The Instigator
Pro (for)
14 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Young Earth Creationism is a False Theology

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/15/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 283 times Debate No: 87700
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)




1. Be civil
2. Round 1 is acceptance for Con
3. Round 2 is Exegesis and Biblical arguments
4. Round 3 is Scientific Arguments
5. Round 4 is Theological Arguments
6. Round 5 is Conclusion

Pro: Young Earth Creationism is a false theology
Con: Young Earth Creationism is factual theology

This debate will be on three fronts:

1. Biblical
In this, we will exegete the Scriptures and provide evidence for or against our side

2. Scientific
In this, we will lay out scientific evidence for our side

3. Theological
In this, we will lay out theological argument for or against our side

Please limit rebuttals to about 1/3 to 1/2 of your round

Burden of proof is shared


I cannot wait to hear this Biblical case.
Debate Round No. 1


Well, when I set up this debate, it had five rounds. Don't know why it's three now, but that's ok. We can limit it to Biblical and theological arguments, since this is more of a theological debate, dropping scientific arguments, though it seems those are certainly more on the sign of one who accepts evolution. No matter, however.

My Biblical argument will be Three-Fold:

The Genesis Account Contradicts Itself

The Genesis Account Contains Ancient Cosmology

The Genesis Account is not literally accepted by YEC

1. The Genesis Account Contradicts Itself
Genesis 1-2 is filled with contradictions. In modern historical criticism of the Old Testament, we have identified some points that indicate the Torah is actually a combination of several different text sources. This can clearly be seen in Genesis 1-2. Genesis 1 uses one source, while Genesis 2 uses another.

Here's a few contradictions and changes between Genesis 1-2

1. Does God create plants before man, or man before plants?

Genesis 1:11, 26
And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so... So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him:male and female he created them."

Genesis 2:5-7, 9a
"When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground,and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground—then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature... And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food."

In Genesis 1, God makes plants before man. In Genesis 2, God makes man before plants. My opponent will no doubt try to find a way around this, but let me explain. The Hebrew word for plant, 'eseb, is used in Genesis 1 and 2. Genesis 1:30 backs up this interpretation when it says that Elohim created ALL the plants for food. Genesis 1 and 2 makes no differentiation between types of plants.

2. The Genesis Account Contains Ancient Cosmology

“The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” (1:2) Nowhere in Genesis does God create water. This may seem puzzling to a modern reader, but an ancient reader, or listener in a more oral culture, would have easily understood this. Some origin myths contained an eternal chaos and water from which the universe, and all in it, was birthed.

There are other Bible verses that give the exact same idea of an eternal ocean. Perhaps the most overlooked is 2 Peter 3:5 “For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,”

“Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”” (1:6) The next day begins, and God starts the next process of sculpting, the final one that we will look at. Yet again, the eternal waters are presented. This time, however, the waters are being separated. The casual observer does not think too deeply about this passage, and the meaning can be lost.

The word “waters” in Hebrew is of great importance to understanding the original meaning of this text. Is this a literal water used literal or a figurative term, perhaps for the atmosphere? The root word used is מָ֫יִם is used, which connotes both water like would be normally conceived, and the eternal waters. The same word is used in Genesis 6-9 to connote the flood. It is used both as a literal word for water and with the idea of the eternal waters.

The concept of “expanse” is also translated as “firmament” or “vault” in some translations. To support an ocean of literal water to flood the earth chapters later, would not this firmament need to be a solid form, but is that also not a preposterous statement? The word for expanse may have meant a flattened sheet of metal, as the verbal form implies, or ice. Josephus even gives commentary that the latter is the correct interpretation when he says Elohim created a “crystalline” around the earth.

Bible Exegesis Conclusion: Genesis 1 is actually a mix of two different, contradictory narratives, and contains cosmology of a solid dome sky and eternal water. It is an ancient myth, not a science textbook.

3. The Genesis Account is NOT Literally Accepted by YEC.

Young Earth Creationists actually do not take the Bible "literally" in this passage. If they did, they would have to accept what the ancients believed: the sky was a solid dome, the earth was created from water, and therefore all we know from science is bunk, even a round earth or that we revolve around the sun.

However, a YEC picks and chooses what to take literally, and what to ignore, ending in a failed hodge-podge interpretation that ignores the meaning of the text then, and what it means for us today.



As to your first argument, even assume your claim is true (it is not), you argument is a non-sequitur. Whether Gen 1 and 2 contradict has no bearing on the issue of the truth or falsehood of YEC. Learn logic, please.

As to your second argument, nothing in the verses cited speak of "eternal waters". To the contrary, Gen 1:1 indicates the universe had a beginning. Try harder next time.

As to your third argument, we again have a non-sequitur. One does not have to accept any ancient believe to take Genesis account literally, especially to the degree they contradict. You are using works when you do not even know what they mean. Indeed, you have not established that the text mean anything other than what it says.

And how do you know anything from science? Are you a credentialed scientist? if so, what papers have you published that contain your conclusions from your scientific research?

As to my argument, it is simple, adding the ages stated in the Bible for men when they had their children and then adding six days, we get a young universe.

Please do not waste my time with ignorance. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 2


Well, my opponent did not seem to put forth any arguments himself, and simply accused me of ignorance, so let's clarify a few thing:

1. My opponent did not put forth any of his own exegesis on the last round.

2. My opponent did not address the firmament as an ancient cosmology.

3. My opponent did not address the exegesis of the waters directly. His only argument against it was: "nothing in the verses cited speak of "eternal waters"" Despite my arguments that it did. Basically "Nu-uh."

