The Instigator
mmadderom
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
lvisman96
Con (against)
Winning
80 Points

The "big bang" theory is ridiculous, can not be proven, and should not be taught in schools.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2007 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,981 times Debate No: 46
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (28)

 

mmadderom

Pro

The whole "big bang" theory is ludicrous on it's face. It surmises that the entire universe is the result of nothing expanding into something through the force of density and temperature. If there was nothing, then where did the density come from, how do you gauge the temperature of nothingness?

The theory suggests that space itself is constantly expanding. Now, I'm no scientist, but if anyone can please explain how space is expandable I'd love to make my living room a tad larger.

There is no real evidence that this theory is accurate so we should NOT be teaching it to our children in public schools.
lvisman96

Con

Thank you for posting this worthwile and misunderstood topic.

Let's start off with a few definitions so we're all on the same page.

Theory:

1.a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.
2.a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

Science:

1. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.

SOURCE: www.dictionary.com

Just from the above definitions, we see that Theory is in fact, not necessarily a 'fact'. Secondly, the definition of science shows that it should INDEED be taught as everything systematically discovered up to this point has not DISPROVED the theory. The logical progression is that we show students where we are on this path to discovery, whereas some will then take it and either refute it, confirm it, or expand upon it with their own observations and experimentation.

You're statement that you "(aren't a) scientist" deserves some scrutiny. I'm "no scientist" either, however, one should have a knowledge of something they are trying to refute. I would like to establish on what basis are you arguing that the science is in error ? I would like to know for the simple fact that my scientific explanation may be unintelligible to you and I would like to respond in the most appropriate (and understandable way) possible.
Debate Round No. 1
mmadderom

Pro

You're right. I should clarify my position. It is not my position to debate the merits of the theory itself, here. I have no problem with this theory being introduced, studied, and debated at the college level. It absolutely should be. That is where the research belongs.

A sixth grader, however, isn't in position to debate, study, or test the theory. It is introduced as fact in a larger discussion of Evolution in primary grades. As evolution in general, and the big bang in particular are in direct or indirect contrast to traditional and religious beliefs of the families of many of the children this is being taught to, and as it has not been proven with any sort of certainty, it's potentially detrimental to introduce this information to children of that age.

I am not at all suggesting we should just dismiss the theory out of hand, I'm suggesting we keep the discussion where it belongs. The only Science we should be teaching in the primary grades is that which we have, at least, reasonable certainty. In 6th grade children are dissecting frogs, not contemplating the origin of the universe. A parents ability to raise their children should not be undermined by scientific theories that are far from conclusive being introduced as factual to their children.
lvisman96

Con

Thanks Mmardderom for following up on your argument. Since your clarification, I believe I have won the first two points in your Topic statement. It is not "ridiculous" as demonstrated by your statement "I am not at all suggesting we should just dismiss the theory out of hand". The fact that it cannot be proven was dismissed by the definition of Theory in my first argument. As such, I will concentrate on the last topic statement; namely, that "(it) should not be taught in schools"--which you were kind enough to clarify as primary schools, 6th grade specifically (although I know some school districts now view 6th grade as middle school).

Why do we send our children to school in the first place ? To teach them skills to make them more productive in society is one reason. To compete on a global level is another (with the advent of the internet we are more a global society than ever-one can only imagine what the future will be). Methinks this topic is a veiled attempt at imposing religion in the schools (and should probably have been stated as such) however I will postulate on the religious aspect in later rounds if need be. Instead, in getting rid of the first two points, let's get into the meat of the matter.

