The Instigator
andrewkletzien
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
Marauder
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The fundamentalist doctrine of "Young Earth Creationism" is incompatible with cosmic realities.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
andrewkletzien
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,552 times Debate No: 28749
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (15)
Votes (4)

 

andrewkletzien

Pro

What this debate entails:
This will be a debate on the validity of Young Earth Creationism, or YEC (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

This will be a debate not on the definitive age of our universe as proposed by scientists (which varies only slightly relative to the times which are proposed), but instead to show that the idea that many fundamentalists espouse, that the universe is only a few thousand years old, is irreconcilable with the known universe.

An argument that the Earth was created only a thousand years ago, but not the universe, will not be permitted in this debate, for it is self-evidently reliant on a differentiation between our planet and the rest of the cosmos, an arrogance of our species that results in our singular and lonely planet being elevated above the rest of the material world. It is clearly derived from teleological and/or theological claims of revelation, which is not the purpose of this debate.

In this sense I am making it easier on my opponent, in that by focusing on cosmic realities as opposed to "earthly" realities (a distinction that can be made without a teleological judgment), I am allowing my opponent to not be bogged down by fossil records and general geology and chemistry that self-evidently show the immense age of our planet. This applies just as much to arguments that "humans" were made a few thousand years ago, with the rest of the cosmos earlier. By averting this argument, I am allowing my opponent to not be bogged down by evolutionary history, which indelibly rely as well on fossil records, geology, anthropology, chemistry, etc. In short, this is an argument which assumes the teleological equality between all matter and all life forms, and arguments to the contrary will put even more pressure on my opponent to prove, which is why I am stressing the specificity of the debate.

Reason for this debate:
It may be asked by some why this debate has been proposed by those who see the self-evident nature of the debate. It has been proposed due to the widespread nature of the fundamentalist belief on the age of the world, as shown by large institutions proudly adhering to the doctrine, including: the Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, and the Seventh Day Advent Church. Those who have studied the sociological nature of such beliefs will ultimately understand that this debate is necessary not due to the validity of YEC, but because of how widespread the belief really is.

Clarifications of definitions
For simple clarification: the speed of light, as measured in "light years," is not a measure of time, but of distance. It is the distance light waves travel during the time of one earthly year. It is dependent on common knowledge of the space-time continuum and the inherent connectivity of these two distinct, yet intricately related, concepts and realities.

My singular argument:
This is a debate that can take many forms and include many arguments, but I will simply make one observation that I think immediately decides the debate:

"The fundamentalist idea that the universe is only a few thousand years old must also come with a denial of the known, immense distance between other galaxies and our own. If the cosmos were only a few thousand years old, and the speed of light is accepted as known, then we would have no way of seeing these very distant galaxies, the light from which having to had traveled billions of years to make them visible to us."

For context and sources, I will provide the following:

Andromeda Galaxy: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Speed of Light: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Gallup on YEC & related belief systems:
http://www.gallup.com...
Marauder

Con


I like how you have decided to keep this debate short and focused on one argued point, giving just 2 rounds, which is just enough to debate your one single argument. I accept this challenge and defend that YEC is not irreconcilable with what we know about Science and the Universe. If it were, I would just accept Old Earth Creationism or some kind of Theistic Evolution set of beliefs and be fine with it. I have no emotional need to take the bible literally, and I have heard very good cases from some pastors to show Genesis should be taken figuratively.


I say this so you know where I’m coming from to take the YEC position. I do not take it because I feel my ‘faith’ requires me to. I take it because I believe that were the science and all evidence points to.


Rebuttal to your single argument:


Ironic that the single argument you have chosen to get behind is actually the easiest one against YEC to defeat.


By the Theistic view of Gods act of creating the universe, let me ask you are you aware of how many rings are said to be in the trees (you know tree rings). Or for that matter how tall are the first trees he created on the day he created them? How old did Adam appear physically? Was every animal created an infant?


