The Instigator
BangBang-Coconut
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Freeman
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

Intelligent design VS Evolution

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/16/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,881 times Debate No: 17046
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (97)
Votes (6)

 

BangBang-Coconut

Pro

Full resolution: Intelligent Design is an equally legitimate theory versus evolution

First round is for acceptance, clarifications, and the such.
Usually I make explicit rules and restrictions, but I trust my opponent not to make any semantic or otherwise dumb arguments.

But as a brief explanation, this is the way this debate will work; starting round two I will present my beliefs on Intelligent Design VS Evolution and con will attack them.

If at the end of the debate I have not defended my views that they are equally legitimate theories, then I will lose.
If I have defended my views, my opponent loses.

If my opponent has any questions he may ask them in the comments section prior to acceptance. After he has accepted I will make clarifications in round only as I see it necessary.
Freeman

Con

I want to begin by saying how pleased I am to get the opportunity to debate BangBang-Coconut on the topic of evolution. The science that describes the development of life on Earth has always been particularly fascinating to me. And I can only hope to adequately convey this enthusiasm as I proceed to argue my case.

Let me make one thing clear in my opening statements. I consider calling creationism "intelligent design" to be an undue form of capitulation to pseudoscience. As such, I will henceforth be referring to "intelligent design" as creationism. Having said that, it is my intention to argue that evolution and creationism are not both equally valid scientific theories.

Accordingly, in this debate I'm going to defend two basic contentions. First, there are no good reasons to think that creationism is true. And secondly, there are good reasons to think that evolution is true. I'll leave it up to my opponent to provide us with the scientific evidence that he believes demonstrates that creationism is true. With formalities out of the way, I eagerly await my opponent's arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
BangBang-Coconut

Pro

First off a huge thanks to my opponent for accepting this debate!

Second, some clarifications as to what this debate is, and is not about.

This debate is not about these two theories as a whole but about me defending my own views on them.

Meaning that it is my job to present these views, and my opponent's job to attempt to refute them.

If at the end of the round I have not upheld my own views I lose, if I have I will win.
=Framework=

Intelligent design and creationism are not the same thing. Intelligent is the umbrella which describes the idea that an all powerful being created the universe, creationism is the more specified variation upheld in abrahamic religions.

The difference is, intelligent design is a theory in science to explain the origins of life; just as evolution is.
Creationism is a religious belief, thus a matter of faith.

I have made it abundantly clear time and time again, that I cannot prove God to be true; to do so would belittle the all-important aspect of faith. Accordingly I would not argue Creationism as it is a matter of faith, and not scientific theory.

=Arguments=
+ Since both are unproven theories, neither is more legitimate than the other.

+ Intelligent design has been more widely accepted, for a longer period of time than evolution.

+ Evolution has only even been considered a legitimate theory for a few years.

I apologize for such short response, back to my opponent.
Freeman

Con

I want to thank my opponent for his very interesting opening arguments. You'll remember that I said I was going to defend two basic contentions. First, there are no good reasons to think that creationism is true. And secondly, there are good reasons to think that evolution is true. As I was reading Pro's second round I was absolutely astonished to learn that my opponent seems to agree with me on that first major contention. Indeed, he very clearly states that "intelligent design" (i.e., creationism) is completely unsupported. My job, then, is simple. I will demonstrate that there is evidence in support of evolutionary theory.

C1: "Intelligent design" and creationism are really just the same thing.

What Pro is calling "intelligent design" is really just a nonspecific form of creationism. So let's not get hung up on words. Pro is burdened to show that "intelligent design" and evolution are "equally legitimate [theories]," which was established in the resolution. Let's see if he does that.

C2: Creationism is not a valid scientific theory.

Creationism is neither true nor a proper scientific theory to begin with. The notion that an "intelligent designer" helped engineer life is entirely superfluous as an explanation for the diversity and development of life on Earth. Perhaps it is true that some intelligent being did help guide life on Earth, as many theistic evolutionists believe. The problem, however, is that evidence for such a proposition has not been forthcoming, and the basis of evolutionary theory does not even necessitate it. Moreover, such a hypothesis would not qualify as a scientific theory because there is nothing we can predict on that hypothesis. With that in mind, let's quickly examine the reasons given by Pro to suppose that creationism is true.

