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9 Points
The Contender
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11 Points

creationism is unjustifiable

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/23/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,086 times Debate No: 15556
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)




When the debate over evolution comes up, there seems to be a tendency for hard-lined fundamentalist Christians to force their beliefs into the debate: creationism versus evolutionism as if they actually had a plausible counterpart to evolution. Creationism, the belief in the literal interpretation of the Bible, fails to meet any scientific or logical criteria. For instance, Answers in Genesis (AIG) attacks circular reasoning while it maintains that circular reasoning is technically valid [1]. In short, they have their cake and eat it too. This kind of behavior leads creationists to lie and deceive anyone who will listen to them. Creationism cannot stand on its own merits like real science, and, therefore, is not a justifiable belief.
Creationists attempt in some instances to stand on their "discoveries;" however, they lack any critical inquiry and insightful analysis, and they ignore the conclusions of mainstream scientists. AIG writes, "Archaeologists once boasted that the Bible was full of errors because no independent, historic evidence had been found to confirm the Bible's claims. But a slew of astounding discoveries has put a damper on their boasting" [2]. Each discovery in this article lacks any sort of insightful analysis and creates unwarranted conclusions. The Tel Dan Stele, for instance, mentions the "House of David." AIG concludes that this is evidence that a biblical event occurred and that it occurred exactly the way the Bible said it happened. Such a conclusion is too presumptuous. The article is completely reticent about any context behind the stele. It could be that a conqueror was bragging about his victory over Judah [3]. We have to ask ourselves, even without any further reading into any of these finds, are mainstream archeologists oblivious to these finds? If the article's conclusions are self-evident, then why are they not shared by mainstream archeologists? The answer is easy: AIG's conclusions are fallacious.
When creationists fail at proving their proposition upon its own merits, they resort to misinterpreting evolution (Darwinism as they call it). AIG writes a brief description of evolution [4]. They say it is change, but they also incorrectly claim that it is alternately referred to as hypothesis, theory, law, and fact. Stephen J. Gould gave a concise description of the relationship between facts and theories when he said, "[E]volution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered" [5]. This is creationists' biggest mistake (they have a lot): they conflate the general definition of theory with the scientific definition. Evolution is fact, theory, law, and hypothesis (that is to say that there are hypotheses in evolution). These concepts cannot be separated from each other.
Because creationists fail to prove their own propositions and misinterpret the position of scientists, creationism is an unjustifiable belief. Many times they contradict their own criteria (that is if they have any. They seem to think so). They falsely criticize scientists for the very same intellectual crimes they commit. The dangerous ting about creationism is that it is getting more popular. The fact that people think there is a debate worthy of our consideration shows that a large portion of the population thinks there is something tenable in creationism.



Creationism is a broader topic than many people make it out to be. Nor is it as simple and one sided against science as my opponent purports it to be.

First, I would take issue that Creationism is the literal interpretation of the Bible because the Bible as most of us who read it know and understand is actually translated from several different languages, dialects, time periods, and understandings. This in and of itself lends any true understanding of the idea behind Creationism to be one of interpretation. This distinct issue of interpretation is very easily seen by simply examining the variety of religious understanding and belief that ignite from various interpretations of 'scripture'.

To support my first example let us take a simple verse from the King James Version of the Bible "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Right away in this instance there are many many issues taking place on how people understand these simple phrases. What does Created mean for instance? Does it mean spawned from nothing, formed overtime, or some other ubiquitous meaning lost in the annuls of time and cultural understanding?

Perhaps you mean to define Creationism as someone who believes that the world magically popped into existence in six days? Which is in general what it seemed you were going after. However if you have studied the first chapter of Genesis at all this quickly must be discarded. The Hebrew itself denotes time periods, though some might well call them days.

