Jason Lisle and the Solar System

We’ve all been wondering what happened to Jason Lisle since he left Answers in Genesis (AIG), the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), in order to become Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR).

While he was at AIG, Jason provided us with much to think about, including Jason Lisle’s “Instant Starlight” Paper, and also Jason Lisle Tells Us How To Think, and most recently Jason Lisle: Mathematics is Creationist.

At ICR, Jason seems to be working on the mind-boggling contradictions between what astronomers have been telling us, compared to the simple universe described in scripture — with a flat, unmovable Earth in the center, where humanity was designed as the ultimate goal of creation. It’s not an easy task.

Jason’s latest article is elegantly titled The Solar System. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and scripture references omitted

One of the wonderful things about astronomy is that it is so different from our everyday experience. Things are not what they might seem at first glance. Who could have guessed that those tiny little specks of light in our night sky are actually “suns” hundreds of times larger than Earth? Who would have suspected that the “evening star” is actually a rocky planet about the same size as our own?

None of those who wrote scripture ever guessed such things, which is why, for example, there’s only one mention of planets in the entire bible (in 2 Kings 23:5) — a derisive reference to those who burn incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets. Otherwise, they’re never mentioned at all — the phrase used is always “the sun, the moon, and the stars.” It’s also why — according to scripture — The Earth Is Flat! and The Earth Does Not Move! Jason continues:

How unexpected to find that the solid earth beneath our feet is actually moving at 67,000 miles per hour around the sun, all the while spinning like a top! God has constructed the universe in a truly marvelous way. As we study it, the universe continually surprises and delights us by challenging our understanding of how things work.

Be careful, Jason. Those “unexpected” discoveries that challenge our scriptural understanding can get you in trouble — big trouble. Next thing you know you’ll be thinking that evolution makes sense — and you know where that kind of thinking will get you. Yeah, the Lake of Fire!

Let’s read on to see how Jason navigates through this minefield of scientific surprises and delights:

Our solar system is a great example of this. We can actually see much of the solar system on a cloudless night. Most of the planets are visible to the unaided eye — appearing as tiny points of light. In reality, they are enormous spheres, some comparable in size to the earth, while others are much larger.

Then why doesn’t the bible tell us that, huh? Come on, Jason. What’s going on here? He continues:

The stars, sun, moon, and planets rise and set with clockwork precision. They seem to pay tribute to the earth as they respectfully circle around their master. But the truth of the matter is that Earth rotates as it moves around the sun. Every new discovery in astronomy is a surprising and delightful revelation that God is even more amazing, creative, and powerful than we previously supposed.

This is an outrage! How can Jason accept all these Satanic teachings that contradict scripture just by waving aside everything that’s written in the Good Book and then saying: “God is even more amazing, creative, and powerful than we previously supposed”? That makes heresy just too easy, and there’s no limit to where it can lead.

The next several paragraphs are elementary school stuff about the planets, which we’ll skip. But Jason’s not done with his scripture twisting. There’s this:

The orbits of all the planets are nearly circular. Creation scientist Johannes Kepler, in the 17th century, discovered the true shape of these orbits. He analyzed data from the orbit of Mars that had been obtained by Tycho Brahe. Kepler discovered that planets orbit in ellipses — “squashed” circles.

Kepler was a creation scientist? So that’s how he did such important work! Here’s more:

It was another creation scientist who discovered the principles behind Kepler’s laws. Isaac Newton, a brilliant scientist and Bible scholar, discovered and rigorously proved that gravity is the cause of the orbital motions of planets.

Where would we be today were it not for the contributions of creation science? Moving along:

Bible critics sometimes view laws of nature as a replacement for God’s power. But that certainly is not a biblical view. The Bible teaches that God directly controls the universe — that by the expression of His power everything is upheld . God is not a god of confusion, but upholds the universe in a consistent and often predictable way.

That’s good to know. Another excerpt:

Laws of nature are not a substitute for God’s power; rather, they are examples of it. God’s consistent and law-like sovereignty over the universe makes astronomy possible.

By golly — he’s right! No God, no astronomy! Nothing could be more obvious — especially to astronomers. Here’s how the article ends:

The solar system is a lesson in humility. When we contemplate the sizes of these worlds, the distances involved, and the God who holds every atom in its place, it is amazing to think such a God would show so much compassion and mercy toward us. [Scripture quote.]

