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Round 1. junglejake V Odium: Creationism

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posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 10:55 AM
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The topic for this debate is "Creationism is a valid [scientific] theory and should be taught alongside Evolution"

junglejake will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
Odium will argue against this proposition.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debater posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom do not count towards the word total.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image may be included in each post. No more than 5 references can be included at the bottom of each post. Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 13 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (7) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.




posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 12:15 PM
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In 1968 the Supreme Court ruled in Epperson v. Arkansas that evolution could not be excluded from school curriculum on the grounds that Arkansas cannot tailor its curriculum to a particular religious doctrine. This ruling, however, cuts both ways.

Evolution is a religion unto its self. While microevolution is a reality that can be reproduced in a laboratory, macroevolution has never been observed. Evolutionists take on faith that microevolution proves macroevolution without any experimental proof to back those claims.

While Christian Creationism should not be taught in our public schools due to the separation of Church and State, Intelligent Design should. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people is supposed to represent all of its citizens. There is a large number of people who believe Intelligent Design is correct, a lot who believe evolution is correct, a lot who believe intelligent design is incorrect and a lot who believe evolution is incorrect. They all have scientific and religious reason behind them, and our public schools should represent [I]all[/I] major theories on the development of our Earth, not just one religion’s.

Finally, intelligent design and evolution are [I]not[/I] mutually exclusive. Intelligent design involves the actual creation of life, where evolution addresses the development of life. Edwards v. Aguillard ruled against equal time in the schools on the grounds that it “advances a religious doctrine by requiring either the banishment of the theory of evolution from public school classrooms or the presentation of a religious viewpoint that rejects evolution in its entirety.” As intelligent design does not negate evolution in any way, this point is moot.

In 1921, the most accepted theory about the sun’s luminosity, heat, and lack of burning out was that it was molten iron. Due to the sheer size of the sun, the iron became compressed to the point of becoming a liquid (much like CO2 in one of those canisters). The liquid had currents running through it, causing friction in the iron and thereby static electricity. This electricity would continue to heat and excite the iron atoms, causing some to fly through space energized, heating the earth. To explain why the sun didn’t burn out or shrink due to the loss of material, it was assumed an equal amount of space dust was drawn to the sun as it expelled. We now know this to be completely false since the discovery of nuclear reactions. Yet, that was the generally accepted theory and taught in our schools. It was decades before the nuclear model for the sun was accepted; before that, it was ridiculed.

Evolution and intelligent design should be taught side by side in the schools. They address different stages in life’s development and are not mutually exclusive. Intelligent design is not specific to a single religion, either, but to most religions. Since both intelligent design and evolution could fit within the definitions of science and religion, it doesn’t make legal sense that one should have more freedom than the other to be taught in schools. Finally, just because a theory is widely accepted by the scientific community doesn’t make it fact. There are two beliefs, not mutually exclusive, of the creation and development of life on Earth, and our children should be exposed to both of them, if for no other reason than to equip them with the intelligent design argument so they can refute it. There is no such thing as too much knowledge.

Sources:
www.law.umkc.edu...
www.talkorigins.org...
www.answers.com...
The Outline of Science by John Arthur Thomson (1921) (This is a book I own, there is no online quotation of it, though there is a
reference. If need be, I may be able to scan the relevant chapter and post it.)



posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 01:28 PM
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Firstly, best of luck to my opponent and I hope I can grant you all an interesting debate to read over, (Judges, Moderators and Members).

Creationism is defined in the dictionary as “Belief in the literal interpretation of the account of the creation of the universe and of all living things related in the Bible.” and this is where I intend to make my first of many standpoints and is one of the more important aspects of it.

To do this I need to break it up and look at one specific part of it; “literal interpretation”, I wish to show you that a literal (Being in accordance with, conforming to, or upholding the exact or primary meaning of a word or words.) interpretation (The act or process of explaining the meaning of something.) would lead us to change excepted science, morality and the way in which we all live our lives. I plan to show the judges without any doubt that a Literal Interpretation of the Bible is a fallacy.

