The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
27 Points

Creationism has made verified predictions.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/20/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,599 times Debate No: 26393
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (40)
Votes (6)




I would like to use mostly the same form as used by Microsuck, because I like it.


These are the definitions that will be used throughout this debate.

Theory - A well supported, conceptual framework that encompasses a large body of scientific facts, inferences, data, and observations and explains them in a coherent way (Fairbans, 2012)

Predictions-In science, a prediction is a rigorous, often quantitative, statement, forecasting what will happen under specific conditions (, I do not generally use wikipedia, but it is useful in some circumstances)

Scientific evidence - "Scientific theories are validated by empirical testing against physical observations. Theories are not judged simply by their logical compatibility with the available data. Independent empirical testability is the hallmark of science"in science, an explanation must not only be compatible with the observed data, it must also be testable. By "testable" we mean that the hypothesis makes predictions about what observable evidence would be consistent and what would be incompatible with the hypothesis. Simple compatibility, in itself, is insufficient as scientific evidence, because all physical observations are consistent with an infinite number of unscientific conjectures. Furthermore, a scientific explanation must make risky predictions" the predictions should be necessary if the theory is correct, and few other theories should make the same necessary predictions." (Douglas Theobald, 2012)
Scientific theories are invalidated by evidence contrary to prediction. (Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Also see Imre Lakatos" expansion on this.)

Rules: Ad hominem attacks is strictly not allowed. Arguing by means of logical fallacies is discouraged.
Arguments by means of affirming the consequent, although a logical fallacy, is allowed in the context of scientific proof.
The BoP is on me to show that creationism has made verified predictions, and the BoP is on my opponent to show how the predictions were not verified, but that data actually contradicts the predictions.

Do note that there are various competing theories within creationism, although most make similar/same predictions, thus I will clearly state which theory I support in the arguments.

With a contradicted prediction, Con must show that it is related directly to the core hypothesis, and not through an auxiliary hypothesis. (Imre Lakatos" expansion)


(1) Acceptance;
(2) Opening statements;
(3) Rebuttals;
(4) Rebuttals/Closing (No new arguments may be presented in this round)


I accept the challenge.

Some clarifications were worked out in the Comments. The debate is not just about whether any predictions made by Creationism are correct. Even the most fanciful of theories make some correct predictions. It whether predictions made by Creationism meet the tests of scientific evidence as stated by Theobald in the quotation that Pro included in his challenge.

Pro stipulated that one of the predictions made by Creationism is that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. We are debating Young Earth Creationism.

Thanks to Pro for the challenge. I'm looking forward to an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks to my opponent for accepting.
Prediction 1: The Earth is under 10,000 years old. This is as of yet unproven, although there are supporting theories that make testable predictions. However, I would like to note that a RELIABLE eyewitness beats forensic evidence, every time. The Bible claims to be an eyewitness and reliable, but that is not the topic of this debate, and I will leave this prediction alone.
Prediction 2: Using a creationist model, creationist physicist Russell Humphreys predicted (1984) [1] five things. 1 and 2. The upcoming Voyager 2 encounters with Uranus and Neptune should show planetary magnetic moments less than the k = 1.0 limit: 8.2 x 1025 J/T for Uranus and 9.7 x 1025J/T for Neptune.
3. We would not expect Pluto to have any appreciable magnetic moment at present.
4. Mercury's decay rate is so rapid that some future probe could detect it fairly soon. In 1990 the planet's magnetic moment should be 1.8 percent smaller than its 1975 value.
5. Older igneous rocks from Mercury or Mars should have natural remanent magnetization, as the Moon's rocks do.
These predictions have since been verified, and as the predicted values are far, about 100,000 times, from "mainstream" scientific predictions, it qualifies.
Prediction 3: Magnetic reversals should be found in rocks known to have cooled in days or weeks. For example, in a thin lava flow, the outside would cool first, and record earth"s magnetic field in one direction; the inside would cool later, and record the field in another direction. [2]
This was subsequently proven, thus denying the long ages required for evolution.
Prediction 4: Monotheism would come before polytheism, since God made the world and all knew God in the past. This has been verified by archaeological evidence [3], showing that indeed this is the case.
Prediction 5: If the biblical Flood really happened as the Bible describes, then we would expect the geologic results of that Flood to show their cataclysmic origin, the result of processes operating on rates and intensities far beyond those operating in the present, and they would be operating on a regional scale. [4] This is evident in the geological records.
Prediction 6: ReMine predicted that evolutionary ideology is bound to naturalism and simply "accommodates" all evidence to fit reworked evolutionary models, thus showing that it is not falsifiable and therefore not scientific according to science philosopher Carl Popper"s primary criterion. He even predicted that evolutionists would increasingly resort to such lateral transfer. [5] This we see becoming more and more widespread in "scientific" circles.
Prediction 7: This is based on the same reference as the previous, but about the creationist "orchard" model for the diversity of life. Mainstream scientists are now beginning to accept some points of the orchard, although creationism is still rejected.
Prediction 8: Creationist have long predicted [6] that animals can travel large distances over water on vegetation mats. This has since been proven (See reference 18 of reference 6).

