The Instigator
Traditionalist
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
HadenQuinlan
Con (against)
Winning
36 Points

Evolution is a religion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/4/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,581 times Debate No: 3519
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (13)

 

Traditionalist

Pro

Hello all, I will once again await my opponents opening argument before I present my case.

Good luck to who ever takes this debate.
HadenQuinlan

Con

Before I begin argument in negation of the resolution, I would like to define some terms to help clarify and crystallize the course of this debate.

Dictionary.com provides the following definitions:

re�li�gion
–noun 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

ev�o�lu�tion
–noun 1. any process of formation or growth; development

You must clearly negate this resolution, as the Pro can offer no argument whatsoever to prove that "Any process of formation or growth" is "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe..."

I'm at a loss here, as a debater, as to what contentions I need to emphasize. I suppose I'll go about proving how growth is not belief.

1)First, you can see that evolution is not a religion because it does not require belief to occur.

My opponent would contend that any form of evolution, any evolvement be it within the military strategy in Iraq, or the micro-evolution of the finches Darwin observed is a religion. However there is no evidence, no proof, that this is so. In fact, none of the given scenarios require beliefs at all. These scenarios derive solely from a cause -> effect, and ignore belief.

A)Take for example the military strategy in Iraq, the U.S. Government reforms the plan, evolves it, if you will, based on the current situation in Iraq. This requires no belief, it's based solely around cause -> effect. I'm sure many of us here have taken Algebra, look at this as a metaphor. The cause of the evolvement of the military strategy is the independant variable, and the evolvement of the strategy is the dependant variable. Beliefs would be another variable altogether, upsetting the algorithm.

B)Also, look at the finch scenario. The finches had different beaks, due to their surroundings differing. This clearly demonstrates the cause -> effect idea, because it doesn't require any belief, any system of ideas on the creation of the universe to occur. How can you possibly argue that a system that requires no beliefs or ideals to occur can possibly be a belief system? That's completely contradictory to the definition of belief!

2)Evolution cannot be a religion because it is not a belief.

I have thoroughly proven that evolution requires no beliefs in order to occur, so therefore, as evolution requires no beliefs to occur it cannot possibly be a belief itself. Evolution does not refer to the idea of evolution. That's not evolution, that's the Evolutionary Theory or the theory of Natural Selection. These are things that we are not debating today, we are debating evolution. As you can clearly see, the evolution that we are discussing here is the physical act of evolution. This physical act is not a belief, because it's demonstrated physically as a cause to effect. www.dictionary.com also defines evolution as

"a motion incomplete in itself, but combining with coordinated motions to produce a single action, as in a machine. "

this only reaffirms the cause->effect instance. Evolution is the regulated effect that occurs when something sparks, machinelike. As any logic thinking being will agree, a machine is not a belief. I do not believe in my toaster. However, when I put bread in, it comes out toasted. This requires no belief, this action is not a belief, and evolution is not a belief.

3) As Evolution requires no beliefs and is not composed of beliefs, it cannot be religious in nature or character.

As you can see, I have fully proven that evolution requires no beliefs and is not composed of said beliefs. That being said, let us look to the definition of religion once more:

"a set of beliefs..."

as you can see, the act of evolution requires no belief. It is not a set of beliefs, it is a calculated physical motion presented in response to a cause. Because of this, it cannot be a religion, as it does not share the characteristic of belief which is a requirement of religion.

As you can see, evolution cannot be a religion because:
1) It does not require beliefs to function.
2) It is not a belief.
3) Because it does not require belief, and is not a belief itself, it does not share the main component of religion.

I urge you, the judges, to see the clearly presented logic of this case and vote Con.
Debate Round No. 1
Traditionalist

Pro

Hello HadenQuinlan thanks for accepting the topic.

I will first address the claims of my opponent.
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Defining Religion/Evolution Theory 1st Argument:

re�li�gion
–noun 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

- That's funny you took one definition out of the group lets see what other definitions said that where included in the list.

Does The Theory of Evolution fit into the definition my opponent gave? Well lets take a look:

- Yes I would say Evolution is a set of beliefs that have their own theory on the cause, the nature, and the purpose of the universe. Evolution fits the shoe of religion as far as I am concerned.

2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects. Does The Theory of Evolution fit? Yes

3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices. Does The Theory of Evolution fit? Yes

4. Something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience. Does The Theory of Evolution fit? Yes

Thats 4/9 definitions given on the website I think we all have a grasp on what religion is.

Ok lets take a look at your definition of evolution:

ev�o�lu�tion
–noun 1. any process of formation or growth; development

- I have no issue with that, I am sorry I should have made myself clear. Evolution the process of growth/develope is different that the "Theory of Evolution" the doctrine that is being taught in schools. I apologize towards my opponent and hope she/he (you never know) will switch directions.
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In any case I will not spend time refuting an argument I did not intend to argue with. The act of Evolution is not a religion the Theory of Evolution is. I apologize and I hope that any observers will not include the 1st round.

