Answers in Genesis Rebukes Pat Robertson

A couple of days ago when we posted Pat Robertson: Earth Older Than 6,000 Years, we knew it wouldn’t be long before there was a vigorous response from the creation scientists at Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis (AIG) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.

As expected, here it is: Pat Robertson’s Word or God’s Word: Which Will You Believe? It’s not from Hambo himself, but one of his staff — someone named Tommy Mitchell. AIG has this biographical information about him. Good grief, he’s an MD.

Okay, let’s get to the article. It’s very long, so we’ll have to be selective. First it describes what Robertson said, which we already know. Then they rip into him. It’s really the same old young-Earth nonsense they always spout, so you won’t find anything new here (except the Earth), but we love it when creationists go after each other like this.

This kind of food-fight is inevitable, of course, because unlike science, religion has no rational mechanism for dispute resolution. In matters of dogma where there’s no evidence for a belief, it’s all about faith. That always leads to factions and fanaticism. Here are some excerpts from AIG’s attack on Robertson, with bold font added by us and their links and scripture references omitted:

[I]t is so sad to see a Christian leader making such a statement. It is precisely this type of compromise within the church that has caused such an erosion of people’s faith in the Word of God and a mass exodus of young people from the church. Here Mr. Robertson is saying that we should hold the ideas and opinions of man above the very Word of God itself.

By the way, this isn’t the first time AIG has disagreed with Robertson over young-Earth creationist dogma. One of our readers pointed out an AIG article from 2003, written by ol’ Hambo himself: “Hocus Pocus”. But let’s stay with their new article. It says:

Robertson implies that young-earth creationists claim the earth is only about 6,000 years old solely on the basis of the work of Archbishop Ussher. Additionally, several major news agencies reported on Robertson’s comments and stated that Answers in Genesis holds to a 6,000-year-old earth because of Bishop Ussher. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Really? Then where do they get that notion? Let’s read on:

While Ussher was a brilliant and careful scholar and far more knowledgeable on this issue of chronology than most of his critics, we believe that the earth and all of creation is young not because Ussher says so, but because the Bible says so!

Oh — it’s in the bible. Then the article rambles through a few paragraphs of bible stuff to support their belief, followed by this:

It is true that the Bible itself does not contain a verse explicitly stating the age of the earth. A statement like “the earth is xxxx years old” would be wrong the year after it was written!

Good point! We’ll try to remember that. The article continues:

The Bible does, however, give us information to calculate reasonably accurately the age of the creation and conclude that all of creation is young (here meaning a few thousand, not millions, of years old). Robertson sets the Bible’s authority on this subject aside, essentially inventing a “before the time of the Bible,” to accommodate what he thinks man knows about dates and dinosaurs.

Egad — Robertson invented a time “before the time of the Bible.” Here’s more:

First of all, Robertson makes a very common error of assuming that carbon dating is how scientists determine the age of the earth. He uses this as proof for an old earth, revealing his ignorance about dating methods.

We remember when Robertson ran for the Republican nomination back in the 1980s (see Republican Party presidential primaries, 1988). He may act like a goof-ball in his ministry, but he’s not ignorant — certainly not compared to AIG. Besides, that’s not what he said. Rather, it was this: “And you go back in time, you’ve got radiocarbon dating, you’ve got all these things, and you’ve got the carcasses of dinosaurs …” Moving along with AIG’s rebuttal:

Next, Robertson believes that the mere existence of dinosaurs is evidence for an old earth. After all, he says, they are “frozen in time.” He states that they were on the earth “before the time of the Bible.” This is puzzling because the Bible claims to give the true history of the world, and it begins with the creation of the earth itself. So exactly where does Robertson put the dinosaurs? Surely, not before the creation of the earth!

Aaaargh!! What an argument! Here’s another excerpt:

And here by far is the most dangerous statement Robertson made on his broadcast. Basically, he is saying to our youth, “Don’t believe the Bible; believe in man’s ideas!” Furthermore, he states that if we don’t use “revealed science” to reinterpret the Bible, we will lose our children. Here he is totally wrong. This type of compromise is actually causing our young people to walk away from the church.

