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.

Author: Joel Watts

Joel L. Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. and MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014). his latest, Jesus as Divine Suicide, is forthcoming.

50 thoughts on “I’m not sure Ken Ham understands basic biology @aig”

  1. You know I learned that in Junior high biology. Surprised he’s surprised that a zoo would sell a book that taught science. Just imagine that! If only the Zoo would see books by Ham and Duane Gish, we’d all be better off!

  2. Ken Ham is the founder of the Creation Museum and the mind behind Answers in Genesis. You should care about how ignorant he is because he is influential among a certain sector of Fundamentalist Christians and his ignorance spreads like a virus.

      1. True. I was trying to reference his complaint, in which he quotes the zoo saying that we’re smarter than other animals.

        Maybe he objects because he’s not. There is an element of truth, there.

  3. Uh, did you read the whole post or did you just pick out this one quote because the book he’s pointing out has nothing to do fact that humans are just a few chromosomes away from being apes… Not sure what Ken did to you personally but you’re grasping at straws here.

      1. OK, still not getting the link to this particular book. Was it just a good spring board for you to throw out ridicule?

        1. I’m not sure you are getting the point of the post. The book in the zoo is fine. Ham’s problem with the book in the zoo is what is laughable. And sad. Very, very sad.

  4. So it’s sad to say that we’re created in the image of God? Perhaps I need to search out more of your posts, I believe I’ve mistaken you for a Christian.

    1. Or is it that your statement “Ham’s problem with the book in the zoo is what is laughable.” just to point out that he should expect a secular zoo to put out such lies and need not to bring it up?

      1. First, yes, it is a secular zoo. I’m not sure what a ‘Christian’ zoo would look like… well, maybe it would look like a pentacostal church (bazinga).

        Second, Ham is ignorant of Scripture and Science, so his entire argument is laughable.

  5. Like the bazinga. And no I don’t think that God nor Adam was white, and as for male parts, both Adam and Eve were created in His image. On a side note best not to assume what someone does and does not know. For instance I know that slandering is not a good way to show love, John 13:34. Perhaps your emphasis in OT has made you a bit pharisaical. Also I’m wondering how your expertise in science fiction gives you the one up on Ken’s “erroneous take on Science and Scripture.”

    1. Oh my….speaking of slander…

      Oh, and the Pharisees, of which Jesus was one, was not OT.

      Your other questions are just rather too silly to answer.

      1. Why is it you always avoid giving defense to your mistakes? What history are you referring to? Are you trying to tell me that the pharisees were studying the book of romans?

        1. Joe, the pharisees were a sect that arose during the so-called intertestamental times in roughly 160 BCE. They were the first Jews to believe in an after-life. These Jews, like all other Jews until after the establishment of the NT canon, didn’t have an ‘OT.’ They had Scriptures. Like all Jews, they had a different interpretation based on certain texts. Sure, every Jew had the Torah, but some focused differently on different parts of it.

          Surely, surely you know something about Second Temple Judaism?

  6. Did I slander? I brought up a possible piece of wood in your eye, and then asked you to qualify and back up your remarks according to your expertise…. Avoiding the question by calling it silly simply means you have no good answer.

    1. No, what it implies is that your questions are too stupid to answer. Like birtherism, Creationism is just at the point of a complete logical fallacy, so much so that it is impossible to answer unless, of course, one has completely lost his mind.

        1. Oh dear…a proof-texter.

          Okay, that entire section is a Jewish voice directed towards the Gentiles which Paul roundly condemns beginning in chapter 2. Surely, you know the danger against proof-texting, right?

  7. And one more thing, the Jesus was a pharisee comment, I think you know what I meant. If not and you’re claiming that Jesus was the same kind of religious political traditionalists that He regularly confronted, then this conversation needs to go no further.

    1. Stop getting your history from anti-semites.

      Jesus, and Paul, were both Pharisees whom you would identify with more than you think.

      1. Funny how Jesus regularly told his followers not to be like Him, and then once Saul became Paul he always spoke of being a pharisee in the past tense.

        1. Jesus told his disciples not to be like Him? Really?

          Paul claims to be a Pharisee as much as he claims to be a Hebrew. Further, Pharisees were at the First Church Council.

  8. I’ve just read your back and forth here guys, and I have to say that the simple, underlying point that Joel is trying to make has been completely missed by you Joe…so let’s make this simple and begin again..

