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The Contender
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Darwin's theory of evolution & creationism are mutually exclusive.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/13/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 309 times Debate No: 93703
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




I Pro, think that creationism [1] & Darwin's theory of evolution [2] are mutually exclusive. There is just no way the two are compatible in my opinion. Different time frames, contradictory ideologies for how humans were created, and just plain old different mindsets.

In my opinion one side is 100% wrong and the other is 100% correct. Whether it be creationism or Darwin's theory as the correct ideology. I am interested in what my opponent has to say. Thanks in advance for accepting.



I accept this debate as presented. Since this is only a three round debate, I'll take the liberty of presenting an argument in round one, and intend to waive adding additional content in round 3 so that my opponent and I each have equal number of presentations.

I consider myself to hold beliefs consistent of both the creationist and evolutionist, and do not consider my positions to be contradictory. Creationism is broadly defined, as my opponent presented in his first source, as the belief that a deity created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. All creationists, from young earth creationists (YEC) to Christians who view the early chapters of the book of Genesis to be entirely a allegorical work would fall into this category. Darwin's theory of evolution, as defined by my opponent's second source, describes the process by which natural selection alters organisms over time by a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits.

Darwin's theory doesn't suggest what the ultimate origin of life on earth may be. Likewise, not all creationists disbelieve in natural selection.

I'm fairly certain we can agree that papal leaders like the Pope should be considered creationists. In "Truth Cannot Contradict Truth," [1] the address that Pope John Paul II gave in 1996, he says "In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation, on condition that one did not lose sight of several indisputable points."

Pope Francis also agrees, saying, "[God] created beings and allowed them to develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one, so that they were able to develop and to arrive and their fullness of being. He gave autonomy to the beings of the universe at the same time at which he assured them of his continuous presence, giving being to every reality. And so creation continued for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until it became which we know today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the creator who gives being to all things... The Big Bang, which nowadays is posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creating, but rather requires it. The evolution of nature does not contrast with the notion of creation, as evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve."[2]

This opinion isn't limited to Catholicism, as the time of this posting, 13,288 signatures appear on The Clergy Letter Project [3], which affirms, "We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests."

In similar manner to those religious leaders, Charles Darwin himself wrote, [4] "It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist & an evolutionist." He also included in the second edition of "On the Origin of Species," in the conclusion, "I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed by the Creator."

Especially when taking old earth creationists (OEC) into consideration, or the broader view of Theistic Evolution, I see no logical contradiction between the origin of existence, and the likewise evolution that its inhabitants eventually experience.

Even if we consider the YEC (of which I am not), who claim that God literally created everything in six 24 hour periods less than 10,000 years ago, I have an explanation that would make evolution and creation compatible. If God is so powerful that he was able to create our entire universe, every atom, every bit of energy, life, mankind, infinitely large space...everything... then certainly it is fathomable that He could have created all this 10,000 years ago and bestow upon it a rich multi-billion year history. There is no reason to believe that God would be bound by the space-time parameters that He created himself. Obviously when man assembles parts and ends up with a car, for example, he is limited by his time, imagination, materials, tools, and logical cause-and-effect relationships.

An omnipotent, all-powerful God would have no such limitation, and truly, anything would be possible.

I understand that viewpoint may be a difficult pill to swallow, even for myself, and for that reason, I'd also like to reference "The Contemporary Relevance of Augustine's View of Creation," [5] by Davis A. Young. It is commonly believed that it was the scientific works of Darwin, and other modern scientists, that initiated change within the church to adopt a belief system that incorporates a metaphorical or allegorical interpretation of biblical texts. Using only theological reasoning over a thousand years before Charles Darwin, Augustine made the case that in the first few chapters of Genesis, even interpreted literally, God created all things simultaneously rather than over six temporal days. He was never accused of heresy for this view, and was also canonized well before Darwin's life.


1. Creationism and evolution describe two separate and compatible concepts, the former the origination of existence, and the latter the changes that life takes over generations.

2. Prominent religious leaders approve of evolution publicly.

3. Charles Darwin himself did not see his theory to be incompatible with the idea of a Creator God.

4. An all-powerful God is not limited by the laws of nature that He created.

5. There are theological grounds for a literal interpretation of Genesis, prior to Darwin, that does not necessitate a 6 day period of creation.


I have falsified the premise my opponent has presented, using several different methods.

I await my opponent's reply.

