Evolution proves that god is real
This debate is about evolution- does evolution prove that God is real?
I will contend in this debate that evolution does prove God is real. Your con position will attempt to prove that evolution discredits the concept of God (which is the typical position, so you can perhaps get some hints from other sources).
Argument 1: (Creation)
God is typically defined as the one who "creates the universe". In our observable universe, there is in fact very little that we can observe "being created". The number one location we can observe ongoing creation is in the evolution of life.
Rocks change form, atoms are recycled, energy changes positions- but none of this constitutes creation. Creation is the act of making something new. Evolution is the most visible of locations where things are made. Being able to observe creation is proof that creation exists. Since God by definition is the creator, this is proof that God exists. You can deny if you want that all religions define God as the creator, but in fact, you are merely confusing yourself. God is the creator, and evolution is the number one active visible act of creation that is observable.
Argument 2: (Love)
Evolutionary theorist typicallly point out how evolution occurs "blindly" and "natural selection" determines organisms that get to procreate, and organisms that do not. Then there is thrown in as an aside "artifical selection" (what humans do) and "sexual selection" (the choice of a mate).
If you think about every single person you have ever known, and how they chose their mate- by what criteria did they make this choice?
If you think about every single other organism you have observed who has chosen a mate, how do you characterize their choice?
So we can see, "Love" is the number one criteria in observable mating patterns, and is the number one determiner of who gets to procreate. Those who are loved, have children. This includes the weak, the blind, the deaf, the crippled- all who are loved and capable of reproducing are those who participate in evolution.
If you look at observable events of those you actually know, and why some ended up having kids or those not, there are a few occurances of random accidicents or disease. A small percentage of active evolutionary pressure is natural selection. But the vast majority of those who have children do so because they choose to fall in love and be loved.
Love is the driver of real evolution.
Love is the other aspect that God grants organisms.
I thank UnknownOne for instigating this debate, as Con I will argue that it is not the case that evolution proves that God exist. Since the focus of this debate is evolution, I will only deal with the arguments presented by my opponent. To me it seems that the BoP is on him. With that out of the way, let's get started.
God: Pro defines God as "the one who creates the universe", but presumably he meant "created" since the creation of the universe is already done, it exists.
"Evolution, theory in biology postulating that the various types of plants, animals, and other living things on Earth have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations."(1)
"Abiogenesis, the idea that life arose from nonlife more than 3.5 billion years ago on Earth. Abiogenesis proposes that the first life-forms generated were very simple and through a gradual process became increasingly complex. Biogenesis, in which life is derived from the reproduction of other life, was presumably preceded by abiogenesis"(2)
"Natural selection, process that results in the adaption of an organism to its environment by means of selectively reproducing changes in its genotype, or genetic constitution."
Argument 1: Creation
Pro uses the word "creation" in multiple contexts, the universe and evolution, but this is an equivocation since in this passage he is clearly referring to creatio ex nihilo, the creation of something out of nothing:
"atoms are recycled, energy changes positions- but none of this constitutes creation. Creation is the act of making something new."
But this is neither the case for evolution (as I will show later) nor the universe (not part of this debate).
An oversimplified example (selective breeding not natural selection): If you want to breed dogs with very large ears you need to match dogs who already have significantly big ears.
The reason for this is that the ear-size is in part controlled by genes, i.e., sections of an organisms genome. By matching dogs with big ears the genes responsible for them will be passed on to their children which will hopefully result in them having even bigger ears.
The "creation" of this new genome only involves creatio ex materia, the creation of something out of something else, not creatio ex nihilo as my opponent suggest.
As for the origin of life, abiogenesis is the prevailing explanation which, too, is creatio ex materia, since all that happens both in abiogensis and evolution is the "recycling", as my opponent calls it, of atoms and molecules.
None of this requires or proves God.
Argument 2: Love
Love is the main criteria for our selection of procreation partners, as my opponent correctly points out, but the question is "Why do we love someone?"
