The universe is dying — and it’s all Adam’s fault

The remnants of a massive supernova that exploded, for reasons which undoubtedly had everything to do with a single act of disobedience that transpired in a garden on earth a few thousand years ago.

Continuing our series of incredibly ridiculous things Ken Ham believes about space (subtitled: he doesn’t get the gospel either), today we will discuss how the universe is dying and it’s all humanity’s fault.

Well, one particular human.

No, not him.

No, not him.

It is all because of — shockingly — every young-earth creationist’s favorite scapegoat: Adam.

A different Adam. Um... I'm, like, 65 percent sure.

A different Adam. Um… I’m, like, 65 percent sure.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning. First of all, a question must be asked.

Is the universe dying?

And the answer is, yes, yes it is. Kind of. Thing is, a universe can’t actually “die” — you know, not being technically alive and all that. But scientists do believe, from the unimaginably huge infusion of energy from which it was created, the cosmos is slowly wearing itself down like some lame old person.

"Oh get on with you. I'm 13.8 billion years old for crimony's sake."

“Oh get on with you. I’m 13.8 billion years old for crimony’s sake.”

Which means, if things continue as they are for a very, very, very, very long time, the universe will one day be nothing but a cold, black, barren, bleak, empty place devoid of even the faintest glimmer of hope that you might be saved from soul-crushing despair.

Kind of like a Blockbuster, but less depressing.

Kind of like a Blockbuster, but less depressing.

That’s sort of a downer, I guess, but the bright side is that long before that happens, you will have been dead and forgotten for so long it will be basically as if you had never existed. Feel better?

I’m kidding. I just had to get all my angstiness out of the way up-front so we can end on a hopeful note.

At about this point, you may be asking, “Why are you telling us all this, Francke?” or “Why the heck am I reading this guy when I could be staring at a blank wall or getting a root canal?”

Allow me to answer the first question.

I knew this research would reach the desk of our friend Ken Ham (pretty sure the guy has a Google Alert set for the word “billion”), and I strongly suspected it would upset him.

I was right.

Now, Ken Ham’s primary point is that Christians do not need to worry about what has got to be the most boring conception of the apocalypse ever…

What? Oh — it's in 3-D? Yeah, I'd watch that.

What? Oh — it’s in 3-D? Yeah, I’d watch that.

…because God has promised us resurrection and eternal life with him in a new heavens and earth after the old has passed away. I actually agree with Ham (you’ll never know how long it took my brain to convince my fingers to type those five words) about that.

And, though the Bible is pretty TBD about exactly when that will all go down, it does strongly imply there will still be some living humans around at the time.

Now, Hambone could have ended his article there, with the two of us in agreement (which presumably would have immediately sparked the very End of Days that we are discussing), but he didn’t. (Phew.)

No, apparently the man is incapable of reading about any scientists’ work without exhaustively and painfully pointing out every tiny little detail he thinks they got wrong. He’s like the world’s worst “Star Trek” nerd.

Yep. Worse than them.

Yep. Worse than them.

We’ll start about four paragraphs in, after Ham has already dispatched with the research and the feeble-minded conclusions he thinks the secularists and their puny, unenlightened minds drew from them.

If you start with a different starting point [Oh, is that what you do with a starting point, Hammy? You start with it? Wow, OK, got it. Thanks!], however, where God’s Word is the truth, you get a very different view of the universe. According to Scripture, everything God created was originally “very good” (Genesis 1:31), free from any death and suffering, and the universe worked perfectly.

Let’s stop there. Do you see what Ham just did? Look closely, because this is important, and he does it all. The. Time.

You see, Ham believes that in God’s original creation, there was no death or suffering, and also evidently, no such thing as the second law of thermodynamics (which is ironic considering that most young-earthers think that thing is a pure, God-given talisman used to ward off evolution).

Problem is, the Bible says nothing like that. So he takes what the Bible does say (“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”), superimposes his own definition of “very good” onto it, and then uses that as a basis for serving up his own freaking opinion as Holy Writ.

The Bible does not say entropy is bad. It does not say erosion and decay are bad. It certainly does not say suffering is bad.

It does not say animal death is bad. Human death is an enemy, but even it was an absolutely necessary component of something we call — wait for it — “the good news.”

Somehow the "so-so" news of Jesus just doesn't seem as catchy.

Somehow the “so-so” news of Jesus just doesn’t seem as catchy.

But Ham needs all of those things to be bad so they fit his preconceived notions of universal history. And since that’s what he needs, that’s what they are.

This is called the fallacy of equivocation. It’s also called eisegesis, which is seminary-speak for “really bad way to read the Bible.”

Let’s continue, but, hey — drinking game why not? It will be fun! So, from now on, take a shot every time Ham says something that’s not in the Bible.

Here’s the next sentence.

But sin changed everything resulting in death intruding into creation.

Drink! Uh, actually, don’t. Otherwise we’ll all be smashed before we finish this paragraph.

Also, God no longer upholds the universe in a perfect state, giving us a taste of what life is like without Him—it falls apart.

