Young earth creationism is probable
Debate Rounds (4)
Definitions can be hammered out in the comments if needed.
First round is not acceptance. My opponent must immediately post his argument in the first round. Good luck.
I would like to thank Pro for offering this open debate. I intend to tackle this question of the age if huge Earth from two fronts. Firstly from presuppositionalism and secondly via. scientific enquiry. I wish us both a good debate, and best of luck.
Knowledge - Justified True Belief
Before dealing with the evidence at hand, one needs an epistemological basis for which they interpret said evidence, and the conclusions that can be drawn from them are hinged upon the grounding of one's worldview. The epistimological problem of induction, and hence scientific enquiry in secular circles is well known to philosophers.
Take the following statement:
The only source of truth is scientific.
This single statement is obviously self-refuting, there is no way to scientifically demonstrate that statement, and even if there was, then it would become a viciously circular argument.
When interpreting evidence we use our reasoning and logic, but by what means can we know if our reasoning and logic are valid? Con cannot say he uses his reasoning to justify his reasoning, because of course this is obviously another viciously circular argument.
Pro needs to demonstrate his reasoning and logic are valid, and failure to do so renders all arguments against mine futile. From which I will establish my first contention.
IV. Contention 1 - God & Scripture needs to be presupposed in order to justify one's logic and reasoning
The key difference between the scriptural Christian worldview and a secular one, is that God provides innate knowledge of his existence to his people. There are several passages in scripture that attest to this, such as John 5:7, Corinthians 2:9"16 and Matthew 11:25"27. The latter of these reads:
"All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
Since God himself is a properly basic known fact, it follows that one's reasoning and logic and therefore justified, and be claimed to be valid.
P1. Without presupposing God & Scripture to be true, one cannot justify their reasoning & logic.
P2. Not justifying one's reason & logic is epistemological suicide.
C. To justifiably use logic & reasoning, we therefore must presuppose God & Scripture.
Premise 2 is rather self-evident to anyone. And I have supported Premise 1 above, Con needs to show why the argument is unsound, otherwise we automatically follow onto my second contention.
V. Scripture clearly depicts a 6,000 year old Earth.
God created the world in six days, and by following the genealogies in the books of Genesis, Exodus and Kings. By taking the age of various scriptural characters when they gave birth to their relevant son from Adam through to Kings, which depicts the Exile of Judah. The events of the exile of Judah we can link to our historical records which completes the genealogy to yield an age if roughly 6150 years. (http://creation.com...)
The validity of this argument depends on the presuppositional argument given.
VI. Scientific Evidences - Helium Diffusion Studies
There have been a number of independent scientific studies into the age of the Earth. One comprehensive study by Humphries and co-workers measured the helium diffusion rates of zircon crystals found by drilling in 'Precambrian' rock layers (allegedly >550 million years old) in New Mexico. Their findings were rather compelling, but let me give a little background first.
Zircon crystals are some of the allegedly oldest minerals found today. It's not hard to see why, since zirconium oxide (zircon) is a highly durable material, and yield well to secular dating methods due to uranium a chemical similarity to zirconium, being readily able to substitute for zirconium in the crystal lattice. In helium diffusion dating, the helium that is invariably produced by radioactive decay of uranium and other elements is measured. Given that zircon crystals retain the helium produced by radioactive decay (akin to how MOF crystals effectively retain other gasses) we can obtain an estimate of the material's age.
The results of the RATE team's project are summarised in the diagram given in the link below (apologies as I am typing on my phone as I am away from home so I cannot paste pictures).
By extrapolating the dates obtained to what would be the age of the earliest material on earth, the predictions fall slap bang onto a 6,000 year old Earth hypothesis!
One prediction of secular scientists are that the galaxy should be a firework show of exploding supernovas. These events (~3 per year) will accumulate over time. Given the secular claims of allegedly billions for these supernova remnants to accumulate over, we would expect MUCH more than the measure 200 that are currently visible within our own galaxy (the Crab Nebula included). [3,4]
The only comment NASA have made in the matter are that these remenants are "mysteriously missing". However if this data is taken at face value, we can extrapolate the data and find that an age of ~ 10,000 years for the Milky Way is found!
VIII. Galaxies are spinning too fast!
It has long been known that galaxies should be flying apart with the tremendous rates at which they are rotating. There simply isn't enough mass within them to hold them together.  This problem has puzzled scientists for decades, and remains an unsolved 'problem' today.
But taking the conventional view of what must be the case, it is clear that these galaxies are but a recent creation, and simply have not had enough time to fly apart yet.
