Biblical Creationism is Incorrect
1st: Acceptance only.
2nd: Opening arguments only.
3rd: Both rebuttals and new arguments.
4th: Rebuttals only.
5th: Summaries only.
I thank my opponent for accepting this debate.
First I would like to clarify one thing: I have already won. You see, to assert one knows the origins of the universe, as well as the correctness of one particular theory, one has already lost. No human being was present at the foundations of existence, except, I assert, God. Therefore, there is no reason to state that a particular case is, "incorrect", because, for all one knows, aliens could have given rise to the earth after they simultaneously causated with superpowers. Ridiculous indeed, yet one cannot say that is false; however, we can look at the world around us, as well as the evidence given, and assert that this theory is highly unlikely. A better topic for this debate would have been, "Creationism is highly unlikely". I will be defending Biblical Creationism on the grounds of logic and science, yet I cannot assert that it did, or did not happen; just as Pro cannot argue that a natural process did, or did not give rise to the universe. With this clarified, I begin my contentions.
Contention 1: The Bible
Many of you read this and immediately classified me as a, "the Bible says so" contender. However, I will not be using this argument, rather, it will be a spin-off of this, which makes more sense. The book of Genesis was written approximately 2,000-3,000 B.C., making it the oldest story of origins. In perspective, Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" was published in 1859, and was the first direct challenge of Creationism during the Modern Era, but has since proven unreliable and inaccurate. However, this book gave rise to thousands of natural theories of origins, most of which have some scientific merit, yet are still false. The Bible simply states that God created the world in seven days, and since it is the oldest, by technicality, it should be the accepted theory, because whoever wrote it was closer to the beginning than us. This concludes my first contention.
Contention 2: Scientific Evidences
2a. The Fresh Tissue Argument:
"Paleontologists, operating under the assumption that earth"s strata represent millions or billions of years, have not looked for fresh tissues within fossilized remains. But fresh biological material within some fossils has been there all along and is being continually discovered, despite the protests of biochemists that it should not exist.
Molecules such as proteins, pigments, and DNA"as well as intact cells and, in some cases, cells still grouped together in tissues"have been found in fossils that are supposedly millions of years old. Whole organisms are sealed in amber deposits, and over a thousand still-living kinds of microbes have been extracted from them.Fresh tissues and living cells cannot possibly be millions of years old, and they constitute some of the strongest evidence for the young world that the Bible describes." - ICR
2b. Mutational Buildup
In its most basic form, this argument states that mutations build up over time, and at a
certain point they will be activated and cause extensive damage to organs and flesh in the species they inhabit, causing extinction. It is estimated that if 100 mutations are added every twenty years to the human species, they would become extinct after only 500 generations. This indicates the earth must be young, (as described in the Bible) because if our race was millions of years old, we would have become extinct long ago.
2c. So-Called, "Living Fossils"
These are animals which were once considered ancestors to modern animals, but were later discovered as animals which are alive today. The most famous example is the Coelacanth. Originally believed to be a intermediate between fish and amphibians, it was found living in the deep waters off the Indian ocean. Therefore, by logic, it was concluded that the Coelacanth was not an ancestor of anything, because it exists in its original form, which is what you would expect if you were a creationist. Millions of other examples exist where an animal today is the same as an animal fossilized, yet the scientists dated the fossilized animal back millions of years. If one was to believe evolution, he would have to make a jump in logic. No animal could be the same millions of years ago as they are today, otherwise, evolution would be false.
Contention 3: Universal Expansion
From the things we can observe in the universe, we are made aware that the universe is slowly expanding. The converse of this would be that in the past the universe was smaller, until you reached a point where nothing could exist. This would be where creation comes into play, because God is able to create things. Creationism is confirmed by this, because nothing cannot make something, unless there is something which made it. I believe God created the universe, and ever since it has been expanding, and others with more scientific weight would agree.
I hope my presentation has been respectful, thought-provoking, and logical. Thank you for reading, you are an awesome human being. Back to you Pro.
[7a ] http://www.mnn.com...
2C1: "No human ... was present at the foundations of existence, except ... God. ... I cannot assert ... [Biblical Creation] did, or did not happen ... Pro cannot argue that a natural process did, or did not give rise to the universe."
1. Personal experience is often biased and not the best source for information .
2. If personal experience is the only way to prove something, then I ask you to disprove the fact (asserted by my personal experience) that I was there -- I watched the Big Bang, abiogenesis, and evolution, then popped back here.
3. Cross-apply my opponent's belief that only personal experience counts as evidence to the remainder of my opponent's case, and discount any evidence that my opponent didn't personally show to you, the voter.
