Debate Rounds (5)
"In his book Justifying Historical Descriptions, historian C. B. McCullagh lists six tests which historians use in determining what is the best explanation for given historical facts.6 The hypothesis "God raised Jesus from the dead" passes all these tests:
1. It has great explanatory scope: it explains why the tomb was found empty, why the disciples saw post-mortem appearances of Jesus, and why the Christian faith came into being.
2. It has great explanatory power: it explains why the body of Jesus was gone, why people repeatedly saw Jesus alive despite his earlier public execution, and so forth.
3. It is plausible: given the historical context of Jesus" own unparalleled life and claims, the resurrection serves as divine confirmation of those radical claims.
4. It is not ad hoc or contrived: it requires only one additional hypothesis: that God exists. And even that needn"t be an additional hypothesis if one already believes that God exists.
5. It is in accord with accepted beliefs. The hypothesis: "God raised Jesus from the dead" doesn"t in any way conflict with the accepted belief that people don"t rise naturally from the dead. The Christian accepts that belief as wholeheartedly as he accepts the hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead.
6. It far outstrips any of its rival hypotheses in meeting conditions (1)-(5). Down through history various alternative explanations of the facts have been offered, for example, the conspiracy hypothesis, the apparent death hypothesis, the hallucination hypothesis, and so forth. Such hypotheses have been almost universally rejected by contemporary scholarship. None of these naturalistic hypotheses succeeds in meeting the conditions as well as the resurrection hypothesis." http://www.google.com...
"If we start with the cross approximately 30 AD and call that ground zero, 1 Corinthians 15 checks in at about 55 AD whatever the writer, conservative or not conservative, we have 25 years. In ancient historiography this is incredible in a time when the best known biography of Alexander the Great is that of Plutarch almost 400 years after Plutarch. When we learn about the early Caesars from Tacitus to Suetonius a 'good gap' is 100 years; 25 is incredible [for Jesus]. Paul says, 'I am passing onto you as first importance that which I also received' (1 Cor. 15.3)." http://www.google.com... In fact, the New Testament sources are closer to the time of writing than most documents of ancient antiquity. http://www.google.com...
So what does all this has to do with evolution? Well, if God did raise Jesus from the dead, we have in the first case evidence for God, and thus creation by God becomes more probable as an alternative to evolution. In the second case, Jesus' resurrection vindicates his claim to be the Son of God and Messiah, thus we can trust him when he says man was created. (Matt 19:4) Jesus didn't teach evolution.
We also have proof of miraculous power surrounding Jesus' resurrection. Scientific evidence validates the Shroud of Turin as the burial cloth in which Jesus was wrapped. It contains a three dimensionally encoded photo-negative image, the radiation technology required to even make such a thing was only RECENTLY invented by humans, and still we are unable to duplicate anything on the impressive level of the Shroud. So either ancient people 2000 years ago were smarter than all the world's modern scientists, or else, a miracle really occurred. I am giving in this debate the links showing the long list of experts in various fields of science which validate that the Shroud came from the Jerusalem area in the time of Jesus, and was wrapped around someone who was crucified in the same manner he was.
A competent team of 31 scientists working on the Shroud concluded in 1978: "No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found on the fibrils. X-ray, fluorescence and microchemistry on the fibrils preclude the possibility of paint being used as a method for creating the image. Ultra Violet and infrared evaluation confirm these studies. Computer image enhancement and analysis by a device known as a VP-8 image analyzer show that the image has unique, three-dimensional information encoded in it. Microchemical evaluation has indicated no evidence of any spices, oils, or any biochemicals known to be produced by the body in life or in death. It is clear that there has been a direct contact of the Shroud with a body, which explains certain features such as scourge marks, as well as the blood. However, while this type of contact might explain some of the features of the torso, it is totally incapable of explaining the image of the face with the high resolution that has been amply demonstrated by photography." https://www.shroud.com...... Here is another link showing the evidence for the shroud http://www.google.com...
1st-century Jewish historian Josephus, though not a Christian, admits to Jesus' resurrection. (Jewish Antiquities 18.3.3) There wasn't even enough time for myths about Jesus to replace and remove the core historical facts from the minds of his contemporaries who record them.
As for evolution, there is no proof of evolution, because first of all, the dates of the fossils given in millions of years cannot be proven. Most are based on decay rates of one element into a daughter product which takes place over thousands of years for even a tiny sample to decay. C-14 is claimed to have a half-life of 2, 570 years. Nobody has observed an atom of carbon that long to test the equations to see if they are correct, so this has no basis in real life. If they could measure how much decays per day, or per month, then do simple multiplication to get the amounts that would decay over longer periods, fine. But if it were true that a single atom of carbon takes 2, 570 years for just half to decay, the amounts decaying in days, months or even a year would be too small to be detected and measured. The half-lives of C-14 and all the other radiometric dating methods are simply based on speculation, not observation, thus are not scientific.
Scientists have observed many mutations in bacteria and insects over many years in many labs all over the world, and they have seen many small changes occur in these organisms. However, the accumulation of these small changes have never amounted to any radical difference, so that one could tell by looking that it was now a totally different creature. Like bacteria becoming algea or fungi. After 60 000 generations, e-coli were still e-coli http://www.google.com... Based on such observations, I can say that within another 60 million generations they will remain e-coli. Its pure speculation to say that the small changes which were failed to evolve the bacteria into anything new, someday would.
Evolution teaches that life evolved from simple beginnings, but a simple beginning has never been found. "Going back in time to the age of the oldest rocks," says Evolution From Space, "fossil residues of ancient life-forms discovered in the rocks do not reveal a simple beginning. Although we may care to think of fossil bacteria and fossil algae and microfungi as being simple compared to a dog or horse, the information standard remains enormously high. Most of the biochemical complexity of life was present already at the time the oldest surface rocks of the Earth were formed." (Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, 1981, p. 8)
Language studies show that ancient languages are more complex than modern ones, which would not happen with evolution which goes from the simple to the complex. I look forward to my opponents arguments.
