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The Ken Ham Maxim: The Bible Says . . .

creationism

Repost from 2015. Edited, updated, and corrected.

It is quite easy to predict how Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham will react to a new scientific discovery. It doesn’t matter what the discovery is, Ham will judge its veracity based on whether it bolsters his literalist interpretation of the book of Genesis. If it does, Ham loudly proclaims that the new discovery proves God created the universe in six literal 24-hour days, 6,023 years ago. If it doesn’t, Ham, filled with the righteous indignation of an Old Testament prophet, declares that scientists are wrongly interpreting the data, using wrong methods, or are secret agents working for secularists who want to rid the world of Evangelicals

Several years ago, Ham’s hemorrhoids became inflamed over a study published by the Arizona State University Institute of Origin about a human jawbone discovered in Ethiopia in 2013.

The Guardian reported at the time:

A lower jaw bone and five teeth discovered on a hillside in Ethiopia are the oldest remains ever found that belong to the genus Homo, the lineage that ultimately led to modern humans.

Fossil hunters spotted the jaw poking out of a rocky slope in the dry and dusty Afar region of the country about 250 miles from Addis Ababa.

The US-led research team believes the individual lived about 2.8m years ago, when the now parched landscape was open grassland and shrubs nourished by tree-lined rivers and wetlands.

The remains are about 400,000 years older than fossils which had previously held the record as the earliest known specimens on the Homo lineage.

The discovery sheds light on a profoundly important but poorly understood period in human evolution that played out between two and three million years ago, when humans began the crucial transformation from ape-like animals into forms that used tools and eventually began to resemble modern humans.

“This is the first inkling we have of that transition to modern behaviour. We were no longer solving problems with our bodies but with our brains,” said Brian Villmoare at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

The new fossil, found at a site called Ledi-Geraru, has a handful of primitive features in common with an ancient forerunner of modern humans called Australopithecus afarensis. The most well-known specimen, the 3m-year-old Lucy, was unearthed in 1974 in Hadar, only 40 miles from the Ledi-Geraru site. But the latest fossil has more modern traits too. Some are seen only on the Homo lineage, such as a shallower chin bone…

…Other researchers agree. In a separate paper published in Nature, Fred Spoor at University College, London, reports a virtual reconstruction of a Homo habilis skull. “By digitally exploring what Homo habilis really looked like, we could infer the nature of its ancestor, but no such fossils were known,” said Spoor. “Now the Ledi-Geraru jaw has turned up as if on request, suggesting a plausible evolutionary link between Australopithecus afarensis and Homo habilis.”…

Ken Ham has a problem with any number that has more than four digits, that is unless it is a tax credit from the state of Kentucky, then he likes the number 18 with six zeroes. Since scientists are using numbers with lots of zeros to date the jawbone, Ham has published an article repudiating the recent find:

Headlines are buzzing with news about the oldest known human in the fossil record. The specimen—half a lower jawbone with five teeth—was found in the Ledi-Geraru research area in Ethiopia and has been recently reported in the journal Science. This jaw was found in 2013 about 12 miles from where “Lucy” was originally discovered. Lucy, of course, is an extinct ape called Australopithecus afarensis, and evolutionists believe Lucy was an important step in human evolution.

Officially dated at 2.8 million years, the Ledi jaw has been assigned a date midway between the “most recent” specimens of Australopithecus afarensis and the “oldest” examples of human fossils, Homo habilis. Researchers have not been able to determine the Ledi jaw’s species, but they are convinced it is a species of Homo. Its discoverers are touting it as a transitional form, a missing link between Lucy and Homo.

Now, we’ll post a more comprehensive article about the Ledi jaw next week. Our qualified AiG researchers will describe for you the anatomy of the new fossil and how it compares to the jaws and teeth of apes like Lucy and those of humans. But as much as the evolutionary community is raving about the convenient timeline connecting Lucy, the Ledi jaw, and later humans, many of their conclusions are based on the unverifiable dates assigned to it. And like all such millions-of-years claims, these dates are totally dependent on assumptions and worldview-based interpretations of radiometric dating methods. They are calling some of the Ledi jaw’s features “primitive” and others “advanced” because they assume that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors along this timeline.

