The Instigator
Cliff.Stamp
Con (against)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
Sensei
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The age of the earth is accurately represented by Christian Scripture (approximately 6000 years).

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/16/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,605 times Debate No: 14808
Debate Rounds (4)
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Cliff.Stamp

Con

This debate is a continuation of the following :

http://www.debate.org...

the purpose of this debate is to argue the age of the earth, and specifically to contest that the age of the Earth is as asserted by Christan Scripture which is approximately 6000 years old[1], compared to the current accepted emperical result of approximately 4.5 billion years[2].

This topic is obviously linked to the ongoing debate of special creation vs evolution as if the earth is only approximately 6000 years old then by our current understanding of evolutionary theory, there is far too much diversity to have formed from a common ancestor in just a few thousand years.

Thus if it can be asserted and supported that the Earth is only a few thousand years old it would falsify much of what is empirically understood concerning the diversity and origion of life and it would point to special creation - something has created highly advanced life forms without any precursor forms.

The only rule for this debate would be to please respect the format of the debate and not spam verbatim arguments from creationist websites, and otherwise engaging in the "gish gallop" technique of simply making some many unfounded assertions it is impossible to discuss them all in a confined comment space.

[1] http://www.albatrus.org...

[2] http://pubs.usgs.gov...
Sensei

Pro

There is alot of controversy on this topic. I will just state the facts and the assertions that I make from then and see if my opponent can refute them. I will rely on con's knowledge so that I can be more concise and use fewer characters.

"Scientists have described over 1.7 million of the world's species of animals, plants and algae, as of 2010." http://www.currentresults.com...

It cannot be argued that there are many species in the world. How did all this diversity come about in the last 6000 years? This is simple. Dogs that went north gradually became dogs with thick, white coats; dogs that went south got short, colored fur. This is diversity in a kind, not change or development of new species. This can happen very quickly, not taking millions of years to do.

Now for some age-of-the-earth shrinkers.
The saltiness of the ocean.

"The concentration of salt in seawater (salinity) is about 35 parts per thousand. In other words, about 35 of 1,000 (3.5%) of the weight of seawater comes from the dissolved salts." http://ga.water.usgs.gov...

The decaying magnetic field limits earth’s age to less than billions. So, the question is, if the earth is billions of years old, why aren't they saltier? After 4 billion years, they would be as salty as the Dead Sea. So why aren't they?

The decaying magnetic field limits earth’s age to about 10,000 years. If you were to go back several million years, the earth would be to hot to support life. Yet evolution claims that the earth is BILLIONS of years old. That would be far to hot.


"The erosion rate of the continents is such that they would erode to sea level in less than 14,000,000 years, destroying all old fossils." McLean, G. S.; McLean, Larry; Oakland, Roger. The Bible: Key to Understanding the Early Earth. Oklahoma City, Okla. 1987

So why aren't the continents flat?

"The rock-encasing oil deposits could not withstand the pressure for more than a few thousand years." (also from the above source)

So why are we still finding oil that supposedly has been underground for millions of years?

The Sahara desert is expanding. It is about 4,000 years old. Hovind, Kent E. Creation Seminar

So why isn't there an older desert? Why did the oldest desert originate right after the time that creationists believe the flood to have happened?

"The Moon's orbit (its circular path around the Earth) is indeed getting larger, at a rate of about 3.8 centimeters per year." http://curious.astro.cornell.edu...

If the moon is getting farther away, that means it used to be closer. Go back one million years and the moon would be about 2,339 miles closer. The moon is about 236,363 right now, but just the 2,339 mile difference would make tidal changes so large that life would be impossible on earth. Even fish would get torn apart in the currents. And that is just one million years. Go back a couple hundred million and the moon would be right above the earth. That explains what happened to the tall dinosaurs: they got "mooned" to death:>)


All these things have never been refuted by evolutionists. They have tried to come up with some semi-logical argument, but in the end fall short everytime. If the earth is not old, then it is impossible for evolution to have occurred. The only other option then is creation (unless someone would like to debate if the earth could evolve in 6000 years)
Debate Round No. 1
Cliff.Stamp

Con

"This can happen very quickly, not taking millions of years to do."

First to start, what exactly is kind compared the known taxonomic ranks. Second, how do you overcome the small gene pool problem of a single breeding pair. Third what happens is a pair gets sick, it is killed (eaten), or is simply injured and does not mate.

"The saltiness of the ocean."

The oceans are salty because as rain falls it hits the ground, picks up salt and sediment, goes into the oceans, as it evaporates then it leaves salt/sediment behind. Oceans/seas with high rates of evaporation have high salinity. Over time, the salt content tends to stablize from fresh water sources (rivers, etc.) [1]

"The decaying magnetic field limits earth's age to less than billions."

