The Theory of Evolution is more logical than The Argument for Creationism.
Debate Rounds (5)
a) I want to take the "Pro" side for a debate for once and
b) I want to demonstrate to some people who don't agree with me why they are wrong. If I'm wrong and they're right - I'd very much like to see this pointed out in this debate.
The first round is acceptance only. My opponent accepts the following things by accepting this debate:
S/he can only use logic and logical arguments.
S/he takes the standpoint of:
Evolution isn't more logical than Creationism.
Man has not evolved but has been created in its present form by a creator. (Most likely God for my opponent - but that's not the point).
The last round is for closing statements only. No new arguments can be given in the last round.
The BoP will rely on me to make a stand for evolution. If my opponent would simply like to refute my arguments then the BoP will rely on me alone. However, if my opponent would like to prove creationism then we share a BoP. I will make my opening argument in round 2. To confirm, the format will go like this:
Round 1: I introduce and my opponent accepts.
Round 2: I make my opening statements; my opponent makes his/her opening statements.
Round 3: I refute my opponents argument(s); my opponent refutes my arguments. However, both myself and my opponent can concede arguments and/or the debate at this point.
Round 4: I either make a counter-argument(s) or makes more argument(s); my opponent can refute my counter-argument(s). (My opponent can not make new arguments as round 5 will be for closing statements only - not refutes). Either me or my opponent is still open to conceding arguments or the debate.
Round 5: Closing statements - no refutes or new arguments; although one can re-cap on past refutes.
If you have any questions feel free to post a comment. Thank you, good luck to all, and allez!
Contention 1: The distribution of fossils supports the Theory of Evolution.
The Theory of Evolution predicts that as we move up the higher levels of strata, we should see more complex life forms fossilized, because animals will have evolved more over longer periods of time. However, the Argument for Creationism (should) predict that fossil distribution is random as bunnies were made with cyanobacteria which were made with mammoths which were made with homosapiens etc... OK, fair enough. But which does the evidence support?
The Theory of Evolution.
The fossil record show the distribution as predicted by the theory of evolution. You never find wooly mammoths with humans! I conclude that this fact (of the distribution) supports evolution.
Contention 2: Transitional forms support evolution.
The Theory of Evolution predicts that because of random mutation and natural selection, we will see animals in transition from one form to another. We should see these in fossils. However, the argument for Creationism states that we shouldn't see any at all, because all animals were made how they are now. What do we see?
Transitional forms, supporting evolution.
"From fish to amphibian: The fish Eusthenopteron and the early amphibian Icthyostega share so many characteristics as to constitute a virtual bridge between fishes and amphibians." As an example.
I will use these as my initial arguments. Thanks you.
As the proposed motion is supposed to suggest that evolution is 'more logical' than the creationist theory, I will not so much focus on the science of creationism vs evolution, but rather, the epistemological value of justification used to propose the motion that evolution is 'more logical', as opposed to 'less logical'. By logic, I mean the justification used to support a belief; something logical justifies a belief, whilst something illogical does not justify a belief. Without going into too much details of what branches of creationism there are, I will simply be using the notion that 'God created the Universe and all organisms in their present form' when referring to creationism. In actuality, whichever stance I take is not important, because I will be tackling the more underlying theme at stake here, which is whether we can trust scientific evidence at all. Hence, by proving that we cannot rely on science to give us a definitive answer, I will prove that both creationism and evolution are equally 'logical'.
One of the first reasons we cannot trust science to provide us with a logical establishment is because it is empirical evidence. There is a strong case to be made that no empirical evidence can 'logically' support any argument whatsoever, because there is no empirical evidence that can prove any theory with any certainty. The only claims that can be justified for certain are a priori analytic claims such as 'a ball is round' since by definition, all balls are necessarily round. Empirical evidence on the other hand, cannot provide any logical, certain claims. Yes it could be true that there are fossils showing different organisms, which appear to evolve into one another, but can you rule out that they weren't just very similar creatures living a different times? or that they weren't planted there by an evil alien to trick us into believing that evolution is true? In fact, we can't even 'logically' claim that the rocks in which the fossils are contained are millions of years old, because the fact that time is constant now provides no 'logical' reason that rock formation was constant in the past, because this is a generalisation from a particular to the general (it's true now that rocks take millions of years to form, so it must always have been true). In fact, what we see is that the entire field of science is unreliable, because no amount of empirical evidence can 'logically' support any belief. Taking it to the extreme, we don't even know that the world we see is a real world. We cannot distinguish between what we think is the real world, and a world created by scientists, just poking our brain in a vat. Maybe there are no other organisms in this world, and maybe nothing else except you exist (because you are thinking, you must exist), so evolution never even occurred.
