The Instigator
justin.graves
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
toolpot462
Con (against)
Winning
40 Points

The story of Noah's Ark is factual.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
toolpot462
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,113 times Debate No: 34638
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (10)

 

justin.graves

Pro

Round 1 is acceptance.
Rules:
Use sources.
Wikipedia is not, I repeat, not a source.
Use spell-check
Try to use good grammar
Stay civil
No insults
No *shudder*emoticons
toolpot462

Con

I accept. Pro has the BoP.
Debate Round No. 1
justin.graves

Pro

A historical event in the ancient world is usually found in documents or the oral tales of a culture. The Story of Noah's Ark is found in Genesis in the Old Testament (OT) of the Bible. In this debate, we will primarily discuss Genesis 5:32-8:13. The problem with proving any ancient historical event is that documentation, especially before the Roman era, is usually minimal. Oft, archaeologists have to use physical evidence to prove an event. However, in the story of Noah, we have both documentation and physical evidence. In a historical event on a document, generally speaking, you start off giving the story the benefit of the doubt. This is what we will do with the Genesis account. There are two general ways to disprove a document's authenticity:

1. Internal Contradiction

2. External Contrary Evidence

Internal Contradiction is a bit like this: "And God said, take three of each kind on the ark." and later: "Noah brought two of each kind into the ark as God commanded." (Neither of those are actual verses by the way.)

The External Contrary Evidence could be, in the the context of this debate, everything from fossils to rock layers to the water cycle.

Now that we have the starting context, let's look at the Great Flood:

Physical Evidence of the Flood.:

Let me take a moment to say something:Science does not speak. Scientists do. That is why two scientists can look at any piece of evidence and come to vastly different conclusions.

Let me state something else:
Generally speaking in the proving or discussion of a historical event, the burden of proof is shared by both parties. This is not the same as a science debate. So in order to win, one must not disprove or prove, only give reasonable doubt. My specific BoP for this debate is that Con can supply no evidence against the narrative of Noah's Ark.

In light of that, here are my three main contentions:

1. The Book of Genesis
The Book of Genesis speaks of Noah's Ark and has no internal contradictions in this text, nor does it have outside evidence disproving it. Unless my opponent can supply either, this document can stand is valid evidence, albeit not nearly strong enough for the full support of the BoP. One must disprove the text to disprove the story entirely.

2. Rock Layers

Again, Science does not speak. Scientists do. Because of that, I will use that as evidence for The Flood. First of all, these layers, as evidenced in the Grand Canyon, are uniform under ground, with limestone in one layer and silt in another. This shows excellently the catastrophe the Flood was. First, the areas the Flood hit would have torn up the entire rock layer and redeposited it somewhere else. As this happened over a period of, say, forty days. You would have one rock layer torn up and deposited elsewhere over and over. Creating areas such as the Grand Canyon.

One perfect modern example of this would be the miniature Mt. St. Helens canyon created in only a few days, yet is a close model to the Grand Canyon. Rock layer laid on rock layer. This happened over a period of only a few days! That shows how catastrophe can create rock layers quickly that appear to be millions of years old.

3. Fossils

First off, marine fossils can be found at altitudes far above where oceans can be. The only way this could have been possible is through a large catastrophe that shaped the mountain and washed the dead animals onto it, trapping them and creating what we have today.

Secondly, some animals can be found fossilized while eating or in other poses that suggest a quick burial. This happened a lot, with fossils being found around the world with the same attributes. There was also one fossils of a snake from coiled around a dinosaur baby! This suggests a rapid burial where the creatures were with no time to run or hide. A flash flood.

I await my opponent's response.

Sources:
http://www.answersingenesis.org...
http://www.icr.org...
http://www.answersingenesis.org...
http://www.wired.com...
toolpot462

Con

"My specific BoP for this debate is that Con can supply no evidence against the narrative of Noah's Ark."

