'Again, you're wrong. If you have to ask about my point, it means there might be a misconception and you should ask me to clarify instead of assuming that I will answer in a particular way.'

My words first began with ‘Is this to say..'. That is clearing up a point, and giving you an opportunity to answer/change my assumption. You also did not answer my question. (Is this to say that I, and anyone else that strongly believes in God and is against the theory of evolution is a ‘religious nut'?) This either means you do not know what you are talking about, or forgot.

"I very much appreciate how you deliberately chose the second definition, which happens to support your point over the first one, which is the valid one and happens to harm it. I find this to be a dishonest tactic that illustrates the inherent and unfounded bias that theists hold against evolution."

In the definitions I posted(from dictionary.com), both are true. I am allowed to post one that supports my point if both are true, so I do not see how you find this a dishonest tactic.

"If this is the only point you have, then there is nothing more to debate. Any other point you have made so far is irrelevant."

I do not see how you have come to this statement, but to clarify, I will restate my beliefs.

As you might have noticed by what I've stated in the debate, you may see I support two strong points as to why evolution should not be taught in schools. To clarify, by evolution I include the theory that organisms grow and adapt to their surroundings AND the big bang theory(how the universe was created). My two disagreements with the topic are:
--Evolution is not sure to have happened, so we may be teaching lies
--What would happen if science figured that the theory of evolution was not true? All things we've based off of it would be untrue, and we would begin at the beginning.
--Evolution states that animals have changed over time. How do we know our method of dating the earth's rocks and fossils is correct? We were not around when the world formed and we were not around when most of the fossils and rocks we are studying formed. How do we know the earth is 4.5 billion years old? The Bible states that the earth and most galaxies are only 6,007 yrs old.
--As you may disagree that the bible is not a textbook, and therefore is not a relevant source for information, I agree. Thank God it is not because textbooks always have mistakes and go out-of-date in a few years. The Bible has no errors and is always current and up-to-date.

--Evolution is not believed by all, and nonbelievers should not have to
--Would you like to go somewhere where people made you doubt all that you were taught and believed it? This is what schools do when they teach children that evolution is in fact, true. As stated above, humans do not know that everything they believe in is truth. We did not create the Earth and do not know what is truth. Teaching evolution when it may not be true causes confusion when children do not understand what to believe.
--Evolution may be an important concept to understand when it comes to Biology, but shouldn't children then get the choice to learn this? Even if you do not agree in the
fact that children should not be taught evolution, do you simply agree that children/children's parents(depending on their age) should be allowed the choice on whether or not they wish to be taught the theory of evolution, as it is with other things, such as certain parts of health?

Overall, I think the theory of evolution should not be taught in schools, or at the very least, it should be a choice. Also, the curriculum teaches and addresses the theory as though it is correct and proven. This is taken from a Prentice Hall Life Science textbook: "Evolution by natural selection had occurred in just one year." Pg. 154. This states that evolution DID occur, even if nobody was there to witness it. It is teaching the students that evolution did in fact occur. No one can be positive that the theory is true, as it is simply a theory.

_________________________________________________

My opponent replies that I have failed to rebut many of his comments, but I beg to differ. On the contrary, he has failed to rebut several of my questions directly, merely skipped around the questions and criticized the way I asked it. From these facts, I will conclude that he doesn't know the answers. Furthermore, I believe that this shows that evolution has many weak points and unknowns and my opponent is not fit to be debating on whether or not evolution should be taught in schools if he cannot answer the questions directly.

Voters, and others; when you vote, consider whether or not you would want to be taught something, or your children taught something, that you yourself did not believe. Would you want others to insist that this theory was true, and tear down the beliefs that you so strongly had faith in?
Kleptin

Pro

"It is the same as saying a Social Studies teacher..."

Incorrect. A more fitting example would be a History teacher who does not believe the Holocaust. Such a person could only harbor a belief if he was blind to all historical evidence, such as how a Biologist who does not believe in Evolution can only be that way if he is blind to all scientific evidence.

"My words first began with ‘Is this to say..'. That is clearing up a point, and giving you an opportunity to answer/change my assumption. You also did not answer my question. (Is this to say that I, and anyone else that strongly believes in God and is against the theory of evolution is a ‘religious nut'?) This either means you do not know what you are talking about, or forgot."