4. My opponent has the dual burdens to prove that personal experience counts as evidence, and that only personal experience counts as evidence. I believe, however, that external evidence has empirically shown itself to be quite useful in science, and that epistemological skepticism, which is the ultimate result of this line of thinking, collapses into itself.
2C2: "Contention 1: ... Genesis was written ... 2,000-3,000 B.C., making it the oldest story of origins. ... On the Origin of Species was published in 1859 ... but has ... proven ... inaccurate. ... [T]his book gave rise to thousands of ... theories of origins, most of which ... are ... false. The Bible ... is the oldest ... it should be ... accepted ... because whoever wrote it was closer to the beginning than us."
1. Where on Wikipedia's page OR in the Biologos PDF does it say 2,000-3,000 BCE?
2. Wikipedia: "Tradition credits Moses as the author of Genesis ... but modern scholars increasingly see [the Pentateuch] as a product of the 6th and 5th centuries BC," .
3. Biologos: "The Pentateuch ... is the ... product of a ... process ... that did not come to a close until the exile (586-539 BC) and postexilic period," .
4. If the oldest religion is best, then we would follow the Egyptian Pyramid Texts, dated to 2353-2323 BCE . Should we trust the Pyramid Texts as the most accurate religion? I think that you don't think so.
5. Please provide examples of problems with and false theories of origins that came directly from On the Origin of Species.
6. My opponent has the burden to prove older sources of knowledge are more accurate. However, I believe that the age of a source is irrelevant to its accuracy, because the quality of being correct is not inherently related to the quality of age.
7. Being chronologically "closer" to witnessing an event does not necessarily make your evidence more accurate. If you almost see a car crash, you still didn't see it, and your evidence is NOT more accurate.
2C3A: "[F]resh biological material within ... fossils ... is being continually discovered, despite the protests of biochemists that it should not exist. ... [P]roteins, pigments, and DNA[,] ... cells and, ... tissues - have been found in fossils that are supposedly millions of years old. ... Fresh tissues and living cells cannot possibly be millions of years old, and ... constitute ... evidence for the young world that the Bible describes."
1. Unfortunately, the ICR page my opponent provided provides no references , so I can't check their accuracy, and I can't accept assertions without proof.
2. This is an ongoing source of study, and science doesn't fully understand why some samples would be so well-preserved. However, some new research show that the presence of iron in hemoglobin in blood may explain for some of the preservation present because of its preservative properties ; however, the study of iron's maximum preservative effects is not complete, and so we don't know how much of this preservation that iron may explain. Further, we don't know exactly how being buried and fossilized affects said tissue. Fundamentally, at this point, it's an argument from ignorance  to assert any real conclusions about this issue.
3. This is a problem for Biblical Creationism as well. Currently, the maximum extent of preservation by iron known to science is 2 years  -- not 4,750 -- which would invalidate the findings of tissue in pre-Flood fossils. Perhaps it would be better to believe in Last Thursdayism?
2C3B. "[M]utations build up over time, and at a certain point they will be activated and cause extensive damage to ... the species they inhabit, causing extinction. It is estimated that if 100 mutations are added every twenty years to the human species, they would become extinct after only 500 generations. [T]he earth must be young ... because if our race was millions of years old, we would have become extinct long ago."
1. Unfortunately, the ICR page my opponent provided provides no references , so I can't check their accuracy, and I can't accept assertions without proof.
2. The Avrila et. al. evidence that my opponent provides actually assists my case by pointing out that the effect of mutation on reproductive success is quite low: "[B]oth C1 (nonmutated) and C2 (grown from mutated specimens) populations were close to the mutation-selection-drift balance for viability ... traits, and are consistent with a 2.5-fold increase of the mutation rate in C2 and MA2. [Translation: Too much mutation DOES hurt reproductive ability, but pretty insignificantly for 2.5x more.] Despite this increase, the average panmictic (reproductive) viability in C2 was only slightly below that of C1, indicating that the expressed loads due to segregating (inheritable) deleterious (harmful) mutation were small, in agreement with the low deleterious mutation rate (0.015-0.045) previously reported for the MA1 lines," . Basically, mutation happens, but only 0.015-0.045% of mutations in flies are harmful. Further, the abstract mentions that evolution acts as a counterbalance to harmful mutations, because those that are mutatd are less likely to survive, limiting the extent of the mutation's effects .
3. The only evidence that my opponent provides for the harm of mutations is a New York Times article about how one mutation causes Alzheimers . In contrast, look to the Avila et. al. evidence that my opponent provided, and to the fact that the vast majority (about 99%) of mutations aren't beneficial OR harmful , that mutations that ARE beneficial or harmful are usually minorly harmful or beneficial , and that a significant portion of functional mutations cause benefit, often large benefit .