Debate Round No. 1


I. Intro
II. Opinions, are just that opinions
III. Confusing origin life and origin of species.
IV. Different approaches to finding conclusions.
V. Mental gymnastics leads to reinterpretation of holy texts
VI. Three models, pure religion, pure science, and odd hybrids.
VII. Conclusion

I. Intro

My opponent gives opinions and uses mental gymnastics to example how the two could coexist.

II. Opinions, are just that opinions

My opponent used a lot of opinions of famous people. Yet, they are just that opinions. There seems to be a lack of supporting evidence or logic to make these claims feasible.

III. Confusing origin life and origin of species.

My opponent delves into the origin of life. That is a separate debate of abiogensis [3] versus God's divine will. Evolution explains how the first humans walked the face of the Earth. They are other lifeforms on the Earth like trees, fungi, and single cell organisms, not just humans. In contrast abiogensis explains how the very first unicellular lifeforms formed.

IV. Different approaches to finding conclusions.

One looks at religious texts the other at scientific theories. These aren't anywhere near the same. One forms hypothesis and experiments while the other reads religious texts and sends missionaries to the far corners of the Earth.

V. Mental gymnastics leads to reinterpretation of holy texts

You have to perform mental gymnastics to explain the dinosaurs' fossils and creationism at the same time. If the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, how come there are dinosaur fossils that are over a million years old [4]? A non-conflicting answer would be one is correct and the other is wrong. A religious explanation would be that the dinosaur fossils are fakes created by Satan to throw us off. Therefore, the world really is less than 10,000 years old.

Oppositely a non-conflicting scientific explanation would be that God doesn't exist and the dinosaur fossils really are more than a million years old. Either explanation a person could sleep easy at night. Yet, if you think both are true, you have to really stretch your mind in an unnatural way.

For example, God created the dinosaurs and since time has no meaning or less meaning for God, that the dinosaurs went extinct within the same day. Even though that day is over a million years. This makes me go "whaaaat" even thinking about it. Yet, this is common from what I've read and heard. On some level one day equals one day. Everything becomes confused when one day = one million years. Think about it you are saying 1 = 365,000,000. Imagine if math teachers taught math that way. I mean come on how would we even count to ten?

You literally destroy the field of mathematics by thinking in such terms. 1 is no longer 1, 1+1 no longer equals 2. That's right, if you belief both creationism and evolution you are saying 1+1 =! 2. Imagine trying to tell your math teacher that one plus isn't equal to two because of dinosaur fossils and creationism.

Ultimately, for there to be peace of mind one must take precedence over the other. If you side with pure creationism, 1 + 1 = 2. If you side with pure atheist evolution, 1 + 1 = 2. Combine the two, and you get a grotesque hybrid where 1 + 1 no longer equals two. In fact, a person can only speculate at what 1 + 1 is equal to under such an ideology. This effectively gnaws away rational thinking.

Not only that, but simultaneously all the religious texts are open to reinterpretation on a whole new level. If dinosaur fossils are over one million years old, then maybe God didn't literally part the Red Sea. Yet, what's the point if the Red Sea didn't part? Are we supposed to think Moses and his followers perished at that location? How about Jonah getting swallowed by the great fish for three days and three nights. Maybe it was a metaphor for something else. Yet, what for?

This line of thinking opens all sorts of bizarre doors. Nay, I'm pretty sure the Bible was supposed to be interpreted literally or not at all. Think about it, if Jesus didn't literally die on the Cross, what was the whole point of it all? If instead, some other event happened this destroys the meaning of the Christian Cross.

Finally, religion is about community and conformity as much as it is about spirituality. If everyone in the congregation starts interpreting the Bible in a different matter it defeats the purpose. For example, let say one person thinks God created a spaceship to help perform miracles, and another pure magic, another person think that other Gods exist, and so on.

VI. Three models, pure religion, pure science, and odd hybrids.

There are three models, purely believers who fully reject the theory of evolution, atheist scientist who fully reject creationism. Then finally there is the odd hybrids which makes an unhappy compromise. As with a lot of compromises both sides end up unhappy. How can you perform math to your fullest capacity when you think 1 = 365,000,000?!

VII. Conclusion

Creationism and Evolution are mutually exclusive. You can attempt to cater to both ideologies, but your deluding yourself. You'll never reach maximum happiness and you'll always have an inner struggle between the two. Mathematics and logic fall apart when believing in creationism.

