The Instigator
PonticComet
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MysticEgg
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Young Earth Creationism is Possible.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
MysticEgg
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/28/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,137 times Debate No: 37093
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

PonticComet

Pro

Definitions:
YEC:"the religous belief the Universe, Earth and all life on Earth were created by direct acts of the Abrahamic God during a relatively short period, sometime between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Possible:
"Capable of happening, existing, or being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances."
http://oxforddictionaries.com...


Rules
1.Agree to the definitions.
2.First round is for acceptance.
3.The debate may go into a second "session" if the debaters are not finished in the 5th round, in which case we will urge the voters to vote this debate a tie and withhold determinging a winner until secondary rounds can be completed. Both Pro and Con must agree on whether or not to do so.
4.New Evidence and contentions can be brought in anyround except the first.
5.have fun!
~Alex
MysticEgg

Con

I accept and agree to the rules; I sincerely hope this will be a fun and eye-opening debate; and this won't be some "technically, according to the title" debate. Nevertheless, I took a risk and I hope it will pay off. I await my opponent's opening case.
Debate Round No. 1
PonticComet

Pro

Thank you and I have no intentions of playing lawyer style semantics and technicalities, so lets begin.

I will proceed with three contentions on why the Creation story that we find within the
Abrahamic religions is "Capable of happening, existing, or being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances."

1.Scientific Revolutions
Science and thus our understanding of the natural laws of the universe are in flux and thus are subject to paradigm shifts. For instance imagine being a Chinese scholar 1400 years ago and investigating illness. You would know from contemporary scientific understanding to look for the presence of Miasma in the region. This was the paradigm of understanding and thus theories and research alike were limited until a Scientific Revolution changed the limits of understanding. Since these revolutions or paradigm shift have happened without cease and many past theories have been discredited and modified(sometimes both and then at a latter point we reclaim the original position.)it would be absurd to think that our contemporary scientific understanding will not be discredited with the passage of time. Therefore to rely on any scientific evidence as means of proving Young Earth Creationism or any other theory is both limiting and unsatisfactory grounds to demonstrate that any given theory or belief as not possible.

http://philosophy.wisc.edu... This view is credited as Thomas Kuhn's, however the Miasma piece is of my own creation.

2.Epistemological Anarchism.
On top of "Scientific Revolutions" and paradigm shifts consider the following:

-Has there throughout the history of science been a fixed scientific method?

-If there has not been a fixed scientific method then our acceptance of the contemporary method is an Authoritarian and dogmatic assumption that the scope of understanding is limited to what can be empirically proven.

-Therefore no matter how solid, even the most grounded and well proven theory in the history of science is still limited to the scientific method and paradigms of understanding.

-Since it is limited, then the best scientific theory out there and all the perceived evidence is unable to examine or provide any satisfactory answer as that that which cannot be empirically proven. This demonstrates that understanding the universe(and it's creation) is only a half truth when merely explained through the perspective of science.

Ex. The famous creationist suggestion as god created the fossil record and the appearance of an old Universe to test our faith. Well God as a metaphysical concept and his ability to create the appearance of an old universe is wholly unpardonable nor is there any evidence to suggest such a claim is true. There is no way of telling if it is correct or not, the decision to put faith in that claim is up to you. However since Science cannot give us a definite answer, it is unable to provide us with the conclusion that we must disregard the possibility that the aforenoted creationist and Young Earth Creationism all together. This means despite how many scientific laws and facts have been gathered against YEC, YEC is still possible as the "laws and facts" are subjected to the contemporary paradigms of understanding and limits of scientific universe to that which is empirical and therefore material.

http://monoskop.org... This insight has been posited by Paul Feyerbend, I have applied his insight to a topical example.

