Biblical creationism has been debunked by modern science
Debate Rounds (3)
I thank you for presenting a great topic for debate.
The debate of Evolution vs. Creation is a tough one for either side to debate. How does one prove or disprove the other? While my opponent has provided a very valid thesis upon which to debate, they provide only the most broad assertions where proof is concerned. What evidence disproves creationism?
My assertion is that Evolution and Creationism are not mutually exclusive. The Bible makes no assertion to the actual mechanics of HOW life evolved. Conversely, Evolution says nothing regarding the beginnings of life. However, the proponents of either theory make the logical fallacy of not acknowledging the other theory has merit as well.
Evolution exists. It's both a scientific fact and a common sense concept. At its very basic level, evolution is survival of the fittest and for an organism to survive, it must evolve to it's environment. It's one of the more "duh" concepts in science. But where did that impetus for life begin?
Creationism provides that missing link. I proscribe to the idea of intelligent design. In other words, evolution exists, but is guided by a hand other than pure, random chance.
Let's take a look at the Bible's depiction of the dawn of man and the universe. The creation of the universe is pretty much covered in Genesis chapter 1. The creation of man is in Chapter 2. One of the strongest arguments for intelligent design is the flow of those six days. The progression of one event after another. It follows, almost perfectly, the evolutionary cycle of science. Granted, there's a little mix up with the fourth day, but the progression is still uncanny.
Consider the time in which the Bible was authored. For all of my faith, I can still view this objectively. These were uneducated, by our standards at least, superstitious men. Evolution was unknown, and unthinkable. God was the beginning and end of everything. Why did they write the segregation of days? Why not simply say "Poof! and then there was the earth!"? How did they know the order of which things came? Here we see science and the Bible marching in almost lock step.
One of the more solid arguments I've heard from proponents of Evolution is the timeline as to the age of the universe. They argue approximately 15 billion years, while the Bible argues 6 days, 7 counting the Sabbath. However, Dr. Gerald Schroeder offers an interesting insight.
Time is not constant. That is a scientific fact. It's affected by velocity and gravity. Consider the Evolution/Big Bang Theory. This theory contends that the whole of the universe was compressed into a microscopic space. From this space, an uncountable number of stars were born. Imagine the type of gravitational forces existent in that microscopic space. Imagine the flow of time as the universe expanded. Imagine as it expanded, the gravitational forces disbursed and its effects disbursed.
While I'm not arguing that Creationism explains everything, I am contending the original thesis that Creationism has been debunked. I contend that it hasn't. I contend that Evolution and Creation are not mutually exclusive.
I eagerly await your reply.
Biological evolution similarly disproves any kind of Garden of Eden narrative. A species cannot come to be from as small a population as two members. A lack of genetic diversity would be devastating. But as you have said you believe evolution I will think of it from that perspective. At what point did the pre Adamite human beings evolve sufficiently to become accountable for their sins? And if We did evolve how did Adam and Eve fit in? It"s not just problems with humans other species history contradict creationism. Not only was the biblical time frame for the Earth"s history vastly incompatible with the Earths real history we have problems with things like dinosaurs. We could not and did not live alongside such large and dangerous creatures and the biblical time frame forces us to coexist with them.
As for the areas where science offers a better explanation, I am of the belief that our knowledge of Abiogenesis will eventually fill in to a point where we can understand life as we now know it. Asides from a decent amount of compelling evidence as to the possibility of abiogenesis, it is the obvious falsehoods contained in the biblical creationist hypothesis that leads me to believe it has been debunked.
1. There is the hangup on the term "day". The Bible is a translation from the original Hebrew. For example, Hell in the Bible is a translation of the word "Gehenna". Gehenna has a few other translations, most notably a cursed place.
More to the point, the word "day" is a translation of the Hebrew word "yom". Among the many translations, yom also means age, or an indeterminate period of time. What does this tell us? It tells us that the literal "6 days" isn't not necessarily correct. However, it opens a little wiggle room for creationism to reconcile with evolution. Taken in this manner, the Bible doesn't segregate the creation into "days", but ages or eras.