So I will therefore make my case as if it is round one and wait my opponent's response.

It's not science. You cannot observe, test and repeat the ever-changing ideas that are little more than wild speculation.

It devalues real science. Chemistry, physics and biology don't have the same problems of legitimacy because they are real sciences.

Evolution is the faith of atheism because it replaces God with man. When you've conned yourself into believing that some kind of ancient slime morphed into progressively complex and directional life forms, you are in the realm of faith, not science.

From admissions by evolutionists that the idea of particles-to-people evolution does not meet the criteria of a scientific theory. There are no evolutionary transitions that have ever been observed, either during human history or in the fossil record of the past; and the universal law of entropy seems to make it impossible on any significant scale.

The fact is that evolutionists believe in evolution because they want to. It is their desire at all costs to explain the origin of everything without a Creator. Evolutionism is thus intrinsically an atheistic religion. Some may prefer to call it humanism, and New Age evolutionists may place it in the context of some form of pantheism, but they all amount to the same thing. Whether atheism or humanism (or even pantheism), the purpose is to eliminate a personal God from any active role in the origin of the universe and all its components, including man.
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I hope my opponent forgives me, I should have been more clear. I hope you also have no trouble in switching the course of the debate.
HadenQuinlan

Con

I would like you to fully understand the fact that, despite your intentions, we are debating upon the resolution given. The proposed resolution which you seem to enjoy debating upon would be,

The theory is evolution is a religion.

If we were to debate that, I think the odds would be so massively stacked in the Pro favor that it wouldn't be a debate at all.

The fact is, we must debate the resolution states, and as you have said,

"I have no issue with that..."

so you've already accepted the con side of the case, therefore the judges must default to Con as the Pro has accepted my argument. Also, I would like to point out the Pro has not even responded to any of arguments, therefore your only decision, as the pro is unwilling to debate the predetermined resolution, is to vote Con.

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I'm going to add this section, because I feel that it'd be interesting to debate upon the theory of evolution. Keep in mind that I've already won the round, and that we're debating the one-sided proposed resolution which -SHOULD NOT- have any bearing on the outcome of this round.

To clarify, we'll be debating that:

The theory of evolution is a religion.

Now then, we really must clarify just what a belief is. A belief would be the following:

- confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof

The fact is, science is not a religion. When you are asked your religion affiliation, you don't point out your view on every single issue, because some issues tend to be contradictory to science or contradictory to faith. Religions, despite literal definitions, have a contextual definition. By that, I mean take for example the word "gay". It literally means happy, but you must define the word as used in context, which is homosexual. We can clearly see, that if you look at religion not literally, but the actual idea of a faith system that involves the purpose of the universe, and the purpose of human life inside that universe, evolution does not hope to answer these. A better definition of religion would be

A faith-based system that attempts to explain natural occurences by supernatural forces, as well as attempts to explain human purpose.

Religion largely focuses on human life, whereas the idea of evolution focuses on A) the world, not the universe B)human creation and animal creation, not human purpose. So, throughout this argument I'll be using this definition of religion. Let me go into my points of discussion:

1) Religion involves faith, science does not.
2) Religion is attempts to explain natural occurences via the supernatural, whereas science uses the natural to explain the natural.
3) Evolution does not link to human purpose, only human formation.
4) Evolution explains the world, not the universe

1) One could argue that religion involves faith, however it doesn't. We see this, because, like any scientific theory, we base our thoughts off of what we see to be the most logical. Logically, the idea of a supreme benevolent omnipotent omniscient 30 year old middle-eastern is not so valid. Logically, however, the idea of micro-evolution holds so much more weight. Science is based off of logic, reason, and research, whereas religion is based off of magic. This shows that the theory of evolution is not a religion.

2) Religion uses the idea of a God to explain the creation. We see that, religion itself is based off of some unfounded principle that's completely illogical - take for example the native indian tribes in the Americas. They believed in Rain Gods and Crop Gods, all to help explain what makes things work. Science, however, uses already known scientific laws to help explain what makes things work. Science is the child who unscrews the lightbulb to see hhow it lights, religion is the child who points and yells, "Magic!" Clearly, two diverse things.

3) My opponent disregards a large fact of evolution. He says that, because evolution falls under the category of, "Explaining human creation" that it must be a religion. This is clearly faulty logic, because he discounts the fact that religion is majority based off of human purpose. Science and evolution does not deal with human purpose, it deals with SOLELY human and animal formation.

4) ~a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe~ was the set definition. Religion is, metaphorically speaking, a rice paddy. It attempts to explain everything within that rice paddy, whereas evolution focuses on one miniscule grain of rice in the bottom of a Vietnamese man's basket. This is CLEARLY not the same! In fact, if we take the defintion as literally as possible, since science does not deal at all with the universe it does not qualify as a religion at all!

