The Instigator
Mfuss
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
katie.snappy
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Smartphone use yields negative results for intellectual evolution

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/17/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 694 times Debate No: 78763
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Mfuss

Pro

The increased usage and dependence on cellular smartphones is an evolutionary caveat. It stifles creative thinking and moving ones mind to higher purpose thinking.
katie.snappy

Con

First I would like to define the relevant terms.

Smartphone (n): A mobile phone that performs many of the functions of a computer, typically having a touchscreen interface, Internet access, and an operating system capable of running downloaded applications [1].

Intellectual (adj): Of or relating to the intellect or its use [2].

Evolution (n): 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 [3].

The ability to communicate and express one's emotions is a major facet to human intellectual evolution [4]. As social creatures, we seek out ways to connect with others. The reason that the human race is advanced as it is today is not because of ability to solve complex problems or construct solutions, but because of out innate ability to communicate with those of our own species [4]. For that reason, the evolution of technology plays a vital role in the future of the human race. Current technology allows users to access multi-media interfaces and talk across time zones. Smartphones are a device for increased communication and have been shown to be especially beneficial for maintaining strong relationships in those 35 and older [5]. My argument is based on these principles and how the modern smartphone positively corresponds with evolutionary biology.

C1: Smartphones improve communication which is a key facet of the development of the human mind.

There is no other species on Earth that possesses the ability to communicate in a manner that rivals the complexity and extraordinary cohesiveness of that of the human race [6]. The reason for this is that we communicate using signs, an anthroposemiotic ability exclusive to humans (as the name suggests) [7]. Smartphones encourage and enable humans to further develop and explore this unique and distinguishing part of our biology.

C2: The increased accessibility of information fosters our biological desire to learn.

Studies have shown that "the interaction between learning and evolution deeply alters the evolutionary and the learning process themselves" [8]. However the act of learning affects only the phenotype, whereas evolution stems from changes in the genotype [9]. This means that as humans retain more information, it will not change the course of evolution but the knowledge that is being retained can serve as a means for evolution. So being able to learn more and have information more readily available will not have a direct biological impact.

C3: Smartphones can be used to improve brain function that, in turn, allows us to better retain, recall, and store information.

For decades scientists have studied the malleability of the human memory. The misinformation effect is a phenomenon in which an individual develops a memory that then becomes tainted due to exposure to an untrue aspect related to that memory [10]. While hand-held technology cannot end this phenomenon, smartphones can be used to strengthen and improve various aspects of memory which foster intellectual growth.

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[4] https://books.google.com...
[5] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...
[6] https://books.google.com...
[7] https://books.google.com...
[8] http://link.springer.com...
[9] http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu...
[10] http://learnmem.cshlp.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Mfuss

Pro

I appreciate the contender defining relevant terms. I would like to also update the term Evolution to include a more thorough definition relating to the argument. I am adding one additional relevant definition to the set also.

Evolution (noun): any process of formation or growth; development [1].

Cellular phone (noun): a mobile telephone system using low-powered radio transmitters, with each transmitter covering a distinct geographical area (cell) and computer equipment to switch a call from one area to another, thus enabling large-scale car or portable phone service. [2]

Addiciton (noun): Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. [3]

Our intellectual evolution is determined on how well we interact and learn from interactions. "...Our hypothesis, that maladaptive use of Internet is related to psychological distress in college students has been confirmed, in accordance with previous studies with high school and college students where problematic users showed less self-esteem, more loneliness, more loneliness and depression and more depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances, as well as higher scores in the general indices of the SCL- 90-R." [4] It is not the interactions of cellular communication that are problematic to our evolutionary growth, rather it is our addiction and mass unhealthy consumption of internet based software that does not add to our growth. I base my argument on the facts that increased usage of smartphones, with regards to the mass majority of the population, is an evolutionary regression of our intellectual capacities as opposed to a liberation.

R1: Basic cellular phones improve communication, whereas smartphones promote habitual 'quick reward' behaviors.

