The Bible and REAL science harmonize
Let's start with a quick definition of science. Science is a method we use to acquire knowledge; it is a process by which we analyze what we observe and draw conclusions based on these observations. Here is a quick summary of the scientific method, as it is generally used:
1) We start by observing a phenomenon that occurs in nature for which an explanation is required (which means basically everything). This phenomenon must be observable by everyone (given the right tool) in order to be qualified as 'natural'.
2) Based on these observations, we make conjectures (hypotheses) in order to have a starting point. We should try to apply Occam's razor as much as possible when making conjectures.
3) We then test these conjectures in order to make sure that they are as accurate as possible and if they are not, we modify them to conform to reality. It is important to modify the conjecture to fit with the data and NOT the other way around.
4) Step 3 must be repeated over and over again and by more than one person in order to validate its accuracy.
5) In order for an hypothesis to become a theory (which is the highest it can get), it must be able to produce accurate predictions. It is important to note that a theory can never be 'proved', it can only be disproved. We usually apply the label 'proved' to a theory when it has been known to survive the most rigorous tests and provided plenty of accurate predictions, but it is technically not the right word.
While this method is not infallible, it is the most reliable that has ever been constructed to date.
Now, the topic of this debate is 'The Bible and real science harmonize'. While 'harmonize' may mean different things in different contexts, I believe that both me and my opponent can agree that, in this case, it would mean that the Bible does not contradict science. In this debate, the Bible will be treated as being LITERALY true.
On to the arguments.
Age of the Earth.
This is an obvious example which I am sure my opponent could have predicted would come up. It is one of the most popular instances of the Bible contradicting what science has taught us. In order to determine the age of the Earth, scientists have most often used radiometric dating. While I would like to provide a brief definition of this technique that I could call my own, I believe this one sums it up pretty well:
"Radiometric dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates." http://en.wikipedia.org...
Using this technique, they have been able to calculate the age of the Earth with relatively good precision: 4.54 billion years (with an error of about 1%). When taken literally, the Bible puts the age of the Earth at about 6000 years old, which obviously contradicts science.
But calculating the age of the earth itself is not the only way science contradicts the Bible on this subject; some organisms, which are still alive today, are actually older than 6000 years:
- The Jurupa Oak is estimated to be around 13000 years old. http://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu...
- The Old tjikko is estimated to be around 9500 years old. http://en.wikipedia.org...
- Pando is estimated to be around 80000 years old! http://discovermagazine.com...
And these are just a few examples.
I think it is therefore safe to conclude that the Bible contradicts science on the matter of the age of the Earth.
This is another classical example. The theory of evolution contradicts the Bible's explanation regarding human beings; while evolution says that we are the product of millions of years genetic mutations coupled with DNA inheritance (all governed, at least in part, by natural selection), the Bible teaches that we were created by God as we are now.
If my opponent wants me to defend the theory of evolution, I will gladly do so, but it would seem that whether or not evolution is correct is irrelevant in this debate; what matters is whether or not science supports this theory. And if we consider the innumerable fossils that we have discovered (all of which confirm the theory of evolution), the discovery of DNA (which explains how mutations happen and how they are passed down through generations) as well as the many traits we which share with other species, it seems undeniable that science indeed supports this theory.
The flood and Noah's ark.
I will put aside the small technicalities of this story (i.e. how could a small family possibly build such an ark and care for all the animals) and focus on the big issues.
According to the story, it rained for 40 days, which was enough to submerge the highest mountain (Everest) under 22 feet of water. The thing is, there is not enough water on the entire planet to perform such a task; we would actually need 100 times more water than we currently have. Plus there would need to be 6 inches of rain per minute for this to occur, but I grant this does not ENTIRELY violate science.
Obviously, when all the water dried (and went... somewhere), all the animals disembarked the ark and went their merry way. The problem is, it is impossible for most animals to cross the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean (or any other ocean for that matter) and yet, we find animals all over the globe. They obviously could not have survived the flood and I do not believe that Noah would have had the patience to perform this task.