I shall now move on to my opponent's arguments:

My opponent stated the following,

It's not science. You cannot observe, test and repeat the ever-changing ideas that are little more than wild speculation. It devalues real science. Chemistry, physics and biology don't have the same problems of legitimacy because they are real sciences.

However, the logic he presents here is contingent on an idea that, "Science will be right 100% of the time at the very instant a theory is created". As I explained above, this is not the case. How do you think the old scientists felt, when they were ridiculed, disowned, prosecuted, simply because they had new thoughts? Take for example Galileo, he was sent before the inquisition because his view, a scientific one, was considered to be in opposition to the church. Because his scientific observations were questioned, does that mean that it wasn't real science? No!

My opponents entire argument is based around the ideal that evolution is not real science because it has not been proven yet, and it has claims of illegitimacy. I have given you an extremely potent of example of where this logic holds true, but I shall divulge further.
My opponent has made no mention of micro-evolution. He broadly claims that "evolving from a puddle of slime..." however I have not adressed this point. The point I have addressed is the idea of micro-evolution, and idea so widely accepted that to claim it is "wild speculation" is as ignorant as ever. As my opponent has not addressed this issue altogether, you see that he consents to the Con.

Also, my opponent claims that evolution is, "an atheist religion". I will address this next speech.

Finally, it is necessary to clarify some things. Science is not a rock, it is not some set-in-stone idea. Science is a self-correcting machine, it constantly reworks itself and reforms itself based off of scientific observations of the time. So, we see that evolution is the best possible theory we could have to date, and because of this we accept it as fact until something better comes along. Science, as I have shown, is based off of logic. It is based off of the faculty of reason whereas religion is based solely off of faith. You can clearly see that reason and faith are true completely opposite entities and you must, I repeat, you must vote in a Con ballot.

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I would just like to restate that when voting for the winner of this debate, I have clearly already won, and the above case is only for intellectual discussion, not for the actual round. When you make your decision, PLEASE base it off of the case I have presented in my opening argument.

To Traditionalist,

I understand we all make errors, it's alright. However, you cannot change the structure of the debate. Once it has been presented, it is our duty as debaters to debate the given structure. You're forgiven, and I'm glad that you're making me think about this issue, however when writing a resolution please try and think of one that cannot be interpreted so loosely so easily.

Best of luck!
~HQ
Debate Round No. 2
Traditionalist

Pro

Traditionalist forfeited this round.
HadenQuinlan

Con

First off, I wish my opponent has posted within the allotted time slot, I was really looking forward to continuing this debate.

Now then - I'd like to clarify something really quickly, the idea of "faith" and "knowledge". My opponent seems to have melded these two terms as the same thing, when they clearly are not. In science, you assume that what you know is right however you still search for something _more_ right. In religion, you know that something is flawed, however you do not search for anything truer. This is what seperates faith and knowledge, in knowledge you constantly search from something to be truer, whereas with faith you accept the flaws and still believe whatever ridiculous ideals you believe. This is what seperates religion and the theory of evolution.

Also, I'd like to touch on a point I couldn't (space limit) in my 2nd speech - my opponent said that evolution was an atheist religion. It is not, because it's not a religion, but also the theory of evolution can coexist with christianity or any other religion. It is not a theory designed explicity to appeal to atheists and to disprove other religions. Granted, it depends on your interpretation of the religion discussing, but it still can coexist. The bible uses anecdotes and stories to help explain the events that occur, you don't take everything for literal truth. 6 days could simply mean a time span of 3 billion years - passage of time could be different for a God than for a human.

What the point above means is, Evolution is not a religion because it can coexist with several religions. This doesn't classify it as a doctrine, it classifies it as an outside force that can either aid or detract from said religion. Just like carbon-dating is not a religion, it can add or detract from other religions.

I'd just like to reiterate my 4 points of analysis before closing the debate:
1) Religion involves faith, science does not.
2) Religion is attempts to explain natural occurences via the supernatural, whereas science uses the natural to explain the natural.
3) Evolution does not link to human purpose, only human formation.
4) Evolution explains the world, not the universe

Finally, please keep in mind I have already won the debate via the semantics argument which was never refuted, and only touched on when my opponent conceded to my opinion - therefore as you can see I have clearly won the debate, and I'd like to extend all of my points in my 2nd speech.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by HadenQuinlan 9 years ago
HadenQuinlan
For record, I don't like semantics arguments, however I just really didn't know what to start my opening statement with when I typed it. As you can see, I thought up a different argument AFTER the opening statement.
Posted by HadenQuinlan 9 years ago
HadenQuinlan
I choose to make my picture Hillary Clinton for purely satirical purposes, my friend. It makes me chuckle.
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
Johnicle
hadenquinlan, if you support barak o'bama (as your profile says), why is your profile pic of hillary clinton?
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