Answers in Genesis: Rascals or Retards?

We know that you can’t get enough of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the genius who brought you the website Answers in Genesis (AIG) and the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Hambo’s latest is titled: Rebuttal to Editorial. Here are some excerpts:

It’s not unusual that after AiG conducts a conference in a major city, letters to the editor (and even editorials) are written in local papers that are against our message of the Bible being true from its very first verse.

One can only imagine. Perhaps “Good bye, idiots!” might be the gentlest of the headlines. Let’s read on:

That was the case in West Virginia earlier this month when an editorial in the state’s leading newspaper, The Gazette, took a shot at the message we had presented at a creation seminar in the capital city’s (Charleston) municipal auditorium.

Here’s a link to that editorial in the Charleston Gazette: Science: Honest evidence. One excerpt should be sufficient:

Evolution is the bedrock of modern biology. Nearly all scientists accept it as fact. Most mainline churches embrace it, calling it God’s billion-year method of creation.

But an event in Charleston Saturday contended that science is false. The Answers in Genesis conference at Municipal Auditorium — with the theme “I Am Not Ashamed: Standing on Biblical Authority” — asserted that the universe is merely thousands of years old, not 13 billion. Answers in Genesis declares that all existence was created in six literal days, and that Earth was formed before the sun, moon, solar system and galaxies, as Genesis records.

You get the idea. Well, ol’ Hambo was furious! One of his creationist staffers wrote up a reply, which the Charleston Gazette published. Here’s a link to that: Evolution editorial full of false claims. It’s good stuff, but we’ll give you just a little bit of what AIG’s response says, with bold added by us:

First, a distinction needs to be made between observational science and historical science, which the editorial writer attempts to equate. Observational science gives us airplanes, MRIs, computers, cars, etc. It is observable, testable, repeatable and falsifiable and has absolutely nothing to do with molecules-to-man evolution. Evolution falls under the category of historical science, and is not observable, testable, repeatable or falsifiable.

That is purest rubbish. We posted about it over a year ago, when AIG raised the same bogus dichotomy. See: Creationism and Science.

But we’re not interested in that old stuff. What’s special about AIG’s rebuttal is the following statement:

We also wish to point out that most of the founding fathers of science were creationists; in fact, many of them were contemporaries of Charles Darwin.

That is glorious! We hesitate to declare that it’s the all-time dumbest creationist claim ever, because there are so many contenders for such a title. But still, it’s absolutely stunning.

As for the “founding fathers of science” being creationists, who is AIG talking about? We aren’t told, so we’re left to guess. Do they mean Aristotle, Galileo, and Newton? What’s the point of listing people who lived and died before Darwin? Perhaps they’re only thinking of biology. But the problem is the same. What was biology before Darwin? There were numerous naturalists, but they had no coherent explanation for what they were collecting and describing.

It’s rather obvious that until Origin of Species was published in 1859, creationism was the only game in town. With similar brilliance, one could say that before the Wright Brothers, air travel was very unpopular. It’s a true statement, but it’s not much of an argument against heavier-than-air flight.

But that’s only part of it. There’s also the claim that many of the founding fathers of science — unnamed — were not only creationists but “were contemporaries of Charles Darwin.” What is that supposed to mean? Such a statement is explainable only by a mental health practitioner.

Yes, Darwin’s contemporaries were probably creationists — until Origin of Species and his later work was published. Similarly, George Washington’s Virginia contemporaries were probably loyal English subjects — until the Revolution. But when that ended as it did, they were Americans. Likewise, Darwin’s theory was generally accepted by his professional contemporaries within his lifetime.

Is there anything else in AIG’s rebuttal to the editorial? Not really — at least nothing as noteworthy as what we’ve already mentioned. But click over there and read it. We know you want to.

After smugly presenting that clever rebuttal, Hambo ends his article with this:

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

You’re welcome, Hambo. Keep the fun stuff coming.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Answers in Genesis: Rascals or Retards?

  1. Well, we all know that before Copernicus, the idea of a heliocentric solar system was just patently ridiculous! Wow, we could go on forever with these sort of inane statements. But that’s what the creitards do best isn’t it?

  2. You know, if you are going to criticize AIG for offering up false dichotomies, you probably shouldn’t have put one in the title to this article.

  3. carlsonjok says:

    You know, if you are going to criticize AIG for offering up false dichotomies, you probably shouldn’t have put one in the title to this article.

    Alliteration is more important than logic.

  4. What do you mean, carlsonjok? No false dichotomy there — they (AiG) *are* either rascals or retards. Either they know better and say the things they do anyway, or they are too ignorant to know better.

    So, SC, you don’t have to give up logic to get the alliteration. You have both.

  5. AiG continues to enlighten us with their explanation that speculative, faith-based “historical” science is somehow not rooted in observable, testable, evidence. Therefore their bible based explanation of the past is as good as any.

    A question to SC and the community on this blog; Has AiG ever defined a cut-off point in time when science becomes historical and not operational? For example, we observe that a tree grows a ring every year. That would be operational in the sense that it happens in current time, we can experiment with different trees, and we can make predictions and test them. So if we bore a hole in a old weathered tree and count 1,000 rings, is this operational science or are we now in the realm of historical science?

    We can compare tree ring counts to carbon dating data, and based on our findings we can calculate and make predictions of data to be found corresponding to other tree ring counts and test our predictions. Is that historical? Will extending our carbon dating investigation/predictions a little further into the past then be historical and not operational? Obviously our dating methods are based on these overlapping techniques stair stepping in to the past, so when do these become historical? Each method is testable in a lab, can be compared to other overlapping methods, and can be used to make predictions.

    I’m assuming the dividing line between operational and historical science would have to be less than 10,000 years ago for AiG, based on AiG’s young earth belief, and that would be well within the realm of well-tested, ordinary carbon dating. Has anyone ever tried to pin them down on this?

  6. Ed asks:

    Has AiG ever defined a cut-off point in time when science becomes historical and not operational?

    Not that I know of. They once had an article on e Bristlecone pine rings: Creationism and Tree Ring Chronology.

  7. LarianLeQuella, just FYI, there was a conference on geocentrism in Indiana, November 6th of this year. You may learn all about how Galileo was wrong at….yes, you’ve guessed it:
    http://www.galileowaswrong.com/galileowaswrong/

    They still think that heliocentrism is ridiculous.

  8. retiredsciguy:

    What do you mean, carlsonjok? No false dichotomy there — they (AiG) *are* either rascals or retards.

    I submit that they are rascals *and* retards, a possibility foreclosed by the title. But, I understand Curmy’s explanation, and far be it for me to criticize art.

  9. carlsonjok: Of course; you are right. My mind went blank for a moment. (Probably the result of reading too much Ken Ham.)