Instigator / Con
14
1513
rating
10
debates
55.0%
won
Topic

Christians should believe in young-earth creationism.

Status
Voting

Participant that receives the most points from the voters is declared a winner.

The voting will end in:

00
DD
:
00
HH
:
00
MM
:
00
SS
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Pro
6
1520
rating
1
debates
100.0%
won
Description
~ 304 / 5,000

Pro will necesarilly have the burden of proof. Pro must prove that christians should believe in young earth creationism rather than other theories.

ASSUMPTIONS:
1. Christianity is the correct religion
2. Human senses are accurate sources of information
3. Human reasoning is able to understand the world

Round 1
Con
Thank you Tradesecret



BASIC SETUP:

The bible
Regardless of how the Bible was written, we will assume it to contain "everything God wants humans to know so that they can repent and be saved".
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3.16
Therefore, we can assume that the Bible is meant to be used as a way to improve oneself and one's relationship with God. Its main goal is to proclaim the glory of God - not to reveal secret knowledge about the universe. This is clear from the beginning - God is the focus of Genesis, not the creation.

 I will use the New International Version as my source. https://www.biblegateway.com/


Science
As seen in the Bible, humans are created in the image of God. Since that is the case, humans can understand the reality God created. Therefore science is biblically sound and a valid way to explain the universe. Isaac Newton wrote more about theology than he did science - so being a dedicated Christian and a dedicated science does not automatically contradict each other. We are trying to find the best possible interpretation of both Christianity and science. As with the Bible, we will assume that science, in its own field, has ultimate authority. An apple will always fall unless God specifically uses supernatural force to hold it in the air.


Creation - definition
Science and theology agree that matter is created by something else. According to Einstein, matter is energy. We will assume God is the reason why energy exists. However, as we see when God creates man - He uses existing matter to create humans. This leads us to the conclusion that God created the universe using at least two different methods: A. Ex nihilo (from nothing) and B. A priori (from something he had already created).



EXPLAINING THE PROBLEM:

According to the Bible we know for sure that A) The universe was created by God and B) Humanity's history is less than 10.000 years old

The question then becomes: What happened before Adam and Eve came into existence? This is the topic of our debate. It might seem obvious: God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days. But this is not necessarily the case. After all, the Bible is known for its use of imagery and poetic style to support its message. It became even more controversial when modern science proved that the earth is about 4 billion years old and that the moon and the earth are made of the same materials. In this debate, we will discuss if any philosophy can accept YEC without rendering itself both irrational and incoherent. Pro must prove that the Bible is clear cut enough to rule out other theories than YEC.



ARGUMENTS:

The creation story is a story
The creation story is necessarily imagery. God cannot "speak" in the literal sense, so when it is written:
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Gen 1.3
- it must by definition be a literary device - an usage of symbolism. God being immaterial cannot actually speak. Neither can he "hover" above water, nor can he "see" in the literal sense. Let us not forget that language is a definitive barrier. It does not matter who wrote the Bible, God, aliens, people - as long as they must use a native language. Remember, the Bible was written for all humans to learn about God, not for us westerners to create alternative scientifical theories. So if God wrote Genesis 1-2 as a scientifical article, he would be contradicting his own goal - universal acceptance and understanding of the Bible. If God wants all humans to read the Bible he would write a simplified and nice story  - one that is not too technical for primitive people to understand. Therefore we can assume that the creation story is less scientific and more religious. This is backed up by the usage of nonscientific and vague words like "good", "spirit" and "vault". These words would only make sense if we read the text like a novel rather than a scientific report.

Final proof: "God said ... and there was" - is not an actual explanation.  "because God wanted x to happen - x happened" - clearly allows for a scientific explanation.


God vs Science
We see throughout the entire genesis that God "does" things using natural processes. For example:
  • God sends the rain. Gen 7.4 
  • God plants a garden. Gen 2.8
  • God makes the rainbow. Gen 9.13
  • God makes sulfur rain down (from volcanoes most certainly) Gen 19.24
Rain, plant reproduction, the rainbow, volcanoes. Obviously, these phenomena can be explained using science. Regardless of whether or not God used miracles to initiate these events - the events went by as the laws of physics demand. They can be explained as seemingly acausal scientific events - not as nonscientific events. This trend of a blurry line between God and the laws of physics is to be seen throughout the entire Bible. For example, God is biology:
  • God preserves both animals and humans Psalms 36.6
  • God forms people in the womb Jeremiah 1.5
If God formed me in my mother's womb, does that mean that science cannot explain it? No, it doesn't, both are true! God created me, but biology explains the process.
I conclude that whenever God does something the process can be explained through the laws of physics.

We know that God has control of the universe. The ultimate evidence:
28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being Acts 17.28
What do we exist in? The universe of course. But the universe has a beginning, and God doesn't. How can we then exist in God? 
The answer: God controls the universe through the laws of physics. In that case, we can believe that God sends rain and creates babies without undermining science. Sometimes God does something which the laws of physics does not require - that is called a miracle. But still, a miracle does not break the laws of physics. The bread Jesus created out of thin air still acts like normal atoms, the fish that swallowed Jonah was a normal fish - the frogs sent over Egypt was still normal frogs. What this implies is that the laws of physics are always active, but when God chooses to intervene an acausal event occurs - but the event still follows the law of physics.
What can we get from this? It is simple: God uses the laws of physics to achieve his goals - they are his servants. 


