How do I argue in favour of Special Creation?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by cleanup, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. cleanup macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #1
    This might seem like an odd thread but an assignment I've recently received has bestowed upon me and the members of my group to engage in a debate of human evolution vs. special creation. I got special creation, arguably the worst and most difficult topic to argue (the other debate is evolution vs. creationism).

    Research hasn't pulled up much as most of it is just evangelicals preaching on the Internet, citing the Bible and simply denouncing evolution (with no real empirical data).

    I need to somehow make a logical and coherent argument in favour of special creation, but I have to have the facts. I can't just spew empty rhetoric, or exaggerate things.

    The format of the debate is... we get an opening statement, there's a question and answer period, and then there's a closing statement.

    Because of the lack of data or evidence whatsoever behind my topic (IMHO) I'm trying to look for ways to poke holes in the concept of human evolution... like what's the evolutionary advantage to believing in God? It's because God has willed it, and he is our creator, etc. Why do humans have a conscience? Things like that.

    What do you guys think? Have any of you done this before? Or are there any of you out there who support special creation and can maybe give me a few tips? Are there other holes in the concept of human evolution I should become aware of? Any books that might have good info on this?

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #2
    It's a bit like finding a convincing argument that the world is flat. I'm afraid you're going to have to rely on a great deal of baseless assertion. :rolleyes:
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Ha, wow, good luck with that one. :p

    The most compelling types of argument I've seen go along the line of attacking science without necessarily proving that an alternative is true. In particular, some creationists attack the basic assumption of physics (and by extension, of essentially all sciences), that the laws of physics are invariant (particularly invariant in time and space). If you think about it, physics becomes an utter disaster if you cannot assume that the laws governing a star a light year away are the same laws of physics that operate now, or that the laws of physics governing the initial inflationary period of the universe are not the same laws of physics that operate now. However, there's not really any way to prove that this assumption is correct. It appears valid, but were it not, it opens the door to all kinds of other interpretations of data. The weakness, then, of this approach, is that the data quickly becomes indeterminate -- if you don't make this assumption, it's difficult to prefer one interpretation of physics data over many others.
     
  4. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816

    psycoswimmer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    We just did a article (and then questions) in our religion class about this. I don't have the sheet with me right now but it basically said that the church's official stance is that God guided evolution. Creation didn't just happen in 6 days as Genesis says. One of the holes in the Darwin theory was that if cells had to evolve one part at a time, the cell wouldn't be able to function and would therefore die. I'll scan the article if I can find it later and post it here.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #6
    Scientists have proven nothing. All they can say is that scientists have a theory that they strongly believe in, with not much proof going for them. I mean, ......"The Big Bang"? C'mon, it's silly. What was here before the Big Bang, and what was here before that? How is this any less silly, or more factual, than religion and God? The Big Bang seems almost as fictional and baseless as Scientology, or even Christianity.

    If you leave out my last sentence and pretend it doesn't exist, you have an argument for God and Creationism. :p



    PS: Start quoting The Matrix.
     
  6. walangij macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    MI
    #7
    It depends on which church's official stance, there are various different views in different denominations.

    Anyways, there are two points you could stick to, one is Endosymbiont Hypothesis of Mereschkovsky and Margulis which has some evidence, but it is very hard to speculate as true in microbiology. It is the only hypothesis on it out there thus far besides special creation. Basically it is an emphasis on mitochondria and chloroplasts where chloroplasts were photosynthesizing prokaryotes and Mitochondria were prokaryotic aerobic heterotrophs.
    They were parasites or undigested prey of larger prokaryotes. Their association progressed: parisite > predator > mutualism. As the host and endosymbiont became more interdependent, they integrated into a single organism. (In a nutshell, a single celled organism consumed a smaller one, and they became 1, working together, and that cell replicated together and ect. ect, and later another smaller organism was consumed and became part of that one and ect. ect) The probability of this is not in the favor of science although there is some evidence like mitochondrial DNA, but science accepts it currently because there's no other alternative besides special creation/intelligent design/creation, until another hypothesis develops.

    Another sticking point is singularity in physics and its definition but oh boy trying to make people understand what it is in the first place and then trying to point out flaws.

    Good luck though, you have a hard position to defend.
     
  7. cleanup thread starter macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8
    That would be nice, I think that would help me...