Love is no arbitrary process, that's out of question, but it is not supernatural either, no matter how it makes us feel. We choose our mates because we are attracted to them, however we are not attracted to some platonic form of "Susan" or "John", we are attracted to certain properties other people have. We interpret properties like a healthy physique as "He/She must be a great mating partner!".
"But what does this have to do with evolution?" one might ask.
The feeling we call "love" is a result of various neurotransmitters that influence us so that we form emotional bonds which in this case eventually lead to procreation.
Animals that experience a this drive are more likely to mate, hence have higher fitness than animals that do not.
None of this requires or proves God.
In my opening statement I refuted both arguments presented by Pro. Next round I will defend these objections.
Thanks for reading.
Create is defined to be: to make or produce (something) : to cause (something new) to exist- to cause (a particular situation) to exist 
Argument 1: Creation
Let us examine what it means to have new organisms and species. Charles Darwin states: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”  Here Darwin is stating there exist slight and ongoing modifications in a chain of organisms, which today we know to be slight variations in DNA.
Darwin goes further to state that life forms are modifications of earlier life forms when he says: "Some few naturalists, on the other hand, have believed that species undergo modification, and that the existing forms of life are the descendants by true generation of pre existing forms"  The foundation of the notion of evolution is dependent upon an ongoing series of creation events which continuously occur in the universe. This is proof that creation is ongoing, and we need some term to refer to the source of creation.
The main contention that Con offers is this: The "creation" of this new genome only involves creation ex materia, the creation of something out of something else, not creatio ex nihilo as my opponent suggest. Here Con is arguing against an imputed idea that creation only can exist, and did exist, at the start of the universe which is the opposite of what is being argued. It appears then that Con is actually not yet in disagreement with the argument being presented here at this time. The claim is here that creation is happening later- in an ongoing manner.
We can choose a different term than "God", for example "the genesis factor" to explain the ongoing creation of new forms of organisms. Further, we can investigate, and postulate how this takes place. Some possible theories for how DNA is modified can include high energy cosmic rays causing a codon to be eliminated, quantum decoherence in atomic reconfiguration leading to transcription errors, or a tiny little man with a long white beard that is actively rearranging DNA sequences. Regardless of the underlying source of the modification of the DNA it serves as an act of creation, we can choose to give it a name which we may call "the genesis factor". Con can disagree with the concept that we call this "God" because Con adds imputed meaning to the word "God" in the same way imputed meaning was added for "one that creates the universe" but this is a conceptual misunderstanding, not a refutation of the argument.
Argument 2: Love
Love may or may not be a supernatural process, that would be another debate. We both agree that love is a primary criteria for our selection of procreation partners. The position being put forth here is that love is the primary mover of evolution within certain organisms and exists outside the conceptual framework of traditional evolution theory.
Charles Darwin himself admits there may be causes of modification which exist outside of natural selection “Furthermore, I am convinced that natural selection has been the most important, but not the exclusive, means of modification.” 
In evolutionary theory, selection is already divided into groups of selective criteria. In artificial selection it is the choice of a breeder to perpetuate certain forms that have desirable characteristics. Natural selection is the choice of environmental factors which contribute to the propagation of desirable characteristics. This is a third type of selection, we will call “selection through love”.
Love as a criteria for the propagation of characteristics is neither the choice of a breeder trying to get children of a certain form, nor that of the environment as Charles Darwin uses the term. Love as a choice often entails choosing inherently undesirable characteristics for transmission.
Charles Darwin convinces himself that natural selection is the primary selective force on modification of forms. However, this flies in the face of what science entails- gathering of evidence from observation rather than relying on belief. To be fair, Darwin was focusing on his historic observations of worms, which may not have this third form of selection- the selection through love. In organisms we can observe that are loving- it appears to be the primary mover of evolution, above any other force, yet it is strangely absent from evolutionary thought.