Science
Since Pro accepted the debate he knows what is to come. Premise 2 and 3 of this debate clearly shows us that people are able to understand the world. God actively ask humans to name animals - a clear reference to biology. Science was invented in Christian Europe for a reason - the Bible actively praises science as glorifying God:

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
If this is not an active call to science I do not know what is. Anyways, let us assume science to be a valid way to understand the world. Some might say that science leaves out the possibility for God - this is clearly not the case. Newton wrote more about theology than he did science. Science evaluates the process of creation - the laws of physics. Learning how great Gods servants are - it only exalts him even more. Now let us continue. Science has proven to be a more effective way to understand our universe than anything else: the Bible, philosophy, personal experience, etc. Only science can explain why atoms form water, how the earth orbits the sun and how the universe is constantly expanding. Science has progressively become more accurate and more consistent over the years. Science can explain every process we can imagine - this is just an incredible feat that is only possible if humans can understand reality. Let us be real - if humans cannot understand our universe we can never understand anything spiritual. Theology will fall as well if we do not accept science. Theology and science are both interpretations of the revelations God has given us - they both rely on the same premises 2 and 3.


MY SYLLOGISM:

P1: The Bible supports science as glorifying God
P2: Science proves that the universe was is 14 billion years old (might change) 
C: Christians should believe the universe is more than 10.000 years old



CONCLUSION:

The Bible tells us the religious side of creation using symbolism, while science explains the process of creation.


If to anyone this seems like a big stretch, consider this: 
  • Before, Christians thought that the earth was the centre of space - but they were proven wrong. Today we acknowledge this fact
  • Before, Christians thought that the earth was the centre of time - but now they have been proven wrong. In the future people will acknowledge this fact

Over to you, Pro.

Pro
Thanks for the debate and discussion. 

Preliminaries.
Bible
 I agree the bible contains "everything ...  so that they can repent and be saved". Yet, it is more correct  that the Bible is used by God as a tool  to bring about change in us.  Its main goal is to proclaim the glory of God, yet, it also has other goals which ought not be dismissed.

Science
Humans are created in the image of God; yet this image has been distorted by the fall and is not perfect.  Therefore, science is biblically sound and a valid way to explain the universe only if its underlying assumptions are correct.  

Isaac Newton was not a Christian. He denied the Trinity. 

Creation – definition
I agree in principle but reserve my rights about the definition.

EXPLAINING THE PROBLEM:
Yet it is a question which will forever be speculative. Neither the Bible nor Science is able to answer the question definitively.
 
ARGUMENTS: rebuttal 1.
The  Bible contains many different genres.  What type of literature are the first chapters of Genesis?  Con says the creation story is “necessarily imagery”.   Con says it is a literary device. But, since God is, according to Con,  immaterial, he cannot speak, cannot hover, cannot see, ergo, cannot do anything. Con falls prone to the fallacy of “proving too much”. By implication – everything God does – must be symbolism – it means effectively God can do nothing. His god is a god of symbols. A god who not only could not create the world in 6 days – but actually could not make the world at all.   His god is purely symbolic.

Con suggests that God can “want”. And there is an implied thought that because God ‘wants” he can do whatever he wants.  This is inconsistent with Con’s previous thought. If God wants to speak – literally, then whether he is immaterial or not becomes irrelevant if God can do whatever he wants. 

Con unhelpfully omits that in Hebrew it is simple to determine what kind of literature is used. Hebrew uses specific cues within its language and its semantics and word order to identify the genre. Those familiar with Hebrew immediately understand the use of a waw consecutive[1] at the commencement of the sentence. It signals it is narrative history and not symbolism.  The science for this has been well established.

Reading Genesis is not difficult for the layperson. It uses the language of appearance. It is not a scientific textbook. Nevertheless, it should go without saying, that any person who reads the Genesis narrative will conclude naturally that the universe was created within 6 days.  The question of YEC or OEC only becomes a question once someone has been exposed to evolution.  This leads to the conclusion that the author of Genesis had  no other position except YEC. 

Therefore,
Con has not established that the creation story is ONLY a story and not history. Nor has he provided a genuine reason why anyone reading the first few chapters of Genesis would conclude its authors had any view other than a YEC.
 
Rebuttal 2
The Bible and Science are not incompatible.  Nevertheless, the fall of humanity has distorted  humans ability to perceive and understand the world.
Hence, science based upon faulty assumptions will have difficulties with Jesus walking on water. Or Jesus rising from the dead. Neither  can be explained by science using faulty assumptions.  Hence to suggest that God uses the laws of physics, while true, is not necessarily the whole of the story.

This is explained in part by the difference between the modern Western worldview which is derived from the Greek understanding of the world, rather than the Hebrew model which the Christian derives his view from.  The former after Plato place laws and its principles above God and the latter in reverse. Hence, the Western mind tries to find God and test him. And the other, God finds man and tests him.

