The Instigator
Truth_seeker
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Envisage
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

The Genesis account of creation is not mythical

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/30/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,639 times Debate No: 61094
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (30)
Votes (4)

 

Truth_seeker

Pro

I will argue that the account in Genesis is not mythical unlike it's neighbors, but that it's based on fact and demonstrates that Yahweh is the only one true God.

First round acceptance
Envisage

Con

Woot, time for some Science talk!
Debate Round No. 1
Truth_seeker

Pro

Important to note that a myth doesn't always equal a falsehood. We must always be careful on how we use the term "myth" when talking about creation narratives because a myth has certain characteristics.

Mythology is defined as a collection of stories to explain nature, history, and customs of a people. Personification, natural phenomenon, truthful or exaggerated accounts, explanations of rituals, customs, beliefs, and practical knowledge all make up myths (1). Comparative mythology is the comparison of many different myths around the world to identify shared elements and characteristics (2).

Comparative mythologists search for the following:

Linguistic similarities in names and terms
Plot structure
Psychological forces
Historical similarities
Phylogenetical

When you compare Genesis with other ancient near eastern myths (We'll only focus on the near east in this debate), you find that it's not exaggerated or mythical but that it's consistent with science.

The common elements are chaos, heaven and earth, firmament, creation of light, sun, stars, moon, dry land, and rest.

Genesis and Enuma Elish:

According to "the Babylonian Genesis", the Babylonian gods lack the power to speak things to existence whereas Elohim does it instantly. Elohim creates the universe with no conflict needed whereas a Babylonian god battles a goddess. Enuma Elish opens with the gods begetting the heavens and the earth while Elohim creates them. In Enuma Elish, the gods had a beginning while Elohim was before time, space, and matter. Marduk was created and Elohim was not. Marduk was made ruler while Elohim was always a ruler. In Enuma Elish, man was made to serve the gods so they wouldn't have to work and made by one of the dying gods. Elohim made man in his image and greatness. The Babylonian gods need rest and food while Elohim does not. Sacrifices are only made in worship (3).

Kirk Spencer in his work "Ancient of Days: An Orientation in the Ancient World", he says the Babylonian gods rely on magic to create, whereas Elohim only speaks it into being.

The Babylonian gods create the luminaries for astrology (4), but in Genesis, they are only creations.

Enuma Elish was made in tribute to a Babylonian king to make him god (5). Genesis is told to explain how creation came to be.

Genesis and Atrahasis:

In the Atrahasis epic, the world was divided into sections by the gods while Elohim creates everything systematically. The gods labor and are tired, thus need to create man.

Taken from "New Babylonian Genesis" (6).

Comparisons between Genesis and Egyptian cosmogonies:

Genesis and Memphite theology:

The Egyptian god Ptah creates all things using thought-speech (7) whereas Elohim only expresses his infinite knowledge by his Word.

Genesis and Heliopolis:

In the Egyptian myth of Heliopolis, the Egyptian god sexually brings forth other gods (8).

Genesis and Hermopolis:

The gods themselves are personified in creation (9).

Egyptian relics show two gods creating man, but Elohim does it all by himself (10). The Egyptian gods created man because they were lonely:

"Humans, in the Pyramid text tradition, were formed from the tears of the sun-god Re who wept out of loneliness." (11)

Elohim obviously doesn't need man.

One expert defines mythology like this:

"A myth is the attempt of a culture to overcome history, to negate the forces and ravages of time, and to make the universe amenable and subject to man. The myth reveals a hatred of history. History shows movement in terms of forces beyond man and in judgment over man; history rides heavily over man, is inescapably ethical, shows a continuing conflict between good and evil, and clearly shows man to be the actor, not the playwright and director. And this man hates. To fill a role he never wrote, to enter on stage at a time not of his choosing, this man resents. The purpose man then sets for himself in his myths is to end history, to make man the absolute governor by decreeing an end to the movement that is history." (12)

"Where his myths acknowledge men's lot in history, man ascribes his sorry role, not to his depravity, but to the jealousy of the gods . . ."

". . . The goal of the myth, progressively more clearly enunciated in time, has become the destruction of history and the enthronement of man as the new governor of the universe."

Myths were made to keep man bond to a physical ruler. Elohim doesn't have this mentality.

Conclusion:

It is therefore erroneous to conclude that Genesis itself is mythological when no such mythical concepts are found in the creation account. Genesis is clearly not mythological.

Sources:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. http://en.wikipedia.org...

3. http://theologica.ning.com...

4. Alexander Heidel, The Babylonian Genesis, Chicago: Chicago U. Press, 2nd ed., 1951, p. 44; ANET, p. 67.

5. Alexander Heidel, The Babylonian Genesis, Chicago: Chicago U. Press, 2nd ed., 1951,p. 48; ANET, p. 68.

6. Tyndale Bulletin 18 (1967) pp. 3-18.

7. http://en.wikipedia.org...

8. Ian Shaw, ed., The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 480.

9. Siegfried Morenz, Egyptian Religion, trans. Ann E. Keep (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1973), 175.

10. Gordon, "Khnum and El," 204.

11. Hoffmeier, James Karl. The Archaeology of the Bible. Oxford: Lion, 2008. 34.

12. Rousas John Rushdoony, The Mythology of Science, Nutley, NJ: Craig Press (1967) p. 1.
Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro.




  1. I. Definitions & Outline



I search in the Oxford Dictionary gives two definitions:




  1. 1. “A traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events”

  2. 2. “A widely held but false belief or idea”[1]



A search in Merriam Webster gives three definitions:




  1. 1. “a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon”

  2. 2. “a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone; especially : one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society”

  3. 3. “an unfounded or false notion”[2]



I anticipate that searches in other dictionaries will yield similar results, and judging by Pro’s first round where he intends to show that Genesis is not mythical unlike it's neighbors, but that it's based on fact and demonstrates that Yahweh is the only one true God.” that this debate is going to centre around the truth value of the Genesis story, which would discount it from qualifying as a myth under Merriam’s second, and Oxford dictionary’s first and third definitions.