So, as we cannot be 'logically' certain of anything based on scientific evidence, we cannot say that we 'know' that evolution is right, because 'knowing' something implies that it is impossible for one to be wrong about it. As I can't prove I'm just a brain in a vat, being stimulated by scientists (or God), or that anything in the present is the same as it was in the past, I cannot be certain about evolution,and therefore, I cannot claim to 'know' that evolution is true. Likewise, I cannot 'know' for certain that creationism is true, but both theories are equally unjustifiable and therefore unknowable. As both evolution and creationism are unknowable, we therefore cannot say that one is more 'logical' than the other.
To surmise: I will be taking the line of argument that science cannot 'logically' justify either creationism nor evolution, and therefore, both of the are equally (il)logical. This is as I believe that the only 'logically true' statements are analytic statements; ones that contain a predicate concept within the subject itself (e.g. roundness is a concept contained within the subject of a ball, so a ball is logically and necessarily round).
First of all, my opponent did not refute any of my contentions, therefore I extend all of my arguments.
As for my opponent's argument:
I sum up my opponent's argument as follows:
"Since no one can prove anything 100% without being omniscient (all knowing) (true), and no one is omniscient (true), anything proposed is equally logical. (false)."
I will now attempt to indicate how this is false.
Think, if you will, of two vertical, empty tubes and several blocks that can fill these tubes. For every piece of evidence, a block goes into the respective tube.
So with your argument, nothing actually happens because everything, on face value, demands equal respect. However, this is exactly why we need evidence, so we can deduce which one is more logical. Now my arguments tie into it - fossil distribution and transitional forms. That's two blocks for evolution. 2-0, if you like. It allows us to show how evolution is more logical.
If your argument was indeed correct, one can believe in anything with every belief demanding equal respect. I think that this was your argument summed up and if I have got it wrong; I do apologise. Otherwise, I patiently await your response.
As I have established in my previous arguments, nothing based on empirical evidence can be 'logically' true, since the only propositions which are, are analytical. Therefore, my argument is that we cannot logically justify creationism or evolution, both of which are empirical propositions. As you put it in your final paragraph, all empirical propositions are indeed deserving of equal respect (or rather, skepticism), because we cannot say that any of them are 'logically true'. Although the given science and our current perception of history makes it seem more likely that evolution explains our natural history better than creationism, more likely doesn't mean more logical, and this certainly isn't just an issue of semantics. To give a brief reason why we can't equate 'more likely' with 'logically' - if I fasten my seat belt, I am more likely to survive a car crash, but does it mean that I logically survive a car crash? I guess you would probably concede that they are not the same thing.
Therefore, to conclude, I wish to continue challenging the proposition's argument by examining the fundamentals at play in this debate, and fundamentally, I wish to differentiate between the concepts of 'more likely' and 'logically', thereby proving that evolution, although more likely, is not more logical than creationism.
First of all, I extend all my arguments, as my opponent did not object to them.
Second, I would like to challenge my opponent's definition definition of "logical", which my opponent describes as:
"By the term logical, I mean to say 'justified with certainty'"
Justified with certainly.
On this basis, I would have to consent the debate to my opponent, as nothing can be justified with certainty; thus nothing is logical at all.
However, I dispute this definition and do not consent the debate.