Now, I would like to note that most of my opponent's sources are youtube videos. I generally don't find youtube as a very credible source and would request that my opponent provide some credible articles.
"There are four main points that are accepted as historical fact by the majority of New Testament historians regarding Jesus."
I would like to emphasize the "New Testament historians". This is implying that these historians already believe in Jesus which puts bias on their ideas. They already assume that Jesus existed, that he was resurrected etc. They are merely figuring out the details. I believe that they are not a valid source in this case.
My opponent mentions other historians and that these facts "pass the tests of historical reliability". These "tests" do not make the Bible any more valid. In reality, my opponent is using the Bible as a source and saying it is valid because it explains the how, why, where and when of Jesus.
So far, other than the Bible, my opponent has not provided any arguments for the existence and specialty of Jesus. In this case, the Bible is not a valid source because it is a religious text and is biased. That's like if we were debating Christianity vs. Islam, and I was using the Quran (Koran) as a source. Of course the Quran would support all of my arguments. The Bible is not a valid source in this case.
My opponent provides several Youtube videos as support for the Shroud of Turin which, in turn, is support for Christianity/Jesus. The Shroud does not even pass the most basic test, carbon dating.
"Well, if God did raise Jesus from the dead, we have in the first case evidence for God, and thus creation by God becomes more probable as an alternative to evolution."
This is nothing more than an assumption. My opponent has not managed to prove that Jesus was raised from the dead. If there is evidence for God, why does that debunk evolution? I, for instance, believe that there is a God but that evolution is also in play. Just because there is evidence for a God does not mean evolution is a "no go".
So far, my opponent has not managed to prove Jesus' existence or specialty, using only the Bible and Youtube as a source.
My opponent then moves to what is truly the subject at hand, evolution.
"As for evolution, there is no proof of evolution, because first of all, the dates of the fossils given in millions of years cannot be proven. Most are based on decay rates of one element into a daughter product which takes place over thousands of years for even a tiny sample to decay."
Yes, it is called carbon dating. I don't see the problem. According to your logic, we cannot determine the distance form Earth to the Sun because no man has gone there and back to count the miles. That is just absurd.
"However, the accumulation of these small changes have never amounted to any radical difference,"
Because these experiments have not been conducted for long periods of time. Changes that occur are typically very small and it will take time before it amounts to something "radical". The example my opponent provided (the Wikipedia article) talks about E. Coli evolution. The experiment has only been conducted for TWENTY YEARS. It takes millions for evolution to occur on a bigger scale. The experiment has only been going on since 1988. Even then, there were changes observed.
Why do you think you need to get vaccines from the same virus multiple times in your life? Because it changes. It evolves so much that a once-effective vaccine no longer affects the species of bacteria or virus.
"Based on such observations, I can say that within another 60 million generations they will remain e-coli."
So, you're saying that since the E. Coli didn't turn into algae (for example) within 60,000 generations, that nothing will happen in 60 million? Even though large adaptations and changes have occurred? That is like saying that since humans haven't managed to create a flying machine in 1,900 years, then they won't be able to in 2 million years. That was obviously proven false. You cannot expect evolution to occur on a radical scale in twenty years. It is a long, gradual process.
"Evolution teaches that life evolved from simple beginnings, but a simple beginning has never been found."
People may consider simple beginnings a possibility, but evolution does not "teach" that life evolved from simple beginnings.
This is the definition of evolution from biology-online.org
noun, plural: evolutions
(1) The change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations, which may be caused by natural selection, inbreeding, hybridization, or mutation.
(2) The sequence of events depicting the evolutionary development of a species or of a group of related organisms; phylogeny.
Nothing is said about "simple beginnings".
"Language studies show that ancient languages are more complex than modern ones, which would not happen with evolution which goes from the simple to the complex."
That has nothing to do with biology. That is human psychology and society, and cannot be used to disprove the theory of evolution.
There is much evidence for evolution, and I will start with DNA, the universal genetic code. Any life form, from your white blood cells to the cells of tree leaves are able to read the DNA from any life form on Earth.
The fossil record, of course, also shows gradual changes in organisms over long periods of time.
Humans have 96% of genes in common with chimpanzees, 90% with cats, and 80% with cows. This doesn't mean that we came from cows or cats, but it does show that we had a common ancestor.
These similarities can even be observed in human embryos. In early stages of development, humans have gills. They do not actually function, but slits form on the side of the embryo's throat which later close up again. Humans also have webbed hands and feet when in early stages of development.
All of these things show that we have common ancestors. Species have so many similarities between each other and it would be silly to say that it is all just a coincidence.
credible source. As for the Shroud of Turin, all the sources are listed in that youtube presentation so you know where they got the information from. It would take up lost of word space for me to write them all out here, but if Pro insists that I do that (which won"t leave much space to deal with his arguments) I will have to. I just hope he doesn"t complain afterwards that I ignored his arguments, because there are plenty of sources given in that youtube presentation. I'll also treat
Pro the fact that the shroud appears in the 1192-1195 AD Pray Manuscript, showing the 1260-1390 AD C-14 dating o the shroud to be in error. http://www.google.com...
The actual images were presented in the youtube presentation last round. Pro wants reliable source; is National Geographic good enough for you? New "findings greatly increase the possibility that the shroud may be as old as Christianity itself." http://www.google.com...
Furthermore, NT historians don"t assume that Jesus existed, nor do they generally believe the Bible. They come at the Bible in the same way they approach other works of antiquity, applying historical methods of investigation to determine which parts of the NT can be verified as historical fact and which cannot. Even though many of them do not accept the Bible as
true, they do accept these facts as historical " that Jesus existed, was crucified by Romans during Pilate"s reign, was buried in tomb, that his disciples had some kind of experiences of seeing him alive afterwards, and the origin of the disciples" belief in his resurrection. Most NT historians don"t even believe in the resurrection, but they can"t deny the facts associated with it on historical grounds. Instead of assuming, they accept that Jesus existed because we have good evidence that he
did from Tacitus' Annals and the works of Jewish historian Josephus, both in the 1st entury C.E. "the position that the gospels are a type of ancient BIOGRAPHY is the consensus among scholars today."
