The Instigator
HonestDiscussioner
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
GenesisCreation
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points

Resolved: Biblical Creation Should Be Taught Alongside Evolution in Public High School Biology

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
HonestDiscussioner
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/9/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,585 times Debate No: 24166
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (4)

 

HonestDiscussioner

Con

The debate is simple: Should public schools be teaching Biblical creation in science classrooms, particularly Biology, alongside the teaching of Evolution. If GenesisCreation has any issues with this, he can message me and I will edit the debate.
GenesisCreation

Pro

I accept the resolution and I thank my opponent for his challenge to me. I will be defending the idea that the scientific study of deistic influences on the biological processes have a place in the classroom along side other theories, including, but not limited to evolution.
Debate Round No. 1
HonestDiscussioner

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting my challenge and hope we can have a respectful and fruitful debate.

For the most part, I am going to rely on my opponent to make his case rather than go out immediately on the attack. I do have a few caveats I think it would be wise to go over before I turn it over to my opponent.

Technically, the resolution he agreed to was about "Biblical Creation", but my opponent seems to imply in his acceptance that he is only going to argue for deistic influences. If that is the case, so be it.

Whichever way he goes, I'd ask him to keep in mind what does and does not qualify for science. I would argue that any theory or belief or statement he feels belongs in science classrooms should be applicable and available to the scientific method. Here is a description of the steps of the scientific method from Professor Frank L. H. Wolfs, of the University of Rochester:

1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.

3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.

4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments. [1]

If my opponent would give us an example of how he would utilize this procedure to further whatever statements or theories he'd like to be taught in science classrooms, one that could either support or falsify his position based upon the result, that would go a long way toward making his case that it belongs in a science classroom. Another thing which would be important if not vital to his case is the existence of some sort of peer reviewed literature in science journals on the matter. If there are such things, actual papers reviewed by scientific peers, within that paper could be just the experiment I asked for previously.

Also, I understand that there are many different definitions of the word "theory". I would submit that since we are talking about a scientific theory, we should use the scientific definition of theory in our discussions, which is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses" [2].

Lastly, I would like to remind my opponent, for the sake of saving time, that a scientific fact or theory cannot be based in an argument from ignorance. Citing something that evolution or any other available theory cannot explain is not enough to establish a separate theory by itself. The fact that we don't understand the interaction between quantum physics and gravity does not give me the right to submit invisible undetectable elves as the cause behind it and call that science. If I were to argue that my elves theory is falsifiable because another theory could be proven would imply I don't understand the principle of falsification.

I thank my opponent for his time and look forward to his response.

[1] http://teacher.nsrl.rochester.edu...

[2] http://www.nap.edu...

GenesisCreation

Pro

Biological phenomena do not oppose the Genesis account of creation. Molecular biology,
Mendelian Genetics, Immunology, Developmental biology, Cell biology and biochemistry
are not enemies of the deistic creative process which simply states that creatures bring
forth according to their kind
[1] and that plants yield seeds accordingly [2]. Is this not observed?

Are these not known biological phenomena?


Why should Genesis take a "back seat", nay, "get out of the vehicle entirely", if Macro-evolutionary experimentation yields literally no positive results?

Consider:

If we monitor a pair of fruit flies for 12 months (Only 12 months, no more no less; the clock stops

on Dec 31st) ,we will notice some interesting things. First, the fly becomes sexually active within 8
hours after hatching and matures after 7 days. Second, Flies don't mate like Humans. They interbreed
within their generations. So if we start with two flies:

Week 1 - [2x Gen A]

Week 2 - [2x Gen A] + [20x Gen B]

week 3 - [2x Gen A] + [40x Gen B] +[400x Gen C] +[800x Gen AB]

week 4 - [2x Gen A] + [60x Gen B] +[800x Gen C]+[8000x Gen D]+[1800x Gen AB]+
[8000xGen AAB]+[2,400x Gen BC]+[8840x Gen ABC]

The fruit fly would generate 2048 generations after only 12 weeks.

Now this is
“dialed down” mathematics. The real number is far greater, but for sanity’s sake we’ll keep it rounded
and grounded.
As demonstrated, a single pair of fruit flies results in thousands of generations within minuscule time. Predictably, they always remain fruit flies, despite the multiple variations.

In fact, the most recent study of 600 generations of fruit flies yielded such disappointing results that the scientists are largely concluding that "the Darwinian mechanisms are inadequate to account for large-scale transformation - these research findings provide empirical support for such doubts." [4]

Here is a fun online experiment: http://bioweb.wku.edu... [3]

A question for my opponent, “How many generations did it supposedly take to evolve a Chimpanzee
(or similar ancestor) into a modern human?”

The only objection against the Genesis account is the unobserved nature of God. If we are to disallow the
Genesis account because we cannot test God, observe God and repeat God according to the scientific method, then we must dismiss every aspect of biological sciences which can likewise not be tested, observed and repeated. This, specifically, would include macro-biological evolution.

