Things are getting wild out there in Creationland. First there was the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). Afterwards, we made a few posts about the reactions. Ol’ Hambo claims he did great, and a few recent items at his website have echoed that spin.
But the fun part has been the reaction of other creationists. We told you how ICR Reacts to the Bill Nye-Ken Ham Debate (they claimed Nye was illogical), and also Egnor’s View on the Bill Nye-Ken Ham Debate (he supported ol’ Hambo’s positions), although the Discoveroids had previously posted In the Ham-Nye Debate, Not So Much as a Glove Was Laid on Intelligent Design (true, but the debaters didn’t lay a glove on the Tooth Fairy either).
Our favorite reaction was one showing sharp discord in the religious community — that was Pat Robertson Reacts to Ken Ham’s Performance. Robertson, apparently an old-Earth theistic evolutionist, said of Hambo’s arguments: “Let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”
That was the best, because we’ve always said that the so-called Controversy between evolution and creationism is a one-sided fiction. There isn’t a science controversy, and the actual debate should be conducted among the various religious denominations, some of which accept science (see the National Center for Science Education’s list of Statements from Religious Organizations supporting evolution), while others insist as an article of faith that science must be rejected.
Today the denominational discord is very apparent. Look what we found at the flamingly far-right website, RenewAmerica: Robertson: Ham’s contentions no ‘joke’. It’s written by Rev. Mark H. Creech, described as a Southern Baptist who is “Executive Director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.” The rev supports ol’ Hambo, and he unleashes fire and brimstone on Pat Robertson. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Last week approximately 3 million people tuned into to watch the debate on evolution between Bill Nye, “The Science Guy,” and Ken Ham of the Creation Museum. Ham did a stupendous job articulating the creationist view and contributed greatly to raising awareness to the legitimacy of its claims regarding origins.
Yes, a stupendous job. However:
Enter Pat Robertson via his appearance on the 700 Club television program. During a recent broadcast, Robertson attacked Ham’s assertions regarding a Young Earth, more specifically, that the world is approximately 6000 years old. Robertson concluded the view makes a “joke” of Christians.
Gasp — that’s outrageous! Let’s read on:
One can appreciate Robertson’s acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty in the earth’s beginnings. But as I once contended in an interview with [some magazine], “Clergy…those that have given away a portion of the truth in order to defend the rest of it – are no real friends to true religion or the Bible.” Robertson’s remarks represent a concession to evolution that has profound negative ramifications for sound theology.
Egad — “profound negative ramifications for sound theology.” The rev’s first reason for saying that is the best, and we’ll quote it all:
First, the concession indicts the goodness of God. Modern science asserts that the geological ages are predicated on the fossil record, and these fossils speak to us of suffering and death millions of years before Adam and Eve – before the creation of man. That’s a direction contradiction of the Bible’s teaching that pain, anguish; travail, death and the dysfunctions of nature are a direct result of divine judgment because of man’s sin. If there was a primeval prevalence of these things before the fall of man, then that would leave only God himself responsible for such menace and mayhem. The very notion a God of love and order would work arbitrarily and brutally as suggested in evolution’s old earth hypothesis – a way so contrary to his own nature – carries with it an implication blasphemy.
Yes, it’s blasphemy! God is a God of love. Death and suffering are man’s fault! The reason why the whole Earth was flooded, killing almost everything that lived, is because of God’s love. If you don’t believe that, then you’re a blasphemer, and you deserve to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire! Mmrruuuhahahahaha!
The rev’s next objection to Robertson’s position is that the concession he made (old Earth, etc.) “assails the authority of the Word of God.” He lists several ways that the theory of evolution contradicts the bible. If you need a handy catalog of such items, you can click over to the rev’s article. We’ll skip that and move to the rev’s next point, which is that Robertson’s concession to science “undermines the story of redemption.” We’re told:
If evolution is true, if the inference of an old earth is correct, then what are we to think of Adam and Eve? Were they pre-hominids or hominids? Did Adam stoop and his knuckles drag the ground when he walked with God in the garden? Did Eve grunt when God asked her what she had done when she ate from the forbidden tree? If the first couple were just early advanced forms of primate, how responsible for their actions could they possibly be? The whole concept is rift [sic] with foolish suppositions and ridiculous inquiry. Is this what it means to be made in the image of God? Surely not!
