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Creationist Bets $10k In Proposed Literal Interpretation of Genesis Debate

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the what-would-darwin-do? dept.

The Almighty Buck 1121

HungWeiLo writes "A California man who believes the literal interpretation of the Bible is real is offering $10,000 to anyone who can successfully debunk claims made in the book of Genesis in front of a judge. Joseph Mastropaolo, the man behind this challenge, is to put $10,000 of his own money into an escrow account. His debate opponent would be asked to do the same. They would then jointly agree on a judge based on a list of possible candidates. Mastropaolo said that any evidence presented in the trial must be 'scientific, objective, valid, reliable and calibrated.' For his part, Mastropaolo has a Ph.D. in kinesiology and writes for the Creation Hall of Fame website, which is helping to organize the minitrial. It's also not the first such trial he's tried to arrange. A previous effort, known as the 'Life Science Prize,' proposed a similar scenario. Mastropaolo includes a list of possible circuit court judges to oversee the trial and a list of those he challenged to take part on the evolutionary side of the debate."

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Easy... (5, Insightful)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299661)

Chapter 1 - Male and Female are created simultaneously.

Chapter 2 - Adam and Eve are created in that order.

One of the two accounts must be false - they are mutually exclusive factual statements.

Genesis is a collection of myths with no more truth to them then the parables.

Re:Easy... (5, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299707)

If that were the only discrepancy then that could easily be tied in a detail of the creation of man. how about the complete order of how things were invented in the two creation myths? one man was created on the last working day, while the other man was created first and he was seen to be bored so all the things were created in the world for him.

Re:Easy... (5, Interesting)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299759)

True, but that's the most glaring one. Also, if you can't make it to chapter two without a discrepancy, what hope is there for the rest of it?

Biblical scholars (as opposed to the nutjob putting up this award) theorize that the books of Moses are assembled from at least three traditions. This becomes more clear when looking at the original Hebrew - the words used for "God" change where in English they are translated into the same word. As a Catholic, disproving the Bible means little to me since it is only a part of my faith, not the whole foundation of it. Protestants however must frantically fight to prove the book entirely correct because of their subscription to the sola scriptura heresy which separates them from Catholicism.

To me, Genesis is a collection of myths with a spiritual truth to be discerned from them. They are instructive stories, not a literal chronicle of events.

Re:Easy... (5, Informative)

elfprince13 (1521333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299849)

Protestants must do no such thing. Sola scriptura is not at all the same thing as a supremely narrow attempt at Biblical literalism.

Re:Easy... (0, Redundant)

jhoegl (638955) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299875)

I love how you guys are debating parables.
This douche put you on the defensive by questioning reality and truth over stories and faith.
Clearly, if one does not understand science and the truth it provides, one will never be swayed.
The reason no one takes this idiot up, is because the odds are in the houses favor, and he knows it.

Re:Easy... (4, Interesting)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299893)

To make that claim is to profess that you do not understand what sola scriptura is. I was born in a Baptist family, a family which believes every word in the Bible is literally true and cannot begin to fathom the very possibility that any of it was false. When I did, my faith flew apart until I converted to Catholicism some years ago.

Re:Easy... (5, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299971)

I was born in a Baptist family, a family which believes every word in the Bible is literally true and cannot begin to fathom the very possibility that any of it was false.

And of course your family is 100% representative of not just Baptists in general, but the entire spectrum of Protestantism, from Anglicans (basically Catholics minus the Pope and the homophobia) to Calvinists to Quakers to Pentecostalists to...well, pick up a phone book and look under "Churches".

Re:Easy... (5, Funny)

mtm_king (99722) | about a year and a half ago | (#43300007)

Friend, converting from Baptist to Catholic is like switching from Marlboro cigarettes to Camel. Try kicking the habit completely.

Re:Easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299913)

You don't need to go even that far in - genesis 1 - 3 god creates earth before light which is comprehensively disproven.

Re:Easy... (5, Insightful)

Capsaicin (412918) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299963)

True, but that's the most glaring [discrepancy].

It's only a discrepancy if one fails to recognise that we are dealing with two separate myths. The fact that they are 2 separate stories will be obvious to any naive (in the sense that they have not since childhood been exposed to harmonising accounts) and objective reader. Even the deities are obviously different, and not merely by name.

The second account is clearly the easier target from a scientific PoV. The most glaring internal (to that myth) problem comes in the 2nd 'verse' of this account, Gen 2:5, where we are told that plant life did not exist for two reasons. 1. YHVH-Elohim (a[n editorial?] joining of names that is soon abandoned) had not yet caused it to rain AND there was no man to tend the ground. So what we need to do to "disprove" this account is to show plant life growing independently of human cultivation. Not a big ask. More interesting is the question of what kind of culture could have given rise to a myth that makes such a presumption, which might seem absurd to forest based peoples for instance (HINT: Mesopotamian irrigation cultures).

