The Instigator
monsterkid0909
Con (against)
The Contender
Zaradi
Pro (for)

should public schools teach creationism

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Debate Round Forfeited
monsterkid0909 has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 weeks ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 201 times Debate No: 97332
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

monsterkid0909

Con

Creationism should not be taught in public schools because it is discrimination towards other religions. Say you're Muslim, Hindu or any other religion and you come to this school because you're in the catchment or for any other reason and you are being taught against your religion or belief. I think that is wrong and that is my standpoint but I would like to see what other people think about it.
Zaradi

Pro

I accept and will be refuting his statement before presenting my own arguments.

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My opponent starts with the argument that " ... it is discrimination towards other religions.", saying that "...you are being taught against your religion or belief. I think that is wrong ..."

There's a few problems with this, and I will also be proposing a few solutions within my own arguments:

First: Turn this argument in my favor - teaching contradicting viewpoints to one's own is good as it allows for people who have only experienced one view point to have different view points to consider. This is good because it creates an environment where students can critically examine their own views and the views of others in a safe learning environment so that they can further develop their own views into something that more accurately reflects the truth from their perspective. Saying "teaching things that go against people's beliefs is bad" necessarily prevents this safe introspection, making the growth of student's views on the world more problematic.

Second:
This isn't something exclusive with the teaching of creationism in public schools. Last time I checked, evolution's take on the creation of the world is different from the stories of creation defended by Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and others that are frequently worshipped within the US and elsewhere. Negating doesn't change this, whereas I will propose solutions to this in my own arguments.

His response will be that this isn't the same because evolution is scientifically proven whereas the stories of religions are not. But that argument isn't responsive to what I'm actually saying: if what he says is correct and teaching curriculum that goes against someone's beliefs, then it's actual validity doesn't change the fact that we're still teaching something that goes against someone's own beliefs.


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I will now propose two ideas as my arguments here. Both ideas solve for the problems brought up within my opponent's last round while still introducing creationism into the teaching curriculum.

Solution One: Include explanations and brief teaching sections for each of the major religions - Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other lesser known religions - alongside evolution's take on the world, giving each equal amounts of time.

This solution a) solves for discrimination against other religions by giving each religion equal amounts of time being taught within the classroom, b) includes more religions than just one, increasing the probability that we're spending time on a belief that at least someone within the class believes, ensuring that everyone's beliefs can be discussed, and c) doesn't disclude more secular opinions such as evolution from the discussion, allowing for the full spectrum of beliefs and options to be discussed.


Solution Two: Create an optional elective class that teaches the belief systems of various world religions that is separate from the science classroom.

This solution a) solves for discrimination against religions by teaching about each religion rather than just one, b) allows for more critical thought and discussion of religions, as the teaching of different creation stories is no longer competing for time against actual science portions of the science class; this means that students are able to go further in depth with their religion and the religions of others, enhancing their ability to reflect on their own views and refine them, c) frees up time within the curriculum of science classes for further exploration of various scientific concepts and theories, which enhances their education in this field, and d) doesn't change how evolution is currently being taught in the classrooms, since it's no longer potentially competing for attention against the creation stories of other religions.

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To conclude, the rhetoric of not allowing for the discussion of the Christian creation story on the basis of discrimination doesn't make much sense, and there are safe and more advantageous solutions to allow for it's discussion that are better than the status quo.
Debate Round No. 1
monsterkid0909

Con

The concept I am trying to promote is that evolution is the model that is accepted by the vast majority of scientists and therefore that is the model that should be taught in public schools. Opposing view points to the evolution model should be discussed as well but only based on their scientific merit. The religious aspect of creationism could certainly be taught in an elective class on world religion but not in a public school curriculum because where would you stop? There would not be enough time even in a full school year to teach in full detail every religion as not to be discriminating as creationism is only one small aspect of Christianity and the subject would take quite a long time to discuss. also to learn about religion properly you could also go to a church or youth group.The curriculum in schools should not be based on religious beliefs it should be based on science.
Zaradi

Pro

The debate gets pretty simple here. He concedes key arguments that makes his position pretty problematic. I'll respond to his last round before going through my arguments again.

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There's a lot of statements in his last round that make effectively the same argument, so when he says "evolution is the model that is accepted by the vast majority of scientists and therefore that is the model that should be taught in public schools. Opposing view points to the evolution model should be discussed as well but only based on their scientific merit." it covers the vast majority of his last round, other than another small point that I'll hit in a second.

A few responses to this:

First: You concede the second argument I made against you that says that advocating that evolution is the correct view over other religious ideologies discriminates against as many people as you claim teaching creationism would. This creates a lot of problems because it becomes harder for students who feel like they're being discriminated against to effectively learn and grow within the education space. The end result is that your position re-entrenches the same problems you are attempting to fix.

Second: You're rhetoric allows for the continuation of discrimination against students of faith. Schools are meant to be an educational space where students can learn about things and ideas that exist within the world and given the information necessary for them to make their own informed opinions. To put it more simply, schools are meant to inform and educate, not to persuade.

This means that basing curriculum solely on "scientific merit" becomes problematic because instantly you're telling students of faith that their beliefs are wrong and instead they should believe something else entirely and only present the side that you wish to convert them to, rather than providing information about all sides and encouraging students to examine each side and develop their own informed opinions. By only presenting one side of the issue rather than multiple or all sides, you close off the possibility of ever solving the problem of alienated students of faith within the scientific community.

