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The Contender
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Public Schools in the United States Should not Teach Intelligent Design alongside Evolution

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,498 times Debate No: 30364
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Resolved: Public schools in the United States should not teach intelligent design as an alternative alongside evolution.



“Evolution is the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins. Life on Earth originated and then evolved from a universal common ancestor approximately 3.8 billion years ago. Repeated speciation and the divergence of life can be inferred from shared sets of biochemical and morphological traits, or by shared DNA sequences.These homologous traits and sequences are more similar among species that share a more recent common ancestor, and can be used to reconstruct evolutionary histories, using both existing species and the fossil record. Existing patterns of biodiversity have been shaped both by speciation and by extinction.”

Intelligent Design
“The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”

Rules and Such Things

  1. The burden of proof is shared. It is not enough for one side to merely present rebuttals to the other’s arguments. Both sides must develop a case of their own.
  2. The first round is for acceptance. Clarifications regarding the resolution, definitions, or any other preliminary matters should be brought up in the comments before accepting the debate.
  3. No abusive and/or semantically abusive arguments.
  4. Drops shall count as concessions.
  5. No new arguments in the final round.

Thank you.



Just accepting the debate and definitions. Let's begin!
Debate Round No. 1


I’d like to thank Vi_Veri for accepting this debate.

A few observations:

  • This is not a debate about the validity of the theory of Evolution. Although components of such a debate may overlap in this debate, that is not the principle subject at hand.

  • The inclusion of the word “alternative” in the resolution is important. This signifies that, for the purposes of this debate, those who accept evolution as a mechanism of a supernatural being fall under the umbrella of those who accept the theory of Evolution over the alternative of Intelligent Design (ID).

This debate discusses what should be done. As such, it is important to understand what is meant by this should. In the case of this resolution, I propose that what should be done is the course of action that better allows a purpose to be fulfilled. Specifically, what should be taught in science classes is what allows the purpose of those science classes to better be fulfilled.

Although one could question whether the purpose of science education is primarily to equip the scientists of the future with the tools the they’ll need to pursue those careers or to provide the groundwork for scientifically conscious citizens across the board, both of these goals share function similarly. Something that both of these purposes have in common is that they function by relaying scientific information to students. Therefore, the information presented should be an accurate representation of scientific conclusions and consensuses. In fact, this standard of informing students as to the conclusions and consensuses of a given filed really applies to just about all subjects of education.

It should be noted that the previous standard applies specifically to public education, as some private school science classes may have other goals, perhaps goals that are more religious in nature.

As it turns out, the scientific consensus on evolution is quite clear, or in the words of the National Academy of Sciences: “The scientific consensus around evolution is overwhelming.” [1] Newsweek reported in 1987 on a survey that calculated that only .15% of life and earth scientists supported creation-science. [2] Since 1987, the amount of evidence for evolution has continued to increase. Additionally, a great number of scientific organizations from around the world have signed a statement by the Global Network of Science Academies backing the theory of Evolution and its teaching, [3] not to mention the numerous scientific organizations that explicitly reject ID. [4]

Given that the purpose of science education is to inform students with regards to the scientific consensus and the scientific consensus clearly rejects ID in favor of the theory of Evolution, the theory of Evolution is what should be taught.

Now, ID proponents often argue that schools should teach both “theories” (in quotation marks because I question whether ID is actually a scientific theory, but I digress...), and that doing so would allow students to view both options and choose the option that seems better. “Teach the controversy!” they proclaim. As I have shown, however, there really is no controversy in the world of science.

Thus, teaching both options, with one as the alternative to the other, would be misleading.

Clearly, the resolution is affirmed.

I look forward to my opponent’s response.








Vi_Veri forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Arguments extended


Vi_Veri forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Welp... Vote Pro.


Vi_Veri forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by JeremyMcNamee 3 years ago
Umm? She quit every round?
Posted by Magicr 3 years ago
Science is not about proving things to a 100% degree of accuracy.
Posted by June57 3 years ago
I believe that every opinion should be shared. I mean, no one has given 100% proof that either opinion is true; therefore, they both must be taught.

Since they can't promote religion in school, they shouldn't be able to only teach evolution in school, which would sway kids to believe in evolution over another opinion.
Posted by TolerantSpirit 3 years ago
I'm extremely con on the matter but new to the site. I will very badly love to debate this. Tolerance is my motto in life.
Posted by dylancatlow 3 years ago
I think they should teach just the facts of the creationist theory. It will speed up the process of realizing among the populace that creation is an utter, and patently absurd theory.
Posted by Vi_Veri 3 years ago
I'd like to debate this with you.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Xerge 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit by Con....