The Instigator
Jzyehoshua
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Envisage
Con (against)
Winning
42 Points

Evidence exists that is more logical for creationist than evolutionist conclusions

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Post Voting Period
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after 7 votes the winner is...
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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 12/4/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,914 times Debate No: 66390
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (138)
Votes (7)

 

Jzyehoshua

Pro

1st Round for Acceptance/Definitions.

I will be arguing that evidence exists which is more logical from a Creationist point of view than an Evolutionist worldview.

Opponent will be arguing that evidence does not exist which is more logical from a Creationist point of view than an Evolutionist worldview.

My goal is to show that evidence exists which is most reasonable from a Creationist, not Evolutionist, standpoint.

DEFINITIONS

By Creationism I refer to life having been created in the past 20,000 years or so. I accept nonetheless that the world itself may be far older per Gap Theory, with Genesis 1:2 indicating the Earth already existed before the week of Creation. By microevolution I refer to the change between core types of life that can be witnessed today, for example bacteria evolving as bacteria, moths as moths, canines as canines, etc.[1] A Creationist views microevolution as compatible with a Creator designing core categories of life that adapted to their environments. Thus in essence the Creationist viewpoint being presented is that a Creator made original models of life that adapted to their environments to become the varieties we see today.

By Evolution I refer to the theory that life descended from a common ancestor over millions and billions of years. Whereas the Creationism model would see multiple common ancestors created, for example a canine common ancestor, feline common ancestor, etc., the Evolution model would involve everything descending from a single primitive form. By macroevolution I refer to the belief that evolution between clearly different types of life occurs, so that all life came from a common ancestor (pigs, birds, crocodiles, rats, etc.).[2] Unlike microevolution this cannot be witnessed today. This is distinguished from Creationism which believes all rodents originate from a common rodent ancestor, elephants from a common elephant ancestor, canines from a common canines ancestor, but that these different types of life (canines, rodents, elephants) are not related to one another.

Transitional Forms refer to the proposed macroevolutionary links that Charles Darwin claimed exist between core types of life. Darwin for example in "On the Origin of Species" said "Firstly, why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?... ..Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record."[3]

Catastrophism, should the subject arise, will refer to the theory that geology is largely the result of mass catastrophes that occurred in short periods of time rather than slow geologic processes over long periods of time. This was the prevailing viewpoint before Charles Lyell's Uniformitarianism and was used by Creationists at the time such as William Buckland to argue for a global Flood. Uniformitarianism, by contrast, refers to the theory that the entire fossil record is the result of slow, constant, and gradual geologic processes over long periods of time.[4]

Punctuated Equilibrium should the subject arise will refer to the theory originated by Gould and Eldredge in 1972 proposing that, contrary to Darwin's original model of steady, gradualistic evolution, evolution instead sped up over short time periods, as a way to explain the absence of crucial transitional forms in the fossil record.[5] Gould and Eldredge's paper can be seen here.[6]

[1] http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
[2] http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
[3] http://darwin-online.org.uk...;
http://darwin-online.org.uk...;
[4] http://evolution.berkeley.edu...;
[5] http://www.pbs.org...;
[6] http://www.nileseldredge.com...;
Envisage

Con

I accept. Best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Jzyehoshua

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting the debate challenge and will seek to provide proof of evidence that is more reasonable from a Creationist worldview than an Evolutionist worldview. Thus I present the following:

1. Human Population Growth Rates:

A core scientific precept used in radiometric dating is that "the present is the key to the past" or in other words, the rates observed today (including radiometric decay rates) can be assumed constant in the distant past.[1] However, the rates of population growth that we see today are far too rapid for humans to have existed millions of years ago. Annual population growth rates today exceed 1% in the majority of the world's countries, and 51 of the world's 233 countries even have rates above 2%.[2]

At a 1% growth rate (which most countries in the world have) one goes from 8 people (the survivors of Noah's Ark - Genesis 7:13) to 7 billion in just 2,071 years. Human population growth rates seen today are a strong evidence that the Bible is correct that human civilization is young. Even at rates just 1/5 those seen today, 0.2%, human population would still be younger than 7,000 years.[3]

2. Dinosaur Soft Tissue:

Contrary to predictions based on the theory of Evolution, numerous cases of soft tissue have been discovered. Whereas it had been assumed soft tissue could not exist beyond 100,000 years,[4] numerous finds of dinosaur soft tissue, including preserved blood vessels, are being discovered that supposedly date as far back as 65 million years:
    • 1982: Mummified insect discovered with soft tissue.[5]
    • 1992: Mary Schweitzer discovers red blood cells in a T-Rex fossil believed to be 67 million years old.[6]
    • 1998: Thousands of dinosaur eggs discovered with evidence of fossilized skin still intact.[7]
    • 2005: Blood vessels and cells discovered in alleged 70 million year-old T-Rex.[8] Soft tissue was also discovered in 3 other dinosaurs, a Hadrosaur and two T-Rexes.[9]
    • 2007: Similar soft tissue found from mastodons was genetically examined showing similarity to modern elephants.[10]
    • 2009: Preserved blood vessels found in a Hadrosaur.[11]
    • 2012: Molecular analysis confirms the soft tissue is genuine.[12]
    • 2013: Duck-billed Edmontosaurus discovered with fleshy head crest intact.[13] A cache of 20 Lufengosaurus dinosaur eggs that had been flooded out of their nests get discovered[14]; the eggs contain "organic material."[15]
    • 2014: Ancient crustaceans including embryos containing soft tissue discovered dating to an alleged 500 million years.[16]
Soft tissue was not supposed to be able to exist beyond 100,000 years, that it is being repeatedly discovered to have existed into the very depths of the fossil record is a strong evidence that life is younger, consistent with Creationism.

3. Living Fossils and Lazarus Taxa

From an Evolutionist standpoint it is difficult to explain how creatures can disappear from the fossil record for tens of millions of years, and then be discovered alive today after they'd been presumed long extinct. This is more believable from a Creationist paradigm. Examples include:
    • Coelacanth: Presumed extinct for 65 million years, it was discovered alive in 1938. The coelacanths seen today are essentially the same as their counterparts in the fossil record (which are claimed to be 375 million years old).[17]
    • Laotian Rock Rat: Discovered in 2005 in Laos, it was initially named the Rat-Squirrel. However, upon discovering it was actually a creature known only from the fossil record that had been thought extinct 11 million years, it was renamed.[18]
    • Glass Sponge Reefs: Thought extinct for 100 million years, they were rediscovered in 2007.[19]
    • Pygmy Whales: Thought extinct for 2 million years, a 2012 study discovered otherwise.[20]

4. Microevolutionary Rates:

Again, if the "present is the key to the past" then we should see species adapting consistent with rates that would make them millions of years old. This is not what we see. Rather, microevolution is far more rapid, consistent with adaptation over "decades and tens of meters."[21] Not only does this indicate a much younger date to life, but it raises the question of why, if macroevolution is a reality, can we not witness it occurring today as we can microevolution?
    • Australian Cane Toad: The so-called Toxic Toad defied predictions in 2006-07, adapting longer legs and heat tolerance within decades, overrunning the continent and causing a government crisis.[22]
    • Italian Wall Lizards: After 5 pairs of lizards were introduced in Croatia, they had overrun the island by evolving a new stomach structure, cecal valves, and a harder bite; all within a few decades.[23]
    • Rodents: A 2009 study discovered rodents are evolving at "unprecedented rates" that are "extremely rapid and interrelated in ways not predicted by current evolutionary theories."[24]
    • Plants: A 2012 study discovered "The evolution of mutation rate, genome size, and chromosome structure can therefore be extremely rapid and interrelated in ways not predicted by current evolutionary theories."[25]
5. Oldest Hominids Bipedal

A series of hominid revelations over the past 20 years show the earliest humans weren't similar to modern apes but walked upright and were similar to modern man.
    • 2009, Ardi: The discovery of Ardipithecus conclusively showed bipedalism and disproved any similarity to modern apes.[26]
    • 2000, Orrorin: Walked upright and in "advanced stage of evolution."
    • 2002, Tcadensis: Upright and modern face.

