Is biblical creationism true?
Debate Rounds (5)
As I accept this debate, I will presume that Con"s primary goal is to attempt to debunk the fundamental points made in the Bible regarding YEC, primarily:
1. That the age of this planet is approximately between 5,700 to 10,000 years.
2. That all confirmed life forms that now and once originated on this planet lived at the same time starting from between 5,700 to 10,000 years ago.
3. A mass flood occurred around 4,300 years ago, causing a mass extinction, global climate change, and various other hypothesized events contributed to a Global Flood.
And many other points.
Hopefully, Con"s statements will not bear interpretations in the format of "The stuff in the Bible is "Too extraordinary and supernatural" to be true",
or "there is no scientific evidence for God, therefore Creationism is not a valid argument".
I want to remind Con that the events of the Bible are written as such on a theological viewpoint, not a scientific one, as that was not the Scripture"s original purpose. However, this does not mean the events presented in the Bible are necessarily false.
I also want Con to understand that there is no way of scientifically proving whether biblical creation, like all origin theories, is true or false as we cannot go back in time, so the literal argument you have presented is a misnomer. I am expecting a debate on whether biblical creationism is either possible or not, or a debate about whether the atheistic concept is more or less valid compared to the creationist concept. In return I will avoid resorting to using faith as any sort of argument against you or support for my claims.
In order for something to be considered valid, it has to have a well grounded basis . By this I mean, it must be in accordance to observed facts in reality. It must not, in other words contradict the laws of nature. One plus one equals two, and it will always equal two. Now when a topic like this comes up that makes claims about reality, we use the scientific method to determine truth from non truth. I will give a brief rundown of what the scientific method is ( these are not my words, sources below):
-Observe some aspect of the universe.
-Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
-Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
-Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
-Repeat the preceding two steps until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.
There is an immediate problem. Creationism is not based on observed facts about reality. It is based on things like faith, which creationists often freely admit. It's a tradition, or it makes them feel good to be part of "God's plan" or whatever the case may be. The start isn't an honest inquiry into observed phenomena, it's a dishonest non-inquiry into claims of the supernatural. It doesn't even qualify as a hypothesis, because a hypothesis has the basis of at least limited evidence. Creationism does, however, make claims about existence, claims which are testable and can be falsified. Here is a brief list:
-the universe was created by a supernatural being called Yahweh in six days, about 6000 years ago.
-It says that man was created by dirt, and then women by the rib of man.
- It says that a man named Noah brought two of each animal onto a large boat, because God flooded the entire world, killing everything else.
These are only a view examples, I just picked perhaps the most obvious ones. Lets look at the first one, the claim that God created everything approximately 6000 years ago. There is no dancing around it, this is simply not true. The earth is about 4.5 Billion years old, and the universe about 13.7 billion years give or take. There are several methods by which this is measured. To quote hubblesite.org, " Because all of the galaxies in the universe are generally moving apart, we infer that they must all have been much closer together sometime in the past. Knowing the current speeds and distances to galaxies, coupled with the rate at which the universe is accelerating, allows us to calculate how long it took for them to reach their current locations. The answer is about 14 billion years. " Another way is the length of time it takes the light from stars to reach us. The light from our sun takes about 8 minutes to reach us, but some stars take millions of years.
One of the main ways we know the earth is about 4.5 Billion years old is through various radiometric dating methods. Radiometric dating is essentially measuring the decay rate of certain isotopes. Different isotopes have different decay rates, for example the half life of carbon-14 is 5,730 years, while potassium 40 has a half life of around 1.3 billion years. Though these various methods, we can calculate that the age of the earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old.
The second claim is that God created all forms of life over the course of two days. This is also false. Life didn't just spontaneously appear in it's current form in one fell swoop, it evolved over the course of around 2 billion years. There is a mountain of evidence to support this claim, and I will only name a few and will hopefully expand on this later.
- The universal genetic code. All cells that we know of on earth are capable of reading any piece of DNA from any life form on Earth. This is very strong evidence for a common ancestor from which all life descended.
-Genetic similarities. We share more than 97% of our DNA with chimpanzees, 80% with cows, chickens about 68% etc. This suggests that that we shared a common ancestor in the past. And the amount of difference between our genomes corresponds to how long ago our genetic lines diverged.
-Bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Through random mutation, the bacteria the most resistant to a certain type of antibiotics will survive while the others die off. In the succeeding generations, most of the bacteria will be resistant to this particular type of antibiotics.
