Cain’s wife and Tubal-cain’s sonic screwdriver


“Who did Cain marry?” you asked back in Sunday school. And what you may have been told was an odd babble of legends, half-remembered allusions to other legends, and improvised-on-the-spot ideas. You were probably given an “explanation” that involved Cain marrying some previously unmentioned sister — followed by some reassurance that this would have been perfectly fine due to some mumbled rehash of a pulpit myth mangling both genetics and Mosaic law. [Read more...]

‘Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh’


“Homo sapiens evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago, and then humans expanded out of Africa 60,000 years ago, after which they interbred with Neanderthals and Denisovans. So, yes, many people on Earth today are have direct ancestors that were Neanderthals. Some have direct ancestors that were Denisovans.” [Read more...]

You can’t have a 10,000-year-old house in a 7,000-year-old universe


American evangelicals tend to like the idea of “biblical archaeology,” seeing the discovery of new artifacts in the lands of the Bible as evidence confirming the truth of their scriptures. But these evangelicals do not like biblical archaeology when it finds things like a 10,000-year-old house in Eshtaol, because many American evangelicals have got it fixed in their heads that the Bible must be read in such a way that it teaches that nothing is 10,000 years old. This house is 3,000 years older than their universe. Yet there it is. [Read more...]

I think that I shall never see a theology lovely as a tree


This isn’t a dispute about the meaning of facts, but rather a dispute about whether or not there can be any such thing as facts. The sort of Christian fundamentalist most likely to embrace young-Earth creationism is also likely to be the sort of person who rails against “post-modernism” and who insists on the essential importance of “absolute truth.” Yet scratch the surface of any young-Earth creationist and you’ll find an epistemology more radically skeptical than anything Hume or any of the French deconstructionists ever imagined. Far from the defenders of “absolute truth” they claim to be, young-Earth creationists actually embrace a philosophy that says nothing can be known about the world around us. [Read more...]

Their Old Kentucky Home: Ken Ham, Al Mohler and Big Bone Lick


The two men live and work about 100 miles apart in Kentucky, but when it comes to young-Earth creationism, there’s no space between them at all. It’s odd that science-aversion, reality-denial and wacky exegesis makes Ken Ham a comic figure, while the very same science-aversion, reality-denial and wacky exegesis is hailed as evidence of Al Mohler’s pious devotion to the “authority of the scriptures.” [Read more...]

‘Noah’s workshop’ should not look like the Renaissance Fair

Screenshot 2013-11-11 at 12.55.28 AM

My point here is not to nitpick about the anachronistic metallurgy of the Ark Encounter. What I’m getting at here is that Ken Ham’s reality-denying “creation science” doesn’t just dismiss all of human history and natural history from before 6,000 years ago. It’s worse than that. His “creation science” also forces him to disregard most of human history and natural history within those 6,000 years. [Read more...]

Creationists aim to be kings of their own tiny little worlds

This painting of a bull on a cave wall in Lascoux, France, is at least 17,000 years old.

I’ve written plenty here about Southern Baptist bigwig Al Mohler’s young-Earth creationism. And I’ve written about Mohler’s staggering, transparent ambition. But I hadn’t ever really appreciated how those two things fit together until I read Alan Bean’s recent insightful post, “Why Al Mohler believes the world is 6,000 years old.” [Read more...]

7 more things that are older than (Ken Ham’s) Adam

Upheaval Dome in Utah is either an ancient meteor impact site, about 170 million years old. Or else it's where Noah's anchor scraped the bottom during the flood 4,400 years ago. Teach the controversy.

Ken Ham and other young-Earth creationists tell us the universe is 6,000 years old. The universe says different. Here are a few more things recently in the news that are older than Ken Ham’s universe. [Read more...]