While the Bible assumes that marine life would survive such and "adventure", the reality is different. The mix of salt water and fresh water alone would kill many species. The variation in temperature and pressure would kill many more. Finally, the introduction of new predators to previously non-hunted fish would be fatal to numerous other species.
Keep in mind that my goal in this debate is not to prove the Bible wrong, it is simply to illustrate how it contradicts science. I eagerly await my opponent's response.
Age of the Earth.
Yes, this seems as an obvious contradiction with science, and I did, in fact, predict it would come up. It is easy to come to the conclusion that the Bible teaches the Earth is about 6,000 years old if we just read the creation story in Genesis. The Bible, however, does not support such a conclusion. A careful study of the Bible text reveals no conflict with established scientific facts. For that reason, Jehovah’s Witnesses disagree with Christian Fundamentalists and many creationists.
The fact is that the Hebrew word translated “day” can mean various lengths of time, not just a 24-hour period. For example, when summarizing God’s creative work, Moses refers to all six creative days as one day (Genesis 2:4). In addition, on the first creative day, “God began calling the light Day, but the darkness he called Night.” (Genesis 1:5). Here, only a portion of a 24-hour period is defined by the term “day.” Certainly, there is no basis in Scripture for arbitrarily stating that each creative day was 24 hours long.
Correct. The question here is whether science supports this theory or not. Understand that the Bible does not contradict adaptation. In fact, God has given us the ability to adapt, and when something adapts enough, eventually the species can change, and science has observed this.
The theory of evolution claims Simple organic molecules are the building blocks of life and must have been involved in its origin. So first these organic molecules were formed, replicating molecules evolved and began to undergo natural selection, and through this process eventually simple cells were made.
I thank my opponent for his rebuttals. I would like to clarify that the BoP is mine in this debate.
Age of the Earth.
As far as I can tell, my opponent does not disagree with science's assessment of the age of the Earth. My opponent is instead trying to argue that an Earth that is 4.54 billion years does NOT contradict the Bible. In order to do this, he argues that when the Bible refers to a "day" it is not actually referring to a 24 hour period, and therefore we can not evaluate the age that the Bible gives to Earth. This seems to contradict what my opponent said in the comments: "It most certainly is! I am not a creationist, by the way. But I do take Genesis literally." Since the definition of day is the length that separates two nights (in the case of earth, 24 hour), a literal interpretation of the Bible should necessarily lead to the conclusion that God created the world in six 24 hour periods. Plus Genesis 1 says that God called the light "day" and the darkness "night", which pretty much leaves no room for interpretation.
But let's say that a "day" could actually mean around 750 million years (which is what it would need to be), this raises some problems. First, it would mean that God created plants WAY before he created the sun, but we know that plants need the Sun in order to survive, so this contradicts science. Second, it would also mean that Adam and Eve lived for millions of year, which also contradicts science.
I would also point out that Genesis claims that the Earth is OLDER than the Sun, which contradicts scientific findings (http://curiosity.discovery.com...).
My opponent points to some gap in the theory of evolution, which I won't address because whether or not the theory is "complete" is irrelevant; the current scientific consensus is that evolution did occur. Many other theories are incomplete: the Big Bang theory has gaps, the theory of gravity has MANY gaps, etc. The fact that a theory is not perfect is not a good reason to reject it, it is an invitation to continue the investigation. My opponent claims that since evolution does not account for everything, it is not scientific, but that is not the way science works. Science supports what the data supports, and the data HEAVILY points to evolution being accurate (fossils, DNA, lab experiments, etc.).
The flood and Noah's ark.
First of all, whether or not a "day" is 24 hours or 750 million years, I think we can agree that a year is roughly 365*24 hours, which means that (according to the Bible) the flood occurred around 4000 years. Now, not only does this contradict the age of the trees I mentioned in the first part, it also makes irrelevant the claim that "scientists have stated that mountains in the past were much lower than at present", since mountains do not really change in 4000 years (mount Everest grows by .25 inch per year). So, considering this, we are still left with the problem that we need 100 times more water than we currently have.
"Dump all this land evenly into the sea, and water would cover the entire earth, one and one-half miles deep." I am not sure what my opponent means by "dumping all this land evenly" but that is irrelevant since the Earth of 4000 years ago was practically IDENTICAL to the Earth today, and I am pretty sure that we can agree that we are not currently under a mile of water.