Now lets instead look at the basic story of Creation and see if there is something that goes along with science. First The Earth was formed. There was a lot of water. One location where all the land exists oh say for instance Pangaea. Then comes plants. Then comes animals. Finally here comes man. All of this pretty much follows exactly what science tells us happened. I fear the main issue here is that Creationists as you perhaps have met define things as instantaneous and 'Divine' rather than thoughtful, planned, and time consuming. However I consider myself a Creationist and yet I see nothing immutable in the science from the theology. They walk hand in hand, coexisting together. For what is time to a God? The Alpha and the Omega, beginning and the end?

As for the whole Adam and Eve thing... Do you consider that part of Creationism? It seems to me rather an introduction to the idea of what it means to be formed in "God's Image", in other words to make choices and separate at an intellectual level right from wrong, which by definition of the Bible itself is the very design of God. To know good from evil and choose the good. Some may take the story of Adam and Eve as literal but the truth is that based on the theoretical science ( which seems fairly well grounded ) it is more than likely an extension of understanding rather than fact.

However Human Evolution is still at its very core theoretical. It is our best guess based on the evidence provided. However the theory behind trait selection and change is well established so I would tend to agree it exists. We can see it in many various species and man has been using trait selection to breed animals for many thousands of years now. Now I then bring up the last thought on Creation which is that Creationists believe that God formed things rather than chance and chaos. We do not know or understand the workings of the Universe or why there would be a move to continual order rather than a degradation into ought but chaos. We see laws in existence yet understand little about them, oh we measure them, we notice them, yet understanding the actual purpose and reason behind them will be a long time in the making.

Finally I ask one last question as to whether 'God' could create a world and populate it with plants, animals, and man. If we by science believe that all these things are theoretically possible ( for did they not happen? ) why is it so hard to believe that an entity that knows all things managed to bring them about? Are we not moving in a direction to understand the basic principles of 'Creation' Would we not wish to create circumstance across the universe where life might exist? Perhaps all of this simply occurred, the spark of life on this planet was meant to occur and through random chance and biological evolution it was bound to create a species capable of rational, independent, and completely unique forms of communication, understanding, and philosophy. I contend that this is possible, however I contend that even more likely is that a being of infinite knowledge and power triggered, nursed, and even now watches over His Creation. For a purpose that we cannot fully understand nor fathom barring there be an actual way of speaking with him as the rest of the Bible seems to purport there to be.

Perhaps my opponent grew up some place where critical thinking was discourage, where he was taught that faith and science were at odds with each other and as each new understanding of science and its explanations came about he saw how brittle the understanding of those who believed in religion were around him. When you accept something as dogma, heck even scientific theory as dogma, you close your mind to growth and realization of truth. However by shutting out the story of Creation he has managed to do the same thing. He sees the flaws ( which there are many that exist in a document written close to 3,000 years ago ) yet cannot see the remarkable correlations of the story with science. Is it 100 percent accurate? Well I would suggest no, but is it pretty darn close in correlation.

I would also suggest that as the person who 'received' this information did so from God and that person would have had to write it down according to their understanding of the world and would have had to attempt to explain it in a way that others could understand and relate to. Imagine attempting to explain evolution to someone who had no reference of the immense time it takes and you having no evidence of it to show to someone. They would be skeptical and not entirely prone to believe it ( heck many don't believe it now WITH evidence ) So you would keep the concept general and without much depth or detail, an explanation of concept rather than mechanism.

Perhaps my opponent was looking for someone to simply say. Evolution is a crock and have no evidence to support what they believe except through vain attempts to discredit the information as it exists in science. However as evolution is a good working theory I see no cause for this, I also see no problem with how the world was formed or that it took billions of years to do so as being against the story of Creation. Some may well argue that what I am advocating is not Creationism but rather a different form of Divinism such as "intelligent design" which I accept as a possible critique of this defense of Creationism.