I will do this by displaying problems with the Literal Interpretation of the Bible, Qu’Ran and/or Tanakh. By displaying the moral problems with these texts, by displaying the lies and social problems with these texts and display the other prominent theories that can help to give human beings - which we all are - a better understanding of ourselves and eventually help us to move on to our next step.

So I will start out with Evolution, which is what most people use to argue against creationism.

Firstly we need people to understand that Evolution does not mean there is an absence of a Supreme Being/Beings - it can in fact mean the opposite. There is no reason why Spirituality and Evolution can not work together.

Secondly Evolution uses the Scientific Method as a means of discovering information about the natural world. Scientists use observations, hypotheses and deductions to propose explanations for natural phenomena in the form of theories. Predictions from these theories are tested by experiment. If a prediction turns out to be correct, the theory survives. This is a meritocratic form of systematic enquiry, where the best ideas supported by evidence and positive experimental results survive. Science does not seek answers that fit a certain theory.

All scientific theories are falsifiable; that is, if evidence that contradicts any given theory comes to light, or if the theory is proven to no longer fit with the evidence, the theory itself is shown to be invalid. Evolution is a theory that its supporters say fits in with all known biological evidence, with all known genetic evidence, and is backed up by overwhelming evidence in the fossil record. Contrary to some claims, transitional fossils exist that show a gradual change from one species to another. Because of this and other evidence, there is little debate within scientific circles as to whether evolution is a fact or not. Creationism does not stand up to this method.

Now to move to the point you raise, Intelligent Design does not deal with the literal interpretation of the Bible, nor has it been classed as part of Creationism. In fact over the last 15 years, those who follow the Intelligent design movement have attempted to distance themselves from those who follow creationism furthermore in the 1987 case Edwards v. Aguillard the ratio decidendi was “teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to school children might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction” (Edwards v. Aguillard 482 U.S. 578, 593-594, 107 S.Ct. 2573, 2583 (U.S.La.,1987).) but moved against teaching a theory that doesn’t hold up to the “falsifiable” ideology which sets down scientific thinking and also moved against teaching anything that would place one religion over the other - which is why it failed the “Lemon test” in the Supreme Court.

Now to look at the Intelligent Design Theory some more, firstly it is separate from creationism due to the fact it does not involve Genesis, but goes against the idea that natural selection allowed us to evolve to our present form. Secondly it acknowledges evolution and new species do appear but states that we were guided to our present form by God. Thirdly, there is no need for the Intelligent Designer to be God, the ID Method is used by people who claim that Aliens created us again going against Genesis which by Creationism is Gods word on how we appeared upon Earth. Fourthly, ID lacks a theoretical basis from which testable hypotheses can be derived, does not offer an explanatory framework for what it purports to be explaining and has no research program.

One question: “Who designed, the designer”?



posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 01:05 PM
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As Odium stated, in 1987 the supreme court ruled that “teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to school children might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction” (Edwards v. Aguillard 482 U.S. 578, 593-594, 107 S.Ct. 2573, 2583 (U.S.La.,1987). There are currently two models for the development of life, and both have scientific evidence and information backing both theories up. There are books, websites, and even entire institutes dedicated to the study of creation science. Using this scientific data, teachers would be able to present students with the evidence, and discussion could ensue. If students start pointing out the holes in the current evolutionary or creationary scientific theories, it would present an opportunity to go into detail on the difference between a law and a theory. Being taught creationism from a scientific viewpoint, which is out there, would further students' scientific instruction. Why is one scientific theory worthy to be taught in our schools and the other not?

It was mentioned that evolution is falsifiable, whereas creationism is not. This is not accurate. Never in human history has macro evolution been observed. Darwin's premise relied on species transitioning into a completely new species, but as of yet it has not been observed. Creationism, on the other hand, is falsifiable. If a species were to mutate or evolve into a brand new species, then creationism, stating God created all the animals, would be shown to be false. There are fossils which could resemble transitory species, but it would be expected that the transitory species would be the norm, not the final product.