Meanwhile religion become unbound and loses its tether. Like an asteroid launched far into the void of space. Anyone can believe anything and there's no reeling the asteroid back in. The uniformity of religious beliefs is lost and descends into a endless spiral of reinterpretations and madness.

Thanks for reading and thanks for my opponent for debating this topic.

VIII. Sources


In my first round in this debate I provided, for the most part, my own personal perspective into my beliefs that I find no contradiction between evolution and creationism. The methodology I use is probably most appealing to those who share my worldview as a Christian.

In this round, I'll be using reason and evidence in order to show one particular case in which creationism and the theory of evolution are undeniably compatible. Before I begin, I'd like to take an opportunity to respond to my opponent's statements.

Section I is not an argument.

My opponent's section II, I grant full concession. I'm in agreement that the quotations provided are opinion. I provided these references to support my claim that "not all creationists disbelieve in natural selection." I'm assuming that my opponent would likewise grant concession on this claim, since he didn't address it. I was just looking to establish that my position was neither unique nor unusual, especially among the experts in their field.

Section III, my opponent suggests that my round one opening "delves into the origin of life." I don't actually recall doing so, and I agree with my opponent that the separate debate of "abiogensis" (sic) doesn't really belong in this discussion given the definitions provided in the opener. I suppose my opponent may be referring to my statement, "Darwin's theory doesn't suggest what the ultimate origin of life on earth may be." We can replace "life on earth" with "the universe" to make its comparison to creationism clearer and more relevant.

In Section IV, I reject the notion that using different approaches to finding conclusions necessitates mutual exclusion. If one wanted to discover the truth regarding properly programming a VCR, for example, one could speak directly to a knowledgeable person, read the instruction manual, use trial-and-error, or watch a "how-to" video on YouTube. It is feasible that one can come to the same conclusion using any of these four methods, and could also use a combination of them without ever encountering a contradiction.

Most of the presentation put forth in Section V only applies to the YEC, and even then is only valid if one is able to somehow disprove what I feel is my most compelling religious argument, summarized in my opener as number 4. At no point do I see this argument addressed. The few remarks that don't only apply to YEC, only apply to Christianity. The case I will be making below renders moot the entire section my opponent provides, as it details a specific type of creationist that is neither a YEC nor a Christian.

As for Section VII, since I have addressed every section my opponent presented, and invalidated each of them as far as the resolution is concerned (or will after the case below). The conclusions are also invalidated.

The Case of the Deist

What is a deist? [6] In summary, a deist is anyone who believes in a deity that created our universe based entirely on reason and evidence. A deist, therefore, rejects divine revelation as it appears in any holy texts, because that revelation would then be heresay when repeated from one individual to the next.

Is a deist a creationist? The first source provided by my opponent states, "At a broad level, a Creationist is someone who believes in a god who is absolute creator of heaven and earth, out of nothing, by an act of free will." Further descriptions in the same paragraph are qualified as "generally," and at no point in my opponent's response was my previous summarized agreement with this definition challenged. Some deists also believe in heaven, and that the same God created it. Therefore, those deists are necessarily creationist by my opponent's own standard.

Why are we discussing deists here? Because it provides an opportunity to isolate the discussion from all the extraneous beliefs concerned by matters of faith. Since deists do not believe the texts written by man to be truth, we can completely ignore my opponent's reference to Jonah and the whale, Moses and the Red Sea, Jesus, 1 day equaling millions of days, etc.

Some deists believe that God created all things at the onset of the universe and then hasn't intervened since. Those deists believe that God's only interaction with our universe was to cause the big bang 13.7 billion years ago [7]. The series of events following the big bang, according to those deists, is adequately explained by science. Life on earth did not occur until about 3.8 billion years ago [8]. Evolution only deals with explaining how living organisms change over time. So if this deist's worldview is correct. there is no part of it that conflicts with the theory of evolution. And if the theory of evolution is correct, there is no part of it that conflicts with deism, one form of creationism. No conflict can exist when there ae 9.9 billion years between them.

Creationism and evolution coexist in this scenario, and nobody has to make an "unhappy compromise."


I have invalidated the arguments my opponent presented, and I have presented evidence of a creationist philosophy, deism, whose beliefs are irrefutably compatible with Darwin's theory of evolution. The resolution, "Darwin's theory of evolution & creationism are mutually exclusive" is falsified, and con is victorious.

I now yield to pro, who is given the final word, as I intend to offer nothing further of substance in round 3 to facilitate equal time.