It seems rather obvious that Genesis would easily qualify under the first Oxford, and second definitions of Merriam Webster’s as a myth regardless of whether or not the story is true in fact, so I concentrate on attacking the truth value of the story of Genesis.




  1. II. Truth Value



Genesis quite simply, is false in essentially every single account of creation as understood by science. Genesis depicts a six day creation story with the events in the following order:[3]



Day 1: Heavens & Earth were created


Light, Day & Night created


Day 2: Water & Sky


Day 3: Land, Ocean, Vegetation, Trees


Day 4: Sun & Moon, Stars


Day 5: Life, Birds


Day 6: Reproduction, Man




  1. III. Timescales


The first thing to mention are the timescales involved, which are quite simply absurd given what we know about physics. The Earth formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago,[4] and the universe itself approximately 13.8 billion years ago.[5] No interpretation closes the fact that humans, animals or any living organism was formed within a week of Earth’s formation, as this is roughly 9 orders of magnitude of a discrepancy (!!).



Moreover the text reads according to a spontaneous creation story, with homo sapiens, animals etc. created as-is spontaneously, however this goes against what is known in biology, given that we know that species had evolved over extended periods of time, and at no point did any species, and most definitively no ‘kind’ abruptly appear. At no point were there ever two ‘original humans’, as evolution occurs between populations and as such Adam and Eve, the original 2 humans could never have existed.[6]




  1. IV. Order of Events


The most glaring discrepancy is the creation of the Sun after the creation of the Earth, which we know from modern physics to be completely false. Given that the Sun is over 10x the minimum mass for fusion to occur, the Sun would have certainly become a star long before the Earth ever accreted (given it only needs to be less than 1/10th of its current mass for fusion to begin), which even ignoring the contradiction in the Sun formation, would still invalidate even a cursory reading of Day 1.[7]



Furthermore, the very first trees did not evolve until 400 million years ago, and forests did not appear until at least 100 million years later, allegedly these appeared on Day 3, before the Sun, the Moon, The Stars and lifeforms including fish etc appeared. However the Cambrian explosion which first occurred ~600 million years ago and predating fossils clearly contradict this, the Earth contained a massive quantity of life long before trees appeared.[8,9]



Furthermore, the Moon was apparently created on Day 4, but this is quite frankly absurd, given that our leading theory of moon formation is the ‘Giant Impact Hypothesis’, which depicts a Mars-Sized body colliding with the Earth and throwing out the material which accreted into the moon.[10] Such a collision would have completely sterilized the Earth of any trace of life that existed on the Earth at the time and vaporized all the oceans . Moreover the Moon is measured at ~4.5 billion years old, which means that trees, and aquatic life are similarly old given they were made on the same ‘day’, but this is absurd for reasons already given.



The stars were apparently created on Day 4, however the stars were originally necessary to generate the heavy elements from which the Earth is formed, since the heavy elements are only formed in the death throes of a supernova explosion (from which the Earth is largely formed), which means there is clearly an enormous discrepancy on the ordering of star formation. The stars should have appeared on Day 0, if anywhere at all![11]



Another huge contradiction is the formation of the Sun, the Sun is required for there to be day and night on Earth, since ‘night’ is just a shadow of the Sun behind the Earth, so the Sun must have been formed on the first day, or day zero, yet clearly is describes as having been formed on day four (as it’s the greater ‘light’ that governs the day).




  1. V. Reproduction?!


Reproduction is necessary for evolution to actually occur, without replication then none of Earth’s life would have formed as we see it. Why then is reproduction only motivated by God on day six?! This quite frankly is absurd, or at best an unnecessary confusing detail.[6]




  1. VI. God is Unnecessary


None of what we know about star formation, planet formation or the formation and evolution of life actually mandates there to be a God doing these things, as there exist natural explanations for virtually all of this. At best ‘God’ in the Genesis text could only be a euphemism for ‘unguided natural processes’, God simply isn’t necessary for everything described within Genesis, and as such we should assume that God’s performing of these actions to be quite simply, false.




  1. VII. Rebuttals


I actually don’t entirely know what Pro hopes to prove by comparing Genesis to other mythological stories. Genesis is thought by Scholars to have been composed roughly in the 7thto 5th century BCE, the Babylonium creation myth for example predates the composition of Genesis by at least 4 centuries, and likely up to a millennia before. The Genesis narrative borrows heavily from the babylonion myths and also Mesopotamian mythology with adaptions made to fit the monotheistic paradigm.[12-15]


They share many of the traits regarded by other myths, such as supernatural creation of the Earth and animals, the ‘firmament’ and day/night. As such the motivations and types of beliefs that people held regarding the stories are going to be similar. They are held beliefs which are false, and hence qualify as a myth as defined.[12]




  1. VIII. Summary


I ask my opponent to be precise in his rebuttals.



  1. 1.

    1. 1. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

    2. 2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...

    3. 3. https://www.biblegateway.com...

    4. 4. http://es.ucsc.edu...

    5. 5. http://science.nasa.gov...

    6. 6. Dawkins “The Greatest Show on Earth” C1&2

    7. 7. http://en.wikipedia.org...

    8. 8. http://www.pbs.org...

    9. 9. http://forestry.about.com...

    10. 10.https://www.princeton.edu...

    11. 11. http://aether.lbl.gov...

    12. 12. Sarna 1997, p. 50

    13. 13.Bernard Frank Batto, Slaying the dragon: mythmaking in the biblical tradition, Westminster John Knox Press, 1992, P35

    14. 14. Van Seters (1998), p.5

    15. 15. Davies (1998), p.37


Debate Round No. 2
Truth_seeker

Pro

Before i start, Genesis is a book of poetry, thus scientific terminology will not be immediately identified.

1) The universe was essentially not created in a literal week according to the ancient Hebrews as time was measured by the completion of events, not measuring time length (1). The Semitic phrase "evening and morning" is also referring to an indefinite period of time (2). In Hebrew, there are two types of numbers: Ordinal (Day 1, day 2, etc.) and Cardinal (1 of something, 2 of something, etc.). In the Hebrew of Genesis, it uses ordinal numbers of days, not length periods of time (3).

Genesis is theoretically an account of what God said he did in the creation and would eventually then be revealed to Moses (4).

