Answers in Genesis responds: ‘No thanks, but here’s a book you can buy’

Photo by Yoel Ben-Avraham, via Flickr.

Almost a month ago, I posted a response to a rather critical article about me on Ken Ham’s blog.

In that same post, I invited Ken Ham, or any representative of his organization, to an open dialogue on evolution, creation, the gospel and the proper interpretation of Genesis. Shortly thereafter, I sent a brief message along very similar lines through Answers in Genesis’ feedback form, which is the only forum for interaction on the group’s otherwise comment-disabled website.

In my message, I also expressed interest in discussing whether it is fair for Ham and other AiG writers to regularly describe other Christians who disagree with them, like myself, as “compromisers,” who don’t accept “the authority of God’s word.”

On Oct. 16, more than three weeks after I sent my inquiry, I received a response from one Terry Mortenson.

Well… actually, I received a response claiming to be from Terry Mortenson, which was actually forwarded from a man named Troy Lacey (I found his bio too; he looks like a friendly chap, doesn’t he?).

Well… actually, I received a response claiming to be from Terry Mortenson and Troy Lacey, from an email account called “Correspondence Mbox,” which I seriously doubt is the real staff email address for anyone at Answers in Genesis, because, when you reply to it (as I did), you get an automatically generated response that looks like this.

But, anyway, here it is:

Re  Tyler Francke  God of Evolution website   tylerjfrancke gmail.com   Gmail

The text is as follows:

Tyler, I’m passing along a brief reply from Dr. Terry Mortenson

In Coming to Grips with Genesis we have already very clearly and thoroughly made our case that young-earth creation is the only correct interpretation of Genesis 1-11 and historically the orthodox Christian view until 200 years ago when most of the church blindly and foolishly swallowed the millions of years claims of deist and atheist geologists and then the evolutionary claims of Charles Darwin and his disciples.  Feel free to try to refute those arguments on your blog.  We will see what you have to say.

Terry Mortenson, MDiv, PhD

Sincerely,
Troy Lacey

Ooooooooh! They’ll “see what I have to say.” Well, shucks, I never thought about refuting any of AiG’s arguments on this blog before, but here goes.

The first thing I have to say is this: “Dear Dr. Mortenson, this little mark here (,) is called a comma. It is a very useful punctuation mark, and should help make your future correspondence immensely more readable. Here is a simple guide that explains how and when to use a comma. I believe you will find it illuminating.”

The next thing I have to say is to my readers. I am, obviously, ignoring AiG’s unenforceable little disclaimer on the bottom of its email. I agreed to no such “confidentiality,” so I am, of course, not bound by it. I’m well aware that the good folks over at Answers in Genesis believe that they alone serve as the mouthpiece for God, and therefore, anyone and everyone should instantly fall in line with whatever they assert to be true.

However, unfortunately for them, that’s not the way it works. The laws of the United States do not permit the senders of electronic communications to preemptively and unilaterally muzzle their recipients simply because they believe they should be entitled to do so. Last time I checked, my freedom of speech was still protected under the U.S. Constitution (Dr. Mortenson, here’s a primer on the First Amendment by your friends at the ACLU).

The final thing I have to say was my actual response to Mortenson/Lacey/Correspondence Mbox Robot, which follows:

2

Full text:

Dear Mr. Lacey,

Thanks for the forward. I would appreciate it if you inform Dr. Mortenson that, while I appreciate the pitch for his book, I remain primarily interested in discussing whether his, his organization’s and Ken Ham’s routine descriptions of Christians like myself as “compromisers” is remotely fair or biblically defensible. Unless “Coming to Grips with Genesis” contains a detailed and biblically based explanation of why it is perfectly appropriate for ministers of God’s word to habitually attack and belittle other Christians who hold differing views on non-essential matters of doctrine, then my offer stands.

Sincerely,
Tyler Francke

Well, now you’re caught up on our correspondence. I think it pretty much speaks for itself, but if you have any questions or comments, feel free to chime in below.

Tyler Francke is the founder of God of Evolution and author of Reoriented. He can be reached here.

  • I only wish more Christians recognised ham-ism for what it is; part ego trip, part mid-20th century heresy. But of course he’s willing to debate when it suits him, as with Nye, to fill his coffers.

