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Dinosaurs on the Ark

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William Crawley | 11:04 UK time, Friday, 4 May 2012



I thought I'd left the Grand Canyon behind when I moved on to Cincinnati. But, just thirty minutes from the airport, in Petersburg, Kentucky, I found myself studying the vast expanse of Arizona's desert at the Creation Museum. Founded just five years ago by the Creationist organisation Answers in Genesis, the museum has already attracted 1.6m paying visitors (it's about $25 per adult) and continues to draw in nearly three hundred thousand people each year during a recession.


The first thing you see when you arrive at the $35m museum is very large toy dinosaur, right outside the main entrance. Inside, there are many more. Dinosaurs are a bit of a theme here. My guide, Mark Looy, one of the co-founders of the Museum (with Ken Ham and Mike Zovath) explains that dinosaurs were chosen as a key focus of the museum because they attract such intense media attention, interest children and young people, and illustrate some of the decisions about global history that need to be made by biblical Christians. And there hasn't been much of global history according the museum's young earth creationists: in essence, they agree with James Ussher, the 17th century Archbishop of Armagh, that the world was created just six thousand years ago (Ussher was more precise: 23 October, 4004BC). Which means that dinosaurs existed alongside human beings -- and they entered Noah's Ark two-by-two. (Maybe that's why one of the dinosaurs is wearing a saddle; visiting children can have their photograph taken sitting on its back.)


You can't have an Ark without a Flood. The Museum makes much of the biblical flood and offers this as an explanation for the Grand Canyon's famous stratification -- and for the fossil record and a great deal more. In a few years, visitors may even be able to see what Noah's Ark looked like. Answers in Genesis has begun a project to build a full-scale replica of the Ark on an 800-acre plot of land they've purchased some miles away from the Museum. The land alone cost more than $5m, and it'll take another $40m before construction can begin. But Mark Looy seems confident that wealthy funders and ordinary supporters will come forward.

While ten full-time staff continue to work on the Ark project, more than 250 full-time staff are employed by Answers in Genesis in its various ministries, including the museum. Some of these are speakers and demonstrators, travelling to churches and schools across America (and sometimes across the world) to spread the young earth message.

Professional scientists, as you might expect, regard the whole thing as baloney: the Creation "Museum" is a pseudo-scientific theme park and the young earth theory is as far-fetched as astrology. But that dismissive attitude only seems to re-energise those working here in Petersburg: after all, the Bible they read tells them to expect the contempt of the world.

What struck me most about my visit to the Creation Museum was not the science (or pseudo-science, depending on your point of view), but the moral vision of this organisation. Part of the exhibit includes an alleyway covered in graffiti -- an image of a world that's lost its way. The narrative linking these exhibits tells a moral story: a world without the Bible will be plunged into moral chaos. In order to restore the world, the narrative tells us, we need to return to the Bible. And that Prodigal-like return involves us in a hermeneutical decision: do we take the Bible seriously (by which, they mean "literally") or not? Young earth creationists start with that commitment to read the Bible literally, as the inerrant Word of God; they then accommodate "science" to that a priori assumption.

When I talked to one of the Museum's educators, it wasn't long before she was linking their work to culture wars about abortion and homosexuality. This isn't surprising. Young earth creationists believe both are examples of the moral decay that results from an abandonment of biblical values. They fear a world in which non-biblical or post-biblical values might hold sway. That's why they resist modern evolutionary science so much: because it appears (to them) both to threaten the coherence and integrity of the biblical worldview and to devalue the explanatory power of the Bible in their hands. Since their faith is so fundamentally grounded in an inerrantist reading of the Bible, such a significant challenge to the Bible represents an existential and moral assault.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    That's a pretty pricey admission!
    I'd agree that a world bereft of Christian values would be something I'd fear, but I don't really understand the huge emphasis on exactly how long it took God to create the world.However He accomplished it is fine with me.
    I did watch a video once about stratification that tried to offer an alternative explanation for fossil deposits in sediment.

  • Comment number 2.

    Talking about the Bible, allow me to quote what God said to Job in Job chapter 38 onwards:

    "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! ..." etc


    The whole theme of this passage speaks against dogmatic approaches to the origin of the universe and of life, although, of course, it affirms God as the creator. Obviously certain things that Job did not know (such as "the breadth of the earth" - Job 38:18) have been discovered by science, but the point is that the Bible itself (on which YEC literalists rely) sounds a note of caution when hypothesising about events before recorded human history or even about the mechanics of the natural world.

    Unfortunately this culture war is a battle of "certainty claims" about a subject that, at best, can only be highly tentative - for the obvious reason that, as mentioned, no human being was there to observe what happened.

    Cont...
  • Comment number 3.

    Continued from post #2 -

    These "certainty claims" are often driven by ideology - sometimes brazenly (here's an example: "Lonsdale does not deny that his atheism is a driving force behind the initiative").

    I happen not to be convinced by the claim of common descent (and certainly not abiogenesis), because I am not convinced that that is the only way to interpret whatever evidence there is on the subject. But I have been labelled a "creationist" on this blog, which could imply that I have signed up to YEC. However, I have not endorsed many of the approaches taken by YEC's. If YEC is false (and I have certainly not concluded that that is necessarily the case), then it doesn't follow that either the atheistic explanation or the theistic evolutionary view is correct.

    Cont...

  • Comment number 4.

    Continued from post #3 -

    The proper scientific approach is one of humility, a sense of mystery and a refusal to allow any kind of ideological agenda - theistic or atheistic - to cloud robust intellectual enquiry. Remember: "historical science" is a completely different discipline to "experimental science" (the latter also being limited in scope).

    Given the "red rag to a bull" status of the Creation Museum, I suspect this thread will have its fair share of the usual snide remarks (although some of the worst culprits left this blog a long time ago), but perhaps this might be an appropriate time for all of us - on whatever side of the subject we stand - to stand back in awe of nature (as Job was encouraged to do) and humbly admit that we don't have all the answers (or perhaps even 1% of the answers), and it's quite likely we never will. It might make for a far more constructive approach.

  • Comment number 5.

    It’s interesting, William, that you highlight the moral dimension - “Part of the exhibit includes an alleyway covered in graffiti -- an image of a world that's lost its way.”

    What, I wonder, of a church that has lost its way?...

    The figures are staggering.

    How many vaccinations could be bought for $35m? Thirty five million!
    How much seed could be bought for $5m?
    How many wells could we dig?
    How much basic sanitation could be provided?
    How many bowls of rice or sacks of flour would 1.6m times $25 purchase?
    Never mind another $40m.

    This ‘Theme Park Christianity’ makes me cross. With ventures like this the church will end up an exhibit in its own museum.

    And before anyone tells me that the church already supports charitable ventures, I know it does, that isn’t the point.

  • Comment number 6.

    @logica_sine_vanitate,
    Thank you for your posts.I've often found scientists to be as hardheaded & unopen to new ideas as the stereotypical fundamentalist is portrayed by some. Those in medical research can be the worst.Humility would go a long way for us all.
    Did you watch "The Tree of Life" film? It was based on the Book of Job.Your quotation reminded me of it.

  • Comment number 7.

    5.At 17:23 4th May 2012, Dot Gale wrote:
    It’s interesting, William, that you highlight the moral dimension - “Part of the exhibit includes an alleyway covered in graffiti -- an image of a world that's lost its way.”

    What, I wonder, of a church that has lost its way?...

    The figures are staggering.