Models whose predictions were falsified have been discarded, like the thin dust layer on the moon, etc.
Of course, creationists do not make many predictions. That is generally left to evolutionists.

5.; ReMine, W.J., The Biotic Message: Evolution versus Message Theory, St Paul Science, St Paul, Minnesota, 1993.


Not any prediction validates a theory

Ancient Greeks thought Apollo guided a fiery chariot drawn across the sky by wild horses. The theory predicts that the sun will rise daily. Nearly all theories make at least one successful prediction that supporters can point to. That's why scientists insist validation requires “the hypothesis makes predictions about what observable evidence would be consistent and what would be incompatible with the hypothesis.” Pro's claimed Creationist predictions are of the "one off" type. We cannot test the theory by continuing to apply the theory and testing if it is obeyed.

Eyewitness evidence is unreliable

Eyewitness evidence can be no better than being testimony of what a witness thinks he sees, and it cannot be verified independent of the witness. Forensic evidence is not limited by human senses or memory, or the retelling of a tale. A camera can capture slight-of-hand or thin wires that the unaided eye cannot perceive, and events out of view of the observer. Science has electron microscopes, chemical tests, spectrography, radiation measurements and much else beyond the human senses.

In any case, there are no witnesses to earth's creation since by all accounts there were no humans in existence at the time.

The earth is old, so Young Earth Creationism is false.

We know the earth is much older than 10,000 because data from independent methods of dating the earth show it not only to old, but that events dated by different methods are in very good agreement.

a. Tree rings run thick and thin depending upon the particular conditions of a growing season. By matching up the growth patterns of long-dead trees, a history of growth (and hence climate) going back at least 13,000 years is established.

b. The growth rings in coral extend back continuously for 30,000 years. Coral is composed of carbonates, so the history confirms carbon dating to be accurate to better than 2%.

c. Varves are sediment layers in lakes or estuaries. The sediments preserve pollen grains in the seasonal patterns of runoff. The pollen grains tell the type of flora present, which in turn implies climate. There are 26 examples of varves around the world going back over 25,000 years.

d, Ice cores show seasons for over 100,000 years. The properties of the air trapped in the ice is shown to vary over time.

e. Radiometric dating provides dating over different time scales. Carbon dating is used for certain materials back to about 45,000 years. However, there are about 15 other radio isotopes used for dating. Some, like argon-argon dating, do not require assumptions about the amount of the original isotope. Dating is established for millions to billions of years using various isotopes.

The text Quaternary Dating Methods by M. Walker carefully documents these methods, with many references to the scientific literature. [1.]

There are dozens of other dating methods. It takes a couple hundred million years to form beach sand. The silicon crystals are formed in granite when liquid rock from volcanoes cools. The matrix holding the crystals is gradually etched away by weakly acidic rain to liberate the sand. [2. ] We have sand, so we know the earth is hundreds of millions of years old.

Predictions 1.1-1.5, 2, 3 regarding planetary magnetic fields

Pro presents no evidence of what the creationist theory is or why it predicted what is claimed. He presents no evidence that conventional science predicted anything differently, he only cites unsupported claim of creationists that conventional theory was wrong. I succeeded in tracking down some of the creationist theory. The idea is that God first created the earth out of water and then magically converted the water to rock and iron. For inexplicable reasons, God chose to align the dipoles of the water molecules and when transforming the water into rock and iron, decided to keep some of the the magnetic field. Predicting the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune amounts to guessing the dipole coefficient. there is no aim that the dipole coefficient is revealed in the Bible, it's a pure guess. The guess was midway between the coefficients of earth and Saturn, which turned out to be a pretty good guess. The Creationist theory of planetary magnetic fields was thoroughly examined and refuted by Thompson in 2003. [3.

