The absolute craziest thing that young-earth creationist groups believe

Oh, Kristin, if you only knew.

Proponents of young-earth creationism, like Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research, teach some pretty crazy things. They teach that God once created a fabulous tree, which could miraculously grant immortality to anyone who ate from it … in a world where every living thing was already immortal anyway.

They teach that the gospel message is not dependent on young-earth creationism, it’s just based on young-earth creationism (which is different, I guess).

They teach that the only way we can do science at all is because God created a law-governed, rational universe, but we can’t trust the evidence of the past, because God could have ignored the laws that govern the universe when he was designing and creating the universe. And besides, these laws may have been operating completely at random before we started paying attention to them — at which point, they settled down and became rational and predictable.

They teach that the scientific process has been hijacked by a global atheist conspiracy to disprove the existence of God by propping up a scientific theory that — if true — does not do anything to disprove the existence of God.

I could probably go on all day. But out of all the bizarre, ludicrous, irrational and frankly, just plain crazy, things that the good folks at AiG and ICR have submitted in support of young-earth creationism, there is one that clearly takes the cake.

You see, there’s a question that has long plagued those who read the first few chapters of Genesis as literal history: Where did Cain, Adam and Eve’s firstborn, get his wife? The Bible says he married, and bore children, but it doesn’t say where the lucky lady came from. And if you read Genesis the way AiG does, you have to believe the earth, at the time, was not exactly a bustling Saturday-night singles bar. It was a lonely, almost-entirely empty place.

So, what’s the craziest thing about young-earth creationism proponents? Their answer to this quandry. You want to know where Cain got his wife? Incest. Yeah, you read that right: Incest, and they’re not ashamed to admit it. That’s the craziest part of all: the straight-faced, unapologetic way they present this information.

Apparently, it’s not enough for them to teach that Cain and his sister did the horizontal monster mash; they have to insist that it was done with the full blessing of God Almighty. They, in fact, try and argue that it’s somehow not weird and disgusting and super-creepy that — in their way of seeing things — God’s original design required the earliest humans to do the hippity-dippity with their siblings and other blood relations.

I can see you don’t believe me, so just listen to it from the horse’s mouth:

Doesn’t the Bible forbid marriage between close relations? It does, but the laws against marrying family members were initially given as part of the Mosaic covenant, approximately 2,500 years after God created Adam and Eve. Due in part to genetic mistakes, these laws were necessary to help protect offspring from mutations shared by both parents.

But that’s incest! In today’s world, this would be incest. But originally there would have been no problem with it. Looking back through history, the closer we get to Adam and Eve, the fewer genetic mistakes people would have, so it would have been safer for close relatives to marry and have children.

“Move it along, folks,” AiG president Ken Ham says. “Just a dude with the hots for his sister. It was before God said not to, so there’s no problem. Nothing to see here.” Ham goes on to point out the rich tradition of such unions for the biblical patriarchs:

Christians who have a problem with this answer need to remember that Noah’s grandchildren must have married brothers, sisters, or first cousins — there were no other people (1 Peter 3:20; Genesis 7:7). Abraham married his half-sister (Genesis 20:2, 12); Isaac married Rebekah, the daughter of his cousin Bethuel (Genesis 24:15, 67); and Jacob married his cousins Leah and Rachel. Clearly, the Bible does not forbid the marriage of close relatives until the time of Moses.

Just incredible, isn’t it? Seriously, click over and read the whole thing — or even the longer version, if you think you can stomach it (there are cartoons!) — and tell me it doesn’t feel like you’re reading the otherworldly manifesto of a raving lunatic.

While you’re there, take note of the same arrogant, self-assured tone that Ham brings to everything he does. His view is the Christian view — the only one that matters. The possibility that there might be other, perfectly reasonable and faithful interpretations of Genesis 1-3 — interpretations that, for example, don’t make God look like a clueless pervert — is never considered.

But hey, just for fun: Can you imagine how the conversation between Cain and his dear old dad would have gone?

CAIN: Hey, Dad, can we talk?

ADAM: Sure thing, son. What’s up?