    How many vaccinations could be bought for $35m? Thirty five million!
    How much seed could be bought for $5m?
    How many wells could we dig?
    How much basic sanitation could be provided?
    How many bowls of rice or sacks of flour would 1.6m times $25 purchase?
    Never mind another $40m.

    This ‘Theme Park Christianity’ makes me cross. With ventures like this the church will end up an exhibit in its own museum.

    And before anyone tells me that the church already supports charitable ventures, I know it does, that isn’t the point."
    ***
    I'm not sure if you're referencing the Noah's Ark theme park planned in Kentucky or the Creation Museum, but I read the theme park would create 900 jobs.Where I live, that would be huge.Assuming each employee also practised biblical tithing, that would mean 10% more income going out to church & charity.Local businesses would benefit,not to mention the tourist dollars spent in the community.And a theme park based on the family friendly parts of the Old Testament doesn't sound like a bad thing.I'd consider taking my grandbabies there.A whole lot more wholesome than the local carnivals.Those can resemble the un-family friendly events recorded in scripture sometimes.

  • Comment number 8.

    Dot Gale,

    The money you mentioned in post 5 is nowhere close to being all of it. They got 43 million in tax brakes for the building of the Ark Encounter. The jobs prospects estimate was cooked up by a friend of Ken Ham. They're already pushing for the state to upgrade the roads leading to it. And the much smaller number of jobs that will be created, will likely go only to creationist fundie wackaloons.

    Here are some relevant links that describe in more detail some of the bits I wrote above:

    https://www.barefootandprogressive.com/2011/05/ark-encounter-gets-approval-for-43-million-tax-break-but-ken-ham-is-already-compromised-updates.html

    https://www.barefootandprogressive.com/2010/12/about-that-feasibility-study-for-ark-encounter-that-steve-beshear-cited.html

  • Comment number 9.

    The thought that nonsense like this has received tax breaks amounting to millions of dollars is truly shocking. That said, 300,000 people each year are prepared to pay to see big plastic dinosaurs and the like. If there is a proper museum near this place it would be interesting to know what its visitor numbers are. Perhaps the figure of 300,000 includes a lot of visits by those who opt for lifetime membership at $1,000 (also includes the New Answers Book 3 autographed by Ken Ham!).

  • Comment number 10.

    newlach (@ 9) -

    The thought that nonsense like this has received tax breaks amounting to millions of dollars is truly shocking.


    Are you suggesting that, in a secular society, people should have to pass an ideological test before being allowed to receive tax breaks?

    If not, then what is your problem with this particular case?

    And if so, then what is the ideology to which people must conform, and how is it justified (taking into account the principles of democracy and human rights)?
  • Comment number 11.

    Seems some are very happy to grant freedom of speech to everyone....except those who disagree with them! (As witness the absence of a fair opportunity for the scientific case for the Creation account to be presented on Will's BBC....as if there were hardly any 'professional scientists' who take the Biblical view! This - of course - is arrogant nonsense.)

    Seems to me that the major reason why folk are so prejuduced against things like the Creation Museum is that they daren't give God an inch -either in science, the media....or their own lives.

    Professor Verna Wright once said that his observation was that opposition to the Genesis account was not so much in chapter 1, but in chapter 3 - which reveals how sin came into the world, and why we need a Saviour. In the New Testament, Paul links these two things together: '...just as through one man sin entered into the world...and all sinned, ....so through one Man's righteousness the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life." (Roman 5)

    No Creation.............therefore no God; No sin.....therefore no need for a sinless Christ, dying on the Cross as our Saviour.

    The issues really are as crucial as that!

    (Sorry if that sounded like a bit of a preach............Sunday tomorrow!)

  • Comment number 12.

    Pastor Philip

    You will notice from my comments here, and those on the 'Canyons and Culture' thread, that I am not in opposition to the the account that we need a Saviour.

    What I do object to however is the justification and spending of immense amounts of money on 'Theme Park Christianity' - we don't need a model Ark - you know that, especially when people need medical attention, care and food. Individual Christians cannot make much change with their £20 or $25 contributions, but they can make changes when they work together, or when they join with other agencies working to improve the conditions of people around the globe, be they Christian organisations or not.

    This money could be better used (as could much of the money we spend on our religious infrastructure), and we should have a conscience about that.

    We should also remember that science isn't a campaign against Christianity, and that the good news of the gospel of Jesus is concerned with bread as well as bibles.

  • Comment number 13.

    I like the idea that dinosaurs can help revive interest in St George - scientifically, we know there was a time when 'dragons' (though, no, not fire-breathing dragons) roamed the earth. And crocodiles, which are sometimes massive and acquire a taste for people, are the nearest creatures we have to dragons which would have existed in St George's day - might not his legend have originated in a story about someone who killed a crocodile? Mind you, St George, a soldier it seems, appears to have been canonised primarily for accepting martyrdom; for being ready to lay down his life in the service of the truth, which would perhaps make the dragon an allegory for ignorance and darkness.

  • Comment number 14.

    LSV

    Of course people and organisations must pass certain tests before they get tax breaks. My objection in this particular case is that Creationism is nonsense. This "museum" exists to present the bizarre belief that the Earth was created in 4004BCE as fact. I see no public benefit in this. I am concerned that, for example, a proper museum may have lost out as a result of these tax breaks, or that a proper museum may not be built somewhere in Kentucky because a "museum" already exists.

    Do you consider it wise that taxpayers generously support an organisation that promotes the view that a man called Noah built an ark into which he took two of every land-dwelling species including dinosaurs?

  • Comment number 15.

    newlach (@ 14) -

    Of course people and organisations must pass certain tests before they get tax breaks.


    Yes, tests that relate to the proper functioning of a democracy that upholds human rights, such as the right to free expression. But certainly not ideological tests.

    If there are ideological tests that people have to pass, in order to participate in a democracy, then it is a democracy not worthy of the name. Are you advocating a form of McCarthyism?

    Whatever the details, the idea of a worldwide cataclysm is not more implausible than many of the "scientific" theories that we are expected to believe are "fact"! (There is an abundance of evidence of catastrophism in the fossil record and geologic column. I can refer to some if you like, but if you are an honest seeker of the truth, I am sure you can find it yourself.)

    Cont...
  • Comment number 16.

    Continued from post #15 -

    Now there are some people who believe that a certain event recorded in a certain history book (and why should it not be regarded as such?) explains this evidence for catastrophe. Why should they not be allowed to express their point of view in a democracy?

    What kind of a democracy do you believe we should be living in? And why?

    Whatever you may think of the biblical flood story, your views often leave a lot to be desired: the second section of this post is very deeply disturbing evidence of your refusal to grant extremely vulnerable people the most basic of rights, namely, the right to life and the right to a fair trial, since they are being executed for pre-crimes. So you have lost all democratic and moral credibility anyway. If I were you, I would get my act together before making pronouncements about democratic rights!

  • Comment number 17.

    And that Prodigal-like return involves us in a hermeneutical decision: do we take the Bible seriously (by which, they mean "literally") or not? Young earth creationists start with that commitment to read the Bible literally, as the inherent Word of God;...Since their faith is so fundamentally grounded in an inerrantist reading of the Bible, such a significant challenge to the Bible represents an existential and moral assault.

