The Biblical Flood account is historical
I don’t know what not “using absolutes” means – I fully intend to use facts as facts and truths as truths. I won’t impose them, but I refuse to avoid facts or ideas that come off as “absolute”. You can defend your ideas and I can defend mine, armed with facts, in theory, on both sides. That is the meaning of debate.
Now onto opening arguments:
C1: The Green River Formation
The Green River Formation disapproves a global flood. In the walls of the formation, layer upon layer of very fine sedimentation records about six million years of the rivers existence. Each layer is composed of a dark layer, for the growing season, and a lighter inorganic layer for the dry season. The pair of these layers make up one year. With this careful, delicate record, we can see a progressive series of fossils, climate changes, volcanic activity, and mineral collections, year by year, for millions of years.
Nowhere in this record does any layer show evidence for a catastrophic flood. At the very most, a zone deeper in the Green River area, called fossil lake, specifically the split fish layer, shows a series of lime muds about six feet in thickness which contain more fish fossils than other layers. The trouble is that these layers don’t add up to the proposed time of Noah. No, they add up to about 50 Million years ago. Even if they did, the fossils in the split fish layer are all collected only in the deeper lake area, which would be curious if the world was essentially one big lake.
I use the Green River formation because with simple addition we can add up one year after one year. It requires no carbon or radiometric dating. I could do it with some basic geological tools and pen and paper if I wanted to.
C2: Tree Rings
The biblical account states that the flood happened 4,400 years ago (https://answersingenesis.org...), the problem with that timescale is that we have trees that are older than that diagnoses. Methuselah in Inyo County is 4846 years old. The Great Basin bristlecone pine in California is 5064 years old. Prometheus, in Wheeler Park, was 4844 years old when it was cut down in 1964. We know all of this with certainty because we can count each ring and calculate the exact age of each tree.
C3: Scientific Problems with the flood account
The biblical account states that, “In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” Aside from the immediate absurdity around Noah’s impossible age and the obvious Iron Age misunderstanding of earth’s water reservoirs, there exists mathematical problems with this story.
There are 960 hours in 40 days.
8850 metres for global flood (Everest)
Thus, 8850/960 = 9.218
That means that the rain would be 96.7 times heavier than the heaviest rain we ever recorded, at La Reunion Island in 1966, which was 1.44 meters in 12 hours – and would have to be continuous, non-stop for forty days. In case you are wondering what that would look like, try to imagine 4.5 Billion cubic kilometres of water falling in 40 days. Try to imagine 120,000 times more rain than falls all year worldwide. The air would have been water. It would have been unbreathable.
Thus, the flood account is made impossible – leaving the only possible outcome for a creationist to be an escape hatch, like “I trust the word of god”, or “god works miracles”…or the unmentionable hydroplate theory: a load of pseudoscientific nonsense I hope Pro doesn’t try to bring up.
The weather and storms that a worldwide flood would generate would have led to the worst seas imaginable. Answers in Genesis states that the ark could have survived 30 metre waves. Well, we reach 30 meters or higher easily in a modern storm. A storm of unrestricted water could have waves as high as a kilometre. A vessel made of wood of that size probably would have warped and sunk almost immediately.
The longest wooden boat we have ever made was the schooner Wyoming, still 50 feet under the proposed ark’s length. It was built only 100 years ago by expert shipbuilders; it flexed and buckled in any kind of heavy weather. It required constant water pumps and it sunk in 1924 and everybody on board drowned.
If we assume that the earth is only 6000 years old; we know that five billion species that have existed on earth are now extinct – that’s 99% of all species that have existed. So Noah would have had a massive job loading all these animals on the ark. He would have had to travel to North America to pick up a Grizzly bear, then swing down to Australia to pick up a koala bear, then down to Antarctica to pick up some penguins. Let’s say that somehow, he gets all the animals.