Historians generally agree that the genre of the New Testament is historical biography,not religious text, and just like any other ancient document such as Tacitus Annals, and Josephus" Jewish Antiquities, they don"t treat the Bible as
inspired by God, but as a historical document with errors, because all historical documents have errors in them to some degree. When applying the same kind of tests they use with other ancient documents, they find the NT passes these tests better than other ancient documents. For the events of Jesus" burial, empty tomb, appearances and origin of the
disciples" belief, we have records written closer to the time of the events than most other ancient documents, is multiply attested by eyewitnesses and contemporaries " more so than other documents, its oldest extant copy is closer to the time of writing than other ancient documents, it passes embarrassment criteria (I can give examples if Pro wants), and the list goes on and on. So to reject the NT as historical, we"d have to reject all the documents we have from Homer, Plato,
Thucidides, Herodotus, Josephus, Tacitus, and others, because their works don"t pass the tests of historicity as well as the NT does.
I"d also like to point out that Pro"s argument against accepting historical claims from NT historians who are Christians is unjustified because in that case we can"t accept the testimony of Jews when they tell us about the holocaust or black people when they write about slavery. Charges of bias are too easy to make. I could argue that Pro"s sources are biased because they come mostly from atheists and agnostics who have an axe to grind against religion. This kind of argument gets us
nowhere on both sides. If you have evidence that my sources are deliberately lying, or inaccurate in some way, please present the evidence, but don"t expect the voters to dismiss the evidence just because some of it may come from Christians sources, for you wouldn"t want me to dismiss your evidence just because it comes from atheistic sources. Having a belief does not mean that a person will be biased when doing his job, be it in history, medicine, science, or otherwise. We trust professionals to acts professionally, truthfully, despite what they may believe on a personal level. Doctors who are Christians generally do good medicine, no less than atheists. They don"t just pray over their patients, no, they do prescribe medication. I see no reason to believe all historians who are Christians deliberately distort history, anymore than Muslim, Jewish, or Atheist historians.
Far being Christians, historians in general know from evidence Jesus existed. "Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically." http://www.google.com... Note it doesn't say Christians, but all modern scholars of antiquity.
Like the NT, the Quar"an can also be examined under the tests of history which historians use, and it has. You can find a comparison between how the Bible and the Quar"an measure up here.
Note, Pro ignored the three-dimensional encoded photo-negative image on the shroud. He can"t explain how this is possible naturally, for it"s a miracle. Evidence that shows Jesus was who he claimed to be. Thus, when he says man was created by God, we should trust him. My opponent then charges me with denying we can tell the distance from the earth to the sun. Actually, we have satellites that have reached father than the sun, and we can track them, we know their speed, so we can do accurate calculations. We get photos from these satellites, I"d challenge Pro to show me a photo of how much carbon-14 decayed in month. He can"t, cause no one has observed it; we do observe the sun. We have telescopes that can zoom in to magnify objects in space, and along with the fact that we can measure the speed of light BY OBSERVATION, we can deduce how far away celestial objects are. We can see with our eyes and time the movement of the light from a supernova. http://www.google.com... We can't see carbon decay.
I'll deal with Pro's other arguments next round as I'm out of space.
Yet, he can"t prove his dates are accurate, so how then does he know
evolution happened at all? Without his millions of years, he doesn"t
have enough time, according to him. But he can"t prove the millions of
years to begin with.
Yes, a virus can become immune to a vaccine, so how does this prove that
2 million years from now it won"t still be just a virus? By proper diet
and exercise humans can become less prone to catching the cold, this
doesn"t show that we are slowly becoming anything other than human. I
also wonder what are these "large" changes that Pro claims happened with
E-coli? Previously he argued it takes millions of years to see radical
changes, so I guess large doesn"t mean radical for him.
Pro denies that evolution teaches simple beginnings, then defines
evolution as "The sequence of events depicting the evolutionary
development of a species or of a group of related organisms; phylogeny."
He doesn"t tell you that the sequence of events depicting the evolution
of life on earth begins with simple monomers to polymers to protoboint,
till you reach a cell and so on. But no simple life-forms were found,
ever. Even a bacteria i
The Pray Codex "may serve as evidence for the existence of the Shroud of Turin prior to 1260"1390 AD". I quote directly from the source. This is not a definite answer, and does not automatically debunk the carbon dating. It is barely a theory.
In my opponent's next National Geographic source, nothing definitive is said either. It merely says that a researcher believes that the wrong piece of cloth was tested and that the real shroud is actually older. He did not actually test the shroud, meaning that what he said is just an assumption.
"Note, Pro ignored the three-dimensional encoded photo-negative image on the shroud. He can"t explain how this is possible naturally, for it"s a miracle"
I ignored it because the source that my opponent provided does not directly say anything about this. It is a webpage that has links to about two dozen other webpages, and I'm not going to sift through all of them to find this information.
"We can't see carbon decay."
We actually can. There are many isotopes of different elements which have a half-life of a fraction of a second. Some have a half-life of several days. Not all have enormous half-lives that stretch over thousands of years. For example, Carbon-15 has a half-life of about two and a half seconds. This can easily be observed. From this kind of information, half-lives of other isotopes can be measured.
I've been jumping around my opponent's argument and ignoring most of it because I am no longer going to waste time and space on something that is not the subject of debate. We are debating evolution, not the validity of the Bible, Jesus, and Christianity. So far, that is the only thing that my opponent has been debating and has provided virtually no arguments against evolution itself.
"Yes, a virus can become immune to a vaccine, so how does this prove that 2 million years from now it won"t still be just a virus?"
Because changes will build up. Simple as that. I don't understand what's so mind-blowing here. Changes build up, slowly transforming the organism until it is no longer what it used to be.
"By proper diet and exercise humans can become less prone to catching the cold, this doesn"t show that we are slowly becoming anything other than human."
This is a common, and slightly ignorant misconception. Proper diet and exercise have no impact on evolution and are completely irrelevant to the topic. Something acquired/done during the organism's lifetime does not affect evolution. Evolution is strictly genetic, and proper diet/exercise cannot be passed on to offspring through genetics.