Con indicates that Physics is a servant of God, yet his inherent arguments suggest the reverse. This probably explains his confusion as to the substance of miracles as in accord with the law of physics.  Yet, Jesus walking on water defies the laws of physics. It is non-scientific in accordance with modern scientific assumptions. 

Con has not provided any reason to reject YEC. HE has provided reasons to reject God. But not YEC from a Christian and biblical worldview.

Rebuttal 3
 
Con has not established his two first premises. His first premise must be qualified. Which Christianity is he talking about?
His second premise has not been established. Saying humanity is made in the image of God is one thing. Failing to mention the fall of humanity as distorting the image of God is another. The Christian message as a whole – is that humanity sinned. Sin distorts. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that human senses are ACCURATE sources of information. One example will suffice. If human senses were accurate  –EVERYONE would believe in GOD.  Not everyone believes in God, therefore the premise is incorrect.

It is better to say, Human senses are useful to obtain some information.

Con has not established Premise 3.  Con is suggesting that human reasoning is able to understand the world but he omits to recognize very often human reasoning FAILS to understand the world.  It does because it is biased in its reasoning due to the fallen nature. In fact, Con proves this in calling our attention to the past flat earth theories.  Therefore, the most Con can establish is that sometimes humans are able to use reason to explain the world.  Yet it is not established that human reasoning MUST and DOES understand the world.
Science is a tool which can be used properly or not.  If its assumptions are correct then it will be correct, if not, then not.  The Bible is not a scientific textbook. It is a communication tool from God to Humanity.  In that it is therefore infallible and inerrant. Therefore, whatever it touches on it is infallible and inerrant.  In other words, it is the measure against which ALL assumptions must be tested.

It is incorrect to say that theology will fall if science is not accepted.  Science does not underlie theology. It is God who upholds the universe and everything in it. Not science.

Again, Con has not established that YEC is incorrect. He has not established that Old Earth creation is correct. He has not established or given any plausible or rational reason for any Christian to reject YEC.

Rebuttal of Con’s syllogism

P1 is ok. P2 – “might change”. Might implies not proved.  If proved, it of necessity cannot change. Cis not established. In fact, Con has not given any evidence to believe the earth is more than 10,000 years.
Con's  speculation in respect of Genesis is not proof.
 
Rebuttal of Con’s CONCLUSION:
The first statement is an assertion and not established. Neither example is helpful for it overlooks the inconvenient truth that it was not JUSTCHRISTIANS – but the ENTIRE world, including scientists, lawyers, economists, theologians, kings, from every country and nation that believed such things.

Con forgets prior to Galileo – scientists using science, experience, observation, logic, believed the sun circled the earth. It was the consensus of the entire world – and not because they held to the bible –for many did not – but because their human reasoning concluded from their human senses that every morning the sun rose and went across the sky and then set in the evening. 

He forgets to mention that people such as Tycho Brahe produced very accurate measurements on this faulty assumption.

Pro’s assumptions given the latitude of Con:

Although, Christianity is the correct religion. It needs qualification. A Christian is one that believes in the historic and physical death and physical resurrection of Jesus as the means of atonement to secure reconciliation between God, the Trinity and humanity.

This implies a historical fall of humanity. A fall that tarnished the image of God in humanity and necessitated divine intervention to resolve it.

Reasons for believing in the YEC.

Firstly, it is the most natural way of reading the book of Genesis.  The question of old earth would never have entered the author’s mind and it would not attach to the reading of it for most readers in history up until the introduction of Darwin’s evolutionary views.  Christian should attempt to understand the authors intention and understanding as the primary means of interpretation of a text.

Secondly, Scripture is to be interpreted and understood by the principle – Sola Scriptura, not science textbooks just as prophecy needs to be interpreted by Scriptura and not the daily newspapers. Using the textbooks to interpret scripture suggests that other things apart from the Scriptures are authoritative in understanding the bible.

Thirdly, if a Christian believe the earth to be billions of years old, then they need to justify and explain why God would create a world – which purpose is for humanity to glorify God and yet leave it almost until the last moment to bring humanity to light. An atheist does not need to provide such justification because humanity is simply part of the natural selection of life as it evolves or moves along.  A Christian on the other hand MUST explain why there was so much death and destruction – in order for humanity to come about. Without such a plausible and reasonable explanation – a Christian rejects God’s word.

Fourthly, there are no alternative theories which have both plausibility, which are consistent with the Scriptures. 

The real question is not why God took only 6 days to create all things, but why did he take such a long time. That is the beginning of a much more interesting pursuit.


Back to you now. 


Round 2
Con
SUMMARY OF THE CURRENT SITUATION:


What Pro had to admit
Pro has admitted, among other things, that these claims are true:
  • The Bible is composed of many different genres -- with very different purposes
  • God created energy first using ex nihilo and afterwards, he created things with that energy using a priori
  • The Bible and science are not incompatible -- God does things using the laws of physics
  • The Bible is meant as communication between God and humans. Not for learning but for devotion, salvation, and personal change.
If you doubt this list, just read the first round over again. 




