Tag Archives: creationism

What’s This About Moonlight?

It’s hard to believe this, but apparently it happened. A few years ago, Bill Nye was booed back in 2006 while talking to a group in Waco, TX. What dastardly statement could have caused such a reaction from the crowd? Saying that the moon doesn’t give off a light of it’s own…that the moon reflects the light of the sun. Keep in mind, this was way back in 2006…7 years ago.

Well, earlier this week, creationist Ray Comfort said that Bill Nye was wrong. But the funny thing is, he actually admits that what Bill Nye said is right, but he doesn’t admit Nye is right. Here’s the clip from Comfort’s show on 9/17/13.

Comfort: So what Bill Nye was doing was mocking the fact that the Bible says that the moon was one of the light that God created. He made two lights; the sun to rule by day and the moon to rule by night. And he mocks that. And yet, you check out what moonlight is in the dictionary and it says it’s the light of the moon. The moon has light, it reflects the sun. The Moonlight Sonata, just lots of beautiful songs. (emphasis mine)

So, to recap: Bill Nye lied when he said the moon reflects the light of the sun. Ray Comfort is telling the truth when he says the moon reflects the light of the sun.

Are you as confused as I am? My head hurts just from listening to this drivel.

HT: The Raw Story

Ken Ham wonderfully sums up Inerrancy and plaIn readIng

If you as a Christian believe the Bible is inerrant, you’re saying it is without error. And as a creationist, I read the Bible plainly, trusting that I can believe and understand what I read. It’s unreasonable to say that inerrancy and a plain reading of Scripture leads Christians to believe falsehoods as though they are “magically true.” But what is Dr. McKnight referring to specifically here? He writes, “One of which views is that the Bible teaches science in Genesis 1–2.”

via Warning: “Inerrancy” Means We Can’t Trust the Bible | Around the World with Ken Ham.

That’s a lot of I’s in that sentence, Ken.

I read the bible how I want to and it says to ME what I think it says. I’m perfect.

That is Ken Ham’s mantra. It is a Euro-centric, anti-semitic way of reading Scripture, but that’s okay I guess.

Wow…

That is the central idea behind inerrancy and the plain sense reading, that the modern reader without any help can better understand the Scripture than the original authors and culture. What Scripture says to you doesn’t really matter. It is what it is meant to say that does.

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I’m not sure Ken Ham understands basic biology @aig

Of course, biology could be of the devil if it challenges your opinion, but anyway, Ham has gone ape over a book at the San Diego Zoo. In this book, the authors posits a well known biological fact that humans are just a few chromosomes away from being apes. I’m not sure if he knew that or not. Doubtful, because unlike nuclear energy, facebook, and using tax payer dollars to open up an adult store, this is not in Scripture.

But—this is where the world is at today.  And if the San Diego Zoo is selling this book, they must approve of its contents.  Shame on the San Diego Zoo (one of the world’s leading zoos) for promoting the false idea that we are just another ape—and we are “probably smarter than any other animals.”

Poor guy… can’t handle the biological truth.

Ken Ham doesn’t believe in the Historical Jesus @AiG

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Whatever do you mean, Joel?

Ken makes a logical fallacy, that for Jesus to be the Son of God, he would have to be completely inhuman. I note that Paul writes that Christ emptied himself of his deity to assume flesh, and yet, Ham argues with Paul. Surely, Ham opines, that Jesus was complete deity. For him, Jesus must have known everything and been incapable of not knowing. Scripture tells us that Christ was tempted in every way, and overcame those temptations. This is because Jesus was human. He was a Jew. A Palestinan Jew of the 1st century, no matter what else we wish to believe about him… Jesus was a Jew.

Ham allows two ‘researchers’ from AiG to write,

The idea advanced by Dr. Enns here is known as the accommodation theory and was first advanced in the eighteenth century by Johann Semler, the father of German rationalism. The accommodation theory is very popular among liberal theologians and basically asserts that Jesus accommodated (accepted and taught) the various ideas of His day, even if they were wrong.5 Allegedly, since Jesus was primarily concerned with spiritual matters, He didn’t bother to correct some of their false historical or scientific beliefs because doing so might have distracted from His real message.

Did Jesus Tell a Lie? | Around the World with Ken Ham.

If this was the case, that Jesus had to correct everything (and for some reason, Ham and others assume that the Jews of 1st century Palestine were just proto-fundamentalist Christians in believe), then why didn’t he do that about medicine? Or give the world nuclear energy? Or tell people that washing hands wasn’t just a good thing when eating, but so too for physicians? Do you know how many lives that could have saved between then and the late 1800’s when it started happening?