The Creationist theory requires that their be no convection within planets. The standard "dynamo" theory requires moving material to create the field. We know that there is convection within earth because continental drift has been verified, and the drift requires internal convection. Also, creationist theory predicts a simple static dipole field, and the actual field patterns are complex and varying. The calculations of dynamo theory involve turbulence, and are still largely beyond the capacity of present computers. Hence, here were no firm predictions from conventional theory in 1984 for Creationists to have beaten; no doubt there was some theory by someone who wasn't a creationist, but nothing firm.

In 2009, the dynamo theory of planetary magnetic fields was given strong support by the discovery that planetary field strength is proportional to the amount of energy radiated by the body. [4. ] The theory predicts not only the solar system, but the magnetic fields of distant stars and planets.

Two cases have been discovered that indicated very rapid change of field direction. there is still no agreement as to whether the data is valid. [5.] Scientists are unconvinced of the validity of the data, and if it is true, the cause. For example, it's possible the underlying earth changed direction due to an earthquake-induced landslide. We also don't know if change that rapid conflicts with turbulence-theory, as the calculations have not been done.

The earth's magnetic field has reversed many times in the past billion years. The last reversal was 770,000 years ago. Since then, the strength of the field has varied considerably; see the graph. [6.

Recent 770,000 year history of earth's magnetic field.Creationism pretends to explain the last 10,000.

Prediction 4: Monotheism before Polytheism

Whatever is claimed to be first, their is a 50-50 chance of being correct, and we have no archaeological records from primitive tribal societies. If claim it true, it's a matter for psychologists unrelated to earth science.

Prediction 5: Biblical Flood

All the water on earth could only raise sea level by 200 feet. Sediment layers show pollen grains that mark the seasons, so there is no possibility that they we formed in one great flood. The data from tree rings, coral growth, and ice cores show no evidence of a flood. [1] Nearly every locality has floods, with 500 year and 1000 year extremes. These become enshrined in myth.

Prediction 6 - 7 Scientists conspire to defeat Creationism

There is no trend whatsoever in favor of Creationism. It stays at the 0.14% level of acceptance by scientists. Scientists achieve success by providing solid evidence that denies a theory (per Einstein, et al) not by conforming to theories. Creationists have no evidence of conspiring.

If radiometric dating methods were really inaccurate, Creationists could prove it by submitting samples to different labs in a double-blind experiment. They never do that. Scientists do less checking of that sort, and it verifies the results. Creationists sometime point to odd cases of the methods being unreliable, but that is akin to dismissing wrist watches and clocks on the grounds that they occasionally fail. We know the methods are reliable because they are verified by cross-checking. We have lots of different “clocks” and they agree.

Creationism predictions are not scientific. The resolution is negated.

Debate Round No. 2


Con argues that the predictions given are "one off." This is clearly false. The predictions made can be made again and will in all probability be verified. It is like eclipse predictions. They are certainly not "one off." In spite of Con"s assertions that the theory cannot be tested, he proceeds to provide arguments that he thinks falsifies creationism.

According to Con, eyewitness accounts is unreliable because the testimony is merely what the witness thinks. Using reductio ad absurdum, a detective presenting evidence in court cannot take his eyes off the evidence while explaining it, because to do so would delegate his testimony to mere thinking.
In any case, God is an eyewitness to the creation of the world. It is absurd to assert that only humans can be witnesses.

Con asserts that independent data confirms that the earth is old. I will address each in detail.
a. Tree-ring dating. From [1]. Overlapping and correlating rings have been used to produce "chronologies" of past years. Linear sequences of rings are obtained by cross-matching tree ring patterns from living trees and those from older dead wood... By assuming the outer ring records the most recent year and that each ring signals one year, a researcher can determine the "date" of a particular ring simply by counting rings... Scientists have observed that numerous "normal" conditions can produce an extra ring or no ring at all...Unusual storms with abundant rainfall interspersed with dry periods can produce multiple rings, essentially one per major storm. Thus, the basic assumption of tree ring dating is demonstrably in error.
b. Will respond in dating methods critique.
c. I assume Con is talking about the Green River Formation. The idea has been refuted in [2]. "Near Kemmerer in Wyoming the Green River Formation contains two volcanic ash (tuff) layers, each about two to three centimetres thick...The two ash layers are separated by between 8.3 and 22.6 centimetres of shale layers... geologists found that the number of shale layers between the ash beds varied from 1160 to 1568, with the number of layers increasing by up to 35% from the basin centre to the basin margin! The investigators concluded that this was inconsistent with the idea of seasonal "varve" deposition in a stagnant lake."
d. Ice cores. I will not reply to this highly general argument. I will merely give a reference to a creationist response [3].
Radiocarbon dating. Con tries to guard against the arguments about assumptions by using Ar-Ar. He does not recognize that the starting ratio is an assumption. This assumption plagues all radiocarbon dating methods.
There is also the assumption that the "clock" starts "ticking" once the sediments is laid down. This has been shown to be false by creationist dating of Mt. St. Helens sediment. The objection that it is false because of the obviously false starting ratio is a blatant expose of the starting ratio assumption.
Sand dating: Once again, starting assumptions.