This debate is not about the scientific merit of biological theory or truths in origins. It’s
about fair access to ideas. The key word in the resolution is “should”. My opponent did not ask me to validate the
scientific merit of Genesis. He asked me to explain why the Genesis account should be taught along side evolution.
The answer is simple:
Just like Macro-evolution, Genesis explains a creative order and provides micro-evolution as observed evidence.



Genesis 1:24 [1]
Genesis 1:11 [2]
http://bioweb.wku.edu... [3]

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



Debate Round No. 2
HonestDiscussioner

Con


I am happy to continue this debate with GenesisCreation, looks like it should be very interesting.


We begin with my opponent claiming that biological phenomena does not oppose the Genesis account of creation. This is something I believe I am well able to refute, but such an act would be unnecessary on my part. I can assume this is the case and it will in no way mean the Genesis account of creation or any deistic influences should be taught in the classroom, as there must be some positive evidence behind an idea before it is worthy of being taught as science. If we treated this any other way, we'd have to teach nearly everything that hasn't been disproven, even my example theory of quantum gravity being caused by undetectable elves. Like the assumptions my opponent asserts about Genesis, that elf theory is not contradicted by science, and would explain a phenomenon. It is simply impractical to lower the standards of what is taught down to the level where creationism or intelligent design is taught as science.


At this point, there is little more I actually need to say in order to refute my opponent. All of his other words are spent attempting to undermine the validity of the theory of evolution and the fact that macro-evolution occurs. Even if my opponent were able to completely disprove every last aspect of the theory of evolution and every fact it is based upon, creationism and intelligent design would come no closer to being considered science. Since my opponent offers no evidence and no scientific basis to consider what he is arguing for as science, it is therefore thoroughly unjustified to include it in a science classroom.


While Pro has done little to actually advance his case, I will still for the sake of being thorough rebut his other points.


First, he claims that fruit flies within a month can create at least 2048 generations. He doesn't have any actual sources for this claim however, and his own sources undermine this point. Most of the information about fruit flies he gets from the Intelligent Design website "arn.org", and it cites a study done by Molly Burke. The arn.org only links to the abstract, but I will link to the full study here:


http://ftp.eebweb.arizona.edu...


Back to the generations claim. This study only worked with 600 generations of fruit flies, and began breeding them in 1991. The study was published in 2010. I believe my opponent's claims are thoroughly mistaken on how fast generations are created in the fruit fly population.


Now let's look at this paragraph given by my opponent:


In fact, the most recent study of 600 generations of fruit flies yielded such disappointing results that the scientists are largely concluding that "the Darwinian mechanisms are inadequate to account for large-scale transformation - these research findings provide empirical support for such doubts."


While my opponent attributes this quote to the arn.org article, some may be under the impression that this is a quote from an actual scientist. Instead, this is the complete quote from the article:


"Many scientists have long suspected that the Darwinian mechanisms are inadequate to account for large-scale transformation - these research findings provide empirical support for such doubts."


This isn't a scientist making the claim, but rather the opinion of the author, one that is itself uncited. Where does the author get that scientists have long suspected this? Certainly it isn't from the study, because the author grossly misrepresents the study, as well as a separate article about said study.


Despite what the arn.org article asserts, the study does not provide empirical evidence that evolution cannot produce large-scale transformations over time. What it does do, according to one of the sources cited by arn.org, is show that our biological processes are a bit more complex, that there won't be a single gene for each adaptation but several. [1] Here is a quote from that source (a quote left out by the arn.org article):


"Burke found evidence of evolution in more than 500 genes that could be linked to a variety of traits, including size, sexual maturation and life span, indicating a gradual, widespread network of selective adaptation."


The study was not about "macro-evolution", as my opponent's claims, but rather how evolution worked. The conclusion of the study was that a single mutation didn't pop up and then sweep through the population, but that the actual process was more complex than that. Still a "Darwinian" or "evolutionary" process, despite the article's misinterpretation. The study was not trying to develop something "other than a fruit fly". It doesn't work like that. My opponent seems not to realize that macro-evolution is simply a great deal of micro-evolution. You cannot have one without the other. Or as geneticist and Evangelical Christian Francis Collins puts it:


" Darwin could hardly have imagined that there would turn out to be such strong proof of his theory because he didn’t know about DNA - but we have that information. I would say we are as solid in claiming the truth of evolution as we are in claiming the truth of the germ theory. It is so profoundly well-documented in multiple different perspectives, all of which give you a consistent view with enormous explanatory power that make it the central core of biology. Trying to do biology without evolution would be like trying to do physics without mathematics." [2]


Dr. Collins is not talking about "micro" evolution here. He's talking about common descent. Macro evolution is a fact, we know it as well as we know germs cause disease.


Let me summarize everything here for you, by directly answering my opponent's specific questions and arguments, just to be sure I covered everything.


"Why should Genesis take a 'back seat', nay, 'get out of the vehicle entirely', if Macro-evolutionary experimentation yields literally no positive results?"