Con attempts to transform love to something else when he states The feeling we call "love" is a result of various neurotransmitters that influence us so that we form emotional bonds. If one is baking a cake and wants to understand a recipe fully, one does not focus on the hydrogen bonds in the cake batter, nor the protein modifications of heating. One focuses on the time of mixing, the relative portions of the ingredients, and high level aspects of the process. Comprehension is not elicited through reductionism. The high level statement that “love is the primary mover of the evolutionary process in loving organisms” is not refuted or disputed by Con, but rather, is notable by the lack of disputation of the argument.
The original assertion was that the creator (God) granted the aspect of love to some organisms through the ongoing creation process, and that this aspect is the prime evolutionary mover of those organisms. The ongoing creation process has been clearly demonstrated and does not appear disputed yet by Con. Con does appear to be imputing characteristics to God above and beyond the role of the creator. I can’t modify that, nor can I claim others who do similar imputations are correct or incorrect, but I can point out that this is not a problem with the argument, but rather a reader adding their own commentary. If it is convenient for the reader, use the term "genesis factor" in place of "God" if there are too many connotations attached to "God".
As an aside, there is a raging debate about what caused the extremely rapid rate of expansion human culture and thought to separate us from the other hominid lines around 100,000 years ago, and this may be the answer. The creator, God, imbued us with a stronger power of love, and this is the critical differentiation from other competing organisms. This is not a central portion of the debate, but is an interesting offshoot.
I would again like to thank Con for providing a nice conceptual framework to further prove the starting assertions. The above arguments show conclusively that God is in fact, by definition, the source of evolution, and further, that this creator God has potentially subverted the natural selection forces of evolutionary processes through the creation of love. Evolution for humans is powered more by love than by natural selection. Thanks for reading.
 Darwin, Charles “On the Origin of Species”
First of all, I disagree with my opponent when he says that God is (typically) defined as the one who creates the universe. This is blatantly false. An example of this is the commonly used conclusion of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, being that the universe has a cause, i.e., was created. It is of course possible to stipulate the term "God" in some uncommon way for the sake of a debate, but this has to be pointed out explicitly.
Argument 1: Creation
Pro quotes Darwin who expresses that some naturalists belief that species undergo slight changes over time and that our current species came from pre existing species but then makes a huge leap and asserts that"evolution is dependent upon an ongoing series of creation". To which I would reply: why? Why should that be the case?
For this assertion to hold any ground my opponent needs to give conclusive arguments to show that genetic mutations require divine intervention, if he cannot provide them we should not accept his conclusions.
Moreover I am asking myself whether Pro actually thinks of more or even all natural processes as creation. In his opening statement Pro said "Rocks change form, atoms are recycled, energy changes positions- but none of this constitutes creation." and "Creation is the act of making something new."
I agree with both, however the rearranging of atoms is precisely what constitutes something new. A meteor that crashes into a planet causes many new things, just as other natural processes like mutation result in something new. If a being was to influence physical systems, like in altering a genome through mutations, we would detect a variation in energy levels of that system, but this is not the case.
From this we can either conclude that:
1. it is not the case that God exists or
2. it is the case that God exists but he does not actually influence the processes that lead to natural selection or
3. it is not the case that any physical events could happen without God, since he is responsible for all physical interactions.
None of these options do my opponent any favor:
1. makes the debate redundant, since he is arguing for the existence of God.
2. directly affirms my position in this debate, since evolution would not prove that God exists.
3. is absurd and Occam's razor dictates that simplicity is to be preferred. By using it we would arrive at either 1. or 2.
None the less I extent my point on the equivocation of my opponent's use of the term "create" (not intended as a syllogism and of course I affirm neither of those points):
1) God creates the universe.
2) The evolution of life is observable creation.
3) God created both the universe and the evolution of life.
This is an equivocation. If christians talk about the creation of the universe, they are talking about creatio ex nihilo as the doctrin demands. If we want to talk about the creation of life we are talking about creatio ex materia. For this reason it is invalid to infer the creation of life from the creation of the universe.
Surely we can replace "God" with "the genesis factor", but either they are identical -which changes nothing- or they refer to different things, which outright affirms my position, since this debate is about God and nothing else.
