Creationist Ken Ham versus the Truth

Announcing his upcoming debate with Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham said:

This debate will help highlight the fact that so many young people are dismissing the Bible because of evolution, and even many young people who had grown up in the church decided to leave the church because they saw evolution as showing the Bible could not be trusted.

No, Mr. Ham, young people aren’t dismissing the Bible “because of evolution.”

Mr. Ham, the young people you strive to influence are dismissing the Bible because you’re telling them what it says and means, rather than letting them seek that out for themselves. You’ve decided that your particular (and particularly immature) interpretation of the Bible is the only valid one, and you’re making them choose between your view and reason. Guess what? They’re choosing reason.

No, Mr. Ham, people aren’t dismissing the Bible “because of evolution.”

Mr. Ham, people no more dismiss the Bible because of evolution than they dismiss the Bible because of the laws of gravity, thermodynamics, or general relativity. Scientific facts are scientific facts; the Bible is the Bible. That the Bible doesn’t contain our modern scientific understanding of the world simply means that it reflects the ancient worldview in which it was written (which hardly in turn renders it hopelessly irrelevant).

No, Mr. Ham, no one’s leaving the church because evolution shows that “the Bible could not be trusted.”

Mr. Ham, they’re leaving the church because of people like you: people who fervently create walls, erect barriers, establish rigid rules for what one must believe in order to be a Christian. They’re leaving the church because your version of Christianity has nothing whatsoever to do with right practice, and everything to do with “right” belief. They’re leaving the church because by essentially demonizing everyone who doesn’t agree with you, you’ve made believing in Young Earth Creationism* more important than Jesus’ explicit commandment to love God and neighbor.

No, Mr. Ham, no one’s leaving the church because evolution shows that “the Bible could not be trusted.”

Mr. Ham, what the theory of evolution makes clear is that it is you and your cohorts who cannot be trusted. Evolution shows that you are either flat-out lying, or indulging in the Costanzian self-delusion: “Just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.” Either way, your aggressive disingenuousness and sophomoric chicanery stand in stark, pitiable contrast to the mountains of hard scientific evidence that prove evolution true.

Mr. Ham, I don’t know who will “win” the debate in February. But I am comforted by the assurance that, in the words of John Wycliffe, in the end the truth will conquer.

 

*The belief, born of a literal interpretation of the creation narrative in Genesis, that God created the world in six 24-hour days only 6,000 years ago.


Dan WilkinsonDan Wilkinson
Dan is a writer, graphic designer and IT specialist. He lives in Montana, is married and has two cats. He blogs at CoolingTwilight.com.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Keith Witty

    God, I just love the title of this. Spot on writing as well.

    • Ryanmd

      Who are you speaking to when you say “God”

      • Keith Witty

        My own expression of God. In this case, an expression.

      • http://beingperfectlyhuman.blogspot.com/ Eric Fry

        What business of yours is it who he’s talking to? If you’re asking, then you’re probably assuming that he was addressing you.

        It’s funny how fundies can’t see their idolatry of their own certitude.

        • Ryanmd

          perhaps it was an earnest question? Eric you seem very very angry, calling me names. Anything I can help you with?

          • http://beingperfectlyhuman.blogspot.com/ Eric Fry

            I don’t need any help from idolaters like you, Ryan. You have a nice day now.

          • http://beingperfectlyhuman.blogspot.com/ Eric Fry

            And since you’re claiming to understand my current emotional state, that’s just more proof that you view yourself as God.

          • Ryanmd

            Irrational, un-reason-able. I am speaking softly and you are still in a tirade. When you calm down and want to discuss something, let me know. I would be willing

        • Ryanmd

          Forgive me if this is posting twice.
          Eric, perhaps this was an earnest question?
          You seem very very angry calling me names. Is there anything I can do for you?

          • spinetingler

            Go away, maybe?

          • Guest

            done, I will not answer you again Spine

          • spinetingler

            Well you asked!

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      Thank you Keith.

  • Herald

    Precisely, they are leaving because of narrow-mindedness, judgmentalism, hypocrisy, and the like. When Christ’s great command to love is obeyed and truth eagerly sought out they come in.

  • BarbaraR

    This. Absolutely.
    *Cue the people who will throw scripture around like spaghetti in a Three Stooges film in an attempt to disprove the article but wind up with exact opposite effect*

  • Dave

    So if we can throw out Genesis 1, why can’t we throw out John 3:16?

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      Who’s throwing out Genesis 1? I’m certainly not.

      • Dave

        So Genesis is compatible with evolution?

        • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

          I think so. Because Genesis 1 is poetry in the original Hebrew. Our “24 hour day” was not even a concept back then. Who knows what a “day” is to God, who is eternal?

          • Dave

            Hebrew word for day is same in Genesis as in other parts of OT

          • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

            And? That still doesn’t mean that the poetry in Genesis 1 is speaking about 24 hours. It’s art, not fact.

          • Dave

            Genesis doesn’t read as poetry nor recorded that way

            Apparently I have been blocked. That is fine, though I find it a bit hypocritical to preach tolerance and then block someone for challenging the belief system of this blog respectfully.

            I will pray for everyone on here for faith in Jesus Christ that He died for our sins and that all who will submit their lives wholly to Him will be saved from eternal destruction. Please make Jesus the Lord of your life and He will give you a new heart and you will be a new creature.

            “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

            2nd Corinthians 5:17.

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            Gosh, it’s hard to believe that you might miss the poetry in something, Dave.

          • buzzdixon

            Dave, the Bible pretty explicitly states that Genesis 1-8 are the best recollections of a drunken abusive illiterate Bronze Age farmer and his dysfunctional family. Noah is the bottle neck that all previous info has to be squeezed thru. How much did he know? Who told him? What was just a guess on his part?

          • Ruby Faraday

            Yes bronze age people who come up with scientific studies. For instance, Democritus understood the Higgs Boson 2600 years ago.

            Erastosthenes who used geometry to measure the Earth’s circumference & measured the tilt of the Earth’s axis by 23.5 degrees.

            Even Carl Sagan didn’t diss anyone from those ages but merely praised them.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            No…Democritus, theorized on the concept of atoms, which Higgs Bosun built on centuries later. He was way ahead of his time, but his theory at the time was utterly un-provable.
            No one is saying Bronze or iron age people were stupid, they just lacked the technical advances we take for granted today. Each generation has built on the discoveries or thoughts of past ones, often discarding what was found to be erroneous, as new discoveries have been made.

          • Daniel Webb

            Democritus didn’t live during the bronze age. He wasn’t born until around 470 BCE and the Bronze age was from 3300 BCE to 1200 BCE. Erastosthenes also didn’t live during the bronze age. He wasn’t born until around 276 BCE.
            Noah–however–did indeed live during the Bronze Age. Just wanted to help you out Ruby–you seem to suffer from that dangerous disease known as argumentum gluteaus maximum, which is commonly an affliction of politicians and creationists.

          • spinetingler

            What did he know, and when did he know it?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Genesis one is most certainly poetic in nature. The repetitive use of phrase, the layout of segments, with a close to lyrical feel. Its not poetry in a modern sense, but more an early version of free verse, where there patterns exist, but are not used stringently.

          • MikeHaas82

            Dave – I’m a Jew, take it from me. Much of the Hebrew Bible is poetry and quite a bit of it even rhymes. The Gospel of John in koine Greek is also poetry.

        • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

          Yes.

          • Dave

            How?

          • http://blog.debenny.de/ De Benny

            How is it incompatible? Genesis 1 is about God being the creator of all things. Nobody questions this.
            Evolution is about how living things created evolved into today’s forms.
            By the way: There are also bible verses colliding with Genesis 1: Ever heard of the Leviathan and the Behemot? They are not mentioned in Gen 1, but God wresteld with them before creation etc etc.
            Texts have an issue they want to bring across. In the case of Gen 1 this is rather the fact that God created everything than giving a historical lecture on what God made when.
            In how far would this even be of interest to us? How does it change your life knowing that gras was made before the sun and the moon, according to Gen 1?

        • Ryanmd

          Genesis is compatible with Jesus. Evolution is not compatible with the need of a Savior. Death entered after Adam’s sin, not before. Jesus paid the fine Adam caused. The fine was death.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Jesus is Adam’s fault? wwwaaat?

          • Ryanmd

            You seem to be irritated in all your comments. So I will do this once with you Allegro. Jesus came to pay the penalty for sin. The penalty was death. Adam and Eve sinned against God. The penalty for sin was death. Jesus (the Son of God) came to pay the penalty of sin (Death) once and for all. Anyone that believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. If Adam had never sinned, death would not have entered, Jesus would not have had to come to pay the penalty.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Irritated? Nah. I am familiar with that theorization of theology. I just, like many Christians, utterly reject the idea of original sin. It appears to make God a failure as the creator of people, seeing the glaring design flaw.

          • Ryanmd

            What is your “theorized” reason for Jesus?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Different than your theory.

          • Ryanmd

            theory?
            “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:15

            Your theory does not matter. My theory does not matter. Only scripture. Study your bible before you teach. Know the reason for Jesus. Pray about this before you teach the masses . teachers will be judged harsher than others

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I find it amusing and also sad that people assume that those who disagree with their views on scripture haven’t read it, and have simply come up with different conclusions.
            God is much more expansive in the divine interaction with humanity than what is confined in the views of those making assumptions.

            Scripture matters little if its used as a weapon, or as a means to demean, belittle, discredit or do anything that acts contrary to the concept of loving and respecting your neighbor. It certainly is of infinite lesser importance than the divine, of which scripture tries to grasp, through human lenses, and within the lenses of a time and culture quite foreign to us. Yes its valuable, it offers insight, and beauty, and also ugliness. It isn’t, however, the only things that matters, not even close.

          • Ryanmd

            Allegro I did not assume you have not read your bible. I said to “study” it. It is a mirror. You do not read it once. You read it until you die. Study it. Know it. Understand it. Toil it. Search it. Pray over it. It is infact a weapon. It is the sword of the Spirit. A double edged sword. It divides the heart and the intentions. This is scripture. But, not against you. It is for you. I used scripture not to attack you. But to attack satan and his lie. I gave scripture in Romans 5 to show you that evolution is incompatible with Jesus. It is clear. Not interpretations. it is clear. I am not attacking you, only giving you scripture to guide you to the truths that God has already revealed. I only remind you that teaching before you are certain is dangerous. That we should be careful teaching wrong things. We will be judged more harshly. WE

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I am certain, that my conclusions of what you say are quite different and will continue along that vein. Why? because I read, I ponder, I ask questions, I look at how others have thought about things. I use every means at my disposal to discover, discarding and picking up along the way. I’ve read scripture many times, still reference it frequently, as I do as many other books I can lay my hands on.

            The Bible is just a tool, I would never consider it as a weapon, its a book…or rather a collection. I see nothing in any of scripture…and yeah, I looked, repeatedly over the years, so see where evolution is incompatible with Jesus, and it, to me just is not there….

            Why? Because such a concept was yet undiscovered.

          • Ryanmd

            Allegro I must leave you with God on this. I pray that you will find the Bible as more than just any tool. But THE tool. Search it, study it. Seek Jesus. Repent as I did. Shalom

          • http://beingperfectlyhuman.blogspot.com/ Eric Fry

            What a bunch of double talk. “I’m not attacking you, I’m attacking Satan; you just happen to be standing in the way.” We all realize that the Bible is a weapon in the hands of fundamentalists and literalists. You’ve been attacking us with it for centuries.

          • Ryanmd

            Thank you for laying centuries on me Eric. Anything else you are upset with me about?

          • http://beingperfectlyhuman.blogspot.com/ Eric Fry

            How about the fact that you’re nothing but a troll?

          • spinetingler

            a repetitive troll.

          • Ryanmd

            You are laying centuries on my shoulders. Thats a lot to bear. Is there anything else you would like to add Eric?

          • http://beingperfectlyhuman.blogspot.com/ Eric Fry

            Spoken like a true literalist. If you can’t understand figurative language, then you should probably get off the internet

          • MikeHaas82

            Yes. If you can hate the sin but love the sinner, then I can hate the belief but love the believer. I wish I could take credit for that, but it was written by someone a lot wiser than I.

          • Ryanmd

            Mike, I like it. I think its a great quote. I can and do love the sinner and hate the sin. As I have been a lover of many sins in my past I certainly understand those that are still enveloped by its draw. I love the sinner, like a doctor loves his patient and hates the disease. This is why I have a hard time allowing anyone to walk by me with a terminal illness that I have already found the cure for. For me, death has now lost its sting. I will scream it from the roof tops while looking like a fool doing it. I will not be popular, I will not get a movie deal. I will mostly be broke, and shunned. Mike, if you can love a believer like me and hate my belief, well I still thank you kind sir. I wish many other felt the same. Bless you and your family today.

          • Ryanmd

            theorized?
            “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” Romans 5:12

          • Ryanmd

            “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:15
            This is no theory. This is scripture. Please please read your bible tonight and study this. No the reason for the Cross

      • Ruby Faraday

        I find this odd! Firstly it is so clear that the context of evening and morning were used in Genesis 1 with the word “yom (day)” which is used in the whole of the OT. Normally people will dismiss this as poetic but I find it hilarious as the OT and the Big Bang theory do not collaborate in any way whatsoever.

        Those who say they believe in the Big Bang don’t even adhere that the Big Bang has many flaws. it can’t stand alone.

        1) The Monopole problem: A monopole is a huge magnet that has either a north or south pole, it does not have both. Unlike the dipole that has a south pole and a north pole, the monopole is said to have existed during the time of the big bang. This is because the Big Bang model postulates high temperatures during Plank’s time (the first few piko seconds of the BB). One problem with this: monopoles are stable and are able to last till today. So where are they?

        2) Inflation: this model was created to solve the monopole problem and other problems such as horizon and flatness (won’t be explaining it in this comment). The inflation model states that the universe went through a time of acceleration. sadly, no experiment or tests have been able to explain this. most of it are models using simulations (the variables are keyed in by scientist via their presupposition) and extrapolation.

        3) Antimatter: Any reaction where energy is transformed into matter produces equal amounts of antimatter; there are no known exceptions. Strangely, there are no equal amounts of matter and antimatter but the universe is seen to be built of entirely matter and small amounts of antimatter.

        4) Population III Stars: the Big Bang accounts for the 3 lightest
        elements: Hydrogen, Helium and small ratios of Lithium. Other elements are said to have formed from explosion of stars (supernovae). This explosion is said to fuse itself on 2nd and 3rg generations stars. So, question, if the first stars were created from the first 3 lightest elements, where are they? It is “calculated” that these stars “should” still be around, but they could not be found. There are ~100 billion stars in our galaxy but strangely, no Pop III stars can be found.

        I can say that even a few secular astronomers are dropping the idea of the big bang. For instance, New Scientist (2004) questioned the Big Bang model.

        “The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed – inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way
        of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory.”

        It was signed by 100s of scientist & professors from many institutions. So if the Big Bang is eventually thrown into the dustbin, I would like to see how the compromising “Christians” react to it. God’s Word is never changing and eternal.
        Another admission by a secular scientist, “Big bang predictions are consistently wrong and are being fixed after the event” (Chown, 2005).

        Just how wrong are they? Chown provided part of the answer when he noted: “So much so, that today’s ‘standard model’ of cosmology has become an ugly mishmash comprising the basic big bang theory, inflation and a generous helping of dark matter and dark energy” (2005).

        The growing number of discrepancies caused this statement, “I can prove that the universe wasn’t born 13.7 billion years ago. The big bang never happened” (Chown, 2005)

        This is from a science website:
        http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18625061.800

        Now, let’s touch on EVOLUTION. Those who say it is compatible have not done their homework. Many speak of beneficial mutations but there are no benefits in evolution. It is normally confused for natural selection. Example: Huntington’s disease is a “progressive brain disorder that causes uncontrolled movements, emotional problems, and loss of thinking ability.”

        This is definitely not an increase in information if it destroys part of the brain yet increases muscle build up. It causes CAG trinucleotide repeat and this argument never tell us the rate of duplication necessary, nor how many duplicated but silenced genes we would expect to see in a given genome, nor the needed rate of turning on and off, nor the likelihood of a new function arising in the silenced gene, nor how this new function will be integrated into the already complex genome of the organism, nor the rate at which the silenced ‘junk’ DNA would be expected to be lost at random (genetic drift) or through natural selection. It does not extend friendly numbers to the theory of evolution and math’s done on this study show an issue of running into the walls of improbability, even when attempting to model simple changes.

        I’ve said what I have to say. It saddens me that people in the faith refuse to see how it has crept into schools and affected people. It has affected a lot of Christians and most of them have left church because of this compromise.

        It’s funny how you mention love thy neighbour but you are not even doing that to your own brother in Christ. Have a nice day!

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Ah the joy of copy/paste…..
          sigh.

          • Ruby Faraday

            Copy paste? ROFL!! Answer it. I’ve got better things to do than reply to someone who loves to parade abusive ad hominem.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Answer what?

          • Daniel Webb

            Ruby, there wasn’t any ad hominem. An example of ad hominem would be if I said that everything you copy/pasted was wrong because you’re a stupid woman.

    • Ryanmd

      Dave, you question is accurate. To go further…..If death did not enter through Adam…. there is no need for John 3:16

  • Robert

    When I stand before God, the question He will ask me is not, “Did you believe that I created the world in 6 literal days?” No. The question He will ask is, “Did you believe in my Son and, in turn, love and serve people in his Name?” God gave us physics, math, chemistry, and all of the sciences to use to explore and discovery this incredible world and universe He made. The “literal” crackpots would have us throw out those tools and go back to believing the earth is the center of the universe and the sun revolves around us. For you “literalist”, could you please explain how the sun and moon were created on the fourth day (Gen 1:14 – “let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years”) yet, a 24 hour day is measured by the sun rising and setting. So how were days 1 to 3 measured? You can keep trying to defend a “young earth theory”, but it has nothing, WHATSOEVER, to do with the core and fundamental truth of Christianity.

    • Desi

      Robert, I’m not sure if I should take you literally or not. I don’t want to be a crackpot.

    • Ryanmd

      Robert the core fundamental truth of Christianity is Jesus. We agree. What is the reason for Jesus? The need? Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. What was the penalty? Death. When was death given as penalty for sin? The fall of man. Adam and Eve sinned against God and through their sin, “death” entered the world. Jesus paid the fine that Adam caused. —Robert, if evolution is true, then death entered the world long before Adam….no? Evolution requires millions of deaths to achieve successful natural selections. Robert, if “ONE” death occurred prior to Adam, then Jesus is not necessary. =Death did not enter through Adam. Jesus is not needed to remove the death penalty for man. Study and pray about this

  • buzzdixon

    Bravo, Dan!

  • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

    I’ll take INTERNAL PERSPICUITY for the win, Alex.

    [mad man Wilkinson knocks another cover off the ball].

  • Gijreb

    The issue of origins is outside the realm of science. If you think that evolution is science and proven, you have absolutely no clue as to the nature of knowledge.

    It is not Mr. Ham’s teachings that are the problem, it is people who do not believe that God is able to reveal how He made the universe.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      We’ve yet to discover how God made time, gravity, heat, inertia, velocity, matter, antimatter, etc, or how long they have existed. We know they exist, and it seems to predate the origin of the universe all those billions and billions of years ago. We know what was done, the how, we are still learning.

    • Sven2547

      If you think that evolution is science and proven, you have absolutely no clue as to the nature of knowledge.

      Evolution is science, and it has been proven as thoroughly as any scientific principle ever has.

      • Gijreb

        Science cannot deal with unique, unrepeatable, unobservable and untestable events.
        Can anyone do a Show’n’Tell of a fish turning into a crocodile?
        The same is true of Creation. Both must be accepted on Faith.
        Evolution= Faith in Nothing.
        Creation= Faith in God.
        Everything that is not of faith is Sin. Rom 14:23

        • Sven2547

          Science cannot deal with unique, unrepeatable, unobservable and untestable events.

          Then you concede that YEC is not, and never has been, a scientific hypothesis?

          Evolution= Faith in Nothing.

          I think you’re confusing the science of evolution with the philosophy of nihilism. They have very little in common.

          • Gijreb

            Since no one can observe what has taken place in the past, no theory of origins is in the realm of science.
            The answer as to where we came from must be based upon faith.
            If you believe in Evolution, you have placed your faith upon Nothing, because for you the universe came from Nothing.
            Nihilism is something else, although most nihilists would have to be evolutionists.

          • Sven2547

            Since no one can observe what has taken place in the past, no theory of origins is in the realm of science.

            Scientific observation isn’t limited to just directly eyewitnessing events. Paleontology, isotope dating, and forensics are all very valid scientific techniques.

            Think, for a second, how the use of fingerprinting and DNA evidence have improved criminal investigations. We can prove the culprits of crimes without actually witnessing the crimes themselves.

            If you believe in Evolution, you have placed your faith upon Nothing, because for you the universe came from Nothing.

            Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of the universe. You have no clue what evolution even is, do you?

        • spinetingler

          “Can anyone do a Show’n’Tell of a fish turning into a crocodile?”

          Thanks for immediately letting us know that no good will come of further responses to you.

  • DontB_Afraid2Think

    “They’re leaving the church because your version of Christianity has nothing whatsoever to do with right practice, and everything to do with “right” belief.”

    Explain, please, how you can have “wrong belief” and “right practice”.

    Also, please explain, how you can demand that Mr. Ham follow the “explicit commandment to love God and neighbor”, but you don’t need to follow the commandment yourself, “essentially demonizing” him.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      “Right” belief is a norm deemed correct by a group, anyone not an adherent to that belief is of course wrong. For example I am terrified of spiders, and believe that one actually coming into contact with me and giving free access to my body, would soon cause my death. Insisting that everyone believe me and join me in spreading that belief and the companion action of eradicating all spider life from the planet,. and lambasting everyone who didn’t agree, as arachneretics would be an example of a “right” belief.

      Right practice is more personal. where we look at what we ourselves are doing, in our personal mindset and actions as we navigate through life. Its not something exactly set in stone, but has some wonderful guidelines.

      And no we aren’t demonizing Mr. Ham the man, who is trying to sway the mindset of Christians, while attempting to use tax credits and donations to make fistfuls of money to build his empire. We strongly disagree with just about everything he publically stands for.

      • DontB_Afraid2Think

        Thank you for your definition of “right belief”, but don’t you see that by your definition you are the “right belief” group?

        After all you are the group that is “lambasting” Mr. Ham because he is “not an adherent to that belief”.

        The underlying issue is one of standards.

        Mr. Ham has been very clear that his standard is Bible as it has been transmitted through time.

        I’m guessing, please correct me if i”m wrong, that your standard is not external (i.e. The Bible), but internal (whatever sounds “right” to you).

  • John Oliver

    Scripturally, people leave the church because they were never truly born from above (1 John 2:19). However, I do think the theory of evolution helps unbelievers assuage their conscience. I have been researching the competing theories – Creation/evolution for several years now, and they are not compatible, in my opinion. I find a boat load of evidence for creation, both from people like Stephen Myer, who is not a young earth creationist, and folks like Ken Ham. Those of you dissing his position, have you really grappled with the scientific evidence he presents? Really? The theory of evolution is not monolithic, there are vast numbers of versions, why? Because there are so many holes in the theory, and mathematically, it’s just not possible. The discoverer of the DNA said that, also not a young earth scientist. As for the oft repeated comment above regarding “mornings and evenings” before the forth day; it says that light was created on the first day. All you need for a morning is rotation and a light source. In the new heavens and earth the Bibke says we will have no night, but neither will we have a sun to light the eternal day. We are talking about God here. Is anything too difficult for Him? Whatever you feel about Ken Ham, he is a brother in Christ, and gentleness should mark our communication, especially with regard to a brother. My two cents….

    • Deacon Razorblades

      I have been researching the competing theories – Creation/evolution for several years now, and they are not compatible, in my opinion.

      The first thing to realize is that creation is not a theory. Period. So it’s not fair to say they are competing theories, when one of them doesn’t even fit the definition of theory.

      I find a boat load of evidence for creation, both from people like Stephen Myer, who is not a young earth creationist, and folks like Ken Ham.

      Stephen Meyer has been scientifically discredited numerous times and Ken Ham is an YEC apologist lacking any sort of understanding of the basics of modern biology. I fail to see how you find a “boat load” of evidence for creation when these two sources are your two sources. Have you cross reference their evidence with what scientists actually say?

      Those of you dissing his position, have you really grappled with the scientific evidence he presents?

      Yes scienctists have, and they’ve been discredited and shown to be wrong. At this time Meyers is just capitalizing on creationists/ID proponents on the same ideas that scientists have publicly shown to be absolutely fallacious.

      The theory of evolution is not monolithic, there are vast numbers of versions, why?

      There is not a vast number of versions of evolution. I’m not sure where you’re getting this information from, but it is clearly wrong.

      Because there are so many holes in the theory, and mathematically, it’s just not possible.

      I’ve said this numerous times. If you, or any creationist/ID proponent has actual evidence that evolution is impossible, then get your findings published and collect your Nobel, because you would be the first to disprove it. You would essentially show that ALL of modern biology is wrong. Good luck.

      The discoverer of the DNA said that, also not a young earth scientist.

      Do you have evidence to back up this claim?

      it says that light was created on the first day.

      It also says that he created a lesser light at night. This would be the way bronze aged people would see it when they didn’t know that the moon is bright because it’s reflecting the sun’s light, not that it’s producing it. We can’t use the bible as a scientific journal because it’s clearly not.

      • John Oliver

        Deacon,
        You and I aren’t going to see eye to eye on this one, and I’m quite sure I’m not going to convince you in a few brief paragraphs. I have read the rebuttals to creationists and IDers; I don’t find them convincing. And most often I have to wade through a sea of ad hominems to even find the real critique. Just saying someone is discredited doesn’t prove the point. Most people didn’t believe Jesus was God incarnate, I do.
        Here’s a quote from Crick. The quote is actually longer, and gets into the mathematics of the position.
        “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.” – F. Crick, Life Itself, 1981
        In regards to my claim of multiple theories of evolution, I will give just one quote, but I could give tons of them: “When discussing organic evolution the only point of agreement seems to be,’It happened.’ Thereafter, there is little consensus, which at first sight seems rather odd.” – Simon Conway Morris, in the peer reviewed journal, Cell. Again, I could give more, and ALL from evolutionists themselves.
        Again, I don’t think a few lines from me will cause you to rethink your position. But I am thoroughly convinced that what I wrote was accurate and can can be proven. Just google “Theories of Evolution”
        There are scads, literally scads of scientists, holding Ph. Ds in their respective fields who disagree with evolution on scientific grounds. You can easily find their books. You just have to look. And of course, you will always find those on the other side who disagree. We must all look at the evidence and make a decision based upon what we find. I just really hope we’re doing the hard job of looking it up ourselves, and not just parroting what someone else said

        • Deacon Razorblades

          I have read the rebuttals to creationists and IDers; I don’t find them convincing.

          If you don’t find them convincing then why are you using the same canards they do? It seems like you believe exactly what they do, while not wanting to be compared to them.

          Just saying someone is discredited doesn’t prove the point.

          This is scientific discrediting. Meaning that their points were dissected and found to be wanting or lacking and having serious misunderstandings of modern scientific principals and known facts.

          Most people didn’t believe Jesus was God incarnate, I do.

          That is a blatant lie. The absolute majority of the population in America believes exactly as you do.

          “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.” – F. Crick, Life Itself, 1981

          This is an example of quote mining. Here’s the rest of that quote.
          “But this should not be taken to imply that there are good reasons to believe that it could not have started on the earth by a perfectly reasonable sequence of fairly ordinary chemical reactions. The plain fact is that the time available was too long, the many microenvironments on the earth’s surface too diverse, the various chemical possibilities too numerous and our own knowledge and imagination too feeble to allow us to be able to unravel exactly how it might or might not have happened such a long time ago, especially as we have no experimental evidence from that era to check our ideas against.”
          He isn’t discounting either one. Also, this doesn’t mean that he’s actually right when talking about lengths of time. A plethora of information is starting to be found concerning abiogenesis, which is what he’s talking about, not evolution.

          “When discussing organic evolution the only point of agreement seems to be,’It happened.’ Thereafter, there is little consensus, which at first sight seems rather odd.” – Simon Conway Morris, in the peer reviewed journal, Cell. Again, I could give more, and ALL from evolutionists themselves.

          Tell me exactly how this is a claim of multiple theories of evolution. It’s not. He’s saying evolution happened, nothing about there being multiple theories of evolution. There is only one. Now there are multiple mechanisms described when talking about how evolution occurs, but there’s not multiple theories of evolution.

          But I am thoroughly convinced that what I wrote was accurate and can can be proven. Just google “Theories of Evolution”

          Did you even read any of the things that were in those links when you googled them? They discuss the MECHANISMS of evolution, not the MANY THEORIES of evolution. Like I said before, there is one theory of evolution while there are multiple mechanisms to how it happens.

          There are scads, literally scads of scientists, holding Ph. Ds in their respective fields who disagree with evolution on scientific grounds.

          Evidence please

          You can easily find their books. You just have to look. And of course, you will always find those on the other side who disagree.

          Do you mean the absolute majority of scientists in their respective fields, who agree that evolution is the means for the diversity of life we see on this planet today?

          • John Oliver

            But Deacon, different mechanisms are different theories. To say that evolution is fact, you must define what that fact is, and the various mechanisms are because various scientists disagree on how it happened, and come up with a different theory. This just seems like semantics to me.
            At the end of the day my evidence isn’t going to do a bit of good for you, because your presupposition is that I can’t be right, and none of the evidence I have can be right. Well, there’s no point in talking at that point. Are you a Christian? If so, great! I know that God will continue His work in both of us and finish what He’s started. And one day we will know how He did everything. If you’re not a Christian. I believe there is a spiritual blindness inherent in that position that would make agreement impossible. My words and evidence won’t do any good in convincing you. I just wish there could be more civility over these issues on both sides, and believe me, I mean both sides! Peace to you!

          • Deacon Razorblades

            But Deacon, different mechanisms are different theories.

            No they are not. This is the definition of evolution:

            “The change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations”

            and here’s the rest of that very same definition discussing HOW:

            “which may be caused by natural selection, inbreeding, hybridization, or mutation.”

            To say that evolution is fact, you must define what that fact is, and the various mechanisms are because various scientists disagree on how it happened, and come up with a different theory.

            No, the various mechanisms are there because scientists are finding the various mechanisms that cause evolution to occur. That’s it, it’s really that simple. Scientists may be in disagreement over some very nuanced things, but they all very much agree that it is a fact that evolution has occurred in the past and that it is occurring right now. To deny that is to deny modern science.

            This just seems like semantics to me.

            It’s not semantics. You just don’t understand the theory of evolution while trying to discredit it. Semantics and what you’re doing is not the same thing.

            At the end of the day my evidence isn’t going to do a bit of good for you, because your presupposition is that I can’t be right, and none of the evidence I have can be right.

            No, no, no, no, no. I’m following what the evidence is actually showing without bringing any supernatural entity into it, which is exactly what unbiased scientists do. When your evidence doesn’t survive the scrutiny of the scientific community then your evidence is more than likely wrong.

            Are you a Christian?

            I’m an atheist.

            I believe there is a spiritual blindness inherent in that position that would make agreement impossible.

            I would disagree that it’s spiritual blindness when creationists/ID proponents actively dismiss anything the scientific community shows because it doesn’t fit their presuppositions. It’s disingenuous.

          • John Oliver

            You wrote: “No, no, no, no, no. I’m following what the evidence is actually showing without bringing any supernatural entity into it, which is exactly what unbiased scientists do”
            But don’t you see your presupposition in that statement? You START with a presupposition that there is no supernatural. This manifestly forces you to only look for naturalist answers to the questions. I believe, as the Bible teaches, that all people everywhere know that God exists, and that they suppress this knowledge. This is what I meant by an inherent blindness. We could sit down together and go point by point through the tenets of evolution, I could show you scientists who disagree with you, even ones who aren’t creationists. You would find a way with everyone to say that that doesn’t count, that’s not good enough, etc… When all along I believe you know that God exists, and that you have violated His laws. Your conscience tells you this, whether I do or not. Naturalism doesn’t come close to explaining what we know and experience every day. Only the testimony of God’s word does that. It tells me we were created in God’s image, which explains the wonderful creativity of the human race, and it tells me we are fallen, which explains the horrible pain and suffering in this world. I don’t reject science, not at all. But I find it utterly unsatisfactory to answer life’s biggest questions. I find the answer of God sending His only Son for sins eminently satisfying. I don’t know what else I can say…

          • Deacon Razorblades

            But don’t you see your presupposition in that statement? You START with a presupposition that there is no supernatural.

            Do you think I just up and said “Welp there’s no supernatural”? I didn’t. It’s the tenets of science that have led me to that conclusion, I didn’t start there.

            This manifestly forces you to only look for naturalist answers to the questions.

            I’m sorry but when the overwelming evidence points to there being no supernatural involved and instead points to natural processes then you are being extremely dishonest.

            I believe, as the Bible teaches, that all people everywhere know that God exists, and that they suppress this knowledge.

            I don’t believe that. I believe god was invented by humans to help them understand a world where there was little understanding and I’m surprised that people still hold on to that belief when we have scientifically advanced as far as we have.

            I could show you scientists who disagree with you, even ones who aren’t creationists.

            Show me then.

            You would find a way with everyone to say that that doesn’t count, that’s not good enough, etc…

            When you offer little to no evidence, or are directly contradicting modern science then yes, I will say that’s not good enough as anyone should.

            When all along I believe you know that God exists, and that you have violated His laws,Your conscience tells you this, whether I do or not.

            I don’t believe or know that he exists. I believe humans have made god up. You saying otherwise does not change my position. It sounds like your’re trying to make a strawman out of me because I don’t hold the same position that you do. Your beliefs are entirely illogical to me.

            I don’t reject science, not at all.

            Everything you’ve said says otherwise. You happily reject science because it doesn’t mesh with what you already believe.

            . I find the answer of God sending His only Son for sins eminently satisfying. I don’t know what else I can say…

            Yes, tell me all about how god sent himself to be sacrificed by himself to save a creation he doomed from the beginning because he is entirely not god enough to fix it without doing so.

        • spinetingler

          “”When discussing organic evolution the only point of agreement seems to
          be,’It happened.’ Thereafter, there is little consensus, which at first
          sight seems rather odd.” – Simon Conway Morris, in the peer reviewed
          journal, Cell.”

          Take-away phrase, in case you missed it: “It happened.”

    • Queen Alice

      When I began my journey toward God, by coincidentally leaving the church in which I grew up, and by renouncing God, creationism vs scientific “Big Bang” theory (I’m dating myself – but that’s what was taught when I was in grammar school) was one of the things that initially got me wondering if the Bible was the Word of God, or just a book written by a bunch of people. I will always thank God for Ken Ham because listening to his lectures first opened my heart to the truth of the Bible. The Bible is not intended to be a science book, but to paraphrase Mr. Ham, where it touches on science, it can be trusted. Once I trusted the Bible enough to take God at His Word, I began to read it and, as I’m sure all my brothers and sisters know, that’s when the Holy Ghost began to do His work of bringing my heart, mind and soul into right relationship with God.

      In that vein, as followers of Jesus, the Son of God, and the Christ, we must follow His teachings. He was, according to the New Testament, much more concerned with us loving each other as He loved us. If we can do that, we have done well. And I agree with another poster who said he doubts if God is concerned with what we believe about the literal creation (fact is, we wouldn’t be able to understand how He did it anyway-not with our earthly, dimensional, time trapped minds). I suspect it will be part of what we see when we enter into eternity with Him. The account in Genesis is probably the best account for us, who do not yet live in eternity.

      So, I must ask you not to bash Ken Ham, but rather applaud him as walking his walk with God in the way God has called him. He calls us all to be different parts of the body of Christ, here on this earth.

      Love you, brother.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        So you have no problems with him using tax payer dollars to try to build a AiG empire, of which the currently open segments have seen loss of visitors and reduced revenue, yet still trying to get people to invest?

        So you have no problems with using the bible to reject reality and to paint those who don’t agree with him as apart from God.

        So you have no problem for Mr. Ham to ignore the complete lack of science in the bible regarding biology, geology, astronomy, physic, chemistry, etc, and its highly faulty use of history, understanding of archeology, and choose to believe that he states that the bible is all we need in regards to science?

        I don’t doubt that he is a nice man, is loved by his friends and family, but as a science expert, or as a theologian, his skills are woefully absent.

    • spinetingler

      “Scripturally, people leave the church because they were never truly born from above”

      Ah, No True Christian.

  • http://www.crossfitovercome.com/ Eric Pelletier

    How to do have both the Theory of Evolution and Creation co existing?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      There are many Christians who have no problems connecting the two. We see that the universe and all that is contained with in is far more complex and vast than we yet know, much less the people who lived thousands of years to us. We can see a scientific rendering of how came to be, and still be awed by it, feeling that the handiwork of God still is beyond our abilities to define it.
      The ancients attempted to explain the origins of the world they knew, which didn’t include most knowledge of the planets we are now aware of, much less far off galaxies, of a lack of knowledge of the amazing array of flora and fauna, as well as creatures that cannot be seen by the human eye, They had no concept of things like gravity what causes events like weather, or earthquakes and volcanoes., etc. They just felt strongly that god, or the gods, depending on which culture the ancients found themselves in, had a hand in what they saw around them.
      we can still appreciate the beauty of what God has designed, still be amazed at its beauty and vast majesty, while understanding a whole lot better at how it all works.

  • Desi

    Ken Ham’s website has literally thousands of scientific and theological articles from experienced scholars and experts in various fields of study that explain and defend the young-earth position from both a scientific and biblical standpoint. Dan Wilkinson has conducted no research and not offered any proper refutation of this body of work. Who has the “immature” view here? Who’s lacking “reason”? Who’s denying “scientific facts”? Dan quotes Matthew 22:36-40, but I have to wonder whether or not I should take the verse literally considering how Dan treats scripture in Genesis.

    Judging by this article, Dan is the one guilty of “aggressive disingenuousness and sophomoric chicanery.” With all due respect to the IT specialist and his two cats, me and my house will serve the Lord. “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Ham’s “research” has been discredited multiple times. He also has been shown to paint other scientific works to fit his model, or to find those who are willing to toe his line of reasoning.
      There is nothing in scripture to support a young earth stance. Zero evidence. Nada, Zip. Therein lies the problem, trying to take a book written in the bronze age, and iron ages, with understandings of the world around them limited by what they could see, hear, touch. The number zero wasn’t used in mathematics formulas until the 600’s CE. Telescopes in the 1600. Ancient calendars often had eight day weeks. They wrote myths to try to explain where they came from, not having a clue. Genesis 1 is a typical example.

      • Desi

        You’re making a lot of claims but not backing them up with real evidence and making a real case.

        It’s not just Ham’s research that you’re dealing with but also the contributions of many other scientists, scholars and researchers. http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/

        Everything in the Bible points to a recent creation including the supernatural method that God used to create, the timeline of history and events, and the genealogies of everyone including Jesus. In fact, Jesus, the Son of God that instantly turned water into wine and healed the sick, says he created in six literal days. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/did-jesus-say-he-created-in-six-days

        Because the Bible details historical events, its truthfulness and accuracy are subject to verification like any other historical document. Through both archaeological evidences and other writings, the historical accounts of the Bible have been proven time and time again to be accurate and true. In fact, all the archaeological and manuscript evidence supporting the Bible makes it the best-documented book from the ancient world. The fact that the Bible accurately and truthfully records historically verifiable events is a great indication of its truthfulness when dealing with religious subjects and doctrines and helps substantiate its claim to be the very Word of God, not some myth as you propose.

        • Deacon Razorblades

          Desi, in the future it’s best to not point to a creationist site as a place for scientitic evidences.

          • Desi

            Where else are you going to find scientists making a case for biblical creation other than a creationist site?

          • Deacon Razorblades

            Where else are you going to find scientists making a case for biblical creation other than a creationist site?

            Here’s a hint, if they’re dismissing things that are in direct contradiction with what the scientific community knows and understands then it’s more than likely that they aren’t getting past their own presuppositions.

          • Desi

            There is no “direct contradiction with what the scientific community knows and understands.” There are sciences based on observation and experimentation which all scientists, both evolutionists and creationists, agree on. For example, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and technology. Then there are areas that fall outside of operational science and are really faith-based presuppositions about the unobserved past. This includes Big Bang cosmology, human evolution, age of the earth, and so on.

            Contrary to popular belief, there is no consensus about our origins. There are scientists that believe in evolution and others that believe in creation. And there are differing views within each of these camps. For example, there’s Darwinian evolution, neo-Darwinian evolution, punctuated equilibrium, transpermia, and so on. On the other side of the aisle is biblical creation, intelligent design, young-earth, old-earth and theistic evolution.

            What you have done is wedded yourself to one presupposition arbitrarily, declared it fact, and now use it to dismiss other perspectives. That’s not exactly an unbiased and objective way of approaching the subject. Many modern scientists make solid scientific cases to support the creationist perspective and do so by fully analyzing and properly addressing views apart from their own. You would be wise to do the same.

          • Deacon Razorblades

            There is no “direct contradiction with what the scientific community knows and understands.”

            When you purposefully misrepresent the known theories and facts then you are in direct contradiction to what the scientific community knows and understands.

            Then there are areas that fall outside of operational science and are really faith-based presuppositions about the unobserved past. This includes Big Bang cosmology, human evolution, age of the earth, and so on.

            The “because you weren’t there” canard is getting pretty old. These are not faith based sciences. They are literally thousands upon thousands of papers and journals dedicated to what we know about the big bang, evolution, and the age of the earth. Creationists are in DIRECT contradiction to these very things, because these scientists don’t tack on “and it was done by god” at the end.

            Contrary to popular belief, there is no consensus about our origins.

            Which origins, human or our planet and universe? Because I’m pretty sure there’s an ever growing consensus among the scientific community to those 3 things you just listed.

            What you have done is wedded yourself to one presupposition arbitrarily, declared it fact, and now use it to dismiss other perspectives.

            I’m sorry you see it this way, but you’re wrong. Sure there are differing views amongst scientists concerning very nuanced things, but when you’re very belief set contradicts the very understandings of science in favor of magic (that’s what the supernatural is), then maybe it’s you who is stuck behind a presupposition.

            Many modern scientists make solid scientific cases to support the creationist perspective and do so by fully analyzing and properly addressing views apart from their own. You would be wise to do the same.

            Please, I really hope you can do this, show me one peer reviewed article by a creationist that supports their findings. Just one in the field of physics, biology, cosmology or any other field that shows that there is a creator involved. I’ll be waiting.

          • MikeHaas82

            Notice how these guys skip over really well written replies like this one and only jump on those they think they can dissemble on? And of course, their self-declaration that, “GOD teaches X…are you disagreeing with GOD? Are you calling GOD a L I A R?” Inquisitors used this trick to send god knows how many people to the stake centuries ago and religious fanatics in many parts of the world continue to do so today.

            These guys don’t really believe this crap any more that Bill O’LIElly believes what he spouts on FOX. Its just a means to an end and that is the establishment of a theocracy in the US, starting with our schools and our children, where they can attack and crush their so-called “enemies” with the law. I honestly wonder if they really believe in God at all.

          • Deacon Razorblades

            I absolutely agree.

          • Daniel Webb

            The irony in your statement: “What you have done is wedded yourself to one presupposition arbitrarily, declared it fact, and now use it to dismiss other perspectives.” is just too amazing to pass by. What else would you call a belief in god as a means to “create” everything and the bible as his divine message than presuppositions that you have declared to be fact and used to dismiss other views at the outset? Ken Ham is famous for this…assume god first and disregard anything you feel disagrees with that. Astounding…

          • Desi

            Daniel, there are two differences worth pointing out. 1. Creationists fully disclose that the Bible influences their interpretation of evidence. 2. Creationists study, analyze, fully present and properly address the evolutionary worldview.