Because we have overwhelming proof for common descent, while there is no evidence and no test that could show an intelligence was behind any biological process.


" A question for my opponent, 'How many generations did it supposedly take to evolve a Chimpanzee (or similar ancestor) into a modern human?'"


The answer is: We did not evolve from Chimpanzees. As far as "a similar ancestor" of which all humans and Chimpanzees are descended from, about 250,000 generations according to Richard Dawkins, over the course of 6-7 million years [3].


" The only objection against the Genesis account is the unobserved nature of God."


No, the objection (one of many) is that there is no way to scientifically verify that the hand of God or any intelligent life form other than humanity had a hand in anything having to do with biology.


"If we are to disallow the Genesis account because we cannot test God, observe God and repeat God according to the scientific method, then we must dismiss every aspect of biological sciences which can likewise not be tested, observed and repeated."


Right, which is includes only nothing. Again my opponent misunderstands science, and thinks something has to be directly observed in order to count as observation. There is an overwhelming number of scientific tests we can perform to verify that we evolved from another species, and as Francis Collins is famous for saying, the genetic evidence alone is enough to scientifically prove it.


"This debate is not about the scientific merit of biological theory or truths in origins. It’s about fair access to ideas."


If you're argument is "science class should include things that have nothing to do with science because some people believe in it" I think that's a bad argument.


[1] http://www.sciencedaily.com...


[2] http://biologos.org...


[3] Dawkins, R (2004) The Ancestor's Tale, A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-7528-7321-0


GenesisCreation

Pro

We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, . . . in spite of the
tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated commitment to materialism. . . . we are forced
by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and set of concepts
that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the
uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

Lewontin, Richard, Review of the Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan. In New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997.

Pro stated: We begin with my opponent claiming that biological phenomena does not oppose the Genesis account of creation. This is something I believe I am well able to refute, but such an act would be unnecessary on my part.

Rebuttal: It is entirely necessary, certainly if you are “well able to refute” it. This my
direct challenge to you, now for the second round. It’s quite disingenuous to
ignore a point of argument because you think yourself “above it all”.
You challenged me, I might remind you. Follow through.

Argument extended.

---------------------------

Pro said: First, he claims that fruit flies within a month can create at least 2048 generations.
He doesn't have any actual sources for this claim however, and his own sources undermine this point. Most of the information about fruit
flies he gets from the Intelligent Design website "arn.org", and it cites a study done by Molly Burke.

Rebuttal: Actually, I claimed that fruit flies create more
than 2048 generations
within 12 weeks if the process is unhindered and accounts for interbreeding.
That’s three months, not one month. Also; the study provided the population
growth rate for us
. What we need is a calculator. If you doubt the math,
refine it. It’s only pre-algebra. One egg matures in 7 days. The species becomes sexually viable within eight hours. I used a buffer of 20 fertile eggs per female, which (I admitted) is probably much greater.

Now, the article I provided showed examples of controlled breeding, which selected 30 insects per generation to reproduce the next. No interbreeding was allowed, which resulted in a reduced yield
of one generation every twelve days
.

Argument extended.

---------------------------

Pro stated: This isn't a scientist making the claim, but rather the opinion of the author, one that is itself uncited. Where does the author get that scientists have long suspected this? Certainly it isn't from the study, because the author grossly misrepresents the study, as well as a
separate article about said study.

Rebuttal: The author did get it from this study, specifically from the research scientist, Molly Burke. She is quoted as saying:More parsimonious explanations include ‘incomplete’ sweep models, in which mutations have not had enough time to fix, and ‘soft’ sweep models, in which selection acts on pre-existing, common genetic variants. We conclude that, at least for life history characters
such as development time, unconditionally advantageous alleles rarely arise, are associated with small net fitness gains or cannot fix because selection coefficients change over time
.”


Argument extended.

---------------------------

Pro said: “....there is no evidence and no test that could show an intelligence was behind any biological process.”

Rebuttal:

Cryptology - “Our uniform experience affirms that specified information-whether inscribed hieroglyphics, written in a book, encoded in a radio signal, or produced in a simulation
experiment-always arises from an intelligent source, from a mind and not a
strictly material process.” (
Dr. Stephen C. Meyer,Signature in the Cell.)

