Should Answers in Genesis be called ‘Answers against Genesis’ instead?

Why do so many Christians like Ken Ham insist on compromising on God's Word?

Editor’s note: The following post is satire. See here for my wonderful source of inspiration.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

In this verse, the Greek word logos is translated “word.” There is much that could be said about the word’s deep meaning in regard to Jesus being the Word, the Creator who spoke the universe and life into existence (Colossians 1).

So why do I propose that Answers in Genesis (AiG) might be better called “Answers against Genesis” (AaG)? Because this organization, which heavily promotes atheistic scientific ideas like a round earth, geocentric solar system and the water cycle, is dangerous to Christianity. Headed and co-founded by two-time honorary degree-holder Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis (which has never received a major grant from the Templeton Foundation) is devoted to trying to get as much of the church as possible to compromise on the clear teachings in God’s Word about the flat, sky-domed earth He created.

Now, I am not claiming that such compromising people can’t be Christians. (I would never say that!) Salvation is conditioned upon faith in Christ, not what a person believes about the roundness of the earth or the origins of atmospheric phenomena.

Such compromise, however, undermines the authority of the Word and is dangerous to the health of the church. In reality, an attack on the Word of God is an attack on Jesus Christ, who is the Word. Those apologists involved with AiG will certainly stand before God one day (as we all will) to give an account of how they handled the Word. And those people who used their influence to teach others many false ideas are warned in Scripture: “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1).

Sadly, and even though the pastors at AiG might reject the assertion, such blatant compromise (which permeates the church) is resulting in many young people walking away from the Christian faith.

Consider the following passages (emphases ours):

“[C]an you join Him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?” (Job 37:18)

“It is He who sits above the [two-dimensional] circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in” (Isaiah 40:22).

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree” (Revelation 7:1).

“The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises” (Ecclesiastes 1:5).

“Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved (1 Chronicles 16:30).

“He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved” (Psalm 104:5).

“The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 28:12).

“He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills” (Psalms 147:8)

Scripture is unequivocal on these matters: The sky is solid (with “floodgates”, like a dam, that God can open and close at will), the earth is flat; the earth does not move, the sun does. And precipitation comes from God alone, not some messy, unguided process of “evaporation” and “condensation”!

It’s impossible to maintain that the whole Bible is the authoritative Word of God and at the same time say that the above passages are incorrect because man’s fallible ideas about the composition of the sky, the shape of the earth, the movement of celestial bodies and so on must override what the Bible clearly teaches. In fact, for secularists, such ideas really are man’s fallible attempts to explain the universe without God. The round earth, water cycle and heliocentric solar system really are the pagan religion of our day. Christians who compromise with such pagan ideas are no different than the Israelites who compromised God’s Word with the pagan religions of their day (like the Canaanites).

At God of Evolution, we believe that the Christians at AiG are our brothers and sisters in Christ. And as such, we believe it’s our biblical duty to draw their attention to their error about God’s Word and challenge them to return to the authority of God’s Word. (I like to try and say “God’s Word” as many times as I can per sentence. My record is 11.)

Christians who believe in the water cycle, round earth, heliocentric solar system and gaseous sky are ultimately accepting secular beliefs and are just adding God to them — but then also rejecting the Bible as trustworthy on all scientific matters.

By the way, what does Mr. Ham and his heliocentric-model-believing colleagues do with the triumph over the Amorites in the book of Joshua? If the earth rotates around the sun, then the “great light” of Genesis 1 is not hung in the solid sky (as Genesis 1:17 plainly teaches), but nearly 100 million miles away in empty space. Most theistic heliocentrists like AiG accept these ideas, with their millions of miles, without blinking. But what do they do with the references in Joshua 10 that teach that the sun “stopped in the middle of the sky”? Are we to believe that what God “really meant” was “the earth stopped spinning in the middle of empty space“?

It’s so tragic to see the lengths some Christians are willing to compromise on God’s Word. Satan’s method has been used to lead people to doubt God’s Word and put them on a slippery slide of unbelief. In this era (beginning in the late 14th and early 15th centuries), there has been a very specific attack on the Bible — compromising with the beliefs of millions of miles and a permeable sky.

Can Mr. Ham explain how secular meteorological teachings can be reconciled with Genesis 1:7-8a (which clearly says the sky is a “firmament,” not some multilayered “atmosphere” of nitrogen, oxygen, argon and trace gases), plus Matthew 5:45 (where Jesus references the sun being “made to rise” and the rain being “sent” — both attributed directly to God and not natural processes dreamed up by secular scientists), and other verses?

If a mobile sun really was hung in the hard firmament, and if the rain really does come from God, and if the earth really is flat and stationary (as God’s Word clearly teaches), and as Jesus and several inspired authors affirmed in the New Testament, then what Mr. Ham and his colleagues are proposing requires readers to reinterpret the clear words of Scripture — and in a hermeneutically inconsistent way. How is this not a clear example of the undermining of biblical authority? That’s why I came up with “Answers against Genesis” — what these compromisers are teaching is contrary to what the Word clearly states.

We at GoE are not teaching anything more than what Scripture plainly teaches and what observational science confirms. And while we appreciate AiG’s staunch defense of a semi-literal interpretation of Scripture, we must oppose their willingness to compromise on other teachings that are so clear in the Bible, simply because the secularists say they must.

In all we do at GoE, our motivation is to stand uncompromisingly, boldly, and unashamedly on the authority of God’s Word and proclaim the gospel.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Tyler Francke

If it wasn’t before, I hope it is now clear to you how hypocritical Ken Ham’s hemming and hawing about “biblical authority” is. Like any other Christian, young-earthers like K-Ham interpret the Bible, often in ways that go outside the plain meaning of the text. What makes them different (and not in a good way) is that they insist they are the only ones being “true to God’s word.”

Despite his claims to the contrary, Ham does present a false choice between science and scripture (see here). But to Christians, he presents another false choice, that Genesis can only be one of two things: literal history or “incorrect” and “lies.”

The truth is that prominent church leaders have been openly rejecting the literal reading of Genesis 1-3 (in favor of more metaphorical views) at least as early as Origen in the third century. Even Paul interpreted part of Genesis allegorically in Galatians 4:24, while the four evangelists (Matthew in particular) took great liberty with a number of Old Testament “prophecies” that, in their original contexts, weren’t remotely messianic (Hosea 11:1, for instance, explicitly refers to the nation of Israel).

Would Ham call Paul or Matthew “compromisers”? Probably not. But even if he did, I’d rather “compromise” with them any day than “stand firm” with Ken Ham on the “authority” of the convoluted mess of a hermeneutic that he calls “the plain meaning of Scripture.”

  • Nancy R.

    Don’t forget, our flat earth rests on foundations and is immovable: Psalm 104:5: “He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.”

    • Oh yeah! I have that one in my list but forgot to include it. I’ll add it now. Thanks!

  • Nancy R.

    And snow and hail are kept in enormous storehouses, of course: Job 38:22-23: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle?” This is God Himself talking to Job, so it has to be literally true. God is not a liar.

    • Yes, and don’t forget about verses 28 and 29, which talk about the rain’s father, and the dew and ice coming from a womb. That is another excellent passage to make this point; I didn’t include that one just because it was too long. But I appreciate your mentioning it!

      • Nancy R.

        The point is – that you made very well – is that these ancient understandings of the world, that we no longer accept as literally true, appear throughout scripture. So why don’t they shake the faith of people who insist that the whole Bible must be read as literally true?

        • Easy. They just say, “Well, those parts obviously weren’t meant to be taken literally,” evidently oblivious to any irony in the statement.

          • Nancy R.

            Hmmm… were they there?

  • kaffikjelen

    Why do anti-creationists always paint the issues in terms of a literal reading, when AiG and other creationists exhort a genre-specific reading? They self-confessedly take some parts of the Bible figuratively, but Genesis they take literally because they suppose it is in a historical genre. It seems to me they’re right about that. Anyone who disagrees with their assessment, and says that the first chapters of Genesis are true, but in a deeper/metaphorical way, might as well say that the Harry Potter books are true.

    Can you imagine some guy from the ancient Near East approaching the text with such a mindset? When asked about the origin of the cosmos, he would reply “I don’t know, and this text sure doesn’t give us the answer, because it is merely theological, as opposed to historical.”
    I can’t imagine such a fellow.

    • I am not an “anti-creationist.” I just have a different view of creation than Ken Ham and his cohorts.

      Anyone who disagrees with their assessment, and says that the first chapters of Genesis are true, but in a deeper/metaphorical way, might as well say that the Harry Potter books are true.

      Do you feel the same way about the parables of Christ? Do you feel the same way about the Psalms, or the books of the prophets, including Revelation? This is not a question of genre. My position is that Genesis 1 is symbolic, metaphorical truth in exactly the same way that the parables of Jesus and the books of the prophets are symbolic, metaphorical truth. So you’re argument applies equally well. Do you agree that saying the parables of Jesus are “true,” but not literally so, places them on equal footing with “Harry Potter”?

      Can you imagine some guy from the ancient Near East approaching the text with such a mindset? When asked about the origin of the cosmos, he would reply “I don’t know, and this text sure doesn’t give us the answer, because it is merely theological, as opposed to historical.”

      I can’t imagine such a fellow.

      Nor can I. Let me ask you this: Do you think your hypothetical Ancient Near Easter would interpret the “firmament” of Genesis 1:17 the same way Ken Ham does, that it’s a permeable, gaseous structure? Do you think he would read Joshua 10 (a plainly historical text, by the way) and say to himself — as Ham does — “Well, the sun didn’t really stop in the sky, because it’s not in the sky at all. It’s hundreds of millions of miles away. It only appears to move because of the rotation of the earth”?

