7 simple, common-sense evidences that blow the literal Bible out of the water

From exmocaptainmoroni on r/atheism some good ammo, common knowledge, and easy to understand material to use in our all-but-pointless-debates with theists! Enjoy:

7 simple, common-sense evidences that blow the literal Bible out of...

The Bible has quite a few dates and talks about lots of old men who supposedly lived for 900 years. Using these dates and records, Christian apologist Bishop Ussher created the most commonly accepted chronology that claims that the Earth was created in 4004 BC. Most Christian Fundamentalists still accept this date or at least a very similar one. Here are seven reasons that they are crazy! These can be some fun little tools for anyone who wants to debate a Christian fundamentalist in front of a reasonable audience.

  1. The Pyramids Everyone knows that they are there. Even Southern Baptist apologists can't deny their existence. So how does their very existence destroy Biblical inerrantism? Because every single one of them was built hundreds of years before the Bible says that the Flood supposedly wiped out humanity. The Great Pyramid of Khufu in Giza was built around 2550 BC according to Egyptian records. That is 200 years before the flood. Embarassingly, God's miles high flood made no mark on the pyramids or their contents. The mummies and artifacts inside are still dry and in great shape. If there really had been enough water to cover the Earth, it would have exerted a force of at least 1.8 million pounds per square foot on the Pyramids (assuming that the water was high enough to cover the entire Earth and all the mountains as the Bible says). This amount of pressure would have completely destroyed the antiquated architecture and mummies.

  2. Tree Rings Dendrochronology, the study of tree rings, is an interesting and informative science that can tell us much about history. Every year, each tree creates a new growth ring. The size of this ring depends on the conditions of that year. Scientists can take cores of these trees and count the number of tree rings in order to give the age of the tree. Each year has a distinctive pattern depending on the local conditions. Amazingly, we have a species of tree, known as Bristlecone Pines, that provide a record of tree rings that extends back 11,000 years to 9,000 BC. This is an obvious problem for those that believe that the Earth was still "matter unorganized" back then. We even have a tree, known as Methuselah, that has now been alive for 4,842 years and counting as shown by its rings. That means that the tree was born in 2831 BC. This tree (and many others) kept living right on through the Flood that supposedly killed everything in 2350. The lowly Bristlecone Pine has toppled the Holy Bible simply by living when it should have died.

3 Carbon Dating Radiometric dating is one of the strongest killers of Biblical literacy and one that creationists love to hate. Basically, radiometric dating measures the amount of an isotope and its decayed products are present in a given sample. It is based on the universally admitted fact that radioactive things decay at a certain rate. Through simple math, one can figure out the age of the sample. Radiometric dating is important because it proves that fossils are much older than a few thousand years old. This data shows that the Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years which obviously destroys the Ussher Chronology. Creationists often claim that "decay rates may have changed" or "I carbon dated my dead cat and the answer was off, so..." I have heard all kinds of silly attempts to discredit radiometric dating. The fact remains that we have used this method with not only carbon-14, but with more than 50 other isotopes to confirm the dates. Each of these 50 isotopes decays at a different rate. Yet, they all agree that the Earth is more than 4.5 billion years old. This is important. The half-lives for isotopes range from 70*10-18 seconds for Be-8 to 2.28*1024 years for Te-128. This is a huge range of time. That means that God would have had to speed up each of the 50 isotope's half-lives by vastly different factors in order to fool us into thinking that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. How ridiculous. My question is: why do creationists make insane claims about basic laws of physics in order to defend a Bronze Age myth?

4 Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Sumerian Before 2250 BC and the Tower of Babel, according to Biblical mythology, the only language on the planet was Adamic. All of the other languages, including Egyptian and Sumerian, were created by the confusion of tongues. Therefore, it is devastating that we have found hundreds of examples of writing that date to a thousand years before the Tower of Babel. Egyptian writings are also powerful evidence against Biblical literalism. The first known Egyptian hieroglyphic inscription was the Narmer Palette which is a collection of writing that dates to 3200 BC. This writing existed 1,000 years before the Tower of Babel when the Egyptian language was supposedly created. The first examples of Sumerian Cuneiform date to 3300 BC. Obviously, two completely different languages existed long before the Tower of Babel "created" them all and neither of them was Adamic.