It’s really not that hard to answer those questions no matter what understanding you come from. God of course created them full grown to start with. Adam did not have to wait for the trees to grow old enough to bear fruit from a seedling start. God did not create trees as seeds in the ground, and God according to Genesis did not create an egg for the first chicken to hatch from. The Starting place of growth of all creation is clearly full grown adulthood.


The light-year travel time is clearly by the same extension created already reaching the earth. Basically at the same extension that God created all the matter and energy and photons in the star light-years away, he also simultaneously created every photon from its rays traveling to earth.


Personally I’m sort of shocked you did not think of this yourself. Anyway I do have one argument of my own to show YEC is not only reconcilable to science, but that in at least as far as the Earth is concerned, YEC is an indicated must by science.


Radiometric Decay:


The following is a few links to what are sometimes called polonium halos sometimes referred to as “Gods Halos” do to there impact on this debate. You understand how radiometric dating works right? You look at isotopes and you see how much they have decayed against how fast you know they decay to figure out how old they are. http://www.greatcom.org... http://www.unmaskingevolution.com... http://christiananswers.net... http://www.halos.com... http://www.finalfrontier.org.uk...


Well in any of the links there a little more being considered. Scientists have long known that when each particular radioactive atom decays, it gives off energy at a characteristic level. This energy burst damages the mineral matrix in which the atom rests, and the size of the damaged zone reflects the level of energy released. Because uranium atoms (for purposes of this discussion) are usually found within certain minerals as inclusions of billions of atoms (which together still occupy a very tiny point of space), the decay of these unstable atoms over time produces a sphere of damage around the radio-centers.


Well polonium-214 has a half life of a few seconds before it decays into something else. But it has a distinct size of its radius of damage it only makes while it is still polonium-214 and has yet to decay into lead-210.


So for these rings to exist, the earth cannot have been formed by lava to cooled slowly over time. The granite around the polonium had to form in less than 10 to 4 seconds . pretty much intently, not slowly overtime.



I'm curious as to your response to the Polonium Halo problem, as it will be my singular argument of my own. This promises to be a fun short debate.


I await your response


Debate Round No. 1
andrewkletzien

Pro

Thank you for accepting.

This is a Scientific Debate
The readers will see that this is a scientific debate. The reason YEC is applicable is because it is making a scientific claim as to the age of the earth. You will note that my opponent has used half of his time explaining how YEC is compatible with the Biblical account of creation. I need to make this clear, and it is something that is admitted by Vatican a Vatican astronomer (), that the Bible is not science. The scientific revolution was an incredible amount of time after these texts were written. These texts, and even those that are even older and yet just as unreliable that my opponent is not using, cannot possibly be used to determine scientific fact, and should not even be considered when asking scientific questions. I'm sure my opponent would be able to "reconcile" scientific facts found in Hindu or ancient Egyptian creation myths as well. I do not feel the need to comment further on your religious assumptions and your unnecessary reconciliation between texts written thousands of years before modern science and, of course, modern science. My opponent shows perfectly my point when he says, "It's really not that hard to answer those questions no matter what understanding you come from." And I wholeheartedly agree, because these are vague, incoherent, non-scientific texts which were not written with any form of scientific accuracy, and nor were they meant to be.

How My Opponent Violated the Debate's Teleological Assumption Requirement
You will note that in the first round I noted that this is a scientific debate, which cannot include assumptions of teleological priority. My opponent has claimed that the earth, for some reason or another, was granted visibility to distant stars when it was "created." His further disputes of the age of the earth is dependent on such an unfalsifiable (http://en.wikipedia.org...), and therefore yet again non-scientific, assumption. This fails to take into consideration the expanding universe, and thus stars and galaxies that are becoming visible to us all the time. My opponent has not refuted my point, but used theological assumptions and teleological priorities to circumnavigate the argument and lead us to his unfalsifiable claim. Much like Kirk Cameron in his viral videos saying that the way to share faith is to, literally, "circumnavigate the intellect." I hope the readers have not been circumnavigated so easily.