      My position is not — nor has it ever been — that the original audiences of this text didn’t read it literally. I seriously doubt that very many people — if any — had read Hosea 11:1 as a messianic reference before Matthew, and I’m quite sure no one read Sarah and Hagar as representations of divine covenants before Paul wrote Galatians. A lot changed in many people’s views of the Old Testament after Jesus came, obviously, and interpretations of the Bible have continued to change over time, and that’s OK. My argument is simply that the allegorical view of scripture has a rich history in the Christian church; it can be applied perfectly reasonably to Genesis 1-3, and in fact, it has been since at least the third century.

      Ken Ham’s view is fundamentally inconsistent, and a plea to “genre specificity” doesn’t solve things, since many of the passages he takes figuratively appear in “historical” books.

      • kaffikjelen

        (How do you cite in this thing? I tried the “cite” tags, but they didn’t work…)

        My position is that Genesis 1 is symbolic, metaphorical truth in exactly the same way that the parables of Jesus and the books of the prophets are symbolic, metaphorical truth.

        None of Jesus’ parables are true, but as any other parable they aren’t intended to be, they only illustrate a point. Prophetic and apocalyptic literature is symbolic for future (or past) events. This is unlike Genesis 1, which is certainly more in the ballpark of historical literature. Forcing truth upon it by interpreting it metaphorically is the exact same as forcing truth upon any other myth (or Harry Potter books). What’s the point?

        Do you think your hypothetical Ancient Near Easter would interpret the “firmament” of Genesis 1:17 the same way Ken Ham does, that it’s a permeable, gaseous structure?

        I think the guy would interpret it contrary to Ham, and–you’re right–that is where Ham is inconsistent with his urging to read the text as an accurate portrayal of the cosmos. This is of course equally incongruent with the label “literalist” as it is with “genre-ist”. I wouldn’t call Ham either “literalist” or “genre-ist”, I would just call him a plain ol’ YEC. I guess I have a beef with this “literalist” word, because most YECs rightly don’t recognise themselves in it.

        I seriously doubt that very many people — if any — had read Hosea 11:1 as a messianic reference before Matthew, and I’m quite sure no one read Sarah and Hagar as representations of divine covenants before Paul wrote Galatians. A lot changed in many people’s views of the Old Testament after Jesus came, obviously, and interpretations of the Bible have continued to change over time, and that’s OK.

        Of course, the difference between the instances you mention, where early Christians took certain interpretive liberties, and an allegorical view of Genesis, is this: In the case of the former, I rule out that either Paul or Matthew took the texts they referred to as mere metaphor, whereas in the latter case you take Genesis solely as metaphor. So your cases are disanalogous.

        • (How do you cite in this thing? I tried the “cite” tags, but they didn’t work…)

          You mean the quotes? Just use the tags

          and

          (no spaces). There might be a shorter version but that’s the only way I know.

          None of Jesus’ parables are true, but as any other parable they aren’t intended to be, they only illustrate a point.

          Well it appears that you and I have a fundamental disagreement, because I reject the idea that Jesus’ parables aren’t “true” simply because they’re not factual historical stories. I believe they express profound and eternal moral, relational and theological truths.

          You are partial to your analogy about “Harry Potter,” but by your apparent definition of truth, I could just as easily say that the rigidly literal view of Genesis removes the lasting, eternal truths from the text, transforming it into nothing more than an ordinary history textbook that bored you in school. The only truths that can be gleaned from it are, “Huh, so that’s what happened back then.”

          It is only by digging beneath the surface that one finds the deeper truths about God, mankind and the relationship between the two that may still apply to our lives today.

          This is unlike Genesis 1, which is certainly more in the ballpark of historical literature.

          I disagree. I think Genesis 1-3 is packed with clear markers of a nonliteral text. For example, the fact that the first three days, mornings and evenings progress without a sun, moon and stars (even without a sky in the first day); the fact that the characters are not named (Eve is simply “the woman” until the end of Gen 3, Adam’s name isn’t much of a name, since it means “the man”); the fact that there is a talking snake; clear metaphors like trees with magical fruit; indeterminate place and time; and finally, the fact that — if read literally — Gen 1 and 2 contradict in several places.

          I wouldn’t call Ham either “literalist” or “genre-ist”, I would just call him a plain ol’ YEC. I guess I have a beef with this “literalist” word, because most YECs rightly don’t recognise themselves in it.

          Fair point. In a different post, I recently recognized the failings of the term “literalist,” and you’ll notice that I did not use it in the piece above.

          whereas in the latter case you take Genesis solely as metaphor.

          Actually, I don’t. I think it’s a mixed bag. Much of Genesis has historical content, though I do still believe the allegorical interpretations often have more lasting value for our lives today. I do think Genesis 1 is largely metaphorical, though I interpret Genesis 1:1 entirely literally. Genesis 2 and 3 I see as symbolic accounts of real events that transpired.

          • kaffikjelen

            Well it appears that you and I have a fundamental disagreement, because I reject the idea that Jesus’ parables aren’t “true” simply because they’re not factual historical stories.

            Is the story of the Good Samaritan true? Was Jesus referring to a specific man who was as a matter of fact attacked by highwaymen, and subsequently ignored by several passersby? Presumably not, so it’s trivial to say that the story is false.

            The points Jesus intented to teach, however, are unharmed by the imaginary storyline. It is true that it is morally right to be a good neighbour.

            On the other hand, did the author(s) of the first chapters of Genesis only intend to tell a fictional story to illustrate such ethical/theological points? Why think that, when every other cosmogonic myth has been construed to supply an explanation of the universe’s existence? My hypothetical ancient Near Eastener did so with Genesis.

            It is only by digging beneath the surface that one finds the deeper truths about God, mankind and the relationship between the two that may still apply to our lives today.

            I agree (and I’m sure most YECs would also) that Genesis teaches some important theological truths, laying the foundation for much of Judeo-Christian theology. But it would still be inaccurate to call the text true. If an autobiography contained some wild and patently false stories, the author couldn’t defend their veracity by merely claiming that they manifested some of her personality traits.

            I think Genesis 1-3 is packed with clear markers of a nonliteral text.

            Many of these things you mention, it seems to me, are common in myths generally, and are also symptomatic of pre-scientific ignorance. Contradictions between the two creation accounts can be explained through some later editor(s) combining them (Wellhausen’s hypothesis).

            But I wonder; has such a substantial number of people really misread these chapters as affirming historical facts, when they should be read as poetry?

            In a different post, I recently recognized the failings of the term “literalist,” and you’ll notice that I did not use it in the piece above.

            Sorry, I had just read a different post which contained the word “literalist” before I commented on this.

            Actually, I don’t [take Genesis 1-3 solely as metaphor].

            Sure, there are factual assertions in Gen 1-3 that you would affirm, but if you take some parts only metaphorically, then the analogy with Paul and Matthew doesn’t work. They took their texts literally, but they found additional symbolic meanings. Whereas a non-YEC view (except for the ridiculous “Gap Theory”) would take most of Genesis 1-3 allegorically.

          • The points Jesus intented to teach, however, are unharmed by the imaginary storyline. It is true that it is morally right to be a good neighbour.

            This I agree with. The question with Genesis 1-3 is what is it intended to teach. If the answer is, among other things, that God is the creator of the universe and everything in it, the creation of all things was a logical and “good” process that proceeded only at God’s command, mankind was made to be in relationship with God but we chose to go our own way, and so on, then I would argue that all of those points are equally “unharmed by the imaur ginary storyline.”

            On the other hand, did the author(s) of the first chapters of Genesis only intend to tell a fictional story to illustrate such ethical/theological points? Why think that, when every other cosmogonic myth has been construed to supply an explanation of the universe’s existence? My hypothetical ancient Near Eastener did so with Genesis.

            With your hypothetical Near Easter, I understood that you were describing how an ancient person might read Genesis, not the person who wrote it. We know very little about the author or his or her intentions. Indeed I do think that the role of sacred myth was understood very differently in the time that Genesis was written than we popularly understand it today. I don’t think it was nearly as black and white, “true” or false.

            I agree (and I’m sure most YECs would also) that Genesis teaches some important theological truths, laying the foundation for much of Judeo-Christian theology. But it would still be inaccurate to call the text true. If an autobiography contained some wild and patently false stories, the author couldn’t defend their veracity by merely claiming that they manifested some of her personality traits.

            You are welcome to your own opinion, but I still maintain that I see no need to believe a text cannot be true unless it is literally true, and I would wager that many Christians, including young earthers would agree with me.

            has such a substantial number of people really misread these chapters as affirming historical facts, when they should be read as poetry?

            Is it really that surprising? I think it’s only human nature to gravitate toward the majority view and the “simplest” interpretation, and in contemporary times, the young-earth view is both.

            They took their texts literally, but they found additional symbolic meanings.

            This is quite a bit of a presumption on your part, is it not? I’m not aware of any systematic theology of the Old Testament that is presented in the writings of either Matthew or Paul? We see only glimpses here and there.

          • kaffikjelen

            So we mainly disagree on what Genesis 1-3 was originally intended to teach. I find that your position, then, is better than brute reinterpretation of the text, contrary to orginal authorial intent (a la a Roman Catholic view of Scripture, where the “Church” designates meaning to the Bible, in opposition to the original author).

            If the answer is, among other things, that God is the creator of the universe and everything in it, the creation of all things was a logical and “good” process that proceeded only at God’s command, mankind was made to be in relationship with God but we chose to go our own way, and so on, then I would argue that all of those points are equally “unharmed by the imaur ginary storyline.

            I agree.