They must make the presupposition that the 1st century Jewish Jesus believed and taught what the 21st century Ken Ham does. Second, they must believe that unless Jesus did, then Jesus was wrong. Third, they must endeavor to make sure that other 1st century Jews believed the same way that Ham does now. Fourth, they assume that unless Jesus acted in accordance with their theology, then he was wrong. Fifth, they also must assume that the Gospels are ‘historical narrative’ of the same time which is produced by modern Western societies. It is a house of cards which protects their faith.

So, no, Ken Ham doesn’t believe in the historical Jesus; he believes in an Imaginary Jesus of his own creation.

By the way, there is a blog tour for Dr. Enns’ book…see a post of it here.

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Peter Leithart, Peter Enns, and just not getting it.

Jason alerted me to this post from Peter Leithart objecting to Peter Enns‘ recent work on the Evolution of Adam. Jason believes that Leithart is writing against a supposed parallelomania. The problem is, is that Leithart writes,

I’m not sure who Pete is aiming at, since nearly everyone with the thinnest exposure to ANE literature knows that there are lots of overlaps with the OT

As I noted to Jason earlier… his use of the word parallelomania is a red herring… and false because even Leithart holds that the OT fits nicely with ANE even actually noting that their are similarities. The problem, for me, is that Leithart seemingly allows for overlap but then moves that the Hebrew author had a different concept… that he somehow ‘got it right.’ It’s not even that Leithart doesn’t like the comparison between Genesis 1 and Enuma Elish, but that he insists that the concept is different. This is the issue with proving inspiration, and why it is a fallacy to attempt to do so. Working with the presupposition that one must consistently prove inspiration, or worse, inerrancy, removes one’s logic from consistency. Leithart doesn’t seem to be arguing against overlapping or the over emphasis on overlapping, but that somehow, the Hebrews got it ‘right’ whereas their Babylonian cousins didn’t, especially when it comes to cosmogony. (While the cosmogony in Genesis 1 doesn’t involve violence, later Scriptural creation accounts do.)

For instance, the common ploy by YEC who will attempt to show that everyone at the beginning of the world held the same stories, but that for one reason or another, the stories were corrupted, with only the ancient Hebrews having the right one. The first issue with this is, mainly, that it is unprovable, except if you first make the presupposition and then work backwards to prove it. Second, this hypothesis removes Genesis 1 from the context, or concept, of the author(s). Third, and most damning, is Genesis 1 is ANE, and ANE is not Genesis 1 due to the fact that if this was actually the case, then we would except to find similar stories not just in Babylon, but throughout all ancient civilizations, from the Americas to the Far East (Boom, Rodney, boom). Yet, we don’t. We find similar stories, as one should suspect, only in the cultural nexus of the ANE.

Another issue of late. Jason complains about the lack of charity in the debates about origins:

There is truly very little Christian charity involved in the discussion. It is more so an issue of ad hominem attacks which are sadly lacking even in logical coherence

Very well and good and Jason should be commended for calling attention to the fact that Christians on all sides make a habit of lambasting the other… but then, Jason goes on to write…

Unfortunately, many refuse to acknowledge their worldview, and they resort to arbitrariness because of the fact that their worldview is does not come back to God as revealed in His Word as the absolute standard of truth.

Say… how about those ad homs?

Anyway, at that last link, Jason once again tries to defend the wrong notion that Scripture is the ‘Word of God,’ but instead of using Scripture, he uses Warfield and the ISBE. Perhaps, he should use Thayer’s instead, but regardless, you have other verses to consider, in that Scripture gives itself to the hands of the writers, collectors, historians, and the such. And, of course, there are those pericopes which are deemed not of God, even by the authors. His definition is wrong and doesn’t allow Scripture to be what Scripture calls itself – inspired.

When you work backwards, you are bound to trip and fall.

When does it become anti-Semitic to treat Genesis 1 as a Western-style history?