Biochemistry - “…this extensive new understanding of ribosomes also reveals compelling evidence for the argument that life stems from the work of a Creator. For example, this work highlights the machine-like character of the ribosome and its highly precise and optimized structure.”
(Dr. Fazale Rama) [1]

Epidemiology - In the end, the conclusion that complex
adaptations cannot be very complex without running into feasibility problems
appears to be robust. ... Although studies of this kind tend to be interpreted
as supporting the Darwinian paradigm, the present study indicates otherwise,
underscoring the importance of combining careful measurements with the
appropriate population models.(
Douglas D. Axe, “The Limits of Complex Adaptation: An Analysis Based on a Simple Model of Structured Bacterial Populations,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2010(4):1 (2010))

Mathematics - “Mathematical Probability model for the origin of life without the aid
of outside influence:

cu = Universe =1013 reactions/sec X 1017 secs X 1078 atoms =10108

cg = Galaxy = 1013 X 1017 X 1066= 1096

cs = Solar System = 1013 X 1017 X1055 = 1085

ce = Earth = 1013 X 1017 X 1040= 1070”

(i.e. Impossible)

David L. Abel, “The Universal Plausibility Metric (UPM) & Principle (UPP),” Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, Vol. 6(27) (2009)

Microbiology - “Meyer contends that intelligent design provides a better explanation than competing chemicalevolutionary models for the origin of the information present in large
bio-macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. Meyer shows that the term
information as applied to DNA connotes not only improbability or complexity but
also specificity of function. He then argues that neither chance nor necessity,
nor the combination of the two, can explain the origin of information starting
from purely physical-chemical antecedents. Instead, he argues that our
knowledge of the causal powers of both natural entities and intelligent agency
suggests intelligent design as the best explanation for the origin of the
information necessary to build a cell in the first place.”
(S. C. Meyer, “Dna and the
Origin of Life: Information, Specification and Explanation,”
DDPE, pp. 223-285.)


Argument extended.

---------------------------

Pro said: As far as "a similar ancestor" of which all humans and Chimpanzees are
descended from, about 250,000 generations according to Richard Dawkins, over
the course of 6-7 million years.

Rebuttal: Accurate, thank you.

An estimated 5.8-7 million years ago, Sahelanthropus tchadensis marked the final common ancestor between humans and chimpanzees. Then (without any explanation) in the last 600,000 to 200,000 years, the apes lost all their body hair (during an ice-age) and dramatically reshaped their
skeletal structure.

So, after roughly 244,000 generations we are still apes and within 6,000 generations we experience an evolutionary bloom. Yet, a period of 600 generations cannot even create dent in the DNA of an insect. Is evolution supposed to become easier, if the animal is more complex?


Not only is Macro-evolution unsubstantiated, relying on unobserved guess-work, it holds no higher scientific merit than the "invisible elves" that power your slanderous arguments. For the next round, substantiate why macro-evolution is a "fact" (as you've called it) and I would enjoy it if you would please attack the Genesis account for scientific inaccuracy. You said it's well within your ability. Endure the debate you've begun.

http://www.reasons.org...; [1]



Debate Round No. 3
HonestDiscussioner

Con

I appreciate my opponent's passion, but it appears he has misunderstood my intentions in a few areas.

For example, he accuses me of feeling "above it all" in regards to his claim that science does not contradict a divine hand in biology. I am not above anything, it is simply the case that if I accept that premise it does not lead to the conclusion that creationism or ID should be in the science classroom. As I've pointed out twice now, a lack of evidence against a proposition is not enough, you must have a positive reason to believe something is the case. If we were to teach in a science classroom that there is an intelligence behind creation simply because the idea is not directly refuted, we could also teach that invisible elves are behind quantum gravity. If my opponent insists, however, I can merely point to the fact that Genesis claims God created Adam and Eve, two humans, to start off our population yet the genetic evidence shows that our own species never dipped below roughly 10,000, that our genetics are too varied to have stemmed from two individuals anytime since we were a species. [1]

I will, for the purposes of this debate, not discount my opponent's math. Since we're going with the science, we can focus on the study in question and the 600 generations of fruit flies.

First, however, I must take further issue with his use of the Burke study to imply the authors concluded "Many scientists have long suspected that the Darwinian mechanisms are inadequate to account for large-scale transformation - these research findings provide empirical support for such doubts." My opponent bases this on the tail end of the opening paragraph of the Burke study [2], and I suggest you all read it. I also suggest you read the article linked on the arn.org article my opponent cites, the one that says "Burke found evidence of evolution in more than 500 genes that could be linked to a variety of traits, including size, sexual maturation and life span, indicating a gradual, widespread network of selective adaptation." [3, emphasis mine] I pointed this out in the previous round, and my opponent has completely ignored it. The quote that he specifically cites is not saying that evolution cannot produce macro-changes.

If my opponent is still unconvinced, then I have even further evidence of his misinterpretation. I actually contacted the author herself, the wonderful Dr. Molly Burke. She was kind and generous enough to respond not once, but twice to me in order to fully explain her study. I will post the entire exchange online[4], and if my opponent doubts it came from Dr. Burke, I would be happy to forward him all e-mails at the e-mail of his choosing, or record my desktop even. Pro can leave such requests in the comment section. Here is the most relevant section of her first e-mail:

"Here's what I would say to the gentleman you speak of: my data and paper do not in any way bear directly on the "question of origins". As such, my contribution should not cause scientific thinkers to question evolution as a general process. I study populations of flies which have experienced natural selection in the laboratory. That natural selection has occurred in these populations is an undisputed fact, among scientists. What was interesting and novel about the paper is that a close scrutiny of the genomes of the evolved populations shows that the actual mechanism of adaptation is quite
different in fruit flies (the first sexually-reproducing organism to be studied in this way) than it is in microbial organisms. And even this finding was not wholly unanticipated by many in the field - we were just the first to actually produce the data." [4]

In other the other e-mail, Dr. Burke explains her study even more, particularly the last two sentences of the first paragraph that my opponent cites. I encourage everyone to read our exchange, it is quite informative, and clearly shows my opponent and the article he cites as completely incorrect. E-mail is linked as my number 4 source down at the bottom of my rebuttal.

