The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Science Is Dead

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/16/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 331 times Debate No: 96168
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




Science is dead.

We have become a world of brainwashed idiots permanently addicted to entertaining ourselves.

Put down your phone, turn off the Xbox and debate me.

Don't worry, Facebook and Instagram will still be there when we are done.


I thank pro for the opportunity to debate this rather unusual topic.


Science is Is Dead

Allow me to lay out some definitions:


"A systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe."


"no longer having life"

My interpretation of the resolution is that pro is arguing that the entire discourse of science is stagnant in acquiring knowledge.


As con, it is merely my job to negate pro's arguments for why science is dead; I am not required to argue for why it is not dead, however I am permitted to. Along these, lines I can negate the resolution by showing that science has made substantial gains in knowledge in many fields, and fostered technological innovation that is beneficial to human well being i.e medical advances and engineering developments, as well discoveries in the social sciences.
I look forward to pro's arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


Well...really I was just kind of joking around. I was going to point out stuff like the fact the either Clinton or Trump will be our next president and that proves we as a people, have lost the ability to make rational decisions. We stumble around with our heads buried in a 6 inch box, thinking of nothing but clever hashtags.

But since Con want to be serious, we can do that,,,

A basic version of the scientific process that has led humanity to this point works like this -
Step 1 Make on observation.
Step 2 Formulate a theory to explain why something is happening
Step 3 Test the theory, usually by making predictions.
Step 4 If the theory fails the test, reject it and think of a new idea that may be correct.

We have screwed that up.

It's all gone wrong at Step 4. Today we no longer reject theories when they have failed.

We invent new theories to save the failed theories. Then when that fails, we invent another and another and another.

This line of thinking never allows us to admit we are wrong. Real science would celebrate being wrong, but not us, we have too much pride, too much arrogance.

In 1900 there were only a few thousand cars in America

If you wanted to get from one city to another, odds are, you took a horse and wagon for some if not all the journey.

Heck, Cowboys were still fighting Indians. Many say the last Indian uprising was the Posey war of 1923.

But a person born in the back of a covered wagon on the Oregon trail in 1900, could board a plane and fly to London at twice the speed of sound by and then hear a man speak from the surface of the moon in 1969.

In one persons lifetime.

Alternating Current
Splitting the Atom
CT Scan

But since then what?

A person born in 5000 BC didn't have a very different life than someone born in 1700 AD, In fact, we are still wondering how the Egyptians pulled some of that stuff off.

But the time period between 1700 and 1972 saw more technological progress than all of human history combined and then multiplied by a million.

What happened?

In a word - THEORY

Theory replaced fact, and all of science died.

They say in a debate you should never ask a question you don't already know the answer to - But I really just want to know.

Con can you please name any invention or discovery that HAS made a significant difference in humanity, since 1972?

Notice I said "has", not "could" or "should".

Our idea of progress is a new Iphone. But everything that touches our life today is just an improvement on something that was invented before most of us were born.

The Big Bang Theory is no longer that, its current name would be The Hot Big Bang Lamda Cold Dark Matter Slow Role Inflationary Model which has to be re-written every 5 seconds.
It defines the Universe as about -
73% Invisible,Undetectable Dark Energy
23% Invisible, Undetectable Dark Matter
Floating around in a infinite number of Invincible, Undetectable Parallel Universes.
Which we can't find because they are probably hiding in Invisible, Undetectable Alternate Dimensions.

Yeah.. You want to tell me the Universe is 13.7 billion years old but you can't find 96% of it? Really?!!?

What exactly does it take for someone to admit that something is wrong? How many imaginary forces and energies have to be added before someone says,"Alright, that's enough!"

Our best minds are trapped in a word of failed theories. They aren't thinking of new theories that might be correct.

They are stuck trying to save failed ideas.

Stuck developing a new theory of what sort of shoes go with the Emperor's New Suit.



Science is predicted on empiricism, which makes the following proposition:

The Empiricism Thesis: We have no source of knowledge in S or for the concepts we use in S other than sense experience[1].

This is to say scientific knowledge is a posteriori, which indicates a few axioms.

Science is predicated on axioms such:

    1. The reliability of reason

    1. The validity of sensory input

    1. The uniformity of nature

These axioms could conceivably be false in some possible world W, however they appear to be true in this world, and as such we can make meaningful claims. Science is not in the business of providing information with 100% certainty, it is in the business of providing information with maximum certainty. Due to the problem of hard solipsism , it seems to be impossible to have justified certainty, so if pro’s disposition with science is that it doesn’t provide certainty, then it will never be resolved.

Semantic Distinction:

The everyday use of the word theory is different from the scientific use of the word theory.

In everyday use, theory may be synonymous to a conjecture or speculation, however science takes a way more rigorous definition: “ scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed, preferably using a written, pre-defined, protocol of observations and experiments”[2].

Let’s juxtapose this definition with what a “fact” is.


“ A thing that is indisputably the case.”