As easy as it would be to simply provide nominal evidence and win this debate playing by your rules, I will go so far as to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the story of Noah's Ark is not factual. I'm dropping your arguments for now because they are inconsequential.

Noah's ark was 450 feet in length, 75 feet in width, and 45 feet in depth. An ark of these dimensions could support roughly 3200 tons, or 6,400,000 pounds. Noah brought fourteen of each kind of bird onto the ark, of which there are roughly 9,600. Birds on average consume 25-50% of their weight in food daily, and a small bird (such as a crow) weighs about 1.3 pounds. This means that on the low end of the scale, each bird can be counted as consuming 0.325 pounds of food per day. The total number of birds on the ark would be roughly 134,400, which would consume 43,680 pounds of food each day. The ark was at sea for 150 days. This means that the total amount of food required just for the birds would weigh in at 6,552,000 pounds. As I'm sure you've noticed, this exceeds the ark's maximum weight capacity. This means that the ark as described in the Bible cannot exist; thus, the story of Noah's Ark is pure fiction.

Sources:
The Bible
http://www.birdola.com...
http://www.talkorigins.org...
http://www.skepdic.com...
Debate Round No. 2
justin.graves

Pro

I am fairly disappointed that my opponent did not offer a rebuttal to my contentions. However I would like to point out, for the sake of my future arguments, that my opponent virtually took the burden of proof upon himself. And I quote: " I will go so far as to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the story of Noah's Ark is not factual. I'm dropping your arguments for now because they are inconsequential." Just pointing that out. And, at the moment, all of my contentions stand.

Moving on to my opponent's ill-conceived contention:

My opponent wrongly claims that:

1. There are 9,600 species of birds.

My opponent also wrongly makes the assumption that:

All the birds were full-grown adults.

That Noah took every species into the ark.


Let's get started.

1. Number of bird species

In his own source, birdola.com, it quite obviously says that there are 9,300 species of birds. There are also less than 300 known extinct birds. Making my opponent's number inaccurate.

2. Noah took species into the ark

Genesis 7:3
"and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth."

Notice that it says kinds. Kinds could mean several things, but it seems to talk about genera. Creatures within genus can mate within each other, and there are only 2,810 genera.

3. Noah took full grown birds onto the ark.

Noah could have taken small, yet independent, birds onto the ark. That would cut down on the needed amount of food.






So, let's take a look at that number again:

Original: 134,000 x .325 x 150 = 6,552,000

New Number: 39,340 (Genera) x .24375 (75% of original number to account for smaller birds) x 150= 1,438,368.75

That is ~21% of my opponent's original number.

Case closed.




I extend my arguments.

Thank you and good night!

Sources:

http://www.birdola.com...
http://www.birdlife.org...
http://www.biblegateway.com...
http://people.wku.edu...
toolpot462

Con

"In his own source, birdola.com, it quite obviously says that there are 9,300 species of birds. There are also less than 300 known extinct birds. Making my opponent's number inaccurate."

In the case of how many known species of bird there are, different sources say different things; but the number always ranges from 8,500 to 18,000, depending on the way they were counted. This is as per my opponent's own source. My figures were actually on the low end of the scale in terms of weight, food consumption, and number of species. Even if you used 8,616 (as from Pro's source) and took into account the arbitrary 25% decrease in the amount of food, there would still be an unmanageable percentage of the ark's weight capacity taken up just by the birds' food.

"Notice that it says kinds. Kinds could mean several things, but it seems to talk about genera. Creatures within genus can mate within each other, and there are only 2,810 genera."

