The Instigator
Thiest_1998
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ThinkBig
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Evolution is a religion

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
ThinkBig
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 481 times Debate No: 93623
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

Thiest_1998

Pro

Hi I'm Thiest and I know that evolution is a religion because there is no proof for it and yet people still believe that that's how the universe came into existence.

By only micro evolution happens the rest are just religious.
ThinkBig

Con

Thank you to Theist for the challenge. I'll use this round for definitions and acceptance.

Definitions

Theory: A well-supported conceptual framework that encompasses a large body of scientific facts, inferences, observations, and experiments and explains them in a coherent way. [1]

Evolution: Genetic change over many generations ultimately results in the emergence of new and different species from a single ancestral species. [2]

Religion: A comprehensive worldview or 'metaphysical moral vision' that is accepted as binding because it is held to be in initself basically true and just even if all dimensions of it cannot be either fully confirmed or refuted. [3]

Observations

O1: In order for me to win this debate, I do not have to prove that evolution is true. All I have to do is negate the motion that evolution is a religion.


Good luck!
__________________________

Sources

1. Fairbanks, Daniel J. Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters. Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2012. Print
2. Ibid
3. Norenzayan, Ara. Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict. Print.
Debate Round No. 1
Thiest_1998

Pro

I would like to thank Think big for accepting the debate I would also like to explain my point.

Religion-A philosophy on how the universe came into existence, without any evidence.

Since evolution is a philosophy on how the universe came into existence and it doesn't have any evidence it's technically a religion.

The different types of evolution Cosmic evolution: the origin of time, space, and matter from nothing in the "big bang"
Chemical evolution: all elements "evolved" from hydrogen
Stellar evolution: stars and planets formed from gas clouds
Organic evolution: life begins from inanimate matter
Macro-evolution: animals and plants change from one type into another
Micro-evolution: variations form within the "kind"

Only micro evolution happens
ThinkBig

Con

Thank you for the challenge.

== Rebuttals ==

Pro has completely misunderstood evolution. Evolution does not talk about the origins of the universe. The origins of the universe is a completely independent topic. Indeed, the big bang theory itself is a theory about the development of the universe. The big bang does not attempt to explain how the universe came into being (1).

The evidence for evolution is very strong. Genetis, the fossil record, vestigal structures, and embryology all give strong evidence to biological evolution (2).

Pro seems to misunderstand the "six types of evolution." Pro writes:

The different types of evolution Cosmic evolution: the origin of time, space, and matter from nothing in the "big bang"
Chemical evolution: all elements "evolved" from hydrogen
Stellar evolution: stars and planets formed from gas clouds
Organic evolution: life begins from inanimate matter
Macro-evolution: animals and plants change from one type into another
Micro-evolution: variations form within the "kind"

All of these theories are independent of one another and each theory has strong evidence to support it. Since this debate is about biological evolution, I will only address macroevolution (as Pro accepts microevolution).

== My arguments ==

The debate is not about whether or not evolution is true. Rather, this debate is about whether evolution should be classified as a religion.

1. Evolution and Religion are not Incompatible

Those who claim that evolution is a religion are often Biblical literalist. However, there is nothing within the biological evolution that contradicts belief in either God or the Bible. The Christian organization BioLogos writes:

"Scientific data can sometimes serve as God’s way of warning us when we are standing too close to the scriptural “picture,” or at the wrong angle, or with the wrong expectations. The purpose of science is not to verify nor to add to inspired Scripture, but science can help us eliminate improper ways of reading it. Likewise, Christians should thoughtfully and appropriately encourage science to rigorously test its own theories and question its own assumptions, especially when science appears to contradict Scripture. Yet because they are both means of God’s revelation of himself to us, they must work together towards an ultimate harmony." (3)

2. The Theory of Evolution is a Sound Theory

Evolution is the cornerstone of Biology. As Theodosius Dobzhansky famously states, "Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." (4) Indeed, evolution is a valuable theory for many reasons. First, evolution unites al, fields of biology. As Real Clear Science writes:

"Its [Evolution] ability to explain both the unity and diversity of life. The mountains of DNA sequence data generated over the past several decades serve as "slam dunk" evidence. The fossil record, which is impressive but far from complete, isn't even necessary anymore. DNA can tell the story of evolution all by itself." (5)

Indeed, thanks to evolution, we can unite the fields of paleontology, embryology, genetics, and even medicine. (6)



The resolution is negated.


SOURCES

1. http://www.talkorigins.org...;
2. Dawkins, Richard. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. New York: Free, 2009. Print.
3. http://biologos.org...;
4. http://people.ibest.uidaho.edu...;
5. http://www.realclearscience.com...;
6. Fairbanks, Daniel. Evolving: The Human Effect and Why it Matters. Ahmerst, NY. Print.

Debate Round No. 2
Thiest_1998

Pro

Thank you con for replying to my points.