A fact is an expression of certainty. As aforementioned, science is not in the business, nor has it ever been in the business of making “fact”, or”certainty” claims.

A scientific theory can be interpreted as the best possible explanation, or what is most reasonably the case. So pro’s objection that the replacement of fact over theory ruined science is erroneous, because science never been in the business of epistemological certainty.

Advancements in Science:

Pro appears to be merely asking that I produce one advancement since 72, however I can do much better.


Advances in AI, or artificial technology, obviously post-1972, yields many benefits.

    1. Animal preservation- AI’s are used to track and monitor endangered species, and keep an accurate measure of the population.

    1. Search and rescue. AI’s can scan disaster areas efficiently and accurately, locating and subsequently saving trapped individuals at a much more higher rate than traditional methods.

    1. Regarding cyber security, AI’s can identify security vulnerabilities and offer solutions to these.

    1. Sensory repair, a man was paralyzed from a car crash, and two chip implantations, one in the sensory cortex, and one in the motor cortex, allowed the man to telekinetically control a prosthetic arm and the arm allowed him to feel.


New Ancestor:

In 2015, a previously undiscovered precursor to modern humans was found -- homo nalendi.


Gene modification has been making significant progress, having many implications such as the modification non-human organs such that they would be viable for human transplant, and even the genetic modification of mosquitoes to eliminate malaria.


211 new species were discovered in 2015 alone.

Cancer Detection:

Swedish scientists developed a blood-test that can detect cancer 96% of the time, and furthermore classify the cancer, and inform courses of treatment.


A new antibiotic called teixobactin was produced, which can treat conditions such as tuberculosis, septicaemia, and C. diff(clostridium difficile colitis). This antibiotic may usher in a new era of antibiotic development against resistant bacteria.



    1. Science is not concerned with “facts”, and as such “theory” is the best we can hope far, but this is not a problem, “theory” is the most rigorous expression of science we have.

    1. There have been many recent, significant developments in science.






Debate Round No. 2


Honestly, I don't know what it is with this site. I been here a week and this is the Fourth time somebody wanted to debate the meaning of "Scientific Theory".

The correct and classic definition of the word; Theory - an idea that has yet to be proven true.

Seems to be inconceivable to many people.

They claim there is a difference between the "Scientific Definition" of the word and the "Everyday Definition" of the word.

They may have brought me around to their way of thinking.

The words, "Scientific Theory" should have an alternate definition. Here's my suggestion.

Scientific Theory (noun) - A way to sell a sucker anything. A hypocritical statement that allows an incorrect statement to be presented as true.

How can you not notice the hypocrisy of your position?

Tests and observations prove that an idea is false - and you say, "That's OK because it's only a Theory."

I then suggest it should be taught as only a possible but unproven idea and then people go crazy. Shouting, "It's a Scientific Theory" and that means it's Science, and no other ideas should be presented. It's Science, and that makes it's right.

You idea boils down to saying, A "Scientific Theory" should be taught as though it is true and then excused when proven false.

How can you call that science? How can you justify saving theories with theories?

Are you completely oblivious to the fact that no idea could ever be proven wrong, by this reasoning.

When Theory 1 fails invent Theory 2 to save it.
When Theory 2 fails invent Theory 3 to save it.
When Theory 3 fails invent Theory 4 to save it.
Rinse, Lather, Repeat

Stuck, repeating the behavior expecting a different result.

I asked Con to name any invention or discovery that HAS made a significant difference in humanity since 1972.

And everything he mentions, fails to meet that test.

He mentions AI (Artificial Intelligence) This fails on two levels. First, it does not impact humanity in any significant way at this point. Can you honestly tell me AI has had the same impact on our way of life as Alternating Current? Or a Light Bulb?
Second, AI is just logical extension of previously discovered technology. In 1956, shortly after the invention of the computer, scientists at Dartmouth began working on AI Nothing new here. - Fail

Next he mentioned a New Ancestor:
Did this make your electric bill go down? How about cure cancer? How was anybodies life changed by this, never mind all of humanity? - Fail

Next he mentions CRISPR:

Did you read in the question where I stated - "Notice I said "has", not "could" or "should".
Yet, here is what you answer with -
Gene modification has been MAKING significant progress,
they WOULD be viable for human transplant

There HAS been no progress MADE here, only the promise that the check is in the mail, so this fails as well.

Next is Species,
211 new species were discovered in 2015 alone.
And once again, this has absolutely no impact on humanity. These species have existed all along. Do you really think these species weren't here in 1972? - Fail

Cancer Detection:
Swedish scientists developed a blood-test that can detect cancer 96% of the time, and furthermore classify the cancer, and inform courses of treatment.
Again, Whats new here? Scientists or Blood Tests? The technology you infer but don't mention is antibody-based matrix and it's been around for a long time.
Quote -
Antibody-based identification methods have been used in some form for decades.
So this fails because 1. It's not in common use all over the world. In fact, I'm not sure the technology you mention is in public use anywhere.2. It's just an extension of old stuff.

