Bryan College Plays Creationism Hardball and Ken Ham Says Aliens Are Going to Hell

Nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical humans. -Spock link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spock#mediaviewer/File:Leonard_Nimoy_William_Shatner_Star_Trek_1968.JPGSpock and Captain Kirk

I want to be clear about an issue before I begin my post. I believe in freedom of thought. I think that private institutions have the right to teach what they wish, even if I think what they teach is illogical, stupid, arrogant, etc. At the same time, I think debate is healthy. That is why this blog allows for all sorts of opinions, even opinions that some find offensive.

This post is going to be fun for me, especially that part about Ken Ham who has a knack for sounding like he is from Mars himself.

Bryan College and the evolution debacle.

The Scopes trial led to the founding of Bryan College-From Wikipedia.

The Scopes Trial, formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and commonly referred to as the Scopes Monkey Trial, was a famous American legal case in 1925 in which a substitute high school teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school.[1] The trial was deliberately staged in order to attract publicity to the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, where it was held. Scopes was unsure whether he had ever actually taught evolution, but he purposely incriminated himself so that the case could have a defendant.

Scopes was found guilty and fined $100 (equivalent to $1,345 in 2014), but the verdict was overturned on a technicality. The trial served its purpose of drawing intense national publicity, as national reporters flocked to Dayton to cover the big-name lawyers who had agreed to represent each side.William Jennings Bryan, three-time presidential candidate, argued for the prosecution, while Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney, spoke for Scopes. The trial publicized the Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy, which set Modernists, who said evolution was not inconsistent with religion,[2] against Fundamentalists, who said the word of God as revealed in the Bible took priority over all human knowledge. The case was thus seen as both a theological contest and a trial on whether modern science regarding the creation-evolution controversy should be taught in schools.

Wikipedia describes the founding of Bryan College.

Bryan College is a Christian liberal arts college in Dayton, Tennessee, United States. It was founded in the aftermath of the 1925 Scopes Trial to establish an institution of higher education that would teach from a Christian worldview.

The Bryan College website describes the history of the school.

William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) came to Dayton in 1925 for the Scopes Evolution Trial when he expressed the wish that a school that would teach truth from a Biblical perspective might be established on one of Dayton's scenic hills.

The school was founded to supposedly teach a general Christian worldview. I object to any group describing themselves as teaching the Christian worldview when, in reality, it is dogmatic about a secondary biblical issue. Truth demands that we say that the school was founded to oppose evolution as described in the Scopes trial.

There has been some confusion about the current situation at Bryan College. Some groups have been reporting that this is merely a debate about the historicity of Adam and Eve. It is not. Read carefully what the debate involves.

The New York Times reviews the issue in Christian College Faces Uproar After Bolstering Its View on Evolution.

Since Bryan College’s founding in 1930, its statement of belief, which professors have to sign as part of their employment contracts, included a 41-word section summing up the institution’s conservative views on creation and evolution, including the statement: “The origin of man was by fiat of God.” But in February, college officials decided that professors had to agree to an additional clarification declaring that Adam and Eve “are historical persons created by God in a special formative act, and not from previously existing life-forms.”

For administrators and many members of the governing board at Bryan, the new language is a buffer against what they see as a marked erosion of Christian values and beliefs across the country. But for critics, the clarification amounts to an assault on personal religious views, as well as on the college’s history and sense of community.

Note the wording about Adam and Eve. 

are historical persons created by God in a special formative act, and not from previously existing life-forms.

First of all, evolution does not preclude the belief in a literal Adam and Eve. Secondly, why couldn't Adam and Eve have been created from a preexisting life form? The Mormons make an error in believing that God is a physical being like us and they are not talking about Jesus. Physicality does not determine our unique status as immortal souls. Here is what Scripture says in Genesis 2:7 NIV (Bible Gateway)

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Note the unique act in the creation of man. God breathed the breath of life into him. Some evolutionary creationists might speculate that this "breath'" was the giving of the immortal soul to man. That soul differentiated man from beast. It was not the physical body that was the unique. Animal have that. It was the soul. One could argue that God could have breathed the breath of life, the soul, into in already evolved being. There are some that even speculate that the dust of the earth could have been DNA, the building blocks that bind all life together. 

This is hardly a treatise and I have developed these thoughts elsewhere. My purpose in this short explanation is to show that the belief in evolution does not preclude the possibility of the direct intervention of God. In fact, all theistic evolutionists believe in God creating the heavens and the earth ex nihilo. The debate is merely which processes He used in this creation.

If a Bryan professor believes in evolution, he/she will now be fired.

Here is another article in the Johnson City Press, stating that the chief concern is evolution. It is such a concern that Bryan College is firing professors who have long been a part of the faculty.

The dispute at Bryan College, named for Scopes Monkey Trial prosecutor William Jennings Bryan, began in February when trustees clarified the school's statement of belief to exclude the possibility that God may have used evolution as part of creation

In fact, two fired professors are suing the college because internal documents show that the college has historically allowed for disagreement in this area because a college is not a church.  From the New York Times article:
 
Some question whether the new statement is consistent with school policies outlined in a 2010 internal document for board members, which said that because Bryan is a college, not a church, it does not set itself up as a judge on ecclesiastical matters and does not attempt to prescribe what other Christians do.
 

According to the  Tennessee Christian News Bryan College could lose up to 25% of its faculty. Until this recent "clarification" by Bryan College, faculty had more leeway in their stated beliefs. In other words, the rules of the game suddenly changed.

Bryan College could shed up to a quarter of its full-time faculty by fall if nobody blinks, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.

Faculty members say that a recent clarification to the school’s statement of belief that embraced a more narrow view of human creation was the last straw in their ongoing issues with administrators. That sentiment was solidified in February, when professors approved 30-2 a vote of no confidence in President Stephen Livesay (six abstained).

Bryan College played the "submit to god™ clause.

This gets Dee really miffed off. An organization suddenly decides that a secondary issue is now a god™, gospel™, biblical™, etc. mandate. What that does is elevate the discussion to "We submit to the Lord and you do not, you bad Christian." This is dirty pool and dishonoring to professors who have well served the school, the students, and the faith. That faith is not determined by a sudden switch in a secondary issue.

“Academic freedom is not sacrosanct,” Kevin L. Clauson, a professor of politics and justice, wrote in a letter to the editor of The Bryan Triangle, a campus publication. “It too must submit to God in a Christian college.”

The Times Free Press analyzes the movement within Christendom to accept more nuanced views on this matter.

And the biblical literalists, the stalwarts, the six-day creationists flocked here even when society began tipping toward a more scientific understanding of human origins, when Darwin, not Genesis, became the more convincing explanation for many.

But over the years, more diverse views on Genesis 1 and 2 crept in. Some professors, staff and students didn’t just identify as young-Earth creationists. Their views became more nuanced. They called themselves progressive evolutionists and theistic evolutionists and old-Earth creationists; they found ways to reconcile faith and science.

… The board of trustees is requiring professors and staff to sign a statement saying that they believe Adam and Eve were created in an instant by God and that humans shared no ancestry with other life forms. If they don’t sign, they fear that jobs could be on the line.

Josh Rosenau, in the same article, discusses the value of open inquiry and debate on this matter.

…“The position they’re staking out with this new statement is not shared among all evangelicals, all Christians,” said Josh Rosenau, programs and policy director at the National Center for Science Education, which advocates teaching of evolution and climate science. “The evangelical position doesn’t have to be an outright rejection of human evolution. There are ways to be a Bible-believing literalist without being at odds with science.”

Rosenau said evangelicals are increasingly grappling with issues like evolution, and he said schools like Bryan should be host to debate and inquiry.

“They can try to expand that conversation and see where it goes without leaving that deep commitment to evangelical Christianity,” he said. “I think it would be a really helpful conversation to have and it would be a shame if policies like this cut it off.”

I still remember talking with an ardent Young Earther. He carried a briefcase full of information about YEC wherever he went, ready to bombard, at a moment's notice, any unfortunate individual with "proof" on the young age of the earth. How much like this next person who has done more than most, in my opinion, to bring strife to the Christian community

Ken Ham Says Aliens Are Going to Hell

I love Twitter. I get more breaking news on that website than I do perusing many of the religious news sites. So, this morning I burst out laughing when I saw this tweet from the American Scientific Affiliation, a group of Christian scientists.

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 8.58.13 AM

I thought it was a joke. Imagine my surprise when I found out that this was true. Ken Ham, high school biology teacher (no doctorate, etc.) is truly going off the deep end. He has condemned Spock to hell and thems fighting words for this Trekkie.

The Raw Story posted Creationist Ken Ham Calls to End Space program because Aliens Are Going to Hell Anyway  If anyone had any doubts as to Ham's poor Biblical application prior to this new post at AIG, this should clear up the matter for them.

Creationist Ken Ham has said that the U.S.. space program is a waste of money because any alien life that scientists found would be damned to hell.

“I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life,” Ham wrote in a Sunday column on his Answers in Genesis website.

Ham argued that “secularists are desperate to find life in outer space” as a part of their “rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution.”

“Life did not evolve but was specially created by God, as Genesis clearly teaches. Christians certainly shouldn’t expect alien life to be cropping up across the universe,” he continued. “Now the Bible doesn’t say whether there is or is not animal or plant life in outer space. I certainly suspect not.”

But regardless of whether there was life in outer space, Ham asserted that it could not be truly “intelligent.”

“You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation,” he explained. “Jesus did not become the ‘GodKlingon’ or the ‘GodMartian’! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the ‘Godman’ as our Savior.”

Let's list his suppositions:

  • We are rebelling against God by trying to find life in the universe.
  • Oh yeah, the "we" are secularists (no real Christians are interested in this subject I guess)
  • If life was found (he certainly" suspects there is none because he is the expert), the life could not be intelligent.
  • Aliens could not be saved because only Adam's descendants can be saved.

Here is a statement in his article at Answers in Genesis. It leaves no room for any disagreement because, well,…he knows it to be true!! 

IF INTELLIGENT BEINGS LIVED ON OTHER PLANETS, THEY WOULD SUFFER BECAUSE OF ADAM’S SIN BUT HAVE NO OPPORTUNITY TO BE SAVED THROUGH CHRIST’S SACRIFICE

More intelligent Christian than Ham believed in life on other planets.  CS Lewis speculated on the possibility that we were the only planet that fell away from God. He wrote a space trilogy based on this possibility called Out of the Silent Planet which I highly recommend. (Quick fact-Did you know that the chief character in the stories, Ransom, was based on his friend, JRR Tolkien?)

Wirt: Do you think there will be widespread travel in space?

Lewis: “I look forward with horror to contact with the other inhabited planets, if there are such. We would only transport to them all of our sin and our acquisitiveness, and establish a new colonialism. I can’t bear to think of it. But if we on earth were to get right with God, of course, all would be changed. Once we find ourselves spiritually awakened, we can go to outer space and take the good things with us. That is quite a different matter.”

Guillermo Gonzalez, Ph.D., is an associate professor of astronomy and physics at Grove City College (Warren Throckmorton also is a professor there). He is author of nearly eighty scientific papers and co-author with Jay W. Richards of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery(Regnery, 2004) link wrote Would Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life Spell Doom for Christianity?

He quotes CS Lewis on this topic.

We know that God has visited and redeemed His people, and that tells us just as much about the general character of the creation as a dose given to one sick hen on a big farm tells us about the general character of farming in England.…It is, of course, the essence of Christianity that God loves man and for his sake became man and died. But that does not prove that man is the sole end of nature. In the parable, it was one lost sheep that the shepherd went in search of: it was not the only sheep in the flock, and we are not told that it was the most valuable—save insofar as the most desperately in need has, while the need lasts, a peculiar value in the eyes of Love. The doctrine of the Incarnation would conflict with what we know of this vast universe only if we knew also there were other rational species in it who had, like us, fallen, and who needed redemption in the same mode, and they had not been vouchsafed it. But we know of none of these things.

He discusses the topic in depth. Here is one example.

What if Martian bacteria are found, instead, to have had an independent origin on Mars? First, this would not mean, as many believe, that life is easy to get started by natural means. An intelligent designer would still be the best explanation for the origin of life on Mars, as it is for life on Earth. The same goes for life discovered on a distant exoplanet.

On the other hand, what if, after continued searching, we find no evidence for life on Mars? Mars is the most Earth-like planet we know of, and it’s nearby, sharing the same sun and planetary neighbors. If Earth failed to infect Mars, then we can only conclude that Mars is not sufficiently Earthlike to host even “simple” life. How much less likely, then, are exoplanets to host life?

He ends his post on another fascinating note.

What’s more, the doctrine of the Incarnation has always meant that God became incarnate to reconcile all of creation to Himself. It doesn’t say God became man to the exclusion of everything else. Both Catholics and Protestants have offered serious theological analyses of ETI.

Two examples are Christianity and Extraterrestrials? A Catholic Perspective by Thomist Marie I. George and The Logic of God Incarnate by Thomas Morris. It appears that Christians have enough theological resources to account for the existence of ETI. When all is said, we have to remember that these are hypothetical questions, there is no evidence for ETI, and our answers are necessarily speculative. Lewis dryly commented on atheists’ attempts to use both sides of the ETI debate as a weapon against Christianity: (The following underlined area is quoting Lewis)

If we discover other bodies, they must be habitable or uninhabitable: and the odd thing is that both these hypotheses are used as grounds for rejecting Christianity. If the universe is teeming with life, this, we are told, reduces to absurdity the Christian claim—or what is thought to be the Christian claim—that man is unique, and the Christian doctrine that to this one planet God came down and was incarnate for us men and our salvation. If, on the other hand, the earth is really unique, then that proves that life is only an accidental byproduct in the universe, and so again disproves our religion. Really, we are hard to please.

Certainly, God is free to create a universe in which life is rare or common or even unique. For the ETI optimist, the better choice is theism or ID. This is perhaps the central irony. The naturalist’s explanatory toolkit is too limited to explain ETI, let alone us.

Tim Fall also wrote a good article about this called Answering Ken Ham – When a Creationist Misunderstands Creation Doctrine.

The following video shows how people use their faith to justify any old theory that floats their boat. In this video, a man approaches Buzz Aldrin with a Bible, telling his to repent for saying he landed on the moon. Aldrin has long suffered the "moon truthers" who believe that the moon landing was made up by NASA. Aldrin, who is a Christian, by the way, just couldn't take it anymore. I sympathize.

Lydia's Corner: Amos 7:1-9:15 Revelation 3:7-22 Psalm 131:1-3 Proverbs 29:23

Comments

Bryan College Plays Creationism Hardball and Ken Ham Says Aliens Are Going to Hell — 220 Comments

  1. Disappointing too for Xenu and the Thetans – this is heartbreaking news for Scientologists…

  2. Thanks for the shout out and for linking to my blog post on Ken Ham’s ridiculous alien salvation doctrine stance, Dee.