Furthermore saying that theories predict that cosmic rays induce mutations is one thing, asserting that an intelligent mind is controlling them is completely baseless. Unless Pro can present a compelling case for this we should not accept his conclusion.
Argument 2: Love
For an invalidation of Darwin's supposed comments on love on which Pro's argument relies on I would like to point readers to the section Some Last Remarks.
Selection criteria (or rather "kinds of selection" is what my opponent is talking about) is a term I have never heard before, I could not find anything on and for which readers should demand a citation. Even if we draw a superficial line between the processes of natural and artificial selection, love is still no seperate mechanism.
My opponent argues that my reductionism in respect to love is unnecessary, but he is missing my point. My point was that the ability to feel an emotion is rather easily explained by evolutionary pschology without divine intervention.
"One major function of emotions is to energize motivation. If we experience a strong positive or negative emotion, we become motivated to do something that's beneficial or to avoid something that's harmful. [...] As human brains grew and infants became needier and more vulnerable for a longer period of development, such that the father's involvement and bi-parental care became necessary, natural selection had to come up with a way to motivate men and women to stay together for as long as it took to raise a child successfully."(2)
Pro states that he has presented conclusive arguments, but in fact there is not a single one. He started with the assertions that evolutionary processes require divine intervention and that love is granted to organisms by God and yet they remained only that, assertions.
Never has he put forward an argument for why it is the case that divine intervention is needed or why God is needed for the feeling of love.
Some Last Remarks
1. The Origin of Species:
My opponent starts out by quoting Darwin which is in itself questionable. Undoubtetly the theory of evolution originates form Darwin, but since his original version it has been widely altered. Hence The Origin of Species is only of use for the historically interested reader and quotes from Darwin make up for not much more than appeals to authority.
Things Darwin did not know about/ did not explain in his work:
- Fossil record
- Plate tectonics ("Why are there similar species on different continents?")(3)
- Speciation (Darwin focused on the transition of one species ino another, not the splitting off of say humans and our ancestors)(3)
2. Misinterpreting text passages:
"“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
Here Darwin is stating there exist slight and ongoing modifications in a chain of organisms, which today we know to be slight variations in DNA."
In this text passage Darwin lists a criterion with which his theory could be discarded, he does not explain the mechanisms of his theory.
3. The Redundancy Of Darwin:
If it was actually the case that evolution proves the existence of God then Darwin, a man who lived in far more conservative times, would not have rejected his faith on the grounds of his findings. This makes my opponents quotes even more futile.
"by such reflections as these… I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation."(3)
Here I will present statements made by opponent to show that his arguments are inconsistent and appeal to ignorance.
"there is a raging debate about [...] and this may be the answer."
"However, this flies in the face of what science entails- gathering of evidence from observation rather than relying on belief."
My points have not been adressed, but I await compelling arguments for the next round. Right now there is no reason to accept my opponents assertions.
Again, I would like to thank Fkkize for an enjoyable debate. I regret that we are out of time so I will not be able to offer and rejoinders to the next excellent set of ideas offered in rebuttal, but look forwards to reading them.
Argument 1: Creation
Con states: First of all, I disagree with my opponent when he says that God is (typically) defined as the one who creates the universe.
Evangelical Christians do believe that God created the universe and stepped away, as Con suggests.  This is Deism.  However, many religions, including liberal protestant Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, all allow for an actively creating God . In the context of this debate, it is correct to say it is only meaningful if you accept the terms of the debate by predicating it on one of the many belief systems that allow for an active God. Rejecting the argument because of the strawman of the existence of Deism is not a real invalidation. A religious philosopher agrees with the entire premise of this point with Life is essentially a creative process. Stripped of its imagery, is that not what belief in a creator God is really about? 
