The Instigator
jfigueroa9
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Jzyehoshua
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Teaching Creationism (Theory of a Young Earth) Should Be Prohibited in Public & Private Schools

Do you like this debate?NoYes+3
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 1 vote the winner is...
Jzyehoshua
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/24/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,208 times Debate No: 34164
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

jfigueroa9

Pro

This is a two faceted debate in which I will defend the ideology, not the implementation (so as to avoid empirical debate), of a ban on teaching the theory of creationism in both the public school systems and private school systems when it is the primary education source. I.E. A private school which fulfills the state-imposed obligation of attending school, cannot teach creationism. However, one that does not or is not intended to fulfill the obligation (Sunday school or after-school tutoring) can teach whatever they want. I will use the following main arguments.

I. Creationism is empirically false
II. Children have the right to true information
III. Children have the right to be free from indoctrination
Jzyehoshua

Con

I accept the debate though I regret it's not a bit longer for more thorough discussion, and wish my opponent the best of luck in stating their points effectively so the readers will receive maximal information.

As a YEC myself, I will make the following arguments:

I. Macroevolution specifically, not micro, is the opposing theory to Creationism.
II. Macroevolution is a theory, and an increasingly questionable one at that.
III. Theories should not be propagated as fact, both should be taught or neither in public schools (not just private).

I. Macroevolution specifically, not micro, is the opposing theory to Creationism.

It should be clear first of all, that we are discussing whether God created individual parent families or genera as opposed to a common ancestor. The logically opposing theory to a common ancestor is whether types of animals were created that then microevolved to their environments, becoming the varieties we see today. Intelligent Design, on the other hand, merely encompasses 2 of the 4 weaknesses Darwin himself conceded existed in evolution, unusually complex design, and complex instinct in nature, and is not a theory in itself. Darwin devoted 4 chapters of "On the Origin of Species", chapters 6 through 9, to addressing these weaknesses,

"In the four succeeding chapters, the most apparent and gravest difficulties on the theory will be given: namely, first, the difficulties of transitions, or in understanding how a simple being or a simple organ can be changed and perfected into a highly developed being or elaborately constructed organ; secondly, the subject of Instinct, or the mental powers of animals; thirdly, Hybridism, or the infertility of species and the fertility of varieties when intercrossed; and fourthly, the imperfection of the Geological Record."[1]

II. Macroevolution is a theory and an increasingly questionable one at that.

Ultimately, the theory of a common ancestor is one that cannot be witnessed today and contradicts the whole of the fossil record. Whereas microevolution, adaptation by a species to its environment, can be witnessed today, we have never witnessed macroevolution where a species becomes an entirely different form of species. Furthermore, as observed by the Brothers Winn, bacteria are evolving 525,000 times faster than humans, and we've been observing them since the invention of the microscope, yet while they've changed and adapted as bacteria, they've never microevolved into a new, higher form of life.[2]

Furthermore, the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium was invented in 1972 to explain why the fossil record did not show macroevolution[3], indeed Gould and Eldredge in their original paper concede the lack of transitional forms.[4] The fossil record shows steady, gradual microevolution with no transitional forms and then sudden appearance of different species as though they were suddenly created, so Punctuated Equilibrium sought to explain this evidence to support evolutionary theory by suggesting evolution just went slowly and then suddenly sped up too fast to be witnessed in the fossil record.[5] However, as pointed out by Walter ReMine, this makes evolution unfalsifiable and thus unscientific.[6]

III. Theories should not be propagated as fact, both should be taught or neither in public schools (not just private).

As pointed out by the Brothers Winn neither should be taught in science classrooms, perhaps philosophy instead. As they put it, we shouldn't teach a suspect theory as "undeniable fact to impressionable young minds."[2]

Sources:

[1] http://darwin-online.org.uk... (p. 6)
[2] http://www.whatyououghttoknow.com...
[3] http://www.pbs.org...
[4] http://www.nileseldredge.com...
[5] http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
[6] http://creation.com...