SOURCES:

[1] http://www.amnh.org...
[2] https://www.cia.gov...
[3] http://creation.com...;
[4] http://discovermagazine.com...;
[5] http://www.nytimes.com...;
[6] http://www.nature.com...;
[7] http://www.sciencedaily.com...;
[8] http://www.nbcnews.com...;
[9] http://www.sciencedaily.com...;
[10] http://www.npr.org...;
[11] http://news.nationalgeographic.com...;
[12] http://www.nature.com...;
[13] http://news.nationalgeographic.com...;
[14] http://www.usatoday.com...;
[15] http://news.sciencemag.org...;
[16] http://www.nbcnews.com...;
http://scitechdaily.com...;
[17] http://images.library.amnh.org...;
[18] http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...;
[19] http://www.nbcnews.com...;
[20] http://www.foxnews.com...;
[21] http://environment.yale.edu...;
[22] http://news.nationalgeographic.com...;
http://news.discovery.com...;
[23] http://news.nationalgeographic.com...;
[24] http://www.plosone.org...;
[25] http://www.plosbiology.org...;
[26] http://news.nationalgeographic.com...;
Envisage

Con

Preface
Given the nature of this debate, I will only offer one contention in favour of my position, as the negation of the resolution The only way for me to negate is to demonstrate that the notion of creationist conclusions is impossible. Therefore, I will only prove that life existed on Earth more than 20,000 years ago, which falsifies the very possibility of there being evidence in favour of creationist conclusions outright. I will spend the remainder of the debate refuting Pro’s arguments in favour of the resolution.

Radioactive Dating Proves Life Existed >20,000 years ago
My job here is rather easy here, since 20,000 years is over 100,000x greater than the age of some fossilised life that is demonstrated by these techniques. Therefore I will establish my argument:

  1. 1. Radiometric dating falsifies creationism if they a.) Compute an age >20,000 years and a.) Has sound assumptions
  2. 2. Radiometric dating computes ages >20,000 years
  3. 3. Radiometric dating has sound assumptions
  4. C. Radiometric dating falsifies creationism

P1 is a deductive mathematical framework by which substance ages are calculated assuming rates of decay, initial and final amounts of the relevant elements, and also assumptions regarding contamination. P2 us trivially shown by citing a cursory search on Google Scholar for the terms “radiometric dating million” yielding over 38,000 results. The first page of results upon checking do all include dates with results over a million years old. [1]

Therefore, if I can uphold P3, then the conclusion follows deductively.

Radiometric dating has sound assumptions
The age of a sample is computed via. a similar method by which a compound interest amount is reverse-calculated. The math indisputably sound, but the assumptions made are the ones Pro can contest:

NNow = NOrige-λt

  1. 1. NNowis the number of Uranium atoms measured now.
  2. 2. NOrig is the number of Uranium atoms originally in the sample
  3. 3. λ is the decay rate of Uranium.
  4. 4. tis the age of the zircon rock, to be determined


N
Now is measured directly with modern instruments. Therefore if I affirm the last 2 assumptions, then the dates made from radiometric dating are sound.

Original number of Uranium atoms in the sample
The number of atoms in the original composition of dated material can be calculated from the number of daughter products found. For example, U238 decays invariably to Pb204, IF we can make the assumption that the original amount of Pb204 is zero, then logically all of the Lead (Pb) would come from the decay of U238. If the amount of decayed U238 can be calculated then we have a simple formula for finding out the original amount of U238:

Initial Amount U238 = Current Amount U238 + Decayed Amount U238
Decayed Amount U238 = Current Amount Pb206

This formula makes 1 final assumption however, which is that the quantity of U238/Pb206 is not affected by external factors, such as contamination etc. and also that no other radioactive events also generate Pb206. We know the last is true in the case of Pb206 from an exhaustive analysis of all other natural radioactive elements. Pb206 is only generated from the U238 decay chain.[4]

The two assumptions made here, that 1.) the original amount of Pb206 is zero for the sample, and 2.) that contamination is not an issue are both simultaneously controlled for by the use of zircon crystals for radiometric dating (more on this later), as well at other materials. I will concentrate on zircon crystals the purposes of this debate.

Radioactive Decay Rates
With the other assumptions affirmed, then this is the only grounds upon which Pro can seriously attack the dates obtained by radiometric dating. Pro would need to affirm that somehow, the radioactive rates were somehow over 100,000x faster in the past than they are now.

Radioactivity is a phenomena that probabilistic and determined by quantum mechanics. Such decay occurs via overcoming the strong nuclear force through quantum tunnelling. Given the tremendous proximity of neighbouring protons & neutrons of the nucleus, the events outside of the nucleus are negligible compared to the forces that act within the nucleus. As such radioactive decay rates are virtually unaffected by temperature changes, the chemical bonding of the atom, pressure, etc. since these negligibly affect the environment of the nucleus (the nucleus of an atom is the size of a human fist in St. Paul’s cathedral). As such there are only a handful of studies that actually managed to affect the radioactivity rates of elements.[3]

For example, one study managed to increase the rate of 187Re decay, but could only achieve this by heating the sample to over 200 million Celsius (!!). For reference, the temperature of the centre of the sun is ~ 15 million degrees Celsius. Other studies have found pretty much the same thing, such as with 176Lu (also 200 million Celsius). It goes without saying that these conditions aren’t even conceivably possible without sterilising/vaporising the planet into oblivion.[6-9]

The only other evidence of possible increased decay rates are from neutrinos, to which some studies have alluded to a seasonal decay rate chance (of ~0.1%). Later studies have shown the opposite however, and the rates measured are highly suspect to systematic errors. Moreover, such perturbations are at least six orders of magnitude lower than would be required to account for the data. An increase on this magnitude would also, certainly sterilise life on Earth, and possibly vaporise the planet itself outright. [10]

Zircon Crystals
Zircon is a material (ZrSiO4), which naturally excludes trace lead in its crystallisation process. It is possible for uranium and thorium to substitute for zirconium, since they are of a similar size and have similar chemistry. Lead on the other hand is completely different to either. Prof. Bill Composton affirms:

First of all, uranium atoms fit easily into the zircon site in the crystal lattice. They have the same ionic radius as the zirconium, so when the zircon is crystallising, any atoms of uranium that are in the melt will slide into the growing mineral.

In contrast, lead doesn't fit well. It has a different ionic radius and a different charge balance. So the mineral zircon strongly excludes lead..”

“It is now quite clear that most zircons quantitatively (completely) exclude Pb when they crystallize from magma and that all the Pb contained in the zircon crystal lattice is from the decay of U.”

As such, the use of zircon crystals allows for control of the initial amounts of lead, giving zero or near-zero amounts. This observation is unanimous throughout the literature. Note that I do not actually need to affirm perfect exclusion of lead, only that significantly more lead is excluded than uranium, as that is enough with the margins of error being so large for this de bate (fiver orders of magnitude). Hence even if lead was only excluded 10 times less than uranium, it would only lead to ages being ~900 million years older than computed (since U238 has a half life of 4.5 billion years, and some rocks with fossils date to over 3 billion years), however our evidence shows that the exclusion is much more efficient than that.[11-14]

Moreover, the use of zircon crystals allows control over environmental factors, due to their exceptional chemical and physical durability:

“Also, zircon is tough physically and is chemically stable, so it doesn't dissolve during low-grade metamorphism and it stands up to being weathered out of an igneous rock and trundled down the rivers into beach sands, where it is incorporated in younger rocks”[15]

References

  1. 1. http://tinyurl.com...
  2. 2. http://tinyurl.com...
  3. 3. http://tinyurl.com...
  4. 4. http://tinyurl.com...
  5. 5. http://tinyurl.com...
  6. 6. http://tinyurl.com...
  7. 7. http://tinyurl.com...
  8. 8. http://tinyurl.com...
  9. 9. http://tinyurl.com...
  10. 10. http://tinyurl.com...
  11. 11. http://tinyurl.com...
  12. 12. http://tinyurl.com...
  13. 13. http://tinyurl.com...
  14. 14. http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Jzyehoshua

Pro

My thanks to Con for a well-thought-out and well-written response! First of all I have shown evidence that indicates a younger date to life on Earth in human population growth rates, soft tissue, and microevolutionary rates; and reject the idea that radiometric dating can instantly falsify evidence that contrarily suggests a younger date. My points still stand as evidence that is more compatible with belief in a younger creation, i.e. creationism, than the slow, uniform, and gradual processes initially proposed by Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell.

The essence of the debate is not which side has greater evidence but whether evidence exists that is more reasonable from a Creationist point of view which I have thus far suitably demonstrated. Indeed, I could argue that my evidence falsifies radiometric dating; ultimately the evidence must be taken in totality or not at all. Con by dropping my points seemingly concedes that evidence exists for a younger date to life on Earth.

Nonetheless, in the interest of debate, I will address Con's remarks about radiometric dating and show that radiometric dating is not as definitive a proof against Creationism as is being claimed. Now, does radiometric dating definitively prove life existed over 20,000 years ago? As acknowledged by Con, this will necessarily rest upon whether radiometric dating rests upon "sound assumptions" for if those assumptions can be at all shown to be in question, then radiometric dating is as likely to fall apart as previous attempts at dating the Earth.