Prediction about magnetic fields false: Con tries to gain credit in saying "I succeeded in tracking [it] down..." I provided the reference quite clearly.

Con sets up a strawman by saying that there is no "aim"[sic] that dipole coefficient is revealed in the Bible. This is not what creationists says, but is a total misinterpretation of creationists.
The assertion that the guess was merely "good" is refuted by the fact that all other predictions were 100,000 times that of Humphreys". If it was merely a "good" prediction, why did not other scientists use it? The objections raised by Con and Thompson are really cases of special pleading.

I do not find any statements to the effect that there must not be convections.

Notice that Con uses an argument to silence, "beyond the capacity of present computers." Creationists like Humphreys argue from what data we do have. Citing a non-existent simulation is utterly dishonest. It is also a logical fallacy and should be removed from this debate.

"The dynamo theory was given strong support". Well, so was Humphrey"s theory, with satellite measurements. Furthermore, I would like to fault Con for providing a link to "Scientists on a high after finding tall gene." Utterly ridiculous. Tallness has nothing to do with the dynamo theory.

Notice that Con dismisses data out of hand, by citing a news article, no less. Furthermore, only one scientist was cited sceptical of the data. Extrapolating one to "scientists", implying a majority, is really dishonest debating tactics.

Con starts with the assumption that creationists magnetic theories are false. By doing so, he assumes that creationism only explains the last 10,000 years. The source cited states, "The graph shows the strength of Earth's magnetic field over the past 800,000 years. The last reversal of Earth's magnetic field was 780,000 year ago. The direction of the magnetic field has been "normal" (meaning "like it is today") since then." This is clearly falsified by the data I have provided. It clearly shows reversals have happened more than once.

Monotheism before polytheism: Con uses hand waving to squiggle his way out of this. He dismisses the data, although the reference I cited would show that reputed scholars believe this to be the case. Stephen Langdon of Oxford, "the history of the oldest civilization of man is a rapid decline from monotheism to extreme polytheism and widespread belief in evil spirits." This is just one instance.

Flood: It is accepted consensus by all geologists that the past earth was much flatter in that sea valleys were shallower and mountains were shorter. If all the earth was even, no mountains, no valleys, there would be enough water to cover the surface by 3 km.
Conspiracy: Nowhere have I stated that there is a conspiracy. This argument is a strawman and should be removed from the debate. I will restate in different form. Mainstream scientists generally are disparaging of creationists, especially creation models. Thus, for aspects of creationists models to be incorporated into secular models is quite an indication of the strengths of the creationist models.

Conclusions: I have thoroughly refuted all of the objections made by Con to the verified predictions. I have also faulted him for faulty thinking. Thus, the resolution is affirmed. Vote Pro.



If Creationist predictions are repeatable science, then Pro should be able to cite the magnetic field predictions the theory makes for the sun, for distant stars and for the planets around distant stars. Did Creationist theory predict or explain that Venus and Mars have no magnetic field? If so, where were the predictions made? Where is the theory published so that anyone can apply it to new cases?

Scientific theories explain the age of earth according to natural processes. The formation of sand, for example, is consistent with what we know about geology and chemistry. Creationism attributes things to magic. Predictions cannot be verified, so they are not scientific predictions. There are at least twenty-four other ways to determine that the earth is old besides what we have discussed, ranging from amino acid racemization, through thermoluminescence dating, and weathering rind formation. [7.] Creationist objections are systematically answered at [8.] Adopting young earth creationist theory requires abandoning virtually all of physics, chemistry, geology, and astronomy.

For God to testify, He must appear, prove his identity, and testify. I'd be impressed, but that hasn't happened. Many religions have sacred texts believers think valid. There is no consensus on interpreting what they say, particularly about claims contradicting science. Even Christians who believe in the Bible have no consensus. The Catholic Church, as keen on the Bible as anyone, agrees the theory of Evolution is correct. [9.] Vanishingly few scientists having religious faith believe in the young earth theory.