What Pro denied: 
Pro denied that our human senses are accurate with regards to gathering information. This is very strange. I do not see how "sin" could alter our senses and make them unreliable. Pro must add facts behind his claim, or at least add some verses from the scriptures.

If human senses were accurate  –EVERYONE would believe in GOD.
Pro has not supported his claim that suggests Christians are smarter than other people. Pro also denies our reasoning abilities as not being a valid way to understand the world. However, he forgets that theology is based on the same premise. If science is flawed then theology is even more. After all, scientists are constantly improving their methods and theories while theology basically stays the same for centuries. Therefore, I hope Pro can start accepting the unavoidable truth: human reasoning IS a valid way to understand the world.




The Bible - identity
it is more correct  that the Bible is used by God as a tool  to bring about change in us
I agree. Regardless, how can the Bible be "infallible" if it is merely a tool? If the Bible is a tool used by God it would make sense that the words were written by humans rather than God himself - after all, he can even use a donkey to proclaim his glory. The Bible clearly has some books not inspired directly by God, for example, the book of Ester which does not even mention his name. If the writer was inspired by God he would at least have mentioned him. Pro's claim that the Bible is "infallible" is not really based on scripture's own claims, but theology. Theology created sometime by the catholic church, maybe in order to enforce their authority even onto nonreligious matters. The Bible is not a "source of hidden scientific wisdom". It is more correct to view it as a collection of the most reliable and meaningful religious texts from the Israelites and the early Christians - that God uses in a special way even to this day. That would explain the many incorrect statements in the Bible regarding how the world works - people used whatever they knew in order to write the Bible. However - this does not undermine the authority of the Bible, as God is often quoted directly or indirectly. And oftentimes the people that wrote the Bible, especially in the new testament, were clearly reliable sources who had done their research - Luke is a good example. I conclude that this case has been settled: the Bible was written by God's people and is being used by God, it did not fly from heaven onto earth with hidden knowledge like YEC.

If you still think that the Bible is "inspired" or "infallible", please add some verses from the Bible to support your claim next time. Do not quote theology instead of verses.





SETUP DEFENCE:


Science
My opponent undermines science by claiming that humans were "distorted". His claim is not from the Bible but from theology - which is created by human reasoning. But if humans were "distorted", how can we trust theology? We cannot do that according to Pros logic. After all, theology was created by the same faulty humanity that created science - having way less source material. If he claims that Christians have been "undistorted" he must prove that Christians magically become smarter after their salvation. Even if so was, Science was created in Christian Europe by Christians like Galileo. 

Pro calls Newton "not a Christian". In other words, he implies that having the wrong understanding of theology can prevent you from coming to heaven. I regret that no human will ever come to heaven according to Pro - as every human that has ever lived has been incorrect in some crucial way. I myself believe FAITH, not theology, saves humans.

Science is built on the correct assumptions:
  • Every event has a cause
  • When the same thing happens again and again we can start identifying the cause
  • When our models can predict the future correctly our theories are trustworthy
Therefore - miracles are not denied by science, they are simply outside the reach of scientific study since God is immaterial and an inconsistent cause. My point still stands

Pro's argument against science makes no sense, biblical or else wise. It also undermines his own position. Therefore, Pro's argument must be discarded.




Creation
Pro accepted my point that God created matter and later created things using the matter he had already created, humans for example. This clearly allows scientific theory to be correct. The big bang would in biblical terms be THE creation ex nihilo, while the formation of stars using gravity would be called creation a priori. I do not think that Pro will claim that ONLY humans were created by existing matter.

Let me support my claim that the universe was created ex nihilo only during the big bang using the creation story in Genesis:
  • God created "light" - which could be called photons which could be called energy
  • The "vault" divided existing water
  • The water already existed, it just gathered in one place (aka Gravity)
  • THE LAND, NOT GOD, produced plants, 
  • Stars being born is STILL a thing to this very day - gravity yet again
Example:
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
So here you have both God AND the land creating animals. This clearly permits evolution to be a thing. Now, do not say "1 day is not enough for evolution" yet. 
I have scriptural evidence that one day can be used to describe a very long period of time:

With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  [2 Peter 3.8]
I know this is a different language, but I also have evidence for the Hebrew word. Yom: a period or point in time [2]. Let us not forget every time the Bible uses the term "the day of the lord". I doubt that means "in the 24 hours on which the Lord will judge all humans". Regardless, my point still stands - God DID create something out of already existing matter, as Pro has already admitted.




The problem
Neither the Bible nor Science is able to answer the question definitively.
Pro loses this debate unless he can prove DEFINATELY that if Christianity is correct then the universe is not older than 10.000 years. Anything else would be an automatic win for me, after all, why would you believe in without evidence from the Bible? I find it strange that Pro critiques me for not meeting this standard of complete knowledge about everything.