"YEC is an indicated must by science."
The following is a NASA link explaining the incredibly intricate (and over-simplified by my opponent) process by which we have come to know, with a huge majority of scientists agreeing, the earth's true age (~4.5 billion years). (http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov...)

My opponent says that "By the Theistic view of Gods act of creating the universe..." It is clear that he not only has failed to realize the category of this debate (Science), but that he is debating a staunch atheist. It is clear that my opponent is only convincing to those who already hold intellectual and scientific blocks which may prove dangerous to a fundamentalist world view. You will note that he asks questions such as "how tall are the first trees he created on the day he created them? How old did Adam appear physically? Was every animal created an infant?" Let me repeat myself once again: these are theological questions based on unsubstantiated myths that were never meant to be taken as scientifically accurate, and have no place in a scientific debate with an immense amount of practical evidence riding on it. You have not shown a valid scientific refutation of my arguments.

Sources
My opponet's sources are theist, anti-evolution sites and a UK media site photo with no further sourcing or context (objectivity is a clear problem). I note again that this is a scientific question, and in order to have any level of credibility in this debate you must show scientific credibility. I think those that recognize quality of sources over quantity will recognize my NASA link above as towering over those used by my opponent. I may also note that NASA is a governmental organization, one such organization of this "Christian" nation. If you're not satisfied with my sourcing on this quite agreed-upon process and its conclusions/implications, I provide the following:

How Radiocarbon Dating Works: (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

UC Santa Barbara: (http://archserve.id.ucsb.edu...)

Carleton College: (http://www.acad.carleton.edu...)

My opponent feels as though he can use this widely known process to actively deny the conclusions that the people who created it have drawn. He has not shown any reason to believe he possesses such an impressive ability. If he does, I concede, and propose NASA be informed right away.
Marauder

Con

Science and Theology:

a) I have not brought ‘theology’ into this debate of science. You are the only person who brought a criticism of theology up in relation to a single scientific fact. So in as far as the Science you brought up is being used to challenge the logical validity of a particular theological premises, the theology of God’s creating power has to be brought up.

You point was that somehow the scientific fact we know about how long it takes for a stars light to reach the earth proves the earth has to be old, and that because of this YEC’s take on history and science is not compatible or reconcilable with Science.

But that’s absurd. And for you to even make the charge means you have completely ignored the defining premises of the beliefs you have been talking about. The Premises of the YEC is that the earth was created by God. If you did not want to debate ‘the view that God created the universe 6,000 years ago (approximately) is contradictory to science because of the distance of the stars and the speed of light.” Then you should not have created this debate in the way you did. You should have made a resolution not against YEC at all but YED (Young Earth Darwinism) and argued it contradicts what we know from the science of Astronomy to view the earth as younger than 10,000 years from a Darwinian and a Godless perspective.

But you did not call out some Atheist view of the earth being young being disproven by the light-years distance of the stars. You specifically challenge Young Earth Creationism. Where the questions at hand has to changed from “How does the universe work” to “How did God Create the Universe” and the objective is at the least to convince me that I must believe God created the Universe millions of years ago because of the distance of the stars.

Fallacy of ignoring the Premise in question:

b) If you really want to debate about pure science then you should not have created your charge in the form of a specific attack on a religious concept. Because you have its my duty to show how in the only medium ground we both have, and appeal to what is logical and rational, that there is nothing irreconcilable with YEC and the Stars. And there is not, as a showed, from a YEC standpoint its not only feasible that God created the light from the stars having already traveled

to earth, but it would be EXPECTED that God would create them that way.