1. First, Pro argues that creationism "has been more widely accepted, for a longer period of time than evolution." His argument here is clearly fallacious. The fact that some point of view is widely accepted does not prove that it is true. Pro is simply committing the argumentum ad populum fallacy. Likewise, the fact that a certain point of view has been accepted for longer period of time doesn't make it true. Pro is fallaciously appealing to tradition.

2. Second, Pro argues that "Evolution has only even been considered a legitimate theory for a few years." His argument, however, is clearly a non-sequitur if he is trying to use it to show that evolution is false. The fact that some theory is relatively new does not demonstrate that it's false. Quantum theory, for example, is a relatively new theory. Perhaps my opponent also takes issue with its truth.

Pro also says that evolution is not proven, but this is clearly false. When we say that something is proven or true in science, what we're saying is that there is a lot of evidence supporting it. In this sense, evolution is clearly proven because there is a massive amount of evidence to demonstrate that it's true. Some creationists will try to disparage evolution by saying that it is "only a theory." But such criticism stems from nothing more than an ignorance of what the word theory means when it's used in a scientific context.

A theory, when it is referred to in a scientific context, is actually a fact. To be more specific, it is the umbrella explanation for a whole host of facts. Gravitational theory, for example, explains why objects are attracted to one another. And to call it a theory in no way disparages the truth of gravity. Evolution is true to the exact same extent that gravitational theory is true. There is such a massive amount of evidence for it that it should be compelling to any one that looks at it with an open mind.

Before we can assess whether or not evolution is true, we must first understand what evolution is. Consider the following definition: "Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations)."[1]

Though there are numerous different and independent lines of evidence for evolution, I will be focusing on what I think are three of the most powerful. First, speciation has actually been observed. Second, we can know that evolution is true because we can assess how closely related all living organisms are through DNA sequencing. And finally, the geographical distribution of fossils shows the connectedness of all of life on Earth. Let's begin by looking at that first line of evidence.

C3: There are observed instances of speciation.

The central tenet of evolutionary theory, namely, that species evolve into new species, has actually been observed. Certain species of fruit fly such as Drosophila paulistorum have actually been observed branching from one species into another.[2] After certain fruit flies had become reproductively isolated, they began to diverge into separate species. This confirms to a remarkable degree what evolutionary theory has predicted all along.

C4: Comparative DNA sequencing confirms evolutionary theory.

By comparing the DNA makeup of all of life on Earth, we are able to determine that all species are related to one another from a single common ancestor.[3] If you take all of the DNA evidence and lay it out, it forms exactly what we would expect to form under evolutionary theory, namely, a branching family tree. As humans, we are the cousins of chimpanzees and the more distant cousins of cats and other mammals, even including plants and bacteria. Consider, for example, the fact that humans and chimpanzees share 98 percent of their DNA.[4] Moreover, we can compare any two species that we like in order to determine how related they are. Evolution is a fact, and comparative DNA sequencing proves this.

C5: The geographical distribution of fossils confirms evolutionary theory.

Simple organisms are always found beneath more complex organisms in the fossil record. We do not, for instance, find rabbits in the Precambrian. The simplest forms of life are always found earliest in the fossil record.[5] Only later on do more complex forms of life like mammals appear. Moreover, we have clear evidence of transitional fossils from one species to another. Consider, for example, the transitional fossils of human development.[6] All of this confirms beyond any shadow of a doubt that evolutionary theory is true.

| Conclusion |

My opponent's arguments are not just fallacious, they are clearly fallacious. Neither the age of any theory nor the amount of people who accept it demonstrates that it's true or false. And yet that is all Pro has to offer you in defense of creationism. By contrast, I've given three powerful independent lines of evidence to show that evolution is true. For these reasons, it is not the case that creationism and evolution are both equally valid scientific theories.