Descartes' Doubt
Now lets take this to the highest level of skepticism, as found in Section IV of "A discourse on Method"-Rene Descartes.
Descartes proposes to us the following terrifying reduction:
1. Our perceptions of what is real depends on our senses and mind.
2. Our senses have the ability to be false and our mind has the ability of delusions.
3. If both one and two are true then there is no way for us to determine anything is true or false(let alone empirically evident), except for our own existence as for us to be able to think about this there must be something that is doing the thinking.
4. If three is true then the only thing then our understandings of the universe and it's nature could all be a fantasy, and since that possibility exists it is certainly rational that Young Earth Creations is not only possible but an equally valid to any other theory of the creation of the universe as we cannot show anything is absolute beyond our own existence.

points 1-3 are Rene's (and can be found in the source I listed above) and 4 is of my own creation.

Now it is up for Con for his opening arguments!

MysticEgg

Con

I thank my opponent for his arguments; I will now respond.

Opponent's Contention 1: You can't trust science! (That's a paraphrase, obviously).
My opponent states that (again, I'm paraphrasing), science is always revising, updating, and changing its mind. Therefore, to take science on face value is absurd, because it will almost certainly change its mind again in the future.

This is partially true. For example, we once thought the Earth was flat. Now however, we don't *think* that the Earth is flat; we know that the Earth is an oblate spheroid[1] - and no future discovery of science will ever change that fact. It doesn't matter how we interpret science in the future in other areas that are being constantly updated, such as quantum mechanics, because that will not affect the shape of the Earth in any way. My opponent appears to clump science together as a whole, implying that one new discovery in one area will somehow change everything we think we know about science. This is simply not true.

Now we must take a look at Young Earth Creationism, specifically, the "young Earth" part. Is the Earth young? No. The Earth is ~4.55 billion years[2]. Will this number change as our understanding of science grows? Yes, of course it will, but will it change to between 5,700 and 10,000 years? No. There is so much evidence for an old Earth, such as geochronology[3].

Opponent's Contention 2: Laws and facts keep changing based on our understanding - so we don't know if it is a true "law" or a true "fact". (Looks like a "you cannot trust science" argument that has been re-phrased).

I am struggling to find a difference between my opponent's first and second contentions. One basically said, "you can't trust [our understanding of] science because it keeps changing" and the other basically said "you can't trust our understanding of science [because it keeps changing]".

To refute this, I will sum up my opponent's argument as I understand it. If I sum it up wrong, please let me know!
"How do you know that we can trust the scientific method?"
The answer is simple: it works. (The video at the top answers this question brilliantly - Richard Dawkins on it)
When you base things off science, it works. If it doesn't, you didn't base it off science, you think you did. Through science, we have built cars, planes, trains etc... Have they changed over the years? Yes. But have the fundamental properties changed? No. This is a very good analogy:
A car has changed over the years. A future discovery has changed our understanding of science so we can improve upon the original car. But our change in knowledge hasn't stopped it being a car. Now take the car as rocks, fossils etc..., the improvements as accuracy, and science as the science of geology. Same thing. It will not change to stop it being a car.

Opponent's Contention 3:
"1. Our perceptions of what is real depends on our senses and mind.
2. Our senses have the ability to be false and our mind has the ability of delusions.
3. If both one and two are true then there is no way for us to determine anything is true or false(let alone empirically evident), except for our own existence as for us to be able to think about this there must be something that is doing the thinking.
4. If three is true then the only thing then our understandings of the universe and it's nature could all be a fantasy, and since that possibility exists it is certainly rational that Young Earth Creations is not only possible but an equally valid to any other theory of the creation of the universe as we cannot show anything is absolute beyond our own existence."

This argument can (and I suspect will) go round and round in circles.
One of the following is true:
1) This argument was formulated by a true (opposite of false) and non-delusional mind. Or:
2) This argument was formulated by a false and delusional mind.

If the former is true, then the argument is refuted, because clearly we can tell when a mind is rational or not.
If the latter is true, then we cannot trust the argument, as the person that thought of it was false and deluded, thus, untrustworthy.

This will doubtless go back and forth. But one way, it's refuted and the other way, it's not trustworthy.

Now onto my arguments.