    This is a curious oversimplification. Do YEC's insist we start with the commitment to take the bible 'literally'? I dunno that they do. Some might. On Genesis 1-2 many have offered arguments for 6 day/young earth as the meaning of those texts. That's not pre-commitment. And in principle these arguments do not depend on the religious sympathy, or a location south of the Mason-Dixon line, of the one who makes them. If young earth creationism, as a collection of biblical propositions, is to be rejected it is to be rejected at the level of argument; the meaning of the text. This raises the necessary distinction between what the bible says and whether it is true. It's self-evidently true that one can believe the bible is a YEC document and also believe those propositions to be false. The YEC's argument, however, is that since God is truth and the bible is the Word of God, and since the bible is a YEC document, then young earth creationism is true. The pre-commitment of the YEC is not to, so called, 'literalism' but to the authority of Scripture. If the bible is a YEC document then that's what we should believe. Those Christians who offer alternative interpretations are, they say, motivated by accommodating scientific assertions about biology and geology, and in this sense these Christians do not take what the bible says seriously. And 'creation science' is the attempt to show that the empirical evidence is, in fact, consistent with YEC. As far as AIG goes I take it the Creation Museum is part of that project. It is, of course, unlikely to convince many. Not least myself. I've never enjoyed natural history museums ;)

  • Comment number 18.

    "Young earth creationists start with that commitment to read the Bible literally, as the inherent Word of God; they then accommodate "science" to that a priori assumption."


    But no where in the bible does it state:

    (1) The age of the Earth/universe.

    (2) That animals were not subject to physical death before the fall.

    So how can their interpretation be literal ?

  • Comment number 19.

    Add your comment

    The following are held by members of the Board of Answers in Genesis to be either consistent with Scripture or implied by Scripture:
    Scripture teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation, spanning approximately 4,000 years from creation to Christ.
    The days in Genesis do not correspond to geologic ages, but are six [6] consecutive twenty-four [24] hour days of creation.
    The Noachian Flood was a significant geological event and much (but not all) fossiliferous sediment originated at that time.
    The gap theory has no basis in Scripture.
    The view, commonly used to evade the implications or the authority of biblical teaching, that knowledge and/or truth may be divided into secular and religious, is rejected.
    By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.

    Come on guys stop hiding behind the "No true Scotsman" argument
    this is what is being taught as science to children at this "museum" do you want this nonsense out of sunday school and in the classroom?

    BTW WIll I hope you left a few DVDs of Blueprint behind for the Ham miester.
  • Comment number 20.

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


    But it's not the scriptural record. It's Henry Morris and John C. Whitcomb's interpretation of the bible.
  • Comment number 21.

    It’s time to write the What’s Here page! Let’s make absolutedamnsure people know there’s a helluva lotta stuff to do here!

    Okay, how’s this:

    “There’s more to do at the Creation Museum than you could fit into one literal day.”

    You used my favorite word!

    Well, it’s mine, too!

    No!

    Yes! It is literally my favorite word!

    Get the hell outta here!

  • Comment number 22.

    ~I dont know much about dinasores on the ark, but I have discovered a few things,

    Although the Bible speaks of only 1 ark there had to be at least 1 other one. For without it how could Noah sail to the southern hemisphere to Australasia to pick up the kangaroos etc and visit the Galapagos islands, to collect its weird collection of species and visit other far flung areas of the pacific ocean, then off to the tundra and beyond to get 2 polar bears, etc etc.

    and there is something about the flood, I was reading lately in Chinese history, there is a record of the flood that destroyed much of the earth covering hills and mountains. “
    Like endless boiling water, the flood is pouring forth destruction. Boundless and overwhelming, it overtops hills and mountains. Rising and ever rising, it threatens the very heavens. How the people must be groaning and suffering!

    -- Emperor Yao,

    Only problem is, the displacement of peoples decended from Adam and eve, the adoption of different languages etc, did not taker place until the destruction of the tower of Babel. All the chinese emperors and all the chinese people decended from Noah and his sons,

    So How did people come to be in china before the flood?

    and if, the flood in china which is covering mountains, and lasted for years, is a second flood after Noahs flood, surely its effects are also felt in the middle east, water seeks its own level and does not flow upwards, how come it is not mentioned in the Old Testament?

  • Comment number 23.

    Hey William,

    I have really enjoyed your blog for some time now but it was your documentary - Losing Our Religion - that really got to me. It was profoundly moving given that I have shared a similar sort of experience of faith.

    As they say flattery will get you everywhere...

    I am trying to publicise my new blog - rather grandly titled "The Irish Centre for Progressive Christianity" - and would greatly appreciate it if you could give me a nod on your own blog. I hope to develop an on-line community for progressive/liberal Christians in Ireland as an alternative to the prevailing dogmatic Roman Catholic and Evangelical Protestant narratives.

    https://patrickwasprogressive.wordpress.com/

    Cheers!

  • Comment number 24.

  • Comment number 25.

    Latest research suggests that the ark would have been a very warm and smelly place. Flatulent dinosaurs gave off a lot of bad gas, but not half as much as Creationists!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/17953792

  • Comment number 26.

    Religiosity has a tendency to dumb down the herd and clever political power elites use that card to manipulate the emotional.

    "Study: US College Students Advance Little Intellectually"
    https://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/only-in-america/Study-US-College-Students-Advance-Little-Intellectually---146441905.html

    All that religious brainwashing of children only leads to the continuation of ignorance and irrational fear.

  • Comment number 27.

    8.At 22:06 4th May 2012, PeterKlaver wrote:
    Dot Gale,

    The money you mentioned in post 5 is nowhere close to being all of it. They got 43 million in tax brakes for the building of the Ark Encounter. The jobs prospects estimate was cooked up by a friend of Ken Ham. They're already pushing for the state to upgrade the roads leading to it. And the much smaller number of jobs that will be created, will likely go only to creationist fundie wackaloons."
    **
    Are the folks who hold those beliefs not entitled to employment? Beyond that, the larger share of jobs created are usually peripheral & extend out into the greater community.All sorts of people benefit.

  • Comment number 28.

    26.At 15:32 7th May 2012, LucyQ wrote:
    Religiosity has a tendency to dumb down the herd and clever political power elites use that card to manipulate the emotional."
    **
    Where in that article do you see that? The excerpt I read seems to indicate something else:


    "The researchers found that freshmen and sophomores are more concerned with socializing and communicating with friends than with what used to be called “cracking the books.”

    Their “critical thinking” would appear to involve choosing the right pizza joint or bar at which to meet those friends.

    “It’s good to lead a monk’s existence [in college]," says Eric Gorski, an Associated Press writer who reported on the study. "Students who study alone and have heavier reading and writing loads do well.”

    Unfortunately for U.S. educational achievement, not many monastic types appear to be applying to college these days."

  • Comment number 29.

    @28:
    PS, I don't know how reliable the site in the link is but I've seen similar rankings listed on the BBC (The top 3 are American Universities, followed by Oxford):

    The Top 400 World’s colleges / Universities Rankings in 2011-2012


    https://www.uscollegeranking.org/public-schools/2012-2012-world-university-rankings.html

  • Comment number 30.

    "Are you suggesting that, in a secular society, people should have to pass an ideological test before being allowed to receive tax breaks?"

    No, not an ideological test, but a truth test. All the scientific evidence refutes a 6000 year old earth and points to a 4,500 million year old planet instead.

    Should a "museum" that teaches the the moon is made of blue cheese be given tax breaks? I think not.

    Your argument is ridiculous.

  • Comment number 31.

    jdcastro (@ 30) -

    No, not an ideological test, but a truth test. All the scientific evidence refutes a 6000 year old earth and points to a 4,500 million year old planet instead.

    Should a "museum" that teaches the the moon is made of blue cheese be given tax breaks? I think not.