That's exactly my point. I can't correct you while you're typing. Don't include an answer to your own question directed to me in the same reply.

And I did answer your question. For ease, I shall now quote myself.

"People who do so for a living in order to rally similarly ignorant support are religious nuts. Examples of religious nuts are Kent Hovind and the Discovery Institute."

Going by the definition I gave you, you are more than capable of deciding whether or not you qualify as one of the "religious nuts" I defined.

"In the definitions I posted(from dictionary.com), both are true. I am allowed to post one that supports my point if both are true, so I do not see how you find this a dishonest tactic."

In that case, my point still dominates. The latter is not the correct definition of a scientific theory, rather, it is the vernacular definition of a theory. Your point is then invalid.

" To clarify, by evolution I include the theory that organisms grow and adapt to their surroundings AND the big bang theory(how the universe was created). My two disagreements with the topic are:"

I find it annoying that you are only bringing up your arguments now. I waited for them for quite a while. And by the way, evolution and big bang are not even remotely related. To group them together is a typical creationist habit. Please don't do that.

"--Evolution is not sure to have happened, so we may be teaching lies
--What would happen if science figured that the theory of evolution was not true? All things we've based off of it would be untrue, and we would begin at the beginning."

Predictable argument. This is the one I have already defeated. Since Evolution is a scientific theory supported by a vast amount of evidence, it qualifies as something that is acceptable to teach. Remember the difference between the word "theory" as laypersons like yourself would use it and the word "theory" as the scientific community would use it.

"--Evolution states that animals have changed over time. How do we know our method of dating the earth's rocks and fossils is correct?"

The same way we tell that there are 365 or so days before the earth makes a complete revolution around the sun. Mathematical computations combined with observed phenomena and the laws of physics. Half-life determinations and geological evidence, combined with our knowledge of radioactivity and atom behavior validate our methods of dating.

"We were not around when the world formed and we were not around when most of the fossils and rocks we are studying formed. How do we know the earth is 4.5 billion years old? The Bible states that the earth and most galaxies are only 6,007 yrs old."

Science and mathematics allows us to understand the principles of the world without ever having to witness them. In addition, we can infer how certain events of the past occurred with evidence from the present.

"--As you may disagree that the bible is not a textbook, and therefore is not a relevant source for information, I agree. Thank God it is not because textbooks always have mistakes and go out-of-date in a few years. The Bible has no errors and is always current and up-to-date."

There are also no errors in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". However, when you clash science with that book, it falls to pieces. Same with the Bible. The Bible is only infallible in the universe of the Bible.

"--Evolution is not believed by all, and nonbelievers should not have to"

Then they fail Biology class. They may pass History and all that, but they would fail Biology, and deserve to fail Biology.

"--Would you like to go somewhere where people made you doubt all that you were taught and believed it?"

Humans should question their beliefs continuously. It's called "learning".

"--Evolution may be an important concept to understand when it comes to Biology, but shouldn't children then get the choice to learn this?"

With what credentials? Children should be taught the essentials of science. Letting them off the hook with evolution means they can choose not to learn anything.

"do you simply agree that children/children's parents(depending on their age) should be allowed the choice on whether or not they wish to be taught the theory of evolution, as it is with other things, such as certain parts of health?"

Health education is mandated where I am. And the theory of evolution is taught at around the same age. High school.

"It is teaching the students that evolution did in fact occur. No one can be positive that the theory is true, as it is simply a theory."

I would have thought that my continuous debunking of your "just a theory" argument would get you to stop. Obviously, I was wrong. I will repeat once more: Evolution is a SCIENTIFIC theory. Scientific theories differ from common theories in that they are supported with enormous amounts of evidence and are accepted as truth. This renders your argument of "just a theory" null and void.

"My opponent replies that I have failed to rebut many of his comments, but I beg to differ. On the contrary, he has failed to rebut several of my questions directly, merely skipped around the questions and criticized the way I asked it."

An answer that you cannot understand or are unwilling to accept based on your faith is not a flaw on my part. The fact that you asked a question incorrectly shows just that. You won't expect me to answer "yes" or "no" to a question like "Have you stopped beating your wife?" do you? If there is a flaw in your question, I'll point it out.

"From these facts, I will conclude that he doesn't know the answers."