You state, "A sixth grader, however, isn't in position to debate, study, or test the theory. "

On what basis do you come to that conclusion ? And how do you know that is being debated or tested ? A sixth grader dissecting a frog is certainly not debating the ethics of such experimentation or testing hypotheses. They are simply learning anatomy. Same thing with math. You have to learn to add before you can move to complex formulas. Children, as growing beings are on a timeline of sorts with which they can get the information in a progressive fashion. They learn better earlier. According to a recent Newsweek Cover story, "Circuits in different regions of the brain mature at different times. Give your children the stimulation they need when they need it, and anything's possible. Stumble, and all bets are off"

If the child can understand the concepts, then why should it be put off until college ? Something this complex needs to be introduced as soon as is practical. There is nothing to be gained by delaying current scientific teaching. In fact, it will be DETRIMENTAL to not teach it. And because learnig is a lifelong process, you have to initiate the conversation somewhere. You offer no reason as to why sixth graders don't have the mental capacity to understand the theory as it is taught to them. You DO share some fears that it will 'undermine' parents' ability to teach children as they wish.
Debate Round No. 2
mmadderom

Pro

Ivisman96,

I said the theory was ridiculous "on it's face" in my opening argument, and it is. We don't comprehend the universe itself as it is, let alone how it formed. Just yesterday Science daily reported that we have once again "lost" a big chunk of the universe we thought was found 5 years ago. The greater the technology we acquire the more we learn just how little we actually know about the universe.

This topic has nothing to do with religion in schools, which is an entirely different debate.

Nothing is being debated or tested at that grade level, it is instead being presented to children as factual information. That is the problem. Most children of that age are not capable of distinguishing between theory and fact. Frankly, many of the teachers aren't, either. It is taught in text book fashion as a factual version of the creation of the universe. And how I know is having had two children go through it.

"2+2=4, the first letter of a proper noun is always capitalized, oh...and by the way, the universe was created by an explosion which led to evolution, and your ancestors were monkeys."

Some things don't have any place being taught in public schools. This is one of them.
lvisman96

Con

Science is CONSTANTLY striving to be more correct. Just because we don't know everything, does that mean we should stop trying ? Science is science until it is disproven. And currently, the big bang theory has stood up to scrutiny…otherwise, the myriad number of studies per year would come up with something else. Just because you can't understand it (as evidenced by your simplistic "oh...and by the way, the universe was created by an explosion which led to evolution, and your ancestors were monkeys.") I will put it in terms you can understand, because I am beginning to form a theory (as demonstrated by our interactions) that you don't have even a fundamental knowledge of how science works or the theories involved. Lest you think I am attacking you, I am not. I am simply clarifying that you are in no position to debate scientific principles because you don't have a clue about what you are talking about. Case in point…our ancestors were not ‘monkeys' as you state. Monkeys are a whole different species and they are NOT our ancestors. However, we share a common ancestor (which was not a monkey). Chimpanzees (technically not a ‘monkey') share 98% of our DNA. Just so you don't make the assumption that ANY currently living ape, monkey, gibbon, etc. was our ancestors, they were not. We had a common ancestor that was neither monkey, human, or ape. It was something different. We branched off from them. But I digress.

I'm curious. What would you have taught in it's place ? You state that this is not about religion, yet you talk about religion, evolution (which has nothing to do with big bang theories and is a separate discipline in and of itself—the only thing they have in common is that they are both scientific explanations of how ‘we' came to be and the fact that organized religion doesn't adhere to either theory) both in this debate and in your comments. As far as the Science Daily report, did you understand it? For those that did not read it, in essence it states that there is ‘dark matter' that is theorized to make up most of the universe (which should have more mass than it appears to have through direct observation). In 2002, scientists surmised through testing that they had found some of this ‘dark matter'. Then just now they realized that is was something else. And that is science's strength. WHICH BRINGS ME BACK TO MY FIRST LINE IN THIS ROUND. They test and retest and then retest again. Contrary to what you believe, it is not a bunch of scientists sitting around making stuff up. They had loads and loads of data and test, test, test, test, ad infinitum. If something doesn't measure up it's out. The example you give only serves to strengthen my position that science is self-policing and will re-evaluate itself in the search for truth.

You have now flipped no less than 3 times.. In your opening statement you said "There is no real evidence that this theory is accurate so we should NOT be teaching it to our children in public schools."

You then changed it to: "I have no problem with this theory being introduced, studied, and debated at the college level. It absolutely should be. That is where the research belongs. A sixth grader, however, isn't in position to debate, study, or test the theory" in Round 1. You went further in Round 1 with "I am not at all suggesting we should just dismiss the theory out of hand, I'm suggesting we keep the discussion where it belongs."

