The Instigator
Fenrir
Pro (for)
Tied
6 Points
The Contender
littleninja
Con (against)
Tied
6 Points

Evolution does not necessarily refute Religion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2007 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,252 times Debate No: 908
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

Fenrir

Pro

First: It is ESSENTIAL that for this argument you do not require a literal translation of the Bible, especially the story of the creation. If you argue a literal translation, you shouldn't post here. It's that simple.

Now, I claim that the theory of evolution can be in harmony with religious beliefs. That is, one can believe both in evolution and God. All one would have to do is accept the possibility that God used natural, scientific means--evolution--to create man. I think it's really that simple.
littleninja

Con

Ok, this maybe as pointless as some say, but since I am up for a challenge, I am going to try it anyway.

First off, in your resolution you state that Evolution does not refute religion. By exactly what religion are you going by? Evolution in and of itself could be a religion. When looking at what you want to debate, and without bringing bible quotes into this, it really depends upon what religion your looking at. Some religions take the bible seriously. Going off of this, you would have to say that evolution does indeed refute religion because you have not specified what religion, therefore it can and it does.

Secondly, evolution is a theory. By definition a theory is the branch of a science or art that deals with its principles or methods; it is also defined as a guess or conjecture, also defined as a contemplation or speculation. Evolution is purely based on science. Therefore, the very idea of something based on science is completly out of touch with something is based on faith and things that you cannot see. By definition, merely just for point and case, faith means having a belief that is not based on proof. If evolution is a science based theory based on proof and faith is something is NOT based on proof, then therefore it goes against religion and the foundation on which religion was built.

Third, Evolution is a theory, a concept, a paradigm. Not dissimilar to many religions, it's a matter of personal choice. Teach/Inform people that those things exist and let them make up their own minds about it for themselves; Just as they would with any religion. People who don't believe in a god don't really want their kids learning about the theory of Intelligent Design taught to their kids in school. When looking at this theory, this is a faith-based theory with no scientific evidence to back it up. It would be silly to look at such a theory and say that Intelligent Design does not refute Evolution, so how is it any different when looking at Evolution and religion?

Lastly, evolution can and does go against the religions of people. You never state that I have to argue that evolution goes against any one particular religion. For years people have been trying to keep things such as evolution from being taught to their children in schools. Why? For one simple reason: It goes against what the parents and the religion of the child are teaching. The debate over evolution has never only been about the theory, it has been about religion, because there are several religions out there that teach things OTHER than evolution and with children sitting in their classrooms learning about evolution over creationism or creationism over something else, seems to many American people and to the parents and pastors, ect. to be VERY counter-productive. Going off this, lets look at some statistics. According to the most recent Gallup poll on the subject (2004), 45 percent of Americans believe God created human beings in their present form 10,000 years ago, while another 38 percent believe that God directed the process of evolution. Only 13 percent accept the prevailing scientific view of evolution as an unguided, random process. Looking at these numbers, it can clearly be seen that the bible has no need to be quoted when it is marked so that we can plainly see that there has to be some line when you have such a huge number difference. In a 1993 survey that was taken it was found that in the United States, 63 percent of the public believed in God and 35 percent believed in evolution. There are obviously more people who believe in a God and his creation, then naturalistic evolution. How can that NOT offend people and begin to refute religion? I can see no possible way that it can't.

In Conclusion, it can be proven that evolution DOES refute religion. I strongly urge the people watching this debate to look at such points. How is it that one can still come to a conclusion that states that evolution can go hand in hand with religion. If it were meant to be that way, then the debates over teaching such theories to children in schools would not be an issue to make headlines in the newspapers, if evolution didn't refute religion then we would have to classify evolution as a religion in and of itself, and also if evolution does not refute religion then by definition theory and faith need to be changed. We need to stop and think, we need to realize that we cannot deny that evolution threatens religion, and we can no longer pretend that it does not.
Debate Round No. 1
Fenrir

Pro

"exactly what religion are you going by?"

My apologies for not explicitly saying it, but from the immediate reference to the Bible it's safe to say that I am referring to Christianity in general.

"the very idea of something based on science is completly out of touch with something is based on faith and things that you cannot see. By definition, merely just for point and case, faith means having a belief that is not based on proof."

This is true: if we could scientifically prove that God exists, then there would be no faith. However, evolution proves nothing about God. All it does is suggest a possible way that mankind came to be. You do not need faith to believe that mankind came to be, because the fact that we are here now is proof enough of that. Simply determining a possible method that God may have used to create man does not eliminate any actual faith in Him.

"It would be silly to look at such a theory and say that Intelligent Design does not refute Evolution"

The definition of Intelligent Design is as follows: "The assertion or belief that physical and biological systems observed in the universe result from purposeful design by an intelligent being rather than from chance or undirected natural processes." (dictionary.com) Thus, all Intelligent Design suggests is that the universe was created by some higher being--saying, then, that evolution was the process by which a higher being created mankind would still be in tune with Intelligent Design.