5 Egyptian Dynastic Records Thanks to a well-developed system of record keeping and well-preserved papyri (which oddly enough, survived the Flood), we know an amazing amount about the Egyptian dynasties of the Old Kingdom. We know the exact years that each pharoah rose to power and then was replaced beginning with the Pharoah Zanakht, who rose to power in 2649. This line continues unbroken until the Pharoah Unas (2356-2323 BC) who obviously survived the "Global Flood" in 2349. This line continues until Nemtyenmzaf (2255-2246 BC) who reigned while God was changing everyone's language. Luckily, God forgot Egypt existed and no major disruptive linguistic change occurred during those few centuries when the Tower of Babel suppposedly happened.

6 Kangaroos, Lemurs, Frogs, and Emus Besides the obvious absurdity that Noah crammed 2 of each of the more than 5,000 mammal species, 10,000 bird species, 1,000,000 insect species, and 9,000 reptile species in a 450 foot long boat, there are other biological problems with the Bible. Leaving aside all the evidence for evolution, we can look at current animal distribution to see that Noah's Ark is bunk. Supposedly, Noah collected 2 of each animal into his boat and rode the Flood out for a year until he disembarked and released all of these animals from one point on Earth (legend says in Turkey). They then reproduced and spread out to where they are now. If this were true, animals would be present wherever they could have migrated since the Flood. Animals go where they can survive. That would mean that there would not be the kind of differences that we see in the world. Why are most Marsupials in Australia? Are we really expected to believe that all the Kangaroos got off the Ark and made a beeline for Australia without leaving one behind on the mainland? Why did all the Lemurs head for Madagascar? Why are the platyrrhines only found in the Western Hemisphere and catarrhines only in the Old World? How did all those animals get to Australia or any other island at all? Frogs cannot survive in salt water, so how did they get to Australia? I could list such problems in animal distribution forever. These questions are all easily answered by evolution, but they really make no sense if we accept Genesis.

7 Oil and Coal Every time a creationist drives he is benefitting from the fact that he is wrong. Petroleum only exists because the Earth is billions of years old. As most know, it is formed when the remains of phytoplankton and zooplankton settle to the bottom of the sea and are compressed and decomposed in anaerobic conditions. There is no other way to make petroleum. Enormous amounts of heat, pressure, and time are require to create petroleum. Only geologic time could do it. The gas in your car is great proof that Christian Fundamentalists are wrong when they said that the Earth was 6,000 years old.

These seven common knowledge evidences will convince any rational, intelligent person that Biblical literalism is absurd. With a little bit of high school history and science, anyone can realize the truth.

Biblical inerrancy is dead. I would love to see the apologists try to resurrect it in face of so much evidence.

PS Many say that it is a fool's errand to convince the fundamentalists with evidence like this. I say that they are wrong. Full disclosure: I grew up in one of the most fundamentalist Mormon houses that you can imagine. I grew up defending Biblical literalism. However, it was this kind of evidence that convinced me to leave it all behind. And I couldn't be happier! That is why I put the information out there for other people like me.

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Comment by Jeff Samuelson on December 3, 2011 at 8:46pm

John Kelly, I agree with you that our arguments, in general, sometimes are in need of improvement. Among the best approaches is simple, firm statements of fact; a reinforcement of a healthy boundary between reality & delusion. Philosophical arguments are, well, a little harder to come by. Few people - much less atheists - are good at philosophy.

So I like this post, except for the part where it wades into radiometric dating. To be clear, radiometric dating is solid, and a great argument against. Unfortunately, it's hard to explain, seeing as there are over 40 methods in use. Carbon 14 dating gets a bad rap because of some erroneous readings, and sadly it's been conflated with many of the other dating methods, muddying the waters for the casual reader. 

And finally, it is NOT a fool's errand. Far from it, in fact. There are a lot of smart fundamentalists who simply need to be nudged a bit into actually thinking about their premises & conclusions to get them to question. 

Comment by John Kelly on December 3, 2011 at 8:59pm

Jeff I totally agree with everything you said.  I believe that although people have a tendency to assimilate rather than re-evaluate the whole proposition, that the right arguments can have a powerful effect.

