The Instigator
Agnostic86
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
MrCarroll
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Age of the Earth?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,765 times Debate No: 16791
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (14)
Votes (4)

 

Agnostic86

Pro

In this debate, I will argue that the Earth is roughly 4.6 billion years old according to science, NOT 6000 years old according to the Bible.

This round is just for accepting the debate. All arguments begin in the next round.

Structure:
Round 1: Acceptance, no arguments.
Round 2: Opening arguments, no rebuttals.
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Closing Arguments, no new arguments allowed.

Whoever accepts should be a YEC or one who believes in a young earth

Note: If you accept this, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions
MrCarroll

Con

I will first admit that I am not agreeing to all the terms and conditions. I am disagreeing with two of them. First, I will disagree with the condition that is, "If you accept this, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions." Secondly, I disagree that in accepting this, I should be a "YEC or one who believes in a young earth." I am have not actually decided what I am with regards to the age of the earth, and I am not sure what is most biblical or most scientific. Yet I will defend the young earth view as plausible. I am not sure how the burden of proof works on this subject, but I assume I will simply have to defend Y.E.C. as plausible and/or likely and the secular science as plausibly false. My opponent as Pro must give evidence that a 4.6 billion year old earth is certainly true, or as certain as we can be about such matters.

I also would like to object to two matters regarding the first sentence. My opponent purports science on one hand which says the earth is 4.6 b.y.o. and the the Bible on the other saying that the earth is 6,000 years old. Anyone who says one must believe in either science or the Bible, or that the Bible requires one to be unscientific, is a fool. There is nothing incoherent about the two of them, and if the Bible is true, then science also is true. The reason that secular science has come up with different answers then that of creationists would be because of the starting assumptions. A secular scientists would start with the assumption that God does not exist or that everything happened by physical means rather then the supernatural. The creationist on the other hand starts with the assumption that the Bible is God's word. I personally believe both are making an error, one believing science should dictate the Bible and the other believing the Bible should dictate science. Still, I will take the creationist's side for this debate.

Before we begin I would also point out that the Bible does not express anywhere that the earth is 6,000 years old. I intend to hold a young earth view, yet my arguments will not be confined to a mere 6,000 year interpretation. We know there are gaps in the genealogies of the Bible, and taking those into consideration, we should put the age of the earth from creation anywhere between 6,000 years and 100,000 (or even more perhaps). This is still a considerable difference from the 4.6 billion year old earth we are taught in school. That is all I have, I agree with the structure. Now I would like to accept this debate whether my opponent likes it or doesn't, and I also thank him for putting this debate up and putting up with me. So then let us begin.
Debate Round No. 1
Agnostic86

Pro

Good afternoon. I thank MrCaroll for accepting this debate. I wish you, my opponent, the very best of luc

we should put the age of the earth from creation anywhere between 6,000 years and 100,000 (or even more perhaps).

I will allow my opponent to this.

Now, onto my arguments.

Pro

I thank my opponent for this debate. I also thank him for giving me a chance to "Re-phrase" As he admits, I have the easy side of the debate and he has no argument. I admit to copying and pacing and I should have used a source. I shall re-do my opening arguments.

Contention 1: Science has proven that the Earth is 4.6 byo

A. Radiometric dating

Science has proven using radioactive isotopes that there are certain rocks, and meteors that are much older than 6,000 years.

The oldest rocks found on earth are 4.031 ± 0.003 billion years old (meaning it has been that long since the molten rocks solidified and thus reset their internal clocks). http://www.tim-thompson.com......

Radiometric dating, is in fact, very reliable.

B. Problem with starlight

We can see objects and universes that are billions of light years away. Given that the speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second (186,282 miles per second) we can calculate how far away something is just by using the light that it gives off.

C. The nucleid argument

Nuclides are forms of matter that are radioactive. Each nuclide decays into another form of matter at a certain rate. After an interval of time equal to its half-life, only half of the original material is left. Scientists have found that:
  • Every nuclidewith a half-life over 80 million years can be found naturally occurring on earth.
  • All Nuclides with a half-life under 80 million years do not exist naturally at detectable levels.

D. The oldest living tree is 9,000+ years old

http://news.nationalgeographic.com......;(A lot of evidence in that article. If there was a "Great flood" how could it be still standing? Furthermore, how is it possible that the tree rings do not indicate a global flood?

Conclusion

Given that science has proven an old earth, one can conclude that the Earth is roughly 4.6 byo.




