The Bible is not compatible with Big Bang/Abiogenesis/Evolution
Full Resolution: The Bible teaches a seven, 24-hour day creation week, and the accounts of Genesis as history. Therefore the Bible contradicts the Big Bang, Abiogenesis, and Evolution.
I would like to debate a Christian who believes that the Bible does not contradict such theories.
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Argument
Round 3-4: Rebuttals
(Note: When citing Bible verses, NIV or KJV are fine)
In order to prove that the Bible is incompatible with these theories, I must first prove that:
Conclusion: The Bible is incompatible with those theories
Argument 1: The Bible teaches a literal interpretation of Genesis
Poetry – As seen much in the book of Psalms
Parables – As in many of the teachings of Jesus, for example in Matthew 13:3–23 (And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since…)
Prophecy - As seen in books of the last section of the Old Testament
Letters – For example, the writings of Paul
Biography – As in the Gospels
Autobiography/testimony – as in the book of Acts
History – For example, the accounts of 2 Kings
The big question is where Genesis falls under these categories. Chapters 12-50 are undisputed as history as they document the lives of Abraham and his descendants. Most Jews would agree as they take these passages as the true history of their own people. However, chapters 1-11 which documents the creation of the universe, Adam and Eve and their descendants, and Noah’s flood is the issue of this debate. We can start by eliminating obvious ones. They aren’t parables as whenever Jesus used parables, he often would say that it is a parable or use similes to make it obvious that it is a parable.
In the full context of Genesis 1-11, the chapters are not prophetic in nature. Although, there are one or two verses that spell out a prophecy. For example in Genesis 9:11 (“….never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth”).
Because these chapters are written in a third-person view, it would be safe to assume that this isn’t some autobiography or testimony.
There is nothing that would indicate that Genesis 1-11 are letters.
Since this section of Genesis covers different events involving different persons, it wouldn’t fall under biographies as biographies are limited to the accounts of a single person.
The most controversial is whether Genesis 1-11 was written as history or as poetry as many Christians believe. In order to determine whether or not it is poetry, we need to look at how poetry is written in the Bible. One distinctive feature in the poetry of the Bible is the use of parallelism.
Parallelism - Parallelism is the usage of repeating words and forms to give pattern and rhythm to a passage in literature. Parallelism often either juxtaposes contrasting images or ideas so as to show their stark difference, or joins similar concepts to show their connection.
For example, Psalms 1:1 shows a triple parallelism.
(‘Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.’)
Although in Genesis 1-11 there are examples of repetition of certain phrases such as ‘and God saw that it was good/very good’ which was used seven times, it is more of a statement of fact rather than poetic parallelism. The reason of repetition is more likely to put emphasis on such phrases. Because Genesis 1-11 lacks the properties that define poetry elsewhere in the Bible, it can be concluded that Genesis 1-11 is not poetry.
There is more affirming evidence other than the process of elimination to confirm that the Bible teaches Genesis 1-11 as history. If you compare Genesis 1-11 and 12-50 you will notice that there isn’t much difference in the writing style. Why would one be considered history and the other not?
Most, if not all experts in Hebrew would agree that the Bible teaches Genesis 1-11 as history. Oxford University’s Professor James Barr, Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford, has written:
“Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that: (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark. Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the "days" of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know.”
In addition, there are also multiple references across the Bible that refer to Genesis 1-11 as history. For example, Jesus has often referred to the book of Genesis as history in Matthew 24:37 (“For as were the days of Noah……..”) or in Matthew 19:3-4 (“3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,”).
In conclusion, without pressure to make the Bible to conform to evolutionary principles, it is obvious that Bible teaches Genesis 1-11 as literal history.
And because Genesis 1-11 was written as history, it is now pretty clear why the Bible is not compatible with Big Bang/Evolution/Abiogenesis. First off, these theories teach that the universe, Earth, solar system, life, and humans are all are the product of billions of years which contradicts the Bible’s teaching that everything came into being in a matter of six, 24-hour days.
A reason why evolution can’t work with Genesis, is that the Bible teaches that death and suffering came into the world after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. However, even if Adam and Eve were the result of the evolution of primates, it still contradicts the Genesis account. Picture Adam and Eve standing upon layers and layers of dead things would be clear evidence that there was death and suffering before Adam and Eve. The Bible also states that man was created in God’s image, but a bacteria that evolved to a man clearly contradicts this notion.