For example Dalrymple in 'The Age of the Earth' notes that previous efforts failed by assuming constant rates without taking into account all factors; for example De Maillet incorrectly claimed sea level decline could be used to date the Earth but failed to take into account the uplift and sinking of land areas (pp. 26-27), Kelvin incorrectly dated based on cooling of the Earth but failed in accounting for the complexity of Earth's heat sources (pp. 45-46), Joly miscalculated the age of the Earth by assuming constant salinity rates that are now known to be likely invalid and failed to take into account the complexity of erosion and rainfall variance (pp. 57-58), and George Darwin (Charles Darwin's son) incorrectly dated the age of the earth based on tidal friction without accounting for the complexity of Earth's heat loss. (pp. 50-51)[1] At any rate, many previous efforts at dating the Earth are now known to have been flawed due to incorrectly assuming constant rates and presuming that all relevant factors were known.

With that said, on to radiometric dating.

Radiometric Dating's Faulty Assumptions

Radiometric dating is not as complex as it might seem, in essence one measures the amount of an isotope, for example 238u (a uranium isotope), and what it decays into, 206Pb (a lead isotope). Isotopes such as these actually exist in the atmosphere, 206Pb for example from aerosols.[2] With radiometric dating one must know how much of the initial isotope there was (including what the atmospheric levels were like), whether the radiometric decay rates were constant (and if contaminated be able to prove this occurred), and whether any more of the daughter or parent isotopes were introduced while it was decaying (which would throw off the process).

1. Cherrypicking the Results


First of all it is a major concern to Creationists that Evolutionists discard any discordant dates which do not reach the conclusions they want. To quote Tas Walker of Creation Ministries International, "It may be surprising to learn that evolutionary geologists themselves will not accept a radiometric date unless they think it is correct—i.e. it matches what they already believe on other grounds."[3]

Indeed, by throwing out all dates that disagree with their desired conclusions, the Evolutionist community disqualifies radiometric dating as credible, falsifiable science. If one refuses to acknowledge the evidence that disagrees with their point of view then they commit the fallacy of circular reasoning; and have never truly proven that claim at all.

2. Constant Rates?

Creationists have long argued in favor of Catastrophism rather than Uniformitarianism, that a mass catastrophe is the primary cause for Earth's geology rather than steady, gradual rates. For example, William Buckland (1784-1856), a famous early Geologist, sought to prove that the most recent catastrophe had been a global Flood.[4] After decades of abandoning Catastrophism in favor of Lyellian Uniformitarianism, the scientific community has in recent years finally acknowledged that a catastrophe did in fact kill ancient life worldwide.[5] However, such a catastrophe would have unprecedented effects on everything it fossilized.

As a Creationist I believe a global Flood mixed with underwater volcanism was responsible for much of the fossilization in the fossil record. Evidence of such underwater volcanism playing a role in past extinction has been discovered in recent years. An ancient eruption near modern-day Southwest China produced half a million cubic kilometers of lava, instantly killing and fossilizing marine life worldwide.[6]

The major problem for radiometric dating with all of this is that dating of volcanic ash has proved highly difficult in the past. Ash from the 1980s Mount St. Helens eruption produced widely varying dates, some at over 1 million years.[7] TalkOrigins in attempting to refute this has argued that dating young samples is irrelevant, that the laboratory's equipment "cannot accurately measure samples less than two million years old."[8] This argument seems self-defeating to me however.

After all, for radiometric dating to be viable under the scientific method it must be testable, verifiable, and falsifiable; one must be able to test material whose age is known for certain. If one claims radiometric dating can only be used on ancient sources and not recent ones, how then can one be sure the testing of ancient sources is reliable? How can one verify it without testing it on that which is recent and observable? After all if a recent eruption coupled with a global Flood had thrown off all the radiometric ages, would they not similarly appear young like the dacite from Mount St. Helens? An eruption would have carbonizing radioactive effects and introduce radioactive elements from beneath the Earth's surface of the exact same kinds being measured, giving everything an appearance of greater radiometric age.

3. Daughter Isotope Levels

How certain can we be what the initial levels of the isotopes were in the distant past? Carbon-14 dating for example is not uniformly distributed throughout life today, and both upwelling of deep ocean water and volcanic carbon dioxide give it the result of "built-in age."[9] Furthermore, one is expected to believe accurate predictions about what Earth's climate was like millions of years ago can be made when they cannot be made today. Al Gore for example predicted the ice caps would be gone now.

4. Polonium Radiohalos

Finally the Institute for Creation Research has the RATE Project, an analysis of radiometric dating and specifically how helium in Zircon Crystals per the aforementioned Uranium-Lead Dating indicates a rapid acceleration of the decay rate.[]


Sources

[1] http://books.google.com...
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...;
[3] http://creation.com...;
[4] http://evolution.berkeley.edu...;
[5] http://science.nationalgeographic.com...
[6] http://www.sciencedaily.com...;
[7] http://www.icr.org...;
[8] http://www.talkorigins.org...;
[9] http://www.britannica.com...;
[10] https://answersingenesis.org...
Envisage

Con

Preface
Pro has somehow succeeded in ignoring my entire argument in his rebuttal, and misses the point of me affirming radiometric dating. If I can definitively prove that life existed on Earth over 20,000 years ago, then we can dismiss the very possibility of there being any evidence for creation out of hand. I specifically chose radiometric dating because of it’s conclusive dating power of old samples, and extreme tolerance to environmental conditions of its fundamental principles.

Completeness of knowledge
Note that Con undermines his own arguments by arguing that “presuming all relevant factors are known” is unsound, as that’s exactly what all his first-round arguments do. However I explained at length how all relevant factors have all been examined one by one, and the consequences of altering these have been shown to be absurd as it relies on fundamental physical principles.

Cherrypicking Results
Pro appears to be arguing for a global conspiracy of all geologists that report dates of millions of years. Pro first needs to argue there is an extant variation within the results of nearly six orders of magnitude from which cherry picking is even possible (otherwise there would be no results to ‘pick’ from the bucket), and second he needs to make this claim for all 38,000+ papers I cited last round that include dates of millions of years. Every. Single. One.

The claim that Pro is making is comparable to 9/11 truthers, or the hoaxed moon landings, and as such this argument cannot be taken seriously.

Original number of Uranium/Lead atoms in the sample
Pro argues that 206Pb exists as aerosols, but fails to mention how this is relevant to my argument, note I argued at length that the use of zircon crystals controls extremely powerfully for non-radiogenic sources of 206Pb, as they exclude Pb upon crystallisation, after which lead can no longer be incorporated. Pro makes some arguments against 14C dating, but this is irrelevant to U/Pb dating.

Radioactive Decay Rates
Pro argues for catastrophism, but fails to show how it’s relevant to my radiometric dating whatsoever, let alone my arguments for it. If anything it would date fossils even more recently, which helps refute creationism even further.

Pro argues that measuring samples less than 2 million years old is somehow a problem for radiometric dating, if one analyses the calculation used:

NNow = NOrige-λt

The smaller the t measured, the smaller the NNow: NOrig ratio, and this is limited by the precision by which Pb can be measured, as well as other margins of error. To give a real-life example, it would be impossible to use a meter ruler to deduce distances of less than a millimetre apart, since the margin of error of measurement is too large compared to guaranteed level of resolution. At larger neasurements however, this margin of error (+/- 1 mm) becomes negligible compared to the measurement.

The same principle applies to any measuring method, including radiometric dating. The technique has an effective range of billions of years, hence will contain an inherent margin of error roughly proportional to it, depending on the precision by which lead can be controlled and measured for.

Moreover, we can be sure of its reliability BY assessing it’s assumptions, which I have provided evidence for in the previous round.

Polonium Radiohalos
Pro fails to actually provide an argument here. Moreover his link isn’t to a scientific paper, but to a blog post, and hence can be dismissed out of hand. Moreover his blog post doesn’t even show the data or argument either, hence I will rebut this in later rounds IF Pro brings forward the evidence and argument.

Rebuttals
Human Population Growth Rates

Pro’s argument here relies on the absurd assumption that human population growth is constant and has always remained constant. Given that virtually all species on Earth are roughly in equilibrium in population (no net growth or decrease), Pro needs to consider the carrying capacity of the environments involved.

The difference for humans in recent history has been the tremendous technological developments made recently which have massively increased the carrying capacity of urban environments, by no longer making scarcity of food a significant factor as it does in the wild.[1] Moreover assuming a 1% growth rate gives a date of 2,000 years, which falsifies Pro’s position anyway. His position is hence self-defeating.