            We find ourselves in dangerously slippery semantical territory here, about meaning and language. But here is what I would maintain:
            *The main story of Genesis 1-3 is false
            *Genesis 1-3 contains factually accurate sentences (at least Gen 1:1)
            *Genesis 1-3 teaches certain true theological points (e.g. that God creates man as the pinnacle of creation)

            I think these are trivial points. So where we then mainly would differ is whether the author intended only to teach theology, not history. You say that he did, which means that he would consider the main storyline imaginary/false.
            What I find problematic is that this guy must have been the single person in ancient history who wrote a cosmogonic account, but didn’t intend it to be a cosmogonic account. In a culture where humans had progressed from the neolithic habit of explaining merely their immediate surroundings through myth, to creating a more comprehensive cosmology including the origins of the cosmos, this guy was in the unfortunate situation that his allegory would be pathologically misinterpreted as something it was not. I find it hard to believe.

            Indeed I do think that the role of sacred myth was understood very differently in the time that Genesis was written than we popularly understand it today.

            Could you give a source for that? I’m no expert on ancient culture, though in my neophytic naivete I’d assume that people accepted myth as an explanation of whatever it was about. What use is an etiological myth unless it actually is understood as explaining something?

            I’m not aware of any systematic theology of the Old Testament that is presented in the writings of either Matthew or Paul?

            Yeah, of course, what I was talking about were the specific Matthean and Pauline texts you referred to in your article. Paul takes Abraham as an historic figure, and Matthew seems to consider the OT historically reliable (cf. his genealogies). So their allegorical interpretations come on top of their more literal interpretations.

          • I think these are trivial points. So where we then mainly would differ is whether the author intended only to teach theology, not history. You say that he did, which means that he would consider the main storyline imaginary/false.

            What I find problematic is that this guy must have been the single person in ancient history who wrote a cosmogonic account, but didn’t intend it to be a cosmogonic account. In a culture where humans had progressed from the neolithic habit of explaining merely their immediate surroundings through myth, to creating a more comprehensive cosmology including the origins of the cosmos, this guy was in the unfortunate situation that his allegory would be pathologically misinterpreted as something it was not. I find it hard to believe.

            Here is the best way I can think of to explain my view. If a time traveler from our day went to the ancient Hebrews, and spoke to the original author and said that it is true that God created the universe and everything in it, but it took much longer than six days, I think it would have given him no trouble.

            Could you give a source for that? I’m no expert on ancient culture, though in my neophytic naivete I’d assume that people accepted myth as an explanation of whatever it was about. What use is an etiological myth unless it actually is understood as explaining something?

            It’s just that “explaining something” is not all that myths do, and in fact, it may not even be the most important thing that they do/did. They also unify people and give them a sense of cultural significance. In the case of Genesis 1, it gave the ancient Hebrews a grounding for their faith. It showed them that — unlike the other cultures around them — their God was not some strange, capricious animal, but a spirit, and yet, one who is not unlike us (because we are made in his image) — a being who thinks and speaks and reasons. And it also taught them that the creation was not born out of some war or terrible chaos (like many other contemporary creation myths) but an orderly progression from the mind of this reasonable, benevolent God, hence, meaning that the creation itself is good.

            Perhaps this short video and essay at BioLogos, by N.T. Wright and Peter Enns respectively, might also be helpful in explaining what I’m trying to say.

            Paul takes Abraham as an historic figure, and Matthew seems to consider the OT historically reliable (cf. his genealogies). So their allegorical interpretations come on top of their more literal interpretations.

            Although Matthew’s genealogy goes back only as far as Abraham (it’s Luke’s that goes all the way back to Adam). As I’ve said before I think Genesis has a lot of historical content, and I don’t at all think the entire 50 or so chapters is just a metaphor after a metaphor. I see no reason not to believe Abraham was a legitimate historical figure, for example.

          • kaffikjelen

            Sorry for the delayed reply.

            If a time traveler from our day went to the ancient Hebrews, and spoke to the original author and said that it is true that God created the universe and everything in it, but it took much longer than six days, I think it would have given him no trouble.

            I’m not quite satisfied with this response to my reasoning. Do you deny that cosmogonic myths were written in those days, or that cosmogonic myths are just that, cosmogonic, or that Genesis 1-3 is a cosmogony? I really see no plausible reason to deny any of these things. And that means that the original author would have been troubled by your time traveller’s suggestion.

            It’s just that “explaining something” is not all that myths do, and in fact, it may not even be the most important thing that they do/did. They also unify people and give them a sense of cultural significance.

            Sure, but I don’t think that would remove the explanation component of myths. Ancient people didn’t just disregard the factual claims in the myths, as if that was irrelevant. This I reason, because it was a turning point when ancient Greeks started philosophy, trying to rationalise the world, instead of just pointing to the supernatural. So clearly people before that (and also after) thought of the world in accordance with myth, and at that point, some viewed it in a different manner, through reason.

            And of course, as all myths are fictional narratives, the fact that they contain deep messages and theological ideas does not entail that they are allegory. An ancient person would presumably think that the history of nature actually reflected the life and times of his culture’s gods.

            Although Matthew’s genealogy goes back only as far as Abraham

            Oh, I had actually never noticed, thanks for pointing that out. But as he includes Abraham, he seems to think of the OT as reliable; so again, his allegorical interpretation comes on top of his historical.

          • I’m not quite satisfied with this response to my reasoning. Do you deny that cosmogonic myths were written in those days, or that cosmogonic myths are just that, cosmogonic, or that Genesis 1-3 is a cosmogony? I really see no plausible reason to deny any of these things. And that means that the original author would have been troubled by your time traveller’s suggestion.

            It’s a fair point. Ultimately, I suppose we can not do much more than speculate on what exact views and ancient person would have held of his or her particular creation myth. Personally, I have no trouble envisioning them as having seen them as spiritually discerned accounts that would not conflict with material science — had material science existed at the time for it to conflict with. However, that is easy for me to say, looking back with my 21st-century eyes.

            It is also difficult not being able to see the writings, commentaries, etc. of the people at the time. We must guess at their beliefs of the text using only the text itself. In support of my view, however, I can offer the testimony of Philo of Alexandria. He was a prominent Jewish scholar (in the first century BC, I believe); some of his writings have survived and we know that he often used and promoted the allegorical views of Genesis in his work.

            Interestingly, some scholars believe the work of Philo was influential on the OT views of the early Christians.

            This I reason, because it was a turning point when ancient Greeks started philosophy, trying to rationalise the world, instead of just pointing to the supernatural. So clearly people before that (and also after) thought of the world in accordance with myth, and at that point, some viewed it in a different manner, through reason.

            There were Jewish philosophers as well, weren’t there?

            Oh, I had actually never noticed, thanks for pointing that out. But as he includes Abraham, he seems to think of the OT as reliable; so again, his allegorical interpretation comes on top of his historical.

            I say again, I do not view all of the Old Testament as a metaphor. I’ve already stated that I see no reason to reject Abraham as a legitimate historical figure.

          • Benjamin Vincent

            When the Bible refers to things like “the ends of the earth” or “the four corners of the world” and so on, it is using them metaphorically. People still use those expressions today, for crying out loud! In the Psalms, Proverbs, books of Prophecy, etc., they are used for poetic emphasis. Read some modern poetry- does it ever say “and the earth rotated farther so that the enormous gaseous ball called the sun could be revealed over the horizon caused by the curve of the earth, and its light could penetrate the gaseous atmosphere of the round earth as it spun through space?” No! It says, “And the sun rose.” Was the sun literally rising? No. We all know that. But that is what it’s called- the sunrise. Because that is what it looks like, and that is what people are familiar with.

            There are very clear distinctions between such poetry and actual historic texts. The book of Genesis is written as history. If the creation account was intended to be interpreted metaphorically, then after the account ended and it continued into the true and accurate historical accounts of Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, the Tower of Babel, Abraham, etc., it would make it evident that we were transitioning from allegory into history. Notice in the places where aforementioned metaphors about natural processes are mentioned, the context is simply praising God, or speaking of His glory, not recounting actual past events.

            And as for parables, is that even a question? They say, “And Jesus told them a parable, saying…” They don’t say, “And Jesus then told them a history lesson about a dude who really lived 200 years before.” It’s a clear distinction.

            It’s imperative that as Christians, we don’t succumb to the pressures of the world. Just because people around you are believing evolution and other such foolish and completely ridiculous notions doesn’t mean that you should. Who will you believe- God, or Man?

            I admire your ambition, but it’s pointed in the wrong direction. Use it to further God’s Kingdom, not unintentionally tear it down. And I’ll be praying for you.

          • Hey Benjamin, thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate the response, but you are not entirely correct in some of the things you say. Allow me to explain.

            If the creation account was intended to be interpreted metaphorically, then after the account ended and it continued into the true and accurate historical accounts of Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, the Tower of Babel, Abraham, etc., it would make it evident that we were transitioning from allegory into history.

            I think that is a rather arbitrary and illogical requirement. I do not believe the ancients did not share our modern scientific and epistemological views. They would not have seen that something must be literal and historical to be “true,” and if it’s poetic and symbolic, it’s “not true.” I believe the Bible is at all times concerned with the dispensation of eternal truths about the nature of God, man and the relationship between the two. That being said, its genre changes constantly and without warning. Even the book of Genesis alternates frequently between metaphor, myth, history, poems, songs, prophecy and so on, without stopping to inform the reader what it’s doing.

            This is still how we tell stories today, by the way. I might tell you about my day yesterday and mention that I went to the store around noon and then, later in the day, my wife and I argued and were at each other’s throats. Do I have to stop and explain that “the store” and “around noon,” are non-specific, non-literal references and that “at each other’s throats” is a completely non-literal figure of speech? Of course not.

            These exact same principles are at work all throughout scripture. If we force some rigid and arbitrary reading upon the text, we will come away with incorrect impressions, plain and simple.