The case is pretty much open and shut, I wish my opponent luck in his rebuttals...
Now, obviously, his argument is divided into two main parts: presuppositional and scientific evidence. I'll go on to rebut each part in that order
Rebuttal to presuppositional evidences
Now, according to my opponent, your initial bias will determine your outlook on evidence. This is true to an extent, but considering all the different viewpoints, is knowledge and truth subjective in this way? If what my opponent says is true, my presuppositions and evidences can be just as valid as my opponent if not more so.
He has stated that God is a properly known fact among other things without at least giving a reason to believe they could be true. The BoP is on Pro to show why they are so.
My opponent has simply stated his axiom and hasn't given any reason to believe it should hold any water, so the first part of his argument is invalid. I ask him to please do so.
Rebuttal to scientific evidences
This argument was debunked almost ten years ago, allow me to show how. This theory rests on a few statements which I'll proceed to refute.
Statement 1: "Note that although helium in a balloon will float, helium when unenclosed will just mix evenly with all the other gases, as per normal gas behaviour."
It's well known that in any system that the less dense molecules will rise. Yes the Helium will mix to an extent but ultimately it will end up in the upper atmosphere and escape, it has an estimated atmospheric lifetime of about 1-2 million years so assuming conditions don't change there will be a complete atmospheric turnover of Helium every 2 million years. (
Of course this assumes that volcanic eruptions and meteorite impacts have never occurred on the planet. Both of these would increase the rate of helium loss as they throw vast amounts of material into the atmosphere, resulting in more molecular collisions which brings us to the next incorrect assumption.
Statement 2: "Collisions between atoms slow them down"
Collisions between atoms transfer energy dependant upon the mechanics of the collision. A large molecule colliding with a helium nucleus travelling at a slower rate in the same direction will not slow the helium down.
I'm also skeptical of the rate of Helium degassing that they quote. An example would be the U238 (the most common) - Th234 that they use. This has a half life of 4.4 Billion years and thus would not produce anything like the alpha emission required for 67 grams of helium a second.
As for the zircon section. I would be very curious to know how they measured the helium diffusion rates. There's a very interesting section in one of the links i've posted about them having done the experiment in a vacuum and therefore have innaccurate rates. In addition as most of the earth's radioactive decay takes place in the core and lower mantle they need to factor in the time it would take to get to the surface before they can make a claim that there are 67 grams/s escaping to the atmosphere.
The full debunking of this can be read here.(1)
Refutation of supernova argument
An essay by Dave Moore on the pro-evolution web site, The TalkOrigins Archives, sheds some additional information on SNRs (signal to noise ratios) and a young earth. (2) He writes:
Most SNRs don't follow the standard four phase model. He cites five circumstances that can cause major changes in the SNR process.
An 1994 article by Keith Davies appears to be the first piece of creation science literature that links supernovae data with a young universe. It is the product of a group called Creation Discovery Project from -- of all places -- Ontario, Canada. All of the creation science web sites which discuss supernovae appear to have derived their information from this article.
The expected second stage SNRs calculated by Davies contained a mathematical error. It should be 126, rather than the 268 computed by Davies. Some creation science groups which have republished his data have corrected the value; others have not.
The number of second stage SNRs detected is not 200 as listed in Answers in Genesis. According to a listing by D.A. Green, it was 225 in the year 2001. 10 Back-calculating from this value gives an age of the universe as 11,970 years, which is outside the upper limit of 10,000 years accepted by most "young earth" creation scientists.
Of even greater concern to the creation science position is the rate at which new SNRs being discovered. There were about 160 first and second stage supernovae found in both 1997 & 1998; over 200 in 1999, and 172 in 2000. The estimated age of the universe using Davies' calculation methodology is obviously increasing over time well beyond 12,000 years.
Moore criticizes on theoretical grounds Davies' estimates of the percentage of SNRs that should be visible: 47% and 14% for second and third stage SNRs.
The estimate of one supernova per 25 years in our galaxy is based on an 1970 estimate by Gustaf Tammann. Other astronomers have estimated 50, 60, and 100 years. Tammann revised his estimate in 1994 to 40 to take advantage of new data. Using these new values, the age of the universe could be as much as quadruple the value computed by Davies, placing it many times older than the 10,000 year upper limit tolerated by young earth creation scientists.
A serious objection to Davies' calculations is that "...within a few tens of thousands of years [after the initial explosion], most of the extended remnants which have survived to 'middle-edge' are expected to merge with the interstellar medium and be unrecognizable." Thus, most SNRs can be expected to be undetectable on earth long before they reach the age of 120,300 years -- the time when Davies says the third stage begins.
