The Instigator
Amphia
Pro (for)
The Contender
jtlove
Con (against)

It is possible to believe in evolution and be Christian

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  
Debate Round Forfeited
Amphia has forfeited round #3.
Our system has not yet updated this debate. Please check back in a few minutes for more options.
Time Remaining
00days00hours00minutes00seconds
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2018 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 731 times Debate No: 110417
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

Amphia

Pro

This debate will be limited to evolution as an explanation of the diversity of animals. Evolution as an explanation for the beginning of life on Earth is a different debate that being honest, I have very little knowledge on.

This debate was spurred after I saw someone say that that humans evolved from monkeys. Uh...no they didn't...

I feel such misconceptions are what lead Christians to denounce evolution entirely without truly understand what it is about. Some time ago, a teacher of mine (religious teacher) said that Charles Darwin's theory included the theory about the creation of life on Earth which is actually a more recent theory. We tried to explain this wasn't true but he wouldn't listen to us. Oh well..

As a Christian, it has been difficult for me to reconcile my religion and science. However, I have realized that after the creation of the original living things on Earth, God used evolution as a way to diversify our plants and animals and allow all living things adapt to their changing environments. I mean, there is so much evidence. For one, ring species being a highly credible example.

This is meant to be a respectful debate. Let's not argue about whether God exists or not. Let's debate about whether you can be a Christian and believe evolution happened.
jtlove

Con

To be Christian and believe in evolution is to ignore what the Holy Spirit recorded in the scriptures, as well as external evidence that can be observed in nature. In being a Christian is to know there is only one and true living God (Jeremiah 10.10 & 1 John 5.20), to believe in the theory of evolution is to deny creation.

Some basic assumptions of evolution as pointed out by Dr. Werner Gitt

One problem with evolution; it is a belief system based on assumption. F.M. Wuketits, an evolution theorist, writes: "We pre-suppose the essential correctness of biological evolution, yes, we assume that evolution is universally valid."

Evolution is a universal principle: Hoimar von Ditfurth states "The principle of development not only holds for life on earth; it extends much further. It is quite clearly the most widely valid principle imaginable, because it encompasses the entire universe"All of reality around us is characterized by a history of self-development. Biological evolution is only part of this universal process"

It is taboo for the evolutionist to use words like creator, designer, or demiurge: As so quaintly put by French molecular biologist, Ernest Kahane, "It is absurd and absolutely preposterous to believe that a living cell could come into existence by itself; but, notwithstanding, I do believe it, because I cannot imagine anything else."

In order for Kahane notion of disbelief of a creator to hold true all living organisms, are based exclusively on matter and materialistic principles. Therefore, to the evolutionist there can be no soul or spirit. This completely contrary to the bible. God told Moses "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." (Leviticus 17.11)

There is no scientific explanation for the origin of matter and energy: The law of the conservation of energy together with Einstein's equivalence of matter and energy, E = mc2, states that the sum total of all energy and all matter in our universe is constant. It is therefore necessary to assume that all the energy must have existed before the supposed "big bang".

Evolution relies on processes that allow increases in organization from the simple to the more complex, from non-life to life, from lower to higher life-forms: Dr. Gitt points out, "The so-called evolutionary factors are mentioned as cause. In the vein of Ernest Kahane's view on a living cell coming into existence, B. Rensch defines the evolution of the cosmos up to man, as follows "Evolution manifests itself as a continuous progression from the origin of the solar system and the earth, through the assemblage of the first elements of life, followed by true forms of life, and increasingly higher developed groups of animals, leading up to man."

The following factors are assumed as the driving forces of evolution: Mutation, selection, isolation, and mixing. Chance and necessity, long time periods, ecological changes, and death are additional indispensable factors which are included in the "actual" evolutionary factors.

"Mutation and selection are the driving forces of evolution" K. Lorenz

Biologist H. Mohr states: "If there were no death, then no life would have existed"There is no other way around this axiom of evolutionary theory."

There is no plan in evolution, nor is there any purpose, to admit otherwise is to imply a creator: Clearly illustrated in B. Rensch statement "It is not necessary to assume a mysterious guiding principle for the purposefulness observed in the structure and life of all organisms"neither was a wise Creator necessary for their origin"

I believe it is pretty clear that in order for one to believe in evolution, then it is unacceptable to believe in a Creator. To hold belief in the assumptions of evolution, one has to dismiss the thing created in Genesis 1.26: Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

As for not understand God, there are things about God that we will never be able to comprehend, but that should not lead us to not believe in Him and the scriptures. The profit Isaiah wrote: "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. (Isa 40.28) The God who made all things must be infinitely wise. There is proof of boundless skill in the works of his hands, and it is impossible for finite mind fully and adequately to search out all the proofs of his wisdom and skill. Isaiah is saying God is like looking at the ocean, we as man can see only a part, a small part, while the vast ocean, the boundless deep of His wisdom, lies still unexplored and unknown.

