Evolving TB bacteria, and two design problems for creationists

India Reports Completely Drug-Resistant TB

(link and picture via Wired)

If only God hadn’t intelligently designed mycobacterium tuberculosis to adapt to our advances in medical treatment!

The appearance of design is one of the more potent weapons in the creationist arsenal, probably because it appeals to some aspect of common sense. But if creationists can infer design from such things, perhaps we should insist they take their inferences to the logical end: the designer is intelligent, and cruel. They never will, of course, keeping in line with a long history of shoddy interpretation of cherry-picked ‘evidence’. But this nicely illustrates the double-edged sword of appealing to the appearance of design- creationists must account for 1) Bad design and 2) Designs for evil.

The first problem is simply the less-than-ideal ‘designs’ that can be found in nature. The fact that we breathe through the same tube that we swallow through is one- we risk choking. The common problem of back pain is another: human spines are mechanically configured for quadrapedal movement, not bipedal. There are certainly instances where we might think we can infer design, because things seem to work so well, but there are also many instances where we see less-than-ideal systems. Must we infer that God is a designer, but a shoddy one?

The second problem for creationists is dealing with the appearance of design in nature when that design is made to do evil. Creationist literature is replete with images of elegant giraffes with long necks and beautiful butterflies with camouflage colors- surely only a designer could explain this? Of course, nastier examples exist as well. Why not use the image of a cheetah, capable of speeds exceeding fifty miles per hour, with claws and teeth capable of rending flesh to pieces. Even better, we can look at the Ichneumonidae wasp, as described by Karl Giberson in his book “Saving Darwin”:

“So here we have an insect laying eggs inside a caterpillar. The newly hatched parasites live inside the caterpillar, consuming internal organs. And, in a most amazing illustration of intelligent design, the Ichneumonidae eat the internal organs in a specified order that keeps the host caterpillar alive as long as possible” (161)

Giberson is being sarcastic of course; no creationist points to this as intelligent design, although they should if they were to be consistent. It would force them towards untenable conclusions about the nature of the designer- apparently the designer is unusually malicious and revels in suffering.

The simple point is this: inference to design from complexity is a good argument for stubborn creationists, but not for Christians. It leads to an understanding of God that is simply at odds with scripture and church tradition. Don’t grant the argument; push back, and force the creationist to consider the paths they must take to hold onto their appeal to design. Whether they will honestly confront it is doubtful, but you’ve dulled one of the few weapons available to them.

Ken Ham is slowly killing the American Church

America’s Protestant pastors overwhelmingly reject the theory of evolution and are evenly split on whether the earth is 6,000 years old, according to a survey released Monday by the Southern Baptist Convention.

When asked if “God used evolution to create people,” 73% of pastors disagreed – 64% said they strongly disagreed – compared to 12% who said they agree.

Asked whether the earth is approximately 6,000 years old, 46% agreed, compared to 43% who disagreed.

via Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth’s age – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

Lets connect some dots… shall we?

  • First… Young Earth Creationism is on the rise in the United States
  • Second… American Christianity is on the decrease
  • Third… YECers point to the rise of evolution as the reason that the European Church fell

Okay… Do you see the problem with their logic? Good. I hope so.

Now…. as American Protestantism dies, and the Catholic Church in the US grows (albeit slowly), one should begin to ask themselves if maybe Young Earth Creationism, among other unScriptural theological trends, aren’t causing some major issues… and if you need some help in making this decision, look at the recent Barna poll which actually tells you that one of the top reasons that people are leaving the American Church is because of YEC.

So there, Ken, I hope you are happy….

Check out what Peter Enns has to say about this…

Would Radical Liberal Tony Breeden use 1937 medical science?

What? No?

Then why does he quote 1937 science? I mean, honestly, does our good friend have nothing better to do expect fight Ham’s battles for him? At that point, one can easily detect Tony’s presuppositions about science, that it never changes, never gathers evidences, never formalizes a hypothesis into a theory… and then he goes on to quote Darwin… tisk tisk tisk…

He notes,

Just as he tries to poison the well by saying that the Bible teaches geocentrism and a flat earth. These straw man arguments concerning the Bible have been so oft-refuted. He insists on a woodenly literal interpretation of Scripture when those who actually affirm a literal interpretation allow for figures of speach, round numbers, etc. In essence, he’s creating a straw man argument. Interestingly enough, in stating that the Bible teaches that the universe revolves arouns a flat earth [it doesn't], is Brother Joel upholding or undermining Biblical authority?

