Instigator / Pro
3
1417
rating
158
debates
32.59%
won
Topic

Intelligent Design should be taught in school

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
3
Sources points
2
0
Spelling and grammar points
1
1
Conduct points
0
1

With 1 vote and 2 points ahead, the winner is ...

Sum1hugme
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Category
Education
Time for argument
Two days
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Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
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Four points
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10,000
Contender / Con
5
1583
rating
17
debates
73.53%
won
Description
~ 468 / 5,000

this is not objective "should", but rather for a vast majority notion where the benefits outweigh the negatives (not absolute, nor forcing every school to teach it).

This concerns public and private schools overall.

Intelligent Design: the theory that life, or the universe, cannot have arisen by chance and was designed and created by some intelligent entity. Note that "taught" does not mean this is treated as the truth, merely information given to the students.

Round 1
Pro
"taught" is indeed very confusing in normal terms. Though I have noted it as such in my description, con is free to bring up evidence that bias causes teachers unable to "teach" it the correct way, and instead accidentally reveal it as some kind of truth. But the default explanation of "teach" is -- "to cause to know something" (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/teach). Indeed, a post reveals that it's a bad idea to teach it as a scientific method-- "A possible solution to ensure that human evolution is part of high school biology class and to avoid co-teaching creationism as an alternate scientific theory is to mandate more specifically what should and should not be taught in high school biology class by State boards overseeing public education". 

The differentiation of "taught" and "taught about" is very very nitty gritty and difficult to ascertain. Of course, https://www.adl.org/education/resources/tools-and-strategies/religion-in-public-schools/curriculum notes that "teaching religion" (preaching and telling it as the truth) is bad, compared to the idea of "teaching about religion". However, unbiased teaching would naturally reveal flaws of each different thought about God and let students hold their own beliefs. As such I do not think the differentiation is truly that big, especially if the teacher is required to tell what leaps of faith religion needed and note the contradiction with the lack of evidence on the scientific side. Though the separation is noted by my first source, as teachers grow more experienced, it's entirely plausible to link the two together and tell both the flaws of science and the flaws of religious belief, enhancing understanding in both. 

One scholarly article notes that the problems with ID con might think of, allow students to greater ascertain the power of science. " there is a purpose for ID in the classroom. ID can be used to illustrate the foundational epistemological structure of science, which requires natural explanations and empirical data as opposed to revelation, tradition, and authority." Even if ID was completely invalid, the fact that many people believed in it, and its influence on religion, it can help develop a greater understanding with critical thinking. Another article lists these benefits:

  • Informing students about competing theories of biological origins as they exist within the scientific community;
  • Helping students to better understand neo-Darwinism by understanding a theory with which it competes;
  • Enhancing critical thinking skills by exposing students to alternative explanations for the origin of life;
  • Helping students to understand the value of dissenting viewpoints in the advancement of scientific knowledge;
  • Increasing student interest in science by exposing them to current debates within the scientific community; and
  • Advancing cultural literacy by helping students understand a current controversy about science and science education policy.
Indeed, has it not been taught in history classes countless times, that Europe and its allies in the 1500's believed that there was no America, and thought that the Indians were on the other side? And have we not, separated the truth from the false, and been able to understand the past's lack of understanding in this situation? Not only does the circumference of the earth help prevent absurd flat-earth believers, it also helps link together the importance of trade that established the New World in history. Research has even suggested that the two beliefs stop obsessing over subtle differences-- "Wasserman and Blumberg urge contemporary evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins to move beyond the arcane argument over where to draw the line between things that "really are designed" and "things that only appear to be designed." By doing so, they note, we will better appreciate the actual forces that unite the processes of change across both evolutionary and developmental timescales.

Conclusion: Just because it is "teach" does not necessarily mean biased teaching, similar to teaching how "America didn't exist in 1500, according to Europe" works out. There is much learning of information and skills to be gained from ID. Precisely because it is so flawed, we can gain a greater understanding of evolution and human development. As such, ID should be taught in school, as it would net a benefit in student understanding. Thank you for you time.

