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Evolution Test

Kleptin
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3/22/2009 1:16:14 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Hi guys :D

I have an idea for a joint project where we create a series of questions regarding Evolution that we can assign to debaters, just to get a preliminary assessment as to whether or not their viewpoint will be a waste of time.

I justify this on the following points:

1. Creation/Evolution is one of the most popular debates and can be entertaining to read. However, it is also intellectually demanding and a lack of knowledge on either side can essentially reduce a potentially good debate into spam or garbage.

2. There exist Creationist groups who have deliberate, maligned views of Evolution and who are unable to grasp even the most basic concepts. More experienced debaters on the topic of Evolution waste massive amounts of time trying to educate their opponents to the point where a debate is even possible.

3. This test will not be one-sided in support of evolution, only enough so that the most basic arguments against Evolution that are based on fallacies are removed.

It's open to anyone to submit questions, later on, I guess we'll pick the best 10. Questions can be in any format, preferably short answer.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
1337Hal
Posts: 182
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3/22/2009 5:09:13 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/22/2009 1:16:14 PM, Kleptin wrote:
Hi guys :D

I have an idea for a joint project where we create a series of questions regarding Evolution that we can assign to debaters, just to get a preliminary assessment as to whether or not their viewpoint will be a waste of time.

I justify this on the following points:

1. Creation/Evolution is one of the most popular debates and can be entertaining to read. However, it is also intellectually demanding and a lack of knowledge on either side can essentially reduce a potentially good debate into spam or garbage.

2. There exist Creationist groups who have deliberate, maligned views of Evolution and who are unable to grasp even the most basic concepts. More experienced debaters on the topic of Evolution waste massive amounts of time trying to educate their opponents to the point where a debate is even possible.

3. This test will not be one-sided in support of evolution, only enough so that the most basic arguments against Evolution that are based on fallacies are removed.

It's open to anyone to submit questions, later on, I guess we'll pick the best 10. Questions can be in any format, preferably short answer.

1. What, if anything, is the difference between 'macroevolution' and 'microevolution'?
2. Does the origin of life have anything to do with the evolution of species?
3. If evolution were proved 100% true, would this necessarily negate the idea of a creator god?

There's the 3 that I see most. The answers should obviously be:
1. Time and scale, and no more.
2. No.
3. No.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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3/22/2009 5:56:20 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Perhaps:

Is the the process of natural selection itself random?
Does the change of evolution occur on an organism or on generations?
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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3/22/2009 5:57:11 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
3. If evolution were proved 100% true, would this necessarily negate the idea of a creator god?

Perhaps - if the creator god is of the Abrahamic conception.
1337Hal
Posts: 182
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3/22/2009 5:59:04 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/22/2009 5:57:11 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
3. If evolution were proved 100% true, would this necessarily negate the idea of a creator god?

Perhaps - if the creator god is of the Abrahamic conception.

Very true; you'll notice I didn't capitalize the word 'god'. It certainly negates 6,000-year Christian Creationism.
Nail_Bat
Posts: 132
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3/22/2009 8:49:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Q: Describe a hypothetical discovery which would scientifically disprove the theory of evolution.

This would show that they understand what an actual attack on evolution would be like "The eye is too complex to have evolved!" is not an argument against evolution. Finding a species of wasp with mammalian style eyes, however, would pretty much blow evolution out of the water.
burningpuppies101
Posts: 1,268
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3/22/2009 9:20:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/22/2009 8:49:29 PM, Nail_Bat wrote:
Q: Describe a hypothetical discovery which would scientifically disprove the theory of evolution.

This would show that they understand what an actual attack on evolution would be like "The eye is too complex to have evolved!" is not an argument against evolution. Finding a species of wasp with mammalian style eyes, however, would pretty much blow evolution out of the water.

That's not too far-fetched... For instance, squid and humans have essentially the same eye, in mechanics and function...

Not to mention they evolved separately, but it was the same reasons.
Omnes te moriturum amant 

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Nail_Bat
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3/23/2009 6:03:37 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/22/2009 9:20:38 PM, burningpuppies101 wrote:
That's not too far-fetched... For instance, squid and humans have essentially the same eye, in mechanics and function...