            As someone who spent the majority of his life on the side of the evolutionists, I can say that they don’t recognize and disclose their own biases and commitment to naturalism. Also, because evolutionists are unwilling to give creation science any serious consideration, they really don’t have a proper understanding of it and always refute and discredit it with straw man fallacies and ad hominem attacks. This article by Dan Wilkinson is a perfect case in point. Notice that he made no attempt to lay out Ham’s arguments or prevent any contradictory evidence. Dan used a lot of emotional language but never made any logical arguments.

            The question is not whether or not someone has a presupposition because EVERYONE has presuppositions that shape the way they interpret the evidence! The question is, which presupposition best fits the evidence and makes the most sense? I would encourage you to learn more about presuppositions, operational and historical science. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/ee/what-is-science

          • Daniel Webb

            In sorry, I don’t buy that. The problem with point #1 is that presupposing the bible is true and the divine word of god is to assume the answer to the whole issue, not just a different influence. You can’t start your study by already believing that the bible is the word of god (whom you haven’t proven to exist) and then conclude that what the bible says is true and you can base creationism on it. The problem with point #2 is that creationists cannot objectively consider evidence if they already presume that their beliefs are true to begin with. Just watch ken ham explain it….http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0OtkhNRb-SM

          • spinetingler

            ” There are scientists that believe in evolution and others that believe in creation.”

            99%-1%

          • spinetingler

            “Where else are you going to find scientists making a case for biblical creation other than a creationist site?”

            In all of their articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, of course!

            Er, wait…

          • Desi

            They do have peer-reviewed journals within their own circles just like evolutionists peer-review their own work. Hence the name “PEER-reviewed.”

          • spinetingler

            True, no actual scientist would want to be considered a peer of creationists.

          • spinetingler

            “peer-reviewed journals within their own circles” – other creationists

            “just like evolutionists peer-review their own work” – the rest of science

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          if all you are using is AiG’s rhetoric, and links, then I don’t think you are making a case at all.

          • Desi

            What if I cite the work of Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, Johann Kepler, Blaise Pascal and Isaac Newton? How about geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling and professor of physics Dr. Don DeYoung? Would you consider the case made by Dr. David Menton, who earned his PhD in biology from an Ivy League School, Brown University, and was the Associate Professor of Anatomy at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri from 1966 to 2000? The Answers in Genesis website wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the contributions of educated, experienced, Bible-believing scientists from around the world and throughout history. The fact that you would reject their work only on account of their belief in biblical creation shows your bias and lack objectivity.

    • Daniel Webb

      I’m confused at your willingness to wave the “literally thousands of scientific and theological articles from experienced scholars and experts in various fields that explain the young-earth position” while simultaneously disregarding the hundreds of thousands of scientific articles published in peer reviewed journals that completely discredit the young-earth position.
      You and your house are entitled to serve the lord as vigorously and nonsensically as you wish. Just don’t employ double standards in the volume of scientific work while whining about interpretation of a book and think anyone will take you seriously.

      • http://beingperfectlyhuman.blogspot.com/ Eric Fry

        Oh, come now, Daniel. Real Christians don’t suffer from confirmation bias. That’s how you know that they’re “Real Christians.”

        • Daniel Webb

          Silly me. I know I should just do a double facepalm instead of use my hands to respond to idiots.

      • Desi

        Daniel, I don’t disregard anything. I’ve been studying all sides of this debate for nearly 40 years. There’s nothing nonsensical about that. You’re the one with the double standard. You don’t hold the evolutionary perspective to the same level of scrutiny that you hold the other. You don’t objectively consider both sides either. If you did, then you’d realize that creationists understand science very well and make valid points that are supported by both science and scripture.

        • Daniel Webb

          Perhaps you’re confused…I actually do hold the evolutionary “perspective” to the same level of scrutiny as I do the creationist. That same level is called peer review. Peer review is a useful tool. Unfortunately, those creationist articles on Ken Ham’s site are peer reviewed by their own research journal (Answers Research Journal). They have never had an article peer reviewed by a disinterested party.

          Additionally, I have objectively considered both sides. I was raised (and born again) christian and got the “benefit” of homeschooling with AiG material and attending a private christian IFB school. It’s only been the last five years that I’ve even had the opportunity to study evolution.
          All of this is far and away from the point which I brought up with your earlier statement. You waved “thousands” of creationist articles around and expected that to mean something while somehow not letting it occur to you that those creationist articles and “theories” have been rebutted time and again by vast numbers of peer reviewed articles and studies.
          Just out of curiousity, what age did you start studying all sides of this debate? Your facebook photo (Desi Ricardo–found you because you were cut and pasting identical comments to pro-creationist pages) makes you look pretty young. Like less than 40 years old.

          • Desi

            Daniel, I would like to challenge you that you hold the evolutionary perspective to the same level of scrutiny as you do the creationist. I invite you to choose one piece of evidence that you feel supports the theory of evolution and we’ll discuss it.

          • Daniel Webb

            Common ancestry as shown through DNA

          • Desi

            In scientific terms, evolution generally means the change in genetic material between generations, which is also referred to as “descent with modification.” These changes are attributed to mutations, gene flow and drift, and natural selection, which are examples of observational science and can be shown to occur. However, the other aspect of evolution is the belief that all animals descended from one original ancestor. Evolutionists sometimes claim this “fact” is established in the fossil record, homology (similar structures), and genetic evidence. However, any evidence involving historical science (one-time events that cannot be retested) is subject to interpretational bias on the part of the scientist.

            Mutations and genetic drift are often cited as the source of heritable traits from one generation to the next. While mutations do cause changes in the genome and genetic drift changes the frequency of those traits, neither process is capable of changing one kind of animal into another. More often, mutations have either no noticeable impact or cause degeneration.

            When evolutionary scientists claim that evolution is a fact, they are relying upon a fallacy known as “bait and switch” (define a term one way, but use it in a completely different way later). Often the claim is that since one can observe natural selection, then descent from a common ancestor must also be true. However, this presupposes that the current processes we observe could cause the origin of completely novel structures (e.g., giving rise to lungs or complex brains). Such a claim is contrary to information theory and the laws of nature.

            This is one of the strongest arguments against evolution and in support of biblical creation. It is THOROUGHLY covered on the AiG website. http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/topic/evolution

          • Daniel Webb

            Look, I hope you’ll understand that I don’t feel like it’s a worthwhile use of time to respond in length something you copied word for word from an answers in genesis article…especially when your plagiarized portion doesn’t even address what I talked about. You copied a part of an article that talks about genetic mutations and drift and how they pertain to natural selection.

            I wrongly assumed that you would respond to the actual point made above but it seems that, in your almost forty years of study, you didn’t learn reading comprehension. So that you can get caught up, here is an article from the Smithsonian (I know I know, it’s not as prestigious as the creation museum) regarding the subject of common ancestry shown through DNA. This way, maybe you can provide something that you’ve thought through critically instead of just copying answers in genesis’ definition of evolution. http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/genetics

          • Desi

            Daniel, isn’t the whole point here that you question whether or not the Answers in Genesis organization properly addresses science as it relates to evolution? Why then do you object to me directing you to the information that they provide?

            You brought up common ancestry and DNA, subjects that require the discussion of related topics including genetics, heredity, adaptations, and mutations, among others. The article I directed you to provides an overview with links to more detailed pages on each topic.

            Regarding the Smithsonian article, the fact that living organisms share similar genes does not prove that we all descended from a common ancestor, which would require an observation of the process. The idea that humans and chimpanzees diverged between 8 and 6 million years ago is pure conjecture! http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2013/06/03/chimp-human-dna-what-does-it-mean

          • Daniel Webb

            1) No, the whole point was that you asked me for one fact that supports evolution. I gave you one. In return you copied word for word from an AiG article that could have been written by a teenager with Wikipedia about general aspects of evolutionary theory.

            2) I told you what I consider to be the standard for acceptance of a hypothesis in the scientific world. Peer review. Can you point to any peer reviewed creationist articles that can refute the overwhelming evidence of common ancestry as shown through DNA? Or are you going to copy another AiG article that doesn’t contain any original research, wasn’t fact-checked by disinterested parties, and is only hosted and publicized by the very site that needs so badly for it to be true?

          • Desi

            Daniel, you’re using a lot of emotional language but not really making any rational arguments. Belittling and insulting me and AiG is not how you make a scientific case to support your conclusions. The merits of a evolutionist or creationist argument rests on the quality and accuracy of the evidence itself, not on which side can make the better ad hominem attack.

            Common ancestry is properly addressed in the AiG literature and done so by qualified scientists and scholars that collaborate on research and review each other’s work. Also, AiG is not just one small set of scientists but rather it’s a publication with contributors from outside the organization and from all over the world. I suspect that you’re asking to see AiG literature that has been reviewed and endorsed by secular scientists who hold to the more mainstream view of evolution. You’re never going to find that. If a scientist supports a creationist argument, then he becomes by definition a creationist, and so you reject his testimony. That is not being objective. That is being biased, close-minded, and unfair. As the old saying goes, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

            There are two points about common ancestry and DNA that creationists object to. Number one, the similarities in human and chimp DNA are not as close as evolutionists make them out to be. Number two; similarity does not and cannot prove that we share an ancestor. That two things have similar features, and that one thing can morph into another are two total different claims requiring totally different evidence.

            Of course human DNA has genes in common with apes. We have genes in common with earthworms and bananas too! Every living organism on earth breathes the same air and depends on the same water to live. In fact, all matter in the universe is constructed from the same atoms! But just because two things are constructed using similar building blocks does not mean that one turned into the other. Similarity can be attributed to a common ancestor, a common designer, or something else, but the similarity itself doesn’t prove anything.

            In order for one type of living organism to evolve into something new, new genetic information needs to be created somehow and added to the genome. But scientists have never observed a natural process that can create new DNA like this. Instead, what we observe is information-reducing, degenerative change where an organism actually loses a feature or functionality and becomes less sophisticated than earlier forms. This is what happens when bacteria become resistant to an antibiotic, or elephants are born without tusks, or when humans need to have their wisdom teeth removed. This is why we find a much greater variety of plants and animals in the fossil record than are alive today. Everything is degenerating and going extinct. This is exactly the opposite of evolution! And you can’t credit mutations because mutations don’t create, they corrupt.

            Now hold on a moment, I know what you’re thinking. What about speciation and adaptation? They’re certainly not caused by degeneration, are they? In some cases yes, but overall, no. Species are simply genetic variations that are made possible because the genes are already there. We have learned to breed all types of dogs, but they’re all just variations of the same animal. If you went back in time and tested the DNA of an ancient canine you would find all the genes necessary to create the breeds we have today (by the way, this also includes wolves, foxes, jackals, coyotes, and many other lesser known extant and extinct dog-like mammals). Adaptations work the same way—the genes to produce the change are already present and simply waiting for an environmental trigger to activate them. But speciation and adaptation cannot change one type of creature into another. Dogs remain dogs, fruit flies remain fruit flies and bacteria remain bacteria, always.

            Again, all this information is available on the AiG website. Some articles are written in layman’s terms and others get very in-depth and technical. Sometimes links to other resources beyond AiG are provided. You need to hear out creationists and judge them on the merits of their scientific arguments and not by your preconceived notions.

            I have pointed out how creationists are a step ahead of evolutionists in that they recognize the genetic limits of living organisms and the actual requirements of descent with common ancestry. Evolutionists are so focused on their theory that they miss these critical pieces of evidence! Creationists are ahead of evolutionists in another way too. The topic of origins is not just scientific but theological. Because events in the past like the creation of the universe, the creation of life, and the rise of mankind were not observed and cannot be tested or repeated in a lab, we all, whether evolutionist or creationist, must fill in the blanks with faith-based assumptions. Also, because nature and its processes could not create nature and its processes before nature and its processes existed, something outside of the natural world as we know it must have been at play, at least initially. After all, where did the first DNA come from? Where did time, space, matter, and energy come from? Where did the laws of nature like physics and chemistry come from? Robert Jastrow (who, interestingly, is a self-proclaimed agnostic) said, “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” The Bible puts it this way, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

          • Daniel Webb

            Desi,

            For some reason, creationists always cry “ad hominem” whenever they are told that their arguments are bad. It’s only an ad hominem if I said something like–“your argument is wrong because you look stupid.” It
            would not be an ad hominem to tell you that your argument is wrong because 1) you responded to my inital claim with something that didn’t even address what
            the claim was and 2) you copied and pasted something (without properly attributing it as copied and pasted)without adding even a tiny parcel of independent or critical thought from your own brain. The latter scenario, which is what actually happened, is not an ad hominem.

            Next, common ancestry is not just referring to similarity between apes and humans. It was actually predicted to exist across the entirety of organic life prior to the mapping of the genome–and through science–it was found to be accurate and have explanatory
            power. The evolutionary tree as proposed by scientists for years was confirmed by the explanatory nature of DNA–stretching from simple organisms to complex.

            You’re wrong…wrong…wrong when you say this: “But scientists have never observed a natural process that can create new DNA like this. Instead, what we
            observe is information-reducing, degenerative change where an organism actually loses a feature or functionality and becomes less sophisticated than earlier forms.” This has been shown numerous times, dating back almost half a century. Here’s an excerpt from a recent article that discusses it: “Lab tests involving microbes and a mammoth bone have shown that bacteria can passively soak up the genetic remains of long-dead organisms from the environment and add them to their own genomes. This ability is a previously
            ignored mechanism of evolution, says Søren Overballe-Petersen of the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. It joins sex, where two organisms
            combine their genes by mating; random DNA mutation; and the active transfer of genes between live microbes. By absorbing snippets of DNA that float in the
            environment, bacteria can access a junk shop of genetic material – some of which may no longer be in circulation in living things. What’s more, the mechanism requires hardly any cellular machinery, suggesting it may be left
            over from the earliest forms of life. Long before the advent of sex, the first cells may have randomly scavenged stray bits of DNA to survive and
            evolve.” http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929363.100-dnagrabbing-bacteria-hint-at-early-phase-of-evolution.html

            It doesn’t really bother me that you’re quite ignorant despite supposedly studying this for almost 40 years. It
            should bother you though. You need to understand that just because science does not have the answer right now to everything that has occurred in the natural world—it doesn’t mean that you or I have license to just assume “god” in that gap. Much of what you still think is a gap has been answered by science though–which is apparent from your poor level of understanding in the subject. Hundreds of years ago, people assumed god in the gap of being unable to explain lightning bolts. Guess what? Not anymore. Have some patience and don’t just make a stupid assumption because your imagination needs something to believe in.

          • Desi

            From Wikipedia: “An ad hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument.”

            For example, disregarding my scientific points and instead questioning my age, amount of time I have studied this topic, whether or not I copied and pasted a piece of text, making childish and rude remarks like I’m not using my brain and my imagination needs something to believe in and I didn’t learn reading comprehension and my assumptions are stupid. You even went so far as to find my Facebook profile, but you never tried to find answers on the AiG website! I’m not crying ad hominem, you gave it to me! I expected to engage in a scientific discussion. Instead, you resorted to insults and emotional appeals. But, thankfully, you brought up some valid points in your last post that I can respond intelligently to.

            Yes, gene transfer does occur and has been observed in both bacteria and viruses. But in these cases new genetic information has not been created. Instead, existing DNA is simply transferred. This is no help to the theory of evolution, which needs to account for the creation of the DNA in the first place. Also, the article you linked to correctly pointed out that “It’s not clear what the bacteria do with their new DNA.” We haven’t observed this type of transfer producing new features, functions or forms of life. The bacteria are still bacteria, so you’re back to the drawing board. Now who’s the ignorant one here, Daniel? Who has the poor level of understanding?

            I’d also like to point out your most important statement of all. You said, “just because science does not have the answer right now.” You’re conceding the fact that some aspects of evolution haven’t been proven and there is a lot about origins and biological history that you can’t explain yet. This means that other theories are still fair game. For this reason, I support the Answers in Genesis organization and I look forward to watching Ken Ham debate Bill Nye. I look forward to seeing a free exchange of ideas, maybe learning something new, and, hopefully, advancing the cause of science and taking the discussion of origins further down the road.

          • Daniel Webb

            I didn’t discredit your argument based on your age, and I only saw your Facebook profile because you were posting (copy/ pasting, imagine that!) the exact argument on Ken Ham’s Facebook page. I explained pretty clearly why your argument was flawed–leading with the fact that it wasn’t even your argument–it was one you plagiarized from AiG that didn’t even address the topic you asked me present. It was literally AIG’s definition of evolution!

            I’m not “back to the drawing board.” You asserted that there has never been a proven instance where new dna is added to an organism and then I showed you where it has been proven. Now you’re moving the goalposts by making that god-awful molecules to man plea.

            “The most important point” that you highlighted is not a weakness of science. It shows the forward progress of science. Not knowing exactly what happened for life to originate does not mean you can make a conclusion regardless

          • Desi

            In that case, then I didn’t copy and paste an existing piece of text, it was “transferred” and, thus, NEW information!

          • Daniel Webb

            Nice try, you should use that argument if you ever go back to get your GED and want to justify plagiarism to your teacher.

          • Desi

            And the ad hominem, personal attacks continue…

          • Daniel Webb

            Actually that was my first ad hominem of the discussion. Congrats–you truly earned it! Spend another “40 years” researching and maybe you’ll have found out how to navigate away from AiG and over to a site that isn’t run by people who deny science. Good luck Desi, you need it.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Displaying a text in more than one location, when it is not original to you is not new information, its just taking someone else’s writings and trying to use them to make a personal point. Its still the same text, lifted from a source not original to yourself.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Curious. Do you read scientific publications from any source not supported or sanctioned by the AiG? Do you have any proof, other than what they have to say, in their literature, that what they claim is accurate, and that the sources they use have been presented as the scientists intended?

            And then I wonder, how much of this is your original comments, and how much is copy/pasted directly from an AiG publication?

          • Desi

            In fact, you’re welcome to send a message to my Facebook profile if you’d like to continue our discussion privately.

    • Sven2547

      The mission of any scientific organization should be to follow the evidence wherever it leads, without prejudice.

      In stark contrast: Answers in Genesis’ Statement of Faith says the following:

      By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record.

      They are proudly announcing that they will reject any evidence that contradicts (their interpretation of) scripture. In doing so, they are abandoning any semblance of objective scientific research.

      • Desi

        As I posted here to another user, there are two points to consider. 1. Creationists fully disclose that the Bible influences their interpretation of evidence. 2. Creationists study, analyze, fully present and properly address the evolutionary worldview.

        As someone who spent the majority of his life on the side of the evolutionists, I can say that they don’t recognize and disclose their own biases and commitment to naturalism. The question is not whether or not someone has a presupposition because EVERYONE has presuppositions that shape the way they interpret the evidence! The question is, which presupposition best fits the evidence and makes the most sense?

        Answers in Genesis has come to the conclusion that we cannot divorce science from scripture because the scriptures reveal the God who created everything and made science possible! I would encourage you to learn more about presuppositions, operational and historical science. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/ee/what-is-science

        • Sven2547

          Creationists study, analyze, fully present and properly address the evolutionary worldview.

          I have never, ever, even once seen a creationist fully present and properly address evolution. Without exception, 100% of creationists I’ve ever met, seen, heard, or spoken to have misunderstand evolution in one or more fundamental ways. Ken Ham and AiG included.

          The science of evolution does not make the presupposition of “naturalism”. If there were evidence of the supernatural, then scientific theory would reflect that. That’s how science works: following the evidence. I am well familiar with AiG’s screed on “presuppositions” and “evidence”, and it’s really quite silly. Last Thursdayism is not a substitute for the scientific method.

          • Desi

            Evolutionists have a statement of faith of their own. Professor Richard Lewontin, a geneticist (and self-proclaimed Marxist), is certainly one of the world’s leaders in evolutionary biology. He wrote this very revealing comment. It illustrates the implicit philosophical bias against Genesis creation—regardless of whether or not the facts support it.

            “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

            It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

            Why don’t you take a tenet of evolution and direct me to where Ken Ham and AiG fail to properly present it and address it. Then we can continue our discussion and do so in more detail.

          • Sven2547

            Why don’t you take a tenet of evolution and direct me to where Ken Ham and AiG fail to properly present it and address it.

            Your continued misrepresentation of science, as being presupposed on naturalism, is an example.

            The conclusions of scientists are based on evidence, and the evidence remains for all to see. Scientists know that their ideas must stand the scrutiny of other scientists, who may not share their preconceptions. The best way to do this is to make the case strong enough on the basis of the evidence so that preconceptions do not matter. And scientists themselves condemn preconceptions when they see them.

            The history of science is filled with scientists accepting ideas contrary to their preconceptions. Examples include the reality of extinctions, the reality of meteors, meteors as causes of mass extinctions, ice ages, continental drift, transposons, bacteria as the cause of ulcers, the nature of prions, and, of course, evolution itself. Scientists are not immune to being sidetracked by their preconceptions, but they ultimately go where the evidence leads.

            Scientists make deliberate efforts to remove subjective influences from their evaluation of conclusions; they do a good job, on the whole, of reducing bias. They do such a good job, in fact, that what creationists really object to is the fact that scientists do not interpret evidence according to certain religious preconceptions.

            (h/t Talk Origins)

          • Desi

            Can you give me an example of where scientists have observed evidence that demonstrates how time, space and matter came into existence? What evidence proves that life can arise from non-life? When has it ever been observed that one type of living organism can evolve the genetic information necessary to change into something completely different? Can scientists demonstrate the earth’s purported age of 4.6 billion years in a laboratory?

          • Sven2547

            Can you give me an example of where scientists have observed evidence that demonstrates how time, space and matter came into existence?

            Energy can be converted into matter, and vice versa. Here is an example.

            The observed expansion of the space-time of the universe, as well as the relative uniformity of the CMBR, strongly suggest that at a point in time 13-14 Billion years ago, it was a singularity.

            Can you give an example of where scientists have observed a deity *poof*-ing matter into existence?

            What evidence proves that life can arise from non-life?

            The Miller-Urey experiments made a lot of headway in this direction. Despite this, the science of abiogenesis is still an emerging field, with a lot of unknowns. I trust you are not ignorant enough to assume that an absence of data in this field is somehow an argument favoring theistic creationism? That would be the fallacious god-of-the-gaps.

            Now I ask the same question of you: What evidence proves that life can arise from non-life? After all, that is a major part of the creationist claim.

            When has it ever been observed that one type of living organism can evolve the genetic information necessary to change into something completely different?

            The wording of this question is confusing. Evolution never says that one type of organism evolves into something “completely different”. Rather, the many subsequent types of slightly-different organisms can eventually result in something completely different from the “starting point”.

            The fossil record is the best observation for this. There are many, many transitional forms linking invertebrates to vertebrates, jawless fish to jawed fish, jawed fish to bony fish, bony fish to amphibians, amphibians to reptiles, reptiles to mammals, and mammals to humans.

            Have creationists ever observed a brand new complex species spontaneously began to exist without any ancestry or related species?

            Can scientists demonstrate the earth’s purported age of 4.6 billion years in a laboratory?

            Radiological dating techniques can be (and are) performed in laboratories. The oldest known terrestrial rocks (some zircon crystals found in Australia) are at least 4.4 Billion years old. Calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions within meteorites that were formed within the Solar System have been found to be 4.567 billion years old. This puts an approximate age on the Solar System and the planets therein.

            Of course, not all observations need to take place “in a laboratory”. The composition of the Sun changes as it ages. The differing composition changes the way sound waves behave inside the Sun. Using helioseismic methods (models of pressure waves in the sun), the age of the Sun (and thus the Solar System) can be inferred. Using this method, an Italian team came up with an age of 4.57 +/- 0.11 billion years.

            Can creationists demonstrate the Earth’s alleged age of <10,000 years in a laboratory?

          • Desi

            From your example:

            “rip apart a vacuum into its fundamental matter and antimatter components”

            “At the heart of this work is the idea that a vacuum is not exactly nothing.”

            “a vacuum, or nothing, is the combination of matter and antimatter particles and antiparticles …we cannot perceive any of them because their observable effects entirely cancel each other out,”

            So scientists can blast what God has created into its smaller and smaller components using energy. But they’re still starting with something. In order to create from nothing, you need to start with nothing and use nothing. http://www.getyourowndirt.com

            “The basic question of what is a vacuum, and what is nothing, goes beyond science,”

            That’s right!

            Turn the god-of-the-gaps fallacy around and you get the evolution-of-the-gaps fallacy. You admit that the science of abiogenesis is still an emerging field, with a lot of unknowns, yet you’re still assuming naturalism.

            That life cannot emerge from non-life through natural processes suggests that some other process may have been at play, like a transcendent cause. http://www.gotquestions.org/Does-God-exist.html

            “the many subsequent types of slightly-different organisms can eventually result in something completely different from the “starting point”

            How do you know? Have you observed this? What about known genetic limits and the fact that bacteria remain bacteria, fruit flies remain fruit flies, canines remain canines and so on? You’re extrapolating and showing your bias.

            “There are many, many transitional forms linking…”

            Fossils do not, cannot link anything. We find dead things. Whether or not these dead things left behind offspring that later morphed into something else is pure conjecture. Why would you think that organisms in the past could do something that they cannot do today? You’re assuming that similarity and progression prove homology, but this is not so. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v15/n1/homology

            “Have creationists ever observed a brand new complex species spontaneously began to exist without any ancestry or related species?”

            No, not directly observed. But the Cambrian explosion sure seems to indicate that it happened. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v5/n1/life-explosion

            The only way for scientists to empirically confirm that their dating methods are accurate would be to directly observe the long ages of time in real time which is impossible. Dating techniques are loaded with assumptions and based on the idea of uniformitarianism, a tenet of naturalism. So scientists are essentially assuming long ages of gradual processes before they calculate them. Dating methods require assumptions for extrapolating present-day processes back into the past.

            There is a research project known as RATE, or Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth. A team of scientists has discovered what they believe is evidence that refutes the purported long ages of earth history and supports the biblical timeline. http://www.icr.org/rate/

          • Sven2547

            So scientists can blast what God has created into its smaller and smaller components using energy. But they’re still starting with something. In order to create from nothing, you need to start with nothing and use nothing.

            You seem to be operating under a very common misconception of the Big Bang theory. The Big Bang theory does not claim that the universe came from nothing. Every creationist, without fail, makes this incorrect straw-man claim. It is false. The Big Bang theory claims that the matter that currently composes the universe was originally energy, which is why I linked an article about converting energy to matter. That was the Big Bang: the creation of the current space-time plane, and the conversion of a lot of already-existing energy into matter.

            I note that you unsurprisingly ignored my question of whether scientists have ever observed a god creating matter. The answer is no.

            Turn the god-of-the-gaps fallacy around and you get the evolution-of-the-gaps fallacy. You admit that the science of abiogenesis is still an emerging field, with a lot of unknowns, yet you’re still assuming naturalism.

            There is partial evidence for naturalism (see Miller-Urey) and zero evidence for deistic creation. That’s not a fallacy, that’s following the evidence… something AiG deliberately refuses to do.

            That life cannot emerge from non-life through natural processes suggests that some other process may have been at play, like a transcendent cause.

            Is your “transcendent cause” life or non-life? Either way, it’s the fallacious circular logic of the long-rebutted Cosmological Argument.

            “the many subsequent types of slightly-different organisms can eventually result in something completely different from the “starting point”

            How do you know?

            The fossil record, the entire field of genetics, and the entire field of morphology, for starters.

            Fossils do not, cannot link anything.

            That’s the second dumbest thing I’ve heard so far in 2014. It is very strong geological evidence of exactly the kind of gradual morphological change that evolution predicts. Your refusal to learn from the fossil record is indicative of exactly why creationism is considered to be anti-science: you are just throwing virtually the entire field of paleontology out the window. It doesn’t agree with your pre-determined “conclusion”, so you have opted to disregard it outright. Shameful.

            Why would you think that organisms in the past could do something that they cannot do today?

            I assume you are talking about biological traits that gradually atrophied and stopped expressing themselves? Simple*. Because they were no longer useful for survival and in some cases actually became detrimental.

            Wisdom teeth are a classic example of an undesirable evolutionary holdover from our distant ancestors. As humans evolved to have smaller mandibles, the extra set of molars in the back have gotten too cramped to form in a safe and reliable way, so there is a very high incidence of impacted wisdom teeth that require removal. Due to modern medicine, almost nobody dies from wisdom teeth complications anymore, so there is extremely little selective pressure for wisdom-teeth-producing genes to weed themselves out of the human gene pool.

            No, not directly observed. But the Cambrian explosion sure seems to indicate that it happened.

            Putting aside the breathtaking hypocrisy of your selective acceptance / non-acceptance of the fossil record, I am amused that a young-Earth creationist is willingly conceding that 542-million-year-old fossils are proof of anything at all.

            The “Cambrian Explosion” was a relatively rapid increase in biodiversity, as evidenced by the fossil record you just rejected a minute ago. By “relatively rapid”, I mean over a span of millions and millions of years, not overnight. These species also have morphological relationships with one-another, indicating common ancestry, so you have still failed to provide an example of what I have asked.

            The only way for scientists to empirically confirm that their dating methods are accurate would be to directly observe the long ages of time in real time which is impossible. Dating techniques are loaded with assumptions and based on the idea of uniformitarianism, a tenet of naturalism.

            Wrong wrong wrong. Radiological dating techniques are based on a thorough understanding of nuclear physics. The nature of radioactive decay and isotope half-lives are extremely well-understood, highly-established sciences. These techniques are not “loaded with assumptions” as you claim. It is not an “assumption”, for example, to say that the Earth’s crust is not a breeder reactor. It’s a fact.

            There is a research project known as RATE, or Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth.

            Your breathtaking hypocrisy continues unabated. You have flipped, over the span of two sentences, from an outright rejection of radiological dating to a full-throated endorsement of radiological dating. That said, the “findings” you have linked have been thoroughly debunked. I won’t bother typing responses to all of them (I’ve wasted enough time with you already), but I will cover a bunch of them relating to polonium “haloes”. (You probably won’t understand this; you’re really only good at linking other people’s faulty work, you have shown next-to-no understanding of the subject material)…

            Polonium forms from the alpha decay of radon, which is one of the decay products of uranium. Since radon is a gas, it can migrate through small cracks in the minerals. The fact that polonium haloes are found only associated with uranium (the parent mineral for producing radon) supports this conclusion, as does the fact that such haloes are commonly found along cracks

            * So simple that if you had even a rudimentary understanding of evolution, you could have answered that yourself. My 100% statistic of creationists-who-don’t-understand-evolution continues, to nobody’s surprise.

          • Desi

            “The Big Bang theory claims that the matter that currently composes the universe was originally energy”

            Where did the energy come from? And where did the matter come from? Energy can act on matter, but not create it as the article you linked to conceded. So you’ve still got a problem. And it’s interesting that you have tried to use energy as your rescue device. It brings to mind Romans 1:20, which states: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

            The evidence for deistic creation comes by default. Since there are no known natural processes which can create life, then something outside of the natural world as we know it may have been at play. Although widely heralded by the popular press for decades as proof that life originated on the early earth entirely by natural conditions, the Miller-Urey experiments have actually provided compelling evidence for exactly the opposite conclusion. This set of experiments—more than almost any other carried out by modern science—has done much more to show that abiogenesis is not possible on Earth than to indicate how it could be possible. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v18/n2/abiogenesis

            The “transcendent cause” must be something that is not bound by the laws that govern the universe. It must be infinite, eternal and uncreated, which is precisely how the Bible describes God. The cosmological argument has not been refuted, only rejected. I would add that if you’re ever able to successfully counter the cosmological argument with a rational and justified alternative, then you need to do the same with the teleological argument and moral argument among others.

            Regarding the fossil record, that organisms in the past shared similar features, and that one organism morphed into another are two total different things requiring totally different evidence. Evolutionists are the ones who are anti-science in this area because they fail to produce the real evidence needed—observing living organisms adding new genetic information to the genome that gives rise to new features, new functionality, and, ultimately, new life forms (which is what I meant when I asked, “Why would you think that organisms in the past could do something that they cannot do today?”). The similarity argument is a bait-and-switch. Plus, we do not find gradual morphological change. There are huge gaps in the fossil record and many so-called “transitional fossils” are debated.

            Humans not having room for wisdom teeth is a good example of degenerative change, not upward evolution. In fact, all of the “change” that we observe is information-reducing, degenerative change where an organism actually loses a feature or functionality and becomes less sophisticated than earlier forms. This is what happens when bacteria become resistant to an antibiotic, or elephants are born without tusks, or when humans develop and pass on sickle cell anemia. This is why we find a much greater variety of plants and animals in the fossil record than are alive today. Everything is degenerating and going extinct. This is exactly the opposite of evolution!

            I never said that I didn’t accept the fossil record; I just don’t accept the assumptions that you impose on it. I also question the purported long ages of earth history. But there’s no question that organisms, which are classified as being part of the so-called Cambrian geological period, have no earlier forms as evolutionists see them. This is a problem for the evolutionist but makes complete sense in the biblical worldview.

            I’m familiar with radiological dating techniques and radiometric timescales. I understand the science behind it. But I also realize that this type of science is full of assumptions.

            1. Scientists must assume the original number of unstable atoms.

            2. Scientists must assume that the rate of change was constant.

            3. Scientists must assume that the daughter atoms were all created by radioactive decay (that no outside forces contaminated the sample).

            The Bible tells us that the earth and life was initially made fully formed and functional (which is supported by, among other things, the teleological argument). Radiological dating is based on the assumption that the earth was formed gradually over long ages of time. The Bible says that geologic and other processes were accelerated during a catastrophic global flood in the days of Noah. Radiological dating assumes uniformitarianism. I don’t think that the assumptions made in radiological dating are bad ones, I just realize that other assumptions can just as easily be made. If what the Bible says about creation is true, then secular scientists are completely wrong in how they approach earth history and interpret the evidence.

            This whole debate is really about a difference in starting points. Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” And by faith secular scientists assume that what is seen WAS made out of things that are visible and they interpret things to that end.

            I do not consider my time with you a waste. 😉

          • http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com Kristen Rosser

            Science studies the natural universe and its workings. The “supernatural” is by definition other than that. Science should not (and usually scientists don’t) expect to have information beyond its own scope. To use science to obtain evidence of the supernatural is like using a ruler to measure air pressure; it is simply the wrong tool.

            The belief that science is the arbiter of all reality is a logical fallacy known as “scientism.” On the other hand, the Bible is not a book of science and should not be treated as one; the belief that the Bible is or was intended to be an exhaustive resource on every subject of human knowledge is also a fallacy.

        • spinetingler

          “1. Creationists fully disclose that the Bible influences their interpretation of evidence.”

          Then by definition (their own) they are not scientists.

          • Desi

            Sure they are. Anyone involved in a field of study such as physics, chemistry, or biology is a scientist. We all observe the same evidence and we all apply the same science. It’s how we interpret the evidence and speculate about the unobserved past that sets us apart. Two scientists discovered DNA. One was a Christian and one was not. One believe it to be a product of evolution and the other a product of God. Either way, they both observed the same DNA and used the same science to discover it!

          • spinetingler

            “speculate about the unobserved past” – not science.

  • eFUSION

    Here is some homework I did years ago that shows the INCOMPATIBILITY of
    Biblical History with Evolutionary History. They cannot both be true.
    They are incompatible.
    http://souljiers.webvanta.com/news-item/1639444-incompatibility-of-2-histories-of-the

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Please study physics, before deciding to just accept Mr. Ham’s very erroneous theories at face value.

      • David W Smith

        What many secularists,
        anti-creationists do not seem to understand is that people who support
        creationism are not anti-science. We love science, and study it!
        What people who support creationism do not agree with is the incorrect or
        inaccurate interpretations and conclusions which are mixed in with scientific
        facts. These incorrect interpretations and conclusions
        are usually based on presuppositions as a result of a worldview
        or philosophy as opposed to observation.

        • GC1

          Copy and paste much?

        • spinetingler

          “We love science, and study it!”

          Not enough, apparently.

    • David W Smith

      eFUSION, Great article about the INCOMPATIBILITY of
      Biblical History with Evolutionary History. This is worth reading for anyone interested in being informed in this matter.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        I read it, and found it very flawed, lacking understanding of physics, or the broad scope of theological understanding that exists in Christianity. It was more, to me, a copy of the talking points touted by AiG.

        • eFUSION

          Can you give examples of both? The physics piece you mention. And the
          theological understanding in Scripture. I say “in Scripture”, not “in Christianity” because many
          Christians have non-Biblical views on things.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            The piece I found flawed was yours, It appears to be a compilation of statements typically found with young earth theorists and just fail to offer a serious look at what science has to offer, and just flat out ignores that it never attempts to deny divinity.
            This is a link to the theories of thermodynamics, which do, of course, support evolutionary theory, contrary to the claim of your piece.
            http://www.physicsplanet.com/articles/three-laws-of-thermodynamics

      • Michael Rigby

        I tried reading that website but it causes my laptop to crash. Strange. Anyway, what I did manage to read was very basic and misses quite a lot of points out. The Bible says the fish and the birds were created first. Please get your facts 100% correct before trying to dismiss something. And what is the “Big Bang” if not the point of creation? It was the beginning of space and time after all.

        • eFUSION

          I don’t get what you are saying about fish and birds. How did the materials for the Big Bang get here? That cannot be “the beginning”. And what caused it? Sorry the site made your laptop crash.

  • Shawn Atchison

    Dump science and believe the Bible. Science is the fancy of men while the Bible is every single word of the Living God, perfectly preserved and inspired for us to read.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Uhm. If you want to really dump science, then please turn off your internet, disconnect your electricity, dig yourself a well, using hand tools that are made of iron or bronze, or better yet stone and a stick, as discovering metals as having such a use is a scientific discovery…..ok just find a creek.

      , Get rid of your car, bicycle or other modern means of transportation, all your clothes that were machine made, move out of your house, make a tent out of the skins of the animals that you now need to survive on, any cooking implement made of steel, plastic, aluminum, throw away your watch, or any jewelry containing zirconia, platinum or tin, Get rid of your books, all of them, and anything containing paper. Throw out all medications, and toiletries, or food needs to be kept cold, or that has been processed, packaged or not grown, in your neighborhood
      Now you still want to dump science?

      • Shawn Atchison

        I agree that science has brought us some wonderful things in life. However, none of the things you mentioned above were created by, through, or because of evolution. Evolution has not influenced any scientific discovery, technology or otherwise.

        • Deacon Razorblades

          You do realize that the entire foundation of modern biology rests on our understandings of evolution, right?

          • Shawn Atchison

            If that’s what you want to believe, then go ahead. We can understand physiology and biology without evolution. I believe in a 6 day creation. There was a big bang, God spoke, and bang! it was.

            You realize the Universe means “single spoken sentence” right? Uni=single verse=spoken sentence.

            Genesis one gives us a factual account of the birth of the universe and everything in it.

          • Deacon Razorblades

            If that’s what you want to believe, then go ahead.

            It is what I believe because it’s factual.
            http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/b/biology.htm

            We can understand physiology and biology without evolution.

            Sure, you can do rote memory and observations, but unless you can make predictions then it doesn’t help bolster biology. That’s what evolution does, it helps us make predictions and understand the mechanisms of how things get to where they are.

            You realize the Universe means “single spoken sentence” right? Uni=single verse=spoken sentence.

            I don’t care if that’s what it means. That’s not what it is. Also, given the size of the universe, why is it that the staggering amount of it is uninhabitable by humans if god made it for humans?

            Genesis one gives us a factual account of the birth of the universe and everything in it.

            You mean to tell me that the amount of information in genesis trumps that the hundreds of thousands of scientific journals describing the universe and it’s birth? I’m sorry, I disagree completely.

          • PN8891

            Well, the Bible says, “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” That verse makes no exceptions for those who have their Ph. D. and have published journal articals. Also, when it comes to biology, you can do FAR more than rote memorization without evolution. Because evolution is a study of origins, and the rest of biology is a study of the way things are in the present, it is possible to understand biology quite completely–even making predictions just as well as the evolutionists do–without evolution.

            Actually, the origins sciences are not held to the same standard of proof as observational sciences that are geared toward studying the present. In observational sciences, the standard for proving something involves extremely meticulous observations. The standard of proof for evolution, on the other hand, is made lower, because the former standard would require people to actually observe something that is said to take millions of years. Origins scientists (evolutionary or otherwise) simply can’t observe how the first organism came to exist, or how any individual fossil is related to any other fossil, because they weren’t there. Thus, origins scientists–no matter their views–cannot be held to the same standard of proof as other scientists, because that would preclude them from proving anything!

          • http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com Kristen Rosser

            The problem with “Let God be true and every man a liar” applied in this context is that “our reading of Genesis 1-2” is being conflated with “God.” “Let our reading of Genesis 1-2 be true and everyone else a liar” is really what’s being said.

          • MikeHaas82

            Shawn – do you know anything about red-shift and parallax? Would you have us believe that our understanding of cosmology, celestial mechanics and physics allowed us to upgrade a spacecraft called Voyager from millions of miles away and send it on a grand tour of the solar system in the 1980s, but we’d get distances to the stars so totally wrong? We figured out the speed of light in the 19th century. Paired together with red-shift, our nearest stellar neighbor is just over 4 light-years away and our farthest that we can accurately measure, MILLIONS of light-years away. You want us to believe that our understanding of geology and paleontology which have allowed us to estimate the age of the planets in our solar system from great distances and accurately determined the atmosphere of the Saturn’s moon Titan and the existence of lakes of liquid methane through spectral analysis, have totally failed us in estimating the age and nature our own?

            You want us to believe that some guy nearly two-hundred years ago who came up with a dopey biblical timeline that included a belief in a 900 year-old man that serious theologians and biblical scholars long ago debunked should replace our understanding of the Universe we live in? You have to be joking.

            Guys like you DON’T want to teach “Creationism” in our schools as an “alternative”, nor do you want to “bring God back into the classroom”. You want to use it as a prelude to ultimately force YOUR VERSION of Christianity down our children’s throats, regardless of our Nation’s current religious diversity based on an equally dopey idea that our Deist and even Atheist fore-fathers wanted a “Christian” nation, despite every piece of documentation such as CONTEMPORARY newspapers and books that demonstrated, with sources, otherwise. You whine about “Sharia Law” but would introduce a theocracy based on YOUR beliefs in a New York minute. We are NOT fooled!

          • Shawn Atchison

            Nope. I’m not advocating teaching creationism in schools, nor am I advocating becoming a theocracy.

            All I think Christians in this world are called to do is lovingly share the gospel with people to try and save those we can from the fires of eternal damnation. I don’t think a government run by a religion, any religion, would work out well. I don’t believe forcing anyone to convert to any sect or belief is the right approach either.

            I do believe the earth is less than 10k years old, sure. I trust the eye witness that was there and was kind enough to tell us about it, God. I do believe people lived hundreds of years, so what?

          • Mag Enta

            On the surface you are right, but I understand evolution of humans to have started from random chemicals which would make life a continuance of random chemicals with no direction. How in the world did intelligence develop? When were humans aware that their minds could remember things and when did they realize they could trust their senses and where did these senses come from? I found answers in “The Ultimate Proof of Creation” – Dr. Jason Lisle.

          • Deacon Razorblades

            On the surface you are right, but I understand evolution of humans to have started from random chemicals which would make life a continuance of random chemicals with no direction.

            Evolution of humans started from a divergence in the evolutionary chain a long time ago. These changes are derived from natural selection, which is anything but random.

            How in the world did intelligence develop?

            There’s still a lot of work to be done in that field, but a lot of scientists believe it to be an emmergent property.