    • I am waiting for Ham to challenge my photograph as I had shared something on my tumblr.com — Tyler, Old Earth Ministries, Reasons To Believe and I all have work to do to set this right. I have a hard time finding a church because of this as many are brainwashed by K** H** and those like him. I am in touch with a real Egyptologist who Old Earth Ministries pointed out to me — you want to refute him point him to my blog called The Science Gospel talking about Pompeii because I had studied ancient civilizations in grade school — Greece and Rome were spoken of often. The King James Only Movement is responsible for the treating heavy metal like pariahs too. Where I am a Conservative and A Republican but speak up for Evolution where I take the verse where man taking his wife but can’t find my own wife yet 😀 — it seems like when they find out I write scary things play with cryptids and UFOs but put them away when I am done. Ken Ham need to leave the pseudoscience to us in the speculative fiction field.

    • I think we’re coming around. Just give us some time 😉

  • Yea, Tyler, come on. Why haven’t you refuted any of the points of AiG on your blog? Huh? I mean, come on, man – they’ll see what you have to say. Its not like you’ve ever said anything about YEC being far more recent than Ham and his Organization admits, or mentioned specific examples of pre-Darwin christians who didn’t believe that the earth was 6,000 years old, or how Evolution works in context of an allegorical reading of Genesis, or any of these things.

    • Yeah, it was a good point Mortenson made. Gee, I never thought to try refuting any of AiG’s arguments on this blog…

  • Larry Bunce

    “when most of the church blindly and foolishly swallowed the millions of years claims of deist and atheist geologists and then the evolutionary claims of Charles Darwin and his disciples”

    That sounds like “everyone is out of step but us.”

    A pioneer American geolpgist was a Congregationalist minister, Edward Hitchcock (1793-1864.) Enough was known about rock formation in his day that he knew that some fossil-bearing rocks had Bottom of Form 1

    been formed in still water, so that they couldn’t have been the result of the turbulent waters of Noah’s flood. He also knew that these these rock layers took much longer to form than the just over a year allowed by Flood geology. He also came up with an argument against Noah’s flood being a literal event that I hadn’t seen before– the winds that dried up the waters would have become so saturated with moisture that violent thunderstorms would have kept the world flooded. Hitchcock’s solution to this seeming contradiction to Genesis was to suggest that the ‘whole world ‘ in Noah’s flood meant the local area, as he does in other places in the Bible, such as ‘the whole world came to be taxed’ when Jesus was born. (This was in a book published in 1851, eight years before Darwin.)

    Geologists realized that the fossil record showed that evolution had happened even before Darwin’s time. Darwin’s theory was not that evolution had happened, but was merely the first coherent and persuasive explanation of how it had happened. A book had been published anonymously in 1844, “Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation,” that suggested that life had evolved as a result of natural law, without the aid of God at all. Edward Hitchcock attacked this idea very strongly, showing that he was a progressive creationists. His arguments against evolution by natural law are still used by creationists.

    So much for AiG’s knowledge of the history of evolution, but I suppose AiG would not accept written history because we were not there when the books were published.

    • “when most of the church blindly and foolishly swallowed the millions of years claims of deist and atheist geologists and then the evolutionary claims of Charles Darwin and his disciples”

      That sounds like “everyone is out of step but us.”

      Bingo. After 2,000 years, Ken Ham and AiG came along, and finally got the Bible exactly right.

  • Paul

    Wow, what clear thought and logical discourse from Answers in Genesis. What they fail to realize, of course, is that Genesis 1 was almost NEVER thought to be literal until the 18th century. For 1800 years, everyone misinterpreted the Bible? Really? Augustine, Aquinas, Origen, and many others were simply ignoring the Bible?

    Nonsense! There’s nothing in Genesis 1 that requires belief in a literal 7 days. Indeed, you can make a very strong case that Genesis 1 refers to an extremely long period.

    • Yep, that’s their assertion. For thousands of years, from Philo (yes, he was Jewish, but his teachings were influential on the early church) to C.S. Lewis, the church got it wrong. Then Answers in Genesis came along and finally got the Bible exactly right.

    • Alan Christensen

      You can also make a strong case that the days of Gen. 1 are just a literary device.

  • I am a nobody (to all) not to God (not that i like being chosen) but I would invite and desire to have a video debate, not really debate nor argue, but your presentation arguments against my presentation that does answer all of Genesis. BTW my apologies to the sci-fi idiots of AIG since the Grand Canyon proves not one global Flood but about 12 before Adam. Likewise, the plunge in longevity is paramount to the rate that C-14 destroys DNA in all organics since the canopy removed. I have read theologists-claims and evolution-claims and to me they all seem to be locked in the locked immigrant lower chambers of the Titanic Armageddon. I invite you to make this video but please do so before the probable New Madrid destruction of the USA at sunset of August 21 solar eclipse. I will drive any distance or fly to be where YOU wish to do this for any hour or any day. Countdown to your reply. (Facebook too)