CAIN: Well, it’s just that, you know, I’ve found someone…

ADAM: Really? That’s wonderful news! Your mother and I have been wondering about that. Is it serious?

CAIN: Yes, sir. (Hesitates.) Actually, I wanted to ask for your permission to marry her.

ADAM: (Whistles.) That’s my boy! Good for you, son! Your mother will be thrilled. Say, when do we get to meet her, anyway?

CAIN: (Hesitates again.) Well, that’s the thing, Pops. You sort of already have.

ADAM: What’s that, now?

CAIN: You’ve met her. She’s my sister.

ADAM: (Shocked) Your sister?! What’s the heck is wrong with you? Cain, you can’t marry your sister. That’s totally screwed up.

CAIN: (Angry) Well, what did you expect, Dad? I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m not exactly swamped by eligible bachelorettes around here — not genetically distinct ones, anyway. (Raises voice over the sound of ADAM vomiting violently) It’s pretty slim pickings out there! It’s basically Li’l Sis or Bessie the water buffalo.

ADAM: Take the buffalo, for crying out loud! God offered her to me for a wife before.

CAIN: Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, Bessie’s helpful and all; I just think I’d really prefer to marry a human. (Sighs) Look, Pops, I know it’s weird; I’m kind of a little grossed out myself, but what choice do I have? This is the way God set it up. It’s how he gets his kicks, I guess.

ADAM: (Shaking his head in disappointment) Man, oh man. We thought you hit rock bottom when you offed your brother over that whole sacrifice deal — major overreaction, by the way — but this is a new low. What are the neighbors going to say?

CAIN: Dad, we don’t have neighbors. That’s why we’re in this mess in the first place, remember?

ADAM: Oh, yeah.

Something like that, anyway. But you have to feel for poor Cain — bless his murder-y little heart. All he was trying to do was fulfill the first order God gave humanity: “Be fruitful and multiply.” It’s not his fault the good Lord gave him no one to — er — multiply with other than the cuties he grew up fighting over bathroom time with.

So, what do you think? Is the belief that incest was A-OK in God’s original design the craziest thing about the teachings of young-earth creationist groups? Or do you agree with them that there’s nothing weird about the real First Commandment: Thou Shalt Get Busy with Thy Sister?

Tyler Francke

Editor’s note: Some readers have pointed out that this post misses an opportunity by failing to confront the biblical and theological problems with AiG’s argument. I think they’re right. So, in the interest of rectifying this, I include the quick and dirty version of my response.

Cosanguineous incest was thoroughly repudiated by God in the Mosaic law, just as Ken Ham says. His claim is that the Mosaic law came thousands of years after the necessary acts of incest by Adam and Eve’s kids, so it didn’t apply. However, Cain’s murder also predated the Ten Commandments’ prohibition on killing, and that still seemed to be wrong. Fact is, the Bible instructs us that the law of God is written on our hearts. Some people may have lived before the Mosaic law was laid down, but no person has ever lived before God existed, wrote his law on our hearts and held us morally accountable to it.

Ham claims the reason incest was prohibited later was because of the risk of birth defects. This argument can be tested with a simple thought experiment. Take a brother and sister in modern-day society, who are in love and wish to get married. Now, presume they are both infertile, completely incapable of procreation. Would their union be sinful? In this case, there would be no danger of producing offspring with a higher risk of genetic defects, and Ham can’t say incest is inherently wrong, because if it is, then it would have been wrong for Cain and his sisters.

In the end, there is just no way to rescue this convoluted train of thought into coherence. Either cosanguineous incest is an abomination in God’s eyes (like he said it is), in which case he would not have established the human race in such a way that our survival required it, or it’s not, and there’s nothing wrong with it at all as long as we can mitigate the risk of genetic problems. Ham can’t have it both ways.

  • Jake Roberts

    hahahahahhahahahahahahah YES!!!!!!!!!

  • Matthew C. Barrett

    I don’t think this merits such contempt. IF (note I said “if”) the Eden account is anything more than a parable, then this is a perfectly logical conclusion. For that matter, the same also applies if there’s anything more than a parable in the Noah account. We’ve got it on record that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all married close blood relatives.