Take the million different kinds of parasitic worms, or the 500,000 kinds of nematodes. If we add up two of each unclean “kind” and the seven of each clean “kind”, we get about 3.8 Million kinds of animal. That is very conservative, just counting “kinds” not “species”.
Now poor Noah has to try and fit them on a boat, and keep them from killing each other…all in seven days. We hit another impossibility. The boat isn’t big enough. Trying to fit a dinosaur on board wouldn’t have worked, much less two or more of them. The ventilation would have led to asphyxiation in the bowels of the ship, after all, the biblical commands stipulate only a single window to be made. Eight people would not have had the time to feed all the animals. If we say it takes 30 seconds to feed one animal, you’d have to, mathematically, have the eight people work 133 hours in a day. Adding watering and cleaning to the mix, we get 8 people working 239 hours of labor a day, that’s 29 hours a day per person, every day, for forty days, without sleep.
C4: Scientific Dating
Radiometric dating is one of several ways to calculate the age of the earth, and the universe, for that matter. It’s reliable: below is a table of the age of lunar rocks calculated using different dating methods; note that they are all very consistent (http://www.talkorigins.org...):
Here is my opening argument, ( I will not rebuttal yours quite yet, even though I itch with anticipation.) I will keep it simple...
Scientific, Historical/Cultural evidence back up my belief(s).
1. Scientific- Polystyrene Fossils-other fossils
"They are often in the form of fossil trees that were buried upright and which often cross multiple layers of strata such as sandstone, shale, limestone and even coal beds. 1,2,3,4 They range in size from small rootlets to trees over 80 feet long. Sometimes they are oblique (or at an angle to) the surrounding strata, but more often they are perpendicular with (or standing 'upright' in) it" (Scientific Evidence for a Worldwide Flood).
Polystrate fossils are also missing their rootlets. The word "stigmaria" (roots) got its name: i.e. because of the scar marks left behind from the broken off (and now missing) rootlets, and these roots are all found in completely different places from their original spots of growth. This shows conclusive evidence that these trees were suddenly ripped out of the ground and transported somewere different from their original sprouting place.
"Fossils don't form on lake bottoms today, nor are they found forming on the bottom of the sea. Instead, they normally only form when a plant or animal is buried soon after it dies. Therefore, the fossils themselves are evidence of a catastrophe such as a flood or volcanic eruption that took place in the past. Rapid Petrification of Wood" (ICR).
2) Historical/Cultural evidence
You said in your expaination of the date and even title that you want to disprove the earth was given a great flood "historically" well I have to let you know even if I lose based on words I have already won and here is why...
THE FLOOD IS HISTORICAL... whether you like it or not nearly every civilization has had a flood story!!!
which doesn't always involve a 'Noah' but usally involves a man building a boat that saves mankind from extinction.
I can't say that any of these 'flood' stories have actually occured but it is kind of a BIG COICEIDENCE if not and only makes the Biblical Flood Story more friendly...
Thanks Pro, on to rebuttals.
1. Scientific- Polystyrene Fossils-other fossils
Pro’s evidence that is rather limited. I presented overwhelming worldwide evidences, and Pro presented somewhat confusingly written account of a common geological occurrence, presented as a bit of a straw-man argument.
First of all, it’s polystrate, not polystyrene, unless we are talking about big foam dinosaurs. You won’t find that term in geological handbooks. You’ll only find it in creationist books, which is why both of the sources you give are indeed creationist publications, but I won’t hold that against you. The reasonable, scientific explanation for these fossils is that they were not formed all at once by a flood (which is just impossible), but rather are formed by periods of accelerated sedimentation.
The forming of fossils is not always a peaceful, long-term affair. Rivers flood, volcanos explode, storms rage, tidal waves wash, etc. etc. There are plenty of ways such fossils can form, and indeed such fossils are common. Vertical trees are simply buried by flooding rivers. Indeed, if the trees remain vertical, how could they have been formed by rushing waters?
