The Instigator
Mr.sarcastic
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Blade-of-Truth
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Should public schools teach creationism alongside evolution in science classes?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Blade-of-Truth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 924 times Debate No: 49240
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

Mr.sarcastic

Pro

The debate is on whether or not public schools should teach creationism alongside evolution in science classes?

1st Round: Acceptance
2nd Round: Opening arguments
3rd Round: Rebuttals
4th Round: Closing Arguments

Thank you.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I accept. I hope this is a fun and interesting debate, and wish my opponent the best of luck!
Debate Round No. 1
Mr.sarcastic

Pro

Creationism and evolution, both theories, thoughts and opinions of how we came to be. Some people believe there is proof behind evolution and supporting it more, thus causing people to believe in should be taught in schools. They believe there is absolutely no proof of creationism. It is unfair to teach one side of something and not the other. Why teach something without giving the students all the information that could be given. Another reason people do not believe creationism should be taught is that it is a force of beliefs and religion onto one. Obviously, this is not true. Both are controversial theories, but in the end they both should be taught in school. Personally, I feel that creationism should be taught OVER evolution. But, that's just my opinion.

I will end my opening argument here and let con give his statements. Thank You.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I do not believe public schools should teach Creationism alongside Evolution in Science Classes. First, I will lay out some definitions for clarification purposes.

Creationism: the belief that God created all things out of nothing as described in the Bible and that therefore the theory of evolution is incorrect. [1]

Evolution: a theory that the differences between modern plants and animals are because of changes that happened by a natural process over a very long time. [2]

Science: systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. [3]

Class: a group of students meeting regularly to study a subject under the guidance of a teacher. [4]

[1]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3]http://dictionary.reference.com...
[4]http://dictionary.reference.com...

I. Is Evolution and Creationism the same subject?

In our society, it has been a common practice to break up a students education throughout the year into separate subjects to be studied in the appropriate class settings. Most commonly, we will see class schedules consisting of certain meeting locations and times for subjects like math, science, art, physical education, etc., The topic up for debate poses a serious question when considering how classes are set up. Should we jeopardize the tried-and-true method of instruction in order to present a religious subject during a science class?

The problem is that by the very definition of science [3], the theory of creationism [1] cannot be considered a scientific subject which can be studied by observation and experimentation. Therefore, it is fruitless to present such information during class time that is meant to be dedicated to the study of science, not religion.

II. It is not the responsibility of the government to fund religious studies.

In America, their is a practice called the separation of church and state. Now, let's consider how public schools receive the funding necessary to run and remain open. They simply receive funding from the government. Considering that public schools receive funding from the government, they really can't even teach religious subjects as that would be a contradiction to the primary laws put in place to separate church and state. [5] This is why private schools exist. Many people wanted their children to be taught religious values while in school, thus private religious schools have come to be almost as common as public schools nowadays.

[5] http://www.wallbuilders.com...

III. Evolution is a Science, not a religious subject.

The word “evolution” in its broadest sense refers to change or growth that occurs in a particular order. This theory is sometimes crudely referred to as the theory of “survival of the fittest.” It was proposed by Charles Darwin in On the Origin of Species in 1859. [6] Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is one of the best substantiated theories in the history of science, supported by evidence from a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including palaeontology, geology, genetics and developmental biology. [7]

[6] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[7] http://www.livescience.com...

As I have pointed out earlier, Creationism is not a scientific theory - but rather a religious belief. I do not believe that such an opposing subject should contaminate the true nature of a science class.

Considering that Creationism is a religious study rather than scientific theory, it is clear to see that people have countless opportunities to be exposed to such a study. More often than not, if you were raised in a religious home of Christians, Muslims or Jews then you would know that many of these people naturally are raised on the belief of Creationism. It isn't like religious people don't have equal opportunities to learn such theories. Ultimately, if you wish to study creationism you need to be focusing on having the government fund classes that teach such subjects. Trying to squeeze such theories into a class dedicated to the study of a completely different subject is not a reasonable solution.