    Nor does evolution absolve us of this. Many mutations require incest to become stable in a population and produce a new species. The likelihood that each of us has close-familial incest somewhere in our family tree is therefore much more certain if that tree extends back millions of years rather than thousands.

    • Hey Matthew, thanks for the comment. I appreciate it. For me, it’s not really a question of whether it’s logical. It’s a question of whether it’s consistent with the revelation of God in scripture to, not only condone consanguineous incest, but to require it, as the only possible means of procreation.

      Evolution does indeed absolve the issue. I’m not saying God would never allow incest. Incest happens today and has happened for thousands of years of human history. Obviously, God allows it, in humans, so why would he not have allowed it to occur in the history of evolution?

      But the view taught by Ken Ham, AiG and ICR make it more than an option. It makes incest necessary, and I simply don’t understand how they can, with a straight face, say that is consistent with God.

  • Jeff Schaefer

    Not really. This belief is internally consistent within the framework of a perfect world created 6,500 years ago (or whenever they say it is). Believing that the prohibition is due to the dangers of mutation makes it plausible (within that framework) that that wouldn’t be as much of a problem. I’m really surprised that this article strikes such a farcically sensationalist tone, when it’s clear that the “ick” factor regarding incest is due more to the long history of social and cultural pressures against it (in addition to God’s laws) than some objective fact of our nature…
    Ultimately, I find it crazier that some YECs think that Cain married a fallen angel or something…

    • Thanks for your comment, Jeff. I appreciate your thoughts and the criticism. But I must say, I don’t really see the key issue here as whether the idea is “internally consistent” within the context of its own story. For me, it’s a question of whether it’s remotely consistent with the revealed character of God and his design and desire for human sexuality. Frankly, I don’t think it is. As has already been discussed, cosanguineous incest was thoroughly repudiated by God in the Mosaic law (Leviticus 18, esp. verse 9). Ken Ham and AiG, of course, maintain that this all occurred before the Mosaic law was given, so it “didn’t count,” but Cain’s murder also predated the Ten Commandments prohibition on killing, and that still seemed to be wrong. Under AiG’s model, the only laws “on the books,” so to speak, were “Be fruitful and multiply” and “Don’t eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Breaking the latter was no longer possible by the time Cain came around, which left only the former, so he should have been able to kill whoever he wanted, right?

      Of course not. Because the Bible instructs us that the law of God is written on our hearts (Romans 2:15). Some people may have lived before the Mosaic law was laid down, but no person has ever lived before God or his law was established and written on our hearts.

      I focused on the “ickiness” of incest because I thought it would lend a little humor to the discussion, but that’s not why I think it’s wrong, ultimately. Nor do I think it’s wrong because it’s a social convention. I think it’s wrong because God says it’s wrong, and yes, I do think it’s crazy for the likes of Ken Ham to teach that God’s original design required an act which he would later describe as abominable (Leviticus 18:26-27).

  • Moses didn’t ban adultery or mother-son incest yet… so Cain could’ve just got with his mom, right? Same logic.

    • Yep, I also thought about saying that in the article, but thought better of it (it was getting a little long). See, Ham might say that would be adultery so it wouldn’t be allowed, BUT his same argument would apply: This was long before the Mosaic law’s prohibitions against adultery. So, Eve was fair game.

  • Jordan Peiffer

    Hoo boy. You are getting rather edgy again, Tyler.

    In the defense of YEC, the presumable reason incest is a problem is because the genes of family members are so close, and don’t mix well. And according to YEC, Adam and Eve and their immediate descendants basically had “super genes”, which actually did mix well. And even if Cain did not marry a sister (which the Bible doesn’t technically say) the patriarchs did marry close relatives. I’m curious now where Jacob’s twelve got their wives… Either way, I realize you’re overworked and tired right now, but I think you went a little far with this one.

