The Instigator
THeMann32
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
JohnMaynardKeynes
Pro (for)
Winning
29 Points

Should we Debate Creationists, or should we excluded them from Scientific discussion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
JohnMaynardKeynes
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/17/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 959 times Debate No: 54897
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (5)

 

THeMann32

Con

I am Against Debating creationists ,in an Age where we have the media promoting certain views and discouraging others, It is very important that as far as science goes, we, as in our media, schools and institution, do NOT debate with science deniers. Doing so furthers their position as the other side, a legitimate alternative scientific theory that presents its own facts. Many people now think that, Evolution AND the creation story are in conflict over an unsure issue. Evolution is and has been the only choice with regard to facts, history, paleontology, biology etc... It only make sense that when we talk about scientific theories, we should only discuss the ones that are actually scientific.
JohnMaynardKeynes

Pro

I accept this debate and will be arguing for debating, rather than excluding creationists, from scientific discussions.

Truly, the fact of the matter is this: we do know where the science is and has always been. The Earth is about 4.6 billion years old, the universe about 13.2 million, and evolution is the driving generational force.

All of this has been proven scientifically, and Con and I both agree that these ought to win out in the end.

Therefore, our main disagreement has to do with methodology. He seems to think that merely by excluding people, we're advancing our own cause. In fact, we're doing just the opposite.

Let me provide a pertinent example. About 1 in four Americans are "skeptical" of climate change (http://tinyurl.com...). John Oliver did a segment on Last Week Tonight (http://tinyurl.com...) where he took a position quite similar to Con's: essentially, he wants to report "one in four Americans are wrong on climate change" and likened it to 1 in 4 Americans denigning the existence of owls.

But the fact is this: we don't win people over to our side by demeaning them or excluding them from the debate -- and this goes largely to people who are apathetic or have been lied to for all of their lives, or told, perhaps by a mainstream news outlet, that there are two equally valid sides when we know, on an issue such as climate change or evolution, the "debate" is largely over.

So, I think the only way to address this issue is by debating these people on the facts and evaluating their arguments. To say that we shouldn't debate creationism is to suggest that, merely because it may not be possible to convert Ken Ham to the side of since, we should cede ground to him with people who are either apathetic or not sure -- the "undecided voters" portion. We suggest that we are too timid or too arrogant to discuss these issues. By saying "the debate is over and we won't even discuss this with you" is to betray an inherent arrogance. Why not just win the win debate?
Debate Round No. 1
THeMann32

Con

First, I want to start off by saying that there are plenty of science deniers that we refused to debate with and have delegitimized, Take the Geocentric crowd, once very popular but more a laughing stock. Even still geocentrism holds some wait, "Recent polls have suggested that one in four Americans are unaware the Earth revolves around the sun"(www.rawstory.com)

But know one in their right mind would want to debate with Geocentrists, the obvious solution is to Stress and increase Educational efforts about the issue. So my point is that we treat creationism In the exact same way. My opponent said we cede ground to and lose the apathetic and undecided voters by demeaning them. This would be true if debate was the only way to validate and further ones side. But increased awareness and stress education under the pretext of science denial is much more preferable than debates that just assure ideological entrenchment.
JohnMaynardKeynes

Pro

I think it's important at this point to point out the cognitive dissonance in Con's argument.

First, he claims that debate is not the only way to "validate and further one's side." Implicit in that is that debate is a way, in which case, he has upheld his own resolution.

Then he goes on to say that education and awareness are preferable to debates, meaning that we should prioritize education over debating. That may be so, though that is outside the parameters of this discussion. We're not debating what the most effective way to achieve our end is, but rather whether one method, debate, is at all beneficial.

It's interesting, I should point out, that he doesn't at all address the benefits of "excluding" people, which is obviously his end of the burden of proof in this debate. He speaks of debates being a form of ideological entrenchment, though it's difficult to be ideologically entrenched if you're apathetic -- or if you're simply uninformed, such as the Americans unaware of a heliocentric worldview. Notice that I never suggested that we attempt to cut through Ken Ham's confirmation bias, but to debate for the sake of exposing the flaws in his arguments for the benefit of people who are otherwise apathetic or unaware -- which is educational outreach.

I see this as the primary flaw in Con's argument. He points to a figure of many Americans being "unaware" of heliocentirsm, then speaks of "Geocentrists," which he is implicitly defining as adherants to geocentrism. But what he fails to account for is that (1) apathy, as is suggested by his poll, does not imply ardent support and (2) there is a difference between people actively pushing these views and people who simply are unaware and may presently subscribe to such a view by default -- or have no clue one way or the other, and are thus "unaware." My point is, in debating people like Ken Ham et al. -- people who are ideologically entrenched -- we reach a broader audience of people who aren't, and who can change their minds.
Debate Round No. 2
THeMann32

Con

THeMann32 forfeited this round.
JohnMaynardKeynes

Pro

Unfortunately Con has forfeited this round, in the process dropping my contentions.

