The Instigator
LaL36
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

The splitting of the sea is more probable then the Big Bang

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/4/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,470 times Debate No: 35281
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (26)
Votes (4)

 

LaL36

Pro

Just to be clear for all the athiests this is not a debate about relgion. I know athiests worship the Big Bang but please give me a chance. I'd like to thank my opponent in advance. The splitting of the sea is the one that occurred in the Bible. And the Big Bang is defined as a theory that the world orginated billions of years ago from an explosion at a single point.

First round is for acceptance. I am not a fan of limiting the debate but please accept if you are committed. First round is for acceptance but keep in mind I have my argument ready so I'm just going to paste it once you accept. Good luck and I look forward to a thought provoking debate.
RoyLatham

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
LaL36

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for accepting and I wish him luck.

The title says it all the splitting of the sea is more probable then the Big Bang. Once again this is not intended to be a religious debate in any way. I have three main arguments:

The wonders

So I'm Jewish and all the Jews who don't really believe in all the Torah say how it is just too incredible and impossible. An entire sea splitting! And then at the precise time lands on the Egyptians without the Jews being harmed!? So I am not arguing that this is likely I am not even arguing that this happened. But let's examine the Big Bang. It is a theory that the world originated billions of years ago from an explosion at a single point. merriamwebsterdictionary.com That does not sound wondrous? Yes in the splitting of the sea an entire sea split but in the Big Bang an explosion created the whole world and that sea! Now what is more probable one sea splitting or an explosion that created trees, the ground, light, darkness, space, the Sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, every animal known in the world, creating animals and humans that eventually evolve, creating the millions of cells inside humans bodies, creating emotions, our brains, list goes on and on. So one explosion created millions of wonders and I think that is a lot less probable then the sea splitting. Again not saying that the sea splitting is probable.

2. Witnesses?

So whenever something occurs like for example a crime scene, there often is not proof. This is certainly the case for both the Big Bang and the Splitting of the sea. But the police can get things going with witnesses. At the time period there were thousands of Jews claiming that they saw this happen. Crazy? Maybe but I don't think this is probable because what benefit do they get? Anyway it is irrelevant. Point is for thousands of years Jews were told that this occurred and maybe it didn't happen maybe they just believed one person but in the Big Bang, not a single person in history can testify to witnessing it occur.

3. Like a crime scene is there any evidence, like fingerprints maybe?

For the splitting of the sea, oh yeah. There is proof of chariots in the Red Sea www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lzb4ekyX1kc and there actually is a possible scientific explanation that the winds triggered a reef. http://abcnews.go.com...
So obviously I haven't proved that it happened I just proved that it could have happened and that it is somewhat probable. As for the Big Bang, such proof does not exist.

Conclusion

The Big Bang is considered a theory but I don't think it is even a hypothesis. It is literally a guess not based on any facts. It is merely an assumption. Again not saying that it didn't happen but the splitting of the sea is more probable.
RoyLatham

Con

Thanks to my opponent for this debate.

1. Pro's case is built upon a fallacy.

My opponent's case is built upon an argument from incredulity. His false proof is that if A and B are proposed as explanations, and A seems to an average person to be less incredible that B, then A is the more likely solution. The error is that what seems to be more or less incredible is subjective and depends entirely upon the experience and knowledge of the person judging.

Anthropologists went to an isolated valley in New Guinea where the indigenous people knew nothing of modern technology. The anthropologists took video recording equipment, recorded the village, and played back the video for the people. The people were not impressed. They explained the video as being magic, of the same general kind the local Shaman used to make it rain and perform other miracles. Had the anthropologists tried to explain recording technology with transistors and magnetic tape, it's quite likely the explanation would have been rejected if favor of straightforward everyday magic.

Being "less incredible" is by no means proof of truth, nor even a good indicator of what is true. Before science, most natural phenomena were explained as the work of gods or spirits.

2. Science is more probable than miracles

Pro's argument implies that the parting of the Red Sea was a miracle. Wikipedia provides references to alternate versions of the events recounted in the Bible, "The narrative contains at least three and possibly four layers. In the first layer (the oldest), Yahweh blows the sea back with a strong east wind, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry land; in the second, Moses stretches out his hand and the waters part in two walls; in the third, Yahweh clogs the chariot wheels of the Egyptians and they flee (in this version the Egyptians do not even enter the water); and in the fourth, the Song of the Sea, Yahweh casts the Egyptians into "tehomat", the mythical abyss." [1. https://en.wikipedia.org... ]

The article continues, referencing additional scholarly works, "The Hebrew term for the place of the crossing is "Yam Suph". Although this has traditionally been thought to refer to the salt water inlet located between Africa and the Arabian peninsula, known in English as the Red Sea, this is a mistranslation from the Greek Septuagint, and Hebrew suph never means "red" but rather "reeds." ... General scholarly opinion is that the Exodus story combines a number of traditions, one of them at the "Reed Sea" (Lake Timsah, with the Egyptians defeated when the wheels of their chariots become clogged) and another at the far deeper Red Sea, allowing the more dramatic telling of events."