            Notice in the places where aforementioned metaphors about natural processes are mentioned, the context is simply praising God, or speaking of His glory, not recounting actual past events.

            Not true. As I mention before, metaphors occur all throughout Genesis. Genesis talks about the sun moving, rising and setting. Genesis 1 refers to the moon as “a light,” which it isn’t — it is merely a reflector. Joshua 10 recounts a time “the sun stood still in the sky” (which is scientifically impossible) and other historical books like 1 Chronicles talk about the earth being firmly fixed upon its foundations and not moving (when, in truth, the earth is constantly moving across empty space, in an orbit around the sun).

            And as for parables, is that even a question? They say, “And Jesus told them a parable, saying…” They don’t say, “And Jesus then told them a history lesson about a dude who really lived 200 years before.” It’s a clear distinction.

            Not true. Many of Jesus’ parables are not preceded by this statement or any other kind of label. He simply moves from teaching directly into a story like, “Once there was a man…”, which could just as easily precede a statement of historical fact.

            It’s imperative that as Christians, we don’t succumb to the pressures of the world. Just because people around you are believing evolution and other such foolish and completely ridiculous notions doesn’t mean that you should. Who will you believe- God, or Man?

            I accept evolution because there is overwhelming evidence for it, not because of “peer pressure.” I would encourage you to really take some time and explore the evidence in favor of an ancient earth and evolution by common descent. Here is a primer on the age question by a Christian organization.

            The reason I would suggest that is because this stuff about the billions of years of evolution is not something I just “choose” to “believe in” because I want to. There is a lot of evidence there, enough that I think we can reasonably presume the billions of years to be true. And, if it is, it does not stop being true simply because it is inconvenient for our theology. We have to acknowledge and we have to deal with it; we can’t simply pretend like it isn’t there.

          • Ben Amend

            I’d also like to point out, on the topic of “the ends of the earth” and the “rising of the sun”, that they’re metaphors *today*. A lot of our modern metaphors/allegory are based on beliefs held by ancient peoples a long time ago. It seems totally natural to assume today that when someone says “the four corners of the earth”, they don’t mean that literally, but to apply that same assumption to people who lived thousands of years ago would be a mistake, especially when it’s a well-known fact that many people back then truly believed that the earth really *was* the center of the universe, and that it really *wasn’t* spherical. I think people today tend to lose sight of the fact that people who lived long before us didn’t talk the same way we do now, and that a lot of metaphorical language is largely cultural.

            As for the question, “Who will you believe- God, or Man?”, I choose to believe God’s revelation through nature, as I think it would be foolish to stake my understanding of the history of our planet on man’s pre-scientific worldviews.

          • Good points, Ben! Thanks!

          • Liz

            “On man’s pre-scientific worldviews”? You mean GOD’S WORD? You either believe it’s his word, or you believe it’s not, there’s no logical basis to accept bits and pieces. God is either the author, as stated in said Word, or he’s not. If you attribute it all to God, then you have to say he 1) literally believes these “pre-scientific worldviews”, 2) he’s using metaphors or symbolism in those instances when we KNOW it can’t be taken literally, or 3) you throw the whole thing out as a book written by man. Any other choice is less logical than any of those choices.

          • Matthew Funke

            You mean GOD’S WORD?

            No, he means man’s pre-scientific worldviews, which gave rise to a particular interpretation that turns out to be inaccurate.

            You either believe it’s his word, or you believe it’s not, there’s no logical basis to accept bits and pieces. God is either the author, as stated in said Word, or he’s not. If you attribute it all to God, then you have to say he 1) literally believes these “pre-scientific worldviews”, 2) he’s using metaphors or symbolism in those instances when we KNOW it can’t be taken literally, or 3) you throw the whole thing out as a book written by man. Any other choice is less logical than any of those choices.

            “Less absolute” does not mean “less logical”.

            If you hold something as true, but also hold that your understanding of it can be wrong, and reality shows that your understanding is wrong, either you surrender holding it as true or you change your understanding. That’s logical. Holding onto an understanding in contradiction to the available evidence is not logical, and that’s what creationist teachers are asking us to do.

            Of your options, I tend to take (2). The evidence is pretty clear.

          • Liz

            Except you’re not just taking it figuratively where we KNOW it can’t be literal. You’re taking the interpretation of men actively trying to disprove God, and saying “here’s the evidence”. No. It’s not. We have the SAME evidence, but secularists who were trying to find a way to disprove God incorrectly interpreted that evidence, and people like you said “well I don’t want to look like I’m not scientific, so I’m with him!”. They’ve cherry picked every date from every dating method you can name, they’ve found not one “missing link” that is undisputed by other secularists even, and you believe whatever they tell you by faith, and look for a way to interpret the Bible using the lens of secularism. Yet when God says something as clearly as he possibly could, even adding that each day was an “EVENING and a MORNING”, you assume it’s figurative because secular men said so. Give your head a shake.

          • Matthew Funke

            Except you’re not just taking it figuratively where we KNOW it can’t be literal.

            That’s precisely what I’m doing. We know the universe and the Earth were not created over a calendrical week. We know the universe and the Earth cannot be a few thousand years old. We know the diversity of life was not achieved through separate and instantaneous instances of supernatural creation. Therefore, we know that the interpretation you call “literal” (it’s not) means that we have to understand it figuratively.

            You’re taking the interpretation of men actively trying to disprove God, and saying “here’s the evidence”.

            You’re asserting a conspiracy where none exists. Most of this evidence was uncovered by people who saw God in it — including Darwin, a former seminary student. Muslim teachers who argue for young-Earth creationism like to point this out, asserting that Darwin introduced his mechanism for evolution as part of a conspiracy to convert people to Christianity.

            We have the SAME evidence,

            No. We don’t. We have the evidence, which includes the piles and piles and piles of evidence that creationists have to ignore in order to continue to pretend that their notions have any consistency with science whatsoever.

            I can mention some of those evidences if you like — and honestly, I’d recommend it. We’re going to get precisely nowhere as long as you keep asserting conspiracy, because I can just as easily posit a conspiracy by creationists to try to make things look as if they have any kind of validity. Moreover, in the face of conspiracy, any evidence that looks contrary can be conveniently ignored as part of the conspiracy, and evidence that seems to corroborate your ideas can be cherry-picked so that you can pretend to look like you know what’s going on.

            So let’s talk evidence. It’s non-negotiable, and it is what it is regardless of interpretation or any conspiracies we might like to propose.

            They’ve cherry picked every date from every dating method you can name,

            If you’d like to cite examples, I’m ready. Every creationist attempt to show date fudging that I’ve run across has turned out to be a gross misuse of the tools, misrepresenting calibration data as an actual dating attempt, or simply making stuff up. Show me what you have.

            they’ve found not one “missing link” that is undisputed by other secularists even,

            Actually, we’ve found thousands. Would you like to discuss?

            Yet when God says something as clearly as he possibly could,

            There you go again, putting limits on what God can possibly do, even in the face of examples where He could have done more. If you’re just going to declare what’s possible for God and what isn’t, and that it has to agree with your personal notions, we’re not going to get very far. Are you arguing in good faith, or just planning to assert your claims over and over?

            even adding that each day was an “EVENING and a MORNING”, you assume it’s figurative because secular men said so.

            No, I assume it’s figurative because the Bible uses it as figurative language. I even pointed to another Old Testament passage where this is so.

            The fact that your “literal” interpretation fails to match the evidence helps. Shall we discuss?

  • Jordan Bradford

    Awesome satire. I laughed a lot while reading it.

    • Thanks, Jordan. Glad you liked it, brother. Please share!

  • Joshua Hedlund

    I think this begs a question… If YECs do not want to treat Genesis as metaphor because they do not want to compromise the literal truth of Scripture, why are they clearly NOT afraid to do the same thing with flat-earth texts? Do you think they’re just being randomly irrationally inconsistent, or do you think there are more charitable explanations?

    • Personally, I think they’re being randomly, irrationally inconsistent, but there probably are more charitable explanations out there. 🙂

      • Joshua Hedlund

        Well, I don’t think the evidence matches that conclusion. Why is the alleged irrational inconsistency so one-sided? There are tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of Christians who emphatically choose literal Bible verses over science when it comes to evolution, but (as far as I know) zero who do so for the shape of the earth or the water cycle. If these Christians are just irrationally anti-science, wouldn’t we expect a more even distribution? (It’s not like Christians lack the creativity to expostulate about all manners of possible interpretations of Bible verses.)

        I have a couple charitable hypotheses, but they lead to different conclusions than yours, so I’m curious to see what your explanations might be, or if you simply disagree that the distribution is unexpected.

        • Fair point. I think it starts very early on. Concepts such as the earth being round, the sky being made of air, the earth rotating and revolving around the sun are fairly simple and are not controversial. I imagine many kids wonder about things like this at a young age, and their parents have no problem telling them the truth, and then their teachers reinforce this at school. Concepts like the water cycle are a bit harder to explain, but parents can simply say something like “rain comes from clouds.”

          In the case of evolution, I’m sure all kids also wonder about questions like “Why do fish have fins?” “Why do birds fly?” and “Where do people come from?” Statistics consistently show that large percentages of American adults reject evolution outright, and even those who accept it don’t understand it very well. So their answers to these kinds of questions are more likely to be along the lines of “That’s the way God made them.” It’s the easiest and simplest explanation, and it’s not even untrue as far as I’m concerned, but it doesn’t tell the whole truth and it doesn’t leave much room for evolution.

          So one could argue that the kids are set up to reject evolution from an early age. And I don’t know all the hard statistics for this, but from my experience, most schools don’t really start teaching evolution until the later grades. By that time, the evolutionary skepticism is already deeply ingrained.