My opponent then spends half of the following paragraph answering a question that he asks himself, so I will not try to refute that.
"In Genesis 6:20 it is clear that the animals came to Noah". Okay, but how? We know that there were animals in the Americas and in Australia (based on the fossil record) and I honestly do not know how they could possibly cross the Ocean in order to get to Noah.
As for the issue of going BACK to Australia an the Americas, my opponent says this: "Michael Oard, a retired meteorologist and Ice Age researcher suggested an Ice Age may have followed closely after the Flood. Severe climatic changes could have been the catalyst that encouraged certain species to migrate in certain directions from the mountainous region known as Ararat." Not only is there NO evidence for an Ice Age occurring 4000 years ago, this only tells us WHY the animals decided to go back to their homeland, not HOW. And if my opponent decides to play the "ice bridge" card, I am going to have to force the point that there is NO evidence to support such an Ice Age.
I await my opponent's response.
Age of the Earth.
Like I previously said, the Bible does not specify the length of each of the creative periods. That he called light day only proves my point. Another example is that a regular day for Jehovah is 1,000 years according to 2 Peter 3:8. So, the creative days could have been a lot longer. Concluding the review of accomplishments on each of the six days of creative activity is the statement, “And there came to be evening and there came to be morning,” a first, second, third day, and so forth. Since the length of each creative day exceeded 24 hours, this expression does not apply to literal night and day but is figurative. During the evening period things would be indistinct; but in the morning they would become clearly discernible. During the “evening,” or beginning, of each creative period, or “day,” God’s purpose for that day, though fully known to him, would be indistinct to any angelic observers. However, when the “morning” arrived there would be full light as to what God had purposed for that day, it having been accomplished by that time (compare with Proverbs 4:18).
Yes, a day could mean around 750 million years, and this raises no problems at all. To begin with, the sun was created in "the beginning" as part of the heavens and the earth (obviously before the earth). On the first day, after "the beginning", diffused light evidently penetrated the earth’s atmosphere. The source of light would be imperceptible to an observer on the surface of the earth, yet, the difference between night and day became discernible. Some vegetation, that could survive with the diffused light, appeared on the third day, and even more appeared after the fourth day when the sun and moon became discernible from the earth's surface. Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day, and nothing in the Bible really suggests that they lived for millions of years. Again, even if this was the case, you can not disprove it until you disprove God, and we are not debating the existence of God. We are debating whether the Bible is in harmony with the established scientific facts.
"My opponent points to some gap in the theory of evolution, which I won't address because whether or not the theory is 'complete' is irrelevant".
This is not an established scientific fact. It is an attempt to prove God was not necessary for the complex variety of life now to exist. A nonsensical unscientific idea based on the ASSUMPTION that God is not real, which science can not prove. The flaws are too many to site here so I will just give you two links that talk about it.
This link is on the fossil record: http://wol.jw.org...
This link is on natural selection and mutations: https://answersingenesis.org...
The flood and Noah's ark.
Correct, the flood occurred about 4,000 years ago. How does this contradict the age of the trees? Like I said in the previous round, during the flood, mountains were pushed up from under the seas. And currently, there is ten times as much water by volume in the oceans as there is land above sea level. The National Geographic illustration I used is just to show you to what extent the earth is flooded right now. A global flood 4,000 years ago does not contradict science.
How did the animals get to the ark? The Bible states that the animals came to Noah; he did not have to round them up. The Bible does not state how this was done. We also do not know what the geography of the world was like before the flood. If there was only one continent at that time, then questions of getting animals from remote regions to the ark are not relevant.
How did the animals recolonize after? The Bible also does not answer this. However, there are clues from various sources which suggest answers to the questions. When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, the island remnant remained lifeless for some years, but was eventually colonized by a surprising variety of creatures, including not only insects and earthworms, but birds, lizards, snakes and even a few mammals. One would not have expected some of this surprising array of creatures to have crossed the ocean, but they obviously did.