But to treat the 2nd account as Science, as a literal account of physical origins, is of course knuckle-headed. Worse still, it is simply to miss the beauty of the text, and its actual insight (which should be apparent to believers and non-believers alike, though both for different reason like to miss it) into the human condition. And (and this is why I find this difficult text so interesting), it's complex role as a witness to the origin of ancient near eastern civilisation.

As you put it ... "nutjob."

Re:Easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299979)

Then you are aware that the entire Bible is a cut and paste from several scrolls that very few people are aware of, and each scroll tells a different story, I would just show up with a TV, and DVD and play some of the documented tapes of scholars that can show where these scrolls are at, and two what the scrolls loosely say, IE the book of Mosses, ect....

Not to mention the Bible was also a bunch of brain farts from priests who molded the Bible into what they wanted it to become.

And of course you have the other biblical religions that also tell a different story. I find this funny that a guy who somehow has loaded pockets is this stupid to try this out. And I bet he will sit there with other brainless memes to rebut anything that anyone has said.

Re:Easy... (4, Funny)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299713)

Adam and Eve had two sons and no daughters.

I propose that their children were mother fuckers.

Re:Easy... (2)

sconeu (64226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299741)

Three. Cain, Abel, and Seth.

Re:Easy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299723)

Adam had two wives. The first one was Lilith [wikipedia.org] .
She's omitted from some interpretations.

Re:Easy... (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299805)

We're talking about the book of Genesis. Lilith never was in Genesis in any interpretation. The existence of Lilith was made later to resolve the contradiction.

Re:Easy... (1)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299829)

Maybe.

Look, we're talking about legends handed down orally for at least a few hundred years before being written. It's uncertain how much they morphed in that time, when the story of Lilith was coined, when it split off. For all we know it could have started as one tribe's alternate name for Eve.

Re:Easy... (1)

4wdloop (1031398) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299871)

Even so, was not she his sister? Sinners!

Re:Easy... (0)

donscarletti (569232) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299895)

Well, it is generally accepted that we are all matrilinearly decended from the same woman, Mitochondrial Eve [wikipedia.org] , I think this pretty much scientifically disproves there being two women at creation, unless one mothered no daughters.

Lilith only features as Adam's wife in certain Jewish apocryphal texts, nowhere in the Tanakh, meaning that Christian fundimentalists, being by the very definition of the word "fundimentalist" are not likely to consider her to be part of creation. Fundimentalism is about literally interpreting and living by canon (or at least the attempt thereof) and has nothing to do with blowing up things and is only considered a perjoritive by various modernists, liberals and those caught up in the propaganda relating to "Teh War on Terror".

Re:Easy... (3, Informative)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299987)

Well, it is generally accepted that we are all matrilinearly decended from the same woman, Mitochondrial Eve [wikipedia.org], I think this pretty much scientifically disproves there being two women at creation, unless one mothered no daughters.

Sigh. Did you even read the article you linked? Because it doesn't mean or say what you think it does.

Re:Easy... (4, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299733)

No. In chapter one, male and female are created. It does not specify order, nor the period of time between one or the other, as it is an overview. In chapter two, which goes into detail, you get the specifics.

For reference, Genesis 1:27:

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 2:8,18

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Re:Easy... (4, Interesting)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299769)

The original language is quite clear that the creation of the two was simultaneous. Indeed the very word for "God" is different in the two chapters because they are drawn from two different oral traditions. They were not originally meant to form a narrative together.

Re:Easy... (5, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299883)

Do you have any reference for that? Which word in the original implies simultaneity?

In regards to your second point - the word for "god" (lowercase g) is the same word in both chapters - . However, Genesis 1 uses the word alone, whereas Genesis 2 uses it in conjunction with the name of the god in question - . A comparison of transliterations might be "In the beginning, the god created the heavens and the earth" (Gen1) "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the god Yahweh made the earth and the heavens." (Gen2). They're both using the same word, just Genesis 2 is a little bit more explicit. The term for "god" in Hebrew was like a title. Referring to someone either by their title ("Yes, Officer, I do know I was speeding") or by their name ("Yes, John, I do know I was speeding"), or by the two in conjunction ("Yes, Officer John, I do know I was speeding") are all equally valid, and all refer to the same person.

Genesis 1 and 2 are obviously different accounts (they're both describing the same event, after all) but that doesn't necessarily mean they're contradictory.

Chapter 1 [mechon-mamre.org]
Chapter 2 [mechon-mamre.org]

Also, for what it's worth, I don't agree with the arguments for a literal interpretation of Genesis (few outside the US do), but I do believe in Biblical inerrancy.