Just as I expected, my opponent has backed himself into a corner. He claims that Noah would have brought closer to 2,810 different kinds of birds onto the ark. That means there were also only 2,810 species of birds on the ark. Currently there are upwards of 8,500 species of birds. Being that the story of Noah's Ark takes place between 10,000 years ago and the present (correct?), it is impossible that 2,810 species of birds evolved into over 8,500. Evolution is a slow process:

"The time scale for evolutionary or genetic change is very long. A characteristic period for the emergence of one advanced species from another is perhaps a hundred thousand years; and very often the difference in behavior between closely related species -- say, lions and tigers -- does not seem very great." ~ Carl Sagan

In conclusion, if by "kinds" the story means "genera", it is impossible for the story to be true due to the slow nature of evolution. If by "kinds" the story means "species", it would be physically impossible for the boat to remain surfaced, due to the immense weight. Since by "kinds" story must mean either "genera" or "species" or something similar, and neither can be true, the story itself can not be true.

Sources:
http://science.howstuffworks.com...
http://people.wku.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
justin.graves

Pro

I'm going to state this right here: I do not accept the current view of the evolutionary process. While some evolutionist say that evolution can happen really fast, others say it happened very slowly. However, the evolution of creatures cannot be observed today from one species to another because we have obviously not been around long enough to observe.

In the "Cambrian Explosion," theoretically, life forms changed from bacteria, algae, and the like into extremely complex vertebrates in "only" 40 million years. If evolution can supposedly change bacteria into complex vertebrates that quickly, I'm sure it can change a lion-like creature into a tiger rather quickly, seeing as the genetic differences are a lot less.

So, back to what I was saying...

1. Species?

If Noah took every species, it would be impossible for the ark to hold all of the animals and provisions. That is why Biblical literalists go for genera.

2. Genera!

Because micro-evolution can act quickly, it is no surprise that perhaps a lion-like creature can change into a tiger quickly, especially if Noah was to, say, take a pair of creatures from a single genera of different species that could still mate. That would add a lot of information to the genetic code, therefore, micro-evolution would work faster.

Also, the evolution Sagan speaks of is when a lesser creature becomes more complex, where as a lion-like creature of more complex DNA could become a lesser canine (such as a house cat) quite quickly by the loss of DNA.

Moving on...

My contentions have not been touched and are still viable. I extend them here.


So far, my opponent has taken the BoP upon himself, given a single contention, and when that one contention was rebuttaled, did not abandon the ship. Yet my contentions still stand.

Thank you and good night!

Sources:
http://animals.about.com...
toolpot462

Con

The Cambrian Explosion is an expected outcome of evolution. Body plans took billions of years to form, but once they did they proliferated due to evolutionary advantage. The video provided demonstrates this concept well.

When it comes to birds, there has been no evolutionary advantage significant enough in the last 10,000 years to cause such a burst of speciation. Birds do evolve relatively fast, though, and the rate of speciation has even increased - to one new species every 700 years. So, looks like Pro has less than fourteen new birds he can account for - I wish him luck with the remaining 5,000.

If Pro cannot refute this, rather than speculate that it's possible I'm wrong, then my burden of proof has been met.

Just to be a sport, I'll address Pro's opening arguments now.

1. Yes, the Bible is evidence that Noah's Ark is factual, the same way that this website is evidence that the sun is a cube, Earth is hollow, and reptilian shape-shifters rule the world: http://www.truthism.com...

2. It's more probable that the Grand Canyon formed from a variety of natural processes. That a global flood would cause water erosion is very likely, but since it's possible that the Grand Canyon formed from much less miraculous processes, there's nothing about it that actually indicates a global flood.

3. Marine fossils are indeed found on mountains, but they did not get there from a flood. These mountains were once shallow seas, and formed by the gradual uplifting of land. A global flood would deposit any sediments in valleys, not on mountains.

Sources:
http://www.talkorigins.org...
http://www.bitsofscience.org...
http://www.truthism.com...
http://www.bobspixels.com...
http://longevity.about.com...
Debate Round No. 4
justin.graves

Pro

"If Pro cannot refute this, rather than speculate that it's possible I'm wrong, then my burden of proof has been met." Really? Well ain't that interestin' ? In reality, we are discussing a historical event. Everything we have discussed this entire time has been taking evidence we see today and speculating about how that applies. You cannot use the scientific method to test and event. You have been speculating. I have been speculating.