    Your analysis of what’s happening at Bryan is really informative. As you say, pulling the “submit to God” card is uncalled for. Taking that position sends the message that only YEC folks submit to God and everyone else doesn’t. That stinks.

    Nice trivia on Ransom=Tolkien, too. Now I just have to find a way to work that into a bar bet.

  3. O/T lots of people have been praying for rain here, and we are getting rain, and hail and lightening so please now pray for people that are having recently burned out hillsides wash out. lots of slides in the area, and a few new fires. thanks.

  4. I am so burned out with the whole christian worldview scene. I am ready for a definition of who is a christian based on their Jesus view. Period. All the rest may be worth talking about but it should not define who is a christian or not.

  5. Why does Ken Hamm have the time to come up with this stuff? Why do people listen to him? Why does he base the Gospel off of creationism and not Jesus? Why why why?

    Sorry about the questions, but I have no words. He and Pat Robertson would get along just fine.

  6. Nancy wrote:

    I am so burned out with the whole christian worldview scene. I am ready for a definition of who is a christian based on their Jesus view. Period. All the rest may be worth talking about but it should not define who is a christian or not.

    You and me both, Nancy. I have noticed that now that I have let go of man’s view of God and instead am focusing on what Jesus revealed of himself through the four gospels, that the Gospel is indeed easier to understand and follow than anything any Christian leader has to say about it.

  7. “You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation,” he explained. “Jesus did not become the ‘GodKlingon’ or the ‘GodMartian’! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the ‘Godman’ as our Savior.”

    Hmm….coming from a family of sci-fan fans (and I am one of the chief ones), this is a topic that has been discussed more than once – occasionally heatedly (discovering which family members not to discuss it with).

    In reading this quote, the thing that occurs to me is there is a logically fallacy in this statement, even from Christian doctrine (I know, this man’s doctrines are a rich field of logical fallacies, but bare with me…)…..

    If A) All creation suffers because of Adam’s sin and B) Jesus came to (per Paul) reverse Adam, then logically c) All creation would be redeemed by the reversal of Adam via Jesus. So, I see no reason to consign aliens to hell just because they didn’t descend from Adam. Frankly, that smacks of Calvanista double-predestination to me….. 😉

  8. So aliens on a distant planet would be forever affected by Adam’s sin, but left untouched by the Second Adam’s redemption? Somehow, I thought Jesus was more powerful than Adam. Light overcoming darkness, and all that.

    And thanks for the Buzz Aldrin video. I had just seen the last bit, and didn’t realize the conspiracy dude was a Bible thumper… Makes the video more enjoyable and more regrettable at the same time.

  9. The search for extra solar life is Big Science. I commented on some of this effort in a guest post: http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/07/26/exobiology-and-theology-to-boldy-go-where-no-blog-has-gone-before/ So far the search is negative, nothing indicating alien life has been found. However, the search is in it’s very early phase. Perhaps in 10 years or so it will be possible to determine if an extra solar planet has an Earth like atmosphere. This won’t prove there are aliens but it will put the search into high gear.

  10. Since Ham has no scientific competence perhaps he is trying to develop skills as a theologian.

  11. I can see Potter getting sent to hell in his birch bark canoe. But tribbles? That’s just uncalled for!!!

  12. Where is HUG? I wonder if Ken Hamm has also said that “My Little Pony” is going to hell. Wow…this stuff blows my mind. And people think Hamm and AIG has any credibility? Unbelievable…..

  13. oldJohnJ wrote:

    Since Ham has no scientific competence perhaps he is trying to develop skills as a theologian.

    “Trying” (in more than one sense) is the operative word here 😉

  14. Nancy wrote:

    I think I just found alien life. They rented a house just down the street from me.

    I thought Ken Ham lived near Louisville KY.

  15. Actually nothing that you quoted from Ken Ham here justifies saying that he believes aliens are going to hell. Just because he believes that aliens could not be saved, if they existed, doesn’t mean they would go to hell, any more than dogs who can’t be saved go to hell. Or monkeys. Or oak trees. Or any other living thing, for that matter.

  16. Bryan College is demonstrating that the oh-so-important “academic freedom’ only applies at secular colleges and universities.

  17. It’s interesting to read this about YEC’s while the PBS series Australia: The first Four Billion Years is playing on the telly.

  18. Nancy wrote:

    Good one.

    Not really. It’s really a too snarky statement. However, I’d like to see a deeper discussion of the whole Bible as Science topic. While I know many YECers have visited TWW in the past I was hoping to engage a couple in a conversation.

  19. numo wrote:

    @ Lola: and they will multiply forever and ever…

    And that’s what makes it hell for everyone else? 😉

  20. nmgirl wrote:

    It’s interesting to read this about YEC’s while the PBS series Australia: The first Four Billion Years is playing on the telly.

    Ken Ham is from Australia. Can we throw him back? Please?

  21. Bryan College played the “submit to god™ clause.

    In Arabic, wouldn’t that be “The ISLAM Clause”?

  22. Creationist Ken Ham has said that the U.S.. space program is a waste of money because any alien life that scientists found would be damned to hell.

    And God’s Speshul Mouthpiece Ken Ham KNOWS this how?

    What Occult Gnosis does Ham have?

    Who died and made Ken Ham God?

  23. Eagle wrote:

    Where is HUG?

    Right here, Eagle.

    Some two years ago, I co-wrote an SF novella (“Dyads”) that hinged on just this idea. It’s in a collection of Catholic SF titled Infinite Space, Infinite God II.
    http://www.amazon.com/Infinite-Space-God-II/dp/1606192310/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406178691&sr=1-2&keywords=infinite+space+infinite+god

    If my wrist weren’t acting up, I’d post you some excerpts from it. Maybe tomorrow.

    I wonder if Ken Hamm has also said that “My Little Pony” is going to hell.

    No, other MenaGAWD have preached that about previous Pony generations.

    And you can easily guess what the Real Man Movement (including Cage Fighting for Jesus types) would say about Bronies. Or what PENETRATE! COLONIZE! CONQUER! PLANT! would say about the Ponies’ Magic of Friendship and Principle of Harmony.

    I’m not even going to touch on Princess Celestia as pop culture god-figure — benevolent, approachable, and even playful (When’s the last time you heard THAT from all those MenaGAWD?), an immortal mother-figure to her little ponies.

    (Incidentally, Princess Celestia is NOT a creator-god figure. I think of her and her sister as the Valar of the ponies’ world, NOT the Iluvatar. She may claim no title higher than Princess, but when you’re immortal and the sun and moon rise and set by your command, you’re a god.)

    Wow…this stuff blows my mind. And people think Hamm and AIG has any credibility? Unbelievable…..

    GAWD HATH SAID and all that.

  24. GSD wrote:

    So aliens on a distant planet would be forever affected by Adam’s sin, but left untouched by the Second Adam’s redemption? Somehow, I thought Jesus was more powerful than Adam. Light overcoming darkness, and all that.

    Some Christians just can’t be happy unless EVERYBODY except themselves are Burning in Eternal Hell. (Like the “Kenny Goes to Hell” scene from South Park: the movie.) It’s called “The Abominable Fancy”.

  25. mirele wrote:

    nmgirl wrote:

    It’s interesting to read this about YEC’s while the PBS series Australia: The first Four Billion Years is playing on the telly.

    Ken Ham is from Australia. Can we throw him back? Please?

    As an Australian, I find that thought especially repugnant 😉

    Y’all in the States can keep him. Those of us in Commonwealth nations don’t quite get as crazy about this issue as you folks in the USA do.

  26. @ Jeannette Altes:
    “Frankly, that smacks of Calvanista double-predestination to me…..”

    yes, they just get more and more layers of stuff to keep people like me out probably!”

  27. from the above article:
    “… The board of trustees is requiring professors and staff to sign a statement saying that they believe Adam and Eve were created in an instant by God and that humans shared no ancestry with other life forms. If they don’t sign, they fear that jobs could be on the line.”

    extremists extraordinaire, I could fired for arguing that it took God a couple hours instead of ‘an instant’ so if I say it took a few years I probably would get tarred and feathered. what if I brought up that there might have been micro-organisms in the dirt? or worms? this is so ridiculous for a college to be doing!
    why don’t ‘Christian colleges’ teach about Christ? a lot of people I know say that if you feel like you have a calling on your life from the Lord you should not go to semitary cause you will loose it and come out a ‘gospel preacher of dead works and ridiculous stuff’ I think they are right! if I go to sgm I come out a child abuser with attitude, if I go to 9marks I come out a jail guard of all the captive Christians that happened to visit the church, if I go to Mark Driscoll semitary I come out a, well never mind.
    I am amazed by the guy that had the audacity to verbally assault Buzz with a bible in his hand as if he was a Christian. ‘Christians ™’ are getting scary.

  28. Re: Ham. I prefer Larry Norman’s take on aliens:

    And if there’s life on other planets
    then I’m sure that He must know
    and He’s been there once already
    and has died to save their souls.

    (From UFO.

  29. Loren Haas wrote:

    Actually, Ham and Robertson do not get along. Robertson accepts an ancient earth. He predates the creationist baloney of the last 50 years

    That’s because he was asleep (ref: SCCL “Pat take your nap” posts).

  30. mirele wrote:

    Ken Ham is from Australia. Can we throw him back? Please?

    Nah, along with Rupert Murdoch, I say he’s yours now. ALL YOURS !

  31. Brandon F wrote:

    Those of us in Commonwealth nations don’t quite get as crazy about this issue as you folks in the USA do.

    And that reminds me, the Commonwealth Games are on. We probably won’t see Bulbeck for a while. He’ll be getting worked up over Australia with its comparatively tiny population whopping Great Britain. Par for the course…

  32. GSD wrote:

    So aliens on a distant planet would be forever affected by Adam’s sin, but left untouched by the Second Adam’s redemption? Somehow, I thought Jesus was more powerful than Adam. Light overcoming darkness, and all that.
    And thanks for the Buzz Aldrin video. I had just seen the last bit, and didn’t realize the conspiracy dude was a Bible thumper… Makes the video more enjoyable and more regrettable at the same time.

    Agreed! I had not seen the video either and found it shocking that someone professing to be a Christian would behave in that manner.

  33. A interesting and different alternative to Ken Ham’s tweet is the book “Vast Universe” by Thomas O’Meara, a professional theologian. His thesis starts with the premise that God is the God of the entire universe.

  34. I assume that Ken Ham lives near the creation museum, in far northern Kentucky. Its practically Ohio, about 90 minutes from Louisville. But still, we Kentuckians have so much to be proud of.:-\

    It would have been fun to see any Apollo astronaut punch any abusive knucklehead, but Buzz Aldrin? Probably my favorite astronaut, and here’s why. Of course, I’m silly enough to believe that this actually happened on the moon.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeCoq0uBpCI

  35. Todd Charles Wood, now former associate professor of biology at Bryan College, Dayton Tennessee was half of the cover personages on the July/August 2012 Christianity Today. This CT issue lead to my first guest post on TWW easily found under the topic Creationism in the Category Archives. Wood continues to press his agenda but I don’t see any results appearing in mainstream science publications. I suspect he is a casualty of the strengthened anti evolution statement in the Bryon College report in this post.

  36. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    So, I see no reason to consign aliens to hell just because they didn’t descend from Adam. Frankly, that smacks of Calvanista double-predestination to me…..

    Listen, some of these guys live to tell others that they are going to hell. Heck, they tell other Christians they are going to hell. They are the type of people who would shoot Spock on sight.

  37. GSD wrote:

    And thanks for the Buzz Aldrin video. I had just seen the last bit, and didn’t realize the conspiracy dude was a Bible thumper… Makes the video more enjoyable and more regrettable at the same time.

    I know. The first time I saw it, i wasn’t sure. Then I replayed it and found one video that zoomed in on the Bible. After I stopped banging my head on the table, I knew I had a keeper.

  38. oldJohnJ wrote:

    Perhaps in 10 years or so it will be possible to determine if an extra solar planet has an Earth like atmosphere.

    I have always hoped that i would be around if aliens visited this planet. However, i realized that I would be like those people in Independence Day (one of my favorite movies) who would be holding up a sign that said “Welcome” seconds before they blasted me out of existence. But, what a way to go!

  39. @ oldJohnJ:
    You should see the scientific types that I hang around with. They laugh hysterically when the subject of an AIG science paper comes up. They rip it to shreds immediately. And its Ham’s own fault. he will not allow peer review. I know why.

  40. sam h wrote:

    why don’t ‘Christian colleges’ teach about Christ?

    Because YEC Uber Alles and Culture War Without End is Far More Important.

  41. oldJohnJ wrote:

    I thought Ken Ham lived near Louisville KY.

    If you look at a map, it is my understanding that the creation museum is just over the border from Kentucky. SBTS was soooo excited to have a cutting edge scientist right near their seminary…

  42. Somebody all ready posted a link to this over on Tim’s blog, but as it was the first thing I thought of, here it is, from http://www.bartleby.com/236/265.html

    265. Christ in the Universe
    By Alice Meynell (b. 1847)

    WITH this ambiguous earth
    His dealings have been told us. These abide:
    The signal to a maid, the human birth,
    The lesson, and the young Man crucified.

    But not a star of all 5
    The innumerable host of stars has heard
    How He administered this terrestrial ball.
    Our race have kept their Lord’s entrusted Word.

    Of His earth-visiting feet
    None knows the secret, cherished, perilous, 10
    The terrible, shamefast, frightened, whispered, sweet,
    Heart-shattering secret of His way with us.

    No planet knows that this
    Our wayside planet, carrying land and wave,
    Love and life multiplied, and pain and bliss, 15
    Bears, as chief treasure, one forsaken grave.

    Nor, in our little day,
    May His devices with the heavens be guessed,
    His pilgrimage to thread the Milky Way
    Or His bestowals there be manifest. 20

    But in the eternities,
    Doubtless we shall compare together, hear
    A million alien Gospels, in what guise
    He trod the Pleiades, the Lyre, the Bear.

    O, be prepared, my soul! 25
    To read the inconceivable, to scan
    The myriad forms of God those stars unroll
    When, in our turn, we show to them a Man.

  43. The numbers, in the above, were part of said site, & transferred w/o my knowledge or consent.

  44. “any alien life that scientists found would be damned to hell”

    So THAT’s why tribbles hate Klingons

  45. Phillip Miller wrote:

    Just because he believes that aliens could not be saved, if they existed, doesn’t mean they would go to hell, any more than dogs who can’t be saved go to hell. Or monkeys. Or oak trees. Or any other living thing, for that matter.