"If it were meant to be that way, then the debates over teaching such theories to children in schools would not be an issue to make headlines in the newspapers..."

The reason people believe that evolution and religion--or, to be more specific, Christianity--can not go hand in hand is that they hold a creationist view; that is, they believe that God simply, and more or less spontaneously, created man. This would indeed refute evolution. However, as the Bible does not need to be taken literally--consider how prevalent allegory and symbolism were in the cultures that wrote it: just look at the teachings of Christ and His many parables--it is thus not necessary to hold a belief in creationism.

"...if evolution didn't refute religion then we would have to classify evolution as a religion in and of itself..."

By definition, evolution could not be a religion as religion deals with the creation of the entire universe, not simply speculation and theory as to the origin of life.
littleninja

Con

Ok, first of all, I would just like to point out something unrelated to the topic. In my first speech I asked what religion you were referring to. You responded with "it's safe to say that I am referring to Christianity in general". This is a DEBATE! Do not assume anything, ALWAYS state it in your resolution, as a debator I am going to attack anything and everything I can, and if your resolution doesn't state it and I can use that fact to attack your case then I will. Especially with topics such as this, you cannot assume that I know what religion your talking about and then once I refute your case with it, turn around and be like oh, wait, I was talking about Christianity specifically. I am not saying this just to bash you, its just a suggestion that I think maybe helpful the next time you pose a debate on here.

Now, going off that same point: "...I am referring to Christianity in general"

Ok, even if you are indeed referring to Christianity in general, that leaves a heck of a wide realm now doesn't it? It leaves: Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Protestant, Anglicans, Baptists, and the list could go on. Therefore, I still stand with my contention that there is no way that Evolution does not refute religion. The definition of Christianity is of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings, of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, and a person who believes in Jesus Christ, ect. Going by this we have to see that what Jesus teaches his followers, and what evolution teaches its followers are different in that evolution is science and Jesus and the Bible is faith. Therefore, they cannot go hand in hand because they are seperate entities. They clash together with one another.

Following up with that point, lets look at what you yourself stated in your rebuttle: I quote "The reason people believe that evolution and religion--or, to be more specific, Christianity--can not go hand in hand is that they hold a creationist view; that is, they believe that God simply, and more or less spontaneously, created man. This would indeed refute evolution." It can go backwards as well, since religion can refute evolution, evolution therefore refutes religion. You said yourself that they cannot go hand in hand because of a creationist view that is held. Looking at their religion this view is ok because that is what they believe in is that GOD created man, not the fact that man spontanteously and SCIENTIFICALLY morphed from monkeys!! Therefore, evolution goes against what Christianity is built upon and what it teaches, therefore evolution imposes on those beliefs thereby refuting religion.

Going back to my Intelligent Design argument that you tried to attack. Your definition and argument against that is simply this as I quote "The definition of Intelligent Design is as follows: "The assertion or belief that physical and biological systems observed in the universe result from purposeful design by an intelligent being rather than from chance or undirected natural processes." (dictionary.com) Thus, all Intelligent Design suggests is that the universe was created by some higher being--saying, then, that evolution was the process by which a higher being created mankind would still be in tune with Intelligent Design". Ok, lets look at the dead giveaway that this OBVIOUSLY proves what I was trying to say. You state that Intelligent Design is the theory that man was created by a higher being, and you also state that evolution is the theory that says that there was a process by which a higher being created man kind. Correction: by definition evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. Therefore, Intelligent Design is man was created by a higher being (i.e. a God) and evolution is humans evolving over time, no higher being involved. It can be plainly seen that the two do indeed both go against what the other believes. So when I stated that "It would be silly to look at such a theory and say that Intelligent Design does not refute Evolution" I would be correct in standings. Also going off that, and the point that I was trying to make by saying that, its just as silly to say that a scientific theory and a religion do not refute one another, which you yourself agreed with in your last rebuttle.

Henceforth, my point that evolution does indeed refute religion still stands. With the point that you yourself stated that religion cannot go hand in hand with evolution BECAUSE of the creationist views, which is true, also the fact that by definition evolution and religion are two seperate entities, and the fact that even if we are indeed talking about Christianity, evolution STILL imposes on the beliefs of the Christians, thereby making evolution refute what they believe, and eventually wrapping around to say that evolution does refute religion.
Debate Round No. 2
Fenrir

Pro

"Do not assume anything, ALWAYS state it in your resolution"

Yes, a weakness of mine, I confess. I have a habit of not clarifying myself to the necessary degree, and for that I apologize. Still, even if we were to take my first argument as is, I am still safe. All I said was that religion is not necessarily refuted by evolution--this means that in order for me to be wrong, any and all religion absolutely MUST not be able to go hand in hand with evolution. So, either way you take it, my argument still works.

