Answers in Genesis — Noah’s Ark Fan Mail

They’re answering the mail again at Answers in Genesis (AIG), the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). He’s the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.

Today’s letter is being answered by Tim Chaffey. AIG doesn’t tell us much about him, but he has a listing at Amazon. That says he’s a staff writer for AIG, and he’s a graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. You can find the letter to AIG and his answer here: Feedback: You Need a Dumb 900-Year-Old Man to Build the Ark This is the question they received:

To make your Ark project authentic you will need a 900 year old with zero knowledge of boatbuilding and a maximum construction crew of 8, surely?

Here are a few excerpts from Chaffey’s answer, omitting his links and scripture references, and with bold font added by us:

First, please consider the following questions:

1. Why would we need a 900-year-old when Noah was only in his 500s as he constructed the Ark?
2. Why assume Noah had no experience in boatbuilding?
3. Why assume a maximum of eight people worked to construct the Ark?

Chaffey is no fool! Noah wasn’t 900; he was only in his 500s — in the vigorous prime of life. And why shouldn’t we assume he was an experienced shipwright with a vast crew of workers? There’s nothing in scripture to contradict those assumptions. Let’s read on:

We often hear from skeptics who seem to relish sending us snide comments about God’s Word and our efforts to proclaim the Bible as true from beginning to end. And while they never seem to tire of mocking God’s Word, it is ironic that they are merely illustrating what Scripture said they would do. [Scripture quotes about scoffers.]

See? It’s all true, even to the point of accurately predicting scoffers. Who cares if they have to interpolate a few facts here and there? AIG continues:

Let’s take a look at these specific claims because they give us an opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about Noah and to deliver some important teaching points regarding how to properly respond to someone who challenges our beliefs.

Oh goodie. We can learn about Noah, and also learn some creationist tactics too. Chaffey goes through the scoffer’s question phrase by phrase:

[From the question:] To make your Ark project authentic

[Chaffey’s response:] What do you mean by “authentic”? We do not claim that Ark Encounter will be a replica of the original Ark built by Noah since we don’t know exactly how the original looked. Genesis 6:14–16 gives us the dimensions and a few other details about the structure. We will carefully adhere to these specific instructions given to Noah while doing our best to represent how it may have looked based on extensive research of ancient shipbuilding. So there will be a high degree of authenticity in that sense.

Yes — AIG’s Ark will have “high degree of authenticity” — except that it’ll be on land and it won’t even float. Here’s more:

[From the question:] you will need a 900 year old

[Chaffey’s response:] Noah was not 900 years old when he built the Ark, although he did live 950 years. He boarded it in his 600th year, and he spent a significant amount of time in the previous century constructing the boat.

Scoffers often make this type of error. Rather than carefully checking the Bible, they frequently misquote Scripture or conflate ideas from the text. Thus, they mock a straw man of the text rather than the text itself. So whenever a skeptic appears to cite the Bible, be sure to double-check the text to see if it really states what the unbeliever claims.

Good point — creationists should always check the facts of those scoffers! Moving along:

[From the question:] with zero knowledge of boatbuilding

[Chaffey’s response:] Which chapter and verse did you read that told you Noah was ignorant of shipbuilding?

Uh … the same chapter and verse that told AIG Noah was a master shipwright? No. Instead, Chaffey cites other wonder-workers in scripture, whom God somehow enabled to perform their tasks. Okay, here’s the last point in the scoffer’s question:

[From the question:] and a maximum construction crew of 8, surely?

[Chaffey’s response:] Nothing in Scripture limits the construction crew of the Ark to eight people. But even if Noah only used eight people to build the Ark, why should we be limited to do the same? Noah obediently built the Ark “”for the saving of his household”” and the animals God brought to him.

Our Ark is being built for a different purpose. It will need to include facilities to accommodate the projected steady stream of guests. It will also have plenty of teaching points displayed throughout the structure utilizing modern technology because we desire to answer skeptical questions about the Ark and the Flood to show people that God’s Word is trustworthy.

That makes sense. Noah’s Ark could have been built by only 8 people, because all it had to accomplish was survive for a year through the greatest catastrophe in the history of the planet, while safely carrying breeding pairs of all the world’s land-dwelling species. Hambo’s Ark is merely being built as a commercial enterprise, so it’s quite understandable that AIG needs far more than 8 workers.

Here’s one final excerpt:

You can continue to mock the Word of your Creator, or you can be forgiven of your rebellion against Him. [Ominous scripture passage.] I urge you to repent of your sin and call on the Son of God to save your from your sins. Indeed, He is the only door by which one can be saved.