Evolution cannot be applied to all five steps of the scientific method. The third point requires a prediction, with that prediction being tested in the 4th step. The only way this can be done in an observable laboratory setting would be using something like fruit flies, whose gestation period is so short, and cause millions of generations and observe the new species. Yet, with years of experimentation, of trying to induce evolution through extreme conditions, the fruit flies were still fruit flies. Evolution and creationism have this point in common.

Creationism is beginning to have a strong scientific background. Many scientists are on board, including Gerald E. Aardsma, a physicist and radiocarbon dating specialist. The schools can't accept the science of evolution without accepting the science of creation. It offers bias against a scientific theory because it coincides with a religious matter. Will we next take out any history, science, or even math curriculum because it is mentioned in a religious text? Just because a religion believes something doesn't mean it can't be scientifically provable.

How does evolution explain the platypus?



posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 07:20 AM
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I will start with one of your major points, that Evolution is non-scientific due to the fact it doesn’t fit all of the criteria listed above. This is often used by those who support the Creationist view-point, however when studied closely Evolution has filed every area. To do demonstrate how I will split it up into its two areas; macro and micro evolution.

Microevolution looks at changes within species over time--changes that may be preludes to speciation, the origin of new species. Macroevolution studies how taxonomic groups above the level of species change. Its evidence draws frequently from the fossil record and DNA comparisons to reconstruct how various organisms may be related

These days even most creationists acknowledge that microevolution has been upheld by tests in the laboratory (as in studies of cells, plants and fruit flies) and in the field (as in Grant's studies of evolving beak shapes among Galápagos finches)[1]. Natural selection and other mechanisms--such as chromosomal changes, symbiosis and hybridisation--can drive profound changes in populations over time.

The historical nature of macro-evolutionary study involves inference from fossils and DNA rather than direct observation. Yet in the historical sciences (which include astronomy, geology and archaeology, as well as evolutionary biology), hypotheses can still be tested by checking whether they accord with physical evidence and whether they lead to verifiable predictions about future discoveries. For instance, evolution implies that between the earliest-known ancestors of humans (roughly five million years old) and the appearance of anatomically modern humans (about 100,000 years ago), one should find a succession of hominid creatures with features progressively less apelike and more modern, which is indeed what the fossil record shows. But one should not--and does not--find modern human fossils embedded in strata from the Jurassic period (144 million years ago). Evolutionary biology routinely makes predictions far more refined and precise than this, and researchers test them constantly.

Evolution could be disproved in other ways, too. If we could document the spontaneous generation of just one complex life-form from inanimate matter, then at least a few creatures seen in the fossil record might have originated this way. If super intelligent aliens appeared and claimed credit for creating life on earth (or even particular species), the purely evolutionary explanation would be cast in doubt. But no one has yet produced such evidence.

Another example of evolution at work is bacterial resistance to antibiotics, which show how over-time they can change so the immunity and medication we once had no longer works.

Secondly I will move onto the platypus which you wish to bring up and how Evolution explains the Platypus. The platypus belongs to the order Monotremata, the most primitive group of living mammals. The only other member of this group is the echidna , or spiny anteater. Members of this group are found to contain poison as well as laying eggs - due to their enviroment they did not need to evolve further and this explains why they are only found alive within Australia, New Zealand and that region. Recently [2] it has been found that certain ancient mammals also had poisons bites, but back to the platypus. If evolutionary theory is correct mammals evolved from Lizards as did birds, one of the hall marks of lizards are the fact a majority are poisonous and nearly all (if not all) lay eggs. The platypus is in-between a modern mammal and a lizard and only helps to back up the evolutionary theory. Furthermore the Archaeopteryx skeletons back this up again, showing feathers and skeletal structures peculiar to birds with features of dinosaurs.

Now a few of my own questions and points:

Firstly, we both have to agree for the Literal Interpretation of the Bible to be followed there can be no dispute on the meaning of the words and terminology as it was written by man guided by God.

Secondly, if this is the case why do we not find skeletons of giants that once walked the Earth? (Samuel 21:16, and 1 Chronicles 20:8)

Thirdly, when Arkansas passed a law requiring "equal time" for "creation science" and evolution, the law was challenged in Federal District Court. Opponents of the bill included the religious leaders of the United Methodist, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, African Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Southern Baptist churches, along with several educational organizations. After a full trial, the judge ruled that "creation science" did not qualify as a scientific theory [3].