How did animals make the long journey from the Ararat region? Even though there have been isolated reports of individual animals making startling journeys of hundreds of miles, such abilities are not even necessary. Early settlers released a very small number of rabbits in Australia. Wild rabbits are now found at the very opposite corner (in fact, every corner) of this vast continent. Does that mean that an individual rabbit had to be capable of crossing the whole of Australia? Of course not. Some mockingly ask: "Did the kangaroo hop all the way to Australia?" We see by the rabbit example that this is a somewhat foolish question.
Populations of animals may have had centuries to migrate, relatively slowly, over many generations. Incidentally, the opposite question (also common), as to whether the two kangaroos hopped all the way from Australia to the ark, is also easily answered. The continents we now have, with their load of flood-deposited sedimentary rock, are not the same as whatever continent or continents there may have been in the pre-flood world.
We also lack information as to how animals were distributed before the flood. Kangaroos (as is true for any other creature) may not have been on any isolated landmass. Genesis 1:9 suggests that there may have been only one landmass. ("Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.") For all we know, kangaroos might have been feeding within a stone's throw of Noah while he was building the Ark.
As you can see, an Ice Age wasn't even necessary. I'm just saying it is a very logical possibility. Two particular aspects of the Flood were instrumental in causing the Ice Age: (1) extensive volcanic activity during and after the Flood, and (2) the warm oceans following the Flood.
Once again, Con fails to prove the Bible is not in harmony with REAL science. I eagerly await my adversary's next challenges.
Age of the Earth.
My opponent is clinging to the idea that a day does not mean an actual. Unfortunately, there is not much I can say against the "it's a metaphor" argument, except that we agreed to take Genesis literally.
My opponent claims that the Sun was created on the first day, but Genesis clearly states that it was created on the FOURTH day:
"God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day."
This also raises the problem that there apparently was light before the stars and the Sun. There is also the fact that the Moon is referred to as a LIGHT, whereas we know the the Moon does not actually emit any light (it is only the reflection of the Sun).
"Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day, and nothing in the Bible really suggests that they lived for millions of years." Actually, if we consider that the days are around 750 millions years long, coupled with the "fact" that Adam and Eve are still alive after the seventh day, the logical conclusion is that they indeed lived for millions of years. Plus, according to Answers in Genesis, there was no death before the fall, which could mean that they lived for millions of years (but which still contradicts science).
"Again, even if this was the case, you can not disprove it until you disprove God," God is an unfalsifiable hypothesis (and therefore not a scientific one), which means that it can NEVER be disproved.
My opponent seems to be hinting at a conspiracy theory regarding the theory of evolution, as if the theory of evolution's sole purpose was to "disprove" God. Again, I do not really know how to address this except by pointing out that the VAST majority of theists (around the globe) actually believe the theory of evolution, they simply say that it is governed by God.
Since my opponent enjoys playing the "link game", I will play along with him:
http://evolution.berkeley.edu... (this whole website is pretty interesting)
(This last one is my personal favorite, watched it many times)
Now, most of the flaws that my opponent present are formed as "evolution can't explain this" or "we don't know how this is possible". As I have said before, the fact that a theory is not complete is NOT a good reason to reject it.
The flood and Noah's ark.
"Correct, the flood occurred about 4,000 years ago. How does this contradict the age of the trees?" Well, trees can not survive underwater.
"Like I said in the previous round, during the flood, mountains were pushed up from under the seas." Setting aside that this is not supported by any scientific evidence, how does this relate to the trees?
"The National Geographic illustration I used is just to show you to what extent the earth is flooded right now." The problem with this illustration is... well the Earth is not flooded. A global flood DOES contradict science.
"How did the animals get to the ark? The Bible states that the animals came to Noah; he did not have to round them up. The Bible does not state how this was done." I know it doesn't; it is impossible (or at least highly unlikely and unscientific).
"We also do not know what the geography of the world was like before the flood." We have a very good idea what the Earth looked like 400 years, and it is EXTREMELY similar to its current state. (http://education.nationalgeographic.com...)
The krakatoa example is flawed; this island is very close to land, making it more likely that some small animals did cross on floating debris. Moreover, plant life was already there to provide the animals with food and shelter (whereas a flood would leave no plants alive on the land, making the survival of most animal highly unlikely). http://animals.about.com...