The Earth is Old

a. Occasionally two tree rings are formed in one growing season. These are easily recognized and have never posed a problem for scientists. Missing tree rings are due to cracks in the wood causing pieces to be missing. That's a problem, but any error makes the dates too young. The problem is overcome by matching ring pattern from multiple trees to build up a complete record.

"We get horror stories from creationists about how easy it is for a tree to produce two or more rings in one year. They have neglected to inform their readers that such problems are minimal for some species of trees. Dr. Andrew E. Douglass, who pioneered the field of dendrochronology, found that ponderosa pine and douglass fir are especially excellent for dating purposes. In such species spotting a double ring was "...easy to do by eye after a very little training...". In the case of the bristlecone pine, the problem of double rings is hardly any problem at all!" [10.]

The dates found from tree rings are confirmed to within about 2% by carbon dating. Pro must explain why, if both methods are unreliable, they are in agreement. A conspiracy theory doesn't work because anyone can obtain carbon dates in a double blind experiment, and that rules out collusion.

b. Coral growth dating is also confirmed to within about 2% by carbon dating over a 30,000 year range of dates. [1] Pro offers no explanation of the confirmation.

c. Varves are sediments that accumulate in lakes and estuaries with seasonal rainfalls. Varves are important for reconstructing climate because the types of pollen grains embedded reveal what types of plants were growing in the region up to 30,000 years ago. In estuaries, embedded fish scales reveal the ocean temperatures through the prevalent species of fish. Continuous sediment histories going back 30,000 years have been discovered in about 25 locations around the world, including lakes in China, estuaries in the State of Washington, and lakes in Switzerland.. This allows worldwide climate changes to be studied. It's not possible for a Great Flood to sort pollen grains by season or year. The dates also agree with carbon dating.

The Green River case Pro cites has been well-studied. [11.] The Green River formation was mistakenly though to be annual layers. However, the layers were formed by volcanic ash falling into a lake much less often than annually.

d. Pro references a creationist argument purporting to refute ice core dating. Arguments cannot be made by references outside the debate. A response to the Creationist argument is given by [12.]

e. For carbon dating, the ratio of carbon isotopes in the atmosphere, where C!4 is continuously created in the ozone layer, is absorbed by growing organisms. The C!4 is then not refreshed by new C14 from the ozone layer and decays. For argon-argon dating, the argon comes from the decay of potassium. Since argon is a gas, it escapes whenever the rock is molten. The ratio of the two isotopes gives the time since the rock was molten. Using any radiometric dating method requires some care in selecting the samples to ensure the assumption of isolation from the environment is correct. To check the validity, scientists take multiple samples and date them to ensure they are in agreement. There is further confirmation by cross-checking using different dating methods. [1]

If creationists think the measurements are bogus, they could achieve instant validation by running double-blind tests that expose the inconsistencies. They never do that.

Predictions regarding magnetic fields

The reference Pro provided was not to the theory itself, but rather to a Creationist web page proclaiming that the theory made good predictions. If the theory is scientific, we should be capable of applying it to explain why Venus and Mars have no magnetic fields, what the magnetic field of the sun is, and what w should see for distant stars and planets. A Creationist page that does no more than claim it is success does not allow that. It's akin to a fortune teller claiming to have made successful predictions and thereby validating a universal ability to tell fortunes.

What I did find is that the theory claims that the world was created by God first making the world of water, then --for some unknown reason-- aligning the dipoles of the water molecules, and finally transforming the water into iron and rock. This predicts that there is no convection in the earth, which we know is false due to continental drift. the creationist theory failed to predict the actual history of magnetic field variation on earth. Therefore the theory was false and the prediction just a guess.

I flatly deny the claim on the creationist page that "evolutionary theory" was off by a factor of 100,000. I cannot find any evidence of an "evolutionary theory" existing at the time. I'm sure somebody had some theory, but nothing was widely accepted. It's not surprising that science lacked an explanation. Today we have two million scientists around the world, most working on unsolved problems.

A scientific theory has been formulated recent that predicts magnetic fields. The more energy emitted, the more convection, and hence the greater the field. I apologize for giving the wrong link in R2, it is [4.]


How exactly, do archaeologists determine what happened before the advent of civilizations that recorded history? It's impossible to prove one way or the other what happened in tribal societies. If true, it is a prediction that cannot be tested, and it always had a 50-50 chance of success. Suppose a creationist correctly predicts the coin flip at the start of the next Superbowl. Would that prove creationism? No, it's an isolated prediction.