I would first like to say I think my opponent has misunderstood evolution it does talk about the beginning of the universe eg stellar evolution it talks about the big bang theory which is part of the philosophy of how the universe came into existense.

If somebody has ever read the bible they would or learnt about evolution one would probably contradict the other they're completely different in logic eg macro evolution teaches that one animal can turn into another animal through the time of a few million years the bible teaches that the animals produce after thier own kind Genesis 1:24

Again please show me how fossils are evidence for evolution.

And for your second argument I don't know how to answer that.

Source
https://www.youtube.com...

I hope it takes you to the actual page.
ThinkBig

Con

My opponent is wrong about the understanding of evolution. When we are talking about biological evolution (which is what this debate is about), we are referring to the development of life. Indeed biological evolution does not even discuss the origins of life.

Pro attempts to equivocate the word evolution and take 6 different theories and different scientific disciplines and make them into one. This is not how science works.

"If somebody has ever read the bible they would or learnt about evolution one would probably contradict the other they're completely different in logic eg macro evolution teaches that one animal can turn into another animal through the time of a few million years the bible teaches that the animals produce after thier own kind Genesis 1:24."

I'm not quite sure what my opponent is talking about here. And no, evolution does not say that one animal turns into another animal after a few million years.

"Again please show me how fossils are evidence for evolution."

To be clear, even if there was not a single fossil to ever have been found, the evidence for evolution would be overwhelming [1]. How does the fossil record provide evidence for evolution? They support evolution by giving us a unique glimps into the past and how animals evolved. The BioLogos institute writes (2):

"Fossils provide a unique view into the history of life by showing the forms and features of life in the past. Fossils tell us how species have changed across long periods of the Earth’s history. For instance, in 1998, scientists found a fossil showing an animal at the transition from sea creature to land creature. This tetrapod had a hand-like fin, confirming a prediction of evolutionary biology. Though the fossil record does not include every plant and animal that ever lived, it provides substantial evidence for the common descent of life via evolution. The fossil record is a remarkable gift for the study of nature."

My second argument was on genetics. My opponent has dropped this argument.

Conclusion

My opponent has not met his burden of proof. He needs to show how evolution fits the definition of religion. Since he has not done so, the resolution is negated. I urge a vote for con!



Sources

1. Coyne, J. Why Evolution is True.
2. http://biologos.org...;

Debate Round No. 3
Thiest_1998

Pro

Actually mate if you read the title of the debate it is Evolution is a religion not (biological evolution) and if biological evolution doesn't discuss the origin of life what does biological evolution discuss?

Evolution has different types, you can't say micro evolution is the same as stellar evolution I'm just breaking it down.

Yes it does macro evolution teaches that one animal can turn into another animal you learn this in school and and it's on educational websites.

When you find a fossils in the dirt you can't prove it had any children let alone any children different to it's kind eg dogs produce dogs and cats produce cats ect there are no exceptions you're calling my language equivocate you're being that right now.

I did so in the second round and then you digress but I will repeat myself.

Religion-A philosophy on how the universe came into existence, without any evidence.

Since evolution is a philosophy on how the universe came into existence and it doesn't have any evidence it's technically a religion.

I urge you to who vote for who you want to but I'd advise you to vote for the person who actually knows the topic of the debate and what biological and macro evolution really is about.

Sources: Kent Hovind 100 reasons why evolution is stupid
ThinkBig

Con

To make things easier to read:

Italicised words: quoting my opponent
Underlined words: directly quoting from a named source

Dropped Arguments

My opponent has dropped the following arguments:

(1) Evolution and religion are not incompatible
(2) Genetics provides support for biological evolution

"Actually mate if you read the title of the debate it is Evolution is a religion not (biological evolution) and if biological evolution doesn't discuss the origin of life what does biological evolution discuss?"

Biological evolution discusses the development of life. How life developed and changed over time. Evolution Berkley notes:


"Evolutionary theory deals mainly with how life changed after its origin. Science does try to investigate how life started (e.g., whether or not it happened near a deep-sea vent, which organic molecules came first, etc.), but these considerations are not the central focus of evolutionary theory. Regardless of how life started, afterwards it branched and diversified, and most studies of evolution are focused on those processes." [1]

Evolution has different types, you can't say micro evolution is the same as stellar evolution I'm just breaking it down.

The resolution to this debate is "Evolution is a religion." When people talk about evolution, they are generally referring to biological evolution. You are expecting me to take six different theories and independent branches of science and defend them. That is Gish galloping. In an 8,000 character text debate, it is very difficult to even give an adaquet


"Yes it does macro evolution teaches that one animal can turn into another animal you learn this in school and and it's on educational websites."

Please show me one source that states that evolution means animals can turn into another animal. This is a straw man understanding of evolution and it is time to set fire to the said straw man.

"When you find a fossils in the dirt you can't prove it had any children let alone any children different to it's kind eg dogs produce dogs and cats produce cats ect there are no exceptions you're calling my language equivocate you're being that right now."