Pro clearly rejects the mundane explanations for crossing in favor of a miraculous explanation. He cites as evidence artefacts claimed to have been found in a part of the Red Sea over 600 feet deep. We are debating the probability of a miracle having occurred for the crossing versus the probability that science has correctly established the Big Bang as a fact.

3. Witnesses are not as good as scientific evidence

Pro claims that there were many witnesses to the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, but he does not cite a single statement of witness claiming to have observed the events as being an apparent miracle. As described in [1], the Bible story is most likely a composite of real events, with miraculous embellishments. Saying that the story claims it was once witnessed has no more credibility than any other myth handed down through generations. Many myths may have some basis in factual events, but the miraculous parts of the stories are not supported by the mere fact that the stories are told.

In criminal proceedings witnesses are notoriously unreliable compared to forensic evidence. "Fingerprints offer an infallible means of personal identification. That is the essential explanation for their having supplanted other methods of establishing the identities of criminals reluctant to admit previous arrests. Other personal characteristics change - fingerprints do not." [2. http://www.usmarshals.gov... ]

There have been 310 post-conviction DNA exonerations in United States history. ... In almost 50 percent of DNA exoneration cases, the actual perpetrator has been identified by DNA testing." [3. http://www.innocenceproject.org...] A sample showed 78% of the wrong convictions were the result of eyewitness misidentification. [4. http://www.apa.org... ]

When it comes to scientific observations, witnesses are the least reliable evidence. Pro's is wrong that we cannot be sure of the Big Bang because it was not observed. Criminals are convicted reliably based upon fingerprints and DNA evidence, and scientific evidence of the Big Bang is equally compelling.

Contrary to Pro,
  • The BBT is not about the origin of the universe. Rather, its primary focus is the development of the universe over time.
  • BBT does not imply that the universe was ever point-like.
  • The origin of the universe was not an explosion of matter into already existing space.

There are twenty-six scientific observations supporting the Big Bang Theory ranging from Hubble Diagrams, the Cosmic Background Microwave Radiation, the existence of dark matter and dark energy, the formation of stars and galaxies, and the dominance of light elements. [6. http://www.talkorigins.org...] No other scientific theory agrees with the evidence.

4. Bogus evidence for the parting of the Red Sea

Pro cites claims by an amateur archaeologist that remnants of chariots were found at the bottom of the Red Sea, and that this proves the story of a miraculous parting of the Sea. The usual way that objects reach the bottom of the ocean is that ships transporting the objects capsize of break up, losing their cargo. A steam locomotive was found at the bottom of the Atlantic off the coast of New jersey, and no one has pronounced it proof of a miraculous crossing. chariots were invented around 1600 BC and continued in use through Roman times, and ships of that era were not reliable.

I doubt that Ron Wyatt, the amateur archaeologist. [7. http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com...] discovered anything at all. What would anyone do after discovery of ancient chariots on the sea bed? Some of the coral-encrusted objects would be given to a museum for analysis. The underlying objects would be identified beneath the coral, the growth rings of the coral counted to establish the dates, and the dates cross-checked with radiocarbon dating of the coral or of any wooden fragments surviving. None of this happened.

None of Wyatt's "discoveries," which include Noah's Ark and other ancient wonders, have ever been verified by a legitimate archaeologist. "Wyatt always seemed to get a glimpse of something and then it promptly vanishes, ..." [7. op cit] "a TV producer's wife was told by one of Ron Wyatt's sons that the chariot wheels that Ron supposedly discovered in the Gulf of Aqaba were planted there by Ron. Also, John Baumgardner, who is a Christian and initially believed Wyatt and inspected Wyatt's Noah's ark "discovery", later wrote that "I am almost 100% certain that Ron 'planted' them [rivets on the Ark]."

5. Calculating the Probabilities

I admit that nothing is known by science with absolute certainty. There is always some finite probability that a better theory will come along that explains all of the twenty-six scientific observations that provide evidence for the Big Bang. Still, after a great deal of scientific investigation, no alternative has emerged as viable. Put the probability at 0.99. In the specific case of the parting of the Red Sea scholars have identified the likely origins of the story as an embellishment of various true events. There is no reliable eyewitness or physical evidence. The probability is less than 1%.

Debate Round No. 2
LaL36

Pro

"My opponent's case is built upon an argument from incredulity. His false proof is that if A and B are proposed as explanations, and A seems to an average person to be less incredible that B, then A is the more likely solution. The error is that what seems to be more or less incredible is subjective and depends entirely upon the experience and knowledge of the person judging."

Okay here are facts. More things occurred as a result of the Big Bang. At this point if you are just going to summarize my logic without rebutting it, I will leave it to the voters to decide if an explosion creating the entire world is more probable or a sea splitting. the argument still stands.