          Also, I’d propose that you’re analyzing the symptoms rather than the root causes behind the symptoms when you say, “There are tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of Christians who emphatically choose literal Bible verses over science when it comes to evolution.” Do you really think every one of these tens or hundreds of millions have done an honest, open-minded and thorough analysis of both the scientific evidence and the various theological views and interpretations regarding the relevant Bible passages? I seriously doubt it. I’m guessing the vast majority of them take their cues directly from the likes of Answers in Genesis, Creation Today, ICR and so on (which for better or worse, do have tremendous influence in certain pockets of the church). These organizations are the ones that I direct most of my attention to on this blog, because I do think their views are fundamentally inconsistent, and they know it, but they don’t care.

          Mostly speculation, but there you go 🙂

      • Liz

        I stumbled upon this travesty of a website quite by accident, and feel I have to contribute something. I don’t agree with Ken Ham on everything, but I think he’s more intellectually honest than you’re being. It’s clear that you either think all of us YEC’s are unable to differentiate metaphorical/poetic references from a historical narrative. God could hardly have been more clear about the days of creation being a literal day (morning and evening anyone?) if he tried. All your references to what everyone recognizes as allegory are extremely dishonest straw-man arguments; you’re saying “this is what YEC’s believe” (untrue points FYI) and then arguing against said invented belief.

        The bigger problem, however, is your idea that a loving God would create via death, disease, and decay, which is either evidenced in the fossil record (if you believe it’s a record of long periods of time), or as is required for the idea of evolution to work. And then, said “loving God” called that creation, after all said death and suffering, VERY GOOD. Really?! LOL! To further add injury to insult against God, you’re putting death before sin, and by doing so, you take responsibility for the consequence of sin off Adam’s/man’s shoulders, and place it squarely on God’s shoulders, and therefor, man isn’t responsible for the existence of death and suffering in the world, since your “loving God” created those for no good reason whatsoever, effectively removing any need for Jesus to die or to conquer death through his Resurrection. So for what did he die? For his own sins? Also, Jesus (God in the flesh, also the one who DID the creating, as shown in John 1) said “at the BEGINNING, He created them male and female”. Not after millions and billions of years twiddling his thumbs while things suffered and died. You guys need to be really careful about the implications of your man-made beliefs.

        On top of that, there’s the fact that evolution is simply a RIDICULOUS way for an all-powerful Creator to create. Assuming, of course, that you actually believe He’s all-powerful. Hard to tell, but the Bible is clear that he is, and for what would he need to create using such a convoluted method as evolution, when he’s all-powerful? I like to use the example of cakes, since that’s my trade. It would be like if I had a big fancy cake I wanted to make, and I know it’s within my ability to do so, so I start by making a small simple cake, destroy that, then make a slightly bigger, slightly more complicated cake, destroy that, and so on, until I finally make the big fancy cake I knew I had the ability to make in the first place. That would be extremely absurd, and so is your idea of creation. If God is all-powerful, then he could create everything as the historical narrative of Genesis clearly states, and if he’s loving, it’s not in his character to watch his creation suffer unjustly.

        As a person with Asperger’s my mind is severely logic-oriented, if there’s anything that doesn’t add up, it’s literally like a rock in my shoe. Evolutionary theory was a rock in my shoe from grade 9, until I discovered evidence for the global flood and creation. I encountered a little evolutionary theory prior to that, but no one tried to shovel it down my throat wholesale until grade 9. At the time, I had no one in my life refuting it, and the Internet was not such a big thing yet, so I assumed, as you do, that the theory of evolution somehow fit in the Bible, although logically, I could see even at 14 years old that it didn’t. It never sat well with me, and I couldn’t explain why. It did, however, make me question the Bible, and although I had been saved at the age of 7, in an amazing way I still remember fondly to this day, these ideas that had me questioning the Bible pushed me away from God, and made it far easier to question his mercy, after a tragedy in my life. I won’t even say how far I ran from him, and the extent of my sinful life when, by chance (ie GOD) I stumbled across a Creation scientist, and literally every evidence he gave was like a light bulb coming on, or a puzzle piece fitting into place, and I was finally able to see the big picture. I was so excited to realize the Bible really WAS true, so then God must really be who the Bible says he is! And then it hit me like a ton of bricks – if the Bible really is 100% true, then I’m in big trouble. I distinctly recall the Holy Spirit roaring up from within me and accusing me, as God did with Job, asking “who did you think you were, thinking it was beyond me to create everything exactly as I said I did?!” I left my sinful life and went back to church. That was over a decade ago, and I haven’t found one piece of evidence that a literal 6-day creation, by a good and all-powerful (not convoluted) God, and a literal global flood does not explain.

        And that leads me to your most egregious assertion, that we’re just simple-minded and uneducated, as shown in your response in this thread, as well as your slanderous, and slightly self-righteous diatribe above. I don’t base my interpretation of Scripture on “this is what I was told to believe, even though I can’t really explain it”. I base my interpretation of Scripture on SCRIPTURE, and on scientific evidence (not interpretations of evidence by those who hate God!), as far as things not mentioned in Scripture, and on the Holy Spirit living in me, whose accusations I couldn’t stand against. THANK GOD.

        • Matthew Funke

          God could hardly have been more clear about the days of creation being a literal day

          Actually, He could have. He could have, for example, said that He created X in the morning and Y in the evening. Or everything in the morning. Instead, He set it up like a figure of speech — keeping the mentioning of time separate from the described events, instead of describing the events within the passing time, as I’ll point out below.

          (morning and evening anyone?) if he tried.

          Yup — just like the Hebrew phrase “morning and evening” in Daniel 8:23, which refers to a bare minimum of three thousand years of time. That phrase is an idiom in Hebrew, and all Semitic languages, to refer to a long but unspecified length of time.

          I find it interesting that you take it on yourself to determine what God can and cannot do — in this case, what He could not have made more clear if He tried.

          All your references to what everyone recognizes as allegory are extremely dishonest straw-man arguments; you’re saying “this is what YEC’s believe” (untrue points FYI) and then arguing against said invented belief.

          No, he’s pointing out that YECs have an inconsistent approach to Scripture. They have not explained why they consider passages about an unmoving Earth to be allegory, but Genesis 1 to be a form of natural history.

          The bigger problem, however, is your idea that a loving God would create via death, disease, and decay,

          That’s not a problem. The idea that death, disease, and decay are evil is a New Age teaching, not a Christian one. God is often depicted in Scripture as being the agent behind death, disease, and decay — even rejoicing in these things on occasion! — and if we mean to declare that these things are inherently evil, then we face the theological notion that God can be the agent of evil.

          To further add injury to insult against God, you’re putting death before sin, and by doing so, you take responsibility for the consequence of sin off Adam’s/man’s shoulders, and place it squarely on God’s shoulders,

          It’s a shame you haven’t read more of the site. The Scripture is clear that Adam’s sin is responsible for death in man. Only Adam was ever offered eternal life. If you extend the penalty of sin to include all death, not only are you going against Scripture (which clearly indicates that there was death in the world prior to Adam’s sin), but you are making God into an unjust judge, Who punishes creatures who cannot sin for Adam’s wrongdoing.

          and therefor, man isn’t responsible for the existence of death and suffering in the world, since your “loving God” created those for no good reason whatsoever,

          “No good reason whatsoever”? What about keeping populations in check?

          effectively removing any need for Jesus to die or to conquer death through his Resurrection.

          Did God offer resurrection to all of creation, or just to the children of Adam?

          So for what did he die? For his own sins?

          For the sins of man. For someone who decries the erection of straw man arguments, you sure seem to have a penchant for them.

          Also, Jesus (God in the flesh, also the one who DID the creating, as shown in John 1) said “at the BEGINNING, He created them male and female”.

          According to the YEC timeline, God created man at the end of the creation story. So “at the beginning” must mean something different from, say, the order of creation — it must refer to something like “at a time prior to recorded history”. On that, creationists and those who accept evolution agree.

          You guys need to be really careful about the implications of your man-made beliefs.

          Pot? It’s the kettle calling.

          On top of that, there’s the fact that evolution is simply a RIDICULOUS way for an all-powerful Creator to create.

          After you follow God for a while, you’ll learn that He rarely does things in the way we expect or prefer. He often seems to take what seems like to us to be the long way around. As He mentions in Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB):

          “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

          Whether or not something looks ridiculous to us is no evidence whatsoever about whether or not God did it.

          Assuming, of course, that you actually believe He’s all-powerful.

          Any method of creation is ridiculous from that standpoint — because any act of creation is finite, and God is infinite. Any method of creation would take an infinitesimal amount of His power. So again, this is evidence of nothing.

          As a person with Asperger’s my mind is severely logic-oriented, if there’s anything that doesn’t add up, it’s literally like a rock in my shoe.

          You should ditch the notion that creationism has any consistency with science, then. Seriously.

          Evolutionary theory was a rock in my shoe from grade 9, until I discovered evidence for the global flood and creation.

          Such evidence was poorly presented to you, if you think it’s logical. I’m sorry you were the victim of this misteaching. I’m willing to discuss whatever evidence you want to bring to the table.

          I distinctly recall the Holy Spirit roaring up from within me and accusing me, as God did with Job, asking “who did you think you were, thinking it was beyond me to create everything exactly as I said I did?!”

          It seems you still have that problem. He made His method of creation clear in the evidence left behind, and it’s definitely not the method the young-Earth creationists say He used.

          • Liz

            WOW. Just wow. I was starting to type out specific responses, but halfway through it was clear you’re so lost, and by your own choice, so what’s the point? You don’t even have a handle on scripture, and you’re trying to teach it, that’s both sad and infuriating, but then Satan knows the Scriptures too, and distorts them as well. You’re clearly guilty of falling for the same lies Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden – he always starts by making you question God, by asking “did God really say…?” Yes, he did, and you didn’t listen. When your faith aligns closer to those who reject God, maybe you need to ask yourself why.