Debate Round No. 1
jfigueroa9

Pro

jfigueroa9 forfeited this round.
Jzyehoshua

Con

In further support of my 2nd premise, I make the additional arguments:

Recent hominid discoveries show claimed evolutionary tree a 'messy bush'

A slew of recent hominid discoveries over the past decade show that previously claimed missing links between apes and man coexisted or were excessively complex. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica's current dating of Australopiths, Ar. kaddaba and Ar. ramidus coexisted; A. afarensis, K. platyops, A. bahrelgazali, and A. africanus all coexisted; P. aethiopicus, A. africanus, A. garhi, H. habilis, and H. rudolfensis all coexisted; and A. sediba, P. boisei, H. rudolfensis, and H. habilis all coexisted as well.[1] It's highly improbably those which coexisted evolved from one another.[2] This has led to major publications acknowledging the human evolutionary tree has become a 'messy bush.'[3]

These discoveries included the following:
  • Orrorin Tugenensis: Revealed in 2000, it is of the 3 oldest hominids discovered. However, it was bipedal and in a "more advanced state of evolution."[4]
  • Afarensis and Ramidus Coexisted: After discovering in 2001 'Lucy' coexisted with another major claimed ancestor, the New York Times declared for the first time the evolutionary tree now looked like a bush.[5]
  • Sahelanthropus Tchadensis: Discovered in 2002, it is one of the 3 oldest hominids. It was not only bipedal[6] but had too modern a face for its age.[7]
  • Neanderthal an Offshoot: In 2003 it was acknowledged Neanderthal wasn't part of the human lineage.[8]
  • Homo Floresiensis: The discovery in 2004 this diminutive hominid lived until the last few thousand years led to an effort to declare it a form of diseased human.[9]
  • Orrorin and Sahelanthropus: In 2007 unusual early complexity of the two oldest hominids led to science declaring them offshoots not part of human linage to keep evolutionary theory intact.[10]
  • Ardipithecus Ramidus: In 2009, one of the 3 oldest hominids showed early humans walked upright and definitively disproved the existence of a chimp-looking transitional link between apes and humans.[11]
  • Habilis and Erectus Coexisted: The discovery in 2009 two major descendants of the human evolutionary tree had coexisted and couldn't be evolved from each other further jolted the scientific world.[12]
  • Erectus Modern Foot: In 2009 footprints showed Erectus had a modern foot, suggesting bipedalism.[13]

More examples by me here.[14]

Sources:

[1]http://news.bbc.co.uk...
http://www.nature.com...
[2]http://www.britannica.com...
[3]http://www.nytimes.com...
http://www.thedailybeast.com...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com...
[4]http://news.bbc.co.uk...
http://www.esi-topics.com...
[5]http://www.nytimes.com...
[6]http://www.nature.com...
http://www.nature.com...
[7]http://www.nature.com...
[8]http://news.nationalgeographic.com...
[9]http://www.nature.com...
http://www.esi-topics.com...
http://www.nytimes.com...
[10]http://www.livescience.com...
[11]http://news.nationalgeographic.com...
[12]http://www.nature.com...
http://news.bbc.co.uk...
[13]http://www.nytimes.com...
[14]http://www.bereawiki.com...
Debate Round No. 2
jfigueroa9

Pro

I am still unclear on your distinction between micro and macro evolution. I will conduct this debate under the following two assumptions: a) microevolution refers to the phenomenon in which a species undergoes small evolutionary changes that better suit itself it to its environment. I.E. an animal having thicker fur in colder parts than a similar animal that lives in a hotter place. b) Macroevolution refers to the theory in which everything originated from a common "starting point", if you will. I.E. humans coming from the earliest eukaryotes. With that being said, I will respond to your arguments