I do not understand the comparison between con's example and my argument. All he proved is that they were not impressed because they believe miracles like this happen. Let me know if I misinterpreted it. Maybe you could elaborate

"Being "less incredible" is by no means proof of truth, nor even a good indicator of what is true"

First of all remember that this is a debate of which is more probable. Don't forget that proof for either of these events are non existent. So even if generally what you are saying is true, it is really the only thing we could analyze of which is more probale. Again it is possible that the Big Bang happened but the splitting of the sea did not but this is a debate of which is more probable.

"Before science, most natural phenomena were explained as the work of gods or spirits."

Is this even relevant? What is your point here?

"Science is more probable then miracles"

I would say scientific facts are probable then miracles not assumptions made by scientists like the Big Bang.

'Pro's argument implies that the parting of the Red Sea was a miracle."

What part of not arguing about G-d or anything like that do you not get. I also provided a scientific explanation of how it happened (if it happened). I don't know where you got to this conclusion.

"Wikipedia provides references to alternate versions of the events"

Congrats to them but you accepted in round 1 that we are going by the Bible and it says "Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and G-d moved the sea with a strong east wind, and he turned the sea to damp land and the water split... Moses stretched out his hand over toward it; and G-d churned Egypt in the midst of the sea" Source: Exodus chapter 14 verses 21-30 which is the source we agreed on. We agreed to go by the Bible for the splitting of the sea so I am disregarding wikipedia and your irrelevant part about the word "suph".

'Witnesses are not as good as scientific evidence"

Agreed but neither the Big Bang or the splitting of the sea contain much.

"Pro claims that there were many witnesses to the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, but he does not cite a single statement of witness claiming to have observed the events as being an apparent miracle."

Okay well that's what I learned in history so since I cannot find a sight that says that Jews claim it (I don't think such a sight exists), think of it this way. Judaism originated in 2000 B.C.E http://www.patheos.com...

The splitting of the sea supposedly occurred 3000 years ago and this is true because the following link later says it when they were doing an investigation http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
So the fact that the story exist means that if you go back in time there were 14,000,000 Jews who claimed to witness it whereas nobody claimed to witness the Big Bang.
With that being the case, con decides to compare modern times to 3000 years ago and just cites how witnesses have lied. Anyway Your argument is based on witnesses identifying who the person was but not that they are incorrect when it comes to what happened. And also in the cases you mention they have reason to lie which might be to protect the person, they hate police, I don't know. But what reason would 14,000,000 people lie about something like this? This is not very probable that they would lie.

"When it comes to scientific observations, witnesses are the least reliable evidence"

Who said anything about scientific observations con? The 14,000,000 Jews are just saying what happened maybe they are wrong about why it happened but that is not the debate. Even if 14,000,000 of them might not be completely reliable, it is still more proof than the Big Bang offers. 14,000,000 witnesses compared to zero. In this case, which is more probable? If you are going to claim that 14,000,000 people lied you have to at least give some reason why they would. Just because witnesses lie 3000 years later is not good proof.

"The BBT is not about the origin of the universe. Rather, its primary focus is the development of the universe over time."

Pro already accepted my definition in round 1 from the Merriam Webster dictionary. He cannot just change it in round 2. So it should be disregarded.

"BBT does not imply that the universe was ever point-like."

I never claim that it did (sigh).

"There are twenty-six scientific observations supporting the Big Bang Theory ranging from Hubble Diagrams, the Cosmic Background Microwave Radiation, the existence of dark matter and dark energy, the formation of stars and galaxies, and the dominance of light elements"

Okay yes these exist but the key point is did an explosion cause it. There is no proof of that.

Con's 4th point seems like he just wants to waste character space. I already said that the evidence I provided is not sufficient to prove that it happened. You spent a few paragraphs just to prove that it doesn't prove it after I already admitted that. But this proof is better than no proof. And also no need to cite sources for unnecessary things.

Your fifth point:

Where does this calculation come from? All you attempted to do this round is prove that I haven't proved the splitting of the sea is more probable. You haven't given one argument for why the Big Bang is more probable then the splitting of the sea. So you spend an entire round attacking my points and without giving even an argument you conclude that there is 99% chance that the Big Bang happened.

Conclusion: I proved that many of my opponent's points were irrelevant and things I already mentioned. He had no arguments for me to rebut so I think my arguments still stand at this point.
RoyLatham

Con

Definition of events

Pro initiated the debate, so it's his job to write a clear resolution. The resolution references two events that might have occurred, The Big Bang and the Crossing of the Red Sea as described in the Bible. Pro did not really define either event, he only pointed to them. He gave no description at all of the Biblical event beyond saying, "The splitting of the sea is the one that occurred in the Bible." That means we must look to the Bible for the description. The splitting of the sea is described in several passages of Exodus, and is subject to some controversy as to which translation of the original Greek text is correct.

