The Instigator
LittleBallofHATE
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

Teaching evolution in schools provides no benefits for students.

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 5 votes the winner is...
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/25/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,640 times Debate No: 49848
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (5)

 

LittleBallofHATE

Pro

When I say I'm pro, it means I agree with my topic. I want someone to argue the benefits of learning about evolution. I think there are none.

Round one: acceptance
Round two: opening argument
Round three: rebuttal
Round four: Closing argument
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con

I gladly accept this challenge.

Best of luck to my opponent in the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
LittleBallofHATE

Pro

I would like to thank Pro, for accepting my challenge. I didn't think anyone would, to tell you the truth. Good luck.


According to a recent poll, by Pew Research, one third of Americans don't believe in evolution. When I say evolution, I'm referring to the 'goo to you' theory, as taught in our public schools. That's a pretty huge chunk of our population. Many people went to Christian schools, where they don't even teach evolution. I wonder how many of them feel handicapped, in any way, for this lack of knowledge? My best guess would be none.

I attended a private school. I was never taught evolution. I do not feel deprived, in any way. When I left high school, I joined the Navy. I served on the U.S.S. Missouri for five years. I became a civilian and worked a variety of jobs, over the last 24 years. In my entire life, I have never encountered a situation where I thought to myself... Gee. If I would have been taught evolution, I could do this, or figure this out, or get out of this mess, by evolving common bacteria into a biological super weapon, to save the world from the aliens.

All joking aside, I ask you. Has there ever been a situation, in your life, where a basic understanding of evolution would have helped you out? I cannot think of one situation where evolution could help a person.


That's all I have, for now. I can't develop this any further, until I hear what my opponent has to say. The floor is yours, sir.








iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con

Thanks to my opponent for an interesting opening round argument, and I look forward to rebutting it later. Now onto my opening statement.

Evolution can be defined as the "descent with modification". (1)

The question this debate asks is "why should we teach evolution in schools?" The answer in my opinion is simple. Evolution is a critical part of biology which helps us understand not only the existence of higher life forms but also natural selection. In fact evolution is accepted by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science as the most widely accepted principle in science.(2) This is probably why the National Science Teachers Association is so adamant that evolution should be taught at school as they deem it necessary to improve the general scientific literacy of students.(3)

To elaborate a bit further on natural selection, by understanding evolution a student can learn about simple things like how we domesticated dogs from wolves.(4) Or how we selected bananas (by choosing their natural evolutionary traits) to be the delicious fruit we eat today.(5) These examples show that a basic of evolution is helpful in understanding the world around us and for example why some plants can be used and others cannot.

Let me also note that many Universities have minimum entry requirements/recommendations to study further. One of these requirements for example is the Biology SAT's which require basic understanding of evolution.(6) On the other hand many universities have entrance exams which include evolution as part of the test.(7) As such by denying students the opportunity to study evolution one is effectively limiting future options for these students with respect to career choices. This may not seem like a big issue, but it could mean a massive difference in salary. This difference in income earning potential could mean the difference between a life in poverty, or affluence i.e. having a house that is paid for.

I think these points are important enough to prove evolution should be taught in school.

As such I hand the debate over to my opponent for rebuttals.

(1) http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
(2) http://archives.aaas.org...
(3) http://www.nsta.org...
(4) http://www.pbs.org...
(5) http://rationalwiki.org...
(6) http://sat.collegeboard.org...
(7) http://www.admissions.ucla.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
LittleBallofHATE

Pro

"Evolution is a critical part of biology which helps us understand not only the existence of higher life forms but also natural selection."

This is a complete fallacy. (1) Evolutionists make some grandiose claims about how badly we need evolution, in so many things. It's rather ludicrous. The author does a wonderful job destroying their arguments. The simple fact is, there is not one thing we can do with the 'help' of evolution that we can't do just as well without it.

"To elaborate a bit further on natural selection, by understanding evolution a student can learn about simple things like how we domesticated dogs from wolves.(4) Or how we selected bananas (by choosing their natural evolutionary traits) to be the delicious fruit we eat today.(5) These examples show that a basic of evolution is helpful in understanding the world around us and for example why some plants can be used and others cannot."

Once again, you are mistaken. (2) Dog breeding stretches back thousands of years before evolution came on the scene. Breeders knew what they were doing then. They weren't as sophisticated then as we are today, but our superior knowledge did not come from evolution. Biology and genetics describe these things. Not evolution.

