Evolution is Crazy, Says Man Who Thinks the Earth Was Created 6000 Years Ago, All the Animals Were Saved on a Boat Built by a 600-yo Noah, and our Loving Creator Drowned Everyone

evolution creationism debateI watched the Ham on Nye debate live. The debate question was, “Is Creation a viable model of origins?”

Much has been written already by critics more knowledgeable about evolution and cosmology than I am, but I’ll give my reactions to Ken Ham’s side of the argument.

Ken Ham is a young-earth creationist, meaning that he thinks the earth is 6000 years old and that evolution is nonsense. He’s the founder of the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

How poorly did Ham do? Let me count the ways.

1. Ham wants to make a distinction between experimental or observational science (reliable) vs. historical science (not). His point: you weren’t there, so how would you know?

Bill Nye pointed out that this is a make-believe distinction not made within science. For example, astronomy inherently looks back in time, since the light from distant objects might have taken millions or billions of years to reach us.

Ham repeated, “You weren’t there” several times, though this applies to him as well. Ken, were you there to see God make everything? To see the Genesis story accurately transcribed and copied?

Ham gave the example of our spherical earth, which we can observe, vs. millions of years, which you can’t. But of course you can. Science has long since left personal observation behind and uses instruments and clues to piece together the reality of nature. The clues to an old earth and universe are not hard to put together—red shift from moving galaxies, radioisotope dating, plate tectonics, and so on.

2. Non-Christian scientists borrow from the Christian view for logic and an understandable universe. I’ve responded to the Transcendental Argument here.

3. Though the topic was the scientific evaluation of the Christian origin claims, Ham gave a surprisingly long Christian pitch. I naively thought that he would start with the evidence and then have God as the conclusion. Nope. Ham’s organization has a faith statement that begins, “Answers in Genesis seeks to give glory and honor to God as Creator, and to affirm the truth of the biblical record of the real origin and history of the world and mankind.” Ham says: I have faith, but so do you.

No, science doesn’t use faith. Science follows the evidence where it leads, while Ham wants to select and reinterpret the evidence to support the conclusion that he started with.

During the question phase, Ham was asked, “What would change your mind?” After a long pause and much rambling, he admitted that no one could show him that there was no god. He did say that he would be happy to change his models if need be. That is, he’ll change his models as necessary to keep his God hypothesis alive in spite of new scientific discoveries.

4. Ham discussed Darwin’s errors. Only Creationists imagine that what Darwin thought affects evolution today. More here.


Can you believe that we’re actually wasting time talking about a 3000-year-old mythology as if it’s actually true? It’s like we’re in kindergarten or Klown Kollege, debating the flat earth or geocentrism. Don’t we have bigger issues that this ridiculous debate is keeping us from?

Should we have a national debate over Scientology’s Xenu? Or the Haida myth that the Raven brought the sun to humanity? Or the Babylonian creation story where Marduk slays Tiamat and forms the universe from the corpse?

We live in interesting times. Let’s get back to what passes for science at the Creation Museum.

5. Dogs will always be dogs. Ham rejects speciation. Whatever you show him—Lenski’s experiment with E. coli or a bacterium’s new ability to metabolize nylon—he’s determined to reject it, though he never makes clear what confines the change within a species to keep it from becoming another species.

To squeeze all those animals onto Noah’s Ark, he imagines that there were less than 1000 “kinds,” but that, in the 4000 years since Noah landed, they were so profligate that they gave us the 16 million land animal species (minimum) we have today. That’s some serious speciation.

Ham never defined “kinds,” but it sounds like it would map roughly to the biological concept of order (two steps down from phylum, and two steps up from genus). Let’s see where this takes us.

There would be just one pair for the primate order—that’s baboons, gorillas, chimpanzees, all the monkeys, and many more. Rodents are another order—that’s mice, rats, voles, beavers, squirrels, and lots more. Carnivores are another—the cat family (tigers, panthers, etc.), the dog family (wolves, foxes, etc.), bears, raccoons, mongooses, hyenas, and lots more. Ungulates are another—giraffes, deer, cattle, pigs, hippos, camels, and lots more.

But mammals are just one category. There are also insects, arachnids, birds, amphibians, reptiles, centipedes, roundworms, tapeworms, flatworms, and dozens more that most of us have never heard of, each with many orders. And don’t forget orders that are now extinct, since Ham imagines all animals that existed were thundering around during Noah’s time.

So the Ark lands, and the pairs go off together to repopulate the sterile earth. Can diverse members of an order mate today—say a rat and a beaver? A bear and a lynx? A giraffe and a hippo? If not, then why imagine that they could 4000 years ago? Perhaps this genetic diversity was available but unexpressed so that each pair was close enough genetically to create viable offspring but that the original rat-like pair would give us squirrels today or the original tiger-like pair would give us raccoons?

But where’s the evidence? We don’t see the record of this remarkable change in diversity in the DNA of modern animals.

I have no idea what the Hamster’s fantasy means, and we’ve wasted far too much time speculating.

6. There are hundreds of dating methods (natural clocks). They’re all fallible, and most give dates of the earth much younger than 4.6B years. Ham’s conclusion is to use the perfect source, the one who was there—God.

Oh, so then I guess Ken “Were you there?” Ham wasn’t there either. So much for his epistemology.

Ham showed a slide listing these natural clocks for just a few seconds and didn’t go into any of them. I assume he was referring to arguments like, “If you look at the rate at which minerals rinse off the land to add salt to the ocean, the oceans should be much saltier if they are billions of years old.” This was a world-class Gish gallop, since to explore and dismiss each of them would take far longer than the three seconds they deserved. (In the case of the salty ocean, there are ways that salt is removed from oceans—seen in salt domes, saline lakes like the Dead Sea, or the layer of salt deposited at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.)

Bill Nye pointed to direct evidence for the age of the earth by citing trees dated at 6800 years in America and 9550 in Sweden and the 680,000 annual layers found in ice cores. He brought it home by noting that there were ancient coral fossils under the Creation Museum.

During Q&A, Ham was asked: if evidence showed the earth to be much older than 10,000 years, would you change? Ham said that it’s not possible for observational science to contradict the claim of a young earth.

But then how can Ham’s science confirm a young earth without being falsifiable?

7. The Noah story. Ham didn’t spend much time on this, though his Creation Museum is working on the Ark Encounter, a full-size replica of the Ark that is past its deadline for selling tens of millions of dollars of bonds.