2. While Genesis certainly provides for the creation of Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel and Seth, it doesn't say that those individuals were the only ones created. In Gen 4:17, we see Cain "knew" his wife. From this we gather that Cain was married at some point. A literal reading would leave only the conclusion that Cain married Eve, since, logically, she's the only female created by God. So, we are left with two options: Either 1. there's an incestuous relationship with his own mother or 2. A female arose somewhere else. Now, it could be argued that an option three exists, that Adam and Eve had a daughter, to which Cain married. However, that's unlikely. A literal reading of Gen would have mentioned any female children of Adam and Eve.
I find it more likely that others were created by God.
3. I find your last assertion interesting. Quote : "I am of the belief that our knowledge of Abiogenesis will eventually fill in to a point where we can understand life as we now know it."
The reason I find this interesting is because the term "eventually" implies that it doesn't yet fill in the gaps. Should Abiogenesis be complete, or relatively complete, there would be no need to "eventually" fill in the gaps.
Your thesis states that Creationism has been debunked by modern science. All I have to do is prove either 1. the two don't contradict each other, or 2. Creationism is correct. I'm not debating option two. Literal creationism has many flaws. However, science is a long way away from debunking creationism as a whole.
1. What caused the Big Bang? The latest research can trace the origin of the Universe to a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. But what was the impetus that caused the explosion?
2. Evolution doesn't address this.
3. The Bible doesn't go into the specifics of how God created the Universe. Who's to say he didn't do it in the manner that science hypothesizes?
4. Science isn't absolute. It wasn't until a few hundred years ago that man finally determined that the Earth was round. Theories are concocted and discarded everyday in the face of new research and data. Evolution is a theory. It's supported by common sense and science, it still is a theory.
The problem with how humanity proceeded from just two people is what I consider a major inconsistency in the bible. I fear you are arguing for some kind of theistic evolution argument and not on biblical creationism because biblical creationists are usually pretty insistent on the first humans being Adam and Eve and that we call from them. Which I think everyone of reasonable judgment can discount. It doesn"t make sense and we know that mutation and a lack of genetic diversity would destroy a species that bottlenecked to two individuals and I think it has been thoroughly discounted. If you disagree on that point please tell me. But even if we think about it from a theistic evolution point of view you still have the problem of explaining who Adam and Eve were. If they were simply members of a constantly changing species they were not the first humans. If they were born of mothers and fathers they were not created from the dust of the Earth. Evolution and creation are contradictory. If you believe in both you are disregarding or side-lining serious statements and undermining the authority of several parts of the bible which then completely falls apart.
By fill in the gaps I mean when we completely understand it from start to finish and can replicate it. I believe the theory is supported by enough evidence to disregard the creation myth held in Genesis.
1. Doesn"t mean that there is any present evidence for Gods involvement.
2.Evolution doesn"t have too. Evolution answers enough of the other important questions.
4.You are correct. Evolution is a theory. But it is one of the most well defended theories out there. A theory is not a hypothesis. It has been defended for numerous years and it has made excellent and far reaching predictions that continue to be supported by both science and as you say common sense. I am not crazy enough to say evolution is beyond reproach but it is as close as a theory can get. If you are not suggesting that evolution is false then I feel it is only appropriate to disregard your last statement.
The disagreement between Evolution and Creationism is the role of God in the development of what we see today.
I think you are misunderstanding my line of attack. I don't have to prove that creation happened according to the Bible. Your thesis claims that Biblical creation has been debunked by modern science. All I have to do is to poke enough holes in your thesis so that it collapses in upon itself in the mind of a reasonable person. The burden of proof is upon you, which you already know.
If you had phrased your thesis to say something like Literal Biblical Creation has been debunked, then I would have to agree with you. I understand that is what you implied, but creationism encompasses so much more than a literal reading of the Bible. Conversely, the term evolution was coined by Charles Darwin to explain the progression of life. We have extended this conversation beyond this term to define evolution to mean the creation and development of the universe.
