The last time we discussed the Tower of Babel was here, Answers in Genesis — The Ice Age. We learned from AIG’s creation scientists that the events at the Tower of Babel occurred during the fourth generation after Noah. Our calculations showed that when the great dispersal occurred there were then only 81 human families in existence, all of whom were descended from Noah’s three sons.
Today our learning adventure continues — this time at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. Their article is The Dispersal at Babel. It’s by John D. Morris, Ph.D., a son of ICR’s founder. He is currently the President of ICR, and that’s your guarantee of intellectual quality. With bold font added by us, he begins with a bit of historical background:
According to Genesis, Noah and his family disembarked from the Ark and offered a sacrifice to God in thankfulness for their great deliverance. God responded by giving them the rainbow as the sign of His promise to never again judge the earth with a similar flood. The promise came with the command to fill the earth, certainly through worldwide migration.
We have a quibble with that. In Genesis 9:1 it says: “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Pretty much the same thing is said in Genesis 9:7. We see no mention of migration — or any migratory command. But we’ll let that go for the moment. ICR’s essay continues:
However, God’s holy nature was not altered — He still demands judgment for sin. It wasn’t long before mankind was again in full rebellion against Him.
We’ve always had a quibble about that. God had just wiped out almost all life on Earth because his perfect creation got out of whack in the Garden of Eden. Sterilizing the planet seems like a slight over-reaction, but it’s not up to us to judge such things. Nevertheless, a punishment that severe should have discharged any debt that was owed for the disobedience of Adam & Eve. Noah and his family were going to be a fresh start with a clean slate. But there we are at Babel, only a few generations later, and the whole thing was falling apart again. It must have been very disappointing. Let’s read on:
Under the leadership of wicked Nimrod, they built an astrological observation tower at Babel from which to worship the creation rather than the Creator.
Aaaargh!! We have another quibble. According to Genesis 11: 1-7:
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
We don’t see any mention of astrological observations. ICR continues:
At that time, all people spoke the same language, and working together, the rebellion-minded members built the tower in open disobedience to God’s migration command, boldly defying Him with the assertion “lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth”. Most of the family groups had probably remained together while rapidly multiplying. God could not leave this dual-pronged rebellion unpunished. He confused their language, halted the cooperative rebellious building project, and enforced migration.
We don’t pretend to have bible expertise, but we can read, and we have no idea where Morris is getting his information about a “dual-pronged rebellion.” Anyway, after that the ICR essay starts to get so goofy that it’s difficult to select any representative excerpts. Morris is trying to fit all of the world’s populations and history into the dispersal from Babel. Here’s what he says happened to those 81 families in the fourth generation after Noah:
The strongest, most prominent groups, including the forerunners of the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Akkadians, and the Assyrians, probably remained where they were, forcing the others to leave. They retained technology that they had previously acquired and founded advanced city states, while other powerful groups claimed the fertile territory nearby—areas with desirable natural resources such as the Nile River basin. The remaining clans migrated where they could, with stronger ones continually displacing the weaker. Some moved south to the African continent, and others moved east to Asia. The Ice Age was spreading across Europe, and groups who moved there were forced to adjust their lifestyles.
How could a tiny handful of families create “advanced city states”? And observe the inherent bias in suggesting that it was the least powerful and capable people who migrated farthest away to places like Asia and Africa. Ah well, moving along:
All groups took with them the knowledge of God, the Flood, and proper worship, as well as the false worship practiced at Babel. Many new civilizations constructed similar towers or pyramids and began worshiping the stars, using the same imaginary star pictures in the Zodiac.
None of that makes any sense. The Chinese zodiac, for example, is quite different from the Babylonian. As for the dispersed people preserving their knowledge of the Flood, all flood legends around the world are wildly different (except for obvious essentials like boats and water), as would be expected of tales that have totally separate origins. We discussed all of that here: ICR: Even More Proof of the Flood.
There’s also the strange case of global amnesia regarding our universal ancestor who heroically survived a relatively recent flood — the greatest and most catastrophic event in world history. How is it possible that no one in the world ever heard the name of Noah, except in cultures influenced by the bible? According to the Ussher chronology, the Flood was in 2,348 BC, about 4,300 years ago. Is that too long ago for the world to remember Noah’s name? We remember Julius Caesar, who lived a little longer than 2,000 years ago. Three thousand years ago, roughly 1,000 BC, it gets a bit fuzzier — yet we remember Homer, who wrote of the Trojan War, and we remember the names of several Chinese emperors. Going further back, we remember the names of Pharaohs who reigned a thousand years earlier. So of all the world’s people with flood tales (and there are many that don’t have such a legend), why does only one remember the name of Noah — or their origin at Babel?
We’re ending the lesson here because ICR’s final paragraph is too nonsensical for us, but go ahead and read it if you like. Okay, class, now we ask you — what did you learn today? Come on, you must have learned something!
You learned that the Tower of Babel makes just as much sense as Noah’s Ark, yet it’s just as important to creationists. They believe it, and they probably want it to be part of every history class in school. After all, it’s The Truth™.
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