But Bill Nye spent much time lampooning the Flood. (My summary of the Bible’s Noah nonsense is here.) Some of Nye’s points:

  • The Grand Canyon shows clearly distinct layers of fossils, not an enormous mix of every living thing, sorted by size, that you’d expect if they were deposited there in just days. Further, you never see modern animals mixed with dinosaurs that lived in the same habitat—modern hippos with sauropod dinosaurs, for example, since they both favor(ed) shallow fresh water.
  • Plants die after being under salt water. Where did our plants come from?
  • Why is there just one Grand Canyon? If the Flood caused it, there should be many around the world.
  • How did the animals get home after the Flood?
  • The Ark would’ve been the biggest wooden ship ever. Compare that to the Wyoming, the world’s largest wooden schooner. It was built in 1909 as the culmination of centuries of shipbuilding expertise, but its size made it twist too much, and it leaked. Noah was an amateur, and his project was larger. He’s going to succeed where seasoned shipwrights didn’t?

And why do Bible coloring books show just a little round Ark with happy animals on top? Why not show the corpses of millions of people and perhaps billions of other animals floating on the surface of the water? Wasn’t a corpse-covered ocean part of God’s perfect plan as well?

8. Ham thinks that the Bible stories are accurate statements of what actually happened. My favorite: the Bible points to one race. How he can say that given the racism in the Bible? The Bible forbids intermarriage with other tribes (Deut. 7:3) and makes clear that impure ancestry forbade one from becoming an Israelite (Deut. 23:3). God demands the genocide of many tribes. Even Jesus was careful to focus the evangelism of his disciples: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel” (Matthew 10:5–6).

Other observations

Ham made clear that his view should be taught in public, taxpayer-supported schools, though I couldn’t make sense of his logic. He didn’t say why astrology wasn’t a valid alternative to astronomy or why other origin myths shouldn’t also be taught. And somehow he slipped in the claim that God intends marriage to be between one man and one woman (I’ve slapped down that ridiculous argument here and here).

Nye made clear that “I don’t know” isn’t embarrassing and says nothing about the validity of science. Referring to various aspects of science, he said, “that’s how we do it on the outside.”

Nye’s main point was that the citizens of America deserve better. Teaching accurate science, not make-believe, is essential for America’s competitiveness. It’s simply unpatriotic to settle for less.

Let’s be real, let’s not make a joke of ourselves.
— Pat Robertson to Ken Ham

Photo credit: Doug Geisler

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  • RichardSRussell

    Ham never defined “kinds,” but it sounds like it would map roughly to the biological concept of order (two steps down from phylum, and two steps up from genus).

    The standard sequence of taxa in biological taxonomy is shown here. While it’s true that Ham never did define “kinds” (and will probably always resist being painted into that corner, for the very good reason that anything he says will be indefensible), he did say at one point that he and his crack team of researchers have concluded that it ruffly corresponds to one of those rungs on the Linnaean ladder, but I’m damned if I’m gonna sit thru the whole 150 minutes (or even any significant part of it) again just to find out which one. But, to be fair, it wasn’t as if he ignored the question altogether, just dealt with it very sloppily, same as everything else.

    He gets huge props from me from ripping the thin coating of coy pseudo-scientific “intelligent design” or “creation science” topsoil off the underlying bedrock of fundamentalist Christianity. He did rationalism the same kind of favor that Harold Camping did with his insane predictions of the end of the world by turning his very name into a laffingstock.

    This was billed as a “debate”, but Bill Nye didn’t treat it as such, because Ham gave him ample opportunities for criticism and refutation. (Bob pointed out that Ham’s question “Were you there?” could have been turned against him half a dozen times during the debate. So was his accusation that science simply assumes things, unlike his “knowledge” that the Bible — or “God’s Word”, as he invariably called it — is absolutely true.) Nye stalwartly passed over each such opportunity and chose to just give what amounted to a science lecture — all positive and upbeat. About the closest he ever got to actually criticizing Ham or calling him wrong was to say “I find that troubling.” I suspect he was coached not to come off sounding like an asshole and erred on the side of politeness and circumspection. (He’s basically a nice guy, anyway, so this wasn’t nearly the challenge for him that it would’ve been for me.)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      If he’s saying less than 1000 “kinds,” the taxonomic order seems the best fit. There are way more than 1000 families.

      About the closest he ever got to actually criticizing Ham or calling him wrong

      Nye talked about “how we do it on the outside,” which I took to be a dig.

      • Ron

        I think Nye’s constant reference to “your facility” was probably his most successful dig at Ham.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I thought Nye mentioned “Ken Ham and his followers” several times, and I was trying to find an excuse to reference that with “Ham and his Hamsters” into the post. Didn’t quite work.

        • Greg G.

          Nye kept calling it “Ham’s flood”.

  • Pofarmer

    Hey Bob, this is kind of off topic to the post, but, I’d like to present this as exhibit A to people who say Jesus couldn’t be heavily mythologized within the lifetime of his followers.

    “In our day God did mighty miracles in the ministry of William Branham. Dead were raised, cancer was immediately healed, blind eyes opened, deaf ears opened, mute tongues spoke, secrets of the heart and life were revealed by the thousands, creation of life was spoken, a blizzard was calmed, withered limbs were immediately healed, I heard that 2 girls born without eyes got eyes in the prayer line, and much more. ”

    Posted today on an Ag board I frequent.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Fun! Give me the link if that’s convenient.

      The problem is that when you give that example, they’ll say, “Yeah, but that’s not mythology–that actually happened!

      • Pofarmer

        It’s on a part of the site you have to register and be approved. I’m kind of the main anti-theist trouble maker if that tells you anything. Newagtalk.com, in the boiler room. Can get a little hairy.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Ag” as in “agriculture”? Not the place I would’ve expected to find interesting debates on atheism and Christianity.

        • James

          “AG” = Assemblies of God, aka bat crap crazy nutters. If you go to one of their revivals sometime, you’ll witness the psychology of mass hysteria at work, induced by emotional manipulation.

          Small point re the Wyoming, it was built using composite iron & wood construction and it still snaked and leaked. The largest seaworthy, purely wooden ships were the last generation of first rate ships of the line such as USS Pennsylvania, HMS Nelson, etc; about 210′ in length and 4-5 very short decks high (giraffes beware), 3-4 above the waterline. Needless to say, these ships were far too small to fit even a modest-sized zoo aboard with provisions for a year.

        • smrnda

          When I decided to sample a few churches, I went to an AG one. This one didn’t appear too nutty until they had a smaller group session of prayer where people were going to ‘speak in tongues.’ It was so ridiculous that I nearly peed myself laughing and had to leave for fear I would fall over laughing.