"I also wonder what are these "large" changes that Pro claims happened with
E-coli? Previously he argued it takes millions of years to see radical
changes, so I guess large doesn"t mean radical for him."
An example of a large change that occurred with E. Coli is the development of heat resistance. This is a large change, but is not radical because it does not dramatically change E. Coli's characteristics. It would become radical if this trend continued and E. Coli became a thermophile. That would be radical, but has not yet occurred.
I feel as if my opponent does not have a very solid grasp on the theory of evolution itself. I will clarify that (for the voters as well). Simply put, here are the steps:
1. There is a population of organisms.
2. A genetic mutation occurs in one/several of the organisms.
3. This mutation may be favorable and may help the organism.
4. The organism with the mutation begins mating with the regular population.
5. More organisms with this "mutated" characteristic appear.
6. This group of "mutated" organisms gets isolated from the main group for whatever reason, there can be many.
7. The "mutated" group has now formed its own population, dramatically changing the gene pool.
8. The "mutated" group mates within itself and slowly, a different organism begins to form.
That is the basic process. Hope I cleared some things up.
I await my opponent's response and I hope we will now move over to actually debating the topic at hand.
"Yet it is incredible that the first language could have been the most complex." (George Gaylord Simpson, Biology and Man, New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1969, p. 116)
"The evolution of language, at least within the historical period, is a story of progressive simplification." Albert C. Baugh, A History of the English Language, 2nd edition, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1957, p. 10)
For example, words in the Hebrew mental lexicon have are organized by morphology, by their root families rather than by simple letter sequences as with modern English. (Frost, 2009; Frost et al., 1997).
Case is the function of a word within a sentence. Latin nouns, pronouns and adjectives are marked for case which allows varied word orders without changing the meaning of the sentence. English has very little case and relies on word order to indicate meaning or function of a word within a sentence:
Here the boy is seeing, and the goat is the object being seen by the boy.
Here the goat is seeing, and the boy is the object being seen by the goat.
The spelling and grammar is exactly the same, yet the word order changes the meaning of the sentence. Because the nouns are marked for case in Latin, this change in word order doesn"t change the meaning of the sentence. These case marking seem hard to learn to a non-Latin speaker, but they guard against ambiguity. English is restrictive in terms of how we can reword a sentence. Latin is more flexible. Latin has both natural and grammatical gender while English only has natural gender.
The oldest written documents on earth, such as The Legend of Etana and the Kesh Temple Hymn from 2600 B.C.E., and the 2400 B.C.E. Pyramid Texts all draw allusions or direct references to gods, creators, or divine beings, and are all already complete, complex languages. No ancient document has ever been found with a simple language; so language didn"t evolve from simple beginnings; it was complex from the start, and way back then people believed in gods. "The so-called primitive languages can throw no light on language origins, since most of them are actually more complicated in grammar than the tongues spoken by civilized peoples." (Ralph Linton, The Tree of Culture, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1957, p. 9)
Pro claims the matter of language "has nothing to do with biology," but it has a lot to do with evolution, because if evolution is true, then not only would morphologies evolve, but also cultures, religions, and languages. The fact that language didn"t evolve from the simple to the complex shows evolution didn"t happen.
Now having similar DNA doesn"t show that we evolved from animals anymore than cars being similar shows that one came from the other, rather, it all shows the signature of the same creator. If God had made ever living thing from radically different materials, how could eat them? If fish, or fruit, or lamb was made from something so different from us it was alien to us, it would be rejected by our bodies. We couldn"t metabolize it.
Pro claims that "The fossil record"also shows gradual changes in organisms over long periods of time," maybe he"d like to give us an example of an organism, and list the gradual changes that occurred until it was a completely different kind of creature. Its amazing though, that evolutionists like my opponent boast that "Humans have 96% of genes in common with chimpanzees," and "90% with cats," and yet look at how radical the differences are between humans, chimps, and cats! If we were related biologically, one would expect that a mere 4% difference between our DNA and a chimps wouldn"t produce such massive differences. The fact that we are so different despite the DNA argues against evolution. In fact, because natural selection only proceeded in small steps, it could never make the quantum leap necessary to get from the chimpanzee brain to the human brian. It is widely recognized that the capacity of the human brain far exceeds any use to which we put it during our present lifetime, whether we live to 70 or even 100 years of age. The Encyclop"dia Britannica states that the human brain "is endowed with considerably more potential than is realizable in the course of one person"s lifetime." (1976, Vol. 12, p. 998) Scientist Carl Sagan states that the human brain could hold information that "would fill some twenty million volumes, as many as in the world"s largest libraries." (Cosmos, 1980, p. 278) Regarding the capacity of the human brain"s "filing system," biochemist Isaac Asimov wrote that it is "perfectly capable of handling any load of learning and memory which the human being is likely to put upon it"and a billion times more than that quantity, too.""The New York Times Magazine, October 9, 1966, p. 146. Why was the human brain endowed with such a capacity if it was not to be used? Why would evolution produce such an excess? "This is, in fact, the only example in existence where a species was provided with an organ that it still has not learned how to use," admitted one scientist. He then asked: "How can this be reconciled with evolution"s most fundamental thesis: Natural selection proceeds in small steps, each of which must confer on its bearer a minimal, but nonetheless measurable, advantage?" He added that the human brain"s development "remains the most inexplicable aspect of evolution." (The Brain: The Last Frontier, pp. 59, 69) Since the evolutionary process would not produce and pass on such excessive never-to-be-used brain capacity, is it not more reasonable to conclude that man, with the capacity for endless learning, was designed to live forever?