Fifthly, in Edwards v. Aguillard [482 U.S. 578 (1987)], the court determined that "creation science" was inherently a religious idea and to mandate or advocate it in the public schools would be unconstitutional. Other court decisions have upheld the right of a district to require that a teacher teach evolution and not teach "creation science" [4]

[1]http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/D/Darwinsf.asp
Ecology and Evolution of Darwin's Finches by Peter Grant (book).
[2]chicagotrib une.com
[3](McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, 529 F. Supp. 1255 [ED Ark. 1982])
[4](Webster v. New Lennox School District #122, 917 F.2d 1003 [7th Cir. 1990]; Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School District, 37 F.3d 517 [9th Cir. 1994]).

[edit on 6/26/2005 by Amorymeltzer]



posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 08:44 AM
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I apologize if I'm late and it causes me to be disqualified, something came up at work and I haven't been able to get to a computer until now. Though this debate is interesting, I didn't want to get fired over it.

In 1925 John Scopes was prosecuted for teaching evolution. Today, the same would be true if any teacher in a public school were to teach intelligent design or creationism. It wouldn't matter if they were teaching it based on the scientific principles, not religious, and were doing it to enhance the effectiveness of science instruction. Granted, according to the supreme court decisions in the past creation science cannot be required, but at the same time it cannot be removed or shut out from discussion of the origins of life. Yet, that is exactly what is taking place in America's schools. Science is about expanding our knowledge and understanding the world around us. The scientific method starts with a question, not an answer. Yet, there are even teachers complaining to the media that students are asking too many questions. The questions the students were asking? They were related to creation science and the flaws in evolution. The teacher wanted to put a stop to such questions because they were disruptive to his classroom. Since when has furthering a scientific discussion in the schoolhouse been considered disruptive? Why do the defenders of evolution feel so threatened by other theories like creationism or intelligent design? Students should be permitted to examine every aspect of a subject, including the origins of life. Why should we put roadblocks up to knowledge? This isn't about religion, it's about understanding how we got here. Science is to look at the world as a little child does, with eyes wide with wonder and totally open to any possibility. Yet, today, science has dismissed God without any proof supporting them, and with God they've dismissed any theory related to Him. What if it turns out there is a creator, be it super intelligent aliens or a God. It would be inconceivable to understand the world around us while dismissing that idea. We could be the subject of an experiment in a petri dish, but if we eliminate any ability to theorize about a creator, we will be putting up a roadblock to our own understanding.

Evolution today is what creation was 85 years ago. It has grown complacent, and no longer likes to be questioned. While a theory its self cannot feel this way, it seem most of its supporters do. You can browse the posts here at Above Top Secret, you can browse the posts at other discussion boards which talk about our origins, you can read magazines, .edu websites, essays, op/eds, etc. all over the place where the single most effective defense against creation science's questions about evolution is calling the individual an idiot for not accepting evolution. The science has become political. It is no longer about establishing the facts surrounding the origins and development of life here on earth, it has become a political position.

Microorganisms do develop immunities to certain stimuli after time, this is true. So do I, so do you. Does that mean we, in our own lifespan, macro evolve? I lived father north than I do now. When I first got up there, it was freezing. Before I left, I was swimming when it was only 65 degrees out. I developed a partial immunity to the cold. I was not, however, a polar bear, nor did I evolve into one. I currently have a case of the flu, yet I will never receive this kind of flu again because my body will adapt. Yet, I'm still a homo sapien. I'm still human. My body was designed with systems to adapt, just a micro organisms are. My heart cells are capable of taking on the abilities of other heart cells in the event they fail. Does that mean my heart cell quickly, in a pinch, evolves into a different role, then devolves back to its old role after its done?


As to the questions about the Bible, we are discussing the origins of life and intelligent design. Every major religion I know of in the world has an explanation for creation. The Bible is not on trial here, creation science is, and creation science, while inspired by religion, is no longer a religious idea. It is now developed into a scientific one.



posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 11:46 AM
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As stated in The American Biology Teacher by the eminent scientist Theodosius Dobzhansky (1973), “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” This often-quoted declaration accurately reflects the central, unifying role of evolution in biology. The theory of evolution provides a framework that explains both the history of life and the ongoing adaptation of organisms to environmental challenges and changes.