    Joe. A yes or no answer will suffice for the following:

    1) Do you believe that we are 98.4% identical to Chimpanzees in our genetic make up?
    2) Do you believe God created the world in six days?
    3) Do you believe that Earth is approximately 6,000 years old?
    4) Do you believe Creationism/Intelligent Design should be taught in school?

  9. 1. no it’s 94% (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_anthropology) We’re also 83% identical to mice
    2. yes
    3. yes
    4. yes and no. I believe it should be presented as an alternative to evolution, some resources given if the student wants to study further on their own, but not gone into much depth (for fear that it would be misrepresented an intentionally sabotaged by those who hate the idea).

  10. 1) Don’t ever rely on wikipedia for info like that Joe!! I assure you, it is 98.4%. Just type in the following on google “98.4% genetic make up to chimpanzees” and then scroll down through the first page, second page, third page etc and you’ll soon see that this 94% talk is akin to saying that the world was made in 6,000 years – which covers question 2 I guess!

    3) Unfortunately, science has now answered the question of the age of the earth to an incredibly close degree, and its approximately 4.5 billion years old. Turns out the Bible was wrong on that one. Scary thing is though, you choose to ignore this which shows a disturbing lack of respect for evidence.

    Just out of interest…how the hell do you think we are able to see the stars?!

    1. Hywel,

      One thing… Scripture never claims that the earthy is 6000 years old. That is a Young Earth Creationists argument, but not really found in Scripture.

      And don’t know you… the light was created in transit. I mean sure, that creates a paradox that is mind boggling, but that’s because of the devil. 🙂

    2. “Turns out the Bible was wrong on that one.” Turns out while I assumed I was conversing with fellow believers with differing theologies on origins, turns out your just a couple of guys with a lot of head knowledge about scripture but nothing in the heart. Am I claiming that it’s your beliefs in creation, no, it’s your attitudes both in this post and others that I searched you out in. I can only judge by the fruit you choose to display, and that fruit is rotten. Your crass, rude, disrespectful of scripture and people. If you are truly born again followers of Christ you may want to display some better looking fruits. You can both turn your noses up to this and try to come up with creative insults to hurl my way, but it would only be for you entertainment for I find no need to return to this page. In the end it is you that has to wrestle with the questionable fruit.

      1. So… nothing from you. Just ad homs?

        Oh? Why did I expect anything different from someone who claims to believe in Scripture but doesn’t know what it actually says?

        Poor guy. God is bigger – Scripture is bigger – than your interpretation.

  11. “…turns out your just a couple of guys with a lot of head knowledge about scripture but nothing in the heart”

    First of all Joel, I did not say anything in my posts regarding my personal beliefs. Secondly, for a Christian to be so quick to judge…well, its rather unchristian of you don’t you think?

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” – Matthew 7:1

    And to suggest that the only evidence you had from which to form an opinion on me was simply “rotten fruit”…I find that a gross accusation to cast based on the fact that I simply asked some questions, and then responded to Joe with a few scientific facts.

    It seems that your understanding of The Bible, like many other Christians, has led you to doubt the scientific method, and to question the validity of the evidence it presents to us.

    Galileo was put under house arrest for the rest of his life by the leading proponents of the Christian church for suggesting that the Earth wasn’t the centre of the universe. Of course, we now have no doubt that he was absolutely correct, and eventually the church had to accept this, change its stance, and consequently concede a supposed truth that Christians held dear. They didn’t want to accept this fact because it would mean accepting that our planet was not the centre of the universe, and they knew this would lead to further questions about the plausibility of scripture.

    Evolution was incredibly controversial when Darwin first presented his theory, and unlike the discovery made by Galileo, this discovery actively contradicted the very first book of the Bible. To accept evolution would mean accepting that Genesis was utterly wrong. To accept evolution would mean removing the very foundation of Christianity. And we all know what happens when you remove the foundations of something…it falls down.

    I battled with evolution for the first 25 years of my life, and I was a firm believer in Genesis. However, after dedicating two years to intense research on the subject of evolutionary biology, I realised something rather uncomfortable about myself…

    I was unwilling to accept what was clearly the truth simply because it would mean having to accept that my faith was wrong. I didn’t want evolution to be true. Because it would completely change my life.

    When I realised that there was a fundamental flaw in my reasoning, and that I was simply unwilling to accept a truth that didn’t sit comfortably with me, I finally had to accept that I had been wrong. Evolution is as much of a fact as the Earth is round. Just because I decide to reject this, doesn’t make it any less true. And so I finally released myself from my unfaltering, unquestionable bias and accepted the consequences of where the truth would take me…and unfortunately, it meant that the bible had to go.