    But please keep in mind that the debate our groups were assigned is "Human Evolution vs. Special Creation" not "Evolution vs. Creationism," which is why I'm really in the ******* here. While I can allude to creationism and evolution in general, I'm really arguing for the special design and creation of humans specifically. While there are many ways to define special creation, I think I can infer from the topics of the other debate that mine regards humans in particular... :(

    So far most of my argument revolves around pointing out that evolution in itself is an unproven theory. While everyone says it's a fact of life, at the very least, the actual evolution of a new lifeform in the same magnitude as lower primates evolving into modern humans has not yet been empirically observed on Earth, am I right? And although the existence of God is not empirically observable, neither is the spontaneous creation of life on an early Earth (again, I'm alluding to evolution in general, not human evolution. This is the thorn on the rose).

    'Evolution' can be observed in the development of pesticide resistance in insects or herbicide resistance in crop weeds, etc., but "is this really evolution?" Evolution, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary (ie. my MacBook) is "the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth." Can the terms "local adaptation" or "diversification" be used outside of the evolutionary context? Until we see these insects change radically (ie. not just in their resistance to pesticides, because clearly the mechanism of natural selection occurs at least to a small extent), we can't really conclude that evolution in its broadest sense actually occurs, right?

    Argh.
     
  8. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #9
    Yes and no. Evolution is in general such a gradual process that we would not observe it over the span of a few lifetimes, centuries even. Lower primates did not evolve into modern humans overnight.
     
  9. PupnTaco macrumors regular

    PupnTaco

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #10
    There is no logical argument, looks like you got stuck with the short end of the stick. :(
     
  10. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a

    Macaddicttt

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #11
  11. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #12
    Well, you have to start by proving that God exists, for one, and there are many pointers to other thinkers from there as well.
     
  12. cleanup thread starter macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #13
    No kidding! I guess I'm trying to go with the Thank You For Smoking approach: I don't have to be right. I just have to argue correctly. I won't prove anything, but I'll attempt to poke holes in the other group's argument and catch them off guard with things they can't explain.

    I suppose that's the only way my argument can go, and then I can tack on some loose statements for special creation (which I suppose will have something to do with "it's the only other plausible explanation for the complexity of humans" or something like that)... in essence I'm relying on the evolutionist's inability to explain our conscience, our belief in God, how they an conclusively show that evolution of humans has actually taken place, etc.

    I like the idea that mkrishnan put forward... I'm not sure if I interpreted it right but I think he's saying that the concept of evolution assumes that the pre-contemporary world operated in the same way that the observable world does today, and that without these assumptions, we cannot trace humans back to lower primates, back to the first mammals, back to the first traces of life.

    Any other arguments or attacks against evolution are welcome! :(

    Well, I think the point of my argument is to try to push the idea that humans are the result of intelligent design, which infers the existence of a god. I don't have to prove that God exists to prove intelligent design. If i did then I'd never get to the point of my argument.
     
  13. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #14
    That's hardly accurate. There is scientific evidence backing both the big bang and evolution, where the existence of a god cannot either be proved or disproved by science.

    Cleanup, your on the right track. You can either try and poke holes in the other's claims (which, unfortunately is a weak argument for you) or give reasons why the two claims are not exclusive (don't know if that's an option for this assignment). Like I said earlier, there simply isn't any scientific evidence to support your side (by definition there can't be), and if you try to use any scientific evidence you get yourself into a pickle because on one hand, you're looking to science for support, but on the other you're trying to disprove science. ...You can't have it both ways.
     
  14. cleanup thread starter macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #16
    Sorry, I'm an idiot. What are you referring to and what do you mean?
     
  15. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #17
    You can argue that there is Special Creation AND Evolution...
     
  16. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #18
    It seems to me that your only option is to somehow argue that the Bible is in fact a somewhat accurate historical document. There is probably more research on that topic then on actual "special creation". It is hard to argue any other way for something that is based completely on faith.
     
  17. Dros macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #19
    Scientists have debated why there are no other signs of life in the universe. 50 billion stars in a galaxy, 50 billion galaxies make for lots of opportunities for life. Some civilizations would have formed millions of years before ours, which means they surely would have spread throughout the galaxy. (Obviously, that is an unproven assertion). But in the absence of seeing other life, it is reasonable to develop models about why humans are special. And that includes a Creator.