Evolution in the broadest sense can be defined as the idea that the universe has a history: that change through time has taken place. If we look today at the galaxies, stars, the planet Earth, and the life on planet Earth, we see that things today are different from what they were in the past: galaxies, stars, planets, and life forms have evolved. Biological evolution refers to the scientific theory that living things share ancestors from which they have diverged; it is called "descent with modification." There is abundant and consistent evidence from astronomy, physics, biochemistry, geochronology, geology, biology, anthropology, and other sciences that evolution has taken place.

However evolution is not on trial here - Creationism is.

Now to justify why Creationism is not taught in School I will take direct quotes from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).



This version of special creation is derived from a literal interpretation of Biblical Genesis. It is a specific, sectarian religious belief that is not held by all religious people. Many Christians and Jews believe that God created through the process of evolution. Pope John Paul II, for example, issued a statement in 1996 that reiterated the Catholic position that God created and affirmed that the evidence for evolution from many scientific fields is very strong.

"Creation science" is a religious effort to support special creationism through methods of science. Teachers are often pressured to include it or other related nonscientific views such as "abrupt appearance theory," "initial complexity theory," "arguments against evolution," or "intelligent design theory" when they teach evolution. Scientific creationist claims have been discredited by the available scientific evidence. They have no empirical power to explain the natural world and its diverse phenomena. Instead, creationists seek out supposed anomalies among many existing theories and accepted facts. Furthermore, "creation science" claims do not lead to new discoveries of scientific knowledge.




Science teachers should not advocate any religious interpretations of nature and should be non-judgemental about the personal beliefs of students.

Policy makers and administrators should not mandate policies requiring the teaching of "creation science" or related concepts, such as so-called "intelligent design," "abrupt appearance," and "arguments against evolution." Administrators also should support teachers against pressure to promote non-scientific views or to diminish or eliminate the study of evolution.
[1]

Now although many different religions have a story of Creation, certain ones also speak of a Great Flood that destroyed the original inhabitants of the Earth and the list goes on[2]. Does it make it true? Of course not. Can they back any of it up with empirical evidence? Yet again no. This is the problem with Creationism. It is all well and good to start with a question, but when the evidence is stacked against you, you eventually have to admit that you’re in the wrong. Which is what Creation Science has to do - in reality, they can’t win the court cases due to the fact they can’t produce the evidence. If they could they would.

Now to come back to one of your points; “science has dismissed God without any proof supporting them” in reality this is far from the truth. On many occasions have Scientists also worked towards proving there is a “Devine being” but the problem is the facts are at present staceked against them. As for us questioning the Bible, I think it is important. If the story of Creations is meant to be taken at face-value, all of it has to be - yet again, where are these Giants? They survived after the Great Flood, yet not one bone exists. This again is a question which Creation Scientists can’t answer.[3] Furthermore if we were created in seven days, why do find no humanoid skeletons dating back millions of years? Should we not? It is clear that dinosaurs once walked the Earth so if the Bible is true, we walked along-side with them but yet again there are no fossils to back this up.

At this present moment Creationism is not a Science[4], it is a Social-Idea, which is being portrayed as a Science. Until the day they can back it up with Evidence, which can bring evolution into question it will re-main as a Social-Idea, once which should and is taught in the classroom but during Religious studies and not-displayed as a Science. Displaying it as a Science only raises confussion with students and harms there understanding.


[1] www.nsta.org...&psid=10
[2] www.crystalinks.com...
[3] yussel.blogspot.com...
[4] Duane Gish, vice president Institute for Creation Research with a Ph.D. in biochemistry. January 11, 1990 on WTVN 610-AM Radio, Columbus, Ohio.



posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 10:36 AM
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A law was passed in Indiana making Pi equal to 3. It was quickly repealed due to national backlash, but the intent was clear. Making Pi equal to 3 made calculations for the students easier. Was it right? Absolutely not, but it made geometry easier to understand for the students and easier to calculate. Obviously, making something easy to explain doesn’t necessarily make it right.

