The Instigator
tjordan
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
J.Kenyon
Pro (for)
Winning
49 Points

The Big-bang is a good theory

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 12 votes the winner is...
J.Kenyon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/4/2010 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 15,728 times Debate No: 12905
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (21)
Votes (12)

 

tjordan

Con

The Big-bang is a poor theory. If you feel otherwise please accept this debate. I ask that my opponent use round one to define any terms and make an opening statement. I will begin opening arguments in round two.

Big-Bang: "a theory in astronomy: the universe originated billions of years ago in an explosion from a single point of nearly infinite energy density" [1]

[1]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
J.Kenyon

Pro

Thanks, CON, and good luck!

Note that I will not be arguing that the Big Bang was an uncaused phenomenon, or that something came from nothing. There are many competing theories regarding what gave rise to it. According to TalkOrigins.org, "The BBT is not about the origin of the universe. Rather, its primary focus is the development of the universe over time."[1] Specifically, I will be arguing that at some point in time, approximately 13.75 billion years ago, the universe was extremely hot and dense. From here, it expanded rapidly. It cooled by expanding to its current state and continues to expand to this day.[2]

-- References --

1. http://www.talkorigins.org...

2. S. H. Suyu, P. J. Marshall, M. W. Auger, S. Hilbert, R. D. Blandford, L. V. E. Koopmans, C. D. Fassnacht and T. Treu. "Dissecting the Gravitational Lens B1608+656. II. Precision Measurements of the Hubble Constant, Spatial Curvature, and the Dark Energy Equation of State." The Astrophysical Journal 711 (1): 201. 2010
Debate Round No. 1
tjordan

Con

First Pro says that he will not debate about the fact that the Big Bang theory was an uncaused phenomenon or that something came from nothing. This is hard to do. Pro says that the big bang is "not about the origin of the universe. Rather, its primary focus is the development of the universe over time". This is not true.

"The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe" [1]

"Big Bang Theory; An astronomy theory that says the Universe began with a super-powerful explosion" [2]
It is easy to see that the Big bang theory is about the origin of the universe.

The big bang teaches that somehow matter got there, then exploded. How did the matter get there? Where did it come from? The big bang theory cannot explain these questions. However, I will attempt to debate the big bang without bringing up these points.

First, the big bang teaches that a ball of mass smaller than a dot on the page was spinning very fast. This then caused an explosion. Enter the scientific law, Conservation of angular momentum.

The Conservation of angular momentum says that if an object is spinning, it will remain spinning in the same direction unless acted upon by an external force.

The Big Bang theory defies this law of science. This ball of mass was spinning in one direction, so for the Big bang to fit with science all the planets and moons would have to be spinning in the same direction. However, this is not what is true. Venus and Uranus spin in the opposite direction of the other planets. [3][4] And some planets have moons that spin in the opposite direction as the planet they orbit. One of Neptune's moons, Triton, spins in the opposite direction of Neptune. [5]

Also Pro says that the Big bang happened 13.75 billion years ago. This is scientifically impossible.

"The sun's diameter is shrinking at the rate of 5 feet per hour" [6]

"Recent studies have provided evidence that the Sun actually shrinks about 5 feet every hour." [7]

"John A. Eddy (Harvard -Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and High Altitude Observatory in Boulder) and Aram A. Boornazian (a mathematician with S. Ross and Co. in Boston) have found evidence that the sun has been contracting about 0.1% per century…corresponding to a shrinkage rate of about 5 feet per hour"[8]

The sun is shrinking at about 5 feet per hour. "Assuming (by uniformitarian-type reasoning) that the rate of shrinkage has not changed with time, then the surface of the sun would touch the surface of the earth at a time in the past equal to or approximately 20 million B.C." [9] So only about 20 million years ago, the sun would have been touching the earth, obviously destroying the earth. Yet Pro claims that the Big bang happened 13.75 BILLION years ago.