    Your argument is ridiculous.


    You childishly call my argument ridiculous, but your analogy tells us all that we need to know both about your comprehension of the issues and your understanding of the concept of "truth". Obviously you don't know the difference between observational and experimental science, on the one hand, (which can prove that the moon is not made of blue cheese) and the historical science of origins, on the other, which is subject to high levels of speculation (not to mention plenty of philosophical special pleading leading to particular highly tendentious interpretations of evidence).
  • Comment number 32.

    LucyQ, #26;

    "Religiosity has a tendency to dumb down the herd and clever political power elites use that card to manipulate the emotional."

    Where i live there are two big universities. One has a full complement of chaplains, serving every denomination and most faiths. The other, academically considerably more impoverished, has a single part-time Catholic chaplain, serving a university with one of the highest levels of student enrolment in the country. You do the math.

  • Comment number 33.

    LSV@31
    Come on LSV let's see your creation science........How old is the earth?

  • Comment number 34.

    paul james (@ 33) -

    Come on LSV let's see your creation science........How old is the earth?


    I have something in common with the empirical scientific method: we both don't know the answer to your question. We are unashamed agnostics, 'cos we weren't there to make the necessary direct observations. (Of course, if you would like to talk about inferring conclusions from what we can observe, then please do. I rather like the idea of inferring unobserved realities!)

    But whatever the truth of the matter, just remember this: in the brave new "liberated" world of "New Atheist Democracy", you will have to pass an "age of the earth" test in order to have any say in how your tax money is used. Remember that, oh dear citizens!
  • Comment number 35.

    LSV
    So the great creationist won't stand shoulder to shoulder with the scientists from Answers in Genesis. What would Bishop Ussher say?

  • Comment number 36.

    There isn't enough information on the flood, the Ark, and creation that I would be as skeptical of what is being presented at this museum as I am about evolution.

  • Comment number 37.

    PTS
    Dude what are you talking about, ask LSV, all your Answers are in Genesis.

  • Comment number 38.

    paul james

    Not at all as far as I'm concerned. Maybe both atheists and theists should stop speculating.

  • Comment number 39.

    William

    "especially when people need medical attention, care and food."

    Actually they need a Saviour much more. That is the point of Genesis 3, and the point of making it clear that Genesis is not just a story but how the World and mankind came to be in the state it is in, including disease and hunger. Ignore that message at your peril.

    Martin

  • Comment number 40.

    mscracker, post 27,

    "Are the folks who hold those beliefs not entitled to employment?"

    My post was not about YECs being barred from jobs, rather the opposite: anyone but YECs being barred from taking jobs with an organisation that receives a very fat tax break bonus from the state of Kentucky. You may have caught some of LSV's persecution syndrome. He bangs on in several posts in this thread about people having to pass an ideological test. In the organisation that this thread is about, the Ark Encounter theme park, it is YEC christians who put up such a test. If you're a non-believer, Hindu or Buddhist, theistic evolutionist Christian, or even an old earth creationist, you will be excluded from most jobs there.

    If the Ark Encounter was some private club, that would be their business. But given the connection to the public purse, to the tune of dozens of millions of tax breaks, I think there is a real issue there.

  • Comment number 41.

    Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, attacks a display at the International Museum of the Horse on the evolution of horses. In a blog post entitled "Kentucky Horses will lead you astray" the unashamed Creationist lambastes the display for being "unscientific" adding that it is:

    "just another good reason why you need to visit a place that will tell your children the truth — the Creation Museum!"

    Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/2012/04/28/2168147/creation-museum-head-doubts-horse.html

  • Comment number 42.

    @40. PeterKlaver ,
    Thank you for your comments but "tax breaks" don't equal public funding, even though that does eventually work out the same way, economically speaking.
    I'm not informed enough about the proposed theme park's hiring policies but each state has pretty strict Depts. of Labor.They generally sort out working condition/discrimination issues that arise.I'm not over worried about that.Most employers are scared to death of their state's Dept. of Labor.They'll close you down in a heartbeat.
    It's interesting that when Christians perceive being singled out/discriminated against for their Faith, it's ridiculed as a persecution complex but when those of other Faith's voice the same perception it's different.When you belittle or ridicule another for his beliefs, you also persecute.Ditto for name calling.You can disagree with the Creation Museum folk-as I do-but they can be spoken of respectfully.

  • Comment number 43.

    To me, it doesn’t look like a museum any more than Alain de Botton’s.

    Imo, this is a church for specific Christian denominations. Any other visitors are potential converts.

    A list of the Main Exhibits/Walk Through History rooms:
    Dig Site
    Starting Points
    Biblical Authority
    Biblical Relevance
    Culture in Crisis
    Time Tunnel
    Wonders of Creation
    Garden of Eden
    Corruption – Cave of Sorrow
    Catastrophe – Ark Construction
    Flood Geology
    Natural Selection
    Confusion – Babel
    Christ, Cross, Consummation
    Last Adam Theater


    I haven’t read about the tax breaks. Does it get tax breaks because it’s a church?
    I think the original idea for the breaks is so churches could not lobby city/state council. So much for that.

  • Comment number 44.

    Oh, it took me a while. It’s a CREATION museum. I get it now.

    I’ve had my fill of that story, not to mention that type. So, a big - No Thanks.

  • Comment number 45.

    Btw, I don’t know how everyone uses the phrase “so much for that.”

    I meant: The whole idea of people not lobbying the state with their religious ideas - was great, but is no longer working via either taxing or breaks.

  • Comment number 46.

    8 May 2012

    BBC News :

    Horses tamed earlier than thought
    "Horses were domesticated 6,000 years ago on the grasslands of Ukraine, southwest Russia and west Kazakhstan, a genetic study shows."
    ****
    There you go-it all happened when the first man met the first horse 6,000 years ago.Just like the Creation Museum folks say.
    :)

  • Comment number 47.

    Plogh # 39

    The phrase you quote was from my post #12, please read it again.

  • Comment number 48.

    gerry @ 22

    When Noah lived on the earth it was more than likely that the population of the world may have been confined to a medium to large body of land such as Australia or something as small as New Zealand. Wherever it was it may have only consisted of 10s of millions of people. Given this, the flood would only have needed to be reasonably local until Noah cleared land and until he was blown on the wind for the space of a year or so. All other lands would have been unaffected until Noah came to stop and only then would it have been necessary for the flood to rise in the Middle East to allow him to rest on dry land. This would mean that animal life-form in other lands, outside his places of departure and arrival would have been unaffected by the flood.

    Additionally, Noah may not have had to collect as many animals than we imagine. The Bible, the only record we have of the flood, makes no mention of which animals co-existed with the people of that time. Furthermore, it could well have been that Noah preserved only those animals that would be of use to him in the future. Who knows - it doesn't say?

    Off course the Chinese could have preserved an account of the flood. Noah was their fore-father. It wasn't until the 'tower of Babel' that the people were scattered. Those people not only had an account of the flood as an oral history but an account of God's dealings with man up to the point of the scattering. It is reasonable to assume that their accounts have been changed to the point of non-recognition - 'Chinese whispers' style. So, to sum up:

    The Ark may not have been launched in the Middle East but came to rest there.
    The known world before the flood may have been confined to a large island.
    The population of the world may have been in the low millions.
    The animals that Noah took into the Ark may have been useful animals to him.
    The animals in the rest of the world may have been unaffected by the flood.
    The story of the flood may have been carried by Noah's descendants to other places after Babel as was his religion.
    Noah's religion and the story of the flood may have been corrupted over time by his descendants.