You see, your worldview determines how you interpret the evidence. These scientists have a secular worldview, and they start with the assumption that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors so that’s what they see…

…But what does the Bible tell us? God made all kinds of land animals as well as Adam and Eve on Day Six of Creation week about 6,000 years ago. He made animals to reproduce and vary only within their created kinds. And this is confirmed through observational science. God made the first man, Adam, in His own image on that same day, from “the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7)—not through evolutionary processes and ape-like ancestors. He also made the first woman from the man (from Adam’s side). Obviously Christians cannot claim God supposedly used evolution as some try to do! No matter what evolutionary scientists claim about fossils like this, the truth is it is that while a fossil could be human or could be an ape, it could never be a transitional form…

For Ham, it’s never about the science. The Bible says . . . end of discussion. No matter what scientists find, if the new discovery contradicts Ham’s literalist reading of the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God, “qualified AIG researchers” will find some way to discredit the discovery. Their entire worldview depends on their ability to keep modern science contained within the matchbox of young-earth creationism. Scientists long ago lit a match and set fire to this box, but Ham and others like him, sit in the ashes of their ignorant beliefs and continue to pretend the box is still whole.

god said it
The Ken Ham Maxim, The Bible Says…

Is there any hope of reaching someone who is a creationist? Sure. Thousands of former creationists read this blog. They, at one time, had beliefs similar to those of Ken Ham. They are a testimony to the possibility of change. But, the only way for this to happen is to destroy the foundation these errant beliefs are built upon — the Protestant Christian Bible. Until creationists are willing to let go of literalism and the inerrancy of the Bible, there is no hope of reaching them. They have walled themselves off from anything that does not fit with their Fundamentalist beliefs.

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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14 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Ami

    “Ken Ham has a problem with any number that has more than four digits, that is unless it is a tax credit from the state of Kentucky, then he likes the number 18 with six zeroes.”

    ::snork:::

  2. Avatar
    Karen

    Part of me feels sorry for literalists, because it’s such a tiny matchbox to fit a human brain into. Not having been exposed to the concept of Biblical inerrancy until young adulthood, I never could understand it, especially as it related to the natural world. I learned early on that the world was big and complicated, the land changed, ape-like ancestors evolved into humans, and it all happened over a very long time. In fact, I was very proud of being an elementary school student who knew that humans were classified as a species of great ape because of our close relationship to the other great apes. Surely all the adults knew this! And then I stumbled out of college and into a nest of those who denied almost everything I knew about the natural world. I didn’t even realize it at first, because it seemed so impossible.

    • Avatar
      Charles

      Yep. Fundiedom is the only place on Earth where 2 + 2 = 5, and it is accepted as God’s own truth. Me? I suspect God is a much better counter—and scientist—than the fundies make him out to be. Just take some physical anthropology courses sometime, and you will meet God face-to-face—something Ken Ham does not have the courage to do. I am a professional anthropologist, and the evidence for evolution and the long time depth of geological history is clear. The fundies do not have even one leg to stand on.

  3. Avatar
    DJ

    So let’s use his words against him like he used them against the secularists:

    His words:
    You see, your worldview determines how you interpret the evidence. These scientists have a secular worldview, and they start with the assumption that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors so that’s what they see..

    Changed words:
    You see, your Christian view determines how you interpret the evidence. Christians have a Christian view, and they start with the assumption that the Bible is inerrant so that’s what they see..

    Just sayin’…

  4. Avatar
    Charles

    Happy Labor Day Bruce. This is your friend Charles in Tennessee. I just presented the following baseline synopsis of Christian fundamentalist theology and practice to a fundie woman named Paul Inberea over that the John Pavlovitz blog entitled “Stuff That Needs to Be Said.” Her response suggests that my synopsis is nowhere near the truth of what Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical belief and practice really looks like in reality. Can you please review my synopsis below and let me carry it back to her and all the other fundies over there who want to deny this—so I can tell them they are full of shit for denying it. A stamp of approval from a former fundie pastor would carry great weight—or you could go over there yourself and deal with her. Thanks!!! Here is the synopsis:

    “Now my dear friends. I won’t you to remember that the most important thing in life is “sin.” Jesus came to save us from our sins. The first and most important thing is to know that we have sin in our lives. One good way to do that is to go to the Old Testament and take a good look at the 600+ laws of God written down there. Learn as many of those laws as you can—and then go out and try to obey them in your life for a whole month—and realize that God is going to send you to Hell to burn (while still alive) forever and ever if you fail just one time. Are you scared of God? You oughta be!!! Everyone on Earth oughta be scared to death of God. He expects the impossible of human beings, and He is meaner than razor wire when someone fails him—even just one time.