It is then very unlikely for contradictions to be found in Genesis as it is so ancient. It's then plausible for it to be consistent with science.

Because of the time lengths of creation, it is therefore not spontaneous creation, but consistent with evolution.

As for the creation of man and woman, there is reason to believe that it was not referring to the very 1st humans.

2) There is reason to believe that Genesis is not a book describing the entire history of the human race (while it's implied God made everything), but rather that he wanted to focus on a specific type of people.

Adam in Gen. 1:26 is a Hebrew word for "humanity."

The vegetation and environment described in Gen. 2 describes an agricultural setting (see link below).

The genealogies of Genesis have been observed to have gaps. Genealogies in the Bible consist of: legal (claims of hereditary office), familial (birthrights), and religious (The priesthood) (5). The Bible makes highlights of the most important people in a line. Matthew's introductory legal genealogy of Jesus' heir to the Israelite throne.

Evidence has been given in "Creation Revealed in Six Days" that ancient colophons followed the same format as Genesis (ex. "these are the generations of..." We can thus infer that the creation account also has highlights and leaves out some information not needed.

After a long period of evolution, humans began to evolve just enough to be able to adopt agriculture (6) thus being molded into "the image of God."

Scientifically, we descend from a most recent common ancestor known as the genetic Adam and Eve (7). It is then probable that God simply wanted to communicate that we as rational and civilized humans (not "underdeveloped" animals) are all related.

The following rebuttals will simply focus on placing biblical events in their proper perspectives in consistency with the scientific order of events as well.

3) The creation of the sun and moon -

Gen. 1:2, the word for light is "owr." The light could physically be caused by the transparency of the universe in it's earliest stages after the big bang (see 2nd link).

Gen. 1:14 uses the word "ma'owr."

There are several interpretations to resolve this:

a. The sun did not appear until the 4th day. According to the Scofield reference Bible:

"Neither here nor in verses 14-18 is an original creative act implied. A different word is used. The sense is, made to appear; made visible. The sun and the moon were created in the beginning. The light of course came from the sun, but the vapour diffused the light. Later the sun appeared in an unclouded sky." (8)

b. Light emitted from black holes:

"The radiation being described here is not coming out of any kind of matter-the usual source of light energy. The region around the black hole is quite empty of matter Instead, this radiation is coming out of empty space itself! " (9).

"If modern scientific theory insists on the possibility of light coming out of empty space (in other words, without light bearing objects), it is inconsistent to criticize the biblical idea that light existed on the first day of creation without sun, moon, or stars . . . The fact that Genesis talks about light existing before the appearance of the sun, moon, and stars seem rather to be evidence of divine authorship of the Bible. It was inconceivable to pagan thinking that life could exist without the sun and its light. Hence pagan religions worshiped the sun as the source of light and heat . . . The Bible is unique in stating that the sun is of secondary importance" (10)

c. The entire universe was created in the beginning then placed into being (11). (This also could apply to stars, the moon, etc.)

d. The 2nd is a more spiritual interpretation - the light on the first day was the Messiah himself. Jesus is described as a light (John 1) since light comes from God and according to Jewish sages, the light is the divine Messiah himself (12).

4) Like i stated earlier, Genesis is simply more focused on a specific point in history and most likely does not record everything.

5) Con argues that the Moon would destroy the life of earth according to the Bible, however scientifically, the "giant impact hypothesis" happened at the early stages of molten Earth where life had yet to evolve (13).

6) Stars were still in the earliest stages of Young Earth's history, thus this doesn't contradict the Biblical account (see 2nd link).

7) "God is unnecessary" We weren't discussing that, but Con never provided sufficient reasoning or evidence to support his position.

There's no evidence that the Hebrews copied from the Babylonians:

"The common view that the Hebrew account is simply a purged and simplified version of the Babylonian legend (applied also to the flood stories) is fallacious on methodological grounds. In the Ancient Near East the rule is that simple accounts or traditions may give rise (by accretion and embellishment) to elaborate legends, but not vice versa." (14)

Con is wrong in saying that Genesis is mythical. 1) A firmament was a model of how the universe was shaped, not mythical 2) Both animals and humans are not only biologically related, most elements are also found on the Earth's ground, confirming the claims of the Bible that both were made from the ground.

Sources:

http://www.bibal.net...

http://science.howstuffworks.com...

1. Doukhan, p. 200. Cf. Von Rad, Vol. 2, p. 100-101.

2. Krista Bontrager, The Bigger Picture on Creation, pgs. 42-45 (2008)]

3. Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, Zondervan, 1982:p. 61

4. Wiseman, P. J (1958). Creation Revealed in Six Days: The evidence of Scripture confirmed by Archaeology. London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott. 40

5. A more detailed discussion can be found in the NIV Study Bible,Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985, "Introduction to 1 Chronicles: Genealogies.

6. http://en.wikipedia.org...

7. http://www.livescience.com...

8. The Scofield Reference Bible, edited by C.I. Scofield, New York, Oxford University Press, 1909, p. 3, note 4

9. P. C. Davies, Uncensoring the Universe, The Sciences, March/April 1977, p. 7

10. Donald Chittick, The Controversy, Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1984, p. 151

11. Expositors Bible Commentary, Vol. 2, Frank E. Gaebelein General Editor, Grand Rapids Mi: Zondervan, 1990, p. 34

12. Pesikhta Rabbati 62,1

13. http://science.howstuffworks.com...

14. Kitchen, Kenneth Anderson. Ancient Orient and Old Testament. London: Tyndale, 1966. 89.
Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro.

‘Consistent with Science’

Note that the resolution of the debate is:

‘The Genesis Creation account is not mythical’

NOT

‘The Genesis Creation Account might not be mythical’

This is important because virtually all of Pro’s argumentation given in the previous round can only ever hope to support the second wording of the resolution. The default position is not to assume Genesis is true and then try to justify it, but rather to decide whether or not Genesis is true based on the available evidence. That’s how rational investigation is concocted.