Debate Round No. 2



I. Into
II. Could an all powerful God exist?
III. Deism
IV. Conclusion
V. Sources

I. Intro

Seems we have winnowed the issue to two main points. Could an all powerful God exist, and if so this God would not be bound by the laws of nature and secondly, deism.

II. Could an all powerful God exist?

"4. An all-powerful God is not limited by the laws of nature that He created." Beane

The problem is we are doing a sort of reverse engineering. If an all powerful being existed, he/she wouldn't be bound by the laws of nature he/she created. That's true in my opinion, with the "if" condition. Here's the problem, such a being doesn't seem possible. Especially considering the nature of evolution. Simple unicellular organisms evolve and become multi-cellular, multi-cellular become more and more complex until mammals are evolved, rinse and repeat until you get primates and finally homo sapiens.

The pattern is easy and predictable. From simple to complex. Like a one way road leading only towards complex. God creating the universe is backwards. An extremely complex being creates a simpler being. God creates man and man creates the wheel. The wheel invention, which is much simpler than man, no DNA for starters.

The entire train of thought is reversed when thinking of God creating compare to evolution. The religions where man is created in God's image exemplify this point. In these religions man is more or less a devolved version of God. A magnificent creature creates the lowly humans. The reverse is in evolution, primeval creatures slowly evolve and in a matter of speaking create humans. In evolution lowly creatures create the awesome humans.

We can always imagine what life would be like if it was different in some drastic way, yet this doesn't mean its right. It doesn't mean we have evidence to support the conjecture. We could imagine an Earth with 4 suns and 8 moons. Yet, its not that way, in fact such a solar system would most likely over heat the Earth and we wouldn't exist to ponder such questions.

Impact: An all powerful God must exist first before he/she is not bound by the laws of nature he/she created. If we follow the logical and evidence based route this basic truth will always gnaw away at us. How do we know this God exists? This seems to conflict with evolution, and so forth. In brief, the logical mind will eventually view this as conjecture and turn to other explanations other than God.

III. Deism

Deism seems less contradictory at first. Yet, the main problem is that first argument I brought up earlier in round one. "and just plain old different mindsets." stupidape r1

While certainty appealing more to the rational mind, deism ultimately is still a hybrid. God created the universe and for all intents and purposes disappeared and let Abiogenesis, evolution, and so forth take place. Yet, the question will still nag at us once we start down this logical and evidence based mind set. Well, how do we explain evolutionary psychology then? That its pan-human to believe in God. My favorite explanation is as follows "yet another explicable feature of religion is signs of expertise in occult knowledge. If you're the one who knows mysterious but important arcane knowledge, then other people will defer to you. " [5]

At the same time, wouldn't we look for evidence of such a deism God? How about the multiverse theory? [6] Which makes more sense, which has more evidence? As science unearths more and more about the nature of existence, even such a remote God as a deism God comes into question.

Basically by believing in Deism we set the rational mind to turbo and quickly figure out the multiverse theory and evolutionary psychology, which conflict with Deism. Meanwhile, the irrational part of is unhappy. Shouldn't we pray to this deism God? Therefore, while the rational part of our mind quickly find conflicting evidence between Deism and science, the irrational part of our mind wonders if we should worship such a God. Again, you end up in conflict.

Which is it Deism or multiverse theory? Deism or evolutionary psychology? How could such a powerful being ever exist in the first place? Did this God make a few exceptions for Earth and put the idea of God into our heads, or the science route, did natural selection encourage genes which promote appearance of occult knowledge? The questions will be endless with a Deism hybrid.

The underling problem with a supreme being in general is its easy to cheat with our imagination. We can imagine flying, hovering, extra limbs, casting fireballs, teleporting, and so forth quite easily. When lighting a campfire we could use two solutions, the first is to take some dry leaves and kindling, rub some sticks together creating friction, which will generate a spark, and then hopefully the kindling will catch fire and we can throw some logs onto the campfire.

The second solution is to cast a fireball to light the campfire. At first the second solution seems simpler and easier. Why go to all the effort to find sticks and kindling when we can just fireball the logs? Yet, when put under scrutiny, the fireball solution creates more questions than answers and becomes incredibly complex.

Person A: How could a person cast a fireball?

Person B: Well, magic duh.

Person A: Where does magic come from? Why doesn't the person incinerate himself/herself when casting the fireball? Is there a limited supply of magic? Why can some cast magic and not others? How do you create a larger or smaller fireball? What temperature is the fireball at?