So Pro claims "at some point in time, approximately 13.75 billion years ago, the universe was extremely hot and dense" I have shown that if this ball of dense mass was spinning, which is what the big bang teaches, all the planets and moon would have to be spinning in the same direction, which they are not. I have also shown that 13.75 billion years ago is impossible.

I look forward to Pro's response.

[1] http://big-bang-theory.com...
[2] http://space.about.com...
[3]http://www.annabelburton.com...
[4]http://www.indianchild.com...
[5]http://filer.case.edu...
[6] http://www.faqs.org...
[7] http://thesop.org...
[8] Lubkin, Gloria B., Physics Today, V. 32, No. 9, 1979.
[9] http://www.icr.org...
J.Kenyon

Pro

CON cites two sources claiming that the BBT is "an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe" and a theory that says the "universe began with a super-powerful explosion." Both statements are true (more or less), but neither contradict my opening thesis. Yes, the BBT seeks to explain what happened at the origin of the universe; no, it does *not* seek to explain what happened *before* that. There are, however, numerous hypotheses, including the possibility that God caused the Big Bang.

=========
REBUTTALS
=========

C1 - Conservation of angular momentum

My opponent is correct that if the Big Bang began with a spinning ball of mass, angular momentum must be conserved, however the conclusion he draws from it is unsupported by this initial claim. The law of conservation of angular momentum merely states that momentum must be conserved in the system *as a whole.*[1] It is not necessary that the various components of the system always be moving in the same direction for this to be true.

To illustrate this, imagine two billiard balls. Two balls moving in the same direction at a different rate strike each other. The angle at which they collide will cause them to move apart in different directions.

The obvious objection is that the balls should be moving at the same rate, therefore a collision should be impossible, but this is not the case. Once we account for gravitational interaction between celestial bodies, it is not only the *rate* at which they move that will be affected, but *direction* as well. When we introduce more objects to the model and additional factors like supernovae and co-orbital bodies, the system grows in both complexity and variance of motion.

C2 - The incredible shrinking sun

To begin with, just because the universe is 13.75 billion years old does not mean that the sun is. The sun is believed to be 4.57 billion years old -- slightly older than the earth.[2] Of course, that doesn't help much when my opponent claims that the surface of the sun would be touching earth 20 million years ago!

This argument suffers from two significant errors. I'll begin with the most egregious one. The five feet per hour figure comes from Hermann von Helmholtz's theory that the sun's energy derives from solar contraction.[3] It's important to realize that this theory was first put forward in *drumroll* 1869! Today we know that the sun's energy comes from the nuclear fusion of lighter elements into heavier elements -- mainly hydrogen into helium.[4] Of course, in 1869, neither the nuclear strong force nor the weak force had been discovered yet, so it was impossible for Helmholtz to realize this.

Second, there is only one study, done in 1980, that shows the sun is shrinking. These discrepancies can be accounted for by different measuring techniques used over the decades.[5] Current studies show that the size of the sun is more or less constant, however, it may expand and contract in cycles.[6] Taking a measurement of the sun at any two given points and assuming a constant rate of change is like looking at the ocean as the tide goes out and concluding that 10,000 years ago, the sea level must have been somewhere in the stratosphere.

=========
CASE PRO
=========

C1 - Evolution of galaxies

Because gravity has negligible effects on far away bodies, distant objects move away from us faster than closer objects. As objects move away, the light waves they emit appear to the viewer to increase in wavelength while decreasing in frequency, causing them to become shifted toward the red end of the spectrum. Knowing this, we can measure the distance of a star, galaxy, or other celestial object.[7]

Because the speed of light is finite, it takes time for distant events to become visible from our vantage point. When we look at far away galaxies, we are essentially seeing the past. Using the red shift to determine how far away a galaxy or other object is, we can know exactly *how far* into the past we are looking.