        • James

          I was married to an AG. Her local church was pretty normal, sort of a conservative Methodist church. But back home, it was strictly BYOS (bring your own snake), replete with tongue talking & faiths healing. I’ve never seen so many hypochondriacs cured for the day in my life.

        • Pofarmer

          Lol. My wife is determined to go see Matthew Kelley, Catholic from Australia, speak. From what I have read and watched of him on you tube, he’s the Catholic equivalent of the snake handling faith healer. “Say the Rosary Everyday and God will bless you and your family!”. B.s. Sure wish I could talk her out of it, but I think her crazy Catholic parents are coming.

        • Pofarmer

          Yes, agriculture. They walled off that part of the sight because it got a little heated sometimes. At first, here was only a couple Canadians hat spoke up, now there are myself and a few others occasionally. Here is an example of the attitude generally represented.

          “Nobody is forcing beliefs, we live in North America, where basically all three countries are built on the descendants of Christian-founded countries. If non-conformers (atheists, muslims, etc) don’t like how they have a lesser say, back to the sand or wherever they came from. Not our problem that things there aren’t what they can manipulate.

          And in regards to all the crap about native americans, amazon tribes, etc, in an evolutionist world they have not been previously exposed to Christianity. In a Christian world they have been. Plain and simple. “

        • http://batman-news.com Anton

          “Ag” as in “agriculture”? Not the place I would’ve expected to find interesting debates on atheism and Christianity.

          True dat. Separating the wheat from the chaff is hard enough on the Internet already.

  • Castilliano

    Science can’t talk about the past, therefore gap, therefore Bible!

    Ken Ham is essentially trying to keep his god in as big a gap as possible.
    He assumes the veneer of a scientist (and struggles to build that credibility for his group) so that he’s in a position of authority to comment on science, so he can undermine science.
    Fortunately, those into science see right through him.
    Unfortunately, Creationists are seldom into science.
    When that tactic was failing, he tried to claim science as Christian.
    And when that failed, he went back to the root of it all, blind faith.

    Bill Nye, so inoffensive as to gain trust and promise a kid-friendly debate, was the perfect opponent. His charming curiosity mixed with sound evidence stripped Ken’s veneer away, revealing the pastor preaching within. Kudos, Mr. Nye.
    I bet there are a lot of children with doubt simmering in their minds.


    • Kodie

      They realized a while ago that they had to repackage their bullshit to look like science – an alternative to that liberal atheist stuff they make you learn at school. They don’t want their kids exposed to it, they don’t want to “teach the controversy” at home to fill in their religious prerogative. They act like they’re the victims of a conspiracy to fill their children’s heads with anti-creationist propaganda and deprive them of a “balanced” education where they learn the fundamentals of a fairy tale alongside actual science.

      And they’re bitter about losing, so they keep on about the conspiracy and propaganda. They have to turn to making evolution sound ridiculous and misrepresenting it, and promoting homeschooling as their rebellion against the corrupt “system” where all science is is, as Ray Comfort has put it, “slick marketing materials”.

      All they have is slick marketing materials. It’s all poo generated from poo factories, essentially, for poo consumers to turn their brains to poo. I think that sums it up. They have made people so afraid of getting sucked into a conspiracy to teach them. We don’t have to avoid their sources and make up our own silly version of it to determine it is silly. What a warped thing to do, don’t you think?

      • Castilliano

        Strawman science, “lying for Jesus”, & persecution/conspiracy delusions.
        Yep, that’s about it.
        At least Ken, in the debate, avoided playing some of those cards.

      • MNb

        “repackage their bullshit to look like science”
        Herman Philipse in God in the Age of Science formulates it in a friendlier way, but makes quite an effort to show why believers have to do this: to maintain credibility. According to him it’s why natural theology became popular again around 19730 after being close to dead for many decades.
        So it’s not only crappy guys like Ken Ham who feel this need.

  • Ventura Calderon Parada

    Noah and family were the chosen ones to give god’s creation another chance. So what does god do to help them along? Onto the ark came mosquitos and rats, black widows and black mambas, vicious microbes and crab lice, etc. Remind you of the serpent in the garden of Eden? This is what drove me away from Christianity, when I was a child. I figured that heaven and hell would be pretty much the same considering god’s dismal record. Just pitiful that this incompetent, sadist is worshipped in the twenty-first century.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      But God was loving enough to drown all the bad people. Does that make you feel better?

      • Ventura Calderon Parada

        Who are the bad people? Even Adam and Eve were bad people. When I was a kid, exposed to the hyper-judgemental Christians from our neighborhood and our church, I realized that I really didn’t like these people. They weren’t righteous, they weren’t even right, as I learned from science. That was the end of religion for me.

        • wtfwjtd

          I think you hit on it in your original post; “Noah and family” were god’s chosen ones, therefore everyone else was “bad people”. Not that Noah and his family were all that great, necessarily, but…being chosen by god, and since god never changes his mind, or so we are told, the plan had to be carried off. But then, god sorta felt bad about some of the proceedings, so he sent us a little rainbow to remind us of how loving and wonderful he is. Yay god!

        • Ventura Calderon Parada

          “he sent us a rainbow to remind us of how loving and wonderful he is.” Isn’t it ironic that the rainbow today is used to represent homosexuality, tolerance, inclusivity, things the Religious Right hate.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Even the pretty rainbow gets tainted because it’s supposed to be a war bow (the kind you shoot arrows with). God is hangin’ up his weapons ’cause he’s a nice guy now. Or something.

        • Greg G.

          Religion poisons everything. Even rainbows are supposed to remind us of genocide.

        • Greg G.

          God considers alcoholism to be righteous. Noah gets drunk, takes off his clothes, and curses, literally, the offspring of the person who saw him naked. Lot gets his daughters pregnant but the blame is on the daughters because… well, you know how easy it is to seduce a righteous man when he’s been drinking.

          Where did Noah get the power to place a curse on somebody? One might think he had been a deity in a polytheistic story who got converted to a human because of monotheism.

        • wtfwjtd

          I would think the blame would be on the daughters because…well, they’re women, and that’s enough, according to some people. Read some over at Libby Anne’s blog, and you’ll start to get what I mean.
          As for the curse, maybe Noah had been reading Harry Potter and temporarily forgot he was the Chosen One in a land of muggles (alcohol has a way of fuzzing the brain like that, I’m told).

        • SparklingMoon-

          There have also crept into the Bible statements which are immoral in their import. It seems impossible to attribute actions reported in them either to God or His Prophets.
          It is written in Genesis 9 : 20-22 :”And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard : And he drank of the wine, and was drunken ; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.”