    Besides, if it weren’t for the genes thing, it might not have been considered a problem in the first place, and there are plenty of brothers and sisters with good relationships. I know that’s rather a far cry from marriage, but if we’re going to argue about it… Not that that makes marriage any less a thing to be taken very seriously.

    • Hey, thanks Jordan. I was aiming for humor with this piece, but it seems my aim may have been a little off.

      You know, another commenter brought up a good point. What do you think Ham would say to two blood siblings marrying in modern-day society, if one or both of them were infertile? In this case, there would be no danger of producing offspring with a higher risk of genetic defects, and he can’t say incest is inherently wrong, because if it were, then it would have been wrong for Cain and his sisters.

      But even so, I’m pretty sure he would still say the two shouldn’t marry. Why? Because God’s law goes deeper than genetics. According to Romans 2:15, it’s written on our hearts. Remember, Cain’s act of murder predated the Mosaic law’s prohibition on killing just as much as its prohibition of incest, but it was still wrong to kill Abel, wasn’t it?

      I think, the bottom line is simply that there’s no way to rescue Ham’s convoluted teaching in this matter. My opinion is that he’s simply reading the text incorrectly, bottom line. And I was trying to demonstrate that in this post, in an engaging way, but I appreciate that I may have gone too far. Sorry if I caused any offense.

      • Jordan Peiffer

        Sure thing, Tyler. I’m glad you’re willing to admit it. It does seem rather strange, but you did kind of blow it out of proportion.

        As for the siblings/infertility question… I don’t know. I guess if the reason for the rule is the genetic issues, and that otherwise it would technically be no bigger a deal than eating pork or shellfish, then it needn’t be considered a major sin, if a sin at all… but, it would also be frowned upon by most of society, I’d imagine, and certainly the bulk of the church, and seeing as there isn’t exactly a human being shortage, I don’t think it likely that anyone would do it. But, as for being technically a sin, provided they followed all the other marital rules? I have no idea. I guess only God knows the answer to that one.

        I guess Mr. Ham might agree with me. Possibly it’s not technically a sin or a problem, and perhaps only God knows for sure, but why bother? And if for whatever reason a pair of siblings were adamant about it, I suppose it needn’t be made a huge fuss over. 😛 I guess in that particular case, it would be between them and God.

        I’m also not sure if God’s laws being written on our hearts applies to every single rule… Does it apply to the food rules, clean and unclean food? I don’t know, I guess it’s possible Abraham and the rest did feel those somehow… Besides, I agree with you about the laws being written on our hearts. Has to do with the conscience, I’d imagine. Not something I’m very knowledgeable on, though.

        • Hey Jordan! Thanks for the honest answer. I tend to think God’s views of sexual morality and ethics are of the “unchanging” variety, like murder and covetousness, and not like the temporary dietary and ceremonial laws. But you’re right, ultimately, we can just make educated guesses.

          However, I will say that I suspect Ken Ham would have a very hard time being as honest as you are. I doubt he would ever say that parent-child or sibling-sibling incest would be permissible in any situation. That’s just speculation on my part, but I’d be willing to bet the farm on it.

  • David Sirrine

    Sorry, but you’ve missed the mark on this one. Disgust over incest is a social construct that you seem to believe is inherent. The fact that it seems awkward and disgusting to you is completely your upbringing and early socialization, likely built up over time based on the genetic abnormalities that often result.

    You also completely overlooked the possibility that within the framework of the story (which I don’t take literally either), Cain was a marked-for-death wanderer and then spontaneously creates a city-state; obviously some time passed between the two events. With 900+ year lifespans and apparent virility for most of that, he could have instead married his brother’s daughter’s cousin’s daughter’s cousin thrice removed and been just fine.

    I love your site, and generally agree emphatically with your conclusions, but you should have picked any of the other issues you mentioned as the “worst”.