Virtually anything can be made ‘consistent’ with science given enough ad hoc reasoning, but we are no longer objectively seeking to see whether or not the original statement is true. Take the following statement:

“Life was seeded by Venusian space dogs”

It’s a patently absurd statement prima facie, but this can be made perfectly consistent with science by appealing to for example the extinction of these space dogs which is why they are no longer extant, that they arose before Venus became a greenhouse, and that they are motivated to do so because Venus was becoming hotter and hotter. The space dogs could not themselves populate the Earth because they were not adapted to the atmosphere, so they has to seed earth with single-celled life. Etc etc.[1]

As we can see here, the absurd statement can be made perfectly consistent with observations made today by cooking up various explanations. However it is clear we have now stepped outside of the investigation of whether or not the statement is true.

Just what did God do?

As I alluded to last round, all these processes that we talk about regarding the origin of species, of star accretion, galaxy accretion, the formation of Earth’s water and the evolution of planets, trees and humans all have compelling physical explanations. Natural selection and mutations coupled with a changing environment are compelling enough to explain the life that exists enough without introducing a God, and hence would have regardless of whether God was there or not. The same applies to the accretion of dust and gas clouds etc, as well as inflation. Gravity, the strong and weak nuclear forces, and the electromagnetic force and the standard model are known to explain most of everything depicted within Genesis from first-principles.[2]

So one must ask, what on Earth was God doing? God clearly didn’t create anything, or most of everything that was depicted in Genesis, the natural processes within the universe did. God at best was a spectator of these events, which undermines the biggest point of the Genesis creation story, which was that God did it.

Handing Factual Contradictions in Genesis

Pro makes the remarkable assertion:

“It is then very unlikely for contradictions to be found in Genesis as it is so ancient. It's then plausible for it to be consistent with science.”

Is Pro seriously asserting that because something is ancient it is more likely to not contain contradictions?! I beg Pro to clarify his logical progression here, as this just seems absurd, since if anything the older the text, the more likely it is to contain contradictions.

If we accept my statement that it’s going to be more likely to contain contradictions because it’s ancient, that in no way means it will become more plausible that it will be consistent with science either, since we just do not know the author’s original meaning of the words he wrote. It’s for this same reason why eye-witness testimony is not made more acceptable because it is inherently more likely to be unreliable, that is just absurd reasoning. Bad evidence is bad evidence, it’s that simple. If the source or text contains contradictions and errors, then it contains contradictions and errors, period. It means that the source that we know of is just a bad source, it may or may not have had accurate original meaning but there is no way to know what it originally said outside of external reasoning.

Length of a ‘Day’

Pro makes the point that the Genesis is not explicit on the time periods involved, which even if true doesn’t circumvent the issues in the order of events to which there has been no rebuttal of from pro so far.

Moreover there are comparable reasons for accepting that the breaks between days was indeed intended to be interpreted as a literal six day event. Since for example in the Hebrew text the word ‘yom’ is used to denote the day period, but it could also be used as Pro asserts for ‘period’, however in well over 95% of instances in the Old Testament where Yom is used it is used to denote a 24 hour period, or an end of a day. Many of the remaining 5% are expressions of a ‘day’ such as “The day of the Lord”.[3-5]

Moreover the text reads evening-morning, rather morning-evening, which indicates a literal end of day-beginning of day interpretation, as would instead be expected of morning-evening order which would be much more easily interpreted as a ‘start-finish’.[3]

In either case it really doesn’t matter, the interpretation of the text is not explicit in either case, and Pro simply cannot justifiably assert it means a ‘period of time’ without appealing to the facts of science first. As such he cannot state what the author(s) actually originally intended when they wrote the text, and hence cannot affirm the resolution.

First Man & Woman

I noted in my opening round the problems of having a ‘first man & women’ and reconciling it with evolution, which only takes place between populations. There never was a first man or woman, nor was there ever just two homo sapiens at any point in Earth’s history.

Pro attempts to reconcile this by the ‘mankind’ interpretation leading to I am guessing the assertion that it refers to all humans as a group (at the time). However Pro goes back on himself by now asserting that there really was a biological ‘Adam and Eve’.

This is plainly false, a misunderstanding of what the genetics states about the ‘genetic Adam & Eve’. It is a fact there is a man & woman 60,000 years ago who was the ancestor of all modern humans, however there wasn’t just 1 man and 1 woman, there were many man & women, since the gene pool mixes as the generations progress. So a portion of DNA from 1 male may be extant in all males today, and a portion of DNA will also be extant in all females today, but this in no way affirms an ‘Adam & Eve’ as depicted in Genesis.[6,7]


Either the author of the text refers to a first human, or it does not. If it does refer to a first man/woman, then it cannot be referring to Y-Chromosome ‘Adam’ or ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ given that the gene pool is significantly mixed over that number of generations, and as such Genesis is false. Given the creation story in Chapter 2 of Genesis, it seems the former interpretation is correct.

‘First Light’

To justify Genesis 1:2 Pro gives four different interpretations that are consistent with science, and while I could argue against all of these it would miss the point. If the Genesis account is not explicit, then how on Earth can Pro possibly claim to know what the original intent of the text was? 4 completely different interpretations, of a much larger subset of possible interpretations. Pro is making the sharpshooter fallacy by looking at what fits best with the data, and declaring the aim was true all along.

However Pro simply cannot know what the original aim, or point was, as he himself implicitly admits. As such he cannot affirm the resolution.

Unaddressed Arguments

Pro has yet to address any of my arguments regarding the ordering of events, which is patently false as I have shown, which goes beyond my BoP for this debate.

References

  1. 1. http://tinyurl.com...
  2. 2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  3. 3. http://www.icr.org...
  4. 4. http://www.icr.org...
  5. 5. http://www.accuracyingenesis.com...
  6. 6. http://www-bac.esi.umontreal.ca...
  7. 7. http://www.isogg.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Truth_seeker

Pro

The resolution is not "Genesis is scientifically accurate", it's "Genesis is not mythical." I have already fulfilled my burden of proof. I simply answered your points because you diverted the debate into a different direction, therefore i will only refute your arguments.

"This is important because virtually all of Pro"s argumentation given in the previous round can only ever hope to support the second wording of the resolution. The default position is not to assume Genesis is true and then try to justify it, but rather to decide whether or not Genesis is true based on the available evidence. That"s how rational investigation is concocted."