Here is the main reason why these theories contradicts the Bible. If there was no literal Adam and Eve, there was no original sin. If there was no original sin, then there is no need for Jesus Christ to come and die for our sins. If the book of Genesis is not true, then the core message of the Bible falls apart.
I await my opponent’s argument.
The Holy Bible
Letter from Professor James Barr to David C.C. Watson of the UK, dated 23 April 1984. Copy held by the author.
Addison98 forfeited this round.
G: The heavens, Earth, and waters are created.
BBT: The heavens - presumably the time of the actual big bang, the earth - 4.54 billion years ago, waters - pre-existed
earth created by helium fusion in stars.
G: Light, day and night.
BBT: Light - about 10 seconds after the Bang, Day and Night - caused by earth's rotation, started somewhere about 4.54 billion years ago
BBT: Nothing corresponding to this in the Big Bang. (Because Heaven isn't on earth.)
G: Dry Land, vegetation, plants yielding seeds, fruit trees.
BBT: Dry Land - between 4.4 and 4.0 billion years ago, vegetation - 450 million years ago, plants Yielding Seeds - 319 million years ago, fruit Trees - later than that
G: Sun, moon, and stars.
BBT: Sun - 4.6 billion years ago, moon -- 4.5 billion years ago, stars -- 150 million years after Bang
G: Aquatic animals, and birds.
BBT: Aquatic animals - more than 665 million years ago, birds - 150 million years ago
G: Cattle, creeping things, beasts of the earth, humans
BBT: Cattle - 2 million years ago, creeping things - 500 million years ago, beasts of the earth, humans - 2.5 million years ago
I don't see any contradictions, do you?
God, this all powerful being, created a huge universe in a short period time. We, humans, are so puny that we can't even comprehend God's greatest. So how could we comprehend the Big Bang. Maybe for us, all we can find out about creation is the result of the Big bang.
Let me first point out that you had the events of creation week messed up. I would also like to point out that your source of how creation week went was not from the Bible itself, but from a forum. (http://debatingchristianity.com...)
Day 1 -
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.
5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (This shows that all these events occurred on the first day.)
Therefore the heavens, the earth, day and night were created on the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”
7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.
8 And God called the expanse “sky”. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
On the second day, water on Earth, the sky, and water above was created.
Day 3 -
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.
10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so.
12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
On the third day, God has created land and sea and the vegetation on Earth.
Day 4 –
14 ………and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,
16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.
17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
On Day 4, the seasons, sun, moon, the stars were all created.
Day 5 –
20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”
23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
On Day 5, the birds and sea creatures were created.
Day 6 –
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.”………
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness………
31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
On Day 6 God has created the land animals and human kind.
Day 7 –
Genesis 2:2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
The verse is pretty self-explanatory.
There are also more contradictions in your explanations. If the plants and vegetation came chronologically according to the Bible before the sun, moon, and stars yet in evolution’s timeline, plant life or life in general came long after the sun/moon/stars came into existence a huge contradiction exists. In addition, the dates for vegetation and the stars and moon contradict each other.
Another problem in your argument is that you haven’t shown any evidence in the Bible that the seven days in creation week are anything other than 24-hour days.
The meaning of 24-hour days comes from the Hebrew word “yom”. Yom has multiple meanings which include 24-hour days and long periods of time. The reason why the long periods of time definition doesn’t fit is because in Genesis, numbers are often seen with “yom” which wouldn’t make sense if the long time definition was used in that context. Supposed verses that point to long periods of time are taken out of context such as 2 Peter 3:8. However, it is important to note a few things. First off, it doesn’t say “a day is a thousand years” but “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise……….”. This verse was written as a simile showing that God is not constrained by time.
I await your response.
The Holy Bible (NIV)
Originally, I thought the Bible didn't contradict the Big Bang. However, very soon after starting the debate, I realized I was wrong. I wish I could continue this debate but I would be making claims that I don't believe myself. So, unfortunately, I forfeit and give you this debate. You put on an amazing argument and even managed to teach me things. Maybe one day we'll be able to do another debate that I can actually put some research into. Thanks fot such an awesome debate.
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