We see the rev’s problem — if one part of Genesis is only myth, then where does it all end? It’s theological chaos! He continues:
[F]rom the biblical record, it becomes impossible to set the date for creation much earlier than 10,000 years. And theological disaster ensues when the speculations of men, no matter how seemingly convincing, supplant God’s special revelation – His Word.
Robertson is inviting “theological disaster”! Here’s more:
God is the one who established all scientific laws, and good science will always point to Him. That’s why we need not fear there will ever be a discovery of some scientific fact that contradicts the Bible properly interpreted.
Yes, “properly interpreted.” The rev finishes with one final slam at Robertson, which is clumsily punctuated:
Therefore, if Robertson believes that Ham’s literal interpretation of the biblical creation account is a “joke.” Then I suggest Robertson’s remarks make him a ham.
Strong words indeed! Hey — what we really need is a debate between Hambo and Robertson. We might even pay to watch that!
Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
Our Curmudgeon proposes
Careful–you might give Hambo fund-raising ideas for his Ark.
I agree, though, that such a debate would be delicious, though I would really like to see the DI “don’t call us creationists!” folk get in to the rink for some good old mud-wrestling with both the YEC’s and OEC’s. All the DI ever do is Monday morning quarterback, and attempt to rewrite history; they need to sh*t or get off the pot.
Wouldn’t an Egnor or a Luskin vs. Hambo be magnificent! Or–one can dream–a Klingy vs. Rives bloodbath!
SC: “Robertson, apparently an old-Earth theistic evolutionist…”
I’m just curious, not trying to trip you up, but is there any evidence and/or clear admission that Robertson is a theistic evolutionist (TE)? I recall him admitting some version of OEC – not sure if day-age, gap or progressive – but I don’t recall any admission of common descent (like many IDers) or that “RM + NS” is responsible for the diversity of life. All of those must be clearly admitted before one can be classified as a TE.
I recall NCSE’s Eugenie Scott 10-15 years ago referring to Michael Behe as a TE. That may be true in terms of his private belief, but in terms of strategy, no one can be further from a TE than Behe. He not only believes (as if we can ever know what one privately believes) but more importantly admits old life and common descent. But he passionately denies the “RM + NS” part.
It’s paradoxical at first, which is why so many critics wrongly ass-u-me that IDers are closet YECs, but when creationism is viewed as a strategy instead of belief, it’s much clearer. ID becomes the most extreme, even when its peddlers concede old life and common descent. Biblical OECs are the least extreme, though still purely on the pseudoscience side. If anything, TEs are even more solidly on the science side than “atheistic evolutionists” because many of the latter ironically agree with creationists/IDers on the false dichotomy between “naturalistic” evolution and “some designer did something else.”
So I can’t imagine Robertson being anywhere near Ken Miller or Francis Collins on this issue. But it would be nice if I were wrong.
I can’t help but wonder if these really crazy creationists like Robertson and this fellow Creech are somehow operating with physically damaged brains. I just have to plead ignorance of how anyone who has a properly functioning brain could say such blindingly stupid things as those guys do. Ham is a creepy guy, and says a lot of insane things, but I think he’s crazy like a fox. After all, he makes a good living for himself and his family peddling his cartoonish nonsense to gullible Christians.
As I ponder it, Robertson could be in the same crazy-as-a-fox category. Maybe I’ve answered my own question . . . . .
Hasn’t Creech heard the news? Billy Dembski answered this problem:
The problem the book [Dembski’s “The End of Christianity”] addresses is how to maintain a classical conception of the Fall (as the occasion for all evil in the physical world, both natural and moral) if long ages of animal suffering and death precede the Fall. My approach, in a nutshell, is to argue that just as the salvation in Christ at the Cross saves backward in time as well as forward (the OT saints were saved in virtue of the Cross), so the effects of the Fall can be retroactive.