So there you are. Believe in the Ark, or spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Answers in Genesis — Noah’s Ark Fan Mail

  1. Pete Moulton

    “Our Ark is being built for a different purpose.”

    This is true enough. Their ark is being built (if in fact it ever does get built) for the express purpose of separating the rubes from as much money as possible.

  2. I have the sense that in the last couple of months posts on AiG and on Ken Ham’s and AiG’s FB pages have gotten more focused on political issues such as marriage equality, and more strident against atheists and against Christian pastors who do not accept Genesis literally, with fewer ‘sciency’ creationist /young-earth posts. Have others made that observation or do I have a distorted memory of how they were posting in the past?

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    mb, I don’t follow those, but just saw their reaction to the 4th grade “science” test going around. Very defensive, strident is a good word. They try to lump all christians in their camp, it sound so pathetic to me. Even this posting about the ark gets defensive about certain details, while these just beg for follow up questions like SC tack on. I think they jumped the shark when Hambo made a ‘bright line’ of feathered dinos being impossible.

  4. anevilmeme

    Fundie logic: Noah was a master shipbuilder because the bible doesn’t say he wasn’t. Spin much?

  5. I agree with mb. Ken Ham is going postal. Increasingly unhinged.

    At first blush he appears to be competing with Ray Comfort for the crown of who attacks atheists the most. But Ray Comfort seems to enjoy atheists, because he’s surrounded by morons like Cameron and they must bore him.

    Ken Ham, on the other hand, does not enjoy arguing with atheists and does not describe accurately anything they say. Atheists to Ken Ham are a satanic cult with supernatural power– he probably thinks they can turn invisible.

    We saw this in Ken Ham’s rant about the 4th grade test where he said that atheists were THREATENING this fundie school. He said “threats”. Of course to make threats of violence is illegal, and if it were true they could bring in the justice system.

    They won’t, because Ken Ham is lying.

    I have to wonder how long his audience will put up with his rants before they start to get bored, or begin to suspect he is full of 3u11&h17.

    Anybody remember how about 4 years ago when Prop. 8 was passed in California, and gays protested, mostly peacefully, Fox News just went BERSERK? Newt Gingrich waggled his chins at the camera and said, “I believe there’s a gay and secular fascism in this country that’s preparing to use violence.”

    Remember that? I do.

    Ham thinks he can turn atheists into the “new gays”, the new bete noire to be lied about and slandered. How’d that anti-gay campaign work out for ya, Ken?

  6. Diogenes says: “I agree with mb. Ken Ham is going postal. Increasingly unhinged.”

    I don’t see much change. What I’ve noticed is that AIG is broadening the scope of issues they address. They’re talking more about gays and abortion (all atheists, apparently), so we see less about pure creationism. That loss of focus doesn’t make much sense, because their museum is all about creationism.

  7. Upstream Paddler

    The trouble with the hyper-literalists is that they stop being literal when it suits them. For example, they want us to believe in a literal global flood, per the text, but when the text literally says that Noah built the ark, they deny that literal statement with their “why couldn’t” or “the text doesn’t say there weren’t” statements.

  8. docbill1351

    I think it took about 2,000 workers to build the Ark. But Noah didn’t want to pay their health insurance so he had a friend kill them all just before they set sail. Nice guy, Mr. Noah.

  9. SC said: “That loss of focus doesn’t make much sense, because their museum is all about creationism.”

    Perhaps he has to broaden his appeal to a bigger base. Wasn’t the museum losing in attendance and receipts? He always needs, and begs for, more donations. He has to continue to garner the favor of the right-wing fundies, especially those with political clout. And too there’s always the martyrdom factor, how he as a Christian is being persecuted by everyone who doesn’t agree with him or exposes him and his allies for the falsehoods they continue to spread, including in the trash science in their sectarian schools

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    @David @SC, I agree and was pondering how little the AIG and DI actual content/facts/made-up stuff would attract an audience without an ‘enemy’. Abortion and gay rights are easy enemies for the right.

    I read this blog but I don’t follow any evolution blogs except for PT. Its a lot more fun to beat up and call the enemy stupid, and I bet this blog would contend with the AIG blog readership because of that.

  11. Garnetstar

    You know, I’ve wondered about the ages of the women on the ark, at the time they set sail. Because they were the ones who re-populated the earth, right?

    But, I suppose there’s a biblical verse about how the age of child-bearing was hugely extended in those days of higher oxygen pressure and un-devolved humans….

  12. Mark Joseph

    ” What I’ve noticed is that AIG is broadening the scope of issues they address.”

    But, has the eminent Mr. Ham addressed the issue of bathroom cam creationists yet?