    Thank you for this comment since it brings up another awkward Ham moment. He goes nuts over the idea of soulless hominids.He considers the very thought heresy. (I don’t, BTW). So, if he argues that aliens are soulless hominids, and they don’t go to hell and just wink our of existence, it would be a delicious irony.

    However, I disagree with you. Ham said

    “This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation,”

    So, what in the world is he saying. If these are sentient beings who can talk and create, then they don’t have souls? They are no different than dogs (forgive me, my dear pugs) ? Ham shows the limits of his logic in his very discussion.

  46. dee wrote:

    @ Loren Haas:
    It is really scary when Robertson actually makes sense.

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
    Of course, thus far, Ken Hamm seems determined to defy the rightness of said proverb…….

  47. @ Phillip Miller:
    One further point, Ham pulls a Ham. He argues they can’t be saved if they exist and then he says they don’t exist (Ham is certain). So, he walks away from each and very argument. And his fans allow him to do so.

  48. Brandon F wrote:

    Y’all in the States can keep him. Those of us in Commonwealth nations don’t quite get as crazy about this issue as you folks in the USA do.

    I know that to be true. John Lennox said that the US is one of the few places where this is really an issue. As for Australia, there is a reason he left. I bet you all did not buy his nonsense. And I mean “buy.” Ham needs money, lots of it, to continue. There is a reason he set up shop near SBTS.

  49. dee wrote:

    Thank you for this comment since it brings up another awkward Ham moment. He goes nuts over the idea of soulless hominids.He considers the very thought heresy. (I don’t, BTW). So, if he argues that aliens are soulless hominids, and they don’t go to hell and just wink our of existence, it would be a delicious irony.

    Excerpt from “Dyads”:

    “Remember, the probes showed no murderous intent. He originally came here only to convert us, despite the Concordat.”
    “After killing ten of us,” the Templar gekkered.
    “Eleven, including his wife.”
    “She doesn’t count. She was a perp, not a victim.” He looked down at her. “Holymother…”
    “To convert us. He thinks—or thought—of us as people. Not animals, not Supernaturals. Some of their cults believe all non-humandri are nimshuuthdri in disguise.”
    “Like Kthymri Solitarians?”
    “Worse. Even Solitarians leave open the possibility of good Supernaturals.”

  50. GSD wrote:

    It would have been fun to see any Apollo astronaut punch any abusive knucklehead, but Buzz Aldrin? Probably my favorite astronaut, and here’s why. Of course, I’m silly enough to believe that this actually happened on the moon.

    Believe it or not, the fact that Aldrin had communion on the moon came up for discussion this past week. It really did happen. Even SNOPES agrees. http://www.snopes.com/glurge/communion.asp

  51. Another excerpt from “Dyads”, an alien Creation liturgy:

    Below in the side chapel, the Hymn of Creation ended in a responsorial from High Priest and Priestess and the congregation, echoed by the skulk in the gallery. As the echoes died away in the dimness, the vulpine couple stepped down from the dais to the first row of prone foxes, vestments glittering in the oil-candlelight. They stopped before two congregants in the first row, High Priestess to tod, High Priest to vixen. A pause, pregnant with solemnity, then the two reached down and helped the tod and vixen to their feet; in a wave from center to rim, three hundred Thalendri rose from four legs to two, from animals to people.

    A chorus of Yips arose from below and around Father Heidler as the congregation on the chapel floor and gallery joined in, tods making the God’s Arrow from crotch to chest to muzzle-tip, vixens making the Goddess’s Bow from shoulder to head to shoulder. Heidler joined in with the Sign of the Cross as the yipping faded away.

    The two Supreme Pontiffs embraced the two they’d first lifted to their feet, rubbing cheek against cheek, leaving their scent; the tod and vixen did the same to those around them, passing the scent to the entire congregation, like a nuzzling Greeting of Peace at Mass. The skulk-crowd in the gallery did the same, Neryai giving Heidler a warbling, sensuous stroke of her soft-furred muzzle and cheek.

    Thalendri skeptics must have had a field day with that… Cathuria’s closest biological relative to Thalendri was small and arboreal, like a fennec crossed with a lemur; all “missing links” between the two were long-extinct. Imagine Genesis 1 implying uplift from a predecessor species if Earth’s only living primates were humans and lemurs…

  52. Brandon F wrote:

    mirele wrote:

    nmgirl wrote:

    It’s interesting to read this about YEC’s while the PBS series Australia: The first Four Billion Years is playing on the telly.

    Ken Ham is from Australia. Can we throw him back? Please?

    As an Australian, I find that thought especially repugnant

    Y’all in the States can keep him. Those of us in Commonwealth nations don’t quite get as crazy about this issue as you folks in the USA do.

    I propose that we put him to sea in a wee boat, & turn him loose.

  53. YEC and anti-evolution have become another litmus test and ‘hill to die on’ for the neo-fundy crowd. You would have thought that these beliefs would have dwindled to virtually nothing with all of the knowledge gained from many different scientific disciplines over the past 100 years, but no, they have resurrected them from the ash-heap of discredited beliefs. What next? You need to believe the sun revolves around the earth in order to be ‘Christian’?

    This YEC/anti-evolution campaign and purging of teachers who don’t dance to that tune is making a mockery of Christianity and relegating Christianity to the same category as those who would believe the sun and the moon are actual gods.

  54. @ sam h:

    On the Aldrin confrontation. My response to the guy with the Bible would be: “In the book you hold, it is reported that Jesus said not to swear. You asking me to swear is heretical. Get away from me you heretic.”

  55. An Attorney wrote:

    @ Haitch:
    Both are immigrants. Perhaps we need a new immigration law that bars such as “heretics”.

    Forget Mexico, maybe it’s Australia we need to worry about 🙂

  56. @ zooey111:
    But one set 5 minutes late is never correct, and a twelve hour cloock losing a second a day would take 43,000 plus days to be correct again on a twelve hour clock. So I would compare Robertson to a clock that slowly loses time, never right, and progressively more wrong day by day. BTW, same with Hamm!

  57. Loren Haas wrote:

    Actually, Ham and Robertson do not get along. Robertson accepts an ancient earth. He predates the creationist baloney of the last 50 years.@ No More Perfect:

    True, though my comment was more pointing towards a relationship built on nuttery and not on creationist/old-earth beliefs. 😉

  58. dee wrote:

    You owe me, big time.

    I clicked on the link you provided and read Ham’s article at Answers in Genesis, Dee. I’m going to add it to my post answering his horrible doctrine on creation. It’s sad that there are organizations like Answers in Genesis that promote people like Ham.

  59. Dee said, “The following video shows how people use their faith to justify any old theory that floats their boat. In this video, a man approaches Buzz Aldrin with a Bible, telling his to repent for saying he landed on the moon. Aldrin has long suffered the “moon truthers” who believe that the moon landing was made up by NASA. Aldrin, who is a Christian, by the way, just couldn’t take it anymore. I sympathize.”

    This reminds of the posts on Julie Ann’s blog about Tony Miano “bravely” verbally bludgeoning homosexuals and people entering abortion clinics. I used to cringe in embarrassment at how these mouthpieces emabarassed me as a believer; now I believe my feeling is actually a righteous anger at how they slander the one true God who is, by definition, love and truth.

  60. @ Jeannette Altes:
    @ GSD:

    Excellent points, both. Just as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ ALL will be made alive. One might debate the exact application of that verse, and many others like it, but if Ham believes the power of sin is greater than that of the cross, then his Jesus is too small. And probably made of plastic.

  61. Haitch wrote:

    And that reminds me, the Commonwealth Games are on. We probably won’t see Bulbeck for a while. He’ll be getting worked up over Australia with its comparatively tiny population whopping Great Britain. Par for the course…

    TBH, naebody in the hame nations cares much about Oz in the medals table; the home nations either hate England, or are England. (As the Scottish fitba’ fans chanted at their Welsh counterparts in a World Cup qualifier: We hate the English mair than you!.

    At the time of writing, the first medals of the games have just been decided, in the women’s triathlon; Jodie Stimpson of England won gold, with Vicky Holland in bronze (separated by Canada’s Kirsten Sweetland in silver). So England topped the first medals table, from Canada. The mens’ triathlon is currently underway, with the Brownlee brothers way out in front nearing the end of the bike stage – accompanied by Scotland’s Marc Austin, having a fine race.

  62. JeffT wrote:

    You would have thought that these beliefs would have dwindled to virtually nothing with all of the knowledge gained from many different scientific disciplines over the past 100 years, but no, they have resurrected them from the ash-heap of discredited beliefs.

    The problem with YEC die-hards, I think, is not the science but the theology. I just googled to make sure that if somebody googled what I am about to say the stuff would be there. Jesus referenced creation and he referenced the flood. Paul referenced creation and based some his comments on creation details as shown in Genesis. So what happens to the idea of inspiration of the NT and the idea that Jesus knew what he was talking about and that Paul was inspired by the Spirit if it is shown that they were incorrect? That is the scary part for fundamentalists.

    If you read exactly what Jesus said, however, it is obvious (to me I think) that what he said can be understood in more than one way, in the specifics as to YEC ideas specifically. Paul is another question, because some of what he said looks to me like he accepted a literal understanding of the Genesis creation stories.

    We can talk all day about the science, but if we do not address the theology then there will be no end to the arguments.

  63. Note the unique act in the creation of man. God breathed the breath of life into him. Some evolutionary creationists might speculate that this “breath'” was the giving of the immortal soul to man.

    At least one evolutionary creationist speculates something very much to this effect: to wit, myself.

    When Genesis states that The Lord didst formeth unto the man of the dust of the earthest thereof, I don’t actually think (“speculate” would do just as well, of course!) it refers to DNA. I think it refers to physical matter itself: electrons, nucleons and elements made therefrom, subject to the laws of physics and confined to three dimensions plus time. This is as distinct from the spirit, which is not subject to physical laws. (Though the biblescriptures give many fascinating hints about the laws to which spiritual things are subject.)

    Thus, when Jesus prayed the iconic intercessory prayer: Father, forgive them; for they don’t know what they are doing, I don’t believe that just referred to the mob immediately present, but to the entire human race. Having been tempted in all things as we are, he knew what it was to be confined in space and time, seeing/hearing/feeling mainly a physical world and living without the perspective of eternity – which was detectable only as though in a blurred mirror. Put another way, he knew what it was to be cold, tired, hungry, or in suffering, and facing the prospect that one’s fleeting and limited resources might run dry before the suffering ends.

    I especially like the bit in Genesis 1 where God separates the waters above from the waters beneath. “Heaven” is actually stated to be the fixture that keeps these separate. I don’t believe that just means the sky is there to keep the clouds above the sea. I believe this refers to God separating the spiritual and physical realms. More could be said…

  64. dee wrote:

    You should see the scientific types that I hang around with. They laugh hysterically when the subject of an AIG science paper comes up. They rip it to shreds immediately. And its Ham’s own fault. he will not allow peer review. I know why.

    I understand completely. Respecting that the YEC advocates profess the same Savior I do, I usually try not to be too overbearing. Perhaps an anecdote from my distant past will help. Shortly after my wife and I came to the understanding that being a regular church attender did not make you a Christian and were baptized into membership of our local ABC church during the late 1970s I took in a presentation at my then place of employment, the old ATT Bell Labs at Holmdel, NJ by a prominent YECer. I believe I remember his name but don’t have notes from his presentation so I won’t mention a name. My memory is, that after a polished presentation he was intellectually disemboweled in the Q&A period. Being a member of Bell Labs Research then was as prestigious as Google now and IBM Watson Research both then and now.

    My feeling has been and still is that YEC champions would be far better advocates for our faith if they stopped being the preachers of unnecessary nonsense in the name of Christ, an observation first made by Augustine around 400 AD and still completely relevant.

  65. The pl@ Nancy:

    The place where I always get tripped up when discussing YEC (or really any fundamentalist doctrine, to be honest) is that they always circle back to the words that are written down in the Bible and nothing else.

    They don’t acknowledge:
    A. That other believing Christians interpret those words differently
    B. That things outside the Bible are still valid sources of truth and Truth
    C. Most critically, that they themselves are interpreting Scripture. I had this conversation with a friend fighting out of legalism. All methods of reading Scripture, including literally, are a method of interpretation. It is a choice, a human choice and while you might think that it is the best or most accurate choice, you have to acknowledge that it is still a choice that you are making or any debate that I have with you will fly right past you. Personally, I think every time we introduce the human into Scripture, we increase the chance that we ourselves are understanding things poorly, and the solution to that is to not get too hung up on what the words say, and focus instead on what God is doing. Once you realize that you will never understand scripture in this life, it becomes really easy to listen to what other people see in it. But if the other person is certain that They Know The Answer…. well I have to go wash my hair or do my taxes or alphabetize my spice rack….

    Unless and until the person I’m discussing theology with will admit that literal interpretation is STILL interpretation, I refuse to engage with them. They might think less of me for doing so. I don’t particularly care, I have a very low opinion of their intellectual rigor, as it turns out.

  66. I guess I am a little out of whack with most readers here as I support YEC and the right of a college to only accept that worldview. I do think Ham is whacky in discussing aliens…that is ridiculous. I would like to see what would happen if a pro-evolution institution would do with a YEC professor. Would they tolerate HIM (or HER) in the name of academic freedom? If not, why not? Why are people so bothered by YEC and a literal view? Should it be so mocked, or maligned? Do the pro-millions of years Christians have such a clear-cut answer to all of the problems with their belief, from reconciling all of the verses in the Bible that would challenge some of these thoughts…..is it the arrogance/attitude of Ham that is so bothersome, which I agree is an issue, or are there any YEC that you would respect???? I totally agree that there is no place for judging others in a condescending way….I hate that. But I do think that YEC believers have a right to be heard and not mocked…..unless there is that attitude of self-righteousness/arrogance/judgement that goes along with it. I hate that as well. I personally would disagree with non -YEC believers but would just state what I believe and move on to other matters. There is NO PLACE for judgement of anothers’ SALVATION or Christian life based on this subject.

  67. JeffT wrote:

    YEC and anti-evolution have become another litmus test and ‘hill to die on’ for the neo-fundy crowd. You would have thought that these beliefs would have dwindled to virtually nothing with all of the knowledge gained from many different scientific disciplines over the past 100 years,

    As an observer of these debates on and off for years, what bothers me about your statement is that science appears to trump the bible. The Christian is obligated to believe whatever the bible affirms, and God is the only person with absolute knowledge of just how the universe and life on earth came into being. It certainly affirms God created everything, not to believe this is to be an unbeliever, for which there is no excuse.

    It strikes me that YEC is easiest to reconcile with Genesis, but hardest to defend scientifically, if its critics are to be believed. I quite like Hugh Ross and OEC, mainly because I don’t think, having re-read Genesis recently and trying to let it speak for itself rather than being crowded out by all the arguments about it, that Genesis necessarily dates the age of the universe.