I do not believe that God simply formed the Earth out of nothing. I do not believe that Man simply popped into existence. Yet I still believe in the Story of Creation as it can be understood with the information we have. So it took God a few million years to form man in his image... So it took God billions of years to prepare the earth as a habitat for man... Whether it be a billion years or an instant can the effect not have been the same? The purpose behind it still as viable? Why get hung up on the details when that is NOT what Genesis provides. It does not say HOW God formed the Earth, only that God did form the Earth. Heck it does not even really get into the rest of the formation of the Universe, it is only a page in length!!! Meant to point to a creator and give a general sense that He exists.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for the debate. In fairness, I would ask the opponent to only address what I have said here; however, he may conclude on a larger point.
Several points made by the opponent belong in a theological debate about biblical interpretation, not in this debate; therefore, I will address three points within his argument: creation follows science, evolution is our "best guess," and God formed the universe rather than chance. Each point makes grave mistakes and improper characterizations.

Creation Follows Science
The opponent says, "Finally, here comes man." Does the Bible suggest that man is an ape? No! No interpretation of the Bible could successfully suggest that it does. Science suggests that man is an ape. The only reason one can interpret the Bible with a scientific framework is if he/she has a previous scientific education. Exclusively reading the Bible would not lead anyone to scientific conclusions. Creationism, therefore, cannot create any new knowledge within a scientific framework. Because it cannot do this, it is an untenable belief, which poses as science (i.e. "creation science").

Evolution is Our Best Guess
Although the opponent claims to believe in evolution, he seems to misunderstand it. He says that "Human Evolution is still at its very core theoretical. It is our best guess based on the evidence provided." This is more of a hypothesis, not a theory. I covered this in my first argument (see source 5). He makes the same mistake all creationists do. He should not have even brought evolution up because he should be able to prove his proposition on its own merits, not the perceived failing of another.

God Formed the Universe Rather than Chance
This is probably one of the most important points that needs to be addressed. Creationists seem to believe and suggest that either God created the universe or chance created it. This is false. Chance has no agency; it cannot form or control anything. For instance, imagine that you drop a ball on a grid on the ground. There are 100 squares on this grid. It lands on the 99th square on your bottom left. What caused it to do that? The forces that affect the ball such as gravity and the characteristics of the landscape the grid is on such as the slope of the surface.
The question arises how did these forces along with the universe come to be; however, this was not part of the debate. I am questioning creationism's merits, not how the universe came to be. The last point above demonstrated how creationism misinterprets and obfuscates science and scientific positions. The opponent should have addressed creationism's merits and situated them within a viable and logical set of criteria. What makes creationism unique and what can it do for us? Evolutionary theory, for instance, has provided scientists with the ability to treat illnesses among many other things.


My opponent suggests that interpretation of information does not belong in this debate however the interpenetration of information is technically all that science is. It is the evaluation of information over time in an effort to understand the systems that exist independent of belief. He says that the Bible does not suggest that man is an Ape. Wow, where is that phrase written. I believe I have read it from end to end and no where in the Bible does it say, "Man is not an Ape" oh many have interpreted as such and they may or may not be correct. The point is that in the very act of saying that interpretation is not warranted my opponent interprets things to HIS understanding of what is or is not in the Bible. Science does not suggest MAN = APE rather that we are cousins and came about from an evolutionary process.

My opponent misunderstands what the word theory means. Gravity is a theory. Ergo as scientists examine it they do so on a theoretical basis. The same is true about the understanding of Evolution and trait selection, it is a theory to which understanding is constantly being added to by time and discovery. This has no bearing on its truthfulness rather the concept is based on evidence. It goes back to an old argument that I had with a science teacher who told me that there was no backside to the moon. I argued vehemently that there was. The teacher calmly explained that there was most likely a backside to the moon but being that I had never seen it. This does not mean that all theory did not suggest that there was no backside, nor that it did not exist only that to know one would have to have experienced it. Ergo all things are theory until experienced. Something that my opponent should understand when one speaks of something being theory. Back when he spoke of Newtons understanding Versus Einsteins he was on the right track however in science they are both still referred to as theories even if they are 'fact'. It is unfortunate that he would quibble over this rather than move onto the actual content of the discussion. Hence yes at this time, evaluation is our best guess and seems logically in order, until more, or greater understanding of biological process circumvents, encompasses or surpasses it with a greater understanding.