In order to know spiritual things, one must be spiritual. Paul told the brethren at Corinth "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned". (1 Cor 2.13-14)

I would like to point out that the bible even explains the opposition that Darwin and evolutionist have in believing in God. That he or she will view the bible as foolishness and will never understand it.

The mentioning of Darwin having believed in a creator. In an article titled: The Origin Of Species and Darwin's Reference to "the Creator" apologist Bert Thompson, quotes Harvard entomologist and evolutionist, Edward O. Wilson, in saying.
"Darwin dismissed the entire controversy as pointless and premature: "It will be some time before we see slime, protoplasm, etc., generating a new animal. But I have long regretted that I truckled to public opinion, and used the Pentateuchal term of creation, by which I really meant 'appeared' by some wholly unknown process. It is mere rubbish, thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter" (1973, p. 594; the quote from Darwin appears in an extremely anti-religious letter he wrote to J.D. Hooker on March 29, 1863; as reproduced in Francis Darwin's Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, 1887, 3:17)

Thompson goes on to say, "It is not helpful for creationists, or anyone else, to use Darwin's reference to a Creator. Darwin himself later admitted that he truly regretted using that "Pentateuchal term," when what he really meant was that things had "appeared by some wholly unknown process."

Based upon the number of assumptions one has to believe in for evolution to hold true, and I listed only a few. It then takes more faith to believe in evolution verses God the Creator. Religion is defined as: A particular variety of such belief, especially when organized into a system of doctrine and practice. Then evolution would be a religion in and of itself.

To try and blend the theory of evolution with God and all of His creation is to misunderstand the teachings of both systems of faith. Just because we can't explain something, or present physical proof that something exist does not dismiss the existence of divine being. That is what it is to have faith and I believe I've shown one has to have faith for both creation and evolution.

The writer of Hebrews tells us "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Heb 11.6)
Debate Round No. 1
Amphia

Pro

To be a Christian and believe in evolution is completely logical. The theory of evolution does not deny that God created the Earth. As I mentioned earlier, the theory that all of life"s common ancestor was bacteria is a more recent theory that was not Darwin"s theory of evolution. I believe that after creating the original plants and animals, God used evolution as a tool to further diversify our planet.

The reason evolution is a theory is because we were not there when it occurred. However, evolution is known as a Big T as opposed to other theories being considered Little Ts. This is because the evidence for evolution is outstanding. It is not so much assumption as it is a very well educated, very well researched idea.

As I mentioned before, I am talking about Darwin"s theory of evolution. Not the more recent theory.

Also, you are really generalizing evolutionists and other groups of people. It is not evolutionists that say there is no soul or spirit that is more likely to be nihilists or atheists. There are Christian scientists who believe God used evolution. I feel like people just lump anyone who believes in evolution and anyone who is an atheist together.

I also believe that the Big Bang theory was caused by God (you know, he literally said "let there be light") but this has nothing to do with this debate.
"Evolution relies on processes that allow increases in organization from the simple to the more complex, from non-life to life, from lower to higher life-forms"" As I already told you, this debate isn't about the origin of life. It isn't about the evolution from cells.

No, there is a plan in evolution. I believe it is what God used to create the more diverse, or environmentally-specific animals we see today. Yes, many evolutionists are non-religious, but not all of them! Atheism and evolutionism are not necessarily partners, it happens a lot that way but there are Christian scientists who understand that evolution is not a fact of life we can ignore.

To believe in evolution does not mean you don"t believe in God. Like I keep repeating, it is possible to believe God used evolution as a tool. It was His doing. Don"t you think that an all-powerful God can do whatever he wants?

I don"t doubt that God created life and I know I will not understand everything he does, but that doesn"t mean evolution didn"t happen. Whether it is the way life was created is DIFFERENT debate.

I never mentioned that Darwin believed in God, I know he didn't. He was raised Christian but became atheist later on.

It doesn't take more faith to believe in evolution than in God. Otherwise, no one would believe in evolution and no one would be atheist. Evolution is not a religion. By your definition, capitalism and communism are also religions. And so are psychological theories like the Humanistic approach or Behaviorism.

Just because it doesn't say directly in the Bible that God used evolution to diversify Earth doesn't mean that it didn't happen. That"s like saying that since in Genesis it never mentions dinosaurs, God didn't create dinosaurs and they don"t exist.