Con
Thank you Seldiora for the debate topic. To begin, I will define some terms my opponent declined to define:


  • Scientific Theory - a coherent group of propositions formulated to explain a group of facts or phenomena in the natural world and repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation [1]
  • Fact - A point of data that is objectively verifiable [2][3][4]
  • Evidence - The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid. [5] 
  • School - 1An institution for educating children. 2Any institution at which instruction is given in a particular discipline [6]
  • Evolution - Changes in Genetic Variability and Allele Frequencies in Reproductive populations over time. [14]
  • Primary education - Education which provides the rudiments of knowledge; early or elementary schooling [17]
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  The institution where the idea of intelligent design is being taught matters. If a University student wants to attend seminary and learn intelligent design arguments, that is their choice as an adult. However, a child that has not had time to develop critical thinking skills, should only be taught accurate, valuable information. It is against definition 1 of school that I am arguing against in the context of the resolve. All education textbooks for the purpose of teaching children should be accurate. Children without critical thinking skills will not be able to discern between a nice sounding lie, and a complicated truth. So intelligent design should not be taught in schools for the following reasons:

1. Not a Scientific Theory
  a. Intelligent Design is touted as a scientific theory [7].
  b. Scientific Theories taught in science classrooms should be actual tested scientific theories.
  c. Intelligent Design posits no testable hypotheses, nor does it predict novel future data, such as evolution or the big bang theory.
  d. Intelligent Design cannot be vindicated as a hypothesis, and has always, without exception been shown to be wrong, with a better explanation from the actual theory of biodiversity always coming into light [8].
  e. Intelligent Design is therefore effectively a falsified hypothesis.
  f. Alchemy is a falsified hypothesis
  g. Intelligent Design is a falsified hypothesis.
  h, Therefore, Intelligent Design should not be taught as a description of biodiversity alongside Evolution for the same reasons Alchemy isn't taught alongside chemistry.

"'Intelligent Design' is a religious view, not a scientific theory," according to U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III [7]

2. Waste of Class Time
  a. Education is valuable
  b. The time spent being educated in school should ideally be maximised.
  c. ID is less effective for teaching scientific concepts than Evolution.
  d. Therefore evolution should be taught exclusively as the only theory of biodiversity because it is the only theory of biodiversity.

3. Logical Fallacy - Argument from Ignorance
  a. ID can only point to gaps in real scientific explanations as "evidence." [9]
  b. Logically, this is an argument from ignorance [10]
  c. There is little to no constructive purpose to teaching children logical fallacies as scientific theories.

  
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REBUTTALS

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  • R1
" there is a purpose for ID in the classroom. ID can be used to illustrate the foundational epistemological structure of science, which requires natural explanations and empirical data as opposed to revelation, tradition, and authority.""
  While this is somewhat correct, and could be appropriate for a quick fifteen minute discussion in a collegiate biology course where a discussion of the epistemological structure of science can be discussed with people who have a grasp on the actual epistemology of science and won't be confused by the conflicting concepts. Adults with critical thinking skills could discuss this in a Southern Baptist Seminar. But children must be educated at the primary level, and that education should be as fruitful as possible. As stated above, it would be a waste of precious time.

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  •  R2
" Informing students about competing theories of biological origins as they exist within the scientific community;
  • Helping students to better understand neo-Darwinism by understanding a theory with which it competes;
  • Enhancing critical thinking skills by exposing students to alternative explanations for the origin of life;"
  The problem with this is that ID is not a scientific theory competing with Darwinism. Evolution is the only Scientific Theory of biodiversity that's ever been indicated, vindicated, and predictively verified consistently without a single exception. ID is creationism in a lab coat. The teaching of ID would retard [11] critical thinking skills in students, because it isn't an alternative explanation to abiogenesis [12] either. There is no testable mechanism proposed by ID that could explain the arising of the first life, whereas abiogenesis, while incomplete, has accomplished quite a few experiments to establish it as a provisionally true theoretical model of the processes of life's origin from inorganic materials [13]. This is a shift I see a lot. When the gap ID proponents point to is filled, like every evolutionary gap, a new gap must be found. If biodiversity could be explained wholly, the Intelligent Design proponents would, and often do ask, "Well how did the life begin in the first place?"

