Instigator / Pro
19
1582
rating
14
debates
75.0%
won
Topic

The Universe is Older than 10,000 Years

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
6
6
Sources points
6
8
Spelling and grammar points
4
4
Conduct points
3
4

With 4 votes and 3 points ahead, the winner is ...

WesleyBColeman
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Science
Time for argument
Two weeks
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
15,000
Contender / Con
22
1520
rating
1
debates
100.0%
won
Description
~ 375 / 5,000

-BOP is Shared.
-Please no Solipsism.
-Please no Kritiks.
Definitions for the context of this debate:

-Universe - All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos.
--Year (Earth) - The time taken by the earth to make one revolution around the sun.

These terms are not to be redefined at any point during this debate.

I look forward to an interesting debate.

Round 1
Pro
  Thank you WesleyBColeman for accepting this debate. I look forward to an interesting discussion.

  The universe is definitely older than 10,000 years. My argument is simple:

1.) The Universe can't be younger than the time it takes for light to reaches us.
2.) The speed of light in a vacuum has been consistently measured to be just shy of 300,000,000 meters per second [1]. 
3.) The distance light travels in a vacuum in one year is a lightyear.
4.) The distance to Standard Candles can be measured accurately, and is used to measure distance to galaxies.[2].
5.) The distance to the standard candle in this measurement is 8.1 megaparsecs, or 26,420,000 lightyears [3].
6.) Therefore, the Universe cannot be younger than 26,420,000 years.

--------------------

  I await my opponent's response.

 







Con

PREFACE

I would like to first thank my opponent Sum1hugme for the invitation to have this discussion on the topic of the age of the Earth and the Universe. Thanks to everyone reading and evaluating the facts brought to the table. I urge you all to look at the data anew and see if either the “Old-Earth '' or “Young-Earth '' theory is best befitted by it. As debate of an “Old-Earth'' and a “Young-Earth'' implies, this is about one area of the Darwinian and Christian worldview. However, in this debate, I wont be arguing for the existence or nonexistence of God or Jesus Christ, yet I will be using the framework (creationary) that the Earth was created, by God, in 6 days and has been around for less than about 10,000 years and my opponent will be using a different framework (evolutionary) that everything was created over a period of approximately 4.5 billion years for the Earth and 13.8 billion years total for the universe. There will be other debates to discuss the God of the Bible, Jesus, or a theistic worldview in contrast to an atheistic naturalistic worldview. We will both put forward the evidence for and against our chosen framework. Decide the winner based on whomever makes the best case for the evidence fitting their appropriate age-framework.

This opening statement is broken up into three parts. The first section, “The Flood”, is one of the most decisive lines of evidence for a young Earth so I will spend the majority expanding on its nuances. It will pertain to evidence in regards to rock sediment layers, the fossil record, polystrate fossils, formations that supposedly have taken billions of years like the grand canyon, rising mountains, or moving continents, and prove how all these phenomena are best explained within a short period of about a year through the process of the flood and the events that took place afterward. The second section, “DNA / Genetics”, will be more or less mentioned here but not in-depth. It will show the theory of genetic entropy, explore research on mutation science, and disprove the form of macro-evolution that most old age apologists espouse. Finally, the “Rebuttal” section will look at evidence that pertains to the creation and development of the Universe and life on Earth. All segments will have the aim to prove that the Biblical framework is a more likely candidate that is trusted historically, and to disprove the theory of an old Earth.

THE FLOOD

This first evidence isn’t intended to prove the Biblical flood, but demonstrate that cultures around the world have a flood story. I am backing up a worldwide flood with corroborating histories and myths. There are well over 300 flood myths. If the creation timeline is true, we can infer the ancestors of all these different people groups were indirectly told the accounts from Noah and his family all the way down to modern time. The stories were embellished by different cultures in different ways, some to an unrealistic mythic extent, but the essence is the same throughout.

For some examples, you can look to the continent of Africa, which has relatively few flood legends, African cultures preserving an oral tradition of a flood include the
Kwaya,
Mbuti,
Maasai,
Mandin,
and Yoruba peoples.

In North American cultures there also have flood myth including the
Choctaw,
Ojibwe,
Menomini,
Algonquin,
Mi'kmaq,
Anishinabe,
Ottawa,
Cree,
Knisteneaux,
Nipmuc,
Hopi,
W̱SÁNEĆ,
Comox,
Anishinaabe,
Inuit,
Nisqually,
and Eskimo peoples.

Then the list goes on all over the world in
Egypt,
the Middle East,
the Ancient Near East,
Mesoamerica,
South America,
China,
India,
Korea,
Malaysia,
Philippines,
Thailand,
Medieval Europe,
Finnland,
Polynesia,
etc.

It took Noah about 100-120 years to build the ark to God’s specifications. The ark’s size was about 154 meters (525 feet) long, 25.5 meters (87 feet) wide and 15 meters (52 feet) high with three decks divided into rooms. Recent studies estimate the total number of living and extinct kinds (Similar to the nomenclature of a biological family in taxonomy) [1] of land animals and flying creatures at about 1,500. With the “worst-case” scenario approach to calculating the number of animals on the Ark, this would mean that Noah cared for approximately 7,000 animals. 7,000 animals in the space of one and a half times the length of a football field, and four stories high. That checks out. [2]

The amount of water recorded checks out. In the Bible it says 'the tops of the highest mountains were overflowed by about 15 cubits (22 feet)'. The tallest mountain on the Earth is Mt. Everest, at 29,035 feet above sea level. As Andrew Seidel, an atheist attempting to debunk the flood, says here:

“That means that there had to be 813,875,076 miles³ of rain for the biblical flood. To put that in perspective, the oceans have about 321,000,000 miles³ of water. All the water on earth only adds up to about 332,500,000 miles³.
So for the biblical flood to have happened, the water on earth had to miraculously multiply by about 250%.”
~ Andrew L. Seidel [3]

Then, it looks like God does provide miracles. The Bible says that the 'fountains of the great deep' were opened and the rain fell from the heavens for forty days and forty nights. In a 2008 study, led by Steven Jacobsen a Northwestern University professor, a research team uncovered an underground reservoir of water within layers of Earth’s crust indicating the amount of water underground as an estimated three-fourths of the water on the Earth.

“If all the ringwoodite in the transition zone is as damp as the samples that Jacobsen and his team detected, that layer would hold three times as much water as all of the Earth’s oceans combined, reducing their share from 96.5% of all known water to a relatively paltry 24.8%. In other words, the ringwoodite discovery could quadruple the amount of water found on Earth. A blue planet, indeed.”
~ Eleanor Nelson [4]

If all the facts surprisingly check out about the Biblical flood, where’s the evidence in nature? The Bible states the waters rose a hundred fifty days until all the high hills under the of the Heavens were covered and the mountains were covered. We’re told that all land-dwelling air-breathing life perished except for those on the ark. We should, therefore, expect to find billions of dead plants and animals buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the Earth? And that’s exactly what we find. Billions of fossils buried in rock layers all over the Earth.