Here’s the issue – the authors of Scripture actually believed in a flat earth and geocentricism, although this is often overlooked as mere poetry (not Genesis 1, of course, just everything else that one doesn’t agree with, like genocide). So, no, it’s not a straw man argument. Further, by upholding Scriptural Authority as I do, contrary to deistic view held by Ham and Tony, we are able to actually move to the real authority of Scripture, which, albeit this may come as a shock, isn’t dependent upon either Ham or a false view of Genesis 1.

He goes on to write,

Rather than placing our own personal interpretation on the Bible, we are letting it speak for itself; rather than reading into it what we want it to say, as Bible doubters like Brother Joel do, we creationists draw the meaning out

Now, these bible idolaters who think that the pages actually speak aloud still have no real clue the subjectivity which they themselves apply to Scripture. Those who read the text 2000 years, or more, saw it differently. Cultures and people change. This means that if one were to allow that Scripture ‘speaks,’ then one must allow that Scripture will speak differently to each culture. Instead, we follow those who have gone on before and try to get back to the sources, beyond the subjective interpretations of modern people, like Ham.

He then shows his theological ineptitude and further, boldly lies about the Apostles,

We believe that God revealed His Word and wanted it to be understood plainly. Our position on special creation in six calendar days and a world-covering Flood in the days of Noah is the traditional, apostolic teaching of the Church; novel views that allow for millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution are not. So who is willfully ignorant of Church history here?

First, unless he is prepared to state that Christ suddenly appeared out of the blue, then he should rethink his appellation of Word to Scripture, because if we are to remain Scriptural, then the misuse of Word applied to Scripture should stop. Remember, even Scripture was never ‘revealed.’ Scripture is not a revelation of God – only Christ is. Scripture is a deposit of the human witnesses to God’s revelation. Further, the Apostles have not yet been shown to believe in the false superstition which Tony and Ham believe. They are, again, reading anachronistically.

Now, Tony further shows that he has no clue as to Scriptural Authority or Science,

Science is an interpretation of the evidence and if science has refused to begin with the Bible, if it has rejected the truth that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, and seeks instead to find all-natural answers in defiance of the obvious design of the universe, these wrong assumptions will lead it to wrong conclusions.

The issue is, is that the natural world existed long, long before Scripture. Second, Scripture is not a scientific text book. Theology begins with Scripture, not Science, and neither, obviously does our dear friend and lost brother Tony. To say that one has to ‘begin with Scripture’ (no such thing, really, as ‘the Bible), is to deny history, Tradition, biblical studies, theology and of course, God. Am I saying that Tony, Ham, and other Creationist Apologists are false teachers who would rather destroy the Church and hold on to their selective interpretative liberalism? Yes. Have been, actually.

Now, as he often does, he tries to quote Scripture, but fails in his attempt to hold on to a certain straight line, and as a result shows that he is inept at all things theological but he does so to go on bit of a rant again me, calling me more than a few names and suggesting some awful things about me. That’s fine. God bless him and forgive him. God forgive me for the things I say and do just to spite. Let us pray that Ham and Tony and others come to the marvelous light of the Truth, the wonderful Grace of God. There is such a mystical beauty here, in the Truth, in the Garden where I can commune daily with God. It is not filled with concreteness of one’s own manufacturing, but of the abstract mystery of God where wonder is uplifted, and grace is given. God is no longer just a has-been Creator for me, but one which every day is creating, so that God is every day Father, Judge, Saviour. Thank God for the revelation that God is.

Speaking of Young Earth Creationists and Cognitive Dissonance

Okay, so this is a bit old (not even a month at this, really), but I wanted to show you something.  Watch…

First, this:

Sediments drilled from beneath the Dead Sea reveal that this most remarkable of water bodies all but disappeared 120,000 years ago. (here)

Okay, so Scientists have shown that at one time, the Dead Sea all but disappeared. Of course, this was 120,000 years ago. Now, Brian Thomas, a writer with ICR, writes,

The researchers found the pebbles in the drill core beneath many storm and season-deposited layers of salt and mud that may represent a time before the Salt Sea’s existence—that is, before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. This research demonstrating that the Dead Sea was indeed once a dry region supports the Bible as a trustworthy historical record.