    Theistic evolution seems easiest to reconcile with ‘macro’, common decent type evolution, but hardest with the bible. In particular, it is hard to see how you can believe in the special creation of mankind under this system, and there are other objections as well. Evolution in this sense makes God redundant, he is only needed to start the process off in the first place. Most of those who firmly believe in this see it as evidence for the non-existence of God, random, naturalistic processes with no purpose ended up with what now see around us. If it had been guided (by God) there is no actual evidence of this. I don’t think God makes ‘macro’ evolution impossible, but he does make it unnecessary.

    I’d be circumspect about embracing TE because science is always liable to refutation or amendment on new evidence, I don’t want to accept something on peer pressure from the secular scientific community who think I would be a fool to believe in special (and in particular more recent) creation. TE can be just as liable to give ammunition to atheists against the faith as Ken-Ham-type creationism.

    In favour of Ken Ham is he starts with the bible and affirms God as creator. Those arguing against him should remember this before laying into him with personal invective, and stick to the scientific issues to the extent they are qualified. I do think he is over-literal in his interpretation of Genesis, and this is what should be debated. He is also not the first Christian to say something stupid in public (re: aliens) and won’t be the last.

    Notwithstanding exactly how Genesis is to be understood, I have a horror at the very thougth of making God out to be a liar in not telling the truth about creation. There is little point trying not to look a fool for believing this doctrine as a Christian, as the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and there is nothing more ‘foolish’ to an unbelieving world than that we are saved from sin by a man shedding his blood on a cross for us 2000 years ago, and then rising from the dead. Now that is scientifically untenable, but then my faith is not in science or scientists!

  68. @ justabeliever:

    Personally, I have questions. Do you “believe” in the heliocentric solar system (sun centered)? If so, what do we do about Joshua and the Sun stopping?

    I’m putting believe in quotes because frankly, I hate using the term believe with respect to evolution or the Big Bang or any other science thing. I don’t “believe” in them and it does my actual faith a huge disservice to say so. I don’t rely on them for my salvation nor do I call on them in my hour of need nor do I try to order my life around them. I believe in God. I just happen to be convinced that they are also accurate-as-possible representations of how God ordered the universe.

  69. dee wrote:

    Phillip Miller wrote:
    Just because he believes that aliens could not be saved, if they existed, doesn’t mean they would go to hell….
    However, I disagree with you. Ham said
    “This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation,”

    Any sentient species can recognize a slight difference between Ham’s “can’t have salvation” and “affected by” or “suffer for” “Adam’s sin” and The Raw Story’s “dammed to hell”. Ham is speculating to support his guess that aliens are precluded by his ungospelly tm theology. But he doesn’t mention (in these qoutes– he might elsewhere) infernos, immortal worms, or refuse dumps near Jerusalem. The Raw Story is putting words in his mouth– just as Ham isn’t calling to end “the space program”. (At least in these quotes.) A more accurate headline would be, “Ham calls to end SETI because ET does not exist because ETI is unbiblical tm.”

  70. justabeliever wrote:

    . There is NO PLACE for judgement of anothers’ SALVATION or Christian life based on this subject.

    I agree with you about judging someone’s salvation. You emphasized this so strongly. Was someone in this thread questioning someone’s salvation?

  71. dee wrote:

    They are the type of people who would shoot Spock on sight.

    Zefram Cochrane shot the first Vulcan off the ship in “In A Mirror, Darkly”.

  72. Speaking of Spock– he is (or will be) half human. This could give Ham a serious conundrum…..

  73. Bridget wrote:

    Was someone in this thread questioning someone’s salvation?

    I think j.a.b. was talking about Ham’s judgment of aliens he thinks don’t exist.

  74. Ken

    Science has nothing to do with faith and everything to do with testable hypothesis. The lie that runs around in the Christian community is that science is just like faith. Its not. Also, you have no idea where scientists whe are Christian start.  My guess is that you accept the “science” on AIG on faith instead of actually studying what is said.

    I have often said that I have no trouble with someone trying to defend YEC on the Bible alone. Once you step into the scientific arena, you must use facts, not belief. 

  75. Just a believer

    They would not accept YEC on scientific grounds. There is no science that proves a young earth and the stuff on Ham’s site is not peer reviewed. A YEC would be accepted if they had valid scientific evidence.

  76. Fred Rogers wrote:

    Any sentient species can recognize a slight difference between Ham’s “can’t have salvation” and “affected by” or “suffer for” “Adam’s sin” and The Raw Story’s “dammed to hell”.

    You’re right, Ham doesn’t say extra-terrestrial (if the exist) are going to hell. In the Answers in Genesis article he says, “they cannot have salvation because that blessing is given only to humans.” He also says “One day their planet will be destroyed by fire during God’s final judgment,” so perhaps he thinks these fictitious (as far as he supposes) aliens have no spirits that would survive beyond mortal death.

    And if that’s the case, why bring up aliens at all in the context of salvation. If there is no spirit and only a mortal body, then there is no eternal salvation to consider, much like with rocks. That’s why I wrote my post which Dee linked at the end of her post here: Ham misunderstands creation’s place after the second coming of Christ. Jesus makes all things new, not just people but all creation.

    So if there did happen to be intelligent life out there (and who knows one way or another; it’s just speculation) it would be part of “all” and subject to renewal. That is not the same as saying they are beings with spirits, but it is a recognition that they would be part of God’s creation and therefore subject to his promise that extends to all creation to renew it.

    Ham’s teaching on this is not repugnant to me because he supposedly damns aliens to hell. As you point out, he never explicitly said that, nor did he even opine on whether he thinks they’d have spirits at all (although his statement that salvation is only for Adam’s descendants – meaning humans – suggest he is thinking they are spiritual as well, just not Adamic). It’s that he completely misses the Bible’s teachings on God’s promises for all creation in the age to come.

  77. dee wrote:

    If you look at a map, it is my understanding that the creation museum is just over the border from Kentucky. SBTS was soooo excited to have a cutting edge scientist right near their seminary

    The address for the museum is Petersburg,KY, just a few miles south of the Ohio River. They are on 275, which loops around Cicinnatti, and near the Cicinnatti airport, which is also in Kentucky.

    I have a good friend who is a supporter of the museum, and has suggested we visit. Sweet man, loves God. But I don’t know how he would handle my OEC leanings. And I don’t think I could handle the museum.

    Speaking of the moon, I remember reading that astronaut Jim Irwin left a New Testament on the control panel of their lunar rover, so that if anyone ever found it there, they would have some idea of who we were. If Ham is right about ET, Irwin’s gesture was rather pointless. I think it was pretty cool.

  78. Birdget

    Deb and I never questions anyone’s salvation. We believe that is far above our pay grade. 

  79. ………seriously? Aliens will go to hell because they aren’t human and therefore can’t receive salvation?

    I’m sorry, but that statement is so presumptive and stupid and based on ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that I don’t even know how to get started deconstructing it. But I’ll give it a shot.

    A. Why does he assume that the Bible says ALL hypothetical intelligent life would have been affected by Adam’s sin? If he’s talking about verses that refer to all of creation, I would point out that the people who wrote and read the Bible thought of “all creation” in terms of what they knew on earth, so that could very well mean “all of the world which contains Adam’s descendants” rather than “all of the universe.”

    B. Why does he assume that mentioning Adam’s descendants for salvation means other people CAN’T be saved? It could just as easily mean that Adam’s descendents were the ones the NT was written for, so it’s going to talk about them and not get into other beings’ beeswax.

    I feel really awesome for working the word “beeswax” into a discussion of ETI 🙂

  80. And by the way, I also recommend “Out of the Silent Planet” and I really loved many things about the next book in the trilogy, “Perelandra.” However, I also feel it fair to mention that Lewis had some views on gender dynamics that many of us here probably don’t agree with, and unfortunately you do get a little bit of that in his Space Trilogy, so….just go in knowing that if you start reading it 🙂 But hey, we can love and appreciate theologians even while holding some disagreement with them!

  81. Ken wrote:

    As an observer of these debates on and off for years, what bothers me about your statement is that science appears to trump the bible.

    But to me that’s a false dichotomy used by almost every critic of an old earth and/or evolution. I in no way believe science trumps the Bible, I do believe that facts trump one’s interpretation of the Bible. To take an easy example, when Isaiah 55.12 says “all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” it would surely be incorrect to say that the Bible is telling us that the trees will literally have arms and hands and clap them together.

    This whole issue of interpreting the Bible in light of what is known about the earth is not new. Augustine spoke of this in the 4th Century in On the Literal Meaning of Genesis in Book One, Chapter 19 under the heading “On interpreting the mind of the sacred writer. Christians should not talk nonsense to unbelievers.” where he said:

    Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking non-sense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although “they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.

    So what do I think? I think that Genesis is telling about God and creation using using terms and concepts familiar to ancient near east people, particularly the creation stories from Babylon and other cultures of the day. The point is not to describe the historical process by which the heavens and earth were created, but to tell us that, among other things:

    -There is only one God, there is no other realm from which he comes nor are there other Gods who compete with him

    -It is God who created the earth by his own work

    -Humans were formed ‘out of the dust of the ground’ meaning we are part of the Earth and connected to it

    -God ‘breathed’ life into humans, creating us in his own image, establishing what is supposed to be an intimate relationship

    -God created all human beings in his own image and all human life is precious

  82. justabeliever wrote:

    Would they tolerate HIM (or HER) in the name of academic freedom? If not, why not? Why are people so bothered by YEC and a literal view?

    Justie, the answer is NO. Why? Because a college or university science professor is there to teach science. Science is the accumulated knowledge of thousands of researchers over the last several hundred years. Scientific research is conducted by the scientific method and subject to extensive review by other scientists in the field. You can think or believe whatever you want but it is NOT science. As someone else said: Evolution will still be true whether you believe it or not.

  83. sad observer

    He was a man of his time. For example, he did not believe that women should serve in the military.

  84. About the “hill to die on” concept. When the “conservative resurgence” people started out (I am saying from an SBC viewpoint) they talked about a hill to die on, and what they were talking about was also referred to as “the battle for the bible.” That is, in fact, at the heart of some of the intensity of the controversy. When they met in Chicago to hammer out the statement about biblical inspiration, again it is about their hill to die on. They believe that scripture is a certain kind of thing, to be approached in a certain way, to be understood within certain parameters and to be treated in a certain way. They are every bit (or even more) at odds with other christian groups who have other approaches to or understandings of scripture (in whatever area of concern) as they are at odds with science and scientists.

    Back in my youth, the great issue/ threat was the evil German theologians who were into various aspects of biblical criticism. Today it is the scientists and the social “liberals.” It is their battle for the bible, by which they mean the battle for their understanding about the bible.

    And, I think it is true that one cannot reconcile what they understand about the bible with a lot of evidence from science and from history and from biblical criticism. And I think that one cannot hold their view of scripture, how it is to be understood and such, and reconcile those ideas with science etc. That does not mean, however, that there is anything wrong with either science or scripture, but I do think it does mean that there is something wrong with certain ideas about scripture.

    But as long as we have the bible verse which says–believe in inerrant scripture as taught by the fundamentalists and thou shalt be saved–what can one do. (sarcasm)

  85. Nancy wrote:

    We can talk all day about the science, but if we do not address the theology then there will be no end to the arguments.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this, but to me, even before theology is the doctrine of the Bible. Those who hold to a doctrine of “innerrancy” which says that every word put down by the authors of the various books are exactly the words God wanted written down really leave no room for human authorship despite their protests to the contrary. They deny that the authors were simply taking dictation, but they can’t explain how the human authors were otherwise involved. This, then, leaves no room for Paul to have his own thoughts because every word he wrote was divine. So if Paul believed in a literal Adam then Genesis 2 and 3 must be literally true, otherwise, those words of God (relayed via Paul) would be untrue.

  86. @ Nancy:

    This is what I keep coming back to. The Bible isn’t wrong, the science isn’t wrong. Our understanding of both can be wrong.

  87. Nancy wrote:

    But as long as we have the bible verse which says–believe in inerrant scripture as taught by the fundamentalists and thou shalt be saved–what can one do. (sarcasm)

    Yes.

  88. @ Nancy:

    Great minds think alike! 🙂 So busy writing mine I didn’t see your post until after I posted mine. Ah yes, the Battle for the Bible, kicked off by Harold Lindsell in a book of that title in the mid-70’s – he was ticked off at Fuller Seminary, where he left the staff over the innerrancy issue, among others and his book was largely a broadside at Fuller.

  89. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Note the unique act in the creation of man. God breathed the breath of life into him. Some evolutionary creationists might speculate that this “breath’” was the giving of the immortal soul to man.

    At least one evolutionary creationist speculates something very much to this effect: to wit, myself.

    When Genesis states that The Lord didst formeth unto the man of the dust of the earthest thereof, I don’t actually think (“speculate” would do just as well, of course!) it refers to DNA. I think it refers to physical matter itself: electrons, nucleons and elements made therefrom, subject to the laws of physics and confined to three dimensions plus time. This is as distinct from the spirit, which is not subject to physical laws. (Though the biblescriptures give many fascinating hints about the laws to which spiritual things are subject.)

    Thus, when Jesus prayed the iconic intercessory prayer: Father, forgive them; for they don’t know what they are doing, I don’t believe that just referred to the mob immediately present, but to the entire human race. Having been tempted in all things as we are, he knew what it was to be confined in space and time, seeing/hearing/feeling mainly a physical world and living without the perspective of eternity – which was detectable only as though in a blurred mirror. Put another way, he knew what it was to be cold, tired, hungry, or in suffering, and facing the prospect that one’s fleeting and limited resources might run dry before the suffering ends.

    I especially like the bit in Genesis 1 where God separates the waters above from the waters beneath. “Heaven” is actually stated to be the fixture that keeps these separate. I don’t believe that just means the sky is there to keep the clouds above the sea. I believe this refers to God separating the spiritual and physical realms. More could be said…

    couple things, first, gooooooooooooooo aussies!

    next, I find it marvelous that when Jesus healed the blind man, he used some dirt. instead of making new body parts in the science lab, He being the One that created man, just used some more dirt. love that guy!

    also, when people are discussing the manner and length of time that it took to create the earth I don’t get too much interested except that in the book of revelation it says things like, a third of the earth being burned and I wonder if the same literalists that believe it was an instant when the earth was created also believe it will be an instant as it is dissolved. my point being, perhaps if we are talking a season instead of a moment or a generation instead of a day, perhaps we are nearing a third of the earth being burned. don’t know if im making sense….

    lastly, I really liked your last post on that other thread. one time when I was doing really awesome in ministry the Lord reminded me of when He rode triumphantly into Jerusalem and they were waving palm branches… and He gently said to me, hmmm wonder if the donkey thought they were clapping for him?

    hehe he doesn’t want to injure my pride….he wants to kill it!