But the finding that really blows Davie's calculations out of the water are the detection of at least six stage 3 SNRs. When creation scientist say that no stage 3 SNRs exist, they are just plain wrong.
The references found in creation science articles on supernovae sometimes mention that Clark and Caswell were at a loss to account for the deficits of observed SNRs. As of 2002-MAY-30, they quote Clark and Caswell:
As asking: "Why have the large number of expected remnants not been detected?"
But this quote seems to be a rhetorical question that was extracted from the following sentence: "Thus two anomalies require explanation. Why have the large number of expected remnants not been detected? Is it reasonable that E0/n should differ so greatly from our estimate for the Galaxy? Both anomalies are removed if we assumed that the N(D)-D relation has been incorrectly estimated owing to the small number of remnants used.
So in other words, the argument has been debunked.
Refutation of spinning galaxies argument
What my opponent says about galaxies spinning quickly may be true, but this provides no reason to believe that they would fly apart. The article he's cited doesn't appear to say anything about that. I ask him to please explain how this can relate to a young universe.
It appears at its face my opponent has failed to fulfill his BoP at the moment. Even if his premises were sound, they wouldn't seem to give indication of an earth that is 6150 years old. At best it could be maybe 10,000.. I look forward to him reconstructing his points. Best of luck!
I am rather surprised Con has so far pretty much dropped my arguments from presuppositionalism, as they are the most fundamental and important ones I have brought to the table so far. A piece of factual evidence means nothing alone until you interpret it with your logic and reasoning, but if you do not know your logic and reasoning are valid then once again, the interpretation means nothing, nada, zilch, zero.
Without grounding his worldview Con has pretty much satisfied P1 of my argument, which I will expand upon some more along with refuting my opponent's points.
Presuppositionalism is not what your initial bias is, but is what you ground your logic and reasoning into. According to scripture, as I provided in round 1, God provides innate knowledge of his existence into the minds of all people. He has made it known for certain that he exists, and because God by his nature is logical, then logic and reasoning is grounded in our knowledge of him.
I ask my opponent:
"Is is possible for you to be wrong about everything you claim to know?"
If the answer is no, then it follows that Pro cannot know ANYTHING whatsoever. As such he cannot justifiably make knowledge claims about ANYTHING.
The reason for this is a rather simple reducio ad absurdism which can be expressed in two ways.
First, if one can picture the entirety of knowledge, EVERYTHING that could ever possibly be known, and ever known. You can imagine this will be a staggeringly large number of things, many orders of magnitude greater than what you can ever even CLAIM to know!
Now ask yourself the question, what are the chances of anything, anything whatsoever, in this enormous bubble of the entirety of knowledge, that will contradict with each thing in this tiny bubble of what you claim to know.
That's right, it's a virtual certainty.
Second, justifications for knowledge claims are made in terms of other knowledge claims, you know X because of Y. You know Y because of Z. You know Z because of A B and C. Each progressive knowledge claim, because Con has not grounded his knowledge claims in with something of absolute certainty, is therefore an increasingly conjectural, and hence increasingly uncertain. Quickly you can see any and all knowledge claims made without presupposing the worldview of God and Scripture are unsound, and leads to absurdities as I have described.
Con may argue that we should presuppose the reasoning and logic he and the people he cites uses are valid, okay fine, tell me how we could demonstrate that their reasoning and logic are valid to even one percent?! And how would this be possible without breaking into a viciously circular reasoning cycle.
I have already stated my axiom, and the reasoning why it is a strong one in the first round. Axioms are self-evident truths, that can never be false. From the above reasoning I described how without such an axiom, you break into self-defeating logical positions. In the case of God and Scripture, for one to think they are wrong is as self defeating as to make the following claim:
"This sentence is false"
Such a statement we can never fulfil the conditions of it's own statement, or undermines it's only intelligibility. As for the case of God & Scripture, to assuming these are false is the same as assuming true to be false, and vice versa, it is a non-sensical statement. Thereby it is a self-attesting truth. Which is an important distinction with axioms over bare assertions.
Without addressing this very important argument, Con's entire case falls to pieces. For not only are the dates revealed by scripture clear-cut, but also the other physical evidences stand, as all rebuttals are based off self-refuting world-views.
II. Helium diffusion
I have seen bad rebuttals before, but I have never ever seen a highly detailed, well written rebuttal that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE EVIDENCE I PRESENTED!!!
