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6,000 or 4.5 billion?

6,000 or 4.5 billion?
« on: November 19, 2008, 06:01:52 AM »
Okay, so there are 2 explanations of the age of Earth. According to the bible, God created the universe and Earth in 6 days, and is currently around 6,000 years old, but scientific studies have proved Earth to be approximately 4.5 billion years old.

My friend believes the Earth can not possibly be 4.5 billion years old because she believes heavily in the bible and takes it very literally. All I have to say is, it's pretty common sense to not believe in such nonsense, but that's just me. That's like stating the Earth is younger than dinosaur fossils.

Do "Christians" really believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old?
"Put your hands to the constellations, the way you look should be a sin, you're my sinsation...
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In that magic hour, I've seen good christians, make rash decisions
Oh she do it, what happened to Religion? Oh sh

Titan

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Re: 6,000 or 4.5 billion?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2008, 08:29:43 AM »
Yes, some Christians (quite a few actually) do take the Bible's Genesis account literally. I used to be a young earth proponent, the arguments they have (the ones who know their stuff) aren't easy-to-answer BS, you will need to know things like plate tectonics, carbon dating, lunar dust buildup as well as a bunch of other facts to answer them. The argument they have really isn't weak (when viewing it as a mass of data) so don't go into a debate with just any young earth person thinking "I'm going to wipe the floor with them." I used to be able to take on plenty of evolutionists and come out unscathed in school and on forums. I did more research and found that the universe was much more likely to have been 15 billion years old (give or take) and the earth is much more likely to be 4.5 billion years old. Fundamentalists still hold tenuously to their proposition and many always will, please understand that proving them wrong doesn't prove Christianity wrong.

Honestly though, even as an atheist, I would recommend easing your friend into the debate by offering her a route to take. Try to establish that many (if not all) Christian astrophysicists don't follow the Genesis account literally. If you hit her with a bunch of data trying to dissuade her from a faith and become an atheist she may resent you...yep, some people are that ignorant. Go with the Socratic method and just ask questions, kindly.

Just popped in real quick, I'll answer more posts tomorrow.
"Those who praise the light of fire, but blame it for its heat, should not be listened to, as they judge it according to their comfort or discomfort and not by its nature. They wish to see, but not to be burnt. They forget that this very light which pleases them so much is a discomfort to weak eyes and harms them..."
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Re: 6,000 or 4.5 billion?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2008, 09:33:36 AM »
Quote from: "Titan"
please understand that proving them wrong doesn't prove Christianity wrong.

Here, here ... well said that man :)

EDIT: Should that be "hear, hear"?

I also agree with your "gently does it" strategy.

Kyu
« Last Edit: November 19, 2008, 07:47:59 PM by Kyuuketsuki »
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Re: 6,000 or 4.5 billion?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 05:28:03 PM »
Well said Titan. However, I would never try to convert or disprove my friend at all because, well she is my friend, and a close one at that. She also happens to not believe in dinosaurs. It was just one of those random nights when we were just hanging out and all of a sudden, we came across this debate. I've told her plenty of times that dinosaurs are mentioned in the bible but that didn't do me any good. Now I have taken several geology classes and I know that the oldest rocks ever recorded were around 3.8-3.9 billion years old by radiometric dating methods. The measure of error could be that of less or more than 1% so I find it highly improbable for the Earth to just be a few thousand years old.
"Put your hands to the constellations, the way you look should be a sin, you're my sinsation...
I know I'm preachin' to the congregation, we love Jesus but you'd learned a lot from Satan!
May the Lord forgive us, May the Gods be with us
In that magic hour, I've seen good christians, make rash decisions
Oh she do it, what happened to Religion? Oh sh

curiosityandthecat

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Re: 6,000 or 4.5 billion?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 05:43:09 PM »
Quote from: "NaturaLCalamity"
...so I find it highly improbable for the Earth to just be a few thousand years old.

That, and you're smart.  ;)

It's the old religion vs. science method. Science finds evidence and alters its assumptions based upon that evidence. The evidence changes, so do the assumptions. Alternatively, religion starts with the assumptions, and attempts to find (or, more frequently, distort) the evidence to match those assumptions.

Honestly, it's not fooling anybody, and I think there's probably a good number of young-earthers who secretly know this and just won't admit it. (Ever met an atheist Nun or Priest? The same concept applies.)
-Curio

Re: 6,000 or 4.5 billion?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2008, 06:07:07 PM »
Quote from: "NaturaLCalamity"
Well said Titan. However, I would never try to convert or disprove my friend at all because, well she is my friend, and a close one at that. She also happens to not believe in dinosaurs. It was just one of those random nights when we were just hanging out and all of a sudden, we came across this debate. I've told her plenty of times that dinosaurs are mentioned in the bible but that didn't do me any good. Now I have taken several geology classes and I know that the oldest rocks ever recorded were around 3.8-3.9 billion years old by radiometric dating methods. The measure of error could be that of less or more than 1% so I find it highly improbable for the Earth to just be a few thousand years old.

Wow, even my fundie buddies trust there were dinosaurs, though one once asked me how I was sure scientists weren't making it up.  I hadn't really ever thought of it in the form of "GLOBAL CONSPIRAZY, GUIZ!  EVRYBODY RUN!" so at the time I just quipped back how much easier it would be to forge the Bible than the whole of science.   It shut up that line of thought, and I don't think it was too hard of a swipe at religion.  It might help to remind your friend that there are methods of radioactive dating beyond the oft criticized carbon dating.  It may also help bringing up that you can see the Andromeda Galaxy in the night sky, and its light is over 2.5 million years old.  With telescopes we can see objects better than 12 billion light years away, which means the light has been in transit for that same amount of time.  If God created that light to be 6000 light years from us, to give us the impression the universe is far older than it is, he would be deliberately deceitful.  God would be a liar, constructing a universe to dissuade people from believing he made it in 6 days 6000 years ago.  He would undoubtedly be responsible for some of the atheists his false universe inspired to look away from the Bible for answers.  The only way God isn't malevolent, is if Genesis isn't literal, so much the better if it's allegorical.

I guess that's overdoing it, but that argument persuades my friends.  Unfortunately, their response goes into ultra defense mode and they start with "You're right then, God is evil and Genesis is wrong and there is no God."  Which is a totally pathetic, self-contradictory statement on their part to force me to stop causing them to doubt their interpretation of the Bible.  But they know that I also can't recover the situation.  I can't challenge their minds if they are unwilling to present them.  So they get to keep their interpretation, because I'm no longer challenging it.  Perverse,eh?  

So, yeah, your way,just using questions, sounds better.  I'm gonna have to learn the method and try it.  

Dunno why I typed all this.  Just hope it helps in some way.   :unsure:
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Re: 6,000 or 4.5 billion?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2008, 07:02:10 PM »
Quote from: "curiosityandthecat"
Honestly, it's not fooling anybody
I wouldn't go as far as to state that...  :unsure:

Them fundies have been fooled by The Bookâ„¢ for generations.
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wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.