    Now, fortunately, we have a way to escape God’s anger and vengeance. All we have to do is repent of our sins, which means that we feel really sorry for all the sins we have committed; admit that we are imperfect and never will be in our own strength; let God know that He is God and we are not God, and promise God that from now on we will try really, really, really hard to clean up our lives and not sin again. Then ask God to save you from your sins and cover you forever with his grace through Jesus Christ his Son who died to take away your sins. This will prevent God from throwing you into Hell, which is the most important thing above all else when you are scared out of your mind before God and primarily looking out for Number 1 (yourself). Then God will save you from Hell and give you the Holy Ghost.

    Now that you are saved, what do you do? Well, that is easy. You promised God you were going to clean up your life. With the Holy Ghost in you, that means that you now have the power to keep every last one of those ALL IMPORTANT laws in the Old Testament. So, here is what you need to do. Learn all the laws in the Old Testament and then go to the New Testament and glean as many new laws from it that you can find. All together you will probably end up with at least 1,000+ laws that you will need to remember and have on your mind all the time—day and night.

    Then you start a daily process of measuring each of those 1000+ laws against your own personal daily behavior every day—every day, all day long, and all year long until the day you die. If you see sins (failure to obey a law), then you start your own personal process of cleansing your life of all sins that you see each day. This is called: “Making one’s self Holy for the Lord.” If you see a sin, then scrub really hard until the sin is gone. If you scrub so hard that your arm drops off, do not worry. It is better to go into Heaven with half an arm that it is to displease the Lord even one time. He’s a real mean one I tell you—meaner than all git out. Just cross him one time—and you will see just how mean He really is. He might give your mother cancer to punish you for even one failure.

    Now what does it mean if you cleanse yourself of a sin and you see that sin come back in a couple of days or a couple of weeks? It should not come back at all if you really have the Holy Ghost living inside you. It should be gone forever. Now, if you find that one or more sins keep coming back no matter how hard you scrub, then that definitely means one of two things:

    1) Even after God saves you through Jesus, he still has ways to punish you for your sins. So, be very afraid if a sin is not going away no matter how hard you scrub. God is meaner than rusty nails sunk deep into your feet. He hates sin and severely punishes those who have only one sin—even after you have been saved by Jesus. If you commit even one sin, He may punish you in this life by making you wreck your car, or he may take away your rewards in Heaven. God plans to give many special awards and rewards to those who are most successful in scrubbing sins from their lives after they have been saved in this world. You may have a mansion waiting for you in Heaven—one that is greater than Louis XIV’s Palace at Versailles, but if you run just one measly traffic light (even by accident) our perfect God may take away that reward. If your sin scrubbing is unsuccessful enough times here and there, you may enter Heaven as a pauper and stay that way in Heaven forever as a mere servant who must meet the needs of those holier than you 24/7 forever. Do you want to spend all eternity as a hotel maid who never gets to go home? Better get busy learning those laws and scrubbing!!!

    2) If you notice more than just one or two sins coming back into your life again and again—no matter how hard you have scrubbed—then there is an excellent chance that you were never saved to begin with and you were never given the Holy Ghost. Be very afraid because you had a “false repentance” and you will burn alive in the fires of Hell forever. But you still have a chance to be saved by grace through Jesus before you die. You just have to finally have an honest repentance and scrub really, really, really hard afterwards. We call this “Gettin’ it all right” down at the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. Why, we see people who respond to the altar call at the end of the service six, nine, or even 12 times before they finally get right with God. Just keep trying, keep responding to altar calls (which make the pastor look good), keep struggling for the perfection in this life that God expects of you, and scrub, scrub, scrub tat sin every day—and if the whole process feels like slavery, makes you feel like an utter failure, throws you into deep depression, and makes you feel bad all the time or mentally ill—well that is just what it means to be a servant of Jesus. Following Jesus is not easy. Better chin up and scrub that boy!!!! God does not like Christian whiners because of how much Jesus suffered on the cross. Your little bit of suffering in this world is nothing compared to his far greater suffering that He did for you. So shut up and scrub. Nobody cares about your weakness, infirmities, and failures. You must have VICTORY over sin and display VICTORY at all times and with no tears, misgivings, or personal weaknesses.