Just throwing that out there because it snapped my proverbial shorts. Moving on...

" Birds do evolve relatively fast, though, and the rate of speciation has even increased - to one new species every 700 years. So, looks like Pro has less than fourteen new birds he can account for - I wish him luck with the remaining 5,000." Really now... and my opponent tells me not to speculate... First off, we have not been studying bird evolution for 700 years, so we really have never seen a bird evolve (into another bird by the way.). So everything my opponent has said is speculation.

This is the mistake of assuming that the rate of micro-evolution is the same now as it has been since the beginning of time.

Next up... my opponent has switched around his beliefs on evolution quite a bit. From "The time scale for evolutionary or genetic change is very long. A characteristic period for the emergence of one advanced species from another is perhaps a hundred thousand years; and very often the difference in behavior between closely related species -- say, lions and tigers -- does not seem very great." to suddenly "Body plans took billions of years to form, but once they did they proliferated due to evolutionary advantage."

So basically: "I can speculate on theories and hypothesis, but you cannot." My opponent changed his views on evolution from one theory to another.

OK, that is now out of the way...

Back to my contentions:

1. My opponent made no effort to find any internal problems with the Genesis text. Instead, he decided to surf the web and find something that did have internal contradictions and compare it to Genesis. I found more than a dozen contradictions in that site. Mostly about the era of some of the paintings, names, and dates. My opponent would have to find internal contradictions in Genesis... but it would be poor sport to do so now because I would have no chance to rebuttal even though this contention was here since round 2.

2. "It's more probable that the Grand Canyon formed from a variety of natural processes." OK... why? Actually, I showed the Mt. St. Helens link and example... and it is literally a mini- Grand Canyon. Layers and all.

3. Four words: "We are both speculating."






My opponent fails to realize that we are both speculating, one of us just less than the other.

Sources:

All of the above.
I pretty much just drew off all my previous sources and used logic this round.

toolpot462

Con

As rudimentary as my understanding of evolution may be, I at least understand that it is far too slow a process for Pro's position to be true. The Cambrian Explosion is not uncharacteristic of evolution, and, as is clearly stated in my source, "was not the beginning of multicellular animal life; the latter has a fossil record that extends back at least 30 million years earlier." 17,000 species of trilobites are known to have developed within a period of 35 million years. On average that's one new species every 2,058 years. Even if all 17,000 species had developed within 500,000 years (and they didn't), that'd still only be one new species every 29 years. Pro's case requires a rate of one new bird species every two years for the last 10,000 years. It simply posits an impossibly fast rate of speciation; ergo, his position is false.

Thanks for the debate.

Sources:
http://biologos.org...
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by justin.graves 9 months ago
justin.graves
I lose! The only people that voted for me were vote-bombers and counter VB's! That's right! Like: BAM!
Posted by Torvald 10 months ago
Torvald
What's sad about this is that only points Pro has so far seem to have been awarded by people who either did not read the debate, or who are just being jackasses. That must be embarrassing.
Posted by Anti-atheist 10 months ago
Anti-atheist
Ronald Regan proved a globel flood in one of his speaches he did. Stuoid atheists
Posted by toolpot462 10 months ago
toolpot462
badbob - though I appreciate your counter vote-bombing and am not requesting that you change your vote, I want to point out that 1. this debate is not about the Cambrian Explosion, and 2. I made my own points which were sufficient for meeting my BoP.
Posted by dannyc 10 months ago
dannyc
The arguments I am reading are really very poor, if you're interested we should have a debate on either this proposition or on the theory of evolution/creationism.
Posted by justin.graves 10 months ago
justin.graves
I will not say "God can do anything" everytime I lack evidence. However, since God does have to exist for this story to even make sense, He will pop up a lot. There are some parts of the story that are purely supernatural. He will have to fill in a few of the holes in the story for which no evidence exists. Why do no evidence exist in some parts, because it was a historical event. However, I will not say something that is stupid when evidence CONTRADICTS the historical account of the flood and I have no way to explain it. (i.e. God put down the rock layers in a certain way to "test Christians.")
Posted by dannyc 10 months ago
dannyc
Just clarify a few things this debate I assume is about Noah's ark and the great flood right?