Re:Easy... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299999)

I don't agree with the arguments for a literal interpretation of Genesis (few outside the US do), but I do believe in Biblical inerrancy

In other words, you have convinced yourself the logically impossible is possible. Congrats! Now you can do anything!

Re:Easy... (2, Interesting)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about a year and a half ago | (#43300001)

Do you have any reference for that? Which word in the original implies simultaneity?

In regards to your second point - the word for "god" (lowercase g) is the same word in both chapters

You...you can't be that stupid. You're using a computer, so...you're punking us right?

Here's a protip: Genesis was not written in English. Capital letters in the sense that we know them did not exist at the time it was written. You're literally using a translator's errors as your evidence for Biblical "inerrancy" (which I'm pretty sure is a made up word. Infallibility is the word you are looking for).

Re:Easy... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299751)

It is the first that sets out the seven days of creation:

        Day 1: heavens, earth, light, day and night.
        Day 2: the "dome" (sky) that separates the waters below (on earth) from the waters above the sky.
        Day 3: dry land and vegetation.
        Day 4: stars, moon, sun.
        Day 5: water creatures and birds.
        Day 6: land animals; humankind (both male and female). The number of human beings created is not specified. Also, God here gives to people "every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food" (Gen 1:29) -- no prohibitions.
        Day 7: God rested, and blessed this day.

In the second creation story, things are a little different. First of all, individual days are not specified. And the sequence is very different:

        earth and heavens; no rain yet but a spring would well up and water the ground
        from dust, man was created (not woman yet)
        garden of Eden -- man is put here; garden includes the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil
        God tells man to till and keep the garden of Eden, but not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (note that Woman has not entered the scene yet! Man is alone).
        God notices that Man is alone and wants to find him a helper and partner, so He first creates animals and birds and Man names them. But still there was no helper as partner.
        God makes Man fall asleep, pulls out a rib, and makes Woman.
        The story of original sin then ensues.

Re:Easy... (5, Funny)

Ghaoth (1196241) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299847)

Not being able to believe in any form of super being, I find the Bible and its ilk just best selling novels. However, if it weren't for computers, we wouldn't be discussing this, so.... In the beginning GOD created the Bit and the Byte. And from those he created the Word. And there were two Bytes in the Word; and nothing else existed. And God separated the One from the Zero; and he saw it was good. And God said - Let the Data be; And so it happened. And God said - Let the Data go to their proper places. And he created floppy disks and hard disks and compact disks. And God said - Let the computers be, so there would be a place to put floppy disks and hard disks and compact disks. Thus God created computers and called them hardware. And there was no Software yet. But God created programs; small and big... And told them - Go and multiply yourselves and fill all the Memory. And God said -I will create the Programmer; And the Programmer will make new programs and govern over the computers and programs and Data. And God created the Programmer; and put him in Data Center;

Re:Easy... (-1, Troll)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299803)

Chapter 1 - Male and Female are created simultaneously.

Chapter 2 - Adam and Eve are created in that order.

One of the two accounts must be false - they are mutually exclusive factual statements.

Genesis is a collection of myths with no more truth to them then the parables.

You seem to have a reading comprehension impairment. Chapter 1 is an executive summary showing the general chronological order of creation. Chapter 2 goes into detail about the creation of Adam and Eve. Versus 1-3 of Chapter 2 finish up with the 7th day when god rested. Chapter 2 verses 4-6 describe the environment on the surface of the earth just prior to the formation of Adam on the surface. As you can see, it does not recount the creation of light, the heavens, the dry land or the "sky" because it it did, then you could argue that it was a different account of "creation".

If you interpret that as two separate accounts of the creation of man then I am afraid that you have a learning disability. In a nutshell, Chapter 1 and versus 1-3 of Chapter two are the 7 days of creation. If you open up any bible translation, you will see that first section labeled "The Beginning" and Chapter 2 verse 4-31 are labeled "Adam and Eve". That latter section goes into detail on the creation of humanity.

Your comment is so derivative that I have to assume that you copy and pasted it from somewhere as I have heard the same bullshit statements from others who never bothered to crack open the bible and read it for themselves. Stop criticizing out of blind ignorance.

Here, this is Chapter 1: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=NIV [biblegateway.com]

Here is Chapter 2: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+2&version=NIV [biblegateway.com]

See the heading at verse 4, Chapter 2?

Re:Easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299839)

Except the challenge being made is that the interpretation must be literal.

The Earth was formed before Adam was formed.
The Earth's formation was not observed by Adam.
Therefore Chapter 2, verses 4-6 are obviously not literal.