So, they acknowledge the discovery, made with science, but refuse anything else that goes along with it. Further, he quotes Clifford Wilson, an archaeologist, who wrote,

The Jewish people had such respect for the written records that it would have been unusual for them to alter them. In the main, they simply added an editing note where appropriate. In this case we are told that the Vale of Siddim had become the Salt Sea.

Except….

  1. If the Jews had such great respect for written records, then why was this added later? Does this mean that more additions were made? Does that then mean that Moses didn’t write the Torah?
  2. If the Jews had such great respect for written records, then explain the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint(s), and other variations on the Hebrew Text(s).
  3. If additions were later added by an unknown hand (assuming all other hands were known), then how can we actually be sure that the “Bible” is a “trustworthy historical record?” Maybe the same editor added Genesis 1 when it was only supposed begin with Genesis 2?

When science reveals something that YEC’ers like but that in some way competes with their presuppositions, they strip away whatever it is which they disagree with and accept only what they want to. This is intellectually dishonest. Further, they make great mind-bending gymnastic leaps, often times, arriving at a place which they simply do not recognize, as Brian did before.

Is Ken Ham a deist?

Could stars still be forming? After all, we see supernovae occur in space, so why not star formation too? Although the Bible does not say God is not making more stars, it does say He finished the work of Creation on the sixth day. Genesis 2:1 says, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.” When a star goes supernova, an existing star explodes. But formation of stars postulated by “long-age” astronomers seems contrary to the laws of physics, given the conditions that exist in space. (here)

This thought has stuck with me for a bit…

Young Earth Creationists make pretty good deists… why? Because as Ham points out, God ‘finished’ his work. Deists have a nasty habit in believing that God is no longer working in reality. Of course, had Ham finished the first Creation story, he would see that the seventh day didn’t end… and of course, if Ham doesn’t actually know how to read Genesis 1 either….

But, if God is no longer creating, maybe God is no longer a creator?

Yeah… Ham is a deist…. poor thing. Such a small god…

Wait… wait… are you telling me that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 aren’t the only creation accounts in Scripture?

The Bible contains other creation descriptions outside of Genesis 1-11, a point generally lost in today’s creation vs. evolution debate. Psalm 104 waxes poetic in its descriptions of God’s creative acts, and in doing so it parallels many parts of a much older, beautiful song from Egypt, “The Great Hymn to the Aten,” written around the 14th century BCE. In Job 38-41 following the long argument between Job and his friends, God responds with picturesque images of creation. Several sections in Isaiah 40-55, stemming from an unknown prophet during the Babylonian exile in the sixth century BCE, reinterpret the creation account to show a new creation that God will produce to greet the Judeans as they return from exile to their homeland.

via Douglas Knight: What Does the Bible Say About Creation and Evolution?.

Ehhh… It’s another post about sometime tired… but it is nevertheless Saturday…

Ken Ham and Company declare Disney the Devil

You know, because Disney says science is real.

They site an older video, and then write,

Notice in the first verse that the Bible and Christianity, reflected in the terminology angels, is equated with patent fairy tales like those about elves. In the second verse we see a list of scientific fields such as anatomy and astrophysics, and what is shown in the video in relation to these clearly falls under the category of observational science. However, over and over again the child hears science defined as observational and historical science with phrases like “From the Big Bang to DNA” and “From evolution to the Milky Way.” All of these are equated with facts, proof, truth, and reality. The Big Bang and evolution are equated to scientific theories that have “been put through a lot of tests” and are “consistent with the facts.” (here)

Oh dear… Disney bad, the radical liberal Ken Ham good… What an upside down world we live in when we criticize facts and hold up unicorns!

Quote of the Day: James McGrath

If God created through evolution, God still created, and the end product is still human beings with the ability to worship, ponder, love, create, and blog, among other things. But once you deny the truthfulness of God, the ability of the Creator to be known via what has been created, you have done serious damage to the heart of Christianity and the teaching of Scripture.

via Can Creationism Be Disproven? | Exploring Our Matrix.