  • Helping students to understand the value of dissenting viewpoints in the advancement of scientific knowledge;
  • Increasing student interest in science by exposing them to current debates within the scientific community; and
  • Advancing cultural literacy by helping students understand a current controversy about science and science education policy.
  There is no controversy. There is no debate. Intelligent Design has been demonstrated to be 100% incorrect on every testable account. This was settled time and time again in the scientific community, and finally in a court of law in 2005 [8]. There is not a single fact that supports ID. and therefore there is no body of facts to support the hypothesis. Evidence is a body of facts and Scientific theories have evidence. Therefore, ID is not a scientific theory.


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  • R3
"  Research has even suggested that the two beliefs stop obsessing over subtle differences-- "Wasserman and Blumberg urge contemporary evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins to move beyond the arcane argument over where to draw the line between things that "really are designed" and "things that only appear to be designed." By doing so, they note, we will better appreciate the actual forces that unite the processes of change across both evolutionary and developmental timescales." "
  The research referred to in my opponent's argument is proposing that the processes of change should be analyzed besides quarreling. Ironically, this helps to defeat my opponent's argument, as ID has absolutely nothing to say about the processes of biodiversity. While Evolutionary Theory is the only theory with anything to say; and it says a lot [15]. Natural Selection is an example [16].

--------------------

CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, Intelligent Design should not be taught in schools. Intelligent design is not a scientific theory as it has no evidence, is a waste of class time, especially during primary education years, and is fundamentally dependent on arguments from ignorance. I look forward to my opponent's response.






[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance#:~:text=Argument%20from%20ignorance%20(from%20Latin,a%20fallacy%20in%20informal%20logic.&text=In%20debates%2C%20appeals%20to%20ignorance,shift%20the%20burden%20of%20proof.

Over to Pro!
Round 2
Pro
1) Waste of time?

Con states that merely because the theory has zero evidence and is merely suggestions means that it is a waste of time. If this was true, then the vast majority of religions should not be taught either. Nothing that is not known for certain should not be taught. For example, morality is an abstract school of thought. There are countless contradicting moralities and no consensus has been reached on which belief is true or not. Does this mean it is a waste of time to discuss morality, because of "lack of evidence"? After all, how can you "prove" utilitarianism, or Kantian ethics, or even Virtue being true to follow? Each school of thought still brings a new and helpful idea to the table, for instance, we agree that our happiness matters from John Stuart Mill, and that there are hardly any actions that Kant accounts for that are always truly wrong. By revealing their flaws, we admit that our moral philosophy is imperfect and still needs work on.

2) evolution's own problems

Similarly, evolution has some holes and flaws within its own teachings. It is very close to being perfected, but there are still questions that remain. One ID textbook notes: "“Pandas” makes it clear that when it comes to the nature or identity of the designer, “the intelligent design explanation has unanswered questions.” (pg. 126) Thus design refrains from untestable, unscientific, or unconstitutional claims about God, or the “supernatural.” There should be nothing illegal about teaching students something we can learn through scientific method: that life bears the informational characteristics we commonly find in objects we know were designed. "

3) Extension to our own "Intelligent designs"

I repeat, even if life itself was not intelligently designed, we ourselves intelligently design our own ideas and things, and compare it to natural objects in existence. Why else, would we create robots to walk, to postulate and debate about whether AI can "think" like we can, or how the way that we "learn" helps improve our machines' performance and efficiency? Isn't True Intelligent Design that we know exists (human designing machines) comparable to the belief of ID itself? There are far more extensions of ID, and it may not be a waste of time. Otherwise, why would con even accept this debate? It would just be a waste of time to debate about ID, right? No. You must tell of both sides pros and cons, and help connect ideas together, to help further research and help understanding. That is why ID should be taught in schools.
Con
  Thank you for your response. I'll dive straight into my counter rebuttals.