            When were humans aware that their minds could remember things</blockquote.
            Probably when they started to remember things.

            I found answers in “The Ultimate Proof of Creation” – Dr. Jason Lisle.

            Wow, why did I even reply to you when an any form of honest discourse probably won’t happen when you finish with that. A blatant book promotion.

          • MikeHaas82

            And in fact Deacon, there are no other competing theories for the creation of life on Earth – evolution can be demonstrated to be true so thoroughly and beautifully that competing theories have never been necessary. Kind of like the “theory” of Gravity and the “theory” of Radio. Other than componentry, radios have been designed and built by the same theory laid out prior to about 1926 ever since then.

          • Deacon Razorblades

            I agree, and the absolute denial of that is kind of terrifying for any sort of scientific progression.

          • spinetingler

            No, he doesn’t.

    • Michael Rigby

      God gave man intelligence to use. The evidence for an old earth far outweigh the evidence for a young earth. In fact, the evidence for a young earth is so tenuous, it is embarrassing to even think we could believe it. God does not play practical jokes on us.

      • Ryanmd

        Michael study the cross. Study the reason Jesus came. The reason Jesus died. What did He pay the penalty of? Death. Death that entered through Adam. If death entered prior to Adam (evolution) then Jesus did not pay the penalty for it on the cross. Evolution is incompatible with the need for a Savior.

        • Michael Rigby

          Guys, I’m taking mark Twain’s advice and I’m out of here. Goodbye

        • Robert Long

          Try this on. In Gen 2, first thing god says to man is a lie “the day you eat of it, you shall surely die,” while the first words spoken by Satan were truth “you shall not surely die…the day you eat thereof your eyes shall be opened, you shall be as gods.” How do you know God was lying? Verse 22: “Behold the man has become as one of us…now, lest he reach forth his hand and take of the Tree of Life and eat thereof and live forever…” Man is condemned to die not because of sin or the serpent, but by the lying incompetence of your dead god.

          • Ryanmd

            Robert you are only here to upset. I see your words and your heavy accusations towards God. I will not answer you twice. You are not ready to humble, just as I was not by 28. I hope and pray He has mercy on you. God did not lie. Adam did surely die. He returned to the dust from which he came. Before death entered, Adam could have lived for ever. Same with you. You have the same choice today. Chose wisely

          • Robert Long

            God: “THE DAY you eat it, YOU WILL DIE.”
            Satan: “No, your eyes will be opened and you’ll be like him.”
            God: “Crap! Man’s eyes are opened and now he’s like us. I better not let him access that tree of life or he’ll live forever.”

            If you read it *humbly* without interpolation it is VERY obvious who the villian is.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I read Job that way too. God and Satan place a bet….things go very badly for the “horse”

          • http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com Kristen Rosser

            This, too, is an over-simplistic reading of the text through assuming that it was intended to be taken absolutely literally. This is actually the same sort of reading as the one that insists “day” must mean “24-hour period.”

            What I really don’t understand is why a young-earth creationist will insist that “day” must be taken literally but “die” should not be. To me, the presence of this clear non-literalism in the text is one of the indications that it was never intended by the original writer or understood by the original readers as literal historical fact. There are other clues as well that symbolic/metaphorical meanings were intended: what does a “knowledge of good and evil” fruit look like, for instance?

            The point is that it’s clear in the text that God is the good guy and the serpent is the villain. There are plenty of textual clues supporting this. So if, in order to maintain a reading consistent with that, the meaning of “die” must be understood non-literally, why should we not read the rest of the text metaphorically?

        • spinetingler

          “Evolution is incompatible with the need for a Savior.”

          Sounds like your particular flavor of religion has a serious problem, then.

          • Ryanmd

            Yes, you heard me correct

          • spinetingler

            Whom did you correct?

      • Shawn Atchison

        He also doesn’t lie. He agreed with the six day creation account as did every other new testament author.

        There is no old earth creation. It’s a lie of Satan to deceive the very elect if possible.

    • MikeHaas82

      Sure, Shawn. Lets “Dump” science. Let’s go back to treating evil humors with bleeding and burning. Throw away that laptop – its an evil spawn of science, along with your radio, television, satellites, cell phone, Internet and the fuel injection system in your car. Let’s dump weather and earthquake early warning systems. Lets forget about traveling the world by aircraft and speaking of which, lets go back to the bow and arrow against our attackers who send missiles from Space. Let China and India colonize the Moon and Mars. Let disease run rampant again because its God’s “will”. Lets pretend that races we don’t like are inferior, especially the “spawn of Cain”. Lets go back to cheap, brittle iron and ditch cold hardened steel. Lets live like the Amish. Let’s eat tainted foods and dump our chamber pots right into the muddy, horse-manure laden streets and drink the fetid water from our sewage infested water supplies. Lets return to an average life-span of about 35-40 years so we can get to Heaven quicker. Let’s return to those bygone days when we got to watch our children die or become crippled or blind by polio, measles, mumps, and scarlet fever. And of course, please dear God let us rejoice around the burning bodies of the victims of smallpox.

      Who needs to believe in the existence of Satan when people who believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible walk right here amongst us?

      • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

        Mike: that was pretty awesome.

        • MikeHaas82

          Thanks, John. See you at the barbeque. 😉

    • spinetingler

      Well, get off the damn internet, then.

      • Shawn Atchison

        Perhaps I should clarify, where science disagrees with the Bible, reject the science for it is false.

        • spinetingler

          I guess you have a lot of trouble with circles, then.

  • Gijreb

    John 5:46 “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.”

  • David W Smith

    What many secularists or anti-creationists do not seem to understand is that people who support creationism are not anti-science. We love science, and study it!
    What people who support creationism do not agree with is the incorrect or
    inaccurate interpretations and conclusions which are mixed in with scientific
    facts. These incorrect interpretations and conclusions
    are usually based on presuppositions as a result of a worldview
    or philosophy as opposed to observation.

    • Sven2547

      What many secularists or anti-creationists do not seem to understand is that people who support creationism are not anti-science.

      Belief in young-Earth creationism amounts to the wholesale dismissal of the entire fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, genetics, general relativity, geology, paleontology, dendrochronology, and morphology. This is not a pro-science position. Far from.

  • Gijreb

    There is No truth in science-
    Truth is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Learn the Natures of Knowledge and Truth before delving into the issue of origins.

    • Ryanmd

      I can agree. Although I love LOVE science. I know that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Prov 9:10
      Without this as your core belief, everything else will be skewed in understanding. I came to the knowledge of Christ at 28, not before.

  • Gijreb

    The whole premise of this website in Anti-Scriptural.

    Love is Not the highest good, it is Truth.

    To Truth Jesus gave the first place… The first place does not belong to love or mercy or pity. It belongs to truth.

    Robert Speer; (1867-1947); The Principles of Jesus; 1902; p177

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Rabid fundy troll. Fail.

    • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

      I Cor 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

      So, … ummm … by all means, quote your 20th century theologian who tried to redefine Christianity and accuse someone else of being anti-Scriptural. But just know that you’re going up against Scripture.

      Good luck with that.

      • Gijreb

        The greatest of THESE THREE, faith, hope and love, is love.
        Is Love the greatest good? No-
        Truth is the greatest good.
        To deny that is self-defeating.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Ok
          Who else is thinking of something a long dead provincial Judean leader once asked?

        • http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com Kristen Rosser

          But love IS truth, because God is love.

          • Gijreb

            The verb IS can have at least four different meanings, which one them are you using??
            1- The IS of Existence
            2- The IS of Predication
            3- The IS of Class-Inclusion
            4- The IS of Identity

            You also have not defined “truth”, “God” or “love”

          • http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com Kristen Rosser

            This is getting way off-topic and is also getting in its own way. Some things actually can become obscured by trying to pin them to a card and dissect them with words.

          • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

            So, … ummm … it depends on what the meaning of “is” is? :rimshot:

          • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

            Now, there, Kristen, is TRUTH.

          • Gijreb

            God = love
            Love = truth
            God = Truth?

          • spinetingler

            God is Love
            Love is blind
            Ray Charles is blind.
            Ray Charles is God.

        • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

          You might consider reading the whole chapter, dude.

          Let’s go a little earlier, such as verse 2:

          2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

          So, fathoming all mysteries and all knowledge seems a whole lot like truth, doesn’t it? But it’s nothing compared to love.

          So, you’re up against the Bible again. Can you even throw a proof-text at me? Anything, but some guy who contradicts Scripture?

          • Gijreb

            Is it true that Love is the Greatest good?
            You say Yes.
            Then you see that Truth is sitting in judgment of Love.
            Nothing judges Truth.
            Truth judges everything.
            Truth is Above All.
            There is Nothing greater than truth, including love.

          • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

            So, no. You can’t find anything in the Bible that supports your argument.

            It is you, not anyone else, who is anti-Scriptural. You can’t even dispute my interpretation of I Corinthians 13, which plainly elevates love above every other single virtue, including knowledge and understanding (which are dispensed even before you get down to faith, hope, and love … “truth” doesn’t even make that cut).

            It was for love that God did everything in the Bible. Why did He take His people out of slavery? Not for doctrinal purity … for love.

            Did God so desire that the world properly understand theology that He sent His only begotten Son? Nope. That was love, too.

            Your position is plainly contrary to the weight of Scripture. I’m sure that it feels good to you, since it lets you elevate yourself in your wisdom over people who “just” love, but … well, … that’s pretty much the definition of a 1st century Pharisee or Sadducee, isn’t it? But there you are. No Biblical support for your position, but eagerly trying to kick other people out of the Christian club based on your say-so.

            That’s very sad.

          • Gijreb

            Is what you just stated True?

          • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

            Uhhh … yes. Yes, it is.

            Can you show so much as one thing which I got wrong, based on anything other than your circular logic and a quote from a 20th century book, plainly not Scripture?

            Can you poke so much as one hole in it? I’ve shown you Biblical passages. What have I got wrong, other than the fact that you don’t like it?

            You’re looking for fallacy? Look at your own argument.

            I Corinthians 13 very clearly seems to elevate love above everything else. The fallacy among 1st century leaders whom Jesus rebuked was to fail in love. What have I got wrong?

            If you can’t show anything that I’ve got wrong, but can’t accept the truth of what I’m saying, then maybe truth isn’t as important to you as you think it is.

          • Gijreb

            Who do you worship, Love or God?

          • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

            Whom do I worship?

            I worship God. Love isn’t a being in any way, and wouldn’t be addressed as a “who.” Neither is “truth,” by the way, so I’m really not sure what point you think you’re making. Then again, you’ve more or less descended from making points to asking one-liners.

            Now, instead of trolling, how about you answer a question of mine? You seem to want to ignore everything that I say, which pretty much demonstrates an inability to answer it. My request to you: Find one flaw in my logic or interpretation. Look at the chapter, work through what it says, and see what I’ve got wrong, using itself or other Scripture. Or concede that you don’t really know Scripture as well as you think you do, which is probably a good reason not to run around calling people anti-Scripture.

            For that matter, even if you think I’m wrong … might it be a matter of interpretation? Is it possible that two people might honestly reach valid conclusions, even if they don’t agree? Perhaps name-calling and haughty pronouncements aren’t the way to go?

            I worship God. A God who said that He values love far more than self-righteous proclamations of superior wisdom or doctrinal purity. Or even obedience.

            That would be the God of the Bible.

          • Gijreb

            So then God is greater than love, is that right?

          • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

            You’ve descended into gibberish.

            If you can’t even answer a basic question, then we’re done. But at least anyone else reading will see that you can’t even try to hold up your end of a conversation.

            Au revoir.

          • Nathan

            Jesus said, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life…” (John 14:6). Jesus also said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).
            John 10:30 “I and my father are one” (Jesus speaking).
            John 8:32 — “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

            Conclusion:
            (1) Jesus and God are “one”.
            (2) Jesus was the “truth”. As He was one with God, thus God is both “love” and “truth”.
            (3) The “truth” is the only thing that makes you free.
            (4) Per John 3:16, the reason you have received the truth is because God so loved the world.

            Thus, love without truth would result in mankind not being made free by God. And how can there exist “true” love without “truth”?

            I cannot find comprehensive support for elevating either, for one without the other is incomplete.

            In regards to 1 Corinthians 13…do not forget that the only reason he could talk to them about love, or address any fallacy of 1st century leaders about love, was because they had already accepted “the truth”.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Ah truth…the world is flat…cept it ain’t. The sun revolves around the earth, cept it don’t, man will never gain access to the moon…cept they did. It is possible to turn another metal into Gold, cept you can’t.
            Truth is often not as set as we assume.

  • Rich Wendling

    Do you have any documentation to support your claim that no one’s leaving the church because evolution shows that “the Bible could not be trusted?” The research I’ve seen – both from AiG and elsewhere – strongly supports Ham’s claim. Could you please link to the research that supports your view?

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Innocent query troll. Fail.

    • spinkham

      I’m afraid I can only offer anecdotes, but they are true of most of the ex-fundamentalists I know.

      I left my faith tradition for exactly the reason the article states: “Mr. Ham, what the theory of evolution makes clear is that it is you and your cohorts who cannot be trusted.”

      I found out I was lied to about evolution, lied to about some basic facts about the Bible, lied to about archaeology, and for me, worst of all these lies were ultimately being used to demonize other people in defense of the tribal identity, rather then to love all humans.

      This did not immediately cause me to leave Christianity altogether as I recognized my faith tradition was not the only one, but in researching other faith traditions I could find no compelling reason to accept them either.

      If my faith tradition was loving and not deceptive and demonizing, I would still likely be in it: Leaving your tradition does have high social and emotional costs, especially in more high certainty claiming traditions, and it’s not something I did lightly.

      The story of mainline decline is similar, and that one can be backed up by research: It’s largly because mainliners just haven’t had many babies relative to other groups, but also seems to be because more children leave the church than leave more “high certainty” faiths as they find it hard to find anything “special” about their group they can’t get elsewhere.

      http://www.firstthings.com/article/2008/05/001-mainline-churches-the-real-reason-for-decline-8

      IMHO, the church is doomed to shrink like it has in other countries(if the economy/aggregate health/income equality and other measures of social stability don’t get too much worse): If you go the conservative route and lie to your kids, they leave when they find out you’re liars, and attempts to shelter kids that have worked in the past are more and more difficult in the information age. If you go the liberal route, you lose your kids because they find little of value in your religion over other alternatives.

      The hard truth is that we don’t know with any great confidence what life’s about, but we do know with good confidence that high certainty beliefs cause demonization of the other and violence.

      If you prefer religious language, I’ll point you to the work of Rene Girard, if you prefer scientific language I’ll point you to Terror Management Theory, which is well explained in this award winning documentary which streams free on Hulu(for Americans anyway).

      As a teaser, I’ll leave this quote from a book Richard Beck wrote on the topic:

      This is the dynamic described above, a retreat into a new
      absolutism that allows us to escape from the existential burden of a
      relativizing pluralism. This is the allure of fundamentalism in
      modernity. Fundamentalism helps us cope with the anxiety caused by the relativizing encounter with Otherness in our pluralistic world. At the
      end of the day, fundamentalism is embraced for the existential
      consolation it provides.

      As Berger and Zijderveld summarize: This is the great refusal of
      relativization. The proponents of the various versions of neo-absolutism
      have very seductive messages: “Do you feel lost in the ‘patchwork’ of
      religious possibilities? Here, surrender to the one true faith that we
      offer you, and you’ll find yourself at peace with the world.” Comparable
      messages are on offer to allay the vertigo of choice in morality,
      politics, lifestyles. And the message isn’t lying: Fanatics are more at
      peace, less torn, than those who struggle daily with the challenges of
      relativity. This peace, however, comes with a price. (2009, p. 47)

      We already know what this price is: worldview defense, the
      stigmatization of Otherness and difference. These suspicions about
      out-group members scale up to affect the whole of society. Society
      becomes ideologically balkanized, with individuals seeking ideological
      reassurances from the like-minded. These ideological groups and their
      suspicions about each other make modern societies increasingly unstable and prone to conflict. As Berger and Zijderveld describe it, “The final outcome may be all-out civil strife, between radicalized subcultures and the majority society, and/or between/among the several subcultures
      themselves” (2009, p. 86).

      –Beck, Richard (2012-01-10). The Authenticity of Faith: The
      Varieties and Illusions of Religious Experience (pp. 256-257). Abilene
      Christian University Press. Kindle Edition.

      (and if you’re curious, the book contains TMT experiments done with Christians and defends a type of Christianity that can be beneficial to the world.)

  • Nathan

    It’s ironic that people do not want to allow the same credence to views by scientists who support creation versus scientists who support evolution. Your answer for “why” is based in your belief that they are wrong because they don’t support evolution. So in other words…creationists should accept the views of evolutionary scientists, why? Because you think they are right? And we should all dismiss the view of creationist scientists, why? Because they couldn’t possibly be right?

    Your method of dismissing other views without consideration, based on the fact that it doesn’t agree with your predetermined opinion…is the same thing you accuse creationists of doing.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Logic troll. Fail.

      • Nathan

        John – I just find that people believe what they believe, and defend it as truth without actual evaluation. Then they make arguments that a high school debate team would destroy. No debate is reasonable if the basis of the argument is so backwards, regardless of whether it is a creationist or an evolutionist.

        • GC1

          Just because I believe I can fly doesn’t make it so. People can believe whatever they want but it goes against actual, hard scientific evidence, then seriously, those beliefs are ludicrous.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            But you can fly. Science has allowed us the ability, through airplanes, helicopters, hang gliders, etc. In fact one man has made a glider suit, that is quite small, and works amazingly well. We now have no problem believing in the ability to fly, because it is now possible. That dream, that goal has been achieved.

          • Deacon Razorblades

            He means the innate ability to fly. Through our intelligence we’ve developed means of flying, but on our own we’re biologically incapable of doing so.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Oh, I know that Deacon. The fact remains that thanks to eons of scientific advancements, what was once impossible, is now a normal reality, just as generations, eons in our future will wonder how we got along with our crude methods and understandings.

          • GC1

            I meant on my own without any aids like suits or planes.

          • spinetingler

            Where’s my damn jet pack and flying car? I was promised…

          • Nathan

            I think there are multiple layers to this debate that are not being clarified. There are “young earth” creationists, but there are also creationists who accept that the 6 days were not literal days as we interpret them now. So is the debate about young earth, or is it about evolution vs creation?

            I think that is where people are also failing in these discussions. But keep in mind…as some have said below…what you believe is hard, scientific fact today may indeed be disproven tomorrow.

  • Nathan

    Both “theories” require faith. And yes…creation is an accepted theory. A theory is simply a system of ideas intended to explain something. So those dismissing creation as a theory…if people believe it, then it is a theory. Get over it!
    For those stating that pointing to creationist websites for proof of creation science is invalid…then you stop pointing to anti-creation websites for proof that creation is not valid. Come on guys…Are we so ignorant that we don’t realize that people, organizations or websites are going to support a given theory, and that is where you will go to get your support? Would you go to the local atheist group to get support for belief in God? Being in support of something does not invalidate you or your information. Data is unemotional. The issues are with the presupposed constructs that we utilize when we analyze data.

    And guess what? Most people only look for data that supports their argument. Few people are honest enough to consider the data as a whole and let it take them where it will. Biblical accounts require faith to believe first in God, then that He was powerful enough to speak things into existence. Evolution has obviously scientifically proven gaps where you have to believe every imaginable correct circumstance came into perfect alignment, all at the same time, all without the most minute variation from perfection…in order for the theory to have viability. Both require faith.

    • GC1

      Re: “A theory is simply a system of ideas intended to explain something.” Are you serious? From livescience.com, “A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. If enough evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step—known as a theory—in the scientific method and becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomenon.”
      So no, you’re absolutely not correct. The testing for evolution has advanced enough to be considered a theory. The idea that creation is advanced to that level of science is ludicrous.

      • Deacon Razorblades

        You know you’ll scare them away with facts right?

      • Nathan

        What exact “testing for evolution” has resulted in a recreation of the beginning of life from nothing? To use your logic here, there has to be repeated testing that proves your hypothesis.

        For evolution, the only incontrovertible testing would be the ability to truly recreate this “big bang” process of expansion…but that isn’t happening. So evolutionists use the filter of presupposed evolutionary theory when they analyze and evaluate new findings, as it is the only conceivable theory in their minds. Similar to how most creationists also tend to evaluate all new data from the standpoint of the only conceivable theory being creation.

        The challenge for evolutionists are the unanswerable questions. For instance, the entire original premise of evolution is that NOTHING existed at one point…then our universe sprang into existence as a “singularity”. What is a ‘singularity’ and where does it come from? No one knows. These supposed zones defy our current understanding of physics. They are believed to possibly exist at the heart of black holes. Then, long periods of heating, cooling, expansion and contraction (the actual “big bang”) led ultimately to the existence of the planets, stars, perfect living conditions of earth, carbon-based life forms out of nothing (remember…nothing existed at one point), etc.

        Unique life forms living on a unique planet that is circling a beautiful star clustered together with several billion other stars in a galaxy soaring through the cosmos, in the middle of an expanding universe that began as a infinitesimal singularity which appeared out of nowhere and nothing, for reasons completely unknown.

        In other words…we think it started from this…although we don’t really know where those came from…and they must exist in black holes…although we don’t really understand them…and everything must have perfectly aligned at just the right moment for life to spontaneously occur…and we can’t recreate it…but, yeah…it’s a scientific fact.

        The further challenge, within the evolutionary community itself, is the fact that, indeed…survival of the fittest is at work. In 2003, Physicist Robert Gentry proposed that the previously fully supported “big bang theory” was founded on a faulty paradigm that he claimed was inconsistent with empirical data. So, as beliefs change within the evolutionary community, they discard the beliefs that they defended the day before and evolve their statements to say, “Now, THIS is scientific fact.”

        Again…this is why both continue to be theories…with varying degrees of belief in their accuracy. And definitely just waiting on the next new evolutionist theory to say that the past belief is faulty and wrong interpretation. Thus…new theory versus consistent fact.

        • spinetingler

          “For evolution, the only incontrovertible testing would be the ability to truly recreate this “big bang” process of expansion”

          That has nothing to do with evolution.

    • Barbara Heller

      A scientific theory does not require faith in order to be true. It requires scientific evidence. If someone believes something, then that thing is by definition an article of faith. There is a world of difference between science and faith, and there is absolutely no reason to try to use one to destroy or refute the other. I am a scientist. I am a Christian. I know that Creationism is a myth that was developed thousands of years ago to explain part of the mystery of our creation before we had the scientific means to explore it. Science does not require faith. It requires intelligence, cognitive flexibility, critical thinking, analysis, interpretation of facts, and a host of other things. Rejecting the Creation Myth does not diminish my faith in God. The Theory of Evolution was proven beyond a reasonable doubt long before I was born and proof of its validity has been mounting for over a century. Trying to reframe the creation myth into a theory just by calling it a ‘theory’ is like putting lipstick on a pig. It’s ok to accept that the Creation Myth, like so much of the Bible, was always meant to be something that we can reflect upon to better explore/ bask in awe about/ reflect upon the mystery of an unknowable unfathomable God. Making it into something other than that is not only unnecessary, it keeps people from moving forward, deepening their faith, and developing wisdom.

      • Nathan

        Barbara – When scientific theories have gaps that cannot be answered, or reasonable questions about them, it does indeed require a “leap of faith” to bridge that gap. In fact, the interesting thing about the “theory” of evolution is that the theory itself keeps evolving. People take a stand that “this is what happened”…only to have a discovery a year or two later completely change that stance. Why? Because it is a theory, and the amount of data that is not yet known is still massive.

        http://www.todayonline.com/world/americas/discovery-oldest-human-dna-raises-new-questions-evolution

        How do you know creationism is a myth? Because you believe in a big bang theory? Sadly, there would not be scientific debate about this theory if it had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The fact that one segment of the population fully believes it does not make it beyond a reasonable doubt. The world was believed to be flat at one point…those folks would have said it was so beyond a reasonable doubt.

        I do not disagree that things “evolve” in a general sense. In fact, I don’t disagree with the idea of natural selection. It is quite easy to see how introduction of a foreign species into, say, the swamps of Florida leads to the extinction of a local species. That is essentially survival of the fittest. But believing those things does not lead to a “natural” conclusion that God did not create the world. Rather…the belief that there is no God, or that God didn’t create, drives the evolutionist to seek evidence that disproves the idea of creationism.

        The reality is this…no matter where you stand on evolution or creation…you still have to believe in the perfect alignment of a gargantuan amount of critical things in order for evolution to even be a consideration. And that is a scientific fact. One small variation would have caused complete collapse. We can’t recreate it…but because people definitely don’t want to believe in the idea of God and creation, they MUST believe that this impossible coincidence of events took place. That is faith.

        • Barbara Heller

          Nathan, there is a difference between rejecting the Creation Myth as stated in Genesis and saying that God had no role in the creation of the universe. Don’t conflate the two. The use of ‘leap of faith’ in bridging a gap in scientific knowledge is another use of the word ‘faith’, as you know. You’re right: The Theory of Evolution is evolving — as is the world and everything on it including homo sapiens. The fact that something is evolving doesn’t detract from it’s validity. Having a massive amount of unknown data doesn’t invalidate the conclusions that can be drawn from the massive amount of data which has been collected to support the Theory of Evolution, and it’s disingenuous at best to imply that it does. There many reasons why I know creationism is a myth; most of them have absolutely nothing to do with “belief” in the big bang or evolution. For instance, I’ve studied the purpose and development in creation myths in multiple ancient societies. For instance, I understand that from a purely biological perspective it is fully impossible to create a viable population of any type from a starting point of 2 individuals. For instance, I understand the intention of those who wrote the Bible and their use of myth to explore mystery.

        • Barbara Heller

          Nathan, there is a difference between rejecting the Creation Myth as stated in Genesis and saying that God had no role in the creation of the universe. Don’t conflate the two. The use of ‘leap of faith’ in bridging a gap in scientific knowledge is another use of the word ‘faith’, as you know. You’re right: The Theory of Evolution is evolving — as is the world and everything on it including homo sapiens. The fact that something is evolving doesn’t detract from it’s validity. Having a massive amount of unknown data doesn’t invalidate the conclusions that can be drawn from the massive amount of data which has been collected to support the Theory of Evolution, and it’s disingenuous at best to imply that it does. There many reasons why I know creationism is a myth; most of them have absolutely nothing to do with “belief” in the big bang or evolution. For instance, I’ve studied the purpose and development in creation myths in multiple ancient societies. For instance, I understand that from a purely biological perspective it is fully impossible to create a viable population of any type from a starting point of 2 individuals. For instance, I understand the intention of those who wrote the Bible and their use of myth to explore mystery.

        • spinetingler

          “In fact, the interesting thing about the “theory” of evolution is that
          the theory itself keeps evolving. People take a stand that “this is what
          happened”…only to have a discovery a year or two later completely
          change that stance.”

          Science, how does it work?

    • Sven2547

      And yes…creation is an accepted theory. A theory is simply a system of ideas intended to explain something. So those dismissing creation as a theory…if people believe it, then it is a theory. Get over it!

      In science, a theory is supported by the evidence, has explanatory power, and is falsifiable. YEC is not supported by evidence, has essentially zero explanatory power, and is not testable or falsifiable in any way.

      In other words, young-Earth creationism is not a theory, it is a hypothesis. A failed hypothesis, at that.

      • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

        It’s more like “a wild guess creationists hope desperately is true.”

  • CroneEver

    The Big Bang = “Let there be light.”

    We are biologically animals: we share huge amounts of DNA with chimps and the great apes. We have Neanderthal genes in us, and some other homonid types.
    Every time a farmer or rancher or dog breeder breeds for a better vegetable or animal, they are practicing practical evolution.

    Why this plain fact threatens so many people, I have no idea – God works with us as we are. And God revels in mystery and metaphor. As C. S. Lewis once said, “People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs.”

    • Nathan

      Eve – I don’t disagree with your idea of practical evolution, as outlined above. But I hope you are also agreeing that those examples all utilize a “creator” to design and implement the process (e.g. farmer, rancher, dog breeder).

      • CroneEver

        Sure I do. “Let there be light.” But I hope you also agree that after that, a whole lot of education also came in: people learned how to farm, to make tools, to breed for preferred types, to make a catapult, a combustion engine, a vaccine, an antibiotic, a computer, etc., and then taught it to their children. Science is the application of the mind God gave us to enhance our life and solve as many of the difficulties we face as possible.

  • truecreation_dot_info

    “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 nonsense 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 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 and 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.”

    – St. Augustine of Hippo, 5th Century AD (considered by some Protestants to be one of the theological fathers of the Reformation)

    – See more at: http://truecreation.info

    • Barbara Heller

      Thank you!

  • truecreation_dot_info

    John Calvin wrote, “If the Lord has willed that we be helped in physics, dialectic, mathematics, and other like disciplines, by the work and ministry of the ungodly, let us use this assistance. For if we neglect God’s gift freely offered in these arts, we ought to suffer just punishment for our sloth.”

    • Barbara Heller

      Maybe that “If” is just too big for some people…

  • PN8891

    About the author’s accusation that Ken Ham is trying to tell people how to understand Genesis rather than letting them read it and make up their own minds…

    He’s actually trying to defend the conclusion to which anyone would come if they read it for themselves without trying to make it fit something else…

    When I was a kid, my parents never told me, “This creation story is meant to be taken literally; it says that God created everything in six days, and it’s referring to six literal days when it says that.” Somehow, I got that idea on my own. Now, if you tell me that evolution is true and that Genesis isn’t literal, you’re really telling me, “Don’t bother reading the Bible for yourself. Even the parts that seem clearest and most straightforward may not mean what they seem to mean; the Bible is really difficult to understand, and quite esoteric, so why would you even bother to read it?”

    This is how evolution silently influences people to leave the faith, when it appears they are doing so for other reasons: They view the Bible as a book of “soft truths” that may or may not mean just about anything! It’s not hard to adopt a worldview that runs more and more counter to the Christian faith as a whole if the Bible is a book of fuzzy logic that you can’t count on yourself to interpret correctly, no matter how certain you feel.

    • http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com Kristen Rosser

      What “evolution is true and Genesis isn’t literal” is actually telling you is that it’s not a bad thing, when the plain-sense reading of a biblical text doesn’t fit in with reality according to reason and knowledge, to look for another way of looking at the text rather than having to choose between a false either-or dichotomy which sets up an irreconcilable conflict between your faith and your reason/knowledge.

      • Nathan

        Kristen – The problem with using your idea of evaluating something as to whether it fits “with reality according to reason and knowledge”, is the idea of reality, reason and knowledge.

        Ask someone from centuries ago whether mankind would ever be able to fly. Or whether that shiny orb in the sky at night would ever be walked on by mankind. Or whether a man would ever be able to travel a distance of 2,000 miles in a matter of hours.

        You see, what our “reality” is, or what our current “reason and knowledge” is does not correlate with truth. It is only a snapshot in time of what we think we know right now. Thus, using that reality, reason and knowledge as the basis for determining that we should read the Bible differently…well, that’s just a completely unstable method of evaluation.

        You mention a comparison at the end of your statement…faith vs reason/knowledge. I don’t think many people find that to be a conflict. The reason is that Christianity, at it’s pure core, is willing to believe that there are some things that we don’t fully understand at this moment. It also believes in the power and might of God…and His ability to speak things into existence (which is no greater leap of faith than believing the universe spontaneously sprang into existence out of nothing for evolution). Both belief systems have to start with NOTHING leading to SOMETHING, for reasons that evolution cannot explain…only guess at and propose.

        If you believe in God and His power to create, then you don’t feel the need to constantly look for a pre-supposed interpretation of data and events to fit the evolutionary theory. But if you are unwilling to have that faith in God’s ability to create, then you are indeed correct…the only thing that makes sense is that things evolved…although you can’t really explain how they started.

        People of faith don’t have to deny reason or science. But embracing science doesn’t mean you have to ignore the idea of faith and only interpret things through your current level of understanding. That is FORCING a belief on ones self because “there can’t possibly be any other explanation”. And thus it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and filter through which we evaluate everything to fit the model that we believe. Honestly, that usage of science is just the same as faith…both viewing what they find through their preconceived notions that give them “a-ha” moments.

        • http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com Kristen Rosser

          I’m in agreement with much of this, but what I don’t see is why this means I have to read Genesis 1-2 literally when so many indicators in the texts support a symbolic/metaphorical meaning, AND when the evidence of the natural universe also supports a symbolic/metaphorical meaning for these particular texts.

          I believe in God and that God created the universe. But as far as I can see, God used an evolutionary process to do so, and the first two chapters of Genesis don’t actually contradict this when we stop anachronistically forcing our post-Enlightenment scientific mindset upon these ancient biblical texts.

      • PN8891

        To me, “reality according to reason and knowledge” says that One who was there is to be trusted more than ten thousand who were not. Think about it: What would those scientists give for a time machine to go back through the ages to see first-hand exactly what happened? And yet so many consider the “reason and knowledge” of those who don’t have that option to be more compelling than the testimony of the One who was there.

    • Dr. Paul Logasa Bogen II

      “the Bible is really difficult to understand, and quite esoteric, so why would you even bother to read it?”

      You could make that response about any hard to understand written work. You could make that response about higher learning. Its a cop-out to claim that if something is difficult to understand and esoteric that it isn’t worth reading.

  • Elsa

    Actually, the first time I left the church it was, in big part, because of evolution. Evolution was obviously true, as we can observe it in life forms that live very short lives – we can watch them evolve. After 25 years, I went back to church, finding no difficulty believing that God directs evolution – I still don’t understand how that’s a problem for anyone.
    However, I left the church again, about 5 years later, because I could not stomach (or heart) the rigid, fearful, self-righteous world-view. Nothing to do with evolution. Everything to do with intolerance and lack of compassion.

    • Ryanmd

      I am very sorry you felt this way in church. I would never argue that there is hypocrisy in churches. But, what about Jesus? Did you repent and receive forgiveness? Did you ever meet Him?

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        This really isn’t the place or topic to proselytize. One’s understanding of who and what God is, is not the question, and it is utterly up to the individual to draw their own conclusions, whether, we like or agree, or not. If we are to love our neighbor, then we should understand that we all see things from individual lenses, and respect that we will often see things quite differently.
        and I can’t figure out how come I’m typing in italics.

        • Ryanmd

          Allegro, I thought this was just the right place to proselytize. Any time befor death is the perfect time and place. Are you Christian or not? I was saved while smoking a bong and a friend busted into my house saying he just met Jesus. Soon after that I got saved. Believe me, if there was not a time to proselytize, it was then. Praise God He did.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            We have people from a wide variety of faiths, and we also have a fair amount of people who are regular visitors who have been deeply hurt by what Christianity has had to offer them. To attempt to proselytize in this setting, simply demonstrates either a lack of knowledge of the broad spectrum of mindsets represented, arrogance so that the proselytizer gets another Jesus notch in their belt, or an honest, yet mistaken idea that all settings are perfect to try to save people.
            I don’t know where you stand on this, but please respect this environment and all who visit here, by refraining from proselytizing.

          • Ryanmd

            Allegro, Forgive me for my confusion. this is my very first day on this site. I was under the understanding that people here were Christian. I am possibly very ignorant to the way this works. Jesus said go into All the world and proclaim the Good news. He was stoned often for doing this in places it was not welcomed. If you are tossing me out, I understand. I get this often in many places. But, as long as people are dying without Jesus, I will proclaim the great news that I received. Thank you for your candor. Please do as you feel is best for you and your people. Bless you

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            People here are Christian from a wide range of denominations, and agnostic, and Jewish, a variety of other faiths as well. I will respect support and defend anyone’s right to believe what they choose about God, I will also stand in defense against those who feel that another’s way of faith is not good enough.
            It is sufficient to be content with what the divine has done for each of us, be grateful for the gift that is this life, and practice the gospel of loving others as we feel we deserve. That to me is our commission, our gospel, our purpose.
            Peace to you.,

      • Elsa

        Jesus was the reason I left. Most of the churches I’ve been in preach the exact opposite of what Jesus preached – they emphasize guilt and condemnation, intolerance, fear, attitudes of superiority over “the godless”. The emphasis on Jesus’s death, rather than on his life and the example he gave us, is disheartening and just wrong. In my mind, following Jesus means doing as he did and said, rather than “believing in him”.

        • Ryanmd

          Elsa, “believing in Him” is paramount. But I asked if you met Him? I agree the churches today are not following Him. Are you? You are more important than they are right now. I care nothing about what they, them, or those do or did. What are you doing to make sure you are following Christ. I dont aim for an answer openly. Just consider it. Allegro, I will answer you directly.

          • Elsa

            Thanks for your concern, Ryan. Yes, I met him. At least, I had a very profound experience that lasted several years (the emotion of it). Every morning I woke up, thrilled to start the day with God, the bible, prayer. I wept at every church service, with joy at what Jesus had done for ME. During that time I pushed aside the inconsistencies in both the church and the bible. I didn’t have the same values or outlook on life as the people in the church. I didn’t take my kids there, because many of theirs were so nasty.
            After about 5 years, or so, I could no longer handle the contrast between what Jesus was, and what the church (that believes in him) lives. I believe that I was led to the church (through a chain of “co-incidences”) and then back out again. He leads, I follow, things happen.
            But, Allegro is right. This article is about why people leave the church, which is not evolution. Initially, evolution gave me an excuse to leave an institution that did not fit with my value system. I later left solely because of the value system.

          • Ryanmd

            Thank you very much, Elsa.

      • Dr. Paul Logasa Bogen II

        Never? At all? Seriously? Thats just absurd. Hypocrisy is a natural human failing.

        • Ryanmd

          DR. I am afraid you are pulled back like a rubberband. I hope you understand that I was saying I would Never argue against hypocrisy in the church. It is rampant

          • Dr. Paul Logasa Bogen II

            My apologies. Your comment was poorly worded. You meant “I would never argue that there is not hypocrisy in churches.”

  • Patrick DeHoff

    To young earth creationists, I ask this: If science proves positively that evolution is true, will it terminally disrupt your faith? Is God big enough to work within natural methods (evolution)? Has a literal interpretation of a single chapter become an idol?
    I was raised fundamentalist. I work now as a nurse up to my elbows in bacterias that have evolved around our best antibiotics. I can accept God being bigger than a bronze age priest could understand. If we evolved over billions of years, that’s okay. At the end of the day, God is still the creator. Crafter/breeder/husbandman, it’s okay, He is still my savior.

    • Ryanmd

      Patrick. Thank you for your question. He is your savior of what? What did He save you from?

      • Patrick DeHoff

        Imperfection/Sin/Destructive choices/harming others for selfishness I suppose would be the short answer.
        Part of fundamentalism is the belief in a fall. I would put that we are a broken race, frequently selfish and destructive to ourselves and our surroundings. I was “saved” young, and as many raised solidly in the faith, its hard to answer that in the obvious ways. But I do struggle with anger, cynicism, guilt. If we accept that God is perfect, an archtype (God is Love, but He is also the sum total best of emotion, peace, sadness, even just anger) and we accept that the perfect cannot bear imperfection, Christianity’s answer is that the Perfect became Imperfect to bridge the gap.

        • Ryanmd

          I must be ignorant to “fundamentalism” although I have been a Christian for sometime. I did not know until today that there was any other belief than the “Fall” in Genesis and confirmed in Romans 5.
          As you confirmed and we both agree, Jesus did not take away our sins. We still sin, we still harm others, we still tell fibs, we still get angry, we still lust. Les than before, yes, but we still do them. Jesus did not die to take these away. He died to take away the penalty of sin. Death. The second death mentioned in Rev 20:14. Patrick we all struggle with what you said you do. I know I do. But the penalty was taken away. We stop sinning because we are in a relationship with Him that does not sin.

          • Patrick DeHoff

            Thank you kind sir. I have enjoyed our discussion. You do well at drawing out calm, rational responses (I have skimmed your other postings to get a feel as to who I was responding to). I do not find you “trollish” at all, and I’ll keep a further eye out for your posts.

          • Ryanmd

            Your response shows me Who is in you brother. Thank you. Bless you and your home. Shalom

          • Patrick DeHoff

            I think that the second fall/second repentance philosophy would be a product of the heavy Calvinistic background common to fundamentalist churches. We can’t truly trust that we are in a that relationship with He that Does not sin, we can’t walk in a confidence that He won’t leave us, because we are in too much fear that we somehow have left Him. (using the general we to refer to many christians today, many who may not be reading this particular blog, and certainly my former church background).

          • Robert

            “He died to take away the penalty of sin. Death.”
            Then why do people who accept Christ die? If He took that away, why are we not all becoming immortal? You keep contradicting your own argument.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            Thank you for acknowledging that nobody took away your sins. That said, are you really sure Christians sin less than non-Christians do? That’s a truth claim and we can examine it very easily. Check out crime statistics for Christian-heavy states and prison populations’ religious makeup. Seems pretty plain to me: Christians commit just as many crimes as anybody else, and the societies created by large groups of them tend to be really dysfunctional in every conceivable direction. I literally do not know anybody who has not been seriously wronged by a Christian–and more often it’s by large numbers of them. (My tax preparer once volunteered the info that she was glad I’m not a Christian because several times a day during tax season she has Christians demanding she falsify their tax returns to get them bigger refunds right after asking her to come to church with them next week; they get downright indignant when she refuses to lie for them.) Like children with an abusive and unpredictable parent, perhaps Christians just learn to be sneakier with their misdeeds. Or maybe they know deep down that it’s all nonsense so they’re not really worried about the penalties for their misdeeds. Or they’ve internalized the idea that correct beliefs matter more than virtuous deeds. I truly wonder why it is, but could be any of these or something else besides. But no, Christians are not better people than non-Christians are. Y’all are human just like we are, and I embrace you as a fellow human and know we’re all just doing the best we can with what we know.

          • Ryanmd

            once again I would love to respond, but you are not looking for honest/earnest discussion. I cannot feed your need. All I will say is this. Christians, Christians, Christians. All I here is Christians. I know we suck. We are all sinners saved by grace. I would never tell you to join us Christians. I only point to Jesus. Dont follow a Christian. Follow Him

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            No, thanks. I don’t agree with its basic assumptions. You’re making a number of them now that aren’t correct, and that you do that is one major strike against your religion.

    • Rick K

      “Has a literal interpretation of a single chapter become an idol? ”

      Bingo! That sentence is a winner.

      Biblical Literalism is idol worship – worship of a human-created idol – that blinds people to the truth.

      • Raymond Watchman

        Exactly so, Rick. Here endeth the argument. In fact, there never really was an argument.

  • Ryanmd

    Since I have been accused of trolling, I will post directly. This is to Christians alone.
    The incompatibility with evolution and Christianity is this:
    Christians are saved by the death of Jesus on the cross at Calvary. The messiah(Jesus) paid the penalty for sin for all mankind. The penalty for sin was death. This penalty was given to the Adam and his offspring for sinning against God in the Garden of Eden. God’s promise of death could only be broken by God Himself. Not by simply changing the promise, making Him a liar. But, He sent His Son to earth and paid the penalty in death.
    The very reason Jesus was sent was to pay the penalty of Adam’s sin and to remove death that entered through Adam. So, then if death did not enter through Adam, there is absolutely no need for Jesus to die on the cross. No need for a Savior. No need to be Christian.
    —If Evolution is true, then death came before Adam. Evolution requires millions of deaths to push forward a successor via natural selection. This puts Adam after death entered the world. Evolution is not compatible with Christianity because it removes the very reason we needed Jesus to die.
    This is confirmed in the following scriptures.

    “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” Romans 5:12

    “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ,overflow to the many!” Romans 5:15

    If evolution is true, then this scripture is not. I pray that you all pray about this and search the scriptures for Truth. Shalom

    • Robert

      Since I am a Christian saved by Christ, then I guess it’s OK for me to respond. All of those passages do not speak of physical death but of spiritual death (separation from God). Christ died so that we could once again stand in the presence of God.