So there you are. Now you know how to reconcile the differences between astronomy and scripture. And although he didn’t mention it, we are confident that Jason’s reconciliation technique will not work with biology — so stay away from there.

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

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15 responses to “Jason Lisle and the Solar System

  1. Isaac Newton … rigorously proved that gravity is the cause of the orbital motions of planets.
    rigorously proved?
    By the standards that creationism demands of evolution, we might allow that Newton showed the existence of microgravity, but nobody was there to observe gravity operating outside of the surface of the Earth (macrogravity). But even for micro-gravity, there is no rigorous proof.
    And, of course, is an explanation involving gravity a materialistic, naturalistic, atheistic explanation? Not to mention the things that gravity can’t explain (and thus that it must be intelligent design, the only alternative to gravity).

  2. Kepler, who was no question devout, was also an astrologer. Should that give any credibility to astrology? I’d say about as much as it does for creationism.
    I think one could make the case that Kepler’s religiosity and related magical outlook bogged down his great mind as he tried to use the Pythagorean solids to mystically connect heaven and earth.

  3. Garnetstar

    Lisle’s God is not a god of confusion? Tell that to anyone who’s trying to learn quantum mechanics.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    God’s laws are the laws of nature. Good. He’s so close to getting it, but yea, as SC says, for some reason this doesn’t extend to biology.

    Really that is a huge philosophical problem: how would he justify that the laws of nature as they extend to evolution aren’t God’s? Oh yea this is the instant starlight dude. Dang, he’s still a million miles off.

  5. The orbits of all the planets are nearly circular.

    All?
    Really?

    Mercury’s orbit is highly eccentric; at perihelion it is only 46 million km from the Sun but at aphelion it is 70 million.

    source: http://nineplanets.org/mercury.html

    In fact, Mercury’s orbital eccentricity is 0.26. So much for “all planets” having orbits that are “nearly circular.”

  6. God presumably keeps the planets in other solar systems in their orbits as well. Undoubtedly trillions and trillions of them throughout the universe.

    Maybe he is the God of redundancy, or massive inefficiency. It’s hard to see what other kind of God Jason could be referring to.

  7. Let’s say this dude is right, it all reflects the glory of some psychic, petulant, spoiled 5yr-old, white bearded sky-fairy. B-F-D!!!
    The universe still works as science as pointed out. Evilution still shows how life in general works and is predictive of what will happen. This psychotic sky-fairy as yet to produce one that’s ONE!!!! good solid verifiable miracle to show he is real. Prove this sky-fairy exists and then I will throw all the glory it wants right in his face, followed by a ton of brick because it is an incompetent dimwitted intelligent designer.

  8. Jason Lisle: “Who could have guessed that those tiny little specks of light in our night sky are actually “suns” hundreds of times larger than Earth?”

    Well, one rather celebrated preacher did NOT guess it. As part of his end-time scenario, Jesus predicts that “the stars will fall from heaven” (Matthew 24:29). So stars, according to Christ, are relatively small objects that can be caught by earth’s gravity: In (or just before!) the end, they will fall down on us. Though New Testament writers insist that Jesus was involved in the creation of everything (e.g. Colossians 1:16), he seems woefully ignorant about the true structure of the universe.

  9. anevilmeme

    @Troy

    Also, didn’t Newton dabble in alchemy?

  10. H.K. Fauskanger says:

    Jesus predicts that “the stars will fall from heaven” (Matthew 24:29).

    That’s a clear reference to the Big Crunch, a prediction which doesn’t seem too popular these days in view of the apparent accelerated expansion rate of the universe. But keep an open mind.

  11. docbill1351

    Here is the little peckerwood in action and, don’t worry about the length, 26 minutes, you won’t be able to tolerate it that long!

  12. Just an interesting aside for those who might not have heard about it. Mercury’s eccentric orbit, combined with its very long day result in an interesting double sunrise, where the sun rises, goes back down from where it came and then rises again.

  13. “The solar system is a lesson in humility.”

    Jason Lisle is so humble! And he has so much to be humble about!

  14. Mark Joseph

    It appears that Mr. Lisle has never heard of (at least) two concepts:
    1) Proof by assertion
    2) Occam’s razor

  15. Mark Joseph

    Just ran across this quote; it seems particularly à propos:
    “Of all the sciences, astronomy was the one the superstitious liked least.” Ken MacLeod, Learning the World, chapter 4.