An entire generation of our children has been taught evolution exclusively, much as we teach children about Newton’s Laws of Motion. It is not discussion, but rather lecture. If you look around the threads here on ATS, you can see the effects. People get upset when the [I]theory[/I] of evolution is said to be a theory, and not a fact. Teaching this theory in such a way has been a huge detriment rather than advancing the future scientific community. If evolution continues down this road of unquestionable fact, the end result will be akin to that which Galileo ran into with his non-geocentric model of the solar system. While he was right, he was silenced because every moron knew the Earth was the center of the universe and to say otherwise was heresy. Today, evolution is held with the same regard. The scientific community vilifies anyone who questions it. Speaking against evolution today is essentially committing heresy against the scientific community. Students at Texas A&M University in Kingsville who take the class, Understanding The Creationism-Evolution Debate, are required to read a book titled [U] Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism and then write a paper. It’s not explicitly stated in the syllabus, but the intention is clear: you’re to write your paper on why creationism is wrong and evolution is right. [2] Evolution has become a philosophy, a political statement, which is to be defended and indoctrinated no matter what. It is not to be questioned by our students; after they’ve accepted it as fact, they’re free to question it, as long as they don’t want a career in the scientific community.

Reintroducing creation science, for which there is evidence supporting, would help develop the scientific community by training future scientists to question theories, be it creationism or evolution. By introducing both of the theories into the classroom setting, discussion would take place digging far deeper into the scientific premises of both evolution and creation science than the class would through learning via a lecture.

It is interesting to note who Darwin gave the most credit to for his Origin of Species. At the time of his study into microevolution, the scientific community generally held to Geologic catastrophism. This theory held that major geologic change caused life to develop and adapt. Since this was the generally held theory, Darwin’s macroevolution extrapolation from his study of microevolution didn’t have the time frame to be possible. Sir Charles Lyell, a Scottish lawyer, changed that by developing the philosophy of uniformitarianism. Lyell’s claim was that there were no catastrophies which took place on the earth, and all geologic development happened through day to day development, rain, water, volcanos, wind, etc. All localized, and all extremely slow processes. Darwin thanked Lyell for that theory, because with it he now had the time to make macroevolution work. Darwin took the scientific work of a lawyer, applied it to his model, and said it had to be. While Lyell’s theory was shot out of the water later, evolution was not effected. Due to its popularity, the catastrophism and uniformitarianism were blended to create a convenient scientific theory which easily explained everything. They created their 3. [1]

It seems today that everyone is talking about questioning the Bible and everything contained within, but at the same time condemn anyone who questions evolution. I’m sure you’ve run into the Christian or other religious type who would get angry and inflammatory if you questioned their belief in the Bible. How does an evolutionist reacting the same way differ?

There are too many unknowns in both the theory of evolution and the theory of creation. Both have a scientific backing, and both require a bit of faith to accept. To choose to teach one and not the other in the classroom is both judgmental towards student’s beliefs and intellectually dishonest, telling students that evolution has all the answers when, in fact, it does not. School is about learning, not about indoctrinating, and by teaching one theory to the exclusion of another in the same area is doing exactly that. We’re indoctrinating our students to accept evolution without question, and that’s just bad science. For the sake of our budding scientists, we need to open the school house floor to other ideas.

It is interesting to note that, though evolution says humans are most closely related to the chimp, we do intra-special transplants using pig organs.

Sources:
1. www.icr.org...
2. users.tamuk.edu...



posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 11:39 AM
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I wish to firstly address your point here: “It’s not explicitly stated in the syllabus, but the intention is clear: you’re to write your paper on why creationism is wrong and evolution is right.” you attempt to make it as though the class refuses to mark any papers which relate to creationism in a positive light - this is far from true. If you look at the course objective [1] it would allow for it to be argued either way and be marked on the basis of the students ability to defend either Evolution or Creationism.