"...what Jesus teaches his followers, and what evolution teaches its followers are different in that evolution is science and Jesus and the Bible is faith."

True, but just because one is a Christian does not mean that their beliefs must only be what Christ taught. For example, I believe that 1+1=2, yet nowhere in the Bible does He teach this. Does this mean that I cannot believe in math, then? As convenient as this would be for me, it's simply not the case. One's beliefs are not "either/or" when referring to faith and science. It is fully plausible--indeed, an actuality--that one can have faith for some things and have knowledge of others.

"...they believe in is that GOD created man, not the fact that man spontanteously and SCIENTIFICALLY morphed from monkeys!!"

Just because something happened scientifically does not mean that it was not done by God. Consider the possibility that God -only- works through science. At first glance, this seems absurd--all the many miracles Christ and the ancient prophets performed could never be explained by science. Well, this only pertains to the science that we know. There is still so much that we cannot even begin to comprehend; how can we thus say for certain that God and His miracles do not break and are not outside of the laws of science?

Of course, one may say that if we can understand how God works, there would be no faith for him. However, knowing how something happened still does not prove whether or not there is a higher intelligence/power that is causing it to happen. Thus, even if we may find, as absolute fact, how every miracle and work of God was performed, we still have not proven that God exists, and thus there is still need for faith.

"Therefore, Intelligent Design is man was created by a higher being (i.e. a God) and evolution is humans evolving over time, no higher being involved."

What I'm arguing is why can't there have been a higher being involved? Why can't one believe that, perhaps, God guided evolution--caused the genetic mutations, allowed some species to survive while others died out--until man was created? If He guided evolution in such a way that He caused man to eventually be created, gradually over time, step by step, certainly we can still say that God created man.
littleninja

Con

Okay, what this debate comes down to is this:

It has been established that faith and science are two seperate entities. If it were to be proven that God played a role in evolution and created it to create man then it would be proven that religion beliefs are wrong. Also it would eliminate the line that has been created to distinguish faith and science, and faith itself would become a science. In order for any of this to happen, we would have to first prove scientifically that a God exists, which can not happen, therefore, we have to continue to have that distinguishable line between faith and science.

Looking at the first argument in your rebuttle which states: "...just because one is a Christian does not mean that their beliefs must only be what Christ taught. For example, I believe that 1+1=2, yet nowhere in the Bible does He teach this. Does this mean that I cannot believe in math, then? As convenient as this would be for me, it's simply not the case. One's beliefs are not "either/or" when referring to faith and science. It is fully plausible--indeed, an actuality--that one can have faith for some things and have knowledge of others". First of all, what does math have to do with religion? Math goes hand in hand with science, the Bible doesn't have anything to do with math, so I am not sure where you intended to go with the comment. Also, if one has faith of something, then yes it is either/or because faith is something that cannot be proven. Once it can be proven, it is a science, and we have already established that there must continue to be a distinguishable line between science and faith for these reasons and the reasons presented above.

Your next argument states: "Just because something happened scientifically does not mean that it was not done by God. Consider the possibility that God -only- works through science. At first glance, this seems absurd--all the many miracles Christ and the ancient prophets performed could never be explained by science. Well, this only pertains to the science that we know. There is still so much that we cannot even begin to comprehend; how can we thus say for certain that God and His miracles do not break and are not outside of the laws of science?" Yet again, there is the established line between God and Science, just as with science and faith. Science is proven, God is not. Because we cannot comprehend as you say we cannot then this obviously proves the definition of science, therefore not being able to fall under the definition of faith. You can have faith in science, or you can have faith in a God, something that cannot be proven. By definition you can only truly believe in one or the other. Science or faith. If religion were based on science so many things would be different in the foundations and the beliefs and the attitudes. There are very few people who can ligitemtly claim that they believe in both science and pertain faith in a God. Science proves and disproves things, God cannot be proven or not proven, therefore science (including evolution which is a science) cannot go hand in hand with faith and religion. Ending in evolution refuting what religion is about, teaches, and was founded on.

Looking at your next point which says: "Of course, one may say that if we can understand how God works, there would be no faith for him. However, knowing how something happened still does not prove whether or not there is a higher intelligence/power that is causing it to happen. Thus, even if we may find, as absolute fact, how every miracle and work of God was performed, we still have not proven that God exists, and thus there is still need for faith." Because there is really no way to establish how every miracle and work of God is performed. Therefore, here again, we have to turn to the line between faith and science.