4. Further, where are you getting these numbers from?
2C3C: "Millions of ... examples exist where an animal today is the same as an animal fossilized, yet ... scientists dated the fossilized animal back millions of years. If one was to believe evolution, he would have to make a jump in logic. No animal could be the same millions of years ago as they are today, otherwise, evolution would be false."
My opponent has a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution. Evolution does not state that animals MUST evolve -- only that, if natural selection would make a genetic mutation more beneficial to an animal, that that mutation will become more prevalent in a species. For species like sharks and coelacanths, they are suited to their environment nearly perfectly, meaning that natural selection would not support any evolutionary change from their current species. For a better explanation, see my citation .
2C4: "[W]e are ... aware that the universe is slowly expanding. ... [I]n the past the universe was smaller, until you reached a point where nothing could exist. ... [C]reation comes into play, because God is able to create things. Creationism is confirmed by this, because nothing cannot make something[.] ... God created the universe[.]"
1. First off, cross-apply my opponent's own 2C1 against 2C4. If we can't know about things except from personal experience, then how can we know what occurred in the past?
2. I, too, support the Big Bang theory. However, the Cosmological Argument (which this is ) doesn't hold much weight.
2.1: The Cosmological Argument makes the assumption that EVERYTHING must have a cause. While this is empirically observed, it is NOT a philosophical or logical truth. My opponent must uphold the assumption that, logically speaking, there are no uncaused causes.
2.2: Even making the aforementioned assumption, the Cosmological Argument merely pushes back creation one iteration. If EVERYTHING must have a creator, then God, too, must have a creator. Otherwise this argument is just special pleading .
2.3: If God doesn't need a creator because he is eternal, then an eternal universe would also not need a creator. Seeing as it's hypothesized that the Big Bang created time , the universe could potentially be "eternal", and would similarly not need a cause.
I await my opponent's rebuttal.
Rebuttal to 2P1A
"Biblical Creationism...has no basis in science and fact...there is no reason to believe it..."
His statement is very provocative, and indeed would make sense, if indeed there was no basis in science and fact.
"Biblical Creationism is unfalsifiable..." Bare assertion, no reference.
"...an aspect of creationism is scientifically impossible, incredibly improbable, or contradictory..."
Once again, bare assertion. Please present these impossibilities and improbabilities with references. Otherwise, I have nothing to argue against, because you have not made me aware of these difficulties.
"This cannot be disproven, because God will always make creationism appear possible..."
Is my opponent admitting there is a God and arguing with him...? Regardless, if any person who called themselves a creationist used that as an excuse, I would tell them to become an evolutionist. If one has no basis for belief other than, "magic" they really have no "belief", but blind faith.
"...There is no way you can prove me wrong " and no way that I can prove myself correct."
Yes indeed. However, one can look at the evidence and draw a conclusion as to whether the elephant is there or not. If one saw lamps or tables being knocked over and they felt a pressure upon them, (Unless they were going crazy or having a heart attack) One could logically conclude that there must be an invisible non-material elephant, who may have chosen to reveal himself. By the same token, if one sees complex multi-cellular structures with and ability to discern complex moral and social patterns, one might think that there is some greater being or creator, as opposed to simple chance.
"...Biblical Creationism is...unfalsifiable..."
I would ask for examples to defend.
Rebuttal to 2P1B:
The tree's age was estimated using cross-dating. Cross-dating is basically an estimate based on other tree's known rings, and other sections of the tree itself. Therefore, there is the possibility that it could be younger. However, this is not what my argument rests on. During the flood, it is very possible that young trees living on mountains could have lived. Or, seeds from trees destroyed in the flood could have been buried, and begin growing just after the flood. There are more possibilities than, "Creationism is false". This contention is rebutted.
Your second reference is a news group which does not state how this was dated, and therefore is bare assertion. Your third reference simply asserts that the bush was that old, with no references. Your fourth simply states that a creationist thinks it was younger. Due to shaky references this contention is refuted.
In order to determine the true age of the ice cores, scientists must make several assumptions in the middle and deep cores. These assumptions include a uniform ice thickness, as well as the age of the earth, which to them would mean billions of years. This is explained further in the reference article. This contention is rebutted.
I almost have to laugh at this one. "About 171 reversals are currently documented." Yet they only occur, "...about every 50,000 to 800,000 years..." There is no reference other than a book that I do not have. I would ask my opponent to give an online reference if he would like me to rebut this fully. However, I assume all logical readers understand my point. No one has even lived to 50,000 years old; besides, that range is ridiculous, really, 750,000 years range? Pretty accurate to them I guess. This is refuted on the grounds of logic.
There is no method given for how they determined this stars age, therefore there is nothing for me to refute, for it becomes a one's word versus another's word if they do not give their dating methods.
Yes, I did not answer all of his points; as I stated this is all I could complete before I ruined my system.