Evolutionists ignore all the differences between the developing embryos at most stages during development which shows they are not related, but cheery pick a few minor similarities at select points in development to prove that they are. Biology, 2000 edition text book says, "genes that control the earliest stages of development in general remain relatively unchanged. Thus the embryos of different species resemble each other. " (Miller/Levine, p 283) What the authors of such biology textbooks don't tell you is that the earliest stages of embryonic development are very different, contradicting their theory. "The wide variation in morphology among vertebrate embryos is difficult to reconcile with the idea of a phylogenetically-conserved tailbud stage, and suggests that at least some developmental mechanisms are not highly constrained by the zootype. . . .Contrary to the evolutionary hourglass model, variations in the adult body plan are often foreshadowed by modifications of early development. A good example is the aortic arch system in the rat that, even during the pharyngula stage, begins to presage the adult pattern of arteries...These modifications of embryonic development are difficult to reconcile with the idea that most or all vertebrate clades pass through an embryonic stage that is highly resistant to evolutionary change. This idea is implicit in Haeckel's drawings, which have been used to substantiate two distinct claims. First, that differences beteen species typically become more apparent at late stages. Second, that vertebrate embryos are virtually identical at earlier stages. This first claim is clearly true. Our survey, however, does not support the second claim, and instead reveals considerable variability -- and evolutionary lability -- of the tailbud stage, the purported phylotypic stage of vertebrates." http://www.google.com... This is coming from evolutionists, so I hope Pro won't say its a biased source. You can find actual photos here http://www.google.com...
Pro denies what I said about the photo on the Shroud. Let him hear actual scientists speak for themselves. https://www.youtube.com... The discovery channel is not biased, by the way. The BBC also ran a piece on the shroud. http://www.google.com... If it was a fraud, how did the forger do it? Pro even denied Jesus' existence in order to get away from Jesus' claim that God created us.
Humans have been going through changes, but we are still humans. I don't see how Pro can show the small changes will someday stop us from being humans. Small changes in humans just shows there is limited variation possible within human beings. That we're on our way to becoming ET is an unprovable assumption.
"If fish, or fruit, or lamb was made from something so different from us it was alien to us, it would be rejected by our bodies. We couldn"t metabolize it."
It would not be rejected by our bodies. Our body doesn't absorb the DNA of food, it absorbs the nutrients. As long as the nutrients are still there, there would be no problem with a different kind of DNA going into our system. There are certain things that we already can't digest, such as bark or wood. It has cellulose, and we cannot digest it, yet it's still made of the same DNA as we are.
On a side note, humans have created a new kind of DNA, one with not only T, G, A and C bases, but also X and Y. It works fine, meaning that the DNA in our bodies is not the only kind of genetic information carrier that exists.
"maybe he"d like to give us an example of an organism, and list the gradual changes that occurred until it was a completely different kind of creature."
In rocks more than 1 billion years old, only fossils of single-celled organisms are found. Moving to rocks that are about 550 million years old, fossils of simple, multicellular animals can be found. At 500 million years ago, ancient fish without jawbones surface; and at 400 million years ago, fish with jaws are found. Gradually, new animals appear: amphibians at 350 million years ago, and reptiles at 300 million years ago. This shows that animals evolved. The fish and reptiles aren't just going to pop in out of no where or fall from space, they're going to evolve from their predecessors.
Here is another obvious physical evidence of the evolution. It is the evolution of a horse, specifically, its legs and hooves. Not only did the horse become much bigger, but the horses "feet" changed from having 3 distinct toes to having the one hard hoof that we know today.
"If we were related biologically, one would expect that a mere 4% difference between our DNA and a chimps wouldn"t produce such massive differences."
If you think about it, there aren't such massive differences. We're both in Kingdom Animalia, both in Phylum Chordata, both in Class Mammalia, both in Order Primates, and both in Family Hominidae. Only in the last two classifications do Chimpanzees and Homo Sapiens differ. We are not that different. We are both hairy chordates, bipedal, have thumbs....frankly, we are not so different. Also think about this: humans have 24,000 genes. A 4% difference is a difference of 960 genes. While that is only a small percentage, a difference in 960 genes is obviously more than enough to make an animal look different.
"The fact that we are so different despite the DNA argues against evolution. In fact, because natural selection only proceeded in small steps, it could never make the quantum leap necessary to get from the chimpanzee brain to the human brian."
There was no "quantum leap", and it was, in fact, very gradual. Take a look at the gradual changes of primate skulls through time.
Now, let's look at the brains themselves. Brain size in primates has been increasing since 2 million years ago, gradually growing larger and larger, meaning it can "pack" more neurons, which essentially means more computing power. It is generally accepted the the bigger the brain size to body size ratio of an animal, the more intelligent it is. Humans have an enormous ratio, which has been steadily growing for a very long time.
"Since the evolutionary process would not produce and pass on such excessive never-to-be-used brain capacity, is it not more reasonable to conclude that man, with the capacity for endless learning, was designed to live forever?"
It is a myth that we "do not use 90% of our brain". Some people say we only use 10%, others say only 30%, but this is false. There is not a single part of the brain that we do not use. Slight damage to any part of the brain has large repercussions. Also, think about it this way. If we only use 10% of our brain, does that mean that I could just rip out 90% of your brain and you'd still function? Of course not! Evolution would not produce inefficient brains that would not be used. The brain consumes 20% of your body's energy, more than any other organ. If you do not use your entire brain, then that would be very inefficient and natural selection would remove people with inefficient brains, leaving only those with smaller, more efficient brains. Conclusion being, it is a myth that we do not use all of our brain. We were obviously not designed to live forever since, well, we die. If my opponent believes that God originally created us to live eternally, but then made us mortal, then why didn't he take away our "insanely powerful brains"? There is little to no scientific evidence that humans only utilize a fraction of their brain capacity.
My opponent's next paragraph addresses my claim that embryonic similarities are evidence of evolution. He says that evolutionists ignore differences in embryonic development, and only focus on similarities. Of course there are going to be differences, it's two different species. I would understand my opponent's point if the similarities were small, but when so many chordates (including humans) have gill slits, tails and webbed hands/feet in embryonic development, that is too big of a similarity to ignore.
My opponent then, once again, addresses the shroud. Why would Jesus go against God's words? Exodus 20:4-"You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God," by creating an image of himself to be worshiped?