Re:Easy... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299865)

If you interpret that as two separate accounts of the creation of man then I am afraid that you have a learning disability

Did you even read the links you posted? I mean it's right there on the page; the two accounts even go so far as to use different words for god.

If you're insisting on interpreting a text that was written 5,000 years ago to the way a text would be written today, I'm afraid you're the one who has the learning disability. Times change, and 5,000 years is a significant amount of time.

Re:Easy... (1)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299867)

I would then ask you to try to explain then why Chapter 1 uses the word "Elohim" for God, and Chapter 2 uses the word "Yawyeh". That alone is proof to me that the stories are from two different writers from two different traditions. But in resorting to vulgarity you have shown the worth of your tongue, the span of your mind and made manifest your ignorance. Good day.

Re:Easy... (5, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299887)

If you think those are the same account of events, then you're failing at both reading comprehension and history.

As others have already elaborated, it's well established that the two accounts are from two different traditions. But even your own links describe a clearly different order of events, even ignoring whether Adam and Eve were created at the same time.

Version 1

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.

26 Then God said, âoeLet us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.â

Version 2

18 The Lord God said, âoeIt is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.â

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.

In the first version it was animals first and then mankind, in the second version it was man first, then animals. (And then woman.)

If you want you can accept them as two stories from two different traditions, one of which is literally true and one of which is metaphor, or you can accept them both as metaphor. But they can't both be literally true.

Re:Easy... (1)

4wdloop (1031398) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299937)

Even so, was Adam "modified" after God found "no suitable helper" for him before Eve? I mean all the reproductive machinery in Adam, you know...? Or did God predicted his own failure in solving Adam's loneliness initially so he made Adam with all "stuff" before hand?

And if God created Adam after his own image then ... ?

Re:Easy... (3, Insightful)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299931)

I wouldn't mind $10,000, but the whole exercise sounds tiring, and you know that the guy is going to try to wiggle out of paying, let alone losing, anyway.

Close, but wrong (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299933)

Chapter 1 - Male and Female are created simultaneously.

Chapter 2 - Adam and Eve are created in that order.

There are clear discrepancies between the creation myth at Genesis 1:1-2:3 and the second one starting at Genesis 2:4, but that's not one of them. Simultaneity between the creation of male and female humans isn't stated explicitly in Genesis 1:26-27.

OTOH, it is explicitly stated in the first creation story that the plants and animals were created before humans -- vegetation on the third day (Gen 1:11-13), sea creatures and flying creatures on the fifth day (Gen 1:20-23), and land creatures on the sixth day (Gen 1:24-25) before humans.

Which is problematic, because the second creation story has man created first (Gen 2:7) before plants (Gen 2:5), then plants are created (Gen 2:8-9), followed by animals (Gen 2:19-20), and then woman (Gen 2:21-23).

Re:Easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299977)

I'd like to point out that different languages have different discourse patterns (see Kaplan), so a translation of the text won't be able to account for this type of information processing. You're reading a Western discourse pattern into an ancient Middle-Eastern text. Part of my Master's degree covered this for language acquisition. It's fascinating. Pardon the AC.

And? (4, Informative)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299663)

What is this supposed to prove? Plenty of idiots have money in our society, money only has a tenuous correlation with intelligence.

Ave Satanas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299665)

Article needs more Satan!

6 days (0, Troll)

Circlotron (764156) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299669)

Most people complain about the earth, universe etc being created in six days. If you read the actual Bible account you will see it says in the VERY FIRST sentence that the earth got created. Only AFTER that, the six creative "days" occurred to prepare the surface of the earth for inhabitation, not for the creation of the earth which was already in existence.

Re:6 days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299693)

You should quit wasting your time reading that garbage.

Re:6 days (4, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299721)

Yea the first day the earth was already there and light was created, of course it was a few days later when the sun was created so where did that light come from?

Re:6 days (4, Funny)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299753)

Yea the first day the earth was already there and light was created, of course it was a few days later when the sun was created so where did that light come from?

An omnipotent being created the earth and the rest of the universe, and you're quibbling over how he could create light before the sun? If he can create matter from nothing, surely creating a few photons isn't beyond his powers.

Re:6 days (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299841)

Ohhh, makes sense now. My faith is renewed.

Re:6 days (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299877)

Ohhh, makes sense now. My faith is renewed.

You're the one who could accept that the earth was created by god, except for the inconstancy that light was created before the sun was created.

You can't agree with one miraculous act and then claim that it's inconsistent with a second miraculous act when the first act was already so unbelievable that any being that could accomplish it is truly omnipotent.

The contractors that built my house put up temporary lighting before the wiring and permanent lamps in the house were installed, apparently god did the same thing - he created temporary lighting before installing the sun.

Re:6 days (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year and a half ago | (#43300011)

Well, to be fair, light did exist for about 9 billion years before the sun coalesced.