  90. I have a off topic question/rant hope its ok…

    there is this guy in this town who we are hearing rumors of paying inordinate attention to young girls and the guy is a evangelist or prophet or something. so the worried dad of one of the girls goes to another local pastor and tells him his concerns. the pastor told the church about this in a vague way, I suppose to warn others, and would take no discussion or questions, brushed people off after the service with ‘its being taken care of’ (in the past these things have been ‘taken care of’ by pastor billy bob going and having a nice chat with pastor pedophile and bringing him to repentance…blah blah blah blah and never being reported to the police and then pastor evangelist goes to another town or another neighborhood and I frankly am sick and tired of this. I was going to go visit the pastor and inform him of the mandatory reporting law and stick him with some form of responsibility in this that would warn all the other pastors here as well.

    I looked at my state laws and found that there are a lot of people who are mandatory reporters of child abuse, but Pastors are not on the list. I am wondering why the heck not???? and I am wondering if this is different state to state or if its just here. I know the bible says something about gossiping but I decided to not let this go, because the guy has faced similar accusations in other cities around here and his bff is a convicted pedophile that was involved in a sex ring that abused little kids of either sex. so anyway I been gossipin in my hood to any parent that wants to listen….

    I want to know also if people can make a fuss and get the law to include pastors as mandatory reporters. the pastor/priest confidentiality began, if I remember right, as a way to harbor exiles or people that were being persecuted, or other crimes that were not necessarily immorally harming others and continuing. it should never have included pedophiles in my opinion

  91. Deebs, do either of you have any evidence or even feelings about whether any big name YEC proponents follow TWW to any degree?

  92. @ sam h:

    The laws concerning mandatory reporting are different state to state. At the same time, who will stand before God and say, “The law didn’t require it, so I saw no reason to alert the authorities about the possibility of children being abused?”

    You can work at getting the laws changed in your state. I think this is still the USA.

  93. I think one of the biggest concerns I have with the article is that it is saying that creation and the timing is an issue that determines whether a person is saved or not by their agreement or disagreement with it. secondary issues that only God knows the answers to are thrown in as a tennent of faith and that is the injustice of this whole thing.
    I heard that one day with the Lord is as a thousand and that is right where I left my scientific research on evolution/creation 7 day discussions. if one day is as a thousand then it doesn’t contradict genesis at all. mostly I have been busy with other things that I do think effect a persons salvation. I noticed that there seems to be a wide pendulum swing about judging a persons salvation. everything goes, im not supposed to judge it etc, or the fundamentalists by their own interpretation of the bible saying all those people are going to burn in heel. we are called to judge things, but in the righteous judgment. paul says things about ‘are you not able to judge…’ 1 Corinthians 6:4. to me when Jesus says “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
    John 7:24 (KJV)” this means that sam has no ability to judge on my own, and certainly not by what things look like on the outside, but that I can pray and seek the Lords ‘judgment’ on things. it is especially important in some areas. most important to me is when a person has abused a child or woman and is ‘repentant’ and restored to authority in the church. if it is not done in the Holy Spirit it enables an abuser to never truly come to repentance and enables countless others to be abused. I will judge those things, carefully and prayerfully, and that is me exactly judging a few things. 1)is the person saved? ie has he/she ever personally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior, does he show fruit of such a transformation. 2)is the person saved but caught up in sin? 3) is the person a ‘son of perdition’
    then I have understanding on how to deal with the situation in the Lord.

  94. I believe in the absolute inerrancy of scripture, I think the interpretation is the problem. someone commented above about what if an author is speaking of his own self, paul is clear to point out when he is speaking of his own self or if by the Holy Spirit.

    in this following chapter is an example:
    Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
    1 Cor 7:25 (KJV)
    then he talks about marriage and then he says in :40
    But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God 1 Cor 7:40 (KJV)

    here is another example:
    And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not
    1 Cor 7:10-12 (KJV)

    the problem is, in my opinion, when a person, (cough cough cough comp) says that every word is binding and that is why women can be abused (cause paul said so….)

  95. there was a release of documents from the 60’s moon exploration that is pretty interesting. by the way I went to school with a guy back in the 70’s (Christian guy) that swore the lunar landing was made in Hollywood and that JFK was being kept in hiding, that he really didn’t die, it was impossible to talk to him about these things cause he was so vehement, kinda like the guy in the video…

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/24/us/1960s-moon-military-base/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
    ” …according to declassified national security documents released this week — some of them stamped as “SECRET.”

    have a great day everyone

  96. here is a note regarding my ‘judging a persons salvation’ it is the motive I think that is important. I do not go around judging peoples salvation on a daily basis, I have no idea, that is between Jesus and them. however I don’t think it is helpful for me to not judge it sometimes, here is an great example, used by permission…

    “Then one day a woman came up to me in a church with a question that changed my life forever. She simply asked, “Zoanne, do you know Jesus Christ?
    “What?” I said, “Do you know who I am?” (I should have been struck by lightening.) I continued, “I am a pastor’s daughter and I’m on staff here at the church! Of course, I know Jesus!”
    “For weeks after that the question would not leave me alone. I began to realize I knew Jesus the same way I know Abraham Lincoln! Now, I like Abraham Lincoln. I memorized words he said…I can tell you where he was born, how he lived his life, and the tragic way he died. That was roughly how I knew Jesus. I began to see the truth. Even though I was in church, that didn’t mean I knew Him. Just as living in a bakery doesn’t make you a raisin cookie!” treasures from the attic copyright 2011 zoanne wilkie

    see I don’t go around judging peoples salvation, but I want to be open to the leading of the Lord, before zoanne told me her story I would have never never presumed to share Jesus with someone on staff at a church lol

  97. dee wrote:

    @ oldJohnJ:
    Here is a link to that excellent post you wrote.
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/07/26/exobiology-and-theology-to-boldy-go-where-no-blog-has-gone-before/

    And here’s a comment of mine from that thread:

    Alex Guggenheim wrote:

    Some accuse man of narcissism in viewing himself as the only sentient/spiritual beings in the universe. But maybe it is not a matter of narcissism but theodic implication.

    Or narcicssism with a Theodic Implication coat of paint.

    This subject has been bandied about many times over at Internet Monk:

    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/is-there-life-on-other-planets
    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/evangelicals-in-the-classroom-of-the-star-trek-universe

    Oh, and while Born-Agains keep chanting “We Are Alone, Scripture Scripture Scripture”, us Romish Papists have been thnking of First Contact since “alien races” lived on faraway lands instead of exoplanets and were sourced from Medieval traveller’s tales instead of UFOlogy:
    http://m-francis.livejournal.com/78828.html

  98. Nancy wrote:

    But as long as we have the bible verse which says–believe in inerrant scripture as taught by the fundamentalists and thou shalt be saved–what can one do. (sarcasm)

    Salvation by YEC Alone…
    Salvation by Marriage Alone…
    Salvation by Culture War Alone…
    Salvation by Agree-Completely-with-ME Alone…

  99. @ Nick Bulbeck: Nick, from what I have read, the ancient Near Eastern view was as follows:

    – flat earth, which is sited above…

    – raging, tempestuous waters with monsters (see Job and elsewhere for the monsters)

    – sky, which was understood as a hard, overturned bowl (like it looks to the naked eye when standing on the ground, and….

    – more waters (as below, but above)

    There’s good stuff out there to read that makes this clearer than I can right now (w/literary and other references). I mean, what would someone from 800 B.C (or 800 A.D.) do if you could show them a picture of a view from an airplane that was flying at approximately 10,000 feet? It just would.not.compute. Period. Might even be viewed as evil and a lie. Because humans can’t fly, because nobody had yet come up with the notion of lenses (especially precision-ground lenses of different strengths; the glassmaking tech just wasn’t anywhere close to this at the time), because something up in the sky made by man would probably be viewed as a terrible omen or evil or… you can keep rolling with this ad lib.

    By no means do I think that nobody dreamed of things like this, or wondered if they were possible – I’m sure some did, up until the time it was actually possible to successfully make such things. But to throw all this (including the whole idea of still pictures of real-life people and objects) at someone from back when would be simply overwhelming.

    all that to say that I like your thoughts on DNA, but the whole waters of the firmament thing comes from a very different conception of the earth and the cosmos than what we assume today. From a literal pov, I can really *see* why people thought the sky was like a dome, and the stars pinpricks of light in the fabric of said dome. (I mean, even though I know the starts are there all the time; we just can’t see them during daylight hours, but that’s to do with our eyes, not that they go away – I have a hard time actually *believing* that to be true, in the sense of imagining stars visible in the full glare of noon. Wish I could see them!)

    I’m rambling, I know – hope this makes sense!

  100. @ Nick Bulbeck: Nick, from what I have read, the ancient Near Eastern view was as follows:

    – flat earth, which is sited above…

    – raging, tempestuous waters with monsters (see Job and elsewhere for the monsters)

    – sky, which was understood as a hard, overturned bowl (like it looks to the naked eye when standing on the ground, and…

    – more waters (as below, but above)

    There’s good stuff out there to read that makes this clearer than I can right now (w/literary and other references). I mean, what would someone from 800 B.C (or 800 A.D.) do if you could show them a picture of a view from an airplane that was flying at approximately 10,000 feet? It just would.not.compute. Period. Might even be viewed as evil and a lie. Because humans can’t fly, because nobody had yet come up with the notion of lenses (especially precision-ground lenses of different strengths; the glassmaking tech just wasn’t anywhere close to this at the time), because something up in the sky made by man would probably be viewed as a terrible omen or evil or… you can keep rolling with this ad lib.
    By no means do I think that nobody dreamed of things like this, or wondered if they were possible – I’m sure some did, up until the time it was actually possible to successfully make such things. But to throw all this (including the whole idea of still pictures of real-life people and objects) at someone from back when would be simply overwhelming.

    all that to say that I like your thoughts on DNA, but the whole waters of the firmament thing comes from a very different conception of the earth and the cosmos than what we assume today. From a literal pov, I can really *see* why people thought the sky was like a dome, and the stars pinpricks of light in the fabric of said dome. (I mean, even though I know the starts are there all the time; we just can’t see them during daylight hours, but that’s to do with our eyes, not that they go away – I have a hard time actually *believing* that to be true, in the sense of imagining stars visible in the full glare of noon. Wish I could see them!)

    I’m rambling, I know – hope this makes sense!

  101. Let the flawed Larry Norman give us some wisdom on this subject.Fist Vid then lyrics!
    ENJOY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qf8Vd9QjxI He’s an unidentified flying object
    you will see Him in the air
    He’s an unidentified flying object
    you will drop your hands and stare
    you will be afraid to tell your neighbors
    they might think that it’s not true
    but when they open up the morning papers
    they will know they’ve seen Him too

    He will come back like He promised
    with the price already paid
    He will gather up His followers
    and take them all away

    He’s an unidentified flying object
    He will sweep down from the sky
    He’s an unidentified flying object
    some will sleep but will not die
    He’s an unidentified flying object
    coming back to take you home
    He’s an unidentified flying object
    He will role away your stone

    and if there’s life on other planets
    then I’m sure that He must know
    and He’s been there once already
    and has died to save their souls

    He’s an unidentified flying object
    you will see Him in the air
    He’s an unidentified flying object
    you will drop your hands and stare
    He’s an unidentified flying object
    coming back to take you Home
    He’s an unidentified flying object
    He will role away your stone
    [ These are UFO Lyrics on http://www.lyricsmania.com/ ]

  102. @ sad observer: i think it all shows that Ham is now at five-star crank status. His meanderings on this topic sound (to me) not quite sane, and certainly not reasoned out.

  103. @ sad observer: About gender views: I hated the 3d book; read it during the 70s and haven’t touched it since. I also thought his use of the “evil lesbian” trope was a cheap shot.

  104. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I believe this refers to God separating the spiritual and physical realms. More could be said…

    Sounds kind of gnostic, Nick. What am I missing about what you are saying?

  105. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Salvation by YEC Alone…
    Salvation by Marriage Alone…
    Salvation by Culture War Alone…
    Salvation by Agree-Completely-with-ME Alone…

    All that list of “alone” ideas. And that does seem to be a good take on what they are saying. And then there are all those “sola”s. Is it just me, or is life (and faith) just a lot more complicated than that?

  106. @ Nancy: I understood him to be saying that the physical earth that we live on is not the place where God dwells (even though he is omnipresent in our world). I don’t like using the word “heaven” anymore due to all kinds of misperceptions and cultural stereotypes associated with it, so I just call it “where God lives.”

    I know, I digress, but …

  107. @ Nancy: I think, too, that there’s a “This-That” dichotomy at work in creation story #1 in Genesis..

    there are pairs of things:

    heavens/earth

    waters above/waters beneath

    and so on. It is a literary device (among other things).

  108. oldJohnJ

    About a year ago, we got a comment from someone who claimed to be on staff at the Creation Museum. Don’t know if it is true. IP checked out of the area but Al Mohler’s SBTS also is a hotbed for YEC. My guess is that Ken Ham has all of his boys pulling every article written about him just like some of the starstruck mega pastors. So, I bet Ham knows about us. 

  109. dee wrote:

    Brandon F wrote:

    Y’all in the States can keep him. Those of us in Commonwealth nations don’t quite get as crazy about this issue as you folks in the USA do.

    I know that to be true. John Lennox said that the US is one of the few places where this is really an issue. As for Australia, there is a reason he left. I bet you all did not buy his nonsense. And I mean “buy.” Ham needs money, lots of it, to continue. There is a reason he set up shop near SBTS.

    Sadly, near the church congregation where my wife and I go to, there is a YEC group that has its offices there. And on the local Christian radio station, every now and then there are ads/sponsor messages about AiG and sometimes there are messages where a church (usually Baptist or non-denominational) has invited a speaker (usually from the States and with ties to Ham and AiG) to “tear down the lies of evolution”. Thankfully, these ads/messages don’t appear too frequently otherwise I’d be pulling my tax-deductible financial support of that station very quickly (there are many other charitable Christian organisations in Australia that need financial support and I’m sure they’d be happy to accept my donations).

    Koorong is also starting to stock (and advertise in catalogues) more titles with a intelligent design/YEC bent but mercifully they are still keeping Lennox’s titles on sale.