  1. We find whole rock layer sequences deposited rapidly in quick succession. The walls of the Grand Canyon, from the tapeats at the bottom to the kyba limestone at the top, supposed to represent three hundred million years of slow and gradual sedimentary deposition. When the plateau was pushed up, the rock layers were bent and folded - but they were folded without fracturing. They had to be soft, if they were bent without fracturing. That means they could have only just been deposited. Therefore, the three hundred million years could never have happened. All those rock layers had to have been deposited in quick succession during the flood year.
  2. Sea life buried high in mountains on the continents. Marine creatures that live in the ocean are found on mountains like the Makhonjwa Mountains that were supposedly formed 3.6 billion years ago. Plate tectonics is not the answer. These formations all over the world are burials for sea creatures that are not much older than and nearly identical to the modern sea creatures we see today. There are shellfish with limestone minerals contained in them that can only come from salt water i.e. the open ocean. [5]
  3. Long transport distances of sediments. The Coconino sandstone in the Grand Canyon. The same grains are believed to have been washed and transported a great distance far north from at least Wyoming. The Navajo sandstone in Zion National Park, the huge white cliffs, the same grains are believed to have been eroded and washed all the way from the Appalachians right across North America. These sediments travel from large reserves and stretch to a lower geographical position.
  4. Rapidly buried plants and animals. We find fossils of fragile creatures that would require a near instant burial such as plants, bees, bats, fish -- that haven’t finished having their meal of another fish also buried and fossilized, ichthyosaurs -- birthing to babies and they’re fossilized, and delicately preserved jellyfish. These things are found in mass, yet literally necessitate an instant burial.
  5. Rapidly deposited sediment layers across the continents. There are universal layers of sediment such as the redwood limestone layer. In that layer are many fossils. It is most obvious at the Grand Canyon. Yet that same limestone layer is found at the same place over in Pennsylvania, England, the Himalayas, etc. The chalk beds are another example. The Cliffs of David, Europe, the Middle East, Caslick Stan, Texas, the mid-Western United States, Western Australia, etc. The coal beds of Pennsylvania and West Virginia are also found in England and Europe right across the Ural Mountains. So wherever minerals are concentrated, they form identical layers in the expected place. The order of the layers for instance, doesn’t change if a layer is missing or added.
  6. Rapid or no erosion between sediment layers. For instance, in the Coconino sandstone in the Hermit shale there is a knife-edge, flat, featureless boundary between those two rock layers for miles through the grand canyon, yet the evolutionary geologists would have you believe they are separated by ten million years missing at that boundary. What would have happened during ten million years of weathering and erosion? You’d get a topography and not a flat featureless boundary. At the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the tapeats sandstone sits on the pre-flood rocks and we have evidence of huge erosion there. With boulders being picked up from the underlying rock layers indicating rapid erosion. There are many examples of this kind of rapid forming and erosion happening in both Washington (Best seen at Mt. Everest) and New Mexico.
DNA / GENETICS
   
It is first important to recognize, geneticists have proven that genomes rarely can add new information. There are 60 to 70 point mutations per generation on average. Point mutations are mutations through the process of DNA/RNA replication. Of those, 0.002% of them are beneficial to the organism. An even lower percentage of these “beneficial” mutations are agreed to have added new information. In order for a DNA strand to add new information, it must, theoretically, have a genome duplicate in some way and not undergo deletion. Then, it must recover the original strand in some capacity. Based on this common knowledge and an extrapolation of the number of average generations through time, it can be estimated that it would take hundreds of billions of years to evolve an animal to become a distinguishably different animal (what would be seen as a change in family in taxonomy).

“No human geneticist doubts man is degenerating.”
~ Dr. Kondrashov (Personal Communication)

“We’re inferior to cavemen, our fitness is declining at 1-3% per generation.”
~ Dr. Crow (Science)

“We’re degenerating at 1-5% per generation.”
~ Dr. Lynch (PNAS) [6]

“In terms of theory, and of actual biological data, they agree that biological systems should go down - not up. Almost none of those [mutations] are beneficial, think about typographical errors, you always lose information with basically zero benefit. Most mutations are deleterious, but most of them are only slightly deleterious. Slightly deleterious mutations are deadly because mother nature can’t see them and natural selection can’t filter them out so they accumulate like rust on a car.”
~ Dr. Sanford (S & F Podcast)

This proves evolution doesn't have solid footing, and the Darwinian mechanism is fallacious, therefore the theory of 4.5 billion years fails. This becomes more relevant when examining eras such as the “cambrian explosion”. Marriam-Webster defines it “the unparalleled emergence of organisms between 541 million and about 530 million years ago at the beginning of the Cambrian Period.” The issue appears when examining that paleontology has put forth a 1 billion - 10 million year time span for animals to evolve from the Proterozoic layer to the Cambrian layer and there are millions of species that appear in the Cambrian layer that have no obvious ancestral connection to the animals below it.[7,8]

There are also other complications to the time scale including, but not limited to fossilized trees called polystrate fossils that go through multiple sedimentary layers dug-out by archaeologists (polystrates have been found to have formed in weeks), rock compounds as well as fossils have less density and are larger, the higher they are in the sediment formation, and many dinosaur fossils are found with bone marrow and blood cells indicating a recent burial. This all builds a strong case that all these species were in fact alive at the near same time with no reason for billions of years.[9]

"There are 1 over 10 to the 77th power [variations of a genome]. If every organism in the history of the planet is estimated ten to the fortieth organisms. Ten to the fortieth possible mutations against a search space ten to the seventy seventh strong. You can search one ten trillion trillion trillionth of the possible combinations. You are more likely to fail to find one of the functional combinations even considering every possible organism that ever existed on Earth."
~ Dr Sephen Meyer [10]

A QUICK REBUTTAL
   
I commend my opponent for doing good research into the arguments against creation. However, this argument is not a knockout blow. I actually agree with all but the first premise of my opponent's opening argument. The reason I’d argue the Universe can be “younger than the time it takes for light to reach us” is because it is in the creation framework that God created all things in their mature form. This includes creating adult humans instead of two adolescents, plants to produce fruit, animals to coexist with microorganisms and bacteria in their bodies, and life to reproduce. I will admit that pro has a good argument here, but the idea of creating mature life is very Biblically founded and fits snugly into the “Young-Earth” narrative as well. Remember, we are looking at the evidence to determine the best explanation. The fact that light takes time to travel doesn’t prove that God couldn’t have created it in a mature state and the evidence I have provided today sufficiently overpowers this contention.

“When God finished creating Heaven and Earth and the Universe, God looked at all that he had made and said it was good. God had created the perfect environment for man to reside in, for he had created the earth and all that was in it for man. Therefore, God would have created a mature earth.”
~ Jerry Blount [11]

Thank you to everyone reading and considering my position. I am looking forward to Sum1hugme’s rebuttal.



Round 2
Pro
  Thank you WesleyBColeman for your response.

----------

0. GISH GALLOP

  My opponent has opened with a flurry of points about the young earth and evolution for us to discuss. I simply don't have enough space to tackle each individual flood myth and each individual quote mine, so I will instead focus on the main overarching problems with my opponent's case.

----------

1. REINTERPRETING THE RESOLUTION

  "I would like to first thank my opponent Sum1hugme for the invitation to have this discussion on the topic of the age of the Earth and the Universe. Thanks to everyone reading and evaluating the facts brought to the table. I urge you all to look at the data anew and see if either the “Old-Earth '' or “Young-Earth '' theory is best befitted by it. As debate of an “Old-Earth'' and a “Young-Earth'' implies, this is about one area of the Darwinian and Christian worldview"
  Here my opponent has reinterpreted the resolution from "the Universe is older than 10,000 years" to, "the Earth is older than 10,000 years." Here I will succinctly rebut all of my opponent's arguments in a single sentence: The Earth could be only 6000 years old and the Universe still be at least 26,420,000 years old.

"...my opponent will be using a different framework (evolutionary) that everything was created over a period of approximately 4.5 billion years for the Earth and 13.8 billion years total for the universe."
  This is simply not my case. My opponent is using evolution as an umbrella term for all the sciences he doesn't agree with. My framework is that the Universe can not be younger than the time it takes light to reach us. If there is light reaching us from 26,420,000 lightyears away, then it look the light that many years to get to us.