Well, opinions vary. Some people seem to like an anti-reality church, and others find it repulsive. On with the article:

Robertson apparently does not understand the difference between operational science and historical science.

Lordy, lordy. Not that balderdash again! That dichotomy is utterly bogus, as we’ve discussed several times before. See: ICR Says Scientists Don’t Understand Science. Skipping a bit we come to this:

Robertson feels that “revealed science” trumps Scripture. Therefore, he indicates that by using “science” we can decide which parts of the Bible are true and which are not. What he really means is that we must use the majority view among scientists (most of whom are lost sinners still in rebellion against God) to interpret the Bible, rather than using the Bible to interpret the Bible.

Ah, if scripture always wins over science, then the gang at AIG must also be flat-Earthers (see The Earth Is Flat!), and they undoubtedly believe that the sun and the planets orbit the Earth. In for a penny, in for a pound. Let’s see what else they say:

Robertson would have our youth reject Genesis because of the ideas of fallible man, but then would he logically say that the gospel should be rejected by the same criteria? After all, “science” (i.e., the majority of biologists and anthropologists) insists that virgins don’t have babies and dead men don’t come to life again after three days. So, based on science alone, the virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ would only be myths. So why not teach that the Gospel accounts should be rejected?

Good question, but Robertson didn’t deal with that for the same reason AIG never proclaims that the Earth is flat. It’s because absolute adherence to scripture in all such matters is always a problem. Everyone has to draw the line somewhere, and that makes every preacher a hypocrite. Let’s see now … the AIG article goes on and on, so we’ll have to skip a lot.

If Robertson is correct and the earth is millions of years old, then what do we do with the fossils? If the fossils document millions of years of earth history, then we have millions of years of death and suffering before Adam’s sin. If man evolved from ape-like creatures over the last few million years, then there is a trail of death in the evolution of man.

It sure looks that way. Oh, don’t miss this argument:

So if Robertson would encourage us and our children to mold our thinking based on the views of secular humanists, then why not adopt their view on other things? Why not adopt the views of the secular world about abortion, about marriage, about homosexual behavior, about premarital sex, about child-rearing, and about morality? After all, if the secular world is wise enough to tell us how to interpret our Bibles, it must be wise enough to guide us in other areas, too.

Wow — if we don’t believe the world is 6,000 years old, we’re all going to be perverts! This is serious stuff! Okay, this post is long enough, but we’ve barely covered all that AIG has to tell us. If you like that sort of thing, click over there to read it all.

Finally, we leave you with some Curmudgeonly advice. If you want to be totally consistent in your adherence to every detail of scripture, you must keep reminding yourself about two essential features of the Earth — it’s not only young, it’s also flat! Go now, dear reader, and keep chanting to yourself: young and flat, young and flat, young and flat …

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

25 responses to “Answers in Genesis Rebukes Pat Robertson

  1. Charley Horse

    AIG obviously don’t know who they are down on.
    Robertson is no one to fool with. This guy can and
    has cured hemorrhoids and changed the course of
    a hurricane. He would not hesitate to put a curse on
    that AIG bunch. He didn’t hesitate to put a curse on
    Dover and he will do it to AIG, too.

    “God is tolerant and loving, but we can’t keep sticking our finger in his eye forever,” Robertson said. “If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them.”

    He is consistent in his Retaliban views. Such as this female
    bashing statement. “..feminism encourages women to “kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

  2. Charles Deetz ;)

    Interesting how their distancing from Ussher sounds a lot like how evolutionists say they aren’t Darwinists. Maybe we should call AIG Ussherites just to annoy them, then.

  3. Excellent suggestion, Charles.

  4. Actually they are ‘Ussherites’. Back in the 1960’s when creationism was being resurrected by Morris and others, ages of 15,000 to 20,000 years were quite acceptable. It became increasingly a mark of a true creationist to reduce this to 6000 to 10,000 years – being careful to add, ‘Actually I believe that it is closer to 6000 years’.

    Hammism not only takes it to a literal 6000 years (as accurately calculated from the actual biblical figures by Ussher) but takes it to a new level by squeezing in a little, tiny-weeny, ice age between the end of the flood and the start of history as we know it – well, as we know it but with the dates changed to fit it in.