          This account presents Noah in a most unbecoming manner. According to it Noah planted a vineyard, drank the wine, was undressed in his tent, his son Ham saw him naked and told his brothers about it. The account is wholly uncomplimentary to Noah, and yet of Noah we read in Genesis 6 : 9 : “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”

          It is inconceivable that such a man would commit the in- decency of becoming undressed before his own children. Then it offends our moral judgement to think that the indecency should be committed by Noah but curses should be heaped upon Ham. Ham’s fault, even according to the Biblical account, was to see his father undressed and yet he hardly could do otherwise. When he found his father drunken and naked, he could not possibly avoid seeing him as such and yet according to the Bible Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan” (Genesis 9 :25). Actually Canaan is not to blame at all. Canaan was the son of Ham who committed the unavoidable indecency of seeing his naked father. Yet Noah had not a word to say in condemnation of Ham. He curses Canaan, who is not to blame at all. Is it because Ham was his son and Canaan his grandson !

          Such conduct offends our moral consciousness and cannot be attributed to a Prophet. To attribute it to a Prophet is a matter of shame for one who makes the attempt. We can well understand, however, that these things were not revealed to Moses by God, nor did Moses have them written down in his book.

          Jewish scholars who describe Prophets as thieves and robbers must have entered these things into the Book of Moses as a cover for their own sins. Their unholy interference with a Book of God made it necessary that God should reveal another book Quran which should be free from the absurdities and falsehoods which had crept into the old.

        • Dago Red

          “Jewish scholars who describe Prophets as thieves and robbers must have
          entered these things into the Book of Moses as a cover for their own
          sins….[and] made it necessary that God should reveal another book Quran….”

          …And people who need to invent stories that deride members of another faith to somehow validate their own religion are deceitful and delusional racists who misappropriate faith to justify their own selfish and small-minded opinions. In the end, such actions only lead readers to wonder what is it about the Quran that leads its followers to act in such wicked and nefarious ways?

        • smrnda

          As far as prophets go, it isn’t like Mohammad comes out too much cleaner than the rest, and the dirt that exists on Mohammad is at least a bit more readily verified than the semi-legendary accounts from Genesis.

        • SparklingMoon-

          The usefulness of a book is freedom from external interference. A revealed book is superior to a man-made book because we can assume that the former will not lead us into error. God is sheer guidance. In a book revealed by Him, therefore,we may expect to find only light and truth, no darkness or error. If our conception of God does not imply such a trust in what He reveals, then that conception has no value. If communications from God also can err, then what ground have we for holding divine teaching superior to human teaching ? Belief in a book entails belief that that book is free from error.It is possible, however,that a book originally revealed by God may come to suffer from human interference. If the contents of a book have suffered additions and subtractions at human hands, then that book can no longer serve as a guide.
          In Genesis 19 : 30-36 we read: ”And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him ; for he feared to dwell in Zoar : and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night : and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father ; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold I lay yesternight with my father : let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also : and the younger arose, and lay with him ; and he perceived not when she lay down nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

          No comment is necessary on this terrible narrative. It offends our sense both of the factual and the moral. But the present Torah does not hesitate to attribute this to a Prophet. From this we have to conclude that the Torah, as we know it today, is not the Torah revealed to Moses. It must have been composed later by Jewish scholars at a time when they had developed hatred for the sons, real or supposed, of Lot, Moab and Ammon. The faith of these Jewish scholars had become so weak, their hearts had become so hardened that to defame Moab and Ammon they did not hesitate to attribute to the Prophet Lot conduct which is reprehensible in the extreme and the attribution of which to any Prophet is entirely inintolerable.

          Is the Christian and the Jewish world today prepared to hear such things attributed to the Prophets of God. If they are, it is only further evidence that we should have had a book like Quran which corrected this mentality of our day.

          (Introduction to the study of the Quran)

        • Greg G.

          It is not reasonable to think that any book that requires abrogation to be understood could ever be considered to be divinely revealed. It’s a sign of being a rough draft that requires substantial editing and polish. It was made using the technology of the day. It had no suggestions for a moveable type printing press and paperanufacturing processes. Instead, each sura is shorter than the last. Scribes had to put the pages together and the writing had to come out even. A new page couldn’t be added. They had to recalculate how big to write and having smaller suras helped make it come out even. It’s really just another man-made book.

        • SparklingMoon-

          It is not reasonable to think that any book that requires abrogation to be understood could ever be considered to be divinely revealed.
          The Quran requires no abrogation as its each and every word of its revelation is safe as had been revealed to Prophet of Islam. The duration time between Prophet Adam to prophet of Islam is about four thousand years. All previous revelation (in their original form) with some new teachings had been assembled in the Quran and it was informed by God Almighty to all mankind: ”This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favors upon you and have chosen for you Islam as religion.”(5:4) As it is a Final Law for His people therefore He had promised to safeguard the integrity of His Word for all times to come “Verily,it is We Who have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We are its Guardians.”(Quran 15:10) In the existence of this promise of God, no human being has this capacity to abrogate any word of this revelation of the Quran.

          There is a verse in the Quran that is usually cited in support of this allegation of abrogation:”Whatever Sign We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than that or the like thereof.Dost thou not know that Allah has the power to do all that He wills?”[2:107] It is mistakenly inferred from this verse that some verses of the Qur’an had been abrogated. Actually this verse is about previous Revelations as they contained two kinds of commandments:
          (a) Those which,owing to changed conditions and to the universality of the new Revelation, required abrogation.
          (b)Those containing eternal truths which needed resuscitation so that people might be reminded of the forgotten truth.

          It was, therefore,necessary to abrogate certain portion of those previous Scriptures and bring in their place new ones, and also to restore the lost ones.So,God abrogated some portions of the previous Revelations,substituting them with new and better ones in the Quran, and at the same time re-introduced the missing general spirit of the religious teaching.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So the Koran is perfect and requires no abrogation … and it requires abrogation.

          I’d expect nothing else from a holy book.

        • Greg G.

          First sentence of your post:

          The Quran requires no abrogation as its each and every word of its revelation is safe as had been revealed to Prophet of Islam.

          Last paragraph of your post:

          It was, therefore,necessary to abrogate certain portion of those previous Scriptures and bring in their place new ones, and also to restore the lost ones.So,God abrogated some portions of the previous Revelations,substituting them with new and better ones in the Quran, and at the same time re-introduced the missing general spirit of the religious teaching.