This argument was proposed by Barnes[2] who looked at a set of data for the last 150 years, found that they had a steady exponential decrease backwards and then traced that same decrease backwards (as an increase) and found that in less than 10, 000 years the magnetic field would be so large that life would not be able to survive. The simplest way to debunk that is to note that the measurements were only of the dipole component and if the total energy is measured then his correlation disappears. Note as well that the fit was non-weighted, a horrible practice on combining data from different experiments with known variations in experimental errors.

"The erosion rate of the continents is such that they would erode to sea level in less than 14,000,000 years, destroying all old fossils."

Interestingly enough, what age of the earth does this argument actually advocate? This calculation was exceedingly simple, it simply took the mass of rock above sea level and divided it by the sediment deposit in the ocean[3]. This calculation ignores even basic processes of the geological sciences such as mantle-crust recycling[4] and Sediment recycling by tectonic uplift [5]. In short, that simply means the sediment and exposed rocks move around (recycle), you can not just assume it was always the same and move back, rocks for example can be exposed to erosion which had been previously heavily eroded and then went under the crust (tectonic recycling).

"So why are we still finding oil that supposedly has been underground for millions of years?"

Oil moves around in the earth, more interesting is that the rate of movement is so slow that if the earth was just a few thousand years old there would be no significant movement at all from the point of origin (1-5 km down) [5]. That points to a few obvious problems (oil would tend to always be at the origin depth).

"Why did the oldest desert originate right after the time that creationists believe the flood to have happened?"

The Sarah desert is in fact fairly young and its history is well known. Less than 10 000 years ago it was wet and suitable for grazing in locations, more than 10, 000 years ago there were lakes and streams there and it was grassland[6]. The earth has has a complex geological history it would not be expected to have the same environment untouched for the life time of the earth.

"Go back a couple hundred million and the moon would be right above the earth."

The distance from the earth to the moon is approximately 400, 000 km. If the orbit changed by 1 cm every year for 100 million years that would only be a change of 10^-2 (cm to meter) *10^8 (one hundred million) *10^-3 (m to km) which is 10^3 (a thousand) km. It would not be right on top of the earth. Note the rate of change has steadily increased so in the past it was a lot lower[7]. Note that the developed models for the earth-moon tidal system show an age in agreement with the known radio-metric age of the earth[8]

To end on a key point, note how many young earth arguments have been made (in non-peer reviewed citations) but how many give a consistent calculated age of the earth. If they are actual valid dating methods they all should agree with the correct age and this age should be consistently refined as the methods are advanced. This is however not seen. However all the peer reviewed models all will end up with the same consistent age as they have to as they are all based on the same fundamental scientific principles, it is a coherent system.

[1] http://www.palomar.edu...

[2] Barnes, T. G. 1973. Origin and destiny of the earth's magnetic field. Inst. Creation Res. Tech. Monogr. 64 pp

[3] http://home.entouch.net...

[4]http://www.springerlink.com...

[5] Wszolek, P. C., and A. L. Burlingame. 1978. "Petroleum--origin and evolution" In Fairbridge and Bourgeois. 1978. pp.565-574

[6] The Times Atlas of World History. 1978. Edited by Geoffrey Barraclough Hammond Incorporated, Maplewood, New Jersey 07040

[7] Williams, G.E. Precambrian Length of Day and the Validity of Tidal Rhythmite paleotidal Values Geophysical Research Letters 24(4): 421-424, February 15, 1997

[8] Kagan, B.A. & Maslova, N.B. A stochastic model of the Earth-moon tidal evolution accounting for cyclic variations of resonant properties of the ocean: An asymptotic solution Earth, Moon and Planets 66: 173-188, 1994
Sensei

Pro

Sensei forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Cliff.Stamp

Con

Unfortunate.
Sensei

Pro

Sensei forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Cliff.Stamp

Con

Hopes were high.
Sensei

Pro

Sensei forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by theta_pinch 3 years ago
theta_pinch
Cliff.StampSenseiTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con didn't forfeit. Pro used out dated evidence.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 6 years ago
quarterexchange
Cliff.StampSenseiTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
Cliff.StampSenseiTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con brought coherent arguments and reliable sources while pro brought the same recycled arguments I've heard so many times which were well refuted by Con. Pro also loses conduct due to forfeit.
Vote Placed by popculturepooka 6 years ago
popculturepooka
Cliff.StampSenseiTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Cliff obviously made better arguments.
Vote Placed by BillBonJovi 6 years ago
BillBonJovi
Cliff.StampSenseiTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con used better sources I think, as well as make better arguments