    Thus ol’ Hambo = Ussher++

    It would seem Ussher’s dates are now accepted throughout cretindom. It is amazing how these things evolve.

  5. The Very Thoughtful Curmudgeon observes,
    “This kind of food-fight is inevitable, of course, because unlike science, religion has no rational mechanism for dispute resolution. In matters of dogma where there’s no evidence for a belief, it’s all about faith. That always leads to factions and fanaticism.”

    AMEN!! You might also add that it leads to false righteousness, the killing of “infidels”, and war.

    In the words of John Lennon — “Imagine no religion …”

    It is becoming more and more apparent that the preservation of civilization will require a separation of ethics from religious beliefs and intolerance.

  6. AIG has this biographical information about him. Good grief, he’s an MD.

    “MD” – Mentally Deficient?

  7. Charles Deetz ;)

    @retiredsciguy you might find this new angle on religion from the Dali Lama refreshing.

    The Dalai Lama recommends a radical new approach: a religionless religion, if you will, stripped of myth, superstition, and narrow dogmatism, and focused on the practical work of transforming human behavior. He wants to incorporate the insights of the hard sciences as well as psychology, philosophy, and sociology into a broad-based new discipline to address our current moral crisis.

  8. Dr. Tommy opines: “We are not, however, justified in picking and choosing the parts of the Bible that we want to believe.”

    However, the early church leaders certainly felt justified, and apparently didn’t finalize their selections until the 4th or 5th century for the new testament. We know many changes have been made in translations and other edits since then.

    However, it’s always acceptable to correct a book that contains errors, no matter how ancient it is. The bible definitely needs a revised edition.

  9. Charles Deetz ;)

    Went back and read the Doctor’s post … it is pretty dang long. Well, skimmed, I guess. But one must imagine that this article is the total of the AIG argument against an Old Earth. Well, as the conclusion implies, the full strength of the proof can be found at a museum somewhere.

  10. Pat Robertson’s Word or Ken Ham’s Word: Which Will You Believe?

  11. Ummm…think I’ll go with none of the above, Grum. Let me just pop a little more corn…

    @Charles: that sounds suspiciously like humanism. How can there be any religion without myth, superstition, blind faith and the ritual Fleecing of the Flock™?

  12. @Charles Deetz 😉 : Well! Hello, Dalai! Thanks for pointing me to the article.

    Washington admonished us to avoid foreign entanglements. Is the Dalai Lama saying we should avoid religious entanglements?

  13. Grum asks, “Pat Robertson’s Word or Ken Ham’s Word: Which Will You Believe?”

    Neither. Trust Mother Nature’s word. She never lies. Her message may be cryptic; it’s up to us to interpret correctly.

  14. @retiredsciguy

    Good comment re Mother Nature and I spoke to our local (Uniting Church) minister, a nice guy, here underside, a couple of days ago about YEC. Bunkum, he said. Sorry you have ol’ Hambo stateside.

    As an aside, your moniker reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson. Now there’s a guy who had a point of view.

  15. As I have been saying for years, if you let the scam artists get away with their “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when, just spin doubt of ‘Darwinism’” strategy, you will lose. By that I mean that the “swing vote” – by most accounts fully half of the population – will remain sympathetic to the scam artists.

    If you pay attention to the history of the anti-evolution movement, and resist getting sidetracked on God or “ultimate cause” issues, it becomes crystal clear. The evidence, which Pope John Paul II described in 1996 as “convergence, neither sought nor fabricated,” forced those who believed, wanted to believe, or wanted others to believe, a literal Genesis, to pick and choose “evidences.” As a result, by the early 1900s there was both hopeless disagreement, and a dangerous (to the movement) trend of concession of details (heliocentrism, old earth, even some common descent) to science.