Dinosaur Soft Tissue

Pro’s entire argument here rests on the assumption that it’s impossible for any soft tissue to last more than 100,000 years, but he gives no reason why we should believe this. Proteins are known to be highly durably chemical species (polypeptides) which can only be broken down in fossils by hydrolysis. However hydrolysis is impossible if water is excluded, which is indeed the case for a handful of fossils, and is a partial side-result of the fossilisation conditions. [2] Moreover, even in the presence of water peptide bonds are known to be highly durable.

Living Fossils and Lazarus Taxa
I have no idea how this is supposed to be evidence of creation instead of evolution. The fact that these species are millions of years old essentially defeats creationism outright. Furthermore there are an estimated 8.7 million eucharitic species on earth, of which more than 80% remain undiscovered. Hence these “living fossil” discoveries are unsurprising. [3]

Also assumes a perfectly complete fossil record, which is in naïve ignorance of the very specific conditions required for the processes of fossilisation, not all species will fossilise, and fossils of each species are relatively rare.[4]

Microevolutionary Rates
Two words. Adaptive Radiation. This phenomenon is well understood in adaptive radiation, where the presence of a new niche environment, and every single one of Pro's examples demonstrates this. When a new niche becomes accessible, adaptive radiation to fill that niche occurs.[5]

This in no way predicts that we would 'observe macroevolution', given that macroevolution IS microevolution but on larger and longer timescales, with a larger degree of branching and higher-tier generations of 'cousin families', adaptive radiation isn't something that entails this.

Pro has not demonstrated how this is evidence at all of creation, or even evidence against evolution, as opposed to just individual instances of rapid adaption. Pro would need to demonstrate reasons why we would expect changes above the species level to occur on human-timescales before making an argument from it.

Oldest Hominids Bipedal
Demonstrating bipedalism in a Human ancestor =/= evidence demonstrating humans are descended separately from apes.

Arguably the biggest things that separates humans from apes is our brain size and bipedalism. Given that the Ardipitecus had a brain size of only 300-359 cm3, which is comparable to our cousin apes, AND had bipedalism as humans do, this in fact makes for a remarkable example of a “transitional species” between humans and their primate common ancestor if it was one. [6] Bipedalism is thought to have evolved before intelligence did in humans.

If creation is true then the Ardipitecus would be neither a human, nor an 'ape', as it both walked upright like a human, but had a chimp sized brain. If evolution is true then it would just be another primate, to which humans are more closely related (or directly descended) to than humans are to the extant apes.

Given that these clearly blur the lines between humans and primates, it is clearly evidence in favor of evolution, and not creation.

References

  1. 1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  2. 2. Mason, Kennith A., Susan R. Singer, Peter H. Raven, and George B. Johnson. "Peptide Bonds." Biology. By Jonathan B. Losos. 8th ed. N.p.: McGraw Hill, n.d. 46-48. Print
  3. 3. http://www.nature.com...
  4. 4. http://en.citizendium.org...
  5. 5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  6. 6. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Jzyehoshua

Pro

Radiometric Dating No Excuse for Dismissing Other Evidence

Con argues radiometric dating can so definitively prove life existed prior to 20,000 years ago that all other evidence can be dismissed. However the debate's premise was simply that evidence exists which is most logically examined from a Creationist point of view. So long as I can show such evidence exists, radiometric dating or anything else is not grounds for dismissal. I address radiometric dating as such simply for the sake of debate, not because it could be grounds for disqualifying evidence for Creationism.

Comprehensiveness

Con 'would' be correct that "presuming all relevant factors are known" would apply to my 1st round arguments if I was in fact claiming all relevant factors were known - which I'm not. Rather than claiming I know all evidence that exists, and that my arguments are definitive the way Con argues radiometric dating is, I simply argue on the basis of reasonability, that given the evidence which exists, the evidence I raise is most logically examined from a Creationist point of view. I do not present this as a case of knowing all factors the way Con presents radiometric dating.

Cherrypicking

Con argues I am suggesting there's a global conspiracy of some kind, phrasing I never in fact used. I simply pointed out dates which are incompatible with the existing status quo of evolution are excluded from consideration under the methodology of radiometric dating. Nonetheless my understanding is that discordant dates are removed.[1] When a date does not agree with the evolution paradigm it is just a matter of finding an excuse such as weathering or contamination to write it off. Personally I think all dates and methodology should be published, not just those that fit a certain worldview. The argument from incredulity fallacy does not negate the fact that this does indeed appear to be a part of the methodology of radiometric dating.

Original Isotope Levels

I brought up the aerosols to point out that the element which the Uranium isotope decays into, 206Pb, can be found in the atmosphere, and that atmospheric levels of these isotopes vary from year to year. Carbon-14 for example is naturally produced in the atmosphere through cosmic rays, and all living beings tend to have the same amount of it in their bodies as is present in the atmosphere.[2] Thus in essence one must know what the atmospheric levels of Carbon-14 were to know how much Carbon-14 was decaying in the first place. In 2011 it was discovered that giant insects roamed the Earth due to oxygen levels 50% higher than today's levels, resulting in gigantism.[3]

In essence to believe in the infallibility of radiometric dating, one must believe that the atmospheric levels of isotopes millions of years ago can be known precisely. All radiometric dates are "calibrated" to account for what atmospheric levels were believed to be millions of years ago.[4] However, as I previously pointed Al Gore incorrectly predicted that the ice caps would be gone in 5 years, and instead the Antarctic ice cap has grown in both size and volume.[5] The scientific community was unable to correctly predict what would happen to the ice caps over a 5-year time period, yet to believe in radiometric dating one must believe they can precisely know what the atmosphere was like millions of years ago. Furthermore, in the case of Carbon-14 dating each minute little speck of Nitrogen-14 is measured as 5,730 years, so a few isotopes difference results in being off by tens of thousands of years.

Decay Rates

I brought up the issue of Catastrophism to point out that catastrophes will have unprecedented effects on decay rates; in the case of a global Flood mixed with underwater supervolcanos, I suspect underwater fossilized material might well see radioactive impact similar to a nuclear bomb. A supervolcano equals the force of 1,000 Hiroshima bombs exploding every single second.[6]

And as I pointed out volcanic ash from the 1980s Mount St. Helens eruption was dated at millions of years old. Thus a supervolcano mixed with a global Flood would have thrown off radiometric decay rates worldwide. As I also previously pointed out, evidence of just such an underwater supervolcano extinguishing life can be seen from the fossil record in ancient China. Encyclopaedia Britannica, which I also cited, mentioned that both upwelling of deepsea ocean water and volcanic carbon dioxide produce the appearance of "built-in age" on fossilized material, and both are exactly what would occur from a global Flood.[7]

Polonium Radiohalos

I was entirely out of room for that section and could only touch on the subject briefly. However, the AiG article referenced mentioned that helium should not exist in Zircon Crystals if the material being dated is as old as is claimed. Furthermore these radiohalos indicate a rapid process rather than gradual. To quote AiG (which is not a blog post), "However, because the daughter polonium atoms are only short-lived (for example, polonium-218 decays within 3 minutes, compared to 4.47 million years for uranium-238), the polonium radiohalos had to form within hours to a few days."[8]

Counter-Rebuttals

Human Population Growth Rates

Con is correct that human population could not always have grown this fast or human civilization could be only 2,071 years old. (8 survivors of Noah's Ark reaching 7 billion population) Con's problem however in arguing that technological advancement is behind this increase in growth is that the highest population growth rates are seen in third-world countries such as Lebanon (9.37%), Zimbabwe (4.36%), and South Sudan. (4.12%) These are countries with poor technological advancement and short life expectancies, yet their population is growing rapidly.[9] Thus they remain a strong evidence for Creationism.

Dinosaur Soft Tissue

The discovery such soft tissue existed was highly controversial and completely contradicted conventional thinking in the scientific community.[10] While iron chelatin has recently been discovered to help preserve soft tissue such as blood vessels, as noted by Elizabeth Mitchell of AiG,

"But can iron chelation preserve soft tissue and even keep it soft for millions of years? While a 200-fold delay in the decay of ostrich blood vessels is certainly impressive, even that level of preservation can’t hold a candle to the 99,800,000-fold increase in chemical stability needed in the millions-of-years evolutionary scenario. Schweitzer quite reasonably makes a comparison to the fixation properties of formaldehyde. Many variables influence the degree and duration of the decay-delaying properties of formaldehyde. But specimens preserved in formaldehyde are not preserved perfectly or permanently. While burial conditions likely influence the efficacy of iron as a preservative in any given bone, there is certainly no reason to propose that iron could preserve the molecular structure of soft tissue for millions of years any more than formaldehyde could."[11]

Living Fossils

The problem living fossils cause is that they managed to escape notice in the fossil record and get written off as extinct, while remaining substantially the same after all this time. This is more logical from a Creationist viewpoint of thousands of years than an Evolutionist one of millions.