Fossil polystrate trees are only found in coarse grained rock, not in the fine grained. The sediments didn’t settle fast enough to bury the trees before they rotted; from the oft-quoted work of geologist F.M. Broadhurst:
“The most likely explanation of the apparent absence of such trees from these sediments is that the latter accumulated too slowly; any trees decayed and collapsed before they could be enclosed by sediments.”
This means that the creationist flood theory can’t explain why trees are found upright, and why trees are found in some rocks, and not in others.
If you want to play the fossil game, well, if we had undergone a massive flood, why wouldn’t the fossil record have a huge band of rich fossils all around the globe?
2) Historical/Cultural evidence
Pro’s proof for the historicity of the flood essentially boils down to this: because other cultures have a flood story it must be true. To use this tautology, every culture also has stories about flying dragons, vampires, Atlantis, a resurrection, wizards, witches, giants, sea monsters, battling gods, a garden paradise, and…yes, a great flood. What is more likely: that these things are repeated and therefore must be true, or that they are common myths?
Take the flood example. The Old Testament flood is said to have happened in 2348 BC. What’s troublesome about this is that the exact same story was written in the Epic of Gilgamesh, some 400 years before that. Gilgamesh details a mystical garden, in which Enkidu and Shamhat (male/female) are created from soil by a god, and live among animals. Enkidu is tempted by Shamhat to eat food, is shamed by nakedness, and is banished from the garden. A snake steals a plant of immortality from Enkidu.
Later a flood account is described:
This kinda helps for my Rebuttal and my argument rebuttal...
The Green River Formation is usually a creationist argument, due to the fact that fossil records cannot be trusted, because spread out through many layers of The Green River Formation and other such areas claimed to be 'millions of years old' are soft tissue samples.... Whats that you may ask? (probably not)
Soft Tissue: body tissue except bone, teeth, nails, hair, and cartilage.
"A new study showed that a “fossilized” lizard leg found in the formation is not made up of minerals, but instead still has the original skin and connective tissue" (ICR)
What are the chances of soft tissue being found in an earth being only 4,400+ years old at least since the flood?
decent...but for an earth where the fossils found in the rock date back 40+ million years uh yeah...about that...
"Scientists have conducted experiments that track the decay rate of collagen protein. One team, led by origin of life researcher Jeffrey Bada, found that "internal hydrolysis [the decay of a molecule involving the splitting of water molecules] fragments the original protein," so that it spontaneously falls apart. They calculated that the collagen locked inside solid bone decays faster than the collagen embedded in seashells" and "A numerical estimate in a standard biochemistry textbook further demonstrates the erroneous nature of the "millions of years" age assignment for this mosasaur. The textbook states, "In the absence of a catalyst, the half-life for the hydrolysis of a typical peptide [short protein segment] at neutral pH is estimated to be between 10 and 1000 years." What this means is that after 1,000 years, one half of the original protein sample, if kept cool and dry, would be expected to have broken down. Then after another 1,000 years, half of that would also be gone. Eventually, none would be left" (Thomas).
Tree Rings? really? Here is why that theory doesn't work
"Tree growth is sensitive to temperature. Consequently, tree-ring width and tree-ring density, both indicators of tree growth, serve as useful proxies for temperature. By measuring tree growth in ancient trees, scientists can reconstruct temperature records going back over 1000 years. Comparisons with direct temperature measurements back to 1880 show a high correlation with tree growth. However, in high latitude sites, the correlation breaks down after 1960. At this point, while temperatures rise, tree-ring width shows a falling trend. This divergence between temperature and tree growth is called, imaginatively, the divergence problem"
meaning that tree groth being based on temperature will most likely fluctuate and that trees are not a reliable piece of information.
R3. There are always scientific problems with everything when certain data is unknown...
In Genisis it speaks of there being multiple heavens and God putting an expanse of water over it and throughout the beggining of the bible people live for insaine amounts of time...