Sources:
1. The University of California Berkley. "An Introduction to Evolution."Understanding Evolution. http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

2. Talk Origins. "Observed Instances of Speciation." http://www.talkorigins.org...

3. Oritt, Lewis. "Biology 100/101 Lecture 26 Macroevolution: Evidence." http://www.life.illinois.edu...

4. Richarddawkinsdotnet. "Richard Dawkins: Comparing the Human and Chimpanzee Genomes"YouTube. http://tinyurl.com...

5. Richarddawkinsdotnet. "'Why Evolution Is True' by Jerry Coyne, AAI 2009‏."YouTube. http://tinyurl.com...

6. Talk Origins. "29+ Evidences for Macroevolution Part 1: The Unique Universal Phylogenetic Tree." http://www.talkorigins.org...
Debate Round No. 2
BangBang-Coconut

Pro

BangBang-Coconut forfeited this round.
Freeman

Con

I think it should be clear that creationism can't survive in the marketplace of ideas. It's a view based on faith, not science. As of yet, my opponent has not put up a response to my arguments, so I would encourage the audience to extend those arguments into the next round.
Debate Round No. 3
BangBang-Coconut

Pro

BangBang-Coconut forfeited this round.
Freeman

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for what has been an interesting (albeit brief) debate. Because all of my arguments have gone unchallenged, there is really nothing more for me to add. Please extend my arguments, and thank you for reading.
Debate Round No. 4
97 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Freeman 5 years ago
Freeman
Posted by Freeman 5 years ago
Freeman
@LaissezFaire

He was up against other people, so I wont take credit for it. I hope he comes back.
Posted by LaissezFaire 5 years ago
LaissezFaire
http://www.debate.org...

Looks like you scared him off, Freeman.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Freeman,

"There is nothing you can predict with the so called "intelligent design" theory."

Would you care to debate this after your debate with bangbang because I would state this is true not of ID but of evolutionary theory as you have defined it (descent with modification).
Posted by Kinesis 5 years ago
Kinesis
Am I missing something, or wouldn't Alien ID predict that all (earth) life was seeded by extraterrestrials?
Posted by Freeman 5 years ago
Freeman
Cliff, whether there is a difference is not really relevant. Perhaps we may someday find unequivocal evidence for such a proposition. It wouldn't make that fact a scientific theory. Theories make predictions. Gravity predicts how objects like planets move. Quantum theory predicts how particles move at the subatomic level. Evolution predicts that all of life is related to a common ancestor.

There is nothing you can predict with the so called "intelligent design" theory.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Freeman, if aliens seeded life instead of evolution creating diversity then there would be no observable difference?
Posted by Freeman 5 years ago
Freeman
@Cliff

Freeman, why are aliens not a valid scientific theory in the ID/Evolution contention?

"Moreover, such a hypothesis would not qualify as a scientific theory because there is nothing we can predict on that hypothesis." From R2- C2
Posted by Meatros 5 years ago
Meatros
"+ Since both are unproven theories, neither is more legitimate than the other."

Science isn't in the business of proving theories - that's math or alcohol the Pro is thinking of.

"+ Intelligent design has been more widely accepted, for a longer period of time than evolution.

+ Evolution has only even been considered a legitimate theory for a few years."

...

Woah...
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
"+ Since both are unproven theories, neither is more legitimate than the other.

+ Intelligent design has been more widely accepted, for a longer period of time than evolution.

+ Evolution has only even been considered a legitimate theory for a few years."

Wat.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
BangBang-CoconutFreemanTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
BangBang-CoconutFreemanTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
BangBang-CoconutFreemanTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FFFFFFFFFF
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
BangBang-CoconutFreemanTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Well, Freeman not only destroyed Pro's main contention that evolution and creationism were both unproven theories by providing evidence for evolution but managed to outlast Pro in terms of participation. Consequently, he is...the obvious winner....
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
BangBang-CoconutFreemanTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made no arguments, provided no sources, and forfeited.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
BangBang-CoconutFreemanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Um...yeah