      So, if you want to be completely literal about it… If physical death did not exist before the Fall, then decay did not exist. Therefore, Adam and Eve, and all the animals, ate nothing because to eat even a plant would cause death to the cells of the plant before they were digested. If they did eat the plants then they would end up with a ton of living plants in their stomach because there was no such thing as death. And if they didn’t eat, why did Eve eat the apple? She couldn’t digest it! And if they didn’t eat, digest, and poop (byproduct of digestion), then why were they created with an anus? Or maybe we developed those after the Fall, too!

      To take everything in the Bible as completely literal is absurd. You end up down a rabbit hole. As for Bible verses:

      “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world… But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…” Ephesians 2:1,2,5 (Spiritually death and rebirth)

      “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Funny, I don’t remember getting a new physical body in 1978 when I accepted Him and believed on His Name!)

      “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (Um, why has every Christian physically died since Christ rose? Oh, maybe because John is talking about spiritual life…)

      By the way, no one answered my question about how the sun and moon (according to Genesis) could be created on the 4th day, yet, you are using a 24-hour revolution of the earth in relation to the sun as your definition of “a day”. How were days 1 to 3 measured?

      Shalom

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Interesting. I’d never thought of the scenario of lack of decay that people try to fit into the Eden story. It does make people have to jump through some rather suspicious biological hoops doesn’t it.

      • Ryanmd

        Robert, thank you for your response. We can clear up a little bit of misunderstanding of Genesis in your statement about the apple. There was no apple. This is a tale given to children. The Bible tells of no Apple.
        “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”” Gen 2:17
        –Robert the “apple” was knowledge. It was not trusting God alone and asking questions themselves. This gave them knowledge of good and evil(sin). There was no apple mentioned. Yes, Eden lacked any type of decay, whatsoever. The lion laid down with the lamb. I fear we are taking of the “apple” today by not trusting in God’s Word alone and searching for truths outside.

        • Dr. Paul Logasa Bogen II

          Wait so the whole story in Genesis is literal except the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Talk about cherry picking. You can’t have one without the other. If the fruit is figurative, why isn’t the entire story?

          • Ryanmd

            DR, please research the original words in this passage. To eat is not always to ingest and digest. In Daniel and in Revelation, both men were told to eat the book. It was sour on their stomachs because the information was not happy. Yes, somethings are used as analogies, like Jesus said He was the door. This did not mean He was a literal door with hinges. It means He is the way to the Father. I believe common sense can be used. They partook of the tree. They did not place something on their tongue. This is not a matter of interpretation as it is translation.

          • Dr. Paul Logasa Bogen II

            So let me get this straight none of the story of creation and the Garden of Eden is an analogy, except for the fruit because that part doesn’t make sense to you?

            Genesis 2:17
            הִמְטִיר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים עַל הָאָרֶץ וְאָדָם אַיִן לַעֲבֹד אֶת הָאֲדָמָה:יז. וּמֵעֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְךָ מִמֶּנּוּ מוֹת תָּמוּת:

            אֲכָלְךָ means to eat or consume not to partake. The verse quite literally says place on the tongue.

            You need to critically evaluate your faith and ask yourself why you need to perform such mental gymnastics to justify it to yourself. Why can’t your faith stand up to a figurative creation story?

          • Ryanmd

            Paul, I thank you for attempting to translate the scripture I hold dear. Gymnastics are not needed much. Only common sense to see what is figurative and what is literal. It was the tree of knowledge of good and evil accompanied by the tree of life. The tree of life is obedience to God and everlasting life. research the tree of life. Jesus is our tree of life. If the tree of life is not a literal fruit to place on our tongue, why would the tree of knowledge be a literal fruit with leaves? Jesus also said to eat His flesh and drink His blood. Was this literal? Or was He the bread of life? I pray that one day you will partake of that bread and of that blood.

          • spinetingler

            You mean apple picking…

        • Queen Alice

          indeed.

        • Robert

          “The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat FRUIT from the trees in the garden…” Genesis 3:2

          So you’re saying that this verse isn’t supposed to be taken LITERALLY? Wait, what?

          Respectfully, I know you truly believe these things but you basically have to twist scripture and make things up to justify your “truth”.

          • Queen Alice

            right. fruit from the other trees.

    • Rick K

      Ahh… so evolution is false because of its IMPLICATIONS, not because of how it objectively fits the evidence.

      I see.

      So if I’m afraid of the IMPLICATIONS of nuclear waste and atomic weapons, then the right response is to deny Atomic Theory.

      Got it!

      • Ryanmd

        I gave only a reason Evolution is incompatible with Christianity. Not a reason it is false.

        • Rick K

          If Evolution (and geology, astronomy, physics and all the other sciences that are incompatible with Adam and Eve) is true and it is incompatible with a particular interpretation of Christianity, then that interpretation of Christianity is false.

          Augustine would have something to say about that.

          • Ryanmd

            I would say that to hold geology, astronomy, physics, and any other science as comparative stone to which one tests the Word of God is false. Instead we should hold the Word of God as the foundation of truth and test all other “interpretations” against it. You say an interpretation of Christianity. I say it is one’s interpretation of geology, astronomy, physics that could be false instead. All evidence is the same. It is ones interpretation of that evidence that can be wrong.

          • Rick K

            Again, I defer to Augustine who rightly pointed out that God speaks through scripture AND through nature. Nature is also the Word of God. And if what we see in nature is incompatible with our interpretation of scripture, then our interpretation of scripture is wrong.

            If it is a choice between thousands of fossils, millions of bits of DNA, a vast geologic record, moving continents and the laws of physics versus your interpretation of a translator’s interpretation of Paul’s interpretation of the words of a man he never met, then I’m going to bet on the evidence from nature.

          • Ryanmd

            We simply agree to disagree. This is what it is meant (in my world) to be Christian. I will not hold nor defer to Augustine or Nature to interpret the meaning of scripture. I will allow the Holy Spirit to help me discern what is spiritually discerned and hold all else into the light of it. It is a world view. I hold the Bible most dear. You hold nature and man’s wisdom. We agree to disagree. I hope you go in peace.

          • Rick K

            And that’s fine until you try to teach someone that the Sun and stars orbit the Earth, that cancer is the result of insufficient faith or that current species didn’t evolve from earlier species. Because to me, any faith that requires lies to support it is ultimately damaged and damaging.

          • Ryanmd

            i think we are done here. I assume you are intelligent. I give you that. Then you must see where this is going. Best wishes

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            So since you have no objective way to verify if the “Holy Spirit” is really what’s helping you determine what a Bible verse or concept truly means, then how do you deal with someone who is also relying up on the “Holy Spirit” and comes up with an entirely different interpretation of that material than you did? I’m asking out of genuine curiosity. I never did reconcile that when I was a Christian. The things I thought my god was telling me seemed often to totally differ from the things he seemed to be telling other people in ways that were irreconcilable (as in, “you should have kids because my god said you should” versus “my god said it was totally fine for me not to have kids”). And often he’d tell me and my peers things that later turned out totally not to be true, like where we should spend money or when the Rapture was coming, but at the time we were quite convinced. When all you’ve got is a subjective feeling about something being right, that’s about the least reliable thing you can possibly have. Our subjective feelings are insanely easy to manipulate and mistake for some other voice. So how do you know your subjective feeling about the “Holy Spirit” are correct when they come into serious conflict with someone else’s subjective feeling about the “Holy Spirit”?

          • Ryanmd

            An honest and earnest sounding question. Had I no experience with your true intentions, I would gladly spend time answering in lengthy detail. Your rude last reply closed this door. Troll another comment.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            A tone troll? That’s your answer? You think you have some kind of bead on how to tell, just through subjective feelings, exactly what a disputed or controversial Bible verse means, and you refuse to share it with someone who has stated that she is quite genuinely curious?

            Forget that “turn the other cheek” stuff. Obviously Jesus didn’t mean that to apply to online interactions. I understand.

          • Queen Alice

            Agree with this. Look how often science has to redefine things: .

          • Queen Alice

            what I said at the end, which somehow printed out strangely: I was thinking of the poor little ex-planet Pluto and of the Big Bang theory which was taught as fact, not so long ago.

        • Sven2547

          IF they are incompatible, then that is Christianity’s problem, not evolution’s problem.

          • Ryanmd

            Sven, I have to agree with you.

    • Richard Forrest

      Evolution is a phenomenon of nature we can observe in action in the natural world and replicate in the laboratory. It is a fact that evolution occurs.

      Evolutionary theory is an explanation of how evolution works. It is the product of centuries of research and is one of the most robust and exhaustively tested theories in any field of science.

      These are the facts.

      If your particular version of Christianity is incompatible with the facts of the universe you believe your God created, your God has created the universe with a false impression of a great age, and an earth populated with life which the evidence shows is the product of billions of years of evolution. Your beliefs cast your God as a liar who has deliberately deceived his creations.

      You chose to worship a bundle of paper covered with ink marks rather than accept the reality of creation. Your God created a small, brief and incompetently made universe which needs constant tinkering to function. The universe revealed by scientific investigation is vast beyond comprehension, unimaginably old, and filled with wonders beyond our wildest imaginings.

      If you chose to close your eyes to this wonder, I pity you.

      • Ryanmd

        thank you for your opinion Richard. Best wishes

        • Richard Forrest

          Perhaps you should thank me for the facts I have offered you.

      • Queen Alice

        So how exactly have we replicated life in the laboratory from . . . nothing?

        And what evidence shows billions of years? It is all in the interpretation of that body of evidence. Obviously you need it to be billions of years so that “evolution” can take place.

        The universe created by God is vast beyond comprehension, and, amazingly enough, coincides with science when science does what it does best – describes what it sees and observes. Everything else is just . . . theory.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          cloning…from cells….its been around…believe it or not since the late 1800’s. It started with lower lifeforms, then evolved as science learned more about cells, and genetics

          billion of years is shown in the universe in the form of the distance it takes light to travel from one location to another, other things can be measured by distance for time as well.

        • Richard Forrest

          So how exactly have we replicated life in the
          laboratory from . . . nothing?

          We haven’t yet. We have replicated evolution, not abiogenesis. For a biology teacher, you seem remarkably illi-informed on the subject. Having said that, we are getting closer to creating artificial life in the laboratory all the time.

          And what evidence shows billions of years?

          Radiometric dating, astronomical tuning, calculations from observed rates of tectonic plate movements, DNA chronology, calculations of rates of formation of sedimentary structures.

          It is all in the interpretation of that body of evidence.

          Quite so. If you have a better, testable interpretation for that evidence feel free to offer it. You won’t find such an interpretation in creationist sources because they ignore most of it, and misrepresent or promote falsehoods about the rest.

          Here is my analysis of a number of creationist sources identifying many such misrepresentations, distortions and outright falsehoods:
          http://plesiosaur.com/creationism/
          Feel free to address this evidence for dishonesty in such sources.

          Obviously you need it to be billions of years so that “evolution” can take place.

          No, you don’t. We know that evolution takes place because we can observe it in action in the natural world and replicate it in the laboratory. Evolution occurs in populations of organisms over successive generations. An example of this is the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria – which, contrary to the falsehood promoted in creationist sources, is evolution by definition.

          The age of the earth is determined almost entirely from evidence from physics, geology, chemistry and cosmology. Are you seriously suggesting that physicists, chemists, geologists and cosmologists have been falsifying their data for several centuries to support arguments in favour of the existence of a phenomenon of nature we can observe in action in the natural world and replicate in the laboratory?

          The universe created by God is vast beyond comprehension, and, amazingly enough, coincides with science when science does what it does best – describes what it sees and observes.

          So why do you chose to tie yourself to a shallow and dishonest dogma which denies this wonder?

        • Richard Forrest

          So how exactly have we replicated life in the laboratory from . . . nothing?

          What on earth has this to do with the validity of evolutionary theory, which is based on hundreds of thousands of observations of evolution in action in the natural world and laboratory experiments?

          And what evidence shows billions of years?

          The evidence which has been investigated by several different branches of science including physics, geology, planetary science, chemistry and palaeontology. There is no honest – and I stress the term “honest” – interpretation of the evidence which would lead to any conclusion other than that the earth is very ancient and that life on earth is product of billions of years of evolutionary processes.

          Obviously you need it to be billions of years so that “evolution” can take place.

          Are you seriously suggesting that for several centuries most of the scientists working in many different fields have been falsifying their data to support the existence of a phenomenon which can be observed in action in the natural world and replicated in the laboratory?

        • spinetingler

          “So how exactly have we replicated life in the laboratory from . . . nothing?”

          We’re talking about evolution here, not abiogenesis.

          Do try to keep up.

  • http://www.churpedia.com/ Pastor Todd Demoff

    This is a very childish response to a really important topic within our culture today. You spent more time taking school yard jabs at Ken Ham than you did establishing a real position on the matter. You also revealed your own state of confusion when you used the phrase, “Theory of evolution” and then combined it in the very same paragraph with your own person comment saying, “Either way, your aggressive disingenuousness and sophomoric chicanery stand in stark, pitiable contrast to the mountains of hard scientific evidence that prove evolution true.” Proven true? Well then it certainly wouldn’t be a ‘theory’ would it? The only chicanery I can see here is your own attempt to mask your knowledge of scripture and understanding of what truth really is. It is clear that your faith rests upon man’s wisdom above that of God’s revealed Word.

    • Deacon Razorblades

      Proven true?

      Yes, evolution has been shown to be true. It happened in the past and is happening this very second.

      Well then it certainly wouldn’t be a ‘theory’ would it?

      I really hope your not under the impression that theories becomes laws, because that’s absolutely not how it works, or are you using the colloquial use of the word theory?

      • http://www.churpedia.com/ Pastor Todd Demoff

        I reject your belief that evolution has been proven true. The only thing that has evolved is the theory itself. The human architects of this theory have worked hard to overcome the growing problems with such an idea. I will admit that it takes a great amount of faith to believe such a tale. However, I can also appreciate the differences in opinions among people unlike many advocating evolution. My only point right now is that you cannot attempt to square the Word of God and remain consistent with true Biblical Christianity while holding to a man made theory that has been devised to eliminate God from the equation. I believe, in the beginning God and it seems you believe, in the beginning dirt.

        • Deacon Razorblades

          I reject your belief that evolution has been proven true.

          I absolute do not care if you reject it. It’s still one of the most accepted and tested theories of our time. If you reject evolution you might as well go ahead and reject medicine as well.

          The human architects of this theory have worked hard to overcome the growing problems with such an idea.

          Yes, tell me all about the growing problems of this theory. Let’s see how many fallacies you can inject into this conversation.

          My only point right now is that you cannot attempt to square the Word of God and remain consistent with true Biblical

          I’m not trying to. I’m an atheist, I don’t believe in your god or your religion.

          Christianity while holding to a man made theory that has been devised to eliminate God from the equation.

          Your god was only removed when you attempted to bring it into the scientific realm.

          I believe, in the beginning God and it seems you believe, in the beginning dirt.

          Don’t be dishonest and make up straw men, Pastor. If you want me to take you seriously then talk like an adult and attempt to have reasonable discourse.

          • http://www.churpedia.com/ Pastor Todd Demoff

            “I’m not trying to. I’m an atheist, I don’t believe in your god or your religion.”

            There you go…I’m glad we’ve established that. All you’ve presented are the same talking points that I’ve debated time and time again. I’m sure you have as well. I am not intolerant of your world view and you should not be of mine. I make no apologies for my belief in God nor the infallibility of Scripture.

          • Deacon Razorblades

            There you go…I’m glad we’ve established that. All you’ve presented are the same talking points that I’ve debated time and time again.

            If debating to you is what I’ve seen so far from your replies then I’m not entirely impressed.

            I am not intolerant of your world view and you should not be of mine.

            I become intolerant when individuals, such as yourself just now, attempt to dishonestly paint science as having some sort of agenda against your god. When you attempt to make fallacies of the incredible things that humans have found through the scientific method, then I become intolerant.

            I make no apologies for my belief in God nor the infallibility of Scripture.

            Your scripture is far removed from the realm of infallibility. To be infallible means incapable of making mistakes or being wrong, and there is so much wrong with your bible is makes the head spin.

          • http://www.churpedia.com/ Pastor Todd Demoff

            I’m glad you can admit you’re intolerant. That’s a great place to start.

            I will also say that there is a big difference between observational science and historical science. Most avid evolutionists miss this completely because they don’t teach this in most schools. Historical science is laced with presuppositions on both sides of the debate. So when evolutionists start bantering about how evolution is proven and true, you just look silly and uninformed. I know you disagree with this but I thought I’d say it anyway. Here’s a wonderful article from the organization in question above.

            http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/06/10/feedback-historical-observational-science

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Science historically tries to look at all sides of an issue, in trying to determine answers. Scientists will make errors, in their conclusions or in their testing methods. BUT they eventually get things back on the right track, and everyone learns from it. Its agenda is to find more about something, be it how to cure a disease to how planets formed, to how we are genetically linked to other species. Authentic science does that, whether it be observational, or historical, or any other method.

            When science is manipulated to try to discredit or disprove proven results while telling others to ignore or deny it for a theory where the only proof is a non-scientific book, such as has been the problem with AiG, then its no wonder when people see problems with it.

          • spinetingler

            “there is a big difference between observational science and historical science”

            Oh Lord, he’s one of those.

            So, Todd, did you (or anyone else) “observe” the Creation?

          • mindy

            Pastor, unless you’ve “debated” second graders, I can’t imagine you succeeded. The Bible is not infallible. THAT is fact. That doesn’t mean is not rich and lovely, but it is most definitely fallible.

        • Rick K

          Evolution is not “a man made theory that has been devised to eliminate God from the equation” any more than geology or astronomy or atomic theory are devised to eliminate God’s hand from creation. Evolution is just a fact of nature – species evolve.

          It is up to YOU to fix your faith if you can’t deal with the truth that species evolve.

          Come on – you can do it. Christians survived heliocentrism. Christians survived the heresy of “Atomism”. You can survive Evolution.

          Try to stop being afraid of the truth and just embrace it.

          • http://www.churpedia.com/ Pastor Todd Demoff

            You know nothing of my faith, nor my God, nor of the scriptures. You place your hope in man’s wisdom. You have not observed anything so we are not discussing observational science. You are simply repeating what you have been told for many years. You have tested nothing, witnessed nothing. You choose to look at the world around us with your own presupposition that there is no God…no creator. I choose to look at the world with my own presupposition as well. That there is a God, that His Word is true, and that He created everything just as the Bible declares it to be. I would applaud your arrogant confidence if I believed you had made a single point towards proving anything. You have a strong belief that you were made from the stars. You have an unbelievable faith that somehow order came from chaos. Your belief transcends every lack of observation, every failed idea, every single deceptive attempt to make evolution stick. This includes the need to keep adding millions more years on to somehow explain how life crept out of a primordial soup. In which, you believe exploding stars made the soup though you can’t explain the origin of the stars. I know…just give you more time. In your worldview, you are nothing more than an animal with instincts to care only for yourself. In your worldview, everything came from nothing and yet all of it is so brilliant that any other idea or faith is ridiculous. I refuse to debate the facts because your faith in nothing requires you to find escape mechanisms and crazy hypothesis that given more time, you’ll eventually understand. Your faith in man, or for that matter, star dust, is no more enlightening than my faith in a very real Creator God. Our world views are distinct and oppose each other for sure. I believe in God and you do not. I would ask that you stop being so intolerant and hateful in your attack on God and Christianity. If you feel you’re right…then own it. Thats the position I stand on.

          • Rick K

            Wow, I struck a nerve it seems.

            You’ve so totally missed the mark that it is truly sad.

            I believe that the human mind is capable of amazing feats of self delusion. Therefore, I believe evidence and testing are the path to truth. Why? Because I’ve seen it work. Most of us wouldn’t be alive if it didn’t.

            Like Emily, you are ignoring the direct words of God and instead you commit idol worship of a man-made creation – a book written long ago by people who heard stories from other people, which were later translated by other people.

            I’ve looked through the telescopes and microscopes. I’ve seen the fossils. I’ve studied the DNA. I LOOK at nature and I see a story more glorious than the Bronze Age campfire tales in the book you hold so dear.

            You choose to walk with your hand over your eyes for fear of what you might see. I walk with eyes open and am not afraid to absorb new inputs, new evidence that leads to new understanding. You’ve chosen to stop learning. That’s fine – that’s your choice. But don’t berate others who choose a different path.

            And if you ever find yourself unfairly placed in the defendant’s chair in a criminal trial, you better hope that the jury is full of people like me – critical thinkers who value evidence. Because if you are judged by those whose minds are made up by faith alone, and they don’t share your faith, well…. good luck with that.

            There are none so humble as those who follow the evidence to wherever it may lead. And there are none so proud who assume they already know the answer because it was written 2000 years ago in their favorite book.

            By the way, where do you stand on the topic of atoms? Have you accepted the newfangled idea, or do you stand with your brothers from a few hundred years ago who were certain that atoms were incompatible with Genesis?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Assuming much?

          • spinetingler

            “You have not observed anything so we are not discussing observational science.”

            Oh Lord, he’s one of those.

            So, Todd, did you (or anyone else) “observe” the Creation?

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            This is both sad and fascinating to me, that you define someone speaking the truth as “attacking” your religion and faith. You have to believe lies to make your religion work. You can’t accept or embrace reality to believe in your god. You need a 100% true and factual sourcebook that is completely accurate in its science and history or else your whole faith system falls apart. I don’t even have words for how sad that is to me to hear. You know, most other religions’ adherents know that their source books aren’t literally true. And they do just fine. Even Jews know the Bible isn’t literally true and they lived by it for thousands of years before upstart Christians showed up and started pretending its laws applied to them. But oh no, you know more than they do. So by all means carry on.

    • Rick K

      Pastor Demoff

      Has the Theory of Relativity been proved beyond reasonable doubt? Yes. Is it still called a “theory”? Yes.

      Has Tectonic Plate Theory been proved beyond reasonable doubt? Yes.Is it still called a “theory”? Yes.

      Has the Germ Theory of Disease been proved beyond reasonable doubt? Yes. Is it still called a “theory”? Yes.

      Are you ignorant of the term “theory” in science? I think you’ve proved that beyond reasonable doubt.

      Has Evolutionary Theory been proved beyond reasonable doubt by many separate and independent lines of evidence. Yes. Is your doubt about Evolutionary Theory reasonable? No – not if you’re educated in the topic.

      Are you ignorant of the topic, or just unreasonable? Is being unreasonable a virtue? I’ll leave that for you to answer.

      • mindy

        Yes, the Pastor is painfully ignorant of what the word “theory” means in scientific inquiry. That is a common response from those who are uneducated and ignorant. Sad. More people making Christianity look awful.

    • spinetingler

      Theory – that word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Getting back to Mr. Ham’s claim that young people are leaving the church because of evolution…which is not exactly true.

    People are leaving because of rigidity, or the lack of people to ask honest, questions, those tough ones that make one think, the ones that challenge the status quo. They want to know why, and instead are either being dismissed outright, or they are told to look in the bible for the answer, or that their beliefs are ungodly, etc.

    To put it more clearly, they are not getting answers.

    Sure evolution is one of the questions, but its just one of many.

    Then there is the rigidity in culture. The church tends to behind the curve in accepting new ideas. whether it be social, or scientific. They may cling to an ideal, that has been repeatedly shown to be inferior, while lashing out, sometimes dangerously so to those who do not agree. We have a long history of how the church tends to treat nonconformists. Sadly we’ve not yet learned from the lessons of our forefathers.

    Finally it is inconsistency that drives people away. Its preached to love your neighbor, and its practiced to look down on others not of your ilk. It is preached to give to the poor and consider the widow, orphan and foreigner in your midst, and its practiced to ignore them or blame them for their plight, It’s preached that Jesus loves us all and welcomes us, its practiced that we keep away those we’ve decided are unworthy, like the drug addict, the homeless guy, the gay couple, the atheist neighbor.
    THAT is why people leave the church.

    • R Vogel

      I am not talented enough to do it, but someone needs to do a post by Pope Urban VIII discussing how Heliocentrism is causing young people to lose faith in the Bible and leave the church!

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        That would be something rather fun to write.

  • R Vogel

    Well written, Dan. I am deeply vexed that this circus barker and his sideshow debate is getting as much ink as it is. Frankly, I am disappointed that Bill Nye would waste his time participating in such foolishness. It does nothing but gives the appearance that Ham is anything other than a snake oil salesman. We don’t debate the holocaust with holocaust deniers or astronomy with flat-earth believers, yet we continue to acknowledge young earth creationists as if their mystical beliefs somehow rival the conclusions of science. It does nothing but give the impression that there is something there worth debating.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      Thank you R. I’m on the fence about whether or not Nye should bother with something like this…but perhaps something positive will come out of it.

    • Raymond Watchman

      I tend to agree with you and wonder why Bill Nye is even giving a shred of legitimacy to this nonsense. Maybe he’s hoping reason will prevail, but I fear if that is so then it’s a false hope. The problem is, if you could reason with Christian fundamentalists, there wouldn’t be any.

  • Rick K

    Millions of people know who Bill Nye is. A fraction of that number know who Ken Ham is. Therefore, only Ken Ham can benefit from this debate. I’m sorry that Nye is doing it.

    That said, if he’s going to do it, he must take a different approach that prior Ham debaters. Don’t argue rationally about science and evidence – Ham isn’t honest or rational.

    Perhaps Nye could compare Ham to the people who for centuries denied that matter was made from atoms because they were convinced God wouldn’t make stuff that way. He could compare Ham to those who denied a heliocentric solar system because they were convinced God wouldn’t do it that way. Demand to know what Ham is afraid of – why he is so afraid of the truth? If faith survived atoms and a Sun-centric star system, faith can survive evolution.

    If Ham talks about the IMPLICATIONS of evolution (no Adam, no Eve, no Original Sin, no reason for Christ’s sacrifice), then again – then point out how childish this is. Most people are afraid of the implications of nuclear energy, but only a child would respond by denying Atomic Theory. Most people are afraid of earthquakes – should they deny the existence of tectonic plates?

    Don’t make the debate about science, make it about Ham’s character. That’s a target-rich environment.

    But in the end, this debate can only benefit Ham more than Nye.

    • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

      You know, I was thinking the same thing. I wish that this wasn’t even happening. Ham’s audience doesn’t care what anyone else says, no matter how well founded, and there’s no way that Nye’s preferred audience is going to be swayed, either.

      I assume that this is intended for publicity for both of them as media personalities (note how I don’t assume that the stated purpose is the real purpose), but I don’t see how this benefits them equally by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Emily

    In response to Barbara Heller comment, I too am a scientist–a H.S. Biology teacher. She states that scientific theory takes evidence to be true. I agree. However, she is terribly mistaken with the comment that there has been mounting evidence confirming that the theory of evolution is fact. Barbara and the general population are forgetting a fundamental truth in science: in order to for a theory to be considered true, the hypothesis has to be able to be tested and verified. This is impossible to do regarding both creationism and evolution. It will NEVER happen. Therefore, they are both theories. Both require faith. So, the ultimate questions is do you want to place your faith in man? or God?

    Also regarding the comments of church people and their self-righteous ways, etc. Sadly, it is true that churches are filled with people who think they are better than others. That is unfortunate. But, attending a church that only discusses love and compassion without addressing the fact that God is also a just God and will hand down the final judgement to people for their sins is just as important. These days, no one wants to feel uncomfortable or told that they are wrong. No one wants to feel CONVICTION. There are plenty of people who call themselves Christians and have the mouth of a sailor, are not committed to their spouse, drink heavily, etc. They want to do what they want yet have the title of Christian as if it is an insurance policy for getting into heaven. Well, guess what? Jesus didn’t suffer terribly on a cross so we can just do whatever we want and get a free pass. Remember, “Wide is the gate leading to death, narrow is the gate leading to eternal life.” I think some people are going to be surprised when Jesus says, “I never knew you.”

    • Deacon Razorblades

      However, she is terribly mistaken with the comment that there has been mounting evidence confirming that the theory of evolution is fact.

      I’m not really sure if you should call yourself a scientist because you teach H.S. Biology while at the same time rejecting one of the most understood theories to date, especially one that concerns what you teach.

      Barbara and the general population are forgetting a fundamental truth in science: in order to for a theory to be considered true, the hypothesis has to be able to be tested and verified

      Evolution has been tested and verified since Darwin proposed it. It hasn’t failed yet and is still being scrutinized to this day. The fact that it hasn’t failed or that it hasn’t had an alternative theory with equal merit says a lot about its credibility.

      This is impossible to do regarding both creationism and evolution.

      With creationism it is impossible, not so with evolution. Again, you’re supposed to be a teacher. I hope you’re not doing your students a disservice.

      Therefore, they are both theories.

      Creationism isn’t a theory, evolution is. I’m astounded that you don’t even seem to know what a theory is. As a non-teacher, it saddens me that I know more than you do about your chosen field.

      • Emily

        I get it, you’re an angry atheist.

        Evolution has been tested and verified since Darwin proposed it.

        Please tell me where and how evolution has been tested and verified? Has the formation of planet earth and universe been tested? Has evolution of multicellular organisms from single-celled organisms been tested? The answer is no. They haven’t. In fact, the theory of how earth and the planets came into existence, how life was formed on earth, dinosaurs died, etc. has changed quite a bit over the years…because no one knows!

        It hasn’t failed yet and is still being scrutinized to this day.

        Neither has the Bible.

        • Deacon Razorblades

          I get it, you’re an angry atheist.

          I’m actually a pretty happy atheist, but go ahead and assign me whatever image you want to make yourself feel better.

          Please tell me where and how evolution has been tested and verified?

          For goodness sakes. You’re a teacher, you should know these things.

          Has the formation of planet earth and universe been tested?

          Ummm, yes. Have you had your head in the sand when it concerns the academic and scientific world? I’m going to be honest, I think you are absolutely lying about being a teacher so that you sound more credible. You’re not fooling me though.

          • Emily

            For goodness sakes. Your a teacher, you should know these things. Ummm, yes. Have you had your head in the sand when it concerns the academic and scientific world?

            Uh-huh. Just what I thought…no good answer. We’ll just leave it at that.

          • Deacon Razorblades

            Uh-huh. Just what I thought…no good answer. We’ll just leave it at that.

            I’m sorry, are you that lazy to research YOUR OWN FIELD OF STUDY? Am I to do your work for you? There is an entire world of scientific papers discussing the exact things you have a problem with, yet you want me to find it for you. How sad and disengenous.

          • Queen Alice

            She’s not being lazy, she’s asking you to defend your position. She has been defending hers.

          • mindy

            Alice, she hasn’t defended anything. She’s asking questions that already have answers and she’s stating falsehoods. She’s not citing sources or giving anything to back up her mistaken beliefs. It’s scary to converse with someone so rigid and convinced of . . . . nonsense.

          • Emily

            Not rigid, rather grounded in faith.

          • mindy

            Faith? I don’t believe that, Emily. I believe you and those like you are grounded in fear. You are afraid of change, of differences, of questioning. You are afraid of a vengeful God. If you didn’t live in such paralyzing fear, you’d have no trouble USING the mind God gave you to better understand our universe, our planet, our land, our bodies. You wouldn’t be so afraid that anything that veers off your tiny, narrow path might be dangerous. You wouldn’t fear to such great depths that your fear leads you to insist everyone live by your interpretation, and then explain everything else away as “one of God’s mysteries,” and everyone else away as not faithful enough. I am grounded in my faith in a loving God, in a mystically beautifully connectedness of all humankind. And I don’t fear knowledge. I don’t fear change. I don’t fear anything at all, really, but willful ignorance.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Beautifully said Mindy. Christian fundamentalism/biblical literalism is a closed-minded fear-based belief system.

          • mindy

            As are most fundamentalist religions, Raymond, don’t you agree? Believing that God gives a hoot whether you cover your head (women OR men), or dress a certain way or do or don’t eat one certain kind of meat, and all of the minutae on which fundamental religions rely as means of exhibitions of faith, paints God into a teeny tiny corner and makes Him appear not only wrathful and egomanical, but petty and ridiculous as well. My God is NOT a micromanager. My God is a visionary.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Agreed.

          • spinetingler

            Grounded, so that the electric charge of knowledge passes through without affecting her.

          • Deacon Razorblades

            Yes she is being lazy. She has said that she is a high school Biology teacher, yet has very little understandings of the basic principles of science. She’s not defending her position, she’s just parroting the same refuted nonsense that most creationists tend to rely on. She’s being absolutely dishonest.

            As for defending my position, why not refer to the other above posters refuting her. I believe fully what Richard Forrest and Rick_K are saying.

        • Richard Forrest

          Please tell me where and how evolution has been tested and verified?

          In hundreds of thousands of scientific experiments, studies of populations of organisms in nature, computer modelling of populations, detailed and systematic studies of the fossil record and many other ways. There is a huge body of scientific literature on the subject.

          Has the formation of planet earth and universe been tested?

          What on earth has that to do with evolutionary theory?

          Has evolution of multicellular organisms from single-celled organisms been tested?

          Yes, in studies of DNA and evidence from the fossil record. There is a substantial body of scientific literature on the subject.

          The answer is no. They haven’t.

          Actually, the answer is yes, they have as anyone can find out for themselves by visiting reputable scientific sources on the internet, reading books written by people who understand the field or taking courses at educational institutions.

          In fact, the theory of how earth and the planets came into existence, how life was formed on earth, dinosaurs died, etc. has changed quite a bit over the years…because no one knows!

          That’s because science is a tool for finding such things out. We have science not because of what we know, but because of what we don’t know, and if the evidence shows that current explanations are wrong, the explanations are revised to rejected. That’s why science has advanced our knowledge and understanding of the universe vastly more in the past couple of centuries than in the previous hundred millennia of humanities existence.

          The Bible isn’t evidence. The fact that there are as many different interpretations of the Bible as there are Christian sects – or even Christians – shows that its content is so ambiguous that it can and has been used to support not just work to improve the lot of man, but the worst atrocities humans can devise. It is pretty well a blank slate onto which individuals and groups can impose their prejudices.

          • Emily

            You are correct. There are thousands of papers published by the scientific community showing evidence of changes in living things…minute changes, not major changes. If you can produce a resource proving–not just suggesting–that complex multicellular organisms evolved from bacteria, now that would be something to consider.

            You are also correct in that science is a tool useful for finding things out. Explanations are revised and rejected just as you said. But if explanations regarding how life evolved are always changing, then how can scientists (and you) say evolution is fact when it has yet to be proven?

          • Richard Forrest

            There are thousands of papers published by the scientific community showing evidence of changes in living things…minute changes, not major changes.

            Evolution proceeds by small changes. It makes predictions about larger scale changes and we can test those predictions against the evidence.

            If you can produce a resource proving–not just suggesting–that complex multicellular organisms evolved from bacteria, now that would be something to consider.

            Science doesn’t offer proof. It offers provisional explanations for phenomena we can observe and measure. All theories in all fields of science are subject to revision or rejection if that is what the evidence demands. That is the fundamental nature of science, and it because of this that science is always advancing.

            But if explanations regarding how life evolved are always changing, then how can scientists (and you) say evolution is fact when it has yet to be proven?

            It is a fact that evolution occurs. It is a phenomenon of nature we can observe in action in the natural world and replicate in the laboratory – and in our hospitals, where bacteria are evolving antibiotic-resistance. This is evolution by definition.

            Evolutionary theory is an explanation for how evolution works.

            Gould explains this clearly here: http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_fact-and-theory.html

            I suggest that you read it.

          • Rick K

            You don’t have to explain the origin of life for evolutionary theory to still be true.

            Chemistry is true, chemistry works, the periodic table was well understood LONG before we knew where the elements actually came from.

            Stop pointing to gaps in our knowledge and saying “God could have done that!”. That has been a failing strategy for over 2000 years.

          • spinetingler

            “There are thousands of papers published by the scientific community
            showing evidence of changes in living things…minute changes, not major
            changes”

            Well, there haven’t really been peer-reviewed journals published for the millions of years needed, yet.
            Check back in 25,465,873 CE.

        • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

          I’m not angry or an atheist and I agree with everything that Deacon Razorblades said. The truth is the truth, regardless of the source.

        • Rick K

          “Please tell me where and how evolution has been tested and verified?”

          Please tell me how General Relativity was tested and verified? You must teach this to your students, no?

          Did Einstein create a black hole? Did he create a gravity well? Or did he make predictions then test them against the available data found in nature?

          Actually, his predictions were tested and verified by other people, just as it has taken other people to truly verify the depth and strength of Darwin’s hypothesis.

        • Rick K

          “Has the formation of planet earth and universe been tested?”

          Ahhh… you think Evolutionary Theory includes the Big Bang.

          You’re not a science teacher. You’re just a poorly informed creationist fibbing to give yourself more credibility than you deserve.

          An actual science teacher would at some point in her career, would have cracked open her science textbook to the chapter on the Theory of Evolution and would have found no mention of any element of cosmology.

          Tsk tsk…

          • Deacon Razorblades

            That’s exactly what I realized.

        • mindy

          Oh, Emily. Oh my. That someone with such a gap in her understanding of how evolution has been tested and verified teaches H.S. biologiy is yet another example of the failing of education in the U.S. That is simply terrifying.

          • Emily

            Mindy, thank you for your prayers, but somehow I don’t think were praying to the same God.

          • mindy

            There is only one God, Emily. I’d think you’d know that.

        • Daniel Webb

          A high school biology teacher who refers to evolution as including the formation of planet earth and the universe? Curious indeed…usually when people use evolution incorrectly after listing credentials to justify their ability to speak on the subject, it can be assumed that they’re full of crap.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        I believe Emily, that she is a high school biology teacher. What hasn’t been asked, is where she teaches. That is what I wonder,..if she teaches in public school, or in a private Christian school that uses curriculum from AiG or Bob Jones, or another such source. If so, then her assessment would certainly make sense,

    • Rick K

      You said: ” in order to for a theory to be considered true, the hypothesis has to be able to be tested and verified”

      Um… that’s not entirely accurate. A hypothesis has to be tested against the data. It does NOT have to be re-created in a lab.

      Every fossil that fits into the nested hierarchy of species is a TEST of evolution.

      The predicted pattern of endogenous retrovirus insertions in primate DNA (including humans) is a test of evolution.

      Every species separated by an obvious, quantifiable set of genetic and chromosomal changes is a test of evolution. You don’t have to re-create the species to prove it happened any more than a jury has to witness a crime to determine guilt or innocence.

      Lenski’s experiment was a test of evolution.

      The search for Tiktaalik was a test of evolution.

      Shall I continue?

      Evolution has been tested, over and over, for 150 years.

      We didn’t have to create a black hole to prove the General Theory of Relativity. We don’t have to build a new planet to prove Tectonic Plate Theory. And we don’t have to re-live the past billion years to prove Evolutionary Theory.

      If you’re going to call yourself a scientist and you’re going to teach science to children, please try to clearly understand the above facts.

      • Emily

        Ahh, yes. You must be a science professor at a university somewhere. But, let it be known that the starting point for all of your scientific observations begin with evolution. Fossils, geological formations, etc. also prove the young earth theory if one uses that as a starting point. So, regardless of what you are trying to prove–evolution or young earth creationism–there is bias from the beginning.

        • Richard Forrest

          Fossils, geological formations, etc. also prove the young earth theory if one uses that as a starting point.

          No, they don’t, and anyone who tells you that is either ignorant or lying.

          The evidence from the natural world shows clearly and unambiguously that the earth is very ancient, and that life on earth is the product of billions of years of evolution. This conclusion is drawn not only from the science of biology, but of palaeontology, physics, geology, chemistry, cosmology and pretty well every other field of science. If you have a better explanation for the evidence which can be tested using the tools of science, feel free to offer it. It would demolish not only evolutionary biology, but most of what we have learned over two centuries of research in many different field.

          If your faith demands that you reject science, fine. It’s up to you. But if you claim that it is supported by empirical evidence, or that it is in any way compatible with the evidence you are flatly wrong. Contrary to the outright falsehood promoted in creationist sources, the Biblical account of creation is incompatible with the empirical evidence.

          You may chose to believe in a God who deliberately plants false evidence, and sets out to deceive honest researchers investigating his handiwork, but I suggest that a God who is a liar is not worthy of worship.

        • Rick K

          Of course any evidence fits Young Earth Creationism, because God’s magic can do anything.

          God made the hundreds of geologic layers all over the world so they looked like they were millions of years old.

          God made the continents just LOOK like they had moved around.

          God distributed the fossils so that they LOOKED like they match the movement of the continents, which He also faked.

          God distributed the simplest fossil species in the rock that he made look older, and the more complex fossils in the rock he made look younger.

          God messed with the radioactive atoms in the rock so they just LOOKED like they decayed for different periods of time.

          God set all the light from the galaxies in motion so it LOOKED like the universe was billions of years old.

          God inserted bits into our DNA that just made it LOOK like humans and chimps had common ancestors who suffered from retrovirus infections.

          And God has made every natural phenomena we’ve ever studied just LOOK like it has natural causes so we won’t catch on to his deception.

          Given the power of God’s magic, any evidence fits Young Earth Creationism.

          And THAT is where Young Earth Creationism and Evolution differ. There are tests that would disprove Evolution if it failed the test. There is no test that would disprove creation through God’s magic. So you’ve just proved yourself wrong.

          Judging by the evidence, Emily, you are not a science teacher, you are not honest and you are not credible.

          • JenellYB

            Thanks Rick. My steam was building, I was just about ready to come off on her. You state the obvious more nicely than I could have.

        • Sven2547

          Fossils, geological formations, etc. also prove the young earth theory if one uses that as a starting point.

          This is nothing but Last Thursdayism.

        • Raymond Watchman

          Give me (and every other intelligent reader over the age of five years) a break! You claim you are an H.S. Biology teacher? I assume the H.S. stands for Home Schooling – which would explain your distorted reasoning.

  • hkameya

    Do creationist parents forbid their children to major in physics, biology, geology, zoology? Do they instruct their children that the hordes of scholars in those fields are teaching falsehoods!!???

    • Deacon Razorblades

      The indoctrination starts early on and unfortunately not a lot of them grow out of it. If they did this type of logic and misunderstanding wouldn’t be here today.

      • Queen Alice

        LOL! Sorry to disappoint, but I grew INTO it as I was agnostic/atheist for most of my early adult years!

        • Deacon Razorblades

          Excuse me if I go ahead and don’t believe a word you’ve said.

          • Queen Alice

            LOL! alrighty then.

    • Rick K

      Look at Emily’s posts below. She has no trouble believing those hordes of scholars are teaching falsehoods.

      • Emily

        Yes, you are correct. Proudly raising 5 children to believe in the Word of God, not man. After all, He is the one whom I’ll have to answer to one day. Best wishes.

        • Rick K

          If you are teaching your children that evolution and science are false, you’re not teaching them to believe in the Word of God.

          If you believe the Bible over the evidence in nature, you’re not teaching them to believe in God.

          The fossils weren’t made by the hand of man. The DNA in every living cell in nature was not made by the hand of man. The geologic layers were not laid down by men. The light from distant galaxies was not set in motion by men. Men’s hands don’t make the continents move or the Earth rotate around the Sun. If God created nature, then all of nature is the unfiltered Word of God.

          But every single letter of every single word in every single holy scripture in history, every Bible in every church, came from the minds and hands of men.

          You’re teaching your children to value the words of men over the language of nature. You’re teaching them something, but it is not the Word of God.

          Best wishes to you too.

          • Emily

            I don’t recall saying the God is not observable in nature. He absolutely is (hence my love of biology!). God’s fingerprints are all over. But I also believe the Bible is the “inspired Word of God” as stated in 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God breathed is is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” Of course, that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t believe in it.