Re:6 days (1)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299925)

Not to mention that if you throw out the unit of "day" as an arbitrary length of God time, you know that the universe is way older than the Sun. A lot of stars existed before the Sun ever collapsed into a star. Immediately after the big bang, there was nothing *but* light.

Re:6 days (1)

KalvinB (205500) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299997)

Science has proven light can exist without a source.

Funny that you mock it.

Because that's exactly what Science teaches as part of the big bang theory.

No other creation myths say that light came first.

Re:6 days (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299969)

Yea the first day the earth was already there and light was created,

Baryons formed at about 10^-35 seconds, while photons didn't arise until about 10^-11 seconds. You come up with a better allegory to explain to the cavemen.

get a library card (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299677)

he should save himself the trouble, go get a library card, and then move onto more productive things to do with one's precious time here on earth.

doesn't the biblical god, and every interpretation of it, in some way deem wasting away one's life with pointless endeavors a sin?

pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299681)

It can't be proved or disproved. That's why believers call it "faith".

The Bible is full of rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299687)

Why just don't these people get a life.
The earth is flat too!

and on the 6th day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299689)

God created man, and he said "caveat emptor".

Re:and on the 6th day (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299695)

no, he said "woops"

Hasn't this been done already? (2)

michael_rendier (2601249) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299701)

someone should point him at Kitzmiller v. Dover.

Re:Hasn't this been done already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299711)

irrelevant... all proof must be found in the bible, since that's the only source of truth. all man made laws are flawed and therefore inadmissible.

Maybe now (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299705)

We will find out who was Cain's wife...

Triceratops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299709)

Just found soft tissue in 60 mya bones... Again.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0065128113000020

Re:Triceratops (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299775)

Just found soft tissue in 60 mya bones... Again.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0065128113000020

From the linked article:

This is the first report of sheets of soft tissues from Triceratops horn bearing layers of osteocytes, and extends the range and type of dinosaur specimens known to contain non-fossilized material in bone matrix.

What does that mean in laymens terms? Sounds like they are saying that they found another bone with non-fossilized remains, but what's the significance of that?

But... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299719)

If the argument can be predicated on God's infinite power, then.. ?

What are the claims? (4, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299725)

For someone who's not too familiar with the Bible, what are the claims up for grabs in this challenge, aside from creating the earth in 7 days and 7 nights, Adam & Eve, and the talking serpent?

How can anything be disproved if one must first accept that Genesis is the inspired word of an omnipotent deity? And if that's not an accepted fact, then isn't the "disproof" the fact that it was written by man?

Three letters.. (2)

ihaveamo (989662) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299739)

CMB. That's it. I love that three small letters (well, and and enter key I suppose) typed into google can debunk most of this.

But seriously, its actually quite hard to debunk that there were talking snakes/donkeys/gods etc. Its like trying to debunk an invisible pink unicorn is standing behind you.. (But how can it be invisible and pink at the same time?.. ahhh thats beyond scientific understanding!)

Re:Three letters.. (2)

greenguy (162630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299783)

Certified mortgage banker?

Re:Three letters.. (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299795)

Not quite as sexy: Cosmic Ray Background.

Re:Three letters.. (1)

Yosho (135835) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299941)

No, combat maneuver bonus.

Re:Three letters.. (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299813)

I'm assuming you mean Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation [wikipedia.org] ?

I fail to see how that's any kind of proof against an ominipotent deity that can create an entire planet (and even a universe) out of nothing. Surely cooking up some uniform CMB wouldn't be difficult for such a deity.

CMB may be consistent with the Big Bang theory, but it's also consistent with a deity that wants to fill his universe with CMB for whatever reason.

That's the problem with trying to prove anything against an omnipotent deity - omnipotent means he can do *anything* including faking fossil records, making people suffer for no apparent reason (even young children), and filling the universe with CMB.

Ah (5, Insightful)

no-body (127863) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299743)

If nobody shows up for this nonsense and bets $ 10,000, it's proof that this religious believe system is true...

Re:Ah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299853)

Only to those who care. Don't start arguing with an idiot, for you will look like an idiot yourself.

Oh come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299745)

This is just another religious person responding to science "Prove my god doesn't exist". That's the thing, we can't "prove" any of this is real of not because this all supposedly in the past, we would need to go back in time but at the same time no one can prove what's in the bible is true either. Only thing we can prove is how the earth is much older than what the bible claims and somewhat prove we come from evolution and not just popping out of thin air like the bible seems to make us believe. But even when facing with those proof, religious fanatics don't believe in them, so I don't see the point of this, no one can win.