I have literally no idea what you mean. What does not being able to prove that fossils had children or not have to do with my contention?


I did so in the second round and then you digress but I will repeat myself.

Religion-A philosophy on how the universe came into existence, without any evidence.

Since evolution is a philosophy on how the universe came into existence and it doesn't have any evidence it's technically a religion.

I believe that I have already shown sufficient evidence for biological evolution (by means of fossils and genetics, which you dropped).



"I urge you to who vote for who you want to but I'd advise you to vote for the person who actually knows the topic of the debate and what biological and macro evolution really is about."

Which is me, as I am a biology major with a 4.0 GPA.

I am quite disappointed that my opponent wishes to gish gallop and make me defend 6 different theories that are independent of each other. It is impossible to do so in an 8K character debate.

I urge a vote for con!
Debate Round No. 4
Thiest_1998

Pro

But I did state that I was talking about all but micro evolution.

About the Berkeley notes: how does he know that life has changed from it's original status also for life to exist how do you know what started it in the first place?

Nothing happens by itself.

I don't expect you to write an essay on all but micro evolution you could just write points we had 5 rounds

Also if you know how fossils a made it's made by a rapid burial of mud (look it up) if anything it's evidence for the flood not evolution.

Sources:http://www.nature.com...

http://www.icr.org...
ThinkBig

Con

Thank you, pro, for this debate.

To summarize, my opponent has failed to meet his burden of proof that evolution is a religion. He has dropped several of my points (including the genetics and fossil argument), has a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution, and straw-manned the definition of religion and biological evolution.

For these reasons, I urge a vote for con.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by warren42 4 months ago
warren42
RFD cont.
So I accepted a blend of definitions for religion, and Con's definition of evolution as biological evolution.

As Pro's side of this debate relied heavily upon the Pro definition of evolution, which was brought up too late for me to accept, I narrowed the argument to micro/macro evolution. Pro's understanding of macro evolution as "one animal turning into another" is reminiscent of Pok"mon evolution. I feel that Pro doesn't realize that an ancestral species can evolve into a new species after an extensive period of time. It isn't a single generation change. A small dog cannot give birth to a cat, this is true. But if the smallest dog in one litter were bred with the smallest in another litter, and this process were to be repeated for many generations, eventually you would get a dog with completely different traits from the original parents. This is a very simple example and likely not incredibly accurate, but it is the general idea of macro evolution.

Therefore, Con's winning arguments were those that were dropped by Pro
(1) Evolution and religion are not incompatible
If evolution can be aligned with existing religions, it is not a religion in and of itself.
(2) Genetics provides support for biological evolution
Both definitions are essentially belief in an idea, event, or process, despite lack of evidence. As Pro ignored Con's argument that genetics give evidence for evolution, Con wins, as there is evidence for evolution, and as both definitions excluded evidence, it is not a religion.

Had Pro been more clear in his/her R1 arguments I think it would have been a very different debate, one which Pro likely would have won. I was not able to accept the definition of evolution, however, and therefore the debate goes Con.

If you have questions, please feel free to message me, my messages are open!
Posted by Murdoc 4 months ago
Murdoc
I'm rooting for Pro to take an honest look at the evidence and focus skepticism on his religion. You clearly trounced Pro, Think, and I'm planning on voting. Remind me if you have trouble getting a decent vote.
Posted by TheBenC 5 months ago
TheBenC
I am a Theist. I believe God is the biggest genius ever. Why would such a genius create something that could be understood by people from thousands of years ago with no technology?

I could give you a lot of proof for evolution but will not. You need to understand that all of creation is changing constantly. Earth's climate changes constantly. The planet moves around the Sun. Our solar system moves around our galaxy. Our galaxy moves throughout the universe.

Nothing in the entire universe is static!

If the greatest genius ever created something...he would have created something incredibly complicated that we mortals will never fully comprehend or explain. The more complicated creation is, the more likely it has a creator.
Posted by ThinkBig 5 months ago
ThinkBig
Do you mean con?
Posted by Murdoc 5 months ago
Murdoc
A sad example of indoctrination. I'm rooting for you Pro. I have no idea what o say to you other than investigate your faith honestly.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by warren42 4 months ago
warren42
Thiest_1998ThinkBigTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: Tie S&G: Even, both had a handful of errors but neither debater was horrid Sources: Would go Con, reliant upon these text sources not being misconstrued. I do not have access to these books, so I couldn't fact check, but I will accept them as sound. That being said, the sources aren't significantly stronger than Pro's to the point where I feel points are deserved. -RFD- 1. Definition arguments Religion: Neither side gave me a warrant as to why their definition should be the one used. They were similar enough that I felt Con upheld his/her BoP under each definition. Evolution: Pro didn't define evolution until the debate was already underway. Con's definition is the one I accepted as it was established in the first round, and coincides with the definition most people would assume should they read the title of this debate. If Pro wished to use an alternate definition, he/she should have done so in the first round, rather than shifting debate after R1. Continued in comme