Debate Help
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01-07-2012, 09:25 PM
Debate Help
I'm a member of a debate club and I'm supporting the 4.6 Billion Year Earth against the 6000 Year Earth. Now, I'm good at putting the information together and such so I don't need any help there. However, I only have 20 minutes to talk. There's my problem. There's just so many different things that prove the age of the Earth. So what information do you guys think I should use?

Geology? Cosmology? Dendrochronology?

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01-07-2012, 09:45 PM
RE: Debate Help
20 minutes is a lot of time. Just preface that science is our method of understanding the truth about the way of the universe or something like that, then proceed to just quick list all the scientific proofs of an earth older than 6000 years. You don't need to be persuasive, since you have mountains of methods that all agree on an old earth.









Then use your last 2 minutes or so to just wrap up or counter the counter-arguments the YEC is guaranteed to use.

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01-07-2012, 11:03 PM
RE: Debate Help
What kind of debate is that?
That isn't 4.6billion year old earth verse 6000year old earth, that's religion verse science.
So that's where I'd hit them, at the religion verse science debate.

Go over the people who arise this information. ie: compare a college educated scientist with years of research, to the 6000year old's expert, an illiterate Shepard from the middle east 2,000years ago.
Then compare scientific knowledge of 2,000 years ago to today and go over some advancements we have made since then. You have to include that they also thought the world was flat back them which really shows what capacity they have in determining the age of the earth if they can't even get its shape right...

You only need like 5minutes tops of the scientific theory etc.. of why the earth is as old as it is. The rest, just attack everything they could throw at you.

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02-07-2012, 12:36 PM
RE: Debate Help
Visuals help.

Maybe show a scale graphic with "evidence" for the 6,000 year old Earth (e.g. one ancient collection of texts referred to as the Bible) on one side of the scale and literal mountains of evidence across a variety of scientific disciplines (I think it amounts to tens of thousands of peer-reviewed texts and empirical data/evidence) on the other side.

If you can't use visual aids, just describe this literal imbalance.

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02-07-2012, 02:31 PM
RE: Debate Help
Well, I do get to use a slide presentation. So there's that.
The trick is, I'm suppose to be detailed in my presentation. I can't just say, "We have 10,000 times as much evidence as you." I have to go into detail about how scientists know the age of the Earth. I've decided to do Geological evidence because I know it better than the others.

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02-07-2012, 03:14 PM
RE: Debate Help
Radiometric dating and distant, traveling light.

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02-07-2012, 08:52 PM (This post was last modified: 02-07-2012 08:57 PM by earmuffs.)
RE: Debate Help
(02-07-2012 02:31 PM)Science Believer Wrote:  Well, I do get to use a slide presentation. So there's that.
The trick is, I'm suppose to be detailed in my presentation. I can't just say, "We have 10,000 times as much evidence as you." I have to go into detail about how scientists know the age of the Earth. I've decided to do Geological evidence because I know it better than the others.
what kind of debate is that?
Surely in a debate you can question the validity of the oppositions information.
The fact that the idea of the earth being 6,000years is presented by people who knew next to nothing scientifically is sort of a huge flaw in the oppositions argument.

Also, dinosaurs, old human skulls, stromatolites etc.. all older then 6,000years.

If they wanted a science lecture they should go to one, I thought this was suppose to be a debate.

edit:
I think how I would do it is start off with a slide with a diagram of what people imagined the earth to be couple thousand years ago. The diagram you see where the earth is flat, the water flows off the edge, heaven is in the clouds and hell is below the earth.
Then maybe progress through history showing scientific advancements like how we discovered we're not at the center of the universe, that we revolve around the sun etc...
Then the world being sphere, all that. Then into modern science, carbon dating etc.. then you can go into detail of how scientists come to this conclusion.
The key is keep the idea of 6,000 related back to that starting point, implying that we have progressed and this 6,000 year old idea is 6,000years old.

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02-07-2012, 11:06 PM
RE: Debate Help
A common tactic for theists is to bring up a few so called experts to bolster the claim that scientists believe in a young earth theory. They will sometimes bring up historical references to great scientists like Newton and others who were theists. (easily shot down since those great scientists are not known for their theistic views, but for their sound science) You can cite a few examples of scientists who are theists who allow for the evidence to form their views on science since this will show that it is not sacrilegious just to follow science. These are actual prominent scientists respected for their work:

Ken Miller is a practicing Christian, and it is sometimes useful to look at how a theist who supports real science frames the debate. There are a number of youtubes of him talking about evolution--not really directly on point, but as a theist and writer of textbooks used to teach biology, he's used to defending evolution publicly and it can't hurt to get a sample of arguments used to shoot down creationism.

Another useful scientist to mention in the context of evolution is Francis Collins--also a theist and proponent of Evolution. He lead the human genome project.

You could also bring up that the scientist who first postulated the big bang was George Lemaitre, a Catholic priest. Hitchens tells a fun anecdote where Lemaitre supposedly brought his findings to the Pope at the time and the Pope proposed that the idea be taught as dogma...to which Hitchens comments that that sort of misses the point Smile It's a useful anecdote because it shows how a theist mindset is to teach dogma rather than the scientific method that produces scientific knowledge.




I would also recommend reviewing the youtube debate between Hitchens and Dembski. If this is a general audience you are addressing, Hitchens provides some good rhetoric that questions the notion that the universe was designed with us humans in mind. Hitchens is a good debater, and as a non-scientist he makes cogent arguments that attacks the creationist views. One might argue that the debate topic is narrowly about the question of 6000yrs old versus 4.6 billion years old earth. However, that 6000yr hypothesis only exists because of a Biblical creation myth, and attacking the myth behind the 6000yr claim is fair game.



Radiometric dating, light coming from distant galaxies that took longer than 6000yrs to get here, the fossil record and evolutionary biology, the big bang and cosmology, plate tectonics and in general the field of geology--every line of evidence all points to the same conclusion. It would take a great conspiracy for all scientists from all fields to point to the same conclusion of an old age earth. The scientific method is not set up to maintain such a conspiracy for very long. Scientists are constantly looking for ways to prove their colleagues wrong, and cientific prestige is built upon doing this. Even a scientist who proves his or her own postulates wrong would gain scientific credibility. It would require that we invalidate entire fields of study like genetics, geology, cosmology in order to believe in a young earth theory.


This is a good outline of cosmic evolution: https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~ejchaisson/...plash.html It covers everything at an overview level from the big bang, to stellar formation and planetary formation, to chemical and biological evolution. You might draw some of the ideas in this overview to demonstrate how all manner of disciplines all point to the same conclusion.
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03-07-2012, 08:34 AM
RE: Debate Help
Personally I'd hit them with the humor side of it. Seth's videos are a fantastic example of that. It's a lighter way of approaching the situation that gets the audience on your side in a quick way because you make them laugh.
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03-07-2012, 10:11 AM
RE: Debate Help
I'd tend to go with why you should trust science. Especially because the scientific method is a good way to find out things.

I'd try to get them to understand how science has changed common views in the past (I.E the earth was flat, till we found out otherwise, or we thought we were at the center of the universe, etc.)

I would also add in that science is accurate because it can be improved with every new finding, and the new improvements are making it more accurate. Explain to them that if they do reject the science, they have to reject gealogy, biology ( because life is dated before 6,000 years old) history, ( ancient civilizations, such as the Sumerians) Cosmology, etc.

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