Therefore, I do not believe public schools should teach Creationism alongside Evolution in science classes.
Debate Round No. 2
Mr.sarcastic

Pro

Now, science comes from the Latin word scientia, meaning "knowledge." Science is the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding. Here's the thing. There are two types of science. There's experimental or observational. These use the scientific method, principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. Whether you're an evolutionist or creationist, we both use the same experimental and observational science. Here is the problem though with public school textbooks. They use the same word science for observational and historical science. They also define science as naturalism and outlaw the supernatural. Molecules-to-man evolution is presented as factual information. It is completely unfair that they propose the ideas of Darwin but not ideas from the Bible. They both have lack of evidence and they are both beliefs.

Creationism is not a religious subject. It is science, just as evolution is. It provides information on how we came to be just how evolution does. Both should be taught and explained in the public school system. No one has to say what is right and what is wrong, because, there is no right and wrong, to every single person at least. No one is forcing religious beliefs on anyone. Largely because it isn't a completely religious subject, but, as mentioned before, a scientific subject.

Evolution and Creationism, they are both science and theories. Not one is just science and the other purely a theory. Creationism proposes many points on how me came to be, it just lacks a bit of evidence, as does evolution. I mean, if you think about it, Creationism just makes more sense then evolution. Truly, how can something morph and evolve into such a complex object, such as ourselves, from an explosion? Nothing good comes from an explosion. However, this is not a debate on whether or not evolution is a viable explanation of our existence.

I apologize for taking so long, but I was having trouble with debate.org.

http://www.sciencemadesimple.com...
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I. "Whether you're an evolutionist or creationist, we both use the same experimental and observational science."

This statement made by my opponent is false. The fact that the exact boundary between science and non-science is somewhat fuzzy is a current dilemma facing many debates of this nature, but there are some cases that clearly fall on one side or the other of that line. This dilemma is known as the Demarcation Problem [1], which is the philosophical problem of determining what types of hypotheses should be considered scientific and what types should be considered pseudoscience or non-scientific.

A scientific hypothesis is the initial building block in the scientific method. Many describe it as an “educated guess,” based on prior knowledge and observation, as to the cause of a particular phenomenon. It is a suggested solution for an unexplained occurrence that does not fit into current accepted scientific theory. A hypothesis is the inkling of an idea that can become a theory, which is the next step in the scientific method. For a hypothesis to be termed a scientific hypothesis [2], it has to be something that can be supported or refuted through carefully crafted experimentation or observation.

Various forms of creationism fail on all counts here. For example, “intelligent design” creationism [3] makes no testable predictions at all – it makes no checkable claims about how to identify design, who the designer is, what the designer’s goals and motives are, what the mechanism of design is, or when and where the design takes place. In fact, it makes no positive claims whatsoever, other than the hopelessly vague assertion that some intelligent being played a role in the diversification of life.

Other forms of creationism, such as the "young-earth creationism" [4] derived from a literal reading of the Bible, do make some testable claims. However, when these claims do not pan out, YEC advocates typically seek to rescue them from falsification by adding additional qualifications that make them untestable. For example, when radiometric and other dating methods show the Earth to be older than the 6,000 years YEC predicts, advocates of this idea often respond by saying that the world was created with an "appearance of age" – that it came complete with false evidence of a history that never happened. [5] No conceivable evidence could prove this idea wrong even in principle, making any version of creationism that relies on it unambiguously not science.

[1] http://rationalwiki.org...
[2] http://www.livescience.com...
[3] http://ncse.com...
[4] http://rationalwiki.org...
[5] http://www.icr.org...