          • Queen Alice

            Amen, Emily!

          • Deacon Razorblades

            don’t recall saying the God is not observable in nature. He absolutely is (hence my love of biology!)

            Someone who has a love for biology, and supposedly a teacher of it, would not have the numerous misunderstandings that you have shown repeatedly through this forum.

            If you truly believe that the bible is the inspired word of god then why do so many scriptures point to women remaining in their place? Was god a misogynist?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            What part of the Bible? Consider that when 2 Timothy was written, there was no bible, much of what later became the New Testament had yet to be written.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Exactly. The writer of Timothy (an epistle, not holy writ, by the way) was referring to the Hebrew scriptures of his time. You cannot include the so-called “New Testament” as it did not exist and so falls outside of his reference. Not only that, nowhere does the Bible (in reality a library of books, not a single entity) lay claim to “infallibility”. To say the Bible is “the infallible Word of God” is idolatrous heresy. It is a falsehood which has proved disastrous for the Christian church.

        • hkameya

          I’m glad that we live in a society where we are able to state our beliefs, whether hurtful to others or not. I also appreciate that our society encourages the asking of questions, especially by younger people observing the world and comparing beliefs of others to their questions and common sense.

        • mindy

          I pray, sincerely, that your children will grow up to question everything you are teaching them. I pray that they learn to understand that you did the best you could, but that you simply weren’t capable (apparently) of greater understanding. I truly and sincerely fear for children like yours, Emily, and their effect on our world. Ignorance is NOT bliss, and what you are doing is, truly, inexcusable. I have had long conversations with many people who were raised as you are raising your children, and they have, in turn, been angry, confused, hurt, humiliated and dumbfounded at what they were taught, and not taught, as children. You are keeping from them the wonder of SCIENCE – which is not incompatible with a loving God. You are keeping from them valuable knowledge and critical thinking skills. You are not preparing them to live in this world. Posts like yours scare the holy nonsense out of me.

          • Queen Alice

            Since you don’t know Emily, you really don’t know how she is raising her children.

          • mindy

            Responding only to what she says she is doing. She may be a wonderful mother in many ways, but teaching her children that the Bible is infallible and not teaching her children a great respect for real science puts them at a distinct disadvantage as adults. And I find that sad.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            As do I. I grew up in a faith that strongly discouraged critical thought, of exploring outside the church sanctioned teachings. I’ve taken an opposite tact ever since I left it, and keep discovering new things I find wonderous.

          • $24533877

            If you’s study the Bible in depth, you would realize that it and science are not incompatible.

          • mindy

            Well, Karinetta1, that depends on how you interpret/teach the Bible. The way Ken Ham teaches it, it actually *is* incompatible with science. I agree with your point. But I have a feeling we see the big picture a tad differently.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            Those kids are going to grow up, discover the truth of reality and the glory of science, and they’re going to have to make a terrible and completely unnecessary choice. I feel so sorry for them. I hang out with ex-Christians and I am one, and I know firsthand (and secondhand) the very real pain and emotional torment that goes with discovering one has been fed delusions and lies one’s entire life. It makes someone question everything and have to relearn the truth from the ground up. It’s just so unnecessary.

          • hkameya

            I’m pressing the “Like” button on this!
            A friend highly recommended to me the book “Thank God for Evolution!” by Rev. Michael Dowd. Highly rated by Amazon reviewers, it promises to tie creation, evolution and God, creating a ‘unified field theory’ so to speak. I’m still on the first chapter, so can’t say more about it.

          • $24533877

            Your self-exultation and hubris would be unbelievable, if they weren’t so blatantly apparent. Someday you’ll be accountable for your blasphemous nonsense.

          • mindy

            MY self-exultation? What on earth does that mean? I said nothing about myself other than sharing the result of many, many conversations I have had with former fundamentalists over the years, who have harbored enormous resentment along the way toward their families and former churches for all they were not allowed to learn. For the lies they were taught. I listen to this “young earth” nonsense – because truly, that is all it is, and am stunned that anyone with ANY education at all can buy into it. I am not an angry atheist; my God, however, expects me to use all of the gifts with which I’ve been blessed for the betterment of our world and our people. He expects me to care for my children to the best of my ability, and that means to give them every tool and opportunity to use THEIR gifts, along with my unconditional love and support. He expects me to be humble enough to learn from others, even as I blunder through middle age. I continue to learn, to understand more than I did the day before, to realize that what I thought I knew isn’t always true. To understand that science wins because in science, the willingness to admit that a hypothesis is wrong does not indicate failure, but leads to more knowledge. And without my faith, some days that would be hard. Blasphemous? Nothing is more blasphemous than someone who refuses to learn. Nothing.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            Did you seriously just threaten someone on behalf of your invisible bully master? Did you seriously just threaten this person for his crime of not agreeing with you? Oh my, you did. Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. You have nothing else in the arsenal, so you use threats. How very loving and Christlike you are to threaten people with violence and torture for their thought crimes.

    • Ryanmd

      If I told you that I disliked tomatoes, would you assume that I do not eat food? Dispite what the common thought is, evolution is only a tomato in the fast number scientific fields and studies. One does not have to buy into it to understand any science. Evolution is only a very small portion that attempts to explain how something in front of you may have gotten there . Physics is not effected by it whatsoever. Nor is my understanding of physics. I would not forbid my children from majoring in those fields. I will hope that they do.

      • Rick K

        Those who are advocating Young Earth Creationism in this thread are challenging many more fields than just evolution.

        A literal interpretation of Adam and Eve is incompatible with:

        Evolution
        Biology
        Geology
        Astronomy and Cosmology
        Physics

        And probably a few more if I thought about it longer.

        The Bible is poetry, not journalism.

        • Ryanmd

          What happened in the beginning is not answered by evolution. As I am very well read, I am not certain there is a field of study that offers perfect theory to explain the origins of the universe. As we are still working on these, until then, I do believe that in the beginning, God.

          • Deacon Razorblades

            Why conclude that something you cannot show evidence for must be the cause in favor of an answer that science is still working on? That seems a tad bit disingenuous.

          • Ryanmd

            Deacon, I met the God of the Universe in my hallway at 2am when I was 28. I was alone. I was awoken from a sleep as an alcoholic, fornicator, womanizer, druggie, yet functional in society. I was an arrogant know it all. The next day I was sober completely, no more smoking, I respected women, and humility began to come to me daily. What did this after years of attempts on my own? The God of the universe came into my house and woke me up. He told me I would follow Him from that day on, or never. Although its tough to explain, I saw Him, heard Him, and felt Him that night. It was more real than you are to me. I speak to Him daily and He speaks back. He tells me to trust Him as He leads me each day. I believe His word because I personally know Him. I cant tell you how to prove Him without repenting. But, this is why I put this book and His words before anything else. I would be a Fool to stop believing in whom I personally met.

          • Rick K

            I’m very happy for you. Congratulations on your transformation.

            But to assume that it is the result of a personal touch by the creator of the universe (and not your own mind saying “enough!”) demonstrates a level of hubris of which I cannot fathom.

            Millions of people have reported hearing, seeing and feeling apparitions – ghosts, aliens, demons, The Prophet, God, people who weren’t there. Those who are familiar with waking dream states (more common when intoxicated) can even start to control them. The voices in a schizophrenic’s head are no less real than what you saw. Did all these people really see aliens? Ghosts? Demons? Were these apparitions physically present? Or are they deluded where you were lucid?

            Are you familiar with a song called “Thank You God” by Tim Minchin?

            Your story is very inspirational. But you’ll have to forgive me if I give you the credit and if I don’t jump to the assumption that space aliens traveled billions of miles to visit you, that the government doesn’t have a special program designed to control your brain, or (most absurd of all) that the creator of the universe didn’t manifest itself just for you.

            No, I’m going to assume you did it all on your own.

          • Ryanmd

            Rick, in one sentence you give me credit to doing what millions of other people in the world cannot do, sobriety, change, humble, quit smoking tobacco, smoking pot, etc. Then the next you undermine my brain as delusional. Perhaps you think I am autistic? Having one side of me that is stronger than many, but challenged on the other side. Ill consider it

          • Rick K

            Look at it this way, if God told you to get sober – if I am to believe that such visions are actually externally produced by the creator of the universe, then I must also believe that God told Tammi Estep, Ron Lafferty and Warren Jeffs and others like them to do what they did.

            All these visions (yours included) are either real communications from God or they are all created in the mind. Since we know that the mind is capable of quite effectively producing a reality to the person that is completely different from objective reality, then I’m going to go with delusion.

            Otherwise, the creator of the universe is one twisted deity.

          • Ryanmd

            If a person is hearing from “God” to do something not in line with scripture, then you do not assume it is God. You assume it is just what the bible says it is. Demonic influence.
            “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist” 1 John 4

            I will not go any further with you Rick. I do not believe you are looking for answers. You are already convinced in your mind. I leave this between you and Him from this moment forth. I will pray for you, like it or not :) Bless you and your home. Best wishes

          • Deacon Razorblades

            If a person is hearing from “God” to do something not in line with
            scripture, then you do not assume it is God. You assume it is just what
            the bible says it is. Demonic influence.

            No, we probably assume that that individual isn’t mentally stable. The bible has nothing to do with it, unless it fortified his already unstable position, which we do see happen.

          • $24533877

            Ryanmd, I join you in prayer, remembering that we can only plant the seed. Conversion itself is effected by God.

          • Ryanmd

            Karinetta, thank you for the reminder. This is something He is working on me about.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Millions of people do find sobriety, change a bad behavioral habit, give up an addiction, decide that a life of crime is just not worth the risk anymore.. They do it every single day. They do it using a variety of means, including medicine, counseling, support groups, religion, sheer stubbornness, the help of friends and family.

            Yet they all remember the struggles it took to achieve that gain, they know that it is very easy to relapse, and often they do, repeatedly, before conquering it finally. But they do.

            Sadly others never manage to overcome the hurdle.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            All you are doing here is telling people that you were sooooooo soooooooper speshul that your god gave you the tools to get sober and be nicer to people (which I dispute as you are not being particularly Christlike in this exchange at all). But he ignores the people starving to death. The women being raped. The children being abused and neglected. The populations facing serious natural disasters. OH but he helped a guy in a first-world country get sober, which wouldn’t have happened at all had he actually designed humans better in the first place! WHOOP DE DOO! Seriously, your god sounds incompetent or downright evil. Is that seriously what you consider a miracle? You sold your soul for that? Don’t even be surprised if people aren’t impressed.

          • Ryanmd

            I cant blame you for being upset with women getting raped, children being abused, or people starving to death. Before I got saved I only cared about myself and gettin mine. Since then my new wife and I have been sent out by God as missionaries to several nations through out the world. 3rd world countries is where our hearts are now. We are also advocates for the raped and abused. We support several children to go to school and be fed and also other missionaries in places we cant go, including abolitionists. God saved me and gave me a heart for these people you seem to care so much for. Yes that is a miracle. To begin loving people whom you never met enough to do something about it besides only talk. We are only a couple in the mist of thousands of others going places to help.. If you ever get out of this country, you will see hundreds of Americans going through foreign customs checks at airports all for the similar purposes. Ask them, God is sending people in droves to help those the world has left behind. What are you doing to help? I am Not assuming you are not helping. I am asking you to ask yourself, if you are doing everything you can to help instead of blaming a God that you do not believe in for your inaction and mine. It took God telling me to get off the couch and off my high horse to do something about it. What will it take for you? Not only do we feed the starving, I also feed the atheists that bite at me, hate me, cuss at me, and persecute me. I feed them with the pearls of the Gospel. There is good news for all of us. All this could be covered in my story of the last 5-6 years of my testimony. But, seeing as it is only WHOOP DE DOO, I will not cast these pearls to you. Take care Captain of your own ship.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Raymund, what does any of this have to do with the topic of the article?

          • Ryanmd

            1 John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”

            This is why the Bible says people leave churches.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            All that does is let Christians demonize those who left. It lets you rationalize and justify abusing people. And it produces idolatry in your mind. When you idolize the message, then the message as you understand it becomes perfect and infallible in your mind. So if someone left, then the message couldn’t have been the problem–the person had to have been doing something wrong somehow. Christians use verses like that to abuse dissenters, don’t you see?

            You’re going to have a tough time as more and more ex-Christians make themselves known and you start to realize that no, we did everything right. We prayed tons. We loved. We believed. We did every single thing you do now. And yet something went wrong. Are you going to keep demonizing us and saying we were the problem? Or are you going to finally start suspecting that maybe the message isn’t quite what you understood it to be?

          • Ryanmd

            Captain, After leaving the church in 1998 for similar reasons as you mentioned previously in another comment, I was gone for 10 years. It is not what I did wrong that caused the issue. I believe it was what the church did wrong. The modern church declares a person saved well before fruit is shown. I was declared saved after walking an isle and saying a prayer on the first night. But, this is not biblical at all. Paul in 1 John tells us to test ourselves to see if we are in the faith. Quite a contrast. Paul says to test against scripture and the church says, “dont worry about it, you are saved!” Can you imagine a hospital that told people with cancer that they were already healed? Then when the pain starts again, they will think all of medicine is a lie. They will be worst off than they were at first.
            After 10 years of living like a devil, I did truly get saved in 2008. That’s when I truly met Him. I never realized it was actually physically possible. I thought it was just a book to love. So, what does this have to do with the article? Lack of answers might make a person give up from seeking God. But, had they already met Him, they would never have left. It saddens me that answers are not given fast enough to keep some in. it saddens me more that people are declared saved before they ever repent and believe. This is why the scripture 1 John 2:19 says people leave. Since the bible is the basis for church, I think we should consider what it says.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            I appreciate that you answered, but you didn’t really answer the question. You’re saying that anybody who leaves your religion obviously wasn’t really dedicated. Paul said a lot of things, like celibacy being better than marriage and people needing to cut their hands off or their eyes out rather than sin. He also had a lot of really awful things to say about women. You’re not even considering that maybe he was speaking with as much hyperbole here as he did in his other writings, and you use that verse to demonize and abuse people who left by denigrating and denying our truth and our reality. No, Ryanmd, I was as dedicated then as you are now. Maybe more so. I did every single thing you do now, right down to chirping truth claims I couldn’t prove. I read my Bible. I prayed. I fasted. I attended church. I gave to charity. I witnessed to the lost. I did everything a Christian could be required to do. Had you seen me then, you’d have said I showed every single fruit of the Bible. And yet I saw something that totally destroyed my faith and I left. You have this weird idea that anybody who leaves this religion just wasn’t ever a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ and that is demonstrable nonsense–and very cruel to those you say it about. It’s certainly not loving. So are you going to consider Jesus’ actual commandment to Christians to love their neighbor as themselves, or are you going to slavishly follow this idolatrous path you’ve chosen by insisting on something that isn’t true?

            The worst part? You’re derailing again. It really doesn’t matter if I was a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ or a false one. What matters is the truth of your claims–or lack thereof, in this case again. May I please refer you to ex-christian.net, where you can find a wealth of “extimonies” that you can read and learn about those who’ve left your religion? I wonder how many of them you will be able to stomach before you begin to suspect in your heart of hearts that you were totally wrong?

          • Ryanmd

            I stomach them daily. I was also one myself. As I stated. I am sorry you feel the way you do and are so very certain of it. I will leave you in peace.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            You’re factually wrong. Objectively, you believe something that is untrue. But I can tell you’re not ready for the truth yet. When you are, you know the URL to that site. Bookmark it and return to it when you’re ready to listen to people’s realities. We can let this rest here.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            No. the reason why people leave churches, is because there are people in those churches who do not act as they should, treat each other as they should, and practice what they preach, as they should.

            Your line of conversation has been more about yourself, which has often become acerbic.

          • Ryanmd

            Allegro, since churches are founded upon the Bible, should we consider what the Bible says in this matter at all?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            When the church was founded, there was no bible. There was the Torah, the writings of other Jewish thinkers, the thoughts of the Essenes, etc.

            The books that later became the new Testament, in one of the various forms until it settled into versions that contained the acrophya and those that didn’t, was selected out of a lot of different available works. That took a little over three hundred years to put together. Even then most people didn’t have access to such a thing, as books were not easily reproducible as well as the extremely high illiteracy rates. It has been translated multiple times with errors and editing changes along the way, some purposeful, some accidental,. We have no original copies of any of it.

            It wasn’t until the advent of the printing press where books became more available.shortly after the reformation. Even so illiteracy was high. Its only been in the past few hundred years that the bible has been widely available to anyone. Meanwhile Christianity has thrived without the need for the bible.

            The Bible of course can be consulted, but it is not the only source we can or should use.

          • Ryanmd

            So this is progressive Christianity. I am getting the picture. I just may be the only outsider in this chat. I will leave you guys to what you do. Allegro, I leave you with this. John 14:6.
            “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
            You either call Him crazy and Never listen to Him, or you call it truth and take it as hard as it is meant. There is only one Way. Jesus. Please take care. All of you. Bless you. I am removing myself from Patheos

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            I do take care of it just fine, and I thank you for being concerned. Whether or not I take care of my ship and how much charity work I do is absolutely irrelevant, however, and I won’t let you off the hook with that derail attempt.

            You’re saying that no less than the author of the entire universe looked across the sum total of all the evils and horrors perpetrated upon the people of this world, all those crying out to him, all those screaming and sobbing and begging for his help all across this good dark earth, and…. he said “Nope, you’re going to have to depend upon other people to help you. This guy in this first-world country needs my help quitting the sauce and feeling respectful toward women. Screw you all, he has to get his.”

            Do you not understand how overweeningly arrogant and presumptuous such a claim might sound to me? How can you possibly justify this story as some kind of miracle when all these other things are happening that need your god’s help a kabillion times more than you do? Forget about them–you got a miracle! Yay you! But they’re just going to have to depend upon people?

          • Deacon Razorblades

            Deacon, I met the God of the Universe in my hallway at 2am when I was
            28. I was alone. I was awoken from a sleep as an alcoholic,
            fornicator, womanizer, druggie, yet functional in society.

            Great bit of anecdotal evidence that doesn’t really mean anything to me.

            The next day I was sober completely, no more smoking, I respected women, and humility began to come to me daily.

            Great, you changed, a lot of people do that on a daily basis.

            The God of the universe came into my house and woke me up. He told me I would follow Him from that day on, or never.

            So he gave you the follow me or else speech. Nothing like a god that requires you to follow him in order to get in his front door. I mean, gods require human affection right? That doesn’t sound like a human need at all.

            Although its tough to explain, I saw Him, heard Him, and felt Him that night.

            And I’m going to continue to say great bit of anecdotal evidence, but it doesn’t do me any good.

            I speak to Him daily and He speaks back. He tells me to trust Him as He leads me each day. I believe His word because I personally know Him.

            Some might say that that is the very definition of something that would get you “looked” at.

          • Daniel Webb

            Ladies and Gentlemen, the 13th apostle. What did he look like? Did he sound like James Earl Jones?

          • Daniel Webb

            Wait a second…in your comment a little further down on this post, you said you were doing bong rips when a friend came in and told you that he saw Jesus–and that was the beginning of your transformation. In this version of the story you were alone and asleep. Which one is your true testimony? You’ll bend over backwards to defend YEC by you’ll lie about your conversion to make it seem more impressive? Cool…

          • Ryanmd

            Daniel, you first ask me “which one is your true testimony” then you call me a liar before I answer. Daniel, why do you use “?”. You dont actually want answers. Not only can you simply read my original post, but you can read your own for the answer. “and that was the beginning of your transformation” Your words.

            First off, the rest of this story may not be suitable for minors.

            The day I was “ripping a bong” was the very beginning. The rest of the testimony of my complete conversion took another 2 weeks wrestling with God each day. I kept hearing Him over and over. I would smoke more and more to kill the feeling. It was a convicting feeling. Like I owed my life to someone. Something. Although I was functioning and had fun hobbies, I was not happy in life. I could tell I was being offered something much more fullfilling, something with purpose. Something that was intended for me from the beginning. Like it was the true meaning of life. But, I knew, just as everyone knows, that it would require serious change. Change that I did not want to happen. It would require quitting things I liked. I was simply not ready for this. So I smoked to kill the feeling. But the higher I got the more anxiety I got. I smoked for years and never felt this way. Same thing the next night. For two weeks its all I though about. After several things happened, including a flash flood, a hurricane, and another long night… I went to bed. To which I awoke from a very real dream of me dying. I dreamed I walked to the front room and plugged in the tv that was unplugged because of the storm. I was shocked so hard that I woke up. It was not a simple 110v bite as I would expect. I remember feeling like it was enough to kill me. Thats when I heard Him. I cant explain how or why I ended up on the floor in tears and snot. But, I did. The impression I got was that this was the last time He was going to offer this gift. He reminded me of a time I was offered this before in my youth. But, in order to say yes, I had to repent of all my sins. One by one I repented. I didnt just say sorry. No, He made me get up and flush my weed. Flush my booze. Cut and trash photos, tapes, delete files, etc. I must have gotten up from the floor 6 times to get rid of something before He would continue. The last impression was that I must follow Him. this meant my own path was nolonger handled by me. I remember this part took a long time wrestling. When I finally said yes, I felt an instant release of everything on me. Instant freedom. (There was more, but I am trying to keep it short as possible) After 3 hours on that floor, He was gone. Not away for good, but the force that put me to the floor released me. I was so tired I went straight to bed. I awoke to a new day. The sun was brighter. The birds were loud. I thought differently. I walked into the living room and went to plug in the tv. But, I stopped and saw water on the wall and around the socket. The wall was facing the rain and wind. It was soaked. I was barefoot and I now noticed the carpet was soaked. I was standing in water. I really dont care what anyone thinks about this….I believe I was gonna die that day. For a dumb reason. But, instead I was given life. Eternal life. I never smoked again. I never drank again. (5.5 years sober) The next 6 months was hard. I told God, “OK, I know you exist, but you have to explain dinosaurs to me!”
            You see, I loved science. Not just botany. :) I loved all science. I was a reader and an intellectual. Of sorts. The next 6 months and really ever since I have studied Genesis and science to help me believe the Bible. God answered every question I have had. I was that kid in school that asked a million questions. I still do. I had many to answer. I now have thousands of pieces of evidence in my brain that helped me grow my faith in Him.
            But, with all that worldly knowledge I gained, my faith still solely rests on Him. He came into my room that night. I didnt deserve it and still have no idea why He chose me. There is not a friend or relative that didnt see the crazy instant change in me. AA could not help me, jail didnt, people didnt, Dui’s didnt, fighting didnt, parents couldnt change me. I quit drinking 7 times, and failed.
            One night, one instant.
            Am I lying to sound cool? I think I sound ridiculous. I was a coward. No real good to anyone or society. I was getting by. Ignorant to true wisdom. I am embarrassed by who I was. I thank God that He chose this coward. I am not fixed. I am not perfect. I still sin at times. But, now when I sin I am convicted to tears. I repent and feel forgiveness. Each day moving towards removing every sin. I am a sinner saved by grace. I am still a sinner. But I thank God that He forgave me. I repented and believed. I know it sounds foolish to many of you. But, First I believed, Then he gave me proof. Backwards I know. I am logical. But, for some reason this is how He likes it. Who am I .

            Daniel, I am not mad at your accusations. i wish you would have known me before. You would see why I kinda like it.
            Your name comes from the Bible. Daniel was a prophet that received His words from God by way of visions. Dreams specifically. I pray that you one day will be given a similar dream. That He chooses to pop into your life and wake you up like He did me. I hope this helps you put together my testimony a bit more. BTW, that was just a story about 2 weeks. I have been walking with Jesus for around 6 years now. I have loads more stories. Sorry for all the space used. Bless you Daniel and anyone reading

          • Daniel Webb

            Tsk Tsk Ryan. You might have thought you could gloss over
            everything by writing out your life story just now…but here’s what you
            actually said.

            First you said:

            “I met the God of the Universe in my hallway at 2am when I was 28. I was alone.
            I was awoken from a sleep as an alcoholic, fornicator, womanizer, druggie, yet
            functional in society. I was an arrogant know it all. The next day I was sober
            completely, no more smoking, I respected women, and humility began to come to
            me daily.”

            Then you said:

            “I was saved while smoking a bong and a friend busted into my house saying he
            just met Jesus.” So, here we have two different stories. First, if the
            initial story you told about meeting the god of the universe after being awoken
            from a sleep was true–then it must have come after the second instance where
            you said you were saved while smoking a bong and a friend busted in–because
            you said that the day after you met the god of the universe you became
            sober–so you wouldn’t have been smoking a bong.

            So, the chronology of your story now must be 1–Smoking a
            bong, friends talks about jesus, i get saved…………….then 2—I met god in
            my hallway at 2am (alone), woken up by god and chatted with him etc, and the
            next day was sober.

            So, were you saved that bong ripping day? Or not? Did
            that come later during your chat with god?
            Yep, you’re a liar. We all know that in “christian speak”, being saved is when you’re converted. But now you try to say that your conversion was two weeks later after more drug use. The sad thing
            is…you lied because you thought it might make your story mean more, but
            really all it does is make you untrustworthy and even less worth listening to
            then when you were pleading with people to accept your belief in YEC.

          • Ryanmd

            Daniel I stopped reading after tsk tsk, For some reason I spent a lot of time telling you something very dear and personal about me. I am 34, a grown man, and self employment. I feel I have wasted so much time, as I really do not type that fast. I thought by chance there was a glimmer of curiosity in you about why I am like I am or why any Christian is who they are or what they believe. But you are not. You are simply looking for a fight. Looking to win. My story was for the hope that someone might be helped. So I will tell my story in vain many times before I die. But, just as that guy popped into my house that day and told me about Jesus, I will tell others I met Him as well. For me it is worth it to waste this time with you. What is not so clear… is why you, having only a short time on earth, have chosen to waste so much time with me. I will not answer you again Daniel. I still bless you.

          • Daniel Webb

            By all means, keep telling your story. Just decide on which story you’re going to tell so that you don’t erase the message you really want to spread by lying about your life.

          • Daniel Webb

            Oh and Ryan? I type quickly so I didn’t have to waste much time. Further, I guess I don’t really consider it a waste of time to call out a liar who is using a fraudulent testimony.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            I wish more Christians would realize that most of the folks they talk to are well aware that the more dramatic the “testimony,” the less likely it is to be accurate. And that imprecision is okay. We’re human and our memories work very imprecisely even when we’re not telling a story with an obvious and blatant agenda behind it. I also wish more Christians would realize that outsiders are also well aware that there’s no deity changing anybody–that we do it all ourselves, and that permanent personal change next to never happens without very serious and dedicated work.

          • Daniel Webb

            It’s one thing to have a somewhat romanticized view of your own conversion that turns it from being an ordinary story to a borderline miracle, but it’s an entirely different thing (a lie, specifically) to come up with two different stories inside of a 24 hour period that you’re going to post on the same chat thread.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            If we let him keep talking he might top himself.

          • Daniel Webb

            I have “faith” that he will…

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            I’ll drink to that. I was married to a preacher with a Mike Warnke-level fib of a testimony and he wasn’t even the worst offender I ever heard while I was Christian. I don’t think Christians realize that we know.

          • $24533877

            When I was in my twenties, I kept looking for God. Now I see Him everywhere; however, a superficial Bible study won’t do.
            It will take in-depth study and meditation.

      • Deacon Razorblades

        If I told you that I disliked tomatoes, would you assume that I do not eat food?

        No, I would conclude that you disliked tomatoes. There’s no reason to go any further with as little evidence as you gave.

        Dispite what the common thought is, evolution is only a tomato in the fast number scientific fields and studies. Evolution is only a very small portion that attempts to explain how something in front of you may have gotten there .

        So if you’re going to make an analogy of size of tomatoes compared to the level of scientific consensus and understanding of a theory, then we are talking about a planetary sized tomato in relation to evolution. A tomato so large that you would have to be blind to not see it.

        • spinetingler

          All Hail the Giant Tomato!

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            Heathen! The Invisible Pink Unicorn is the only true god worthy of our praise!

  • Alethinos95

    You
    can’t measure this level of stupidity without advanced math I’m
    afraid… And since Jesus didn’t do any Differential Calculus let alone
    any of
    log_b(xy) = log_b (x) + log_b .
    we’ve no way to even measure Ham’s idiocy. Quite the conundrum.
    What’s Jesus say about conundrums? Oh, that’s right, He never mentioned
    them. So apparently they don’t exist! Crap! Where is this rabbit hole
    leading ?!?!?!

  • http://www.ex-christadelphians.com/ John Bedson

    You say that the Bible “reflects the ancient worldview in which it was written.”
    That’s because it was written by humans in ancient times. There is no evidence at all that it is inspired by God. That’s why modern science flatly contradicts the Bible.
    To say that God allowed his Bible to be written with an ancient worldview which was both incorrect and pagan in its cosmology is nonsense. It just proves that God did not inspire the Bible.
    That’s the answer to this whole science/Bible problem. Science is right and the Bible is wrong because it was written by humans who did not understand modern science.

    • Jonathan Pogson

      Therefore if God did choose to author the Bible in 21st Century terms – referencing 21st century scientific evidence and understandings – we could also conclude that God does not exist, the Bible is a fraud. Quite what previous generations might make of it is anybody’s guess. Bottom line, to judge the Bible against 21st century science is not just an exercise in futility but about as provincial and shallow as a human can think.

      • http://www.ex-christadelphians.com/ John Bedson

        ” to judge the Bible against 21st century science” is to judge it against the best we know. It is to judge it against the gold standard of understanding about origins. It is to judge it against objective reality. It is to judge it against what the best minds in humanity have shown to be true. The Bible fails this test.
        Genesis could have been written in a timeless way that could never be disproved by the advance of human understanding. But that did not happen, because it was not inspired by God, only invented by ordinary Jewish scribes. There is NOTHING in Genesis that would convince anyone that a supernatural power inspired its creation.
        Instead it is a patently man-made narrative full of contradictions, mistakes, pagan cosmology and primitive morality. A snake talks. Death is the punishment for eating the wrong kind of fruit. Women are condemned to extreme suffering in childbirth for a trivial reason. The entire population of the world is murdered in a flood genocide that God lives to regret. (Gen 8:21). The whole account reeks of a human only origin and there is NOTHING in it to even remotely suggest that it has a paranormal origin.

  • Joni Loring

    I left the church because I do not see lives changed. People are not friendlier, more loving or more helpful. Christianity among those I’ve met, only makes them smug in their beliefs.

    • $24533877

      I used to share your opinion until I came to a church, where “love your neighbor as yourself”, as taught by the Bible, is practiced. Keep looking!

  • Emily

    Alas, it’s time for me to sign off and cook dinner for my family and prepare for our 10 hour Bible study (jk). It’s been fun participating. I do thank you as my children have read many of your responses and have seen the same old tactic of belittling those who don’t agree with you as well as the same old arguments against the Bible–a very good teaching lesson.

    And so you who oppose God’s Word can sleep peacefully tonight, I do encourage my children to ask their teachers and professors lots of questions and test it against what the Bible says. After all, their schools are run by the government and have their share of problems.

    Perhaps I’ll see you on the other side of eternity!

  • Guest

    This aggressive Christian opposition to evolution baffles me. I grew up in a small conservative town in Texas. My parents were conservative and raised us in a Southern Baptist church, and we attended the public school with children from other conservative families where we were taught by conservative teachers, mostly Protestant and many Baptist. In other words, my upbringing was about as conservative as it could possibly be. You know what, though? I was NEVER taught that creationism and evolution were mutually exclusive–not by my parents, not by my pastors or Sunday School teachers, and not by my teachers at the public school. I was ALWAYS taught to believe in both creationism AND evolution. When did this all change–and WHY???

    • germcheck

      Ken Ham has a big business to protect. His business span from Dinosaur fun ground to home schooling textbooks, selling false “science” to children of parents deficient in formal science education. In the process, he made millions of dollars. The last thing Ken wants is to educate our American children. He came from Australia.

  • $804043

    So Ken Ham decided to post something on his facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/aigkenham/posts/554558094634872?stream_ref=10 ) . It was amusing to the say the least. At the same time he promoted an AiG book he wrote called Already Gone to use as proof of his claims. He said America’s Research Group conducted research for AiG into why kids are leaving the church and the findings were put in the book. I felt that was worth looking into and apparently the research study was called the Beemer Report.

    And guess what I found when I tried to look up this report? Barely even a whisper of it unless it was from AiG itself and no information on the study at all except its name. Not a peep from another source. It makes you wonder if they are trying to hide something about the study.

  • Rick K

    Carl Sagan once noted:

    “How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, ‘This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed!’? Instead they say, ‘No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'”

    What is so wrong about embracing the story told by the evidence rather than the story told by men?

    Seriously – which is more awe inspiring? The story told by the Bible (written entirely by the hands of men) was completely comprehensible to a desert tribesman 2600 years ago, and takes a few short verses to tell. It is a story completely consistent with any other human-authored fable.

    The story told by the EVIDENCE (none of which was created by the hands of men) tells us that the universe came into existence through a cataclysm of immeasurable power, so strong that the heat from the event still warms the universe over 13 billion years later. The evidence tells us of stellar birth and death, events so powerful they could strip the atmosphere off a planet from 1000 light years away. The evidence tells us we are made of minerals created in the vast atomic forges in the centers of giant stars. The evidence tells us of a massive, glorious dance of the heavens over billions of years, and of the creation of our precious planet among billions of trillions of other stars and planets. The evidence tells us of an incredibly simple, elegant process of gradual change driven by the reproductive success, leading to stunningly varied, resilient life – life so vibrant and sweeping that it changed the very nature and composition of our planet.

    Now THAT is a story worthy of a divine creator.

    Uncover your eyes, close the Bible, and pick up a telescope if you want to truly read the Word of God.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      Thank you Rick for your eloquent defense of the truth, both here and throughout these comments.

      • Rick K

        And thank you Dan for your blog post. Keep fighting for truth. No faith that relies on lies will (or should) survive.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      That Rick, was beautiful. Thank you.

    • MikeHaas82

      That was gorgeous, Rick. I wish the guy that Oprah Winfrey had questioned as to how he could enjoy any sense of wonder without believing in God had been as eloquent. Those who believe as she does about scientists in general, especially those who are atheist or agnostic can’t seem to understand that without a sense of wonder, there’d be no interest in science at all.

      Folks like Oprah, and the YECs we’ve read on this thread alone, probably care less about what we believe than they care about the need to confirm their own beliefs by winning adherents. It really is all about them, not you. To not acknowledge the validity of their particular brand of Christianity is intolerably insulting. I’ve often wondered: We’ve been presented a portrait of God as all-powerful, omni-present and omniscient for thousands of years. Its mind-boggling that such a God requires so much human intervention to exist and requires a Hell to punish people in a “lake of fire” for *eternity* for daring to not believe in His existence and yet we’re persuaded that such a vengeful and sadistic God is deserving of our “love”. Imagine that: The Patriarchal movement believes that an 18 month-old *baby* who is defiant and isn’t physically punished and made to express “remorse” by its screams of pain prior to getting hit by the proverbial bus, will suffer the incomprehensible agony of being burned alive for *all eternity* in a “lake of fire” by this same “loving” God. One would think that people who believe this crap would be required to seek professional help, their children removed for their own safety, instead of being handed political and legislative power by the American voter!

    • mindy

      Wow, Rick – you said it perfectly. This is exactly what makes no sense – that denying science somehow denies God. No, it doesn’t. Not even close. Thank you for saying it so eloquently.

    • Raymond Watchman

      You nailed it Rick. Well said. I am an amateur astronomer and a panentheist Christian (as is Marcus J Borg). Simply put, I don’t view the Universe as having been “created” by “God”, but rather, as the ever-evolving manifestation of the God in whom our existence is. The “creation story” is ever with us, ever unfolding, revealing more beauty, more glory and more mystery to be wondered at and explored as each day passes. My telescope not only enables me to better perceive the wonders of the Universe, but equally, the wonders of what it is to be human.

    • Gary

      This was wonderful Rick.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        I agree Gary, That was wonderful and reminds me of the words of the Psalmist:

        “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
        The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
        What is man that You are mindful of him?”

        We look at the world around us, from the simple, like last night, watching my cat trying vainly to catch a stink bug that had decided to invade my house, to standing on a North Carolina mountain top and watching the sun rise, with the myriad of colors and sounds, to looking up at a star lit sky and feeling that childish delight of a meteorite making its presence known for a few brief seconds before it burns up in our atmosphere.

        I don’t need a bible to be awed, and delighted by the wonders of this planet. I don’t need a bible to believe that I enjoy it because of divine creativity. I don’t need a bible to be thankful that I get to live on this spinning green globe and experience just a tiny fraction of all the amazing, diverse beauty around me. To me nature points easily to God, Science shows me how it works

        • Gary

          Beautiful.

  • Josh

    So… Ken has to believe the way you do, Dan? Oh, isn’t that putting up walls? You accuse Ken of doing the very thing you are. Ken is not putting up his own walls, but merely professing the Truth of God’s infallible word. There are scientific facts stated in the book of Job (oldest book in the Bible, or in existence perhaps, except for the first 11 chapters of Genesis) that we have only become scientifically aware of within the last century or so. Check your (your fallible human) “facts”, bud! Before you start thinking that each of us can have our own interpretation of what scripture says, I would urge you to go read 1 Corinthians, especially the first few chapters. We should all be on the exact same page. Each of us has our job to do in ministry. Like building a house, some are responsible for laying the foundation, some are responsible for installation of utilities, some are responsible for erecting walls and attaching a roof, finally someone has to sell it or else the work done and the house as a whole would be all for not if each person did not do their job. But we should all be focused on the end result, which is filling the “house” with the Holy Spirit.

    • Rick K

      No, it’s about the fact that Ken Ham lies about the science. Josh, do you value beliefs that can only be preserved through lying?

      This isn’t about God’s word – it is about looking at physical evidence in front of your face and saying “that doesn’t exist”. It’s about cherry picking which bits of reality you accept and which you deny. It’s about implying that thousands of independent hard-working scientists are part of some anti-God conspiracy.

      Maybe you think the ends justify the means, Josh. Is that it?

      I think in any ministry, EVERYONE has the job of telling the truth. Don’t you?

    • MikeHaas82

      Sorry Josh, but you’re suggesting that in order to be a real Christian, one *must* accept Ken Ham’s preaching as infallible. You ask, “So Ken has to believe the way you do?”, but maintain that Dan *must* believe the way Ken does to be considered a Christian. Am I missing something or are you going to give us another politician’s answer like, “Ken preaches the infallible word of God”, implying the very same thing?

    • $24533877

      Nick Lotter ad Josh are the only ones so far, who have not jumped on the contemporary bandwagon of Bible- and Christian-bashing ignorance.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      There is one thing where we should be all on the same page…and really only one..and that is the commandment to love one another, with the same fervor we wish to be loved. What is cool about that is the infinite ways we can follow that command, because it is not limited to belief, or creed, or culture, or religion.

  • Nick Lotter

    Dan, you accuse Ken Ham of advocating “right beliefs” instead of “right practices”, but you don’t seem to see that your own tone is arrogant and belittling. Oh, the irony. Can’t you see that you are advocating your own “right beliefs” and not displaying any “right practices” in your own address to brother Ken? You, sir, are a hypocrite. You seem to have a low view of the Bible and a high view of man’s right to each his own personal interpretation and “illumination”. And how do you know your interpretation of God’s Word is correct? By the illumination of the Holy Spirit? Let me guess, “the sheep hear His voice”? What if many men, each believing they are hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice, have many different and opposing interpretations? Who has the right interpretation? Are they all equally illumined by the same Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit the author of chaos? Do you not know that we are always to test the spirits (1 John 4:1)? The Holy Spirit does speak to us, and His sheep do hear his voice, but we have a responsibility to be obedient to test whether it is indeed the Holy Spirit who speaks to us and not a deceiving spirit. The way we do this is to test whether the “leading of the Holy Spirit” we feel is actually in tune with the Bible. The Holy Spirit never contradicts the Bible, and never goes “off the map”. Dan, think about it, there is a right and wrong interpretation of the Bible. All you’re saying is this article (quite arrogantly) is that you have the right view and Ken doesn’t. You are guilty of the same charge you are laying on brother Ken. Satan and the demons work hard to deceive us. If, as you imply, Ken Ham’s work of teaching and interpreting the Bible is wrong, you are making null and void the gift of teaching given to the church by the Holy Spirit.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Mr Ham is quite mistaken in his insistence that people are leaving the church because of evolution. They are leaving because of the arrogance people like him display. They are leaving because they are told that non christian friends and family don’t matter. They are leaving because they are told Christian friends and family aren’t really christian. They are tired of being lied to, patronized and being taught about a god who loves…but not really.

      What I find troubling about Mr Ham is his inability to handle criticism and his having to “rally the troops” anytime his teachings or his activities are questioned. I wonder what he is afraid of.

      • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

        You and I’ve spent some time in the SE USA… so you’ve probably heard that old saying, “Little lie, big lie.” If you’ve set the Bible up for total inerrancy and someone finds out (correctly) that it isn’t inerrant at all, that person’s going to (rightfully) wonder what else the Bible is wrong about. If you’ve set up YEC as the big major in-group marker for Christianity and set up this totally polarized either/or false dilemma, like either accept YEC and literalism or else lose one’s faith, then someone who discovers that YEC is totally a lie will reject the religion itself under the assumption that that’s the only other option. I don’t reckon many Christians trained in literalism and inerrancy move into a more nuanced version of Christianity; most of ’em will probably just leave entirely.

        I know exactly what Mr. Ham is afraid of. He’s afraid of exactly what is happening right now.

    • MikeHaas82

      Wow. With the hundreds of separate Christian denominations in the US alone, you’re suggesting that only Ken Ham’s version of Christian belief is the correct one and if someone who is Christian doesn’t accept it, he’s an apostate or heretic. So Ken Ham is infallible when preaching the word. I bet you have a real problem when the congregants of other preachers from other Christian churches make the same claim, don’t you? I bet you have a real problem with the Pope too, I suppose who claims similar when making a pronouncement regarding the faith of the Church.

      I’ve yet to see a preacher, priest or rabbi that didn’t consider themselves infallible when preaching the Bible.

      Are you suggesting as well that before Ken Ham and YEC, that those that didn’t follow or preach the same message were hell-bound? Does that include Paul the Apostle who also didn’t preach YEC? Jesus certainly didn’t, him too?

      • Nick Lotter

        You’ve made a couple of points and asked a few questions here. I’ll do my best to answer each one. Do I suggest that Ken Ham’s version of Christianity is the correct one? No, I believe the Bible’s version of Christianity is the correct one, and if Ken Ham or anybody else agrees with it, I stand with them in agreement. Do I think anybody who disagrees with Ken Ham is an apostate or heretic? I don’t even know where you got that assumption – I never made such a claim. Is Ken Ham infallible? Absolutely not – only God and His Word is infallible, which is why we must never use man’s standards or what we think or feel is right as the measure of truth. We must always keep the Bible as the measure of what is truth and what is not. Yes, I do have a problem with the Pope and anybody else who denies that Jesus Christ is the ONLY mediator between God and man. Paul the Apostle and Jesus Christ did believe and teach YEC. Jesus referred to Genesis many times. Are you suggesting that Paul and Jesus taught evolution or old earth theology? Best back up your claim with some Scripture, please.

    • Richard Forrest

      but you don’t seem to see that your own tone is arrogant and belittling.
      I suggest that what is “arrogant and belittling” is the creationists who dismiss the cumulative findings of generations of scientists honestly investigating the universe for no reason other than that they contradict the narrow, literal interpretation of the Bible they demand, and which is a relatively recent invention of fundamentalists which has not been an article of faith for most Christian churches over the past two thousand years.