----------

2. FAILED REFUTATION

"The reason I’d argue the Universe can be “younger than the time it takes for light to reach us” is because it is in the creation framework that God created all things in their mature form... I will admit that pro has a good argument here, but the idea of creating mature life is very Biblically founded and fits snugly into the “Young-Earth” narrative as well."
  My opponent seems to argue that the god of the Bible created the Universe in such a way that starlight would simply appear far away. This is completely unsupported and is nothing more than an ad hoc rationalization that dips into the realm of reality denial, when the claim that "the universe is younger than 10,000 years" was refuted. This rationalization greatly increases my opponent's burden of proof, because they must now demonstrate that this god exists. Otherwise, there is no reason to believe he actually created the Universe to look old, but it really be young. I say we should stick with what we can observe to be true, than attempt to rationalize away those things we observe to be true. Additionally, this would make the god of the Bible intentionally deceptive, which I'm sure my opponent would dispute. 

----------

3. ARBITRARILY CHOOSING THE BIBLE

  "There are well over 300 flood myths.  If the creation timeline is true, we can infer the ancestors of all these different people groups were indirectly told the accounts from Noah and his family all the way down to modern time. The stories were embellished by different cultures in different ways, some to an unrealistic mythic extent, but the essence is the same throughout."
  My opponent claims that there are over 300 Flood Myths from around the world, but arbitrarily decides that the Biblical flood story is the only one that is the correct one, since all his "evidences" of the Biblical Flood could apply to many of these other myths.

----------

CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, The Universe is definitely older than 10,000 years. All my opponent did was try to prove that the earth is young, but the earth's age has no bearing on the Universe's age. His best attempt at refuting my argument was shown to be nothing more than a rationalization after his claim was shown to be false. My argument has not been refuted, and observation shows that the Universe is at least 26.420,000 years old. I look forward to my opponent's response.

Con
PREFACE

I would first like to thank my opponent again for this interesting discussion. Sum1hugme brought up several excellent points in his rebuttal which I would like to explore in great detail. I will now reiterate an important point from the preface of my opening statement.

“I will be using the framework (creationary) that the Earth was created, by God, in 6 days and has been around for less than about 10,000 years and my opponent will be using a different framework (evolutionary) that everything was created over a period of approximately 4.5 billion years for the Earth and 13.8 billion years total for the universe.”

It is very important that we not gloss over that point. Both pro and con are using what is known as a presuppositional framework. That is to say, either the naturalist: which includes the “Big Bang”/ Multiverse, abiogenesis, Macro-Evolution via common ancestry, and likely no supernatural element; or the creationist: which includes creation/Creator, adaptation of “kinds”, and Biblical historicity such as the resurrection and the Flood. My opponent does not have to “prove” the Big Bang or any other components so long as they can show they have better explanatory power. In that case, neither do I have to “prove” God or anything in the Bible is a fact. So long as I can show it has better explanatory power (meaning the evidence makes the most sense in my framework), I have won the debate. The same truth applies to Pro if his framework has better explanatory power after the arguments given.

RESOLUTION INTERPRETATION

“Here my opponent has reinterpreted the resolution from "the Universe is older than 10,000 years" to, "the Earth is older than 10,000 years." Here I will succinctly rebut all of my opponent's arguments in a single sentence: The Earth could be only 6000 years old and the Universe still be at least 26,420,000 years old.” ~ Pro

This is a fair point on its face, yet as I explained in the quick rebuttal section, the creation framework has the Universe as created in six days along with the Earth. To quote the Biblical creation framework’s handbook:

“In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” Genesis 1:1

So in other words, pro claims I am making a compositional fallacy of equivocation when, rather, the age of the Universe and the age of the Earth are synonymously tied in the creation framework.

“This [using the evolutionary framework] is simply not my case. My opponent is using evolution as an umbrella term for all the sciences he doesn't agree with. My framework is that the Universe can not be younger than the time it takes light to reach us. If there is light reaching us from 26,420,000 lightyears away, then it looks like the light that took many years to get to us.” ~ Pro

The evolutionary, Darwinian, or naturalist framework is the only framework that asserts an old Earth and an old Universe. First, in order for an “old Universe” to be practical, evolution and other naturalist processes must work practically in said Universe. If we can prove that any of the critical naturalist processes do not work practically, then we can conclude that therefore an “old-Earth” is not practical. This, however, will only get us half the way there. We also must show that the “young-Earth” framework is practical. You have seen evidence of the Biblical Flood that indicates it is practical. You have not seen any good indication herein that naturalism is practical let alone more practical than creationism.

 “Evolutionary framework” is a colloquial name that is commonplace with the scientifically minded. To say that the Universe is at least 26,420,000 years old you would either demand evolution or coincide God. In which case, if there is a God, then there is no need for God to follow naturalist laws and it is then most likely, based on the flood evidence provided, that the Biblical creation framework is true. In this theoretical scenario, say that you have coincided there is a God. In that case, there would be no need for light to have traveled that estimated amount of time. God could create it all in an instant (and there is good textual evidence that God did).

Essentially, either evolution is true or there is a God and the Universe is young.

REFUTATION

“My opponent seems to argue that the god of the Bible created the Universe in such a way that starlight would simply appear far away. This is completely unsupported and is nothing more than an ad hoc rationalization that dips into the realm of reality denial, when the claim that "the universe is younger than 10,000 years" was refuted. This rationalization greatly increases my opponent's burden of proof, because they must now demonstrate that this god exists. Otherwise, there is no reason to believe he actually created the Universe to look old, but it really is young. I say we should stick with what we can observe to be true, then attempt to rationalize away those things we observe to be true. Additionally, this would make the god of the Bible intentionally deceptive, which I'm sure my opponent would dispute.”

This concept is by no means ad hoc. This is supported by the “literary interpretation” of Genesis. God begins the Biblical framework by explaining that the Earth, Universe, and light were all created on the first “day”. The word day, or in Hebrew, יום (yom) is commonly interpreted as either a 12 or 24 hour day. [1]

“1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.” Genesis 1:1-5

I would contest that saying “He actually created the Universe to look old” is simply speculative and ad hoc since, in the creation framework, God did not create the universe to “look old” he created it to be mature. To suggest, as a fact, something merely of conjecture about the Universe such as ‘It looks old’ does not increase the burden of proof of my argument. You said it yourself, “I say we should stick with what we can observe to be true.” We cannot prove the Universe is young or old with the subjective concept of what it looks like. The God of the Bible is not deceptive, He is in fact very clear about the age of the Earth and how it was made.

WHY THE BIBLE FLOOD-MYTH?

“My opponent claims that there are over 300 Flood Myths from around the world, but arbitrarily decides that the Biblical flood story is the only one that is the correct one, since all his "evidences" of the Biblical Flood could apply to many of these other myths.” ~ Pro

There are many reasons that the Biblical flood myth is more compelling. For instance, it is a world flood. I have provided detailed arguments for why a world flood follows logically based on physical and historical evidence. Also, in the Biblical story of the Flood, all the specific details of the ark and external circumstances are detailed and consistent when taking it as a historical narrative. The Biblical flood likely also came before other well known flood-myths. [2]

By examining the vessel structures of these ancient near-Eastern accounts, you find impractical versions of the arc such as a basket (Simmond’s Ark) or a box (Gilgamesh’s Ark), but in the account of Noah the boat is made to similar specifications of a modern cargo ship. A model of Noah’s Ark was tested on the open ocean and found seaworthy in this study. [3,4]

All the story elements “check out” as I mentioned in my earlier argument. Again, the Noah story is written such as a historical account with no embellishments and a matter-of-factness that sets itself apart from the other classical myths.


CONCLUSION

In conclusion, my opponent has given no reason for any reader to think that the Naturalist framework is better supported by the evidence, therefore the Universe is younger than 10,000 years. If Pro can not defend a critical naturalist process such as evolution, then there is no reason to vote for naturalism here. Again, to reiterate: Without naturalism the only answer is a creator. If there is a creator, there is good evidence provided that the Universe is young. Therefore, by coinciding to any creation process by result of rejecting naturalism, which by definition is coinciding to any form of creator, pro coincides to young-Earth in its entirety.