II. The problem with public school textbooks is they define science as naturalism and outlaw the supernatural.

A scientific hypothesis must be naturalistic, relying only on principles of cause and effect and laws of nature to explain observed phenomena. [6]

Supernatural is defined as: unable to be explained by science or the laws of nature : of, relating to, or seeming to come from magic, a god, etc. [7]

An idea that is not naturalistic – i.e., that incorporates supernatural intervention and miracles – cannot be part of science, because it is impossible to test, disprove, or further investigate. Once one has concluded a miracle has occurred, there is nothing more that can be done. The proposal that a miracle happened can explain absolutely any imaginable scenario with equal ease, which is the same as saying that it really does not explain anything at all. On this score, there is abundant evidence that creationism in all its forms is not naturalistic, and indeed is absolutely dependent upon miracles, as creationists themselves admit. [8]

[6] https://helda.helsinki.fi...
[7] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[8] http://biologos.org...

In Conclusion,

As anyone can see, these two opposing views cannot possibly be taught under the umbrella of a science class. Creationism cannot, nor ever will, be accepted into the realm of science based on its failure to meet the standards necessary to run through a scientific method. Considering my previous arguments still remain unchallenged, I extend all of them into the final round. I look forward to my opponents rebuttals and final conclusion.


Debate Round No. 3
Mr.sarcastic

Pro

The statement I made about creationists and evolutionists is true. You may have taken it too far. The science they use is the true science. The science used to design electronics, medicines, etc. The science portrayed in public school textbooks are purely evolutionist science.

Typically, if you believe evolution has happened than you are probably an atheist, more likely than not. By teaching atheist ways and not Biblical, it violates the First Amendment (Freedom of Religion).

Another thing to consider is that we all have he same evidence. Whether your'e a creationist or an evolutionist we have the same evidence. The same animals, the same fossils, the same skeletons. It's all the same evidence. The difference is how we interrupt the past with that evidence. It is a battle of worldviews; how we came to be. There is a big difference between historical and origin science, and experimental and observational science. With experimental and observational science you are able o test things, look at what happens, test something directly. With historical or origin science you cannot; that is what the problem is with public schools. They are not teaching kids how to think critically.

In conclusion, the creation and evolution debate is a conflict between two philosophical worldviews based on two different accounts of origins or historical science beliefs. Teaching pure evolutionary views of science will not provide students with valuable information needed in order to learn what science is. Creationism is science. It is not a religious belief. Thus it must be taught in school in order for students to be educated and be able to, once again, think critically.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

First and foremost, I would like to clarify something my opponent said: "Typically, if you believe evolution has happened than you are probably an atheist, more likely than not. By teaching atheist ways and not Biblical, it violates the First Amendment (Freedom of Religion)."

I am not an Atheist. I am an Agnostic. To think that evolution somehow disproves the existence of a God is ignorance at its best. Whether God exists or not, and whether I am an Atheist, Christian, or Agnostic has absolutely no relevance in this debate. Furthermore, Freedom of Religion is not being violated. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from endorsing any particular religious belief. This prohibition ensures that our public schools remain places in which students of all faiths – or those who do not ascribe to religious beliefs – may learn in an atmosphere free from divisive theological debates and sectarianism. [1]

If anything, Freedom of Religion is the reason WHY the schools can never teach Creationism, especially in a Science class.

[1] http://archive.adl.org...

In the last two rounds, I have provided evidence proving that creationism can never be considered a science based on the fact that it will never meet the standards set by the scientific method. It is literally impossible to validate the claims made by creationism using the methods we currently have at our disposal as a collective community responsible for determining scientific validity. At the end of the day, my opponent's arguments can be broken down into 3 main contentions:

1) That science portrayed in public school textbooks are purely evolutionist science.
2) That schools only present experimental and observational science.
3) Because of 1 & 2, schools fail to teach kids how to think critically.