As far as the math he provides from David L. Abel, Pro entirely misquotes Abel. Those equations he gives (i.e. cΩu = Universe =1013 reactions/sec X 1017 secs X 1078 atoms =10108 ) are not for the probability of natural abiogenesis, it's the total number of possible chemical reactions in the respective area since its formation. I encourage you all to check this for yourself. [5] Now I should not have to make my opponent's argument for him, but in the interest of addressing all concerns, I will.

To use the Universal Plausibility Principle (UPP), you must find whether "ξ" is less than 1. Here is an example of how Abel describes it:

p = 10-140 X 10140 = 100 = 1 giving a which is NOT < 1, so NOT falsified [5].

Now, the argument creationists and ID advocates (including Abel) come up with to say abiogenesis is falsified is to use this equation to discover the probability of a single protein being formed by random chance. According to UPP, that idea is falsified. That's all fine and good but this completely misunderstands abiogenesis to say nothing of biology. Theories built around abiogenesis do NOT argue that a protein came up out randomly, it all began with a self-replicating molecule (something far less complex than a protein) and evolved through natural selection. The process is best described by the always awesome Potholer54 in his video "The Origin of Life Made Easy" [6]. Proteins come about 6 or 7 steps into the abiogenesis process, and are preceded by other forms of much simpler chemicals that then go on to produce the more complex chemicals. That's the great thing about evolution: once you have a self-replicating molecule that sometimes replicates inaccurately, you have a situation in which natural selection can lead to that simple chain of chemicals to become incredibly complex forms of life. So in order for UPP to work, my opponent would have to use the equation on every possible form of self replicating molecule. I doubt my opponent has the knowledge to take on this task, and frankly, I doubt even the best scientist knows every possible form of self-replicating molecule. In short, UPP does absolutely nothing to evolution and abiogenesis. In totally summary, my opponent misunderstood an article that itself misunderstands biology, and he still believes he understands enough about evolution to debunk it.

Other than that, my opponent brings little more than arguments from authority from Meyer, Rama, and Axe. His statement about the number of generations and why 600 generations of fruit flies did nothing while 244,000 generations did something is by itself an argument in my favor, especially when you include the fact that 600 generations did plenty as Burke found mutations for everything from size, sexual maturation, and lifespan [3].

Macro-evolution is very well substantiated, in both the fossil record and DNA evidence, and is able to be the basis for accurate predictions. It satisfies all requirements of science and has hundreds of years of studies, tests, and positive results behind it that makes it the absolute cornerstone of biology.

All of this, however, has nothing to do with whether Creationism or ID belong in a science classroom. I could concede to my opponent that evolution is completely false and still we would be no closer to establishing ID as scientific. My opponent has attacked evolution as though in doing so, that will make ID a scientific claim. It would not, there must be some positive evidence, and by its very nature, ID is an argument from ignorance. It is a claim that we don't know how else something could happen, so it must be God or some sort of intelligence. Not only is ID unscientific, it is a logical fallacy. Please, vote Con.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...

[2] http://tinyurl.com...

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

[4] http://honestdiscussioner.com...

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

[6] http://tinyurl.com...


GenesisCreation

Pro

Given the weight that entire fields of scholasticsm give to a design aspect of the universe and people, it
would be the pinnacle of scholastistic despotism to not incorporate such theories within at least a high
school level, if not collegiate.

-Gileandos

The purpose of this debate was to establish if a scientific analysis of the Genesis account should be provided to a student for study, discussion and contrast. While my opponent is a very capable debater and well-suited for this site, he
has derailed from the resolution. His focus on the merits of evolution undermined his assigned task to discredit Genesis or intelligent design.

As I have pointed out in previous rounds my opponent largely failed to attack the Biblical paradigm. He was pervasive in describing the entire process as being akin to “invisible elves” because he chooses not to believe in any other mechanisms than the purely material. His final round attempt to introduce new evidence against Genesis by mentioning the population paradox created by Adam and Eve is nothing short of disingenuous. It is obvious he attempted to draw the reader into his “invisible elves” routine by attacking (what he believes to be) a weak case for the biological generation of the human species. Of course, he did not take the time to study what he objects as fiction, so I grant him a certain sympathy of having limited options, despite this being self-inflicted.

