I hope this doesn't get closed, as the thread that originally had this was closed. However, if one Christian scratches their head after watching any video, then I think it is in it's right place to be posted with a refute. Anyways:
Penn and Teller video
To be very general right now, the people in the video have an evolutionary worldview and come into the video with a bias. This bias will force themselves to come to a result they want to see. What this means is at best this video is Evolutionary evangelism. How can this video honestly give a fair view on the bible? If you don't clearly see the bias, look 1:03, Penn uses his own bias to give the bible a "fairy tale" twist (Once upon a time..)
:42-The scientist (aka Terry) makes a pretty bold and general claim that archaeologists have not found anything evidence to support places or events in the bible. This is not true on two accounts: One, we have not dug up every piece of dirt on this earth. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Two, archaeologists have found evidence listed in the bible. An example I can think of off the top of my head are Bricks with hay found in them-which is precisely what Moses said in Exodus.
1:20-The age old "Two Creation Accounts". The more I deal with people who believe such a view, I realize it is out of pure ignorance. In fact such a belief would be a definite contradiction, and God does not lie( Titus 1:2).
Let me give you an example to try and understand how Genesis chapter 2 complements Genesis chapter 1. I am writing the history of the Detroit Lions for a sports editorial for the local paper. I might start off with important dates and then give a short description. So something like this might appear:
- In 1934 the Detroit Lions were conceived.
- In 1935 Detroit won their first World Championship (Super Bowl)
- In 1952 Detroit won their second World Championship
- In 1953 Detroit won their third World Championship
- In 1957 Detroit won their fourth World Championship
This is enough to get my point across. If a reader is wanting a quick and general history, this is exactly what you would want. However, how clunky would it be if the author of this decided to explain every year with detail? It would look something like this:
- Dick Richards leads a group that purchases the Portsmouth Spartans for the staggering price of $7,952.08, and moves them to Detroit, where in keeping with the jungle tradition with other Detroit nicknames the team utilizes the name Lions. The Lions play their first game ever on September 23rd at the old University of Detroit Stadium, and beat the New York Giants by a score of 9-0 in front of 12,000 fans. The Lions would go on to win their first 10 games that included 7 straight shutouts. Four days after their first loss the Lions host the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving establishing a new tradition. The Lions would lose the key game 16-13, and would go on to finish their inaugural campaign with a 10-3 record.
- The Lions are among 4 teams in the NFL's competitive Western Division that finishes with a winning record. The Lions would finish the season with a 7-3-2 record, finishing percentage points ahead of the Green Bay Packers for the Division Championship earning them a birth in their first ever Championship Game. On December 9th in front of a rockus home crowd the Lions host the New York Giants for the NFL Championship. Led by QB Earl Clark the Lions would roar their way to a deceive 26-7 victory earning their first NFL Championship.
- The Lions continue to improve finishing 9-3 and in a flat-footed tie with Los Angeles Rams for the National Conference Title. The tie set up a tiebreaker for a trip to the NFL Championship game. On December 21st in front of a loud home crowd the Lions beat the over matched Rams by a score of 31-21 to earn a trip to the following week's NFL Championship game in Cleveland against the Browns. The Lions would on to stun the Browns in front of their home fans 17-7 to claim their 2nd NFL Championship.
- The Lions finish 10-2 to earn a return trip to the NFL Championship game where they a matched up in a rematch with the Cleveland Browns. On December 27th in front of a load crowd of 54,577 the Lions win a 17-16 nail bitter to claim their second consecutive NFL Championship.
- Prior to the start of the season Head Coach Raymond Parker who guided the Lions through their best era of success abruptly resigns. Assistant George Wilson would replace him the following day. Rogers helps lead the Lions to an 8-4 season which is good enough to earn a tie for the Western Conference title with San Francisco 49ers. The Lions would fall behind early in the Western Conference Championship at San Francisco's Cesar Stadium. However, the Lions would roar to life in the second half and would claim a 31-27 victory to earn a trip to the NFL Championship game. In the NFL Championship played in front of a 55,263 fans at Briggs Stadium the Lions take apart the Browns 59-14 to claim their 4th NFL Championship, and 3rd of the decade. However, the Lions would not win another Championship in the 20th Century.