Ya see, God already knew Adam and Eve were going to sin and so he made creation suffer for billions of years for something that hadn’t happened yet. No, wait, that can/t be it! Everything was created perfect 6,000 years ago but when A&E sinned, it rippled out from there into the past creating a billion years of suffering life. Um … maybe not. I guess it’s just a metaphor.
Frank J says:
That is very wise
Only the video in my earlier post about him.
“a Klingy vs. Rives bloodbath”
Totally yes! And let Terry Gilliam be the arbiter. I want to cheer “Go, David, go!”
Rev. Mark H. Creech says:
Well Rev, seeing as both Robertson and science has publicly trashed your book of Genesis, there’s not much left for your God to do than roll out the end times of pain, anguish, travail, and death, long promised by your book or Revelations.
It’s time to get the job done. All those other books taking up space between Genesis and Revelations are just sitting there wasting time and paper. Oh, but that was always the basis of your theology anyway, wasn’t it.
Talking about Klingy – it’s only three days before we’ll found out who will win the prestigious Censor of the Year award. I hardly can’t wait! I rely on SC to keep me informed.
There are crazies like Robertson who are like a stopped clock in that they are still right every one in a while. then there are crazies like Ham and this Creech fellow who change their stopped clocks time every once in a while so it’s never right.
MNb says: “I rely on SC to keep me informed.”
Be assured, nothing in this or any other world is more important than knowing the winner of the Discoveroids’ Censor of the Year award.
SC: “Only the video in my earlier post about him.”
Do you have a link, or at least a date? I’m curious how he spins it. I have heard people who were thought to be evolution-deniers say that they had no problem with evolution, then slip in a qualifier like “in the micro sense.” Which puts them completely out of the “theistic evolutionist” range, and smack dab in the “creationist” range. If they’re slick enough they won’t volunteer if they think the alternative to “macroevolution” is independent origins (aka “created kinds”), saltation, front loading, etc. I don’t think Robertson in-on-the-scam enough to do that, but I could be wrong there too. OECs who realize the counterproductivity of criticizing YECs usually sell out to the ID scam, not to TE.
Why do Christians think it is a good thing to believe that their god condemned them, all other humans that have ever lived or will ever live, and everything else in the universe to suffering and death because a woman he created was tricked by a snake?
Where was his omnipotentness when the snake snuck into the garden? Was he asleep? Why didn’t he warn Eve to be on guard against talking snakes?
Why is it so important that Christians believe in such an awful deity? Was he just playing “bad god – good god” and the good god never showed up?
Scratch the last request. I clicked on the “Robertson” link above – not sure if it’s the one you meant – and he clearly says that he accepts “God guided evolution.” Though he rejects it as atheists describe it. Though I’m not sure he knows that atheist and theist “evolutionists” describe it identically – the testable part – and disagree only on non-testable ultimate causes. What he said was very brief, and he didn’t address common descent or “macroevolution.” But there’s hope that he won’t sell out to the ID scam.
Ed asks why all suffering and death was caused “because a woman he [God] created was tricked by a snake?”
Ed, don’t let the fundagelicals tell you that the suffering and death God unleashed on the innocent was caused solely by a woman.
Here, with bold added, is what Genesis 3:6 says in most translations:
This incident caused me a lot of anxiety when I was being indoctrinated as a child. Here was this book that was supposed to be sacred and on the first page there is a talking snake and the adults in my life all seemed convinced it was true. Even at age seven, I was quite certain that, except in cartoons, animals do not talk and this could not possibly have happened. Since all the adults in my life believed it I became convinced that my failure to find it credible meant there was something very wrong with me and I would spend eternity in hell.
A civil war in fantasyland?
“That’s a direction contradiction of the Bible’s teaching that pain, anguish; travail, death and the dysfunctions of nature are a direct result of divine judgment because of man’s sin.” Yeah, well, contridictions often happen when you compare myths with reality. Tough luck Rev. Creech.
