The Instigator
HighSchoolDebater
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
tpmassive
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

The Bible Provides a More Accurate Understanding of the World than Science

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/15/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 820 times Debate No: 36705
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
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HighSchoolDebater

Con

Welcome! First, I'd just like to point out that this is my first time on this site, and therefore apologize if I breach any sort of etiquette or misunderstand the rules.

I was hoping to debate whether the Bible (ideally Christian Bible) provides a more accurate understanding of the universe/our world than science. My opponent should feel free to quote the Bible, however I'd prefer (s)he refrain from merely using Biblical evidence to prove Biblical claims (the Bible is true because it says it is). My opponent should defend the side that the Bible presents the more accurate view than science, while I would argue the contrary.

I set this at 5 rounds, ideally looking for the order to go:
1) Acceptance (and, if the Pro prefers, opening statement)
2) Openings/Rebuttal
3) Rebuttal
4) Rebuttal
5) Conclusion

I know this general topic is much debated, but I was hoping to throw my own hat into the ring!

Thank you, and good luck!
tpmassive

Pro

Yes the bible does provide a more accurate understanding of the world than science. To solidify my belief,the bible tells us that God formed the universe in 6 days. This is a simple yet relevant account for the formation of the world.Come to science, we are able to explain the extinction of prehistoric lifeforms,what about the formation of the earth? The earth is a piece of the sun that broke off many years ago,same as all the other planets. Quite impressive,but that is as far as science can take us. Based on accuracy,I believe that is a question that cannot be answered as both accounts cannot be proven invalid.
Debate Round No. 1
HighSchoolDebater

Con

Thank you very much to my opponent for taking up this debate with me! I'd also like to apologize for the amount of time I've let lapse- unfortunately I've had quite a bit of work that I've had to catch up on, and haven't really had the time to sit down and write this argument until now.

I'd like to start with my own constructive before moving on to my opponent's initial case.

The most important theme this debate should refer to is certainty, as this is one of the fundamental differences between religion and science when describing the surrounding world. Christianity (and its founding document, the Bible) root its teachings in a sense of absolute certainty, often ignoring historical church precedent that suggests the opposite. Evolution was widely panned by Church leaders as being contrary to the garden of Eden, yet is now a position officially held by the Catholic church. More recently, the Pope reversed the church's stance on the use of condoms. Even if Catholicism isn't your particular brand of Christianity, one must admit a long line of changing dogma over the past two thousand years.

Change in and of itself is not a bad thing. We find it in the world around us everyday. The problem arises in religion that this change necessarily indicates that the previous view was fundamentally flawed, leading to the realization that, even if the Bible was the word of God, this word is simply unknowable from an absolute sense. Christianity itself doesn't agree, between sects or over time. The accuracy of the Bible is not derived from the document itself, but rather the lens the bible is examined. Therefore, any "accuracy" perceived by a Biblical worldview is primarily derived from one's own experience. Do we, as a society, believe it was ever morally acceptable to own or sell slaves? We know that, in the majority of the world it was done, but we would never say this practice was morally right. Yet the Bible explicitly grants fathers the right to sell daughters off into slavery. From a purely Biblical standpoint, this indicates that slavery was morally permissible, at least for the ancient Hebrews. While many Biblical scholars attempt to rationalize this by explaining "it was a different culture," that is simply irrelevant! The word of God must transcend cultural boundaries, not fall victim to them!

I do not mean to stand here and imply that science is, or ever has been, perfect in its approach to answering questions about the world around us. However, it fundamentally accepts one core tenant necessary before even attempting to solve the questions- "we don't know everything, and our first guess can be (and often is) wrong." If nothing else, this humbling statement should win the debate in favor of science. Even if the Bible is able to, by chance, approximate the world physically more accurately than science (a point I contend vigorously), this necessary understanding of our world is only truly found in a scientific mindset. Popperian positivism lies at the heart of the scientific method- frame a question, examine the evidence,m create a hypothesis, use the hypothesis to create falsifiable predictions, test these predictions using experimental analysis. While my opponent claims that the "question that cannot be answered as both accounts cannot be proven invalid," I would wholeheartedly disagree. This standpoint is found only from the side of Biblical teachings, not scientific inquiry. The hypothesis that the universe was formed in a "Big Bang" has not always been the accepted scientific answer. I point to the historical debates between scientists in favor of a "steady state" universe and a "changing universe" as evidence. The Big Bang was a theory formed to explain the evidence of hydrogen and helium in different aged stars, the expansion of the universe, etc. What my opponent points out actually demonstrates the beauty of scientific inquiry. The Big Bang theory is the result of countless cycles of the scientific method. Furthermore, if evidence can be found that contradicts this, science will naturally move to a more inclusive theory. I agree that the "lack of test-ability" in religion is problematic, and point to science as an answer.

As mentioned above, I furthermore contend that the Bible also falls far short of science in a physical explanation of our world. Quite simply, Biblical creation and a "great flood" don't explain rock formations, speciation and diversity, and biological development as well as scientific theories. Not to trivialize the matter, but shouldn't we expect to see penguins in both the arctic and antarctic if they ventured from a single point somewhere closer to the equator? Instead, we see an animal kingdom remarkably diverse, yet tuned through millions of years of natural selection to their surroundings.