The Creation stained glass window at St. Matth...
Image via Wikipedia

I love the way that Young Earth Creationists add things to Scripture. Granted, this is an ‘old post’ (from December, totally last year) but I noticed it because Ham mentioned it on Facebook recently. Anyway… first, read Dr. McGrath’s post here (and his editorial here)…. Ham then writes, in part,

Second, the above chart is inconsistent with the text of Genesis 1:1–2:3. Water was not created on the second day, but the first. Genesis 1:2 states, “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” This occurred prior to the creation of light on the first day. So perhaps days 1 and 5 should be viewed as parallel. Another problem with this chart is that the “heavenly light-bearers” of day 4 were placed in the “heavens” of day 2 (Genesis 1:14). This is problematic for the Framework advocate who believes days one and four are the same event viewed from different perspectives, because this must have occurred prior to the event described in days 2 and 5. How could the stars be placed in something that did not exist yet?

First… note the sly way which they deflect. The chart that they mention actually says seas… something that Genesis does say was named in the so-called Creation week. But, oddly enough, they allow that Genesis 1 doesn’t tell the full story, and yet, they’ll insist that Genesis 1 tells the, um, whole story. So now, water was created on the first day, and yet, we don’t have a record of this… As a matter of fact, the waters pre-existed God’s movement upon them. We know what those waters are, but I doubt that Ham and others like the actual explanation. Also, we don’t have the record of angels or a whole host of other things which existed before Genesis 1, but I guess that doesn’t matter either…

Their other argument is a rather ethnocentric one. I don’t think Genesis 1 is pure Hebrew poetry, but even if it was pure historical narrative ANE historical narrative is not the same idea of history as we have developed in the last few centuries in the West. Instead, Historical Narrative is more often legend, myth, and hyperbolic twistings than ‘facts’ which can be footnoted. Our modern idea of history was not taken from the Hebrews, or from Christian tradition as a matter of fact. If anything, our current notion of History is contrary to Christian Tradition in that it leaves no room for God’s hand, myth, or interpretation. Taking Genesis 1 as a modern, Western, Historical narrative, is to use the Enlightenment further to promote deism. I worry for Ken Ham and others who would seek to abuse Scripture in such a way as to continue to place God into our box. Further, I would say that it is almost anti-Semitic to suggest that unless the Hebrews wrote like David McCullough then it is absurd or somehow false. Yup, Ken Ham is a radical liberal anti-Semite.

Oh, and it’s a bit hypocritical to pick and choose what scholars you give credit too… But, then again, this is considered somehow the thing to do… to pick only those scholars which support your thesis. No challenges. No examinations. Just defense.

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When you start off with the presupposition that nothing will convince you, then…

Jason has taken issue with mine and Dr. McGrath‘s posts on the discovery of ongoing evolution as pictured by the skink.

While Jason should feel free to comment on these things, I would really like to see his biology degree or his credentials in order to be able to state what exactly evolution is. Further, while he gives links to actual scientific entries, he only gives his opinion. Not the opinions of scientists or supported by actual facts, but only his opinion which he must hold on to in order for his views of Scripture and Theology to be correct. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not believe that everyone must have a degree in order to comment on stories or the such, but just as I would like a medical doctor to comment on actual medicine or medical breakthroughs, I would like to see some actual evidence in what Jason suggests. Further, I note that Jason doesn’t actually deal with the science, but ridicules the results. For instance, his notion that scientists manipulated the results (red herring) is a little false. Read it again. What happened with yeast being flooded with water is similar to oh, you know, rain.

Jason also throws out a straw man in saying that a lizard is still a lizard. No one is saying otherwise, but given enough time, that lizard may indeed become a mammal or who knows, a bigger lizard. Or maybe it will be the next platypus. I am unsure his beef with the new organism… After all, the relationship is not one sided, but the animal serves to protect the plant as it produces sugars. Again, not sure his point… Now, where does this come into play at? Ahh…. yes… mitochondrial DNA.

The problem with Creationists is that Creationists feel free to dispute anything that they want by simply saying “nope, not true.” This is the pseuodo-science we have from Ken Ham… ignore, deflect, and houses of straw.

I hope that Jason takes into consideration that he is still approaching this issue very, very subjectively. Perhaps he would take the time to examine the evidence, not as something that ‘contradicts’ the ‘bible’ but as evidence apart from himself. Perhaps then he will see that God is still creating.

I have no issue with evolution because Scripture doesn’t actually speak about origins. Further, I believe that God doesn’t have to tell us anything about how or what he has done, is doing, or will do.

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10 – 12 February 2012 — Evolution Weekend

I’ve never really been a supporter of this – and I’m not a pastor to make these decision – but maybe there is a way that Church could participate in a Graceful way.