    A personal relationship with Jesus, being born-again and feeling the holy spirit enter my life, answers to prayer, fellowship and testimonies of fellow believers; how could all these experiences be wrong?! Well, thanks to my wonderful girlfriend who was studying for her Psychology degree, I came to see just how easy it was for the human brain to become deluded, especially in the cases of those being raised in Christian families. In addition, a simple glance to those Muslim friends of mine…clearly I wasn’t the only one who felt utterly convinced of their belief in God…problem was…the two religions quite clearly state their incompatibility; we simply can’t both be right. And what is more likely…one of us is right and the other is wrong? Or is it more that neither of us are right?

    A quote comes to mind,

    “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” – Stephen F Robert.

    Yet throughout history, civilisations just like ours in almost every respect have come and gone, and the Gods of whom they had complete devotion became obsolete. Christianity is simply one of the religions present in our civilisation today. Don’t you think its even more of a coincidence that you just happen to have a faith in Jesus rather than Allah? Look at where you live! Think about the percentage of Muslims in your country as opposed to the percentage of Christians…then think about the fact that it was simply an accident of birth that separates you from the Muslim man that was born on the exact same day as you, at the exact same minute, in Saudi Arabia for example. This man has a family and a job, and hopes and dreams, and an unwavering faith in his provider: Allah. He prays to Allah five times a day, and undoubtedly asks Allah to watch over his children, to help them become good honest Muslims, to aid them in their education of the truth of the Qu’ran and for them to be accomplished witnesses to Allah’s greatness.

    Finally, your comments to me regarding the young earth creationist’s argument not being backed up by scripture…I know that it doesn’t say that the Earth is 6,000 years old. But I do know that it says Man was made from the dust of the Earth, and I know that it says Woman was made from the rib from the man….I know that is incorrect. We evolved. The evidence is abundant and clear if you just approach it without pre-deciding what it is you WANT to be true,

    “And don’t know you… the light was created in transit. I mean sure, that creates a paradox that is mind boggling, but that’s because of the devil.”

    No, I didn’t know that! Please explain to me, without relying on the argument of God working in mysterious ways, how this is possible? You know something…if you are able to answer this without the “god did it ” argument, you will be picking up a Nobel Prize before long!

    I choose to doubt everything, and that way I am always open to learn and to progress mentally without pre-deciding what it is I want to be true. This is how the human species managed to reach the place that it is now – through being unafraid of following where the truth leads…even if it leads away from the Gods that helped our ancestors find comfort and meaning in this beautiful, strange, and hostile cosmos.

      1. Apologies Joel! I did mean Joe when I said Joel for the most part, but you’ll notice that I also responded to your last comment,

        “One thing… Scripture never claims that the earthy is 6000 years old. That is a Young Earth Creationists argument, but not really found in Scripture.
        And don’t know you… the light was created in transit. I mean sure, that creates a paradox that is mind boggling, but that’s because of the devil.”

        And judging by your other comments earlier in the thread, I’d say that what I’ve written would be directed in the most part at what you seem to advocate.

        1. Fair enough. You said:

          Finally, your comments to me regarding the young earth creationist’s argument not being backed up by scripture…I know that it doesn’t say that the Earth is 6,000 years old. But I do know that it says Man was made from the dust of the Earth, and I know that it says Woman was made from the rib from the man….I know that is incorrect. We evolved. The evidence is abundant and clear if you just approach it without pre-deciding what it is you WANT to be true,

          “And don’t know you… the light was created in transit. I mean sure, that creates a paradox that is mind boggling, but that’s because of the devil.”

          No, I didn’t know that! Please explain to me, without relying on the argument of God working in mysterious ways, how this is possible? You know something…if you are able to answer this without the “god did it ” argument, you will be picking up a Nobel Prize before long!

          I thought that my sarcasm was evident, but alas, it was not. The creation in transition argument is one used by Creationists without any regard to the paradox it creates. It is too sad, really, to be laughable, which is why I was blaming the mythical devil.

          Regarding Genesis 1, it doesn’t mean a physical creation. I would ask you to, as a point of literary criticism (and indeed, psychology is fun in regards to literary criticism) to read John Walton’s Lost World of Genesis One. It is a rather short introduction to the literary meaning of Genesis 1. Genesis 2-3 is a separate Creation story, as is Genesis 6-11. All of these are Creation motifs which do battle with other ANE myths.