Again, thank you to Pro for this very fun and engaging debate. Thank you to each and every voter who is considering my position. I look forward to hearing Pro's response.

Round 3
Pro
  Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, my opponent has missed the mark again. I am not advocating for a presuppositional framework as my opponent states, thus his dichotomous presentation fails. I am not supporting a Naturalist framework, and certainly not the way my opponent defines it (that being every science he doesn't agree with). My framework was laid out in my opening statement, that the universe cannot be younger than the time it takes light to reach us. My opponent has not contested that the speed of light is constant in a vacuum.

____________________

COUNTER-REBUTTALS

__________

  • CR1

"It is very important that we not gloss over that point. Both pro and con are using what is known as a presuppositional framework. That is to say, either the naturalist: which includes the “Big Bang”/ Multiverse, abiogenesis, Macro-Evolution via common ancestry, and likely no supernatural element; or the creationist: which includes creation/Creator, adaptation of “kinds”, and Biblical historicity such as the resurrection and the Flood."
  My opponent has created a straw man, a false dichotomy, and cemented my point about using evolution as a term for all the science he disagrees with. Only now, instead of evolutions, he uses the word naturalist for describing those same sciences. I am not advocating for the framework of naturalism, but rather that light travels at a constant speed.

"My opponent does not have to 'prove' the Big Bang or any other components so long as they can show they have better explanatory power. In that case, neither do I have to 'prove' God or anything in the Bible is a fact. So long as I can show it has better explanatory power (meaning the evidence makes the most sense in my framework), I have won the debate."
  My opponent can win this debate if'n they can refute my opening argument, which he has made no attempt to do besides, (paraphrasing) "God could've made it look old, but it really be young." This doesn't refute the core argument, known as the "starlight problem," because it would be impossible to tell if god was deceiving us. So unless my opponent can prove that the light from this distant star is younger than 10,000 years with anything other than blind conjecture, he cannot win the debate.

__________

  • CR2
"To say that the Universe is at least 26,420,000 years old you would either demand evolution or coincide God."
  Evolution is a theory of biodiversity, not cosmology. Evolution has nothing to do with the age of starlight. This is also another false dichotomy with several flaws: 1. Evolution does not equal atheism, 2. There could be no god and the starlight be as old as it appears,  3. There could be any configuration of god(s) and evolution still happen anyways.

"based on the flood evidence provided, that the Biblical creation framework is true. In this theoretical scenario, say that you have coincided there is a God. In that case, there would be no need for light to have traveled that estimated amount of time." 
  This would mean that the starlight appears old, but is really young, and therefore god is being intentionally deceptive. My opponent is left to either concede that god is deceptive (which undermines his credibility when he says he made it young), or that the universe is actually old as it appears. That is, unless he can demonstrate that light somehow doesn't travel at a constant speed in a vacuum.

"God could create it all in an instant (and there is good textual evidence that God did)."
  My opponent's argument essentially boils down to, "God made the Universe look old, but it is actually young," and Biblical Literalism. There has not been a single solid attempt made against my argument.

"Essentially, either evolution is true or there is a God and the Universe is young."
  Of course, evolution being true has nothing to do with the age of the Universe or if there's a god.

__________

  • CR3
"I would contest that saying “He actually created the Universe to look old” is simply speculative and ad hoc since, in the creation framework, God did not create the universe to “look old” he created it to be mature."
  
  What's the difference between a mature-looking star that's a few million light years away, and an old-looking star that's the same distance? This is an ad hoc language shift to avoid the central issue: that my opponent has no real refutation to my core argument.

___________

  • CR4
"There are many reasons that the Biblical flood myth is more compelling. For instance, it is a world flood. I have provided detailed arguments for why a world flood follows logically based on physical and historical evidence. Also, in the Biblical story of the Flood, all the specific details of the ark and external circumstances are detailed and consistent when taking it as a historical narrative. The Biblical flood likely also came before other well known flood-myths."
  Ugh, fine. Since you listed six, I will list six reasons the Biblical flood couldn't have happened. 

"1. The stair-stepped appearance of erosion of sedimentary rocks in the Grand Canyon with sandstones and limestones formed cliffs and shales forming gentle slopes cannot happen if all these rocks were deposited in less than one year. If the Grand Canyon had been carved soon after these rocks were deposited by a worldwide flood, they would not have had time to harden into solid rock and would have been saturated with water.Therefore, the sandstones and limestones would have slumped during the carving of the canyon and would not have formed cliffs. (Hill et al. 2016)
2. Salt and gypsum deposits, more than 200 feet thick, occur inthe Paradox Formation in Utah just 200 miles north of the Grand Canyon, and these deposits are the same age as the Supai rocks in the Grand Canyon that were supposedly also deposited by Noah’s flood. Similar salt deposits, up to 3,000feet thick, exist in various places on all continents and inlayers of all geologic ages, and these deposits can only be produced by evaporation of sea water. Such evaporation couldn't have happened in repeated intervals in the midst of the 40days and 40 nights of raining and during the supposed continuous deposition of sedimentary rocks by a worldwide flood and in which the only drying and evaporation is said to have occurred at the end of the flood. (Collins 2006, 2009,2012; Hill et al. 2016)
3. Sand dunes with giant cross bedding occur in the Mesozoic Rocks in Zion National Park and are further evidence that desert conditions occurred at the time of the supposed flood.(Senter 2011; Collins 2017)
4. Fossilized mud cracks occur in the Cambrian Tapeats Formation on top of the Precambrian Vishnu schist at the bottom of the canyon and indicate that drying conditions existed during the alleged worldwide Noah’s flood, and these drying conditions occurred at the very beginning of this supposed flood. Although mud cracks can also form in mud under water by compression that squeezes out water from the mud, such compression is not likely to occur during a flood.Moreover, fossilized mud cracks are found in other formations that were supposedly deposited during Noah’s flood, and these mud cracks occur in red shales that coexist with salt and gypsum layers. Therefore, these mud cracks were likely formed in deltaic mud flats that were exposed to the atmosphere where their iron-bearing minerals reacted with oxygen in the air to form red hematite. (Collins 2006; Senter2011; Hill et al. 2016)
5. Raindrop prints occur in many places around the world which could not have been formed or preserved if the muds (now insoles) containing these prints were deposited under water during Noah’s flood. (Senter 2011; Hill et al. 2016)
6. Nests of dinosaur eggs are found in several places around the world, and it is illogical that dinosaurs could have had enough time to create these nests and lay their eggs while they were fleeing from rising waters to reach higher ground. (Senter2011; Hill et al. 2016)" [1]

"By examining the vessel structures of these ancient near-Eastern accounts, you find impractical versions of the arc such as a basket (Simmond’s Ark) or a box (Gilgamesh’s Ark), but in the account of Noah the boat is made to similar specifications of a modern cargo ship. A model of Noah’s Ark was tested on the open ocean and found seaworthy in this study."
  Funnily enough, I was taught in Christian School that Noah's ark was box shaped, and that the box shape (Gilgamesh's you said was impractical) was divinely inspired because on a world flooded, there's no need to do anything but float until it's over.

"Again, the Noah story is written such as a historical account with no embellishments..."
  The entire story is an embellishment.

__________

CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, the Universe is undoubtedly older than 10,000 years, if we are going with what we can prove to be true and independently verifiable. My opponent however, has completely failed to refute my core argument, that the universe can't be younger than the time it takes light to reach us. Additionally, he continues to try to paint me into a framework I am not upholding, and this is a straw man fallacy. This straw man is constructed in an attempt to structure a dichotomous framework that would be more favorable to my opponent, but this requires a blatant reinterpretation of the resolution into something it isn't. I will not accept this framework and challenge him to engage my actual argument. I await his response.