      What makes this arrogance worse is the fact – and it is a fact – the creationists such as Ham are quite happy to rely on misrepresentation, distortion and outright falsehoods about science to promote their agenda.

      • Nick Lotter

        Richard, the church has always believed in a young earth. Go back through Christian history and you will NEVER find any official teaching of the church that suggests any different. Darwin’s theories and the invention of an old earth have necessitated ministries such as Ken Ham’s in order to take people back to the roots of Christianity and to the truth.

        • Richard Forrest

          Richard, the church has always believed in a young earth.

          People didn’t have a clue about the about the age of the earth until a few centuries ago. When the founders of the sciences of geology and palaeontology, many of whom were Christian clergy, started to investigate the earth using the nascent tools of science, they found that a young earth was incompatible with any honest interpretation of the evidence. Because they did not believe in a God whose creation was a lie, they accepted the reality of a vastly older and more complex universe that that of the writers of the Bible knew or understood.

          Biblical inerrancy is a recent invention which has never been an element of mainstream Christian beliefs. How could it be when the Bible was compiled into anything like its current form in the 4th century AD?

          Darwin’s theories and the invention of an old earth have necessitated ministries such as Ken Ham’s in order to take people back to the roots of Christianity and to the truth.

          That the earth is very ancient is not an invention, it’s a conclusion drawn from several independent lines of evidence. If the earth is as young as creationists demand, it would mean that virtually everything we have learned in several centuries of honest scientific research in many different fields is wrong. It would also mean that the God you worship is a liar who has set out to deceive those who investigate his handiwork.

          Ken Ham is a liar, a charlatan, a con-man, a bearer of false witness. He lies for money. If you think that such an individual can be trusted, or refuse to address the copious evidence which is freely available that he is a liar, I pity you.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2011/10/18/david-barton-and-ken-ham-arent-mistaken-theyre-just-lying/

        • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

          “the church has always believed in a young earth”

          That’s simply not true. I suggest you study up on the history of your idiosyncratic beliefs. Ronald Numbers’ book “The Creationists” would be a good place to start.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      “And how do you know your interpretation of God’s Word is correct?”

      The difference between me and you and Mr. Ham is that I don’t know that my interpretation is correct — I don’t hold my understanding of the Bible with epistemic certainty. Your epistemology seems based solely on the Holy Spirit speaking to you and is apparently virtually infallible. I suggest that rather than relying only on that sensus divinitatis for knowledge of God’s world, you also exercise your God-given mind in critical evaluation of the evidence available to you.

      • MikeHaas82

        I would think the ultimate test of one’s faith in their own infallibility regarding Biblical interpretation would be to go move a mountain. Or levitate. Its like the carny-trick of faith healing. Those folks claim to heal cancer, cure the deaf and blind and heal the crippled, but I bet you ain’t never seen one give someone back a severed limb or missing eyeball. Perhaps that’s too flashy. And I’ve never ever seen someone well known, say a sports player, actor or politician, who’s been given their eyesight back or healed of a spinal chord injury. I guess there must be a “no celebrity” rule. Thanks for your honesty, Dan. Its very human and its the RIGHT answer.

      • Nick Lotter

        If you don’t KNOW that your interpretation is correct, then why do you send out articles attacking a brother for holding to a different interpretation to yours? That is exactly what you have done with this article, Mr Wilkinson. My epistemology, as should be clear in my original response, is based on knowing that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that it is infallible. Anything that I think I know by the Holy Spirit must be confirmed by Scripture. Anything I think the Holy Spirit is telling me, which contradicts Scripture, is therefore not the Holy Spirit.

        • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

          How do you know the Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God?

    • spinetingler

      Ooh, a tone argument.

    • Rick K

      Just for the record – taking evidence seriously is not arrogant. Paying attention to nature and the lessons it gives us is not belittling.

      Ham’s scriptural infallibility argument is the ultimate hubris.

      Let’s say I found a line in the infallible Urantia Book that said people named Lotter are evil murderers. Nothing, no amount of evidence would change my mind that people named Lotter are murderers. And let’s say I had a public forum, a charismatic speaking style, and a large following.

      Tell me, Nick – as we picket your house and vote for legislators that will allow us to teach anti-Lotterism to public school students – would your attempts at evidence-based protest be “arrogant”?

      You have your right to your own opinions. You don’t the right to dismiss biology and physics and to avoid passionate (and truthful) criticism.

      • Nick Lotter

        Taking evidence seriously is admirable. Paying attention to nature and the lessons it gives us is commendable and wise. So, then, why not try it? Nobody takes Ken Ham or other YE Creationists seriously enough to just investigate what he is saying and make an educated conclusion, choosing rather to follow with blind faith the ones who argue against Creationism because it doesn’t agree with their world view. Evidence for evolution? For an old earth? It doesn’t exist.

        • Rick K

          “Evidence for evolution? For an old earth? It doesn’t exist.”

          The evidence doesn’t exist? That’s the corner you’ve painted yourself into?

          Now that you’ve abandoned intellectual integrity, do you miss it? Do you ever miss the sight of an honest man in the mirror?

          • Nick Lotter

            My friend, if you’re honest, you have to confess that you only believe in evolution and an old earth because the secular scientists have told you so. Have you taken the time to investigate the claims yourself? Objectively? Without blind faith in the textbooks? Creation science has blown the evolution theory to shreds and disproved every old earth theory, and given evidence in support of creation and a young earth. Nobody cares to consider it. They won’t even allow it into schools and universities. Talk about being one sided.

          • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

            I believe in evolution and an old earth because the Christian scientists have told me so. And because I’ve investigated the claims myself — as objectively as I possibly can, without “blind faith” in any particular ideology or source. “Creation science” is nothing but pseudo-scientific quackery, largely a product of early 20th-century Seventh-Day Adventism and never the normative understanding of historical Christianity. Myself and many other Christians have considered it, and have rejected it as, at best, sadly ignorant and, at worst, an outright deception. Given its utter lack of scientific merit, it is entirely appropriate to exclude it from school science curricula. Yes, that’s one-sided, as it should be.

    • Rick Hartzog

      If all that Holy Spirit stuff you are talking about had anything to do with Ken Ham’s interpretation of the creation account he wouldn’t have to lie about science. But he does. And so does every other “young-earth creation scientist”. You’ll never make me believe that is the work of the Spirit.
      And the way Ken Ham has openly vilified Christians who don’t accept his young-earth nonsense — because it is patently false — shows that he isn’t about the truth anyway. You should leave the Holy Spirit out of it.

      • Nick Lotter

        And how do you know Ken Ham is lying about science? Because he disagrees with scientists who believe in an old earth and evolution? How do you know THEY aren’t lying? Do you have any evidence to support those scientists, or do you have faith in them?

        • Rick Hartzog

          Well, there are a number of examples of AiG misinformation but a single basic example is that they support the idea that accelerated nuclear decay is a possible explanation for the ancient ages we get by dating the Earth’s geological features. To generate evidence for this “hypothesis,” the creation scientists deliberately selected geological samples from
          geothermally active formations and measured helium diffusion rates, pretending that the rate should have been uniform across time when it certainly should not. The accelerated nuclear decay scenario entails that the speed of light be tens of thousands of times greater during the creation week, and taken to its logical and evidential conclusion, requires that God created the Earth with fossils already in place in the Earth’s sedimentary layers. The AND scenario ignores the robust correlations of radiometric dates with each other, but more damningly — and fatally — ignores the correlation of radiometric dating methods with non-radiometric dating methods and the agreement *between* the various non-radiometric methods — which are based on completely different processes that act independently of each other and independently of nuclear decay rates. These “creation scientists” are certainly bright enough to know that they are doing this, but they are counting on you to not be quite so bright. They acknowledge that accelerated nuclear decay poses a heat problem, but pretend it “presents a new and exciting opportunity for creation research” (when in fact it utterly falsifies the AND hypothesis) and they further pretend that getting rid of the heat is their only problem, ignoring the *multitude* of non-radiometric correlations.

          Particularly disingenuous of these young-earth researchers is their perennial habit of reporting ridiculously ancient dates for young lava flows which indicate excess argon (daughter element) at closing conditions. What they don’t tell you is that if these lava flows had been 10 or 20 million years old, that same amount of excess argon would have increased the K-Ar age of the eruptions by only 1 or 2 percent. Dating errors of 5 or 10 or even 50 percent are not nearly enough to get the Earth down to 6,000 years; in general these creationists need to find a systemic error of 75 MILLION percent and quit trying to cast doubt on the reliability of dating methods over nitpicking quibbles of a few percentage points one way or the other.

          If I was Bill Nye I would go ahead and acknowledge up front that “creation is a viable explanation for origins” and then light into Ken Ham about these correlations, showing that even if creation *is* a viable explanation, the *young-earth creationism* of Answers in Genesis most demonstrably *is not*. There is no possible way for Ham to account for the correlation between radiometric and non-radiometric dating methods without being forced to concede that either 1) those Genesis “days” were very long periods of time, or 2) that the entire concept of “young earth creation science” is falsified if God has created the heavens and Earth with a deceptive built-in age — if God created it to look old, then “creation scientists” are mistaken when they say it looks “young”.

        • Raymond Watchman

          Nick, this vacuous response proves yet again that if you could reason with religious fundamentalists there wouldn’t be any. In all sincerity and out of genuine concern, I think you need to look at why you have become so closed-minded.

  • MikeHaas82

    While discussing the possibility of extraterrestrial life (not UFOs) with my fundie ex-father in law years ago, he postulated that it couldn’t exist because it wasn’t mentioned in the Bible. I told him that the Bible also didn’t mention the then-unknown continents of North and South America and the people and animals that lived there. He proceeded to launch into a tirade of ad hominems I won’t repeat here. I imagine if we’d just discovered Australia, literalists would call photographic evidence of the wildlife there an insult to Biblical accuracy and live specimens, “frauds”. Were there kangaroos on the Ark? How did Noah bring them all the way to the Middle East? Oooh! Oooh! I know the answer to this one! They’d merely claim that God didn’t bother with plant and animal life in Australia until it was time for men to discover it! When you believe in a 6,000 year old Earth, anything is possible.

    Others here have said it here better, but YECs reduce the power and creativity of God down to the level of a side-show act. We know oil is a fossil fuel and that its existence is finite. How do YECs explain the time it takes to develop? How do they explain Plate Tectonics? The proliferation and uplift of a mountain range? The wind and water erosion that created the beauty of the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas? Correct me if I’m wrong but I have the impression they have no issue with say, the life-cycle of a star and perhaps the age of the Solar Solar system, our Milky Way Galaxy or the vast distances between stars and the even greater distances between galaxies. With all those vast periods of time and vast distances – why get all hung up over a silly and long-debunked time line produced 200 years-ago that is reckoned upon among other things, the existence of a 900 year-old man? Do any of them realize just how *short* 6,000 years really is? The short answer is that many of them are perfectly well aware of just how old our Planet is.

    Someone else on this thread mentioned that we don’t debate Holocaust deniers, Moon Landing deniers and “Flat Earth” believers because its a non-productive, silly waste of time and energy, especially when we know that many of these folks are merely contrarians who find entertainment value in getting people to give them publicity, wasting their time and money in the effort. Ken Ham has built a very nice living around drawing people into the side-show tent. Does anyone think he’d be willing to acquiesce and throw it all away? I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if this huckster was in reality, an atheist or agnostic.

    The answer to these questions I fear is much more sinister. Many or most of these people are Dominionists. YEC is merely a means to an end. It doesn’t matter if Ken Ham really believes the nonsense he spews or not. One definition of a conservative is someone whose World View requires very simple answers to very complex issues. They are easy to manipulate and draw in. YECs don’t merely want Creationism taught as an “alternative” in our Schools. Creationism is necessarily a Christian belief and a very specific form of Christianity. Children are allowed to pray in School any time they want to. It isn’t about “prayer in school”. Its about indoctrinating our children with fundamentalist Christian concepts. Its about creating voters that allow these Dominionists to pass laws that will eventually lead to a Theocracy – Christian “Sharia” Law. Its about eventually being able to legally dispose of their “enemies”: Homosexuals, Feminists, Liberals and Liberal Christians, Jews and Muslims. Its about establishing a Patriarchal society in which women are only allowed to participate in society along a very rigid set of rules, much like Saudi Arabia and Hitler’s Germany. If you’d like a chilling peak into what this society would like, read, “A Handmaid’s Tale”.

    The answer is *not* to debate them. Its a silly waste of time. The answer is to be vigilant and ensure that any and every effort to legislate the teaching of this filth in our public schools is soundly defeated. FOX insists there is a “war on Christmas” but what they’re actually addressing are efforts by those of us to maintain the separation of Church and State which these people are slowly and successfully eroding. We also debate Climate Change deniers. Why? Because we realize the danger they pose to the entire World. And because unlike Holocaust deniers and Moon Landing deniers, Climate Change deniers have political power and influence and so do Creationists! But the answer isn’t to debate them – its to soundly defeat their efforts to continue the destruction of our planet unabated because it fulfills their current industrial profit model. We need to defeat the YECs and Dominionists because they are a *dangerous* threat to our freedom of conscience, our freedom of expression and our freedom of religion. They already have an arena to teach their religious fantasies – their own churches, guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. Allowing them to move their pulpit into our schools will sound the death knell of 1st Amendment rights and the United States as we know it.

    • Rick K

      A few important things were left out of the Bible – like cells, viruses, bacteria, electromagnetic radiation, the nature of stars, the existence of galaxies, and everything else not known by the humans who embellished the history and invented the stories of the Bible.

      It is a book completely and utterly devoid of anything resembling supernatural or divine inspiration, and is obviously and entirely the work of human hands and human minds from a period of early human literacy.

      There are some good ideas and some evil ideas presented in the Bible, but they are all human ideas.

      It is poetry, not journalism. And those who follow Biblical Inerrancy, who take it literally, are making a conscious choice to forsake reality. Their choice is no different than that of the people who take Harry Potter literally and gather to wear robes and practice spells. Their choice is no different than those who decide that Joseph Smith was divinely inspired, and who sequester themselves in their little walled compounds in Arizona and Texas.

      Just as the Fundamentalist Mormons build walls around their communities to keep out the influence of modern monogamous society, so do Biblical Literalists build walls around their minds to keep out the influence of evidence and science. And Ken Ham is their spokesman.

      • MikeHaas82

        Ramen!

    • xscd ✱

      Excellent comments! Thank you.

      • MikeHaas82

        Thanks very much!

        • Raymond Watchman

          I agree with xscd – Excellent comments Mike. The chilling realisation is your comments are not exaggerated. I live in New Zealand and view what is happening in the US with deepening concern, particularly when I see the toxin dripping down into my country and poisoning churches here. Cultic Christian fundamentalism poses a threat to the free world as every bit as grave as the threat posed by nazism (itself a fundamentalist cult wearing a political frock) did to Europe in the 30s. Because good people – out of fear or indifference – remained silent and did nothing, millions of innocents died. May we honor their memory by honoring truth and calling out evil by its name – even when it does appear as an angel of light, just as Hitler did to the broken and shamed German people of that era. Shalom Mike, and thanks. I would encourage readers to consider very carefully, what you have written and, like you, have the care for humanity and courage to speak out.

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

    People leave church, and leave religion, for many reasons. But, in fact, many people leave church and leave religion precisely because they figure out (whether through education or some other path) that the religious notion that the Bible actually has anything to do with any actual god seriously lacks any credibility (i.e., “the Bible can’t be trusted”). An education in science is certainly one of those paths.

    By the way, I happen to be one of those people, so I merely find it amusing when Dan Wilkinson and other moderate Christians use rhetoric in which they pretend that people like me don’t exist.

    Do note that, with the example of Ken Ham, we are referring not just to evolution, since Ham is a young earth creationist, and young earth creationists deny the antiquity of the earth (geology), the antiquity of the universe (astronomy), and deny all sorts of other aspects of things in other areas of science (such as physics and chemistry) relevant to geology and astronomy, so it is not just evolution we’re talking about. Creationists deny any part of science they don’t like when they feel it contradicts their religious beliefs. This is because creationism is religion, not science, and the following of religious doctrine based on religious faith, as being a fundamental aspect of religious belief, motivates religious believers to believe things regardless of whether there is good real world evidence for such beliefs and often motivates them to adhere to such beliefs regardless of good real world evidence to the contrary (i.e., even when their beliefs have been shown to be scientifically wrong). While young earth creationists take this religious motivation to the extreme, it is precisely this same motivation that drives the anti-science attitude of all creationists.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      I believe that you exist 😉

      • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

        I actually know you do. I think that particular piece of rhetoric (“No one’s leaving the church because evolution’s shows that ‘the Bible could not be trusted'”) is just a bit too hyperbolic.

        • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

          Hyperbole? No! You need to read what I wrote unquestioningly as 100% literal, factual, concrete, inerrant, infallible truth. Any other understanding will put you on a slippery slope towards thinking for yourself.

          • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

            Har! 😀

          • MikeHaas82

            Not to mention, to the “lake of Ire” where you’ll be surrounded by the wheezing drone of bagpipes for all of eternity! And even if you don’t believe it, would you really want to take the chance?

            Honestly, how is it possible to actually have faith or believe in something based on a threat?

          • Raymond Watchman

            Ha!!! Naughty…….

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      As do I.

    • http://batman-news.com Anton

      People leave church, and leave religion, for many reasons. But, in fact,
      many people leave church and leave religion precisely because they
      figure out (whether through education or some other path) that the
      religious notion that the Bible actually has anything to do with any
      actual god seriously lacks any credibility (i.e., “the Bible can’t be
      trusted”). An education in science is certainly one of those paths.

      Then it’s up to progressive Christians like us to make people realize that the Bible isn’t meant to be read as a scientific text. The transcendent facet of human existence isn’t a scientific matter, and the development of species on Earth is a scientific matter.

      I’ve read a lot of books by Dennett and Dawkins, and I think they’re at their best when they’re discussing scientific subjects. Believers should read Unweaving the Rainbow if they want to understand Dawkins’s defense of the naturalistic perspective. They should read Darwin’s Dangerous Idea if they want to understand the creative power of undirected processes. But when the New Atheists delve into religion, the result is much less sophisticated and fascinating.

      • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

        As if atheists other than Dawkins and Dennett have never dealt with religion before. Not. You know, I’ve certainly seen this “much less sophisticated” claim before, and yet what I’ve noticed about the critics making the claim is how their criticisms are even less sophisticated than that, so I’ve never been impressed by it.

        The problem is not that the Bible isn’t meant to be read as a scientific textbook. The problem is that the Bible isn’t meant to be read as having anything to do with reality, other than the obvious which is that it has something to do with being a collection of writing by people in the context of their particular social/religious culture at various points in their history. In regard to claims about reality, period, whether about when the universe was created, or whether all people on Earth were wiped out by a worldwide flood covering the highest mountains except for eight people saved on a big wooden boat, or whether a god impregnated a virgin woman with himself and was born as a man, etc., the Bible is an epistemological black hole.

        In regard to the Bible having any claim whatsoever about reality, progressive Christians don’t have anything over Ken Ham and other fundamentalist Christians. What progressive Christians have over fundamentalists is in their level of acceptance of science despite the fact that science controverts ancient Christian doctrine, and this is where we agree. Young earth creationist do provide a great service, however, which is in demonstrating the inherently anti-epistemological nature of religious belief.

        • http://batman-news.com Anton

          I’ve certainly seen this “much less sophisticated” claim before, and yet what I’ve noticed about the critics making the claim is how their criticisms are even less sophisticated than that, so I’ve never been impressed by it.

          Um, okay, but that doesn’t change the fact that the New Atheists only approach the most literal, unimaginative concept of religion. They don’t discuss any more sophisticated approaches, like that of Kierkegaard, Spinoza, Jaspers, or Tillich to name but a few. They’re well within their rights to stick to the low-hanging fruit, and obviously there’s plenty of it in our culture today. But let’s be honest about how they deal themselves a winning hand every time.

          The problem is not that the Bible isn’t meant to be read as a scientific textbook. The problem is that the Bible isn’t meant to be read as having anything to do with reality

          Whether it’s fundies or atheists who are peddling the unimaginative literalism, it’s still a mistake. Religion isn’t about producing testable hypotheses to explain natural phenomena. It’s about myth, ritual, and symbol. These things are meant to help people and communities live with purpose and meaning.

          It’s a shame that you can’t seem to see that there are crucial matters in the human experience —important parts of reality— that aren’t scientific issues.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            Apparently you’re not reading the same “New Atheists” I’ve read and listened to. For example, there’s a debate online between Sam Harris and oh-apparently-so-much-more-theologically-sophisticated Rabbi David Wolpe. The more sophisticated, metaphorical, and imaginative theological rhetoric of Wolpe did no better against Harris’ criticisms than, say, the fundamentalist theology of Ken Ham. Richard Dawkins in fact has often had debates or open discussions with Anglican theologians, and, pardon me, for noticing, but Anglicans don’t happen to be fundamentalists. (Christopher Hitchens also dealt with supposedly more sophisticated theologians.) Jerry Coyne has an irregular series of blogs dealing with the “sophisticated theology” of religious apologists who are not promulgators of fundamentalist Christianity, and the supposedly more sophisticated fares no better than the supposedly less sophisticated. Also, please do note that the god concept of Spinoza has nothing to do with Christian theology and the Bible god, but God and Nature are one and the same, in case you were not aware of that. (In other words, citing Spinoza is irrelevant to your argument since it has nothing to do with justifying the idea of a supposedly more sophisticated theology of progressive Christians against the criticisms of the very notion of religious faith by atheists.)

            The fact of the matter that the ‘New Atheists are not dealing with the more sophisticated theology of the religious faith of progressive Christians’ line is just bogus. When Terry Eagleton tried this line a few years ago, his rhetoric was widely trounced. (Maybe you should check into that one.) While you are certainly correct that young earth creationists (of which there happen to be tens of millions in the United States, as shown by Gallup poll and other surveys) make an easy target in regard to showing the fallacious nature of the very notion of religious faith having any epistemological value, the supposedly more sophisticated theology of liberal Christians has not fared any better in trying to demonstrate any epistemological value to religious faith, and the fact of the matter is that atheists have not ignored them either.

            The purpose of religious apologetics is to take a an arbitrary presupposition on the basis of religious faith and then try to make the presupposition seem plausibly sensible after the fact. Religious apologetics is not about sophisticated epistemological tools used to examine and understand the “transcendent spiritual world”. It’s about coming up with rhetorical frameworks to try to reduce cognitive dissonance over the fact that the arbitrary beliefs of religious doctrine have no actual connection to reality.

          • http://batman-news.com Anton

            Well, you certainly seem content to characterize this as a rhetorical pissing match, all about “debates” and “arguments.” So in this philosophical WWF smackdown, it seems that you have reality on your side and we have delusion, oppression, and error on ours. How convenient.

            I don’t see the issue in the black-and-white terms you do. I have the same low opinion of religious fundamentalists, with their CEO God allowing them to push pseudoscience and bigotry, as well as the immature believers who subscribe to the notion of a Sky Boyfriend who only judges others.

            However, I’ll admit I’m not crazy about the atheist notion of humans being mere meat machines. The notion that everything about human experience can be reduced to the vestiges of our evolutionary legacy and levels of neurochemicals seems pretty two-dimensional. Even if they don’t “demonstrate any epistemological value,” are the subjective and the symbolic of any worth to human experience? Are we allowed to question the belief that matters can’t be crucial to humans unless they’re able to be judged by cold, hard science?

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            “you certainly seem content to characterize this as a rhetorical pissing match”

            Wait a minute… Please remind me who brought up the claim of “much less sophisticated”. I seem to have forgotten. Pardon me for not buying into that claim, not even for a second.

            I totally recognize that you have a low opinion of religious fundamentalism, and appreciate that fact. I can’t remember where I wrote this exactly (I’ve been writing a lot in different venues the last several days), but I recognize that liberal Christians are ready to accept scientific discoveries, even though they may be contrary to particular religious doctrines they hold at the time (and then they work on modifying their religious doctrine), to a far greater degree than fundamentalists, and this is all to the good.

            But then, on the other hand, there is your comment “The notion that everything about human experience can be reduced to the vestiges of our evolutionary legacy and levels of neurochemicals seems pretty two-dimensional” which hearkens right back to the obvious fallacy that how we may feel about something matters not one iota to whether it is the case or not. (Religious rhetoric, fundamentalist and otherwise, uses this premise a lot.) Reality is not determined by human emotion. Reality simply is what it is completely independent of human beings, except for the point that we exist in a very tiny fragment of it and thus are a part of it. Surely you recognize the fallacious nature of remarks made relying on the premise that reality can’t be this or can’t be that (or must be this or must be that) merely because we would not like it (or would like it) to be that way? And what is “mere meat machine” supposed to be except a derogatory metaphor intended to misrepresent and denigrate a concept you don’t like? Pardon me if I don’t accept these false dichotomies designed to mischaracterize atheism. (I could even say, wait a minute, who is it who is being “much less sophisticated”?)

            More specifically, the rhetorical question “Are the subjective and symbolic of any worth to human experience?” in the context of your paragraph implies the premise that atheism says it does not – which would be entirely false since atheism says no such thing. What a critical skeptic would point out is that the problem arises when you jump the epistemological divide and start claiming that what is subjective or symbolic is an objective feature of reality, like when someone, based on their personal religious beliefs from their particular cultural upbringing, experiences awe when witnessing the expanse of the Milky Way across a dark night sky out in the country far from any cities, and then imposes the (false) objective claim “My God must exist” onto the subjective feeling. Such a manner is permeated with fallacious thinking.

          • http://batman-news.com Anton

            Please remind me who brought up the claim of “much less sophisticated”. I seem to have forgotten.

            Just wanted to point out that you seem much more interested in the “argument” and “debate” aspects of this matter than I am. I’m not interested in the message-board grandstanding of either believers or nonbelievers.

            You can’t deny that this whole subject has been framed by both sides as a crusade to secure the holy land of Truth and Reality against the forces of evil and ignorance. I’m totally in favor of burying the pseudoscience of Ham and his ilk, but pretending that the scientific method proves that religious belief is delusion sounds like you’re making the method do some philosophical heavy lifting that it’s not equipped for.

            Reality simply is what it is completely independent of human beings, except for the point that we exist in a very tiny fragment of it and thus are a part of it.

            Oh. Kay.

            Doesn’t it seem like pronouncements about how reality is should be taken with a grain of salt no matter who is doing it? I have no problem affirming the validity of the scientific method, but I at least have enough humility to admit that we only truly understand the models we use to represent reality. Our knowledge about the universe is based on a method, comes with philosophical baggage we often forget to acknowledge, and has limits. This notion that we have direct, objective, unmediated access to reality through empirical inquiry deserves a little critical scrutiny.

            the problem arises when you jump the epistemological divide and start claiming that what is subjective or symbolic is an objective feature of reality

            Except, of course, when the symbolic construct is the one humans created so that we could conceptualize the complexity of the natural universe. In that case, I gather, we’re well within our rights to forget that scientific inquiry is a symbolic construct and deny that there’s any such divide.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            I see some serious self-projection going on in your comments. There is far less than zero doubt that religion and religious believers have been on a crusade to secure the holy land of Truth and Reality (“reality”-behind-reality) against the forces of evil and the theologically less sophisticated.

            In regard to the scientific method proving that religious belief is delusion – yes, that’s exactly what it does all the time, whether it’s young earth creationism, or miraculously crying statues of the Virgin Mary, or people miraculously healed by God through the hands of Benny Hinn, etc., etc., etc. That’s not “philosophical heavy lifting”, them’s just the facts.

            Then there is where you first express some sort of ambiguous denigration of the idea that reality is what it is independent of the human mind with the statement “we only truly understand the models we use to represent reality”. Oh. Kay. That’s supposed to contradict what I stated how???

            Does science have limits? Oh, yes, most certainly. Is our understanding of reality limited. Obviously so. Our knowledge certainly does have limits. This is core epistemology.

            And none of these points justifies religious belief in any way, because the fact that our understanding of reality does not underwrite the notion that therefore you can make up anything you like and pretend it’s reality without engaging in any critical scrutiny, and the notion that you can make things up without dealing with any implications at all in regard to real world evidence is precisely anti-epistemology. Science, as an epistemological method (or process), is simply a preeminent example of what can be achieved in terms of improving and enhancing (and correcting) our understanding of reality through a careful, and tedious, detailed “practical epistemology”, with a primary principle being that of testing our ideas about reality against reality itself by conducting relevant observations of reality and seeing how our ideas match up with what we learn, in all sorts of details, and all sorts of tests, and continually revising our understanding accordingly. Science, per se, is not the only example of this, but we refer to it constantly precisely because of the eminent example that the general process represents.

            Religion cannot do anything like this, precisely because religion has no connection to reality, the sole exception being that the reality it does have a very strong connection to is that humans throughout history have made up notions about a “supernatural world” of ghosts and other spirits and some spirits so powerful they called the gods, and then the elements of these mythologies, as they evolved in particular cultures, became woven in with the subjective fears, desires, and hopes of people. We call it superstition precisely because it has no actual basis in fact but is the result of emotions and fears and desires as manifested in particular cultural traditions. The most sophisticated theology on the planet is *in its essence* no more sophisticated, epistemologically, than the Christian in the bleachers who prays to God for his baseball team to win, or a Catholic makes the sign of the cross as he draws near to a dark alley while walking in a bad part of town.

            Here is the specific topic of disagreement between us – what I initially wrote: “The problem is that the Bible isn’t meant to be read as having anything to do with reality” (by which, in context, I’m referring to claims about reality, and not to the obvious fact that what is preserved does tell us some things about the religious beliefs of people in a particular religious culture). Yet rather than even attempting to actually justify the idea that the Bible tells us anything about reality at all (and despite the fact that in all sorts of specific ways we know that it doesn’t), you instead try to change the subject to being about the limits of science, which is simply not the issue. Indeed, this rhetorical tactic happens to be nothing more than one of the numerous manifestations of the god-of-the-gaps fallacy, proclaiming that somehow magically since we don’t (or can’t) know X and don’t (and can’t) know everything about reality, this philosophical point itself provides the “philosophical heavy lifting” of justifying belief in a supernatural world of ghosts, and spirits, and gods (or at least one god), angels and demons, heavens and hells, blah, blah, blah – when it does nothing of the sort.

            There is also the point that the process of religious belief comes in various forms, and not only do none of them agree with each other about this “reality”-beyond-reality (this “transcendent” world with “transcendent” beings), even Christians can’t agree with each other about them on the basis of the same holy book – which is no surprise, since they have nothing to do with reality in the first place, and are thus impossible to determine how accurate or wrong they are by actually investigating reality itself. They are not about reality, but about beliefs in a holy book according to the evolution of particular religious traditions in religious cultures. Science and the scientific method is not the problem child here. The problem child is the very idea that the holy book called the Bible has any credible claim to having anything to do with reality, and which has a dismal record of coming up with adequate justification by reference to good real world evidence.

          • http://batman-news.com Anton

            There is far less than zero doubt that religion and religious believers have been on a crusade to secure the holy land of Truth and Reality (“reality”-behind-reality) against the forces of evil and the theologically less sophisticated.

            But their combatants in the war are just as certain and just as determined to make benighted religious people give up their false beliefs and in doing so, save the world.

            In regard to the scientific method proving that religious belief is delusion – yes, that’s exactly what it does all the time, whether it’s young earth creationism, or miraculously crying statues of the Virgin Mary, or people miraculously healed by God through the hands of Benny Hinn, etc., etc., etc. That’s not “philosophical heavy lifting”, them’s just the facts.

            All this does is demonstrate how comfortable you are painting all religious belief with the same broad brush. I’m not dealing with fantasies like miracles and ghosts and angels. I’m dealing with man-made symbols, things that we created to be able to comprehend what can’t be objectified: what it means to be human.

            Creationism and faith healing are hoaxes, and researchers are well within their rights to expose and debunk them. But using this to characterize all religious belief as delusion is like using the Piltdown hoax to characterize all paleontology as fraudulent.

            Then there is where you first express some sort of ambiguous denigration of the idea that reality is what it is independent of the human mind with the statement “we only truly understand the models we use to represent reality”. Oh. Kay. That’s supposed to contradict what I stated how???

            I guess I’m not allowed to question your pronouncements about “reality.”

            What your scientism has allowed you to do is ignore the philosophical baggage that your knowledge carries. Whatever reality is, the method we use to represent it is socially constructed. Our knowledge about the universe isn’t “true,” we just consider it valid if it’s useful in enough contexts. There’s no way to compare our models of reality to reality itself. We just accept them until new information disconfirms them and we revise the models.

            Early humans survived by conceptualizing the world in various metaphorical ways. The symbolic construct of empirical inquiry is only one of these ways. I’m just as interested in what scientific inquiry tells us about our universe as you are, but I at least realize it’s a tool we created to do a certain task. By raising it to an ideology to which all human endeavor (and for that matter, all humans) must submit, you’re creating a religion out of it.

            The problem child is the very idea that the holy book called the Bible has any credible claim to having anything to do with reality

            Sigh.

            I’m no Biblical literalist, so I have no problem seeing the texts as symbolic. If you can’t deal with metaphor, and demand that I believe in the literal truth of the Bible so you can debunk my belief with your macho sciencey reality, I’m afraid that I’m not interested in playing the game.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            There are a number of false premises in your response (again).

            “scientism”

            “you can’t deal with metaphor”

            “demand that I believe in the literal truth of the Bible so you can debunk my belief with your macho sciencey reality”

            Misrepresentations and red herring, every single one. What is amusing is Christians who believe in traditional Christian doctrines, unlike you, use exactly the same red herring in their rhetoric.

            And then there is that not so niggling self-contradiction in the two sentences, “There’s no way to compare our models of reality to reality itself. We just accept them until new information disconfirms them and we revise the models.” Huh, so no comparison can be made between the theory of relativity and the positions of stars as seen in perspective just above the surface of the sun. Who would have though?

            Finally, the issue is not “man-made symbols” in general (as you seem fond of implying) but of pernicious “man-made symbols” which you seem to deny the existence of.

          • http://batman-news.com Anton

            Misrepresentations and red herring, every single one.

            Except for how well they represent the stale, doctrinaire positivism and unimaginative literalism you peddle.

            The way I look at it is this. Humans created symbolic constructs to represent a reality that is too complex to comprehend without metaphor. Religion and science both constitute these kinds of constructs, and each considers its own perspective the only valid one, the totalizing narrative of all human endeavor. The true believers of each are infatuated with themselves, and hector people who don’t submit to their Ideology of Truth.

            I’m not anti-science, and I’d put my knowledge of science up against anyone else’s here. You may have missed all the times I’ve taken creationists and IDers to task for their incoherent pseudoscience. But I at least realize that the scientific construct is based on assumptions, has limits to its application, and doesn’t constitute reality but rather forms a useful representation of it. If people are realistic about human knowledge, they look at science as a method, not as a fetish to wield against their online foes.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            There is no doubt that science uses all sorts of working assumptions, has limits to its applications, and is not reality itself but is a useful representation of reality. And I have never stated nor implied anything otherwise – which is why we’re laughing at your pallets of red herring.

          • http://batman-news.com Anton

            And I have never stated nor implied anything otherwise – which is why we’re laughing at your pallets of red herring.

            But you have stated otherwise, Steve:

            a primary principle being that of testing our ideas about reality against reality itself by conducting relevant observations of reality and seeing how our ideas match up with what we learn

            The problem being that we don’t access reality in any other way than through the theoretical construct that we’ve designed to represent reality. Empirical testing is only supposed to validate or reject hypotheses that we’ve devised within the model, not to validate the model itself. Empirical evidential inquiry is a great tool, a for-us-by-us construct that appears to increase our knowledge about the natural bases of natural phenomena. However, it’s a construct just like logic and maths, a self-validating system that’s accepted because of its consistency and utility, not because we have knowledge that it accurately represents reality.
            And I’m fine with that, but it means that we have to realize that our scientific view of reality is just as metaphorical as any other set of symbols we use to represent it.

            You now claim science has limits to its applications, but that doesn’t jibe with another of your recent pronouncements:

            In regard to the scientific method proving that religious belief is delusion – yes, that’s exactly what it does all the time

            All the time? Scientific research can come up with better naturalistic explanation for supposedly divine phenomena such as miracles or weeping statues. However, that’s a far cry from the notion that the scientific method somehow “proves” that religious belief as a whole is delusion. The scientific method can’t even tell us what the knowledge it generates means to humanity; it can’t deal with non-empirical questions about the meaning of human existence, or the concept that anything exists at all.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            “Empirical testing is only supposed to validate or reject hypotheses that we’ve devised within the model, *not to validate the model itself*.”

            That claim is false.

            “because of its consistency and utility, not because we have knowledge that it accurately represents reality.”

            It does both. There is no doubt that “accurately represents reality” is to a matter of degree, but that is not the issue and you seem to be arguing that there is no degree of any accuracy at all.

            I have also consistently stated that there are epistemological standards in regard to reality claims, and that science is simply one example of this (though it is indeed a preeminent example – and in the context of the creationism discussion, not to mention reality claims about the existence of some particular god in the context of a religious belief system, it is the precisely relevant example). You seem to be implying that there are no epistemological standards in regard to reality claims at all, even though I suspect you don’t really think that but only try to pretend so in order to appear to be advocating a supposedly more “sophisticated” postmodern perspective (despite the fact that it is all entirely beside the point of the context of the subject). You clearly have some agenda toward wanting to change the subject, concerning which I certainly could not care less.

            And then you contradict yourself: “Scientific research can come up with better naturalistic explanation for supposedly divine phenomena such as miracles or weeping statues. However, that’s a far cry from the notion that the scientific method somehow ‘proves’ that religious belief as a whole is delusion.”

            There is no doubt that someone who doesn’t think direct disproof of religious beliefs constitutes direct disproof of religious beliefs is not using the English language correctly. Benny Hinn would be proud of you.

          • http://batman-news.com Anton

            “Empirical testing is only supposed to validate or reject hypotheses that we’ve devised within the model, *not to validate the model itself*.”
            That claim is false.

            The claim is not false, because there’s no way to discern whether our models are accurate representations of reality or whether they’re just self-validating constructs validating themselves. I’ve tried to counter this unwarranted presumption of yours several times, but to no avail.

            You seem to be implying that there are no epistemological standards in regard to reality claims at all, even though I suspect you don’t really think that but only try to pretend so in order to appear to be advocating a supposedly more “sophisticated” postmodern perspective (despite the fact that it is all entirely beside the point of the context of the subject).

            The context being discussed is creationism, which purports to be a scientific theory. It more closely resembles a garden-variety conspiracy theory: its adherents pick and choose factoids, and present them as a list of data points instead of a coherent framework for research. I have no problem saying that creationism fails as a scientific construct.

            The only thing I’ve been saying is that science only represents reality, it’s not reality itself. Though you ostensibly agree with this statement, you subsequently treat the two terms as interchangeable. The other claim of yours I’ve been disputing is that all reality claims require evidence. In fact, the vast majority of beliefs we have about the world are held merely through a vague process of reasoning. I believe I’ll die someday. Can I prove that with evidence? Is that a testable proposition? Nope. If calling into question the supposedly evidentiary nature of our beliefs makes me “postmodern,” I guess I’m guilty as charged.

            There is no doubt that someone who doesn’t think direct disproof of religious beliefs constitutes direct disproof of religious beliefs is not using the English language correctly.

            At least I know what the English term “equivocation” means. Refuting a particular religious claim or belief is actually a different thing than proving that religious belief in the general sense is delusion.

            I would think, especially in the context of the creation-evolution debate, the prospect of finding common ground between believers and nonbelievers would be a worthwhile goal. Is it too much to ask that we try to focus on what we both agree on, rather than emphasize our perceived differences?

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            “The claim is not false, because there’s no way to discern whether our models are accurate representations of reality or whether they’re just self-validating constructs validating themselves.”

            Merely repeating an error ad nauseum does not magically make it true. And your attempt to pretend that “there’s no way to discern whether” the model of the flat earth or the model of the ball-shaped earth is a more accurate representation of reality is why I always laugh at such subjectivism-advocating rhetoric. If my “model of reality” is that my car is operating okay, yet I’m finding that the engine refuses to start and I’m going to be late for work and I need to arrange some other way of transportation, but I do not do so because I just tell myself that “there’s no way to discern whether” my car is running or not, so I just keep driving it while it sits in the garage, then obviously I’m behaving quite irrationally. This is the irrational nature of the argument you are presenting.

            You write that, “The only thing I’ve been saying is that science only represents reality, it’s not reality itself,” – which, of course, is exactly what I have stated. The issue is that you keep asserting that this implies that all scientific representations are relative, asserting that “there’s no way to discern whether” any of them are more accurate than any others, which is absurd. The precise reason for evidential testing, as a fundamental epistemological element of science, is to do exactly that. There is no doubt that there are complexities and complications on the pathways of investigating and researching reality in regard to scientific ideas about reality, but this does not in any way imply that “there’s no way to discern whether” some ideas are more accurate than others.

            Moreover, you directly contradict yourself. You say, “I have no problem saying that creationism fails as a scientific construct”, but since you advocate the principle that “there’s no way to discern whether” the young earth creationist model is any more accurate than the general model of modern geological science, you have no actual way to discern whether young earth creationism is any less accurate in its representation of reality than modern geological science, according to your own words.

            The fact of the matter is that your rhetoric is filled with lack of nuance, irrelevancies, red herring, silly ad hominem misrepresentations (such as “Ayn Rand acolyte”, for example), and basic incoherencies such as I have just pointed out here. As I have pointed out repeatedly I observe your considerable interest in wanting to change the subject and discuss other topics, and yet you have demonstrated your inability to deal with even these red herring topics on a coherent rational basis, and frankly I’m interested in discussing the subject of the headline article at the top of the page, which you seem to want to run away from so hard.

            Note that all these points I have noted about your posts are points that could be equally stated about someone whose intent is to engage in the activity of what is more commonly known as a “troll”.

          • http://batman-news.com Anton

            Merely repeating an error ad nauseum does not magically make it true.

            Well, using the word reality over and over again doesn’t make it any more likely that you’re talking about how reality is, either. I’ve tried to point out that our knowledge of reality is socially constructed, is based on a philosophical method, and is defined by the corporate and political interests that fund and disseminate the research. It’s not derived from the kind of sense-experience that your knowledge of your broken-down car is. We have an illusory familarity with scientific and historical knowledge; the facts and evidence which define our knowledge have to be interpreted and arranged into a narrative to make them intelligible to us laymen.

            This isn’t to say that everyone should just believe whatever he wants. It’s just to demonstrate that our idea of reality comes with a lot of philosophical baggage and bias. Using reality as a weapon in a online slapfight, therefore, is a lot more problematic than you’d make it sound.

            Moreover, you directly contradict yourself. You say, “I have no problem saying that creationism fails as a scientific construct”, but since you advocate the principle that “there’s no way to discern whether” the young earth creationist model is any more accurate than the general model of modern geological science, you have no actual way to discern whether young earth creationism is any less accurate in its representation of reality than modern geological science, according to your own words.

            No contradiction. Creationism claims to be a scientific theory, and by any reasonable standard it isn’t. I do feel that scientific frameworks can be judged on their own coherence and comprehensiveness, and creationism falls far short of evolution by natural selection on those points. It doesn’t matter that our ability to test how accurate the theory is in representing reality is limited; it’s not a coherent construct in the first place.

            I’m interested in discussing the subject of the headline article at the top of the page, which you seem to want to run away from so hard.

            I doubt we’d have much difference of opinion concerning the failure of creationism. If you’d like to discuss the matter, start whenever you’re ready.

            Note that all these points I have noted about your posts are points that could be equally stated about someone whose intent is to engage in the activity of what is more commonly known as a “troll”.

            Evidently anyone who objects to the bullying and presumption of people who use science-words is a “troll.”