          Further, your experience sounds like that of an evangelical. No worries, I was sorta one at one time too, but the great majority of Church history is not that way. I’m not ask you to believe; I’m just asking you to consider that your experience and former beliefs weren’t and aren’t that of the great majority of Christians.

          1. Apologies for missing your sarcasm!

            I’ll try and get hold of a copy of John Walton’s book as you suggest, and give it a read.

            However, regardless of what strain of Christianity I believed in…my argument still remains. And you haven’t answered any of the points I made.

            And I’m a little confused…do you accept evolution?

          2. I accept evolution as the best scientific (and theological) evidence of how we arrived to our present condition yes. I do not see it in conflict with Scripture. As a matter of fact, I have come to see Young Earth Creationism in conflict with Scripture and Church Tradition of progression.

            By the way, I might suggest another book, the Language of Science and Faith, which shows better the role science and faith have had together, and it is not as controversial as we like to make it out to be. You be surprised at the number of Christians who accepted Darwin because while he was the first to codify the theory, he was not the first to suggest an earth older than 6000 years, or some process of the progression of creatures.

            I’ll try to answer your other points, from my perspective, but I am unsure as to what they are (or perhaps, I just don’t completely disagree so I don’t see them).

  12. Thanks Joel. I’ll try and get hold of both books! I enjoy reading every side of the argument.

    There’s a huge problem though…even Jesus seems to be disagreeing with what you’re saying!

    “Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” John 5:45-47

    Jesus is clearly saying that Moses is to be believed. So let’s see what Moses has to say,

    “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11

    In addition, how do you deal with the fact that in both the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Luke, the genealogy of Jesus is clearly traced back to Adam?

    1. Hywel,

      First, Jesus isn’t clearly saying anything. Read Paul Riceour about figurative language. Second, let’s say Jesus said that Moses is whom the Jews trusted. Do you notice the play on rhetoric there? Let’s break down that passage. Does Jesus ever say that Moses wrote the Torah? No. What does Jesus specifically given to Moses? He gives the Law. The Law is not the Torah but contained therein.

      Now, regarding Exodus. Sure. Fine. You got me 😉 Except… Deuteronomy says that the sabbath is for…

      5.12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

      Are you familiar with the source hypothesis? Remember, Jesus didn’t come to correct to be a historical critic. Nor did his ideographic (or idiographic, I’m not settled on that yet) biographers want him to be. Instead, his words are rather succinct. Let’s go just a bit further.

      What words of Moses is Jesus perhaps talking about? Deuteronomy. If you do a quick study on how important Deuteronomy is to the New Testament, Qumran and other Second Temple Judaisms, you’ll see that it is a pretty significant book for the development of these Judaisms (including Christianity, the must successful Judaism). Paul even uses Deuteronomy to argue against Leviticus. Look at Deuteronomy and you’ll see that it more likely contains the history of the tradition of the words of Moses. We have to understand that authorial authority didn’t mean a copyrighted work. Tradition was more important.

      Why are you taking the Genealogy as authoritative instead of as rhetorical? Let’s consider what Peter Enns and others have done in recent years to speak to the so-called historical Adam.

      Ancient cosmology and indeed, the ancient idea of time, allowed for the law of eternal reoccurance (which by the way, fits well with thermodynamics and Green’s multiverse). The destruction of the world more often than not didn’t mean the destruction of our planet, as they had no such concept. It meant the destruction of the world order. Death of the king, exile, etc… Read Isaiah. What happens? The New Creation is not the recreation of another world, but the creation of a new Temple where YHWH is king once again. When I started my recent bible study with my Sunday School class, we started with Exodus and Isaiah. Why? Because Exodus 15 is another creation story. Isaiah informs us of what Creation was during those times. Ex nihilo was not considered and never considered until Augustine. (Read Walter Brueggaman sp? on this.)

      So, what is Adam? If we understand Genesis in light of the earlier Isaiah (and Isaiah does come first), then we can seen Genesis 1 as a hymnodic rendition to combat the Babylonian myths of creation. Genesis 2 and 3 then become the start of the new creation, i.e., new covenant. What happens when Exodus 15 occurs? A new covenant. What happens when Noah’s flood is over? A new covenant. What is promised after the end of exile? A new covenant. Scripture is written with progressive and evolving covenants. What does Jesus go back to Adam? Because, Adam is the first of the progressive covenants that lead to Christ which moves Judaism from a sectarian religion to a universal religion, YHWH from a tribal god to a Universal, Cosmic God.