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COUNTER-REBUTTALS

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  • CR1
"Con states that merely because the theory has zero evidence and is merely suggestions means that it is a waste of time."
  This is not the argument I am making. I'm stating that the time children spend learning should be maximised to the greatest possible efficiency. Teaching children, who are impressionable, and not born with concepts of scientific methodology known to them, Intelligent Design as an alternative to actual science education is a waste of time. In short, ID teaches less than proven Scientific theories, therefore, Scientific theories should be taught instead to the end of maximising educational efficiency. Its teachings would be a waste of time in a science classroom, where it wants to be taught.

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  • CR2
"There are countless contradicting moralities and no consensus has been reached on which belief is true or not"
  There are objective aspects of ethics, biological and such, natural rights. Then there are social ethics which, in American government, codify ethical consensus for a metric of justice. And then there are the aspects of ethics that are unanswered or subjective. 

"Does this mean it is a waste of time to discuss morality, because of "lack of evidence"?"
  No, because there are objective aspects of ethics. There are no objective aspects of Intelligent Design. 

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  • CR3
"Similarly, evolution has some holes and flaws within its own teachings. It is very close to being perfected, but there are still questions that remain. One ID textbook notes: "“Pandas” makes it clear that when it comes to the nature or identity of the designer, “the intelligent design explanation has unanswered questions.” (pg. 126) Thus design refrains from untestable, unscientific, or unconstitutional claims about God, or the “supernatural.”"
   The textbook cited is seemingly impossible to find a copy of online for free. So, going with the quote from the article cited, it reads that the textbook is ceding some of the truth that there actually is nothing to learn between it's covers. This statement about holes in evolution, seems an allusion to my criticism of the arguments from ignorance. My original argument stands.

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  • CR4
" that life bears the informational characteristics we commonly find in objects we know were designed. ""
  I would ask my opponent to please define the term information in this context. Oftentimes, the word information is used to draw comparisons between things that arent actually totally comparable (like dna "information" and a software program).

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  • CR5
"Isn't True Intelligent Design that we know exists (human designing machines) comparable to the belief of ID itself?"

  No, this is a false analogy fallacy [1]. Just because two things share one quality, like complexity or mechanical functionality, does not necessarily mean that they share another quality, like being designed. Again, ID makes its case on faulty reasoning. Intelligent Design is to Evolution what Alchemy is to Chemistry, and what Astrology is to Astronomy: wrong, and not worth confusing the children about, when there are actually facts and working epistemology they should be concerned with mastering first.

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  CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, ID is not science as it claims to be. It is a fractally wrong bad idea that has no part in the science classroom. It is logically fallacious at every step. Therefore, Intelligent Design should not be taught in schools.





Round 3
Pro
Con tries to assert that schools must be as productive as possible, but this is a bit absurd. Just how many people actually need to know the 1500's Columbian exchange in their jobs? What about high level calculus, for non-engineers or non-mathematicians? Or foreign language requirements, when you stay at home and only interact with other people? Let's face it. The more technical and specific ideals are all equally as useless as ID and would only improve learning ability, critical thinking and cognition. It is precisely our job to teach as much knowledge as possible, regardless of use or no use. Con thinks morality has some objective basis, but has no backing for this. Religion in general also is problematic based on con's ideals. But freedom of religion and encouragement of information means that it would help uncertain students further to introduce all types of religion, so to encourage research and innovation.

If Evolution did not exist as a theory, would you not agree that only ID, the seemingly useless theory, could be relied upon? It is only because we have the strong ideals that we can contrast it with weak beliefs and past beliefs that have fallen out of suit. Should we stop teaching kids that people in the past believed in slavery, as the ideas of slavery are contradictory to human rights and a horrible grounding? What about Hitler's problematic racism and his impact on the World War? Only through our mistakes do we grow and develop our true theories. To use ID as a basis to show how strong the theory of evolution is, helps to correct wrong beliefs, and as such, it should be taught in schools, to encourage critical thinking and information gain about what the history of our scientific thought was.