No doubt I have my favorite bloggers, and this is one of the reasons why James McGrath is one of those…

Read the post. Good stuff.

Lies, Liberalism, and Young Earth Creationists

I awoke this morning to find my stats out of this world, for a Sunday morning. My attention was then drawn to a post which the radical liberal Tony Breeden had created, linking to me several times. What had happened was he went through my blog, quote-mining. This is not an uncommon occurrence, as it is a tactic of the intellectually unsure, those without the moral foundation to wage an argument, to take quotes out of context, attack those quotes, and assume the moral high ground. Variously, this is called many things, but we will simply say that it is a logical fallacy. Now, while they usually are pointless to answer, as the more one writes, the more fodder is created to allow the inept to pretend to have fertile ground from which they believe that they can anchor their position.

That’s fine, but I do believe that the folly which is pushing many away from the Church – that of the Young Earth Creationist’ radical agenda – must be answered from time to time. They have a loud voice, which must be answered. There is surely a correlation between the rise of YEC believers in the United States and the decline of the American Church.

Before I go on, you can ‘Rev’ Tony’s post, showcasing the above mentioned quote-mining, here:

Theological Newspeak: Why Some Folks Calls Me, Ken Ham and Other Biblical Creationists “Radical Liberals” | DefendingGenesis.org.

Tony calls those of us who believe in Scripture ‘extraBiblical Creationists’

[those who give lipservice to the Biblical doctrine of Creaton but actually hold extraBiblical sources as their ultimate authority where it concerns Genesis and related passages dealing with Creation, the Fall and the Flood].

The issue is, is that no one can rightfully understand Scripture unless they pull from the outside. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, we have to use lexicons and other translation helps to bring the original Hebrew into the English. But, biblical interpretation doesn’t rise and fall on the original languages and subsequent translations into other languages. We need context. So, we look for similar literature in similar cultures, such as the Babylonians and Egyptians. We find out by comparison what the cognitive environment was, so that we understand how the words where used. And all of this doesn’t even begin to take into account redaction and canonization. But, in regards to ‘extraBiblical’, let’s examine that misnomer. What is actually extraBiblical about seeking to understand Scripture in context? Nothing. What is actually extraBiblical is applying a “plain sense” reading to Scripture, because it is, above all other forms of interpretation, the most subjective, dependent only upon the person doing the reading. It depends upon the flesh of the human, and by that, I mean, the mind of the human, in that he or she takes his or her present cultural situation and applies it to the Scripture. This adds to Scripture, unlike examining Scripture in original context, and thus is more fitting to have applied to it ‘extra-.’ It is not those who take Scripture seriously that are the ‘extraBiblical Creationists’ but Young Earth Creationists because they add to Scripture.

He goes on to note that I support protecting the teaching of actual science and calls those who see that evolution is compatible with religion as ‘useful idiots.’ He notes that these ‘useful idiots’ are those who deny any role in the universe to the Creator. I am, frankly, unsure, if Tony actually understands theistic evolution. Believers who believe that science can contribute to our understanding of the natural world maintains that God is still in control, and I would go so far as to say, that they believe in an ever-acting God, who is sovereign and maintains order of the universe, more so than Young Earth Creationists who are little more than deists in that for them, Creation was a one time event, with God forever resting, albeit, again, standing against Scripture. Let me clear up the charge of protecting the teaching of Evolution by laws. I believe, as I stated, that Science must be protected, as does the freedom of Religion. It would like passing a law protecting against teaching that witches needed to be burned at the stake, another wonderful gift which ‘biblical literalists’ have given us, in this country and now in Africa.

He goes on to note, and I guess take issue with, my contention that Tony and others have replaced Scripture with Ken Ham. He claims to have the bible as his ultimate authority “while extraBiblical creationists affirm liberal theologians and evolutionary scientists as their ultimate authority.” What Tony and others believe is not in Scripture Authority, but authority of interpretation. Now, admittedly, one could argue that Scripture is to be interpreted in community, and only has authority when done so. I could agree to that, especially since I am in a faith community with which I share theological disagreements; however, our community of believers now include Scientists, Hebrew Scholars among other Biblical Scholars, Historians, and others who help to shed light on the ancient texts, more so than theologians trained only in their own theology. If we were to take the route of interpreting Scripture in community, then we would still come to the conclusion that Scripture contains more than what many in the “plain reading” crowd would suggest, in that we now know more about the social context of Genesis 1, as well as have gained more insight into the Hebrew language to understand that bara doesn’t mean to create (out of nothing), but to assign order, which was the ancient way of giving something existence. This is why Tony and Ken Ham are liberals, because they deny the authority of Scripture in its original sense, or in the the communal sense. They would rather believe their own selves rather than God’s authority.