    Hope this makes some sense to you.

  • Comment number 49.

    48.At 17:59 8th May 2012, puretruthseeker:


    "The animals that Noah took into the Ark may have been useful animals to him."
    **
    That's actually what our priest mentioned during a homily recently.Thanks for your post.

  • Comment number 50.

    mscracker

    You're welcome.

    I feel we need to read anew the events in the Bible as all too often we cannot see beyond the perception we have which was taught to us when we were children. It just too easy for that perception to be criticised and which we have difficulty defending.

  • Comment number 51.

    Re: PK @40 -

    You may have caught some of LSV's persecution syndrome.


    I presume this little bit of (misguided) amateur psychology is a response to my satirical comment in post #34 about the "age of the earth" test?

    The implication is that my "persecution syndrome" is unjustifiable, given how nice and cuddly these lovely atheist folk are, who would never dream of hurting a fly. I suppose when jdcastro did his "hit and run" in post #30, he wasn't implying that his "moon cheese truth test" would involve censoring and censuring views that he deemed to be "unacceptable", such as Young Earth Creationism? I mean that's the only way I can read his post if Mr Klaver is justified in his audacious little foray into the world of psychoanalysis.

    Cont...
  • Comment number 52.

    Continued from post #51 -

    If that is not what the above-mentioned "hit and run" blogger meant, then perhaps "honest" Mr Klaver would like to rebuke jdcastro for making a comment that, to any reasonable and logically minded person, looks mightily like promoting a policy which would certainly justify the emergence of a legitimate "persecution complex" in the minds of those who disagree with his understanding of "truth"!

    I will wait to see what moral response Mr Klaver makes. And then I will indulge in my own psychological study...

    Cont...

  • Comment number 53.

    Continued from post #52 -

    (By the way... I looked on jdcastro's profile and noticed that he wrote the following on another BBC blog on 12th April 2010 when asked "What would be your manifesto?": "Ban political correctness and restore full rights to freedom of speech, conscience and religious practice." Hmmm. Has he caught the atheist censorship bug over the last two years, I wonder? Oh dear, another "persecution complex" comment by me. I do so forget that atheists never try to ban anything - not even the teaching of perfectly logical and plausible theories in schools!! When will I ever learn to stop being so paranoid?!)

  • Comment number 54.

    "Come on LSV let's see your creation science........How old is the earth?"

    to which LSV replied:

    "I have something in common with the empirical scientific method: we both don't know the answer to your question. We are unashamed agnostics, 'cos we weren't there to make the necessary direct observations. (Of course, if you would like to talk about inferring conclusions from what we can observe, then please do. I rather like the idea of inferring unobserved realities!)"

    You weren't there to make the observations, but nobody needs to have been there to look at the evidence we have TODAY that shows the earth is very ancient.

    Do you believe the Battle of Hastings happened in 1066? Why? Were you there? What about the "resurrection of Jesus Christ"? You certainly weren't there then!

    All this has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Freedom of speech does not mean that organizations should be receiving tax breaks to promote nonsense.

    If you can bring forth a peer reviewed scientific paper that shows that all the radiometric dating methods are nonsense and that all the scientists are wrong about the age of the earth, then please bring it to our attention. Otherwise your arguments are all just hot air.

  • Comment number 55.

    Thought I'd share this passage:
    St. Augustine
    On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis:

    "It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation.

    With the scriptures it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason, as I have noted repeatedly, if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about these matters in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of the scriptures. In short, it must be said that our authors knew the truth about the nature of the skies, but it was not the intention of the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, to teach men anything that would not be of use to them for their salvation."

  • Comment number 56.

    PTS@48

    The Ark may not have been launched in the Middle East but came to rest there.
    The known world before the flood may have been confined to a large island.
    The population of the world may have been in the low millions.
    The animals that Noah took into the Ark may have been useful animals to him.
    The animals in the rest of the world may have been unaffected by the flood.
    The story of the flood may have been carried by Noah's descendants to other places after Babel as was his religion.
    Noah's religion and the story of the flood may have been corrupted over time by his descendants.

    Hope this makes some sense to you.


    Yes, yes it does thank goodness. Lets see, god kills every man woman and child on the planet (except for a drunk and his family) but also allows the mosquito on board so that millions more men, women and children can die horribly in the future......
  • Comment number 57.

    paul james @ 56

    The possible reason that God decided to bring the mortal existence of the current world population that existed at that time to an end was because the world was filled with violence and 'all flesh was corrupt' - except Noah and his family. What about the rest of His children who were waiting to come to earth. Was it right that they be born into that kind of a society? What chance would they have had?

  • Comment number 58.

    If (Christian, let’s say) religious organizations no longer got tax breaks, I wonder who would win – the church or the state? Would government be all inside the church’s business, or vice versa?

    I think the church is a bit more effectual with its own business, and it’s already inside the government. The government would blow most of the extra money.

    If church and state are put together, I think the church (even with all the factions) would win, for a while. Until another religion came along, to crush everything in its path, using the government.

  • Comment number 59.

    PTS@57

    Was it right that they be born into that kind of a society? What chance would they have had?

    So since the flood everything has been hunky dory? glad god sorted it it out on the second go.
  • Comment number 60.

    59.At 01:18 9th May 2012, paul james wrote:
    PTS@57


    Was it right that they be born into that kind of a society? What chance would they have had?

    "So since the flood everything has been hunky dory? glad god sorted it it out on the second go."
    **
    Perhaps had He not sorted things out, we might not have made it even this far.

  • Comment number 61.

    God had to stop and sort things out? So God thought, out of his big, misbehaving creation, there existed a single man, wife, sons and wives that were so much better than the rest, they could repopulate the world with more satisfactory people. It’s nonsensical. He either should have left it all as is, given the tablets of good behavior instructions right then, or killed everything and started from scratch. The ark story makes God seem muddled and indecisive, and as if he didn’t learn anything about human behavior from his first two humans in the garden. What a leadership fumble…and we’re not anywhere near the New Testament yet.

  • Comment number 62.

    paul james @ 59

    mscracker beat me to it.

    Never since the time of the flood has violence, disobedience and wickedness been as widespread. At this time Noah was the only man who, "found grace in the eyes of the LORD...(and) was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God".(Gen. 6:8,9) A bit of an indictment for the rest of those who inhabited the populated world. I don't know about you but I would have been unhappy about being born into a world like that.

  • Comment number 63.

    The great thing about 'Will and Testament' - it's where the atheist numpties get their beats.

  • Comment number 64.

    Theo@63
    "Get their beats"
    Is that a euphemism for the unspeakable crime committed by Ham on the naked Noah as he lay drunk in his tent?
    Ohherrrrmissus

  • Comment number 65.

    paul james (@ 59) -

    So since the flood everything has been hunky dory?


    Errm, nope. Which is a pity really, given that God created us all as robots; so why he didn't just preprogramme us to do good stuff instead of the usual idiocy beats me. I mean I could understand it if he gave us that weird thing called "free will", but obviously he couldn't have done, because otherwise those nice atheist folk wouldn't have anything to moan about!

    glad god sorted it it out on the second go.


    So am I, although why those awkward human beings wouldn't keep their side of the bargain is a bit strange. (Oops! So he did give us that weird thing after all! Which means PJ... what have you done to "sort it out", eh?)
  • Comment number 66.

    Andrew, @17.