          You must abrogate your own defense of my claim that your holy book requires abrogation. If it needs abrogation, it isn’t from a divine mind.

        • SparklingMoon-

          If it needs abrogation, it isn’t from a divine mind.
          The Quran is the Final Law for humankind therefore God had promised to safeguard the integrity of His Word for all times to come “Verily, it is We Who have sent down this Exhortation,and most surely We are its Guardians.” (Quran 15:10)This particular promise for the safety of the Quran is not a claim of a disfavour of God to other faiths or religions.

          God verifies the truth of all previous Prophets in the Quran and repeatedly promotes the message that divine guidance is His general bounty that has sustained humanity in all ages and everywhere: “And We did raise among every people a Messenger, preaching: ‘Worship Allah and shun the Evil One.”(Quran16:37) Religion Islam is described as a part of previous religions :“He has prescribed for you the religion which He enjoined on Noah, and which We have revealed to thee, and which We enjoined on Abraham( and Moses and Jesus, saying, ‘Remain steadfast in obedience, and be not divided therein.” (Quran42:14)

          God Almighty consoles the followers of other Scriptures by saying: ”Whatever Sign We abrogate or cause to be forgotten,We bring one better than that or the like thereof.” (Quran2:107)and explains the reason of their abrogation by pointing out that these previous Scripture before Islam had been revealed to fulfil the needs of a specific time or a particular race. For example Mosaic Law was only for Children of Israel:”We gave unto Moses the Scripture, and We appointed it a guidance for the children of Israel, saying: Choose no guardian beside Me “(17:2) and the universality of the final Law for all mankind, therefore, requires the abrogation of such laws that were related to a particular time or race.The God of Old Testamant addressed to Israel: ”Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever.”(I Chronicles16:36). Jesus also claimed himself as a Prophet for Children of Israel:”I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew15:24)

          The Quran affirms the truth of previous revelations and their being a source of guidance in their time: ”Before it was the Book of Moses for a model and a mercy” (Quran 46:12) but it also makes aware of their being changed by people: “The transgressors changed the word from that which had been given them.”(Quran2:59) No doubt, the Quran Verifies’ the truth of previous Prophets and their revelations but first, it presents a real account of them and then calls to believe them as they had been revealed. The revelation of the Quran has freed all previous prophets from all human made false accusal and unjust condemnation that had been entered in their religious books, later, by their followers.

        • Greg G.

          So we have another religious text that claims to be the final word. It claims that it is true. Circular logic is circular. It says other religion’s scriptures are obsolete. These are the kinds of claims a false religion would make. Making claims that false religions make does not make a religion true.

        • SparklingMoon-

          It says other religion’s scriptures are obsolete.
          The Quran draws our attention to the process of evolution in every sphere of human society. New religions were needed not only for the sake of restoring the fundamental teachings of older religions which had been mutilated at the hands of man, but also, as society evolved, more teachings had to be added to previous ones to keep up with the pace of progress. That is not all. Another factor at work in this process of change was the element of time related secondary teachings which were revealed to meet only the requirements of a certain people or period. This means that religions were not only made of central cores of unchangeable principles, but were also dressed-up with peripheral, secondary and even transient teachings.

          Man was not educated and trained in Divine instructions in one single stride, but he was gradually carried forward step by step to a stage of mental adulthood where he was considered fit and mature to receive all the fundamental principles which were needed for his guidance. According to the Quranic claim, a secondary teaching inseparably based on everlasting fundamental principles was also revealed as a part of the final, perfect and consummate religion i.e. Islam. That which was of a purely local or temporary character was abrogated or omitted; that which was still needed henceforth, was provided and retained.

        • Greg G.

          Man was not educated and trained in Divine instructions in one single stride,

          That’s a reflection on the quality of the educator.

          Muslims claim that the Koran must be understood in its own language. That’s because it is poetry that doesn’t sound so profound in another language. If the concept was actually profound, it wouldn’t need to be expressed as poetry. That is a mark of a man-made book.

          If there was a real religion, it would be significantly different from any of the man-made religions. All religions differ in their details but they all look the same. A divine religion wouldn’t need books or teachers, the revelations would be made directly between the god and each person. It wouldn’t need money to operate. It wouldn’t need a priest class. It wouldn’t need scholars as the god would relate everything that needed to be known directly to each person.

          Step outside your religion and look at it from the outside. Try some bacon. Some like it crisp. See how you like it. Have some com suong nuong at a Vietnamese restaurant. It’s better than religion.

        • SparklingMoon-

          The message of the Quran can be read in any language of the world. My mother language is also different one therefore have to read its translation. There is available Quran free online to read with easy English translation(with short and detailed commentary http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/

          The Quran is not a poetry to amuse its readers but a book of guidance in all matters that relate to moral and spiritual human progress. Muslims learn its wordily Arabic reading,considering it a blessed language of God’s revelation (and mostly are unaware of the meanings of its arabic words). The people of Arab at the time of Prophet of Islam had a great pride of their Arabic language and they used to call people of other languages ‘dumb’. The Arabic of the Quran was a great miracle for them and they accept its beauty and fascination.The God challanged them in the Quran that if its verses are a work of a human beings instead of the revelation of God then try to make a verse like it but nobody could. And this challang exists in the Quran for all other people also who have a doubt of its being a revelation of God Almighty.

          Secondly, you are right that revelation should be directly between God and each person. It is a truth that all people are equally invested with the ability to have a revelation (It is the only source that brings certainty about the existence of God and all prophets has called to this path) but mostly people do not use this ability. Revelation of Law is a different one that is given to prophets only as it needs a particular condition. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has explained about it ”Divine revelation, which is God’s own holy word, is only granted on condition of utmost purity and perfect ability of the recipient. A person given to cravings of the flesh and selfish desires is far away from the Holy Source and hence is not considered worthy of receiving divine revelation. Unless he has been completely purified of all that is unworthy, he cannot acquire the capacity to be graced with revelation. If perfect purity was not the precondition and if the worthy and unworthy were all equal,then every person would become a Prophet. But since purity is the essential requirement, it has to be conceded that the Prophets are the purest of mankind, such that no higher station of purity can be conceived for a human being.” (Ruhani Khazain Vol 01-p-113)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Do you ever give anything besides theology? It’s fine to let people know what you think, but if you want to convince them that you’re right, you need evidence.

          Got any?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Why is it a terrible narrative? Cain presumably had sex with his sister. So what if Lot had sex with his daughters? It’s all part of God’s fabulous plan.