The analogy that my opponent makes with rabbits and kangaroos is also flawed, since kangaroos (and many other animals) were already there when humans first got there (except from aborigines people, who by the way have been living in Australia for over 45000 years (http://en.wikipedia.org...)).
"I'm just saying it is a very logical possibility" Logically possible? I guess. Scientifically possible? Not really; ice ages leave an enormous amount of evidence behind, and there is none that indicate that an ice age occurred 4000 years.
An interesting question: How did the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations (who existed 4000 years ago) survived the flood?
Age of the Earth.
"there is not much I can say against the "it's a metaphor" argument, except that we agreed to take Genesis literally."
Yes, indeed we did. What my adversary fails to understand is that I am not arguing the Genesis "days" are a metaphor. Con must understand that the Genesis account of creation was originally written in Hebrew. The word we translate to "day" can mean different time periods, not 24 hours necessarily, and I have given many examples. I do take Genesis literally, and this in no way contradicts science.
"My opponent claims that the Sun was created on the first day, but Genesis clearly states that it was created on the FOURTH day"
Also, Con must understand that "the beginning" is not the same as the "first day". Perhaps he will understand more clearly if he studies the time line of creation in this link: http://www.jw.org...
"There is also the fact that the Moon is referred to as a LIGHT"
No, it's not. https://answersingenesis.org...
"Actually, if we consider that the days are around 750 millions years long, coupled with the "fact" that Adam and Eve are still alive after the seventh day, the logical conclusion is that they indeed lived for millions of years."
First of all, I already showed you a "day" could be 750 million years long, 1,000 years long, or even less than 24 hours long. Secondly, there is no way Adam and Eve could be alive after the seventh day because the seventh day is not over yet. http://wol.jw.org...
"Now, most of the flaws that my opponent present are formed as "evolution can't explain this" or "we don't know how this is possible". As I have said before, the fact that a theory is not complete is NOT a good reason to reject it."
There is nothing more to argue about this. You can not prove evolution is real science, and I don't know what more evidence to show you that it is not real science. We will just have to agree to disagree on this one.
Currently, the evolution theory is the unfalsifiable. Yes, we see natural speciation through adaptation and come to the conclusion that through the same processes, a few molecules eventually became the complex variety of life there is now. But do we not also see that everything around us that isn't nature had a creator? Why do we make an exception with nature, which is much more complex? Why do many talk about it like it is a fact, when the truth is we will NEVER observe a single molecule or even an ape becoming a man? We can not live long enough to observe this. The best we can do is come to the most logical conclusion based on the facts. The fossil record is an abrupt record missing intermediares, between amphibian and mammals for instance. And most living things forgot to evolve and look exactly like their counterpart! Why would we expect it was any different with the extinct organisms? In addition, our knowledge of mutations shows these result in loss of information. There are very few arguable cases of favorable mutations, but the truth is that these would have to occur billions of times, and there would have to be few unfavorable mutations for there to be any progress. This is simply not what we observe in nature. That the idea is incomplte is not a good reason to reject it? Perhaps. But will I reject a more complete idea and ignore the evidence to accept a theory that not only goes against what I know of science but also against what the Bible teaches? No, and you shouldn't either.
The flood and Noah's ark.
"Well, trees can not survive underwater." https://answersingenesis.org...
"Setting aside that this is not supported by any scientific evidence, how does this relate to the trees?"
It doesn't. It relates to the mountains.
"I know it doesn't; it is impossible (or at least highly unlikely and unscientific)."
Not if God exists. -_- If you are going to make these kinds of arguments, why don't you just mention Jesus' miracles already? Perhaps I didn't make this clear enough before so I will do it now. Assume God exists. Does everything in his book harmonize with science, considering he exists?
"We have a very good idea what the Earth looked like 400 years, and it is EXTREMELY similar to its current state."
I'm going to assume you meant 4,000 years ago. That link is just an idea of what it looked like IF there was no flood. Therefore, it is irrelevant.
How did the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations (who existed 4000 years ago) survived the flood?