He has not fulfilled his end of this burden of proof, meaning that he has not explained to us the benefits of excluding people and why we shouldn't debate people who disagree. He didn't address why we shouldn't simply win the debate, nor did he address the distinction between ardent followers of some belief system and people who may be apathetic, and to whom we ought to be directing our efforts.

Then he discusses educational outreach and awareness and so forth, but disregards that debating is a form of that. He claims that it merely promotes ideological entrenchment, but not only hasn't proven that -- and, frankly, cannot prove it -- but there are plenty of examples, merely on this site, of people changing their minds simply by virtue of having a good debate. People who are unaware will be able, also to learn of the different sides and various arguments and form their own opinions.

My main case, ultimately, is that I love DDO and what this site stands for -- that sounds cliche, but let me elucidate it with the remaining characters I have. DDO basically says that, no matter who you are or opinions you hold, theres's a place for you in the discourse. Yes, debate is going to be rigorous and you may well be pushed to your intellectual limits, but that's not something that ought to be frowned upon, but encouraged.

And an anecdotal example from my past, if you wouldn't mind. It's interesting, actually, because it explains the origins of my name. When I was still an undergraduate, I called myself a Hayekian (subscriber to the writings of Frederick von Hayek). My macroeconomics professor was an ardent Keynesian, and would often joke about the "invisible hand." I initially found his language and out of character, so I addressed this during his office hours. Instead of attacking me -- or excluding me -- he explained his positions and suggested further readings. Look at where I am now.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ArcTImes 3 years ago
ArcTImes
@stephaniiez Scientist don't debate that with other scientist, only with people that have problems looking at the evidence.
Posted by JohnMaynardKeynes 3 years ago
JohnMaynardKeynes
Oops.

Yeah I meant "billion." My bad lol.
Posted by Carthage 3 years ago
Carthage
"The Earth is about 4.6 billion years old, the universe about 13.2 million". One letter matters.
Posted by JohnMaynardKeynes 3 years ago
JohnMaynardKeynes
He isn't saying that creationism is correct, he's saying that evolution is wrong, but not as wrong as creationism.

I think it's nearly impossible to deny evolution when we can frankly see it, but at least he isn't a creationist.

I'd love to debate him on it. :)
Posted by THeMann32 3 years ago
THeMann32
Teemo, are you saying Creationism is correct??
Posted by Teemo 3 years ago
Teemo
Evolution though more plausible than creationism is false, is inaccurate and just impossible.
Posted by stephaniiez 3 years ago
stephaniiez
I think science is questioning creation and wondering how miracles happen. Science needs evidence. Why cant the scientist just stop debating on who made the planet if they already have their '"proof" that the big bang happened.
Posted by ArcTImes 3 years ago
ArcTImes
I'm not against yous side actually. I just wanted to point out a funny example lol.
Now, with my example I don't want to show Ken Ham, but the fact that he has followers that won't change their mind.

My point is that we can figure out who are those who could change their mind, or not even change their mind, but at least reason, question their beliefs and the beliefs of others.
Posted by JohnMaynardKeynes 3 years ago
JohnMaynardKeynes
First of all, I stated explicitly that it's nearly impossible to win over someone like Ken Ham and I'm speaking to the undecided crowd.

Second, please wait until this debate is over, and then we can discuss this in more depth.
Posted by ArcTImes 3 years ago
ArcTImes
Here's another. Probably better.

https://www.youtube.com...
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
THeMann32JohnMaynardKeynesTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Clear win for Pro, as arguments showed that it is better to engage than to disregard a large portion of the population that may otherwise never encounter the information. Conduct points go to Pro, as Con forfeits the last round. Sources also go to Pro for providing them, well at least one. I will give the John Oliver one a miss as super reliable.
Vote Placed by ArcTImes 3 years ago
ArcTImes
THeMann32JohnMaynardKeynesTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF and Pro showed the flaws of Con's arguments and that debates are indeed beneficial.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
lannan13
THeMann32JohnMaynardKeynesTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Skynet 3 years ago
Skynet
THeMann32JohnMaynardKeynesTied
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: Con didn't make a good argument. Although an argument could be made for not debating certain individuals, refusing to debate a whole idea between piers is arrogant, as Pro stated.
Vote Placed by progressivedem22 3 years ago
progressivedem22
THeMann32JohnMaynardKeynesTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm not one to normally award 7 points, but I think it is justified in this case. Conduct goes to Pro since Con conceded in the final round. Spelling and grammar go to Pro since it appears that he took the time to look over and polish his argument, whereas Con made a number of glaring errors as early as his opening arguments. Con dropped nearly all of Pro's arguments, and of course didn't respond in the final round, so Pro wins arguments since his contentions weren't challenged. Sources go to Pro since he actually used them, whereas Con loosely cited Rawstory without directly linking to the source.