I did not assume Genesis is true (straw man argument), i simply explained what the text probably said based on the available evidence. Furthermore, you ignore that everything is a possibility (even in science), it's just a hypothesis supported by evidence. Same with Genesis.

"Virtually anything can be made "consistent" with science given enough ad hoc reasoning, but we are no longer objectively seeking to see whether or not the original statement is true. "

Con falsely accuses me of using ad-hoc reasoning.

Ad hoc reasoning is defined as "An ad hoc hypothesis is one created to explain away facts that seem to refute one"s belief or theory" (1). Con uses a strawman argument (literal interpretation of Genesis) in an attempt to discredit it when i presented evidence that it's not there in the original Hebrew.

Con proceeds to speak about how the universe doesn't need God, but that's irrelevant. It has nothing to do with the resolution.

"As I alluded to last round, all these processes that we talk about regarding the origin of species, of star accretion, galaxy accretion, the formation of Earth"s water and the evolution of planets, trees and humans all have compelling physical explanations. Natural selection and mutations coupled with a changing environment are compelling enough to explain the life that exists enough without introducing a God,"

Con appears to resort to a debate tactic known as appeal to nature (2). Just because it's more compelling, doesn't follow that it's true.

"Is Pro seriously asserting that because something is ancient it is more likely to not contain contradictions?! I beg Pro to clarify his logical progression here"

I mean to say that because modern interpretations have distorted what the Bible originally said, now that we have discovered what ancients believed, no contradictions are found.

Sources:

1. http://skepdic.com...

2. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...
Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro.

Pro’s Burden

Pro needs to both positively demonstrate the narrative of Genesis to be non-mythical, and one of the qualifiers for something to be mythical is to be falsehood (as I defined in the first round), Pro in fact agreed to this in the rules round:

“I will argue that the account in Genesis is not mythical unlike it's neighbours, but that it's based on fact and demonstrates that Yahweh is the only one true God.”

Hence me demonstrating that Genesis is either false, or cannot be demonstrated to be ‘not-false’ will negate the resolution.

I believe that I have demonstrated large portions of the narrative to be false, and most of the remainder to be ‘unprovably not-false’, indeed Pro has not addressed any of my objections regarding the ordering of events within the narrative (which even his day-period points do not help him reconcile).

Venusian Space-Dogs

Pro ignores my analogy with Venusian Space-Dogs, which when applying Pro’s methods of argumentation would make such a theory just as valid and ‘non-mythical’ as Genesis. We can see in Pro’s argumentation such as for the interpretation of what a ‘day’means, or what the ‘light’ means that Pro is performing the texas sharpshooter fallacy.[1]

He is coming up with answers and then choosing the best one that fits the facts, however this is a fallacious method of reasoning, because it ignores that BECAUSE there is such a broad range of interpretations that Pro simply cannot affirm that the original narrative was written with the ‘true’ (based on scientific fact) interpretation in mind.

When the cursory reading of the text yields tremendously contradicting statements of fact, and that only specific, rare interpretations can form a semblance of reconciliation, it is quite apparent that Pro is no longer affirming that ‘Genesis is not mythical’, and rather only affirming the much weaker ‘Genesis is possibly not mythical’ resolution.

Pro objections to ‘possibility’ by making a false comparison to science and possibility being extant, this is true but within science and investigation we seek to maximize the probabilities of those possibilities towards being likely truth. The same cannot be applied to Pro’s strategy of attempting to reconcile Genesis with the facts. If Pro provides positive scholarly arguments for accepting alternative interpretations of the words seen then he is correctly arguing positively that Genesis is not mythical, however he has not done this.


Virtually anything can be made "consistent" with science given enough ad hoc reasoning (as I have shown with Venusian Space Dogs), but we are no longer objectively seeking to see whether or not the original statement is true and hence ‘not mythical’.

God is Unnessesary

Pro seems to misunderstand this argument, the entire genesis creation narrative is about God creating stuff, however I am demonstrating that God did not play any part in what the creation narrative attempts to explain.

If the universe naturally produces the things that Genesis attempts to explain anyway, then what the heck was God doing? God didn’t create anything, he just sat by and watched (assuming he even exists).

Genesis’ Purpose

Pro asserted in his second round that Genesis is a book of poetry, but provided nothing to substantiate his claim. As such it is appropriate to apply Hitchen’s Razor to this claim. Even if Genesis was poetry, then it would seem that it would easily classify as a Myth anyway, since it is a falsehood whilst seeking to explain facts of reality or “explaining a natural or social phenomenon”.

However I will go a step farther, since Pro seems to think that if Genesis is poetry that it would discount it from being qualified as myth based primarily on its truth value.

There are several reasons to think that Genesis is indeed written intended as a form of historical narrative, for example Genesis 12-50 is clearly intended as historical, given it gives very complete genealogies, also describes the lives of Abraham, Jacob, Isaac through to Noah.[2,3] These stories set the foundation of many tenets in other books of the bible, moreover these people as well as those within the first 12 chapters of Genesis are later referenced. The first twelve chapters of Genesis refer to people that are regarded as real, and not allegorical/parable within the rest of the Bible (Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah).[3,4]

Given that Genesis 12-50 is clearly intended as historical, we would expect to see a clear distinction in writing style of these chapters to the earlier chapters, but such a distinction is absent, they are written in the same style. There is no poetry/liturgy barrier within the narrative.[5]

In Hebrew Scholarship, the overwhelming consensus is the entire narrative is intended to be a historical one. Prof. James Barr states:

“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:

1. Creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience

2. 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 “[6]

Lastly, if Genesis was poetic, or non-historical then we would expect it not to contain much geneological, geographical or cultural detail. However we have the genealogies of Cain, Seth, Shem (Gen 4,5 & 11), the description of Eden and a total of 64 geographical terms, 88 personal names and >21 cultural items.[4,7]

Pro also attempts to defend the purpose of Genesis, and what the original meaning was with the following:

“I mean to say that because modern interpretations have distorted what the Bible originally said, now that we have discovered what ancients believed, no contradictions are found.”