The claim that the earth might have been nearly flat within the past 10,000 years is preposterous, and the Pro gave no citation that for the claim that there is a consensus of scientists believing it. Tree rings, coral growth, varves, and ice re show no evidence of a flood.

Scientific rejection

What non-trivial elements of creationism have been incorporated into mainstream science? Give references to the scientific literature.

Debate Round No. 3


"Did Creationist theory predict or explain that Venus and Mars have no magnetic field?" Creationists made no such predictions that I know of.

"Where is the theory published so that anyone can apply it to new cases?" Already cited the planetary magnetics.

Con uses the logical fallacy of elephant hurling. He list seemingly impressive amounts of data to support his case, does not substantiate them, and argues from this that his case is true.

a. Tree-ring data. Con makes the emotional argument of "scare tactics." By direct tree-ring counting methods, dates can never go beyond 5000 years. Con ignores the assumptions that I exposed in his thinking.

Con wants Pro to explain why dates are in agreement. Simple answer. The assumptions force the dates to agree. The dates do not agree if the assumptions are not made from the same evolutionary world-view.

Same explanation for b. In fact, I made the point of explaining the assumptions and proving them false, but Con simply ignores them, using the fallacy of "LaLaLaLa."

c. Con ignores the contradictory evidence presented. I will not reply until he does. We were not discussing the volcanic ash layers, but the pollen layers. Thus Con has strawman-ed my arguments.

d. Con points a finger at me for doing the same as him.

e. Con once again ignores the expose of his assumptions, giving technical arguments when none is needed.

Con states, "If creationists think the measurements are bogus, they could achieve instant validation by running double-blind tests that expose the inconsistencies. They never do that." The RATE studies did so. The radioactive dating of St. Helens (Which I cited) did that. All objections to such have been responded to by creationists, but are still widely circulated.

Con states that I did not reference the theory. I did, it belongs to the first link, hence his arguments fall flat, along with the accompanying allegations.
Humphreys explained the prediction that Con flatly denies.
The current magnetic field convection model fits the data, Humphrey"s model PREDICTED the data. Con"s contention that "somebody had a theory that was not widely accepted" may be true, but it certainly was widely known. This, Con cannot deny.

Monotheism: Con"s main argument is that tribal societies may not have had monotheistic religions. Well, if at the start of their records, they recorded monotheism, then it certainly is more than a 50-50 chance of them being monotheistic before then. This follows from simple logic. One cannot suggest that tribes suddenly became monotheistic just before recording. It is also an argument to silence as well as ignorance. The very things that Con has accused creationists of.

Flood: It basically is plate techtonics

Scientific rejection: Con wants me to cite non-trivial elements of creationism that have been incorporated into mainstream science. Not my contention, therefore I will not respond. (Vegetation mats are trivial)

Conduct: Pro.
Con makes allegations and elephant hurls.

Grammar: Pro.
Con makes basic errors in spelling and grammar.

Arguments: Pro.
Con makes use of logical fallacies and fail to defend his assumptions.

Sources: Con.
Con"s sources are more balanced and neutral.

Thank you for this interesting debate, although the dating methods really have not been touched.


Scientific predictions

Keep in mind that the debate is not literally about whether any predictions from creationists have been verified. Predictions made by fortune tellers and Ouija boards have been verified. Professional psychics make a published list of about 100 bold predictions, then a year later publicize the three hits they made. We made clear for this debate that we are talking about scientific predictions in which predictions flow consistently from a theory. So if a creationist theory is able to predict the magnetic fields of celestial objects, it must do so consistently and reliably, not just hit once with a lucky guess and then fail.

Science is about concordance, which means that data must be cross-checked and verified by independent methods. The reason I originally introduced five methods for determining the age of the earth is that the methods, based upon different physical laws, agree. My point in referencing the long list of alternative methods for proving the earth old is simply to reinforce the point that cross-checking and verification are the hallmark of science. Creationism is not just arguing that somebody might have counted tree rings wrong, they are arguing that all the methods of science are wrong, and are wrong in exactly the same way so that the diverse methods agree. Radioactive decay must be speeding up by different amounts in different isotopes so as to agree with tree rings, coral growth, and dozens of other independent methods. Mistakes in initial assumptions must somehow always turn out to produce consistent results.

We can find many examples of wall clocks that don't give the accurate time and of rulers misread to given the wrong length. We do not abandon the devices as a consequence. We instead recognized the value of cross-checking.