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What you are missing here is that earth might have had a cloak so to say of water surrounding the earth this would support the fact that dinosours can live on earth at all... In current atmosphiric conditions dinsours would die becouse their noses arn't any bigger than a horses in most cases if the earth was surrounded by such a veil, then conditions would make it so sustainable life would be much much more livable infact humans would have lived for hundreds of years and run miles on end without being tired.
"Was every species on the ark? No! From chapters such as Leviticus 11, it is obvious that the created kind (min in Hebrew, in Genesis 1:11–12, 21, 24–25) was a much broader category than the modern term of classification, species. Current baraminological2 research suggests that the created kind most closely corresponded to the familylevel in current taxonomy. However, to be conservative in this study, the genus was set as equivalent to the original created kind. As for the clean animals that entered the ark in seven pairs, this added a modest number of additional animals, notably bovids (cow-like mammals) and cervids (deer-like mammals). Under these conservative assumptions, there were no more than 16,000 land animals and birds on the ark.
According to the Bible, the ark had three decks (floors). It is not difficult to show that there was plenty of room for 16,000 animals, assuming they required approximately the same floor space as animals in typical farm enclosures and laboratories today. The vast majority of the creatures (birds, reptiles, and mammals) are small. The largest animals were probably only a few hundred pounds of body weight.
It is still necessary to take account of the floor spaces required by large animals, such as elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and some dinosaurs. But even these, collectively, do not require a large area. God would likely have sent to Noah young (and therefore small, but not newborn) representatives of these kinds so that they would have a full reproductive potential for life after the Flood to repopulate the earth (Genesis 7:1–3). Even the largest dinosaurs were relatively small when only a few years old.
Without tiering of cages, only 47 percent of the ark floor would have been necessary. What’s more, many could have been housed in groups, which would have further reduced the required space" (Woodmorappe).
s://cdn-assets.answersingenesis.org...; alt="Animal Enclosures" width="350" />
Figure 4. Animal enclosures with sloped, self-cleaning floors, emptying into a manure gutter or pit.
As much as 12 U.S. tons (11 m. tons) of animal waste may have been produced daily. The key to keeping the enclosures clean was to avoid the need for Noah and his family to do the work. The right systems could also prevent the need to change animal bedding. Noah could have accomplished this in several ways. One possibility would be to allow the waste to accumulate below the animals, much as we see in rustic henhouses. In this regard, there could have been slatted floors, and animals could have trampled their waste into the pits below. Small animals, such as birds, could have multiple levels in their enclosures, and waste could have simply accumulated at the bottom of each.
The danger of toxic or explosive manure gases, such as methane, would be alleviated by the constant movement of the ark, which would have allowed manure gases to be constantly released. Second, methane, which is half the density of air, would quickly find its way out of the window of the ark. There is no reason to believe that the levels of these gases within the ark would have remotely approached hazardous levels.
Alternatively, sloped floors in animal enclosures would have allowed the waste to flow into large central gutters and then into collection pits, allowing gravity to do most of the work. Noah’s family could have then dumped this overboard without an excessive expenditure of manpower.
The problem of manure odor may, at first thought, seem insurmountable. But we must remember that throughout most of human history, humans lived together with their farm animals. Barns, separate from human living quarters, are a relatively recent development.
As a side note, excessive quoting is generally very much discouraged and will cost you in the voting.
The Green river formation shows layer upon layer of sedimentation as a year by year proof – the fossil record is another point altogether, and the misdirection of my main point is noted.
I’m shocked that you would use the soft tissue evidence. Creationists have been misdirecting the process of fossilization for years. Here is the stipulation: fossils become fossils by mineralization, that is, when organic material becomes non-organic. Bacteria normally strips meat from bone. This is why most fossils are inorganic. Creationists hold up the odd example and are almost smug in their case, as if they’ve finally got us beat. It’s what Creationist ‘scientists’ do best; they take a grain of truth and warp it.