    2. Just a quick note: The genealogies in Matthew and Luke are irreconcilable. Their purposes are, apparently, more theological than historical. And Matthew’s genealogy traces Jesus’ line only as far back as Abraham, not to Adam.

      1. I suspect that Matthew does that to Abraham and David because of the Jewish tone of his book. Luke takes back to pre-Jewish to fit his theological concern.

  13. OK. Well, in order to respond to the torrent of information you just presented from your theological studies, I would have to dedicate one hell of a lot of my time to research before I could possibly argue back on the points you have made. I fear that the kind of insight and understanding you’ve acquired during your studies has potentially rendered you incapable of being able to see the bigger picture here.

    First of all, without drilling down and making assertions as to how we should read the various books of The Bible, it appears fairly obvious that the account in Genesis is telling us that God created the heavens and the earth in six days,

    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

    It strikes me that if God had not intended this description to be taken literally, he wouldn’t have stated it in such a direct way. It appears obvious that an omniscient being would prevent any such story from appearing in The Bible. I say this based on the simple fact that until the theory of evolution was first propagated, it would be perfectly understandable to interpret Genesis as both allegorical and literal.

    In addition, if this is not the case – as I’m sure you’ll have a multitude of answers piling up already in response – then we also have to ask ourselves why an omniscient being would allow Genesis to read the way it does when this has clearly led to a huge divide amongst those who still agree on the overall message of Christianity. Why would God choose to allow this problem to divide those that converge on the message of the cross?

    I would also like to put the following point to you, and while I have little doubt my points above will be answered without much strain on your part, I believe the following question will give you food for thought (its an argument by Christopher Hitchens which I found rather compelling): If you accept that humans evolved, you are faced with the problem of a) when exactly we received an eternal soul, and b) if you accept that homo sapiens have been around now for approximately 150-250 thousand years, how do you justify the fact that Heaven remained a mere spectator for at least 100,00 years whilst our species struggled and died in the most hideous of manners, before finally…just a few thousand years ago…God decided it was time to get The Bible up and running. It just reaffirms to me that the Bible is man-made. And more than that, the morality inherent within the teachings of The Bible are incredibly outdated. If we adopted the morality of The Bible fully, we would live in a world where slavery was condoned, homosexuals were stoned to death, working on a Sunday would be punishable by death, women would not have equal rights, sodomy would be illegal, anti semitism would be rife etc etc etc.

    Also, how would evidence of a multiverse influence your belief in scripture? Do you think it would pose any problems to the plausibility of Christianity?

    1. No, Hywel, it is not obvious. It was not what was meant and understood for a very, very long time. To suggest that God has to write everything to fit our understanding, when that misses the evolution of humanity. I’m not sure I can fully follow that logic as it would make God ignore the previous cultures for our rather Euro-centric one.

      Further, you are still insisting on something that numerous scholars (not theologians) has said that the text would not have been understood in the ancient cultures. Why?

      Further, you aren’t dealing with the fact that Christians and others long before Darwin saw something akin to evolution (honestly, read Aristotle).

      Why strain now?

      1.) Why do you insist on separating theology and science? If the soul is energy, and the laws of thermodynamics tells us that energy cannot be created or destroyed, why do you think it just suddenly appeared? Further, you are still approaching it from the angle of evangelicalism. What is the eternal soul? Who said that those humans before “Adam?”

      2.) Who said that their is a difference between heaven and us? Have you not read the theology of the East, panetheism? I mean, Eastern Christians. I could recommend a few books. Who said that heaven remained a spectator?

      Further, review what I’ve said about covenants, temples, and recreation. And, the ‘The Bible’ is a man made thing. Scriptures are inspired by God. What does that mean? Doesn’t mean what you’ve been told it means. Scriptures have been written for a long time. The canon, or what you are calling The Bible, came about starting in 180. It was redone in the late 1500’s. Even now, there is a proper discussion about it.

      What you speak of in regards to the morality of the bible is not really there. For example, women started off with equal rights until the monarchy. Read Judges. in the early Church, women had equal rights as well.

      Sodomy, homosexuality, and the such aren’t what we think they are. In Scripture, they are about cult worship and not two people of the same gender in a relationship. Also, rape was not good.

      No one got stoned for working on Sunday.