Pro says "the Big Bang is defined as a theory that the world originated billions of years ago from an explosion at a single point." That suffices to reference the Big Bang Theory as a scientific description of a cosmological event, and not the Big Bang Theory which is a television show. Pro's description is fine for letting me know what he is referencing, but his description is not quite accurate as a formulation of the theory. It is unreasonable for me to suppose that Pro had invented a separate theory with the same name as the well-known theory solely for the purpose of the debate. We are debating the real Big Bang theory, not Pro's impression of what he thinks the theory says. In my view, his errors make little difference in the debate. The Big Bang describes the formation and expansion of our universe.

My only purpose for discussing the Biblical language of the parting of the sea is to establish that it is described as a miraculous event, and not a natural event. Miraculous events are much less likely than natural events, so the distinction is important. Referring to Exodus in the King James Bible, "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided." (Pro claims that having the Lord part the seas can somehow be discussed without bringing religion into the debate. That's not possible.) The Lord causing the strong wind upon command is miraculous, but also having dry land revealed rather than a mucky sea bottom is miraculous. The Bible says, "the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left." Ordinary winds can cause a receding of water, but not walls of water.

The story continues, "... the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians.And He took off their chariot wheels, ..." That is miraculous, and Pro called upon that part of the story in attempting to establish chariot wheels as evidence for the event occurring.

Comparing Probabilities

I established that the alleged archaeological evidence was most likely bogus, and Pro abandoned the claim. Pro also claimed that there were witnesses to the parting of the sea, but neither I nor Pro could find any account outside of the Bible story.

Pro says that 14 million Jews believe the literal truth of the Bible story, and that somehow that validates the story by witnesses. /first of all, I don't believe that 14 million Jews interpret the story as literally true. He offers no proof. But believing in a traditional story is not evidence for it's truth. There hundreds of millions of Hindus, many of whom believe the stories of Hindu sacred writings, and the same is true of Christians, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists, Taoists, and Shintoists. Their respective stories of, say, the origins of the world are often directly contradictory. Therefore he quantity of believers has no authority. It isn't evidence.

The resolution says the Biblical parting of the sea is more probable than the Big Bang. There is no credible independent evidence for the splitting of the sea, and scholars attribute the story to being an embellished composite of actual non-miraculous events. Therefore the probability of it occurring as the miracle described in the Bible is very low.

The Big Bang is a natural event occurring within the laws of nature. Pro said, "It is literally a guess not based on any facts. It is merely an assumption." In the last round I cited the twenty-six facts of cosmology that provide the strong basis for the Big Bang Theory and which disproved the Steady State Theory and other contending theories. Pro is completely wrong, and he did not dispute any of the facts support the Big Bang. I admitted that nothing in science is absolutely certain, but the evidence is so strong and has been seriously considered by scientists for so long that the probability that the Big Bang occurred is very near one. Pro had argued that the parting of the sea was witnessed while the Big Bang was not, but he abandoned that in the face of no witnesses being found for the splitting of the sea and the general greater reliability of physical evidence over witness testimony. The Big Bang fingerprints are all over the universe.

By any reasonable reckoning, the probability of the Big Bang is greater than the probability of the Biblical splitting of the sea.

The argument from incredulity

In e last round, Pro said, "First of all remember that this is a debate of which is more probable. Don't forget that proof for either of these events are non existent." 100% certainty is impossible, but the evidence for the Big Bang is as good as any proof in science.

It seems to me Pro has a second meaning for the resolution, which he mixes with the straightforward assessment of probabilities. The idea is that the degree of miraculousness of something can be assessed independently of the cold probabilities. Pro argues that the splitting of the sea is not as miraculous as the creation of the universe by the Big Bang, and because it is not as miraculous it is more probable. So if the Big Bang were a miracle and the splitting of the sea were a miracle, we ought to consider the splitting of the sea a more probable miracle.

There is no logical basis for comparing miracles. An individual might find one thing more exciting or impressive than another, but that's purely a property of the individual making the comparison. My point in citing the New Guinea natives being unimpressed by a video recorder was to show that how improbable something seems is completely subjective. Since miracles have no regard for the laws of nature, there is no grounds for supposing and one is more incredible or more probable that another. For all we know, a simple large Bang is an easier miracle than constructing water walls and drying sea muck. In fact, we have no reason to suppose that there are any rules governing miracles that makes one more incredible than another.

Pro has the burden of proof to show that the splitting of the sea is more probable than the Big Bang. If they are both supposed to be viewed as miracles, even though the Big Bang is not, then there is no way to prove one miracle is more likely than other, and Pro cannot meet the burden of proof.

If Pro only means to compare the straightforward probabilities, I'm okay with that. The Big Bang is near certainty and the miraculous splitting of the sea is very unlikely. The Big Bang is a scientific theory supported by strong evidence. The splitting of the sea by the will of the Lord is a religious miracle, and is not possible to prove.