1)Macroevolution specifically, not micro, is the opposing theory to Creationism.
a. Assuming my understanding of the distinction between micro and macroevolution is correct, I will concede this as it does not change my advocacy.
2)Macroevolution is a theory and an increasingly questionable one at that
a.I regret not being able to provide you with a quote of a philosopher who said that we cannot know anything with absolute certainty. Human perception of certainty is based merely off our experiences and those of others. This perception however, is not certainty but it is "enough" to satisfy everyday affirmations. With that being said, we can see that everything is a theory. Creationism and evolution are both theories insofar as we do not have any primary sources to confirm them. So, we would look to what is the closest to the truth. In that, you will find that the theory evolution is the superior alternative as it can be better supported by the best methods we have of proving the truth or falsehood of something, scientific evidence.
b.Even if that is not enough, consider this. The word or even an allusion to evolution was not ever mentioned. You are essentially arguing against points I have not made. So this puts the Con in a position where they are not responding to any of the points I have made. The closest thing to it is countering "creationism is false" with "evolutionism is a shaky theory" while not proving the validity of creationism. So, even forfeiting the second round, this is already point fiercely in my favor
3)Theories should not be propagated as fact, both should be taught or neither in public schools (not just private).
a.This is fine. You can turn this argument because this is actually an argument in my favor. I am not defending evolution, simply attacking creationism. So, you have essentially granted me the round as we can conclude we should teach neither.
b.Look to 2.a where whenever we teach anything we are teaching not an absolute certainty, but a theory with a level of certainty high enough that it can be accepted as fact. Even assuming it "shaky" or "dubious", it is still currently the best and most widely accepted theory. The Big Bang is a theory but it is the best way we have to explain how the universe came to be. However, this is still all unnecessary because I don"t need to win evolution to win the round. It"s simply the nail in the coffin.
Now moving on to extend arguments that went conceded. I have done Lincoln-Douglas debate so if this is not common practice here, then I apologize but it is a critical aspect in LD.
1. Creationism is empirically false " This argument went untouched the only thing that could come close to a response is when my opponent attacks evolution but that is irrelevant because I did not once, bring up evolution
2. Children have the right to true information " because the first argument went conceded than we can look to my second argument which would
3. Children have the right to be free from indoctrination " because the first argument went conceded than we can look to my third argument which states that children should not be subject to indoctrination.
Quick review, all my opponent"s attacks have nothing to do with my advocacy and his final "argument" is turned so that it serves as offense on the Pro. Effectively, I have 4 arguments on the Pro and the Con has no standing, topical arguments
Jzyehoshua

Con

Hello, and thank you for the response! Microevolution is essentially evolution at a small scale, which can be witnessed and proven; it is testable, reproducible, and falsifiable in a laboratory setting.[1] In short it, is clearly scientific. Macroevolution is generally considered evolution above the species level and has never been witnessed or proven in the laboratory, the drastic changes between categories/genera/families of animals necessary to prove a common ancestor.[2] Ultimately many cases of alleged evolution proofs show only microevolution, e.g. Darwin's finches adapting[3], bacterial adaptation, moth coloration because of tree type[4], etc.

Concerning your second point, while much is considered theory, there are some principles nonetheless considered laws to the universe. I argue the theory of evolution is indeed very shaky, and the evidence involved actually indicates Creationism is the correct theory, rather than Macroevolution and a common ancestor. Since we can't test Macroevolution and prove it in a laboratory setting, that's strong evidence that unlike Microevolution it is not empirically true. Furthermore, the fossil record shows evidence for Microevolution and thus Creationism, not Macroevolution.

Evolutionists have sought to "move the goalposts" by suggesting evolution conveniently sped up when creating transitions to explain why the numerous transitions Darwin expected the fossil record to present don't exist. However the evidence more logically shows Creationism is true, that gradual Microevolution occurred, God created new species, and there were no intermediate forms indicating a common ancestor. Recent discoveries over the past decade likewise are evidence Creationism is true and Evolution is false, showing mankind was complex to begin with as though created that way by God. Rather than showing primitive early features, there's bipedalism and modern faces in the oldest hominids, and previously alleged transitions have been discovered to coexist in many cases so they couldn't have evolved from one another. I argue this shows evidence mankind simply transitioned from the 900+ year ages prior to the Flood (Genesis 5) to the current maximum 120 year lifespan of today (Genesis 6:3).