    • Hey David, thanks for the comment. First of all, I’m not sure I would agree that what we’re talking about here is merely a social construct. There are strong theological and evolutionary arguments that can be made that would suggest the “disgust” goes deeper than that. Theologically, this type of union is described as an “abomination” by God (Leviticus 18, esp. verses 9 and 26-27). The fact that this supposed act predates the Mosiac law is irrelevant, I would argue, as the law is written on our hearts (Romans 2:15). The prohibition against murder had also not yet been handed down, but Cain still seemed to be in a lot of trouble for killing his brother. Biologically, I’m sure a case could be made that we’ve been conditioned to avoid such unions precisely because of the genetic defects that can arise. And the fact that parent-child and brother-sister sexual unions are considered taboo almost universally, in many different cultures, and are often even illegal, would seem to lend credence to these arguments.

      As for Cain marrying “brother’s daughter’s cousin’s daughter’s cousin thrice removed,” you’re right, but this doesn’t change the fundamental problem. There still would have had to be men procreating with their sisters and/or mothers before the relation you describe could even exist. It doesn’t matter if this particular form of incest was committed by Cain or someone else; it had to be done by somebody. So, the fundamental problem — that, under Ham’s view, God’s original design required incest — is unchanged.

  • PurpleAardvaark

    Technically, incest is marriage to a person you are forbidden to marry. The classic example is marriage to ones first cousin (one of your parents’ sibling’s child) which is permitted in some US States and forbidden by others. There are also places where marriage to a “cross-cousin” is preferred. (That’s when a mother’s sister’s son marries the father’s brother’s daughter or vice-versa.) None of these cases is marked by the feared genetic abnormality due to inbreeding.

    Now Cain and his unnamed sister would probably be considered an incestuous union in modern Western European derived societies but the Ham crowd’s argument that the rules were different back then is perfectly valid (at least from an anthropological point of view).

    • Technically, at that point, God hadn’t given any laws so everything was a-ok by this point of view. Honestly, I don’t know why Cain freaked out about killing Abel and tried to hide it. This was a pre-ten commandments era, and the law against murder wasn’t passed down yet… so, by the YEC logic in regards to incest, Cain’s murder of Able wasn’t wrong yet because there was no law about it.

      In fact, by that logic, God’s Laws are just cruelty. I mean, if things weren’t wrong before God expressed them as wrong then why did God say anything was wrong in the first place. I mean, I could be doing coke and having sex right now if only God hadn’t decided to make up some laws that said I’m not supposed to and now I have to follow those laws. It’s just not fair. I mean, I wouldn’t be immortal because of that whole tree thing, but in a world with no rules, I don’t see why having sex with all of my female (and maybe even some male) co-workers couldn’t be glorifying to God. I’ll just… you know, thank him for this great pleasure. If one of the girls gets pregnant, just a couple solid punches to the gut should take care of that, and then I would thank God for the muscle structure that allowed me to avoid having a baby. If that doesn’t work, I just pull out a gun and off the mother… and then praise God for the engineering spirit that he gave mankind in order to make such a tool possible.

      Or, things that are wrong were always wrong. Things like Murder, Rape, Incest, Polygamy, etc. and there was never a time that any of these were ok because they weren’t written, or because of Adam and Eve’s “Super Genes”, and ignorance of those laws doesn’t make it ok… which is why Cain hid when he killed Able, or why Adam and Eve hid when they realized they were naked. They didn’t hide because they ate the fruit (which was the ONLY thing God told them not to do) they hid because they were naked (which God gave NO indication was wrong whatsoever). God is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, and always which means Incest is wrong yesterday, today, tomorrow, and always. Just like Adam and Eve knew that being naked was wrong, just like Cain knew that murder was wrong, just like Noah knew that following the vices of mankind was wrong, I’m sure everyone knew that Incest has always been wrong.

      The funny thing here is that Adam and Eve doesn’t really indicate that all of mankind began with those two… at least not in a physical standpoint. I would argue that most references in the Adam and Eve story are in regards to spiritual life. Eve is the mother of all who will live in a spiritual sense. God said they would die the day that they ate of the fruit, and yet they lived on for a very long time… but sin had crept into their lives and they were dead spiritually from that point on. I’ve come to the view that Adam and Eve is a mythological story based on real events intended to teach theological truths, not exact history. I actually do believe that Adam and Eve existed, but not as the first humans. But they were the first humans God interacted with, and maybe even the first humans who were granted immortal souls. It is possible that they are physical ancestors of everyone (I mean, everyone is scientifically related) just not in the sense of being the first humans.