    As well as titles by Alister McGrath though sadly, his 3 volume systematic theology magnum opus “A Scientific Theology” (which is a very dense but intellectually stimulating read) will never be sold there probably because it’s easier to sell Driscoll’s “Doctrine” book by the caseload than it is a three volume theology textbook set…

  110. Lol. Ken Ham. All the mental stability of an upside down pyramid. If you want a real chuckle, Scot McKnight has a post over at his blog about a scientist who discovered organic material in dinosaur fossils (she is also a devout Christian). He links to the article, and the comments by the YEC drones are hysterical. I even read one where they demand that he submit the samples to C14 testing, even though C14 has a half-life of 50K years or so – which means that anything older produces a gibberish result (apparently these are people who didn’t go to school for this sort of thing and believe that anything older than 50K would produce no reading instead of a false reading). It would be even funnier if there wasn’t so much conspiracy rhetoric. Please note that I am not knocking a YEC position; many of my best friends are YEC, and I love them. But some of these people need to shut up and go to school before making all Christians idiots in the educated world’s mind.

  111. @ Nancy:

    Nancy….can I try and phrase this another way? In evangelicalism there always has to be an enemy. Its a result of the dualism that permeates it. Black and white thinking entrenched in the sense or feeling of persecution. There always has to be an enemy. That enemy can be alcohol, liberals, women, homosexuals, Roman Catholics, mainstream Protestants, scientists, federal government, etc…

  112. @ numo:

    I read the Perelandra trilogy back in the 70’s, and thought it was rather, well, ham-handed. You know, allegory is good and all, but I think Tolkien was on right track – you know, let’s have some subtlety and suggestion, rather than clubbing people over the head with obvious symbolism. That was a big point of contention between those two good friends.

  113. @ roebuck: yeah, Lewis wasn’t subtle! I prefer Tolkien, on the whole, even though I love the Narnia books (inconsistencies and problematic plot strands notwithstanding). I think Lucy find in the lamppost and then meeting Tumnus is one of the most evocative, almost otherworldly, things I’ve ever read.

  114. I’m thinking if Ken Ham isn’t careful, he’s liable to become the Pat Robertson or Richard Dawkins of the YEC movement. (Had to throw in Dawkins after seeing him in Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.)

    The Creation Museum sometimes rents space downstairs to church congregations without their own building. My previous PCA church met there for a while; an interesting experience, that. The outdoor landscaping is pretty neat, and the large tank with the fish and turtles is a favorite. The interior is “okay” I guess, although I’m probably jaded after having been in places like the British Museum. Except for the trilobites and a few other things behind glass cases there were no real fossils to see. Of course that was before the museum acquired the Allosaurus that Doug Phillips apparently strong-armed from Joe Taylor.

    I remember the small theater in the same area where you could watch a short film about an assortment of dragon legends from various cultures that Ham believes is evidence that some dinosaurs hitched a ride on Noah’s ark and thus survived the Flood, some for millenia afterward. Speaking of which, there is a separate section covering the Ark and the global flood, going into the dimensions of the vessel compared to modern ships and how it might have been constructed inside. I’m sure there are other things I’m forgetting…

    Oh yeah, the gift shop has some cool dinosaur toys among other things.

    And yes, I live in NKY. 😀

  115. Nancy, I love your posts. You sound like my kind of Southern Baptist, back before the CR.

    We loved to share our beliefs but left room for some disagreement without being disagreeable.

    Most importantly, we left room for some mystery and glory of God. We had not yet tamed Him and put Him in a box.

  116. NJ

    Thank you for the tour which is probably as close as I will ever get to the museum. I saw a you tube video of some atheists taking a tour and the establishment dignataries were none to pleased. I would start giggling and they would fling me out on my keister.

  117. Caitlin wrote:

    This is what I keep coming back to. The Bible isn’t wrong, the science isn’t wrong. Our understanding of both can be wrong.

    Your not alone Caitlin, my sentiments are very similar.

  118. dee wrote:

    My guess is that Ken Ham has all of his boys pulling every article written about him just like some of the starstruck mega pastors.

    And North Korea.

  119. numo wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck: Nick, from what I have read, the ancient Near Eastern view was as follows:

    – flat earth, which is sited above…

    – raging, tempestuous waters with monsters (see Job and elsewhere for the monsters)

    – sky, which was understood as a hard, overturned bowl (like it looks to the naked eye when standing on the ground, and…

    Another important concept in ancient Near Eastern thought was the idea of the Tiamat (the salt sea, often associated with primordial chaos and occasionally personified as a goddess) and the Absu (the freshwater sea beneath the land which fed springs). When the text says that “darkness was over the surface of the deep” the word ‘deep’ is a cognate for Tiamat.

  120. numo wrote:

    (I mean, even though I know the starts are there all the time; we just can’t see them during daylight hours, but that’s to do with our eyes, not that they go away – I have a hard time actually *believing* that to be true, in the sense of imagining stars visible in the full glare of noon. Wish I could see them!)

    Get one of the star gazing programs for a tablet or smart phone. Mine are for iOS but I suspect there are also ones for Android and maybe Win Phones.

    Anyway, you can set most of them to show you what you’re looking at. Anytime of day or night. So you hold your phone or tablet out and it shows you what you’d see if the sun wasn’t out or the earth wasn’t in the way. (Looking down. 🙂 )

    Really brings to “light” that the stars are there all the time.

  121. numo wrote:

    i think it all shows that Ham is now at five-star crank status. His meanderings on this topic sound (to me) not quite sane, and certainly not reasoned out.

    He has yet to learn the first rule for getting out of a hole. Stop digging.

    Of course you have to understand you’re in a hole to begin with. 🙂

  122. Nancy wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:
    I believe this refers to God separating the spiritual and physical realms. More could be said…
    Sounds kind of gnostic, Nick. What am I missing about what you are saying?

    Point 1 of 2

    Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

    Hmm… sounds kind of gnostic to me. Death and rebirth? Sounds Mithraic. Healing the sick? Sounds new age. Jesus opening his mouth in parables and revealing things hidden since the foundation of the world? Back to gnosticism again. Tiamat and Absu? Sounds like Genesis was a bit of a hashing together of pre-existing mythology.

    My point here is just that almost every plain, ordinary teaching that is repeatedly emphasised in the biblescriptures is also emphasised in some way by a non-Christian religion. Though, to be fair, you did ask what I meant rather than just rejecting it because it reminded you of something, so maybe all of Point 1 is unnecessary!

    Point 2 of 2

    In answer to your question, I just meant that God is invisible, and not only God himself, but other spiritual things. So Apollos, for instance, talks about how By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. More interestingly still, at the end of Revelation we see the new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven; Paul refers to a time when, instead of seeing God as though in a blurred mirror, we will see him face to face and know him the way he knows us. And both Isaiah (chapter 34) and Revelation (6) refer to the heavens being rolled up as if they were a scroll – presumably, revealing what was previously hidden behind them. Though in both those passages there is more going on, and the metaphor could be interpreted in several different ways.

    So at the moment, there are many things that we cannot, as physical beings, possibly see. Not because they’re too small, like atoms, or because they have to be detected other than by looking, like an electric field, but because they are invisible in some more fundamental sense. But ISTM that the bible hints that this a) has not always been the case, and b) will not always be the case.

  123. @ Ken:

    If I may, I think JeffT is right in that you are still entertaining some basic misconceptions about the “opposing” natures of science/scientists/the scientific community on the one hand, and God/faith/the Bible on the other.

    Evolution in this sense makes God redundant, he is only needed to start the process off in the first place. Most of those who firmly believe in this see it as evidence for the non-existence of God, random, naturalistic processes with no purpose ended up with what now see around us. If it had been guided (by God) there is no actual evidence of this.

    A random process is precisely the kind of process that makes a steering intelligence necessary. It might, on paper, just be extreme fluke that a sentient, worshipping species arose on earth, but otherwise, I’m not sure what “evidence” of God’s guiding evolution would look like. One could as well say that if the authoring of the books of the Bible had been guided by God, there’s no actual evidence of this.

    I’d be circumspect about embracing TE because science is always liable to refutation or amendment on new evidence…

    So am I. Indeed, I haven’t embraced TE; it just seems the best fit for the evidence I currently have. There is nothing wrong with refining your understanding as you gain new experience, and indeed there is everything wrong with refusing to. By the same token, I believe it is an equal mistake to “embrace” theology or doctrine, because doctrinal statements are by nature short and somewhat crude. I believe it is wisdom, not rebellion, to let our doctrine mature with us. Many – perhaps most – atrocities carried out in the name of religion are carried out by people who embraced doctrines at a young and immature age, and then tried to force those doctrines onto reality (and down the throats of other people).

    … there is nothing more ‘foolish’ to an unbelieving world than that we are saved from sin by a man shedding his blood on a cross for us 2000 years ago, and then rising from the dead. Now that is scientifically untenable…

    No it’s not. Provide evidence, and it will be scientifically irrefutable. Jesus himself urged his disciples to “at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves” and observed that, had he done nothing extraordinary, people would have every reason not to believe him. By and large, scientists who are Christians are so because they have experienced the risen, living Jesus in some realistic way for themselves. Some wings of the church, unfortunately, refuse on principle to provide any evidence (because they can’t, because they have no power, because they have no real relationship with a truly extant God).

  124. I feel a rant coming on. This kind of relates to the previous TWW post as well. Basically, I have just about had it up to here with organisations like CBMW, T4G, 9 Marks, SBC and anyone else like them blowharding about trivial matters and tagging them to “the very gospel is at stake!” All I ever hear them do is talk about how birth control is murder, how big of a sin divorce is, how women shouldn’t have influence, how some other organisation is damming themselves by accepting in to the fold gays/muslims/catholics/transexuals/whoever else the critics don’t like. Men should be more macho, “for the gospel”. Women should be silent “for the gospel”. Anyone not like them should be shunned and marginalised “for the gospel”. Evolution should be banned from science classes “for the gospel”. And on and on.

    I don’t hear a lot focusing on things that Jesus focused on. Like healing the wounded, freeing captives, showing grace and love to all. It’s always about bloody doctrine, making sure their people follow the rules and criticising the secular world for not doing things “the biblical way.”

    In my head I just see a gang of walruses arfing and barking among themselves, saying nothing of any value. I don’t think Jesus gives a flying fig about any of it! Seriously, show me a single verse where he talked about the importance of gender roles.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, if these groups do actually talk about proper issues. I’ve only ever seen the opposite.

  125. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    The idea of “separate from” is what caught my attention. The idea of two separate spheres, the physical and the spiritual, and then note what numo said she understood you to say. Now, back to science again, not that I do the research (we have established that) but rather that there is something about the scientific approach that resonates with my particular neural pathways and I am more apt to think in those directions. Not to discount other directions that other people explore, like history or such, but just to do the best I can with what tools I personally have to do with.

    As an aside let me say that there are increasing numbers of folks like me “out there” so our sort of thinking methodology is something that the christian “worldview” will have to deal with right on. Might as well practice on me, folks.

    So what about things for which there is no current scientific answer nor yet any specific revelation from God? A research question being asked is what about consciousness? They can’t see it in the brain, they say they haven’t fixed on an idea of what it is, not so as to agree about it, but humans (other species?) have a sense of self. (Aside: There are some things they do see in the brain, like thinking and feeling and watching the brain become conscious of something arising in the unconscious. Or so they say.) But where is the sense of self? It seems like it is/may be intrinsically part of the human, not something separate from the human. One line of thinking is that the mere fact that something has not (yet) been demonstrated does not say anything for sure about its separateness, as something entirely other, or about the idea it may be intrinsic. One cannot say that it cannot be demonstrated, only that if it can be it has not yet been.

    You came to a different viewpoint, so I asked you to explain it. Not sure why it seemed to p*** you off, but I do think you brought up the subject, presumably opening it for discussion and questions.

    I find it fascinating that you and I both read scripture and get a different “feel” from it. I get the “feel” not that we are physical and that somewhere out there is the spiritual, but rather that we are both physical and spiritual, based a lot on what Jesus was telling Nicodemus about being born of the Spirit and about that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. That does not seem any more distant or separate as an idea than the idea that man has a soul (which is a really difficult concept) or that man is conscious of himself as a self.

    Perhaps we are saying something similar but coming from different starting points. But you said ” there are many things that we cannot, as physical beings, possibly see.” I have not copied the whole paragraph because of space limitations but I am referencing your whole paragraph. There is nothing wrong with what you said, but I see it differently. I think for one thing that we do “see” spiritual realities, as Paul said we “see (but) through a glass darkly.” It will be interesting to see if they can show that in the lab, people being aware of “spiritual” things, but how they would do that I have no idea. I assume you do not mean that people cannot “see” some things as long as they are existing in a physical body, because of course there is the story of the prophet who prayed and his servant was able to see the armies of the lord. If what you mean is only that the human eye is not designed to react to some things but is limited in its abilities to see, then sure that is the case. If you mean, however, that the only way that people perceive in a way that might be described as seeing would be with the physical eyes, then that is a different matter.

    So, my “feeling” (and I don’t put much stake in feeling per se) is that the realities in which we live and move and have our being are not separate from us but only that we are largely unaware of some things similar to the way that we are largely unaware of the content of our own unconscious brain.

    Sorry this was so long. I don’t have a good take on when I need to explain myself better and when I need to move on.

  126. dee wrote:

    So, I bet Ham knows about us. 

    What are the chances of engaging one of the YEC champions in a serious debate? My guess is that they know how weak their position is but will avoid a real debate to preserve their lucrative positions of power, influence and income.

  127. oldJohnJ wrote:

    My guess is that they know how weak their position is but will avoid a real debate to preserve their lucrative positions of power, influence and income.

    You can bet on it. Now the question is, what about the folks who buy into it? On the one hand there may be the terminally uninformed and the terminally un-informable, but there may also be the willfully ignorant. When the “bad science” guys go down, IMO there will be collateral damage. I hate to see that happen. Somebody has to stand up against their nonsense, though, because of the damage they do to people. If you get a chance to go for it I will pray for you while you do it.

  128. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    By and large, scientists who are Christians are so because they have experienced the risen, living Jesus in some realistic way for themselves

    And that would be different from non-scientists how?

  129. Ken wrote:

    …the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and there is nothing more ‘foolish’ to an unbelieving world than that we are saved from sin by a man shedding his blood on a cross for us 2000 years ago, and then rising from the dead. Now that is scientifically untenable, but then my faith is not in science or scientists!

    And once more we see the standard YEC linkage “YEC = The Resurrection! The Resurrection = MY Salvation! CAN’T HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER!”

    And beware of “…the foolishness of God is wiser than men”; I’ve seen it taken to “The More Stupid I Act the More HOLY I Am!” In Islamic theology, al-Ghazali completely separated Faith from Reason to where FAITH became the opposite of Reason & Understanding; look where it got them.

  130. Nancy wrote:

    I find it fascinating that you and I both read scripture and get a different “feel” from it. I get the “feel” not that we are physical and that somewhere out there is the spiritual, but rather that we are both physical and spiritual, based a lot on what Jesus was telling Nicodemus about being born of the Spirit and about that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    That does fit with the more holistic Jewish idea.