Hebrews 1:3 says Christ is “the exact imprint” of God’s nature, and “upholds the universe by the word of his power.”

But, according to Ham, the exact imprint of a completely perfect God upholds the universe, um, imperfectly … because that makes perfect sense, you know.

"Hey Holy and Perfect Son, this is your Transcendent and Perfect Father speaking. I need you to do something for me, but I want you to do it imperfectly. That's not a problem, right?"

“Hey Holy and Perfect Son, this is your Transcendent and Perfect Father speaking. I need you to do something for me, but I want you to do it imperfectly. That’s not a problem, right?”

Hence, the book of Romans tells us that all of creation is groaning because of sin and is eagerly waiting for deliverance (Romans 8:21–22).

Romans 8:21-22: “that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.”

(The “because of sin” part is brought to you by the magic of eisegesis.)

I think you get the point. More evidence — as if you needed it — that the de facto leader of a movement whose ostensible, sole reason for existing is to be more accurate to the Bible actually tells the Bible to politely suck it whenever it does not line up with his presupposed beliefs.

Tyler Francke is founder of God of Evolution and author of Reoriented. He can be reached at tyler@godofevolution.com.

  • The “because of sin” part in Romans 8 is really unwarranted. The argument is that the faithful and creation will be delivered from their suffering (although not necessarily at the same time). It is well beyond the scope of Paul’s point that the reason creation needs deliverance is because Adam sinned.

    I will say, however, that I confess that Adam Levine is a historical human being.

    • I believe scripture refers to him as “the second Adam.”

      • If he had been on the ship with Paul, Luke, Aristarchus, and Julius, they could have been the Marooned 5.

        • *slow clap*

          • brad

            Adam and eve were examples in Genesis. I have faith in the Bible as word of God. the word Adam means mankind. as in implying their is more than one human at the. eve the means the mother of all the living. implying others were living also. by the way keep reading genesis chapters 1-11. other humans are mentioned. Creation first evolution 2nd. GOD formed the universe and life at the beginning of history. I do not believe in the big bang theory at all.
            the first humans were made by GOD in adult mode. god could have Created many starter humans to start human history of with

  • Greg Carlet

    As I have explained elsewhere, I am fairly new to your blog, but just wanted to say that I really appreciate it.
    I get exhausted reading the arguments (see: denial) against the scientific facts that are so clear, so I applaud your ability to do so without just wanting to give up and beat your head against the wall.
    I know that I do not know or have all the answers. But I do know that I cannot just stick my head in the sand when facts are presented to me. Does this make me question things? Yes. Has it caused me to no longer believe in God? No.
    In fact, a lot of this science, and specifically astrophysics, has caused my love and awe of God to increase all the more.

    • Thanks, Greg. Though, unfortunately, I can’t say my walls are entirely without head-dents.

      It’s OK. I have a hard head.

  • Timothy Swanson

    I don’t know if you have read it, but I highly recommend Phillip Plait’s book, “Death From the Skies” for an introduction to the death of the universe (scientifically speaking.) The title is tongue in cheek, but the science is fascinating, and the writing accessible to those without an advanced science or math degree.

    Good points on the way that so much is read into the texts. There is a whole body of doctrine built up from inferences. And those inferences, while perhaps understandable when they were originally made, do not stand up to the evidence we have since discovered. Those inferences, unfortunately, as you have pointed out, have become “foundational truths” that cannot be question, evidence be darned.

    • Great comment, Timothy. Thanks! And…featured.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Name sounds familiar… Is Phil Platt the “Bad Astronomy” website?

  • So you chide Ham for not stopping where he agrees with his opponents but nitpicking all his disagreements right before you do the same thing to him? I think you have more in common than you think.

    I think Ham’s position of no animal death before the fall, when evaluated on its strongest case, is a reasonable possible interpretation of Scripture. I just don’t think it’s the only possible interpretation, and I disagree with Ham’s notion that he has an infallible interpretation. I also believe in the principle of looking to our fallible interpretations of God’s created universe to help us evaluate our fallible interpretations of his Word. I think Ham probably uses this principle himself in other situations, and he only rejects its use here due to his belief that there are no other possible interpretations to evaluate.

    • Hey Joshua! Good to hear from you again.

      So you chide Ham for not stopping where he agrees with his opponents but nitpicking all his disagreements right before you do the same thing to him? I think you have more in common than you think.

      I guess that’s fair. I am kind of a Genesis nerd. And a please-don’t-claim-the-Bible-says-things-it-doesn’t-say nerd.

      I think Ham’s position of no animal death before the fall, when evaluated on its strongest case, is a reasonable possible interpretation of Scripture.

      I really don’t. I think the position that human physical death came after and as a consequence of the fall could be reasonably supported biblically (though I would still disagree) but not animal death. That simply isn’t in there. But that’s my opinion, and you are certainly entitled to your own.

      I just don’t think it’s the only possible interpretation, and I disagree with Ham’s notion that he has an infallible interpretation. I also believe in the principle of looking to our fallible interpretations of God’s created universe to help us evaluate our fallible interpretations of his Word. I think Ham probably uses this principle himself in other situations, and he only rejects its use here due to his belief that there are no other possible interpretations to evaluate.