You don't have valid evidence: https://answersingenesis.org...
In this round, it would seem that I am going to be arguing with websites rather than with an actual opponent, but I don't really mind.
Age of the Earth.
This subject is pretty much over; whatever I point out my opponent just gives his own interpretation of the text in a way that is acceptable from a scientific point of view, whether he refers to "days" not being actual "days", "beginning" not being the actual "beginning" and "emitting light" not actually "emitting light". I can not argue against that sort of argument, but I will point out a couple of things:
- "Days" were considered actual "days" until science demonstrated that this was not the case. That goes for the rest of these interpretations.
- The website that my opponent provides for many of his refutations supports the idea that "days" are actual "days".
As for the age of Adam and Eve, I just found out that Adam actually died at 930 years old:
Genesis 5:5 "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died." And I can't help but notice that it refers to "days" in order to get to that number.
"Currently, the evolution theory is the unfalsifiable" This is simply false: all you would need to do in order to disprove evolution would be to find the fossil of a CURRENTLY living species that is over 100 million years old. If today's animals always existed, it should not be that hard, right? But no such fossil has ever been found.
"Yes, we see natural speciation through adaptation and come to the conclusion that through the same processes, a few molecules eventually became the complex variety of life there is now." That is an oversimplification, but it is not entirely inaccurate.
"But do we not also see that everything around us that isn't nature had a creator? Why do we make an exception with nature, which is much more complex?" That question pretty much answers itself: we do not recognize design by complexity, but by contrasting it with nature. If God actually created everything, then it would impossible to distinguish what is and isn't design, since EVERYTHING would be designed. Moreover, this isn't a debate about God (but I am open to have one).
"Why do many talk about it like it is a fact, when the truth is we will NEVER observe a single molecule or even an ape becoming a man?" It is considered a fact because the evidence that it actually happened is overwhelming. The argument that we have "never seen" a molecule become a man is ridiculous: we have never seen an atom, and yet the existence of atoms is considered a fact. The transition from ape to man (which is actually a flawed sentence: humans ARE STILL apes) is extensively supported by the fossil record (http://evolution.berkeley.edu...).
"The best we can do is come to the most logical conclusion based on the facts" Which is what we did for evolution.
"The fossil record is an abrupt record missing intermediares, between amphibian and mammals for instance" The thing that most people forget (or don't know) is that, when something dies it VERY RARELY becomes fossilized. But we are lucky enough to have numerous fossils, each of which fits in the theory of evolution. For the evolution of amphibian to mammals, I suggest you read this: (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...).
"And most living things forgot to evolve and look exactly like their counterpart! Why would we expect it was any different with the extinct organisms?" Extinct organisms (that date back millions of years) are very different from what we see today. That goes with what I said about evolution being a falsifiable theory.
"There are very few arguable cases of favorable mutations, but the truth is that these would have to occur billions of times, and there would have to be few unfavorable mutations for there to be any progress." The video that I recommended addresses this exact point in great detail.
"But will I reject a more complete idea and ignore the evidence to accept a theory that not only goes against what I know of science but also against what the Bible teaches? No, and you shouldn't either. " Rejecting evolution IS the result of ignoring evidence. And whether or not a theory goes against the Bible does NOT influence it's validity.
The flood and Noah's ark.
"Well, trees can not survive underwater." The link that my opponent provided regarding this issue contains one the worst argument that I have ever seen:
"The Bible states there was a worldwide Flood.
We see plants today.
Therefore plants survived the Flood."
This is a classical case of "leading the evidence where you want it to go"; they basically start off with the presupposition that the flood DID happen and then try to link it with what we see today. Furthermore, the site does not address the question of the trees I mentioned, it simply explains how vegetation did not go extinct (with spores on debris and animal excrement, etc.). I would also point out that, on that very page, it says that the Earth is around 6000 years old, and that Noah was 600 years old.