DEFENSE OF ARGUMENTS:


The Bible is not about science
I want to quote Pro:
The Bible is not a scientific textbook.
...
Christian should attempt to understand the authors intention and understanding as the primary means of interpretation of a text.
I find it strange that Con revoked his own position so easily.
He has basically admitted that:
  1. The Bible is not a scientific textbook - completely rejecting the foundation of YEC
  2. The knowledge of the authors was limited  - completely rejecting the idea that Genesis 1-2 magically appeared to Moses or the writer

I conclude that the Bible includes no scientific knowledge not already known at the time the Bible was written.
Therefore Genesis 1-2 is scientifically inferior to modern knowledge about the history of the universe.




Genesis is a story

I extend the argument regarding the flawed rhetoric of Genesis.

Con has not rebutted my argument. He instead claims that if my argument is correct then Christianity is undermined. Pro means that everything God does is symbolism if the Bible includes symbolism as a literary device to describe his actions. I would like to ask him his opinion on the revelation - does it include literary devices? Is Jesus literally a lamb? Of course not. So Pro's rebuttal of my point undermines Christianity on its own. 

His god is a god of symbols
Con has straw manned my argument. His assertion is incorrect.  The Bible is a book of symbols - since there is no earthly word to describe God's actions. God's actions are REAL, but the words we use to describe them are SYMBOLICAL.  Jesus was not "sent" from the immaterial world into our own like a human from one country to another - but the word makes it easy for us humans to understand the gospel - which is obviously the main goal of Christianity. I conclude that God's actions are real rather than literal.




God vs Science
Pro thinks that "science" and naturalism/atheism are interchangeable. Which is obviously not true at all.

I never denied miracles as Pro implied - I just said that the laws of physic were and are always active - God's miracles are the exception, not the rule. My point still stands.

Without physical laws as the basic ordering of the universe, God would be controlling every event directly - humans would be nothing but God's puppets. This contradicts an important point of the theology Pro represents: free will. If God controls the universe rather than the laws of physics - why do we as humans have free will? If God sends people to hell because he controlled their lives then he is evil. Since he is not, the universe is for the most part untouched. God only intervenes when people pray or he has important things to do. Pro argues that I put the laws of physics above God. This is incorrect, as my claim was that: God, in a sense, ACTS like the laws of physics.

Scientifically explained phenomena are attributed to God in the Bible. This point was ignored by pro and therefore still valid. Thus, Pro has not rebutted my argument.

Con has not provided any reason to reject YEC. HE has provided reasons to reject God.
I did not reject God -  I rejected naturalism and anti-science-ism. Pro must disprove or discredit science with the Bible. He has the BoP as the description says. 

Con says, rightfully so, that a miracle is nonscientific. But this makes no difference - I already agreed. Science does not explain miracles because it's not clear what the cause is. Science does not deny miracles - atheism does. Miracles do not break the law of physics, but God's power is stronger than gravity - THAT'S WHY Jesus could walk on water.

By definition, a miracle is an exception from what science predicted.
Even Pro must accept that the rule must exist before the exception can happen. If the laws of physics were not ALWAYS ACTIVE there would be nothing called miracles.





HOW PRO WINS:

Pro tried to push the burden onto me by saying:
there are no alternative theories which have both plausibility, which are consistent with the Scriptures. 
Why does "consistency" matter? TRUTH is what matter according to the Bible, not consistency.


Only if the Bible is a scientific textbook is YEC worthy of discussion.

Pro must prove either of these claims:
  1. Science is invalid 
  2. The Bible is a scientific textbook.
Rember that Pro has the BoP.



CONCLUSION:

God DOES things using the laws of physics. This permits science and genesis to explain the same process, therefore YEC is unnecessary.

Pro has not rebutted any of my points. 
Back to you, Pro.


SOURCES:
Pro
Firstly, thank you Con for your reply.

I provided four arguments for why Christians should hold to YEC position.

  • Firstly, it is the most natural way of reading the book of Genesis and the clear view of the author. 
  • Secondly which is an extension of the first argument is that Scriptures interpret Scripture. Scientific textbooks, wild theories, speculation do not interpret the Scriptures.
  • Thirdly, a Christian must provide a plausible purpose for why God would create humanity on almost the last minute of the world’s existence if he created the world and humanity to glorify God.
  • Fourthly, since there are no alternative theories which have both plausibility, which are consistent with the Scriptures, there is no reason to look elsewhere but the plain and natural way of understanding of the Bible.
This of course is not an exhaustive list of reasons for why Christians ought to hold to YEC, but sufficient for the length of our debate.

Introduction:

Con has not even attempted to rebut any of these arguments. This is a concession by Con. The most Con has attempted to do is to state: 

“Pro tried to push the burden onto me by quoting me:

                                                                               “there are no alternative theories which have both plausibility, which are consistent with the Scriptures.” 

And then asking " Why does "consistency" matter? TRUTH is what matter according to the Bible, not consistency.”

This of course is not a refutation of my arguments.  It is Con expressing his puzzlement. It is a ad hominin attack because he is implying I don't care about truth. 

Con provided arguments for why he believes an OEC is possible from a Christian position. I refuted each one forcefully. He has in kind attempted to try and claw back some ground. Unfortunately, he does not strengthen his case.

Firstly, man is made in the image of God. Therefore, Con states science is valid. This is a theological argument, not a biblical one.  Con conveniently forgets that YEC’s also believe science is valid. I never disagreed with the argument per se; but explored it further by noting significantly that the fall of humanity HAS impacted upon the human condition, including bias and presumptions. True Science is after all one with true assumptions.