      Totally agree with all this.

      • Thanks, Tyler. To clarify, I do agree that animal death after the fall “isn’t in there” directly. I don’t think animal death before the fall is in there, either. I don’t think the text speaks to it either way, but I also don’t think it rules it out either way, leaving room for both as possibilities.

        For example, with Romans 8:21-22, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to posit that “slavery to corruption” means sin, or that “pains of childbirth” is a reference to the “pains of childbirth” of the curse of Genesis 3, especially when you add Romans 5:12 “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin.”

        Now I used to think that was the *only* reasonable interpretation of those passages, so it may be no surprise that even though I no longer think it’s the *only* one, I still think it’s *a* reasonable possibility that the Bible leaves room for. But I do totally agree with you that the Bible doesn’t definitively say it, and that defending the position requires assumptions about what words like “very good” mean…

        • Thanks, Tyler. To clarify, I do agree that animal death after the fall “isn’t in there” directly. I don’t think animal death before the fall is in there, either. I don’t think the text speaks to it either way, but I also don’t think it rules it out either way, leaving room for both as possibilities.

          In a complete vacuum, I would agree with you. The problem is that we have logic and a whole big world outside of scripture (plus, some scripture itself, but I’m setting that aside for the moment) that goes against it.

          Think of it like germs. Germs are not mentioned in the Bible. The Bible is neutral on the existence of germs, leaving room for both possibilities. But, from our experiences in the world, we know that, in fact, germs do exist. And if a young-earther argued that there was no such thing as germs (or in this case, that there was no such thing as germs when the Bible was written), based on the fact that the Bible “leaves room” for such a possibility, we would probably back away slowly and carefully from such an individual.

          I think it’s the same thing with animal death and animal carnivorism. Sure, you could say the Bible “leaves room” for the notion that they did not exist, except that they do exist. We know this from the real world, and even from the Bible. In fact, the global ecosystem as we know it could not function without animal death, and many animals could not function with carnivorism.

          As you’ve already pointed out, these are simple, common-sense applications that even young-earthers use in all other aspects of their biblical interpretation (which is why very few of them believe the sky is a hard firmament or the earth is a flat disc at the center of the solar system), just not here.

          For example, with Romans 8:21-22, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to posit that “slavery to corruption” means sin, or that “pains of childbirth” is a reference to the “pains of childbirth” of the curse of Genesis 3, especially when you add Romans 5:12 “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin.”

          Sure, it’s reasonable to posit that (though Romans 5 is explicitly about human death, and Romans 8 seems to be speaking a bit more broadly). I agree that the main problem is when “I think this is what it’s saying” shifts to “This is what it says, and if you disagree you’re rejecting the authority of the Bible.”

        • Hey Joshua,

          I agree that “pains of childbirth” could arguably be a reference to the curse back in Genesis, although that was a curse on the woman and not creation. It could be that the ground producing thorns and thistles and man only able to get yield from it through painful work could be a form of pains of childbirth.

          But I think part of the contextual key comes from the preceding verses:

          The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

          For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

          Emphasis mine.

          So, it seems like the pains of childbirth have more to do with the present experience of the saints suffering under persecution than a reference to death in a general sense.

          I think the basic idea here is that a day is coming when the suffering/martyred saints will be vindicated and raised as Jesus (the firstfruits of suffering/martyred saints from the dead) was, i.e. the redemption of the bodies that have been crucified, burned, hacked up. This vindication is something all creation is waiting for in hope.

  • Chris Mason

    “And, though the Bible is pretty TBD about exactly when that will all go down, it does strongly imply there will still be some living humans around at the time.”

    Question: Do you think that we would have to remain human when that prophecy is fulfilled? Could it be possible (from a theological standpoint) that this could occur after humanity evolves into a different species?

    • I think that’s entirely possible. Why not? And, you’re lucky I’m not Ken Ham, or I’d have to burn you alive for even thinking to ask that question.

      • Chris Mason

        It’s a shame that they monitor comments there. Otherwise, I’d probably troll them like crazy.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Just the title —

    The universe is dying — and it’s all Adam’s fault

    Sounds so much like that Earth Day Activist mantra from South Park:
    (cue Jedi Mind Trick gestures and Scientology Tone 40 Voice)
    “The PLANET is dying — and It’s All The Republicans’ Fault.”

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    No, apparently the man is incapable of reading about any scientists’ work without exhaustively and painfully pointing out every tiny little detail he thinks they got wrong. He’s like the world’s worst “Star Trek” nerd.

    Not just Trekkies. Old School Lit-SF fans have a lot of that type too. DeCamp even warned about it in his Handbook for Science Fiction Writers and I ran into too many of them when I was in-country in the Lit-SF scene. “Superior Intellects” whose only reason for reading SF was so they could nitpick all the science under an electron microscope, find something wrong around the thirtiest decimal place, and Crow In Triumph. One even carried a high-end pocket calculator around to do the math on the spot.

  • Caleb Farrelly

    Actually it was all Eve’s fault.
    Or we could blame the serpent.