Instigator / Pro

Is evolution compatible with the bible?


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 2 votes and with 14 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
Voting period
One week
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

The debate is about is evolution compatible with the bible. I am someone who will take the pro position which states that it is compatible while the con will argue against. I hope to have a great discussion, and I hope that this debate finds value with someone. The main goal of this debate is to have values dialogue that individuals from different walks of life can enjoy.

Round 1
To start I would like to thank my opponent for being willing to debate against me. As words of encouragement it is important to state that this topic does not hinder ones salvation, but it is an important biblical topic for Christians in our time. My main argument throughout this debate will be based on reliability from scripture and scholarly sources. With me believing that the Bible is the inspired word of God, most of my outside sources will be referenced back to the word of the Lord in some manner. Based on this we will see that a consistent and literal reading of scripture can be maintained while holding to the theory of evolution being true. 
Symbolic Numbers: Symbolism is used throughout the Bible and in the case of creation, it is no different. The number 7 is used consistently in scripture and Jewish history as a holy/historic number. The Biblical Scholar Peter Enns notes that "the number 7 in the creation account is important with sanctuary" (Enns 2021). God has always had a connectedness with humans, which is foreshadowed in the first chapter of Genesis. This number is foreshadowed with the Commandment to keep the sabbath (Exodus 31:12). Instances such as this is shown several times in scripture with a common example being Noah sacrificing an animal before these laws were given in the Torah (Genesis 8:20). 
Church Fathers: Another reason I feel that evolution doesn't contradict scripture is simply because ancient church fathers often had different ideas about the creation account mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis.  Part of this is because the plants came before the sun in the first chapter of Genesis. Early church fathers such as Augustine mentioned that the seven days of creation were not literal and possibly happened in one day (Floodlight 2022). This of course is not something I hold to, but the point is to show that many early church individuals thought about this way before Darwin came up with the theory of evolution (Reiss 2014). 
Time: In addition to many of my other points, it is important to read that God's perception of time is different than ours. In (2 Peter 3:8) it mentions that one day is like a thousand years to God and a thousand years are like one day. This simply shows that God has a different perception of time due to the nature of him being an all powerful bein who is outside time and space. If God is immortal like all Christians think, our view of time is like a grain of sand on the ocean compared to God. Now I do not think that these days are separate 1,000 year periods because it does not solve the issue with the sun, but mainly shows that it is not as simple as adding dates up to know the age of the earth. 
Polytheism and Idol Worship: The days mentioned in Genesis 1 should be seen as symbolic because of the culture that surrounded Israel at the time. Countries that persecuted them were mainly polytheistic. As a way to stand up against Idolatry it was mentioned that God created everything from the sun to the heavens. Some items mentioned in certain days reflect specific god's that were worshiped at the time , which shows that "God had dominion over these deities" (Enns 2021). It is no secret that if you read the Bible God had to call out the worship of certain Idols which is seen in scriptures such as (Exodus 12:12 and Psalms 97:9) Even one of the first commandments mentions that Israel should have no other God's before Yahweh. 
Were Adam and Eve Formed by God: This question is important to answer early on in this debate because it is important to view scripture with divine authority. The case outlined before this has reference to history and other scripture increasing the reliability of my claim. Even though I cited evidence, I made sure to be careful in doing so, because it is best not to add to the word of God. Based on this I feel it is important to believe that Adam and Eve were made in a de novo account (specially created)(SWAMIDASS, 2021) . My personal belief lines up with many biblical scholars and Christian scientist which states that evolution could have happened outside of the Garden of Eden. Once Adam and Eve sinned, other individuals would have just been fully formed at this time. Their are many different ways to present this Hypothesis, but it is shown in the work of Dr. Josh Swamidass in his book "The Genealogical Adam and Eve." Based on this hypothesis fully a formed man/woman would not have tasted death before sin took place, but pre humans such as Neanderthals would have. Individuals inside of the Garden would not have tasted death and everything inside of it would have been created with the intention of man living forever with God and created animals. A separate life outside of Eden would have been made because with God being all knowing he would have created alternative life so that man could live once sin entered the world. This hypothesis is fully plausible and in Dr. Swamidass's book, it shows that due to this all humans would eventually be genealogically related to Adam and Eve by the time Jesus was around which is mentioned in (Romans 5:12-14 and Acts 17:24-29) (SWAMIDASS, 2021).
My Thanks: Even though I mentioned this earlier, I would like to thank my opponent again and anyone reading this debate. I have more scholarship and scripture to share, but I want everyone to be able to track any information I share to this post. 
Enns, P. (2021). The evolution of adam: What the Bible does and doesn’t say about human origins. Brazos Press, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Floodlight. (2022, November 11). Did Augustine read genesis 1 literally?: Henry Center. Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding.
Reiss, M. (2014). Creation of Evolution Do we have to choose...? Research Gate.
SWAMIDASS, S. J. (2021). Genealogical adam and eve: The surprising science of universal ancestry. INTERVARSITY PRESS.


Honestly I accepted this excited to debate again but now I don’t feel like it lol. You can have this one
Round 2
Ok man! If you change your mind I will be here. Thanks for accepting and if you want to debate in the future I will be happy to do so! Also if anyone has questions in the comments I may use my turns to answer that if possible!
Round 3
I do want to address a comment in the chat. Someone asked what type of evolution? Is it just changes within a population? Well this is simply how evolution works. Typically people like to separate micro and macroevolution even though the process is still the same. My main point was to show their was enough time for it to happen, which is shown in my opening statement. In addition to this I cited scientist Josh Swamidass showing that it is possibly to have a creation account in the garden while also having evolution take place outside of the garden. Their is a few different sources I can cite for this, but I will leave it in my next reply because I didn't see the comment until now and I am at work lol. Either way it is possible genealogically for this to happen this way. By also taking a literal creation with Adam and Eve it doesn't contradict scripture. This will be something I will figure out when my time is up on earth, but for now I am going with the hypothesis I think is most likely. 
Round 4
John has an interesting point! I enjoy the comment! I have an interesting read for anyone that actually goes into more detail about common questions with evolution and the Bible. To go into more detail in answering the previous question asked about what type of evolution is this, an example of other scholarship that agrees with me is Andrew Ter En Loke. Dr. Loke answers a common question many theist worry about which is death before the fall. Inside the garden death would not have happened because God would have wanted man to live with him. Because God knew we would mess up life outside the garden would have been through the process of evolution. Dr. Loke mentions that these humans would not have been fully evolved so they would not have the image of God. Scripture often mentions that we are made in God’s image which is first outlined in Genesis 1:20. So fully formed man (Man with the image of God), would not have tasted death. I do believe animals have souls as well which is first outlined in Genesis 1:30, so I think pre humans are saved as well. I know some of this is re stated information, but I wanted to provide extra scholarship and scripture to back up my claim.
Ya know, I gotta stop accepting debates only to not commit. To be frank, I'll need to be more sure I'm in the mood to debate.
Round 5