What is interesting in the final rebuttal of my opponent is the misunderstanding of the question of Universal Creation. I was not bringing into the equation that God formed the Universe ( nor do I believe he did contrary to what my opponent stated ) Rather it was to bring up certain questions of what is God and what is his understanding of God. He missed the point entirely. Nor did he pick up on the idea that science understands painfully little when it comes to the question of dimensional realities and the immense physical and meta-physical questions the 'Science' of this caliber brings to bear in the idea of Creation or its possible ramifications in understanding the physical world ( concepts like an item being in the same place at the same time ).

I also noticed that my opponent disregarded the correlation of creation to what science has shown in theory to be evidence. Imagine a culture of at least 3,000 years ago to have it fairly accurate how the planet was formed, how the world was shaped, how it came about and gave life, first plants and then once the atmosphere changed enough in composition animals, and again finally Man. I have already said that if you were to take the story of Adam and Eve as strict adherence to Man being formed and Woman being taken from a Rib you start to have questions, however in my mind this is an artifact of storytelling and should well be considered a work of hyperbole rather than that of direct beginnings of man.

Finally I again say that if you look at the 'Creation' Portion of the Bible it fits perfectly with science when one considers it is but a page in length. Heck try explaining to your kids in one page how the earth was formed and how life began in as many words as the Bible. Now do so without the connivance of the internet and the years of school and reading up on the subject and you have to admit it is a REALLY good explanation even today that fits very closely with what science suggests happened.

I suggest that if you simply examine the first chapter of the book of Genesis it is easy to see that the concept of 'Creationism' is not against science nor does it contradict it, rather as I see the body of evidence it appears to me that short of the entire 'Adam and Eve' section which may be where my opponent really wants to argue over evolution existing or not, it fits pretty darn well.

I also noticed that my opponent completely dodged the concept that God uses science to create things. For some strange reason people who dismiss Creationism seem to think that those who believe in it simply thing that God waves a magic wand and poof it happens. As I stated above It does not matter to a being of infinite time, if something took an instant or Billions of years to accomplish. Why is it that people who are intent on question Creationism get hung up on the idea that it had to happen immediately? It is as though they fall into the same trap that those who do not accept science and cling instead to dogma do. Just because something takes time does not mean a Creator was not involved.

I challenge my opponent this question, where in the Creation does it state HOW God accomplished these things? If it does not state how he did it then why assume it to not be true? Especially when it follows popular scientific belief?
Debate Round No. 2
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Sottaceti 5 years ago
Obviously you humans haven't considered the option of aliens creating simple single-celled organisms and inserting them on newly terrestrialized Earth. O_O
Posted by Dmetal 5 years ago
I have seen the video :)
Posted by wolfhaines 5 years ago
Richard Dawkings when asked why he doesn't like to debate with creationists:
"If you were a geologist, would you debate with people who supported the view that the earth was flat?".
Basically, creationists should have no place at the same table as scientists, as giving them the time to spout nonsense makes it seem they are credible.
Posted by Innocent 5 years ago
Sounds fun lol.
Posted by Dmetal 5 years ago
I will continue this debate if you'd like because I feel 2 rounds was not enough to address our positions clearly enough.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by detachment345 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Not even close on argument.
Vote Placed by bvand 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I dont believe Innocent displayed convincing arguments.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con showed how different interpretations of creationism can go hand in hand with science, namely evolution. Since Pro never did define creationism, it was free for Con to define it. By showing that, he also showed that creationism is not "unjustifiable." Pro did not do a good job arguing against Con's version of creationism, and instead simply tied to dismiss it as "not relative to this debate."