MrCarroll

Con

My opponent claims that I said things that I didn't. Firstly, I never said that Pro has the "easy side of the debate" nor have I said that I have no argument. I do not believe my opponent has the easy side of the debate, for it is on him to prove the earth is 4.6 billion years, something that we may never know for sure, while it is considered a fact by most scientists. There are numerous factors that must be considered, and I need only to cast doubt on the subject. After that, I intend to explain why a young earth view is actually more likely than the secular view. So I do have arguments of my own which I will consequently post. In them will be found a number of scientific evidences that the earth is much younger than secular science claims. Note that most of these dates are the maximum ages and could easily occur in a 6,000 to 100,000 year old earth.

1. Sea-floor sediment
Secular scientist generally believe that the oceans are around 3 b.y.o, yet this is impossible if one considers the ratio of sediment that enters the sea as compared to that which leaves the sea. Around 20 billion tons of dirt and rock are deposited into the ocean each year, and only around 1 billion tons of sediment are removed each year due to subduction. The average depth of the sediment in the ocean is only 400 meters. At this rate, the present amount of sediment would accumulate in less than 12 million years. [1] If the oceans were 3 b.y.o, we should expect the oceans to be filled miles deep with sediment.

2. Sodium in the seas
This argument is very similar to the previous except it deals with salinity rather than sediment. Every year, various sources dump over 450 million tons of sodium into the ocean, yet only a mere 27% of this sodium is removed each year. Let's say the sea had no salt to begin with; in today's rates, the present amount of sodium in the sea would have accumulated in less than 42 million years. [2]

3. Earth's magnetic field
The earth's magnetic field is losing half its energy every 1465 � 166 years, an astonishing rate. [3][4] This is far too fast to support an old earth as too much or too little magnetic energy would mean no life on earth. In this model, the geomagnetic field cannot be more than 20,000 years old.

4. Helium diffusion
A study was taken of helium in the earths crust. As an atom of unaium-238 decays to an atom of lead-206, it forms helium gas as a by-product. A report showed that there were surprisingly high amounts of helium in zircon crystals in granite type rocks in New Mexico. [5] Radiometric dating showed these rocks to be about 1.5 billion years old, yet up to 58% of the helium expected as a by-product from 1.5 billion years of decay was found still in the zircon crystals. [6] At the rate at which the helium escaped from the crystals, the helium couldn't have been escaping for more than 6,000 � 2,000 years. [7] This not only is evidence that the earth is young, but also that radiometric dating is not always reliable.

These are my evidences for a young earth. The burden entails that (correct me if I'm wrong) my opponent must refute these arguments and then uphold his own arguments. I must simply refute his arguments. I will address his arguments in the next round as agreed. Good luck to my opponent.

[1] [2] [3] http://www.answersingenesis.org...
[4] http://www.creationresearch.org...
[5] Gentry, R. V., G. L. Glish, and E. H. McBay, Differential helium retention in zircons: implications for nuclear waste containment, Geophysical Research Letters 9(10):1129–1130 (October 1982).
[6] Garner, Paul. The New Creationism. Evangelical Press, 2009 pg. 99
[7] http://www.creationresearch.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Agnostic86

Pro

I thank my opponent for this opportunity to debate our sides of this touchy subject. My main sources will be coming from the talkorigins.org archive, but I will be using other sources as well.

Your burden entails that I must refute your arguments, you must refute my arguments and BOTH need to bring up good evidence for our viewpoint.

1. Sea-floor sediment

The flaw? My opponent forgets that the thickness varies from place to place. Allow me to explain this IN DETAIL.

Fatal flaw 1 The thickness of sediment in the oceans varies, and it is consistent with the age of the ocean floor. The thickness is zero at the mid-Atlantic Ridge, where new ocean crust is forming, and there is about 150 million years' worth of sediment at the continental margins. The average age of the ocean floor is younger than the earth due to seduction at some plate margins and formation of new crust at others.

Fatal flaw 2: The age of the ocean floor can be determined in various ways -- measured via radiometric dating, estimated from the measured rate of seafloor spreading as a result of plate tectonics, and estimated from the ocean depth that predicted from the sea floor sinking as it cools. All these measurements are consistent, and all fit with sediment thickness.

http://www.talkorigins.org...


2. Sodium in the sea

This argument was first made popular by Austin and Humphrey. However, they GREATLY underestimated the amount of sodium lost in the alteration of basalt. They omit the sodium lost in the f formation of diatomaceous earth, and many other mechanisms which are minor individually, but together are significant.