          • Matthew Funke

            You don’t even have a handle on scripture,

            Because I don’t take your claims at face value, and can show evidence in Scripture that contradicts your claims? Interesting. Whose faith, to borrow your phrasing below, “aligns closer to those who reject God”?

            I should point out that there are only two major groups who insist that the young-Earth creationist teaching positions must be the way to interpret Genesis, and that the validity of the Bible stands or falls on that interpretation: Young-Earth creationists, obviously, and atheists. The difference is that the atheists know why the “evidence” of young-Earth creationism is bogus, and use it to laugh all Christians to scorn. Why would you give them that ammunition? (I can also discuss specifics about that evidence, if you like.)

            Yes, he did, and you didn’t listen.

            It’s a little sad, if not extremely prideful, that you’ve determined that your interpretation must be what God Himself said. You’ll note that pride was the origin of sin in the Garden of Eden — wanting to be like God, which is relevant to your approach here — and that it continues to be the source of all manner of sin today.

            But let’s get down to brass tacks. The fact of the matter is that evidence that can be tested allows us to refute erroneous interpretations of the creation account. Shall we get started?

            When your faith aligns closer to those who reject God, maybe you need to ask yourself why.

            Because I believe my faith is not thoroughly independent of evidence. If the means had existed to examine the pots after the wedding in Cana, they would really have been found to contain wine. Jesus really rose from the dead, and His tomb was really empty; it wasn’t just an optical illusion or something.

            I also don’t believe that God is a liar.

          • Nick G

            I should point out that there are only two major groups who insist that the young-Earth creationist teaching positions must be the way to interpret Genesis, and that the validity of the Bible stands or falls on that interpretation: Young-Earth creationists, obviously, and atheists.

            It is simply false that atheists in general “insist that the young-Earth creationist teaching positions must be the way to interpret Genesis”. As an atheist without knowledge of the relevant languages and with limited knowledge of the historical context, I would provisionally accept the current consensus of relevant experts, if there is one, on what the authors/redactors of Genesis intended; and I’m quite prepared to let Christians (and Jews) argue over how they prefer to interpret a work to which I assign no significance beyond that of any ancient mythological work; I have no dog in that fight, as they say.

          • Matthew Funke

            It is simply false that atheists in general “insist that the young-Earth creationist teaching positions must be the way to interpret Genesis”.

            Fair enough. You’re absolutely right. A lot of vocal atheists do, though, and it seems foolish to tell them that the young-Earth creationist position is too scientifically valid, and that the atheists simply have their science wrong (even though the facts can be verified by anyone with eyes and a brain).

            Regardless, I don’t really pin my faith on whether or not I think I understand Genesis correctly.

          • Liz

            Nor do I, that’s why I believe HIS word, not yours. Nor do I put my faith in those who have rejected him, as you do. Speaking of pride, how arrogant to assume those who lived in Biblical times were just too dumb to understand creation, and that humanity needed to wait until 2000 years after the death of Christ to understand anything about it. Especially arrogant when you consider genetic entropy, and the fact that literally everything is DEvolving – which makes sense if you take God’s word for it, that sin brought death, and the curse. Death would have had no part in a perfect creation by a perfect Creator. If you can’t take God’s word for it in Genesis, then look at Revelation 21:4, unless you’ve decided that’s a verse you’d rather cherry pick out of God’s word too: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” THAT is God’s idea of perfection, and perfection is what he created because he had no reason not to. The only reason our world is broken is because of sin, and the curse he was forced to bring, including death of the creatures in whom was the “breath of life” as described in Genesis multiple times. I know what God has said because I take him at his word, both in Scripture, and when he led me through the Holy Spirit to discover creation science, when I had believed as you do now, and it only led to the same rejection of God that those who follow your views ultimately resort to. When God opened my eyes to his truth, he convicted me similarly to the way he convicted Job, when he asked him all the “Who are you to question me” questions, just not at such length. So I will take the word of God who lives in me and who’s written word is preserved for me over yours, every time. Also, why is it that you can believe Jesus literally turned water to wine, and in an instant, but he could only create humans after millions and billions of years of mistakes? You just can’t decide what you believe, can you?

          • Matthew Funke

            Nor do I, that’s why I believe HIS word, not yours.

            You missed a turn. I’m not asking you to believe my word. I’m asking if you want to look at the evidence.

            Nor do I put my faith in those who have rejected him, as you do.

            I find it interesting that you equate rejection of your interpretation of the text with rejection of God Himself.

            Speaking of pride, how arrogant to assume those who lived in Biblical times were just too dumb to understand creation, and that humanity needed to wait until 2000 years after the death of Christ to understand anything about it.

            I don’t assume that at all, because I don’t believe the point of the text is to serve as a lesson in science.

            You assuming that I do assume that, though — you deigning to tell me what I must think, believe, and understand — that is arrogant pride.

            Especially arrogant when you consider genetic entropy, and the fact that literally everything is DEvolving –

            Oh, wow. Believe me — I understand entropy, and it means nothing like what you say. I know the popular press likes to compare entropy to disorder, and that makes sense to a certain extent, but it really muddies the waters when it comes to issues like these, since disorder does not always decrease everywhere(*).

            “Entropy equals disorder” is not a basic principle or even a derived principle. It is not even used to do any science that thermodynamics concerns itself with. It is simply irrelevant most of the time, and only exists as an interesting aside to extremely specific circumstances.

            The only reason that “entropy as disorder” exists at all is because of work done in statistical mechanics, which attempts to explain thermodynamics by looking at large observed things (like containers of gas) and relating them to more basic physics acting on much smaller things (like the molecules making up the gas in that container). This was a heavy area of study in the 1800s, and was led by Ludwig Boltzmann, who wrote down the only equation that connects entropy with anything that might be called “disorder”. (If you stick with me, you’ll see that even this “disorder” is very different from what creationism and popular science writers mean by “disorder”.)

            Here’s the equation in all its glory:

            S = k ln W

            This equation concerns itself with a system in equilibrium that has a constant and specified energy E (which, though it doesn’t appear, is implied and absolutely critical for the equation to be valid). It tells us how to calculate the total entropy (S) in terms of the particles that make it up. The k is a universal constant (approximately 1.38*10^-23 joules/kelvin), the ln refers to the natural logarithm, and W is a unitless number that relates the microscopic to the macroscopic.

            Let’s look at an example. Suppose you have a closed system that’s about the size of a wine bottle, which (at temperatures and pressures we would find comfortable) would contain about 10^22 molecules of gas. Every molecule has a position and a velocity, which determine that molecule’s “state”. The collection of all the “states” of all the molecules we’re talking about is the “microstate”. The sum of all the energies of a single microstate must equal E.

            Here’s an interesting question: How many “microstates” exist that exist in the volume we have at energy E? Answer: A very, very, very, very large number. That very, very, very, very large number is W, and is often called the “measure of disorder”.

            Consider for a minute how big W must be. Moving even one of the 10^22 molecules just a little bit gives us a different microstate, as does moving two molecules just a little bit, as does moving three molecules just a little bit, and so on. However, it’s not infinite; the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics shows us that there are lower limits to differences in position and velocity.

            Lifting our heads up for just a minute to catch our breath from being immersed in all this technical language, we can see without too much effort that there are quite important differences between this and the everyday concept of “disorder”. For one thing, W does not even represent a particular state, but a sum of states, the sum of all possible states.

            (You can see from this that a concept like the “measure of disorder” only makes sense when we refer to closed systems, which the Earth most definitely is not. I trust you can also see that it allows for individual “pockets” in the entire system where the “disorder” can decrease.)

            So what’s even the point? How useful can such an unwieldy equation be?

            It should be clear that any given “microstate” is a fleeting thing. On average, a molecule at standard temperature and pressure bumps into neighbors about 100 trillion times per second. The microstates are essentially randomized by all these collisions, such that all microstates are equally probable. The “current” microstate is, in a sense, drawn with equal probability, moment by moment, from the sum of all possible microstates. Thus, the larger W is, the greater the uncertainty that we will be in a particular microstate at a given instant. In that sense, a system with a large W can be thought of as “highly disordered”, though it might be more accurate to call it “highly unpredictable”.

            It should be clear from this that W is higher for gases than for solids, since molecules of solids tend to stay pretty much put. Any given solid molecule’s position and velocity must be within (relatively speaking) much tighter constraints. This statistical definition of entropy matches the entropy used by thermodynamics; it shows us how we can think of the systems thermodynamics deals with in terms of Newtonian mechanics applied to lots of particles.

            But note how this falls apart with, for example, the commonly-used “messy room” analogy. Even though the contents of a room can be differently arranged and still keep a constant energy E, it is not the case that the microstate of the room is highly randomized. A room that is a closed system remains in a particular microstate from moment to moment. All of the different microstates are *not* equally probable, since they are not randomized between instants when we look. The statistical definition of entropy simply does not apply; thus, it makes no sense to talk about the thermodynamic “disorder” of the room.

            Note how powerfully this parallels entropy as misused by a creationist who tries to apply it to, for example, complex molecules in the cell. Once a molecule is in a particular configuration, it tends to remain in that configuration(**). The states of the constituents of that molecule are not randomized moment by moment, nor are the states equally probable; if either were true, the molecule would fail to perform its function. Using entropy fails here for the same reason it fails in the “messy room” analogy.

            Consider, then, what this means in terms of particular patterns. Which of these arrangements is more thermodynamically “ordered”?

            AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
            ABABBAAAABBBBABBABBBBAAA
            ABABABABABABABABABABABAB
            AABAABAABAABAABAABAABAAB

            Answer: None of them. None of the patterns is a sum of all possible patterns. All are possible individual microstates. Thermodynamic “order” bears very little resemblance to the kind of “order” we refer to in everyday conversation.

            Can you see now why claims about “everything is DEvolving” are nonsensical? Such a claim relies on a sort of voodoo thermodynamics, based solely on metaphors, that bears no resemblance to thermodynamics as it is scientifically practiced — apparently for no other reason than to lend an air of scientific plausibility to the creationist position.

            I can also use this very equation to demonstrate that Earth receives more than enough energy to drive evolution. Would you like to see it?

            which makes sense if you take God’s word for it, that sin brought death, and the curse.

            Insisting that sin brought death to anyone other than man requires ignoring chunks of the text. I can show you what I mean in more detail if you like. But I never insisted that sin did not bring the curse.

            Death would have had no part in a perfect creation by a perfect Creator.

            Why not?

            And besides that, when did anyone — especially Scripture — ever insist that creation was instated as “perfect”?

            If you can’t take God’s word for it in Genesis, then look at Revelation 21:4, unless you’ve decided that’s a verse you’d rather cherry pick out of God’s word too: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

            That passage isn’t describing creation. It’s describing the New Jerusalem. It seems you’re making Scripture say what you want it to say.

            THAT is God’s idea of perfection, and perfection is what he created because he had no reason not to.

            There you go again, describing what God must have done for no other reason than that apparently, you prefer to think so.

            If you’re going to declare what God would do, that you know His plans and ways even though that notion is not corroborated by either science or Scripture, how can you hope to have a reasonable discussion?

            The only reason our world is broken is because of sin, and the curse he was forced to bring, including death of the creatures in whom was the “breath of life” as described in Genesis multiple times.

            You still need to demonstrate that animal and plant death are not part of God’s plan with something beyond your personal preferences. Until and unless you can do this, I have no reason to accept your assertion that this particular aspect of creation is “broken”. (Even the curse doesn’t mention animal and plant death.)

            I know what God has said because I take him at his word, both in Scripture, and when he led me through the Holy Spirit to discover creation science, when I had believed as you do now, and it only led to the same rejection of God that those who follow your views ultimately resort to.

            Then how does your knowledge account for people like me, who embraced creationism for decades (I have a creationist library that would put a lot of Evangelical seminaries to shame!) before realizing that it is a scam selling a method of Biblical interpretation that is neither supported by Scripture itself nor corroborated by scientific discovery and experiment?

            Besides, I think it’s pretty self-evident that you never believed as I do, given your horribly misinformed notions about things like “DEvolution”. You may have accepted evolution, but you were evidently very mistaken about the facts supporting it.

            When God opened my eyes to his truth, he convicted me similarly to the way he convicted Job, when he asked him all the “Who are you to question me” questions, just not at such length.

            What caused you to close yourself off and determine that you no longer needed to question your own understanding?

            So I will take the word of God who lives in me and who’s written word is preserved for me over y ours, every time.

            Your interpretation of Scripture is not the word of God. And I’m not asking you to take my word. I’m asking if you’re willing to look at the evidence. As someone who claims to be logic-oriented, you should at least be willing to do that at a bare minimum.

            Also, why is it that you can believe Jesus literally turned water to wine, and in an instant, but he could only create humans after millions and billions of years of mistakes?

            As I mentioned before, this is not a determination of what God can do, but of what God did. Nothing about God’s actions indicates a limit to His power. Any method of creation is an insignificant reflection of God’s power — because any act of creation is finite, and God is infinite. So again, I don’t think evolution happens because that’s all God can do; placing limits on God seems to be your bailiwick. I believe evolution happens because the evidence overwhelmingly indicates it, and nothing in Scripture contradicts it (even though, obviously, individual interpretations can).

            You just can’t decide what you believe, can you?

            You just can’t read for comprehension, can you?

            (*) If nothing ever got more complex, ever, then snowflakes could not exist; sperms and eggs could not become adults; and crystals could never form. Obviously, there are times when “disorder” decreases. For some reason, creationism ignores these and countless other examples like them. (In any nontrivial system that involves a transfer of energy, you’re almost certain to see order arising somewhere.)

            (**) Unless acted upon by heat or electric charge or another chemical, in which case the molecule isn’t a closed system — meaning that, again, the Second Law does not apply.

          • Matthew Funke

            Here’s a quick rundown of where scientific creationism gets the Bible wrong, and can’t even support itself with appeal to external evidence — it simply states things to be true with no justification other than because the adherents and teachers insist that it’s necessary to put young-Earth creationist dogma ahead of the Bible.

            Young-Earth creationism hinges on the notion that there was no death of any kind prior to the fall, and that all death is a consequence of man’s sin. They support this claim by turning to Romans 5:12: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned”. This, however, ignores the context of the verse. Romans 5 is about mankind’s sin and redemption through Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with plants or animals or creation; any insistence that it does must be read into the text. In addition, you’ll note that the verse itself clearly states that “death came to all men” (my emphasis), and that the cause is “because all sinned” (emphasis mine), not because of Adam’s fall. To insist that this is a passage that is really about how Adam’s sin caused animal and plant death, which did not exist prior to creation, is inserting meaning that is nowhere to be found in the passage.

            Another verse young-Earth creationists point to is 1 Corinthians 15:21: “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man”. Again, this is clearly talking about human death, since resurrection is not even offered to animals and plants. Animals lack will, and so cannot sin, and are not resurrected. The following verse (22) makes it crystal-clear: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive”. It makes no sense to insist that “all” refers to mankind, plants, and animals in the first part of the verse, but only to humans in the second.

            A necessary part of insisting that there was no death prior to the fall is claiming that carnivores did not eat meat prior to the fall. Young-Earth creationists often point to Genesis 1:29-30 to attempt to support this claim: “Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food’; and it was so.” But who was God talking to? This command was given to humans in the context of the chapter, and was rescinded for humans in Genesis 9:3 after the flood; there seems to be no indication that animals ate meat… in English. Note the phrase “beasts of the earth” in Genesis 1:24-25, which I’ll emphasize: “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind’; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.” The word we have translated into “beasts of the earth” is the Hebrew word chayyah, which appears 127 times in 98 verses in Scripture. If we look at the context of those verses, we can get an idea about what the word itself means.

            * In Exodus 23:11, 25:7; Numbers 35:3; and Isaiah 40:16, the term seems to clearly indicate herbivores.

            * In Genesis 37:20, 37:33; Exodus 23:29; Leviticus 11:27, 26:6, 26:22; Deuteronomy 7:22; 1 Samuel 17:46; 2 Samuel 21:10; Job 5:22-23, 37:8, 38:39; Psalm 74:19, 79:2, 104:20; Isaiah 35:9, 43:20; Jeremiah 12:9; Ezekiel 5:17, 14:15, 14:21, 29:5, 32:4, 33:27, 34:5, 34:8, 34:25, 34:28, 39:4, 39:17; and Hosea 2:12, 13:8, the term seems to clearly indicate carnivores. Some of these are particularly telling, as when we translate the term “wild beast” (Genesis 37:20; Hosea 13:8) or “harmful beast” (Leviticus 26:6). It seems clear that the connotation for someone reading the Hebrew would have been wild, probably carnivorous, beasts. This interpretation is buttressed by the fact that the passage in Genesis refers to chayyah and “cattle” and “creeping things” separately.

            It’s worth noting that Adam is charged with naming the animals in Genesis 2. There seems to be no reason to suspect that anyone reading this in Hebrew would not conclude that Adam’s names for animals was reflected in the Hebrew names for animals. With that in mind, it’s worth noting that the names for many carnivores in Hebrew refer to their carnivorous activity. The word for “lion” comes from a word meaning “in the sense of violence”. The word for “vulture” comes from a verb meaning “to break in pieces; to tear”. The word for “eagle” comes from a verb meaning “to lacerate”. The word for “owl” comes from a verb meaning “to wrong, to do violence to, to treat violently, to do wrongly”. The word for “adder” comes from a verb meaning “to bruise, to crush, to gape upon, to seize, to strike out, to fall upon”. There are many other similar examples. Why would Adam have come up with names like this if animals ate only plants? If Adam’s naming of the animals was not reflected in Hebrew names, why was he given the task of naming the animals? Was God just giving him busy-work? Why would the passage specifically note that the name given to the animal became the animal’s name (Genesis 2:19)?

            Young-Earth creationists insist that God would never create a world in which there is suffering and death. Of course, if this is a problem, blaming the existence of these things on sin does not really make the problem go away; God still had to create them, unless creationists can propose an alternate mechanism for sin to create these things.

            Moreover, this claim ignores places in Scripture where it is clear that God approves of, or is directly responsible for, animal death. He killed an animal to clothe Adam and Eve after the fall. Animal sacrifices were accepted by God even as early as Genesis 4:4, and continued throughout Israel’s history. The idea that God does not approve of animal death seems absurd on the face of it. Moreover, God is shown as being the provider of carnivores’ food in Job 38 (ravens and lions) and in Psalm 104 (lions and sea creatures). Jesus Himself points at the way God provides for carnivores in Luke 12 (ravens). This seems to run completely contrary to the notion that God would never have designed a system which involved animal death. When young-Earth creationist dogma and the Bible conflict, it is always the Bible that must give way — and they don’t even have any external evidence to support that rejection in favor of their preferred interpretation!

            Some creationists have responded to criticism concerning plant death with the assertion that plant death is not like animal death and not like human death. This also conveniently allows them to get around Genesis 1:30, which indicates that plant death must have occurred prior to the fall.