    I'm sorry but that's just incredibly weak. Self-evidently weak. "I believe I am speaking, but don't take that to mean I mean I'm actually speaking, only that I believe I am speaking, in the strictest sense..."

    Kerplunk.

    I've had the dubious pleasure of meeting Ken Ham. I asked him what message he wished to bring to the people of Northern Ireland, and he unreservedly said that he wanted people to know that the Bible is true, and people can believe it. I asked him then to clarify: literally true?, as historical fact? Yes, he agreed.

    That was when he was here in 2008. I recorded talks given by Ham and his UK sidekick Stuart (I'm a *real* scientist) Burgess, and some other bloke whose talk on abortion I walked out of the following day. In the end, it was actually Burgess I found most offensive, because he gave a long preamble making much of his work as an engineer at Bristol University, before descending into utter twaddle about the irreducible complexity of the knee, and how cute kids are. Ham was more of a stand-up comedian, cracking "funnies", slagging off the Natural History Museum in London while bigging up his own, erm, institution.

    In conversation though, Ham was very much more on his guard and he seemed to have a bad feeling about me, even though I approached him politely and only managed to get fifteen minutes with him at the end of his schtick. A very gentle poking drew a snarl from him at one point, and any attempt to pull him onto actual debates about evolution (such as I understood at the time -- very simply that the serious debate is on the finer points of *how* it happens, not *that* it happens). I let the Christian radio broadcaster have him.

    I did however go and buy half a dozen of the books being sold at a stall upstairs at the Waterfront. One was called "Evolution Exposed: Your Evolution Answerbook for the Classroom". This was designed specifically for young young earth creationists youth to disrupt biology classes. A cracking line in it runs: "Creationists hold that the dinosaurs survived on the Ark but have died off since then for a variety of other reasons." I'm sure it's available on Amazon, if you fancy edifying yourself.

    Burgess's book, "He Made the Stars Also", posits the creation of light "in transit" at the time of the Creation. Where to begin?!

    I am quite certain that these people didn't have your "finer" points in mind when they were purveying this stuff, and neither did their audience. The only reassuring thing was that the audience was already converted. The alarming thing was that I met a junior doctor there, in her second year at university studying medicine, who expressed her disgruntlement at the predominance of evolutionary theory in university.

    I asked the then head of biomedical science at Queen's about this, and he said that quite often science teaching at schools is weak, so it can be easy to flummox a teacher not altogether up to speed, and that is very often the case. Of "Evolution Exposed", he rolled his eyes ruefully, and pronounced it "ludicrous".

    Bristol University wheeled out a big gun when I began asking them how they felt about Burgess masquerading under their flag to peddle his cant more credibly. He seems to be quite good when he's not in creationist mode.

    The point of my bothering to do all of this was to get a story into the paper I was working at in Northern Ireland at the time (the first title that will tend to spring to mind). One of the many, many, many, many editors greeted it enthusiastically, but it was spiked from on high (one of the old boys who are now mostly gone didn't like it apparenly). I wondered if I'd gone wrong so I sent it to an old editor at the Sunday Times where I trained to see what she thought of it. It was fine. "Strong stuff, but robust," she said.

    Oh well. Northern Ireland is a funny little place, putting it mildly. But to try to pretend that these people have any subtlety is a bit of an insult. Pull the other one.

  • Comment number 67.

    LSV
    I know the age of the earth (post 34)makes you squirm, care to join the fun and venture an opinion on your favourite creationist scientists' date for the flood of 2348 BCE.

  • Comment number 68.

    AboutFarce

    "The alarming thing was that I met a junior doctor there, in her second year at university studying medicine, who expressed her disgruntlement at the predominance of evolutionary theory in university."

    The geneticist Steve Jones was on the radio a while back and he made the point that a good number of his Muslim students get up and leave his lectures when he mentions evolution. What are they expecting!

  • Comment number 69.

    paul james (@ 67) -

    I know the age of the earth (post 34)makes you squirm...


    Reserving one's judgment about something makes one squirm? That's a very interesting comment. Very interesting indeed. In fact, so interesting that I wonder how anyone manages to do anything in life without serious nervous troubles - except those few hardy souls (like yourself) who claim to know everything.

    ...the flood of 2348 BCE


    Sorry, I don't do the petulant (and ironic) "BCE". Please try again...
  • Comment number 70.

    marieinaustin @ 58

    Sorry I missed your comment until just now. You say God should have left things as they were and given the people the 10 commandments. Would anyone have paid any more attention? Do you not think that religion must have existed at that time and those who were disobedient had turned their back on it already?

    You also say that God should have destroyed all the people and started again. Surely this is what He did? Noah was the new Adam, as it were.

    One of the points of the flood is that it shows that God is in control and the elements obey Him just as they do now, always have and will do so when Jesus returns.

    You say it's nonsensical, yet you pose two responses which God could have taken and in reality He did both really.

  • Comment number 71.

    70. puretruthseeker,

    “You say God should have left things as they were and given the people the 10 commandments. Would anyone have paid any more attention?”

    No more or less than they do now, and it’s not because everyone is post-Noah.

    “You also say that God should have destroyed all the people and started again. Surely this is what He did? Noah was the new Adam, as it were.”

    Sure. If God was unhappy with his creation and so soon at that, he could’ve started over. He didn’t destroy all the people, did he? What about Noah and family, who came from Adam just like everyone else? How does that make Noah “new?”

    “One of the points of the flood is that it shows that God is in control and the elements obey Him just as they do now, always have and will do so when Jesus returns.”

    Well, that is nice. If in the next creation, he wants to express that again, I want to be on the think-tank to help him come up with a way he can show his power without also destroying the bodies, emotions and mental health of his beautiful people.

    Uh oh. I caught that post-limitation bug. I think God is displaying his control over me and the internet in an innocuous and humorous way. I will post a continuation post…if he lets me.

  • Comment number 72.

    Whew! Thank you!

    So I get to continue. Sorry, God. You don’t look good here:

    Can you imagine what psychological damage it would’ve caused Noah to be told by God he’s perfect, and the only perfect person on earth? (And on that day, God created Perfectionism, bless Noah’s heart.) Sometimes it feels like we’re talking about Zeus…I want to believe God was smarter than to think one man was better all the rest – a man who, like everyone else, came from God’s oh so horrible first couple. That’s the part that doesn’t make sense. The favoritism, interference and drama of Old Testament God reads like a borderline personality. Maybe God finally realized how he appeared to people and sent Jesus as a kind of image control. So then God was going to love everyone equally, finally. The problem is this God still plays favoritism and makes us feel crappy. And I don’t think most of us have done anything to deserve it. No, being born is not a sin. Even if my own father went against himself (i.e., sinned), I might feel the consequences, but I’m not responsible and I don’t have to be redeemed for it. In fact, I have to forgive him. Does the Christian story say anything about how we should all be trying to forgive Adam? It would be for our own sakes, of course, (Jesus got that part right) so we can get on with life without grudges, and therefore without feeling bad about ourselves for holding grudges (i.e., for not being ‘perfect’ either).

  • Comment number 73.

    In the day of Noah, the Bible tells us that "the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that ...the thought of his heart was only evil continually...the earth was filled with violence...all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth"(Gen. 6:5,11,12). I cannot imagine how corrupt things had become but I would guess that we have a way to go yet before we become like the people in the day of Noah.

    God did start over again in a way. Among all this corruption and violence there was a person who, "was a just man and perfect in his generation". He was as perfect as a man can be and was the complete opposite from those who shared the earth with him. I didn't say he was new but God used him as a kind of Adam - a father of the human race, as it were.

