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How to set up an evolution debate?

F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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8/26/2011 10:25:12 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I wanted to debate that evolution was a better explanation for life than creation with this topic:
http://www.debate.org...

However, a lot of people commented that it could easily fall prey to semantics or loopholes. How do I set it up so that I am guaranteed an honest debate on the topic and not semantics? Any advice?
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/26/2011 10:32:42 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/26/2011 10:25:12 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
I wanted to debate that evolution was a better explanation for life than creation with this topic:
http://www.debate.org...

However, a lot of people commented that it could easily fall prey to semantics or loopholes. How do I set it up so that I am guaranteed an honest debate on the topic and not semantics? Any advice?

define words in R1. Any definitions that you give (unless OBVIOUSLY abusive) are automatically accepted.

Define "convincing." The semantics I would have used is that while evolution may have been more scientific and logical, creation has convinced more people, so is more convincing.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
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8/26/2011 1:01:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
There are numerous options to counter the claims of creationists:

1. Be prepared to at least counter the common creationist claims. There are common arguments, such as using the second law of theodynamics, arguing that evolution is immoral or does not describe the formation of first, aboriginal life, and so on. Here is a website that RoyLatham recommended to me for understanding some of the common Creationist claims, http://talkorigins.org....

2. Always out-research your opponent and analyze the data he has presented.
I think this would be a useful tip since your opponent might be bound to introduce some fanciful study or even theory to 'disprove' evolution. In one debate, a creationist included the theory of relativity to argue against evolution. Be prepared to look up the theory/law/evidence and to point out how:

--a) it is irrelevant to the subject (option 1)
--b) it is wrong, or not supported by further studies or evidence (option 2)
and more.

Option b can be achieved by introducing a study that superscedes your opponent's study or survey, or by introducing more credible research (make sure to confirm its validity) that disputes your opponent's findings.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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8/26/2011 1:45:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Define whether you are debating the origin of life or the existence of species. I think you mean the existence of the varieties of life forms.

Don't use "more convincing," use "more scientific" or "more reasonable." What is more convincing can be determined by a poll. Even though creationism is false,many people find it more convincing. Remember that religion can "explain" anything by "God did it that way" while science necessarily has unanswered questions. If a person wants all questions answered immediately, religious explanations will be more convincing.

I think you might do better to pick off a piece of the topic. For example, "Non-coding DNA is strong evidence for evolution" or whatever you are comfortable with.