As for your bananas, (3) That technology is also thousands of years old. As a matter of fact, many of the crops we have today are of ancient descent. Today we have strains of plants that have increased yields, yet are more susceptible to disease. We often have to cross bread them with earlier strains to provide resistances, at the cost of yields. Once again, this is all related to biology and genetics. Not evolution.

Regarding the last two points I made, breeding plants and animals have nothing to do with the theory of common descent with modification. It's nothing more than adaptation. The expression of genetic traits that already exist in a lifeforms DNA. A chihuahua can still breed with a wolf, for example. You'd probably have to use artificial insemination because of the size difference, and the wolf would probably kill the little runts out of embarrasment. But it can be done.

As for your last argument, it was my assumption that no further education would be sought after highschool. I can argue, based on my earlier rebuttals, that college creates an artificial need for the study of evolution, since I have shown that we really don't need it for anything. There are also plenty of high paying careers that one can go to college for, so being handicapped by not being taught evolution is nothing of the sort. One would simply choose from several other professions.

I enjoyed destroying you position. ^_^ Just kidding. Your turn. Make it count.

1 http://www.evolutionnews.org...
2 http://serendip.brynmawr.edu...
3 http://plantbreeding.coe.uga.edu...
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con

Thanks to my opponent, and now onto my rebuttals.

Firstly to respond to my opponent's question "Has there ever been a situation, in your life, where a basic understanding of evolution would have helped you out?" Yes, I am a chemist and a basic understanding of evolution on a molecular level has helped me immensely in understanding and designing experiments. Without this understanding money could have been wasted chasing a dream that is unrealistic. However, by applying molecular evolutionary principles I am able to avoid obvious dead end traps. This means saving money which at times can amount to thousands of dollars.

Secondly an importantly my opponent has made the common mistake of mixing the definitions of evolution and abiogenesis. My opponent has said "When I say evolution, I'm referring to the 'goo to you' theory, as taught in our public schools. " This is not the theory of evolution taught in schools and is a massive Red Herring used to distract from the general theory of evolution which is described as ""Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification."(1) In fact evolution, on a molecular level, is necessary to understand commonly accepted concepts like natural selection.

My opponent also makes an Appeal to Ignorance for not teaching evolution in school when he says "According to a recent poll, by Pew Research, one third of Americans don't believe in evolution." The fact that someone does not believe or understand the science that support sevolution does not make them correct. Using the same rational, is it possible for us not to teach gravity in school if 10% of all people in the nation believe that the gravitational constant is wrong? No, as the theory of gravity is a scientific fact. In the same way, we have fossil evidence and molecular evidence to show evolution is a scientific fact.(2,3) For this reason alone evolution should be taught in schools.

If someone goes to a theistic (Christian) school and is not taught evolution, that is a shame as they are missing out on a core, underlying and defining concept of biology. This lack of knowledge can also exclude them in later life opportunities. I think I should note here, that while my opponent says this is a debate about schooling. It is important to note that school is meant to prepare you intellectually for future life which includes university.(4) To elaborate, if we are to extend this argument of not teaching evolution, it would be better then to just to shut all schools down, as students can learn later when they need the information. I am sure my opponent would agree that this is ridiculous statement to make. However, if my opponent makes this claim then the argument against teaching evolution is defeated.

I hand the debate back to my opponent for his closing statement.
(2) http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
(3) http://www.talkorigins.org...
(4) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 3
LittleBallofHATE

Pro

Thank you for your rebuttals.

I'll make this brief.

At the beginning of this debate, I mentioned the 'goo to you' theory of evolution. This is what is taught in schools. It teaches that life began from lifeless chemicals that eventually formed the first living cell. This process continued for billions of years and is responsible for all life, as we know it.

In the rebuttals section, my opponent tried to make you think I don't understand the difference between abiogenesis and evolution. I assure you. I do.

The theory that one 'kind' of life can evolve into another different kind of life is what is taught in schools. By kind, I'm referring to a family of animals. Dogs, for instance, or bears, or cats... the list goes on. Each kind has variations within the group. They are different, but still in the same family, or kind. THAT is what I mean by 'goo to you'. It is important that you understand this, for voting purposes.

I would also like to point out that evolution, as taught in our grade schools, is nothing more than a bare outline of the theory. In reality, it's pretty useless knowledge to have. It's no good for anything practical. It has no real world applications. And let's be realists here. Our public schools have a real bad track record of teaching our kids anything. We would be better off teaching evolution as an entry course for college. As an elective, of course.

Now, when you're voting, I want you to take a moment and think about this. In your adult life, have you ever needed what you were taught in school about evolution? think about your friends too. Do any of them require a need for evolution, as taught in our grade schools?