My evidence was regarding the helium diffusion rates if zircon crystals, and not from the earth's mantle/crust, and it has nothing to do with the level of helium found in today's atmosphere. Despite it being yet another valid way of determining the age of the Earth, it is off-topic for the purposes of this specific debate.
The argument for zirconium crystals is rather simple, the zirconium crystals contained within them a high concentration of helium gas generated by radioactive decay. Now, to account for this high concentration of 'trapped' helium gas (which will inevitably diffuse out over time, as it is such a tiny molecule), either the material's diffusion rate must have been obscenely small (as indicated by the graph previously shown, nearly a million times slower), or the material itself was very young.
So when the diffusion rates were actually measured, and then compared with the concentration of trapped helium, the age of the materials must have been significantly younger than those suggested by secular scientists. Because if these diffusion rates were true, and Earth was billions of years old, then these crystals would contain essentially zero helium, as it would all have completely diffused out already. 
It's very similar to what happens to helium balloons when you leave them. Take an air balloon and a helium balloon, and leave them side by side. The helium balloon very quickly, within days will have sagged and deflated. What is happening here is the helium is actually diffusing through the plastic itself of the balloon's material. Helium is the smallest elemental/molecular entity extant at room temperate under standard conditions, as such it is one of the most diffusable substances in the world.
Con seems to attempt to attack how these rates were measured. Well ignoring the fact that these rates would have to be measured several orders of magnitude lower in order to conform with an old earth world-view, Con provides nothing of substance to talk about in this matter. Moreover these have nothing to do Earth's atmospheric helium concentrations.
III. Supernova remenants
First of all, I am somewhat annoyed and perplexed that Con would literally copy and paste 3,500 characters verbatim from his reference to his argument here. If anything this is borderline plagarism, referenced or not, as it significantly reduced the leg work that must be done to make one's arguments. There is a reason why copy/pasted wiki arguments are rarely done on DDO... It is not cool.
Anyway, please note that these lengthened timings for the rate of supernova remenants are made with the assumption that that the universe is old. According to both worldviews, when the universe was younger, the rate of supernova explosions would have been substantially greater than what we observe today.
This is because 1. there were more stars that could explode and 2. There is evidence that nuclei were less stable in the past, as is evidenced by Dr. Humphries RATE project's work on the decay rates of minerals in granite, and other materials. [2,3]
Moreover these results regardless heavily contradict an old Earth even if true, as it would still set the age on on the order of thousands, not billions of years.
IV. Spinning galaxies:
Con asks how they relate to a young universe, and the answer is simple:
P1. If the universe is old, and the galaxies are spinning at their current rates, with the observable mass, THEN said galaxies would have long spun themselves apart
P2. Said galaxies have not spun themselves apart
C. The universe is not old (assuming the spinning rates and observable mass are correct)
The galaxies simply are simply spinning too fast, and with too little mass, to stay together as we see them if the universe is old.[4,5] Therefore the universe must be young, and galaxies simply have not had the time to fling themselves apart yet.
This contention I will bolster with another, very similar yet very important piece of evidence, the galaxies themselves are winding up much too fast. That is, the very presence of spiral galaxies such as the one linked below falsifies an old universe. If these galaxies were spinning as observed, then clearly these galaxies would become featureless disks. The reason is because the insides of the galaxy will rotate faster than the outsides of the galaxy (akin to how an ice skater spins faster when he/she pulls their arms in). This would not be a problem were the stars connected to each other by a rigid connection (like spokes on a bicycle), or with a substantial amount of mass, but neither of these are the case with galaxies.
Only a handful of rotations, fewer than 8, would completely wreck the spiral structure of these galaxies, which is significantly less than what is required of an old universe.
Therefore, an old universe is handily falsified.
Thoth the resolution, and my burden of proof are plenty affirmed, moreover my most important argument, the one from presuppositionalism has gone virtually untouched.
Con has his work cut out for him in the next round
3. Young helium diffusion age supports accelerated nuclear decay, in Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth, Vol II: Results, Vardiman, Snelling, and Chaffin, editors, Institute for Creation Research/Creation Research Society, El Cajon, CA, chapter 7, pp.25"100, 2005
6. Scheffler, H. and H. Elsasser, Physics of the Galaxy and Interstellar Matter, Springer-Verlag (1987) Berlin, pp. 352-353, 401-413
EnlightenedMadman forfeited this round.
I entend arguments.
EnlightenedMadman forfeited this round.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con wound up abandoning the debate, so the win goes to Pro. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FFs plus worse arguments
Vote Placed by Ajab 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF And even if that had not happened Env had some pretty strong points. I will be happy to clarify this in the comments if so asked.
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