Then you changed again when you stated "I said the theory was ridiculous "on it's face" (which you actually said ludicrous, but no matter) in my opening argument, and it is." Which was then followed by : "Nothing is being debated or tested at that grade level, it is instead being presented to children as factual information. " Which is it sir ? Do you even know where you stand ? We did away with what Theory means in my opening statement. We saw that it is indeed not a ‘fact'. So when a theory is taught it is not the same as teaching facts. You have not given any reason as to why this should not be taught to our children. Is it because it is a ludicrous theory ? You say that it is not and then say it is. Is it because 6th grade children cannot debate it ? YOu then say they don't debate at that age. Is it because it is taught as fact ? We saw that theory is not the same as fact. What is your hidden motive here ? Please try to form a cohesive argument here. I'm getting seasick from all this round and round and up and down stuff.
Debate Round No. 3
mmadderom

Pro

I had and have no interest in debating the theory itself here, nor do I care to continue a debate with someone who tosses ad ad hominem arguments around as a strategy. Thanks for your time.
lvisman96

Con

You're welcome. It was and is not my intent to toss 'ad hominem' arguments. I was simply trying to ascertain your position and come up with your reasons for your stance which seemed to 'flip' a number of times. If your answers were clearer as to why you were advocating that stance, I wouldn't have had to clarify them so much. If you care to reply, why exactly are you against teaching the big bang theory to children ? Exactly.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by alexthemoderate 6 years ago
alexthemoderate
Big Bang Theory ridiculous? Ok, you are entitled to your opinion.

Creationism: An invisible man took a work week plus a weekend to magically set into place all existence. First, he took a big bucket of water and shaped into a sphere. Then he put some dryer spots on it. Then he put a bunch of stuff in the water, some stuff on the dry parts, gave the moving thing some stuff to much on, then brought these other things in to walk on just two points, think about how great the big guy was, and kill each other 100 times over with some devices.

Anything can sound stupid when you treat it stupid. I AM NOT ANTI-RELIGION, nor am I anti-Christian.

I just don't like it when Christian Americans go against the very first idea that our founding fathers put in the Bill of Rights (in the one right before the one that gives you guns!) "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". It is literally the first line of meaningful text in the Bill of Rights. Center stage. Numero Uno. First among equals. Literally up front.

It is possible to be deeply religious and still believe in a strict separation of Church and State. You don't have to systematically install your beliefs on others, but you can go out and try to convince them on your own time and budget. I'm sure you can be quite effective as an arguer.

If we are going to teach the Creationist Theory represented in this argument by that which is presented in the Bible, then we need to teach Big Bang Theory, the one sponsored by many Non-Religious thinkers, and also the creation story according to Flying Spaghetti Monster (look it up if you don't know what it is, this is the one place where I will allow Wikipedia), and also how the world came to be according to all major religions.

I'll even let you write the curriculum, just make that there's equal time for all of them, and that none of them are under- or over-represented.
Posted by impactyourworld89 6 years ago
impactyourworld89
As much as I agree with the concept and the morals of mmadderom, I have to say, as far as the technical side of a formal debate, I think that Ivisman won the debate. You can't let bias get in the way of picking a winner of a debate
Posted by lvisman96 6 years ago
lvisman96
What this debate was really about was that mmadderom didn't want to address the inconsistencies between what he was teaching his kids(religion's creationism)and what they were finding out at school about big bang and evolution. I tried to pull that out of him, but he didn't get it. He didn't know it so he attacked the theory. It's always a mistake to attack theories, because science is based on accumulated knowledge that has stood up to scrutiny. So that's why he forfeited because he realized he wasn't going to refute a theory. I knew what he meant, but it's not my job to argue his debate for him. Not everybody (a majority it seems)can formulate their arguments very well.There are a few people on here that can that make it worth it.
Posted by Harlan 6 years ago
Harlan
This debate (between mmaderon and ivisman) is really about the concept of "science", I can see. And whether you should teach theories.