Re:Oh come on... (1)

meerling (1487879) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299831)

Considering the fossil record of hominids that has been found already, "somewhat prove" is a rather large understatement. When placed in context with the rest of the fossil record, it would be absurd to think somehow humans magically appeared and all the other hominids had nothing to do with modern man.

However, there's no use taking up that fools challenge, as he won't accept losing.

Re:Oh come on... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299921)

The Hebrew word that was translated to "day" in Genesis actually means more of a period of time, meaning that each period could have lasted thousands or millions of years each. I am one of the few people who actually believes that science and religion can coexist despite the all the backlash. I mean, no one can prove the Big Bang despite all the evidence in support of it, just like no one can prove the existence of God or some kind of Supreme Being despite written accounts stating otherwise. As someone who believes in God myself, I say that God played by all the rules of nature during the creation in Genesis; there's nothing in Genesis to suggest otherwise. I see all the sciences as getting closer to the knowledge of such a Supreme Being instead of contradicting the existence of a Supreme Being. That, however, is just my opinion on the whole science versus religion debate. I don't belief in chance, especially with the chances of the universe just creating itself, creating a solar system with a planet that is perfect for life, and the chance of evolution from a primordial soup to the current day; I look at it, and the chances for each event are just too high to say that it's been a run of good luck for life on Earth in my opinion, hence why I believe the existence of God despite virtually no evidence of any kind of prove otherwise.

reductio ad absurdum (5, Insightful)

Vornzog (409419) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299747)

The universe came into being 6 seconds ago, in exactly the state we see now, with all of our memories intact.

Prove me wrong.

Hint - it can't be done. You can always reintroduce the possibility of some omnipotent force. By carefully framing the question, proving it wrong becomes impossible. Instead, you have to unask the question. Western philosophy spent then entire last century trying to unask the premises Descartes set forth for exactly that reason.

This isn't a scientific question, it isn't in a scientific arena, and any scientist thinking they can 'win' the debate/bet is on shaky ground. Not because the science is bad, but because it isn't about science at all...

Re:reductio ad absurdum (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299777)

The universe came into being 6 seconds ago, in exactly the state we see now, with all of our memories intact.

Disproved! Things were different 5 seconds ago than they are now.

Re:reductio ad absurdum (-1, Flamebait)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299799)

It's folk like you that Alexander Pope alluded to when he wrote, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

In brief, you're wrong. But I don't have the time to explain it to you, and you likely lack the intellect to comprehend that you are wrong due to the Dunning-Kruger effect [wikipedia.org]

Re:reductio ad absurdum (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299851)

Why the HELL does not a single of you morons here get, that the whole thing is a trap with the WRONG BURDEN OF PROOF!

We don't have to prove ANYTHING to that moron! He hasn't shown any observations supporting his claims yet, so they never were valid IN THE FIRST PLACE.

No these IS NOTHING to unprove/unask. And there is no need either.

The only problem is, that that complete moron's opponents are EXACTLY as much complete morons. They just happen to *believe* in the correct choice. Doesn't make them any less retarded. Typical US public "discussion" framing: There are only two sides, and they both are not only not right, but not even wrong!

Re:reductio ad absurdum (1)

muridae (966931) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299881)

You do have something to prove if you want the 10 grand. They are running the contest, you can't just walk up and go 'gimme 10,000, the burden of proof is you on'.

sounds simple enough (4, Interesting)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299749)

honestly it wouldnt be too difficult to debunk a ton of the stuff in the bible... as long as you are talking to a SANE judge, and not a bible thumping lunatic

Theist vs Atheist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299761)

Theist: Here is the bible. Here is what it says. Prove me wrong.
Atheist: I see you have a claim to make about a magical imaginary sky wizard. Care to show any proof that it exists?

The difference is that theists start inside of the mind trap and try to work their way out.

OMG kinesiology PhD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299765)

For a moment there I thought we might be dealing with a pseudoscientist.

All manner of problems with this. (1)

greenguy (162630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299767)

First, there are two not-entirely-congruent Creation stories, right there in Genesis. Second, creationists are known to be wily about fudging their interpretations of Scripture and data: "Did I say literal days? Well, literal days were different back then." "Oh, sure, there's a fossil record, but that's God testing us." "The mention of 'behemoth' in the Old Testament proves man coexisted with dinosaurs." "Who were Cain and Abel's wives? Uhh... er..." Third, I can't imagine who they would find to arbitrate such a bet.

On the off chance I've missed any, please pick up where I left off...

Re:All manner of problems with this. (2)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299845)

...I really shouldn't be doing this at nearly 1AM...