In some circumstances, soft tissue is also mineralized. “Soft tissue preservation” is a red herring. It’s not what some think: it is not ligaments and mummified meat. Sometimes the tissue or feathers leave an impression in the rock. Soft tissue is hardly an apt definition. Organic tissue naturally degrades to a minute molecular level. This is why they employ such careful techniques to try and save the smallest of molecular evidence.
The article you listed just twists the facts. I read the paper they quote from – a publication that maintains an old earth perspective. At no point did they find what you can honestly call “original skin and connective tissue”. It actually says, the sample “contains a partial remnant of the living organism's original chemistry, in this case derived from proteinaceous skin” and to be clear they intended ‘derived’ to mean ‘came from originally’ not to mean ‘was the sample’. That is to say, that the test showed original chemistry (on a molecular level) from what was at one time skin.
The Schweitzer fossils have been explained completely since 2013. Indeed, Schweitzer studied her find on 2007 and linked the proteins to the dinosaur tissue. However, in 2013, armed with a study from PRSB (who you source indirectly) she found the answer: Iron. Iron acts as a formaldehyde upon death, generating free radicals. She found that the soft-tissues she had found were indeed closely associated with iron nanoparticles. She tested this theory with ostrich blood vessels, and found that it preserved the cells, even after two years. This proof, combined with ideal fossilization conditions, is a far more reasonable explanation.
As Dr. Mary Schweitzer said of Creationists, “They treat you really bad, they twist your words and they manipulate your data.”
There is no proof here. The width of a ring and the density of a ring does not affect how many rings will be produced. This example would only have helped you if I claimed each ring was exactly the same size.
“There are always scientific problems with everything when certain data is unknown”, in other words, “things we don’t know might be wrong”. I’m not sure what that means - the bible does present a great deal of data. What this big picture has to do with any of the points I brought up is just beyond me (although I do find the notes: ‘order tapes #1, 2, 3, & 4’ to be very humorous). For now, let’s examine your points.
I’m trying to remain respectful in this response, but I don’t think I’m being rude when I state that what you claim is simply outrageous. If you honestly believe that a cloak of water or ice surrounded the earth, then I expect you to present extraordinary evidence to back up such an extraordinary claim. As for now, let’s apply logic and the laws of gravity. How does the firmament remain ‘stuck’ in the sky – considering that gravity exists and has always existed? How does a filter of water allow humans to live longer and run faster? These claims are just not based in reality.
If you mean to say that all of life evolved out of 16,000 animals, you’ve got another batch of problems. The bible stipulates that seven of each clean kind and two of every unclean kind entered the ark (even though Moses wouldn’t make up that law until much later – contradiction). That means that of the minimal 16,000 animals, far less were actually unique kinds. Perhaps as low as 3000 unique kinds. Evolution from 3000 unique kinds is impossible. 16,000 unique kinds is impossible. There exists no genetic bottleneck in our history. How can we tell? DNA evidence – see the genome project.
We have some 60,000 kinds of vertebrates. So if we started at 3000 kinds, that would mean we would have to find 20 new species of vertebrates every single year. That’s not like finding a new dog every year. That’s like finding an elephant, then an eagle, then a camel, etc. etc. every single year.
Remember, apparently Noah also collected every plant seed known to mankind and apparently spent the rest of his life repopulating the world with all kinds of trees and bushes. Let’s say Noah took 10,000 kinds of plant with him, each of which requires tending. We now have close to 300,000 different kinds of plants. So that means that 30 new plant species would have to evolve every year.
What about the insects? How many of those did he grab? Let’s say he grabbed 10,000 kinds of bugs, again, all requiring tending. This means that, now that we have 950,000 kinds of bugs, there would have to be 95 new species of bug every year.
The fish and other water-based life probably would have died off thanks to detrimental changes in their ecology. The salinity changes would have killed the fish, not to mention the choking clouds of sediment that would have been kicked up. So can we assume that he took some fish along? Do you see what I’m getting at? Not to mention human kind, which shows no evidence of descending from eight people only a few thousand years ago – the population growth simply doesn’t allow enough time. In 2000 BCE, the population was at 27 Million. That means in 300 years the population blew up at an impossible rate – up to a 4.4% birth rate. This is just outrageous, especially considering the brutal infant mortality rate of that time.