In this case, the tree argument can, if methuselah has an intact core sample that is, show people that the flood could not have happened according to the biblical chronology laid out in the gospels.  I don't think it is a fools errand.  I agree with you that if we keep our arguments simple and precise, we can very well cause someone to respect our position, even if they can not come to accepting it.

At that point, C-14 works well when it is combined with pottery typology and archaeological stratigraphy.  Explaining how in the ancient times, in the absence of bulldozers, people just decimated buildings and buried them and their content providing a pretty good archaeological record of different periods between destruction layers.  Pottery typology is the study of pottery found in different layers to help compare when different styles were popular to date things.  Combined, these three things are pretty precise.  Frank Moore Cross used pottery typology to date things, and got it pretty close to what radiocarbon dating on the same pottery ending up finding well before the testing was done.

Comment by KaraC on December 3, 2011 at 10:24pm

Chickens having deactivated genes for teeth is another interesting factoid, though it doesn't really fall in the "common sense" category, I suppose. I'll shut up now :-)

Comment by Richard Burton on December 4, 2011 at 2:58am

I think atheists spend give far too much time refuting fundamentalists literal belief in Biblical stories. These facts are not new and those who dismiss empirical evidence are most likely beyond persuasion anyway. Would effort not be better served targeting more rational moderate theists by bringing up the dubious history of the church and the many moral contradictions in the bible instead? Religion has had hundreds of years to become ingrained in human life and this influence will not be overturned by the presentation of facts that all but the most resolute of idiots will accept. A long term aim of atheism should be to limit (and eventually eradicate) the damaging influence of religious belief on non believers and this will be best achieved  by addressing that influence. After all not all religions claim literal belief in their texts - why are we leaving all those out? How would you argue atheism without scientific evidence? Would we all be members of religion if we lived hundreds of years ago and didn't have access to scientific evidence like the above? I like to think it's a position I would have eventually reached  without it-do you?

Comment by John Kelly on December 4, 2011 at 4:32am

The problem I see with that is that many moderate Christians do not really care if the bible is literal.  I even sat in class with them in seminary as we went over the archaeology of the ancient near east and a great deal of them didn't even care that the bible was discredited, because they still believed that it was inspired despite its dubious original purposes.

I do think that the argument from logic does hold merit as to whether or not it is in line with the harmony that "God" supposing for the sake of debating a theist that he exists, would have set in the universe.  If there was a God, then harmony would be the greatest God, and adherence to the harmony that is logic. Logic is the means to ensure order in thought, thus making thought harmonious like the rest of the universe as it works according to its precise order.  Thus we should never accept God for illogical reasons, because this would be contrary to what must be the ultimate good if this God created our multiverse.

Comment by Samuel Butler on December 4, 2011 at 6:49am

Full disclosure: I am not an atheist, even though I do not believe in god. Why? Because I believe in a past life and in reincarnation. 

That said, this wonderful post can be further punctuated by proof of Bible fraud and forgery:

Bible Fraud and Forgery as told by an insider



My Web Site:


Comment by Marea Mangham on December 4, 2011 at 9:36am
This is great. Thanks for the post.
Comment by Jovan Morales on December 4, 2011 at 11:19am

I never thought of the Pyramid argument, that is a solid one right there. Thanks for sharing :)

Comment by Richard Burton on December 5, 2011 at 5:29am

Hey John Kelly-are you agreeing or disagreeing with me? Seems like your backing me up on the moderates don't care about the literal truth bit. If they don't base their faith on the biblical time line why spend a disproportionate amount of time refuting it? You touched upon how a theist can cling to faith in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary with your idea of a harmony and God.When I was a Christian I viewed biblical contradictions as man made mistakes of recording or interpretation so points like these didn't really hold much sway. To me it was not illogical to continue believing while accepting scientific explanation rather it was illogical to think that god would choose to reveal the entire mystery of the cosmos/evolution/the entire body of scientific fact to man at such an early stage of development? Men just filled in the gaps with myth,parable and lies. Just playing Devil's advocate here but what about a flawed God? What about the possibility of an extra terrestrial that 'influenced' the 'evolution' of mankind? = No creator of the multiverse and no requirement of harmony

Comment by Morgan Matthew on December 5, 2011 at 10:54am


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