If death were introduced into the universe, as it is said, when an innocent ate a piece of proscribed fruit 6000 years ago, and this has affected all of life since, then it seems that at last we have an answer to the Fermi paradox:
‘Well, where are they?” Ever since that fatal moment, the effect of this horrendous catastrophe has been propagating through the universe, at the speed of light, introducing death wherever it has reached.
The Earth truly then is the “Death Star.”
Well, either that or we have a clear explanation for the YECs insistence that no life can be found anywhere but in our immediate vicinity.
Stephen, as a young child, my experience with the disconnect between reality and what the adults in my family were babbling to me about talking snakes and hell mirrored yours. Then one day after Sunday school it hit me like a ton of bricks: “The preacher is trying to scare everybody so he can get their money,” I thought. That happened when I was about twelve years old. I realized that if you give someone poison, then convince them that you have The Cure, then you can control them and get their money. Religion, particularly Christianity in our culture, is nothing more than a con. That epiphany freed me, and I’ve never looked back.
Speaking of cons, has anyone heard anything at all about recent developments with AiG’s Ark Park Junk bonds?
Bob Carroll comments about the biting of the apple, “Ever since that fatal moment, the effect of this horrendous catastrophe has been propagating through the universe, at the speed of light, introducing death wherever it has reached.”
Interesting take. But why would the “Death Effect” be limited to the speed of light? Since this was a non-materialistic phenomenon, wouldn’t it have happened across the universe instantaneously? This of course brings up a fundamental theological question — is God limited by His own laws, or can he violate the laws of physics? Once we answer that, we can move on to calculating the number of angels able to boogie on a pinhead such as the Rev. Mark H. Creech. It amazes that these characters can make a living doing this sort of “ministering”.
And Curmy, you were too easy on the guy by doling out just one “[sic]” on his writing. There were many others —
“3 million people tuned into to watch…” (into what?)
“…contributed greatly to raising awareness to the legitimacy of its claims…” (awareness to? How about awareness of?)
“That’s a direction contradiction of the Bible’s teaching…” (try “direct”, Rev)
“…carries with it an implication blasphemy.” (implication of blasphemy?)
Clearly, the Rev needs an editor. But more to the point, just think of all the good these doofusses could do if they spent their time actually helping people instead arguing their insane ideas of fundamentalist theology?
Pope RSG wonders—
That would violate relativistic simultaneity. From our vantage point, it would appear as if it happened further back in time the further out into the universe we peek. In turn, we would then no longer be able to ascribe a precise “universal moment” at which the Fall occurred, only a local one. And we simply can’t be having such a parochial view of things, now can we!?
Pope RSG ruminates—
Descartes held that God must be able to create with absolute freedom in order to avoid the problems that ensue if God is bound by logical or physical laws. If He is, then He isn’t properly omnipotent and, moreover, where do those laws that constrain Him come from? On the other hand, Descartes’ view requires that God can create impossible things such as square circles and married bachelors. In either case, the essential ineffability, absurdity even, of notions like omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience and such becomes manifest. And this is the mystical currency in which peddlers of transcendence trade.
Waldteufel – Mr Ham appears to be in the Dominican Republic right now. Coincidence?
Rev. Creech preaches and screeches:
The first clause of the above is is precisely the foundational axiom of the Disco’Tute’s Wedge Document.
But the Discoveroids, for political and PR purposes, phrase the second clause differently. They call it “following the evidence where it leads”, and try to disguise that they specify the required destination at the outset.
On Adam’n’Eve, the snake, the tree and the apple: I liked the allegorical interpretation of this fable, that the message of the metaphor is: “if you are ignorant and selfish, you can be blissfully happy, but if you have knowledge and insight, you will understand that the world is a messy and nasty place”.
In other words: be stupid and childishly happy, or have knowledge and find your peace and happiness traveling a more difficult path.
And that’s what original sin Christians are telling us: “be stupid, be happy”. Put your fingers in your ears and sing “la la la!”