Con suggested this somehow undermines science. Yet seeking truer assumptions will only enhance science for it enables proper diagnosis of assumptions to mitigate against the problem of sin. Con rejects the truth, by preferring to ignore the problem of sin.

Con states incorrectly that I do not trust sinful humans doing science; and extends this unhelpfully to theology. Firstly, this has no bearing on the truth that humans are sinful; but secondly, theologians do accept the problem of sin and intentionally adjust their assumptions to reflect this in their conclusions.  Surely even Con believes a proper Diagnosis is a helpful tool.

Yet Con rather than pursuing this unhelpfully attempts to take us a down a rabbit hole. “Prove Christians are smarter”. Then an ad hominin attack with a strawman – “Pro implies that having the wrong understanding of theology can prevent you from coming to heaven”.  Neither are correct and both irrelevant to our debate.

Con then provides some assumptions which incidentally YEC hold before contradicting himself on miracles. Now miracles stand outside of science agrees Con. Prior to this Con said miracles worked according to the law of physics. Con can’t have it both ways. To say his point stands is absurd.

So, we agree to a point. God made man in his own image. However Con denies sin has any impact upon our assumptions or biases. Christians ought to take sin seriously and appreciate that its impact has negatively impacted all of humanity’s life and assumptions.

Secondly, Con argues that the story of Genesis is symbolic. This too is a theological argument. Therefore, Christians according to Con should not take it literally. Yet Con does not use science to prove this, he uses speculation. Science supports Genesis as historical narrative. Con did not attempt to refute that proposition. 

Con's  fallacy was to “prove too much”.  His argument made God symbolic although he denied this but without any evidence. Rather Con suggests incorrectly I am worried about Christianity being undermined.  Con’s argument is that it contains symbolism – therefore it is not literal at all.  My position is that the genre is historical narrative containing points of history and symbolism inter alia.

It is the reader’s responsibility to understand the genre and the intention of the author. The natural (not literal) reading of the passage is that God created the heavens and the earth and all within it in six days.  Understanding the symbols is necessary. As too is understanding the narrative. Yet Con sees symbols and misses all of the narrative

Again, Con’s argument is forcefully refuted. Genesis’ genre is not symbolic, even though it contains some symbolism. It is historical narrative, and this is clearly the intention of the author.  Con’s proposition that symbolism somehow undermines the YEC is flawed as many YEC do not take Genesis as literal.

Thirdly, Con argues by his definition. This is too is a theological argument. Con defines creation as “God created matter and later created things using the matter he had already created.” Con misrepresented what I agreed to. I agreed in principle but reserved my right in relation to the definition.

The purpose here of reservation was to observe his purpose of a specific two-pronged definition.

Con asserts his definition “allows scientific theory to be correct.” Again, let me repeat YEC are not opposed to scientific theory. They simply begin with different assumptions.
In Con’s scenario, he introduces the Big Bang theory as possible in the Genesis creation story. Let me suggest there is a significant difference between possible (or allows) and plausible.  Con’s assertion is not a plausible outcome of this definition; indeed, it is not even a possible one. 

The author of Genesis had NO concept of the Big Bang Theory. To suggest he did is built on no evidence whatsoever. Con must prove the author of Genesis considered the Big Bang Theory to say it is possible.

This is not to say Con’s definition is without merit. The first chapter of Genesis uses two words for create: bara which can mean ex-nihilo. The second is asah which can mean reshape or make. Yet this is totally in agreement with YEC understanding of Creation and with science. What this definition  does not do though is “allow” us to introduce time or gaps or events into the passage without biblical authority to do so.  If Con wishes to so, then let him provide such authority.

His suggested support is not an authority to introduce times or gaps or events into the Genesis passage. Moreover, his desperate attempt to use 2 Peter 3:8 is laughable. The Lord owns the hills on a thousand hills, means God owns all the cows on all the hills.  The usage of yom in chapter one is used four different ways. So what? This does not give authority to insert things into the passage which are not there. 

Again, Con’s argument is demonstrated to be a non-issue in this debate. It adds nothing and takes nothing away from YEC position. Con however wants to insert his own bias into the text without authority from the Scriptures.

Other matters:

The Bible is not a textbook on science. Let me go further. The bible is not a textbook on anything, including politics, economics, history, social science, education, religion, spirituality, faith and church. It is not even a textbook on how to get saved or how to give glory to God. It is not a textbook.

It is a communication tool from God to humanity. It is God’s word to us via special revelation. Hence, whatever it touches on is authoritative and is as such for Christians. The fact that Con has so desperately attempted to find a gap or a “possibility” for the Big Bang in the first few verses provides ample evidence even for him that it authoritative.

Furthermore, this debate is not really a debate over the evidence for a young earth creation. It is a debate over whether Christians ought to hold to a YEC position. And moreover, it is a debate intrinsically about the authority of the bible in the life and worldview of a Christian.