At the outset, Pro commented that the Big Bang is sacred to atheists. That's not true, of course, since atheists go with the scientific evidence. However, many religious people view the Big Bang as confirming the Biblical view of creation. It better corresponds to having a distinct time of creation in Genesis than does the competing Steady State Theory. I don't understand the notion that God ought to be allowed to part seas, but not to create the universe with natural laws as science describes.
Debate Round No. 3
LaL36

Pro

Con and I have agreed that this is the last round since I am leaving town for a while.

"Pro initiated the debate, so it's his job to write a clear resolution. The resolution references two events that might have occurred, The Big Bang and the Crossing of the Red Sea as described in the Bible. Pro did not really define either event, he only pointed to them."

You address these issues in round 1 not round 3 con. If I wasn't clear I appologize.

"That means we must look to the Bible for the description."

Which I have pointed to.

"The splitting of the sea is described in several passages of Exodus, and is subject to some controversy as to which translation of the original Greek text is correct."

I used the Hebrew Bible less controversy. So ya here you could say I wasn't clear but I would be really annoyed because I would assume you know what I meant. And if I assume wrong please don't write a long paragraph about it and state a source for something that doesn't matter.

"Pro's description is fine for letting me know what he is referencing, but his description is not quite accurate as a formulation of the theory."

This is not my definition. I am no expert on the Big Bang. This is from the Meriam Webster dictionary. In most debates people use the dictionary defintion. I thought it was enough for the debate of which is more probable. I didn't think for a debate like this I need to go in complete detail just that an explosion occurred. I also did not think we would be having this discussion in round 3-4.

"We are debating the real Big Bang theory, not Pro's impression of what he thinks the theory says."

Sounds like we are debating the definition. Again this is not my impression. I have conceded numerous times that I am no expert. So it is not what I think. You even said you can get a basic understanding from MERRIAM WEBSTER'S DEFINITION. So again I appologize if I was unclear but I think for the sake of a debate of which is more probable I don't think it would make a significant difference (again please no long paragraph on this part it isn't that important).

Con once again wastes character space to quote parts of the Bible in which I already quoted.

"That is miraculous, and Pro called upon that part of the story in attempting to establish chariot wheels as evidence for the event occurring."

It seems we don't have trust Con. You don't believe me when I say this isn't sufficient evidence and complete proof. Here I'll quote it for you. In my opening argument, before you said a word, I said: "So obviously I haven't proved that it happened I just proved that it could have happened and that it is somewhat probable." I was just saying it is based on some evidence. And plus you chose only to adjust the chariot wheels and completely disregarded my proof how the winds could have triggered a reef. Again I am arguing probability of the event not that it happened. I know for sure I am clear on this part of the resolution right con?

Later Pro argues that this doesn't prove that it happened so I respond: "Con's 4th point seems like he just wants to waste character space. I already said that the evidence I provided is not sufficient to prove that it happened. You spent a few paragraphs just to prove that it doesn't prove it after I already admitted that. But this proof is better than no proof. And also no need to cite sources for unnecessary things." So even in this round con decides to reiterate there is no evidence for it not just where I quoted him, but here:

"I established that the alleged archaeological evidence was most likely bogus, and Pro abandoned the claim."

Okay from my quotes from round one, it is logical to conclude that I already admitted that this is not sufficient evidence. Now that is not bogus is it con?

So to summarize this point, some evidence exists. It proves that it could have happened. It slightly supports what the Bible says. But the Big Bang contains no such evidence.

"Pro says that 14 million Jews believe the literal truth of the Bible story, and that somehow that validates the story by witnesses. /first of all, I don't believe that 14 million Jews interpret the story as literally true. He offers no proof."

No human can prove what they genuinely believed but at that time period, if they were saying that there were Jewish they believed. No Jewish commentaries even hint that it didn't happen. In Jewish prayers they are suppose to say mention it. So nowadays I totally agree with you but at that time period they did. There was not really such thing as a non-religious Jew. Obviously they weren't anywhere near perfect but it is such a fundamental belief. There is a commandment for Jews to remember it.

"But believing in a traditional story is not evidence for it's truth. There hundreds of millions of Hindus, many of whom believe the stories of Hindu sacred writings, and the same is true of Christians, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists, Taoists, and Shintoists."

Wow con you did it again. The resolution is which is more probable. I am not arguing that it happened. Secondly, this is not the same for every other religion. Take Islam, no Muslims claimed to witness the power of G-d. Only Mohammad did. Christianity I am not sure exactly so don't kill me if I'm wrong but I don't think his followers except for Joseph saw the alleged wonders. Now even if his, I don't know 10 followers saw it, the numbers do not compare to 14,000,000. I proved that there were 14,000,000 Jews at the time. So con rants (again) about how this is not evidence WHICH I SAID FROM ROUND 1! but this is a debate of which is more probable, 14,000,000 witnesses compared to zero.