Also, think about it logically. If a cloth was laid on a person, it would cover his face, as well as the top and sides of his head, yet on the Shroud, there is only the face. In fact, in the Bible, it clearly states that: "the body of Christ Jesus was coated with a mixture of myrrh and aloes. That He was wrapped with strips of linen cloth like a mummy."
If so, then why is the Shroud of Turin only one sheet? Shouldn't it be multiple strips of cloth? Also, if he was wrapped as the Bible states, then it is (once again) completely illogical that only his face appears on the Shroud. If he was wrapped, then his entire head should appear, but it doesn't.
Yes, we're still humans, but we've only been around for a short period of time, and even in that time, we've changed from neanderthals to what we are now. My "assumption" has considerable backing, while my opponent's assumption that we'll never change into anything non-human (or that no animal will change into anything else) has little to no backing.
I await my opponent's response.
I have shown that historians generally accept the crucifixion, burial, empty tomb, post-mortem appearances, and origin of the disciples belief in Jesus" resurrection as historical facts. I have shown these are not just Christian scholars, but the wide range of scholars including atheists, skeptics and agnostics. I have given links to debates where such anti-Christian historians wrangle all kinds of excuses to explain away these facts such as the hallucination hypothesis, or the myth theory. But in each case, these theories have been shown to be useless. Pro himself subscribed to the myth theory, arguing that there is no evidence Jesus even existed. But this myth theory of his has serious problems:
"(2) A second problem is that there was not enough time for myth to develop. The original demythologizers pinned their case onto a late second-century date for the writing of the Gospels; several generations have to pass before the added mythological elements can be mistakenly believed to be facts. Eyewitnesses would be around before that to discredit the new, mythic versions. We know of other cases where myths and legends of miracles developed around a religious founder -- for example, Buddha, Lao-tzu and Muhammad. In each case, many generations passed before the myth surfaced.
The dates for the writing of the Gospels have been pushed back by every empirical manuscript discovery; only abstract hypothesizing pushes the date forward. Almost no knowledgeable scholar today holds what Bultmann said it was necessary to hold in order to believe the myth theory, namely, that there is no first-century textual evidence that Christianity began with a divine and resurrected Christ, not a human and dead one.
Some scholars still dispute the first-century date for the Gospels, especially John's. But no one disputes that Paul's letters were written within the lifetime of eyewitnesses to Christ. So let us argue from Paul's letters. Either these letters contain myth or they do not. If so, there is lacking the several generations necessary to build up a commonly believed myth. There is not even one generation. If these letters are not myth, then the Gospels are not either, for Paul affirms all the main claims of the Gospels. Julius Muller put the anti-myth argument this way:
"One cannot imagine how such a series of legends could arise in an historical age, obtain universal respect, and supplant the historical recollection of the true character [Jesus]....if eyewitnesses were still at hand who could be questioned respecting the truth of the recorded marvels. Hence, legendary fiction, as it likes not the clear present time but prefers the mysterious gloom of gray antiquity, is wont to seek a remoteness of age, along with that of space, and to remove its boldest and most rare and wonderful creations into a very remote and unknown land." (The Theory of Myths in Its Application to the Gospel History Examined and Confuted [London, 1844], p. 26)
Muller challenged his nineteenth-century contemporaries to produce a single example anywhere in history of a great myth or legend arising around a historical figure and being generally believed within thirty years after that figure's death. No one has ever answered him.
(3) The myth theory has two layers. The first layer is the historical Jesus, who was not divine, did not claim divinity, performed no miracles, and did not rise from the dead. The second, later, mythologized layer is the Gospels as we have them, with a Jesus who claimed to be divine, performed miracles and rose from the dead. The problem with this theory is simply that there is not the slightest bit of any real evidence whatever for the existence of any such first layer. The two-layer cake theory has the first layer made entirely of air -- and hot air at that"William Lane Craig summarizes the evidence -- the lack of evidence:
"The Gospels are a miraculous story, and we have no other story handed down to us than that contained in the Gospels....The letters of Barnabas and Clement refer to Jesus' miracles and resurrection. Polycarp mentions the resurrection of Christ, and Irenaeus relates that he had heard Polycarp tell of Jesus' miracles. Ignatius speaks of the resurrection. Puadratus reports that persons were still living who had been healed by Jesus. Justin Martyr mentions the miracles of Christ. No relic of a non-miraculous story exists. That the original story should be lost and replaced by another goes beyond any known example of corruption of even oral tradition, not to speak of the experience of written transmissions. These facts show that the story in the Gospels was in substance the same story that Christians had at the beginning. This means...that the resurrection of Jesus was always a part of the story." (Apologetics, chapter 6)
(4) A little detail, seldom noticed, is significant in distinguishing the Gospels from myth: the first witnesses of the resurrection were women. In first-century Judaism, women had low social status and no legal right to serve as witnesses. If the empty tomb were an invented legend, its inventors surely would not have had it discovered by women, whose testimony was considered worthless. If, on the other hand, the writers were simply reporting what they saw, they would have to tell the truth, however socially and legally inconvenient." http://www.google.com...
Thus, we have good reason to accept, in the absence of any good argument against the historical facts about Jesus" resurrection, and in the absence of any plausible naturalistic theory, that Jesus did rise from the dead and was who he claimed to be. Thus, as the Son of God, we should accept what he say when he tells us that God created mankind, the same God who raised him from the dead. (Matt 19:4)
My opponent claims that "in the Bible," Jesus' body was "wrapped with strips of linen cloth like a mummy." The fact that he resorts to using the Bible tells me he does find it historical, which supports my point, otherwise, why use it as a source? But Matt 27:59 disagrees with him, saying that "Joseph took the body, wrapped it in A CLEAN LINEN CLOTH." That explains why the Sroud is only one sheet and not multiple linen sheets. If you look at the 3-D images in the videos you will see the hair on Jesus' head that came down the sides of his face, so I have no clue why Pro is calling for his head to appear on the shroud. Even so, we also have the rest of his entire body imprinted down to the feet, what more does Pro want? Exo 20:4 only forbids making images for the purpose of worship, not making images altogether. God told the Israelites to make images in Exo 25:18-22 and Num 21:8. So Pro would need to show the purpose of the shroud was worship, this he hasn't done.