The earth is old

a. Tree-ring data. The method of using overlapping tree rings to get dates well before any living tree is supported by my references [1] and [10]. Creationists have the notion that double rings are a flaw in the method, but [10] showed they do not pose a problem.

b. Coral growth ring are corroborated to within about 2% by carbon dating. Pro never got beyond saying there was something wrong about the "starting assumptions." The starting assumption for coral is that it begins growing. The assumption for carbon dating is that once the coral animal makes solid carbonate, the carbon is no longer exchanged with the atmosphere. Pro addressed neither.

c. If we had no evidence other than varves, it would suffice to conclusively prove young earth theory wrong. The varves are laid down continuously and examples are found around the world. Embedded pollen grains mark the seasons, and makes a Great Flood explanation impossible.

d. Ice cores establish that the earth is old. Pro pointed to an argument made by a reference outside the debate, a tactic not permuted by debate rules. The argument must be made directly within the character limits. covering the possibility that some reader inks referenced arguments are acceptable, I linked the refutation. I agree with Pro that referenced argument should stand, so my original argument stand.

e. I explained why the assumptions behind radiometric data are sound. Pro did not cite any science that claims carbon is exchanged with the atmosphere by non-living objects. Pro did not cite any science that claims molten rock holds inert gases in place.

Magnetic Field Predictions

The creationist prediction of the magnetic fields of Saturn and Uranus were in fact guesses, not predictions. A scientific theory can be applied universally. Pro admits (or does not contest) that the creationist theory cannot be applied to explain why Venus and Mars have no magnetic fields, to explain the dynamic magnetic field of the sun, nor to predict the fields of distant stars and surrounding planets.

The guesses for Saturn and Uranus were claimed to be much more accurate than “evolutionary theory,” but when I challenged Pro to cite the “evolutionary theory” he could not do so. It think there was no accepted quantitative theory at the time, so creationists took some random thing to pump up their claims.

The creationist theory is that the earth was created by magically transforming water into rock and iron, so that there are no internal dynamics to generate a field. The creationist theory is false because it cannot explain the non-uniformity observed and the dynamics of the solar magnetic field. Creationist theory is contradicted by the history of changes in the earth's magnetic field. In addition, modern calculations and observations have established the universal predictive power of a theory based upon internal convection.


The prediction that monotheism would precede polytheism cannot be tested because to test it we would have to originate civilizations on different worlds and take statistics on what the first civilization having a religion did. We can't do that. The prediction is only about the first religion (Vedic in the case of earth), not about independently occurring religions.

Pro grants that the nature of religion before recorded history cannot be verified, but that if the first record is of monotheism what preceded was probably also monotheism. The problem is that the prediction is about what is first. A tribe might have developed a polytheistic religion earlier, but having no record we would not know they were earlier.

In any case, if the claim is true it is a consequence of psychology, not necessarily creationism.


Pro claimed that a Great flood was caused less than 10,000 years ago as a consequence of the mountains suddenly being flatter and and oceans suddenly being shallower, then reverting to the present extremes in which the water is contained in the deep oceans. He said that there was a consensus of scientists that the earth was once flatter, and I challenged him to prove a consensus that the earth was much flatter within the past 10,000 years.

Pro cited an article giving the present growth of the Himalayas as being about two inches per years. In 10,000 years, that would amount to 1667 feet, well short of Everest's 27,000 feet. Of course, the up and down cycle would have had to occur in 40 days to match the flood theory. If that had happened, the story would be about tsunami, not flood.

Pro's article contradicts the whole story, saying “You may be thinking, "That would have been kinda cool to be here on earth 40 million years ago to be able to watch the Himalayas forming". You would have been really bored, though. The movement that took many millions of years to form the mountain range is still taking place today, and I doubt you would stake out a camp at the foot of the mountains just to watch them grow.

Scientific Rejection

Pro idea is that some Creationist ideas have been accepted by science, like the notion that animals can float for long distances on vegetation mats. The reason that's trivial is because it's not a predictive theory, it's a random observation. For example, if observations confirmed that all celestial bodies had simple slowly decaying dipole magnetic fields with the same time constant, that would be acceptance of part of the theory. Nothing like that has happened.

Science has uniformly rejected young earth creationism.


My opponent makes the interesting claim that he has only cited unbiased sources, having almost entirely referenced religious creationist sites. I disagree.

There are many controversial issues in science. When scientists argue over global warming, there is plenty of published scientific literature available to fuel both sides of the argument. That's not the case for Pro's young earth creationist theory, in which the claims flow from religious motivation.