And what of the community which involves the Young Earth Creationist? I am not calling for their exclusion, but the place which they once occupied – that of the prophetic voice calling the Church to remain biblical faithful – is no longer filled with them. Instead, the Young Earth Creationist fills the position of adversary, of fearmongers. They no longer seek to prophetically call the Church to remember the Scriptures, but now seek to suppress the Truth with unrighteousness and thereby corrupt the faith of many. They need to be an active part of the community, but the position which they want is attainable, and now, unbiblical.

Now, for me, Scripture is an authority. To say it is the ‘ultimate authority’ is to make it something ti is not, didn’t claim to be, and only lately, cults and sects have made it out to be. Nevertheless, as I have just said, Scripture has two authorities within it. First, it is what is actually said in Scripture. We see this by real biblical scholarship and not subjective interpretation of actual facts. Second, it as the authority contained within the faith community. As a member of the United Methodist Church, I live up to certain duties and responsibilities. While I do not personally believe some of their tenants, my pledge is to them and thus, I maintain that their interpretation of Scripture has an authority for me which I would seek to maintain.

He quotes from my application of the term theological liberal to both himself and Ken Ham,

I’ve often explained why he is a liberal; however, for those who need it spelled out to them more than I have in this post, allow me.

Ken Ham and other YEC’ers are reading into Scripture something which is not there. They are using the Text to support their preconceived view of Scripture instead of letting Scripture shape their views. Thus, a liberal. They do not hold to the authority of Scripture any more than those who deny Christ’s Lordship. Thus, a liberal. They take Scripture and twist it to fit their purposes. Thus a liberal. I thought that this was pretty spelled out for them, but seeing as they cannot read past a few spelling errors – so, I’m not perfect – then I will do my best to help them along. I think that I’ve used small words, but I’m not sure.

But, I did note that Ham attacked rather than engages – point proved. Lovely day.

Well, I thought that was pretty clear. But, Tony counters in saying that what they are doing is nothing new, and in fact, we are under the conspiratorial spell of liberal historians in stating that Young Earth Creationism is new, or extraBiblical. The issue, of course, is that while Tony and others and quote mine (something they excel at), they have no real evidence that the peoples of the ANE cultures would have seen Genesis 1 the way that they see it, and not to mention the various other creation and cosmological accounts in the Old Testament. Further, since the Hebrew has been shown to say something different than their faulty English translation, what else are we to suspect, except that they are their own determiners of Scriptural meaning? Thus, a Liberal. Further, their claim of ‘nearly all’ Jews and Christians believing in YEC is a flat out lie.

Anyway, he quotes only a small amount of this post, which is part of a larger series. In it, I discuss the favorite YEC statement found in Mark 10.6, noting that the entire passage has to be examined. Does it actually answer the point? No, and instead, he simply restates the proof-text. So, then, where is the great evidence? As usual, it comes down to “We say it, you believe it.” No evidence by extraBiblical subjective interpretation.

To further cast doubt upon me so that he doesn’t have to actually answer any of the points raised, he takes another line out of another post which was part of a longer conversation. He implies that his readers should ‘shudder’ when they read,

“To me, having the Trinity as an ‘essential Christian doctrine’ is the same as having Justification of the Calvinist variety as the ‘essential Christian doctrine’ or having Young Earth Creationism as the’ essential Christian doctrine.’”

Okay, but what’s the point of that? Did he answer it? No. He provide no counter, and no reason why this particular post was in his story. What I do believe is that he was trying to suggest that I need to be doubted because I say that the only essential Christian doctrine is Christ. Why would anyone disagree with that? Oh, that’s right, because he said so. I’m not sure how that actually carries weight, but in the arena of fundamentalism, this is the way it usually goes. There is no questioning the authority, which is never Scripture.