Basic cellular phones offer all of the same benefits of intensive communication, neglecting social media websites, that smart phones offer without the quick reward behaviors smart phones cause. "A spatial navigation method uses landmarks and visual cues to essentially create mental maps that help you understand both where you are now and how you can get to where you want to go. A stimulus-response navigation method is traveling by memorized or provided directions, like the kind given you by a GPS." [5] Persons who use spatial reasoning tend to have a higher activity and volume of grey matter in the hippocampus, they also performed better on a standardized test used in the development of mild cognitive impairment.

R2: The increased easy access information leads to a generation effect which stifles long term intellectual growth.

Five experiments are reported comparing memory for words that were generated by the subjects themselves with the same words when they were simply presented to be read. [6] If you solve a math problem, for example, you will have better recall of that answer later than if it is merely provided for you (on your iPad screen or by way of a calculator). [7]
Basic cellular phones give the same beautiful strengths as Smartphones without the problems smart phones create.

R3: Smartphones can be used to improve brain function, at the expense of other functions of the brain, in turn, hindering us from deep thinking, critical thinking, and analysis.

Reading for pleasure, which has declined among young people in recent decades, enhances thinking and engages the imagination in a way that visual media such as video games and television do not. Studies show that reading develops imagination, induction, reflection and critical thinking, as well as vocabulary. [8] As Nicholas Carr recounts, researchers at Stanford gave a series of cognitive tests to one group of heavy media multitaskers and another group of light media multitaskers. The heavy multitaskers were found to be more easily distracted, less able to control their working memory, and less able to concentrate on a task when compared to the light multitaskers. [9]
[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://www.asam.org...
[4] http://www.researchgate.net...
[5]http://phys.org...
[6] http://worthylab.tamu.edu...(1978).%20JEP-HLM.pdf
[7] http://www.medicaldaily.com...
[8] http://newsroom.ucla.edu...
http://www.nicholascarr.com...
katie.snappy

Con


First, my opponent states that “our addiction and mass unhealthy consumption of internet based software that does not add to our growth”. I would like to point out that the topic specifically states that, in order for pro to win, he must prove that smartphone use yields negative, not neutral, results.


R1: Basic cellular phones improve communication, whereas smartphones promote habitual 'quick reward' behaviors.


This argument was not sufficiently supported by my opponent as he provided no research regarding an increase in ‘quick reward’ behaviors. The provided evidence involves spatial reasoning but is not linked back to the initial contention and is not proven to be relevant.


R2: The increased easy access information leads to a generation effect which stifles long term intellectual growth.


Again, I am unclear as to the relevance of the information provided and its relationship to this contention. My opponent needs to sufficiently explain the connection between the evidence and the contention.


R3: Smartphones can be used to improve brain function, at the expense of other functions of the brain, in turn, hindering us from deep thinking, critical thinking, and analysis.


My opponent argues that smartphones are detrimental to our development in areas such as deep thinking, critical thinking, and analysis. As support for his argument, he states that reading, an activity that “enhances thinking and engages the imagination”, has declined in recent years. While I do not dispute the fact that reading has experienced a steep decline, there is no direct connection between the decline in reading and the rise of smartphones. In fact, TV is the most likely factor contributing to this decline, not smartphones [2].


Additionally, the use of smartphones has been shown to increase critical thinking skills when used in an appropriate way. A study comparing different classes of high school students showed that the students who used smartphones in the classroom performed higher on critical thinking tests than their peers who did not use smartphones [3]. Similar results can be found in younger children, as teachers use devices such as iPads to help students connect to a book by introducing various forms of media [4].



[1]
http://unesdoc.unesco.org...


[2] http://www.npr.org...


[3] http://pubs.sciepub.com...


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

Debate Round No. 2
Mfuss

Pro

In defense of my statement, "our addiction and mass unhealthy consumption of Internet based software that does not add to our growth" I would have the contender reference the definition of evolution that was set forth in the beginning of Round 2. Evolution is the process of formation or growth, the statement that the Internet based software does not add to our intellectual growth holds valid. Intellectual evolution is dependent on growth, a lapse in growth leads to a lapse in adaptation, leading to a lapse in the evolutionary process. The contender has no valid argument against the statement nor its validity to the argument.