First, my opponent has taken the burden of proof of proving that:
"the religous belief the Universe, Earth and all life on Earth were created by direct acts of the Abrahamic God during a relatively short period, sometime between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago" is possible. However, my opponent has not attempted to show how the Abrahamic God is possible, thus he has not fulfilled his burden. My opponent might go into the fallacy of equivocation of "God is possible, because science has not proved the concept to be impossible". This was hinted by my opponent:
"There is no way of telling if it is correct or not, the decision to put faith in that claim is up to you. However since Science cannot give us a definite answer, it is unable to provide us with the conclusion that we must disregard the possibility"

First, I will say that science makes no comment on the supernatural. So without it being first proved that God can be natural, which my opponent has not done, science's lack of a comment is not an argument. However, my opponent and myself both agreed to the definition of YEC being "carried out" as it were, by the Abrahamic God. The Abrahamic God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipresent. However:
If God is willing, but not able,
then God is not omnipotent.
If God is able, but not willing,
then God is malevolent (not omnibenevolent).
If God is both able and willing,
then whence cometh evil?
If God is not able nor willing,
Then why call him God? (Not omnipotent).

Without this being refuted, this disproves the idea of the Abrahamic God existing. Since it has not yet been refuted, I have shown how my opponent cannot meet his burden of proof.

For now, I will leave it at that; I thank my opponent, the voters, the audience; I await your response(s)!

Source(s):

[1]http://www.ngs.noaa.gov...
[2]http://www.talkorigins.org...
[3]http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
PonticComet

Pro

Now For Rebuttal.
1. Faith In Science.

"we once thought the Earth was flat. Now however, we don't *think* that the Earth is flat; we know that the Earth is an oblate spheroid[1] - and no future discovery of science will ever change that fact."

Our contemporary understanding of the Earth as not flat and infact an Oblate Spheroid.
However Chinese Academia, and the 1/4th of humanity that lived there supported the paradigm of a Flat-Earth
just as you and many today hold the view of the world as an Oblate Spheroid. It is not only impossible but irrational
to assume that our paradigm no matter how much evidence nor how reasonable it appears today will be consistent today.
We however can affirm from history the paradigm shifts in virtually all fields of science.

"Will this number change as our understanding of science grows? Yes, of course it will, but will it change to between 5,700 and 10,000 years?"

You yourself that Science will change and the date in which our earth came into existence will continue to change in the future. However you are ruling it an impossibility that it will fall between the dates of 5,700 and 10,000 years ago. To prove this you introduce a school of thought which is the creation of our current scientific paradigm. You are correct in that this particular field of science exists, however what evidence can you provide that in the future it will not be discredited and abandoned?

2. Epistemological Anarchism.
It was a criticism of Science and it's inability to satisfy our want to understand the universe as it is wholly limited to
that which can be empirically proven. It can only understand the material universe and has no way of proving or disproving any metaphysical concept. beyond that our scientific method is not fixed and has throughout history changed. Richard Dawkins, the same fellow who goes to religious schools and calls relic's studies child abuse is right in saying contemporary scientific method is wonderful at technological progress. However that is utterly meaningless as to whether or not it can answer metaphysical questions and rule out the possibility of Young Earth Creationism. Also I will give you a chance to clarify, are you saying that the field of geology is not subject to paradigm shifts and only differs on the matters of accuracy?

I will reiterate as I do not see as it has been refuted:
"This means despite how many scientific laws and facts have been gathered against YEC, YEC is still possible as the "laws and facts" are subjected to the contemporary paradigms of understanding and limits of scientific universe to that which is empirical and therefore material."

3. Descartes' Doubt

It would be impossible to tell which mind created it. instead the third position is true: We cannot know whether or not the mind that created the argument is delusional or not. He nor any of us can know what is truly real or not. Certainly we cannot rule out any given belief or theory on the assumption that were non-delusional.

My Opponent's Arguments

The Burden of Proof is not shared?