            At the point of this contention is the Hebrew adjective chay, which creationist teachers insist means “living” and applies only to animals and man. However, this adjective is used in Genesis 26:19, Leviticus 14:5, and Song of Solomon 4:15 to refer to water. Clearly, there is more to this adjective than meets the eye; it seems more to refer to movement than life.

            Moreover, the Bible compares plant death to human and animal death regularly, as if the two are completely equal. Note Ezekiel 31:14, where trees are compared to men in death. Also, consider Deuteronomy 20:19 (comparing killing trees to killing people) and Jeremiah 11:19 (comparing killing a tree to killing a lamb or killing a human). The Hebrew word in those verses translated “destroy” to refer to plant death is shachath, the same word God used in Genesis 6:13 (and three other flood verses) when He vowed to destroy all people, and in Genesis 13:10 (and six related verses) to describe what He was going to do to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah; it is also used to describe what God did to the firstborns in Exodus, and in Judges 20 to describe battles between Benjamites and Israelites in which over 65,000 men were killed.

            Another Hebrew word used to describe plant death is the Hebrew kalah, as in Isaiah 15:6. This same word is used in Exodus 32:10 to describe what God wants to do to the Israelites after they start worshiping a golden calf, in 1 Samuel 15:18 to describe how Israel should make war against the Amelekites until they are completely wiped out, and in Jeremiah 9:16 to describe how God plans to destroy those who follow after Baal.

            Plant death is compared to human death all over the Bible. Consider Job 8:11-13 (papyrus plants), Job 14:7-10 (trees), Psalm 37:1-2 (grass and herbs), Psalm 103:15-16 (grass), Isaiah 40:6-8 (grass and flowers), Luke 3:9 (trees), James 1:10-11 (grass), and 1 Peter 1:24 (flowers). The Bible couldn’t really be much more clear about this. Young-Earth creationism, in order to support its claims that there was no death before the fall, asserts that plants are not really alive and don’t really die; Scripture tells us through countless comparisons that plants really are alive and really do die. But when young-Earth creationist dogma and the Bible conflict, the Bible is what creationists reject without explanation or basis.

            A careful student will also note that the language of the creation account indicates that the “days” of Genesis 1 are not meant to be taken as calendrical (24-hour) days. For example, on day three, the plants are described as “sprouting” (Hebrew dasha — it’s even repeated for emphasis to indicate that no special meaning is intended here), growing to maturity, and forming seeds, which an agrarian people would certainly have understood to require a longer period than 24 hours — especially since the text clearly tells us that “the earth brought forth vegetation” (emphasis mine), with no indication at all that any kind of supernatural process was involved; the only way anyone can insist, as young-Earth creationists do, that God “speeded up” the process (or instantaneously poofed the plants into place) is to posit something Scripture never states. Worse, creation day six was full of activity (including the creation of land animals and man, the planting and cultivation of a garden, the naming of all the animals, and then (“at long last”, as Adam put it) the creation of woman); a quick tally of even the genera (never mind the species!) on the planet should be enough to let us know that this could never have meant to refer to a 24-hour period, since there are tens of thousands of them. Moreover, the seventh day is never closed, and Hebrews 4 instructs followers of Christ to enter that day in the present. But young-Earth creationist dogma is more important than an attempt to understand the Bible, or to follow God’s commands in Scripture; as such, if a thoughtful understanding of the Bible contradicts young-Earth creationist dogma, then young-Earth creationists need no other reason to reject a thoughtful understanding of the Bible and justify not following God’s commandments.

            There are some things about the creation and the fall that young-Earth creationist dogma seems happy to ignore. For example, if Adam was created as an immortal being, why did God create a Tree of Life? And why did He protect the Tree of Life with a flaming sword and cherubim after the fall?

            I’d also like to go into young-Earth creationist distortions of the Bible’s teachings concerning the Noahic flood, but that would take even more room than this one post has already. There are even places outside of both of these stories where an understanding of God as taught through young-Earth creationist dogma leaves you with a distorted view of God as He is explained by Scripture. The claims that young-Earth creationism makes to be consistent with the available evidence is laughably false; it is consistent with neither science nor Scripture.

            Yet when you come on here, you did not do so humbly asking whether what you have been taught is true, but loudly announcing that we all have it wrong. I suggest you take some time to permit God’s word in creation and God’s word in Scripture to instruct you, regardless of feelings that may or may not result during the process.

          • Matthew Funke

            Especially arrogant when you consider genetic entropy

            Actually, this is kind of exciting. You have the opportunity to show me that you know what you’re talking about, and that you’re right to call me “[e]specially arrogant”!

            I’ve frequently had creationists tell me that I’m stupid or arrogant or both for not properly considering the role of entropy in evolution. It’s entirely possible that they’re right, but rather than go round and round with them before they show that they didn’t really know what they meant when they spoke of entropy, I’ve devised a little quiz to see if we’re talking about the same thing — whether or not they understand what scientists mean by “entropy”, in other words. It’s pretty simple stuff — basic vocabulary and so forth. If you can get these answers right, then I know we’re talking about the same thing, and you can show me how I’m misapplying it or failing to understand it correctly. (If you’ll permit me, I’ll also use the opportunity to clear out some other scientific terminology creationists like to use, but which they assign different meanings to than scientists. As someone who despises straw man arguments, you should be especially willing to be sure that we’re not erecting false ideas and false arguments to make our opponents look foolish.) I tried to pay special attention to how certain concepts tend to be applied to genetics. Ready?

            1. A thermodynamics textbook (Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory, and Statistical Thermodaynamics, 3rd Edition, by Sears and Salinger) states the Second Law of Thermodynamics as follows (page 138):

            No process is possible whose sole result is a heat flow out of one system at a given temperature and a heat flow of the same magnitude into a second system at a higher temperature.

            The word “sole” is in italics, and is therefore important. Explain the relevance of the word “sole” with regards to the oft-repeated creationist claim that evolution is incompatible with the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

            2. Explain the terms “fact” and “theory”. Explain how some scientific terms, e.g., “gravity” and “evolution”, can be used to refer to both a fact and a theory.

            3. Creationists sometimes claim that shell fossils found at the top of mountains provide evidence for a global flood. Evolutionists also have an explanation as to why shell fossils are found on mountains. Briefly state the evolutionists’ explanation.

            4. The following fossils are some of the ones that scientists claim are “transitional”: Archaeopteryx; Tiktaalik; Basilosaurus; and Lucy. For each fossil, state whether or not you accept that fossil as “transitional”. If you disagree, state why.

            5. Explain the terms “cousin” and “second cousin”. Explain how you could extrapolate from these concepts to answer the question, “If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?”

            6. Briefly outline one way in which scientists claim the human eye might have evolved. State whether you believe this sequence of events to be plausible. If implausible, state one step which you think couldn’t possibly happen, and why.

            7. (a) The Sun is emitting copious amounts of energy, and it’s not one of those weird quantum mechanical systems that have negative temperature. Does this mean that:

            (i) The Sun’s entropy is increasing.

            (ii) The Sun’s entropy is decreasing.

            (iii) The Sun’s entropy is remaining constant.

            (iv) It’s a trick question — entropy has nothing to do with emitting radiation.

            (b) Entropy is sometimes regarded as a measure of the amount of disorder in a system. Does your answer to part (a) mean that:

            (i) The Sun is getting more disordered over time.

            (ii) The Sun is getting more ordered over time.

            (iii) The Sun is getting neither more ordered nor more disordered.

            (iv) It’s a trick question — entropy has nothing to do with disorder.

            8. The crystal structure of ice is more ordered than the liquid structure of water. If you leave a cup of water outside on a very cold night, it freezes into ice, turning a less orderly structure into a more orderly one. Does this violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

            9. (a) Consider these two strings of letters: AAAAAAAAAA and AAGAAAAAAA. According to Claude-Shannon information theory, which string contains more information?

            (i) AAAAAAAAAA has more information.

            (ii) AAGAAAAAAA has more information.

            (iii) Both strings are the same, information-wise.

            (iv) It’s a trick question; neither string contains information.

            (b) Let’s say the two strings represent DNA sequences, where A represents adenosine and G represents guanosine. Would it be possible to mutate from one string to the other with a single point mutation? If so, would it be possible for a single point mutation to increase the amount of information in a DNA sequence, at least according to Claude-Shannon information theory?

            (c) Do you accept Claude-Shannon information theory to be a valid way to quantify information? If not, describe in full how you would measure the amount of information encoded into a DNA sequence.

            10. Imagine that all the world’s scientists suddenly came clean and announced that they had no evidence at all for evolution. Would this, in itself, count as evidence to support creationism? Justify your answer.

            11. During World War II, the German Nazis tried to purify their race by murdering millions of people — in particular, Jews. Is this an example of:

            (i) Natural selection, as described by Charles Darwin in 1859.

            (ii) Artificial selection, as practiced by human beings for thousands of years.

            12. Shuffle a regular deck of fifty-two playing cards and lay the cards out one by one in front of you. Write down all 52 cards (you may use shorthand) in the order they appear. Calculate the odds of the cards coming out in that particular order. Creationists sometimes claim that any situation with odds of more than 10^50 to 1 against is impossible to arrive at by chance. Use your calculation to show that this claim is erroneous.

            13. Creationists often state that evolution is like a tornado in a junk yard assembling a Boeing 747. State which part of this analogy, if any, corresponds to natural selection. State whether or not you believe the analogy to be accurate.

  • Victor Polk

    You know, the bible wasn’t talking about the planet. When it says the word “Earth”, it was actually talking about earth, ground. They even have an article that explains about earth. https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/earth/is-the-erets-earth-flat-holding/ Similar article. http://creation.com/is-the-raqiya-firmament-a-solid-dome Even an old-earth creation website: Biologos had featured the reference about earth. I couldn’t find it, but it had that the bible was talking about earth for land/
    ground.