    Separation of Body & Soul, Physical & Spiritual, was more characteristic of Greek and East Asian philosophy and was a favorite teaching of various Gnostic cults. All too often it curdled into “Spiritual Good! Physical Baaaaaaaaad! Spiritual Good! Physical Baaaaaaaad!” and lye-gargling “Mortification”.

    Come to think of it, wasn’t the Heaven’s Gate/Bo-Peeper mass suicide intended to shed the Physical and Ascend to the Next (spiritual) Level?

  131. Nancy wrote:

    Somebody has to stand up against their nonsense, though, because of the damage they do to people.

    Upthread (Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 08:40 PM) I referenced a previous guest post on the topic of fraud. This was very provocative towards AIG but a quick scan of the comments didn’t show any serious defense of their YEC claims.

  132. dee wrote:

    My guess is that you accept the “science” on AIG on faith instead of actually studying what is said. I have often said that I have no trouble with someone trying to defend YEC on the Bible alone. Once you step into the scientific arena, you must use facts, not belief.

    My observation of the critics of AiG are that they almost never deal with anything actually pulished on the site, they simply assert it is all rubbish. Most of the content is not by Ham but by scientists who at least ought to be able to give a valid opinion. I have looked at this and other YEC sites out of curiousity as to whether YEC is in any way scientifically tenable. As a non scientist, I can only reserve judgement. I have also not read more heavy-weight literature on the subject.

    Did you really mean to put faith and facts as in opposition i.e. science relates to facts, YEC to faith? Secular origins science has its own unprovable assumptions or presuppositions, but more to the point I regard Genesis as a factual account of creation, but not a scientific one. What would have been the point of that for the original audience, it would be anachronistic?

    Think of a car accident. Police take statements from eye witnesses, then the forensic team arrive on the scene with their equipment and report. Both accounts of what happened are true, but one is factual yet non-scientific – but readily understood by Jo Public, the other is scientific and largely only understood by those with the necessary training.

    There are plenty of ‘macroevolutionists’ for whom evolution is their religion and their God, who in other words ‘worship the creation and not the Creator who is blessed for ever’. It is the hallmark of those who wish to suppress the truth about God. It seems to me YEC falsifies this kind of evolution, so it is no wonder that it has to be resisted by those who want to believe in a very ancient universe.

  133. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    I liked Jeff’s reply to my post, I think there is a large amount of agreement here.

    A ramdom process making a steering agent necessary would not be a random process! 🙂 I agree God is absolutely essential for the development of life, whatever your view on evenings and mornings. Think of the pictures from the Mars probes. Absolutely fascinating stuff. What I can’t believe is that given enough time, several hundred million years, you could return to Mars, which is nothing but barren, lifeless rock, and find the beginnings of life to have evolved, gradually moving on to becoming an intelligent civilisation without some kind of external, all-powerful intelligent agent creating (if I may use that word) the conditions necessary for this to happen. Something would have to start it, and maintain the conditions for this to happen. Change the atmosphere. Add water. How can lifeless rock change and evolve? You get the point.

    Finally, my comment about the resurrection being foolish and unbelievable from a scientific point of view was garned from interactions on a purely secular forum – one where unbelievers are the ones who bring religious subjects up from time to time. I never do. They think science has disproved the bible, YEC in particular, but anything else supernatural because this cannot be tested scientifically. Faith is ‘believing something for which there is no evidence’, which is hardly what Christians mean by the term. Christians who think ditching YEC to gain academic respectability will be in for a disappointment, as your average unbeliever will simply go on to no. 2 on their extensive list of things Christians believe that they find foolish, the resurrection being high up on that list.

  134. Ken wrote:

    , as your average unbeliever will simply go on to no. 2 on their extensive list of things Christians believe that they find foolish, the resurrection being high up on that list.

    Well, that is part of the point. The people you reference do not believe, and will latch onto anything that backs up their unbelief, if not Old Earth vs YEC then something else. I don’t know why people do not believe, be it double predestination or they do not come to the light because their deeds are evil (Somebody said that) or just what. But I know why those of us who do believe, in fact, believe. Grace. Not any theory about science or not, nor any theory about the bible or not, but that grace has invaded our lives. It would not be correct to link faith, saving faith, to any particular theory other than the idea that Jesus is Lord and that the resurrection is the sign of that (as both Jesus and later Peter at pentecost stated.)

    There are people who say they believe the bible and not science and others who say they believe science and not the bible. Those are ridiculous statements I think. Truth is truth. Jesus is truth. He specifically stated that he had not told us all there was to tell, and Paul specifically said we know in part. So why would anybody say that the bible contains all truth, when Paul specifically said that we will know as we are known when we see Him as He is, not when the canon is complete or when the end times come or when research and reason have found everything or at some state of personal individual enlightenment.

    For example: if the heavens declare the glory of God, what does not look like in practice. If I stand outside and look up at the night sky and think it is amazing and I think that I am experiencing the realization of the glory of God, then surely I am at some level. If some whole scientific field of astronomy finds all kinds of things about the heavens that we never knew, and which are not described in scripture, and we say that now we are now experiencing the realization of the glory of God in that way too, this also is true. If Paul in Romans 1 says that there is evidence of God in that which is created (he did not limit the evidence to scripture) then why would we say that what we come to know about that which is created is contrary to an understanding of God. None of that makes any sense.

    To say that there is more to the story, as it seems to me that both scripture and science say, does not say that what we know of the story to this point is incorrect. But it does say that what we know is limited.

    You seem to be thinking that evolutionists think that everything is random happenstance. Hardly. What they think is that there are are natural explanations which are adequate to explain what is apart from the necessity of believing that there is a god. Creationists say that they do not see that, and that it looks like there is evidence of necessity for a god/ an intelligence to explain what is. The fact that some person on either side of that question would take the whole idea and run with it in order to prove some other issue they want to prove, like atheism or some particular understanding of the biblical creation stories, that is quite another thing.

  135. Ken wrote:

    Finally, my comment about the resurrection being foolish and unbelievable from a scientific point of view was garned from interactions on a purely secular forum

    … point taken; I get where you’re coming from there! And you’re quite right (if I am not misrepresenting your final paragraph) that there is no shortage of people who will reject the Christian faith for reasons of their own regardless of what evidence is presented to them, by whom, and in what manner. On a slight tangent, that would not of course be a very scientific stance; and I wonder whether it is just their own perception of “science is anti-religion” that draws them to feel at home with science, to the degree that they understand it.

  136. Garland wrote:

    When the text says that “darkness was over the surface of the deep” the word ‘deep’ is a cognate for Tiamat.

    You might find the link below to be of interest. It argues for huge quantities of water locked up under tremendous pressure in the rock 400-600 kilometers down. If true, it will lend credence to the Genesis phrase fountains of the deep as more than just the poetic musings of ancient holy men.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2579584/The-vast-reservoir-hidden-Earths-crust-holds-water-ALL-oceans.html

  137. oldJohnJ wrote:

    What are the chances of engaging one of the YEC champions in a serious debate? My guess is that they know how weak their position is but will avoid a real debate to preserve their lucrative positions of power, influence and income.

    We have done such in person. Dee and I were both in a class that did this. I personally thought it was a bad idea. The class did it anyway. Local AIG/YEC leaders who helped organize study groups and church clases to promote the AIG view were on one side. Local OE people from the class on the other. Almost every discussion boiled down to implying the non YEC folks maybe were not really bible believers or even Christians. In the end it was one of the 2 reasons the class disbanded (at that church).

  138. Ken wrote:

    My observation of the critics of AiG are that they almost never deal with anything actually pulished on the site, they simply assert it is all rubbish. Most of the content is not by Ham but by scientists who at least ought to be able to give a valid opinion. I have looked at this and other YEC sites out of curiousity as to whether YEC is in any way scientifically tenable. As a non scientist, I can only reserve judgement. I have also not read more heavy-weight literature on the subject.

    Some of us who comment here and others I know and others around the internet have looked long and hard at the “science” on the AIG web site. It has many issues which make it hard to call it science.

    First they almost always toss out data that doesn’t fit their model. I must be wrong or bad so they ignore it.

    Second they come up with theories of how the evidence can be recconciled to the data and when they can’t ignore the issues any longer these theories seem to vanish with little trace. There is a web page on the site that I can only find via Google searches of “things we should not use anymore”. And I hear things form this page being used to bolster the AIG science claim. Apparently they don’t inform their troops when things should be dropped.

    In a similar vein, Russell Humphreys, put forward a “science” way for the universe to be created in 6000 or so years in his 1994 book Starlight and Time. AIG promoted it for many years. His science included 3 miracles where God redefined the physics of the universe during the creation events. You aren’t doing science of your end result relies on miracles. A few years ago it seems their site was scrubbed of his book and the theories in it. And no word of why that I can see. But this book was the “bible” for the AIG troops explaining the science of a young earth for a long time.

    And the last and final point. From the AIG web site Statement of Faith.
    “By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record as we read it. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.”

  139. @ NC Now:
    Nuts. Hit post too soon.

    My last point was the as we read it is not in their statement of faith. I added it. But this is the crux of many of their issues. What they are saying at their core is our reading of the Bible is the only correct one.

    And on a side note KH is on video saying that the only good version of the Bible is the KBV.

  140. NC Now wrote:

    What they are saying at their core is our reading of the Bible is the only correct one.

    A children’s director at a church nearby asked me this week to look over some possible curriculum for pre-schoolers. One set came from AiG. The teacher’s prep section notes were all about Young Earth Creation and how any other reading of the Bible must be based on a compromised view of Scripture if not a complete rejection of God.

  141. Ken wrote:

    Most of the content is not by Ham but by scientists who at least ought to be able to give a valid opinion.

    Upthread (Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 08:40 PM) I referenced a previous post of mine where I analysed two papers, both of which are still on the AIG website). My conclusion is the data given, while not as good as the existing literature, still supported the radiometric dates in the billion year range. The paper conclusions dismissed all the ancient dates giving no statistical or other arguments. Read my cited post. The fact that he has legitimate scientists on his (presumed) payroll doesn’t give AIG any legitemacy.

  142. oldJohnJ wrote:

    The fact that he has legitimate scientists on his (presumed) payroll doesn’t give AIG any legitemacy.

    Like the fact that lawyers can hire “legitimate doctors” to say anything you want them to in court does not correlate with anything except cash money.

    And legitimate? churches can hire anybody the want to stand in the pulpit and propound anything that the people want to hear.

  143. From the main body of the post:

    “Academic freedom is not sacrosanct,” Kevin L. Clauson, a professor of politics and justice, wrote in a letter to the editor of The Bryan Triangle, a campus publication. “It too must submit to God in a Christian college.”

    It certainly is Dr. Clauson. If it’s not, then your institution can no more claim to be a school of inquiry than can a Madrassa in Pakistan. I will follow with avid interest what the courts have to say about screwing with people’s livelihoods and what ‘religious freedom’ is and what it is not in these United States.

  144. Caitlin wrote:

    @ Nancy:

    This is what I keep coming back to. The Bible isn’t wrong, the science isn’t wrong. Our understanding of both can be wrong.

    Exactly.
    But Ken Ham & Co. are determined to cling to THEIR understanding of the Bible, even if it means going down with the ship, whilst rescuers apleeanty are turned away. Ham has decided how he WANTS the Bible to be interpreted, & would, I strongly suspect, cheerily burn others at the stake if they refuse to agree with him.

    (I have no idea where all the watery comparisons are coming from. I may be channeling Monty Python….which is a weird, weird thought).

  145. @ Nancy:

    The worst offenders often are expert witnesses and or coroners or those who have performed autopsies, testifying for the prosecution. Extremely weak evidence turned into certainty. And I do not do criminal defense, because it is always an uphill battle. In todays news, another Dallas man convicted of rape is proposed for release and exoneration based on DNA that was not analyzed until recently, more than a decade after the conviction.

  146. @ An Attorney:

    Some of them will testify for whoever pays them. In our state a former state pathologist/coroner has been accused of this. A few years back young son showed me an ad in lawyer’s weekly or some such publication of an actual law firm which specialized in supplying docs who would testify in court.

    But once my son took me with him to the local university med center path department to interview the guy who did the autopsy, and guess what, the guy had both MD and JD hanging on his wall. And as far as I could tell he had no need to sell out to anybody, not that young son was trying to buy him. Young son was just showing off for mom, and the pathologist was both informed and professional and friendly.

    We too have an actual innocence commission and a few people have been set fee or else re-tried based on further lab results or further evidence. Sometimes there has been sloppy prosecution, inadequate defense or egregious lab work at the state lab. NC is working hard to clear up the problem, including setting up competent criminal defense for those who cannot pay.

  147. @ Nancy:

    “free” not “fee” Sorry, folks, even with trifocals I miss stuff on proof reading. Or maybe because of trifocals.

  148. @ Nancy: Yes, and Durham has a reputation like that of Williamson County (Georgetown, Leander) and Smith County (Tyler) in Texas.

  149. @ An Attorney:

    I did not know that, except of course for the attempted prosecution of the Duke LaCrosse team, but that was a bad prosecutor, not the lab. Tell me what you know about Durham.

  150. @ Nancy:

    BTW, we are not in that area at all at the state level. but occasionally the federal middle district tries cases in Durham. I think the labs are different for state and federal cases. I do know that one uses the SBI and the other the FBI for certain investigations. Beyond that I know nawthin about Durham.

  151. Ken wrote:

    I’d be circumspect about embracing TE because science is always liable to refutation or amendment on new evidence, I don’t want to accept something on peer pressure from the secular scientific community who think I would be a fool to believe in special (and in particular more recent) creation. TE can be just as liable to give ammunition to atheists against the faith as Ken-Ham-type creationism.

    I think followers of YEC closely tie their view of God to their understanding of science. One who accepts TE doesn’t so closely tie his view of God to his view of science. I don’t think most followers of TE believe the Bible literally says creation happened this way – that evolution happened that way and and that a particular view of creation has salvific value. They would say that Genesis is not meant to be a scientific account and it is of no spiritual significance in itself if God created the earth 6k years ago or billions of years ago. The same with evolution – no one is saying you must believe God used evolution or you can’t be saved. On the YEC side, you have to believe their “literal” interpretation to the smallest detail or you can’t be orthodox. So with a YEC person, it might be a salvation issue whether you believe the world had a global flood or not. It might be a salvation issue if you believe dinosaurs were on Noah’s ark or not.

    It would be a major crisis of faith for a follower of YEC if it were proven that Mars had native life. For a person accepting TE, the response would be, “Wow, God extended life to other planets!” If it were proven that life never existed on Mars, the YEC follower would take it as proof that the Bible is “literally” true – it is like the Bible is so fragile it needs constant affirmation. The person who accepts TE would just note that life seems to be rare in the universe but he would not try to read anything into Genesis about that.