Microevolutionary Rates

These rates are consistent with life adapting over thousands of years, not millions or billions. They are more consistent with short time scales than long time scales. As with human population growth rates, the evolutionist must claim these rates have sped up for some reason.

Hominids

Nonetheless suggestive. Out of room.

Sources:

1.
http://tinyurl.com...;
2. http://tinyurl.com...;
3. http://tinyurl.com...;
4. http://tinyurl.com...;
5. http://tinyurl.com...;
http://tinyurl.com...
[6] http://tinyurl.com...;
[7] http://tinyurl.com...;
[8] http://tinyurl.com...;
[9] http://tinyurl.com...;
[10] http://tinyurl.com...;
[11] http://tinyurl.com...;
Envisage

Con

Radiometric Dating
Proving radiometric dating conclusively shows life is significantly older than is possible with creation falsifies the creation model. A falsified model cannot gather evidence in favour of it as the model itself in incoherent with reality.

Comprehensiveness
Virtually any measurement needs to account for external factors for it to be reliable, and this is done in practice when establishing virtually any scientific tool of measurement. I have explained in detail how radiometric dating has painstakingly cleared all these hurdles, however Pro clearly has not done the same thing with his five proposed routes of demonstrating a young age of life.

Pro has significantly sacrificed quality for quantity, and this shotgun approach has left his case full of holes. Hence we should prefer my case outright for making a detailed consideration of the factors the affect reliability of the measurements

Cherrypicking
It’s Pro’s burden to prove that a systematic rejection of discordant dates is involved. Moreover if it Pro’s burden to show that these discordant dates are six orders of magnitude off, since there would be no “cherries to pick” if the techniques don’t yield these exceptionally young dates as a norm (since it would be these results that are rejected if Pro’s hypothesis holds up).

Pro’s reference leads to a creationist blog, which can hardly be called representative of the geological community. Upon reviewing Pro’s source here [1] I find zero evidence of there being the sort of cherry picking Pro is talking about. Simply asserting something to be true of the entire geological community via one person’s opinion (if it was just a quote Pro is going by) is nowhere near sufficient to demonstrate this takes place.

Hence Pro needs to show:

  1. 1. That the results generally give results ~six orders of magnitude smaller, AS WELL as the million year dates for there to be any ‘binning’ process
  2. 2. Evidence of this cherry picking happening on the scale of the entire community


Pro has done neither.

Original Isotope Levels
Uranium/lead dating of zircon crystals do not require knowledge of the atmospheric concentrations of lead, as they do not affect the formation of the mineral. Moreover 14C dating relies on different assumptions to 238U dating, since 14C decays to 14N, which vents off as a gas, which is the reason why other assumptions are made to calculate the original concentration of 14C. The same is not the case withU/Pb dating of zircon crystals.

Pro ignores all my arguments as to how zircon crystals control for lead concentrations, irrespective of how much atmospheric, or even molten lead there is before crystallisation occurs. It’s these arguments he needs to address to have a chance of disputing the original isotope concentrations. The rest of Pro’s argument here is completely irrelevant.

Decay Rates
I already demonstrated that decay rates are virtually immutable to temperature and pressure changes, and that includes supervolcanoes etc, which have temperatures of only a few thousand degrees celsius. Temperatures exceeding the core of the Sun are required to have any hope of budging these rates. Thus Pro’s theory of catastrophism completely misses the mark, he needs to actually show how these can have been a negligible effect on decay rates, much less one on the order of 100,000+. I have already ruled this absurd by the energy output consequences.

Pro ignores my rebuttals from “error bars”, he just reasserts his original rebuttal. Even if life was extinguished by some catastrophic global flood/volcanism, it would have occurred millions of years ago, as that’s what virtually all of the fossils date to.

Polonium Radiohalos
Pro still doesn’t cite the study, and I was unable to access the study from the page Pro gave (which is allegedly by Snelling) and rebut it directly (Pro’s argument should also be thrown out for lack of a remotely credible source). Pro also seems to be combining two claims here. Helium diffusion is a different branch of dating methods to radiometric dating, a major assumption and variable that needs to be considered is the effect of subsurface pressure on diffusion rates, which has been completely overlooked by various creationist studies. Simply put, the greater the pressure the crystal is under, the lower the diffusion rates.[4]

I cannot access the study for polonium radiohalos either, but it’s based on the assumption that radiohalos are only possible IF all the uranium decayed quickly. First, it fails to consider internal gas diffusion and nucleation effects. Moreover, IF uranium decayed rapidly and hence halos formed rapidly/instantaneously, then we would expect a plethora of different polonium radiohalo types to form such as 215Po & 211Po (238U decay series products) and 216Po and 212Po (232T decay series products, which also are incorporated into zircon). However in Gentry’s studies, exclusively the 238U products are observed, which is better explained by Radon diffusion.[2]

Rebuttals

Human Population Growth Rates
Pro ignores the fact that biological species reach ecological equilibrium. Moreover Pro ignores the fact that despite relatively poor technological advancement, their technology is still orders of magnitude greater than those of apes, with agriculture. Zimbabwe especially has a significant portion of its economy from farming alone, and its economy continues to grow as farmland is expanded. Humans here are simply not restricted by the holding capacity that would have otherwise affected our ancestors before agriculture, technology etc. existed.

Pro concedes that his rate assumption is unsound, and gives no attempt at explaining why it would be different in the past compared to today. Thus we can assume reasons to exist for the population not to perpetually grow.

Dinosaur Soft Tissue
Pro ignores my arguments regarding the natural stability of polypeptides (proteins), and the fact that they require hydrolysis to decompose, which requires water, which can be excluded for some fossils. I never raised the argument of iron chelation so Pro is attacking a strawman here, nor am I suggesting any special preservation techniques other than what occurs anyway in the fossilisation process.

Living Fossils
Pro’s argument here now is that evolution predicts “everything will look different between time A and time B”, for which I have seen no argument from Pro to affirm. In punctuated equilibrium theory, evolution doesn’t occur smoothly, but in periods of fast and slow changes. We would expect species that are already well-adapted to their environments and environments which do not undergo much change to not undergo significant changes.[3]

In evolution, and virtually any optimisation process, there are trade-offs, since everything has a cost. Maintaining eyes has a cost of increased infections. Maintaining arms has a cost of additional energy to maintain, etc. Thus a well-adapted species and static environment will have already optimised itself with the relative trade-offs.[5] If EVERY species was static in the fossil record (the one that should extend only 20,000 years), then Pro might have an argument that there is evidence of creation. But that is obviously not what is observed.



Microevolutionary Rates
This might possibly be true IF these rates were representative of all species. But Pro has only shown specific examples. Moreover deducing an “expected rate” is dubious and oversimplifies the issue. “Macro-evolution” depicts the branching of species into a family tree, with multiple cousin species descending from one parent species (such as lions, tigers, leapoards, etc, then domestic cats etc.). This has very little to do with adaptive radiation.
References

  1. 1. http://tinyurl.com......
  2. 2. http://www.talkorigins.org...
  3. 3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  4. 4. http://www.talkorigins.org...
  5. 5. http://www.eeb.cornell.edu...
Debate Round No. 4
Jzyehoshua

Pro

Radiometric Dating

Con argues that radiometric dating should be considered so conclusive that all the evidence I brought up in round 1 should be written off. However, science should accept all evidence and question existing theories as new evidence comes to light, not cling dogmatically to them. Not even the law of relativity is untouchable, and has come under recent scrutiny.[1]

Altering Decay Rates

As previously addressed both volcanism and upwelling of ocean water give the appearance of radiometric age. Other cases include:

  • The sun alters radiometric decay rates.[2]
  • Magnetic fields alter decay rates, particular beta decay.[3]
  • Both intense heat and pressure can alter decay rates. Beryllium decay rates have been altered, albeit minimally.[4]

Comprehensiveness

Con claims I have not accounted for external factors when presenting my original arguments, but my rebuttals last round show otherwise. Con brought up concerns about technological advancement with human population growth rates and preservation of soft tissue, both of which are I’m assuming the factors he refers to, and both were addressed.

Cherrypicking

John Woodmorappe in his 1978 paper “Radiometric Geochronology Reappraised” presented several quotes showing the scientific community does discard dates that it doesn’t agree with.[5]

  • "In general, dates in the `correct ball park' are assumed to be correct and are published, but those in disagreement with other data are seldom published nor are discrepancies fully explained." (Mauger)[6]
  • "I think the thing to do is get a sequence of dates and throw out those that are vastly anomalous." (Curtis et al)[7]
  • "In spite of collection of unweathered samples and precautions taken to discard samples with evident alteration, it is usual to obtain a spectrum of discordant dates and to select the concentration of highest values as the correct age." (Armstrong and Besancon)[8]
  • "In general, strong discordances can be expected among ages deduced by different methods." (Brown and Miller)[9]

Answers in Genesis

Con keeps attempting to label Answers in Genesis a “creationist blog” even though it is one of the foremost creationism institutions in the world, and well-known for its creationism museum which recently put on display one of the best-preserved allosaurus skeletons in the world.[10] AiG is no more a blog than TalkOrigins is.