I agree Science does fail to provide us which any way of knowing if the Abrahamic God is real or not.
However your Metaphysical conundrum is fascinating and shall be addressed.

If God is willing, but not able,
then God is not omnipotent.
If God is able, but not willing,
then God is malevolent (not omnibenevolent).
If God is both able and willing,
then whence cometh evil?
If God is not able nor willing,
Then why call him God? (Not omnipotent).

What our citing here is the old theological conundrum of the"Problem Of Evil."

The solution to this conundrum is best described in the following summary, credited to William Lane Craig:
We are not in a good position to assess the probability of whether God has morally sufficient reasons for the evils that occur. As finite persons, we are limited in time, space, intelligence, and insight. But the transcendent and sovereign God sees the end from the beginning and providentially orders history so that His purposes are ultimately achieved through human free decisions. In order to achieve His ends, God may have to put up with certain evils along the way. Evils which appear pointless to us within our limited framework may be seen to have been justly permitted within God’s wider framework. narily sensitive to the tiniest perturbations. A butteTo borrow an illustration from a developing field of science, Chaos Theory, scientists have discovered that certain macroscopic systems, for example, weather systems or insect populations, are extraordibutterfly fluttering on a branch in West Africa may set in motion forces which would eventually issue in a hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean. Yet it is impossible in principle for anyone observing that butterfly palpitating on a branch to predict such an outcome. The brutal murder of an innocent man or a child’s dying of leukemia could produce a sort of ripple effect through history such that God’s morally sufficient reason for permitting it might not emerge until centuries later and perhaps in another land. When you think of God’s providence over the whole of history, I think you can see how hopeless it is for limited observers to speculate on the probability that God could have a morally sufficient reason for permitting a certain evil. We’re just not in a good position to assess such probabilities.
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

While Scientific Chaos Theory may or may not be true within that paradigm of thought it is clear to us that we cannot assume that which we to see as evil will not set into motion something that is beneficial and something we do not see as evil will set into motion something very destructive. However you are operating on the assumption that we do not have free will. God may have the power to intervene to stop all acts of evil, He may be a being that always favours what is good, however must it always be him who must act? Are we not given the Free Will of whether or not to create virtue or evil?
Was it not Lucifer who rebelled against God's benevolence and Hell is to be the eternal punishment for those who act against God's Omnibenevolence? Regardless of how we interpret Free Will and how God interacts with evil, it does not refute the possibility of the Abrahamic God existing and having the ability to perform the necessary role in Young Earth Creationism.

I will now turn it over to Con to introduce some new material, provide rebuttal's to my three contentions and defend that the "Problem Of Evil" makes it for an Abrahamic God to exist.

MysticEgg

Con

I thank my opponent for his contentions and refutes. Allow me to respond.

Opponent's Contention 1: You can't trust science.
"It is not only impossible but irrational to assume that our paradigm no matter how much evidence nor how reasonable it appears today will be consistent today."
Why? My opponent implies that huge breakthroughs in science have affected the whole of science. This simply isn't true. For example, the increased understanding of astronomy allowed us change our understanding of geography, true. But it didn't change our understanding of biology or quantum mechanics. The theory of evolution, arguably one of best theories ever in science, didn't change our understanding of physics. No breakthrough in one scientific field will affect all the others. Why? To put it in my opponent's layout:
Not one breakthrough in science has ever affected the whole of science. Therefore, it would be irrational to assume that this will happen in the future.
"We however can affirm from history the paradigm shifts in virtually all fields of science."
Yes, our understanding grows. But it solidifies our previous understandings; rather than chuck it out the window.
So, I can infer that:
Our shifts in understandings of a scientific field have not completely removed the foundations of that field, historically. Therefore, it would be irrational to assume that it will do so in the future. If that field was geology, for example, then while our understanding will grow, it will not "throw out" what we know already.

"You yourself that Science will change and the date in which our earth came into existence will continue to change in the future. However you are ruling it an impossibility that it will fall between the dates of 5,700 and 10,000 years ago."
Yes. Because it has always become more accurate and precise. Imagine zooming in on a number. We will continue to zoom in, but it won't zoom out towards the low thousands.