While I enjoy the explanation, “god sent” the animals, it doesn’t make much sense. Did the Kangaroos emigrate in seven days from Australia? Or is it an escape hatch – “god works miracles”.
The ark waste removal system is hard to take seriously – these were mostly ignorant tribesman. Not expert shipbuilders. Am I to believe that rocking back and forth would be enough to keep the animals from asphyxiating?
If you can explain how a rock like this stayed perched through the flood:
Or the unrefuted points:
Layers of sediment
The apparent fragility of the ark
Then you might have a start in proper refutation. For now I see block quotations from fairly tinfoil-hat style publications and little in rebuttals.
I would like to just rebuttal in one way...
my debate is humerous I can accept that but I can also refute there is no way you have won in an attempt to refute me you have also brought entirely different arguements to the table and therefor forfeit the match unless otherwise specified... I have to admit if I am wrong you have won the debate, and are entirely better debater but my debate was whether the Biblical Flood is Historical not whether or not it is possible to put thousands or mybye millions into an ark "guided by God" my debate was not scientific, and you knew that coming in that if I could bring up a way the story might be possible you would bring in science (which I suck at) I rebuttal now that the Bible tells the story of the Biblical Flood and therefor must also be true, becouse you specified in the rules no new debates can be brought up, you cannot refute the Bible's authenticity in this Debate... Which makes my account historical
Thanks Pro, I’m disappointed the debate has to come to a close so prematurely.
I don’t agree with the claim that I forfeit. I have brought up facts to build a case around my rebuttals. If anybody added arguments, it was you in the third round. It seems that instead of building a better case, Pro has decided that the argument was unfair and has quit. I remind you that in the opening round the debate clearly defined what I meant by historical:
Historical: having once existed or lived in the real world, as opposed to being part of legend
In my pursuit of proving that the flood did not abide by the definition I clearly described, of course I used science and history, as those are the only tools I could possibly use to show that something existed in reality. The science proves that it is impossible and if it is impossible then it couldn’t have happened “in the real world”.
Pro’s last point is that the Bible tells the story and therefore must be true. I pointed out the story isn’t even from the bible in the first place, so that point is rather useless. Just because something is in a book does not mean it must be true. This is the final escape hatch for the Creationist argument, and this is where most of my arguments with Creationists end up. It boils down to this: “I have made my mind up, and nothing you can say will make me change my mind.” At this point the nonsensical facts and ridiculous statements made by Creationism become faith-based, and therefore unreasonable, in a literal sense.
Pro seems to think that he lost thanks to ‘sucking at science’. I’ll encourage you to look up facts for yourself. I once was a YE Creationist myself. Allow yourself to see the other side. Your science skills are probably similar to mine, the difference is that my side of the debate has real facts, and your side does not. Read what evolutionary theory is for yourself. Don’t let people only give you one side of the story.
In the comments I noticed before that you originally defined historical as "or distinguished from religious beliefs" if that is the case why can I not be correct?
The Bible does tell the story of the flood regardless if it originated from so... It was not my intention to end this arguement in an escape hatch, but I told you that I just didn't feel a need to debate my topic anymore as I feel I made my point that the Biblical Flood account is most likely historical, than a fairy tail told to children.
and finally I used to be agnostic becouse I was unsure of the Bible's account, but the evolutionary theory never sat right with me and the Bible's story of intelligent creation did, so I became a Christain, its not that one side has real facts... I have heard most of them and they boil down to faith as much as Christainity does... The Bibles story's are usally backed up by history without knowing if God really caused an event or not, while the alternitive believes that everything happened over millions of years and that an apes D.N.A code is 90% similer to ours when scientists know only 10% of the D.N.A coding is and what it does, please vote for my side as I made a better debate that the Biblical story is Historical