Now this becomes a very cluttered mess and to get any exact information you want, you would almost have to sit down and piece through every year. Since our God is an intelligent creator understands this. How awkward would it be if he gives a chronological record of creation of this world, but on Day 6 puts literally everything from Genesis chapter 2 into the verses pertaining to Day 6. Again, this would be a very awkward placement. It is only fitting that immediately after the creation account is laid down does God go into much further detail on exactly what happened on Day 6. Humans are only Gods most precious creation, and a detailed account of how we came about would be very welcomed. When people try and tell me Chapter 1 and 2 of Genesis are clearly contradicting passages, I slap my hand to my forehead and shake my head. If one really looked into how the two chapters are laid out it becomes clear what Chapter 2's intention was-which is quite evident by the way we work today when we organize timelines. I did not know all those facts about the Lions (Go Lions!). I merely pulled them off another website to give an example.
1:43-Terry believes he is in the authority to sanction what part of the bible Christians are allowed to say is literal. His reasoning is that because there are two creation accounts, that are complementary to each other, in Genesis, Christians can not say the account of Genesis is literal. This is an illogical conclusion regardless if the two creation accounts were complementary or not.
1:58-Terry goes on to find it impossible for Noah to maintain the more than 10 billion species living on a single Ark. Well so do I. Luckily the bible did not tell Noah to take every specie, but every kind. Granted, the exact definition of kind is not very stable, but what is known is a "kind" is on a much larger scope such as genus or even family. Species wasn't even a term fully developed yet until recent times and in Noah's time genetic variation between animals was very minimal as mutations and in-breeding had not fully been incorporated into life.
The following animals could have survived outside the ark (Whitcomb 1998, p.68):
25,000 species of fish
1,700 tunicates (mane chordates like sea squirts) found throughout the seas
600 echinoderms including star fish and sea urchins
107,000 mollusks such as mussels, clams and oysters
10,000 coelenterates like corals and sea anemones, jelly fish and hydroids
4,000 species of sponges
31,000 protozoan, the microscopic single-celled creatures.
Noah would not have to be concerned with the aquatic mammals such as the dolphins, whales, porpoises, sea lions, and walrus. There are also many aquatic reptiles that could survive outside of the ark. These would include many types of snakes, alligators, crocodiles, and sea turtles. There are almost a million species of arthropods that would survive the flood. Animals such as the following: shrimps, crabs, lobsters, and many other crustaceans. All of the insects could survive outside the ark. Mote than 35,000 species of worms and nematodes would also survive the flood.
Most animals are not very large. The average size of all animals, is the size of a sheep, some say a small rodent. One railroad stock car can carry about 240 sheep. This would mean that all 40,000 animals could fit in 167 railroad cars. The arks total capacity was 569 stock cars. The 40,000 animals would require less than 30% of the ark's space. In other words all the animals could fit on one of the ark's three decks. This would leave the other 70% of the ark's space for Noah's family, food, supplies, and baggage.
Many biologists state that the average size of most vertebrates is the size of a sheep. Other sources state that the average size is about the size of a small rabbit. Since there is some doubt as to what is the average size of the animals that were brought into the ark, and this paper is a conservative analysis of the carrying capacity of the ark, we will use the larger sheep average.We will also base our calculation on four different occupancy estimates. The first is my own conservative estimate of 40,000. The second is the estimate of Whitcomb at 35,000. The final two figures of 16,000 and 2,000 are based on the work of Woodmorappe. The 16,000 figure is based on the biblical kind being equivalent to the taxonomic rank of genus. The second figure of 2,000 is based on the biblical kind being equivalent to the taxonomic rank of family.
Based on railroad industry figures a railroad stockcar can hold 240 sheep and each stock car has a capacity of 2670 ft3. Therefore each sheep requires 11.125 ft3. Most authorities on rabbit husbandry give the dimensions for a rabbit hutch as 3.0 ft3per animal. If the average animal size is indeed the size of a small rabbit the calculations shown below could be reduced by a factor of three.
The following calculations show the amount of the ark space that would be required to carry the stated number of animals, based on the average size of a sheep.
40,000 animals x 11.125 ft3 = 445,000 ft3 OR 445,000 ft 3
1,518,750 ft3 × 100 = 29% of the Ark's capacity
Given that Terry had the wrong idea of what God required Noah to take (species instead of kinds) and that the Ark is more than large enough to hold two of every animal on the Earth, this argument becomes moot.