Not a sound conclusion. Of course, this is typical of creationists because it aligns with their culture. In the face of scientific evidence that threatens your faith, disregard all but your faith. The exact same tactic being used right now.

"Furthermore, I believe that this shows that evolution has many weak points and unknowns and my opponent is not fit to be debating on whether or not evolution should be taught in schools if he cannot answer the questions directly."

You are aware that you have not asked any questions about evolution, right? You've only asked me to justify in a socio-political sense why evolution is a valid thing to teach. This makes your argument here an example of the strawman fallacy, rendering it useless.

"Voters, and others; when you vote, consider whether or not you would want to be taught something, or your children taught something, that you yourself did not believe. Would you want others to insist that this theory was true, and tear down the beliefs that you so strongly had faith in?"

No one wants to be told what to believe. This is why so many devote their lives to scientific study, they get to find the truth for themselves. For those in pursuit of the truth to better mankind, we must cast aside the veils that society has placed on us. The wise man is the one who knows he does not know, and science is the constant pursuit of what we do not know. To forfeit science for religion is to layer the veils on your head.

After all, ignorance truly is bliss.
Debate Round No. 3
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by megers67 8 years ago
megers67
To polka-dots:

DNA mutation is not just losing DNA sequences, but also repeting these sequences (which could make the DNA strand physically grow larger) and switching sequences around, and more.

Also, it is not impossble to acquire new DNA. Viruses work by inserting DNA into a bacteria which then incorporates this DNA into its own. While most of these makes the bacteria produce harmful proteins, sometimes the DNA pieces may code for proteins that aren't necessarily harmful allowing the bacteria to live to pass it on to its offspring when it replicates. I did an experiment just the other day where I inserted DNA which coded for a protein that would let it glow. The bacteria would only glow if they incorporated this DNA into their own; so when they made proteins for normal function, the glowing protein was made as well. The experiment was successful giving me lots of glowing bacteria.

I could go much farther in depth but I am incredibly tired.
Posted by megers67 8 years ago
megers67
Going back to the debate that transpired I have a few comments.

The Con mentioned that "we may be teaching lies". Frankly you can say this about ANYTHING taught in schools. In history for example, all that we know about say George Washington is based on other people's accounts, so how can we REALLY know if they're telling the truth? (And you can say the same sort of argument for EVERYTHING TAUGHT! Oh the conspiracies abound...)

I liked the way your arguments were put together, the way in which you said them, and your dedication to your belief. I was disappointed though in one particular phrase that you used: "Thank God [the Bible] is not [a textbook] because textbooks always have mistakes and go out-of-date in a few years. The Bible has no errors and is always current and up-to-date." I'm not saying that you are wrong, but since I am not a Christian, I don't agree with the fact the Bible "has no errors". The disappointing part is that this is said even though this was at the end of your first post: "Why should kids get a belief forced upon them to learn as if it is truth?" (a statement that I agree with wholeheartedly).

The Pro side.... I am admittedly tired so I will not be saying much. Frankly, I thought your arguments could have been developed much better and I did not appreciate the general steryotypes that you used throughout ("The people who have problems with evolution that you can name are probably people who have absolutely no scientific background whatsoever. Laymen to science who only know tha evolution "contradicts" their religion and thus, they must fight against it ignorantly and whole-heartedly." among many others). Your arguments would have had a much better quality without such comments. I do respect your effort to clarify scientific theory and several of your arguments were very close to what I had said, a little more elaboration would have helped your case much more.
Posted by megers67 8 years ago
megers67
New evidence is the deciding factor on whether a scientific theory is still valid, this is because this new evidence is considered valid if the results can be re-created by someone else doing the same experiment, making it universally accepted evidence. Religions though have evidence and holy scriptures that contradict those of other religions; so it is impossible to say which is true. It is for this reason that you cannot teach any one religion as "true" in a public school setting. BUT this is also a digression from the main point of the debate (so easy with the particular arguments involved!)

Another reason why the Theory of Evolution should be taught (again AS A THEORY) is so that children know at least the principles of it. The reason other religions are taught about in schools is so that students may understand the their concepts and the beliefs of the people who may be different than you. Learning about beliefs that are different than your own not only gives you a more worldy view, but also allows you to have a more intellegent debate with someone who does believes those. I'm not saying that this debate was not intellegent by any means, both parties at least knew a few things about the other side's arguments. If a child grows up not knowing anything about the Theory of Evolution other than it's not right, then when they are confronted by someone who does believe it, the child may not be able to adequately argue their point. I just think that kids should know what they're up against.