Many different styles of eye exist, but the different styles branched out long ago. It would be highly improbable, and perhaps impossible, to find a species of wasp who somehow went through the entire evolutionary process of developing a spherical single-lense eye.

Evolution certainly could have taken a different turn, giving spherical lense eyes to wasps, but it didn't turn out that way. Given a really long time, wasps COULD develop such eyes (if they somehow suited them better), but not now.
Kleptin
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3/23/2009 5:46:45 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/23/2009 6:03:37 AM, Nail_Bat wrote:
Many different styles of eye exist, but the different styles branched out long ago. It would be highly improbable, and perhaps impossible, to find a species of wasp who somehow went through the entire evolutionary process of developing a spherical single-lense eye.

Evolution certainly could have taken a different turn, giving spherical lense eyes to wasps, but it didn't turn out that way. Given a really long time, wasps COULD develop such eyes (if they somehow suited them better), but not now.

I actually think this question is a pretty good one. The example itself is up for debate I guess, but if they demonstrate a clear ability to formulate an argument that isn't creationist regurgitation, then we can trust the test taker has at least some competency.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
burningpuppies101
Posts: 1,268
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3/23/2009 6:29:18 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/23/2009 6:03:37 AM, Nail_Bat wrote:
At 3/22/2009 9:20:38 PM, burningpuppies101 wrote:
That's not too far-fetched... For instance, squid and humans have essentially the same eye, in mechanics and function...

Many different styles of eye exist, but the different styles branched out long ago. It would be highly improbable, and perhaps impossible, to find a species of wasp who somehow went through the entire evolutionary process of developing a spherical single-lense eye.

Evolution certainly could have taken a different turn, giving spherical lense eyes to wasps, but it didn't turn out that way. Given a really long time, wasps COULD develop such eyes (if they somehow suited them better), but not now.

Ok, I guess I just didn't understand the question. I like it.
Omnes te moriturum amant 

http://www.debate.org...
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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3/23/2009 10:16:14 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
This suggests a similar test would be needed to ensure debaters have a firm grasp on creationist views as well.
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
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ournamestoolong
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3/24/2009 5:37:06 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/23/2009 10:16:14 PM, Maikuru wrote:
This suggests a similar test would be needed to ensure debaters have a firm grasp on creationist views as well.

How was the world created : God did it
How do you get in to hell: sin
How do you get into heaven: don't sin
Where is Charles Darwin: hell
Where is Jesus: Heaven
I'll get by with a little help from my friends.

Ournamestoolong

Secretary of Commerce

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JBlake
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3/24/2009 7:41:25 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Kleptin,
I'm not sure I understand what such a test would accomplish? Where do you tend to administer it - to all new members? How is your proposal benefitial or useful?
burningpuppies101
Posts: 1,268
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3/24/2009 8:31:00 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
It wouldn't do much. But perhaps if when you sign up, you were given an option to do a variety of tests, and get something put on your profile, saying you did such and such test, and got such and such score.

Something like a certification that you know your stuff, and when you debate on that topic, it gives you more credibility
Omnes te moriturum amant 

http://www.debate.org...
JBlake
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3/24/2009 9:58:35 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
You could be on to something, in terms of recruiting new members. Not requiring, but offering a few tests (political, religious, &ct.) might bring some people here that would not otherwise find the site. People love to take tests about themselves. I realize this is probably outside of the scope of the website's intention, however. Just a thought.
JustCallMeTarzan
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3/24/2009 10:30:17 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Just to play devils advocate.... supposedly there was some research done on flies that showed that if a pregnant fly underwent a life-threatening "scary" situation, the offspring had spiky "helmets" on their heads...

I'm too tired to track down the info, but I might see about it for later. Anyone else hear about this?
burningpuppies101
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3/24/2009 11:14:01 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 10:30:17 PM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:
Just to play devils advocate.... supposedly there was some research done on flies that showed that if a pregnant fly underwent a life-threatening "scary" situation, the offspring had spiky "helmets" on their heads...