The formation of galaxies is cumulative. Smaller bodies join together with larger bodies as time goes on. For example, the Milky Way is currently in the process of assimilating the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy.[8] If this is true, then we can expect that over time, galaxies will become larger and farther apart. Not surprisingly, this is precisely what we observe. By looking into the past at distant galaxies, we see that they are, in fact, much smaller. Young, blue stars and quasars are much more common as well.[9]

C2 - Cosmic microwave background

Up until about 400,000 years after the Big Bang, atoms still did not exist. The universe was composed of a hot dense plasma containing free protons, neutrons, and electrons. Under these conditions, photons - light particles - can't travel freely because they scatter off the free floating ions.

As the universe cooled, the ionized matter combined into neutral atoms and photons could travel unimpeded. If predictions based on the BBT are true, we should expect to find a drastically redshifted (due to cosmic expansion), fairly homogeneous background array of light particles. Again, this is exactly what we observe.[10]

C3 - Radiometric dating

Although radiometric dating can't prove that the universe is 13.75 billion years old, it can prove that the earth is several billion years old, which effectively negates the young earth hypothesis.

Certain isotopes of various chemical elements are known to be unstable. This means that at some point, an atom may spontaneously transform into a different isotope. Due to quantum uncertainty, it's impossible to predict when a particular atom will do this, but given a large enough quantity, we can measure the probability that any given atom will transform at any given time. An isotope's half life is the amount of time it takes for half of the original material to decay into another isotope. With this knowledge, by measuring the ratio of parent isotope to daughter isotope found in a sample, we can determine the sample's age. The oldest dated rock formation, located in northern Canada, is roughly 4 billion years old.[11]

== CONCLUSION ==

I have provided powerful evidence for both an old earth and an old universe. The only way to reconcile this with a young earth creationist view would be to claim that God created the universe with evidence that was older than it actually is. This is, of course, unfalsifiable, unscientific, and "not even wrong."

The resolution is affirmed.

-- References --

1. http://www.astronomynotes.com...

2. Zirker, Jack B. Journey from the Center of the Sun. Princeton University Press, 2002. pp. 7-8

3. http://www.talkorigins.org...

4. http://www.nasa.gov...

5. Van Till, Howard J., "The legend of the shrinking sun -- A case study comparing professional science and 'creation science' in action." Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 38(3): 164-174. 1986.

6. http://www.talkorigins.org...

7. http://www.physics.uq.edu.au...

8. http://astronomy.swin.edu.au...

9. http://www.talkorigins.org...

10. http://www.talkorigins.org...

11. Bowring, Samuel A. "Priscoan (4.00-4.03 Ga) orthogneisses from northwestern Canada." Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 1999. 134: 3.
Debate Round No. 2
tjordan

Con

First, I am not going to argue all of Pro's points because I'm going to stop using this debate site. I just don't have the time. But I would like to say a few thing about Pro's argument.

About the sun, He says that because the study of the sun shrinking was first done in 1869 that it does not apply.

Clapeyron -- discovered entropy - 1834
Fizeau -- measured the speed of light - 1849
Herschel -- discovered the existence of infrared and of radiant heat - 1800
Joule -- discovered the First Law of Thermodynamics - 1843
Ritter -- discovered ultraviolet rays - 1801
Thomas Young -- proposed the theory of light and colours - 1801
--------> http://wiki.answers.com...

So I guess we cannot accept any of these either?

Oh and best of all.....Darwin -- published "Origin of Species" and gave us the Theory of Evolution - 1859. Looks like you can't trust the theory of evolution because it was originally composed in the 1800's.

Also Pro says "Taking a measurement of the sun at any two given points and ASSUMING A CONSTANT RATE of change is like looking at the ocean as the tide goes out and concluding that 10,000 years ago, the sea level must have been somewhere in the stratosphere." I agree that assuming a constant rate is not scientific, but Pro does the exact same thing! Later he says "An isotope's half life is the amount of time it takes for half of the original material to decay into another isotope. With this knowledge, by measuring the ratio of parent isotope to daughter isotope found in a sample, we can determine the sample's age" Right there Pro is ASSUMING A CONSTANT RATE of decay. He is ASSUMING that the half life has been the same throughout history. Radiometric dating is completely based on assumptions, yet Pro claims that "it can prove that the earth is several billion years old". And without radiometric dating there is no evidence for millions of years. Therefore, saying that the big bang happened 13.75 billion years ago is a faith statement. As as all evolutionist know very well, faith cannot be a part of science.
J.Kenyon

Pro

I hope my opponent reconsiders his evaluation of DDO and decides to stay. He's certainly a step up from our other creationists (http://www.debate.org... and http://www.debate.org...) and at the very least adds variety to the site.

