Monday, January 26, 2015

Evolution Vs. Creation - Weaksquare vs. NewFarmOrder

Welcome to our debate on evolution versus creationism. @NewFarmOrder and I have agreed to a friendly debate. The format is simple. Each side will present opening arguments, followed by 4 volleys, followed by closing statements. Each post will not exceed 2800 characters (roughly 20 tweets).

As with any debate, either side is unlikely to change their views on the subject. The reason debates are held is to ensure our own beliefs are reasonable and rational and that other onlookers can read, with interest and do the same.



Premise #1 for Creation: We were created with a knowledge of good and evil, unique amongst the animals. This is so we can know our God. Evolution cannot explain this knowledge, and the free will to choose either. It does not exist amongst the animals, who follow instincts alone.

One of the central tenets of Christianity is that we were created by a loving and good God. For this to be true, it therefore follows that we must have a sense of what is good, in order that we can recognise how good our God is in the first instance! And this we do. No matter how evil a regime in history, whether it be the Soviet Communists, Genghis Khan's Mongols, the Nazis, or whichever villains you wish to imagine, not a single one has had a different fundamental set of morals than the one all human beings share. We all inherently know it's wrong to lie, steal, or betray one another. The most heinous Nazi Commandantes returned home to give gifts to their children and wives. In this sense, the Ten Commandments, which puts these things in writing, is not even needed! Every human knows to do these things, which harm other people, is wrong, and causes guilt. No society in history has a set of morals whereby bad actions cause joy instead; where lying or betrayal, for example, is exalted.

Now, as history grimly attests, people still DO these things, of course. But they never do them just for the sake of doing them. Badness is not done for the sake of being bad. Badness is done for the sake of attaining some personal good, for example money, intelligence (when behind enemy lines in a conflict, for example), or power. So, we have a sense of right and wrong, something other animals do not. And we do evil only in order to attain earthly pleasures.

What happens, then, when we shift human aspiration to their need for spiritual pleasures, not earthly ones? Well, when trying to live their life in praise and worship of the Christian God, humans try not to break the fundamental morals we all know and accept, which are codified in the Bible. It's harder to be selfish, knowing they have a God who knows their thoughts and inner being. There is now an ineffable sensation of immense guilt at wrong doing that was not there before.

Yet the most devout Christians still break the rules, and still commit sins. The reason given for this is that sin IS human nature. God is perfect; humans are not. Because we are imperfect, we cannot help but be tempted by earthly pleasures. We are thus doomed to die, for ‘the wages of sin is death’. A world without sin would be a perfect world, the one all of us want (because we were given the ability to know what is good). On Earth, most of us entertain notions as to how we can achieve world peace, happiness, and prosperity, because of our knowing it to be possible. But we will never have world peace, because sin is our nature, and God, loving us, chose to gave us free will to choose our own path. We are not forced into doing what we know is good. Without a fear of God, many frequently do its opposite. Darwinism removes the sense of responsibility unique to us.


Evolution is a fact. Yes, I'm talking about both micro evolution, and macro evolution (which is compound micro evolution). All life on Earth shares a common ancestor.  Most people don't understand this because they errantly believe "theory" in science means some kind of guess. It doesn't. A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of the natural world that is repeatedly confirmed through observation, testing, and peer-review.  A scientific theory differs from the word "theory" in colloquial language  which does mean guess or hunch. In science a theory is the highest possible goal attainable.

In order for any scientific theory to be taken seriously it requires evidence and a lot of it, which evolution has. But that's not enough. A theory, after all, is well-substantiated and repeatedly confirmed. Theories also have to make predictions, have to withstand a rigorous battery of peer-review and most importantly have a direct application to other scientific fields. Evolution shines brilliantly in all four categories.  Evolution predicted the discoveries of such well-established scientific facts like the similarity in DNA. The fact that humans share 98.5% of their DNA with chimpanzees is not relevant. The fact that evolution predicted it would be so close, and in what order to other mammals is significant. Evolution has also enabled science to create strains of food that can withstand harsh climates like Saharan Africa to feed the hungry. Evolution has been used to stay ahead of evolving microorganisms and to develop vaccines to protect against them. Evolution and its application has saved millions of lives.

Must one abandon their religious belief to accept evolution? Absolutely not. More Christians accept evolution than atheists according to the Pew Research Center, and not all atheists accept evolution. People from every country, every religion, every belief system, both accept and reject evolution. It's independent of any religious belief. Many prominent Christians throughout history can and do still hold both beliefs. People like the Reverend Billy Graham believe that God may very well have used evolution to create man, but that does not change the fact that he still created man. Dr. Francis Collins, former head of the human genome project says, “there is an overwhelming amount of evidence for common ancestry. I would not necessarily wish that to be so as a Bible believing Christian but it does not serve faith well to deny that fact.” So evolution is not the proposition “God did not do this.” Evolution is the proposition, “if God is real, and God did this, here is how.”


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