This debate is not about intelligent design- this debate is about accepting that the definition of God as the creator and the reality of evolution means that God is a real thing. It is equivalent to defining a heater as something that heats, once you feel the warmth you know it is a real thing. Once you accept there is warmth, you accept there is a heater. Once you accept that things are actively created in this universe, you accept there is a God. Maybe not a God you like, or even previously outlined accurately in a religion, but by definition, they exist. It may be the all possible worlds are created, as posited by some thinkers . This would mean there is no “intelligent design” but rather “all possibilities exist”. If Con must pick on a philosophical belief that Pro would stand behind for this particular debate- it would be behind the creation of all possible worlds. 
At no time in this debate has the Pro position been there is necessarily an intelligent agent making a choice about how DNA modification takes place. That is a possibility that is not being ruled out, but neither is it being affirmed as necessary for it to be considered an “act of God”. The “act of God” is merely in the event of creation- whether this creation is random, or chosen externally, is irrelevant. Just as when a person makes a choice “of free will” it is irrelevant whether or not this is random, or chosen. “Free will” could be an illusion based on a random event, or due to some supernatural “agent of self” making a choice- it is irrelevant to the core concept that “free will” can be spoken of as a concept and a real thing. “Free will” is a real concept in the space of human choice in the same manner “God” is a real concept in the space of creation in the universe. If you wish to frame either of these into a box which contains only randomness, that is your choosing, and is a valid one in the context of this argument, but not one that all would adhere to. Nor does that choice invalidate the central claims.
Con asks “I am asking myself whether Pro actually thinks of more or even all natural processes as creation.” This is an excellent question and the limited response allowed must be brief. What natural processes constitute creation? This is similar to asking- what is different from a dead planet like Mars, versus Earth? Should we consider them different? The pro position is yes- there is a fundamental difference between living planets and dead ones. Would con consider there to be some difference between a dead planet like Mars and a living one like Earth? If so, how would you describe this difference? This is the heart of your question. Dead planets do not have ongoing substantive creativity, and living ones do. Not all natural processes are creating. A meteor striking Mars does not increase its creative quotient, even though it leaves a mark. It appears that creation, similar to free will, involves an aspect of freedom or choice in the underlying physics of the phenomena.
Argument 2 love:
Con states: My point was that the ability to feel an emotion is rather easily explained by evolutionary psychology without divine intervention. Here Con seems to be attributing the Evangelical Christian strawman of directed divine intervention as an argument to punch in place of the real argument. What needs to be demonstrated is that love is a new phenomena, that is something that came from “late creation”, and thus had to be created.
In the world view presented here, God is the force behind quantum multi worlds- God is the power which creates all things. This means that in a deterministic universe, love would not arise. However, in a universe that allows for random mutation and possibility- note the word possibility- love could arise. And it did. The proof here is to observe if love exists in locations where life does not exist. Mars does not appear to have love. It is a biological, creation driven process.
Love also operates outside the bounds of typical evolutionary pressure and stands as its own kind of selection.
Con suggests "kinds of selection" is what my opponent is talking about) is a term I have never heard before, I could not find anything on and for which readers should demand a citation. The types of selection that exist are:
Stabilizing selection 
Directional selection 
Disruptive selection 
Sexual selection 
Artificial selection 
Sexual selection and artificial selection, cited above, are both types of selection that are segregated conceptually from natural selection because they involve forces outside of normal environmental survival. The important aspect of these selective forces is that they can land organisms in a “arms race” of changes due to selective pressure. Matt Ridley’s book “The Red Queen” is an excellent discourse on this phenomena. .
Evolutionary theorists, as noted above, commonly separate the selective forces to help elucidate and separate selective pressure. Is this form of selective pressure substantively different than other selective pressure previously demarcated? Yes.
The fact that new things arise- the very nature of the fact of creation- is proof of God. More than half of all scientists believe in God . Why?
Con’s continuous attack of intelligent design which is not being presented demonstrates that there really is no contention against the underlying truths that we live in a creative, and ongoing generative universe that allows new, wonderful things like love to exist. This creative force is called God.
 Ridley, Matt "The Red Queen"
In this last round I will respond to the numerous objection made by my opponent.