Person B: Ummmm, you talk too much.

Anyways, you get the point the fireball solution is not only impossible, it makes no sense. Person B can't answer the questions and results to an ad hominem attack. Well the same is true on a grander scale with God. Just because we can easily imagine a being or action, doesn't make it true, credible, likely, or even possible.

In contemporary culture with easy access to science the rational mind won't be satisfied until it finds the most likely answer, in this case atheism. It seems arbitrary to stop at Deism. You already have a God that hasn't interacted with us for over 10 billion years. Why, stop there, why not go one step further? Deism is like a song with the last note missing for the rational mind.

At least with creationism with mainstream religion you get to worship with others. As humans we are social creates and need to interact with each other. Deism is the loneliest path. You won't fit in with the rational atheist nor main stream religion.

Impact: Deism creationism and evolution conflict because a person logical and evidence based train of thought is already developed if a person thinks both are true. The logical part of our mind will gnaw away at Deism until we find that atheism is more likely, simpler, and more logical than Deism. Therefore, Deism creationism and evolution are mutually exclusive. To top this off the irrational part of our mind won't be satifised with a nameless diety.

IV. Conclusion

While imaging somebody can cast fireballs is easy, such ideas don't hold up to scrutiny. The sames is true of God. The rational mind will not be pleased until it finds the best solution. Once the rational mind gets a hold of both evolution and creationism it will follow the path, until it deems atheism as the better solution. The irrational part of our mind won't be happy either, questioning scriptures or in the case of deism be uncontent with a nameless God. Therefore, evolution and creationism are mutually exclusive. Thanks again for accepting this debate and reading.

V. Sources




Final round waived for equal time. I would like to thank my opponent for the topic and keeping the debate civil.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Beane666 3 months ago
Voicing issues with my summation of the definition made in R1 should have been done in R2, or better yet, have the definition included explicitly in the challenge. I probably would not have brought up deism if this occurred, and the rest of the debate would have looked quite a bit different.

I disagree with the assessment that the quoted material excludes deism for the definitions used in the debate, as the qualifier "Here," means "only for the purposes for the remainder of this publication." For this reason, I don't believe deism to be a red herring, but I'm open to judges interpreting it differently.

That said, I think your R3 would have been significantly better had you used this alternate route. Best of luck to you in the future.
Posted by Stupidape 3 months ago
Bah, I took the wrong route with Deism. Here's what I should have stated.

"Here, Creationism means the taking of the Bible, particularly the early chapters of Genesis, as literally true guides to the history of the universe and to the history of life, including us humans, down here on earth (Numbers 1992). "

As per the same source we used, creationism doesn't mean deism. I accept I lost the debate, because I didn't spot this inconsistency. I feel I got fooled into losing though. That simply, my opponent bringing Deism into the argument was a major red herring, yet I failed to see it. Therefore, I suggest that Con wins the debate because I failed to notice the red herring until after the debate, and Con should lose a point on conduct for using a red herring to win the debate.
Posted by rolaaus 3 months ago
I am writing a comment because O do want to be notified of the proceedings of this debate, but also because I believe the argument against the premise did not "prove" anything, but simply put restated what other peoples opinions are. Be they Darwin (certainly a relavent source for evolution) or the Pope (a valid religious source) their opinions are just that, opinions. There were no supportive evidence presented. However, if this were a court of law, certainly these citations might be valid to show a judge reasonable logic to rule the same way, they often are given other rulings by the arguing attorneys, to show the judge why they should rule the same way, but this doesn't really actually prove that the previous rulings\opinions were correctly issued.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Valladarex 3 months ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I believe the most convincing argument from Con is that deists can also be considered creationists, while also entirely believing in evolution. Pro's counter-argument is: "Deism creationism and evolution conflict because a person logical and evidence based train of thought is already developed if a person thinks both are true. " This argument is unclear, as it doesn't demonstrate any conflict with the two ideas but confusingly attacks the soundness of a deist's logic. Along with other things that preceded this statement, like, since someone like me is a deist, "You won't fit in with the rational atheist nor main stream religion", it appears that Pro is missing the very point of this debate, which is to show incompatibility between evolution and creationism. Con has demonstrated that deists can certainly believe in both, and stupidape has no clear argument demonstrating that deists cannot both believe in creationism and evolution. Beane is the clear winner of this debate.