"what evidence can you provide that in the future it will not be discredited and abandoned?" In a sense, the same you are providing. Historical remembrance and predictions based off it. A basis of science has never been lost. Like layers. These layers are being built and improved in very minor ways. But the foundations have never changed.

Opponent's Contention 2:
"It was a criticism of Science and it's inability to satisfy our want to understand the universe..." I think my opponent is confusing science with our understanding of science. Science explains everything natural. Anything metaphysical/supernatural, science can't and won't make any comment on, because it goes against science. Science explains the natural. However, it should be pointed out that I have found no evidence of anything supernatural. This might become technical:
P1: Natural and supernatural contradict each other.
P2: Existence is a property of naturality (is that a word?).
C: The supernatural cannot exist.

(("Richard Dawkins, the same fellow who goes to religious schools and calls relic's studies child abuse..." He does? This is off topic, I understand, but could you provide a link or a source? I know he calls "telling children they will burn in the fires of Hell" and "a child's proper education is blocked by religion" child abuse. Never heard of him doing that, though. Oh well, getting back.))

"are you saying that the field of geology is not subject to paradigm shifts and only differs on the matters of accuracy?" I'm glad for the chance! I'm saying that geology, as with most (but not all) scientific fields, are not subject to shifts in our understanding big enough to completely re-work the foundations of it. Geography was once, but not geology.

Opponent's Contention 3: Descartes' Doubt
"We cannot know whether or not the mind that created the argument is delusional or not." That's true. But the two options of "was the mind delusional?" or "was the mind rational?" aren't ruled out. Just because we don't know something doesn't mean that the answers are excluded. Those are the only two options. Whether or not we can find an answer to these options is another matter.

I believe this will go round in circles. ((It might be mutually beneficial to exclude this contention? It's your call, though.)) Since there is no third option, just an unknown as to how we can tell which of the two options are true; we will continue to go round in circles.

Note 1: The burden of proof.
It is standard for the burden of proof to rest on the one making the positive assertion. I would assume that my burden would be to refute your contentions, as to stop you from meeting your burden. If you want it to be shared, though, I don't mind.

Contention 1: The Problem of Evil.
My opponent's/WLC's refute I will sum up as follows:
"We cannot understand God's actions or will, as we are mortal and thus have a limited perception of things."
If that is true, then one cannot understand God at all. So:

P1: We cannot understand God.
P2: One cannot make logical arguments about things one does not understand.
C: One cannot make any logical argument argument for God.

Which means that my opponent cannot meet his burden. This is another argument that could just go round in circles; I hope we will find a resolution, though.
"Regardless of how we interpret Free Will and how God interacts with evil, it does not refute the possibility of the Abrahamic God existing and having the ability to perform the necessary role in Young Earth Creationism."
That's true, although if the refute is true, then you cannot meet your burden, nonetheless.

Contention 2: Proof that my opponent cannot provide any proof for his assertion!
This sounds silly, but I will introduce this contention anyway, and see how it goes down.

P1. Humans will never have the cognitive capacity to directly understand anything with infinite powers or qualities.
P2. Humans will never have intellectual reasons to indirectly demonstrate the existence of anything with infinite powers or qualities.
P3. There are only two kinds of proofs for God: direct understanding or indirect demonstration.
C: Humans will never have any proofs for God. (Including my opponent).

Premise one is easy enough, because a finite amount of x cannot hold an infinite amount of y.
Premise two follows from premise one.
Premise three is true. There is no other way of a proof for God.

Unless the three premises are proved to be false, the conclusion follows logically from the three premises.

I believe that will be all for now; I will eagerly await my opponent's response(s)!
Debate Round No. 3
PonticComet

Pro

PonticComet forfeited this round.
MysticEgg

Con

It is a shame that my opponent has forfeited the round. However, I will hope that he can get back to it soon; wish him the best, and extend all of my refutes and contentions.