In another post, I questioned whether or not one could change their opinion on the Virgin Birth or other issues. Remember, that post was aimed at both sides – liberal and conservative. That wasn’t mentioned. He says that I cast doubt upon the Virgin Birth and that the Holy Spirit, without evidences, interprets Scripture. I would like to see, if possible, the verse which says that. Further, I would like to see the verse where evidences cannot be used by the Spirit to guide us into all Truth. After all, Christ does say that the Spirit will guide us into all Truth. It doesn’t say that the Spirit will whisper into our ears factoids. Again, no where in Church History is that view sustained.

What does he say exactIy?

It’s the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth, not evidence [which requires interpretation, btw]. Do you see here where his ultimate authority is? The word of men who make no difference between the holy and the profane when it comes to the Bible. He takes the word of Bible doubters and claims we should be prepared to change our interpretation of the Bible based on the word of these scoffers. This is typical of those who hold to extraBiblical Creation positions. When they abandon the historical veracity it has affects their beliefs concerning other doctrines, because they have abandoned the Bible as their ultimate authority.

See the difference? He is relying on what can only be described as gnosticism to guide him. Some aeon or another tells him secret knowledge that cannot be proven. Further, he lies about me in stating what I do. Unfortunately, his silliness is transparent to the majority of us, but to him, he thinks he actually has a point. I know that feeling, that air of superiority. That is what gnosticism does. it elevates you above the others. The main issue, is that we haven’t abandoned Scripture, because seek to properly understand it. He abandons Scripture in favor of this gnosticism.

He goes on to quote a commentator, although seemingly ignoring the other comments on the post wherein the commentator was shown to be working with a deficit of knowledge. Now, this is where Tony gets into lying about Jewish and Christian history. While there is in fact Young Earth Creationism throughout the histories of the faiths, it has never been a dogmatic belief. Further, as Shai Cherry and others have noted, the Jewish history of interpretation was never really based on literalism. As Augustine noted, Christians should never push the bible against Reason and showed that he supported that statement by his non-literal readings of Genesis. Or Origen. Or Philo. Or a countless number of others who felt no need to see Genesis 1 as a literal, scientific truth and yet remained faithful Christians.

He insists that the Apostles believed in YEC. I have yet to see evidence of this, and as one who has already discovered his lies, I find his word suspect.

Further, to end his post, he says to look at Europe as what happens when Christians believe in Evolution. Odd, then, that as I noted before, the belief in YEC is on the rise in the United States at the same time the American Church is in decline. Further, his baseless claim that evolution is the cause of Europe’s crisis is both historically and sociologically inept.

I find it odd that Tony is a member of a Faith Tradition which is credited to a reinterpretation of Scripture when new evidences were presented. Protestantism came from these new interpretations based on new evidences. And yet, Tony and other liberals, seek to hold to their Tradition over against the real meaning of Scripture. Is it hypocritical not to reexamine Scriptural interpretations in light of new evidences when one’s one religious freedom is due to that every action? I’d say yes.

He’s right, though, on one thing – the fate of our children are at stake. Either we allow them to sink back into fear and superstition, of false biblical interpretation given more to homogenized thought which engenders perversity of the Gospel, or we teach them the way of Christ, which is to an honest biblical interpretation, and that all Truth is God’s Truth, whether or not we seek to crucify those who tell it. As we fight against forces in the Church, those who seek to turn over Tradition, and to remove Scripture from its authoritative position, denying the God reveal in both Scripture and Nature, in fighting against theology found in both Church History and Nature, by the Spirit and Science – as we attempt to hold true to Christ… I hope that those who pretend to care for the Church will repent of their theological liberalism, of their lies, their false history, and come to accept Christ anew, and to fully rest on Scripture. These compromisers  are no better than other ancient heretics, of most notably, the Gnostics.

One Argument at a Time: Job 26.7 doesn’t talk about Gravity.

Gravitational field lines around the Earth.

Image via Wikipedia

This is from a comment by Jeremiah. If i feel like it, I’ll get to more. His premise is that the Scriptures contained scientific principles. You can see his comment in full at the above link:

An easy one, the Bible mentions the earth being suspended in space, ummm… gravity. That’s pretty scientific, right? Job 26:7

What does Job say?

He stretches out the north over empty space
And hangs the earth on nothing.