Evolution Weekend is an opportunity for serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science. An ongoing goal has been to elevate the quality of the discussion on this critical topic, and to show that religion and science are not adversaries. Rather, they look at the natural world from quite different perspectives and ask, and answer, different questions.

…..

Indeed, the world’s various faith traditions routinely find themselves in harmony with the tenets of modern science, including evolution. Many participants in Evolution Weekend 2012 have opted to discuss the ways in which these various faith traditions have similarly embraced evolution. One important facet of Evolution Weekend 2012, therefore, is to explore how science in general and evolution in particular can help draw diverse religions together. Finding a shared purpose while respecting difference will help promote broader understanding among religions.

The Clergy Letter Project.

Who knows…

But, what about discussing ways in which the Adam narrative may be Scripturally interpreted that is different from the usual “plain sense” reading? You know, discuss what Creation and Covenant actually means in Scripture by looking into context of Scripture… And putting to rest the flat-out lie that Scripture and Science cannot co-exist.

Thoughts?

Zimmerman disputes the rise of YEC among clergy

A biologist with scientific interest in the evolution-creation debate attributed a recent LifeWay Research poll reporting that three-fourths of Protestant pastors reject evolution, and nearly half believe the earth is about 6,000 years old, to a commonly held but false idea that science and faith cannot be reconciled.

Michael Zimmerman, academic vice president and provost at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., said he doubts that the 73 percent of pastors who told the Southern Baptist Convention research department that they disagreed with the statement “I believe God used evolution to create people” are a representative sample. Either way, Zimmerman said, “It is a shame that the respondents find that their religion demands that they turn away from the facts of the natural world.”

Associated Baptist Press – Clergy say evolution, faith can co-exist.

You know, I’m not so sure. I think that YEC is on the rise. I mean, look at the receipts of the Ark Park and the such. I’ve noticed that they are the very least, more vocal around here.

A Significant (?) Blow Against Creationism in Britain

Richard Dawkins’s theological/philosophical dilettantism aside, I would gladly hoist a pint in celebration with him over this news:

Leading scientists and naturalists, including Professor Richard Dawkinsand Sir David Attenborough , are claiming a victory over the creationist movement after the government ratified measures that will bar anti-evolution groups from teachingcreationism in science classes.

(Richard Dawkins celebrates a victory over creationists via The Guardian)

To my mind, the biggest question anti-creationists should be exploring is “How do we stop this thing?” Contrary to expectations, creation ‘science’ has spread out of the United States and broken through geographical, political and religious lines. The burgeoning British creationist movement is an example, although things are certainly still worse in the States: some 46% of the American population doesn’t accept evolution, and among clergy the percent is an astounding 70%.

Decades of science education hasn’t affected these percentages significantly, and when you control for religious background and beliefs the effect of education is actually a non-significant predictor of an individual’s acceptance of evolution. The implication here is that education may not be the best way to combat creationist propaganda: the real place where this debate is being affected is through religious authority, which makes the statistic I mentioned earlier about clergy acceptance of evolution all the more troubling. It also implies that the news from Britain, while certainly good news, may make very little practical difference in the growth or decline of creation ‘science’ influence.

Still, we can consider measures that governmental bodies can take to press back against creationist nonsense, and even though education in and of itself doesn’t do anything the levying of social sanctions related to education may very well be the most effective thing a non-religious presence can do. Britain has decided to keep creation ‘science’ nonsense out of government-funded schools, which I applaud. Here in the States the University of California school system doesn’t allow creation-based ‘science’ education in religious high-schools to count as a science credit for potential admittents, another course of action I heartily endorse. The latter measure is closer to a potentially effective move against creationism, as it actually raises the cost of disseminating creation literature in an educational setting.

There are a few other ways to raise social sanctions against creationism. Removing accreditation of Universities that teach it is an example. Spreading the UC policy to other states would be terrific. The point is to make sure that creationist education incurs some kind of social cost, and the loss of potential educational opportunity is the best way I can come up with to do so. It simply isn’t enough to keep it out of public schools; so long as there is no social penalty attached to creationist belief it will continue to thrive.

 

There has never been any real evidence for evolution – no ‘caught in the act’ evidence

Well… until now…

Scientists have caught the process of evolution in action as a species of Australian lizard abandons egg-laying for live births.

The variety of skink, which is snake-like with four tiny legs, has been found laying eggs along the coast of New South Wales.

However, the same yellow-bellied three-toed lizard living in the colder mountainous region is giving birth to offspring like a mammal does. (here)

God is still creating… contrary to the deists…

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