Isotope Levels

Nonetheless Con did not simply specify uranium-lead dating but referred to radiometric dating in general with his original response, thus my points are relevant that radiometric dating methods can require knowledge of atmospheric concentrations from the distant past. Con overlooks my broader point, that Pb206, the uranium element being dated, is found in the environment, not just the atmosphere but rainwater and petrol as well.[11] Thus the possibility exists that it could seep into the underground lava flows where the zircon crystals form.

Geomagnetic Field Reversals

The Earth’s magnetic field has reversed polarity several times in Earth’s past, as recorded in the lava flows which Zircon Crystals form.[12] Recently the Earth’s magnetic field has been drastically weakening, and since the magnetic field protects us from the sun’s rays, this is cause for some concern.[13]

Now, why is this relevant? Because as previously mentioned, solar flares and magnetism can alter radiometric decay rates. Thus the flips of the Earth’s magnetic field in the past by allowing more solar activity would logically have resulted in decay rate alterations as well.

On top of this, because the Earth’s magnetic field is decaying 5% each century (and even faster in recent years), Creationist Thomas Barnes has pointed out that the magnetic field could not have been decaying for more than 10,000 years or it would have melted the Earth. Russell Humphreys has since proposed a Dynamic Decay theory positing that the reversals are due to fluid flow within the Earth (for example the magma in which Zircon Crystals form), and predicted based on it that magnetic reversals should be found within lava flows that have cooled in short time periods (days/weeks), a prediction that has been confirmed.[14]

Polonium Radiohalos

The study referenced is “Helium Diffusion Rates Support Accelerated Nuclear Decay” by Humphreys et. al.[15] I still remain unclear as to why Con thinks helium would still exist in Zircon Crystals if they are as old as is claimed.

Counter-Rebuttals

Human Population Growth Rates

As observed by Don Batten, “If the population had grown at just 0.01% per year since then (doubling only every 7,000 years), there could be 10^43 people today—that’s a number with 43 zeros after it... Those who adhere to the evolutionary story argue that disease, famine and war kept the numbers almost constant for most of this period, which means that mankind was on the brink of extinction for most of this supposed history. This stretches credulity to the limits."[16]

I have not conceded anything here, even at rates just 1/10th those seen today human population could not be older than 30,000 years. These rates are strong evidence for Creationism.

Soft Tissue

What Con neglects to mention is if hydrolysis could explain the preservation of dinosaur soft tissue, why has the scientific community been so shocked at said tissue’s existence? It was widely believed until the past few years that such tissue should not exist under evolutionary models.

Living Fossils

Outside of dinosaurs however, many species have remained generally static as seen from the fossil record, and similar to life seen today. The fossil record contains ancient bats (Onychonycteris), octopi (Palaeoctopus), pangolins (Eomanis), swordfish (Eurhinodelphis), pandas (Ailuropoda microta), cockroaches (Aphthoroblattina), otters (Puijila Darwini), etc. That so many types of life, aside from dinosaurs, have remained substantially unchanged is evidence for Creationism.

Microevolutionary Rates

Actually in Round 2 I did provide a source referring to microevolutionary rates in general. Source 21 from Yale.[17]

Closing

In closing I would like to thank Envisage for a thought-provoking debate, for all our disagreement hopefully we presented both sides of an important subject and made each other and the readers think through the evidence involved. Thanks for a good debate!


Sources

[1] http://tinyurl.com...;

http://tinyurl.com...;

[2] http://tinyurl.com...;

[3] http://tinyurl.com...;

[4] http://www.nature.com...;

[5] http://tinyurl.com...;

http://tinyurl.com...;

[6] Mauger R. L. 1977. K-Ar Ages of Biotites from Tuffs in Eocene Rocks of the Green River, Washakie, and Uinta Basins, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. Contributions to Geology 15( 1):37. [7] https://books.google.com...;

[8] Armstrong, R. L. and J. Besancon. 1970. A Triassic Time Scale Dilemma: K-Ar Dating of Upper Triassic Mafic Igneous Rocks, Eastern USA and Canada, and Post-Upper Triassic Plutons, Western Idaho, USA. GH 63:21, 3. [9] Brown, P. E. and J. A. Miller. 1969. Interpretation of isotopic ages in erogenic belts (in Kent et. al. 1969. Time and Place in Orogeny. GL Special Publicatin No. 3), p. 152. [10] http://tinyurl.com...;

http://bigstory.ap.org...;

[11] http://tinyurl.com...;

[12] http://tinyurl.com...;

[13] http://tinyurl.com...;

[14] http://tinyurl.com...;

http://www.icr.org...;

[15] http://www.icr.org...;

[16] http://tinyurl.com...;

[17] http://environment.yale.edu...;

Envisage

Con

Preface

I apologise for loss for formatting, as I am writing this round from my phone.

Decay Rates

I already affirmed how immutable decay rates were in my previous rounds (including to sun, heat and pressure). Pro proposes magnetic fields & best decay could alter them (which was news to me), however checking Pro's source shows it makes no statement whatsoever about any decay rate change at all, let alone magnetic/beta induced chances (I advise voters to check the source themselves if they don't believe me).

Hence Pro brings nothing new to the table here when I haven't considered in my opening round. Moreover Pro has not addressed my arguments that assuming decay rates changes enough to account for the data, it would lead to absurd consequences (such as the Earth cooking itself sterile). Note that this increased decay rate would have had to have occurred consistently throughout history, since we have rocks which date to all parts of history (1 million, 10, 100, 1,000, 3,000 etc). All of which have fossils found with them. So positing a one-time decay rate change is not sufficient here, decay rates would literally need to be elevated a constant 100,000x their rates today until very, very recent history.

Cherrypicking

None of Pro's quotes address the practice of Radiometric dating as a whole. Moreover the one quote I could check is ironically quote mined (cherrypicked in itself!):

"After Dr. Curtis's cautious remarks in early 1961 about the age of determininations from Olduvai 'However much of that section is contaminated ... 'I think the thing to do is get a sequence of dates and throw out those that are vastly anomalous.' "[2]

The other quotes I could not check the original sources, but do not relate to the practice of Radiometric dating as a whole, and hence are irrelevant.

Isotope Levels

Pro's only argument is possible contamination. But I already addressed this in my opening, where zircon crystals quantitatively exclude lead from their crystal structure. They simply do not chemically absorb lead in any manner. Also the crystals are insoluble in water, so you could chuck a crystal in a bucket of lead-water for years and the lead content within the crystal would remain unaffected.[1] Virtually all studies only consider the effect of Pb loss, since Pb is so readily excluded from the crystal lattice, thus the ages that would be given if contamination occurred would be younger, not older than what they really represent.[1]

Furthermore, thick would necessarily have had to happened to *all* crystals on Earth, since they all

Geomagnetic Field Reversals

I already addressed magnetic and beta decay (they do not affect decay rates), moreover Earth's magnetic field doesn't deflect neutrinos anyway, so the number received on earth with no magnetic field at all is the same as it would be now. The *only* way to increase neutrinos reaching Earth is to have the sun (or a nearby star) increase it's output, but since output is proportional to the amount of heat produced it would mean the Earth would get vaporised (a 100,000 deficit is hard to climb).

Also such an output increase would necessarily need to be constant, and not a one-off.

Polonium Radiohalos

I already explained that helium diffusion relies on an assumption regarding the sub-terrarium pressure (from being squeezes from thousands of tonnes of rock above), and it's affect on diffusion rates. The source I cited demonstrates that this was not taken into account by Pro's source, hence completely invalidating the data as 'evidence' for creationism,

Counter-Rebuttals

Human Population Growth Rates

Pro completely ignores my dilemma:
1. Either the Human growth rates (1%/annum) are constant, or have changed
2. If the human growth rates are constant, then creationism is false
3. If the human growth rates have changed, then the argument makes a false assumption
C. Either creationism is false, or the argument makes a false assumption

Both horns of the dilemma are bad for Pro. If the growth rates have chances, then they could have been 0% at some point in the past! or even negative with net human loss(!). Pro also ignores my point that virtually all animal species are essentially in population equilibrium (0% growth), so why should humans before technology be any different? I gave positive reasons to this this is true via. The Holding capacity consideration. Pro has ignored this.