At this present moment as I displayed above the NSTA will not teach Creationism - not due to the lack of their religious beliefs, but due to the fact there is no evidence to back it up. All of the supposed evidence is in fact just a critic of Evolution and the problems with Evolution are already discussed within the class-room, such as certain missing transitional fossils - however the evidence is stacked in favour of Evolution. Furthermore which version of creationism do we teach? This is the main problem with teaching it in a Science lesson - there are several hundred religions of the world[2] all with unique stories on how the World was formed, some which in fact can accept evolution - including the Roman Catholic Church, and many others, but how do we decide which one should be placed above the other? This is where the teaching of Creationism becomes Unconstitutional (in America) due to the fact you would have to place there stories above those of other Religions.

Now onto the topic of Xenotransplantation which you decided to bring up, Pig and Humans share a also shockingly similar genetic code as can be seen in GenBank as well as in the study done by US Pig Gene Mapping Coordination Program in 2002. These similarities allows us to perform the inter-species transplants.[3] As only certain aspects of both species are similar not every aspect.

As for Evolutionists questioning the theory and helping advance it, this is common practice. It is always being re-worked and changed, to meet the new information that is found otherwise important studies such as the mitochondrial DNA study which looked at the similarities and/or differences between Homo-sapiens and Neanderthals. [4] Which showed that there is a larger genetic difference between modern-man and Neanderthals, then there is between chimps and modern-man. Only helping to show that there was possibly more then one intelligent species that existed on the Earth at one time. Why does the Bible not speak of this other-race of humanoids?



On another key point, Darwinism is not Evolution. It is one theory of Evolution. As for people getting offended when Evolution is named a Theory, that is through there lack of understanding of what a theory actually is. The NSTA link above explains a theory as “(a) theory is a set of universal statements that explain some aspect of the natural world” and also says that the idea of them being a “guess” or a “hunch” is due to the common-usage of the word and not its scientific meaning. Evolution is as much a theory as Phlogiston theory , Quantum field theory or any other theory. Where as Intelligent Design are Pseudosciences due to the fact they have yet to verify any of their claims. Furthermore it can’t be explained as a protoscience either as they have not identified any hypothesis that can be tested or ever partaken in tests. In fact, many organizations such as the Institute for Creation Research go as far to claim Creationism is not a Science but is a fact. Until they move away from these ideologies they will never be classified as a Science. Until they can back it up with facts they will never be a science.

Another problem with teaching Creationism as a Science (excluding the fact, it has not got any empirical evidence ) is the fact it is only a critique of Evolution. It only wishes to find minor problems with the Theory and exploit it as though there are large ones. For example, the Archaeopteryx skeleton they argue that due to the fact it is defined as a bird it is not a transitional fossil even though it shares 4 features with birds but shares 19 with lizards only being defined as a bird because of its (assumed) ability to fly. Another problem is there inability to be able to counter the transitional fossils of horses which are able to “provide a lucid story of descent with change for nearly 50 million years” Evander, in Prothero & Schoch 1989, p. 125 as well as provide a full evolutionary tree from the Loxolophus to modern horses. [5]

[1] users.tamuk.edu...
[2] The World’s Religions, Ninian Smart.
[3] pigest.genome.iastate.edu...
[4] Krings et al. 1997
[5] talkorigins.org...



posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 02:43 PM
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The definition of science is: a field of study seeking to better understand natural phenomena through the use of observations and experiments.[1] Both evolution and creation fit half of this bill, they both try to better understand this thing we call life through observation. Science does not have the technology and man doesn’t have the divinity to create new species from currently existing species or out of nothing at all.

We have heard over the past few days many examples backing evolution as a science and creationism as a philosophy. Yet, all the examples and scientific experimental data has been an example of microevolution, a species adapting to its conditions through survival of the fittest. Supposed transitional species have been used to explain its validity. However, if I were to take all the breeds of dogs in the world today (all the same species), I could create an evolutionary model for them, starting with the Chihuahua and ending with a Doberman, and explain all the species in between, such as poodles and hotdogs, as transitory.

www.creationscience.com...
Differences between micro and macro evolution

Macroevolutionary science is based on observations just as creationism is. In human history, no new species has been documented as being developed from another species. Darwin used the example of the finch’s beak as survival of the fittest, but this, again, is microevolution.

