The Instigator
iamnotwhoiam
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
BennyW
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Bible contains conclusive examples of modern scientific knowledge

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
iamnotwhoiam
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,418 times Debate No: 27737
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)

 

iamnotwhoiam

Con

As evidence that the Bible is divinely inspired, some Christians point to purported examples of things that the writers could not possibly have known unless they were inspired by God.

I will take CON in this debate. We will take modern scientific knowledge to mean any scientific theory or fact that is accepted by scientific consensus at this current time. The theory or fact must be something that Earthbound observers could not reasonably have known at the time the Biblical passage was written.

For the sake of convenience we will stick to the Western tradition: either the Protestant or Catholic canon.

The burden of proof to establish that any theory or fact is accepted by consensus will be on PRO, but I will not press for proof unless the theory or fact is in my opinion obscure, contested, or fringe.

PRO can begin to post arguments in Round 1, and I will proceed to refute them. PRO will forfeit round 5.

To avoid the case where there are too many examples posted for me to be able to refute in the space allowed, PRO will be limited to a maximum of eight examples, with no more than two examples per round.

Thank you and good luck to whoever accepts the debate.
BennyW

Pro


I thank my opponent for initiating this debate as it is a topic I like to debate. My opponent wants Biblical proof of now known scientific fact before it was known at the time the Bible was written. He never specified how many I had to definitively prove, just that I couldn’t give more than eight examples. Eight should be sufficient. I will be using the Protestant Cannon and the NIV translation specifically unless otherwise noted.


Let me start from the beginning literally. The Bible acknowledges the idea of a Supercontinent and subsequent Continental drift. In Genesis 1:9 it says “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear”. [1]This implies that the land was gathered in one place. Later, in Genesis 7:11 it talks about water springing up from the deep this could be seen as the point at which the Continents shifted apart. [2] In fact a global flood would explain many of the problems associated with the tectonic theory. [3]


God ordained circumcision of an infant on his 8th day. Modern science now recognizes this as the ideal time for a safe circumcision. Despite this however, many Doctors still circumcise before this. Debates on the ethicality of circumcision aside this does show that if you are going to circumcise it is much safer at that point due to the way it clots. [4]


Again I thank my opponent and await his rebuttle.


1 http://www.biblegateway.com...


2 http://www.biblegateway.com...


3 http://www.icr.org...


4 http://www.icr.org...


Debate Round No. 1
iamnotwhoiam

Con

Thank you to my opponent for taking up this debate.


A supercontinent and continental drift

Either land was made up of several continents or just one, so there is a 50/50 chance of guessing this right. Claiming this as evidence of foreknowledge is like proclaiming someone psychic because they predicted a coin would land on tails.

By the Mosaic account, the ancient Hebrews were not aware of any continents, so it is natural they would think of land as one mass.

Furthermore, we have to take the verse in context: Genesis has land forming before the Sun[1], which is obviously false, so the notion that the Genesis account constitutes knowledge must be false.

My opponent claims a flood as the cause of the continents breaking up. There is no scientific evidence for such a flood, and my opponent does not specify how a flood would cause plates to move. During the Earth's 4.5 billion year history, there have been many cycles of supercontinents and then continents breaking apart, so one event does not suffice to describe the movement of the land on Earth. [2][3]

The change in atmospheric conditions required to support sufficient water vapor for 112 million cubic kilometers of rain per day - about 80,000 times more than the current daily rainfall worldwide[4] - would have made the air unbreathable. The atmosphere couldn't sustain that much water even under the most extreme temperature and pressure conditions the planet can produce. If the conditions were right for that much water to be in the atmosphere, the Earth would be turned into the equivalent of a pressure cooker, raising oxygen and nitrogen levels to toxic levels.[5]

The Bible has humans existing at the time of the flood. Our species is 200,000 years old.[6][7][8] The first supercontinent, Vaalbara, broke apart 2500 million years ago. Even the most recent supercontinent, Pangea, broke up 200 million years ago, long before humans were on this planet.[2][3]

The Biblical account isn't supported by science, it contradicts it.


Circumcision

We can take it as a given that the Rabbis and mothers had experience of circumcisions. From this experience, they would know that for babies a few days old the wound doesn't heal as well.

It is on the fifth through the seventh days of the newborn male’s life that vitamin K which aids clotting is present in adequate quantities.

There is no scientific literature saying exactly eight days old for a circumcision is optimal.

The study Optimal time for neonatal circumcision: an observation-based study, by B Banieghal, shows that painless circumcision is possible in almost all newborns if it is performed during the first week after birth.[9] That would suggest five to seven days, not eight.