I'm too tired to track down the info, but I might see about it for later. Anyone else hear about this?

That doesn't happen. Evolution doesn't work that way. I think that was Lemark who proposed that, but he was wrong. We don't acquire traits and pass them onto our offspring as needed. They are developed over time.

So if one of the flies had a mutation that hardened its head, and created a small nub at the top, and that worked better, that fly might reproduce. Then the head might get harder and harder over generations, and that nub might get longer and sharper over generations of breeding.

That would be a plausible situation.
Omnes te moriturum amant 

http://www.debate.org...
burningpuppies101
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3/24/2009 11:17:40 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 9:58:35 PM, JBlake wrote:
You could be on to something, in terms of recruiting new members. Not requiring, but offering a few tests (political, religious, &ct.) might bring some people here that would not otherwise find the site. People love to take tests about themselves. I realize this is probably outside of the scope of the website's intention, however. Just a thought.

Thank you! I'm sure we could add something like this. In fact, I think it would increase the knowledge on the site, since people would be wanting to take those tests, to have bragging rights, or to gain credibility.

Perhaps there is something to be thought of here.
Omnes te moriturum amant 

http://www.debate.org...
Maikuru
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3/25/2009 11:44:08 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 9:58:35 PM, JBlake wrote:
You could be on to something, in terms of recruiting new members. Not requiring, but offering a few tests (political, religious, &ct.) might bring some people here that would not otherwise find the site. People love to take tests about themselves. I realize this is probably outside of the scope of the website's intention, however. Just a thought.

I agree, this is an interesting idea. People love earning badges for their pages =D
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
- lamerde

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TheSkeptic
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3/26/2009 12:39:10 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Thank you! I'm sure we could add something like this. In fact, I think it would increase the knowledge on the site, since people would be wanting to take those tests, to have bragging rights, or to gain credibility.

Perhaps there is something to be thought of here.

But some thought will have to be put into the questions. They would have to be almost unanimously agreed upon - this is a debate website, after all. And could you only take the test once? What if you get it wrong, and you hate the score, or you are embarrassed by it? Would you have the option of taking it again? But then couldn't you just cheat by Googling answers?
Kleptin
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3/26/2009 7:40:32 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/26/2009 12:39:10 AM, TheSkeptic wrote:
But some thought will have to be put into the questions. They would have to be almost unanimously agreed upon - this is a debate website, after all. And could you only take the test once? What if you get it wrong, and you hate the score, or you are embarrassed by it? Would you have the option of taking it again? But then couldn't you just cheat by Googling answers?

The point of the test wouldn't be to pass/fail. It would be there so that other people can judge your understanding based on your answers. I'd also try to make it open-ended and not simply multiple choice or short answer so that it *can't* be googled.

I have a nice 2-part question that might be good for the test:

A. Explain the scientific process, illustrating the steps between the formation of a hypothesis and the formation of a conclusion.

B. How does the scientific use of the word "theory" differ from that of the common use of the word "theory"?
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/26/2009 7:46:09 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 7:41:25 PM, JBlake wrote:
Kleptin,
I'm not sure I understand what such a test would accomplish? Where do you tend to administer it - to all new members? How is your proposal benefitial or useful?

I think that the general idea is to back it up with peer pressure and not so much with actual administrative power. One topic where people post all their answers, and we can refer to the answers they put for the test to judge whether or not they are competent. If they aren't, we point it out, and possibly ignore the person.

Saves a lot of time and a lot of effort if we have some measure by which to deem people unworthy of participating in such a complex discussion.

Personally, I think it would weed out the good debaters from the bad as well. Those who have been around a couple laps would be familiar with the common mistakes most Creationists make.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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3/26/2009 9:24:05 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Perhaps, but there can be many unforseen consequences.

For example, we could have potentially good debaters come to this site, but not be too familiar with evolution. There are many people who don't know a vast amount of stuff, but have a good attitude or demeanor to learn and grow. If they were to get a "bad grade" on the test, and we subsequently outcast them, that's obviously a no-no.