We have seen that school campuses across the country, from elementary to collegiate, try to maintain the appearance of open mindedness on the Evolution vs. Creationism debate. Yet, while appearing to have this open-mindedness, the only required reading is something typically extremely critical against creationism. This kind of atmosphere is not conducive to scientific inquiry. Students are being taught evolution as they are being taught grammar. It is stated the earth is 3.9 to 5 billion years old, with the current model of development displayed with no explanation as to why. They are told to take it on faith, as I did in highschool. Then, having established that, they do the same with evolution, showing pictures of fossils that are similar though different, just as dogs today are.

Creation introduces more unknowns to the issue. It introduces something that science cannot yet explain, and does so through the same observation evolution does. Radiometric dating has found T-Rex bones in Montana dated at 11,000 years, 890 year old pieces of wood encased in 110 million year old limestone, and 5 11 year old specimens taken from Mt. St. Helen’s new lava dome formed in 1986 dating anywhere from half a million to three million years old. [2] Science would prefer to have its 3 instead of 22/7ths.

Finally, why would evolution develop a creature that had to harness technology to wipe its own butt? It may seem absurd, but humans have to use an external source to clean that area while other animals use other means. How could evolution develop an animal that is dependant on technology?


"You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have...my [closing] statement." [3]

Sources:
1. www.creationscience.com
2. www.bible.ca...
3. Family Guy Episode 217: Running Mates

(Edit: No images in closing statements)


[edit on 6/28/2005 by Amorymeltzer]



posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 05:59 PM
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Thank you for allowing me to take part in this debate and putting me up against jungleJake. I hope the readers enjoy this as much as I have.

Evolution is defined as “Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species”
  • Macroevolution
    The theory, punctuated equilibrium[1], put forth by Stephen Jay Gould, is based on the fact that there are critical genes in all living organisms, and a small change in them could cause drastic changes in the organism, resulting in a new species quite rapidly. Scientists have managed to create new species of fly by irradiating the homeobox gene, causing a radical mutation in the development of the segments of the body. The fly may grow an extra thorax, or grow legs out of its eyestalks, all due to a single base pair alteration.

    Several Micro-evolutionary changes can result in one larger over-all change and the development of a new-species, as shown through fossil records and displayed above.

  • Microevolution
    This is an observable form of evolution; for example, bacterial strains that have become resistant to antibiotics due to this micro-evolution has been proven.[2]
Creationism is defined as “Belief in the literal interpretation of the account of the creation of the universe and of all living things related in the Bible.”
  • If you’re to take Creation as being literal, then the whole of the Genesis as well as the Bible should be taken as literal and not open to wider interpretation as displayed in my opening post.
  • In America, creationism is unconstitutional as it would place Biblical Creation above other religions in the class-room.
Science or Myth?
  • For something to be classed as a Scientific theory it has to hold up to the falsifiable doctrine, “that is, if evidence that contradicts any given theory comes to light, or if the theory is proven to no longer fit with the evidence, the theory itself is shown to be invalid.”
  • Evolution does fit this doctrine as I have shown..
  • Creationism doesn’t fit this doctrine and my opponent has been unable to show otherwise.
Court Decisions
  • Edwards v. Aguillard
  • Webster v. New Lennox School District
  • McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education
Have all ruled it as being unconstitutional and also unscientific.

Duane Gish, vice president of the Institute for Creation Research himself said that Creationism is not a Science on WTVN 610-AM Radio, Columbus, Ohio.

It is clear that the only evidence Creationism has, is within the minds of those who take Genesis as a literal interpretation of creation. At this present moment in time they have been unable to display it as a Science and until they can do it should not be classed as a Science or taught in the class-room in such a manor this would only damage childrens understandings of biology.

Thank you for taking the time to read this debate.

[1] en.wikipedia.org...
[2] en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 11:50 PM
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Very well done to the both of you. Judging will begin as soon as I get my beauty sleep.



posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 09:59 AM
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Odium has forfeited the debate due to counts of plagiarism. junglejake advances.






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