What does this mean? Well, first, Job is speaking about the northern sky, and the land being place in the middle of nothing, or rather, perhaps, chaos. You see, in the ANE world, order, or land, was surrounded by chaos, or water. In Genesis, God is said to place land in the middle of these waters. Order out of Chaos. How is at all comparable to gravity? Well, it’s not. See, Gravity is based on rotation and force, or ordering. Further, at the quantum level, gravity includes particles which carry the force. Further, it acts as a wave. So, what does this mean? Well, for one, the YEC’er shouldn’t use this verse to describe anything related to the scientific principle of gravity.

What’s really odd is that the YEC’er actually dismisses the rest of the passage. Job is described ancient cosmology:

Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon has no covering.
He stretches out the north over the void, and hangs the earth upon nothing.
He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not rent under them.
He covers the face of the moon, and spreads over it his cloud.
He has described a circle upon the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.
The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astounded at his rebuke.
By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he smote Rahab.
By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
Lo, these are but the outskirts of his ways; and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?” (Job 26:6-14 RSV)

First, what do you see? Heaven has pillars and God is fighting the see monster, Rahab. Further, there is the doom over the earth, holding the waters of chaos back. So why is it, then, that YEC’ers do not find ‘scientific principles’ in the complete passage?

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More discrediting of Ken Ham

I missed this while I was out this week, but I wanted to post two links to two different posts on questioning Ken Ham. We know that he takes things out of context, attacks fellow believers, and of course, has a radical liberal agenda to replace the authority of Scripture with his own science, but some are asking ‘why is his audience so large?’ After all, in 2004 , 40% of Americans believed in Creationism, and today, it goes from 44% to 47%. The radical liberal agenda is actually winning! And I think we see that, that as we turn away from the God of Reason and Scriptural Authority, our country has greatly suffered. Karl Giberson writes, in part,

Nowhere is this more true than in the strange preference that evangelicals have for the discredited young-earth creationism of Ken Ham over the legitimate and well-founded science of Francis Collins. The ideas promoted by Ham are so obsolete that some of them were actually abandoned by the scientific community in the 18th century! Ham’s confident assertions that the earth is a few thousand years old and that there was a time in the history of our planet when humans co-existed with all other species had been abandoned by science when Darwin was a toddler.

In our new book, The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Scientific Age, historian Randall Stephens and I show how charismatic, media-savvy evangelical leaders like Ken Ham (natural science), James Dobson (social science), David Barton (history), and Tim LaHaye (biblical studies) lead their fellow Christians astray by convincing them to accept discredited ideas. (here)

So, why are people choosing to accept Ham’s discredited science over verifiable science by another Christian? I believe that it is because Ham uses the message of ‘destruction of biblical authority’, or perhaps the forbidding to evaluate and acknowledge reason – fear. He teaches that unless you buy* into his belief system, then the bible is going to be destroyed. He doesn’t allow questioning that is contrary to his concept either, and refuses investigation, not just of real science but of theological studies as well. Note John Walton‘s recent work, in which he ignores science, and goes to the heart of the matter, what Genesis One actually meant. Yet, Ham and the other liberals (I say liberals because they are trying to bend the Text to their own needs) ignore this and battle on to impose upon Scripture something that wasn’t there in the first place. It is a false, not just wrong, interpretation of the Biblical Text. But, it is an interpretation that people reading today can easily accept by ignoring other biblical precepts, such as studying and “What did I say to your ancestors?” Reading the words off the paper does not protect Scriptural Authority, and neither does it make good sense, especially in Genesis One. But, it is the simplest way to read the Text, because it makes the reader the ‘knowledgeable’ one, and allows them a seat of superiority over those who ‘needed man’s interpretation’, i.e., those who’ve studied the Text in historical context.

Biologos has responded to Ham’s repeated mischaracterizations of that organization, calmly. This is the way that Ham operates, not by investigation, but by attack. I would suggest, that if Mr. Ham was half the scholar he claims to be, he would seek just a little more investigation and leave the attacking to someone else. Who knows, maybe he would really find the Answer he is looking for.

Also, read Jim’s view here. He goes into a pretty good rebuttal of Ham’s attempt to discredit about Christian. For some reason, the verse about not blaspheming the work of the Spirit comes to mind. Just saying…

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