Instigator / Pro
4
1411
rating
11
debates
13.64%
won
Topic

Is theistic evolution biblical?

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
3
Sources points
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2
Spelling and grammar points
1
1
Conduct points
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1

With 1 vote and 3 points ahead, the winner is ...

Fruit_Inspector
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Religion
Time for argument
Two days
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Open voting
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Two weeks
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Four points
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7
1550
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7
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~ 593 / 5,000

Yes, is it biblical, once you have done the scholarly research for it. And, it's been proven that Genesis might be a poetic creation account against the pagan gods. And, there are Bible passage that may hint evolution (E.g, Ecclesiastes 3:18) So yes, theistic evolution is biblical.

Rules:
1. Don't uses logical fallacy (E. G, Strawman, Ad hominem, False cause, Burden of proof, Etc, Etc. )
2. Stay on topic.
3. Give your opponent evidence, and not feelings.
4. Don't mock or call someone names.
5. Don't disclare victory.

Sources:
https://drmsh.com/genesis-1-2-as-polemic/
Ecclesiastes 3:18

Round 1
Pro
Yes, is it biblical, once you have done the scholarly research for it. And, it's been proven that Genesis might be a poetic creation account against the pagan gods. And, there are Bible passage that may hint evolution (E.g, Ecclesiastes 3:18) So yes, theistic evolution is biblical.
Con
I will answer the two claims you seem to be making and provide an argument against theistic evolution.

And, it's been proven that Genesis might be a poetic creation account against the pagan gods.

It is not proven that something “might” be true. Either you prove it to be true or you hypothesize it might be true. It seems misleading to present a recent interpretation of Genesis as “proven” while also admitting the questionable validity of it. The view that the creation account in Genesis is not a historical narrative goes against the traditional interpretation held throughout most of church history. While tradition alone should not determine doctrine, I don’t think we should simply dismiss it because something new might be true.
 

And, there are Bible passage that may hint evolution (E.g, Ecclesiastes 3:18)

The use of Ecclesiastes 3:18 as a possible “hint” at evolution is still just a hypothesis and is not proven. As with the first argument, it is very difficult to rule out all possibility of a certain interpretation. However, Ecclesiastes 3:18 is referring to the mortality of both man and beast, as can be seen in verse 19. In fact, verses 19-21 seem to make a sharp distinction between man and beast except for that both will die. Psalm 49:12 reiterates this point by saying man is like the beasts regarding death. If Ecclesiastes 3:18 is a reference to evolution, then wouldn’t the spirit of man have to be the same as the spirit of the beast in verse 21? This leads me to an argument I believe needs to be answered.

 
If humans came about through theistic evolution, why do humans have souls and animals do not?

I am assuming you would say that humans evolved from apes. Regardless of one’s view on evolution, it is clear that humans are distinct from animals because humans have souls and animals do not.  I do not believe that theistic evolution can allow for the distinct creation of man as a creature with a soul who is made in the image of God. How can you biblically explain how humans acquired a soul outside of a historical reading of Genesis?

Round 2
Pro
"It is not proven that something “might” be true."
Kinda think of it. Maybe I shouldn't use "might".

"The view that the creation account in Genesis is not a historical narrative goes against the traditional interpretation held throughout most of church history."
Then, how come there are early fathers who didn't take the days literal? (E.g Irenaues, Origen, Augustine of Hippo, Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr.)

"I am assuming you would say that humans evolved from apes."
Ape like creature*


Con
While not all the early church fathers held to a literal six-day creation, nor did I argue for that point, none of the names mentioned held to an old-earth creation account that is required for theistic evolution. Therefore, the point still stands that the traditional interpretation of the church does not agree with your position, regardless of how they viewed the days in Genesis.


You made the correction that humans evolved from an ape-like creature but you did not address the question:

If humans came about through theistic evolution, why do humans have souls and animals do not?
Regardless of one’s view on evolution, it is clear that humans are distinct from animals because humans have souls and animals do not.  I do not believe that theistic evolution can allow for the distinct creation of man as a creature with a soul who is made in the image of God. How can you biblically explain how humans acquired a soul outside of a historical reading of Genesis?

Round 3
Pro
Forfeited
Con
Come on bro...
Round 4
Pro
"While not all the early church fathers held to a literal six-day creation, nor did I argue for that point, none of the names mentioned held to an old-earth creation account that is required for theistic evolution"
Then, how come young earth creationism wasn't a thing until the 19th century?

"Regardless of one’s view on evolution, it is clear that humans are distinct from animals because humans have souls and animals do not."
But, the Hebrew word for soul is apply to both humans and animals.
Con
To the contrary, young earth creationism was the traditional interpretation of the church until the 19th century when atheists and rationalists needed a theory to explain the origin of humanity without God or the supernatural. For just a few references to the early church view on a young earth, see Ante-Nicene Fathers vol. 1 pg. 557 (Irenaeus); vol. 2 pg. 9 (Theophilus); vol. 7 pg. 333 (Victorinus). I will provide more references if needed. Do you have any specific sources of the church holding specifically to an earth that was millions or billions of years old, or to a view of theistic evolution prior to the 19th century?
I will mention that I believe Augustine has a somewhat complicated view and I don't think should be used as evidence for a young or old earth without very clear reasoning and sources. 

That is true about the same word being applied to both animals and man in Ecclesiastes. For clarification, it’s the word for “spirit” not “soul.”  However, before giving a meaningful response, I have to ask something:
Do you believe there is a difference between the spirit of humans and the spirit of animals?
It seems that you are implying there is no distinction in the immaterial part of both humans and animals.


Round 5
Pro
"To the contrary, young earth creationism was the traditional interpretation of the church until the 19th century when atheists and rationalists needed a theory to explain the origin of humanity without God or the supernatural."
Have you read any books on this topic?
Con
Well that isn't much of an argument and you seemed to have missed my reference to a direct source showing the beliefs of a few early church fathers in young earth creationism. Perhaps I wasn't clear so I will just include a few sources (I won't bother with proper citations) and encourage you to view them when you have time. Even if you don't agree, I think it is important to study what opposing views are arguing for. This will either strengthen your own convictions or reveal inconsistencies that will bring you to a better understanding of the truth, which is the whole purpose of debating. Thanks for the dialogue.

Ante-Nicene Fathers (see previous references for volume and page numbers to that person's view, others can be found as well) https://www.ccel.org/fathers.html

As it is Written: The Genesis Account Literal or Literary? Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., 2016 https://books.google.com/books?id=3Ap7CwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ViewAPI#v=onepage&q&f=false (it looks like almost all of it can be read for free at this link)

Link to a sermon exploring the biblical account of creation, part 1 of a series https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-208/creation-believe-it-or-not-part-1