      Again, Hywel, you are reading Scripture through an Evangelical lens. I don’t believe in that god either. I don’t believe in that bible either. I don’t believe that. I do believe, however, in God, in Christ, and that God speaks to us through Science and through Scripture. They aren’t irreconcilable, unless we want them to be.

      1. Our understanding of quantum mechanics has led to the discovery that the total sum of energy in the universe amounts to zero; confusing, but true. Quantum theory allows us to see how something from nothing is literally bound to happen.

        I find it hard to understand how anyone with a grasp of the scientific method could possibly believe in miracles. If you believe that Jesus died on the cross and was subsequently resurrected then you are claiming that the laws of nature are not constant. And if you claim that the laws are not constant, you go against the very grain of what science stands for. What’s the point of studying and exploring the fabric of reality if there is some magician in the sky who can simply suspend these laws? I can’t remember who said it now, but it was said that “the only true miracle is that there are no miracles”.

        Clearly, my evangelical upbringing makes it difficult for me to see some of the points you are making, as my understanding of Christianity is evidently rather different to your own. But tell me, how and why should I read the following in any other way than to take it for what it says,

        (Numbers 15:32-36) – “Now while the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the sabbath day. And those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation; and they put him in custody because it had not been declared what should be done to him. Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” So all the congregation brought him outside the camp, and stoned him to death with stones, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.”

        Now I would argue that this is fairly straight forward. God has clearly asked Moses to kill the man who worked on the Sabbath. It feels like every single verse in The Bible that happens to suggest a rather alarming standard of morality, or a verse that, on the surface of it appears to contradict what science has taught us, you always have some answer which relies on a rather in depth, elaborate collation of what your theological studies have taught you; you draw on information that the vast majority of Christians would lack in order to circumnavigate the more obvious answer in order to maintain your faith in Jesus.

        There has never been any empirical evidence of the accounts in Exodus for example. Yet, I have no doubt that you will have an answer for that too! Which by the way, I respect and admire as most Christians’ knowledge of their own beliefs is bewilderingly absent.

        In your particular understanding of Christianity, would you suggest that my evangelical parents are going to hell for interpreting The Bible in a literal fashion? I always respected the evangelical position, and the likes of Ken Ham, simply for the fact that they don’t compromise. The Bible says the earth was made in 6 days; they believe it. They believe Jesus died and rose again to atone for the sin that is present in all of us, and if they believe in him and accept the salvation he offers then they will one day join him in heaven. I can see how an in depth knowledge on how The Bible was written, and the significance of historical social context etc would lend itself greatly to gaining a new level of insight as to what was meant by the various authors, and I find it admirable that you would go to such lengths to support your faith. I just can’t see why God would allow The Bible to be so open to so many interpretations! Why did he not guide the hand of the writer to say a few things that would be unambiguous about things He knew we’d eventually discover? For example, why not reveal to Moses exactly how the earth was made, and reveal evolution? Why not make absolutely sure that there was literally no room for misunderstanding his stance on slavery? You might argue that he was perfectly clear on this issue, but history would beg to differ. If God had known the unimaginable suffering that would be caused by man’s interpretation of his laws in the old testament, why not reveal to Moses that slavery was one of the greatest evils?

        “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.” Ephesians 6:5

        “Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.” 1 Timothy 6:1-2

        Even the ten commandments fail to stamp out slavery,

        “”Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”

        If we look at the ten commandments for a moment, do you not think they could be improved on? The first four commandments are wasted on his self-confessed jealousy! If these commandments were meant to be a blueprint for how we should conduct ourselves in society throughout all the ages of the Earth, would it not have made more sense to perhaps omit, or combine a couple of these jealous laws in favour of “thou shalt not deliver cruelty or any sexual act upon children”, or “thou shalt not own slaves, nor hold any dominion over another, as every man and woman is equal in the eyes of the Lord”. Would these two inclusions not have prevented some of the most unspeakable crimes perpetuated across the ages? The ten commandments reek of man’s own primitive morality, and I find that a quick read of them leaves me under no illusion that these were not the utterances of an omniscient being.

        Also, the illusion of free will…we know that it is an illusion now which basically does away with any possible room for sin. We are simply products of our environment and genetic make up. You and I would have both been murderers if we had been born to Mr and Mrs Manson. You would be me, and I would be you if the accident of our birth had been the other way around.

        I just find that science has never failed to deliver satisfactory answers to every question I’ve ever investigated regarding a belief in the supernatural.

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