I attend a christian school currently ---> TL;DR: I'm a X-Christian and I'm 14. I'm trying to become a athiest but I'm having trouble switching from old ways to new, more scientific ways.
I am 17, and also attend a Christian school. It even has Christ in its name. I know first hand how difficult it can be at a religious school whilst being an agnostic/atheist, but luckily my school for some reason is about 60% Atheist at the moment... It is quite amusing.
I hope that the following post gives you a framework to analyse your beliefs in, it's a sort of 'Logic/Rationalism 101'
, and to understand some of these points is usually fairly important in any debate, whether with yourself or with your brainwashed friends...
I took Philosophy to A-Level (I'm a Brit) and I have found that this logical thinking thing can help so much in every occasion. Here's a brief introduction to Rationalism, and again as you said yourself, I'm not an expert so sorry if any of this is wrong!
The main argument for Evolution being true over Design is pretty much that we can show empirically
that evolution is true. Empirical means that we can use evidence to show the conclusion, while rational means that we use logic to show the conclusion.
Religion argues mainly from scripture, which when you look at rationally and in context does not really show much of a conclusion. The problem with religion is that it is not empirical at all. The only evidence that Christians can show is 'religious experiences', Jesus on pieces of toast and miraculous cures for headaches.
Rationally, Evolution by Natural Selection is an observed, verified, tested and scrupulously analysed theory that is accepted as one of the most elegant and graceful theories ever written. Note that in Science, nothing is ever 100% true. This is because of something called an inductive argument.
This is like saying that 'The sun has risen 100,000 times before today, therefore it will rise tomorrow.'. It is never possible to prove any theory completely, and indeed some will argue that the only form of ultimate truth is mathematics, as at any point 2+2 does not equal 3...
A deductive argument is something like 'All Bachelors are Unmarried'. You cannot really find anything deductive through experiencing the world, except definitions and mathematics. A lot of Christians try to define God deductively (i.e. by defining him as perfect and so saying that he must exist because existence is perfect)... This is called the Ontological Argument, and it is a load of bulls**t. I'll let you figure out why. If you can't, look up Kant and Caterus's objections.
If you can use this basic information to help analyse the other posts on Evolution in this thread and it makes sense, you are on the right track.
I hope this helps! Keep in touch, WWGHA is great. I've met some very clever people on here.