      • Great points, Alex. Thanks for sharing.

        • Darwin Bloise

          Hey Tyler, what about gay marriage then? Also, what about what Colin said above? about genetics and behavioral adaption?

          • What do you mean, Darwin?

          • Darwin Bloise

            I meant gay intercourse. God forbids it, but I’m fairly certain animals and humans have done it for quite a while. If so, then why are some people born gay?
            (I doubt that makes any more sense. )

            And about Colin, he said that it was sound behavorial and evolutionary reasons we found incest wrong, not because of God’s law. How would you reply?

  • kaffikjelen

    The hypothetical conversation between Adam and Cain was pretty amusing.
    I wonder if Ken Ham would be okay with two infertile siblings marrying in the 21st century. After all, they can’t have children anyway, so the prohibition of incest based on genetics doesn’t apply.

    • That’s a good point. Ken Ham would probably say it’s against God’s law, except he can’t, since — as you mention — his argument is that the only reason it’s against God’s law is because of the danger of producing offspring with a greater risk of genetic mistakes.

  • As I told Tyler on Twitter, the whole zombie Jew thing is much crazier…

    https://twitter.com/colmo_ni/status/479051907961724928

  • I have to say, I also disagree here. The main problem is that this post doesn’t show how this belief contradicts scripture, instead, you fall into the trap of “It’s wrong because it’s gross”. Here’s the thing, the YEC peeps have some solid ground here: There is actually a lot of incest in the Bible in relations as close as relations can get. Like Ham said, Abraham married his half-sister and to add to what he said, Lot had sex with both of his daughters and got them pregnant (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+19:30-38). There was no judgement in either of these cases, and they support the idea that incest could have been different back when Adam and Eve were around.

    That said though, as far as i am aware, none of these show that God was ok with incest. Abram married Sarai before God spoke to him, I don’t know of any prohibitions between cousins marrying in the bible, and Lot was drunk. So, there isn’t thing scriptural that says that God was ever ok with incest, but a literal interpretation of the bible definitely is open to that leap of logic.

    However, here’s my problem with that logic in the end: God is the same today, tomorrow, and for all eternity. What he delights in, he has always delighted in and what is reprehensible to him was always reprehensible to him. Here’s where the logic actually falls apart: Polygamy (and bigamy, but for simplicity I’m just gonna use bigamy). Polygamy is practiced by several characters in the bible to no direct judgement, but the bible states multiple times that God’s intent was monogamy and yet many important people in the bible practiced Polygamy including David, Solomon, Abraham, Esau, Caleb, Simeon, and some say even Moses. However, as far as I am aware, none of these relationships were sanctioned by God. So, if God is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, and always and if he clearly never supported Polygamy (as it is shown in the scriptures) why is it so easy to believe that God ever supported incest, or would create a world in which incest was necessary for mankind to “Be fruitful and multiply”.

    • You’re right, Alex. Thanks so much for expounding on this. In the piece, I did focus on the “weirdness” of the incest model, because I thought that would be more humorous. But I totally agree with you; there’s a strong biblical argument to be made, as well. Not only that God doesn’t change, but also that the law is written on our hearts (Romans 2:15), regardless of when it was actually written on stone or paper in human history. There were some people that lived before the Mosaic law was handed down, but no person has ever lived before God existed, wrote his law on our hearts and held us morally accountable to it.

      • Alan Christensen

        I just think “Where did Cain get his wife” is the wrong kind of question to ask of the text, an issue Genesis was never meant to address.

        • I agree, but it’s a question demanded by the hermeneutic taught by groups like Answers in Genesis.

        • Mr value

          Shouldn’t we as scientists be questioning everything?

          • I don’t know if the task of the scientist is to “question everything.” That’s sounds more like just radical skepticism to me. If you took that to its ultimate conclusion, you wouldn’t be able to do science at all, because you would have to question the results of your own experiments and even the information gathered by your own senses.