Or that since it never mentions in the Bible that cyberbullying is wrong, it is acceptable behavior. As you would probably argue yourself, God doesn"t have to tell us everything in the Bible for it to be true. Or for us to know it is true.
jtlove

Con

You say "Evolution as an explanation of the diversity of animals"

Merriam-Webster Diversity: the quality or state of being composed of many different elements or types
Merriam-Webster Synonyms, Types: type, kind, sort, nature, description, character mean a number of individuals thought of as a group because of a common quality or qualities.
-So, Webster dictionary says diversity mean Type/Kind, there is not scientific proof of a change in Type of organisms"Bacteria mutates into more Bacteria, dog's don't mutate into cats. While micro evolution does happen, no evidence I've seen supports change in type

You said, "a teacher of mine (religious teacher) said that Charles Darwin's theory included the theory about the creation of life on Earth which is actually a more recent theory." Give me a source, for this position!

Darwin's general theory PRESUMES THE DEVELOPMENT OF LIFE FROM NON-LIFE and stresses a purely naturalistic (undirected) "descent with modification" [1]

"It isn't about the evolution from cells." Yes, cells mutate or hybridize, but they don't create a new genus.

"This is because the evidence for evolution is outstanding. It is not so much assumption as it is a very well educated, very well researched idea."

-I gave you several cited sources that listed the assumptions that had to be made in order for the most commonly used definition of Evolution Theory.
-There are Hypothesis, Theory's, Law's
-We call those ideas, assumptions, fact's"

Prof John Wilkins says, "And so far, as evolutionary conceptions go, we simply have no direct access to the evidence we need in the case of extinct and even extant species. It might be true that species have distinct fates, but often we do not know. Evolution is a gradual process at genetic and behavioral scales (but it can be abrupt at geological and ecological scales), and so we will see species in all kinds of stages of speciation, extinction, interbreeding compatibility, and so on." [2]

Based on John Wilkins admission of "we simply have no direct access to the evidence we need in the case of extinct and even extant species." If you don't have the evidence, you have to do what in place of it? Assume, make and assumption that X takes place in order for theory Y to be true. Also see" https://conversationsinthepostmodernworld.wordpress.com...

I understand, like many Christians out there who get attacked on Evolution vs Creation it's not fun. Especially if you can't defend your position. So, as many do, they start to tell themselves, "well, I can support that idea" or "well, I could see where that might be true" and so on. We start to convince ourselves that it's okay to change my mind on where the bible says there was giant flood, or where there was just one man and one woman, or well there may not be a hell.

Here my point read this article https://ncse.com...

The author, start talking about what a creation scientist will accept and won't except. He talks about chromosomes and gene, and if they accept this, they'll accept that. Right towards the end, he talks about how this animal and this other animal is so genetically similar, and while there has never been a known "hybridization" of the two species, creation scientist would accept that these two species came from the same Genus of animal. They he reveals his hand, it's the chimpanzee and a human. Then he goes on to call creation scientists hypocrites and won't accept the truth because of what the bibles. The point is, you have to be steadfast in your faith, if you don't understand. Study about it, seek to understand what God has defined. It's not about atheism, it's about knowing what God has put forth and being able to defend his world. Because if there is something no true in the bible, then there is no bible. (Now, for you non-Christians thinking "well this verse says this and that can't be true, and you said that meant that there was not God." There is figurative language and not all passages are to be taken literally.

"It is possible to believe God used evolution as a tool"

-I'm not saying all aspects of evolution are false, no some aspects of evolution are absolutely true. But most mainstream evolutionist believe and contend that divergents of species all have a common ancestor. Not true!

"It doesn't take more faith to believe in evolution than in God"Evolution is not a religion. By your definition..."

-I did not use my definition, please see here at https://www.thefreedictionary.com... definition b
oA particular variety of such belief: Evolution requires a variety of beliefs
oespecially when organized into a system: Evolution is an organized system of beliefs
odoctrine: It is doctrine which is a principle, policy, a rule.
oand practice: Do not people study it, what does an evolutionist do?

-Author Peter Hawkins states "much more faith is required to believe the theory of evolution, which depends on random chemicals reacting by chance to produce the incredibly complex chemical systems in all life, from single-celled creatures to the enormously intricate human body" [3]

"God didn't create dinosaurs and they don't exist""

- Partially true, some bible scholars believe Behemoth: Job 40 & Leviathan: Job 41 may have believe this maybe referring to dinosaurs, and yes we know God created dinosaurs, because of the evidence that they were here. There are sever animals mentioned in the bible that are extinct today and they are not mythical beast.
o Behemoths, Cockatrices, Dragons, Leviathans, Phoenix Bird, Satyrs, Unicorns, read more at https://bible.org...

"Since it never mentions in the Bible that cyberbullying is wrong. God doesn't have to tell us everything in the Bible for it to be true."