Concerning how the debate should be judged Pro is correct that he didn't bring up evolution. However to prove his premises in arguing that Creationism should not be taught in schools he should be able to show Creationism is empirically false which I argue he hasn't done. I argue I've shown evidence the reverse is true, that Creationism shows signs of better fitting current evidence than the theory of Evolution. I never conceded the first premise, all my arguments have shown Creationism better fits the existing evidence than Evolution. Therefore, Pro has not proven his premise that Creationism is indoctrination which should not be taught in schools, while I have shown Creationism is reasonable given the problems confronting the theory of Evolution.

In making a last closing argument for why Creationism is reasonable, I argue that the further back one looks in the fossil record, the more evident it becomes that ancient species were categorized similar to today's species, only larger.[5] Logically if we all came from a common ancestor there should be a chaotic transition with no clear groupings. There should not be ancient sharks (Megalodon), giant camels (Titanolypus), and ancient Pangolins (Smutsia gigantes) if a common ancestor is true. Species should not be clearly grouped in the fossil record similar to today's species unless created by God.

Sources:

[1] http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
[2] http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
[3] http://www.pbs.org...
[4] http://www.bbc.co.uk...
[5] http://dinosaurs.about.com...;
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Jzyehoshua 3 years ago
Jzyehoshua
Interesting. Still though to prove your original argument framework, you said you would show Creationism was empirically false as key to your argument, which never occurred. I think I provided pretty good arguments showing that 2nd premise of yours is more than a little shaky.

My 3rd premise showed that by stating "Theories should not be propagated as fact, both should be taught or neither in public schools (not just private)" I was referring specifically to the teaching of them in science classrooms in schools, not altogether, since the argument made was "As pointed out by the Brothers Winn neither should be taught in science classrooms, perhaps philosophy instead. As they put it, we shouldn't teach a suspect theory as 'undeniable fact to impressionable young minds.'[2]" I wasn't arguing Creationism shouldn't be taught because it's indoctrination, naturally, but that Evolution is shaky and both should be relegated to philosophy classrooms instead. I probably should have worded the premise heading a bit differently to clarify this was referring specifically to science classrooms as opposed to philosophy though, but that would have made it wordy.

I guess we'll see how the voting turns out though.
Posted by jfigueroa9 3 years ago
jfigueroa9
@Jzyehoshua Sure, that is a valid point. What I was saying was I can take the stance "neither should be taught" and I would still win because I never mentioned (and consequently did not have an obligation to prove) that evolution should be taught in schools, rather simply that creationism shouldn't.
Posted by Jzyehoshua 3 years ago
Jzyehoshua
I never did concede the premise though that Creationism shouldn't be taught in schools, my argument was simply that both it and evolution should be taught or neither, and that philosophy courses would be more appropriate for both than science classrooms. Since Evolution is currently being taught and supporters of the theory of evolution want it taught, they should be able to recognize Creationism can be likewise taught, rather than just saying one side is true.
Posted by Jzyehoshua 3 years ago
Jzyehoshua
Alright, thank you for the reply!
Posted by jfigueroa9 3 years ago
jfigueroa9
Sorry, I have been extremely busy. Next round has just been posted.
Posted by Jzyehoshua 3 years ago
Jzyehoshua
Way too many of my opponents forfeit rounds after my initial arguments. :(
Posted by Nyx999 3 years ago
Nyx999
Private schools should be able to teach whatever they want to, it's private and a lot of religious private schools teach creationism. I agree Public schools shouldn't teach creationism, but a lot of parents pay a lot of money for their kids to go to a god-centric school.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
jfigueroa9JzyehoshuaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited one round, and Con was more detailed in his argument. I'll give arguments to Con.