Therefore the arguments I presented in my initial submission and then again at the commencement of this second submission remain important. Christians ought to hold to the authority of the Bible for their understanding of their worldview. To do so properly requires that they understand the bible and the way it is written, its authors and their original intentions.

It is my contention that Christians ought to begin first with the Bible and then understand the world, and whatever that pertains to in the light of the Scriptures and not the reverse. And this ought to be the case whatever field you operate in, whether it be theology, science, law, economics, politics etc.

The Bible is and remains the starting point for Christians.   The natural way to read Genesis is the way that most people throughout history have read it. Con has yet to refute this and to provide any biblical reason why Christians ought to reject the bible in favor of his view.

FINALLY
Pro must prove either of these claims:
Science is invalid
The Bible is a scientific textbook.
 
The above italicized comments by Con demonstrates he does not even understand the YEC position.
 
YEC believe science is valid. And YEC do not believe the bible is a textbook.

Over to you Con. This time please attempt to at least refute my arguments. 
Round 3
Con
Thanks, Pro.


REBUTTALS:

it is the most natural way of reading the book
The most natural way to read genesis does not matter without further authority. Some texts in the Bible are undeniably symbolical, like the revelation. For Christians to believe in YEC then the Bible must be a scientific textbook and also contradict all other theories than YEC. Why on earth would you reject science because of a text written thousands of years ago UNLESS everyone agrees that it was written by God with the specific purpose of teaching us science? If that is not the case then we are not reading real science but rather the limited knowledge of people that never had any type of science going for them. I conclude that Pro has not fulfilled his burden of proof.



Secondly which is an extension of the first argument is that Scriptures interpret Scripture. Scientific textbooks, wild theories, speculation do not interpret the Scriptures.
Only I have interpreted scripture using scripture - or used scripture in general. Doing that, I showed how a day for God can be a thousand years. Extend the argument. Scientific textbooks are not wild theories and speculations like Pro implies. Again, Pro fails to understand the reasoning in this debate. I am not arguing for science interpreting the Bible, but science (not the bible) interpreting science. Unless Pro can show us why the Bible has scientific authority then science should decide the scientific age of the earth. Obviously, I am not arguing for a change in theology. Do you really think that the church changed theology when science explained how people grow in the womb? Do you really think that science Christians believe in can rule out the idea that "God" sends the rain and own the hills? Of course not.

Pro's argument makes no sense. It implies that science is correct only when not interfering with his interpretation of scripture.




Thirdly, a Christian must provide a plausible purpose for why God would create humanity on almost the last minute of the world’s existence if he created the world and humanity to glorify God.
God has no concept of time - after all, he is infinite in nature by definition. So this supposed "explanation" is not necessary at all. Tell me, why did God create the universe? We do not know - but we know that he did because our senses and our reasonings led us to believe that. When a fact and a theory contradicts, the theory must always give way. A theory that is contradicted by cold hard facts must be abandoned, we do not abandon the facts.

Pro might claim that the age of the earth is not a fact. But he must disprove the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence in order to do so:
  • Radiometric dating has consistently proved that the earth's age is measured in billions, not thousands [1]
  • "Earth is estimated to be 4.54 billion years old, plus or minus about 50 million years." [2]
  • The formation of mountains, oceans and islands is still happening today with a speed of centimetres per year. [basically 9th-grade geology - 3]
  • Thus - the earth and it's surface of the earth took billions of years to form.

Fourthly, since there are no alternative theories which have both plausibility, which are consistent with the Scriptures, there is no reason to look elsewhere but the plain and natural way of understanding of the Bible.
This is a blind assertion until Pro can support it with actual logic or sources. The words "plausible" and "consistent" in this context are vague and undefined - please elaborate.



It is a ad hominin attack because he is implying I don't care about truth. 
Sir, science has proven that the earth is 4.3 billion years old. If the Bible does not invalidate science then you have no reason to reject such a fact - unless you don't care.



 This is a theological argument, not a biblical one.
I CAN BELIEVE IN THEOLOGY - because I believe that human reasoning and humans senses are valid and accurate. They do not deceive us like Pro claims.

We must believe in premise 2 and 3 in order to trust our beliefs:
  1. Unless our reasoning is valid then our beliefs cannot reflect reality
  2. I cannot trust a belief that undermines the reliability of beliefs 
  3. Therefore, in order to believe anything and be sure about it, I must believe in my reasoning ability.
  4. The same applies to our senses

However Con denies sin has any impact upon our assumptions or biases.
Sir, you know that science is written by thousands upon thousands of scientists with a strict working code. Their work is constantly reviewed and checked by experiments.
Even if your WILD claim that "sin distorts our senses and our brain" is correct, the sheer amount of scientists reduces the margin for error to a bare minimum.


time or gaps or events into the passage without biblical authority to do so.
Wow, time gaps, such a problem. Well, how did God create "the heavens and the earth" before he even created light? Why does the second chapter reiterate chapter 1?
The truth of the matter is that Hebrew is well known for its time gaps, weird grammar and use of "wrong" time as a literal device. ESPECIALLY THE BIBLE.



YEC believe science is valid. And YEC do not believe the bible is a textbook.
I take this as an admission from Pro that science is more correct than the Bible regarding science - like the age of the earth.