Contrary to these difficulties found in religion, scientific inquiry has been demonstrated to physically improve life as we know it. Biblical study didn't create the Theory of Relativity, an instrumental part in not only understanding our world, but also developing real-world technologies, like GPS systems.

I could continue, however I feel this has given my opponent something to work with in the next round. I would hate to win a debate purely by listing off more examples of accurate scientific discovery than Biblical teachings.

Furthermore, I believe I have addressed the crux of my opponents case in my constructive, but will directly refute it here. My opponent makes one fundamental fallacy in his or her comparison of scientific and Biblical "creation" ideas (beyond his or her fundamental misunderstanding of the scientific formation of the Earth being a stellar fragment). The Biblical account falls prey to what he or she describes as a lack of testability. Regardless of the evidence against a six-day creation, the Biblical scholar will merely say either "six days is metaphorical" (an answer that does Biblical accuracy more harm than good) or "the only reason there seems to be evidence to the contrary is because Satan put it there."

The scientific explanation of the Earth's formation wasn't one that appeared suddenly one day and has been accepted ever since. Instead, it has (pardon the term) evolved over iterations of testing and hypothesizing. The Earth was once scientifically thought to be millions of years old. Then, through new evidence and better understanding of old evidence, this was proven false. Quite the opposite of what my opponent says, science didn't shy away from a challenge to the old hypothesis, was proved wrong, an adapted its explination as a result. The argument that science cannot be "proven invalid" shows a misunderstanding of the goals, methods, and nature of scientific inquery, and is the precise reason I stand in firm negation of the resolution.

Thank you very much for your time, I look forward to your response
tpmassive

Pro

tpmassive forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
HighSchoolDebater

Con

In the hopes that my opponent accidentally forfeitted the previous round, I'm just going to extend my previous arguments and give him/her a chance to respond to my initial constructive. If tpmassive misses this round, I'll post a few more arguments for the sake of general public discourse with any user who may read this during the voting period.

Thank you very much, and I await a response to my previous round's points.
tpmassive

Pro

tpmassive forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
HighSchoolDebater

Con

HighSchoolDebater forfeited this round.
tpmassive

Pro

tpmassive forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
HighSchoolDebater

Con

HighSchoolDebater forfeited this round.
tpmassive

Pro

tpmassive forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
When your opponent forfeits, you should continue making arguments until you have said all you have to say. Your opponent's failure to show up is his problem, and you can keep piling on. Usually about half of the space is enough to do the job, but it all depends on the topic. In a debate with many factual issues, you may have lots of evidence to present. In most debates, quoting "experts" or famous people is a good way to show that your position is widely accepted.

You are free to post "arguments are extended" if you have nothing else to add.

Always post something. Your opponent loses conduct for failure to post. If ou forfeit as well, that is an offsetting conduct violation.
Posted by HighSchoolDebater 3 years ago
HighSchoolDebater
Question for anyone (as a new member, I'm not really sure):

I see that my opponent for this debate didn't post an argument for round 2. What is the appropriate action for me? Do I just extend arguments, outline them again, or add more? Sorry for what is probably a clear answer, I just want to make sure I follow the proper etiquette of this organization.

Thanks!
Posted by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
It's funny how the we are "dumb" (I'd agree, relatively") but at the same time assert this existence of a hyper-intelligent being.
Posted by futureisnow 3 years ago
futureisnow
God who created the universe is far more advanced in science, and the more we advance in science, the more we discover about God and understand how Biblical events could be possible. For all inexplicable events in the Bible without modern understanding is because we are not smart enough, knowledgeable enough, and experienced enough to understand the great wisdom and the laws of the nature. We are not the smartest generation as we discover more wise sayings, and archaeological evidences found from the old days seemed far more advanced than us. Computers and nano technology? smart people didn't even needed that and created the more accurate buildings and knew about the stars... so far... the more we discover the dumber we are.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
This is a good topic and I hope a Christian takes it up. "Understanding of the world" has two parts, the physical world and the moral world. I think Con should argue that the physical reality is not much discussed in the Bible and is not important for most people, while the moral understanding is what it is all about and is far more important.
Posted by HighSchoolDebater 3 years ago
HighSchoolDebater
To SeanCEyler,

Thank you for your advice! I was also thinking the same thing when reading over many of the other topics ("Does God Exist" is quite difficult to decide in a total of 50,000 characters per side). For this debate, I tried to create a general frame (accuracy in understanding of the world), but was trying to leave the specifics up to my opponent. (I thought it only fair to let him or her pick the specific areas and definitions, that way the topic is more a fusion of both of our ideas). If you think it'll just cause more confusion than it's worth, or it won't work in general, let me know, and I'd definitely be up for tweaking the topic!

Thanks for your input!
Posted by SeanCEyler 3 years ago
SeanCEyler
Many of the questions asked and debates proposed on this site are too broad of a subject to argue in a few rounds. I think your topic should be more specific. Maybe specify it to the progression of human society and whether or not the bible or science informs us in more significant ways.
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