        • SparklingMoon-

          Cain presumably had sex with his sister.So what if Lot had sex with his daughters? It’s all part of God’s fabulous plan.
          These descriptions of the Old Testament neither have a relation to God’s plan and nor to the holy revelation of prophet Moses.It is a reality that when we examine these earlier revealed books from this point of view, we find them entirely unsatisfying. It is no doubt that followers of the Old Testament regard it as a revealed book, Christians also describe it as a Book of God, and Muslims also think that it was a revelation. But it is one thing for a book to be revealed, and quite another for that book to retain intact its revealed text. No doubt, all the three peoples-Jews, Christians and Muslims, agree that God spoke to the Prophets of the Old Testament. But they no longer believe, and external and internal evidence no longer support the view, that the record of the Old Testament as we possess it today constitutes the word of God as it was first revealed.

          Is it any wonder that these books, which on historical as well as on their own internal evidence are maimed and mutilated, ceased to give satisfaction to their readers ? Is it any wonder that therefore, God also withdrew His protection from them so that mankind began to look and long for a book which should be free from and immune to all kinds of human interference ? If even after these books had become contaminated, God had not revealed to the world a book which could be regarded as the very word of God, and protection of which from human interference could not be doubted, then we would have had to admit that God is not concerned to guide man and that He sows the seed of faith not in the soil which brings forth certainty and conviction but in the soil which brings forth uncertainty and doubt and that He wishes to confer upon belief not even the measure of certainty which disbelief enjoys. But can we entertain such a thought ? Is it worthy of God ? If it is not true, and it certainly is not true, that God is not concerned to guide man, then we have to look for the book which superseded the Bible and replaced this garbled and interpolated version of the word of God.(And it is the book of the Quran that’s revelation is safe in its original words for human guidance)(Introduction to the study of the Holy Quran)

        • Kodie

          Of course you’re not deluded like they are. Of course!

        • MNb

          “A revealed book is superior to a man-made book because we can assume that the former will not lead us into error.”
          “If even after these books had become contaminated”
          You nicely contradict yourself. A superior book not leading you into error can’t get contaminated.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, we do find the books of the OT unsatisfying, but that’s because we apply modern morality to OT situations and find them unsatisfactory. But if God’s morality is unchanging, we’re doing it wrong to find OT incest, slavery, and genocide wrong.

          So you’re wiggling out of the problem by saying that the OT that we have has been corrupted? Do you then discard the entire Old Testament? How do you know what the truth is? (And “knowing by faith” is no answer.)

        • SparklingMoon-

          So you’re saying that the OT that we have has been corrupted? Do you then discard the entire Old Testament? How do you know what the truth is?
          It is not only me but the followers of the Bible themselves know and accept that the revelation of those prophets who appeared among the Children of Israel (for their reformation) is not safe in its original words. It is a mixture of revelation and human writings.(I think, two examples I had described about Prophet Nuh and Lot are enough to support this reality) The existence of these statements and many other in the Bible has made it difficult for its followers find the way of God. They must had been in need of a revelation that bring them out of their mistakes. The revelation of the Quran has fulfilled this need and like a judge has pointed out the mistakes (entered by others) and showed them the right teachings of their prophets.

          Second, there is a system of evolution in religious world also and God Almighty had introduced step by step His Laws in different areas by His prophets to progress humanity. All revelations, before Islam, in their areas played a fundamental role to develop human reason and moral condition. A Muslim devoutly believes in Jesus, Moses and all other prophets. There is no contradiction between Islam and true Christianity or Judaism or even other religions therefor a person can not discard the entire Old Testament as it has still revelational messages that had been mixed with human’s words explanations.

          How do I know what the truth is? Religion is a field of God and His Prophets and their teachings help as a light to find out truth.True Christianity, in fact, leads to Islam. Jesus had prophesied the coming of Prophet Muhammad in the Bible: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth:…And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment … I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.Howbeit when he, the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you unto all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you”.(John16:7-15) The Holy Quran declares that its mission is to guide to the truth. Prophet of Islam,coming after the departure of Jesus,who brought the pure heavenly word, glorified Jesus, and in whose holy person were fulfilled all signs of the prophecy.

          Moses also addressed Israelites and prophesied about the coming of a prophet “from among their brethren”, that is from among the Ishmaelites. God said to Moses: “I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him”. (Deuteronomy 18:18) It was Prophet of Islam who was raised from among the Ishmaelite. He was like unto Moses in the fact that brought a new law as Moses did. The Quran, the scripture revealed to Prophet of Islam and presented by him to the whole world, says: “Today we have perfected your religion for you and completed our favors upon you”. (The Holy Quran 5:4)These words clearly point out the comprehensiveness of the teaching of the Quran.

        • MNb

          “It is a mixture of revelation and human writings.”
          How do you decide which parts are revelation and which parts are human writings? Same question for the Quran.

          “It was Prophet of Islam who was raised from among the Ishmaelite.”
          How do you know? Let me guess – because it’s in the Quran. Which says that there is a god. Which god gave Mohammed the Quran.
          That’s a circular argument, not any better than Norm’s.

          “These words clearly point out the comprehensiveness of the teaching of the Quran.”
          The same here. “It’s in the Quran; hence it’s comprehensive; hence the Quran points out the comprehensiveness of the teaching of the Quran.”
          With the same logic I can argue that circles are square, because square figures are circles. You’ll ask extra arguments for one of the two statements here or even assume some to refute them; in exactly the same way I ask you for extra arguments backing one of the two statements in your circular arguments.

        • SparklingMoon-

          How do you know?
          God has endowed man with the faculty of reason, which, like a lamp, shows him the right path and dispels his doubts and misconceptions. It is an extremely useful and essential faculty and a great blessing. Nonetheless, it has one major flaw: it cannot, on its own, take us to the level of absolute certainty with respect to the true nature of things, for absolute certainty consists in knowing things as they actually are. The best that reason can do is to postulate the need for something to exist, but it cannot go further and confirm that it does indeed exist. Perfect certainty, whereby we rise from the level of ‘should be’ to that of ‘is’ is only achieved when reason finds an ally that is capable of confirming its speculative reasoning and bringing it into the realm of perceptible facts; and where reason says, ‘it should be,’ this ally is able to confirm, ‘it is.’ The Ever-Merciful and Noble God, who desires to lead man to the level of absolute certainty, has fulfilled this need by providing human reason with many allies.