Another study suggests only that "infancy" is the best time.[10]

The Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons advise that the procedure should be performed electively after six months of age.[11]



[1] Genesis 1:9 - 16.
[2] http://www.sciencedaily.com...
[3] http://www.geo.uu.nl...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://www.talkorigins.org...
[6] http://humanorigins.si.edu...
[7] http://anthro.palomar.edu...
[8] http://news.bbc.co.uk...
[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[10] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[11] http://www.cirp.org...
BennyW

Pro

I thank my opponent or his arguments last round. By my opponent’s own admission there are conflicting studies on circumcision however they all seem to agree on around a week. The most decisive one I found said 8 days. [1] Here it affirms what my opponent says about t rising to normal levels by 5-7 days however, it peaks at day 8 making it higher than any other time in his life, making t the deal time. [2] My opponent attributes this knowledge to trial and error, but why would they risk circumcision in the first place if they were so uncertain?

As for the flood, the fact that there are so many ancient civilizations with a flood story is corroborating evidence especially when you consider many of these civilizations didn’t have contact with each other. Now is this definitive proof? Not on its own but it is one criteria of evidence.

My opponent says they were unaware of the concept of continents at the time, and although they didn’t fully understand the different Continents like we do today they were certainly aware that there was large amounts of water between land as they were aware o Northern Africa, the Middle East and even going as far east as Greece. As for my opponent’s assertion about the age of the Continents, that is a theory that is constantly changing and the same goes for how long humans have lived on earth as they have found certain methods of dating to be unreliable. He then cites a source bringing up problems with the flood story. Some of these are explained n the Bible such as God having the animals come to Noah. Also the question of kind is quite easy to answer, it is any animal that can breed with another.

One other thing the Bible understands is hygiene, something that the medical community didn’t even fully understand until about 100 years ago as they would perform surgery without even washing their hands or their instruments and we have Louise Pasteur to thank for the discovery of germs. [3] [4]

I thank my opponent and await the next round.

1 http://www.apologeticspress.org...
2 http://theplaintruth.websitetoolbox.com...
3 http://www.answersingenesis.org...
4 http://talem.hubpages.com...

Debate Round No. 2
iamnotwhoiam

Con

Circumcision

A couple of my opponent's last round statements were inaccurate.

"By my opponent’s own admission there are conflicting studies on circumcision however they all seem to agree on around a week"

The Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons advise that the procedure should be performed electively after six months of age.[1] Another study says "infancy".[2] The studies do not agree on around a week, and how my opponent came to this erroneous conclusion from my sources is beyond me.

"The most decisive one I found said 8 days."

My opponent's source is not a scientific study on circumcision but an apologetics website asserting that eight days is the best time.[3] The study cited in the blog is simply a study of Prothrombin levels. It doesn't say anything about circumcision. For what it's worth, there are several factors in clotting. Prothrombin is only one of them.[4]

Simply put, my opponent cannot claim circumcision after 8 days as scientific knowledge when there is not a consensus, and no studies advocate 8 days anyhow.


A supercontinent and continental drift

Here is a map of the world as known to the Hebrews. Clearly, one land mass.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Anyhow, as I have said, a 50/50 guess (one continent or more than one) is not conclusive evidence of knowledge.

My opponent disputes my scientific papers on the age of the continents and how long humans have lived on Earth. The scientific consensus is that the continents are hundreds of millions of years old, and humans have been on Earth for about 200,000 years. My opponent is wasting his time disputing this. He cannot provide evidence that the scientific consensus is for a young earth, as no such scientific papers exist.

My opponent drops the argument that the Earth would have been inhospitable had there been a global flood of Biblical proportions.

All this is moot, since my opponent cannot back up his model, of a global flood causing continents to form, with peer reviewed scientific papers.


Hygiene

Washing hands of itself does not constitute scientific knowledge. Many ancient cultures washed hands.[5][6][7][8] Genuine scientific knowledge would be knowledge of the germ theory of disease.

Although there is ritual washing of hands in the Bible, there is ignorance of the germ theory of disease, and hygiene is not rigidly adhered to, as illustrated by this passage:

When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the
table. But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.

Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.[9]

This passage from the Bible makes it clear that cleanliness is a ceremonial, religious issue, not one of hygiene:

Or when any of you touch any unclean thing—whether the carcass of an unclean beast or the carcass of unclean livestock or the carcass of an unclean swarming thing—and are unaware of it, you have become unclean, and are
guilty. Or when you touch human uncleanness—any uncleanness by which one can become unclean—and are unaware
of it, when you come to know it, you shall be guilty. Or when any of you utter aloud a rash oath for a bad or a good
purpose, whatever people utter in an oath, and are unaware of it, when you come to know it, you shall in any of
these be guilty. When you realize your guilt in any of these, you shall confess the sin that you have committed.
And you shall bring to the Lord, as your penalty for the sin that you have committed, a female from the flock, a
sheep or a goat, as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement on your behalf for your sin.[10]






[1] http://www.cirp.org...
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[3] http://www.apologeticspress.org...
[4] http://staryweb.fmed.uniba.sk...
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://moourl.com...
[7] http://moourl.com...
[8] http://www.sulabhtoiletmuseum.org...
[9] Luke 11:37-41
[10] Leviticus 5:2-6

BennyW

Pro

I will now address my opponent’s arguments from last round.

First, all I really have left to say about circumcision that my opponent questions my source simply because it is from an apologetics website and that it is therefore biased, but almost any source you find will have some sort of bias and I will even show later why peer review can have its own bias. In terms of the clotting factor, yes there are different reasons for it but Prothrombin is a major factor as my opponent admits and it should not be overlooked.

In terms of the Continents to the people of the time, the Mediterranean would have seemed like quite a divider especially when we also think of how the Red Sea almost connect to it. So the landmasses weren’t exactly one.

My opponent contests my assertion that methods for determining age are unreliable but the fact is one of the primary methods, radiometric dating, makes a lot of assumptions, it assumes decay rate has remained constant throughout the lifetime of specimen it also assumes how much there was to start with. This is something that cannot be observed as we cannot observe the past. It is also assumed it has remained in a closed system. [1] There are some in the scientific community that have tried to dispute the age or evolution but their peers find it inconvenient and refuse to listen. [2] My opponent brings up how the Earth would have been inhospitable during the flood and that is the point according to the Bible. In terms of how so much water came, remember the water of the deep that I mentioned as support for Continental drift. As for the evidence of the flood, look at the Grand Canyon for one thing, the erosion is not consistent with what happens over a long period of time. [3] There are a number of other findings throughout the years that suggest a great flood in particular recently an archaeologist Robert Ballard, the one who discovered the Titanic. [4] [5] However, I have gotten a bit off track as I am supposed to be showing how the Bible proves scientific knowledge not refuting certain theories.

My opponent asserts that washing was merely ceremonial, yet they seemed to have an understanding of it washing away bad things. Just think about the whole premise of baptism, yes it is ceremonial in nature but if water doesn’t clean then what is the significance in using water to baptize and “wash away sin”.

I bring up my next point, that of the Earth free floating in space as it says in Job 26:7. Many ancient civilizations had their theories but they usually involved it being held up by an animal or one of many gods, sometimes even believing the Earth was flat. In Job 38:14 it actually describes the Earth’s rotation something that was not well understood at the time and the common belief was that the sun went around the Earth. [6]

I thank my opponent for debating this and await his rebuttals.

1 http://www.earthage.org...
2 http://www.washingtonpost.com...
3 http://www.grandcanyonflood.com...
4 http://www.foxnews.com...
5 http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
6 http://www.icr.org...

Debate Round No. 3
iamnotwhoiam

Con

Circumcision

My opponent's apologetics source is unsuitable since it is not a scientific study on circumcision.


A supercontinent and continental drift

The landmass was exactly one landmass.

My opponent doubts radiometric dating yet fails to provide an alternate scientific source.

My opponent misses the fact that the Earth being inhospitable during a great flood means Noah and all the animals would be dead.

There's nothing else to refute since my opponent has failed to provide a scientific source that backs up his model. As he says, he has gotten off track.


Hygiene

I agree that ancient cultures could see that water washed off dirt. Not relevant. I have shown that hygiene was not adhered to in the Bible, and that washing was ceremonial.


The Earth floating in space and rotating

Job 38:4-6 refers to the Earth having a foundation and footings, in direct contradiction to the idea that it is unsupported:


"Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—"


Exodus 20:4 warns against making an image "of anything that is in the waters under the earth"

There are other occurences of this, which is why, according to some scholars, the bible cosmology is of the Earth resting on a cosmic sea.[1]


Job 38:14 has an obscure meaning. The grammar is

"It turns about as clay (of?) the signet-ring; they stand like a garment"


There are many differing translations of this line, such as,

"It is changed as clay under the seal; And [all things] stand forth as a garment"[3]

"Then the earth is changed like clay under a seal, until its colors are fixed like those of a garment."

"Daylight makes the hills and valleys stand out like the folds of a garment, clear as the imprint of a seal on clay"[4]

It is not clear what the verse is getting at. Anyhow, clay stamped by a seal is flat.