Pro says "languages are getting shorter is because people are finding faster and more efficient ways of of communicating," but rewording a sentence in English is not a faster or more efficient way of communicating in comparison to ancient Latin which uses "case" so that the sentence is understood no matter how its turned around. If we evolved from animals, language should develop from simple beginnings to the complex, but that's not what we have. Ancient languages are more complex.
Yes, our bodies absorb nutrients of food, but the nutrients are not from alien DNA. Pro assumes without proof that we could actually digest such a thing. What if the DNA had no T, G, A, C base, only X, Y and other letters? How do you know it would be good for us? Have you tried food like that? Has anyone? This is pure speculation.
Pro says "In rocks more than 1 billion years old, only fossils of single-celled organisms are found. Moving to rocks that are about 550 million years old, fossils of simple, multicellular animals can be found." Now how does he know the single-celled life forms turned into multicellular life forms? He doesn't, its just assumed because he can't imagine any other way for them to get there, but I can imagine creation by God. Scientists have never witnesses this change happen in nature, it just a theory. And how does he know these dates are even correct? No one has lived 2, 570 years to see if C-14 actually takes that long for half of it to decay. You have an equation, how do you test it in the real world to see if its true?
Pro thinks the size of the skull determines the level of intelligence, but men's skulls are larger than female skulls and men are not more intelligent than women. Pro thinks he isn't much different from a chimp because some scientists classified him in that bracket, well, when I see a chimp compose a symphony, or do a simultaneous equation I'll believe it. As for Pro's argument on the brain, Scientific American reports that we'd need 300 years to full our memory capacity. http://www.google.com... Evolution would not produce a brain with vastly more storage capacity than we could use in our lifetime. Evolution is therefore false, more rebuttals next round, I'm out of space.
"How do you know it would be good for us? Have you tried food like that? Has anyone? This is pure speculation."
I never said it would be good for us, I simply said that it would be edible and we could survive off of it. Just as McDonald's isn't "good" for you, but you can survive off of it. This is not pure speculation, it is logical that even with another kind of DNA, the animal would still be digestible. As mentioned, it is not the DNA of the organism that we need, it is the nutrients. As long as the organism has the necessary nutrients, I don't see any reason why we wouldn't be able to eat them.
"Now how does he know the single-celled life forms turned into multicellular life forms? He doesn't, its just assumed because he can't imagine any other way for them to get there, but I can imagine creation by God."
It's not assumption, it's logic. What's more logical? That God just "poofed" more animals into existence? Or that they slowly transformed over millions of years? Also, it can be noted that evolution becomes more rapid as time goes on. So does that mean that God decided to "poof" more things into existence faster? Or that because of the increasing number of organisms with different traits, it has become much easier for evolution to occur? I believe that I know the answer to both questions and so does my opponent, but unfortunately, our answers differ. So I ask him this. Why would God decide to create all of these beings that came way before us such as dinosaurs? Just to "confuse" us? Seems silly to me.
"And how does he know these dates are even correct? No one has lived 2, 570 years to see if C-14 actually takes that long for half of it to decay."
It is not necessary to live 2,570 years and watch the decay occur. You could watch the sample for one year, see how much has decayed and apply that to a bigger scale. Through observation, we have created several equations that help us figure out the half-life. I doubt that hundreds of scientists all around the world didn't just make up a number and call it the half life of C-14.
"Pro thinks the size of the skull determines the level of intelligence, but men's skulls are larger than female skulls and men are not more intelligent than women."
No, I never said that larger skulls meant more intelligent. I said that species with a larger brain to body mass ratio are generally considered to be more intelligent. Humans happen to be at the top of this heap with the largest brain to body ratio.
"Pro thinks he isn't much different from a chimp because some scientists classified him in that bracket"
It's not "some scientists". The man who came up with the modern classification system was a qualified scientist and since HUNDREDS of scientists all around the world do not try to change this system, it is reasonable to assume that is has some backing to it. It groups organisms by their physical traits, pretty logical.
"Scientific American reports that we'd need 300 years to full our memory capacity"
I believe my opponent misinterpreted his source. It says "You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage." We memorize much more than just images, as a TV would. We have 4 other sensors, touch, taste, smell and audio.
"when I see a chimp compose a symphony, or do a simultaneous equation I'll believe it."
Chimps can perform many feats of cooperation, communication and memory (in many cases, superior to humans). They mourn, show sympathy and take care of each other. Just because the organism can't speak any human language doesn't automatically mean that it's a stupid barbaric being, as many humans like to believe.
I actually have very little to refute, since my opponent only spent a small portion of his argument on evolution.
Here is some more interesting information:
Because of the way viruses work, they move small amount of DNA from one organism to another. A mapping of the human genome showed that it is littered with pieces of "foreign" DNA. This is another process that affects the rate of evolution.
To my disappointment, my opponent has spent very little space in his arguments debating evolution itself. He was straying almost the entire time from the current subject of debate, to things such as religion. We are not arguing "Creationism vs. Evolution", we are only arguing about the logicality and validity of the theory of evolution (as the title says). My opponent has not managed to convince me to even doubt the theory that I have presented in this debate.
In conclusion, I believe that evolution is a very reasonable and logically-sound theory.
Thank you for the good debate and forgive me if I was rude/aggressive at any point during this debate.
"What's more logical? That God just "poofed" more animals into existence? Or that they slowly transformed over millions of years?" Just think, this question comes from a man who claims to believe in God, so I ask him which is more logical, that God made a vast empty universe, and then life accidentally came into being and evolved without his involvement? That the Creator of it all simply doesn"t care about his own creation? That we, despite God"s existence, were not even made by him, but by blind chance? Is all that really more likely than creation by God? One would think that if God "poofed" the first people into existence, he can "poof" a few animals from time to time. Why would that be too extraordinary for God? If, as he admits, God does exist, then what makes creation by God so unlikely? What kind of God would create an entirely empty universe and not put any life in it, all these countless billions of light years worth of space, and for what?