Argument 1: Creation
My opponent thinks that I am arguing against deism, but this is a strawman. The statement "God created the universe" does not entail that he stepped away from his creation, an analogy should clarify things:
You are a game developer and you want to create a sandbox building game.
You can finish creating the game's code and yet you would be able to further create things inside the game while playing it.
It is quite nice that a philosopher agrees with Pro's position, but first of all the vast majority of philosophers are atheists and secondly virtually every evolutionary biologist disagrees with this particular philosophers opinion on a scientific topic.
That aside the presented quote gives no insight into the reasoning behind it, as it stands it is merely an unsupported assertion.
Moreover Pro claims that I am arguing against intelligent design, but Alvin Plantinga, arguably the most influential, contemporary philosopher of religion and proponent of intelligent design said: "As far as I can see, God certainly could have used Darwinian processes to create the living world" (3) This is still intelligent design because he believes that God is guiding natural selection. Pointing out that I am missing the topic is a strawman, since my opponents position is fairly similar to Plantinga's.
"This debate is not about intelligent design- this debate is about accepting that the definition of God as the creator and the reality of evolution means that God is a real thing."
But my opponent also stated on multiple occasions that evolution is an ongoing, observable act of creating which is basically a form of intelligent design.
He then writes that as soon as we feel the warmth of a heater, i.e., see God's creation, we know it/he exists but this presupposes that everyone sees evolution as creation which is obviously not the case. The whole point of this debate is to find out whether evolution is in fact creation (or implies God in some other way). So yes, once I accept that there is active creation in this universe then I would accept that God exists, but I don't.
The Many Worlds Interpretation has no bearing on this debate, I don't have to subscribe to it, the only claim my position is making is that it is not the case that evolution proves that God is real in the actual world.
In his penultimate section of his argument Pro explains that "an act of God" does not necessarily mean that genetic mutations are guided by God, but he leaves the question open as to what is actually meant with "An act of creation/ God". How is it possible for evolution to prove God without him interfering in the most basic process on which all other processes of evolution supervene on? Because of this my opponent is in fact not making any specified claim I could respond to and this debate is futile in its entirety.
In response to my question, as to which natural processes constitute creation, my opponent makes an analogy. He asks where the difference is between dead planets and populated planets and arrives at the conclusion that populated planets "have ongoing substantive creativity", but this is completely circular since for there to be creativity there already has to be life so his distinction between dead and populated planets is that the first are dead and the latter are populated.
Pro asks me if I consider there to be a difference between them and I would answer yes, of course, but that is missing the point, being that both a meteor and genes obey the same laws of nature and as such my opponent needs to give an account of how we can subdivide two processes that follow the same rules into ones that are created and ones that are not. I am actually comparing a dead planet to a dead planet.
Argument 2: Love
At the beginning of this last arguments defence my opponents claims again that I am attacking a strawman. He then continues to say that "What needs to be demonstrated is that love is a new phenomena" and indeed I agree, it has to, but so far my opponent has not given a compelling argument in favor of it.
The follow-up is a completely unsubstantiated assertion, being that "God is the force behind quantum multi worlds". From this he infers that a deterministic universe is impossible. The unsupported part aside, he then makes a non sequitur par exellence when he says that in a deterministic universe love cannot arise. This argument is about why this should be the case, not simply making this bold claim. Moreover this is completely talking past my evolutionary psychology objection, which is not a strawman but rather explaining exactly what Pro claims to be impossible: love in a deterministic universe.
Furthermore I am fully aware that there are kinds of selection, that is why I pointed out this term, however my confusion arose from the term "selection criteria" (which is not what he is talking about) in combination with "selection through love", as my opponent calls it.
I fully grant my opponent all five kinds of selection, but my important remark was that love is not a separate kind and it just so happens that he cannot give a citation for it.
In this debate UnknownOne presented two arguments in favor of the resolution. Over the course of three rounds I refuted both conclusively since my opponent has never actually made an argument. With that said, thanks for reading.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||3|