The only argument con gives for why the Big Bang is more probable is because many scientists support it. And his other proof is the galaxies and stuff like that. (Since he agreed this is the last round he cannot make a new argument why) So the logic is basically the Big Bang created Galaxies because Galaxies exist. Where is the part about the Big Bang causing it? Did an explosion cause it? We don't have any proof of that not even a hint that an explosion happened. You still did not provide physical evidence THAT AN EXPLOSION caused it. It is part of the definition which you accepted. Using Galaxies as proof, is just as bogus as my evidence of the chariots i.e there is no proof that the explosion caused the world or that Moses/G-d caused therefore we must look at the other categories.
The question is did an explosion cause the creation of the universe. Obviously there is proof of a universe but did an explosion cause it, is the question.
"the evidence for the Big Bang is as good as any proof in science."

I proved that your proof is equal in reliability to ONE OF MY PROOFS. Bottom line is they both claim that there is a cause. An explosion in the case of the Big Bang, and Moses/G-d in the splitting of the sea. When I said in the beggining this is not really a debate about G-d I meant I am not really going into the part about the cause but rather the splitting itself.

"There is no logical basis for comparing miracles...How probable something seems is completely subjective"

You used the example of New Guinea how they were not impressed. What you really proved is that probability is not always correct. Like I said I think that the splitting of the sea is more probable. That does not mean it is true. It could be the Big Bang happened but the splitting of the sea did not. If you tell someone I will probably be home tommorow, that means he isn't busy now he can't remember anything he has to do so it is logical for him to conclude that he will probably be home. But something could come up. Doesn't matter, with his prior knowledge it is still logical that is more probable that he will come home. Like I said a lot more happened in the Big Bang and with no witnesses or anything, it is hard to believe. summary: Con brought up many irrelevant arguments. The splitting of the sea is more probable because it has more witnesses, less wondrous, and has SOME evidence the Big Bang has no evidence an explosion or "Bang" caused it. I thank my opponent for participating and the voter for reading.
RoyLatham

Con

In a debate each side makes statements (contentions) and gives arguments and evidence why the statements are true. Evidence includes the opinions of experts who are knowledgeable about the topic and data that supports the contentions. This debate is about two events and the probability that each occurred. Pro has the burden to prove that the probability of the Biblical splitting of sea is greater than the probability of the Big Bang. Let's see how this debate stacks up.

The Events

The parting of the sea is described in the book of Exodus in the Bible. Pro initially claimed that the parting of the sea might have been a natural event caused by the wind, and he declared that the debate should not discuss religion. However, in all versions of the story, the splitting of the sea is described as a miraculous event and not a natural event. Upon a sign from Moses, the Lord began the wind that caused the parting of the seas. The wall formed walls on the sides of the passage, and the ground between the walls was dry enough to allow unhampered passage of the Jews. The Lord disabled the chariots of the pursuing soldiers of the Pharaoh and then closed the sea upon them. This cannot be a natural event, so we must assess the probability that a miracle occurred.

The Big Bang Theory was defined by Pro, citing a dictionary reference, as the theory that the universe (Pro says "world.) by explosion from a single point. Pro and the dictionary share a common misperception of what the Big Bang Theory actually is. I cited the scientific description that clarifies that the Big Bang was a rapid expansion rather than an explosion and that the theory does not say whether it began from a single point or from a very compact area. As the debate unfolded, Pro made no use of these differences, so the issue is moot. In any case, the scientific Big Bang Theory is very well defined, and I referenced a scientific description that details the Theory.

Probability of the splitting of the sea

Argument from incredulity. Pro asserted in R2, "[the Big Bang]...That does not sound wondrous? Yes in the splitting of the sea an entire sea split but in the Big Bang an explosion created the whole world and that sea! Now what is more probable one sea splitting or an explosion that created trees, the ground, light, ..." I argued that there is no objective way to measure how wondrous something is, and if both events were miracles happening outside of the laws of nature, we have no way to say which miracles are more likely than others. More, because it is subjective, how wonderful an event seems does not relate to it's probability of occurrence. I don't think Pro responded my arguments. He reasserted that he doesn't know if either event occurred, but that's irrelevant to proving the contention.

Witnesses. Pro argued that while there were allegedly witnesses to the splitting of the sea, but no witnesses to the Big Bang, we should therefore judge the splitting more probable. I challenged Pro to cite the witness testimony that is independent of the Bible, and Pro admitted there is none. We have only the story saying there were witnesses, and not any witnesses themselves. Pro said that because 14 million Jews accept the truth of the event, that's good reason to suppose it occurred. I challenged Pro to prove that Jews generally believed the event was literally true, and Pro only said that it was part of the Bible so belief could be assume. However, throughout Pro, who said he is Jewish, also said he thought the truth improbable. I pointed out that much large religions included miraculous stories in their scripture, and that because the stories conflict, we know for sure that they can not all be true. The evidence from unverified scripture is weak at best.