R1: Research on Spatial Memory, also research on generation effect.

Both research on spatial memory improving brain function which is used through remembering where you are and have been, not through GPS. THe generation effect deals specifically with smartphones and the effects of reliance on them. "With the internet readily available to almost everyone, we can easily find solutions to questions online and take information that the internet supplies rather than analyzing topics and critically thinking on our own." [1]

R2: Generation effect and its ties to Smartphones as well as our intellect.

The “generation effect” refers to the discovery that we better understand and remember answers we have generated for ourselves in comparison to those answers we have simply read. [2] Smartphones also encourage cheating on exams and tests. Almost 65% of polled teens said they had heard or seen classmates use cell phones to cheat at exams. [3] "Almost half of all surveyed teens (46%) don´t consider sending answers as cheating, but rather claim this is helping friends in need." [3]

R3: Smartphones can be used to improve brain function, at the expense of other functions of the brain, in turn, hindering us from deep thinking, critical thinking, and analysis.

The contendar needs to use Smartphones as increasing intellectual evolution, not Tablets or laptops, the fourth piece of research is not applicable to the debate topic.


[1] https://www.nshss.org...;

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

[3] http://www.phonearena.com...
katie.snappy

Con

My opponent stated that "intellectual evolution is dependent on growth, a lapse in growth leads to a lapse in adaptation, leading to a lapse in the evolutionary process." This statement assumes that the following is true:

a. Evolution cannot occur without growth.
b. Adaptation cannot occur without growth.
c. The evolutionary process cannot occur without growth.

Both facets A and C of this argument are identical, as evolution cannot occur without an evolutionary process because the very definition of evolution specifies that it is "a process of slow change and development" [1]. Thus, the whole argument can be disproven by invalidating point A/C and B. My opponent invokes the definition of evolution, although he does not cite the biological definition which is of the most relevance to this debate. His source defines evolution in biology as "change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift" [2]. This mentions nothing about growth. Thus, my opponents argument is invalid, as evolution can occur without growth and is not dependent on growth. Furthermore, in order for my opponent to prove that smartphones yield negative results for intellectual evolution, he must prove that there has not been a change in the gene pool of the population as a direct result of smartphones.

R1: Presumed declines in spatial memory cannot be directly attributed to smartphones.

Only 31% of smartphone owners say that they frequently use their device for GPS [3] [4]. Therefore any decline in spatial memory that my opponent alleges is a result of smartphones cannot be applied large-scale to account for an decline in intellectual evolution.

R2: The Generation Effect has little relevance to smartphones and cheating does not correlate to intellectual ability.

The generation effect is a psychological principle that states that "actively producing material during encoding acts to improve later memory performance" [5]. Smartphones allow users to access information quickly, however this ease of obtaining information does not have a direct correlation to the memory effect, as Googling a fact does not lead to a decrease in memory performance more than looking a fact up in a book under the principle of the generation effect. Because looking an answer up in a book does not involve producing material, which is necessary for the generation effect to apply, the concept that smartphones are detrimental under the generation effect is false.

My opponent also argues that cheating is somehow the result of smartphones. Students do not cheat because they have a smartphone. Students cheat because the feel that it is necessary for them to achieve their goals [6]. Cheating is not caused by smartphones, but rather smartphones are a newer vehicle for cheating.

R3: Smartphones can be used in many beneficial ways.

The advancement of technology has improved access to medical care in remote areas [7], increased clinician efficiency [8] [9], and improvements in medical training [10]. It has also allowed increased access to reading materials, which has the potential to increase global literacy rates [11].

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://www.pewinternet.org...
[4] http://www.pewinternet.org...
[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[6] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[7] http://www.sciencedirect.com...
[8] http://journals.lww.com...
[9] http://multi-science.atypon.com...
[10] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[11] http://unesdoc.unesco.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Mfuss

Pro

Mfuss forfeited this round.
katie.snappy

Con

katie.snappy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by katie.snappy 1 year ago
katie.snappy
I am having technical issues with posting my argument so I may end up posting it in the comments if I can't get it to work.
No votes have been placed for this debate.