In your final argument you state: "What I'm arguing is why can't there have been a higher being involved? Why can't one believe that, perhaps, God guided evolution--caused the genetic mutations, allowed some species to survive while others died out--until man was created? If He guided evolution in such a way that He caused man to eventually be created, gradually over time, step by step, certainly we can still say that God created man." These are hypothetical questions. They cannot be proved. One cannot believe in both Intelligent Design and the theory of evolution. Your questions are a matter of Intelligent Design, which has not been classified as a scientific theory. If a higher power was involved in the "push" of evolution happening, then the theory you are discussing is no longer evolution. It is Intelligent Design, which does NOT fall under science, and it also has been debated upon as to if it refutes religion. So therefore, if your questions are to be presented in this debate, you have proved your own resolution moot, because we are discussing a completly different theory.

So, looking the arguments presented, I strongly urge a con vote. According to the final focus in this debate, Pro is asking questions that focus on a different theory, the theory of Intelligent Design, also looking at the fact that it has been stressed and focused on that there is indeed a line between science and faith, there has to be. Also looking at the fact that Science is and religion have to be seperate in one's mind, otherwise, God would have to be scientifically proven to exist, which can't happen, because he is God, and the world needs faith. Given the arguments presented, there are many things that the Pro presents that cannot be voted on in this debate because of the mere fact that he is either discussing a different theory, or he is crossing the line of what is faith and what is science. Please vote con.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Fenrir 9 years ago
Fenrir
Look, I am not doing this to win. I am seriously doing it to see if anybody can present a convincing argument, because I have encountered many people who hold a belief of intelligent design--but not creationism--but still claim that evolution can not be true. I couldn't really understand how this could be, so I made an argument in favor of it to see if there were any convincing rebuttals. I have done the same with other issues--my debate on Same Sex Marriage, for example, was to see if someone could present a convincing defense, and I was pleased and reassured to see that my opponent did. I repeat, I am not doing this for the sake of an easy win, but for the honest discussion of ideas and beliefs. Please don't hold that against me.

And PoeJoe, I never said you didn't have sense. That was directed solely at fenderjazzerguy for being rude and making a direct attack simply because he didn't like the way my argument was posed.
Posted by PoeJoe 9 years ago
PoeJoe
Look, I'm a athiest who strongly understands evolution. And I do have sense. It's really rude to say I don't.

Look, by not allowing one to present the sole argument that is most important to one's beliefs, you set up a situation where you win by default. That's not fair, and it's not going to get you anywhere in terms of anyone breaking new thought.
Posted by Fenrir 9 years ago
Fenrir
The core of my argument:
"[O]ne can believe both in evolution and God. All one would have to do is accept the possibility that God used natural, scientific means--evolution--to create man."

This in and of itself excludes creationism/literal translation, because it assumes that one does not hold that belief. Had I stated my argument as an absolute, "Evolution does not refute Religion," then I would be unfair to exclude literal translations, yes. However, I said "Evolution does not -necessarily- refute Religion," which means that it is, at the very least, possible for one to have religious belief in God and also believe in evolution. So, citing literal translation as one way in which they do not work together would not even void my argument--I was simply keeping someone from using that argument as their only defense, which would, as I have just proven, not work, and thus waste the remainder of the debate.
Posted by fenderjazzerguy 9 years ago
fenderjazzerguy
Also relating to the quote you used you are proving yourself wrong. With your "standards of debate" it's like a lawyer saying you can't use evidence that will hurt my client only things that make him look good.
Posted by fenderjazzerguy 9 years ago
fenderjazzerguy
I did use sense. When you present a debate you can't say here's the topic, but we aren't allowed to talk about this. If the facts that a person uses is from a literal translation then so be it.
Posted by Fenrir 9 years ago
Fenrir
I am not 'wimping out' as you say. I have spoken with many Christians who do not believe in a literal translation of the Bible but claim evolution must be wrong, and I'm just saying it's not necessarily true. To pose this argument and say that a literal translation of the Bible is okay is nothing more than pure idiocy. If the Bible states that "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground" (Gen 2:7) and you interpret this literally, then it is impossible to say that both this and the theory of evolution can be true. So next time you feel like criticizing someone, please try using a bit of sense first.
Posted by fenderjazzerguy 9 years ago
fenderjazzerguy
I'd accept, but if I can't use statements from the Bible or any religion as stated then I can't make a solid debate. Way to wimp out of a fight.
Posted by PoeJoe 9 years ago
PoeJoe
Anyone who takes this one is willingly taken to be screwed. Your first paragraph reads like, "Oh challenge me... BUT DON'T USE YOUR STRONGEST ARGUMENT!!!!"

Rather silly, but I'd love to laugh at whoever accepts this!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Fenrir 9 years ago
Fenrir
FenrirlittleninjaTied
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Vote Placed by fenderjazzerguy 9 years ago
fenderjazzerguy
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Vote Placed by hark 9 years ago
hark
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Vote Placed by littleninja 9 years ago
littleninja
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