Con
PREFACE

Thank you for your response Pro and for everyone taking the time to read. My opponent started his rebuttal by saying “Unfortunately, my opponent has missed the mark again.” I will now demonstrate that, in fact, my opponent has merely deceived himself here. He is avid that he does not advocate for a presuppositional framework, yet he has little in the way to back it up. Firstly, he does not define the term correctly. 

“I am not supporting a Naturalist framework, and certainly not the way my opponent defines it (that being every science he doesn't agree with).” 
I clearly have defined it as the naturalist processes that answer the questions of how everything is the way it is. These are evolution, the big bang, abiogenesis, etc. If my opponent rejects naturalist processes, then he has no leg to stand on when he advocates that light had to have traveled the speed of light to reach Earth.

“My framework was laid out in my opening statement, that the universe cannot be younger than the time it takes light to reach us.”
I ask you, what are the implications of that framework? If the universe cannot be younger than the speed of light, that assumes that no creator interfered with light and that naturalist processes must have occurred for light to have been created. A godless world necessitates naturalism. The Merriam-Webster defines naturalism as:

“A theory denying that an event or object has a supernatural significance specifically: the doctrine that scientific laws are adequate to account for all phenomena.”

 “My opponent has not contested that the speed of light is constant in a vacuum.”
Correct. That is because I agree. However, I disagree with your first premise that “the Universe can't be younger than the time it takes for light to reach us”.

____________________

  • CR1
“My opponent has created a straw man, a false dichotomy, and cemented my point about using evolution as a term for all the science he disagrees with. Only now, instead of evolutions, he uses the word naturalist for describing those same sciences. I am not advocating for the framework of naturalism, but rather that light travels at a constant speed.”
Not at all. As a naturalist, Pro espouses all of these aforementioned beliefs. Whether or not light traveled the speed of light to get to the Earth or God created light in its mature form is the disagreement here. Unless my opponent concedes God, Pro is by definition a naturalist. To be a naturalist, the naturalist processes should be more convincing than the explanations of the creationist. If Pro cannot defend the seeming flaws in the naturalist worldview, then the old Earth stance simply falls.

“My opponent can win this debate if'n they can refute my opening argument, which he has made no attempt to do besides, (paraphrasing) "God could have made it look old, but it really is young." This doesn't refute the core argument, known as the "starlight problem," because it would be impossible to tell if god was deceiving us. So unless my opponent can prove that the light from this distant star is younger than 10,000 years with anything other than blind conjecture, he cannot win the debate.”
Pro misconstrues my argument here. There is scriptural evidence that God made the plants animals and the environment to be livable for Adam and Eve in 6 days. Creating light to be immediately visible to the Earth is not making it ‘look old’ in the same way that creating adult animals and mature plants to care for and eat, respectively, is not creating a life that ‘looks old’. It simply is mature and it was created mature. Is God deceiving by creating adults instead of youth that wouldn’t be able to fend for themselves?

This is a non-issue that I have already explained. 

The light was created in an adult state meaning it reached the travel length needed to complete God’s intended purpose for it. I’ve already laid out my evidence for this in the opening. My opponent has not rebutted it to this point. As far as what God can do, God is a spaceless, timeless, immaterial being that can speak something into existence. 

The monotheistic God of the old testament (Judeo, Christian, Muslim) is the only God with the capability to create the world in this fashion. All three religions take the Torah account to be a factual description of creation. Therefore, I will make an argument for this kind of God's existence. (This is a summary from Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae.)

An argument from motion -

      • Evident to our senses in motion—the movement from actuality to potentiality. Things are acted on. (Note that the argument proceeds from empirical evidence; hence it is an à posteriori or an inductive argument.)
      • Whatever is moved is moved by something else. Potentiality is only moved by actuality. (An actual oak tree is what produces the potentiality of an acorn.)
      • Unless there is a First Mover, there can be no motions. To take away the actual is to take away the potential. (Hence, which came first for Aristotle, the chicken or the egg?) (E.g., the reason a student has the potential to be awake is that he had (actual) toast for breakfast. Toast has the potential to keep the student awake. But (actual) bread has the potential to become toast, and actual grain has the potential to become bread. Actual water, dirt, and air have the potential to become grain. To take away any of these actualities is ultimately to take away the potential for the student to be alert.) (Aquinas is not rejecting an indefinite or an infinite series as such, the idea is     that a lower element depends on a higher element as in a hierarchy, not a temporal series.)
      • Thus, a First Mover exists.
An argument from an efficient cause -

      • There is an efficient cause for everything; nothing can be the efficient cause of itself.
      • It is not possible to regress to infinity in efficient causes.
      • To take away the cause is to take away the effect.
      • If there is no first cause then there will be no others.
      • Therefore, a First Cause exists (and this is God).
An argument from necessary Being -

      • Since objects in the universe come into being and pass away, it is possible for those objects to exist or for those objects not to exist at any given time.
      • Since objects are countable, the objects in the universe are finite in number.
      • If, for all existent objects, they do not exist at some time, then, given infinite time, there would be nothing in existence. (Nothing can come from nothing—there is no creation ex nihilo) for individual existent objects.
      • But, in fact, many objects exist in the universe.
      • Therefore, a Necessary Being (i.e. a Being of which it may exist) exists.

____________________

  • CR2
"Evolution is a theory of biodiversity, not cosmology. Evolution has nothing to do with the age of starlight. This is also another false dichotomy with several flaws: 1. Evolution does not equal atheism, 2. There could be no god and the starlight be as old as it appears,  3. There could be any configuration of god(s) and evolution could still happen anyway."

This is not a false dichotomy. If naturalist processes are proven unlikely compared to supernatural explanations, then you should concede a God if you maintain any form of intellectual consistency. Naturalist processes are the processes put forth to explain the creation of everything through the lens of naturalism. Therefore, if you reject naturalist processes, you reject naturalism.

All that Pro has done is infer that the Universe is old based on the fact of the speed of light. That is a hypothesis and may or may not be true. Whereas, I have given a great deal of evidence to indicate that light was more likely created and therefore negates Pro’s first premise.

To answer your three points on the issue:

“Evolution does not equal atheism”
~ Pro
I agree. Atheism is the disbelief in a God and evolution is a naturalist process that atheists espouse. My argument still stands.

“There could be no god and the starlight be as old as it appears”
~ Pro
Not based on the evidence shown herein. It is a ‘possibility’, but you have done little to show it as likely or even feasible.

“There could be any configuration of god(s) and evolution still happen anyways”
~ Pro
I agree. However, I’m arguing that it didn’t happen based on the evidence provided against the theory. I am also arguing that by using the Biblical God specifically, we find a better creation theory.

"This would mean that the starlight appears old but is really young, and therefore god is being intentionally deceptive. My opponent is left to either concede that God is deceptive (which undermines his credibility when he says he made it young), or that the universe is actually old as it appears. That is unless he can demonstrate that light somehow doesn't travel at a constant speed in a vacuum."

God says the Earth was created in an allotted time and in a certain way, how is that deceptive? I imagine that Adam and Eve appeared ‘old’ as well. This is because they were created as adults. Just like light, they were made in a mature state. There is no need to demonstrate that “light somehow doesn't travel at a constant speed in a vacuum” because I agree with the science of the speed of light in a vacuum. This doesn’t contradict the Biblical account at all. Perhaps what confuses you is that the Earth was created pre-middle-aged (or mature or adult) but has existed for a short period of time. We are, in a sense, not calling the Earth young in the manner of appearance but in that of age which should seem obvious to anyone reading the debate prompt. In the same fashion, Adam was young although he was created as an adult. This hopefully shouldn't be a problem when we use the word ‘young’ to describe Earth anymore as you now know it is not referring to looks or physical appearance but that of age specifically.