"Not if God exists. -_- If you are going to make these kinds of arguments, why don't you just mention Jesus' miracles already? Perhaps I didn't make this clear enough before so I will do it now. Assume God exists. Does everything in his book harmonize with science, considering he exists?" I hope that this is a joke, it is basically like saying "assume that magic is real, than Harry Potter and science harmonize". If we have to "assume" that God exists and can intervene at any time in reality, then science goes right out of the window; we can never know whether something is caused by nature or by God and any "cause to consequence" conclusion that we draw based on our observations won't mean anything, since the cause could always be God. Plus there is no evidence that points to the existence of God and therefore I do not see any reason to "assume" that he exists.
"That link is just an idea of what it looked like IF there was no flood. Therefore, it is irrelevant." This debate is going to be very difficult for me if my opponent is going to reject everything that contradicts his position. The estimation of the continental drift is based on accurate data, and I do not see any reason why a flood would influence the continental drift.
Regarding the issue of Egypt and Mesopotamia, my opponent once provides a link to Answers in Genesis. First of all, the link he provided does not address at all the Mesopotamian society. Second of all, I am no historian so I can only provide another link to compete with my opponent's: (http://www.ancient.eu.com...).
Before I finish, I just noticed something that my opponent said in Round 3 which I really need to address:
"We are debating whether the Bible is in harmony with the established scientific facts." That is incorrect. We are debating whether the Bible is in harmony with SCIENCE, and science is not limited to what we discover using the scientific method. As I said in the first round, science is a METHOD, and to be in harmony with that method is to embrace it's way of acquiring knowledge (making observations and testing the conclusions that you draw based on these observations). Does the Bible do that? No it does not; it makes various claims about the world in a way that is extremely prone to interpretation (as we have seen in this debate) and that is not supported by any evidence.
Even if my opponent somehow manages to refute my arguments, it does not grant him the right to say that the Bible is in harmony with science, first he has to demonstrate that the claims in that book are SUPPORTED by evidence, not only that there is a lack of evidence against it.
Origin of the Universe: Gen. 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." In 1978, astronomer Robert Jastrow wrote: "Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.""God and the Astronomers (New York, 1978), p. 14.p. 63
Shape of Planet Earth: Isaiah 40:22: "There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth." In ancient times the general opinion was that the earth was flat. It was not until over 200 years after this Bible text had been written that a school of Greek philosophers reasoned that the earth likely was spherical, and in about another 300 years a Greek astronomer calculated the approximate radius of the earth. But the idea of a spherical earth was not the general view even then. Only in the 20th century has it been possible for humans to travel by airplane, and later into outer space and even to the moon, thus giving them a clear view of "the circle" of earth"s horizon.
Animal Life: Leviticus 11:6: "The hare . . . is a chewer of the cud." Though this was long attacked by some critics, the rabbit"s cud chewing was finally observed by Englishman William Cowper in the 18th century. The unusual way in which it is done was described in 1940 in Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, Vol. 110, Series A, pp. 159-163.
I agree with my opponent that this has been a wonderful debate. I had a lot of fun and I hope that my opponent had fun too.
Science is indeed not limited by scientific findings. As an analogy, a person's intelligence is not limited to the amount of knowledge that this person has.
The fact that an astronomer said (over 30 years ago) that the origin of the world is similar to the Genesis account does not mean anything. We do not know what that astronomer's interpretation of the Bible was (and, as we have seen, they vary greatly from one person to another), we do not know what part of the origin he refers to, etc.
I initially thought about talking about the shape of the earth and finally decided against it, but since my opponent is bringing it up, I'll just put a quote from the Bible that seems to hint at a flat earth (the "circle" thing also points to a flat earth):
"The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth" (Daniel 4:11) You can not see a all of a sphere from a single point, no matter how high you go.
I never brought up the hare chewing the cud, so I won't address this point.
In conclusion, my opponent has failed in two points:
1) He has failed to defend the accuracy of the Bible against various scientific findings; he either interprets the Bible in a way that suits him (which would not be problem if we had not agreed to take it literally) or he simply ignores what scientists have demonstrated countless times (i.e. Evolution).
2) He has also failed to explain how the Bible's claims follow the scientific method. He debated as though he could win simply by demonstrating how science does NOT contradict science, which he not only failed to do but also failed to realize that this was not enough.
For these reasons, I encourage the audience to vote Con.
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