A detailed analysis of sodium shows that 35.6 x 1010 kg/yr are removed (Morton 1996). Within measurement error, the amount of sodium added=The amount removed.

http://www.talkorigins.org...
http://asa.chm.colostate.edu...

3. Earth's magnetic field

Errors: faulty assumptions, avoidance of data that refutes the position

Allow me to explain further.

My opponent has forgotten a major issue with his argument.

1) We know that the magnetic field has not been constant.

2) The earth's magnetic field HAS DECAYED AND REVERSED many times thought its history. We have found microfossils of certain kinds of bacteria that are in iron and see that magnetic "north" was pointing to the South Pole a long time ago. Studies have shown that the Sun's magnetic field changes on an 11 year cycle that seems to be related to the Sun's molten core. The same is true for earth. The core rotates at a different rate than the crust of the planet which accounts for tectonic activities.

A team of Swiss and American paleoclimatologist and particle physicists determined from GRIP Greenland ice core that the intensity of the magnetic field reached its maxima at 2,000 8500 22000 30000 and 48000 years ago.
Over the past 35,000 years, the magnetic field has stayed roughly within the ranges of one-half to twice its present value. Therefore, this refutes the claim that the Earth MUST be younger than 20,000 years ago.

http://www.godandscience.org...
http://science.nasa.gov...
http://www.talkorigins.org...

4. Helium diffusion

Uranium-238 actually has a half life of 4.6 billion years.

http://en.wikipedia.org...


Furthermore, this article is way too long for me to re-phrase. I’d like for you to read this page on talkorigins.org http://www.talkorigins.org...

Other sources
http://creation.com...
MrCarroll

Con

First of all, I request that my opponent post sources on his first round argument as he said he would. I am seeing a large amount of copying and pasting in Pro's arguments, and if he will not put quotes around them, he should at least source them. I will be responding to the round one arguments and then move on to my own arguments afterwards.

Contention 1: Science has proven the earth is 4.6 b.y.o.

This is a huge task for my opponent as he must not only give overwhelming evidence, but also must rule out every other possibility, which there are many. I will spend more time attacking these arguments then defending my own, as these are far more crucial to the outcome of the debate.

A. Radiometric dating
Isochron dating is the most widely used dating technique and is considered the most reliable. Yet it still may not be as reliable as they say, for it assumes isotopes have always decayed at a constant rate. There are reasons that isotopes may not have always decayed at the same rate, which are mostly found in the discordant dates found among different isotopes. One will find a potassium-argon date of a rock to be much different from a samarium-neodymium date of the same rock. The suspected pattern is that isotopes that undergo beta decay give younger dates than isotopes, which decay by alpha emission. Also, isotopes with longer half-lives give older dates than those with shorter half-lives. Such trends should not exist if the isotopes have always decayed at a constant rate, but this would make sense if the rates have not always been constant. Radiohalos have also been found requiring much decay of Uranium-238, and also a lack of radiohalos in Phanerozoic rocks. Radiohalos in granite indicate that the earth was created in a short amount of time. [1]

B. The problem with starlight
This argument is irrelevant because we are not speaking of the entire universe, but simply the earth. During creation the times in different parts of the universe could have been slower at the center of the universe where the earth is, and much faster at the edge of the universe. This is known as time dilation. For more, look up D. Russell Humphreys' cosmological theory.

C. The nuclide argument
This makes similar assumptions as the radiometric dating argument, namely that the decay rates have been constant. It also assumes that these undiscovered nuclides even existed. Many have high special activity, emit y-quantums, and emit dangerous radiation. God may have not created these nuclides for this purpose. Again, back to the constant rate of decay, there are even theoretical means of producing accelerated decay, such as small changes in the fundamental constants or the shape of the nuclear potential. All told, the creationists theory can accommodate, "(1) Creation of radionuclide decay families in an equilibrium state, (2) initial absence or creation in small, safe quantities of radionuclides with half lives less than 50 Ma, (3) Creation of additional sources for generation of the total activity of the radionuclides on the Earth's surface to be kept constant." This is not really a problem for creationists. [2]

D. The world's oldest living tree
This would actually fit nicely into the timeframe I proposed. Creationists theorize that a global flood would have triggered an ice age soon afterwards, and this article places the oldest tree around the last ice age or right after the flood. If the earth were 12,000 or so years old, then this would work quite nicely in the timescale.