          • Mr value

            Thanks for your reply Tyler. So some kid asked why the sky’s blue. One day someone takes him seriously and now we know it’s the dopler effect. Which showed us that the universe is expanding… Some kid asked why r trees green, then we realised the diff spectrums of light which help us know what distant planets are made of. Even the most basic Questions expose us to seas of new knowledge.

            We must continually question everything. And if the deity inspired such ancient literature, we be best to ask these questions.

            Science/math help us to be objective to search for the truth. Without it without the questions we r just a bunch of guys/girls with our own opinions, it’s just noise.

            St Augustine: numbers was given to us by the deity to know the truth.

            I look forward to ur thoughts, I’m keen to be corrected. That’s what science is about

            Best x

            Ps everything starts and finishes with faith… But faith should be a dynamic thing

  • Incest is viewed with distaste for sound biological, cultural and thus evolved behavioural reasons. It’s still necessary in decimated populations – the sequenced genome of the Denisovan female found in Asia was found to be badly inbred, probably for this reason.

    God’s law has nothing to do with it, because it doesn’t exist. This supposed gotcha becomes much simpler when you ignore the ignorant ramblings of ancients, and instead look at the biology and behaviour of humans and our close relatives.

  • ashleyhr

    “The closer we get to Adam and Eve, the fewer genetic mistakes people would have”.

    I presume this is the YEC claim of so-called ‘genetic entropy’ which the blogger Letters to Creationists’ has previously challenged Jon Sanford on. Of course real science suggests that such a genetic bottleneck – only two people to start with, and then a disaster reducing the number of humans to eight, are both fiction.

    Funny how YECs spend so much time investigating or claiming to ‘solve’ problems that only exist in their heads or on the pages of scripture.

    • Yeah. Folks like Ken Ham feel free to conjure whatever “facts” they want that will support their views. Whatever actual facts don’t support it, they’re just ignored.

  • ashleyhr

    This discussion re John Sanford – which I have not studied – may be of interest: http://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/facebook-discussion-perfectly-mirrors-public-censorship-of-creationist-positions/http://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/facebook-discussion-perfectly-mirrors-public-censorship-of-creationist-positions/ (Gilleand is a YEC and pretty ignorant about science as I have previously discovered but he rarely censors dissent unlike most YECs. On which topichttps://www.facebook.com/groups/639498262796759/permalink/663714927041759/, re the forthcoming creationist movie: https://www.facebook.com/groups/639498262796759/permalink/663510027062249/ )

  • ashleyhr

    This discussion re John Sanford – which I have not studied – may be of
    interest:
    http://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/facebook-discussion-perfectly-mirrors-public-censorship-of-creationist-positions/http://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/facebook-discussion-perfectly-mirrors-public-censorship-of-creationist-positions/
    (Gilleand is a YEC and pretty ignorant about science as I have
    previously discovered but he rarely censors dissent unlike most YECs. On
    which topic https://www.facebook.com/groups/639498262796759/permalink/663714927041759/,
    re the forthcoming creationist movie:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/639498262796759/permalink/663510027062249/
    )

    “You have already made this comment”. I am trying to correct a typo!

    • Thanks, Ashley! Sorry for your difficulties. The Disqus filter sometimes holds posts in moderation if they contain more than two links. That may have been the hangup you were experiencing.

      • ashleyhr

        No problem.

  • ashleyhr

    This discussion re John Sanford – which I have not studied – may be of
    interest:
    http://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/facebook-discussion-perfectly-mirrors-public-censorship-of-creationist-positions/http://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/facebook-discussion-perfectly-mirrors-public-censorship-of-creationist-positions/
    (Gilleand is a YEC and pretty ignorant about science as I have
    previously discovered but he rarely censors dissent unlike most YECs. On
    which topic re the forthcoming creationist movie:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/639498262796759/permalink/663714927041759/,

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/639498262796759/permalink/663510027062249/
    )

    (SECOND attempt to fully correct the typo affecting the two links to Facebook.)