I cited scholarly opinion that the Biblical splitting of the sea was most likely an embellished composite of actual events. That is expert opinion. Pro offered no contrary scholarly opinion of it being literally true.

Evidence. Pro initially cited a video produced by an amateur archaeologist claiming to find chariot wheels at the bottom of the Red Sea, in an area where the water is too deep to have been parted by the wind. I rebutted that none of the discoveries were verified by professional archaeologists, and that there were substantial accusations of insiders that he faked evidence. Pro offered no rebuttal.

Probability of the Big Bang

Pro claimed in R2, "The Big Bang is considered a theory but I don't think it is even a hypothesis. It is literally a guess not based on any facts." That claim is nonsense. The origins of the universe is one of the most-studied problems of cosmology, and the Big Bang Theory only came to be accepted over the Steady State Theory as a result of solid scientific evidence. I referenced twenty-six scientific facts that prove the Big Bang actually occurred, and for which no other theory provides an explanation. The cited [6] evidence includes Hubble Diagrams, the Cosmic Background Microwave Radiation, the existence of dark matter and dark energy, the formation of stars and galaxies, and the dominance of light elements.

Pro asserted without any argument or evidence that all the cited evidence didn't prove the Big Bang. For example, if he had an argument as to how Hubble Diagrams (the observational evidence of our universe expanding from a point) could be interpreted so as not to prove the Big Bang, he could have made the argument. If he had a single legitimate cosmologist who expressed any doubt of the Big Bang, he might have cited the expert opinion. He offered nothing beyond his unsupported opinion that all the redundant evidence for the Big Bang did not prove it.

Early on, Pro argued that a witnessed event was more probable than an unwitnessed event. The splitting of the sea has no supporting witnesses, but rather only the story that it was witnessed. Beyond that, forensic evidence is far more reliable than witness evidence. fingerprints and DNA are far better evidence than witness opinion of what they saw. The fingerprints of the Big Bang are all over the observed universe from the measurements of expansion, to the distribution of light elements, to the microwave background radiation. It is conclusive.

The Big Bang Theory earned its universal acceptance by scientists as a consequence of the evidence that supports it and rules out other theories. In a limited debate I couldn't explain each piece of evidence and how it supports the theory. All I had to do was make the claim and give the reference to the supporting science. Pro had nothing but unsupported denial.


The debate

Pro should lose the sources aspect of the debate for citing a bogus source that he was forced to abandon. Worse still, he provided no scientific opinion or other source refuting my cited scientific evidence of the Big Bang.

Pro should lose arguments based upon my evidence that Big Bang is solid science proved with little probability of it being overturned, while the Biblical story of the miraculous splitting of the sea is, according to scholars, is most likely not true, but rather an embellished composite of events. Pro also made basic logical errors in saying that something that seems more wondrous is less probable, and that witness testimony (or actually stories of their being witnesses) is more likely true than scientific evidence.

Thanks to Pro for a vigorous debate.

We have agreed to shorten the debate by both passing in the last round.
Debate Round No. 4
LaL36

Pro

LaL36 forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Con

Pass per agreement, R4 was the final round.
Debate Round No. 5
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by LaL36 3 years ago
LaL36
Roy I'm not asking you to read my mind. I said from round 1 that this is not debate about religion. I reiterated that point in round 3 and that you should take it out of the debate then you explained that since I said the word bible in round 1 it cannot be taken out.
Posted by LaL36 3 years ago
LaL36
@Mrparker Where did I say you don't get to attack my evidence? That is complete fabrication. And just because everyone voted for Roy doesn't mean he didn't use dirty tactics. He chose to read into the word Bible to basically change the debate but disregarded everything I said that contradicts that resolution how is that not dirty tactics? You said nobody brought religion. I wished that would have happened but Roy's first arguments was about miracles and he brought it up because he saw the word Bible but didn't see this is not a debate about religion. Maybe I wasn't clear but he should have clarified in round 1. You said it was Roy's job to prove it probably did not happen. His arguments were 1. Just because it's less incredible doesn't mean it did not happen. 2. It's a miracle (religion) 3. A scientific THEORY is more probable than miracles because witnesses lie.

I don't think that fulfills it.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
I only used the Bible to provide the description of the event. That's the only reference you provided for what happened. Your are ignoring that I should have ignored the Biblical account and relied entirely on whatever it was that you had in you mind about what happened. That's nonsense.
Posted by Mrparkers 3 years ago
Mrparkers
You don't get to start a debate with the one stipulation being "You don't get to attack my evidence". Roy didn't use "dirty tactics", he simply debated the resolution, because at the end of the debate, that's what's being voted on. Nobody brought religion into the debate, Roy simply attacked the bible's telling of events because that (along with the archeological evidence) was the only thing that helped your side of the debate.