Most of my contentions have gone unrefuted, so I'll keep this round brief.

=========
REBUTTALS
=========

C2 - The incredible shrinking sun

I am not saying that Helmholtz's theory is incorrect merely because it was postulated in 1869; that would be a genetic fallacy. I'm saying it's wrong because of new information that has been discovered in the time since. The sun does not derive its energy from gravitational collapse, it derives it from nuclear fusion. Helmholtz's projection is based on an estimate of how much energy the sun puts out and how much its volume would have to decrease to account for that. I'll address the issues with the Principle of Uniformity later on.

=========
CASE PRO
=========

C3 - Radiometric dating

There is a significant difference between the case of the shrinking sun and the case of radiometric dating. The rate of decay is assumed to be constant because of the Principle of Uniformity.[1] Simply stated, this means that all physical *laws* are constant in all parts of the universe regardless of time or place. It is a necessary condition for scientific inquiry to take place. While laws are immutable, specific processes are not. The manner in which they occur, however, is still contingent on such laws.

The rate of radiometric decay is constant. It is determined solely by an isotope's nuclear properties.[2] External factors such as temperature, pressure, chemical exposure, or the presence of magnetic fields have no effect on how an isotope decays.[3]

== CONCLUSION ==

Even if we reject the principle of uniformity and drop both my argument from radiometric decay and CON's shrinking sun, I still have two powerful arguments to prove an old universe that remain unaddressed. I thank my opponent or an interesting debate and urge you to vote PRO.

The resolution is affirmed.

-- References --

1. http://www.philosophyprofessor.com...

2. Emery, G.T., "Perturbation of Nuclear Decay Rates." Annual Review of Nuclear Science. 1972. 22: 165–202.

3. Shlyakhter, A.I., "Direct test of the constancy of fundamental nuclear constants." 1976. Nature 264: 340.
Debate Round No. 3
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by meowmixxx 6 years ago
meowmixxx
If you want to get technical, there was no "big bang", there was a rapid expansion of space-time for a few seconds, before it slowed down dramatically. But there was no instant where everything just kind of exploded :P
Posted by gocrew 6 years ago
gocrew
Merciful Lord Jesus there are SO many reasons to stop accepting BBT but Con simply did not make a good case.
Posted by Dutch 6 years ago
Dutch
Pro destroyed Con. Despite what you actually believe, Pro countered EVERY point from Con, and con failed to rebut in any substantial way. Why would someone START a debate and then suddenly become SO busy that they don't have time rebut? That's another debate for another day. Good work, Pro.
Posted by LaissezFaire 6 years ago
LaissezFaire
"I'm going to stop using this debate site." Darn. I was hoping for a bunch more creationism related debates, since we so rarely get to see those.
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 6 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
Wow, Con's rebuttal was shameful... Nice job J.Kenyon; you literally ran the guy off of the website, LOL!
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 6 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
Yeah, I must say, J. Kenyon put in a fantastic rebuttal.
Posted by Brendan21 6 years ago
Brendan21
Nice work so far J.Kenyon.
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
although I think it would've been easier to define "good" and just do a definition debate, cuz the wording of the resolution sucks @s$h0l3
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
J.Kenyon puts the "win" in "I think J.Kenyon is going to WIN because the big bang theory makes sense to begin with, but he also did a great job of refuting Con's arguments."
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
*phew* finally done with my round. That took a lot longer than I expected.
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