Job 28:24, Job 37:3, Job 38:13, Jeremiah 16:19 and Daniel 4:11 all claim that the earth has ends (or edges depending on what version you read). A rotating sphere has neither edges, nor ends.

Matthew suggests that rather than a rotating sphere, the world is flat:

"Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor."[5]

You can only see all the kingdoms of the world on a flat Earth.

These verses contradict the idea that the Earth floats in space and rotates:

"He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved."[6]

"The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved."[7]

"Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity."[8]

Joshua 6 presents a fixed Earth with the sun revolving around it. In order for the sun to appear to stand still, the Earth must not rotate.





[1] G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren: p. 253 in "Biblical Geology." Encyclopedia of Geology. Ed. Richard C. Selley, L. Robin M. Cocks, and Ian R. Plimer. Vol. 1. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2005. pp.253-258
http://books.google.com.au...
[2] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[3] http://pbible.com...
[4] http://www.biblestudytools.com...
[5] Matthew 4:8
[6] Psalm 104:5
[7] Psalm 93:1
[8] Psalm 96:10




BennyW

Pro

My opponent doubts radiometric dating yet fails to provide an alternate scientific source. Does there have to be an alternative? Maybe science just doesn't know yet, isn't that how science works.

I would point out to the voters that throughout this debate my opponent has ignored more of my points than what I have his. I’m not referring to the ones he has dismissed as biased but ignored altogether. In fact last round he barely even touched on any of my arguments. I am genuinely curious to know how science explains the discrepancies in the Grand canyon, he avoided that altogether.
Also, it should be noted that the Bible is not meant to be a science book and so not explain in intricate details but have shown how it does represent what we now know of science.

I will ask my opponent how he can explain polystrata fossils the Great flood offers a solution to this issue. [1]

As I have agreed, this will be my last round of debates so that my opponent and I have equal rounds. I thank my opponent and pass it back to him.

1 http://www.earthage.org...

Debate Round No. 4
iamnotwhoiam

Con

This debate is not about arguing for a biblical version of events. My opponent can argue that Noah's flood happened as much as he likes, but without scientific consensus to back him up he cannot claim that the flood is an example of modern scientific knowledge.

Neither was this debate about taking issue with established science like radiometric dating. The idea was to find passages in the Bible that agree with science. I don't have to refute my opponent's every contention about things that are not accepted science. If they were science, my opponent should have been able to provide scientific papers showing that. The rules were clear: "The burden of proof to establish that any theory or fact is accepted by consensus will be on PRO"

I am confident I have demonstrated that none of the examples my opponent provided were conclusive examples of the Bible containing modern scientific knowledge. I trust you will vote CON.

Thank you to my opponent for the debate.
BennyW

Pro

I thank my opponent for this and as promised I will end here and let the voters decide.
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BennyW 4 years ago
BennyW
I am coming up with an idea for a debate to the effect of science and miracles can coexist.
Posted by andrewkletzien 4 years ago
andrewkletzien
I appreciate this debate, but must ask why we are bothering finding these "signs" of modernity in the Bible. I don't care if the Vedas predicted the internet or a 12 year old's scribblings thousands of years ago predicted the United Nations, it wouldn't make anything else those writings included true. Monomania, defined (http://en.wikipedia.org...).
Posted by BennyW 4 years ago
BennyW
The spellcheck didn't catch some spelling errors, mostly due to a few of my keys being messed up thanks to my cat.
Posted by BennyW 4 years ago
BennyW
Never mind, it appears it was a temporary error.
Posted by BennyW 4 years ago
BennyW
I have my argument easy but for some reason I don't see a submit button. It was always at the bottom when you put in your argument.
Posted by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
Of course, Benny.
Posted by BennyW 4 years ago
BennyW
I have a question. You said I could give 2 sources a round, that is on top of me being able to rebut your counter argument?
Posted by BennyW 4 years ago
BennyW
I might take this in a little bit.
Posted by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
Yes I should be more clear. I meant the Western tradition. Either the Protestant or Catholic canon would be fine.
Posted by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
Whats the western canon? I don't think you mean http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Bodhivaka 4 years ago
Bodhivaka
iamnotwhoiamBennyWTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I believe Pro failed to uphold the resolution of this debate, as all of his points were effectively countered by Con to the extent that it seemed unlikely that the Bible contained any scientific knowledge that couldn't have been known at the time without divine guidance. In addition, Con's sources were more numerous and more scientifically reliable than Pro's.
Vote Placed by LaL36 4 years ago
LaL36
iamnotwhoiamBennyWTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I would've gave more convincing argument to con but his argument does not refelect the resolution. The resolution was "the bible contains conclusive examples of scientific knowledge" cons argument was that it was not because of G-d.