Additionally evolution and religion are mutually exclusive. There are countless people who believe in both.
Posted by megers67 8 years ago
megers67
Truthfully while reading this debate, I winced a lot... for both sides. It digressed very quickly into a debate more on whether the Theory of Evolution was true or not instead of whether it should be taught in school. Additionally, I found both sides to contradict themselves on several occasions.

I will now take this oppurtunity to lay out my own opinion on this matter. To start with, I am for the teaching of the Theory of Evolution. BUT NOT in the same fashion as was assumed in the Pro's arguments. I feel it should be taught like the theory that it is: lots of scientific evidence supporting it BUT that does not mean that it is necessarily true. A scientific theory is not concrete. The very fact that it IS a theory means that it is supposed to be questioned and thus, continually tested. When evidence arises that contradicts an older theory, this theory and the new evidence is re-examined to determine cause of this difference and their validity. As more evidence is collected, it is then decided whether discount the contradictory evidence (if for example an accident or an outside factor skewed the results), amend the theory, or completely discount the old theory instead of the new one. The Con asked "If schools taught every theory in the scientific world that was well-tested, wouldn't things be a bit confusing for children?", to this I say that theories are constantly being updated to fit with new evidence that arises, meaning that obsolete theories are replaced. These are the ones that are taught, again I stress AS THEORIES.

The Con also states that: "Teaching that there are other religions is not identical to teaching as if it is truth, the theory of evolution." This is true, but this statement seems to imply that the Con wishes to teach the religions as though they were fact; I wish for clarification on this. If that was the intent of the statement then I wish to disagree. Religions tend to be less malleable than scientific theories.

I'll continue soon.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
I can.

Challenge me to another debate and I'll show you how.
Posted by polka-dots323 9 years ago
polka-dots323
Gary Bacon, No, evolution is not a fact. Species evolve through natural selection, which involves mutations, am I correct? A bacterial genome is what all species came from if you believe in evolution right? Well, a bacterial genome, contains a lot less information than a human genome. Through mutations, information is at a loss. No new information is gained through a mutation. How do you explain the fact that human genomes contain more information? The NDT (neo-Darwinian theory) explains how information in life is built up by evolution. (Or at least supposed to) And evolutionary scientists cannot find a way to explain this or support it in terms of their theory. Can you or anyone?
Posted by zakkuchan 9 years ago
zakkuchan
First, a note to Kleptin: Gravity is a law, not a theory. Theories explain things much more in-depth; laws just state what happens (e.g. "things fall down" (gravity) vs. "life on earth has developed over billions of years by genetic mutation and the resultant natural selection" (evolution)).

Second, the Con repeatedly proved to me not only to completely misunderstand what a 'theory' means in science (it's as close as they come to stating a complex concept as a 'fact'), but also to completely disregard most of what Pro said. Pro wins here, hands down, no discussion. Anyone who votes for Con does not understand what happened in this debate.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
I abbreviate it from "by way of natural selection". I don't think there's another version even remotely as supported o.o
Posted by GaryBacon 9 years ago
GaryBacon
Evolution is not a theory. Evolution is a fact. There are many different theories on how evolution operates (e.g. the theory of acquired characteristics, the theory of natural selection). But evolution DID occur (and does). The term "theory of evolution" is a misnomer. Even the pope has accepted evolution (both the current and John Paul II).

And on a side note, yesterday was the 199th anniversary of Darwin's birthday (he was born on the same exact day as Lincoln).
Posted by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
just like we learn about other religions we should learn science. furthermore, if evolution is just a "well-tested theory", then what do we call religion? a never tested theory? and every time we test it it turns out to be wrong so we have to change it?
24 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con committed fallacy after fallacy....Not only did he fail to respond to Pro's clear delineations of what a SCIENTIFIC theory is, but he constantly failed to understand that a) evolution is a chief part of biology, and the refusal to believe in it betrays a lack of understanding of biology b) there are differences in the definition of theory, making the "Just a theory" argument invalid and so on. Con also loses points for falsely telling the voters that Pro has missed or refused to answer...
Vote Placed by Kleptin 7 years ago
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