Soft Tissue

Incredulity & surprise is not an argument. Pro does not contest the evidence I gave or reasoning, and thus concedes this argument. I am not at liberty to explain surprise.

Living Fossils

No source was cited for the various living fossils, and it doesn't even matter. Since Pro's entire argument relies on the assumption of a complete fossil resort (I.e. We have accurate knowledge of virtually all species in the record, as well as population estimates, etc. I already argued this assumption is naive and dubious. Moreover Pro ignores my arguments as to why some species would not undergo many morphological changes (trade offs) and hence drops this point.

Microevolutionary Rates

I will let Pro's source speak for itself here:

"Ecology is being transformed by the recognition that ecological and evolutionary timescales are not easily differentiated. A 1999 review of evolutionary rates by Andrew Hendry and Mike Kinnison (The pace of modern life: measuring rates of contemporary microevolution. Evolution 53:1637-1653) provided the striking conclusion that rates of contemporary evolution are much faster than generally appreciated. The fact that genotype frequencies can be expected to change as the environment changes is profoundly important to general ecological understanding as well as our approach to dealing with issues such as global climate change."

Amusingly, Pro has two conflicting contentions here, with arguments for evolutionary stasis as evidence for creationism, or rapid evolution as evidence for creationism. Pro drops this argument as he fails to fulfil a key assumption in his arguments (of expected evolutionary rates, and oversimplification of the factors involved).

Humanoid Fossils

Pro drops this argument, however in any case this contention was turned back on Pro as clear evidence for evolution.

Magnetic Field Decay

This argument makes the assumption that the magnetic field does not 'replenish', and hence can only decay. However he contradicts himself in citing magnetic field *reversals*, and it is clearly the case that reversal of the Earth's magnetic field leads to an observation (albeit temporary) of decay. Pro would most likely be making this exact same argument but in reverse if we were on the 'replenishing' phase, too, amusingly.[3]

Conclusion

I hope voters can see the clear contrast here in the level of rigor given in our cases. Pro completely fails to consider external factors, and fails to consider what his core assumptions are in the evidences he provides.

Once the core assumptions are challenged, Pro's case has fallen apart at each and every step. The contention was "evidence exists", yet evidence cannot exist if:

1. Your hypothesis already massively contradicts reality (as it does with Radiometric dating)
2. You have not considered the factors/assumptions that relate the evidence to claims about reality

I believe I have thoroughly demonstrated both horns of this, and Pro has taken to only rebuttals, rather than positively forwarding a case for why we should think Pro's facts have sound assumptions that lead it to becoming evidence for creationism

As such, I encourage readers to vote Con.

Thank you Pro for this debate, it has been fun.

References
1. http://www.princeton.edu...
2. https://books.google.co.uk...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 5
138 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by prodigalchild 2 years ago
prodigalchild
The debate itself is a fairly interesting one to peruse. But the premise of the debate is still just ludicrous. The Bible is not meant to be read literally. That was never the intention. Further, it is a book of moral stories written by men to best express the wishes of a higher being whose will cannot be directly translated to human words.

By biggest concern is an alarming trend typified by Pro in this debate. He or she is clearly an intelligent individual with sound reasoning skills. However, his or her mind has been hijacked by faith and he or she is wasting natural ability and intelligence on issues that are both illogical and unimportant.

I am a little angered at the insinuation that "atheist governments" have killed hundreds of millions of people. That sounds like the headline of a religious wing tabloid circular. First, there are no such things as "atheist governments". In fact, the only "religious" governments which exist, do a really bangup job. They are, namely, the governments of Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Oman, Laos, and Egypt.

There is no such thing as an atheist government. There never has been and there never will be. I say this for one reason. The point of an atheist movement is the de-emphasize the effect of religion in a modern society. The primary atheist belief is that religion itself is an ancient magic which sprung forth in an era where scientific methods were too primitive to establish any reasonable understanding. Hence, all the phenomena without simple explanation were simply chalked up to being the works of higher beings. That idea has persisted in the human collective unconsciousness. Despite the advancing of scientific technology, there will always be advanced that cannot be explained by human scientific limitations. But that doesn't mean "God" or "Gods" are responsible, it just means we can't explain them yet.

So, there will never be an atheist government because atheists don't label themselves.
Posted by EndlessVoid 2 years ago
EndlessVoid
I found the third argument to be the closest one, as it seems prima facie plausible that living fossils WOULD be evidence in favor of creationism. Con rebutted the 'reappearance' sufficiently well by explaining the fossil record is incomplete due to rare conditions of fossilisation. However the 'living fossils' themselves were a bone in my mind.

Even if they were really poor evidence of creationism, and take a myopic view on the facts, then it seems they would fit the criteria of evidence for creationism (since it makes it more plausible).

Thus I am not sure who won this debate because of this point. Good job to both, however.
Posted by EndlessVoid 2 years ago
EndlessVoid
If this debate was a "creationism vs evolutionism, which model is most likely" then this debate is a clear win for Con, as his radiometric arguments stood so well dispite being so simple (he only argued for one subset of the dating method). Virtually all of Pro's rebuttals to it miss the mark as Pro was arguing for an explicit form of Radiometric dating, and his contamination arguments argue for possibility rather than likelihood. Con holds against contamination very easily here, and accelerated decay rates Con refuted in several ways, the most convincing was the consequences of accelerated decay rates, which would lead to absurd consequences if it really did happen.

However, this debate is different, thus all these arguments can be ignored and only Pro's five evidences need be considered. Pro drops his fifth argument, and the forth argument I agree with Con's analysis that global trends are required, not individual examples, and a hypothesis on the expected rates assuming creationism to be true vs the expected rates if evolution was true. It was a large burden to overcome, and Pro's sources were completely insufficient as Con argued.

Pro drops Cons's rebuttals regarding hydrolysis being impossible in the absence of water. I think Pro could have made things more difficult by arguing water would have been in present regardless but I am not familiar with the facts here, Pro's rebuttals regarding iron chelation here were simply a red herring, as Pro's argument cuts one assumption deeper.

Human Population growths, Pro never addressed the holding capacity consideration, and the fact it would entail a roughly 0% growth rate. I think Con could have been more complete with his rebuttal, but he did enough to refute this. Creationism is false even if growth continued at current rates, and given they were different in the past, then further information is needed to know what the rates were, and Pro didn't uphold his BoP to believe they were never equal or below zero.
Posted by Stalin_Mario 2 years ago
Stalin_Mario
The United States, Norway, United Kingdom, Denmark, etc, are all secular countries (governments). The countries you named were atheist countries; however, atheism also had nothing to do with their flaws. The reason those countries were so oppressive was because of their system (communist dictatorship). The leaders of those countries didn't kill because of atheism, they killed because they wanted to secure their power and to preserve their party. Look at countries today that are ruled through religion, you will find it that they are the ones that are the most oppressive. Look back into history, when European countries were ruled through Christianity, they were insanely brutal and oppressive. Secular government > Religious government any day.
Posted by Jzyehoshua 2 years ago
Jzyehoshua
At the end of the day I just do not think Atheism will produce that which is good, and Christianity results in a change of heart and nature that will produce good. Even if one were just going purely off the effects of each side from an objective standpoint, I think Christianity clearly comes out ahead. Atheism has been tried, it has been tested over the past century, and it has been found severely wanting, secular communist governments are proving the most oppressive places on Earth. China, North Korea, Cuba, the former Soviet Union, and of course secular Germany, the birthplace of Marx, Nietzsche, and Julius Welhausen that spawned secularism worldwide - these places have not resulted in good things, but evil.
Posted by Jzyehoshua 2 years ago
Jzyehoshua
The golden age of science and democracy did not begin with secular thinking, it began with the protestant reformation, Christian thinkers like Pasteur, Newton, Galileo; it began with democratic founders like William Penn, Roger Williams, James Madison (see the Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments), Thomas Jefferson (Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom), Patrick Henry. While slavery still exists in many parts of the world, it has largely been outlawed because Christians opposed it, including Roger Williams and Penn's Quakers, or Harriet Beecher Stowe.

On the other hand, atheistic governments have killed hundreds of millions of people just within the past century alone. The Asian Gendercide has killed 160-200 million women alone due to sex-selective abortion in China and neighboring countries.

http://www.nytimes.com...

Mao Zhedong killed 18-45 million in the Great Leap Forward. The Soviet Union killed 18-25 million under Joseph Stalin. Hitler killed 55-136 million during the World Wars using the National Socialist Party with its Social Darwinism and eugenics policies, and had 800 protestant pastors arrested and the leader of the Confessing Church resistance movement, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, put to death. North Korea has killed 5 million and continues executing Christians today. Pol Pot killed 2 million in the Khmer Rouge.