I. Science portrayed in public school textbooks are purely evolutionist science.

I think what my opponent is trying to say is that public school textbooks only present evolution as a science instead of both evolution and creationism. This is basically the fundamental essence of this entire debate. Many different classes within our education programs have class-specific books assigned to the students. Unfortunately for my opponent, the theory of creationism has never even met the standards to be considered a scientific hypothesis because there are no ways in which to experiment or evaluate the claims made by creationism. Unless it can meet the standards, it has no rightful place to be in a science book. Even if science books did allow non-scientific hypothesis to be included in the print, it would never be allowed in the text of a public school science book because of the Freedom of Religion amendment that my opponent tried using against me earlier. His point is not a valid one because it can never be done. It was based on a claim that is legally impossible for public schools to do.

II. Schools only present experimental and observational science.

While my opponent attempts to present this as a negative thing, allow me to explain why this statement is also false.
Firstly, by saying schools only present ... that is ignoring the fact that many private and religious schools do indeed teach historical and/or origin science.

Secondly, as I have explained above - to be included in a public school science book, the theory must meet the standards necessary to make it through the scientific method. Historical and/or origin science fails to meet those standards. Therefore, they can't possibly be included in science class lessons or textbooks.

Lastly, it is not uncommon to find that many historical sciences can be found in other classes suchas world studies, history classes, geography and any other class that includes teaching the history of the subject at hand. When it comes to origin science, most serious studies into that field don't arise until post high-school education. With that said, one will most certainly be presented with historical and origin science if attending a non-public school such as private, charter, and religious schools.

III. Because of 1 & 2, schools don't teach kids how to think critically.

I believe it is safe to say that critical thinking does not come only from the study of creationism.

Critical thinking can be defined as: the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. [2]

[2] https://www.criticalthinking.org...

By this standard alone it is safe to say that one isn't even practicing critical thinking by claiming that creationism is a science worthy of study in a science class. But more importantly, critical thinking is a skill that can be formed in many different ways and manners. Critical thinking can be sparked by an inspiring speech which raises questions one might have never pondered before. It can be speaked by the teacher showing students that there is more than one way to approach a problem. It is highly illogical to assume that critical thinking can only be formed by including non-science hypothesis and histories such as Creationism into a science class.

In Conclusion,

I have presented my case as to why I believe that public schools should not teach creationism alongside evolution in science classes. I have shown my audience that it takes more than mere miracles to be considered valid within the scientific community based on the standards set by our collective community.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by peacefrog 3 years ago
peacefrog
"I mean, if you think about it, Creationism just makes more sense then evolution. Truly, how can something morph and evolve into such a complex object, such as ourselves, from an explosion? Nothing good comes from an explosion."

Thanks, that part made me crack up.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
Pro never made a sufficient case for his position.

He tried to claim that Creationism was scientific, but never supported that claim outside of merely asserting it was so, and claimed that there was "no right and wrong" in science. Which would completely negate the teaching of <em>any</em> science in school, really, since nothing could be presented as correct.

Pro's way to win this would have been to present justification for why Creationism was scientific, and why it was sufficiently justified to include it on science curriculum. Appealing to there being "no right and wrong" was not the way to do it. Further, the irony of Pro's attempt to merely repeat Ken Ham's arguments re: supposed "observational" science vs. "historical" science while attacking the critical thinking skills of those who aren't taught Creationism isn't lost on this voter. For sourcing, Con presented more, and more reliable, sources, winning the point.

As always, happy to clarify anything in this RFD.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
Mr.sarcasticBlade-of-TruthTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by SchinkBR 3 years ago
SchinkBR
Mr.sarcasticBlade-of-TruthTied
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Reasons for voting decision: While I still agree with pro (at least in regards to intelligent design which was not accurately defined by con), Con definitely made the better argument. Pro did very little to disprove Con's claim that Creationism is purely religious and not science. While this claim can be refuted, pro did not site it and tended to merely repeat his previous statements. Without the appropriate proof and support to establish Creationism as a scientific theory, I cannot give pro the win.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
Mr.sarcasticBlade-of-TruthTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Creationism isn't science, it has to do with faith.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Mr.sarcasticBlade-of-TruthTied
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Reasons for voting decision: My bias is too strong to give this fair consideration.