Dr. Harold Horowitz calculated the probability of life forming on earth to be 1/10^340,000,000. Dr. Horowitz is hardly a creationist nut, he is an evolutionist. He has testified against creationism being taught in schools. However, this probability is outrageously high. Current estimates of the number of stars in the universe is approximately 10^23.
Now, a valid argument against this is that we are calculating this number "after the fact". In other words, we must be the lucky schmucks to win the ultimate lottery. However, this makes for a rather lonely universe since we would be virtually the only inhabitants of the universe. Ironically, that's an argument that fundamentalist Christians have been lambasted for. Personally, I don't believe we're the only ones in this wonderful universe and simple evolution just doesn't seem to offer more than one chance to create other life forms. When we add current research of the strong possibility of life, in the form of bacteria, on Mars, then the probability argument gets much weaker.
Considering the knowledge of the time of the authorship of the Bible, the order of creation is surprisingly accurate. Light is created, the firmament is created, dry land is created then fish, then bird and animals and finally man, which is on par with the evolutionary theory of life. The term "waters" is loosely used to represent the universe as a whole. Consider in Gen 1:2. The Spirit of God move across the face of the waters. Now, logically, the actual seas aren't created until Gen 1:9, and even then they are named seas, not waters. We see in the later story of the great flood of Noah, that the "heavens opened". How else would you reconcile a phenomenon such as rain in that time without claiming the sky was composed of water?
However, the question begs itself, why didn't God just speak the world into existence in a single word? Why drag the process out?
Adam & Eve - Here we fall back to the previous argument regarding the creation of life outside of the literal text of the Bible. While the Bible says explicitly that Adam and Eve are created, it doesn't mention further creations. This leaves us with another quandary. If we follow literal interpretation, doesn't that preclude the possibility of life on other planets? After all, it doesn't explicitly say it and simple probability would make it highly unlikely. If we reject those conclusions, we have to accept that they were created by something that ignored probability. And if we accept that, then we have to, at least, openly consider the fact that further humans may have been created to expand the "breeding stock" so to speak.
Gaps - I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. For every action, there's a reaction. Even in the field of Quantum Mechanics, I believe in the action/reaction. Like you, I believe that there are things at play in the universe that we simply don't know about yet. However, until we know what that force is, we can't discount any impetus, including that of God.
1. That's a logically fallacious argument. While it doesn't present evidence for God, it neither presents evidence against God's involvement. As I mentioned before, and you have acknowledged, there are gaps in our knowledge of the universe around us. An open mind is willing to grant that anything, including a highly improbable God, as being the reason something happens.
2. Yes, evolution does have to describe the Big Bang. It's a key part in why we exist.
3. No, the Bible doesn't contradict science on how God made the earth. It simply said he created each day. Consider this logical exercise. I bake (or create) a cake. All I have to tell you is that I baked it and you mentally know that there are steps performed in the baking of the cake. I don't have to express those steps, I simply say that I baked it.
4. As has been mentioned exhaustively already, evolution is a theory. Yes it's backed by some damn solid research, but there are still holes in it that can't be explained away quite yet, you've acknowledged that point. Until those gaps have been filled, it will remain a theory and not a scientific fact.
As I've already mentioned before, I'm a believer in Intelligent Design. I'm also a Deist that sees the wonderful world around us as a beautiful clock-work world with little influence from a higher power. I see this place as the ultimate Rubik's Cube to keep us entertained while we live in this universe. I believe God created this universe and sat back with a smile saying to himself, "Ha, let's see them figure this one out!" Science and religion are not contradictory of each other. One doesn't touch the other.
As I've also mentioned before, the onus of proof is upon you. You have to prove that God had no hand in the creation of the universe, and by extension, that God doesn't exist. Unfortunately, for atheist, this is a losing argument. Not because those of faith can prove God exists, but because atheists can't prove he doesn't exist.
I leave with one last thought. Blaise Pascal, considered the father of modern hydraulics, was also a mathematician and a theologian. One of his best known contributions is what is known as The Great Wager:
Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.
Again, thank you for a great debate, the vote is now in the hands of others.
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.