          Reason can have different allies from occasion to occasion, but they are no more than three as far as the limitations of reason allow.To illustrate: If the testimony of reason relates to perceptible objects that can be seen, heard, smelled or touched, the ally that helps it to reach the stage of certainty is called observation or experience. If the testimony of reason relates to events that happen or have happened in various ages and places, it finds another ally in the form of historical books, writings, letters and other records, which, like observation, bring clarity to the hazy light of reason, such that only a fool or madman will doubt them.If the testimony of reason relates to metaphysical phenomena, which we can not see with our eyes, hear with our ears, touch with our hands, or substantiate through historical records, then a third ally comes to the aid of reason. This is known as divine revelation.(Ruhani-Khazain-vol-01p-93)

        • MNb

          “God has endowed man with the faculty of reason”
          How do you know?
          Because the Quran says so.
          And your god has endowed man with the faculty to write that book.
          Repeating a circular argument doesn’ t make it less a logical fallacy.

          “observation or experience”
          doesn’t help you with your god, it being immaterial and unobservable by definition.

          “historical books”
          etc. can be considered empirical data, which by definition don’t help you with your god.

          “This is known as divine revelation”
          And we’re back at your circular argument. Your very personal, totally subjective divine revelation (typically Papua’s from New Guinea had not any before they met christian missionaries; neither had the Indians of the Amazone) tells you that your god has endowed you with the faculty of reason, which tells you that your divine revelation is correct.
          You are reminding me of this:


        • SparklingMoon-

          Repeating a circular argument doesn’ t make it less a logical fallacy.
          To trust and have faith in others, unless there is a genuine reason for suspicion,is a part of human nature. Anyone who is unduly suspicious and distrustful is considered a madman, paranoid, insane or an imbecile. For instance, if a person refuses to eat bread or sweets purchased from the market fearing that they may be poisoned, or, during a journey, unduly suspects anyone who guides him to the path, or is terrified lest the barber should cut his throat with a razor, all these would be considered signs of approaching madness and insanity. Such perverse thoughts are a precursor of insanity. As one gets more and more obsessed by such thoughts, they lead to insanity. Undue suspicion is thus a kind of madness that every reasonable person should do his best to avoid.
          God has invested man with the faculty of trust in the same way as He has ingrained truth and righteousness in his nature, so that one does not want to tell a lie or do evil unless prompted to do so. Had man not been blessed with a trusting nature, he would have been deprived of all the benefits of truthfulness and righteousness upon which rest the entire fabric of society and culture, and on which all domestic and national affairs are poised. It is because of this trust, for example, that babies learn to speak and accept their parents as their own. Had they been distrustful, they would imagine that the parents had some ulterior motive in trying to teach them to talk. They would thus learn nothing and remain dumb and even doubtful of their parentage (Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya p- 115)

        • MNb

          “unless there is a genuine reason for suspicion”
          Do you accept there are unobservable fairies tending the flowers in my garden, making sure they blossom beautifully? Yes? Then you can believe anything: Monster of Loch Ness, the Yeti from Tibet, UFO’s, me being the reincarnation of Mahatma Ghandi, whatever you like. No?
          Then you’re either an undusly suspicious, distrustful, paranoid, imbecile madman with perverse thoughts as a precursor to your insanity. Or you have a genuine reason for suspicion. That very same genuine reason applies to your god.
          Pick your choice.

          “God has invested man …”
          Repeating a circular argument doesn’ t make it less a logical fallacy.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The purpose of this incest story is to be an etiological (origins) tale about where the Ammonites and Moabites came from. “You wonder why those people are so despicable? ‘Cause they are the product of incest, that’s why!”

          It’s just one step up from a playground taunt. “Oh yeah? Well you guys are the result of a guy banging his daughter!!”

        • Ron

          Can you blame poor Noah? Most families are at each others throats after a two-week road trip. Now imagine being quartered with them for a year on a boat loaded with animals.

          Shem: Dad, can we stop? I need to go to the bathroom.

          Noah: Tough luck, son. Ya shoulda thought of that before we got on the ark.

  • MNb

    @1 “a make-believe distinction”
    The Sensuous Curmudgeon nailed it perfectly:

    “We assume, if a blood test for one of Egnor’s patients indicates the presence of antibodies for a specific pathogen, he makes no conclusion that the patient was once exposed to that pathogen. How could he? There’s no way for him to know that such a thing happened in the past, because he wasn’t there.”


    Still I think Egnor and Ham have a point here; it’s just the opposite of what they think they have. Octavianus was the first Emperor of the Roman Empire. In theory this is a falsifiable statement, but how are we going to falsify this in practice? I can’t think of any but stupid conspiracion theories and they don’t count. So if any discipline can reach certainty beyond doubt it’s the historical sciences.
    This applies to fossils as well. We know that the Big Bang happened even if we don’t know what exactly happened. We know it happened 13,7 billion years ago because we have several independent methods to calculate it. There simply is no room for reasonable doubt.
    When historical sciences manage to establish a fact we get as much certainty, come as close to the truth as we ever can. That applies to the fossil record, ie evolution as well.
    Ken Ham’s distinction actually inforces Evolution Theory if we take it seriously. He being a joke of course doesn’t.
    We easily can expand this with other examples. Assume I enter a room, but I’ve been standing outside next to the door for half an hour. When I enter I see Ken Ham and only Ken Ham doing his business in that room. Now I can safely conclude that Ken Ham entered that room at least half an hour ago, even when “I wasn’t there” when he actually did. Still him entering the room belongs to the past.

    • smrnda

      The ‘were you there’ if pushed as far as it can go, ends up pretty much being solipsism. Good point there.

  • MNb

    @2: Which atheist and/or scientist ever argued that christians only produce bogus? This argument is based on a strawman.

    @3: “I naively thought”
    You’re naive indeed. No creationist ever does. What’s more: no believing philosopher of religion ever does. That’s why it’s called apologetics. They know what conclusion to arrive at and then produce arguments and evidence which confirm it. In this respect sophisticated believers usually aren’t any better than Ken Ham. That includes specifically Feser, Craig and Plantinga. Swinburne seems to be an exception.
    All christians accept teleology. This kind of arguing for a fore-gone conclusion is the consequence.

    “Science follows the evidence where it leads”
    In addition: science uses induction instead of faith and thus has two objective methods, while believers only have one. Faith is utterly subjective. Papua’s are (were?) very spiritual people with lots of faith. But before they were baptized they weren’t exactly christians.

    “he admitted that no one could show him that there was no god.”
    Note that Craig has said exactly the same, even though he called Ham an embarrassment.