  152. Jacob wrote:

    On the YEC side, you have to believe their “literal” interpretation to the smallest detail or you can’t be orthodox. So with a YEC person, it might be a salvation issue whether you believe the world had a global flood or not.

    I’m YEC, and you’ve attributed a lot of views to YECS that we don’t believe.

    We don’t regard rejection of YEC to mean damnation to hell; it is not a “salvation level” issue. This is a straw man that needs to stop, but it comes up repeatedly in conversations and debates on this topic.

    I think the point made by some YECs (which I think is accurate and fair) is that rejection of YEC can lead to an abandonment of a literal understanding of some biblical passages*, which may in turn cause a person to question other things in the Bible (e.g., things such as if Jesus Christ was a literal historical figure, did he literally raise from the dead, etc.
    If you don’t take the Genesis creation account literally, as it is written, why would you bother taking the death and resurrection account literally?- is a crux of the point.)

    Such YECs are not saying that if you believe in theistic evolution that you are automatically unsaved and going to hell.
    ———–
    * (or it has in fact done so when college aged kids are asked why they stopped believing in Jesus or the Bible)

  153. P.S.
    Jacob wrote:

    It would be a major crisis of faith for a follower of YEC if it were proven that Mars had native life.

    No, it wouldn’t.

  154. Daisy

    I will have to disagree with you. Some YECs do make it a salvation issue. And rejecting YEC leads to kids falling away from the faith because they believe that there is no way to reconcile the Bible with science since they have been told you “must” believe in YEC to be a Christian. However, since you have repeatedly told us that you are not sure if you are a Christian, then you may be the first YEC advocate amongst the agnostics- a truly unique position.  You would have some fun debating your position on some of the agnostic blogs out there.

    As for comment moderating, you have little idea how difficult that task is on a blog this big. There are some other folks who are moderated simply because they share the first name with former trolls. In that instance, I have to go in and fool around with filters. That takes me awhile since I am not the swiftest technobulb on the block. Then some people become irritated because i do not realize that they are the same person when they come with different emails, etc. Somehow, I am supposed to know that Suzy is still the same Suzy even though her IP and email have changed.

    You should see what gets throw into moderation and then you would have some empathy for our position. And you comments have been approved routinely in spite of you taking your time to do what we ask you to do from a technical sense, not a content sense.

  155. @ Jacob:

    You are a good explainer, I am thinking. Let me throw another variable in the mix. There are those of us who really can’t see what it matters, from a faith position regarding God, Jesus, salvation and such how one eventually understands origins and development of the biosphere and such. If, for example, God did establish certain natural processes and then let things take their course, based on some predetermined series of cause and effect, so what? Who says that to be God he had to continually be intervening all along the way? Like, He could not get it right in the first place and had to continually make modifications along the way? I mean, anybody smart enough to get it done at all could just as well just poof, the big bang or whatever, and then let it all unfold over time. Why not? Would He be less God if He had done it that way?

    That would leave the Genesis stories to be explained in some non-literal and non-scientific way, but frankly that some perfectly “proper” christians out there who already explain the Genesis stories that way–like some Methodists I go to church with. And they have not denied Christ or run amok. But, Jesus referenced “the beginning” in the divorce remarks and also referenced “the days of Noah”–check out with these folks who already see this differently from the fundamentalists–no need to get a headache trying for an original take on it. But what about Paul? Paul is more difficult, but there is always the fact that he said himself that “we” know in part and “see thought a glass darkly” so some of these same folks say that he was going with what he knew and his hearers understood at the time.

    This would mean that one could not “worship” the fundamentalist understanding of biblical inerrancy, but it would not discredit God or Jesus or Paul. And yes, I have heard this taught in SS at my Methodist church, as one theory among several. Here is what I like about this. In that same SS class there are YEC people and TE people and “who cares” people and nobody thinks the other folks are heathen or apostates or heretics.

    I will “out” myself here in that I am in the “who cares” camp. Though I do think that it would be totally awesome if He just said “let it all be” and then watched it happen.

  156. Nancy wrote:

    Tell me what you know about Durham

    If you’re talking about Durham NC….

    The lady who took over from the prosecutor who mis-handled the Duke Lacrosse case apparently had some “issues”. She went after a judge on a later case and tried get him in trouble. Apparently because he ruled against here several times. Anyway when it was all over she, the prosecutor, wound up loosing her job and maybe facing disbarment.

    http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/can-the-durham-das-office-regain-respect-after-nifong-and-cline/Content?oid=2884871

    As someone who lives in the area I never want to be caught up in the Durham legal system. Any system for that matter but Durham seems particularly to have ongoing issues of pushing cases that should not be so.

    Durham also seems to make the local news way too often in terms of the various elected politicians.

  157. Ken wrote:

    Most of the content is not by Ham but by scientists who at least ought to be able to give a valid opinion.

    The opinions of the ‘scientists’ supported by AIG, Creation Research Institute, etc. don’t deserve to be given ANY credibility even though they have earned Ph.D.’s in the field. Here’s why. Advances in understanding in mainstream science require discussions in mainstream scientific forums, whether they be at mainstream conferences or publications. There results are presented, subjected to questions and others’ research results, and responded to over a long period of time.

    YEC ‘scientists’ do NOT engage in this process. They never present or defend their positions in any mainstream scientific forum. Instead, they toss out their opinions from the sidelines without engaging in the universally accepted scientific process and so, they do not deserve to be given any credibility. In reality, then, these YEC claims are really no more than attempts to try and put a veneer of legitimacy on findings that have no support in mainstream science in order to try and convince the lay public that their opinions are legitimate science when, in fact, they are no more than junk science.

  158. Daisy wrote:

    I’m YEC, and you’ve attributed a lot of views to YECS that we don’t believe.
    We…

    I paused my quote from your comment exactly where I did, Daisy, because it’s that word “we” that highlights the problem here. If I may be excused a statement of the obvious, YEC is not a monolith any more than OEC, TE or TGV; there are very many people who believe the universe was created abruptly thousands (not billions) of years ago, who have few other common believes and/or place very different levels of importance on their YEC cosmology. For all I know, you would not feel at home at all at Bryan College. I can accept that you do not believe YEC to be fundamental to a human being’s relationship with God.

    There are several straw men that invariably come up in YEC vs The Rest debates. Two in particular:

     The one you mentioned: “YEC’ers all make YEC a salvation issue”
     And secondly: “OEC’ers exalt science over scripture”

    I am OEC and I do not exalt “science” (in quotes because the word is used to mean very different things in different contexts) over scripture. I personally reject the notion that I have “abandoned” a literal understanding of any biblical passages. There are certainly passages of which I have thoughtfully rejected a literal understanding, because I do not believe they should be understood literally. But that doesn’t mean I’m any likelier to reject the resurrection, the deity, or the Kingship of Jesus. Nobody takes the entire bible literally – that would be impossible as there are so many passages which, if taken literally, would contradict other passages. Rather, we each have our own ideas on which passages are poetic or otherwise non-literal.

    As a final point – Lesley wants to go and climb a nearby hill and it’s a nice evening – I think it’s a myth that understanding a biblescripture literally is somehow more faithful than interpreting it otherwise. Both can be abused and, equally, both require a humble and wise approach when it comes to doing what really matters, which of course is not interpreting the Biblescriptures but living them.

  159. Daisy wrote:

    We don’t regard rejection of YEC to mean damnation to hell; it is not a “salvation level” issue. This is a straw man that needs to stop, but it comes up repeatedly in conversations and debates on this topic.

    Well, Albert Mohler of THE SBTS is a very vocal proponent of the all or nothing approach to Bible interpretation. Since he has the status of the SBC pope he is the concern of many of us. See: http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/02/01/creation-vs-evolution-the-new-shape-of-the-debate/

    YEC enters here because evolution is an exceedingly slow process. YEC provides a clear argument against evolution.

  160. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    OEC, TE or TGV

    I don’t know what OEC is compared to TE, and I never heard of TGV (or is that a joke and I missed it)? Like I said I am WC (aka SW) but I like to stay informed of other people’s acronyms.

    Thanks

  161.  TE: Theistic Evolution[ism]. TE suffers in comparison to the others because it is not a TLA and therefore is rhythmically inferior.
     YEC: Young-Earth Creationism[/ist], and therefore
     OEC: Old-Earth Creationism[/ist]
     TGV: Train à Grand Vitesse: the first unrelated TLA that came to mind at the time
     TLA: Three-Letter Abbreviation
     PBAB: on party invites at Cambridge University : Please Bring A Bottle
     PBABOFO: Please Bring A Bottle – Or Go Away

    TE and OEC are, of course, not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they almost certainly go together more often than not.

  162. @ Nancy:
    I know some people who would consider themselves Old Earth Creationists because they accept the fact that the universe is around 13.8 billion years old, but they don’t accept evolution, believing instead that God created living things in bursts, as the day/age theory purports. Other Old Earth Creationists also adopt the label, but would be indistinguishable from Evolutionary Creationists or Theistic Evolutionists (two terms which I take to be nearly identical except for a slightly varied emphasis).

  163. When I was a college student being recruited by a frat-like organization, the phrase was BYOB&B with the additional B referring to a person of the female gender, but not rhyming with witch. Some parties were joint with female organizations of like type, in which case it would just be BYOB, since women would be already a part of the group, and one need not arrange and bring a date.

  164. @ An Attorney:

    Let me tell you how weird I was in college. I did not go out for a sorority, for a lot of reasons some financial and some religious, but then later I got this offer from one sorority that if I would please and pretty please and for crying out loud please join their sorority they would pay all my fees and whatever else I needed to make it possible, because (and this fried my potatoes) they were on academic whatever-you-call-it and in danger of being thrown off campus and they needed by GPA to help them out. They did not even bother to say “and we kind of like you” or anything like that. I turned them down. Blaaaaah!

  165. Nancy wrote:

    I did not go out for a sorority…

    A sorority was a foreign concept to me until I watched Veronica Mars. I’m not into clubby/cliquey things like that either. Loved the Groucho Marx quote a few posts ago about (not) joining stuff.

  166. An Attorney wrote:

    When I was a college student being recruited by a frat-like organization, the phrase was BYOB&B with the additional B referring to a person of the female gender, but not rhyming with witch.

    “Booze and Ladies
    Keep me right,
    As long as we can make it
    To the show tonight —
    We’re an American band!
    We’re an American band!
    We’re comin’ to your town!
    We’ll help you party down!
    We’re an American band!”
    — Grand Funk Railroad, 1973

  167. dee wrote:

    Some YECs do make it a salvation issue. And rejecting YEC leads to kids falling away from the faith because they believe that there is no way to reconcile the Bible with science since they have been told you “must” believe in YEC to be a Christian.

    As for comment moderating, you have little idea how difficult that task is on a blog this big. There are some other folks who are moderated simply because they share the first name with former trolls.

    When I was younger, I used to equate rejection of a literal 6 days Genesis with rejection of the bible, so an attack on YEC was an attack on the bible. I no longer think like that, but I have never heard anyone say a literal Genesis is a requirement for salvation. You can’t get this from the NT, I wonder just what ‘gospel’ is being peddled in this instance. I also wonder if this might be an excuse with some people to abandon a faith that makes requirements those rejecting it cannot stomach?

    Re: your second point, I’ve just had a revelation: you think I might be Ken Ham! 🙂 🙂

    I always go through moderation, perhaps this is the reason why … I don’t mind except sometimes a quick reply to qualify something or clear up a misunderstanding has to wait quite a while (like hours), and I end up with a long post addressed to several posters, which is a pity! But I do sympathise with you trying to walk the tightrope of keeping comments genuinely free whilst at the same time stopping some abusing this freedom, and simultaneously having a life!

  168. Ken wrote:

    but I have never heard anyone say a literal Genesis is a requirement for salvation

    Well, let me say this as how some thinking goes. A “literal Genesis” is often associated with YEC. Without a literal Genesis, the reasoning goes, there would be no literal Adam. Without a literal Adam there would be no original sin, no fall, and no need for a savior as presented in the NT. I don’t know where I read that, but I did not make it up.

    Of course, some have suggested that there could be a literal Adam without a six-day creation, and I have no idea how that would play into the picture. Usually literal Genesis seems to mean YEC.

    On a different tangent, for the past right many years now there has been the emphasis on the necessity of a “christian worldview” also sometimes referred to as a “biblical worldview.” A whole course on this was taught at the local SBC mega not too many years back. The emphasis is that one needs to believe a certain set of propositions (not necessarily specified doctrines) in order to be really what a christian should be. This easily gets “heard” by folks, and for that matter presented by some folks, as if you do not have this worldview you better take another look at yourself and see if you are “really saved.” These world views include a certain required attitude toward scripture, which can be understood to have various implications in the hands of various presenters. The “see if you are really saved” thing has been widely abused in my experience in a lot of ways, as a control method.

    I have to say in defense for the local SBC mega (my information is 3 years old) that in their preK through 12 school they teach both YEC and also present evolution information. So, I don’t think they abused the world view thing, but I only heard it second hand and was not in the actual class. I want to be fair with them if I reference them.

  169. @ Ken:

    I have never heard anyone say a literal Genesis is a requirement for salvation

    I have. Just for starters, there was one in an anti-evolution editorial in my mom’s hometown paper the Fairmont Sentinel several years ago, which unfortunately I can’t get at. You are right, however, in that usually it’s not that flagrant. It’s usually done via the “no literal Adam” route discussed above, or the “Atonement is invalid if animals died before sin” route, or the false equation that we are justified in rejecting the historicity of the Gospels and therefore the resurrection if we reject a literal Genesis (note, we’re not – we have contemporary eyewitnesses to Jesus’ historicity, ministry and crucifixion, but the creation of the world by definition can have no eyewitnesses; these two are not equivalent from an evidentiary/testimony standpoint at all, and their constant equation by YECs really bugs me.)

    In any case, even if they don’t actually say outright that it’s a requirement to be a Christian or a requirement for Christianity to hold together, that’s what most YEC kids I’ve met take away from it, which is why their faith falls apart in college when they leave their YEC bubble and encounter the real evidence that the earth is old. Thankfully I was never taught that YEC was necessary to Christianity so switching to old earth was not earth-shattering for me at all.

  170. Nancy wrote:

    Well, let me say this as how some thinking goes. A “literal Genesis” is often associated with YEC. Without a literal Genesis, the reasoning goes, there would be no literal Adam. Without a literal Adam there would be no original sin, no fall, and no need for a savior as presented in the NT. I don’t know where I read that, but I did not make it up.

    Sounds like the chain of logic used by all those Witchfinders-General during the witch-hunts of the Thirty Years War:
    “If no Witches, then no Devil. If no Devil, then no God.”