Consider the following:

The Historical Adam Logos theory – Tracking genetic allele frequency using two genetic clones as the progenitors. [1]

The source quotes: “It is disingenuous....to claim no evidence for Adam and Eve for several reasons. First, their conclusions are based on evolutionary assumptions. One cannot legitimately claim something to be proven without testing the assumptions behind that claim. To do otherwise amounts to circular reasoning and question begging, and a rejection of any alternative theory following from this is thus reduced to nothing more than a straw man argument.

Argument refuted.

My opponent continues to establish evolution, rather than attacking Genesis, by defending the work of Holly Burke. Dear opponent, if I read your rebuttal correctly, you actually contacted an evolutionist and had them verify that they still believed in evolution and that their work does not support Genesis? Is this supposed to be empirical scientific
methodology?
What does this appeal to a biased authority give your case? It's certainly not credibility. To quote your argument:

Her study indicated a change in “size, sexual maturation and life span, indicating a gradual, widespread network
of selective adaptation.
” I am hard pressed to see evidence for macro-biological evolution in this conclusion. We started with a standard fruit-fly and after 600 generations we ended with fat, horny, and old fruit-flies. Brilliant!

I think I understand the “invisible elves” a little better now. Here is what I would conclude from this study:

In a controlled environment, absent of predators and natural competition, saturated with food, controlled temperature and nominal lighting, the fruit fly thrived. This caused the species to grow larger, mature faster and live longer. This
phenomenon has been witnessed in humans also, as we compare the biological effect of poverty and disease stricken populations to those in developed nations with access to healthcare. Strangely, humans with ready access to food,
controlled climate housing, and healthcare tend to outlive the humans who starve, die of disease, exposure or competition.

The average life expectancy in Kenya is 56 [2]. In the United States the life expectancy is 78 [3]. Should we conclude that Americans are more evolved than Kenyans? [2]

I would like to re-quote Holly Burke if I may:

my data and paper do not in any way bear directly on the "question of origins".

I'm sure they do not directly bear on origins; how about indirectly? Why use the word “directly”? Why not put the nail in the coffin and simply state:” My study has zero bearing on the question of origins?” It quite obvious that Holly Burke is displeased that her research is being used to fuel to creationist argument, yet it is just as obvious that she cannot discount its implications.

Argument and source discredited.

My opponent now dove head-first into probability mathematics, attempting to discredit the model set
forth by D.L. Abel. His reasoning made my jaw drop. To quote him directly “...in order for UPP to work, my opponent
would have to use the equation
on every possible form of self replicating molecule.”

Really? Do you think that would make the process simpler or even more complex? That's the most flagrant debate
suicide I've encountered thus far.
My opponent has essentially argued that the mathematical model is one
dimensional
, that many more stages are involved in abiogenisis. This makes the odds even more difficult.

We've gone from a mathematical improbability (a single self-replicating protein forming)
to a fascinating impossibility (multi-stage formation between a conglomerate of amino acids and proteins allowing them to evolve into a more complex generation of self-replicating proteins).

Argument allowed. No dispute required.

My opponent closes with the following statement: Macro-evolution is very well substantiated, in both the fossil record and DNA evidence, and is able to be the basis for accurate predictions.

I am unaware of any evidence or research that substantiates macro-evolution. I do, however, have a few field experts who wish to weigh in on this assumption:

"Darwinism was an interesting idea in the 19th century, when handwaving explanations gave a plausible, if not properly scientific, framework into which we could fit biological facts. However, what we have learned since the days of Darwin
throws doubt on natural selection's ability to create complex biological systems - and we still have little more than
handwaving as an argument in its favour."

Professor Colin Reeves, Dept of Mathematical Sciences Coventry University [4]

"Life as revealed by new technologies is more complicated than the Darwinian viewpoint anticipated. Thus evolutionary theory, which was considered to be a key foundation of biology in 1959, today has a more peripheral role. … modern science makes it possible to be a scientifically informed doubter of Darwinian theories of evolution."

Dr. Roland Hirsch, Chemistry [4]

"The ideology and philosophy of neo-Darwinism which is sold by its adepts as a scientific theoretical foundation of biology seriously hampers the development of science and hides from students the field’s real problems."

Dr. Vladimir L. Voeikov, Professor of Bioorganic, Moscow State University; member of the Russian
Academy of Natural Sciences [4]
Argument discredited.

Creationism or intelligent design has a place in the classroom for the same reason that evolutionary theory has a place.
Both make reasonable predictions of biological causality within a scientific framework and both seek to explain truth in origins. Limiting scientific study to popular theory is intellectually myopic, forces a singular, unchallenged viewpoint and as defined by the dictionary, is pure indoctrination.

indoctrinate - to teach (a person or group of people) systematically to accept doctrines, esp uncritically

http://creation.com... [1]

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

http://www.google.com... [3]

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

Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 4 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
@bjscj

"You attempted to degrade PRO's use of quotations by claiming the fallacy of authority. I disagree with your analysis of this move, since I don't believe it was a fallacy at all. It is in no way fallacious to cite sources that pertain to his point."

http://www.nizkor.org...