My own input on this subkect is that we are never sure of anything, we should not refrain from teaching something because we are not 100% sure about it. It is currently the best and most feasible theory, so that is what goes.

though the idea of some dude on a cloud making two people who already spoke a language and were developed, on impulse, using magic or something is pretty feasible too 8?)
Posted by Harlan 6 years ago
Harlan
How can you have liberal propaganda?

According to the definiton in my previous post, liberal propaganda would be just encouraging people to be unprejudiced. Are you against people being unprejudiced, phil? Do you like prejudice?
In all your arguments it seems like you say something or other about "liberal propaganda" or "liberal media". Please think a while about the definition of liberal that I provided.
Posted by Harlan 6 years ago
Harlan
Liberal:

"free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners. "

-SOURCE: Dictionary.com

Prejudice:

"any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable"

SOURCE: dictionary.com

So how is being "liberally slanted" unbalanced, phil?

I disagree, anyways, that every one of the news stations you listed were biased liberally or conservatively.

Good news stations, that are not FOX news, will give impartial news. They tell you FACTS and REALITY. Why is it that FACTS and REALITY seem to encourage liberalism. Because liberalism, by definition, means unprejudiced.

But I could be wrong, maybe we should ignore facts and reality, so that we can continually and comfortably live with our ignorant views. Because doubt is such a confusing thing to the mind.

MAybe we should ignore the facts, I don't know; you tell me, Phil.
Posted by Phil 6 years ago
Phil
Harlan,

I'm not sure where you got the idea that on Fox new there are 2 Republicans and 1 Democrat. That's just not the case. For 99% of the issues they discuss, there's a moderator and two opposing viewpoints. Perhaps you should try watching Fox News before you buy into the liberal propaganda floating out there. There's a reason they're the most successful cable news network. They offer unbiased news. Unlike on CNN, MSN, ABC, CBS, and NBC which rarely shows the conservative point of view. I want news that shows both viewpoints, not just one liberally slanted view. Take CNN's the Capital Gain which has 4 liberals, and 1 moderate conservative...yeah...that's really balanced.

~ Phil
Posted by lvisman96 6 years ago
lvisman96
I would think that mmadderom would post a closing argument, which is a summation of your arguments to this point. The problem is there wasn't ANYTHING that supports his vies. ANY supporting material would be welcome. When I refuted his material, he stoops to saying I was employing 'ad hominem' tactics. Isn't a debate showing that your opponents 'facts' are indeed just misguided emotionalism ? I simply showed where he were mistaken and repeatedly asked to formulate a cohesive argument based on FACTS as to why the theory 'does not deserve to be taught in public schools.' He has given NO valid reasons as to why it should not. I would much rather win this debate the honest way, rather than by forfeit, but if mmadderom wants to take his ball and go home because he didn't like the way the game was going, so be it.
Posted by lvisman96 6 years ago
lvisman96
I like you, Harlan. :-) You've got a bright future ahead of you. Because of you (and wryan)my 16 yr-old stepson became a member here and looks forward to some debates. I'd ask you to go easy on him, but hey, that's not what we're here for. ;-)
Posted by Harlan 6 years ago
Harlan
"We need balance...like Fox News"?

WHAT?!
Is that some sort of joke?!
FOX news, along with the AL-Jazeera is probably the most biased news station regarding US politics. (Al-jazeera and FOX news are opposite ends of the spectrum.)
The best thing I can conclude by this idea is that you imagine that those which your own beliefs are the only ones that are not biased.

"Who would be the most likely to cheat at cards-- Bill Clinton or Al Gore?"

--Fox News Channel/Opinion Dynamics poll

"balance"? really?!

The panel of FOX news consists of a republican, a democrat who says that he is "disgusted with the Democratic Party", and another republican.

"balance"?

Just because you agree does not make it balanced.

Despite FOX's claims to being the only balanced news source, they are in fact the least.
28 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 1 month ago
FuzzyCatPotato
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Vote Placed by Rational_Thinker9119 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited the last round, plus pro stated that The Big Bang claims that nothing expanded into something when really it states that the singularity expanded into the known universe. Con was also very informative in round 3, the debate goes to con.
Vote Placed by mmadderom 6 years ago
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