    @5: “Ham rejects speciation.”
    That’s the consequence of having faith, of relying on teleology. All philosophers of religion who use the Cosmological Argument reject the probabilism quantummechanics. In the end it’s just the medieval logic of “it may not be true, hence it cannot be true, hence it isn’t true.”

    @6: “Ham said that it’s not possible for observational science to contradict the claim of a young earth.”
    That’s teleology for you. Once you have learned to recognize it you’ll see it everywhere. Unfortunately there are also atheists who use it.

    @7: You’re asking too many questions. That’s not what faith is about.

    “It’s simply unpatriotic to settle for less.”
    Definitely. If Ken Ham gets it his way the USA will suffer for it by getting behind in scientific knowledge. As a non-American I might applaud that, but the prospect of a theocracy a la Ken Ham is far more frightening than superpower USA with a healthy sense of reason.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      This is off topic, but I heard that the Netherlands got 1, 2, and 3 in the 5000m speed skating. Congratulations!

      Do you care about the Olympics?

      • Ventura Calderon Parada

        Good for the them. My dad was Dutch.

      • MNb

        Thanks. I don’t especially care about the Olympics, but I do like skating indeed – especially the long distances. Acidification of the muscles goes very quickly, meaning that one moment the athlete is going fine and next implodes (metaphorically). So it’s awesome when an athlete manages to keep a constant pace for such a long time.
        Unfortunately Dutch skaters have been totally dominating skating for too many years, so it’s not as tense anymore. Chad Hedrick and especially Shani Davis were very welcome for a change, but just like 30 years ago with Eric Heiden there is not really a follow up. Sports need competition.

  • Kodie

    This is on my facebook tonight. Buzzfeed editor went around to self-identifying creationists and asked them to write a question to Bill Nye/evolution side – then their questions were… “translated”.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Flippin’ awesome reworking of idiotic thinking.

  • SparklingMoon-

    The major hindrance that stops these religious people to accept scientific theory about evolution is their human made myth (thats foundation is on the sin of Adam and Eve and their fall from garden of Eden and redemption of sin by the sacrifice of Jesus). It really does cause them a great trouble and destroys the whole building of their religious concept.

    Second,I have found no word in the Bible about this prevailed conception of some religious people that this universe is only seven or ten thousand years old. This misconception is result of somehuman made explanations that has changed the true message of its verses.

    There are descriptions about two different evolutions in the books of religion. (and that are amalgamated with one an other by religious people ) First description is about the evolution of earth to prepare it and its surrounding for the creation of first human life. Second,description of evolution is about religious and worldly human progress that completes in seven thousand years of moon system. This evolution of seven thousand years is called seven days of God in religious books( as one day of God is equal to 1000 years of human beings: ‘’Verily a day with thy lord is a thousand years of yours reckoning“( Quran 22:48) Muslims, Christian and Jews scholars are agreed that county from the time of Adam (of our recent generation) to the present millennium is the seventh.( As we are passing through the beginning of this seventh thousand)

  • Mick

    Did you notice that at the 0:41:10 mark (link below) Ham turns a scientific diagram upside down so that it looks more like his creationist diagram?

    Watch him point to the section depicting modern dogs and refer to them as “ancestors”! He also talks about modern dogs while pointing to the names of ancient wolves! (The audience doesn’t notice because the names are upside down and can’t be read properly.)

    Source of scientific diagram (figure 5) is here:

    Video is here:

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I didn’t notice that, thanks.

  • ignorance_is_curable

    I didn’t see the debate, but here is something that indicates the Creationist is mistaken:

    Obviously the world can’t be 6000 years old if civilization dates back 9000 years.

    By the way, there is a “future” thing that offers a chance to positively prove that the young-Earth creationists are wrong. We would like to invent a way to make spaceships go faster than the speed of light. As soon as we do that, we can send a starship out to say, 10,000 light-years from Earth, deploy a nice LARGE telescope, and look back toward the Earth. If light from the Sun reflected off the Earth 10,000 years ago, and can be captured by that LARGE telescope, after travelling 10,000 light-years, then obviously the Earth had to have existed 10,000 years ago.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      And permanent settlement at Jericho dates back to 11,600 years ago.

      • ignorance_is_curable

        The Wikipedia article for “dendrochronology” (tree-ring dating, which is used to calibrate other dating systems like Carbon-14) states that “Currently, the maximum for fully anchored chronologies is a little over 11,000 years from present.” (with a reference)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Another good example. Thanks.

          Thank God that Ken Ham’s religious views are so firmly grounded that they won’t be swayed by something as trivial as “evidence.”

        • MNb

          This makes me wonder if I have a bad influence on you? I always thought Americans were too well mannered for excellent sarcasm like this [/tongue in cheek].

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker


          Humor and wit aren’t my best thing, but I try and I certainly appreciate that in others’ writing.

          When a troll gets annoying, my goal is to be savage enough to leave no option but tears. It ain’t pretty, but it’s satisfying.

    • Kodie

      No matter what you could come up with, they will just say it’s faked and that we’re all stupid for believing in a dating process that must obviously be out of whack. There’s no such thing as “9000 years ago” so whatever they had found is not that old and there’s no real proof. Also, whenever they find a stick near Ararat, Noah’s Ark was real. There are mountains of evidence that everything in the bible really happened because of random scraps that couldn’t be there for any other reason. But there’s not enough bones, no complete skeletons, no missing link, and everyone who finds evolution to be true is just a gullible moron who believes what they teach in school, and all the scientific community is in on a conspiracy to suppress the truth of biblical literalism.

      That goes for your magic spaceship too – not that it couldn’t be executed, but who is to say what traveling that far can prove the earth is existed at least 10,000 years ago. They can point it at anything. The results are blurry and indeterminate. It was filmed on a Hollywood soundstage. When you send this machine to space, how many generations later will the data be recovered, and hopefully everyone by then has been educated on the age of the earth, then no one will be left* who still believes the earth is only 6000 years old.

      *Or no one will be left.

      Even for someone like me, who is not completely illiterate in science, and find programs like Nova to be fascinating and educational at a speed I can handle, the episode about how time works stumped me completely. You think a creationist can follow it and take your magical spaceship’s evidence as anything but a crock? With technology like that, do something useful, and don’t go out of your way to show them finally.

      • ignorance_is_curable

        Actually, in Space it is possible to build very very large structures. 10,000 light years from the Sun, relative to the overall disk of the Milky Way Galaxy, can be well outside the main disk –no gravitational sources for hundreds of light-years in any direction. You could build a telescope a thousand miles in diameter, and that would actually be able to see the Earth quite clearly, continents included, despite the distance.