4. My opponent did not actually address my argument that Genesis 1 and 2 contradict. He only claims it is not without back-up.

That being said, I will provide a short rebuttal before continuing to theological arguments.

And since my opponent asked for any credentials, I will provide them. I am a second year ancient history and language studies student with a moderate degree of Hebrew language knowledge.

That being said, I will try to explain this next part as well as I can:

Hebrew word " בָּרָא"

Genesis 1:1 in English says "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

In Hebrew, that would be:

בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ

earth-Accusative-Heavens - Acc. - God------Bara-----In the Beginning

Notice I did not translate what would be the verse "created." In Hebrew, the verb usually comes before the noun, and the objects it is modifying have the object of the accusative pointing them out. Bara, the untranslated word, does not mean "created" in an Ex Nihilo sense.

Instead, it's more of a forming, choosing, building, or shaping sense out of pre-existing material. (1) It does not have a very good equivalent in English. Take for instance this usage in Ezekiel 21:19

" "Son of man, mark (bara) out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to take, both starting from the same country. Make (bara) a signpost where the road branches off to the city." "

Obviously God isn't commanding a mortal man to created a sign out of nothing. It's a word of molding. This goes quite well with a more ancient view of cosmology where the god or gods creates from the eternal waters, a concept we've already established.

Here's the Enuma Elish Babylonian Creation Story to give a similar account. Apsu and Tia-mat were ancient chaos water forms(2):

" When the heavens above did not exist,

2 And earth beneath had not come into being—

3 There was Apsû, the first in order, their begetter,

4 And demiurge Tia-mat, who gave birth to them all;

5 They had mingled their waters together..."

Even when nothing else existed, the waters did. Same as in Genesis, where water is used to form, not created.

And if you don't accept that, which Young Earth Creationists don't, you're not truly taking the account "literally."

Now, onto theological arguments

Theological Arguments Against Young Earth Creationism:

I will have three arguments against Young Earth Creationism:

1. It is not necessary

2. It is not consistent with God's character

3. It is a new theology historically not used by the church

1. It is not necessary

One argument I hear consistently from YEC's is that the Genesis account, including sin, is 100% necessary for the Gospel narrative. This is simply not the case. We all have our own sins before God. We do not need a magic sin that does not exist to make us do wrong things. We do a good job all by ourselves. In fact, it is dangerous to blame out "sin nature," making it seem like our actions are not our fault. We need salvation apart from a literal Adam and Eve or a literal fall. We still sin.

Romans 3:23

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard

Isaiah 53:6

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.

2. It does not align with God's character

God is a just God, and He is a loving God (Is. 30:18, Job 34:12, 1 John 4:8, John 15:3)

In that, He judges fairly and loves all people equally. One who is just would not punish descendants for the crimes of the grandfather or father, much less a ancestor 6,000 years ago. Consider this verse:

Ezekiel 18:19-20

“Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live.The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself."

God punishes or rewards for one's own responsible actions.

3. It is a new theology in the church.

Strict YEC is a new and whip-lash reaction to evolution. However, this is not a theology that has historically been concrete in the past. Augustine interpreted the passage with a lot of metaphorical spiritual flare of “spiritual light” and separating “visible” and “invisible (spiritual)” things. (3) This is in stark contrast to Fundamentalists who like to claim their view is the only orthodox one.


My conclusion, then, is that YEC is not only an unnecessary, inconsistent, and falsely claiming orthodoxy, it is incoherent with the text itself, which contains ample examples of ancient cosmology and mythology that a Young Earth Creationist would have to ignore in order to keep their position.




3)Various, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Genesis 1-11 Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2001.



In other words you are not a scientist. I will treat your scientific claims accordingly.

As to Gen 1:1, "bara" does not imply a need for pre-existing material and the context is to the contrary, for it we are dealing with the beginning, there would be nothing to create out of. And no, rejecting your nonsensical claims does not mean one is not taking Gen 1:1 literally.

And it I necessary if that is what the text says, which it does. No question begging.

It does align with God's character, your silly understanding of that character or justice not with standing . God is perfect just in punishing the children for the crimes of their ancestors and even says He does this in Ex 20:5.

History is not relevant to the issue. The issue is does the Bible teach it or does it not, a Q you are doing your best to dodge.

Now, about those dates?
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ViceRegent 7 months ago
It is ok. Since the debate concerns theology, we can jettison the science round.
Posted by Questions-Answers 7 months ago
You didn't put enough rounds to hold 3 different debates. You're going to have to squish two into one round.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by logicinlife 7 months ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: I do not believe the age of the earth is important when looking through a biblical worldview, and I still hold such a belief after the debate. However, Pro clearly presented an actual argument while Con was uncivil and did not really say much of anything. I would encourage Pro to attempt a rematch with someone a bit more worthy.
Vote Placed by XVIII18 7 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument, or lack of one, proved to be rather condescending to Pro in that he called his arguments "illogical" and provided nothing in return.
Vote Placed by iTruthSeeker 7 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro gave consistent and compelling arguments. Among them were: the contradictions in the OT accounts, Ancient cosmology. These were not fully rebutted by Con which amounted in his rebuttals including opinions and common misconceptions that were already rebutted in Pros opening argument (Hebrew term for waters). This debate goes to Pro