Pro was and is welcome to cite sources for his side, but if those sources are merely people asserting the truth of intelligent design, it is indeed a fallacy. Me citing Dawkins or any other scientist saying "we can see how true evolution is" does not prove evolution is true, unless I also add "because the fossil record and DNA evidence shows a clear linear progression for which we can test and make predictions off of". All of his quotes were the opinions of the authors that either things looked designed to them, or that they personally could not see how else it could have happened. This fits perfectly with the fallacy of appeal to authority.

"Furthermore, it absolutely seems relevant to me for PRO to demonstrate possible holes in evolution. The reason you reject creationism is because of the holes in the science you see."

If this were a debate about whether evolution or creationism is true, you'd have a point. However it was about whether Genesis should be in the classroom. Let's say that Pro sucessfully shows evolution is false, how does that in any way show Genesis is scientific?

"PRO's point seems to be that we would have to throw out evolution, too, if we have to throw out all theories which have holes."

I never said a theory that had holes did not belong in science. I said a theory must be testable, observable, and repeatable. If we threw out every theory with holes, out would go gravity. Point is, evolution had absolutely no place in this debate, it was entirely irrelevant as to whether creationism was scientific.

"Instead, you tried to apply rules to the debate in Round 2."

Those weren't rules, they were sources def
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 4 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
I'm not allowed to vote, but I can comment. Without reading the Pro and Con arguments, this is my opinion:

DESCRIBING, not "teaching" Creationism allows a science-oriented class to point out exactly how stupid/unscientific/irrational is Creationism. It also gets to point out how Creationists apparently think God is as stupid as Creationists are. For more details about how that can be so, see this Debate (replace initial dots with standard web-address characters):
htt.....ww.debate.org/debates/God-is-smart-Religions-are-stupid/1/

Also, see what I wrote at the end of these Forum discussions:
htt.....ww.debate.org/forums/religion/topic/22029/5/
htt.....ww.debate.org/forums/religion/topic/21979/5/
Posted by bjrscj 4 years ago
bjrscj
@GenesisCreation:

I think you did a fairly good job defending your point. I think you erred, though, by immediately and unquestioningly accepting the definition of science provided you by the CON. You agreed to operate under his rules, where he already set the parameters of what can and cannot be considered scientific. The question of what is considered "scientific" is in and of itself a philosophical argument, not a scientific one. I think you did a good job of salvaging the Burke data in your last round. Finally, as an aside, I hope to see less sarcasm in future debates in which you participate. I think it does nothing for your ultimate goal as a Christian (as I suppose you to be). Clearly HD did the same thing, but that is irrelevant.

@HD :

You attempted to degrade PRO's use of quotations by claiming the fallacy of authority. I disagree with your analysis of this move, since I don't believe it was a fallacy at all. It is in no way fallacious to cite sources that pertain to his point. Furthermore, it absolutely seems relevant to me for PRO to demonstrate possible holes in evolution. The reason you reject creationism is because of the holes in the science you see. PRO's point seems to be that we would have to throw out evolution, too, if we have to throw out all theories which have holes. That may not have been what you were looking for in the debate, but you didn't specify that in your Round 1. Instead, you tried to apply rules to the debate in Round 2, which is irresponsible and non-authoritative.

Good debate overall to both parties!
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
"Public High School Biology" is a basic science class. What is presented there should therefore be established science. The Darwinian theory of evolution is established science, while Biblical creationism as interpreted by Pro is not science at all, but rather a religious theory. An argument could be made that it ought to be presented, but in a course that includes religious theories, not in a science course.

The judging question was whether Pro should lose the conduct category in addition to sources and arguments. I thought that would be piling on.

Con disposed of the data from fruit flies adequately, but perhaps there is a larger point to be made. Natural selection occurs in response to environmental changes that challenge the organism. If a species occupies a static niche, we don't expect to see significant evolutionary changes. For example, horseshoe crabs have shown little change in 400 million years. The book "Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms" discusses many of these cases. Species subject to varying challenging environments, such as the precursors to humans, evolve much more quickly. In fact, the rate of evolution is itself a genetic characteristic. Humans have about 70 genetic mutations per individual per generation. Other species have mechanisms that are more effective in resisting mutations.
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 4 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
@GenesisCreation

Since you asked, you claimed: "His focus on the merits of evolution undermined his assigned task to discredit Genesis or intelligent design."

That was what upset me. I did not focus on it, I only responded to your comments so it did not seem like I was simply a dodging. In fact, in my opening nonacceptance remarks, I said " Citing something that evolution or any other available theory cannot explain is not enough to establish a separate theory by itself. " So I didn't focus on it. I wanted something that was actually science, something that could be tested, but all you gave was quotes from people saying either things had the appearance of design or evolution had problems. None of that has ANYTHING to do with Genesis, at best you could say it was related to ID, but even then, only as an argument from ignorance.