Though I do not see how he can justify his first claim, given his rejection of human senses and human reasoning.


Pro dropped many of my arguments. Some of them are:
  • The vagueness of genesis
  • The fact that God and the laws of physics overlap
  • The Bible supports science

Extend all arguments.


QUESTION FOR PRO:

The author of Genesis had NO concept of the Big Bang Theory
Tell me:
  • Who wrote genesis 1-2?
  • Which university did he study at?
  • What degree of geology and astrophysics did he have?
  • What is his opinion on the formation of atoms?
  • Which experiments show his theory to be true?
Before you can do that, I do not care what the author's theory was. I only care about the main religious theme of the story: God is great and his creation marvellous.
If that is not the theme, which is clearly the case, then the story has no right to be in the Bible. However, if it was the intention why are you extracting "science" from it?




CONCLUSION:

Texture interprets texture, but science interprets science. 

God created the earth and it is approximately "4.54 billion years old, plus or minus about 50 million years [2]" 


Pro's arguments are invalid. He denies the premises of science even though they are the cornerstone of Christianity and science alike. His rejection of the "scientific" authority of the Bible instantly makes the real science compatible with Christian faith. In short, Pro is just shooting himself in the leg with every word of his post.



SOURCES:
Pro
Forfeited
Round 4
Con
I regret that PRO has forfeited his round. Instead of waiving I will briefly summarize my arguments, making it easier for PRO to rebutt them if he can.


I. THE BIBLE IS INHERENTLY INACCURATE
The bible, especially genesis, contains many staggering problems for a reader wishing to decode any "supernatural knowledge" hidden within them. The theme, tone, and general feel of it show that it is clearly meant as a religious story rather than a reliable source of scientific information. The writer is unknown, which would undermine any argument about the most natural way to read it. There are layers of translations and different rhetoric inside it, and the Hebrew version is probably not the only version that existed. The vagueness and symbolism of the text would make it unreliable even if one expected it to contain god-given information. Furthermore, it is impossible to know the intention of the author as he is not known. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the story is not really uniquely "biblical" at all. Rather, it was the Israelites that had gathered what knowledge they could find about their past - including both their family tree and general creation myths.

In essence, genesis is not a good source even if you accept its "divine" authority as a given.


II. THE BIBLE SUPPORTS SCIENCE
The bible story is not clear cut against science, rather it proposes the idea of a creation that is created by an intelligent being and that the discovery of this world is the purpose of humanity. God created us in his image, which clearly gives us the potential to understand his world created specifically for us to discover and live in. Regardless of your opinion on sin, PRO has not made any attempts at backing up his claim that sin distorts our perception of the world. What science can explain today and what the Bible attributes to God consistently math up, making science and God not contradictory explanations. Big Bang required a miracle - matter cannot bring about it's own existence. Studying evolutionary history and genesis shows us that the order in which life was created consistently line up - further supporting the idea.

In essence, the Bible and science enhance, rather than contradict, each other.


III. ONE MUST ACCEPT SCIENCE REGARDLESS
Regardless of one's view of reality science must be accepted. This is because science relies on only two premises, both of which are necessary for any kind of belief. Unless one is willing to accept science one can never accept any other form of knowledge or belief. Why trust human reasoning with regards to theology when you cannot trust a mathematically perfect measure of the age of the earth or the time it took light to reach our planet, or literally any other scientific fact. Why accept science with regards to present events but ignoring any evidence pointing towards YEC being a wrong interpretation of the scripture. After all, why trust your eyes in everyday life if the Hubble telescope has been "distorted" by sin making our science incorrect? The answer to all of these questions is simple: faith in the words of the early church 2000 years ago. But today the knowledge has grown, as the Bible predicted. If one can trust science to predict the future, like climate change or landing on Mars, why not trust it with regards to history - which is MUCH easier to understand? 

In essence, denying science is to deny all human knowledge their credibility, which would undermine the Bible which YEC is based upon.



I will allow PRO to ignore my previous round and instead focusing on this round - thus making it easier for him to catch up if he is able and willing to continue.


Over to you, PRO.
Pro
Forfeited
Round 5
Con

I conclude the following:
  • If God wrote the Bible directly he would have no motivations to put science into Genesis, YEC would be false
  • If men wrote the Bible because God doesn't exist, the current understanding of the world is better, and YEC would be false
  • If men wrote the Bible because God told them to do so, then they would use the knowledge they had to convey the message from God, YEC would be false
  • If aliens wrote the Bible, they might have both motivation and knowledge to put real science into it, YEC could have been true


Voters, do not take into consideration the assassination of PRO. I read the rules and nowhere is it written that hiring a mercenary IRL is not allowed. Conduct point to me since PRO forfeited two rounds. With regards to arguments and sources, PRO has not rebutted my last points and therefore I will win also on that front. S&G: whY even pother? Itz ickual for boht of us, me and may oppenent.


I hope this debate, although short, can open your horizon as a Christian. Or if you are an atheist, maybe it can help you better understand Christian thought.


Thank you, PRO for this debate. 

Voters, you know best.
Pro
Forfeited