The earth may have been created with the appearance of age
God very well could have created an earth with a certain aged appearance. For example, the Biblical creation narrative describes God creating mountains in a day. Mountains typically take thousands perhaps millions of years to develop. Creation could have been a sped up process, although still occurred within 6 days. Or a greatly sped up decay rate could explain radiometric dating of rock. All of these are logically possible solutions to an apparently old earth.

Round 1 arguments
These are simply evidences that supports a recently created earth, with or without an aged appearance. Note that my opponent's rebuttals were almost entirely and directly taken from www.talkorigins.org, which, is written by Mark Isaac. I cannot find his biography anywhere, and I question whether he is qualified on such scientific matters. His life is apparently devoted to countering Young-Earth claims, and it is predictable that my opponent would look to his site. I would simply suggest that it not be his main source for this debate.

1. Seafloor sediment
The thickness of sediment does not necessarily indicate its age. Theoretically, a global flood would have distributed more sediment at the continental margins. The assertion that the seafloor is 150 million years old at the margins is based on uniformitarian estimates of the age of the sea floor. However, my argument is based on erosion rates, and at today's erosion rates, there should be far more sediment than we find, especially if the seafloor is 150 million years old.

2. Sodium in the sea
My opponent uses the measurement of the theoretical minimum amount of sodium deposited into the oceans. Humphrey used this to give the most generous date possible, so my opponent's (or talkorigins rather) dates are incorrect if the present-day rates are used. At today's rates, the sodium input does not equal the output.

3. The earth's magnetic field
There is evidence that the magnetic field has decayed and reversed in the past, yet the data does not support the conventional models associated with an old earth. Humphrey's Dynamic Decay Theory, arguing that a global flood resulted in magnetic reversals in the seafloor does a far better job explaining the data than the popular Dynamo Model.

4. Helium diffusion
It is not required that I read and respond to this source. The arguments I will respond to will be my opponent's arguments.

[1] Garner, Paul. The New Creationism. Evangelical Press, 2009
[2] http://creation.com...
[3] http://www.icr.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Agnostic86

Pro

Agnostic86 forfeited this round.
MrCarroll

Con

MrCarroll forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Agnostic86

Pro

Agnostic86 forfeited this round.
MrCarroll

Con

MrCarroll forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
@Zaradi: you vote-bombed the wrong side.
Posted by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
Con should immediately lose this debate for breaking the rules.
Posted by Agnostic86 5 years ago
Agnostic86
So true
Posted by TheFreeThinker 5 years ago
TheFreeThinker
MrCarroll,
I hope you will get some better arguments and scientific sources during the upcoming rounds or this will be the easiest win for agnostic in the history of debate.org
Posted by Agnostic86 5 years ago
Agnostic86
How so?
Posted by MrCarroll 5 years ago
MrCarroll
Even if there are scientific blunders, that's not the point. I should have said, if God exists, then science is dependent upon the supernatural.
Posted by Agnostic86 5 years ago
Agnostic86
Ok good. MrCarroll, please forgive me if you are offended by this, but there are some scientific blunders in the Bible. If you wish, we can debate on that after this deabte.
Posted by MrCarroll 5 years ago
MrCarroll
I never intended to argue anything other than "pure science." However, if the Bible is true, then science has a sort of dependancy on the supernatural, doesn't it?
Posted by Agnostic86 5 years ago
Agnostic86
Well, I stated in the deabte that I will concede to you and allow you to a 10,000 20,000 even older earth--but still 4.6 byo is MUCH older.
If you wish to argue this debate, I would like to see PURE science enlisted in this debate. This is a SCIENCE not RELIGIOUS debate. I'm sorry if you thought this was a debate on religion.
Posted by MrCarroll 5 years ago
MrCarroll
No you wont. I could just as well claim the earth as is old as you say it is and support it with the bible. I still intend to argue for a young earth, but 6,000 years is too short the way I see it.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
Agnostic86MrCarrollTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to agree to the terms and conditions.
Vote Placed by jh1234l 2 years ago
jh1234l
Agnostic86MrCarrollTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Disregard of rules by con. Also, both forfeited the same amount of rounds, so that does not matter. While con used creationist sources, pro used both evolutionist and neutral sources.
Vote Placed by Logical-Master 2 years ago
Logical-Master
Agnostic86MrCarrollTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Kentucky Fried Forfeit!
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
Agnostic86MrCarrollTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con did a rather splendid job attacking Pro's arguments, and even noting his enormous burden of proof, while using cited sources to justify his claims. Pro, unfortunately, forfeited first and thus loses points for conduct as well.