  • ashleyhr

    I think the second facebook link is still getting mucked up for reasons unknown:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/639498262796759/permalink/663510027062249/

    FOURTH attempt.

  • Thanks, Paul. I don’t think there is enough space on all the Internet to do “full justice to Ham’s absurdity,” but I appreciate the point 🙂

  • Peter

    The more I read about Young Earth Creationism and the arguments it presents, the more frustrated I get. I’m sure you realize, OP, that it is basically pointless to argue with these people? I mean you may have the goal of getting rid of the PR stain that YEC puts on Christianity, which is noble, but you must get so frustrated. It’s crazy because the people have been taught that YEC and Christianity are the same thing, so if you attack YEC you are attacking Christianity, and if you are attacking Christianity, well, people are going to put up all the mental barriers that they can.

    • Hey Peter! Sure, it’s certainly frustrating. And yes, I certainly think that many people who hold to young-earth creationism fervently believe that this view is essential — or “the same thing,” as you put it — to Christianity. That’s why they fight against it so hard.

      I deal with it by trying to take it in stride. Whatever. It’s not my goal to be an evangelist for evolution; it’s my goal to show that false teachers like Ken Ham are exactly that: false teachers, and you do not have to deny proven science in order to be a “true Christian” or understand what the Bible teaches.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    So, what’s the craziest thing about young-earth creationism proponents? Their answer to this quandry. You want to know where Cain got his wife? Incest. Yeah, you read that right: Incest, and they’re not ashamed to admit it.


    Well, that Biblically justifies Josh Duggar banging his sisters…

    • Another commenter claimed that they overheard an evangelical say, essentially, the Duggar thing is OK, as long as they aren’t homosexual.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        Sure that wasn’t a garbled version of one of my comments?

        The one I overheard in the back of the 480 bus a couple months ago, during the height of Duggargate. As far as I know, the guy saying it wasn’t an evangelical, and was disgusted by the Duggars. Went something like “…bla bla bla Duggars bla bla they’re Christian bla bla Guess it’s OK to bang your sisters as long as you’re not Gay…”

        • Yeah, I think that was it. Thanks for correcting.

  • Shona Sijin Marion McCarthy

    I think that the reason we find incest so disgusting as a culture is partly inherited from our Christian roots. When the Bible talks about why people shouldn’t sleep with close relatives, it generally talks about the shame it would bring on their family. In our own time people say incest is wrong because it leads to mutation and birth defects. What if neither of these things were the case? What if the times of Adam and Abraham were like that?

  • Daniel Carl

    None of this narrative appears to mention that Cain was exiled to the “Land of Nod” [place or state of mind?] where he built a city and fathered the line of descendants beginning with Enoch.

    12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

    13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

    17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch

    GENESIS 4:12-1314, 17

    So he becomes a restless wanderer who settles down and builds a city, not my idea of a nomadic lifestyle, sounds very contradictory.

    From that standpoint you would think the chances of fathering a new civilisation with one of his sisters would be improbable unless one of the sisters committed a heinous crime as well but that is never mentioned so probability of that is low.

    If he was married before he was banished then why should his wife be exiled as well – was she not viewed as an individual in her own right by God? Also if he was married prior to this chances are they would already have had children but there is no mention of him already being a father before his exile.

    It’s all too vague and convoluted. If the bible was a true account of the Creator of the universe wouldn’t that self same Creator go out of his way to make the record clear and irrefutable?

    The whole incest thing is almost just a diversion. Seems more probable that the writer of the verses dealing with Cain’s ancestry were too lazy to say where his wife came from as it was too large a stumbling block for them to overcome.

  • Cain and his wife were practicing brother-sister copulation but the way you worded it is pretty damn funny. The Horizontal Bop as Answers in Genesis won’t word it in an X-rated matter as Cain may had given his wife some bukkake.

  • I had my share of young earth creationist’s cartoon-like claims. Hollywood always like to portray Christians as ignorant young earth creationists. Do a quick bing search for Pre-Columbian North America and you have your old earth proof. I am surprised no one used an uncle-daddy crack referring to Lot and his daughters.