    You also need to know that Jesus expects every saved person to be an evangelist—whether you have the holy gifts and God-given talents for doing. Our goal is to pull as many other people as we can into the freedom and joy of Christ that I have outlined in detail above. We need to save all those people from that awful, fiery Hell that lasts forever and put them on the path to law-learning and hard scrubbing as quickly as possible because Israel was re-established in the late 1940s, a sign from above that our time is short and the end of the world is upon us. Jesus could descend with a shout at any second. So, we have an all out emergency rescue operation going to save all 7 billion souls on Earth before Jesus comes back and raptures us. God is mean—I cannot emphasize that enough. God is just plain mean. If we do not get to those people quickly, God is going to flame all 7 billion of them—even the ones who have never even heard of Jesus. Even now, here as I write, Hell is already filled nearly to the brim with still alive, burning souls writhing in anguish. It makes me cry in a depth of tears because I just know most of those people fell into the hands of our incessantly mighty and angry God—and that He threw most of those poor souls into Hell simply because Jesus had either never been born on Earth or they never heard the gospel of salvation through Jesus—for the scriptures say that “no one” comes to the Father except by Jesus—and we all know that if Jesus had not been born or those souls had never hard of Jesus—then there is no way that they could have avoided Hell. Many of those burning in Hell are only 12 years old—and I weep for all those billions of children in Hell who never had a chance to meet Jesus and accept him.

    This is what it means to be a “true” Christian. You too can be a “true” Christian today. All you have to do is:

    1) Fall on your knees before God, repent of your sins, and accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

    2) Start learning all the laws in the Old Testament and turn the New Testament into even more laws.

    3) Start measuring your own behavior daily against all those laws.

    4) Start scrubbing away any sins you see in your life—scrub very hard.

    5) If you see sins coming back into your life no matter how hard you have scrubbed, spend the rest of your life in fear because you know our incessantly angry God expects you to be perfect—and you are clearly still imperfect and not well scrubbed. Get it right before it is too late—and avoid whining. God hates whiners!!!”

  5. Avatar
    JR

    Ken Ham is not only ignorant of science but also ignorant of the Bible.

    There is so much richness in the text of Genesis when you read it as an ancient text and stop trying to shoe horn in 21st century science.

    Take Gen 1:1-28 and compare it with Babylonian and Ugaritic beliefs. It is clearly written as a polemic and it is great fun identifying the similarities but also the differences.

    YouTube Christine Hayes Yale genesis lecture and you can watch really informative lectures from a top Hebrew Bible scholar.

  6. Avatar
    BJW

    What a laugh? AIG researchers? What are their credentials? I doubt that known expert scientists would ally themselves with this stupidity.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Some of their “experts” and “researchers” do have earned PhDs from recognized universities, but their Bible literalism forces them to compartmentalize their secular science educations in favor of “thus smith the Lord.” Their cognitive dissonance is bigly. 😂

  7. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Having lived so long (almost half my life) in the continent of cognitive dissonance, I am left speechless in the face of utterly Ham-dumb expression regarding the age of the earth and the big prick who poofed it all into being….. speechless.

  8. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    This is why it’s important to keep children ignorant, to prevent them from being exposed to the overwhelmingly copious amount of evidence for an ancient universe where evolution explains the vast richness of life both past and present. It’s astounding how some people who are intelligent insist on hanging onto biblical literalism and inerrancy in the face of so much evidence otherwise, even labeling it as deception (either by Satan or by God, I have heard it both ways depending on the preacher). How sad to live one’s life defending the indefensible. And yes, I once believed that too u til I just couldn’t continue to ignore SO MUCH EVIDENCE to the contrary.

  9. Avatar
    Dave

    Although it was many years ago I still cringe when I recall my teenage fundamentalist self confronting my high school biology teacher about the “foolishness” of evolution. How arrogant I was to think I knew more than my teacher much less all of the scientists and experts who had vastly more education and knowledge than a 16 year old whose knowledge came from fundamentalist preachers. How insulted I was after my teacher put me in my place for my sarcasm and disrespect. Fortunately I was able to reason my way out of religion before I became a middle aged version of my teenage self

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