Thanks for your time, and vote for pro. 
Con
  Thank you Seldiora for this debate. It's been fun. Now for my final rebuttals:

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FINAL REBUTTALS

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  • FR1
"Con tries to assert that schools must be as productive as possible, but this is a bit absurd. "
  Ideally, schools would be maximally efficient. Curriculum should be focused around this ideal.

"What about high level calculus, for non-engineers or non-mathematicians?"
  In my opening statement, I defined primary education as, " Education which provides the rudiments of knowledge; early or elementary schooling." Calculus is a high level set of mathematics. So this argument doesn't apply. Personally, and this is a different topic, but I think that all high schools should be trade schools.

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  • FR2
"The more technical and specific ideals are all equally as useless as ID..."
  This is just blatantly false. Technical subjects like arithmetic and biology are foundations for careers in those fields in the future. ID is a fractally wrong set of logical fallacies.

"...and would only improve learning ability, critical thinking and cognition."
  I argue that ID, taught at too young of an age actually impedes critical thinking ability on the topics of scientific methodology, and theoretic models. Instead confusing the child with a set of logical fallacies that contradict reality, which will impede their science education in the future if they happen to believe them. Schools should be teaching things that accelerate children and students to their goals rather than impeding them.

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  • FR3
"It is precisely our job to teach as much knowledge as possible, regardless of use or no use."
  ID isn't knowledge. It's systematically pointing at the gaps in human knowledge and declaring things to be too complex to have arisen naturally. Until of course that thing is explained, and the goalposts have to be shifted. ID is systematically committing logical fallacies that are easy to believe without an understanding of the subject matter it's attempting to squeeze into the gaps of. Teaching ID in school is counter to a good education and is fundamentally the opposite of knowledge.

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  • FR4
"Con thinks morality has some objective basis, but has no backing for this"
  I wasn't sure if my opponent was gonna make me get into this, but alright. My argument for an objective basis for empathy is the following:

1. Animals experience pain as a reaction to bodily damage.
2. Pain is registered through an electrochemical chain called the nervous system.
3. Humans are more aware than other animals.
4. As a consequence of this, Humans can project our experience of this unpleasant biological function onto other Humans and lesser animals.
5. Therefore, Empathy is grounded in the objectivity of the nervous system's response to bodily damage.

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  • FR5
"Religion in general also is problematic based on con's ideals"
  My opponent has no basis for saying this. I mentioned the word religious once, in a quote from the Judge from Kitzmiller v Dover. The religiosity of ID has not been present in my arguments against teaching ID in schools. 

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  • FR6
"If Evolution did not exist as a theory, would you not agree that only ID, the seemingly useless theory, could be relied upon?"

  No, because even if evolution hadn't been vindicated, nor hypothesized yet, that wouldn't indicate ID is true. The notion is another throwback to the argument from ignorance that is the lifeblood of ID.

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  • FR7
" Should we stop teaching kids that people in the past believed in slavery, as the ideas of slavery are contradictory to human rights and a horrible grounding?  What about Hitler's problematic racism and his impact on the World War?"

  There's nothing wrong with teaching kids about the horrors of slavery if they're mature enough to stomach it. The difference here, is that we don't teach them Eugenics in the science classroom.

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  • FR8
"To use ID as a basis to show how strong the theory of evolution is, helps to correct wrong beliefs, and as such, it should be taught in schools, to encourage critical thinking and information gain about what the history of our scientific thought was."
  Evolution doesn't need to use ID to show strong it is. ID is superfluous to the education.
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CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, Intelligent Design is touted by its proponents as scientific. In contrast to the proclamations of its proponents though, it has no grounding in science and runs against the methodologies of science. It has been established to be fundamentally fallacious on every point, and vacuous in every claim. Intelligent design was defined in the description as, "the theory that life, or the universe, cannot have arisen by chance and was designed and created by some intelligent entity." I have conclusively demonstrated that every aspect of the definition is a fallacy, and has no place in the classroom. Therefore, Intelligent Design should not be taught in schools.

Vote Con!