I would like Pro to actually substantiate this bald assertion. Given that Genesis is meant to be a narrative of creation that is non-mythological, then they would presumably have believed what they wrote was true. Hence the narrative was written, intended to be a true account.

Since the narrative is far divorced from the facts of reality, then it follows that it is a myth, like stories of the like.

Appeal to Nature”

I don’t believe Pro actually understands what the ‘appeal to nature logical fallacy’ is, which I quote from his source:

“You argued that because something is 'natural' it is therefore valid, justified, inevitable, good or ideal.

Many 'natural' things are also considered 'good', and this can bias our thinking; but naturalness itself doesn't make something good or bad. For instance murder could be seen as very natural, but that doesn't mean it's good or justifiable.

Appeals to nature are generally used in food/drug products or on moral issues, however my argument is that the events described (star accretion, galaxy accretion, Earth’s formation, water, trees, humans) would have occurred naturally anyway, so what was God’s purpose in the narrative?

Summary
Pro has pretty much dropped this debate on every single definition of 'myth', and need to substantiate several assertions, beack to Pro for his closing.

References

1. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...

2. Joüon, P. and Muraoka, T., 1991. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew: Part Three: Syntax, p. 390, P ontifical Biblical Institute, Rome

3.http://www.apologeticspress.org...

4. Barton (ed.), New Perspectives on the Old Testament, Word Books, Waco, TX, p. 305. Scaer, David P., 1977, “The problems of inerrancy and historicity in connection with Genesis 1-3”, Concordia Theological Quarterly, 41:21-25.

5. Berkhof, L., 1941, Systematic Theology, 4th Edition, Eerdman’s, Grand Rapids, MI, p. 784.

6. http://creation.com...

7. https://www.jashow.org...

Debate Round No. 4
Truth_seeker

Pro

Con cites no source in which a myth equates with falsehood. While i cited sources from mythologists who indicate that myth doesn't necessarily imply falsehood.

Con falsely accuses me of the sharpshooter fallacy. I never said that absolutely everything in Genesis is proven, but that generally, it is. Con has been using strawman arguments (1). Con assumes that the biblical authors were creationists when we just saw that is completely false. In order for Genesis to be scientifically inaccurate, con would need to ensure with textual evidence that the biblical authors did mean for it to be in that order.

"When the cursory reading of the text yields tremendously contradicting statements of fact, and that only specific, rare interpretations can form a semblance of reconciliation, it is quite apparent that Pro is no longer affirming that "Genesis is not mythical", and rather only affirming the much weaker "Genesis is possibly not mythical""

I presented evidence for each interpretation, therefore it is not simply a possibility. Which one is correct? We're not sure, but pick any interpretation and you'll see that you cannot disprove it.

Con doesn't seem to acknowledge the scholarly sources i gave.

"I am demonstrating that God did not play any part in what the creation narrative attempts to explain."

Con presents no logical argument that this is true, but asks a question under the assumption that God didn't create anything.

Genesis does have poetry in the account (2). According to wikipedia, myths can be truthful, thus disproving Con's claim that it's a falsehood.

"Appeals to nature are generally used in food/drug products or on moral issues"

Con doesn't realize that his argument that there is "compelling evidence" can also be interpreted to be "good."

as I stated, in order for Con's attacks on the Bible to be justified, Con would have to present evidence that the text holds a certain interpretation and that it conflicts with science. I'll give an overview of the things Con failed to address:

1. Myths - no correlation can be found between Genesis and other myths that would classify Genesis as a false hood or an exaggeration in round 2

2. Day - "The universe was essentially not created in a literal week according to the ancient Hebrews as time was measured by the completion of events, not measuring time length (1). The Semitic phrase "evening and morning" is also referring to an indefinite period of time (2). In Hebrew, there are two types of numbers: Ordinal (Day 1, day 2, etc.) and Cardinal (1 of something, 2 of something, etc.). In the Hebrew of Genesis, it uses ordinal numbers of days, not length periods of time (3)."

3. "Genesis is theoretically an account of what God said he did in the creation and would eventually then be revealed to Moses" (God may have simplified very complex details when telling it to man)

4. "There is reason to believe that Genesis is not a book describing the entire history of the human race (while it's implied God made everything), but rather that he wanted to focus on a specific type of people."

5. "The vegetation and environment described in Gen. 2 describes an agricultural setting"

6. "The genealogies of Genesis have been observed to have gaps. Genealogies in the Bible consist of: legal (claims of hereditary office), familial (birthrights), and religious (The priesthood) (5). The Bible makes highlights of the most important people in a line. Matthew's introductory legal genealogy of Jesus' heir to the Israelite throne"

7. "Scientifically, we descend from a most recent common ancestor known as the genetic Adam and Eve (7). It is then probable that God simply wanted to communicate that we as rational and civilized humans (not "underdeveloped" animals) are all related"

8. "Con argues that the Moon would destroy the life of earth according to the Bible, however scientifically, the "giant impact hypothesis" happened at the early stages of molten Earth where life had yet to evolve (13)."

9. No evidence Hebrews copied from Babylonians or other myths

Because Con failed to address these points, unless Con can find evidence to counter these claims, Con will fail to meet the burden of proof.

Sources:

1. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...

2. http://www.ancient-hebrew.org....
Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro.

Time to wrap things up, I don’t intend on making many rebuttals in this round. I thank Pro for his participation in this debate.

Mythology

I was very explicit in what I was arguing for in order to qualify Genesis as a mythical, indeed I provided two definitions in my opening arguments, indeed Genesis clearly qualifies as a myth under the following two definitions irrespective of whether or not the narrative is true:

“A traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events””

“A popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone; especially : one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society”

Indeed Pro never challenged these at all, as such it is perhaps debatable whether these alone win me the debate, however I took things a step farther by affirming the stronger mythology definitions, to which Pro again never contested in this debate:

“A widely held but false belief or idea”[1]

“A usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon”

“An unfounded or false notion”[2]

Clearly Genesis is a traditional narrative that invokes supernatural phenomenon, and I argued later that Genesis was written intended to be historical. Indeed given this and the fact I have demonstrated large portions of the narrative to be false indeed qualifies it as mythical.