That's all I have. Back to you, pro.
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con


Thanks to my opponent for an entertaining debate.


Firstly, I would like to point out my opponent is shifting the goalposts, as in round two his question was "Has there ever been a situation, in your life, where a basic understanding of evolution would have helped you out?". I replied Yes to this question. Instead of rebutting my argument my opponent ignored my claim in his closing argument and instead changed the question too "Now, when you're voting, I want you to take a moment and think about this. In your adult life, have you ever needed what you were taught in school about evolution? think about your friends too. Do any of them require a need for evolution, as taught in our grade schools? " This is shifting of the goalposts and requires you to disregard scientific facts on the basis that you may know one person in the world who has not benefited from knowledge of evolution.


My opponent has also made the fallacious argument that no transitional forms exist. In my round 3 argument I provided multiple sources for transitional fossils. But here let me give a list of three transitional fossils from those cited sources that should without a doubt put the argument of transitional fossils to rest.
Archaeopteryx The transition between feathered dinosaurs and bird.(1)
Tiktaalik The transition between fish and four legged animals.(2)
Eupodophis The transition between lizard and snake.(3)


When my opponent says "Dog breeding stretches back thousands of years before evolution came on the scene." and "As for your bananas, That technology is also thousands of years old." he is unfortunately showing that molecular evolution (descent with modification) is true. As such my opponent has conceded the natural selection (adaptation) argument for molecular evolution, thereby showing that molecular evolution is important and should be taught.

However, if I may add here molecular evolution is a far more difficult subject to understand than general evolutionary theory. As schooling deals with the basics, you first need to understand the general theory before you can delve further into the more advanced proofs i.e. molecular evolution.


Finally my opponent asserts that in school evolution is been taught as the theory that "'goo to you' theory of evolution. This is what is taught in schools. It teaches that life began from lifeless chemicals that eventually formed the first living cell. This process continued for billions of years and is responsible for all life, as we know it." My opponent has asserted this, which I have shown to be a wrong definition of evolution. Additionally, my opponent has shown no sources to verify that this is what is been taught in schools. However in a previous round I showed this is false by reference to the National Board of Education position on evolution.(4) As such my opponent statement is again nullified as this is not what gets taught in school.


I would also like to point out that my opponent has dropped the argument for further education and earning potential of students.

My opponent has also dropped my contention that if we are to not teach evolution based on the Appeal to Ignorance, then surely we should also drop teaching other scientific theories like the theory of gravity.


Evolution is a critical and unifying theory in biology, no matter what creationist website my opponent may link too. My opponent even claimed I made a fallacious argument by saying it is not a unifying theory in biology, yet this flies in the face of the Academy of Science and other professional organizations. These organizations are not full of only evolutionary biologists (out to destroy creationism) as my opponent would have you believe but physicists, chemists, engineers, doctors etc.


In this debate my opponent has dropped multiple points and unintentionally conceded some, such as the molecular evolution concept. For this reason I believe my opponent has failed in their burden of proof.


Again thanks to my opponent, and now I hand the debate over to the voters.


(1) http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu...
(2) http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu...
(3) http://news.bbc.co.uk...
(4) http://www.nsta.org...
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
vaccines? Discover? This is not about discoveries, it is about a career on biology. If you want to work with vaccines, you need to understand vaccines. It is not about discovering vaccines. You understand viruses, you understand evolution, you understand how to make vaccines.

The problem is that you are thinking something like "But you don't need evolution to discover new species, new animals, new stuff...", and you are right, but in biology, you need to understand things after you discover them, it is more than just look at them and realize you never something like that before.

Animal biology is based on evolution. If you want to be a veterinary, a biologist, a dude that makes vaccines or just want to know the truth about animal life, you need evolution.

It is as useful and needed as the rest of sciences.
Posted by LittleBallofHATE 2 years ago
LittleBallofHATE
Evolution is not necessary to study biology. That's nothing but a crock of sh*t. Name one thing that biology took from evolution. Something that it could not have discovered on it's own. You can't.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
The resolution is ridiculous. Of course evolution is necessary. If you don't teach evolution to children, you are making it more difficult for them to follow a career on biology. Of course you could survive without learning evolution, but education is more than surviving. It gives you knowledge for the mature life, and if you want to pursue a career on biology, you need evolution.
Posted by ThatOneCoolGuy 2 years ago
ThatOneCoolGuy
I haven't read any more than Pro's first argument, About how one doesn't NEED to know it, but that same logic could be uweed to stop most math above 7th grade.
Posted by LittleBallofHATE 2 years ago
LittleBallofHATE
Well there's your problem. Don't listen to what others say. Read the Bible. It's all there.
Posted by LaughingRiddle 2 years ago
LaughingRiddle
"There is evidence."