    You say that you could help God, "come up with a way he can show his power without also destroying the bodies, emotions and mental health of his beautiful people." These so-called beautiful people you speak off were disobedient to God, were mercilessly killing one another, were involved in all kind of unmentioned acts against each and proving that they were not going to start to obey God. To destroy their bodies was merciful to them and future generations of Heavenly Fathers children who would subsequently inhabit the planet. How were their emotions and mental health going to be affected any more by a relatively instant process when they had to live with violence that we can hardly imagine on a day-by-day basis?

    One of the gifts God has given us is free will to make decisions for ourself. We are free to choose disobedience, selfishness, greed, immorality and so on or obedience, service, sharing, wholesome living, etc. The former causes unhappiness and the latter happiness. At no point will God step in to alter our behaviour unless it is part of His preconceived plan. He didn't step in to stop the holocaust. He did step in to bring the lives of all His disobedient children to an end at the time of the flood with only Noah and his family being spared. The same thing will happen again before the Millennium when all the lives of the disobedient will be terminated and those who have been obedient will remain to begin the work which will stretch for a 1000 years.

    I don't think God told Noah he was perfect. That's an english word. I don't think it was necessary for God to comment in that fashion. Noah knew God as he "walked with Him". Noah was a very obedient person and in contrast to his contemporaries must have been very faithful. Noah was a descendant from Adam and Eve but they were not the horrible people you seem to think. When God chose a couple to be the parents of His creation He must have chosen very choice individuals indeed. What Adam and Eve did was part of the plan. Sin had to enter the world. Mankind had to have choice to exercise their free will. God knew the outcome of placing 2 individuals on the earth and hence a Saviour was part of the plan before Adam and Eve came to this earth. If the Christian world is that blind it cannot understand the purpose of Adam and Eve then it is in for a shock in the future. We should be grateful to Adam and Eve for the opportunity we have to come to earth and be proved. If Adam and Eve had not brought sin into the world their bodies would not have become mortal and no matter how they tried they would have been unable to have children. We would not be here now but Adam and Eve would be in the Garden still wondering how they could replenish the earth with children while still obeying the command not to 'eat of the tree'. We have nothing to forgive Adam and Eve for.

  • Comment number 74.

    AboutFarce

    I'm sorry but that's just incredibly weak. Self-evidently weak.

    You are? It is?

    Kerplunk, indeed.

    I've had the dubious pleasure of meeting Ken Ham. I asked him what message he wished to bring to the people of Northern Ireland, and he unreservedly said that he wanted people to know that the Bible is true, and people can believe it. I asked him then to clarify: literally true?, as historical fact? Yes, he agreed.

    Yes, and I distinguished between a pre-commitment to, so called, literalism and arguments for young earth creationism as the meaning of the text. One of Ham's stock arguments, for instance, is a lexical examination of yom, the Hebrew word for day. He concludes 'day means day'. I'm not objecting to the use of 'literal' to describe the YEC position, although I do think that is misleading. Rather, I claimed that YEC as solely the outcome of a hermeneutical pre-commitment to literalism is an oversimplification.

    Second, I qualified that assertion. Some YECs may begin with a pre-commitment to literalism but not all do, not even Ken Ham. And if not all YECs start with a pre-commitment to literalism then a pre-commitment to literalism is not a necessary condition of YEC. I then suggested that it would be more useful to think of YEC's pre-commitment as a commitment to the authority of Scripture, properly interpreted, on everything about which it speaks.

    But to try to pretend that these people have any subtlety is a bit of an insult. Pull the other one.

    That depends on who 'these people' are, are they the one's without any subtlety?

  • Comment number 75.

    73. puretruthseeker,

    “These so-called beautiful people you speak off were disobedient to God, were mercilessly killing one another, were involved in all kind of unmentioned acts against each and proving that they were not going to start to obey God.”

    Not an ounce of good. Okay. It sounds like a design flaw. I don’t know how that design flaw wasn’t also in Noah. But I guess there was no flaw. It was all part of the plan: Everyone’s free will will drive them to be disobedient. Kill off all except one who’s obedient, plus his kin.

    “To destroy their bodies was merciful to them and future generations of Heavenly Fathers children who would subsequently inhabit the planet. How were their emotions and mental health going to be affected any more by a relatively instant process when they had to live with violence that we can hardly imagine on a day-by-day basis?”

    It’s true. Without bodies, they didn’t have much to be upset about. He did them a favour. I think it is Noah’s descendants’ or our mental health that’s being affected.

    “Noah was a descendant from Adam and Eve but they were not the horrible people you seem to think.”

    There must’ve been a miscommunication when I wrote ‘oh so horrible.’ Sarcasm. My mistake. No, I don’t think Adam and Eve were horrible people at all.

    Thanks for your explanation.

  • Comment number 76.

    You're pretending there's some subtlety of thought behind the Ham/AiG campaign by fudging the issue quite frankly. Another of the books being purveyed that day was Ussher's annals, and you're quite right that Ham interprets "day" as meaning "day".

    "Yes, and I distinguished between a pre-commitment to, so called, literalism and arguments for young earth creationism as the meaning of the text."

    This is baloney. It's obscurantism. Why fig leaf Ham's baloney with still more baloney. At least Ham sticks to his guns and speaks plainly: literal truth, historical fact. From the horses mouth. Whatever contorted argument you might mount in defence of whatever position you take on this, I think you should let Ham speak for himself. There were no ifs, ands or buts; no explanatory curlicue, no semantic games. A spade, for Ham, is a spade, not a digging implement with a handle which comes in a variety of forms depending on the type of work to be carried out. Stop "wording up" the YEC position because it's embarrassing. And if you're a YEC and you're speaking for yourself then just say so, then I might want to draw you out on the distinctions and caveats you insert here, which on the face of it look a lot like very typical spoof deployed ad nauseum by the religious. There is enough scope in the language and you have enough of a grasp of it to speak plainly.

  • Comment number 77.

    PTS@73
    Must admit I felt the need for a shower after that. Let me see....justification of genocide, a master plan, and the imminent termination of the lives of the presently disobedient to be followed by a thousand year Reich, sorry reign.

  • Comment number 78.

    puretruthseeker,

    “If the Christian world is that blind it cannot understand the purpose of Adam and Eve then it is in for a shock in the future.”

    I think a lot of the world is familiar with the idea/plan/purpose of Adam and Eve, in the salvation story.

    ----------

    I have some other thoughts, so maybe later when I have more time....

  • Comment number 79.

    Has anyone mentioned the element of surprise? I think that was the main point of the flood. The focus is always on the animals, the size of the ark, the force of water, God’s power to destroy and now saddled dinosaurs. It’s easy to get side-tracked. ;-)

  • Comment number 80.

     
    It came as a surprise to the unicorns.

  • Comment number 81.

    AboutFarce

    You're pretending there's some subtlety of thought behind the Ham/AiG campaign by fudging the issue quite frankly.

    I don't recall pretending that. Also, you haven't shown how I'm fudging the issue. I was addressing the hermeneutical question raised by Will in the op, which I quoted in #17. Nothing I've said so far speaks to the quality of arguments for a YEC interpretation of Genesis or the plausibility of 'creation science'.

    and you're quite right that Ham interprets "day" as meaning "day".

    Yes, interprets but also argues for. And it's not just Ham who makes that argument. John Walton, no young earth creationist, runs the same lexical arguments as YECs do for his functional origins interpretation; contra various day/age interpretations.