He claims that "evolution becomes more rapid as time goes on," but he hasn"t proven any of the dates he assigns to the fossils, so again, how does he know? He doesn"t, its speculation. I can say that 3-5 = -2, and that would be mathematically correct. But in reality if I only have 3 apples I cannot subtract 5 apples from them. There is no such thing as -2 apples in the real world. Similarly, evolutionist have equations they use to calculate the half-life of C-14, but they have no real life test that can show the validity of these equations in the real world. Sure, it makes sense on paper, but no one can observe C-14 for 2, 570 years to see if it really takes that long to decay, and thus prove the equation right or wrong. My opponent said that some elements of carbon decay within seconds, and yet, these are not ones being used to date fossils in millions of years. Every single radiometric dating technique used to date fossils in millions of years has a half-life longer than any human could live to observe. So this is pure speculation. The half-life given for Potassium-40 to Argon-40 is 1.26 billion years; from Thorium-230 to Radium-226 is 75, 000 years; from Uranium-235 to Lead-207 is 700, 000 million years, and Uranium-238 to Lead-206 is 4.5 billion years. http://www.google.com... So lets not be fooled by my opponent"s distraction with this idea of elements with very short half-lives of only a second, or two and a half seconds, because none of these are used to get the dates he presented in this debate. And he merely claims they are used but doesn"t tell us how. Obviously if something decays in a matter of seconds, all of it will be gone long before we get to a million years, let along a billion. After all, how large are the samples anyway? Nor does he address the problem of simultaneous decay. Its not like carbon atoms in the head are waiting till the ones in the tail have decomposed to begin decay, so you just don"t get millions of years. Tests, experiments, and observations should be carried out to confirm the validity of equations, but none have been presented by my opponent to show the half-lives are correct in his dating scheme. Thus, again, its not science, but speculation.
Pro asked, "Why would God decide to create all of these beings that came way before us such as dinosaurs?" What"s his alternative? He says that he believes in God, so what kind of evil god is this he believes in that didn"t create us and cares nothing about us? I don"t need to know why God made the dinosaurs anymore than I need to know why he made centipedes, I only need to know the purpose for my own life, and he has shown me. And millions of other people out there have experienced what I"m experiencing, a relationship with God. These people are not mad, in fact, some are incredible intelligent. When I see the power of the sun, the vastness of the universe, and the enormous fossil of a dinosaur, it amazes me at the greatness of this God who made it all. How wise, powerful, and incredible he must be. Maybe he made it all to show his glory, his power, his magnificence.
In Pro"s link we are told that 238 U has a half life of 4.5 billion years. http://www.hps.org...... The example they gave to calculate this began with these word: "suppose we isolate 5.00 mg of pure 238UO2, which contains 4.41 mg of 238U." Now let"s be realistic, which I don"t think evolutionists are doing. If it takes 4.5 billion years just for half of this tiny sample, just 4.41 mg to decay, we could calculate backwards to test their equations by dividing half of 4.41 (which is 2.205) by 4.5 billion to get the amount that is supposed to decay each year, a figure so unimaginably small that it simply would be to small to even be detected. This all chunks down to speculation.
Pro thinks he is very similar to a chimpanzee because they have similar physical traits. Let"s compare a chimp to me, now a chimp has fur all over, not a predominantly hairless body as I do, it walks on all fours most of the time (not erect like me), it cannot speak English and shows no ability to fully understand other languages, it cannot do complex mathematics as I do, nor appreciate art, beauty, or do self-reflection; it has no moral code. No, I"m no where close to being like a chimpanzee no matter how much DNA it has like mine.
My opponent claims I misunderstood the Scientific American article, just look at it for yourself and ask yourself this: can I use all my memory capacity in my lifetime? If your answer is no, Pro stands refuted.
Jesus said that God created us. If Jesus didn't exist as my opponent claimed, we don't have to take him seriously, but I have shown that he existed and most historians agree that he did. If Jesus was just a nobody, or some ordinary preacher, we wouldn't have to care what he said, but via his resurrection, his claims to be the Son of God, and full revelation of God to man were vindicated. This is why we have to take him so seriously when he says that we were created by God. Not by evolution, not by some blind, random, accidental mutation, but by God, who has a purpose for us.
This is why I gave evidence for the resurrection such as the empty tomb, the appearances, and origin of the disciples belief. Pro didn't refute any of these, nor present any reasonable naturalistic explanation except to fly in the face of historical scholarship by denying the existence of Jesus. Indeed, I'd love him to challenge me to a debate on the existence of Jesus. If we were created by God as Jesus says we were (and Jesus quoted from Genesis, showing that he believed the Biblical account of creation), that leaves no room for evolution.
My opponent couldn't even address the image on the Shroud to any degree that would make me even doubt its authenticity, so again we have good reason to accept Christ Jesus as who he claimed to be via the miraculous image encoded on the Shroud.
Pro speculated about the dates of his fossils, his sources give no rational method of determining these dates, no tests to show the validity of the equations used to get the half-lives were shown, Pro didn't show any example how elements with short decay rates could get him to millions of years, nor has there been any observation to prove the long decay rates, so he hasn't upheld his burden of proof to show the dates of these fossils were as he says. This is important because if for example only a hundred years separated fossils which he claims require millions of years between them, his theory would need to be revised. He's the one claiming evolution only occurs over millions of years to get the radical changes.
No one has ever observed evolution, just slight variation in creatures, but bacteria always remain bacteria, viruses remain viruses, dogs remain dogs, humans remain humans, and based on this natural observation I predict it will remain this way. Pro is speculating that what no one has ever observed, and isn't being observed now, will happen in the future. This isn't science, its speculation, and that's why you should vote Con.
Thank you for a fun debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: felt like both did equally good jobs
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro said, "My opponent spent most of his argument arguing religion again. At this point, I will completely ignore it and cut to the chase." This means that Con's arguments from the previous round were dropped, and therefore presumed correct for the remainder of the debate. So arguments to Con.
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: arguments source- con was clearly using only biased sources, and had little evidence to support his fantastical claims. conduct- con often went off-topic, derailing the debate away from the original subject.
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