          • Raymond Watchman

            Steve, atheism defines itself out of the very paradigm it disavows. This being so, how can it possibly demonstrate any epistemological value?

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            There is no doubt that atheism is the result of the rejection of the principle of believing in things that have no good real world evidence for them (i.e., the rejection of what religious faith is, however it is manifested in whatever religious stripe). In other words, atheism is merely the conclusion of a critical thinking process in regard to analysis of evidence about reality acquired from reality. So your question seems to make no sense.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Thanks Steve. Perhaps it’s all a question of perception. In your perception my question seems to make no sense. In my perception it does. I’ll let Albert Einstein have the final word: “(Militant) atheists are tormented people who are unable to move past that which they do not believe.” And I’d have to say the same applies to way too many Christians – you don’t have to scratch around too deeply in this particular discussion to realize that. I am a panentheist (that is, my perception is panentheistic). As such, I value and try to learn from the writings of Dawkins et al as every bit as much as those of, say, Marcus Borg, Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton and Parker J Palmer. (The latter, in my opinion, is the sanest man on the planet!). Go well.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            There is no doubt that people have differing interests, curiosities, pursuits, and objectives. I would never question the point. What I highly question is the notion of “militant atheists” – as the term is generally and typically used – and I also specifically questioned the statement, “atheism defines itself out of the very paradigm it disavows” and thus question the premise of the question “how can it demonstrate any epistemological value?” It is not, of course, the atheism per se that is the epistemological value, but the critical thinking that lies behind it (atheism being merely a resulting conclusion about ideas in a particular area). However, I would add that when you come to the realization of the inherently corrupt nature of religious belief in regard to epistemology, and because of that become an atheist by definition so to speak, this is of itself of definite epistemological value, especially in regard to the Bible god and the notion of the Bible as divine inspiration by the Bible god.

            Do note that I am saying nothing here about human spirituality and human desires and pursuits, but I consider these to be independent of religious belief and would claim that they have been in many ways subverted by religious belief.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Thanks Steve. I greatly appreciate your informed and perceptive comments – here and elsewhere. You raise many critical issues Christianity simply can no longer sidestep. Instead of being ignored, resisted or dismissed, these issues need to be embraced as stepping-stones along the ever-unfolding pathway of truth our species treads (or out of fear, ofttimes refuses to tread.) FYI, quite some time back, the supernatural theism of (traditional) Christianity led me, inevitably, to atheism. From there, I found myself rebuilding my “belief” system. This process led me to pantheism and from there into panentheism – my current position, but always and ever, a work in progress. Ironically, having discarded the ridiculous belief that the Bible is “God’s Word” I was able to then re-read this library of ancient texts in a new light. I have been left with the unavoidable – and liberating – conclusion that Jesus and his Gospel has nothing to do with religion or supernatural theism, and everything to do with human spirituality – our relationship with self, the other and the cosmos. I totally agree with the observations you made in your last paragraph. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Jesus himself has been subverted by religious belief. So, in terms of supernatural theism, I am an atheist. In terms of the Bible being “The Word of God”, I am an atheist. But as a panetheist, I am not an atheist, because I do not believe “atheism” as a rejection of supernatural theism, can really be applied to the pantheistic or panentheistic paradigms.

  • Katherine Harms

    Mr. Wilkinson, Your acerbic and scornful rebuttal of Mr. Ham’s position is not very Christlike. I agree with you that the Bible is not a scientific treatise, and I probably agree with some of your other ideas, too, if I could ever get past the fiery darts you throw in every direction. Isn’t there a better way for Christians to discuss this issue? Must we eat our own in order to thrive?

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Dan isn’t throwing darts in every direction. He’s throwing darts in one very specific direction: toward ideas that are doing Christianity a very great deal of harm. There’s nothing Christ-like about letting people use God and the Bible to harm others–and Christian fundamentalism certainly does do a great deal of harm to, for instance, women, children, and LGBT people. I so tire of Christians hiding their unwillingness to combat evil behind a facade of piety. If you don’t want to fight the good fight, don’t. But don’t lob accusations of being inadequately Christian (of all things) at those of us who do.

      • Alexios

        I side with you, but I see two different concepts here, treating people vs. biblical interpretation of the universe. I know that both are the result of a certain biblical reading, but one does not necessarily mean the inclusion of the other. I don’t know Mr. Ham’s full views on the LGBT people and I don’t live in the States but I suspect from what other people say here that he is less than tolerant. Still, treating people with violence and believing in a literal Genesis of the world are two dinstinct cases. Personally, I have personal experience of kind and considerate people who believe in a literal Genesis-type-creation of the earth. Should we oppose such people? Or is it the case that, as long as we act a certain humanistic way, it doesn’t really matter what we believe since science is the ultimate, objective truth?

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Mr. Ham is not tolerant of the LGBT community and tries to use his views on humanity and creation to prove his claim. He doesn’t hesitate to use rhetoric based on speculation to try to get his points across in that.

          I do live in the US, and in the south east, which happens to be a very conservative part of the country. I know a lot of people who lean more towards bible literalness, but are also kind and considerate. It is quite possible to find common ground with those who view scripture and other people differently.

          Where we differ with Mr. Ham and folks like him that we have no problems with him holding his views. We do have issues when he insists its supported by the bible, insists that it be the only way to approach science or how to view people who are a bit different, and insists on being over defensive and peckish when people see things differently. Those tactics only divide people, which should not be the purpose of people who are trying to follow God and love their neighbor.

          • Alexios

            Thank you for your answer. Still, I see that it is a cosmology debate, not a morality one. Shouldn’t he be judged by the validity of his scientific claims, rather than his ethos towards people? I mean, if there was a leading scientist with racist views, no one would criticize him on scientific grounds; on the contrary, most would agree that his racist views are totally irrelevant to his scientific projects, and apart from that problem, he is a brilliant mind (not to mention that his scientific offering might somewhat “soften” the negative attitude to his views). Maybe I’m being unfair, but here we have the reverse;the fact that this person is a bigot morality-wise, we disagree about his scientific worldview. Or did I get it wrong?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            He appears to be a bigot and a very poor scientists. As I’ve said before, I don’t doubt that he has friends, and family who love him, and that he has many personally positive attributes. But on his science and his moral theology, I wholeheartedly disagree, especially when he attempts to use his faulty use of science to support his theology. The two are interconnected.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          If anywhere a Biblical literalist exists who DOESN’T believe that being gay is a sin, I have yet to hear of, let alone meet, that person. It’s like meeting someone from North Dakota who’s never been in the snow. Can’t happen.

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

      When “your own” are idiots, I think you improve the herd by eating them.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      That’s a silencing tactic. You should be ashamed of yourself. Mr. Ham is LYING to people. He’s creating this harmful, unnecessary, and toxic showdown between reality and faith. And non-Christians need to see sane Christians speaking out against this abuse.

  • Cathy

    Extremely misguided and incorrect “opinions” of yours, Dan Wilkinson, and it is strictly opinion, but you are correct that the “truth will prevail” in the end. AIG/Ken Ham are doing everything they can to educate children and all people on the Truth found in Genesis and in the Bible, and they are correct that young people are leaving the church and avoiding the church because of society’s confusing, indifferent and hostile attitudes about the Bible in general, and specifically about the accuracy and believability of the entire book of Genesis. (*Genesis 1:1 is the most important verse of the entire Bible, as it sets forth the Truth that the entire rest of the Bible goes back to, literal historical account of the Creation of our world and every human and animal contained in it). You are so very wrong that AIG is putting up any “walls” and “barriers” or placing “rigid rules” as you call it, of what people can trust and believe about the Bible (which is the entire Bible), most young people are brainwashed by the public school system about “scientific fact” and often times not properly educated by their parents because of their misunderstandings about the Bible, so if AIG is helping to correctly identify and teach the actual truth and therefore more of Gods children are saved and repent and head to Heaven versus Hell, why are atheists and other misguided individuals so bent on stopping this? What do they have to lose? Evolution, according to every text I have seen and that schools provide, says “evolution” is a “belief” of scientists, and a “theory”, so they choose this as THEIR religion, I have 4 children that are going to learn the truth and that is Creation, the Bible, and Gods laws and rules for us, Below your article is says that you are married and have 2 cats, and work in IT, I am not too concerned if you teach your cats about evolution that that you feel AIG is lying to everyone, or if your cats go to Heaven, that’s your choice, but I am very concerned my own children and about the millions of children that are exposed to the lie of “evolution”, and their salvation and receipt of the true message of God, so I am praying Mr. Ham does as great as job as I know that he will in education not only Mr. Nye but everyone and anyone who will finally get their first opportunity to hear him speak of the Truth, they are very thorough in their research and documentation, as Christians we only seek to educate and save as many people as we can from lies and deceit, those people can then through their own free will make their own life decisions, God instilled in every human being the knowledge of Him, it is humans who decide what they will do with that. Look at the hostility, violent thoughts and hate spewing out of posts from the non-believers, this is proof enough they are scared of the Truth.

    • Rick K

      You’re not arguing against atheists. You’re arguing against Christians who believe evidence matters. You’re using a global digital communication system to argue against the process and power of science. Can you see the irony?

      If you teach your children to be blind to the process and intricacies of nature, to ignore the story told by nature, and to believe only the ancient desert campfire version of creation, then you will teach them about a small world, a small history, a small universe and a small God.

      Ignoring the lessons of DNA is to deny reality.

      Ignoring the lessons of the fossils is to deny reality.

      500 years ago people just like you were arguing against the idea that stuff is made of atoms. They were just as SURE as you are. 100 years later the argument was about the relationship of the Earth and the Sun.

      Why can’t you accept the Bible was written by men, and that if you want to read God’s words without a filter, use a telescope, a microscope or a shovel.

      Is that a message of hate or atheism?

      • Alexios

        You are right, but at the same time she’s using the network to preach her ideas. Someone else will use it to sell snake oil, someone else to communicate with his followers and someone else to sell his products. Science says nothing about the meaning or the use of the web, only philosophy (and ultimately theology) does that.

        You wrote “if you want to read God’s words without a filter, use a telescope, a microscope or a shovel”. I totally, but respectfully, disagree with all my heart. God, at least as the relationship with the ultimate meaning of Being, has nothing to do with science or technology. It is what poets, philosophers, mystics, artists, troubadours, lovers and the mad encounter. Take a beautiful painting for example;what could science say about it? The only thing that can be known “objectively” and scientifically about it, is that it is simply a deceit, an illusion. It is not even there where you are looking; it consists in a subatomic level from particles, and the shapes and colors you find mesmerizing do not really exist in nature, it’s just an ability of the human eye developed for survival issues. You could say, I’m a human being and I only care about human experience at a “naked-eye” level when dealing with art. But giving priority to an anthropocentric view of experience means stepping out of science, it’s philosophy. That’s why I think science never really answers any of the whys of the existential crisis, but describes in neutral terms the modus operandi of the world. It has to be transcended through faith, to find the meaning of Being.

        • Rick K

          Thanks, but we’re addressing different questions. I’m responding to the question Ken Ham’s museum tries to answer: “What is the story of creation?” Astronomy, geology, paleontology, evolution and biology provide a better, grander, more awe-inspiring and richer answer than a literal reading of Genesis. And the story told by the evidence has the added benefit of being true.

          “Why did creation happen?” Science doesn’t answer that – not yet anyway. Perhaps there will never be enough data to answer it. But then do the human-created answers, whether it is the answer of the Semitic tribes of Israel or the answer of the Kuba tribe of Central Africa, really answer the question too? Many are sure, I am skeptical.

          Finally, looking through a telescope or a microscope is not about the technology of the instrument – it’s about the image you see and what it tells us about our place in this gloriously complex universe. Whether you believe those images are written in the words of nature or in the words of God, either way they tell us as much about who we are as all the words in every ancient scripture.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Genesis 1:1 is the most important verse in the bible?? It says God created the universe. It doesn’t say, how. It certainly doesn’t say when. Yet you want to state that is the most important verse out of all the 31,273 other verses?

      Whether you want to admit it or not. the version of the origins of the universe you hold is a belief and a theory based on a interpretation of a few verses of Biblical scripture.

      The true message of God was to love one another. to be mindful of the poor, the orphans, the immigrant and the refuge. In other words to be people of compassion and generosity, and wanting to live peacefully with their neighbors.

      God may have truly instilled the knowledge of divinity into all people, but being God s/he didn’t do it the way we suppose, knowing that we humans are so diverse in perception, culture, time in history, and all sorts of other influences. What we decide to do with our myriad understanding is, of course, up to us to decide what to do with it. But I, and many others believe that God understands our hearts, our purposes, our fears, pains, hopes and dreams, far better than any human ever could, and just loves what s/he sees in each of us.

      • Harek Asheim

        Cardiologists understand hearts better than any god.

    • Raymond Watchman

      Biblical literalism is nothing more that idolatry. Pure and simple. End of argument. In direct breach of the first commandment. In my view, the mindset of Ken Ham and his ilk has done more to bring the Bible and Christianity into disrepute than any other single cause.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      Like most folks who talk a big game about big-t “Truth,” you sure don’t care about little-f “facts.” You’ve turned science denial into dogma and an in-group marker.

      Do you understand that nothing you wrote here is actually supported by any reputable body of science? NOTHING. Creationism is completely, utterly, and beyond all question unsupported. Not a single tenet of it has ever been tested and found to be accurate. It doesn’t even have a working theory *to* test–just this fingers-in-the-ears “la la la la” screaming nonsense.

      Do you understand further that the Bible’s lack of historical and scientific accuracy and reliability is way far and away not even close to your religion’s biggest problem? I’m serious. If I found out tomorrow that it’d actually gotten something right, I wouldn’t reconvert any more than if I found out tomorrow that there really was a person named Jesus who inspired the New Testament’s fables. In the same way, mature Christians aren’t fronted none by learning about real science and history. The religion doesn’t–and shouldn’t have to–hinge upon its sourcebook being totally accurate and factual. Except to you. What a weak faith you must have to need that.

      It’s not even in me to mock you over creating this completely and totally unnecessary showdown between reality and dogma. You’ve created this collision and it didn’t even need to happen. You’ve set your believers up to make the cruel and horrifying choice between the reality before them and the pie-in-the-sky (and utterly childish) version of religion you think is the only right one. This complete red herring you’ve created isn’t even vaguely necessary. When you finally do figure out that you’ve been wrong, that this parroted nonsense you’ve repeated here is totally untrue and unfactual, it’s going to absolutely destroy your faith like that same realization has destroyed the faith of millions of other Christians, and it didn’t even have to.

    • MikeHaas82

      I get the distinct impression that Ham’s adherents are coming here, posting hit and run responses to Dan’s post and skipping the ensuing discussion points lest they be rattled by opinions they have no answers for. But what the heck, here goes anyway.

      Cathy, where did you or Ken Ham ever get the idea that you had a right to indoctrinate children with *your* religious views in a public school? I’m a Jew. If I wanted my kids to be taught *your* religion, I’d send them to *your* church. Do you have *any* respect at all for parents who want the same right as you do to raise their children according to their own religious beliefs? You have just underscored the danger I wrote about below, namely, that folks like you present to our 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of conscience. Does your belief in the infallibility of your religious views trump my rights as a parent? You’ve stated very clearly that you do. May I ask why you wish to live in a country that gives its citizens rights you obviously want taken away?

      You have the right, and I feel its very unfortunate, to indoctrinate your children and damage their minds in the same way that parents who belong to the KKK and other White Power organizations have to damage the minds of their own children. You have to “lose” because if voters are willing to give you the legal ability to teach your religion to our children, next, they’ll be willing to legislate your religious beliefs into the law of the land bringing the United States one step closer to a Christian Theocracy against the intentions of our founding fathers who, if you’ve ever bothered to read their opinions found in their writings and public discourse, would have found your beliefs and the ability to force your opinions upon the rest of us, abhorrent.

      I’ve avoided using the term, but you clearly have been brainwashed into believing the infallibility of this charlatan, this fraud, this snake-oil salesman. I honestly feel sorry that you are going to allow him to destroy the budding critical thinking skills in your children and help to ensure that they never get to exercise the freedom of thought guaranteed by our Constitution. Your fear of your imaginary Hell gives you no right to influence other people’s children. Its as if you’ve completely forgotten that the country you live in is populated by a wide variety of religious beliefs and that children raised under those various beliefs attend public schools. When exactly did you forget that the United States rebelled and fought for its independence precisely to be free of the State Religion of Great Britain?

    • fifthdentist

      You might want to look up what a scientific theory actually is.
      You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.

    • Raymond Watchman

      Sad. Sad. Sad.

  • paarsurrey

    I think I agree with Dan Wilkinson.

    Jesus talked in parables; so why should one insist on being a literalist? Please give a chance to Bible to use symbolism like Jesus and let Bible reconcile with the modern science where science has proved with constant experiments and observations against the literal understanding of the Bible.

    Please focus on the core teachings of Moses and Jesus:

    Matthew 22:36-40

    36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22%3A36-40

    Please let the present generation concentrate and to follow the Core Teachings of Moses and Jesus.

    Please don’t derail them from the right path of salvation.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      Stop trying to silence people. You are behaving abusively and it’s not okay. Ken Ham is LYING, and it’s good that Christians are speaking out against him and his foul lies. You think it’s more important to let those people prey upon others than it is to expose lies and bring forward the truth. You think it’s more important to be silent about abuse than it is to denounce a predator. You’re using your religion as a bludgeon to shut people up when they say stuff you don’t like. Newsflash: One major criticism of Christianity is that sane Christians aren’t doing enough to police and rein in their most noxious elements.

      PS: Jesus used parables not because they were wonderfully illustrative, but because they were confusing. He was setting up a mystery religion and that’s what mystery religions did. (See Mark 4) You might want to rethink this one through a little more.

      • MikeHaas82

        Cap, I appreciate your previous comments but I don’t think that’s what paarsurrey was getting at at all. I believe he’s saying that Ken Ham only “derails” his followers from the right path of salvation. Please see his reply to me above. He’s clearly stating let the Bible guide the spiritual and let Science guide our knowledge of our planet and our Universe.

        • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

          Ah, I see. Thank you for helping clarify. And paarsurrey, if I misunderstood please accept my apologies. We do need to speak out though. Am I misunderstanding further when I perceive that he is saying that it is a derailment to examine a religion’s truth claims? Because I think that whenever anybody makes a truth claim (ie, “a god created all this with a poof of smoke”), it’s something we can and should examine.

          • paarsurrey

            @ Captain Cassidy

            No need of any apologies; I thank God that you finally understood it correctly. I was saying that people like Ken Ham are wrong to understand Bible and look science in the Bible from its literal words; in my opinion it is a disservice to Bible and is an attempt to derail people from the truthful path of Moses and Jesus and their truthful teachings.

            I rather broadly agree with you above comments.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            True dat and thank you for accepting my apology. I think that when someone tries to shoehorn any spiritual tradition’s source material into history and science, they all end up becoming diminished.

    • MikeHaas82

      You’ve brought up perhaps the best point of all. Rabbi Hillel said, “Do not unto your neighbor what you would not have him do until you; this is the whole Law; the rest is commentary.” Jesus himself warned over quibbling about the letter of the Law, instead of applying the heart of the Law. Genesis declares God created the Earth and the life on it. It doesn’t describe the methods by which he went about doing it. Somehow, I don’t think either Rabbi Hillel or Jesus would have had much patience for Mr. Ham.

      • paarsurrey

        Thanks for appreciating my post.

        Bhagavad Gita , Buddhist Scriptures, Zoroastrian Scriptures, Bible, Quran; none of them claims to be a text book of science; so why take them as such. Let the Truthful Religion guide the people in ethical, moral and spiritual realms for which these revealed scriptures are meant.

        Let science be free in its realm of physical and material fields for which it has been designed.

  • Dana Roberts

    Ken Ham says that Genesis 1 is not poetry, therefore it is history. WRONG! There are more than two choices. Genesis 1 & 2 is an epic narrative. It introduces a vast story whose meaning is not in detailed history, but metaphor. The best modern example of Epic Narrative is the Gettysburg Address and the Chorus Prologue of Romeo and Juliet. Lincoln’s says our nation was once a real baby? It’s not quite history but it is not poetry.

    Then there is the problem of creation ‘light.’ Ham is still thinking scientifically. But light can mean God’s glory. Moses calls each day “evening and morning,” not “day and night.” The world is good because it is not outer darkness (Hell) nor is it noon day. The Book of Revelation 21 says the “Noon” is in the heavenly light of God.

  • Michael Neville

    The Bible is a major work of theology, an important philosophy book, a history of one part of the Middle East, and in the King James Version a masterpiece of English literature. It is not and doesn’t pretend to be a scientific treatise. It’s only creationists like Ham who claim the Bible is a blow-by-blow description of the creation of the Earth. I prefer reality.

    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” -Philip K. Dick

    • paarsurrey

      I think I broadly agree to your approach:

      “It’s only creationists like Ham who claim the Bible is a blow-by-blow description of the creation of the Earth.”

      Particularly when we are not sure as to who wrote the Genesis; I think Moses did not write it.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Scholars seem to think that the early books of the Old Testaments were penned during the Babylonian exile. They may have taken common myths and legends from their captors and incorporated them into the authorship, reworking them to fit the purpose of focus on God as a monotheist, and the God of the house of Israel.

        • paarsurrey

          My opinion is that we should focus on the Core Teachings of Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Moses, Socrates, Jesus only then we could understand the Truthful Religion- the Word Revealed and the truthful science- the Work of theOne-True-God (Allah Yahweh Ahura Mazda Parmeshawara)

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            May I say, in playfulness, that you left out a few? Where’s the love for Zeus?

          • paarsurrey

            The One-True-God has different names in different language of the people; I don’t know all the names; one could freely complete the list; of the attributes of the personage are the same; then they all meant the same One-True-God (Allah Yahweh Ahura-Mazda Parmeshawara Ishawara).

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            That name phrasing is familiar Paarsurrey. Is it Bahai?

          • paarsurrey

            May be the Bahahi thinking is also like this; but I have not been acquainted with them.
            I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim; if you want to know about my faith. I am indebted to Mirza Ghulam 1835-1908- the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi, Krishna Buddha Zoroaster of our Era.

            Thanks and regards.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Gotcha. There is harmony that can be found amongst all those faith disciplines as they all do have things in common. They of course have significant differences as well. I think what you are trying to follow is a more universal approach to God, and I personally see no problems with that, as it can work quite well for people. It invites one to consider how others see things, where we can find common ground, and where we can learn better how to live together as brethren. We may view God from different lenses, but I agree with the idea of trying to be at peace with one another.

            Namaste.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            I’ve been thinking about that lately. I think there are “best expressions” of just about all religions. These best expressions draw particular people to them, and provide a way of dealing with the world and developing ourselves and relating to others that differs from religion to religion but which seen on the whole will produce a varied and well-rounded society. The best expression of a Hellenic pagan will differ from that of a Muslim, and both will differ from that of a Christian. And that’s totally okay. We’re all doing the best we can and it’s great to live in a world where all these different faith traditions exist and can be freely chosen so each individual finds the path that is needed and best for that person.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Exactly. That is why divisive tactics, such as those of Mr. Ham, are hurtful, and do nothing to bring about the best expressions of anyone. It is those attitudes that drive people away from a religious discipline, or keep them from considering its value on a personal level.

            That is certainly happening within my faith. I just wish that people who are participating in the rift would recognize their responsibility and stop.

          • paarsurrey

            I broadly agree with your thinking as I perceive it.

          • paarsurrey

            I think I must broadly agree to you approach.
            Regards

          • paarsurrey

            Thanks for your universal approach. You get me right in broad terms.

        • Michael Neville

          Most Biblical scholars believe the Torah, the basis for the early OT books, was written in Babylon starting around 590 BC. The Babylonians tried to assimilate captive peoples by spreading the captives throughout the Babylonian empire. The Hebrews sent to Babylon clung together as a group, resisting assimilation. They kept their religious and cultural heritage intact by preserving their oral tradition in writing. Later these Hebrews were able to return to Israel.

          Incidentally the Samaritans were those Hebrews who stayed in Israel. They refused to accept the authority of the Babylonian Torah. The Samaritans and the Jews considered each other to be heretics because of differences in interpretation of the religious tradition. One major point about the Parable of the Good Samaritan is that Jews of Jesus’ time did not consider Samaritans to be good.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I so do love history.

  • Harek Asheim

    It’s really simple, younger people are leaving the book because it has become irrelevant.

    i.e.
    You don’t sell your daughter to her rapist anymore.

    And young people are trying to get away from servitude and “obeying your master” and every other bit of meekness and ignorance that such horrible and boring piece of literature has been promoting for centuries -if you can call a vague string of random legends and pseudo-prophecy ranting “literature”-.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      I’m not sure how what your definition of literature is if you think the Bible doesn’t qualify as such. Even Richard Dawkins values the Bible as literature. When asked what books we might be surprised to find on his shelf, he answered: “Depending on how naïvely literalistic you are, you might be surprised to find the Bible. The King James Version, of course, and not so much on my shelves as continually off my shelves, because I open it so often: sometimes to quote it, sometimes for sheer literary pleasure — especially Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs.”

      • MikeHaas82

        Also interesting to note is that there is no other piece of ancient literature that , insofar as the value of textual criticism is concerned, can produce manuscript evidence as close in age to the original. We have fragments of New Testament books that aren’t more than 200 years older than the originals they represent. I’m not up on Biblical Scholarship anymore, but I believe the John Rylands Papyrus, a fragment of the Gospel of John, could be dated to within less than 100 years of the original. The oldest manuscript evidence for say, The Gallic Wars by Julius Caesar or the Old English epic, Beowulf, were written centuries after the originals. I will remark however that while we have complete or nearly complete Codices of both Old and New Testaments in Greek and Syriac dating to the 4th Century, A.D., Fundamentalists much prefer the much later dated “Textus Receptus” manuscripts from about the 12th Century onward that were the basis of the King James Version. Negotiating through all those funny variants is just too much trouble for the Fundies.

        Speaking of which, while we love the gorgeous Elizabethan/Shakespearian English of the KJV, but find the translation of its NT well, wanting, from the perspective of Hebrew Bible Scholars, the separate “KJV” team that came up with the OT translation didn’t do a half-bad job. I mean its exegesis and hermeneutics are Christian, but overall, not bad. The scholars had a pretty decent command of Hebrew thought-form and showed familiarity at least with the work of the Masoretics and Masoretic text.

      • Harek Asheim

        Oh, it is obviously literature.
        But so is Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and Dan Brown’s Inferno. Just because a lot of people like it and it is made into movies doesn’t mean it is a good book.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          I beg to differ. I don’t consider Twilight literature. I want those few hours I spent reading that series back!

  • Harek Asheim

    Why would Ken Ham want people to know how they are smarter primates when it’s so convenient for him to keep people dumb as “sheep” and docile as a “flock”?

  • paarsurrey

    @ Dan Wilkinson; he says in the main article, and I quote from him:

    “They’re leaving the church because by essentially demonizing everyone who doesn’t agree with you, you’ve made believing in Young Earth Creationism* more important than Jesus’ explicit explicit commandment to love God and neighbor.”

    and the sign (*) has been elaborated in the end:

    “*The belief, born of a literal interpretation of the creation narrative in Genesis, that God created the world in six 24-hour days only 6,000 years ago.”

    Here Quran comes to the rescue of Bible:

    [32:6] He will plan the Divine Ordinance from the heaven unto
    the earth, then shall it go up to Him in a day the duration of which is a
    thousand years according to what you reckon.

    http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=32&verse=0

    [70:5] The angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day the measure
    of which is fifty thousand years.

    http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=70&verse=0

    A day is a period; its duration would change as the subject changes.

    • Mike De Fleuriot

      The problem with the Torah, Bible and Qur’an, is their first premise, that gods can exist, has not been shown to be correct. They skip the next logical premise that gods do in fact exist, and go directly to naming these gods and then on to describing these gods needs and wants, all with no evidence at all.

      In other words, using scripture to define your gods, is circular.

      • paarsurrey

        I believe in the One-True-God very naturally; like I believe in me and my mother and father. I am an ordinary man in the street; with no claim to piety or scholarship. I do have a right to live my life as others have theirs. It is quite natural and reasonable for me to continue believing as such till somebody convinces me otherwise with observations and evidences.

        If you have any evidences that the One-True-God does not exists; and that I and my mother and father never existed; you may like to present such evidences; yet under no compulsion from me.

        Regards

        • Rick K

          You have evidence for a mother and father that cannot be justified through any other explanation. The same cannot be said of your evidence for God.

          If you were born not in a western country in the 20th Century but instead you were born in the highlands of New Guinea in the 14th Century, you would feel just as confident of the pantheon of animal spirits and tribe-specific deities as you are currently confident of the One True God. And again, that belief of those deities would be based on evidence very different from the evidence of your parents.

          I’m just sayin’….

          :)

          • paarsurrey

            Please give your evidence that the One-True-God (Allah Yahweh Ahura-Mazda Parmeshwara Ishawara) does not exist; I won’t leave my present default natural position; unless there are strong evidence/s against it and I get convinced to it.

          • MikeHaas82

            Well, you can’t “prove a negative”. I can’t prove God “doesn’t” exist. If I were an atheist, which I’m not, I would demand evidence that he *does*. You can’t “prove” faith-based beliefs which is why you can’t demonstrate or prove Creationism as Ken Ham and his followers believe it. So I’m confounded as to why they would demand to push that stuff down somebody else’s kids throats.

            But here’s the point: When dealing with people’s religious beliefs, I can’t prove to you your god doesn’t exist and I can’t prove to Ken Ham that Creationism is a myth, to either of your respective satisfactions.

          • paarsurrey

            Well; you are entitled to your thoughts; no compulsion.

          • Takis Konstantopoulos

            paarsarrey: You have no balls! You don’t want to continue the discussion if it’s inconvenient for you. Why don’t you publish my replies on your blog? Why don’t you reply to me on Sabio’s blog?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Just because you have a personal beef with another commentor, doesn’t make airing your differences here remotely appropiate. Please cease.

          • Takis Konstantopoulos

            Just out of curiosity, are you religious?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            My religion is not at question here. Unprovoked attacks on a commentor that appears to be a personal matter and not related to the topic is the question.

          • Takis Konstantopoulos

            Hm… I thought so. It’s obvious you are religious. It shows…

          • MikeHaas82

            Why not ignore paarsurrey and read the rest of the site, read Allegro’s comments on all topics and then you’ll *know*, instead of assuming.

          • MikeHaas82

            I gotta ask…John Marco Allegro? 😉

          • Rick K

            Exactly – Ken Ham’s magical creation, Allah, Odin, Mbombo, Xenu, Yahweh, the Matrix and the dragon in Carl Sagan’s garage all share the same validity – none is more valid than the other because none can be tested or disproved.

            Evolution, on the other hand, can be tested and can be disproved – it just hasn’t been disproved because it’s not false.

          • MikeHaas82

            I for one am rather thankful no one’s debunked gravity.

          • Jon Peterman

            open your eyes and see that God exists, its that easy.

            to believe everything came from nothing all on its own is faith to the point of foolishness.

            and scripture attests to that, long before you ever were

          • MikeHaas82

            Re-read what I said to paarsurrey again. I said, “if” I were an atheist. But that doesn’t mean I believe in *your* god, either. I believe in *my* God. My God is that compulsion in mankind, through-out recorded history, to codify a list of “rights and wrongs” called law and their application, called Justice. Some people value the The Flag more than they value the country for which it stands, its Constitution, or the people that live there. Others value a book made of twine, paper, and ink more than they value themselves (God).

          • Jon Peterman

            “your god” is just idolatry, as are your other examples

          • MikeHaas82

            Let me guess, you learned the word “idolatry” reading this blog post, have no clue what it means, and are whipping it back at us because it sounds impressive, right? Get thee to a dictionary and get back to us.

          • kso721

            what created the creator? even a child asks this. A complex AND conscious being has to have some evolution into it’s own existence. ANCESTRY if you will. nothing creates itself out of nothing. especially complex conscious beings who apparently act upon the natural world.

          • Jon Peterman

            and you are saying this from mans (faulty) perception. we are part of the creation so we cannot understand God to His fullest extent. He gave us His word through the hand of man (inspired) and said this is how it is, we need to have faith that it is so. faith in any thing else is a false faith. unless of course you can prove it.

            not one word of Gods word has been proven false

            who created the creator is a strawman so that you can deny God and continue on your path of self idolatry.

          • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

            I have to agree, your perception does seem quite faulty…

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I read this three times and I’m still confused.

          • kso721

            What exactly is our faulty perception? That by verifiable and repeatable scientific evidence observed by the reasonable and logically minded that we find that natural selection hasn’t required any supernatural assistance?

            Of course you must have some specific testimony showing observable evidence that a “god” has altered the laws of nature and physics to “prove” his existence at some point, right? or do you just have some anecdotal personal experience to tout?

            Or, maybe you’re resting your laurels on asserting that a supernatural entity exists because of ancient sheepherders sitting in their tents guessing at the nature of existence and writing it on parchment? Faith is not required. And nothing in nature teaches us that faith has to be even considered. A god who has to be bowed to and prayed to for favoritism is a small minded creator. or maybe it’s just simple humans who taught us this flawed logic.

            If his “word” is inspired and your particular brand of religion is 100% true, why are their NO other geographically separate cultures that have the exact same theological teachings? Consistency should be self-evident across ALL cultures when it comes to theology. Unless you forgot there’s about a 1000 different religions and some 32,000 +/- subsects of Christianity who barely agree on the interpretations from one passage to another.

            I’m open to evidence versus worshiping a book of half-baked fables and treating it as the sole word of god.

          • kso721

            oh yeah, tell me about the truth of the talking donkey in the bible. tell me about the truth of the ark story. or, tell me about the truth of exodus having no archeological evidence? or, tell me the truth of jonah living in a fish?
            or tell me the truth of all the Old testament saints rising from the temple mount out of their ossuairies and sarcophogi during the resurrection like a bad michael jackson thriller rip-off scene and that wonderfully fantasitcal amazing event is only documented by a few lines of text… yeah.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            “Old testament saints rising from the temple mount out of their ossuairies and sarcophogi during the resurrection like a bad michael jackson thriller rip-off scene”

            how I love that line.

          • Rick K

            And I won’t leave my belief that there is an incorporeal, invisible, magical dragon living in my garage unless you can prove it doesn’t exist.

            And I will continue to believe you are a figment of my imagination and don’t actually exist until you can prove otherwise.

            See how easy that is?

            Here’s the deal, paarsurrey – extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You are making the claim about some intelligent superbeing who affects everything but is completely undetectable. That requires not only some evidence to be believed, but extraordinary evidence.

            The burden of proof is on you, not us. You are welcome to assert that your particular flavor of deity exists. But to borrow from Mr. Hitchens: What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

          • paarsurrey

            You can believe are not believe to whatever you like; I will have mine that is a natural and reasonable position.
            I think both of us can co-exist peacefully.

          • paarsurrey

            I think Atheists claims are not only extraordinary but also weird instead of the one that I believe which is very natural and a default position. Atheism
            being an extraordinary belief needs most extraordinary evidences. As differing human beings the Atheists Agnostics Skeptics have a right to coexist though:

            [109:1] In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.,

            [109:2] Say, ‘O ye disbelievers!

            [109:3] ‘I worship not that which you worship;

            [109:4] ‘Nor worship you what I worship.

            [109:5] ‘And I am not going to worship that which you
            worship;

            [109:6] ‘Nor will you worship what I worship.

            [109:7] ‘For you your religion, and for me my religion.’

            http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=109

            Please refer to verse # [109:2] and verse # [109:7].

            I think it would be most relevant about Atheism to say that atheistic claims are without evidence to start with hence no need to be believed as truthful.

            I don’t hate Atheists .

            I respect you.

          • Jon Peterman

            location has nothing to do with truth. truth deals in objectivity not subjectivity.

            your statement deals in subjectivity.

            your statement is therefore invalid….have a good day

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            And Pilate queried??

  • Mike Mayer

    I find it truly amazing that with two very distinct versions of creation in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 that anyone can claim it to be scientifically, historically, or journalistically correct. I would not be surprised if the creationists have worked some linguistic gymnastics to get around it… but a strict reading (which is what they push as the only way to read the Bible) can only lead to a glaring self-conflict.

    • Benthoven

      What’s more is that it’s written by three different authors for entirely different purposes.
      Version 1, Genesis 1 is written by P, who is writing their document to rebut and refute JE. P is an Aaronid priest who seems profoundly upset at JE for their portrayal of Aaron and his role in Israeli politics… i.e. the Golden Calf. So for them, every story is written as a rebuttal.
      JE were Moshite priests (one from Judea and one from Israel) and Moses was their hero.
      P’s god had no mercy. Only sacrifice could save you. He was all about the rules, making him reminiscent of an alcoholic father. When he’s sober, he’s loving and compassionate, but when he’s on a bender… that’s a whole other story. You disobey the rules, you suffer.
      JE’s god has human feelings, can feel regret, can even ‘make mistakes,’ as in the story of Noah. It’s JE’s god that says, “It is good…” and then suddenly, “it is NOT good.”
      Ironically, it’s the Redactor, the guy who combined all of these documents, that gave us the story we now have of creation.
      So often when they use the bible as their “guide,” they do so with absolutely no understand of how the book came to be, and the politics behind it.

      • Mike Mayer

        Interesting stuff. I knew that Genesis was a composite of stories from various sources. I did not know the specifics that you outlined above. Thank you for sharing that.

        The problem I have with what you wrote (in this thread) is that it requires a level of analysis and research which is not simply sitting there on the surface for any casual reader to find. My example is right there in your face and is not subject to the “that’s just all intellectual mumbo-jumbo” argument.

      • Raymond Watchman

        “So often when they use the bible as their “guide,” they do so with
        absolutely no understand of how the book came to be, and the politics
        behind it.”
        Exactly so, Ben. Your closing sentence reveals precisely the “fatal flaw” of Christian fundamentalism/biblical literalism. To treat the Bible in such a way is idolatry, pure and simple.

      • MikeHaas82

        Very well done, Ben. I love me some Textual Criticism. Endlessly fascinating.

  • Raymond Watchman

    Mr Ham: Biblical literalism is an idolatry. You and your ilk are idolators. You confuse the leading of your own ego for that of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads humankind into truth. You sir, for motivations of your own, are leading them away.
    You are predating on the insecure, the ignorant and the well-intentioned but theologically illiterate.
    You are telling lies to children and encouraging parents to tell lies to their children.
    You have misappropriated the sacred texts of the Jewish people for your own grandiose and pecuniary purposes.
    You and your ilk are holding the Elder and Younger Testaments up for ridicule and the life-giving Gospel of Jesus up to contempt.
    Sir, YEC has nothing to do with the Gospel and even less to do with science. It is an abomination, a deception and a counterfeit. The sooner it joins the dinosaurs in extinction the better.
    And please do not accuse me of standing in judgement of you. You are judged by your own publicly expressed beliefs and the manifestations of those beliefs through your so-called “Creation Museum” – an embarrassing monument to human folly and ignorance if ever there was.
    In claiming the Bible is the “infallible inerrant word of God” you rob it of its humanity and in so doing, make of it a nonsense. But that’s what idols are – a nonsense.
    And you wonder why, sir, people are turning away.

    • Wetzel

      Wow said so well but I’m pretty sure the apostle Paul would beg to differ with you and Jesus and Peter and all the apostles who regularly quoted and recited scripture not figuratively you jack wad.

      • MikeHaas82

        When all else fails…the Ad Hominem!

        • Wetzel

          Well, I wasn’t really referring to you in an Ad Hominem attack I was just referring to the level of trust I would put in your words compared to, say the Apostle Paul or the guys writing the book. they seemed pretty sure it was literal I mean If Paul said if the book is wrong then I am of all men most miserable. You can bet your panties he thought the book was literal not figurative.

          • MikeHaas82

            If Paul thought the so-called “Old” Testament (what I call, “The Bible” or Tanakh) was literal, I don’t think he would have created a brand new religion from the words and works of a rabbi and sage he never met and contributed to a brand new set of scriptures that declare that the Law in the “Old” had been replaced by that which he helped to synthesize out of the “sayings of Jesus”, now would he?

          • Wetzel

            Your lack of knowledge in regards to Historical events is astounding. Paul was on his way to murder Christians when he met Jesus how could you say he never met him.

          • MikeHaas82

            How do YOU know? Were you there? Huh, huh?

            Uhm…yeah….Jesus appeared to him in a “vision”. I find it oddly convenient that all the miracle stories happened in a time very remote from us. You may say cancer can be cured by a “miracle”. Show me a faith healer who can restore a missing limb and you might get my attention. If Paul, as a believing Jew, really believed in the infallibility of the “Old Testament”, he would never have become a “Christian” to begin with. If you are an Orthodox, “Torah- believing” Jew (and I’m not Orthodox), you have to be willing to apply a large amount of exegesis to the Word and be really, really willing to hedge your closely held Jewish beliefs to become a Christian. Orthodox (Fundamentalist) Jews use the same type of argument that Christian Fundamentalists use : If you accept that Jesus is Mesiach and moreover, the Son of God, YOU are calling the God of Israel a liar and deceiver because you are saying what the WORD says about the nature of Mesiach as well as the nature of His Suffering Servant, the People Israel, is in error. I know, I know – you believe that the OT leaves no doubt that Jesus was Mesiach, Son of God and “Savior”. But that’s because you read an English translation of Hebrew Scripture in which the scholars applied exegetical thinking to the translation to make it appear that way. In short, its been “Christianized”, a trend that started in fact, with Paul albeit in Aramaic and Greek.

            “Hey, Mr. Jew – how come “you people” don’t accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?”

            “Because GOD would not have lied to His people.”

            Whoopty-doo, people are always willing to hedge their beliefs if they have a compelling enough reason.

            Example: The Suffering Servant material in Isaiah 53-55. A Christian, reading a “Christianized” English translation has no doubt that the Suffering Servant Isaiah describes is Jesus. A Jew, reading an English Translation in which Christian exegesis has *not* been applied, has no doubt that the Suffering Servant is the People Israel.

            Oh – go try and find “and He will be born in Bethlehem” (or however the verse goes) in the Old Testament. It ain’t there. Of course, a Christian Fundamentalists belief in Hell ain’t in the Bible, either. It comes directly from John Milton who in turn, borrowed it from the various Christian Apocrypha such as the Gospel of Peter, the Protevangelion (Infancy Gospel of James), and others that are filled with many of the same visions of Hell Milton wrote about.

          • Rick Hartzog

            That isn’t what Paul said. If you play that fast and loose with the actual text there is no reason to have any confidence in whatever opinions you may wish to express about the author’s meaning.

    • Rick Hartzog

      I agree wholeheartedly, Raymond, and I think replies like Wetzel’s demonstrate that Ken Ham’s supporters don’t have a clue about what Jesus and Paul and Peter were teaching with their references to Genesis.

      • Raymond Watchman

        Indeed so, Rick. I find it profoundly saddening that postings like those of Wetzel and Nick Lotter confirm the points that Dan and I are making. A closed-minded belief system is an intellectual and spiritual tyranny which, at the end of the day, serves only to lock the ego in and the Holy Spirit out. Having said, the same applies to militant atheists in the scientific world as much as it does to fundamentalists of the Ken Ham variety in the religious world.

      • Wetzel

        I don’t even know who Ken Ham is let alone support him. I however can see most of you are apostate in your writings on the Holy scriptures. Or aren’t they Holy anymore? Humanity, the Old testament isn’t even written as a religious text it is a chronological order of the Histories. It clearly states with in its text that the scriptures are God breathed. If not then party like it 1999 because I don’t belong to the Rotary club the Shriners or any other club and I’m not interested in the Jesus club that you all are fond of I guess, but if it is God word I’m in, if not, I’m not. Remember the admonition ” Having a form of Godliness but denying the power within “.