    Creationism was forced to evolve from “honest, if misguided belief” to full-blown pseudoscience by the 1960s. Heliocentric YEC was hand-picked as a compromise. But the more honest anti-evolution activists remained convinced that YEC was too easily refuted to convince the swing vote, so they refused to join that scam. Enter the “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when” strategy that evolved into ID. The reason there appears to be relatively few OECs in recent decades is that they have mostly learned to be vague on the “when” questions. Yet even the evolution-deniers-on-the-street, who outnumber the scam artists ~1000 to 1, are more likely to admit OEC when the questions are stated clearly enough to make them give more than a few seconds thought.

    Please let the Robterston affair be your golden opportunity. Instead of taking the bait (letting the scam artists keep the “debate” about “weaknesses” of “Darwinism”) keep asking them the hard “what happened when” questions. Let the “swing vote” see how the scam artists hopelessly disagree among themselves, and play evasion games wherever they can. It won’t be easy or quick, especially since even most of those who have no problem with evolution have trouble grasping the difference between 6000, 6 million and 6 billion years, but numbers are crucial.

  16. Curmudgeon: “,,but [Roberton’s] not ignorant — certainly not compared to AIG.”

    Actually, on the subject of radiometric dating he is more ignorant than AiG. Had he said “radiometric” instead of “radiocarbon” he would have deprived Ham of his misleading rebuttal. Though far from an expert on radiometric dating, Robertson clearly sees that scientists are much more honest and up front, compared to YEC activists, who play favorites with data, and as this example nicely shows, seize on the opponen’s mistake to distract from their own.

  17. I had a vague memory from my childhood of Pat Robertson on the 700 Club waxing excitedly about a new dinosaur exhibit at a museum near 700 Club headquarters; I distinctly remembering him saying, “this is what earth was like millions of years ago.” Being surrounded on all sides by Southern Baptists, I immediately recognized that as a rather…heretical viewpoint.

    Interesting that Robertson is an OEC. I wonder why he follows this non-Ussherite heresy?

  18. doodlebugger

    I’m going with Hambo. But
    we need to be putting gays to death, kissing
    snakes, speaking in tongues, refusing medical treatment
    for the ill, burning witches, and joining the Flat Earth Society too.

  19. AlpsStranger

    People keep saying the Bible isn’t literally true because the Bible isn’t literally true. I’m not saying you have to join me in my atheism, but don’t go around acting like every syllable in the Bible is the truth. It ain’t.

    You gotta deal with it somehow, kiddies. Non-literal theology is fine if that’s your bag. But there was no Noah’s Ark, you probably won’t go flying into the sky as an angel blows a trumpet, and you probably won’t literally be standing in front of a giant white throne someday. Or maybe you will, I don’t really know for certain. What I do know is that Genesis is not the literal history of the earth.

    I’m also pretty sure “bearing false witness” against thousands of scientists is a no-no. Have to check my Bible to be sure.

  20. So… if I write in a form that I am currently 34 years old, that statement becomes a lie when I turn 35?

    I guess we need to add “chronology” to the list of things YECs don’t understand.

  21. @AlpsStranger:

    exactly right! And, yet a concept poorly understood by so many evangelicals. even a lot of the Jewish Rabbis around the time of Jesus and the early Christian leadership did not regard Genesis as literal truth. Yet, in this age of scinetific enlightenment, we have so many who try to treat the creation story literally.

  22. unlike science, religion has no rational mechanism for dispute resolution

    I suggest trial by combat. Pat vs. Ken, with the baptist faith becoming officially OEC or YEC depending on who remains standing.

  23. Science really tells us that humans can’t give birth without mating. But this isn’t true for all animals, or even all invertebrates! Komodo dragon’s, for example, have been known to lay eggs (which later hatched into live young) in captivity without ever having mated. I guess this means Jesus was a komodo dragon…
    Actually, I would totally follow that religion.

  24. AlpsStranger

    @TJW: Exactly. ID and other half-creationist stuff is bad enough, but actual YECs are exactly as attached to reality as flat-earthers or Alex Jones.

    Interestingly, Alex Jones once said that YEC was a conspiracy to make Christianity look stupid. So maybe I should cut him a little slack 😛

  25. techreseller

    Young and flat. Young and flat. Brings me back to my first high school girlfriend. Whoops. Did I say that out loud? Robertson has to believe in old earth. He is a major diamond (blood diamonds) importer and knows how diamonds are made in the earth.