You claim that you wanted to debate the occurrence of the splitting of the sea, so it was Roy's job to prove that it probably didn't happen according to accounts from the only pieces of evidence available to support that claim.

All in all, Roy did his job as Con, but you failed to do yours as Pro. That's why Con won.
Posted by LaL36 3 years ago
LaL36
@RoyLatham face it you used dirty tactics. If you are ranting about how my resolution was not clear why did you only mention it in round 3 and not round 1. You should have clarified immediately. You still decided to carefully read into the word bible and not even look at "the title says it all" or this is not a debate about religion. Even though I might have mentioned bible, since I said FROM THE BEGINING BEFORE I EVEN MENTIONED THE WORD BIBLE THAT THIS IS NOT A DEBATE ABOUT RELIGION, you should have assumed that I just meant the occurrence itself but you wanted to be like a politician and play with my words. I don't care about winning or losing a debate as much as you do because you use dirty tactics, I just care that you used dirty tactics. I didn't even get to debate I feel. I just debated the definition. You didn't really give arguments why the Big Bang was more probable.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
@LaL36, Lets have a debate on 1 + 1 = 3, but you have to agree not bring math into the discussion. No, that's nonsense. The only description of the parting of the sea is the description in the Bible, so that's the description I have to use. You cited the chariot parts on the ocean floor, where the sea is way too deep to be parted by ordinary wind. The Bible describes the parting as having walls of water on both sides, which a wind storm cannot do. The parting also is described as being a result of Moses raising his staff, a miraculous occurrence. The sea was dry at the bottom, not mud.

It's possible that the event was caused by, say, space aliens hovering in a flying saucer in the neighborhood. That's theoretically possible. However, it far more likely that scholars are correct that the description is an embellished composite of actual events.

What you should get out of this is an understanding of how important it is to write a resolution that expresses clearly and accurately what you want to say. I took the debate because it had the false archaeological evidence, which is worth exposing, and more importantly because it had the fallacy of judging the probability of something by the standard of "how amazing" is seems to be. Questioning evidence and arguments from incredulity are important parts of debate.
Posted by LaL36 3 years ago
LaL36
@Mrparkers where did I use the bible as proof that it happened? By saying Atheists worhsip the Big Bang I didn't mean it literally it is just that they all believe it. He turned it into a religious debate by bringing up miracles and said I said it to be that way because I used the word Bible.
Posted by LaL36 3 years ago
LaL36
@Mrparkers where did I use the bible as proof that it happened? By saying Atheists worhsip the Big Bang I didn't mean it literally it is just that they all believe it. He turned it into a religious debate by bringing up miracles and said I said it to be that way because I used the word Bible.
Posted by Mrparkers 3 years ago
Mrparkers
I don't understand what Pro is so upset about. Roy never turned this into a religious debate. The only "evidence" Pro offered for the splitting of the sea was the bible, so it would have been foolish of Roy not to talk about it.

Pro, if you wanted to win this debate, you should have been a little more well versed on what you were talking about. I could tell who the winner of this debate was going to be before Roy even made his first argument based off what you said in your first post ("Atheists worship the big bang").
Posted by tryanmax 3 years ago
tryanmax
Roy, RE: "as described" Are you saying there is no non-miraculous explanation embedded in the description, or that even from a different perspective, it cannot be explained? I'm not going to attest to whether they stand scrutiny, but I have certainly encountered a number of non-miraculous explanations for the event described in the Bible. Unless we are assuming that attributions of cause are a part of the description and not merely interpretive. I don't know that that point was really sussed out in the debate, but there is a marked difference between saying the sea split vs. the sea split *because of God.*

Furthermore, if one involves God, not as a meddler but as a Prime Mover, then logically anything including the Big Bang can be attributed *because of God.* (Which, ironically, makes the probability of the former contingent upon the probability of the latter.) And BOOM! now you're having the Cosmological Argument.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
LaL36RoyLathamTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: CON quickly spotted the Argument from Ignorance (Incredulity), and this decisively dispelled the heart of PRO's argument. Combined with severe misrepresentations of science, I was forced to score arguments to PRO. S&G errors also forced a score, as did sourcing.
Vote Placed by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
LaL36RoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The resolution was a little vague. CON gave good points. PRO gave poor definition (and no clear reference) for "splitting the sea" and BBT Also, pr could have refuted the "witnesses are poor evidence" and "science is more probable than miracles" points but seemed to accept many of CON's premises.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
LaL36RoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: "I know athiests worship the Big Bang but please give me a chance." First of all a spelling error in the opening round, does not bode well; second if you want to claim they worship something the history would more closely indicate the Static Universe theory (which was irrationally held onto for a time for religious reasons); however due to pro building in such bias against him in his opening statement, I shall abstain.
Vote Placed by Sargon 3 years ago
Sargon
LaL36RoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.