1.) I've always heard that there are solid grounds for debate. a "Long Day Creationist" (one who believes that the world/universe was created in 6 indeterminate periods of time) and a "Short Day Creationist" (one who believes that the world/universe was created in six periods of twenty four hours) both believe that the earth was created by God. It's not "fudging an interpretation" when there is room for questioning of God's methods, but the duration of time God used to perform the creation of the universe is an attempt to understand an implementation. It's not fudging to say that there were distinct stages, which the Bible does refer to as "days", and then have an internal debate as to exactly how it went down. It's loosely akin to saying "CentOS is the best server Linux distro!" only to have someone else say, "No, Debian is!" the two may have a disagreement as to which implementation of Linux is ideal, but they both agree that Windows Server 2012 isn't the tool for the job.

2.) Can someone PLEASE let me know where this whole "God testing us" crap came from? I'm sure someone somewhere said it, and I'm sure that someone somewhere believes it...but the rest of us are of the persuasion that much of the fossil record is in much of the state it's in due to the Genesis Flood; a worldwide flood causing the highest mountains to be covered (whether it be the highest known mountains at that time, or Everest) would involve enough water to cause some significant changes in the geographical layout and cover a whole lot of bones in a whole lot of sand over a very short period of time (with additional fossilization having happened before the Flood, and plenty after as well, as the natural course of such things tend to happen).

3.) Admittedly there's plenty of speculation on my part for this one, but Adam was listed as having lived 913 years, and Eve likely lived somewhere around there as well. I'm certain that they had plenty of other children besides Cain and Abel, they were simply the ones that made headlines. I'd wager the $5 I've got in my pocket that most people reading this would have to head over to Google/Wiki in order to get insight into the 13 ancestors of Louis XIV, but most of us learned about THAT guy in history class. The Bible wasn't exactly written like a complete family tree or Holy Phone Book.

4.) I'm certain they'll find someone to arbitrate if the offer money on top of that for their services.

$10,000 is pretty cheap for a marketing budget. (0)

hawks5999 (588198) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299773)

Thanks for volunteering the ad space, Slashdot.

two words for 10k (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299781)

carbon dating, enough said?

"Calibrated"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299785)

What on earth is "calibrated" supposed to mean?

WRONG BURDEN OF PROOF (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299801)

First he has to show that it happened at all.

Until then it is, was and will always already be debunked.

End of story.

I'm getting me those $10,000!

Re:WRONG BURDEN OF PROOF (5, Interesting)

black3d (1648913) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299951)

Unfortunately he's set the rules so that he can't lose. He's not saying he'll prove Genesis is true. He's saying you have to prove it isn't. It's virtually impossible to disprove things the previously didn't happen. "Prove the sun wasn't originally a giant marshmellow", etc. You can prove it *isn't*, but there's no manner of proving it *wasn't*. He's aware of the fact that science is all about discovering new knowledge, and the language is science is about proving things. Unlike the popular opinion amongst religous folk that "scientists think they know everything", the facts couldn't be further from the truth. It's them who think they know the answers to everything, where science is saying "we don't know, but we'll keep on discovering more."

It's because scientists aren't fraudsters like this guy, that the only response to such a marshmellow statement is "We can't prove the sun wasn't ever a giant marshmellow, but there's no evidence to suggest that is the case." However, to nuts like this guy, to them that's practically an admission that "you can't prove the sun wasn't a giant marshmellow, and this book I've got here says it was.. so it must have been!". Replace "giant marshmellow" with every claim in Genesis. It's exceedingly difficult to prove a prior negative. So difficult in fact, that he's $10k confident that nobody can disprove the non-events.

It'd be nice if someone put up a counter-offer of "$10 million to anyone who can PROVE a deity exists". While equally unprovable, as none exist, the issue we run into is the "judges". See, the people arguing "for" a deity would fall back on exactly the acknowledgement of science that we can't know everything, and don't. They'd say "how did the Universe come into creation?". "We don't know, we have nothing provable, but we have some good theories". "If you by your own admission you don't know, then you can't explain where all the wonder of the universe comes from.. we can.. blah blah blah". Judges: "Those theists make some good points, and the atheists don't have any solid ground to stand on." This is one of the fundamental flaws with the majority of the population - they want to have an answer for everything, to make sense of everything, and can't take "we don't know" as an answer. When presented with "We don't know.. yet" or "An all-loving zombie did it!!!", they'll go with the zombie.

Fundamentalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299807)

And you guys are attacking the Muslims? How about cleaning up your own scum first?

I'll split 50/50 with anyone that wants it (1)

PmanAce (1679902) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299817)

Since I don't have the time or money to go there (not American either), I\ll split 50/50 with anyone that wants to present the following proof (beyond the light problem):

Earth created two days (or two time periods) before the sun presents numerous physical and geological problems. Let's list a few of the top of my head:

No heat

No seasons

No weather patterns

No tides (along with moon)

No solar system (planets would fly away)

Earth would slow down and stop (no spin)

No moon (it would fly away)

No gravitational effect from the sun causing many problems

and many more other problems...