Logical is defined by (I'm assuming - as it was Google search and no source was given) Google is:
1. Of or according to the rules of logic or formal argument: "a logical impossibility".
2. Characterized by clear, sound reasoning.
Nothing about "certainty".
according to or agreeing with the principles of logic: a logical inference.
reasoning in accordance with the principles of logic, as a person or the mind: logical thinking.
reasonable; to be expected: War was the logical consequence of such threats.
of or pertaining to logic."_dictionary.com
"1. Of, relating to, in accordance with, or of the nature of logic.
2. Based on earlier or otherwise known statements, events, or conditions; reasonable: Rain was a logical expectation, given the time of year.
3. Reasoning or capable of reasoning in a clear and consistent manner."_Answers.com
a (1) : of, relating to, involving, or being in accordance with logic (2) : skilled in logic
b : formally true or valid : analytic, deductive
: capable of reasoning or of using reason in an orderly cogent fashion "_merriam-webster.com
I could cite more if my opponent wishes; all of these don't mention certainty, 100% or otherwise beyond doubt completely. Instead, with these definitions, your argument (which is based off the definition of logical, which appears to be false) no longer makes sense with the "shaky foundations fallacy". (You shaky foundation being the [apparently] an incorrect definition of logical)
I believe that I has disproved your argument - and have extended mine.
I patiently await your response!
I guess I should have been more clear in expressing the fact that 'logical' statements cannot possibly apply to the empirical/physical world, because 'logic' is reasoning without experience (in the mind). For example balls are logically round, because the predicate concept of roundness is contained within the subject 'ball' (i.e. balls are by definition round) and 2 + 2 is logically 4. All of these statements I can validate 'logically' without ever having to touch a ball, or touch numbers (which don't exist in the physical world) since I can use logic of the mind. This also means that all logical statements are necessarily true, because they are not exposed to our fallible perceptions. However, I cannot say something like 'there are fossils' so 'logically there is evolution' or even 'I see a cat in front of me' so 'logically there is a cat in front of me'. This is because logic interpolates from what we already have, whereas all empirical propositions require extrapolation from observations (which are susceptible to human fallibility). So, by definition, what we actually mean by logic is the careful analysis of what we mean when we say things, which means that it doesn't make any inferences whatsoever. Going from 'there are fossils' to 'evolution occurs' is an inference, and therefore isn't based on logic, and even seemingly very obvious inferences cannot be said to be 'logical', such as 'I see a cat', therefore 'logically there is a cat'.
In conclusion, a proper definition and analysis of logic shows that it only applies to necessary truths, such as 'all balls are round' or that 'all bachelors are men'. It is based on analysis in the mind, without any need to go and find evidence, because logic is the evidence in these cases. As empirical evidence is not logical by definition, we cannot say that any empirical claim is logical. Therefore, asking whether creationism or evolution is more logical is like asking whether red is taller than blue.
I thank my opponent for this enjoyable debate so far, his politeness and his eloquence. I look forward to your response.
His refutes were, indeed, very philosophical and it could take me awhile to come up with a refute/response. However, as per the rules of this debates, I cannot refute in the fifth round; I have to keep my opponent's refute open. So, since I cannot refute or propose new arguments, all I can say is:
I extend my arguments from round one.
Once again, I thank my opponent, A_Polemicist, for this debate, for his conduct, strong philosophical argument(s) (even though it was only clarified in round 4), and his (as far as I can tell) perfect spelling and grammar. A good debate, my friend!
Perhaps he was not expecting the slightly tedious analysis of the word 'logical', although I whole-heartedly concede that if we had focused in on any other of the words in the debate title, I would not have stood a chance, because I can see no reasonable path in defending creationism as the more likely theory. Had the original topic been 'evolution has more scientific merit than creationism', then I concede that opposing such a motion would have been futile. Although it seems a small nit to pick however, I stand by my argument that neither creationism nor evolution is more 'logical' than the other, and refer readers to my arguments in the 4th round, describing the true definition of 'logic', and why neither theory is 'logically' true.
I thank my opponent, MysticEgg, once again for providing me with a platform to engage in my first debate on debate.org, for his reasonable arguments, and his exceptionally good natured debating style. I very much enjoyed the debate, and the topic!
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