Falsehoods:

I presented a number of major issues that the narrative makes regarding the truthhood of the narrative, which I list below:

  1. 1. Timescales (day-age rebuttals)
  2. 2. Spontaneous Generation vs Evolution
  3. 3. Creation of the Sun(Day 4) long after the Earth (Day 0/1)
  4. 4. Creation of Trees (Day 3) before the Sun, Stars and Life in Water (Day 4)
  5. 5. Creation of the Sun & Earth (Day 1/4) before the Stars (Day 4)
  6. 6. Creation of Day/Night (Day 1) before creation of the Sun (Day 4)
  7. 7. Commanding of reproduction (Day 6) after life already evolved (Day 3)
  8. 8. Creation of the Moon (Day 4) after creation of plants/trees/vegetation (Day 3)
  9. 9. God created anything whatsoever(!!)

To summarize my defences of these points:

  1. 1. Gave reasons to accept the 24-hour or night/day interpretations
  2. 2. Uncontested by Pro
  3. 3. Only defence by Pro is a possible interpretation of what the ‘light’ means, yet no reasons why we should accept such an interpretation, sharpshooter fallacy
  4. 4. Uncontested by Pro
  5. 5. Uncontested by Pro
  6. 6. Same defence at point #3, no other substantial reason given
  7. 7. Uncontested by Pro
  8. 8. Only defence is a misunderstanding of the argument by Pro, Giant Impact hypothesis would have sterilized all life created on day 3
  9. 9. Pro only claims a lack of evidence, yet I provided the evidence in the standard model, scientific models etc. which adequately explain what we see without need for an interveining God as Genesis requires

All of these I argued and evidenced were significant contradictions within the narrative when compared with the facts, Pro failed to respond adequately to virtually all of these problems, which are rather significant given it’s a large portion of the narrative.

Given that Genesis clearly fulfils the other qualifiers for a myth, I hold I have easily fulfilled my BoP in demonstrating that the Genesis creation story is indeed a myth. Pro constantly accuses me of making strawman arguments, that Genesis didn’t have to be true, but I gave reasons why Genesis did have to be largely true to exempt it from qualifying as a myth. It contains all the supernatural elements one would expect from a myth story (as defined), and hence the only way it would escape from being a myth was if it was in fact true.

Pro also misunderstands the sharpshooter fallacy, which I applied to his position since he attempted to come up with as many interpretations of the narrative as possible and only presenting/selecting the ones that most closely fit the facts, while ignoring all the other interpretations, including the most common ones that would most likely have been the intent of the author(s) of Genesis if we are assessing the facts objectively.

The interpretation of a ‘day’ for example, I showed significant evidence that the word ‘Yom’ almost invariably means a 24 hour day, and if not that then a passing of night to day. Neither are reconcilable with the facts of the universe as we know them, yet Pro presents the day-age interpretation, which is a rare and poorly evidenced one. We have absolutely no reason to think the author(s) of Genesis ever meant a day-age interpretation when it was written, especially in light of corroborating evidence (how ‘evening came morning came’ generally means).

Pro asserts that myths can be truthful according to Wikipedia, I checked the page for myself and seen no such assertion, which has been a common theme in Pro’s argumentation, which always go a stretch beyond what the facts state. The only mention of truthfulness in the Wiki is in the origins of myths:[1]

Various origins for myths have been proposed, ranging from personification of natural phenomena to truthful or hyperbolic accounts of historical events, to explanations of existing ritual.”

Indeed I will quickly concede that certain elements of the creation accounts may be based on real experiences (such as the Noah’s ark story being based on some flood that did occur), but that in no way means that it escapes mythology by being itself, false. Stories that have become folk legends, changed and become increasingly fantastical and supernatural, would clearly fulfil be mostly false, yet be based on original true events. In either case Pro presented no evidence that Genesis was even based on true events.

Poetry:

Pro again claims Genesis contains poetry, yet links me to a 3rd part website, which the article itself references no scholarly sources. I seriously question the credibility of this source, moreover Pro only asserts it contains poetry, and provides no evidence with the context of this debate it does. I gave reasons to accept that Genesis was written intended to tell a factual (albeit completely false) narrative, Pro has not addressed any of those reasons.

Even if Genesis did contain some elements of poetry, it doesn’t follow the creation account IS poetry, which Pro asserted in the third round, yet another case of Pro going further than his facts allow.


Pro’s Closing Points:

I will rebut Pro’s summarization of points with a summarlization of my rebuttals:


1. Myths – I have shown this to be irrelevant even if true
2. Day – Pro ignored my evidence to the contrary, it does not support Pro’s BoP
3. Irrelevant, if the transmitted story is largely false, it qualifies as myth, even if it was of true origins given the nature of the narrative, supernatural elements etc. But Pro provided no evidence for this anyway. It doesn’t help fulfil Pro’s BoP regardless
4. Pro didn’t give those reasons (bare assertion fallacy)
5. Again irrelevant to the creation narrative, no reason to think it’s true anyway. Doesn’t fulfil any poart of BoP regardless as it’s mitigation
6. Mitigation only, also doesn’t explain the ordering problems even if true.
7. I demonstrated that the genetic ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ have nothing to do with the creation narrative. Pro also misunderstands what the genetic ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ actually mean, and ignores that we descended from a population of people, and not from just 2 people.
8. Again based on misunderstanding of the argument (explained earlier)
9. I have dropped this point for space, it’s only mitigation anyway

Pro simply has not fulfilled his BoP for one, and most of his time was spent on mitigation, which was still unsuccessful. As such I ask voters to vote Con.

Thanks for the debate TS!

References

  1. 1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 5
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
oh good, envisage is winning... i don't have to lose faith in DDO...
Posted by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
@Ragnar
Okay give me a few days, I'm engaged in a few debates plus I work 12 hour shifts--and I will write a thorough analysis explaining how Seeker won MCA based on MCA's own definition. You-all keep dancing to this unheard beat of BoP, but DDO has no formal requirement officiating a BoP music. The guideline is MCA.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 1/2:

This debate certainly went in interesting directions. Pro had the obvious BoP, here.

I found myself returning to Pro's R1:

"I will argue that the account in Genesis is not mythical unlike it's neighbors, but that it's based on fact and demonstrates that Yahweh is the only one true God."