        • Rick Hartzog

          If God is the source of all truth, then *all* truth is “God breathed.” If you want a text to be holy, then you’d better make sure that any claims you make about that text are God’s own truth.

          And that goes for Ken Ham, too.

  • Nick Lotter

    People aren’t leaving the church because some guy is teaching Young Earth Creationism. Nor are people leaving the church because they’re not being loved, or because somebody is putting up barriers. Do you really think born-again Christians are that fickle? Thousands of Christians through the centuries have been tortured and martyred in horrible ways, yet they refused to deny Jesus Christ in the face of such terrible fates. Would you have us believe that people are leaving the church just because some guy called Ken Ham (or anybody else) is not making them feel good? People don’t leave the church for any other reason than that they were never in the church to begin with. Born again Christians don’t leave the faith. They never turn their backs on Jesus. Regardless of the persecution, suffering or discouragement that they face. The fact that many people are leaving the church with the introduction of “science” that has (incorrectly) deduced that earth is millions of years old and life evolved from a rock, is merely evidence that they were never born again believers to begin with, but were false converts. Evolution theory just gave them the nudge in the wrong direction that they were looking for anyway. Don’t agree that there are such things as false converts? Jesus warned that there would be false teachers and false converts in Matthew 7. He said “Not everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, did we not cast out demons in your name and do many miracles in your name? And I will say to them, Depart from me you workers if iniquity, I never knew you.” Not everybody who claims to be a Christian, really is one. The evidence that you are a Christian is not that you made a profession of faith, or even that you repeated a prayer after somebody. The evidence that you are a born again Christian is that your faith is demonstrated by the fact that as a style of life you are seeking to do the will of the Father. Included in that is believing His Word. What Christians like Ken Ham are seeking to do, is to show that the “evidence” presented to defend evolution is no evidence at all, and that if you were to simply apply the definition of science – that is, the study of evidence to make conclusions based on testable, demonstrable experimentation – there isn’t a shred of scientific fact in the theory of evolution. People who believe in evolution haven’t got a shred of real evidence to support their belief – they simply choose to follow the idea with blind faith that the authors of the theory haven’t lied to them or made wrong conclusions. Ministries like Ken Ham’s serve to strengthen the faith of those who are Christians, and to remove stumbling blocks to those who don’t really know what to make of all the noise.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Mr. Ham and others of his way of thinking, don’t seek to strengthen anyone’s faith, instead they seek to define it in as narrow a parameter as they can make it, happily deeming that anyone who does not agree with their views as ungodly, not Christian, and apostate. Shoving people, figuratively or literally out of the church, is why people are leaving. Too many are being made to feel unwelcome, so they decide the hell with it, they don’t want us, we just won’t be here.

      • Nick Lotter

        Isn’t defining the truth as narrowly as possible the whole point? Wouldn’t you want the truth made known as narrowly and accurately as possible, as opposed to as broad and open to wild interpretation as possible? Everybody applauds a man who says he’s a seeker of the truth, but if a man claims to have found it, everybody turns against him.

        • paarsurrey

          My comment is in no way related to what allegro63 has written above. I broadly agree with her.

          @ Nick Lotter

          I think there are two kinds of people.

          Firstly those who are sincere in seeking the truth and keep their hearts and minds open to truth; they are firm on their present reasonable position yet are humble and inclined to accept the truth whenever and where-from it comes to them.

          Secondly those who had found the truth; rather they continuously sought the truth with humbleness and openness till they reached the Truth; and the Truth lovingly embraced them , these persons are called righteous persons whom Truth selected as a role model for guidance to the first category:

          [2:1] In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.

          [2:2] Alif Lam Mim.

          [2:3] This is a perfect Book; there is no doubt in it; it is a guidance for the righteous,

          [2:4] Who believe in the unseen and observe Prayer, and spend out
          of what We have provided for them;

          http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=2

          Both the categories of the persons are mentioned in the single Arabic word muttaqeen translated in English as righteous.

          I don’t mean that Mr. Ham is in any way mentioned in these categories

          • Sparhafoc

            To summarize – there are 2 types of people, and then there’s Ken Ham? 😀

        • MikeHaas82

          “Claims” being the operative word here. Joseph Smith “claimed” to have found golden tablets and “claimed” they were a form of Egyptian and “claimed” to be able to decipher them. Why do you turn against him?

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          No. Because truth is often subject to change. Just look at science. Galileo, Goddard, Goethe, Doppler and many other scientists were ridiculed for their scientific theories, which flew in the face of the narrowly and accurately as possible truths of their day. But every single one of them proved to be correct. Truth was altered.

          Truth is also often perceptual. To myself, a rose has no sense of smell, neither does coffee, perfume or skunks. I lack an olfactory sense. To a blind person, color is irrelevent, to an illiterate, an e.e. cummins poem is just scribbles on a page.

          If my scent ability could be repaired, my truth would be altered. The same with a blind person, having their sight restored through transplant surgery, or a person learning to read. In each case, truth is altered.

          • Sparhafoc

            Sadly allegro, your understanding of the nuance of the word ‘truth’ is way beyond that encouraged by religious institutions. Truth is relative – something fervently denied by religious powers. Empirical evidence, on the other hand, isn’t – which is why evolution by natural selection is accepted by biological scientists of all colours and creeds.

          • Nick Lotter

            Truth is never altered. People just realize they came to the wrong conclusions, investigate the facts, and then come to the right conclusions. Truth is truth. Just because people once thought the earth was flat and held that as “truth” doesn’t mean it was the truth and then the truth changed. They had the wrong conclusions and had to investigate the facts – something we would all do well to do today.

            What I hear in your argument is relativism (correct me if I’m wrong). Your point is, what’s true for me might not be true for you. Truth is different for each person. Do you not believe in absolute truth?

    • http://batman-news.com Anton

      People who believe in evolution haven’t got a shred of real evidence to support their belief – they simply choose to follow the idea with blind faith that the authors of the theory haven’t lied to them or made wrong conclusions.

      I’m a Christian, and I affirm evolution by natural selection. There’s basically no way to deny it without condemning the entire edifice of empirical evidential inquiry. There’s simply a mountain of evidence from many different disciplines that reinforces the framework of genetic variation and natural selection.

      True, I haven’t seen the evidence personally. However, if I’m going to believe in a scientific conspiracy vast enough to create a coherent construct out of so many bogus data points across so many lines of research over so many decades, I might as well believe Australia doesn’t exist because I’ve never been there.

      • paarsurrey

        I agree with you.

        The universe started with the words “be” from the One-True-God (Allah Yahweh Ahura-Mazda, Parmeshwara, Ishawara) and it started physically evolving and likewise the life in it at the appropriate time as per His design:

        [2:118] He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees
        a thing, He does only say to it, ‘Be!’ and it is.

        http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=2&verse=117

    • Niko Pultin

      I don’t go to church anymore so you’re saying I was never a Christian to begin with? I was a false convert just simply pretending? I wished I had met someone like you Nick when I first went to church when I was 13. I wouldn’t have spent a decade wasting all that time in prayer seeing as how I was apparently pretending. By the way, it’s funny that you reference Matthew 7 yet do the very thing that Jesus speaks against in the very first verse.

      • Nick Lotter

        I’m sorry, but that’s just what it is. Read 1 John 2:19.

        A note on judging. If Jesus was saying we are never to judge true from false, He wouldn’t have gone on to tell us how to tell a false prophet from a true prophet in the same chapter. Read Matthew 7:1-6 again. Jesus condemns hypocritical judgment and condemnation, but not right judgment.

        • Niko Pultin

          I understand what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 7. However, I am not a prophet, and you are condemning me. You are saying that I was never a Christian to begin with because I don’t go to church anymore. I was a child who earnestly believed, and I still believe. The only thing you are validating Nick is the point of this article. You, as well as so many others, become so dogmatic that you forget the real Jesus and it does chase people away.

    • Sparhafoc

      No True Christian!

      What a stultifying argument Nick, but if it helps you sleep at night…. cheers! :)

    • Sparhafoc

      “People who believe in evolution haven’t got a shred of real evidence to support their belief”

      Sadly, this is where you encroach into Bullshit Land. All this really tells us is that you have zero biological background and really shouldn’t be commenting on a topic that’s outside your expertise. Want to see some of the mountains of evidence supporting evolution? Go to a natural history museum.

      Learn stuff, stuff good.

  • Takis Konstantopoulos

    paarsarrey is on a HOLY MISSION.

    He goes around blogs telling people that all religions were once true, but are now corrupt. God is one, but, due to corruption, people have now become confused.

    That’s what he says. But he believes that the words “all religions” above should be substituted by “all religions but one”, namely, his religion. Only Islam, he thinks, is the only true religion, and the Quran is the only true document which god sent us.

    As soon as you challenge him, he wimps out. He picks part of his “discussions” from other blogs and posts them in his blog where he claims to be a “peaceful Muslim”.

    What he fails to tell us is that everybody, except him and his fellow believers, are wrong.

    • Sparhafoc

      Ahh someone else has encountered the dear fellow. My personal favourite was when he announced he would be reading Hitchen’s ‘God is not great’ and providing a critical assessment. All we got was a running account of which page he’d read up to. It was kind of cute… for the first 50 or so pages.

      • Takis Konstantopoulos

        He’s a pathetic wimp with no brains and–I repeat–no balls.

        I wrote the latter above, but some religious woman (allegro63) got offended. :-)

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          This “religious woman” is one of the moderators of this blog. I asked for respect towards other commenters, even if you don’t like what they have to say, where they happen to say it. This isn’t the place to have a little playground spat. If your only purpose is to malign someone else, then move along, If not, please participate in the conversation in a respectful manner.

          • paarsurrey

            @allegro63:disqus
            I appreciate the moderator; a good piece of advice for
            Takis Konstantopoulos.

            Thanks and regards

      • paarsurrey

        @ Sparhafoc

        You may like to click the following link, please:

        http://paarsurrey.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/the-wonderful-late-great-christopher-hitchens/

        You know I don’t debate; I only discuss to get to the Truth primarily for my own benefit.

        I don’t have to convince others, unnecessarily.

        Thanks

    • Jon Peterman

      there is only ONE truth or it could not be truth.

      paarsarrey does not have it, but it does exist

      two or more opposing opinions cannot be all be true, one is, the others are not EX. God says pray for your enemy or God says kill your enemy. one is right one is wrong. one is Christian, one is islam

      absolute truth or objective truth is attainable. everything else is subjective truth also known as facts

      truth is a fact, but not all facts are true

      many colleges have critical thinking classes. its too bad that they dont actually teach critical thinking

  • Wetzel

    No Dan, I assure you the dogmatic science professors are absolutely using their position to mock and belittle all Christian belief. You are ignorant if you spout off like you have and don’t know about the concerted effort of post modern scientists to eradicate Christian belief in young people. Who cares if God created the world in six days or 6 years or 6000 years etc. The greater most important point is Evolutionists and science in general have never given a credible even remotely scientific alternative to Creation by a creator. They are still bitterly clinging to a completely failed belief with religious fervor!

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      Are you being serious or sarcastic? If ever there were an example of Poe’s Law, this is it …

      • Sparhafoc

        He spends an awful lot of time in numerous places on the net expounding these bizarre claims, so I think we have to assume they’re his actual beliefs! :)

        The one fact in his favour is that he is a genuinely nice chap.

    • paarsurrey

      I think mocking and belittling is not a good or a moral humane behavior on the part of the scientists, if they do it.

      The truthful revealed religions represented by the stalwarts like Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Moses, Socrates, Jesus, Muhammad and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad have never opposed the scientists or the science. If anyone of them have; somebody please quote from them.

      These stalwarts and their Revealed Word was to guide the human beings in the ethical,moral and spiritual realms and they confined themselves to these realms.

      The scientific and material endeavors have been left free for human inquiry and investigations as these are in the secular realm.

      • xscd ✱

        Could you please translate your comments into simple English, or condense your basic point(s) into a comprehensible and succint summary statement? Thank you.

        If you’re saying that science and religion are mutually exclusive, there would be a lot of people who would disagree with you. Many religious people believe in evolution and God simultaneously, and regard the creation myth of the Bible’s Genesis and other creation myths as just that.

        • paarsurrey

          The Truthful Revealed Religion is the Word of the One-True-God; and the science having its basis in the nature is the Work of the One-True-God (Allah Allah Yahweh Ahura-Mazda Parmeshawara Ishawara) . since the Word and Work belong to the same personage; if truthfully understood, both are not and cannot be contradictory.

          I think it would help.

          English is not my mother language; if I have not been able to express it fully; one may ask me another question, please.

          Thanks

          • xscd ✱

            Thank you. That additional response clarified your position.

        • Sparhafoc

          Don’t expect anything like clarity from Paarsurrey – he’s an awfully nice chap, but he can’t maintain anything remotely approaching an intelligible conversation – lord knows, hundreds of people have tried to debate with him! 😉

        • Jon Peterman

          and those same creationists also believe very much in science (it proves Gods word)

          many of them including Ham hold PhD’s and are even world renowned

          • xscd ✱

            Jon says: “and those same creationists also believe very much in science”

            But not the age of rocks and fossils, not the geological record, not ice cores going much further back in time–

            It seems like creationists and “Biblical archaeology” people try very hard to make science fit uncomfortably into their tight religious requisites.

          • Jon Peterman

            please please tell me how rocks inform you of their age….please.

            and what is the geologic record? do you mean the geologic column? if so, where did that come from …EXACTLY how did it come about?

            and ice cores tell us what?…….. exactly

          • xscd ✱

            My, aren’t you demanding.

            If you care to disregard evidence and fact, in favor of beliefs that contradict them, that is entirely up to you.

            I’m inclined otherwise, but have no inclination to deter you from your beliefs, however misguided, misinformed, limited, incomplete or just downright wrong they are. So long as your beliefs don’t hurt me, I have no objection to you believing them. Your delusion is not my concern.

          • Jon Peterman

            just as I thought, no proof just wild claims

            lets take radiocarbon dating:

            it measures the amount of lead in a rock or sample, (lead is a result of radioactive decay)

            now, can you say with absolute certainty that NO lead was present at the formation of the rock?

            (there are “new” rock samples being formed from volcanic action everyday that “test” in the thousands or millions of years????)

            can you say with absolute certainty that the rate of decay is constant?___(the answer here should be NO, as the half life is “measured” in thousands or millions of years,__who measured that??)

            can you say with certainty that NO lead has migrated into or out of the sample (its a known fact that lead compounds are soluble in water)

            all that the “dating” does is confirm the composition of the sample not its age

            anything else?

          • xscd ✱

            Jon says: “just as I thought, no proof just wild claims”

            Just as I said, you’re welcome to believe whatever crazy stuff you want.

            As long as your beliefs don’t impact my life and you are the only one your beliefs may potentially harm, then I don’t care whether you are self-deluded. I’m not here to save you from yourself.

          • Jon Peterman

            so you admit creation wins…..

            no counter to my points above?

            am I right or am I wrong?

            can you absolutely prove any of the points I brought up?

            is evolution based on assumption? my questions and your lack of answer point to………YES!!!

          • xscd ✱

            Jon says: “so you admit creation wins”

            I do? That’s a surprise to me. Are most of your beliefs supported by such wild assumptions?

            May I ask you something? How old do you believe the Earth to be, and upon what do you base that belief?

          • Jon Peterman

            well, your refusal to answer……

            either you have an answer to my question.statements or you do not

            I asked you answer

            to answer with another question is diversion at best

          • xscd ✱

            You don’t want to say how old you think the Earth is, and what you base your belief upon? Why not?

            Regarding radiometric dating, with uranium scientists often look for zircon crystals, which are desirable as test subjects because they are easily contaminated with uranium but never with lead (zircon has no molecular affinity for lead). The amount of lead in a zircon crystal is all the result of radioactive decay, which makes the dating accurate and reliable.

            I’m sure that young-Earth creationists have discussed this issue and have some handy pseudo-scientific rebuttals, but I haven’t heard them yet. If you have one or two, I for one would like to hear them.

            In addition, because certain changes can happen over time in a rock that might add or detract from certain radioisotopes and their more stable daughter isotopes, scientists often subject a carefully chosen, appropriate sample rock or mineral to more than one type of radiometric test (there are more than 40 different types of test at present, and often at least 2 or 3 of them are used to date a sample). If those separate and different tests come to the same general conclusion regarding date, that helps to verify that the dating is accurate.

            Also, a few tests have been developed that have built in cross-checks to indicate and ascertain whether any of a certain isotope has accrued or become reduced in quantity since the rock was formed.

            Radiometric dating is not precise, but it is reliable and accurate when done right. If it’s done inappropriately or wrong, as some young-Earth “scientists” have purposely done, then it can be used to apparently disprove itself, even though the flaws in the young-Earth dating tests are usually obvious to scientists, like subjecting a newly formed volcanic rock to one of the least precise dating methods and then placing the age at the oldest date of the margin of error of that dating method. This type of “proof” of a young Earth amounts to intentional disinformation (lying) on the part of the creationist “scientists.”

            SO– How old do you believe the Earth is, and what do you base your belief upon?

            Why is adding up the presumed generational lifespans from Adam forward, or Jesus backward, or some other method of Biblical calculation more reliable than scientific radiometric, stratigraphic or other methods of dating?

          • Jon Peterman

            so you admit no absolute certainty?

            general conclusion is not absolute certainty

            come on man, you demand proof yet do not provide it yourself

            have you no honor?

            who determined the cross checks as absolutely certain?

            seriously, who determined half life?

            this is where science fails, it makes too many assumptions on faulty inconclusive data. when pressed scientist say we dont really know for certain….then say so, dont make assumptions and claim it as truth. it is not.

            and then you throw out false claims about “young earth” scientists making invalid tests. really? who when and where….exactly

            dont get me wrong science is great, it explains much about or world and I even use science to build robots, my kids love science and math. but the evidence points to creation.

            I used to be such as you, following and parroting, then I studied for myself, opened my eyes and saw the truth.

          • xscd ✱

            That’s it? That’s your response to my long and fairly detailed reply to your questions and the issues you raised?

            That’s disappointing. Apparently you don’t know what you’re talking about and aren’t worth discussing the subject with.

          • Jon Peterman

            your long and detailed response is still based on assumptions

            critical thinking……..its very useful

            parroting…..not so much

          • xscd ✱

            You’re disappointing, Jon. You’re quick to try to point out (false) potential problems in the scientific method, but don’t mention what more reliable means you have to arrive at the alternate conclusions that form your own beliefs.

            Trying to poke holes in someone else’s assertions while hiding your own beliefs from the same level of scrutiny and argument implies that you are defensive of your beliefs because you know or suspect they may be weak, and is a coward’s way to discuss a subject.

            Don’t attack others if you are not willing to put your own beliefs and assertions on the line and in question.

          • Jon Peterman

            and the fallback….personal attack

            I asked for proof

            I have Gods word, He was there, He created it,

            mans faulty perceptions dont even come close to His truth

            not one word of the Bible has ever been proven untrue

          • xscd ✱

            Jon says: “I asked for proof. I have Gods word, He was there, He created it”

            The only reasonable conclusion one can come to from this and your previous responses is that you have nothing to contribute to a constructive discussion of the subject.

          • Jon Peterman

            not one word of the Bible has ever been proven untrue

          • xscd ✱

            Jon says: “not one word of the Bible has ever been proven untrue”

            Not one word? Even if that were true, it would not be remarkable because there are lots of falsehoods that cannot be proven to be untrue, such as this–

            Santa Claus exists.

            You can’t prove that’s untrue. Similarly–

            God exists.

            Just as doubtful, just as lacking evidence, but unable to be disproven, for the same reason as “unicorns and flying spaghetti monsters” cannot be disproven.

            You’re not very good at this, are you? Are you new to all this?

            Jeez, I was hoping for a better discussion.

          • Jon Peterman

            strawman

            you seem to be wanting long drawn out and wordy debates

            there is no need when just a few words will suffice.

            again. not ONE word of the Bible has ever been proven untrue

            therefore creation is true……… because???……… thats how God said it went down

            oh,…. and the evidence points that way

          • xscd ✱

            What a “maroon.”

            Are you a Jehovah’s Witness, by any chance. Idiotic–

          • Jon Peterman

            haha. you like Ray too?

            no, jehovas witnesses have a screwed up theology

          • MikeHaas82

            Aaaaand with this piece of very *intentional* humor, Jon gives it away. Folks…he’s not a Creationist. He’s a well-known contrarian troll from Reddit and 4Chan *posing* as a Creationist. In another “life”, he poses as a Hipster, Niberu and Planet X “expert”, UFO expert, Moon Landing Hoaxer, 9/11 “Truther”, Obama “Birther”, Kennedy Assassination expert, “Beatles Hater” (The Beatles were talentless hacks who owe their fame strictly to the Media, etc.) and last, but not least – you guessed it – Jehovah’s Witness advocate. Unless you’re on to him and just playing along for laughs, I wouldn’t waste further time…

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            An Irish coffee for you Mike! for clarifying the species of troll.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            The Bible states that hares chew their cud…they don’t.

            The bible states that bats are birds….they aren’t.

            The bible claims that the moon gives off its own light…it doesn’t.

            The bible claims that Jericho was destroyed, never to be inhabited again…Jericho makes the list as one of the longest, if not the longest, continually habituated towns on the planet.

            The bible claims that two bears manage to kill 42 children….seriously? 42??? Did the kids just stand in line waiting to be mauled??

            If the bible was wrong on those things….maybe taking the creation point as a literal fact is also wrong.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Jericho did not happen as written. Archeologists proved that years ago.

          • Jon Peterman

            //I’m sure that young-Earth creationists have discussed this issue and
            have some handy pseudo-scientific rebuttals, but I haven’t heard them
            yet.//

            I like that….you are sure….but you do not KNOW

            another assumption

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Just because people tire of your unwillingness to engage in actual discourse, doesn’t mean that creation wins anything. Its just that when someone’s mind is closed to any idea other than the one that they hold and insist everyone else holds, then engagement is an exercise in futility.
            People have given you some good answers, which you just mock, dismiss and then assume you are still correct. That is not how grown ups have conversations.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            No. Mr. Ham does not hold a PhD. He has a bachelor’s of applied science with a focus on environmental biology…the study of how organisms interact with the environment, with a teaching certificate and two honorary degrees from conservative Christian colleges. Not a one are post graduate degrees.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Come on guys – move on to intelligent and constructive dialogue. There’s no point in trying to reason with a village idiot.

          • Gary

            And THIS is why he is a liar and a crook and is followed by people who willfully ignorant. The man has absolutely no such thing.

          • CJ99

            A mail order diploma mill does not make one genius, if they did your own words wouldn’t prove you to be the opposite.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I will state this just once CJ. If all you are planning to do here is to insult people who commented days ago, then maybe you should go elsewhere.

          • Jon Peterman

            prove that they are mail order Phd’s

            did you watch the debate? if not then stop assuming

            seems a lot of “science” is based on assumption

    • Gary

      Yes Wetzel…because the earth really is flat and is fixed and immovable with the entire universe rotating around it. Wow…what an impressive conspiracy these millions and millions of scientific minds have agreed in unison to thrust upon us unsuspecting and ignorant folk. Curious though…where do they meet and/or how do they communicate this coordinated effort? How do they handle the dissenters who would run to the press with evidence of their collusion? Do they simply shoot them and bury them someplace undetected? Or are you suggesting that of all of the many millions who must be involved in this mass conspiracy…NONE have ever been willing to publicize a single email from the head gurus commanding everyone to band together and stamp out belief in God? Not even one?

      Everyone who promotes nonsense such as a “concerted effort of post modern scientists to eradicate Christian belief in young people” are raving lunatics. Morons with less grey matter between their ears than an average snail. And Ken Ham and his dishonest ilk laugh their asses off while they get rich off of the morons who believe their ignorant dribble and buy up their tapes and videos and books full of the shit. They are consummate con artists who sell themselves as “experts” in the field of science without any knowledge or understanding and will happily LIE about their credentials to fool the weak minded.

      Go ahead. Stand up and count yourself among the imbeciles. Just don’t think the rest of us are foolish enough to believe God stands with you.

      • Jon Peterman

        funny how atheists and evolutionists keep insisting the earth is flat.

        no Christian thinks that

        • Gary

          You need to work on improving your skills of comprehension if you think I was suggesting the Earth is flat. It’s called satire, and is a reference to what people USED to believe (and the bible supposedly supported) before modern science. Gee whiz people…no wonder you follow the moron.

          • Jon Peterman

            (and the bible supposedly supported)?????

            really, where?

            which people believed this, exactly? no opinions, no feelings just facts…

          • Gary

            “…no opinions, no feelings just facts…”

            Oh my…did you REALLY just say that? I am fucking laughing my ass off at you now. Look up the term irony…because it beautifully describes the error you just committed. As if your blind and ignorant beliefs actually embrace fact over feelings and opinions. You are really cracking me up here.

        • Gary

          http://theflatearthsociety.org/cms/

          Think again Einstein…LOL

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Wait….who thinks the earth is flat? Aren’t they afraid of going on cruises in case the ship falls off the edge, or flying, for similar reasons?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Curious. Which science professors are you talking about?
      then there is this. Is science looking for a creator, or are they just trying to figure out how it all developed on a more physical level, finding wonder and delight in what happened, wondering why it ended up this way, in some places, and another way, elsewhere, and maybe find a concrete starting point that adequately follows the timeline that stretches backwards far, far into the past? None of those questions deny the possiblity of God.

      • Takis Konstantopoulos

        They don’t deny the possibility of Gods [plural] either. But, for many people, this is insulting. I wonder why.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Again, which science professors are you talking about?

    • Sparhafoc

      What a load of gibberish. The only thing this tells us Wetzel is that you’ve never been to university. Post-modernism isn’t anti-Christian, it’s post-religious. The reason biological scientists unanimously accept evolution is because the hard empirical facts of reality support the theory. The reason biologists and cosmologists refuse to accept a literal account of Christian creation is because a) it’s a magical myth from our ancient forebears and b) it simply does not have any form of empirical support beyond a book compiled from ancient writings that directly contradict each other. If you look for conspiracies, you will find them.

  • Gary

    Ken Ham’s (and those like him) profound ignorance have made a mockery out of people of faith. Their self indulgent quackery stands against everything Christ taught. If this insanity truly represented Christianity then people should leave the faith and as fast as their feet and intellect can carry them.

    • Jon Peterman

      Jesus taught creation….

      • Gary

        I believe in creation too. (I think most all believers do in some fashion…check out BioLogos) Ken Ham is a quack. And you have ZERO credibility inferring that Jesus believed the same nonsense Ken Ham does.

        • Jon Peterman

          read John 1:1, Jesus did the creating…..helloooo
          =============================
          Matthew 19:
          4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them……

          straight from Jesus mouth to your ears………hellooo

          =========================

          • Gary

            Are you really so dense that you believe Jesus simply HAD to be talking about an event just 6000 or so years ago? REALLY????

            helloooo

            If you believe there is only ONE possible understanding of Jesus’ meaning…then you should also embrace a flat earth based on Rev 7:1 and that it sits fixed and immovable on pillars and a solid foundation with the sun and stars rotating about it based on MANY scriptures.

            Come on genius…this really is not that difficult. YEC’s simply CHOOSE to embrace profound ignorance and cling to it for as long as they possibly can until the science becomes so conclusive that some of them finally let go and recognize their error. (Duh…Earth really is not fixed and immovable after all…hmm) Problem is…you learn nothing from the experience because you simply embrace a new error and cling to it with the same level of dogmatic blindness proclaiming your faith is brilliance simply because you believe.

          • Jon Peterman

            fixed and immovable on A solid foundation (ten commandments maybe)

            Genesis is a historical accounting. you can go through it and add all the ages together about 4000 years and then add the years since the life death and resurrection of Jesus and we have what?

            truth is stranger than fiction (evolution)

          • Gary

            And since the bible contains only 6000 years of history then that is ALL there is? Curious…where did all those other people we have record of pre-dating the bible come from? (Oh yeah that’s right…you believe in this mass conspiracy bullshit…LOL)

            You are blind to the fact that when you believe something to be false…you simply make up a different meaning for it. You may try to pass off the 10 commandments as the fixed and immovable foundation…but the bible says NOTHING of the sort…so you simply made that up because you know the bible can’t be right.

          • Jon Peterman

            //.where did all those other people we have record of pre-dating the bible come from?//

            record of what people? nothing predates Gods word. He made Adam then Eve. everyone else is a descendant of them….read your Bible

            reject Genesis and you reject the authority of Gods word. to believe that man has more knowledge than God is foolishness

            it was God who laid down the foundations that we live by

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            If that is what you believe Jon, then more power to you. Respect that others see things differently.
            You don’t get to have the supreme determination of how other’s view or understand God, or exactly what her foundations were, when she decided to put it all together, or even if it was decided by the Holy One that an ancient poem was going to be the definitive source of an explanation of that foundation.

          • Gary

            Such marvelous bravado. Too bad it is based on nothing but idolatry and ignorance. (Those two do go together)

            For the record…it is not the knowledge of God you believe in…but the knowledge of men from an ancient civilization. You worship an ancient culture…not God.

          • CJ99

            Nobody here is rejecting the creator, it is you who isn’t taken seriously.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Jon, If all you are going to do is maintain a mocking and belittling tone, I am going to suggest you find a forum that better suits your beliefs and temperament. This has gone on long enough.

          • adam

            Matthew 5:18

            King James Version (KJV)

            18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

            Straight from Jesus mouth to your ears……….helloo

            Mixed fiber and shellfish are an abomination

            19 A false witness [that] speaketh lies,
            and he that soweth discord among brethren.

        • Jon Peterman

          you say you believe in creation….how so?

          how is what Ken is sharing unbiblical?

          creation or evolution, the two do not mix

          • Gary

            The two mix beautifully. Science is not the enemy of God, it is one of the languages of God.

            As for what Ken is sharing…it is unFACTUAL. It is based on a false interpretation of scripture…just like the previous belief the earth was fixed and immovable. What was meant as metaphor or allegory was forced into the literal and the true meaning was totally destroyed.

            You guys love to quote Martin Luther (and others) such as…

            ““When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are.”

            – Martin Luther, What Martin Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian.

            Of course you conveniently forget to quote him when he said this…

            “Scripture simply says that the moon, the sun, and the stars were placed in the firmament of the heaven, below and above which heaven are the waters… It is likely that the stars are fastened to the firmament like globes of fire, to shed light at night… We Christians must be different from the philosophers in the way we think about the causes of things. And if some are beyond our comprehension like those before us concerning the waters above the heavens, we must believe them rather than wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding.”
            – Martin Luther, Luther’s Works. Vol. 1. Lectures on Genesis, ed. Janoslaw Pelikan, Concordia Pub. House, St. Louis, Missouri, 1958, pp. 30, 42, 43.

            Or how about when he uttered this gem of wisdom…

            “People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. Whoever wishes to appear clever must devise some new system, which of all systems is of course the very best. This fool [or ‘man’] wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”
            – Martin Luther, Table Talk

            You guys are only furthering the same inept and deliberate ignorance.

          • adam

            I like quoting Martin Luther too:

            Section XI of the treatise advises Christians to carry out seven remedial actions. These are –

            for Jewish synagogues and schools to be burned to the ground, and the remnants buried out of sight;

            for houses owned by Jews to be likewise razed, and the owners made to live in agricultural outbuildings;

            for their religious writings to be taken away;

            for rabbis to be forbidden to preach, and to be executed if they do;

            for safe conduct on the roads to be abolished for Jews;

            for usury to be prohibited, and for all silver and gold to be removed and “put aside for safekeeping”; and

            for the Jewish population to be put to work as agricultural slave laborers.[4]

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Where? Where did Jesus say, “Oh guys, just for the record, that really pretty poem in Genesis? It happened just like that.”

      • CJ99

        No you do & its fantasy.

  • Teilhard

    It is unfortunate that Ken Ham and other biblical literalists get as much publicity as they do. As St. Augustine said:

    “It is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an unbeliever to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics [the literal interpretation of Genesis] and we should take all means to present such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up a Christian’s vast ignorance and laugh it to scorn”.

    Science and the scientific method arose from the Christian tradition and are part of the ways that God communications with humanity.

    http://wp.me/p3pJsV-aK

    Peace,
    W. Ockham

    http://www.teilhard.com

    • Jon Peterman

      st. who?

      • Joshua Indermuehle

        Honestly, are you missing a chromosome?

  • brijsmith

    Win is relative. Let’s all win by sorting the various beliefs out and having compassion for all all those that don’t square with our own. Let’s live by Christian principles and move forward. Cheers!

    • MikeHaas82

      And let’s thank God for the 1st Amendment that gives us a legal venue to teach our religious views – our churches and synagogues, not our public school system.

  • xscd ✱

    I would be embarrassed to defend “creationism” in a debate (as so many rather literal and fundamentalist Christians characterize and define it) because that side of the debate seems so inherently weak. That Ken Ham can do so with apparent conviction (or perhaps just to attract tourists to his “creation museum”) is surprising but also impressive in an odd way.

    • Jon Peterman

      impressive because its true…..

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Even if Nye “loses” the debate, he still wins, and this is why. Ham is giving science the perfect opportunity to refute and discredit his claims, which is incredibly easy.. Nye is hardly stupid, and wouldn’t have agreed to this, unless he knew showing Ham’s claims to be dubious would be easier than Ham suspected. People will be curious as what AiG is about, and popularity about what he has to say will grow. Yet I suspect it will not be in a positive manner for AiG.

      After this over, what may just happen, is Ham will once again whine about how the ungodly launched a personal attack against him and AiG because they dared to tell him his theories were incredibly faulty in his own auditorium, and use the emotional hissy fit to try to remove supporters from the contents of their wallets.. Nye will have since moved on to other projects.

      • Jon Peterman

        Nye has already lost because evolution stands on assumptions (known as building on sand)

        • xscd ✱

          Believing in God, an afterlife, Heaven and Hell do _not_ stand on assumptions?

          “Building on sand…” To me it seems that between science and religion, science has the less sandy foundation.

          • Jon Peterman

            no they do not.

            what is your EVIDENCE for evolution? rocks and fossils? what do they tell you? exactly, and how do they tell you?

          • xscd ✱

            Jon Peterman says “no (those religious things) do not (stand upon assumptions)”

            It seems to me that you have been blinded by your faith.

            You may protest that “your eyes have been opened” by your faith, but anyone suffering any delusion can say such a thing.

            We all know that there are irrational or crazy people who claim to hear voices and know things the rest of us don’t, can see things the rest of us can’t.

          • Jon Peterman

            really. what are my “assumptions” since you seem to know??

          • xscd ✱

            There must be some assumptions (or tortured rationale) between statements like–

            “There exists no evidence of nonphysical reality nor any nonphysical deity”
            –and–
            “God exists! Hell and Heaven both exist! Satan exists!”

          • xscd ✱

            Jon says: “what is your EVIDENCE for evolution?”

            Evolution is almost a self-evident fact at this point rather than a theory. There is a tremendous amount of information that supports evolution and genetic diversity that stems from genetic similarity.

            God and the afterlife on the other hand are still very much just theories, and very dubious ones at that.

            You are welcome to disagree, but your assertions will be weak.

          • adam

            It IS self evident.
            Just look at our food chain
            Where do you find Ray Comforts god banana in nature.
            Where do you find 5 lb roaster chickens and 30 lb turkeys so big that they can’t copulate and reproduce themselves.

          • adam

            No, our food supply.
            Ray Comforts famous banana is a good place to start.

        • adam

          And creationism stands on the imagination of ignorant people.

    • adam

      Not if you were running a scam and making millions…
      In the same fashion as he ‘Prosperity Preachers” and other con artists.

  • Peter Hinch

    Love this debate- Christians arguing over how far their beliefs and myths can be taken before it gets ridiculous.
    “This far!”
    “No we can squeeze a couple more miracles in”
    “Ok- We will keep the virgin birth, the resurrection stays- walking on water? Undecided, but that boat n flood- that’s going too far”
    “Cool Praise Jesus”
    “ah no- its ken ham- he is such an idiot he will believe anything”
    “lets all pray Jesus shows him he is wrong!”
    “yeah he makes us look bad, the militant atheists will say we are all the same”

    • Jon Peterman

      so eyewitness accounts mean nothing? the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all witness accounts to the miracles of Jesus and who did He say He was?

      over 500 witnesses saw Jesus after His death

      I could show you all kinds of facts on how we know the word of God is what it says it is but your mind is closed. evidenced by your remarks

      I used to believe in evolution until I woke up and started looking into it. I followed along just like you are and parroted the same crap that you are.

      truth (the Bible) really is stranger than fiction (evolution)

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        the gospels were not eyewitness accounts. Mark is suggested to be the first gospel written, and it was not written as early as 50 ad to up to 70. a good twenty to fifty years after the resurrection. Mark mentions the destruction of the Jerusalem as a future event, Scholars have suggested that the time line for Mark could more likely have been shortly after 70 AD and Mark had Jesus mention the Roman’s destruction as a historical referencing. Luke and Matthew are based somewhat on Mark’s account. John was written last and seems to be based on Luke’s account.

        If Mark was penned in the early 70s and everyone else within the next few decades, it is very unlikely any author was an eyewitness. Even Paul, the most prolific NT author, makes no mention of his time in Judea while Jesus lived. Not a word.

        The only other suspect is the author of Revelations. Most scholars believe that the author lived during the late 90s, during the reign of the emperor Domitian, a real peach of a guy. His being around during Jesus’s time on earth would make him close to 100, very unlikely.. Average life spans during that time were about 40. Just think, by those standards, Jesus was almost a senior citizen when he was crucified..

        • Jon Peterman

          the author is God, the writer of Revelation is the same John as the gospel and John 1 2 3

          the average lifespan then was the same as it is now 70 or 80 years

          we take eyewitness accounts as fact today years after an event took place such as WWII or vietnam so why do we not accept these accounts recorded in the Bible?

          there is more evidence for Jesus and the biblical accounts than there are for Shakespeare or Aristotle and Plato yet they are held in higher esteem

          and as far as creation and evolution there is more evidence for creation. evolution relies on assumption.

          • xscd ✱

            Jon says: “the author is God”

            That is subject to question. I think many people would say that humans have their fingerprints all over the Bible.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            There is no proof that the writer of Revelations was the John of the disciples. He wrote near the end of the first century, or the early second. There is really no more evidence for Jesus than Shakespeare and company, in fact there is more for them, because of their prolific writings and mentions by others in their own writings, plus artist renderings that were made during their lifetimes. Jesus had none of that, and historical mentions of him is significantly less than a certain playwright and two philosophers.
            How does creation not rely on assumption?

          • Rick K

            OK, let’s take eyewitness accounts as facts. There are vastly more (and more recent) eyewitness accounts of alien abduction than of Jesus’s ministry or resurrection. And they are much more current.

            In addition, we have the Eight Eyewitnesses of Joseph Smith’s Golden Plates, proving that while God gave up sending writings to Israelites after Moses, He sent them to proto-Mormons pretty recently.

            Now if you REALLY think eyewitnesses are proof of divinity, then Ganesha the Elephant God is the clear winner. There were more witnesses to the 1995 Hindu Milk Miracle than all the begats in the Bible times a thousand.

            Or, you can continue to just believe only what you want to believe, deny any evidence that is contrary to what you believe, and continue the fight to preserve your own little island of fantasy against the sea of reality.

          • adam

            The authors were story tellers, like those who told storie of Hercules.
            The fabricators of the bible were politicians seeking political power.

        • Jon Peterman

          how do you come by 40 as old age?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            the lifespans of the ancient world, its easily researchable, and well documented. For someone to live to 40 was average…for a man. The odds of making it past infancy were grim, past childhood, not much better, to adulthood, slightly better, unless disease, injury, famine, or military conflict stepped in, then all bets were off. For women to make it past child bearing age was also risky, as just having getting pregnant could easily be a death sentence.

            Higher social classes could fair better than the lower ones Jesus was in,…unless you were a woman, or disease, injury, military conflict, etc intervened. Women’s odds of seeing forty was pretty poor. That Mary lived to see Jesus die is exceptional, She was probably very young when she had him, and had survived other child births, so would have been about 55 to 60, quite old by those standards.

      • Peter Hinch

        You say 500 witnesses, but how many wrote about it?

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Peter: do you see one line in this post that would be out of place on any atheist’s blog?

      • Peter Hinch

        It was more a bit of tongue in cheek fun with the comments- But If you are saying that you have moved away from miracles and supernaturalism that you are indistinguishable from atheists- I say good for you, take one more step.

  • pennyhammack

    I’m not young now but when I was I left two churches because the ministers stood up and said that women’s place was in the home and a third because they said my son had to cut his collar length hair in order to play baseball and sing in the youth choir.

  • KrisCynical

    This is an old-ish article, but I just found this blog a few days ago and I’m sifting through everything (and enjoying it immensely… it’s so wonderful to FINALLY find a group of Christians who view scripture and practice Christianity like ME!). I haven’t watched the Ham/Nye debate yet, but I’m looking forward to it because Bill Nye is fiercely awesome. That being said:

    I attended a Christian school for Pre-K through 12th grade, so Creationism was part of the science curriculum (although I don’t think it EVER should be, religious school or not). When I was a freshman our biology textbook had chapters on Creationism and Evolution back-to-back, and it shockingly DIDN’T say that Evolution was nonsense… it just said “this is the most commonly held scientific theory of origin outside of Creationism” before going on to explain it in a perfectly fact-based, neutral way with no discrediting comments attached. It’s a shame that nowadays parents would be OUTRAGED if they knew Evolution was treated with any respect whatsoever in a Christian school… But I digress.

    After reading both chapters, the teacher held a mock “trial” of Creationism vs. Evolution, and we had to “debate” both sides. He was the judge, and we picked paper out of a hat for who was in the jury or which side we would be defending. I drew Evolution. The trial started, and everyone on the Creationism side fell into the same trap that most militant Christians do: RIDICULOUSLY OBNOXIOUS arrogance and total dependence on a book that means nothing to non-Christians. “It says it happened this way in the Bible, so it’s TRUE. *PERIOD*.”

    When it was my side’s turn, I pointed that out. You simply cannot solely depend on a religious text that means nothing to the masses when you’re debating matters of science and other absolutes like theories of origin, or moral matters, or why you believe what you believe. And very few Christians seem to understand that, unfortunately.

    Obviously, there’s no absolute proof (or proof that would satisfy nonbelievers at least) that the Bible was influenced by God or that anything in it is true or actually happened. On the other hand, though, there’s a glut of scientific fact and evidence behind Evolution, and science means a hell of a lot more to the general public than a religious text they may or may not follow with the explanation of “just ‘cuz”.

    Amusingly enough, the teacher and jury ruled in favor of Evolution by a landslide — in a Christian school to boot. lol

    I don’t understand why flavors of Creationism can’t coexist with Evolution, personally. Evolution happened. We know it did. It’s STILL happening, and it isn’t a sin to say so. I don’t know why so many fundies cannot and will not acknowledge that… all it means for Christians is that Evolution was God’s way of creating everything. To think that God can be defined by or constrained to something as stupid as human perception of time is ridiculous, so the Young Earth theory is silly to me. Scripture doesn’t say each day was 24 hours. For all we know it took ten million years for one “day” to pass. God very well could have created everything we know of in seven 24-hour days since He can do anything He wants, but we have scientific proof that it was much longer much earlier.

    I will never understand why some Christians act like science is a sin that cannot coexist with religious beliefs rather than seeing it as “how God designed everything to work”. God gave us brains that are highly intelligent… and I’m willing to bet that He kind of wants us to USE them.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      Hello…Thanks for stopping by and sharing you story!