And Lastly - New Antibiotic FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 30 YEARS:
Here we go again -This antibiotic MAY usher in a new era of antibiotic
SO...Antibiotics..not new. In use all over the Making a significant difference in humanity RIGHT NOW- Fail.

Does anything you mentioned affect millions of people everyday such as penicillin?
Does anything you mentioned affect millions of people everyday such as airplanes?
Does anything you mentioned affect millions of people everyday such as satellites?

Not only does everything you mentioned fail the test of making a SIGNIFICANT difference to all humanity. Nothing even comes close.

We have killed in innovation with theory.
We have killed progress with theory.

In 1985, a time-travel movie called Back to the Future, made numerous predictions about life 30 years into the future. All of which seemed perfectly reasonable, at the time.
1. Flying Cars.
2. Fusion Reactors
3. Real Hoverboards

Since the actors are still alive, they just make fun of how absolutely nothing has changed in 30 years-

Science is Dead and the blind defense of failed theories is what killed it.

I'll take a supersonic passenger jet to London and celebrate my win in this debate, Oh wait.. I'd first have to time travel back to 1972 to get access to that kind of advanced technology.


I hope it is extremely clear that pro has not upheld the BoP, or affirmed the resolution. Per the definitions I put forth in the opening, which pro has not displayed any dissatisfaction with, pro has not established that science is dead.

Pro seems to believe that words just have one meaning, this is demonstrably false. The word "article" has one meaning in linguistics, and another in everyday use.

"A word used alongside a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun."

"A piece of writing about a particular subject that is included in a magazine, newspaper, etc."

Which definition is right? Both of them are, however it depends on in what context one is using the word. Regarding theory, in science, the word is not used to denote something yet to be proved, it is used to denote an idea which has substantial evidence for it.

Pro says:"Tests and observations prove that an idea is false - and you say, "That's OK because it's only a Theory."

If an idea is proved false, it's no longer viable, and scientists throw out the window.

We also hear pro saying that scientists save theories by postulating other theories. He has not provided one example of this. I don't even know how one would go about retroactively substantiating theories through other theories, which of themselves need substantiation. This is utterly incoherent.

If theory X fails in explaining phenomena Z, theory Y is put forth, not to retroactively prove X, because in many cases X and Y are mutually exclusive in explaining phenomena Z.

Pro says:"I asked Con to name any invention or discovery that HAS made a significant difference in humanity since 1972. "
This is to erroneously shift the BoP. It is pros job to provide reasons for why science is dead. Also, this is to shift the goalposts, because per the previously established definitions, we are not discussing "significant differences in humanity", we are discussing advances in science, which I have provided many examples of.

Pro seems to be convinced that in order for science to make progress, it has to create some new field. Science is a process that builds off prior knowledge in order to investigate phenomena, and produce new information. So when pro says any phenomena X has already been discovered, yes that it is exactly the point, science takes this prior discovery makes more progress on it.

pro says "Gene modification has been MAKING significant progress,
they WOULD be viable for human transplant"

Yes, we have been making significant progress, and we are continuing to, and continuing to do something is the opposite of being dead. Would, in this context, denotes that non-human organs that would otherwise not be viable, WOULD be viable for human transplant.

Pro says:"Again, What's new here? Scientists or Blood Tests? The technology you infer but don't mention is antibody-based matrix and it's been around for a long time."

Once again, continuing to advance pre existing technologies, and building off of prior knowledge is what science does. Furthermore, continued progress is the opposite of what one would expect to see if science was dead.

Pro says:"And once again, this has absolutely no impact on humanity. These species have existed all along. Do you really think these species weren't here in 1972? - Fail"

This is to miss the point, this discovery has profound implications on evolutionary biology, zoology and so forth. The new knowledge of these species is significant. It doesn't matter if this discovery has a huge impact on humanity, because it's an advancement that science has made.

I'm not going to waste my time and respond to all of these critiques, because the principle is still the same, pro has utterly missed the point.


Pro fails to understand that words have different meanings in different context. Science doesn't have to generate some new field in order to make progress, nor do scientific discoveries have to significantly affect humanity in order to make progress. Theoretical physics has no bearing on humanity, however theoretical physics is anything but dead. Science builds off prior technology and knowledge and further develops these. I have provided many examples of new discoveries in science, and in the example of blood-detection of cancer, who cares if it's preexistent, the further development of this technology will undoubtedly have a significant on humanity. Science is not dead, it's alive and well, and if any one of my examples of recent scientific developments are infact valid, then this alone necessitates a con vote. I thank pro for this debate, however he has failed to uphold the BoP, and as such science remains alive.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ADHDavid 4 months ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro argues that science isn't making discoveries and tries to argue that electronics have dimmed reasoning. Pro states he started out 'joking'. Con easily rebutes all of the arguments presented, stays grammatically proper, and makes very few mistakes in his wording. Overall, this debate went to Con.