Alongside evolution was put in there specifically so you wouldn't have to both show genesis is scientific ANd debunk evolution. It was so we could focus on whether genesis was scientific, it was for your brenfit, and the discussion.
Posted by GenesisCreation 4 years ago
GenesisCreation
HD,
Please take a glimpse at the resolution:
"Resolved: Biblical Creation Should Be Taught Alongside Evolution in Public High School Biology"

Now take a look at your opening definitions:
"Should public schools be teaching Biblical creation in science classrooms, particularly Biology, alongside the teaching of Evolution. "

Now, I understand that you attempted to remove yourself from defending the evolutionary paradigm, but the resolution concerned the teaching of creation ALONG SIDE evolution. You cannot ignore evolution and despite your attempts to separate yourself from it, you DID call it a fact and you DID argue it's merits. After all, you posted a rebuttal to most of my attacks on the subjects.

Your entire debate can be summarized as: "Evolution is verifiable fact but I don't need it to win."

Now, explain to me how you can feel offended for me rightfully claiming that you pervasively defended evolution throughout the debate? Are you a law-student or something? You're like a semantics mastermind.

I feel, if I had claimed that you failed your burden and didn't defend evolution, you'd cry foul by the same token. It's ridiculous.
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 4 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
@GenesisCreation

I am not pandering, I was responding to a comment. I was not asking said commenter to change their vote. I thank you for your kind words, but to be honest, you last rebutall did upset me a bit. I truly feel that I was quite clear about the irrelevancy of evolution in this debate, and that I was quite consistent in that sentiment, yet in the end you made it seem like I was the one bringing it up and obsessing over it. You'll have to forgive me, but I found that to be unfair.

As you request, I will refrain from further comment about the debate unless specifically addressed.
Posted by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
RFD Cont'd. I gave sources to Con for his diligent research into the fruit-fly experiment, which hurt Pro's use of that data, even though--in my opinion--it was ultimately irrelevant to the debate resolution as stated.
Posted by GenesisCreation 4 years ago
GenesisCreation
HD, let's not pander for votes. The debate is over. I'm quite sure you'll win, you did a marvelous job. I learned a few neat tricks from this. That being said, a little humility may do you some good. You know quite well that I gave several examples of scientific study that could test predictions made by the Genesis model. The only reason you ignored them is because they are rooted in creation, not evolution. That eliminates every other possibility outside your paradigm and that's quite myopic.
Creationism does not seek to prove God, it seeks to study the possibility of divine influence. It studies the effect of design, rather than chance and that's certainly scientific.

I would ask little more tact from you. Let the voting period pass before you discuss this further. People need to vote on the debate, not your "add-on" in this commentary.
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 4 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
Despite the title, you do make a good point Orator. I could have made that argument, but instead choose to let Pro make a positive case for biblical creation. He never did that, instead only trying to undermine evolution, which would make your argument valid as without positive evidence for specifically genesis, we'd have to teach all creation myths.

Frankly, I do hope some give me the conduct vote. Pro's final response twisted the entire debate around, insisting it was me who kept bringing up evolution when it was him all along. I even argued that I could grant evolution was completley false, but that it still wouldn't mean ID or creationism was scientific. He chose to ignore that and spend the entire time trying to show how evolution was untenable, with a few quotes from people who agree with him but cite nothing other than an argument from ignorance. Never does he discuss why creationism is scientific.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
HonestDiscussionerGenesisCreationTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro concedes that Biblical creation is not science when he asserts, "This debate is not about the scientific merit of biological theory or truths in origins. It’s about fair access to ideas." That's not a reason to teach religion in a biology class. Con's definition of science and the argument that unproven theories could be excluded were not answered by Pro. Con pointed out the mistakes in creation "science."
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 4 years ago
ScottyDouglas
HonestDiscussionerGenesisCreationTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Bith had good spelling better than mine.lol. But i feel that Pro gave reasons why the resolution could be true and did not stick with it so I give him arguements and no conduct. I also do not give conduct to Con for not sticking with the debate he started but I give him sources because he did a good job with what he brought forward and supplied alot sources but so did Pro. Good job both!
Vote Placed by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
HonestDiscussionerGenesisCreationTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a fascinating yet frustrating debate. The data was deep and satisfying, but it was all about the merits of evolution rather than focusing on the resolution at hand. Con's default position seemed to shrug off ID as nonsense and Pro seemed to focus on how ludicrous Macro-Evolution was. I read this debate twice, and I felt like neither side fully stepped up. Sure, Pro advocated free exchange of ideas, but didn't show why ID should be taught in "High School Biology." Argument ended in tie.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
HonestDiscussionerGenesisCreationTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments to the con because Pro argued that creationism can be valid, not why it should be taught in Public High Schools. Sources go to con because he proved that some of Pro's sources can't be trusted and that he misrepresented a few quotes. I almost through in the conduct vote for a combination of the two, but with further thought I don't think it's deserved.