-Comparative Anatomy/vestigial structures/ homologous structures. On a surface level, animals that look very different from one another actually have a very similar physical structure. For example, underneath the fin of a whale, the skeletal "hand" is very similar to the hand of humans and chimps. Humans have tailbones .
Again, these are only a few examples, I will certainly expand upon this in the next couple of rounds.
Now finally, we have the issue of Noah and the flood. I will only point out a few obvious issues with this (more later, if you want).
- Gathering all the Animals. How could penguins, polar bears, moose, and plants have all gotten to the same place?
- The arks ability to support all the different species of animals. The ark was supposedly around 450 feet in length. They had to fit two of every type of animal on the planet, plus there's the issue of dinosaurs. How did they all fit?
-Maintaining animal life on the ark. Most elephants eat around 400 pounds of vegetation everyday, and drinks around 50 gallons of water and . How could they possibly fit all that food and fresh water into the ark for 40 days and 40 nights?
In short, biblical creationism makes specific, testible and therefore falsifiable claims about the nature of reality. When these claims are held up to scrutiny, they almost universally fail. To be a creationist it is necessary to deny so much of modern biology, biochemistry, physics, geology, cosmology, things that are grounded in scientific evidence and analysis. Blinders must be firmly applied so as not to see reality. In the next rounds, I will attempt to refute pro's more specific claims. I hope to demonstrate that biblical creationism is not only not a valid scientific theory, but also a laughable concept.
This concludes my opening argument, good luck pro.
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The first few problems my opponent points out about Creationism is that the literal explanation of the Bible defies science. Well, first Con must understand that the Bible was not written as a scientific text; it is a theological text, moral code, etc.
Nonetheless what we can conclude from the Bible is that the Earth is young, the universe was created by a being that transcends the laws of that very same universe, that a woman was created sharing similar genetic information with man although with several differences, and that a global flood shaped the world today through catastrophism.
My opponent has referred to a uniformitarian theory that promotes the 4.5 billion-year-old universe idea. The problem with this is that the 4.5 billion-year-old idea comes from uranium-lead dating. No matter what sort of radiometric dating you refer to, all processes are missing a significant component necessary for the dating method to be true.
The easiest way to address this would be that we cannot travel back in time, obviously. Therefore, we cannot observe the change from a past point A, to point B in the present. However, radioactive dating requires us to know the status of a point A. This is currently impossible.
Imagine you are looking at a melting, burning candle. You have no idea how tall the candle was before it was lit, and you have no idea when it was lit. All you know, is (1) how tall the melted candle is now, and (2) the rate at which the candle is melting. Now if you had to tell me when the candle was lit in the first place, you"d have to make some plain assumptions.
This is exactly what radioactive dating is like: You have a decayed, and still-decaying amount of radioactive material in an object. You have no idea when the object"s radioactive material started decaying, and you have no idea how much radioactive material it once had. All you know is (1) how much radioactive material the object has NOW, and (2) the radioactive decay rate. Now if you had to tell me when the radioactive material started decaying, you"d have to make some plain assumptions. These assumptions are made for every single example of radioactive dating today.
Therefore even though TODAY the decay rate seems to be at such a half-life, or fraction of half-life, for uranium to lead, you have no idea when it started decaying. Therefore the 4.5-billion-year-old prediction is evidently a random guess. This is undeniable.
Con stated: the universe about 13.7 billion years give or take.
Why don"t we "take" away 13699994000 years?
I. The stars of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, rotate about the galactic center with different speeds, the inner ones rotating faster than the outer ones. The observed rotation speeds are so fast that if our galaxy were more than a few hundred million years old, it would be a featureless disc of stars instead of its present spiral shape.
Our galaxy, according to uniformatarianism, is supposed to be at least 10 billion years old. Uniformitarians call this "the winding-up dilemma," which they have known about for fifty years. They have devised many theories to try to explain it, each one failing after a brief period of popularity. The same "winding-up" dilemma also applies to other galaxies. For the last few decades the favored attempt to resolve the puzzle has been a complex theory called "density waves."
The theory has conceptual problems, has to be arbitrarily and very finely tuned, and has been called into serious question by the Hubble Space Telescope"s discovery of very detailed spiral structure in the central hub of the "Whirlpool" galaxy, M51.
II. According to astronomical observations, galaxies like our own experience about one supernova (a violently-exploding star) every 25 years. The gas and dust remnants from such explosions (like the Crab Nebula) expand outward rapidly and should remain visible for over a million years. Yet the nearby parts of our galaxy in which we could observe such gas and dust shells contain only about 200 supernova remnants. That number is consistent with only about *7,000 years* worth of supernovas.