Third: You concede the analysis I give under the second refutation that says that saying evolution is based within science and thus is what should be taught isn't responsive to the problem raised within your first round - students of faith will exist regardless of how far into the rabbit hole of science evolution goes. If we're looking to stop discrimination against the beliefs of other students as you are wanting to, then only advocating for views that are based in science discriminates against views that are based in faith, which means you will always be discriminating against the views of these students.

The only argument he raises against my proposed solutions is that "where would you stop? There would not be enough time even in a full school year to teach in full detail every religion".

First: I don't need to go in depth with every detail of each doctrine of faith. The resolution specifies creationism within public schools, which is much more feasible to teach within the school year. Moreover, in the status quo the entirety of Christianity isn't taught within science classes to begin with, rather just the story of creation, so trying to pin me with teaching about the entire religion is unfounded within the status quo.

Second: Even if I need to go into more detail than just the story of creation, the second solution I proposed solves for this problem by creating a separate class within public schools for teaching about different views of religions. This allows schools to go much more in depth into each religion than they would be able to within a few days to a week in a science course, which solves for the problem of poential undercoverage.

Third: Even if my solutions have potential issues in undercoverage, my solutions are still preferable because I'm the only one even attempting to solve for the problem of discrimination against students of faith within the education space. This means that even if it isn't the perfect solution, it's better than the status quo and better than the negative proposal.

Also, going to a church or youth group to learn about religion is extra-topical, as we're examining teaching creationism within public schooling. Even if it was topical, it faces the same issues with alienating certain members of other faiths since they only appeal to the religion they espouse, rather than providing information about multiple or all sides and encouraging individuals to come to their own beliefs.

-----

This debate becomes pretty simple. Arguments should be weighed on their impacts on student's ability to learn within the education space. This is because the entire point of schooling is to educate and inform students within our society. Therefore, whichever option best promotes the ability to learn within schools is what you vote on.

That being said, extend the first response I made against his arguments that says that providing differing religious viewpoints within the scientific community in schools is good because it exposes students to alternative viewpoints to evolution and prompts students to reflect on their own views and critically examine their beliefs. This means that not only are students learning more about various religions within modern society, which allows students of all sorts of faiths to contribute to the discussion, but it encourages students to learn more about their own beliefs and refine their views based on what they learn.

He hasn't made any response to this argument. This is extremely problematic for him because it shows that the very mindset he's advocating for lessens the educational potential of students within the education space. You can affirm right here.

Then, extend the first solution I propose that says to include information about the creation stories of multiple prevalent religions alongside the discussion of evolution. And, extend the three advantages I give for this solution, that a) it fixes discrimination against students of faith by giving each view an equal amount of discussion time, b) fixes discrimination by ensuring that we touch on as many views as possible, which includes the most amount of students within the discussion, and c) doesn't exclude secular beliefs from the discussion, which allows for the full spectrum of ideas to be discussed.

My opponent doesn't make a response against any of these advantages. All of these enhance the learning environment of schools, which is an easy place to affirm.

Then, extend the second solution I propose that says to create an elective course that specifically goes over the various stories of creation that are defended by world religions. And, extend the four advantages I provide for this solution, that a) it fixes discrimination by talking about all religions rather than one, b) allows for deeper and more critical discussion of various beliefs because they don't have to compete for time against actual scientific theories and information within the science class, c) allows for more time to be dedicated to actual scientific knowledge to be discussed within science courses, which enhances education in both realms, and d) allows for more time for evolution to be discussed within science classes because it's no longer competing for time against other creation stories.

My opponent doesn't make a response against any of these advantages. All of these enhance the learning environment of schools, which is an easy place to affirm.

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The round breaks down really simply. The solutions I propose are the best way to fix discrimination against students and to enhance the learning space for all students. The ideas proposed by my opponent only hamper the education of students of faith and discriminates against these students. And even if you don't like the solutions I propose, I'm the only one actually attempting to fix the discrimination problem whereas my opponent is doing nothing in these areas, which means I give the best chance of reducing discrimination within science classrooms.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Zaephou 2 weeks ago
Zaephou
It is important to tell a student when they are wrong, what is the point of schools if mistakes are not corrected. Evolution does not in any way disprove a God, and perhaps that is the reason many Creationists reject it, they think Evolution tries to say 'there is no God'. As a scientifically advanced society, we should not keep these silly myths with us. Most of Europe has already taken that decision to uphold fact, but it is sadly the US that still instigates strong YEC beliefs (lies) from childhood.

We need to stop this indoctrination, we need to keep creationism out of fact based subjects.
Posted by Zaephou 2 weeks ago
Zaephou
Coming from someone who thinks creationism is hilariously bad:

I think that creationism should stay away from science classes, students should only be subjugated to the truth and the facts. Things upheld by evidence should be the only topics taught. If creationists do want their imaginary beliefs to be taught in schools, make teachers say 'some people believe in creationism, but not only are they rejecting countless lines of evidence (provide evidence if any student has any questions), they have no evidence themselves for creationism other than anecdotes and assertions from the Bible'.

Obviously, it should not be this derogatory, but you get the point.
Posted by canis 2 weeks ago
canis
No one can "teach" creationism. It is like "teaching" that kissing a frog will turn it into a prince "somehow"..
Posted by Bic_68 2 weeks ago
Bic_68
I agree with monsterkid0909. The consensus amongst the vast majority of scientist is that the the evolutionary model is accurate . Having said that I think the curriculum should include
1) the fact that there are some scientists that refute the evolutionary model and
2) the scientific reasons for this challenge
The religious component to the argument should be left out of the curriculum for the reasons expresses by monsterkid0909.
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