Thanks to my opponent for the opportunity to debate this subject. I hope readers will find it of interest.

The resolution is negated. Creationism has made no valid predictions from scientific application of the theory.

Debate Round No. 4
40 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
A "horror story" is defined in informal usage as "a distressing experience." So you can say that getting work this morning was a horror story without implying the toll taker attacked you with a chain saw.

A number of fish species go back and forth between fresh and salt water. Salmon hatch in fresh water streams, so out into the open ocean, then return to the streams to spawn. It don't see why the subject is an issue.
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
LOVE 8:14--What does a stalker do, that the main character in the holy binky does?....They put you on a pedestal, but then once they're rejected, its anger, and rage :)
Posted by Deliberator 3 years ago
Interesting remarks in the debate re: saltwater and freshwater fish in the same aquarium. Apparently there are ways to make this happen that don't rely on separators; I don't understand the chemistry behind it, but here's a partial quote:

" According to Yuichiro Miyauchi, GEX staff, the key of this unification technology between fish with different habitats was the marine treatment developed by Yamamoto Toshimasa, lecture of Okayama University of Science Specialized Training College. The product was in white powder form which can increase the electrolyte level in freshwater. Electrolyte is a substance that is easily composed to ions. One of the well-known electrolyte bonding is NaCl or salt.

Miyauchi was not willing to reveal how the powder worked. But, when Trubus tasted the oxygenated aquarium water through aerator, it was rather salty or brackish. The another revealed data was the effect of giving the marine treatment embodied in a piece of paper and taped to the side of the aquarium. There was a writing : white powder, two mineral elements in one box, pH 7,2 - 7,6, salinity 7 - 9 ppm, temperature 25oC, and non-toxic. The aquarium was only installed with chiller and biologic filter, there was no protein skimmer in it. That's why, Takehito Morimoto, the other staff, said that the water must be changed every two weeks."

So apparently possible, under the right conditions.
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
"Most Ignorant Claim Made By A Human" magazine released its Top 3 Most Pathetic of All Time. Last Years Winner "The Sun is 200 million times smaller than the earth" was replaced by this years winner "Creationism has made verified predictions"

The preceeding information was brought to you by our faithful sponsors, CHECK and MATE :)
Posted by Muted 3 years ago
@WallStreetAtheist, I view that as a insult! Repent now, O ye sinner! :D

Come on WSA, you know I'm not scientifically illiterate. I'm rather open-minded, actually. (Which again, is debatable :D )

@Roy, agree wholeheartedly with that.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
@Enji, Gross errors occur with every method of measurement. That's why carpenters say "Measure twice and cut once." When arguing creationism, I advise against overreacting -- which is really easy to slip into. Always be respectful.

The point of a creationist debate, in my view, is mainly to educate interested readers in the detailed methods of science. That requires patience.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 3 years ago
If I didn't know about probability, I'd pray that Muted become more open-minded and scientifically literate.
Posted by Muted 3 years ago
That is debatable.
Posted by Enji 3 years ago
"Same explanation for b. [coral dating] In fact, I made the point of explaining the assumptions and proving them false, but Con simply ignores them, using the fallacy of 'LaLaLaLa.'"

You didn't challenge the coral growth method of dating, but you did accuse Roy of ignoring your lack of counterpoints against it.
Posted by Muted 3 years ago
The actual point where I accused Roy is the Ar-Ar dating. I didn't really challenge the coral growth argument. I do not feel the need to reply further to you, Enji.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by DeFool 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument (I am paraphrasing), "In order for Creationism to make predictions, we need a cosmic creator" is decisive, and easily wins the prized "most convincing arguments" score. It is this style of surprising logic that has made me a follower of Latham's debates. ("For God to testify, He must appear, prove his identity, and testify. I'd be impressed, but that hasn't happened.")
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Bow Tie
Vote Placed by Billdekel 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro is very rude and doesn't back up his YEC arguments. The old earth arguments were valid and Pro had very poor arguments against these. Others such as monotheism before poly is just plain bad as pro would need to prove it was jewish religion first. The first prediction was just viciously circular. I do believe the Bible was written by eyewitnesses but you need to prove this in debate and not just assert it.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro seems to rely on his debating skills rather than arguments. Calling tree ring dating a "scare tactic" just seems like trolling.
Vote Placed by dylancatlow 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RoyLatham had better conduct by not mocking muted, as muted did the opposite. RoyLatham had better spelling, made more convincing arguments, and more reliable sources (didn't quote the bible as fact)
Vote Placed by Microsuck 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: See comments