    At least Ham sticks to his guns and speaks plainly: literal truth, historical fact. From the horses mouth.

    Sure that's what he says. I didn't disagree that he said it. And what he means by it is obvious. That is not the point at issue. How does Ham arrive at his conclusion? Does Ham offer arguments for his interpretation of Genesis or does he not? If he does offer arguments his interpretation cannot simply be characterised as a pre-commitment to a literalistic hermeneutic, he is arguing for the literal truth, the historical fact. Not that I think Ham's work is the best resource for a YEC interpretation of Genesis 1-2.

    I'm not sure why you think this is baloney or obscurantism or, for that matter, how it is a fig leaf.

  • Comment number 82.

    Sorry if my replies that are about to appear here are a bit late, I was away to a short science conference in France for most of the week.

    mscracker, post 42,

    "I'm not informed enough about the proposed theme park's hiring policies but each state has pretty strict Depts. of Labor.They generally sort out working condition/discrimination issues that arise.I'm not over worried about that.Most employers are scared to death of their state's Dept. of Labor.They'll close you down in a heartbeat."

    AiG's own advertising suggested otherwise:

    https://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/02/great_jobs_in_kentucky.php

    The page linked to in that old Pharyngula post has changed by now, but the bits quoted by PZ Myers what it said back then are clear enough.

    "It's interesting that when Christians perceive being singled out/discriminated against for their Faith, it's ridiculed as a persecution complex but when those of other Faith's voice the same perception it's different."

    Rest assured, if I lived in India or the Middle East, and the Hindus or Muslims there who are the vast majority, whose religion permeates various aspects of daily life, whose political parties may have openly Hindu/Muslim election programs, complained of persecution, I'd have similar ridicule for them as I do for the victim role paying Christians here. 'here' meaning western countries where christians are by far the largest group of believers, where various aspects of christianity still permeate society and where some parties/politicians who make up the governments are openly very Christian.

    "When you belittle or ridicule another for his beliefs, you also persecute."

    Pulleeze! So ridiculing YECs a bit for their ridiculous views is indeed persecution, you say. You have indeed clearly caught some of LSV's persecution syndrome then.

  • Comment number 83.

    Since the age of the earth has come up a few times, and radiometric dating already got a mention, the following might make for useful reading:

    https://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html

    It's by a professing christian, so hopefully we won't have to listen to the usual boring, Pavlovian 'Agenda! That is not proper science but special pleading from atheists!' reply from the usual quarter.

  • Comment number 84.

    AboutFarce, post 76,

    Well done on knocking down the pompous fancy-speak. Though it seems your job there isn't quite finished yet. Looking forward to your reply to post 81. :)

  • Comment number 85.

    Scotch git, post 80,

    "It came as a surprise to the unicorns."

    No no, a pair of them were saved. Honestly. They are very real, and they now also have a museum in Kentucky:

    https://www.unicornmuseum.org/

  • Comment number 86.

    And I came across this article about the money raising for the Ark Encounter not going well, but Ken Ham set to do well even if it fails, thanks to the Kentucky tax payer again:

    https://fatlip.leoweekly.com/2012/05/07/beshear-administration-touts-saddled-dinosaur-museum-as-kentucky-treasure/

    "But never fear, as our state government has already allocated $2 million in the current budget (and $9 million soon to come) to build a wide-laned road and utility lines out to Ken Ham’s vacant farm land, not to mention all of the additional giveaways from the local government. Once the Ark project flops, the land that Answers in Genesis owns will be much more valuable, and we’re sure that they’ll be able to sell it for quite a bit more than what they bought (and were given) it for. Say what you want about Ken Ham, but he’s a damned good businessman."

  • Comment number 87.

     
    #85

    PeterKlaver,

    Guid yin! Speaking of poor translations, do you know that some folk believe Isaiah prophesied a virgin birth?


    More chance of seeing a unicorn...

    ;o)

  • Comment number 88.

    I was a little sad listening to the demise of the unicorns,.. until I learned two are running their own museum in Kentucky! ;-)

    -----------

    Ken Ham’s friends might tell him he’s getting side-tracked into -- cha-ching. Maybe he should start looking for some answers in Matthew or John.

  • Comment number 89.

    Andrew:

    You quote me: "At least Ham sticks to his guns and speaks plainly: literal truth, historical fact. From the horses mouth."

    You continue:

    "Sure that's what he says. I didn't disagree that he said it. And what he means by it is obvious. That is not the point at issue."

    We're done. That is precisely the point at issue. I'm glad we cleared that up and you'll excuse me for not wading into some semantic swamp with you to debate whether Ham knows what he's actually thinking when he says what he thinks he means when he might really be thinking about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. For all we know.

    Instead I give you the Post-modern generator. I think you'll probably like it:

    https://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/

  • Comment number 90.

    82 PeterKlaver

    "All job applicants need to supply a written statement of their testimony, a statement of what they believe regarding creation and a statement that they have read and can support the AiG statement of faith."

    So you could be the best zoo keeper in the world but if you don't support the AIG statement of faith you are rejected.

    Yabba-dabba-doo!

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    I don't understand WHY my message was disallowed just now. Please TELL ME WHY.

    PeterKlaver
    That unicorn museum looks a bit FISHY to me.

  • Comment number 93.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    THIS IS BLATANT CENSORSHIP. I have edited my POST about FIVE times to comply with the House Rules. I have linked to EVERY quote. EVERY single one.

    I am highlighting your blatant censorship here:
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    I thought we lived in a democracy. Perhaps I thought WRONG.

  • Comment number 97.

    Please be aware that my very FIRST attempt to post tonight, REMOVED here, has been posted SUCCESSFULLY under a Guardian online article of 11 May entitled 'How Rational is America?' (that article mentions a planned visit to the Creation Museum).

    Mr Crawley may care to read my comments about the Creation Museum and its antics THERE. Assuming it is not him who has repeatedly failed my (edited) post HERE. I posted at the Guardian under a pseudonym not my real name Ashley - my post is timed at 12.25 am BST on 12 May.

    I have NO wish to breach anybody's copyright!

  • Comment number 98.

    Noah's ark came to rest on top of Mount Ararat. So the water level during the flood must have been above that level, perhaps 15,000 or 20,000 feet or more above present sea level. The flood level would have extended around the whole of the earth. Where did all that water go?

    The Earth was "created" in six days. A day is measured by a revolution of the earth relative to the Sun or a ciruit of the Earth by the Sun depending on one's preference or prejudice. But the Sun wasn't created till was it the third day? So how were the preceding days measured?

    Why do creationists accept the pre-Christian version of the origin of things rather than the Christian version in John 1:1.?

    "All things (simply) came to be" (or were always there in some form, if only in potential). Much more in tune with scientific thought.

    Dennis

  • Comment number 99.

    I too have made contributions from time to time which never appeared. No explanation was ever given. According to the rules the moderator is supposed to inform us why our submissions have not been accepted.

  • Comment number 100.

    About Farce

    We already know that you care little for the variety of lollipop flavours in the christian candy store, never mind your scant desire to give them a lick, but (or perhaps ‘so’) to accuse Andrew of obscurantitification, is on the shabby side of reasonable.

    It is quite clear that Andrew’s comments are concerned with William’s assertion that the YEC (and anti-science) position is the result of a pre-commitment to literalism, it is, therefore, a question of (and this is William’s word) hermeneutics.

    Now, by all means reply with a ‘hermen-who-cares’, but there’s no need to misrepresent Andrew.

 

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