-Well, that's not quite true, the bible does not explicitly tell us everything, but it does implicitly tell us. If the bible named everything, it would be larger than the library of Congress. However, the bible teaches us with precepts (principles), examples and inferences.
- Example: I can tell you that cyberbullying is wrong because it does not meet the precepts outlined in 1 Corinthians 13.1-8, referred to sometimes as the chapter of love. So, to cyberbully someone, is to be unloving. Therefore, I can't do it.

Theory vs Faith vs Truth:

For comparison, the National Academy of Sciences defines a fact as "an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and for all practical purposes is accepted as 'true'." It notes, however, that "truth in science ... is never final, and what is accepted as a fact today may be modified or even discarded tomorrow." See, what they claim to be true today, might not be called true tomorrow.

This is where creationist and evolutions sometimes have difficulty understanding each other. A creationist would say that "a truth is irrefutable." and that Darwin's concept of evolution is theory and always will be because it does not conform to the scientific method. Evolutionist also say a creationist's hypothesis is not subject to the possibility of empirical falsification, and does not belong in the realm of science. (That's bull)

Dr Sean D. Pittman says, "Obviously then, without access to absolute knowledge, a degree of faith remains when one holds a particular position to be true - be it a "religious" or a "scientific" position.""" A theory is therefore a faith and a faith is therefore a theory." [4]

[1] https://www.darwins-theory-of-evolution.com...
[2] https://ncse.com... Title: Species, Kinds, and Evolution Author(s): John Wilkins University of Queensland Volume: 26 Issue: 4 Year: 2006 Date: July-August Page(s): 36-45
[3] Can Christians Believe in Evolution?, Peter Hawking, https://lifehopeandtruth.com...
[4] Truth, The Scientific Method, and Evolution, Sean D. Pitman M.D., August 2003
Debate Round No. 2
This round has not been posted yet.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by jtlove 3 years ago
jtlove
BiasedHuman: I believe you took what the pope was saying further than his conclusions. Pope say "because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve." You say "God could have created the organisms and used evolution as a tool to change them to humans"

I could agree to the statement of "because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve," If by which what is meant as "evolution assumes the creation of life that evolves." I also believe this is where the Pope is coming from and as I said before with the finches, change, mutation does happen. But not organism to man, nor ape to man. As your notion of in your final sentence.

I believe that definition is supported by the source document of the Pope remarks.

"When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own."

In other word's If the Pope believes man evolved from an organism(s) then then there doctrine they teach does not hold true. Therefore evolution as defined by the Catholic Church cannot contradict church doctrine.
Posted by jtlove 3 years ago
jtlove
Thanks for sharing your comment BiasedHuman: I don't follow the teachings of Catholicism; as for taking the bible literally. The bible has 6 forms of text in it: Law, History, Prophecy, Poetry, Narrative, and Genealogy. While there are parts to not be taken literally like poetry, prophetic language, wisdom (Ecclesiastes, Proverbs). However, the majority of the text is to be taken literally.

Bible says Christ died and arose from the dead on the 3rd day. I guarantee you the Pope believes this to be a fact. However, I'll make the assumption you do not, you would say that such and idea should not be take literally. There are people who profess to be Christians who don't believe it. However, if it is an untrue fact then there is no Christ and there is no God. The resurrection is the foundation for man's salvation.

Concerning "The evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation":

We really need to define terms here, as I stated in my argument Evolutionist believe mutation and selection are the driving forces of evolution. So by mutation, they believe this would be the process of metamorphosis into a new kind of species via gradual mutations. I do agree there are changes that occur in nature. But evolution is about the origin of new species from existing species.

For instance; Peter and Rosemary Grant studied finches on the Galapagos Islands from 1973-1990+, in 1991 Peter Grant wrote that the beaks of the finches changed over the period of observation. During droughts, beaks were larger/thick; during years of high rainfall beaks were smaller and thinner, during other years their beaks would be normal size. This shows there are adaptations that species can go through for survival, however, it does not show a change in Kind of species...you still have finches.

Concerning "created the organisms and used evolution as a tool to change them to humans," bible clearly say man was Created in God's image. Pretty sure the Pope agrees there to.
Posted by DeletedUser 3 years ago
DeletedUser
if you are a Catholic I am pretty sure the pope said that you can believe in the big bang theory and evolution. About it going against the bible the pope also said that taking the bible literally is wrong. https://www.usnews.com...
"The evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve."
As for other forms of Christianity it really shouldn't because it doesn't deny that a God could have created the organisms and used evolution as a tool to change them to humans.
This debate has 0 more rounds before the voting begins. If you want to receive email updates for this debate, click the Add to My Favorites link at the top of the page.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.