III. According to evolutionary theory, comets are supposed to be the same age as the solar system, about five billion years. Yet each time a comet orbits close to the sun, it loses so much of its material that it could not survive much longer than about 100,000 years. Many comets have typical ages of less than *10,000 years.*
Evolutionists explain this discrepancy by assuming that (a) comets come from an unobserved spherical "Oort cloud" well beyond the orbit of Pluto, (b) improbable gravitational interactions with infrequently passing stars often knock comets into the solar system, and (c) other improbable interactions with planets slow down the incoming comets often enough to account for the hundreds of comets observed.
So far, none of these assumptions has been substantiated either by observations or realistic calculations. Lately, there has been much talk of the "Kuiper Belt," a disc of supposed comet sources lying in the plane of the solar system just outside the orbit of Pluto. Some asteroid-sized bodies of ice exist in that location, but they do not solve the evolutionists" problem, since according to evolutionary theory, the Kuiper Belt would quickly become exhausted if there were no Oort cloud to supply it.
IV. Each year, water and winds erode about 20 billion tons of dirt and rock from the continents and deposit it in the ocean. This material accumulates as loose sediment on the hard basaltic (lava-formed) rock of the ocean floor. The average depth of all the sediment in the whole ocean is less than 400 meters.
The main way known to remove the sediment from the ocean floor is by plate tectonic subduction. That is, sea floor slides slowly (a few cm/year) beneath the continents, taking some sediment with it. According to secular scientific literature, that process presently removes only 1 billion tons per year. As far as anyone knows, the other 19 billion tons per year simply accumulate. At that rate, erosion would deposit the present mass of sediment in less than 12 million years. Yet according to evolutionary theory, erosion and plate subduction have been going on as long as the oceans have existed, an alleged three billion years. If that were so, the rates above imply that the oceans would be massively choked with sediment dozens of kilometers deep.
An alternative (creationist) explanation is that erosion from the waters of the Genesis flood running off the continents deposited the present amount of sediment within a short time about *5,000 years* ago; it does not violate the principles provided from what we know of.
V. Every year, rivers and other sources dump over 450 million tons of sodium into the ocean. Only 27% of this sodium manages to get back out of the sea each year. As far as anyone knows, the remainder simply accumulates in the ocean. If the sea had no sodium to start with, it would have accumulated its present amount in less than 42 million years at today's input and output rates. This is much less than the evolutionary age of the ocean, three billion years. The usual reply to this discrepancy is that past sodium inputs must have been less and outputs greater. However, calculations that are as generous as possible to evolutionary scenarios still give a *maximum age of only 62 million years*. Calculations for many other seawater elements give much younger ages for the ocean.
VI. Natural radioactivity, mutations, and decay degrade DNA and other biological material rapidly. Measurements of the mutation rate of mitochondrial DNA recently forced researchers to revise the age of "mitochondrial Eve" from a theorized 200,000 years down to possibly as low as *6,000 years*. DNA experts insist that DNA cannot exist in natural environments longer than *10,000 years*, yet intact strands of DNA appear to have been recovered from fossils allegedly much older: Neandertal bones, insects in amber, and even from dinosaur fossils. Bacteria allegedly 250 million years old apparently have been revived with no DNA damage. Soft tissue and blood cells from a dinosaur have astonished experts.
VII. Evolutionary anthropologists now say that Homo sapiens existed for at least 185,000 years before agriculture began, during which time the world population of humans was roughly constant, between one and ten million. All that time they were burying their dead, often with artifacts. By that scenario, they would have buried at least eight billion bodies. If the evolutionary time scale is correct, buried bones should be able to last for much longer than 200,000 years, so many of the supposed eight billion stone age skeletons should still be around (and certainly the buried artifacts). Yet only a few thousand have been found. This implies that the Stone Age was much shorter than evolutionists think, perhaps only a *few hundred years in many areas*.
VIII. Radiohalos are rings of color formed around microscopic bits of radioactive minerals in rock crystals. They are fossil evidence of radioactive decay. "Squashed" Polonium-210 radiohalos indicate that Jurassic, Triassic, and Eocene formations in the Colorado plateau were deposited within months of one another, not hundreds of millions of years apart as required by the conventional time scale. "Orphan" Polonium-218 radiohalos, having no evidence of their mother elements, imply accelerated nuclear decay and very rapid formation of associated minerals.
I"m afraid I have no more space for more arguments.
I will rebut Con"s false interpretations of his "evidence", particularly evolution, as well as misconceptions about the Bible, in the next round.
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