Debate Round No. 4
PonticComet

Pro

PonticComet forfeited this round.
MysticEgg

Con

Well, it seem that it's another forfeit; this is indeed a pity. Nevertheless, I will state now that I do not wish to continue this debate onto another page - so I will ask voters to vote according to this debate alone and not to expect another one.

Extend all arguments and refutes.

I would like to offer a big thank you to my opponent, PonticComet, for an entertaining and stimulating debate. I hope we may debate again in the future! Another thank you to the audience and the voters for taking the time to read this far - I will hopefully see you soon, too! :D

See you around, and with kindest regards,

J
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
YEC stems from human perceptions alone, no science was ever used in devising it. A pure product of human misconception. Science in such cases is irrelevant.

Even Buddhism has taught for thousands of years that human perceptions of reality and spirituality are all illusions, none of them actually exist as humans perceive them to exist.
Neurology has confirmed that Buddhism is indeed right.
Everything we perceive by our senses is altered by our brains, so we rarely see, feel, taste, smell or hear things as they actually are. This applies to our own recorded experiences and spiritual visions within our minds. These are composed of the same misconceptions of reality that our brains conjured up from our sensory inputs.
This is where Science plays it's vital role.
Science is the attempt to determine how much of our perceptions of the world are real, through rigorous testing them against others perceptions of reality, to finally produce a more factual picture of reality.
This is essentially what science is all about.

Sorting the real from the imaginary.
This is why we are better off trusting science when it comes to determining what is real and what is not.
Because that is it's original and prime purpose!
Posted by daniel_t 3 years ago
daniel_t
One thing to keep in mind... In science truth is provisional but falsehood is absolute. No amount of evidence can conclusively prove that the universe is X years old, no matter what the value of X is, but evidence *can* prove that the universe is *not* Y years old for a very large range of values for Y.
Posted by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
Come on...six hours left, please come online...
Posted by PonticComet 3 years ago
PonticComet
Plausible means that it is probable, which would really limit our debate to science only. However if the scientific evidence is so overwhelming that without a doubt Con proves that it is not possible for "it being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances" then it he/she is victorious.
Posted by PonticComet 3 years ago
PonticComet
Possible: "Capable of happening, existing, or being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances." Fair Compromise?
Posted by ObiWan 3 years ago
ObiWan
Even something along the lines of 'YEC is a reasonable belief' or YEC is plausible
Posted by dannyc 3 years ago
dannyc
This debate is pretty rediculous. I could say anything is possible. A reasonable debate is 'YEC is supported by scientific evidence' or 'YEC is more plausible than evolution'.
Posted by stubs 3 years ago
stubs
I would love to do more debates like this, but the way you posted it makes it unwinnable for con. You could just say, "God made the universe look 13.7 billion years old and gave us all the evidence for that, but it's possible that he did all that, when actually, its only thousands of years old." and you won the debate right there.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
PonticCometMysticEggTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Nothing in science is known with absolute certainty, so an arguemnt might be made by straining the idea of "possible." That's done with the God the Trickster argument, that says God chose to create all the evidence of an old earth. Pro didn't take that route and chose to stay within the realm of consistency with established science. That's hopeless, and Con made the right arguments. Pro loses conduct for the forfeits.
Vote Placed by sweetbreeze 3 years ago
sweetbreeze
PonticCometMysticEggTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited and Con used more sources.
Vote Placed by Enji 3 years ago
Enji
PonticCometMysticEggTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro defined possible in R1 as "Capable of happening, existing, or being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances". Instead of arguing that YEC was possible, Pro ended up arguing against this definition of possible - arguing that since known facts, laws, and circumstances have been subject to change / paradigm shifts throughout the history of science, YEC can still be possible despite contradicting known facts and laws. Con argues that it is not possible for changes in our understanding of science to be significant enough for YEC to be true without contradicting known facts and laws, hence YEC is not possible. Arguments to Con. Pro forfeits after R3, Conduct to Con.