Today’s video (and accompanying post) is brought to you by a donation from Andrew Parker. He became a patron at Patreon.com/REASON and he had this to say, “I was wondering what maybe some of the top facts can be brought up when trying to explain that the Bible has already been disproven. I use various scientific facts when in a debate with someone who says the Bible is 100% real – but I can never really pick what maybe the top 3 should be to bring up.” Well Andrew, thank you for becoming a patron. I will try to answer your inquiry to the best of my abilities.
First, is important to mention that anyone who believes that the Bible is 100% true is already accepting outright falsities and impossibilities, such as believing in; a walking, talking serpent that doomed all of mankind, talking donkeys, people who lived to be hundreds of years old, and stars that will fall upon the earth.
Second, giving them scientific facts or reasoning with them is not going to change their mind since they have accepted a position without regard for scientific facts or reason. I believe Carl Sagan stated it best when he said, “You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep seated need to believe.”
However, I will answer your question anyway and we have to look no further than the first book of the Bible. In the book of Genesis, cosmology, evolution, and genetics are cast aside for more favorable methods of explaining things; such as magic and fairytales.
Let’s start with cosmology. The Bible says in Genesis 1:1, the opening passage of the Bible, that the very first things that were created were the heavens and earth. Verse 2 goes on to describe the state of the earth at this time. This should raise an immediate red flag, as we know that the earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old and the universe is approximately 14 billion years old. We know, for a fact, that the earth did not exist at the time of the formation of the universe. In verse 3, while it is still the first day, God says let there be light and suddenly there was light. However, in verse 14, on the fourth day, we learn that God creates the stars. This should raise another red flag since up until this point there could have been no light because the light-bearing objects had not been created yet. In the preceding passages the Bible records each day as a passing of “day” and “night”, which could not have occurred if the very object that is responsible for the passage of day and night, our Sun, had not been created yet.
We know that this story is all wrong. The Big Bang disproves the biblical creation myth and unlike the magical fairytale from the Bible, we have evidence for the Big Bang. The cosmic background radiation, the red shifting of galaxies as space expands outward from a single point, the difference in elements of new stars compared with old stars, and the recent discovery of gravitational waves support the Big Bang and confirm that universe did not begin the way the creation myth states.
Evolution is another problem for the Bible. The Bible records that God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into his nostrils (Genesis 2:7) and records that man was created separately from the animal kingdom. The Bible records that God formed the first woman from the rib of the first man (Genesis 2:21-22), indicating that humanity, both male and female, were created separately from the animal kingdom. Nearly every field of science, including biology, paleontology, genetics, and archaeology, refutes this creation myth and relies on evolution as a factual explanation for the diversity of life. We are not separate from the animal kingdom, humans are apes—a fragment of the animal kingdom.
The difference between the creation myth and evolution is that evolution has mountains of evidence to support its explanation for the diversity of life. Fossils are one great example of the evidence that has been obtained. We have fossils of very simple life forms that date back to 3.5 billion years ago and as you go through the fossil record, towards the present day, more groups appear; plants, trees, flowers, animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals all make an appearance. This sequential order of the appearance of life refutes the biblical idea that all animals were created on a single day. The fossil evidence for human evolution is even better. Human’s nearest living relative are the chimpanzees, which we split from about 5-7 million years ago. The fossil record from the split until now is well substantiated and scientists have found over 20 species of human-like primates called hominins. These fossils show our lineage and how we have descended from the evolutionary tree of life.
Fossils are not the only evidence. There are ring species, the universal genetic code and other genetic commonalties, and the observed evolution of bacteria in the lab. As Richard Dawkins said, “Only a small fraction of corpses fossilize, and we are lucky to have as many intermediate fossils as we do. We could easily have had no fossils at all, and still the evidence for evolution from other sources, such as molecular genetics and geographical distribution, would be overwhelmingly strong.”
Genetics and DNA also prove the creation myth false. The Bible would have us believe that humanity survived two genetic bottlenecks, Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark, which is scientifically impossible. A genetic bottleneck is a sharp reduction in the size of a population, which decreases genetic diversity and will eventually lead to extinction if the bottleneck is severe enough. If you sequence the DNA of people living all over the world, you can count the differences between each person’s DNA. These differences in people’s DNA show that genetic variation of humanity. You can use this count of differences in DNA to calculate the smallest number of people that would have been needed to generate that amount of genetic diversity. This minimum number of people is the number that the population cannot fall under if it is going to recover from the genetic bottleneck. Any number less than this number will result in extinction.
When you sequence our DNA and run this calculation, the results say the human population has never fallen below 10,000. At some point in history, the human population went down to approximately 10,000 individuals, but our DNA shows that we never had just two ancestors. This proves that there never was an Adam and Eve. It also proves that there also was no Noah’s Ark or worldwide flood, as these genetic bottlenecks would have devastated humanity, including all the animals on the ark, and all species enduring such a severe bottleneck would have long been extinct.
As you can see, we haven’t even made it past the first book of the Bible and everything that creationists hold dearly is already crumbling under the scrutiny of science accompanied by the evidence that we have accumulated over the years. I hope that this video and the discussion on cosmology, evolution, and genetics help you see that the Bible is scientifically inaccurate. I would also hope that it would help you to help other people, specifically creationists, see that the Bible is scientifically inaccurate and change their positions. However, we both know better.
I would like to end on an Anonymous quote, “Suppose that every memory, written word, and piece of technology on earth was destroyed all at once, leaving humanity to start completely from scratch. Everything we have come to know about science would eventually be discovered again. Given a few thousand years, people would figure out chemistry, and rediscover all of the same elements we know about now. People would once again understand biology, including its evolutionary origins. People would eventually see the motions of other galaxies in the sky, and work out the details of the big bang. This is the glorious part about science, it can and would all be replicated. I can assure you, however, that your story about a talking snake would be gone forever.”
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