Also are you removing the idea of god and focusing on pure scientific evidence? No 'that is physically impossible' and the reply will be 'God can do anything'. So we are just looking back for scientific evidence of a global flood and construction of an ark which houses 8 people and 2/7 pairs of animals ( Minor point about number of pairs on the ark). Because if this is a debate about scientific facts you can't invoke a god ever time you are stuck for evidence.
Posted by toolpot462 10 months ago
toolpot462
I'll just assume that you are and accept this before someone else does.
Posted by toolpot462 10 months ago
toolpot462
Can I just confirm that you are Pro? You are arguing that the story of Noah's Ark is factual, correct?
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 9 months ago
MrJosh
justin.gravestoolpot462Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO did not meet his BOP. He almost seemed to be arguing for the plausibility of the Noah story, not that the story is historically accurate.
Vote Placed by ModusTollens 9 months ago
ModusTollens
justin.gravestoolpot462Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were fundamentally unsound. A particular example is his reliance on the fact that animals of the same genus can mate. While this is in many cases true, they can only produce offspring which are infertile. The only way for a coupling to produce more than a single generation of progeny is for them to be the same species.
Vote Placed by Luggs 9 months ago
Luggs
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Reasons for voting decision: CVB badbob: He only addressed arguments in his RFD.
Vote Placed by Torvald 10 months ago
Torvald
justin.gravestoolpot462Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I almost spilled something on myself when I read Pro's insistence that only reliable sources were to be used, which was followed by a citing of Answers in Genesis, ICR, and Wired. This was a hands-down win. Pro might as well have been on peyote or something, his brain wasn't in this one. Using a personal opinion as a resource? "I don't believe in evolution, therefore it is to be rejected as evidence in this debate, despite no inclusion on such a topic in the resolution." Wow, this is just too funny. He was asking to get slaughtered. My only regret about how funny this debate was is that I never got an opportunity to debate him on the subject. Maybe Justin Graves will accept my own Noah's Ark debate challenge. Since it's been brought to my attention that this is seen as a votebomb, know that I feel Con honestly earned all of these, except for Conduct, which Pro earned for Con by contradicting his own resolution in his first argument.
Vote Placed by GOP 10 months ago
GOP
justin.gravestoolpot462Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering silvertechfilms
Vote Placed by badbob 10 months ago
badbob
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Reasons for voting decision: Wow.i see a few vote bombers on this one. Pro did a nice job of making points and con refused to address those points. He clearly loses there. He also made inaccurate statements about the Cambrian explosion. Pro wins
Vote Placed by silvertechfilms 10 months ago
silvertechfilms
justin.gravestoolpot462Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: It's called a myth for a reason.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 10 months ago
johnlubba
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Reasons for voting decision: I feel the debate became derailed into how many birds could fit into the ark so that it could be a possible event rather than Pro detailing a convincing argument to establish the resolution as true, Even if it was possible to get the right amount of birds it still wouldn't make it a fact, Pro shifted the burden of proof on Con in the second round rather than establishing that in the first round, Con did a good job in his rebuttals and so did Pro but Con was more to the point, arguments to Con because Pro failed to establish the resolution as fact then asked Con to prove it isn't.
Vote Placed by TrotskyistRebel 10 months ago
TrotskyistRebel
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Reasons for voting decision: I loved cons argument, and he executed it with facts and convincing statements. Sorry pro.
Vote Placed by Risen 10 months ago
Risen
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro used the bible and evidence of a flood that occurred as proof for the Great Flood, while con disproved it as it could have been any flood, and, yes it would have taken a lot of bird food ALONE to feed all those birds.