2:25-Penn proceeds to tell viewers the traditional "stolen myth" story that the flood was account was taken from a real event that happened in the region. To my surprise he didn't use the ever popular "Gilgamesh" flood account. Instead he used the story that Euphrates floods every year. One year it flooded exceptionally bad the Sumerian King took a barge to float down the river until it landed on dry ground. He then proceeds to tell viewers their is plenty of archaeological and geological evidence for such a view.
This could of been an event that really happened, I don't know. But it doesn't matter. The biblical account is so much more different from this account that to say it was an over exaggeration of it is ridiculous. The Bible says the flood was global, killed all living creatures, lasted a little over a year, took two of every animal, the ark landed on a mountain and it needed a massive boat (ark) to carry all the animals. The account Penn speaks of merely says there was exceptional flooding that over ran all the levees and killed a lot of people. The king took a barge and floated down river until he landed on dry land. Do you see any connection? Neither did I.
3:06-Ironically enough, Penn then mentions that 6 other cultures in the area have similar flood stories like Noah's. In fact, I will go a step farther and mention that nearly every culture around the world has a flood story like Noah's. If every culture, and many are independent of each other, has some story of a world wide flood near the dawn of time occurring, then maybe, just maybe it actually did happen. The details are not very similar as each is written to appease their polytheistic pagan beliefs, but one fact that stays quite consistent between each story is the fact the flood was global and killed everything except that in the ark.
Why Global flood stories from every culture is proof
Summary of every flood myth from around the world
3:45-Penn tells viewers absolutely no evidence even exists that Jews even existed in Egypt. I guess he hasn't hear of the internet What Penn said is a grand case of a secular bias. A simple search, and I came up with this site(very long read, but LOTS of evidence of Exodus):
4:13-Terry makes a logical fallacy in claiming "Since there is no evidence of the exodus, there must of been no exodus". I can then turn around and say "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". You have to remember that the Exodus was in fact, an exodus. The people were nomadic who traveled the desert, never setting up permanent cities. If there was any archaeological evidence, it would be hard press to find-that's if archaeologists dismiss just because it is in support of biblical history.
4:33-A new scientists comes into the picture that we will call Richard. He says it is so hard for people to accept biblical miracles because they can't be explained. Now let's hold on for a second. Hypothetically assume God is real. Hypothetically also assume he is the God of Judeo-Christianity who created all we see. Why must he do anything in this world in accordance to the natural laws he created? He is God, and he can do as he wants. It also begs the question, if we can explain the miracles through finite human mind, then they aren't so much miracles, but more or less an act of nature.
4:52-Richard cannot wrap his mind around the fact that God can do whatever he wants in this world. That means perform miracles unexplainably. So he does what any human being does and rationalizes it. He uses the age old theory that Moses and the Israelites crossed the "sea of reeds" or essentially a marsh. This of course is completely wrong. The Bible makes it quite clear through it's context that the Red Sea was the deep body of water east of Egypt and adjacent to the Sinai Peninsula. The bible says the sea was very deep (Isaiah 63:11-13, Psalms 78:11-13). The Bible also makes it clear the water covered the Egyptians. No mere marsh could possibly do this. ( Exodus 15:1, Deuteronomy 11:4, Joshua 24:7, Nehemiah 9:11, Psalms 78:52-54). The bible also makes it clear that all the Egyptians died from the water falling on them (Exodus 14:27-28,Exodus 14:30, Psalms 106:11). Now we need to ask the question, what is the miracle of Richard that a marsh could do all this? Cover all the Egyptians completely to the point of drowning? If we look at the hebrew word for Red Sea, yam suph, it can be translated to "sea of reeds" or a marsh. But throughout the entire old and new testament it is translated as Red Sea (1 Kings 9:26-28, Acts 7:36, Hebrews 11:29). The bible makes it quite clear the Red Sea is in fact the Red Sea. The illogical presentation of the Red Sea as a mere marsh is quite evident by all the Bible claimed the Red Sea did. I wish I could explain exactly how the Red Sea parted, but then it would take away from the whole "show the Israelites the power of God through miracles aspect"
6:08-Penn complains that a historical account was written after the event in question happened....Do I really need to explain what's wrong with this statement?
<omitted (6:48-end) due to length> Go to my blog (Christian Faith Apologetics) if you want to read the rest.
Remember, Penn and Teller are magicians. There job is to deceive people-and make money from it! Please don't buy into their 'greatest trick yet'. I have hopefully sufficiently given good rebuttals to every point of their video. However if you have questions or I missed something, let me know!
Thanks and God bless