"Of course, evolution is true has nothing to do with the age of the Universe or if there's a god."
Not at all. Evolution, abiogenesis, the big bang, and other naturalist processes are reasons to disbelieve in the young Earth model. Without them in a naturalist’s arsenal, the naturalist has no positive claims to the age of the Earth nor any naturalistic basis for the creation of the Earth. Without evolution specifically, pro has no reason to believe that animals were created from a single-celled organism naturally. If this did not happen, the only alternative is that animals were created by God. Therefore, if you concede evolution is wrong, you concede God’s existence. 

If there is a God, then there is compelling evidence that the God of the Bible is the one true God. Therefore, either evolution is true or there is a God and the Universe is young.

There is, however, a problem in science known as the “horizon problem” that would indicate that the data we have on light speed contradicts the “old earth” theory. Dr. Jason Lisle, an astrophysicist, plainly lays out the issue here.

“The Big Bang, the alternative to biblical creation, also has a similar type of light travel time problem of its own. It’s called the horizon problem. It has to do with the cosmic microwave background that we see streaming from the distant regions of the universe. We find that it’s very uniform, and that shouldn’t be because, in the big bang model, we should have different temperatures in different places. Why is it so uniform? 

Obviously, light energy had to travel from the hotter regions to the colder regions to equilibrate those temperatures, but there hasn’t been enough time, even in the 13.8 billion years there’s not enough time for light to travel from one side of the visible universe to the other. That results in a light travel time problem for the big bang theory. It’s not a problem for an infinite God to get the light to travel from distant galaxies to earth.”

~ Dr. Jason Lisle

__________

  • CR3
"What's the difference between a mature-looking star that's a few million light-years away, and an old-looking star that's the same distance? This is an ad hoc language shift to avoid the central issue: that my opponent has no real refutation to my core argument."

Nothing. That’s why saying that it ‘looks’ a certain way is ad hoc. You just proved my point, funnily enough.

__________

  • CR4
1. After the flood, there were great lakes, reservoirs of trapped floodwater, that eventually broke to form the canyons. This accounts for the stair-stepped appearance. Also, the Bible does in fact say that the waters of the flood dried up after 40 days. There is evidence, in the higher elevated sandstone layers, that a massive lake had existed until running a stream of water out to sea. The movement of water in similar observable scenarios differs massively from your hypothesis. A study in Texas indicates that canyons are formed rapidly and not overtime and all examples are shown to have cliff-like edges. [1]

2. This is an assumption made by old-Earth geologists. However, these salt deposits can have occurred during the flood. There is evidence for this in the canyons near Mt. St. Helens. [2]

3. & 4. Both of these misdate the Biblical flood at around 2500 BC when in reality correct Biblical reading dates the flood at 3105 BC. That combined with using faulty dating methods such as radiometric dating and carbon dating which have been proven to be unreliable since the 80s. [3]

5. Arguably the opposite is true. According to this secular article, a flood is actually the only way to preserve a raindrop fossil. [4]

6. Dinosaur is noted as being alive after the flood, so they had plenty of time after the flood. That is a null point, read Genesis.

"Funnily enough, I was taught in Christian School that Noah's ark was box-shaped and that the box shape (Gilgamesh's you said was impractical) was divinely inspired because in a world flooded, there's no need to do anything but float until it's over."
Then you were taught wrong and could easily look at the scriptural evidence. This is antidotal and holds no grounds here.

"The entire story is an embellishment."
On the contrary, as I have previously pointed out, all the facts of the Arc are consistent with modern science. However, all other Arc tales have glaring problems such as the examples I mentioned. Pro’s hyperbole indicates he is either uninformed on the story of Noah’s arc, or he is confused as to what constitutes an embellishment.

__________

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the Universe is undoubtedly younger than 10,000 years, if we are going with what we can “prove to be true and independently verifiable” as my opponent says. My opponent, however, has failed to make any good argument for a naturalist approach but merely stated a fact that both our viewpoints can explain. He explains it through naturalism, and I explain it through creationism. If my opponent continues on this trajectory, there will be no debate on who brought forth the better arguments and who continued to rehash the same null point. Thank you for your time, Pro, and thank you to everyone reading. I look forward to my opponent's next rebuttal.

Round 4
Pro
  Thank you WesleyBColeman for this debate, it's been pretty fun.

_____

EVOLUTION =/= ATHEISM

"He is avid that he does not advocate for a presuppositional framework, yet he has little in the way to back it up. "
  My opponent's argument depends on structuring a dichotomous framework, where two options are presented as the only possible options. On the one hand, my opponent groups together scientific models and explanations that don't require supernatural intervention in their explanation and calls them "evolutionary" or "naturalist". Naturalism is the assumption that there is nothing outside of nature, and rules out deism by necessity. These explanations of natural phenomena and processes simply don't require supernatural intervention as a component of their explanatory power; they do not need to assume naturalism. To juxtapose this straw man, he posits biblical creationism, which also rules out deism by necessity. The fact that these natural processes and explanations are consistent with deism defeats my opponent's falsely dichotomous framework alone. As none of his arguments for god's existence indicate anything past a deistic god.

  Therefore, these theories of natural processes are not naturalist, because they do not rule out the possibility of the supernatural; but, a supernatural element is superfluous to the explanation.

Examples of the false dichotomy:

" To be a naturalist, the naturalist processes should be more convincing than the explanations of the creationist."
"The monotheistic God of the old testament (Judeo, Christian, Muslim) is the only God with the capability to create the world in this fashion."
  Of course literally any religion that believes in an all-powerful god would fit this latter description.  

  Then there's the attacking of the straw man of the "naturalist worldview":

"If Pro cannot defend the seeming flaws in the naturalist worldview, then the old Earth stance simply falls."
  Example of the straw man being stuffed:

"I clearly have defined it as the naturalist processes that answer the questions of how everything is the way it is. These are evolution, the big bang, abiogenesis, etc"
  These other theories of other phenomena posit longer periods of time than I am positing here, but that doesn't matter because descriptions of biodiversity, cosmic origins, and the origins of life don't have to be assumed to measure the distance to Cepheid Variable Stars. But my opponent's own definition of naturalism refutes his straw man:

"A theory denying that an event or object has a supernatural significance specifically: the doctrine that scientific laws are adequate to account for all phenomena."
  It defeats him because I am not claiming that natural laws are adequate to account for all phenomena; but instead, that natural laws are enough to account for this specific phenomena. His best attempt has been a falsely dichotomous, self-defeating framework, and some arguments for god's existence and noah's flood. None of these arguments however, actually give any indication that anything supernatural has interfered with the distance to that star, or the time it has taken for the light to travel that distance.

_____

PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT

  A lightyear is a measure of distance. If a distance can be reliably measured, and that distance consists of some number of lightyears, then that same amount of time in years necessarily has to elapse for the light to cover that distance. 

  My opponent concedes this fatal point:

" ...I agree with the science of the speed of light in a vacuum."
  The age of the light is a logical derivative of the distance to the light-emitting body. So my opponent is necessarily arguing that god, by some unnamed mechanism, created the Universe to look like the distance,and therefore the age, to things are different than they are.

_______________

FINAL REBUTTALS

_____

  • FR1
" If the universe cannot be younger than the speed of light, that assumes that no creator interfered with light and that naturalist processes must have occurred for light to have been created."
  Since a creator to make the light look old (or mature if you'd prefer) is superfluous to the explanatory power of the speed of light, the burden falls on my opponent's shoulders to demonstrate that the laws of physics were broken at the time of creation to make the star look far away. I could concede god in a deistic sense and this explanation would still be adequate to explain the age of the light that is reaching us. 

"There is scriptural evidence  that God made the plants animals and the environment to be livable for Adam and Eve in 6 days...Is God deceiving by creating adults instead of youth that wouldn’t be able to fend for themselves?"
  To answer the question first, yes, if one was trying to determine the age of the people, but they were created to look older than they were, that would be deceptive.

  • Deceptive: Giving an appearance or impression different from the true one; misleading [1].
  If the people appear old, but are young, that is deceptive in the same way that making the star appear far away and old, but it really be young and/or close is deceptive.