    I think this is a good approach because it uses a well-developed scientific debate to point out the need for alternative explanations.
     
  18. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    What skunk says here is correct, no cynicism. If i had that assignment i would not do it to make a point that this is not a serious debate and it being treated as such is careless and foolish. Take a stand against the nonsense.

    The idea of debating is, i suppose, to see things from another's eyes, but in this case to do so would be to see the world through the eyes of a foolish few.

    Sorry i can't actually help you in the debate. You have a real task ahead here. If you go ahead with it, good luck.
     
  19. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #21
    Proponents of the "Big Bang" theory would say that this is the beginning of time. Asking of what was "before" the big bang is essentially asking of what happened before the start of time, which is not a valid question.
     
  20. Jasonbot macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    #22
    A good arguement is that 'the missing link' is yet to be found. Man and apes may have similar bone structure and all and whatever [insert facts here] but people are yet to find a missing link between man and ape. I mean the Dassies' nearest relative is the Elephant and they are clearly not relatives (or they could be) MAybe God got got a bit tired and used the same structure on multiple creatures? But now I'm digressing, so to put it in more empirical terms I want to get to the point that my point has to do with evolution and it shows that man did not evolve from apes.

    Next, the world being created in seven days (As said in genesis) doesn't specifically have to be seven earth days as we know that God is outside time and teh seven days could be 7 million years for all we know. I dont know if this would relate to special creation? I think its relevant b/c you could say some stuff about the big bang still being possible within special creation.

    But you'll need to watch out for the opposing team denying the bible as an actual source. They could say it's all speculation. But say taht you're quoting it as an historical text because thats what it is.
     
  21. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #23
    I think you're on the right track and you've actually got the upper hand in a debating environment arguing for special creation. If your first and second speakers make as many assertions about special creation as possible, whilst bringing up as many points against evolution they can, you'll have them on the back foot. Even just a rapid-fire list of so called 'flaws' in evolutionary theory would work. It's a debate so it doesn't matter if they are completely unfounded, just make sure your points are simple, compelling, and clearly delivered.

    As happens in real world debates of scientists vs creationists, the evolution team will be immediately thrust into defense mode, and they'll have to waste much of their time trying to explain the complexities of evolutionary theory before they can advance an argument. Creationism was devised to appeal in sound bites, whereas even the most basic tenet of evolution (the non-random selection of randomly generating replicators) could take at least five minutes to get across.
     
  22. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #24
    This is the only way to go.

    A debate is supposed to be rational, even more than an "argument" is so.

    You can have a "talk" about irrational subjects, you can state your opinion (and the other side theirs), but you cannot have a "debate" about irrational subjects.

    Science (or at least scientific, logical arguments), and Religion just don't mix.

    If I were you, I would prepare a long detailed speech about how you searched for rational arguments to support the idea of "special creation," and found none. Then forfeit to the other side and sit down. :)

    That way the other side never gets to present all those arguments that are going to make your "special creation" arguments look like junk, and you come off as "winning" even though you forfeited. You will also be the smartest and most intellectually honest person in the room.
     
  23. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #25
    As far as I know, "evolution" implies the creation of new genetic material. Something that never was, became. Drug resistant strains of bacteria and stuff, or pesticide resistant strains of bugs, exist already as as the drugs/pesticides kill off the other bacteria/bugs that aren't resistant, the ones that reproduce are the ones that are resistant. So you end up with more of a certain gene from the gene pool, but no new genes were added.

    Never heard of "special creation" before....

    Arguing either side of an evolution or creationism debate is going to be difficult as no evoultionists have shown that evolution has taken place conclusively (by having a room full of liquid left alone for a few billion years and then opening it up to see what became of it) and no creationist has ever shown that a God exists and made people. So to call either side "stupid" is pointless, and an ad hominem fallacy anyways. The only reason we can still have debates on this is becuase it's not been proven that either side is right. For example, we don't debate the colour of the sky or the chemical make up of water, do we? :)

    Good luck on your debate though!


    [edit] one more thought: science and religion hsouldn't mix, but many times scientists take leaps of faith--that's called a theory. To say that faith and science don't mix is preposterous, they do be necessity. Every scientists believes he is right. What is not good is for a church to kill people that believes something different than them, like the Inquisition, or Islamic Jihad, or the Christians and Muslims fighting in Africa and Ireland. (am I right about the locations of that?)
     

Share This Page