And again, what if originally someone get's a bad grade but they go on to learn about evolution? In fact, what if they learn a challenging amount of evolution that it parallels those who aced the test? Would they then have the option of re-taking it? Of course, allowing someone to re-take a test means there has to be many safeguards from cheating.
DATCMOTO
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4/1/2009 5:29:08 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
How about " Do I only believe in evolutionISM to feel hip and relevant because REALLY I feel kind of square and redundant? "
How about THAT kinda question?
The Cross.. the Cross.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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4/1/2009 8:38:15 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 4/1/2009 5:29:08 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
How about " Do I only believe in evolutionISM to feel hip and relevant because REALLY I feel kind of square and redundant? "
How about THAT kinda question?

How about you don't know anthing about evoluTION and you need to quit yapping your unintelligible sentiments?
DATCMOTO
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4/2/2009 4:21:03 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 4/1/2009 8:38:15 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 4/1/2009 5:29:08 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
How about " Do I only believe in evolutionISM to feel hip and relevant because REALLY I feel kind of square and redundant? "
How about THAT kinda question?

How about you don't know anthing about evoluTION and you need to quit yapping your unintelligible sentiments?

I know it's a LIE.. so more than you then!
The Cross.. the Cross.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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4/2/2009 4:32:08 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 4/2/2009 4:21:03 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 4/1/2009 8:38:15 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 4/1/2009 5:29:08 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
How about " Do I only believe in evolutionISM to feel hip and relevant because REALLY I feel kind of square and redundant? "
How about THAT kinda question?

How about you don't know anthing about evoluTION and you need to quit yapping your unintelligible sentiments?

I know it's a LIE.. so more than you then!

*tsks* Proof needing to be provided. Saying the Bible dun like it is circular - doesn't cut it I'm afraid. If it was actually false then it would be represented adequately in reality. Finding as such to present here should be easy for you then.
DATCMOTO
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4/2/2009 5:59:20 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 4/2/2009 4:32:08 AM, Puck wrote:
At 4/2/2009 4:21:03 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 4/1/2009 8:38:15 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 4/1/2009 5:29:08 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
How about " Do I only believe in evolutionISM to feel hip and relevant because REALLY I feel kind of square and redundant? "
How about THAT kinda question?

How about you don't know anthing about evoluTION and you need to quit yapping your unintelligible sentiments?

I know it's a LIE.. so more than you then!

*tsks* Proof needing to be provided. Saying the Bible dun like it is circular - doesn't cut it I'm afraid. If it was actually false then it would be represented adequately in reality. Finding as such to present here should be easy for you then.

The moon's rate of drift.. Saturn's rings rate of drift.. planets/moons STILL being hot.. spiral galaxies STILL being spiral.. I could go on.
The evidence points OVERWHELMINGLY toward a young earth.
But YOU wanna be god...
The Cross.. the Cross.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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4/2/2009 8:07:45 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 4/2/2009 5:59:20 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:

The moon's rate of drift.. Saturn's rings rate of drift.. planets/moons STILL being hot.. spiral galaxies STILL being spiral.. I could go on.
The evidence points OVERWHELMINGLY toward a young earth.
But YOU wanna be god...

Since you didn't mention Earth at all who knows why you think these relate.

Saturn's moon Enceladus is volcanic - confirmed through Cassini. That supplies the necessary material for the E ring which I assume you are referring to.

Planet temperatures - Venus is the average hottest due to its dense atmosphere
Mercury experiences extreme variance between day/night temperatures - difference of around 5000 degrees centigrade
Mars averages just below zero
Jupiter minus 100 Centigrade
Saturn around minus 150 degrees centigrade
Uranus and Neptune both close to minus 200 degrees centigrade

Moon drifts away at an average of 3.4cm per year - average distance to moon is 384,403 km - reversing rate to earth arrives at 1,132,529,411 years where they occupy the same space. So um young no. ;) Impact and deflection then yes.

Spiral galaxies are not age set, new spiral galaxies form and old ones exist - maybe you are referring to the missing mass - the possibilities of
black holes/white dwarfs, brown dwarfs, neutrinos etc that may make the mass with non detectable levels of light. Also explained through modified Newtonian Dynamics.

None of which point to a young earth.