FuzzyCatPotato forfeited this round.
Chest forfeited this round.
My opponent has been unable to post a full response, despite a full 6 days (his + my forfeits) in which to do so, due to technical difficulties. My apologies to my opponent and good luck in fixing my opponent's computer.
3C1A: "His statement is ... provocative[.]"
My apologies if it is provocative. If it is provocative, however, I have supported it well enough that it is rightly provocative.
3C1B: "Bare assertion, no reference. .... Please present these impossibilities ... with references. Otherwise, I have nothing to argue against[.]"
The lack of reference for 2P1A is due to the fact that proving something to be unfalsifiable does not require scientific evidence (which would use citations), but analytical arguments (which do not). Further, I have provided an argument to argue against; it is stated below.
3C1C: "Is my opponent admitting there is a God and arguing with him...?"
Nah. I'm attempting to show how creationist worldviews are unfalsifiable, rather than accepting them as true.
3C1D: "[I]f one has no basis for belief other than, "magic" they really have ... but blind faith."
We agree. Hence, why creationism MUST be falsifiable. ONLY events depicted in the Bible can be claimed to have occurred, NOT events that are not DIRECTLY depicted in the Bible.
3C1E: "[O]ne can look at the evidence and draw a conclusion[.] .... [I]f one sees complex multi-cellular structures with ... ability to discern complex moral and social patterns, one might think that there is some greater being or creator, as opposed to simple chance."
The problem arises when there is no evidence that can disprove a theory.
3C2A: "The tree's age was estimated using cross-dating. Cross-dating is ... an estimate based on other tree's known rings, and other sections of the tree itself. Therefore, there is the possibility that it could be younger. "However, this is not what my argument rests on. During the flood, it is very possible that young trees living on mountains could have lived. Or, seeds from trees destroyed in the flood could have been buried, and begin growing just after the flood. There are more possibilities than, "Creationism is false". This contention is rebutted."
1. While possible, it is quite unlikely to get a false age, due to the fact that cross-dating (also called skeleton dating) allows one to effectively determine whether or not any disproportionate growths are a result of a tree's abnormal growth or of environmental cause, and in turn determine the age of a tree . My opponent has not provided a mechanism through which any serious level of overestimation of age could occur.
2. Seeing as the flood "rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits,"  I do not see how a tree could have survived.
3. Seeing as the tree is 5,063 years old versus the flood's 4,750, it's about 300 years too old for early post-flood germination.
3C2B: "Due to shaky references this contention is refuted."
If my opponent wishes to know how this bush was dated, it was dated both using radiocarbon dating to be 11,700 years and via counting bush growth rings, which, like tree rings, grow once a year, also dated to 11,700 years . This information is pretty readily available, sorry if I didn't make the methods clear earlier. As such, this contention no longer has "shaky references" and stands.
3C2C: "In order to determine the true age of the ice cores, scientists must make several assumptions in the middle and deep cores. These assumptions include a uniform ice thickness, as well as the age of the earth, which to them would mean billions of years. This is explained further in the reference article. This contention is rebutted."
I unfortunately have to attend an event, and am unable to fully rebut this point. However, I would like to point out that misidentification occurs both in under-estimation and overestimation, as my opponent's own source accepts. "We certainly must entertain the possibility of misidentifying the deposit of a large storm or a snow dune as an entire year or missing a weak indication of a summer and thus picking a 2-year interval as 1 year." Because my opponent has not proven that misidentification is more likely to overestimate than underestimate, we can assume that over and underestimation roughly balance out and the estimate is still relatively accurate.
3C2D: I almost have to laugh at this one. "About 171 reversals are currently documented." Yet they only occur, "...about every 50,000 to 800,000 years..." There is no reference other than a book that I do not have. I would ask my opponent to give an online reference if he would like me to rebut this fully. However, I assume all logical readers understand my point. No one has even lived to 50,000 years old; besides, that range is ridiculous, really, 750,000 years range? Pretty accurate to them I guess. This is refuted on the grounds of logic.
1. The book is readily available at Google Books .
2. The 50,000 and 800,000 years are given using radiometric dating and known seafloor spreading rates. Why does anyone have to have lived that long?
3. The reason the range appears to be so large (and, to my opponent, inaccurate) is that the rate of geomagnetic reversals is actually quite variable, NOT because of imprecise measurements.
3C2E: There is no method given for how they determined this stars age, therefore there is nothing for me to refute, for it becomes a one's word versus another's word if they do not give their dating methods.
They didn't determine the quasar's age, they determined the distance of the quasar from the earth (using redshifting and blueshifting of light) and estimated it at 13,000,000,000 light-years. Because light can only travel 1 light-year of distance per year, light from the quasar must have been travelling for 13,000,000,000 years.
Chest forfeited this round.