Polonium Halo’s:

c) What I consider most interesting is you have actually done nothing to argue against this point of mine yourself. You have discredited the sources as ‘biased’ and then ironically as a better source on radioactive dating provided a WIKIPIDEA link.

d) You have appealed to the authorities of others on some of my own links, whilst remaining absolutely silent on the issue of the science of radioactive dating yourself.

e) I tried to keep this debate scientific by making an appeal to a particular aspect of science, the incredibly short half life’s of Polonium and the size of the rings they should be expected to leave in a million year old earth and the inconsistency of that with the size they have actually been found to have.

f) That you are a stanch atheist there is no doubt to me, I fully realized that when accepting this debate. You challenged the rationality and the ‘science’ of YEC beliefs over a supposed incompatibility with ‘science’. To be ‘irreconcilable’ means both cannot be true, one has to false for the other to be true. So for your single argument to have any effect on the issue it would mean you have to be arguing its not possible for both YEC view to be true and the Science of Astronomy to be true. I accept the debate to show that argument rationally has to be a failed one.

g) My own point was actually a much more worthy of a ‘debate of science’ between the two of us since I contest a particular conclusion that should be reached when considering the Polonium Halos. That is purely a debate over our understanding of science, and makes only appeals to radiometric dating. I am very disappointed that you arrogantly chose to appeal to secular authorities in the scientific community and not actually give one single rebuttal point on the issue yourself.

h) The pitcher was included to show what they look like obviously. Let’s people see better than some of the other links exactly what phenomena I wanted to talk about.

Conclusion:

Even if you yourself are a stanch atheist reading this debate preparing to vote, and you agree with everything my opponent has ranted about, “even the pope says the bible is not science”, and are thinking “he’s preaching to the choir!” please try and look at this debate objectively anyway and consider these things….

1) The specific theological premises I have discussed a round ago is the specific premises my opponent challenged. I have to show how the premise is reconcilable with science to appropriately answer my opponent’s single argument.

2) Pro fialed to give rebutal to my Polonium Halo point.

Debate Round No. 2
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 11 through 15 records.
Posted by andrewkletzien 1 year ago
andrewkletzien
@bladerunner060: Polonium is not the most useful tool in dating. This was a debate, as said in round 1, not on the earth's age. I tried to stick to my singular argument, but my links provide more information that I didn't feel appropriate and that I wouldn't have had time in 2 rounds and 5,000 characters, even if the debate was formulated around such facts. But if you're interested in more information on it, I would suggest reading up on the Burgess Shale: http://en.wikipedia.org.... NASA also has countless resources on their dating processes.
Posted by bladerunner060 1 year ago
bladerunner060
Pro, can you explain your lack of response to the Polonium question?
Posted by andrewkletzien 1 year ago
andrewkletzien
@larztheloser: I am not arguing the existence of the light. I am arguing that the known speed of light shows that particular distant galaxies would not be visible to us on this planet if the universe were only a few thousand. Like I already said, this is not a theological/teleological debate. I went to great lengths to specify that. YEC depends on scientific claims and there is evidence at stake.
Posted by stubs 1 year ago
stubs
Or one could argue God created with an appearance of age
Posted by larztheloser 1 year ago
larztheloser
So basically ... pro's arguing God cannot create light moving towards us, therefore the universe must be older than a few thousand years. Meh. This is very debatable.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 1 year ago
GorefordMaximillion
andrewkletzienMarauderTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made many assertions with only assumptions and zero proof in his response to pro's arguments.
Vote Placed by Jarhyn 1 year ago
Jarhyn
andrewkletzienMarauderTied
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Reasons for voting decision: see comments for RFD
Vote Placed by AshleysTrueLove 1 year ago
AshleysTrueLove
andrewkletzienMarauderTied
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Reasons for voting decision: AK had much better arguments and evidence, Marauder never really attempted to disqualify those by actual scrutiny. Furthermore, AK critized Marauder rightly on using the Bible as a source however AK shouldn't simply say look at this link he must present his case not say here's a link bam done.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 1 year ago
Man-is-good
andrewkletzienMarauderTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: See RDF in the comments.