If there was the various preachers I have come across would have provided it.

There has never been anything remotely close to that. Rather, they usually seem to have a few screws loose. Feverish, and frantic in their speech.

Stories of god and all the evidence of Santa claus.
Posted by LittleBallofHATE 2 years ago
LittleBallofHATE
There is evidence.
Posted by LaughingRiddle 2 years ago
LaughingRiddle
"Nothing. But if the Bible is true, then it definitely will have an impact on where you spend eternity"

If I don't believe in god it is because the qualities god endowed me with preclude belief in something there is no evidence for.

If god punishes me for this then he is not god and I need not worry.
Posted by LittleBallofHATE 2 years ago
LittleBallofHATE
Nothing. But if the Bible is true, then it definitely will have an impact on where you spend eternity.
Posted by bubbatheclown 2 years ago
bubbatheclown
In my opinion, neither theory (evolution or creationism) being propagated above the other will really affect other scientific realms. So there were dinosaurs and they lived either 65 million years ago or 6000 years ago; what does that have to do with emerging technologies? What's it got to do with new military technology and more advanced iPhones? What's it got to do with solving poverty or colonizing space?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by SNP1 2 years ago
SNP1
LittleBallofHATEiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 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 Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro was unable to support his claim and used many fallacies and assumptions. Con was able to refute Pro and even show how learning about molecular evolution has helped him. Pro did not use sources, Con used quite a few.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
LittleBallofHATEiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
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 Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro shoots himself in the foot multiple times. Essentially, this entire debate is an attempt to mitigate the importance of studying evolution, something Pro had to pull off perfectly in order to win. He doesn't even get close. Pro makes so many unwarranted assertions (often backed by highly biased websites that are similarly full of assertions) that I can't even begin to list them here. His responses are dismissive and often outright wrong. His knowledge of biology is, frankly, appalling (seriously, how many classes did you miss?). But really, all I need to do is ask myself and by lab mates whether evolution is important to their research. They'll nod, say "of course," or laugh at the ridiculousness of even asking the question. Hell, my dissertation project is partially meant to showcase evolution in action with sub viral pathogens. So yes, it is important to pretty much anyone hoping to have a career in the sciences, and absurd to claim otherwise.
Vote Placed by SeventhProfessor 2 years ago
SeventhProfessor
LittleBallofHATEiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
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 Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made a few claims in R1 that needed sources, but didn't provide any (sources), and Pro ignored that Con was saying since we know evolution was a RESULT of natural selection, we can more easily breed bananas and dogs (args). Great debate, guys!
Vote Placed by LaughingRiddle 2 years ago
LaughingRiddle
LittleBallofHATEiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 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 Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro is based on assumptions; namely that knowledge of evolution has no benefit. Arguably, knowldge has its own intrinsic Value. By pros logic that it has no practical benefit, one could make the same argument for most maths beyond basic Algebra. This is not convincing. Pros only real support of this is he/she did not get it taught to them and does not feel they missed out. This is subjective to an extreme and it seems dictated by personal beliefs. Con rightfully states it as a core concept of biology, Pro never refutes this. Pro also places no intrinsic value on true knowledge versus unjustified beliefs. This would seem to fundamentally wrong. People should be taught truths and knowledge, and Evolution is part of that. It lends its to a wider understand of the world and what reality is and how we got here. Evolution, being reality, has more value than fantasy such as creationism. Pro fails to ever make such a distinction between reality and fantasy theories.
Vote Placed by Relativist 2 years ago
Relativist
LittleBallofHATEiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
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: The resolution is about benefits, as such judgements are made based on this. Pro makes single opinionated claims of his life as his argument vs the use of evolution in futhur education qualification, use of evolution by different institution.solid win for Con as he made multiple arguments concerning its use instead of the subjective view of pro.Pro made unverified claims in his next round, while con refutes earlier points made by exposing fallacies made by pro as well as an emphasise on further qualifications. I found con to be more convincing as well when he mentioned its use of chemist which directly contest the resolution. This was dropped by pro as the only argument he made was "I assure you, I do". Without a proper evaluation, that assertion is useless as con was more elaborative in his arguments. Summary: pro meddled in subjective claims that is unverifiable and uses "I know" as his argument while Con touches on deeper aspects, like the roles of it in public sphere.Con wins.