I legitimately do not think atheism is a force for global good, and that Christianity on the other hand is. Many of the food pantries and orphanages in the U.S. are run by Christians, and indeed they are the driving force behind global adoption.

http://www.nytimes.com...

Faith-based foreign aid groups make a major impact in confronting poverty worldwide also, and it's rare for me to visit a church that doesn't make helping others a focus.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by Jzyehoshua 2 years ago
Jzyehoshua
Your idea of a 'peace treaty' was claiming fundamentalists can't think, that science can't provide evidence for God's existence, that Creationism can't explain the universe, that we have no right to have opinions on God's existence or absolute morality, and that absolute truth cannot be connected to a book like the Bible.

You may have been trying to word that less harshly, but those are all concepts I strongly disagree with, and felt compelled to say as much. I suppose this is as good a place as any to end the discussion, and it was likewise interesting talking to you. Nothing personal, we each have our beliefs , I just disagree with the conclusions of moral relativism.

To argue that all societies, cultures, religious texts, etc. are equivalent seems to me as much a fallacy as saying all scientific theories are equivalent or that all organizations are equally good. Ultimately asking why evil exists in the world acknowledges a moral law to the universe by which evil can be defined absolutely, as has been pointed out by Ravi Zacharias. And a moral law necessitates a moral Lawgiver.

"When you say there is evil, aren't you admitting there is good? When you accept the existence of goodness, you must affirm a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. But when admit to a moral law, you must posit a moral lawgiver. That, however, is who you are trying to disprove and not prove. For if there is no moral lawgiver, there is no moral law. If there is no moral law, there is no good. If there is no good, there is no evil."

http://xwalk.ca...

http://www.rzim.org...
Posted by Atmas 2 years ago
Atmas
It was a very hammy approach to this discussion, I have to admit, I'm surprised you answered it that way. I could already tell you've set up the wall of faith and will jut your spears outside your wall at any who approach, so I offered a middle ground, a peace treaty of sorts, which you deny. That's all the answer I need.
I spent this whole time thinking you were maybe 17-18 years old, but I just saw that you were 30+, it's making more sense now. This is of course, not an insult, just an observation.

Still, you've earned my respect for being a competent thinker, something that's fairly difficult to come by.

Thanks for the discussion =D
Posted by Jzyehoshua 2 years ago
Jzyehoshua
Furthermore, you ask "How dare we interpret his will with our childish chicken scratches!" But you contradict yourself. Earlier you said "The trick is to never give up and be content twiddling our thumbs in our womb called Earth. I used to be a fundamentalist, yet I've always assumed: God gave us hands to eat with, eyes to see with, legs to walk with, but his gift was brains to think with." You cannot on the one hand say we have no right to interpret God's will, and try to figure out what God wants of us, and on the other hand say that God gave us brains to figure it out with, and that we shouldn't be content at not knowing.

To conclude, no, I do not think the Bible should just be taken at face value, it will be up to each person to decide whether to trust it or not. The proof will be for each person individually whether they find it to be true. I've personally come to trust it as what it claims to be, God's Word, but that is each person's decision to make.

We are in agreement though that God would want us to question for ourselves, and indeed the Bible even calls noble those who question what it says so long as they do with an open mind desiring to find out the truth.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

The entire book of Proverbs is written about the need to gain wisdom, and is one of only two books in the Bible, the other being Revelation, that opens with a promise (of wisdom in the case of Proverbs) to those who read it.

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Posted by Jzyehoshua 2 years ago
Jzyehoshua
You ask "Why, even if the universe is 10,000 years old... would he make more than Earth?" I would ask why wouldn't He? The Bible mentions other beings (angels, cherubim, seraphim) and how new heavens and a new earth will be brought in. (Isaiah 65:17, 2 Peter 3:13) It says God expands the Heavens (Isaiah 44:24), that God uses the entire heavens as His dwellingplace, that Heaven is God's throne and Earth just His footstool. (Isaiah 66:1, Acts 7:49) The Bible is consistent with the Heavens being vast as God's dwellingplace, and multiple types of life and planets being created.

You ask "Would we all be doomed to eternal torment for having never learned of his wishes?" No, Biblically people are punished for their actions as in an ultimate court of law, according to their deeds. (2 Chronicles 6:30, Job 34:11, Psalm 62:12)

You said, "To connect God with a single book, a single dust mote of a planet, a single way of creating, a single intelligence by which to do so, is literally blasphemy." On the contrary, if God is all-powerful/all-wise, He'd certainly be able to reveal His will to mankind, and indeed it would be unfair for Him to expect actions of mankind without communicating to them what was right. As pointed out by Michael Horner,

"If you let each religion speak for itself, you find religions around the world differ greatly on the basic concepts-God, truth, reality, the basic human dilemma and the solution to that dilemma. They differ so much that many of their statements contradict one another. For example, God cannot be both personal, as Christians, Jews and Muslims believe, and impersonal, as Buddhists and Hindus believe. Those are contradictory statements. According to the rules of logic, contradictory statements cannot all be true. Therefore, all religions cannot possibly be true. It is a logical impossibility. And if they are not all true, then not all of them can lead to God."

http://www.thoughts-about-god.com...
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Mr.Chorlton 2 years ago
Mr.Chorlton
JzyehoshuaEnvisage
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: A long read. Pro gave it a good shot but in the end was overwhelmed with the amount of evidence given by Con. Con provided a well written argument backed up with evidence with a clear debate strategy.
Vote Placed by warren42 2 years ago
warren42
JzyehoshuaEnvisage
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: PRO ignored all CON argumentation in the rebuttal. Both sides did a good job. I feel like PRO has some controversial, but plausible theories, but CON does a better job
Vote Placed by TrustmeImlying 2 years ago
TrustmeImlying
JzyehoshuaEnvisage
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: PRO makes many assumptions about radiometric dating, growth rates, and the behavior of the scientific community, all of which were negated by CON. These core assumptions were the crux of the argument, and so the argument collapsed as they were dismissed. CON provided ample counter-arguments to a conspiracy-theory like suggestion that the global scientific community was steering the data to suggest a specific outcome, of which PRO could not counter. PRO suggested radiometric dating was faulty, but did not provide this revelatory assertion with meaningful support. PRO uses growth rates to support his claim, however the true data works against his favor, and instead supported CON. Excellent debate from you both, I enjoyed reading.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 2 years ago
MrJosh
JzyehoshuaEnvisage
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: CON's only requirement here was to show that the evidence was not stronger on the creation side of the balance. He had no burden to actually provide additional evidence. However, he did. He could have simply stopped with his explanation of life greater than 20,000, and his job would have been more than done; however, he chose to dismantle PRO's points anyway.
Vote Placed by gomergcc 2 years ago
gomergcc
JzyehoshuaEnvisage
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro give a strong a well rounded argument from the start. Cons argument was not well rounded until round 4. While I agree with con's argument it not well rounded enough for me to call con the winner.
Vote Placed by Nevearo 2 years ago
Nevearo
JzyehoshuaEnvisage
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: This was a good debate. The question being asked is if evidence exists that is more logical for creationist than evolutionist conclusions. If creation is false or true is irrelevant. Neither of you defined logical, so I'll go with my view. Human Population Growth Rates were actually a strong argument in Pro's favor. Con could have focused on historical population rates and evidence for growth/loss. In the end, I did not find Pro's argument that his way was more logical. Soft Tissue appeared to be a strong argument. I did not have access to either source, but Pro never countered the hydrolysis explanation, instead focusing on the shock of scientists. This to me means pro conceded it was possible from an evolutionist conclusion. While I do not know if other evidence exists that is more logical from a creationist view, I believe that for the purposes of this debate, it was up to Pro to provide it. Sorry Pro. These were great arguments!
Vote Placed by Enji 2 years ago
Enji
JzyehoshuaEnvisage
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Pro argues (1) that human population growth rates are too high for evolution and hence are more logical given a young earth, (2) the discovery of soft tissue from dinosaurs better fits under their recent extinction since such tissue is allegedly not supposed to be able to exist beyond 100,000 years, (3) some species remaining largely unchanged for millions of years is better explained under creationism, and (4) short-term evolutionary rates are too fast for millions of years. Con (1) establishes population growth rate is not constant, affected by past technological developments (e.g. agriculture, urbanisation) so extrapolating a young earth is unsubstantiated, (2) Pro's upper limit on soft tissue preservation is unsubstantiated; possible to be preserved ,(3) species well-adapted to their environments not be expected to change over long times, (4) rapid evolution to fill ecological niches does not lead to Pro's conclusions; rates consistent both on ecological and geological timescales.