  The idea of scriptural evidence is only applicable in the realm of the scripture itself. In the same sense that there is literary evidence that the ring was given to Frodo. This doesn't indicate that Mount Doom is a literal place, or that events of The Lord of the Rings are factually accurate.

_____

  • FR2
Me- "What's the difference between a mature-looking star that's a few million light-years away, and an old-looking star that's the same distance? This is an ad hoc language shift to avoid the central issue: that my opponent has no real refutation to my core argument."
Opp.- "Nothing."That’s why saying that it ‘looks’ a certain way is ad hoc. You just proved my point, funnily enough.
  Therefore, this argument of god creating the star and its light to "look mature" and creating it to "look distant\old", even though it's not according to you, are exactly the same. Therefore, this language shift is an attempt to sidestep the central issue.

_____

  • FR3
The flood stuff -

1.
"After the flood, there were great lakes... A study in Texas indicates that canyons are formed rapidly and not overtime and all examples are shown to have cliff-like edges."
  To quote the article my opponent cited, " 'The Grand Canyon was formed as the Colorado River slowly wore down the bedrock. That probably took millions of years though,' said geologist and study co-author Michael Lamb of Caltech in Pasadena, Calif."

2. 
"This is an assumption made by old-Earth geologists. However, these salt deposits can have occurred during the flood. There is evidence for this in the canyons near Mt. St. Helens."
  My opponent's hand-waving dismissal of this point as an "assumption" ignores the contradiction of there being intervals of evaporation, when noah's flood posits only a single drying event. This occurring at Mt. St. Helens doesn't address this basic contradiction of the noahic flood myth to reality. My opponent's unbiased scientific source, "evolutionisamyth.com," doesn't even have the word "salt" in it. Its section on Mount St. Helens does not address the issue I presented.

3. and 4.
"Both of these misdate the Biblical flood at around 2500 BC when in reality correct Biblical reading dates the flood at 3105 BC. That combined with using faulty dating methods such as radiometric dating and carbon dating which have been proven to be unreliable since the 80s."
  These points were that there were deserts in the world during the time the flood supposedly happened, and that mud cracks are extremely unlikely to fossilize in a major global flood especially. Also, my opponent just dismisses the dating methods with a single posted source, so I will affirm them similarly. Carbon dating is accurate as far as it can actually date [2], and radiometric dating is reliable as well [3]. They are reliable because their methodologies have been tried and proven repeatedly.

5.
" Arguably the opposite is true. According to this secular article, a flood is actually the only way to preserve a raindrop fossil."
  My opponent's source states it would require a gentle shower and a gentle flood, not a catastrophic one, in order to fossilize raindrops. Noah's flood entails relentless torrent for forty days and the most catastrophic flood event in history. 

6.
"Dinosaur is noted as being alive after the flood, so they had plenty of time after the flood. That is a null point, read Genesis."
  Dinosaurs aren't noted being alive after the flood, unless you're basing that off a loose interpretation of the "leviathan" or "behemoth" in Job. "Read Genesis" does nothing to substantiate this baseless claim, and it should be disregarded for the reason of being baseless.

_____

CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, my opponent has founded his argument on constructing a straw man to attack, then juxtaposing his case against the straw man in an attempt to create a falsely dichotomous scenario where one "worldview" is somehow made plausible by the straw man "worldview" being implausible. My core argument stands as virtually uncontested and completely unrooted, while my opponent's arguments essentially boil down to: God, by unspecified means, made the universe look old, even though it's young, because the Bible says so. There is no argument here, the Universe is older than 10,000 years. Everything about what we know about reality that's relevant to the question indicates this to be the case. The faint "possibility" that the biblical god could be deceiving us and breaking the laws of physics is nothing compared to the overwhelming reliability of the model without this superfluous element. 


VOTE PRO!



Con
Thank you to the readers of this debate! I hope you have enjoyed it and that we have provided valuable insight into this matter. A big thank you Sum1hugme for the invite to this debate, I agree it's been pretty fun and insightful. I hope to participate in more debates with you, Sum, in the future.
_____

EVOLUTION =/= ATHEISM
Again, I have no problems agreeing with that statement. Evolution is simply a process within the majority of atheists' world views and all current naturalistic worldviews. Yet frankly, it had to have happened if there was no God or else there is no natural reason for any life to exist at all. I agree evolution is not, however, a worldview such as atheism, but to argue this point does nothing for Pro’s case.

“These explanations of natural phenomena and processes simply don't require supernatural intervention as a component of their explanatory power; they do not need to assume naturalism.”
My opponent confuses my argument. I did not state that Pro is a naturalist because he believes in naturalist processes. Rather, he is a naturalist because he does not believe in supernatural processes. Therefore, my opponent does, in fact, assume naturalism (by virtue of the definition).

“To juxtapose this straw man, he posits biblical creationism, which also rules out deism by necessity.”
By using the Bible and my specific variation of creationism, am I not excluding other creationist views (See David Berlinski). I have demonstrated that the Genesis account is well-grounded in addition to creationism to provide evidence of the seven-day creation. However, by asserting naturalism Pro has left out all beliefs associated with the supernatural and therefore has excluded deism.

“The fact that these natural processes and explanations are consistent with deism defeats my opponent's falsely dichotomous framework alone. As none of his arguments for god's existence indicate anything past a deistic god.”
The fact is that there is natural evidence that results from supernatural causes. My opponent is using deceptive language shifting by inserting the words “natural processes” when the reality is that none of the events I’ve made arguments for could happen without a creator or some supernatural occurrence. Pro simply hasn't shown that naturalist processes are more in line with the evidence.

For the world Flood to have happened at all one requires a supernatural agent, for instance. Therefore, I have not made any arguments for processes that could happen naturally and my opponent has not taken sufficient time to examine them to a meaningful extent.

"Of course, literally, any religion that believes in an all-powerful god would fit this latter description. [i.e. the only God with the capability to create the world in this fashion.]"
Of course, and the religions are, again, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. These are the religions that at least fulfill the requirement of a spaceless, timeless, immaterial, and all-powerful God capable of creating the existing cosmos.

“...but that doesn't matter because descriptions of biodiversity, cosmic origins, and the origins of life don't have to be assumed to measure the distance to Cepheid Variable Stars.”
Again, if Pro can’t back up these other naturalist processes, then his house of cards falls. If Pro concedes the naturalist explanations for biodiversity, cosmic origins, and the origins of life are false then he concedes naturalism is false. That's self-explanatory. If Pro disavows naturalism then he gives no reason for you to vote for his position, since he has already conceded to the supernatural and therefore God and therefore a seven-day creation model (This is true based on the inductive arguments made for God).

“It defeats him because I am not claiming that natural laws are adequate to account for all phenomena; but instead, those natural laws are enough to account for this specific phenomena.”
Again, as you see here, my opponent is okay conceding to supernatural causes in some instances. What he may not understand is his argument is lost by conceding in any instance.
_____

“The age of the light is a logical derivative of the distance to the light-emitting body. So my opponent is necessarily arguing that God, by some unnamed mechanism, created the Universe to look like the distance, and therefore the age of things is different than they are. Since a creator to make the light look old (or mature if you'd prefer) is superfluous to the explanatory power of the speed of light, the burden falls on my opponent's shoulders to demonstrate that the laws of physics were broken at the time of creation to make the star look far away. I could concede god in a deistic sense and this explanation would still be adequate to explain the age of the light that is reaching us."
Pro argues that if we can see stars many lightyears away and if the light is always a constant speed (That speed being a lightyear), therefore we should expect older stars then actually exists if light traveled to Earth in a day. However, this is not the fatal flaw my opponent would like you to think it is. While, yes, I agree that light travels the speed of light it does not necessarily have to on a one-way trip

There is a principle known as the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC). ASC is similar to ESC (Einstein Synchrony Convention) in that they both have the end result of the round trip of the speed of light being the same. Einstein Synchrony Convention measures both the distance to and from the source of light and the viewer as equal time. The difference with ASC, then, is time dilation on a one-way trip. Here are both equations with epsilon (ε) used to denote the one-way speed of light. For ESC the value of ε = 1/2, with light traveling at the same speed in all directions. In Dr. Jason Lisle’s ASC ε = 1 and light travels at infinite speed towards the observer and c/2 away (for ε = 0 light would travel towards the observer at c/2 and at infinite speed away).