So who wants to present this to the judge? :)

Re:I'll split 50/50 with anyone that wants it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299869)

You're making the error of trying to apply knowledge.
If we have an omnipotent being that can create matter and energy out of nothing at will, it would present little problems to such an entity to create an earth first, and then light coming out of nowhere from a few kilometers above the surface.

Re:I'll split 50/50 with anyone that wants it (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299917)

No moon (it would fly away)

Just out of curiosity, why would the absence of a sun cause the moon to fly away from the Earth?

Obvious publicity stunt (1)

FridayBob (619244) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299833)

There are lots of ways to prove objectively that the universe is much older than the Bible would suggest and that life, planets and galaxies did indeed evolve. However, there's still no law that requires judges to be scientifically literate, and you can bet that a fair number of them are even creationists. So seeing as Mastropaolo would select the judges himself, he obviously plans to stack the deck in his own favor. He may be ignorant, but he's probably not stupid either.

Sigh, this is not what a Christian should be doing (3, Insightful)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299837)

10,000$ could be much better off helping the poor. People starve to death with what $0.33 of food would nourish them. So 365days/year *.33food/day so approximately 100$ would keep someone from starving to death for a year. He could have saved 10 kid's lives for 10 years if he spent his money there. When talking of giving, Jesus doesn't want you to grandstand and boast about it though, and maybe that is all this guy wants to do.

The modern Christian's life involves working at a moral job, living frugally and giving one's excess to the poor. Jesus says we'll always have poor, but he didn't say they'll always be starving to death. Outside of horribly corrupt regimes, world hunger could be something that this generation could solve if enough of us helped out some.

Where do I collect the money? (0)

jonfr (888673) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299857)

Where do I collect the money?

I am being serious. He has already lost this 10.000$. Unless it is just a trickery and he is never going to accept any proof at all. But that might well be the case. Since the creationist types are crazy assholes to begin with and never accept any proof at all. No matter how well documented it is.

By the way. Book of genesis is a really, really big pile of crap. It is actually more then that. It is a big pile of useless crap from start to end. There is nothing else to it.

Wikipedia entry on this bible chapter, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Genesis [wikipedia.org]

Already ceded the relevant argument (5, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299891)

There's a church near where I work that has a sign in the window: "Come in and learn the latest scientific evidence for Biblical truth!"

I always smile when I see it, because they don't seem to realize they've already surrendered the epistemological war -- by admitting that weighing scientific evidence is the proper way to ascertain the truth (or falsity) of a claim.

Sure, they can fight a rear-guard action for a while by looking for scraps of evidence that appear to support Scripture (or whatever their take on Scripture is), but unless God starts making public appearances is an independently verifiable, repeatable manner, then the church has already laid the groundwork for their own logical impeachment.

The whole bedrock of religion is faith -- to believe that some things are true regardless of whether there is evidence for them or not. Once you've tacitly admitted that evidence is required, then faith is superfluous, and the church becomes just a group of extremely amateur scientists whose theories can't hold up under examination.

I bet $9,999,999 if u can prove (1)

SinisterRainbow (2572075) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299901)

it's better than evolution.

It is all about faith (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299949)

There is belief in the unproven at work here. Some people look around and decide that there must be a higher power of some kind involved. Some people look around and decide that there is only randomness and blind chance. Some people decide in a mixture of beliefs. Nobody can say for an absolute fact which belief system is correct. Maybe they all are - maybe none of them are.

Why do a lot of people get their panties in a knot when somebody doesn't believe what they believe? Seriously, it's like 12 year-old kids bickering about Ford vs. Chevy.

consensus reality (1)

mandginguero (1435161) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299957)

Really we need to ignore this hard enough and it will go away. Either that or pray it away.

First of all, "evolution" is not a religion... (1)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | about a year and a half ago | (#43299961)

Second of all, couldn't I just win by bringing in any other religious text and claiming that it, not the Bible, is false?

of course reality means nothing to this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43299983)

This whole thing is easily winnable for "science" because he is not asking you to prove God or no God, just the events in Genesis true or not -

  "God created the evolutionary process on purpose"

Genesis debunked and the truth of the bible is revealed as a story meant to control the masses. The same actually goes for all modern religions that are based on a book. :)

If it's so slam dunk easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43300013)

Then put $10K in escrow, debate him, and get an easy $10K for your efforts. Seriously. Heck, get a group of your friends to help you.

Or raise the money on Kickstarter. For every $1 a person puts in, they get $2 back, up to the funding limit.

For the "that's easy" crowd, there really isn't any reason to NOT do this...after all, it' an "easy" $10K! Right...?

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