When he argues later that Con's understanding of the resolution is flawed, I find myself rereading what Pro explicitly said in R1.

At no point did Pro show that Genesis "demonstrates that Yahweh is the only one true God"--he doesn't even touch on that as a topic, really, perhaps because the debate had so much of a focus on what we should take as "myth".

At no point does he actually establish that Genesis is "based on fact". He argues that it can be interpreted as *consistent* with facts, but as Con notes, that can be done with many things if you try hard enough with your rationaliation.

Fundamentally, I'm left wondering if Pro suffered from a poorly-phrased resolution here--I don't think he was debating what he wanted to debate, but what he explicitly said his position was in R1 is what he needs to be held to.

Pro certainly showed differences from the Genesis account and other nearby mythologies, but what's the relevance of that?
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 2/2:

He claimed first that "Mythology is defined as a collection of stories to explain nature, history, and customs of a people. Personification, natural phenomenon, truthful or exaggerated accounts, explanations of rituals, customs, beliefs, and practical knowledge all make up myths (1). Comparative mythology is the comparison of many different myths around the world to identify shared elements and characteristics (2).", then later that "Myths were made to keep man bond to a physical ruler. Elohim doesn't have this mentality." This last isn't supported *universally*. Of course it's trivially true that SOME myths were formed for that--it's part of the customs aspect. Pro never made a universal case that ALL myths justify physical rulers--and doing so would have been an absurdity, since it's trivially false. Certainly, by Pro's own definition, Genesis is clearly a story, and it explains nature--by his own definition, it is mythology. And since he tried to make truth irrelevant to mythology, it doesn't even matter then if he HAD established it as true--it meets his own definition prima facie. And, as I noted already, he never actually MAKES a case to establish it as true in its own right--merely making arguments to keep it consistent with what we know as the truth, which Con rebuts with his venusian Spacedogs analogy.

Arguments to Con. All other categories seemed equal enough. As always, I'm happy to clarify this RFD.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
I was asked to vote on this, and very glad I double checked by entering "test" into the vote box, as I'm not actually a judge on this one (not to be confused with biblical judges)...

Feedback:
@Truth-Seeker
I strongly suggest placing definitions in R1, this ensures there is never any question of the definitions when the debate is underway. Under some definitions there is a difference between mythical and fictional. I definitely liked how you italicized opponent quotes for easy reading. Unless someone practically lives in the library, the content of many of your sources would be difficult verify, which makes it hard for any sound vote to award you sources; an idea that might help is checking for the books in question on Google books, as you might be able to show the content in question, without expecting anyone to spend a day going to the library to understand the full scope of your argument.

@Envisage
Great job formatting. What font and font sizes do you use? You may also benefit from the above comment about sources and Google books.

@Jellon
Very well thought out RFD.

@Shadow
Not even to discuss your RFD, however in the comments you strongly referenced the little ? mark info... It contains helpful reminders, but it could really do with an update.
If you have not already, please read the official voting guide http://www.debate.org...
And/or the highly praised (lots of compliments, and only Chosen-Wolf to complain) unofficial update to it: https://docs.google.com...
Posted by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
It was me proving a clear point you morons are to blinded to see. You hillybilly intellectuals are comical. You all keep saying my RFD is bias, bad, terrible--but not one of you have actually given a direct analysis of the alleged bad references. Oh, wait, there isn't any! Reference me or go wash Michelle's panties. You look silly.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
no, Jellon. that was just shadowking engaging in more nonsensical rationalization. your RFD's fine
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Your RFD is fine Jellon, I agree with a lot of it anyway
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
Was i too vague? Do I need to update my RFD?
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
if envisage actually loses this.... -_-
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 2 years ago
zmikecuber
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro has the BoP to demonstrate that Genesis is not mythical. Unfortunately, he doesn't show this. His arguments are extremely blurry at best. On this fact alone, Pro loses the debate. While Pro definitely shows that Genesis is compatible with the facts, that is, it's possibly true, he doesn't show it IS true. Even if it is true, it still fits the definitions Con presented of "mythical." Thus, in either case, Pro's arguments seem futile. Con presents some decent arguments that Genesis is false, and Pro does a decent job refuting these. However, as Con points out, Pro's reasoning seems ad hoc. Thus, I'm going to have to give arguments to Con. I think that Pro would benefit greayly by making his resolutions clearer in the future, and set definitions in the first round, and make his arguments easier to understand.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
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Reasons for voting decision: "Genesis is thought by Scholars to have been composed roughly in the 7th to 5th century BCE, the Babylonium creation myth for example predates the composition of Genesis by at least 4 centuries..." This tidbit destroys your scholarly attempts on fact giving. Rabbinical scholars date Moses' birth 1391 BCE; Ussher dates it at 1620 or 1619 BCE. Respectfully these dates are in the 14th Cent. & 17th Cent. Since it is well known as a fact the Jews via the Hebrews are firm believers in oral tradition of passing on vital info, they likely kept passing the creation story down until Moses was told by God to write it down. Therefore Moses' account, based Hebrew oral traditions, predates the Babylonian account Con referred to if true since his sources are backlinked for verification. Con focused dismantling "God" & harping on "science" instead of demonstrating how the Genesis story IS A myth. Pro held to highlighting Heb. words & scholarly interpretations. His sources were linked & Googleable.
Vote Placed by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
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Reasons for voting decision: Very well debated on both sides. Con seems to imply that the account must be true to not be mythical and hang his hat on common interpretation to be wrong. This is a consensus fallacy. Pro showed sound reasoning to counter. Pro spent his time arguing for accuracy, but that doesn't disqualify it from being myth by definitions given. It is hard to remove my own bias in this debate, knowing the arguments which each side failed to use. I agreed that by definition, the account is mythical by definition, true or not (I believe it is true). Both sides failed to addresscertain arguments. I don't see a clear winner in this very well played debate. I must agree with Pro that Con used the science of the gaps fallacy by baselessly asserting naturalism without evidence. Proving that naturalistic processes fill the gaps in our scientific observations is a debate topic by itself and too lofty an assumption to be used as a premise for a conclusion.