“The reason that the one-way speed of light cannot be objectively measured is that you need a way to synchronize two clocks separated by a distance. But in order to synchronize two clocks separated by some distance, you have to already know the one-way speed of light. So it cannot be done without circular reasoning.” [1]
~ Dr. Jason Lisle
Therefore, we may likely be seeing distant stars in real-time. My opponent has no good argument here.
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FINAL REBUTTALS
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  • FR1
"There is scriptural evidence that God made the plants, animals, and the environment to be livable for Adam and Eve in 6 days...Is God deceiving by creating adults instead of youth that wouldn’t be able to fend for themselves?"

To answer the question first, yes, if one was trying to determine the age of the people, but they were created to look older than they were, that would be deceptive.
Yes, it would be deceptive to your expectations (one of a naturalist), but you can not conclude God is being deceptive when nature requires adult creatures to initiate the ecosystem. You completely missed the point of that remark.

"If the people appear old but are young, that is deceptive in the same way that making the star appear far away and old, but it really is young and/or close is deceptive."
People weren't made "old", the first man and woman were made about the age of young adults. There's no Tom-foolery on God's part here. He didn't deceive Adam and Eve into thinking that they had been around for 20 years. Also, whether or not God is deceptive is entirely irrelevant to whether he exists and does nothing for your argument.

“The idea of scriptural evidence is only applicable in the realm of the scripture itself. In the same sense that there is literary evidence that the ring was given to Frodo. This doesn't indicate that Mount Doom is a literal place, or that events of The Lord of the Rings are factually accurate.”
We only go to scripture for more specificity. For instance, nature proves to us there was a world-flood event. We look to the Bible for the historical account of that world flood event.
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  • FR2
Me- "What's the difference between a mature-looking star that's a few million light-years away, and an old-looking star that's the same distance? This is an ad hoc language shift to avoid the central issue: that my opponent has no real refutation to my core argument."

Opp.- "Nothing." That’s why saying that it ‘looks’ a certain way is ad hoc. You just proved my point, funnily enough."

"Therefore, this argument of god creating the star and its light to "look mature" and creating it to "look distant\old", even though it's not according to you, is exactly the same. Therefore, this language shift is an attempt to sidestep the central issue."
The star is not “old”. I will grant that it “looks old”, but that doesn’t mean it “is old”. If Pro is to argue that because it “looks old” it, therefore "is old", then we do have a problem of language shifting. I however am simply using the word “mature” since it is more precise and cannot be confused with age. Pro is the one trying to slip in semantics here.
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  • FR3
The flood stuff -

1.
"After the flood, there were great lakes... A study in Texas indicates that canyons are formed rapidly and not overtime and all examples are shown to have cliff-like edges."
  To quote the article my opponent cited, " 'The Grand Canyon was formed as the Colorado River slowly wore down the bedrock. That probably took millions of years though,' said geologist and study co-author Michael Lamb of Caltech in Pasadena, Calif."
Yes, I realize I cited an evolutionist. However, that does not in any way refute the point I made. The article states that, although all observed canyons happen very rapidly, he personally believes that the Grand Canyon formed millions of years. That just screams cognitive dissonance to me. Also, if Pro truly believes that the “Colorado River slowly wore down the bedrock” then how do you explain the cliff edges of the canyon? We should expect a smooth slope if it has eroded over millions of years. This is a sad attempt at sabotage, and my opponent should have never taken the bait.

2. 
"This is an assumption made by old-Earth geologists. However, these salt deposits can have occurred during the flood. There is evidence for this in the canyons near Mt. St. Helens..."

My opponent's hand-waving dismissal of this point as an "assumption" ignores the contradiction of there being intervals of evaporation when Noah's flood posits only a single drying event. This occurrence at Mt. St. Helens doesn't address this basic contradiction of the Noahic flood myth to reality. My opponent's unbiased scientific source, "evolutionisamyth.com," doesn't even have the word "salt" in it. Its section on Mount St. Helens does not address the issue I presented.
It is an assumption. You simply have no reason to verify that multiple occurrences of drying needed to occur. The link was extra reading on more reasons why Mount St. Helens is modern evidence of the ancient flood occurrences. I recommend that you reread the document.

3. and 4.
"Both of these misdate the Biblical flood at around 2500 BC when in reality correct Biblical reading dates the flood at 3105 BC. That combined with using faulty dating methods such as radiometric dating and carbon dating which have been proven to be unreliable since the 80s."

  These points were that there were deserts in the world during the time the flood supposedly happened, and that mud cracks are extremely unlikely to fossilize in a major global flood especially. Also, my opponent just dismisses the dating methods with a single posted source, so I will affirm them similarly. Carbon dating is accurate as far as it can actually date [2], and radiometric dating is reliable as well [3]. They are reliable because their methodologies have been tried and proven repeatedly.
They have been tried repeatedly. I’ll give you that. Yet carbon dating doesn’t seem to accurately date anything and it certainly can’t date back to the flood. Here is a quote from even a fellow naturalist such as yourself.

“At least to the uninitiated, carbon dating is generally assumed to be a sure-fire way to predict the age of any organism that once lived on our planet. Without understanding the mechanics of it, we put our blind faith in the words of scientists, who assure us that carbon dating is a reliable method of determining the ages of almost everything around us. However, a little more knowledge about the exact ins and outs of carbon dating reveals that perhaps it is not quite as fool-proof a process as we may have been led to believe.” [2]

5.
" Arguably the opposite is true. According to this secular article, a flood is actually the only way to preserve a raindrop fossil."
  My opponent's source states it would require a gentle shower and a gentle flood, not a catastrophic one, in order to fossilize raindrops. Noah's flood entails relentless torrent for forty days and the most catastrophic flood event in history. 
This is a plain misreading of the text. The flood of the Bible was described as not reaching its peak in height until the 40th day. This flood was most certainly nowhere near as catastrophic as the most catastrophic flood event in history. It was certainly the largest, but it occurred over such a long period that everything from raindrops to jellyfish could easily have been preserved. A larger flood is in no way correlated to a more damaging flood. It’s clear my opponent is grasping at straws here.

6.
"Dinosaurs are noted as being alive after the flood, so they had plenty of time after the flood. That is a null point, read Genesis."
  Dinosaurs aren't noted as being alive after the flood unless you're basing that off a loose interpretation of the "leviathan" or "behemoth" in Job. "Read Genesis" does nothing to substantiate this baseless claim, and it should be disregarded for the reason of being baseless.
Not baseless, God brought two of every animal onto the ark. It’s clearly written right there in Genesis. The "leviathan" and the "behemoth" in Job are just two other good examples. Also, not just in the Bible. There is an exhaustive list of evidence for dinosaurs alive after the flood dates of genesis. I advise anyone who’s interested to look at this (admittedly bias) light reading here.
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CONCLUSION

In conclusion, my opponent has ended with a bang. From rhetoric to poorly reasoned arguments, he has done his very best to keep his arguments afloat -- and there’s something noble about that. However, my opponent had lost his footing on every objective he set out to accomplish. His initial main argument’s first premise remains completely debunked from an objective standard. At the very least, one with integrity can not vote Pro. In addition, I have provided many resources that indicate that supernatural causal occurrences have taken place in the past and are in fact more plausible than ones put forth by naturalists. Your choice is easy here.

VOTE CON!